Quiet Obedience: Quest of the Star Blade

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You Fear Me


Unread postby You Fear Me » Thu Aug 21, 2003 2:16 pm

(ooc) yeah, didn't think about that. My bad.

Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 9:42 pm

Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Mechanisto » Fri Aug 22, 2003 1:48 am

Time passed, and the caravan movedbeat a steady pace for the nearest port city. It was thankfuly dull and uneventful, and they progressed without interruption. After almost six days of travel, they arrived at the walled city; a large, bustling place, with buildings packed tightly between the over-crowded streets. Even on the approach, it's commercial density was apparent; each street was lined with stands and booths, and the groundfloor of every building was a shop. They were soon within it's walls, slowly inching towards the docks themselves

The cloaked figure awoke almost instantly, as the sounds of the place became noticable. Eathan, absorbed in his book, only knew of their arrival as they entered the gate. The city was massive, and seemed to resemble a late midieval city. The quality of construction and general cleanliness was far superior; The roads were paved with soft gravel, the buildings were all in excellent condition, with no sign of refuse or filth in sight. As for the populace itself, nothing could have prepared the newcomer properly.

Scattered about the crowd of merchants, peasants, craftsmen and laborers were some of the most fantastic characters he'd ever seen. Arcane robes and cloaks covered in arcane sigils, gothic suits of alien-looking armor, and pets or beasts of unbelievable race and appearance abounded on all sides; a few even resembled mythical creatures, or animals with humanoid shape; others looked perfectly human, save for a pair of pointed ears, feathered wings, extra arms/legs, or any of a number of extraordinary features. Beauty and horror mingled freely in an otherwise mundane crowd. The caravan eventualy parked in an open area near the dockworks, and the occupants dismounted.

[Eathan: Percieve language]
[Skill roll of 9 of 11 = Sucess]

The captain managed to find the cloaked man and Eathan, and waved to the city. "There will only be a day to gather supplies and ready the ships; until then, the city is at everyones' disposal. I'll be staying close to the caravan; If there are any essentials you wish to purchase, I may be willing to finance you... but keep it reasonable."

Talon Starblade

Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Fri Aug 22, 2003 3:56 am

//'Keep it reasonable,' he says. I wouldn't know the first thing to... Wait a minute.//

Eathan's thoughts went a little hyperactive, as he stopped thinking like a kid, and started to actually think a little like a mage. He rifled through his stuff taking stock of what he had, and tried to compare that with what he was gonna need on a long OCEAN trip. He didn't even know if he was the type to get sea sick.

He looked at his armor, and then at his shinais. As armor, it might be of a little bit of help, but he had no idea how useful it would really be. Still, it was one less thing he need to worry about, even thought it only covered a part of him. And as for his bokken... Well, his Sensei had told him the story of the first Master to wield one, and how much deadlier he was with it, than live steel. Maybe he had that covered after all, at least for now.

Then he found his notebook. That's what he needed. He had one notebook, with maybe 40 pages left. He had a brand new pen, so that would be good for a bit, but not forever. He was gonna need a couple of books, or at least a good solid stack of whatever passes for paper. A bottle of ink, and a quill too maybe. And if he could find a shop that dealt in Magic tomes... Who knows. He might get lucky, and find something on Futhark after all.

"Um... I've got a few scholarly kinds of purchases I could use to make. For the life of me, I wouldn't know where to go to find any of it. I promice, I'll keep it reasonable. I... just need someone to show me around."


Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby SRGPI » Fri Aug 22, 2003 1:27 pm

The cloaked man glanced around at his new surroundings, but shook his head.

"There are no provisions that I need. I will stay here."

The cloaked man returned to his corner, but did not go back to sleep, and gazed at the passing crowd, trying to notice anything unusual.

[Making spot check to see if anything out of the ordinary happens.]

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Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Mechanisto » Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:26 am

[Dyrim's Sense Roll: 12 of 16 = sucess]
[nothing unusual detected]

The captain nodded at their responses, and shouted over his shoulder. "KENERY! HERE WITH YE!" Brian couldn't help but jump a bit; the captain's voice was as loud and threatening as always. When he saw who approached, he was rather shocked; It was the young man he'd bested, back when the caravan had found him. He was moving easily, and comfortably, despite the broken ribs he'd sustained.

"This here's Kenery; You've already had your introductions. He'll drag you around the city for tonight, and handle any purchases you be wanting." He tossed a bag to the soldier, who caught it with an avarice-tickling jingle."

Kenery glanced at Brian, then at the captian, then back at Brian with a hawkish grin. "No hard feelings, quelah?" The translation spell found no direct fit for the last word, but still conveyed that 'quelah' meant some kind of friend or comrade.

"If you want scholarly stuffs, The library is the best place to go. They usualy barter with the people passing through, and in a port town like this, just about any kind of trash or treasure could turn up in their hands." Kenery glanced at the cloaked man for a moment. "Are you coming?"

[Will roll: 12 of 14 = sucess]
((OOC: You can resist your compulsion if you like, but it's your call. :) ))


Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby SRGPI » Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:53 pm

The cloaked man shook his head from within his robe.

"It matters not for me. I have nothing I seek here."

He went back to his gazing at the passing crowd.

(Note: My character's name is not Dyrim.)

Talon Starblade

Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:55 pm

"No hard feelings at all," Eathan answered back, happy the guy was feeling better. "I'm glad you're doing better. The Library sounds like a great idea. I may actually find something useful. The main thing I'm gonna need though, is gonna be writing equipment. I'm used to being able to just go down to a corner market, and pick up a pad of paper and a self inking quill. I wonder if I can find a couple of small bits of bamboo? Oh ready to leave when you are."

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Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Mechanisto » Sun Sep 14, 2003 11:39 am

((OOC: Arg... sorry for the name mixup!))

The soldier shrugged. "I wouldn't know anything about all that, but I'm sure they'll have what you need. And by the way... my name's Kenery."

They navigated the crowded streets for some time, bustling past all manner of unusual people. Riding past this crowd in a caravan was one thing; being surrounded by them on all sides was much more unnerving. They eventually reached a huge building that looked a cross between a library and a museum. A greater number of the people here were dressed in spectacular or eccentric clothing, with plenty of robes, feathered hats, and intimidating staffs to go around.

Kenery strode up the stone steps, and inside; the interior was pretty much what any library might look like, but with older and larger books, and a wealth of dusty, ignored artifacts lying around. Kenery went straight to a shop on one side, and waved at the young girl behind a desk; She wore a simple librarian's robe, and large spectacles of exquisitely delicate metalwork. When she saw Kenery, she looked decidedly shocked and dismayed. "Kenery! You know what the superintendant said about your last visit! You'd better not let him catch you here..."

"Don't listen to her. Eathan; Buzya Menota. Buzya, Eathan Dragoon. Buzya here is the honored and distinguished head honcho of supplies. She should be able to help you out. I'll be hanging around the flea market tables if you need me." He left before the girl could respond.


The cloaked man saw little of any import... but when Eathan and the soldier were well out of earshot, he noticed three lightly armed and armored men some distance down the street. They completely ignored eathan and his escort as they walked past, but immediately after that one of them pointed in his direction and spoke to the others. One ran off down the street, while the remaining two followed in Eathan's direction at a determined pace.

It could have just been nothing... but it was defenitely suspicious.


Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby SRGPI » Sun Sep 14, 2003 12:19 pm

The cloaked man raised an eyebrow within his robe.


He raised from his spot, and told the nearest person in the caravan,

"I just remembered I have some errands to run...nothing monetary though."

He swiftly leaped out of the caravan, and started shuffling through the streets at a fast pace towards the direction that Eathen went.

Talon Starblade

Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:07 am

//Dragoon?// Eathan thought. //Must be how my name translates on this world.//

"It's a pleasure to make your aquaintence, Buzya." Eathan knew the greeting was far more old school, but likely it was closer to what she would be accustomed to. Not wasting time, he pulled out the pad he had, as well as the pen he had. "This is the kind of paper and writing pen I'm used to working with. Unfortunately, this is all I have. I'm going to be doing a lot of studying on runes..." He opened the pad to show one page, where he'd written out the Futhark Runes, one by one. "...Trying to reawaken the sleeping power within my ancestoral Runes. I figure I'm gonna be needing more paper or something similar, and an actual writing kit to be able to do it. And if by some miracle you might happen to know anything about these Runes, the help would be greatly appriciated."

He finally took a real breath, giving her a chance to speak. He had no idea if she could actually help him on the Runes, or even if the whole Library would be of any real help. But it was worth a shot.

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Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Mechanisto » Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:38 am

The girl nodded as he spoke, and was already gathering a few office supplies.

"I suppose you'll want the good stuff then, if your following Kenery and his band of wanderlusty fools... we can have a look at those runes after we see to your goods." She placed a large tome on the desk; it had a hardbound cover, and little flap that sealed on all sides. She opened it; the pages were slightly waxy, and tinted silver. One of the folding cover-flaps had a groove for a stylus, a built in inkwell, and a pouch with several spare quill nibs.

"Roughly seven hundred and fifty pages; it's moisture resistant, but the ink will still set properly." she held up a large, sturdy-looking bottle, filled with a jet black liquid. "The book will be twenty-eight hundred Aroa, and the refills are six Aroa each. It'll take about four bottles of ink to fill the book, if your an extremely prolific scrivner."

She handed him the book for his appraisal. "Is it what your looking for, Mr. Dragoon?"


Following the pair of men through this crowd was no simple task, but the cloaked man managed well enough. More importantly, the crowd masked his own less-than-conspicuous appearance. After some time, they stopped in front of the library Eathan had been led to. They paused there for some time, talking quietly.

There wasn't much to do for the moment besides watch them. The cloaked man then noticed the third member they had earlier sent away; he was approaching from down the street, and now carried a sachel over one shoulder.


Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby SRGPI » Tue Sep 16, 2003 6:15 pm

The cloaked man looked heavily at the satchel, and he tried to discern what could the satchel contain.

[Spot check, tryiing to figure out a general shape to discern possible objects.]

Talon Starblade

Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:31 pm

"I would have to say that it would be perfect. The only question is whether the Captain would consider that a 'reasonable' purchase. We'll have to call Kenery in, since he's carrying the money bag. My gut's telling me I'm likely out of luck... Unless the coins he has translate high on the curancy exchange. I think we may have to go with something more economical... Though being on the ocean for who knows how long, this would be perfect. This should be interesting... You wanna yell him in, or should I?"

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Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 9:42 pm

Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Mechanisto » Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:07 am

The girl blinked her eyes a bit, seeming slightly surprised. She called Kenery over. "Hey! He wants to know if your too poor to spend around thirty thousand Aroa."

Kenery shook his head at the girl. "Sorry; he's not from around here." he looked back at Eathan. "Local currency is 'Aroa'; average wages for an hour of unskilled labor are usualy five or seven hundred. A large loaf of bread or bag of rice usualy costs one or two hundred. And if anybody mentions it, an 'Anuana' is ten thousand Aroa." He furrowed his eyebrows as he counted out verious denominations of coin. "Just don't mix the two up... I learned that the hard way, and ended up in debt for a year."

"That'll be fifty-two hundred Aroa." Kenery nodded, and payed. The woman handed Eathan the hefty book, as well as four of the jet-black bottles. "Was there anything else you wanted?"


[Perception Test: Roll 11 of 11 = Sucess]

The sachel gave little evidence of it's exact contents, but the cloaked man managed to recognize the sachel itself as having some generic magical purpose... it probably contained enchantment tools, alchemical ingredients, or something else of that ilk. This by itself wasn't at all out of place; most people in this area carried similar acessories

One other thing seemed clear; these men were doing their best not to be noticed by the general public. They quickly went to one side of the library, and entered an inconspicuous alley.

Talon Starblade

Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:16 am

Eathan listened to the explanination, then started laughing slightly. Then he looked at the two. "Please forgive me. I'm laughing at my own stupidity. It should have occured to me to ask earlier. Thanks for clearing that up. As for wanting something else..."

Eathan pulled out the page he'd covered in Futhark Runes. "As I said early, I was hoping that somewhere in here may be references, or perhaps an outright book on these. The Runes date back easily two thousand years or more on my homeworld. I know it may be a longshot... Heck, the woman who helped me, went and did a MAJOR piece of scrying just to learn my language, rather than casting a simple spell and talk. So long shot or not, there's a chance they might actually be here.

"Oh... You guys wouldn't happen to have any books on Magic theory, would you?"


Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby SRGPI » Tue Sep 23, 2003 9:31 am

The cloaked man discreetly followed the men into the alley, advancing slowly while hiding behind large objects in the alley.

[Methinks it's a Move Silently check now.]

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Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 9:42 pm

Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Mechanisto » Fri Sep 26, 2003 1:55 am

[Stealth Roll, defaults to DX-5, +3 for good hiding places
Roll 9 of 13 = sucess]
[Sense Roll: 5 of 11 = Sucess]
The cloaked man managed to get close enough to the men to hear a small sum of their hushed words; they seemed to be concerned about following the activities of someone inside the library, without actualy entering it themselves. After a few more moments, it became obvious that the one they were following was "that wierd kid with the wooden sword." One of them patted the sachel,which seemed to end the discussion.

One of them knelt on the ground, and began drawing items from the sachel.


Kenery shrugged, losing interest. He wandered back over to the table of relics and items. The girl eyed the paper intently for a moment, with a slight frown. "Hm... they are extremely simple; no obvious symbolism or relation. It would probably take a few weeks of research and study, and even then, I couldn't garuantee anything. I could show them to the custodian, if you want. He might make more sense of them, and it would only take a minute."

Talon Starblade

Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Fri Sep 26, 2003 2:15 am

"Well, to be honest, I wouldn't mind spending a few weeks... Heck, a few months studying in her would be incredible. Unfortunately, the Captain plans to set sail tomarrow. So, while my time is short, I can spare some more, even if only for a possibility. And if it would help, I could tell him the name of each Rune, and even what I know they're supposed to mean. But the help would be just great. Thank you."

Eathan stopped himself from talking, since he finally realized that he was rambling. He wasn't about to pin ALL of his hopes on whether there might be anything out of this, but it was worth a shot.

Edited by: Talon Starblade  Image at: 9/26/03 2:18 am


Re: Are we there yet? How about now...?

Unread postby SRGPI » Fri Sep 26, 2003 7:20 pm

The cloaked man tried to peer over and see what the men were trying to do with the contents of the satchel, while keeping his profile completely black against the walls. He wasn't going to act until something obviously wrong happened.

Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 9:42 pm

This can't be good...

Unread postby Mechanisto » Sun Sep 28, 2003 4:59 am

The girl nodded.

"I'm sure it'll only take a minute... right this way." She led him off down the hall, and leaned over Kenery's shoulder as they passed. "Don't touch anything..." She deftly took a wand from him, and put it back on the 'flea market' table. She continued on.

As Eathan turned back to face her, he nearly bumped into a huge, humanoid creature with the features of a black reptile, encrusted with bony, armored scales. The extremely imposing figure was wearing a long, black robe open down the it's chest, revealing natural plates of banded scales; it stared down at him, quite menacingly. "You should probably watch where you walk, human."

[Eathan, Fright check: Roll 13 of 14 = Marginal sucess]

Eathan managed to keep his wits (barely) but couldn't help but recoil, and ended up bumping into one ofthe library's attendants carrying a small urn; the attendant fell head over heels, and the urn shattered on the ground. A small cloud of ash filled the air, and a tiny, winged creature composed entirely of flames darted off down the hallway. The entire accident happened before he could even blink.

The librarian girl planted her fists on her hips, and glared at the dragon-figure. "Now look what you made him do!"

The figure shrugged. "Well, I warned him... can't blame me for giving some friendly advice."

The girl sighed, and gestured at Eathan. "Anyways... my friend here wanted to show you some runes; he's had some trouble identifying them."

The humanoid dragon arched an eyebrow, and set his gaze on Eathan once more.


As the cloaked man eyed the group, he realized that the kneeling man was most likely the leader; while they all had fairly well trimmed garments, this one's attire bordered on that of an upper-class citizen.

He removed a few items from the sachel, and knelt to the ground for a time, drawing on the pavement with a sizeable piece of red chalk; he continued for some time, and eventualy the shape of a pentacle in a circle of symbols began to take shape. Five small candles set in thin metal holders had been placed at each tip, and were now being lit. The smoke curled as it rose, forming a well-defined cylinder.

The man stood, clasped his hands, and entered into something resembling a trance. A faint scent of burning ash wafted back to the cloaked man's position. His two escorts took up guard positions beside him, watching the alley's entrance carefully.

[CM's Stealth roll: 4 of 10 = Critical sucess]

Either through fortune or skill, neither managed to spot the cloaked man's hiding position. Regardless, they seemed ready to draw steel at a moments notice... things were looking less and less legitemate by the second...

Edited by: [url=http://pub30.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=mechanistox>MechanistoX</A]&nbsp; Image at: 9/28/03 5:06 am


Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby SRGPI » Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:49 am

Suddenly, the cloaked man became worried.

Burning ash is almost never good...my guess is that some sort of explosion spell is being concocted. I'd rather not take my chances now...

He gripped his saber within his cloak, and he then yelled out,

"That's a nice spell you have going on there. Mind telling the public what it is?"

And then he walked out of his hiding place into the open.

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:49 pm

Eathan was absolutely embarrassed. He watched the fiery little thing speed off in the building, with almost a sense of dread. "I'm sorry. That little thing not gonna burnt he place to the ground, is it?" Then he got back to his feet.

"Please forgive my reaction, sir. This whole world is one new experience after another to me. And I curtainly mean no disrespect on things... It's just that if dragons once moved through my homeworld... The only signs left of them, are ancient tales and myths. Oh, yeah... The Runes."

He pulled out the page with the Runes on them, and presented it to the "Dragon." "We call these the Futhark Runes, on my world. They date back well over 2 millenia. My ancestors believed they held true power, and my grandfather had be believing in them since I was a child. I was hoping that perhaps by a minor miracle maybe, that somewhere in all this, there might be a refference or something more. I've been told that I have the gift of magic, and these Runes are ones I already know something of."


Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby SRGPI » Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:43 am

The two guards immediately drew weapons as the cloaked man stepped into view. One held a scramasax, and shouldered his shield to one arm. The other held a pair of heavy rondaches. They paused, glancing at the kneeling man. His only reaction was to slightly lift one finger.

The cloaked man drew his saber from within his cloak, and readied to parry.

The blond guard with the slender build tossed a knife in one hand, unconciously testing it's weight as he lined up a shot. The one with the shield was notably more muscular. He closed the distance quickly, and slashed at the cloaked man's chest.

[Guard1 attack: Roll 11 of 14 = Sucess]
[CM parry: Roll 10 of 11 = Sucess]

The cloaked man's blade easily swept the larger man's aside, setting him slightly off balance.

The cloaked man takes this opportunity to strike the unbalanced guard.

The move was more than effective enough; the guard's token armor couldn't stand up to the slash, and steel bit flesh. The slash was more than enough to pierce the guard's token cloth armor; his shield and sword fell to the ground, quickly joined by the guard himself. The other guard didn't seem to be concerned about his comrade, and launched the dagger he'd been aiming.

[Guard2 Throw: Roll 7 of 13 = Sucess]
[CM parry: Roll 14 of 9 = Failure]
[Damage roll: 1d-2 = 4]

The cloaked man glances at his wound, but attacks the other guard.

[CM Attack: Roll 14 of 17 = Sucess]
[Guard2 Dodge: Roll 8 of 6 = Failure]
[damage roll: 2d+1 = 5]

The second guard twisted to one side, but not quickly enough; he let out a yelp as the sword slashed against him. The guard retreated a step, but not before slashing at his attacker with his remaining knife.

[Guard2 attack: Roll 6 of 12 = Sucess]
[CM Parry Roll: 11 of 11 = Sucess]

The cloaked man's sword clashed against the knife at the last moment, bringing it half an inch from his eye.

The cloaked man snorted. "I think you need to find higher quality guards next time." The cloaked man swung the guard again.

[CM Swing: Roll 13 of 17 = Sucess]
[damage roll: 2d+1 = 4]

The guard staggered back from the attack; though less severe than the last, his wounds were clearly adding up. The guard held his side, his face twisted into a determined snarl. He charged the cloaked man, now holding a knife in each fist.

[Guard2 First attack: Roll 11 of 12 = Sucess]
[Guard2 Second attack: Roll 11 of 12 = Sucess]
[CM parry 1: Roll 11 of 11 = Sucess]
[CM parry 2: Roll 5 of 11 = Sucess]

Despite the ferocity of the attack, the cloaked man's sword moved almost like a blur in the air; the first knife once more came within an inch of his flesh. The blade was knocked aside before it could strike home; and the second knife quickly followed suit. Cloaked man couldn't help but wonder at the man's fanaticism; the man obviously suffered from extreme loyalty.

The cloaked man only nodded at the guard's diligence to duty. He thrusted with his saber.

[CM Thrust: Roll 10 of 17 = Sucess]

The strike drove home easily; the man was in no condition to dodge or parry the blow. Moments after, he was slumped on the ground, oozing blood. The cloaked man now stood in an alley with two limp bodies; their leader stood from his kneel, and turned to face him.

The cloaked man readied his saber, and looked towards the leader. "I admire your guard's courage, but will you reflect the same?"

The man lifted a hand; he was slender, with an athletic musculature, but bore no recognizable weapons. His garments appeared similar to those of his guards, but much more expensively cut and styled. His outfit seemd as vulnerable as the others, but a pair of heavy leather boots suggested otherwise. Of note were a pair of rings on his right hand, connected by a thin chain, and a steel circlet on his brow. Both were set with flat, rectangular pieces of glimmering jade stone; an odd choice of ornament for an upperclass citizen. The man shrugged, and spoke with an unnaturally resonant, clear voice. "Their duty here is done. They need only distract you while I work my magics…and in that goal, they have excelled admirably."

The cloaked man nodded. "Indeed. But what business do you have with an acquaintance of mine inside?"

The man frowned. "Acquaintance? You know the boy?"

"He's traveling with me, and is under the protection of our caravan."

The man blinked quietly. "Interesting... this opens up new possibilities. Can I assume you are... searching... for something? Something of great value?"

The cloaked man thought for a second. "And what if we are?"

The man chuckled slightly. "There are some things best left untouched, and the sky sword is one of them. I am here to see that it never reaches your hands... or those of any other."

The cloaked man chuckled within his own hood. "I am sure there are those organizations like yours that prevent the attainment of such legendary weapons. However, I'm interested to see this through because of somebody else's problems. I have no interest for the sword itself."

The man frowned, looking extremely severe. "I assure you... once look at it's hilt, and you will feel nothing but desire." The man's visage grew grim as he continued. "It is a cursed blade, bringing death and sorrow where it goes. None who behold it can resist it's charm. If you find it, you will become more monstrous than you could imagine." He smirked. "The prince of thieves never told you the truth, did he?"

"That would be true. I am sure that all legendary weapons have that charm; it's the same charm all lowly thugs would wish to run the world their own way. However, if that were so, why not simply destroy it?"

The man maintained his scowl. He slowly approached the cloaked man, but made no obviously threatening move.

The cloaked man did not lower his guard, and put his left toe a step back incase he needed to retreat. This man could easily be a mage in his own respect.

After a moment, the man was only a few steps before him; his deep green eyes almost seemed to flicker with some unseen emotion. "I intend to destroy it."

The cloaked man raised an eyebrow within his hood, and relaxed, leaving his saber at his side.

The man simply walked past, brushing his coat slightly. "Of course, I can't have anyone finding it first. And I think that boy with the toy sword knows just where to find it... i'll have to stop you, naturally. But if you decide to press on regardless... consider this a warning."

"I would help in that goal, if that were possible. I would not want the dark-hearted to attain such a weapon, however, there are other reasons we seek the location of the weapon.” The cloaked man turned around. "I would rather help seal a person's past than simply just destroy a weapon that anybody else could find. You can count on me to keep going on."

The man continued walking, uncaringly. "Your motives matter not... infants cannot be trusted with loaded crossbows. The sword is a tool of evil. Better a death by my own hand than a lingering life of enslavement. I expect we may meet again. Enjoy my present." He walked on, out of the alley. Before the cloaked man could stop him, he entered the crowd, and was lost. Despite his distinctive garments, he was nowhere to be seen.

Quickly, the cloaked man turned back to what the leader was preparing, and looked over what the leader has prepared.

After the first step he took, he noticed one of the candles flicker slightly. The even flame wobbled, and eventually snuffed out, leaving only a faint whiff of brimstone.

Cautiously, the cloaked man crept closer to the pentacle, leaving himself time if the pentacle were to explode.

At this range, the complexity of the circle became obvious: It was a circle, with a five pointed star touching it's circumference. Strange symbols were lined all aroudn the circle, and along the edges of the star. The smoke from the remaining four candles continued to waft upwards,stil lforming an odd cylinder shape in the air.

The cloaked man frowned. He had never seen many runes within his life, and this was not one he has seen. The cloaked man kept moving closer, slowly.

The cylinder was less substantial with one of the candles snuffed. he noticed another candle wobbling slightly; it extinguised itself a moment later.

[Some kinda roll: 11 of 11 = slight sucess]

The cloaked man noticed five prominant, singular symbols in the circle; one at the tip of the star's points.

The cloaked man tried to discern if there was a pattern to the symbols, however, he could easily tell that it was some sort of timed reaction, because of the candles that slowly snuffed out.
Despite the obvious placement in groups of five, the symbols were beyond his recognition; he'd never seen anything like them.

The cloaked man noted the order of the two candles that snuffed out, and look at the end of the sequence if it was one by one.

The scent of brimstone was rapidly becomingmore and more concentrated. A strange warmth filled the air around the markings. The third candle to snuff continued in a clock-wise direction.

The cloaked man thought quickly. Crap! It must be an explosion, but I do not know how to disarm it!"

One of the two remaining candles began flickering. The red chalk began glowign a dull, bright red.

The cloaked man look at the last symbol in the pattern that corresponded with the clock-wise pattern, and tried to rub it out.

The instant he touched the circle, the remaining candle snuffed. The smoke broke from it's cylindrical pattern into ordinary plumes. An instant later, a great blast of light and heat shot from the circle, as though a hole had been opened straight from a furnace.

The cloaked man scrambled out, and began to sprint out of the alley, kicking over anything along the way to get attention. "Explosion!" He yelled.

Nobody in the street actually paid any attention to the warning. When a small heat wave burst over the streets, they took notice; when the flames began pouring over the buildingtops like a great fountain, they ran. An explosion of force filled the air, but it did little more than buffet the cloaked man slightly.

The cloaked man kept running, while the back of his cloak began to get charred.

The flames in the alley never reached him. In fact, only the alley itself was engulfed; instead of an explosion, it was an inferno. Tongues of flame rose above the city like tentacles, weavign and warping as they seemed to grasp. The strange pillar of flame stretched further, undulating slightly. As it moved, a bulge formed art it's tip.

When the cloaked man got out of the alley, he looked up at the inferno that is melding into several shapes.

He stared up into the sky. The bulge, towering over the city, opened slightly, and a slitted eye stared down. Whatever this bizzare new danger was, it was more than simply a bomb, or a blazing fire... it was somehow alive...and the cloaked man was certain it was looking straight at him.

The cloaked man stared straight back at the inferno.

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Thu Oct 02, 2003 4:14 am

(occ: editted for convenience, between myself and Mech.)

The dragon's face was much more expressive than Eathan had expected; at the moment, it wore a puzzled scowl. He gazed at the page for a time, seemingly muttering under his breath.

"That damned tree..." The dragon muttered, almost under his breath. He turned to look at Eathan again, handing the paper back. "I believe there maybe some vague references to these markings, but their signifigance has long since vanished under the crushing geis of time. I remember some older references to these as a symbolic language, and some scholars I've talked to suggest they may have once had magical purposes."

The dragon shrugged softly. "I cannot help you ascertain their magical nature. Though we may have some historical references on them."

"Right," Eathan said, tucking the page back into the notepad. "Well, anything I can get, would be helpful. I was hoping I might be able to reawaken their power. They're the only Runes I really know, except for a temporary gift I was given." He pulled out the rune stones he was given.

The dragon's eyes opened wide, and his pupils dialated fully. He let out a snarling cry his fangs clearly visible.

The librarian girl spun to look, clearly surprised. When she saw the runes in Eathan's hand, she dropped a book and pressed her hands to her mouth in a silent gasp.

The dragon reached out, and picked Eathan up by his collar. "Do you honestly think I'll tolerate this!? GET OUT OF MY LIBRARY!" he began marching towards the exit, still carrying him.

"What are you talking about? They're just runestones, right?" He was COMPLETELY confused. What had he done to piss this guy off?

"What kind of fool do you take me for!?"

The librarian girl quickly followed, frantically waving her arms trying to get his attention. "No! He can't POSSIBLY understand what they are! Put him down this instant!"

The dragon snarled lightly at the girl. "Are you suggesting this sort of magic is acceptable? I don't have to tolerate this... certainly not in my own sanctuary."

"What kind of magic?" he choked out...

The dragon ignored him. The girl was looking less frantic, and more frustrated. "You... you big scaled goof, you! How could he possibly be at fault? Put him down this instant!! How dare you be so rude!"

The dragon focused his gaze entirely on the girl. Little tendrils of smoke curled from his nostrils.

Moments later, Eathan and the girl were both hurled forcefully out of the library's great stone double-doors. "AND STAY OUT!" The dragon roared. He slammed the doors shut easily, with his bare hands.

The girl was sitting next to Eathan, looking completely shocked and confused. Her jaw was wide open, and she seemed at a loss for words.

Eathan groaned. "The man who coined the expression, 'ignorance is bliss,' was a damned idiot. You ok? What the hell did I do to PISS him off? And you looked like a Balrog had stepped out of my skin... Am I missing something?"

The girl smoothed out a bit of her robe, and tried to collect her self. "I... I don't know! I've never seen him so angry before! I knew he had no love of demons, but... well..." She shrugged slightly.

"I only pulled out the Runestones I was given, that allow to be even talking to you... What have they got to do with demons?"

She frowned a bit, and shook her head slightly. "The runes have everything to do with demons... The Angorken runeset was based on an infernal language." She waved a hand. "Well, granted, the runes themselves aren't demonic or evil... nor is their magic... but they did originate from that source."

"I apologize. I never meant any trouble. She gave me knowledge of the Runes and language itself, but didn't give me any of the history. Thank you for all your help. I guess I better hope I can find what I need on my own."

The librarian blinked. "She? Who do you mean by..." She never managed to complete her sentence, as the library's doors opened again, and Kenery was flung out. He tumbled down the steps a short distance, and landed next to where Eathan and the girl had landed.

"You ok, man?"

Kenery rubbed his face. "Damn... and this time, I actually didn't steal anything." He stood up, rubbing his side. "If that's the worst I ever get at the hands of a dragon, I'll be lucky. Oh, Hi, Buzya. Thought you didn't get coffee-breaks?"

Eathan rose to his feet, and offered a hand to help Buzya up.

The girl accepted the help with a nod, but squinted tightly. "At least one of you is gallant... I don't suppose you'd help find my seeing glasses?"

"Glasses, right..." Eathan looked around to spot the specticles.
[INT=14 for perception check]
[MX: Eathan Sense roll 15 of 14 = Failure]
Eathan glanced about, but saw nothing.

Kenery bent on one knee, holding his side a bit as he slowly stood up again. The tiny sound of crunching glass could be heard. Kenery froze as he looked down at the spot on the ground here he'd landed.

Eathan physically winced, at the sound of the crunching glass. "Please be a piece of a bottle."

Kenery bent, and picked up a pair of large, evenly broken glasses. they were little more than a bent metal framework, studded with jagged, broken glass. He handed them to the girl, who stared at them angrily. "I'm sure a bit of glue would fix them right up."

//And I'll be an Archmage at sunrise// Eathan thought.

Buzya stared blindly in Kenery's general direction. "I hate you. I just thought you should know. Well... it seems this day couldn't possibly get any worse..."

//She didn't...// Eathan never finished the thought. He knew it was far too late to ward off Murphy. It seemed where ever Eathan went, Murphy had him bugged, just WAITING for the opertunity to bite him in the ass, or anyone in proximity.

At about that time, Eathan heard a soft, muted rumble. He noticed the darkly cloaked man sprinting out of a nearby alley. Almost on his heels, a massive gout of flame poured from the alley; a similar column rose above the rooftops, showering a tiny mist of ash and brimstone onto several city blocks.

Kenery spun around, and stared in shock. "Great Alvhenaheim, patron saint of fools and drunkards...!"

"MURPHY!" Eathan yelled. "For ONCE, couldn't you just play deaf?!"

Buzya blinked, still squinting. "I don't suppose you mean Meruphee, Patron saint of Poor Planning and Lost Causes? What's going on, anyways?"

Kenery stared for only a moment longer. "Running. Lots of it."

The girl frowned. "What? Who's running? EEK!!!" She squealed sharply as Kenery grabbed her, picked her up in both hands, and started sprinted down the street.

Eathan held his purchase solidly in one arm and charged off, beating feet with the rest of them. He was definately wishing he knew more about magic, cause his gut was saying he was gonna need it. "I didn't realize I'd pissed that Dragon off that badly!"

Kenery glanced over one shoulder. "Would you quit whining about your etiquette blunder? This probably has nothing to do with us... They probably have explosions all the time. Besides... it's a mages town. They can handle a little fire."

"But I'm NOT fireproof," Eathan shot back.

Kenery slowed his pace after they'd put a city block between them and the library. "Quit complaining. You act like you've never seen a fire before."

It was then that they noticed what the fire was doing. It had formed a tall column, reaching towards the sky like a twisting, tentacle of pure inferno. A bulge had formed at the very tip, and a pulsating yellow eye was now gazing down upon the city. It seemed to be staring at them, or at least in their general direction. The thing looked like a giant eyestalk, as it slowly twisted and leaned in their direction. The thing was as thick as a redwood, and as tall as the statue of liberty.

"Fire I've seen. That..!" Eathan spun around to point at the ever rising pillar of firey death. "..I've never even DREAMT about."

Kenery stared blankly, his jaw limply open. "Well... alright. That's a valid point." He promptly dropped the girl, who let out a painful squeal, and sprinted full-speed towards the dockside.

"Kenery!" Eathan yelled at the man's back. He almost skidded to Buzya's side. "Buzya, take my hand and keep running."

The girl waved her hand in his general direction. "What? Why? What am I running form?"

"About a thousand feet of flaming tenticle, topped with a pulsing yellow eyeball. And it's bending over to look right at us."

"What!? Tell me your joking!" She managed to grab his hand, and held on tightly. It was obvious she was going to be stumbling a little.

"I wish I was," he said as pulled her up to her feet, and then put her into a fireman's carry. "Hold on." It was gonna be slower going, but better solid movement, than starts and stops. Pushing off, he continued to run.


Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby SRGPI » Thu Oct 02, 2003 8:37 am

The cloaked man only stared at the pillar for a moment longer, and then started dashing back towards the harbor.

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:02 am

(occ: editted for our sanity.)

Buzya held onto Eathan tightly as he ran. "I don't suppose you'll tell me where we're

While Eathan was carrying Buzya, the dark cloaked man ran by. A bit of blood was dripping from one of his arms.

[MX:] By now, the crowded streets were gripped with chaos; having some experience with
living in a town rich with magery, people weren't hysterical, but they certainly weren't calm and reserved.

"Right now, the only place I know is the harbor. Unless you got a better suggestion?"

Buzya would have shrugged if she'd been able to. "I can only assume it's the best place to go for a fire..."

[MX:] The pillar of flame behind them had stopped growing in height, and the bulging eye on the tip was now a golden orb of fire with a black, slitted pupil. It was twisting and writing, as though ready to topple, but remained upright.

The cloaked man made no note of it, and still kept running.

[MX:] One thing did catch the Cloaked man's eye; the mage he had seen before, the one who had placed this trap. he was walking down the docks at an extremely brisk pace. He was alone, heading for one of the smaller clippers.

The cloaked man did not do anything to threaten the mage...there were more important things. He continued running towards the dock.

All Eathan could do, was keep running... But inside, he prayed, //Great Odin, please let my feet be be swift.//

[MX:] Eathan could see the caravan up ahead, parked next to one of the larger merchant ships; the crew was tossing things aboard at a frantic pace, and the riggings and sails were almost flying onto the masts. Kenery was allready onboard, tossing a gang plank off the side for them. The cloaked man was only a few meters away, but Eathan still had some considerable distance to go.

The cloaked man just swiftly got onto the ship, and looked for any sort of bandaging tools.

[MX:] The crew was in total chaos; nobody noticed his wound, and even if they had, probably would have been too busy getting the ship underway.

The cloaked man just looked for the medical supplies.

Eathan growled through his teeth, as he pushed himself to the limit. He'd never run with this much weight before... Then again, he'd never been chased by a giant firey eyestalk before... As Daffy Duck once said, "You never know what you can do, till your life flashes before your eyes."

[MX:] Without any warning, a deafening explosion filled the air, and the ground shook hard enough to throw Eathan's balance.
[Eathan Balance Roll: 10 of 14-3 = Sucess]
[MX:] He barely managed to keep his feet under him. Buzya let out a short scream. "What... what was that!?"

[MX:] The towering pillar of fire had split into three stalks from the middle down; each of the three massive 'legs' had slammed onto the ground. The creature's fiery skin began solidifying, becoming something tangible.

"Probably Hell saying 'hello,' knowing MY luck," Eathan yelled to her.

[MX:] The eye twisted ever closer to the dockside, and it took another great step. it covered an entire city block with the casual motion. By now, eathan was onto the wooden dockside, and only a few dozen steps from the plank leading onboard. The cloaked man had managed to find a strongbox of medicines and bandages.

The cloaked man used the ointments and bandages to get his wound patched up then.
[MX:] [CM First aid roll: 7 of 12 = sucess; takes 30 minutes, 2 HT recovered]

Eathan never looked back. His sole focus was to get them on that ship.

[MX:] After a few moments that seemed to stretch like years, Eathan reached the unstable, rickety plank. Kenery was on the other side, trying to hold it steady as possible. As Eathan began to run up, a shadow blotted out the sun. A split second after jumping onto the ship, another huge tremor shook the city, sending the plank clattering down the docks, and into the waters below. The massive fire giant had taken only two steps to reach the docks; it's eye stalk leaned out over the water.

"Where's the motor on this thing?!!!" Eathan yelled, finally getting a solid look at the thing he'd been running from. As the sight registered in his mind, he found himself wishing he hadn't looked.

[MX:] The man who had first showed Eathan his runes patted him on the back as he ran for the prow of the ship. "I have it covered, little dragon..." He held up a pair runes, and a bright flare of light flashed from his palm. The wind suddenly turned into a powerful gust, sending the ship ahead at an impressive speed.

[MX:] After only a few minutes, they were safely away from the coast... even this distance didn't comfort them. The sheer size of the thing became readily apparent.

The cloaked man watched this scene from an unnoticed section from the ship.

[MX:] It was towering over the docks, stretching it's eye directly above the other ships
docked. It stared straight down, and light and fire gathered around it's staring orb. A line of fire fell down from it, falling like a viscous , gooey teardrop. The liquid inferno smothered one of the larger cruisers, reducing it almost instantly to flames and ash. The monster systematicaly advanced, destroying each of the ships in the port as though they were made of folded paper.

[MX:] Much of the ships crew had stopped to stare at the sight; it was obvious to Eathan that this was far from an ordinary occurance... even in this strange place. They were all witnessing something truly terrible.

"Buzya, are you alright?" Eathan asked. "And could somebody, please tell me what in the hells that THING is?"

[MX:] The girl was holding her shoulders, shaking just a little. "I'm fine... the explosion was just... unexpected. I can assume that since the floor is shaking, we've boarded a vessel... was that really nessecary?"

[MX:] The rest of the crew began gathering beside Eathan, watching the huge, tripod-like monster as it meticulously destroyed the docks.

[MX:] The mage was standing beside Eathan, looking nervous. "That's no ordinary
monster... It's clearly a demon, though I couldn't tell you what kind. It was obviously summoned for a specific purpose..."

"It's using the docks and everything still tied down for kindling." Eathan turned his gaze to the mage, unable to watch anymore of the carnage. "Who'd be crazy enough to summon something like THAT?!"

[MX:] The captain stepped foreward, and turned to the mage. "You don't think this has anything to do with that damn sword everyone is scrambling after, do you?"

[MX:] The mage shrugged. "Could be anything... though it went directly for the docks after it finished forming. We'll certainly haveless competition on that particular quest. As for who's responsible... I can't imagine. Those who are most familiar with demons are probably the least likely to summon them... They best the danger."

"I can think of much SANER ways of taking out the compatition, than calling Cathulu there."

[MX:] The mage blinked a bit, and looked at him. "Who?"

Eathan mentally hit himself. "He was an elder monstrous being, described in an ancient tomb back home, called the 'Necronimicon.' He was said to be a dstroyer of worlds."

[MX:] A rolling peal of thunder interrupted them; the sound was a mixture of a raging typhoon and a the crackling blaze of a fire. No ships remained intact, and the creature had stretched it's eye-stalk in their direction. The reverberating roar echoed out over the sea. And while Everyone heard the same bestial groan, Eathan heard something else... He could actually feel the translation runes struggling to put words to this monstrous cry.

[MX:] He felt a hand on his shoulder, and heard Kenery's voice. "hey... you alright? You look like somebody gut-punched you..."

Eathan gulped, as he strained to understand. "I can hear what it's yelling about," he said, a little dumbfounded.

[MX:] Buzya responded, holding his arm. "What? it's speaking? You can't be serious! The thing isn't even alive... it's a mindless machine!"

[MX:] The thing roared again, but the distance between them muted it greatly. Only two words filled his mind; he couldn't tell if they were translated properly, or still in the demon's own tongue: The words were "Angcarch Gondheru." They echoed in his mind, until it seemed his head would split open.

[Eathan Will roll 12 of 10 = Failure]
[Fright result: 13 + 2 = 1d fatigue, 1d stunning]
[1 pt fatigue; 1 round stunned]
Eathan clutched his head, shaking a mumbling for a few seconds, his heart pounding into his ears... Over and over, two words were repeated from his lips... "Angcarch Gondheru."

[MX:] Buzya put a concerned hand on his back. "Eathan? Eathan, what's wrong?" She just stared at him for a moment, obviously worried.

Finally, Eathan's senses came back, and he turned toward Buzya. "I heard that thing... I heard what it said..." He was still shaking.

[MX:] Her eyes were no longer squinting shut; her expression changed from concern to confusion. She pulled her hand back, now looking notably frightened. "I... But..." Without any warning, she turned and ran, heading for the hatch below deck.

Eathan looked away, turning to the pocked that held the runes. He watched her run. He didn't know what to say.

[MX:] By now, the ship was well enough away that the demon wasn't visible. Only a dim glow remained on the horizon. The crew had dispersed and resumed their duties, but nobody could help but whisper about the event they had narrowly escaped.

"Where are my things stowed?" Eathan's voice was shaky, but determined.

[MX:] Kenery held his shoulder. "Right this way... we have a room for you below deck. I suggested you could stay in one of the scrivner's rooms, with a desk and everything... figured you'd like that best. I can take you there now, if you want."

"It'll come off useful. Thank you." Almost numbly, he let himself be guided to the room. "Kenery," he finally said, "check on Buzya. I don't think she'd want to see me right now."

[MX:] Kenery kept an arm around his shoulders, to keep him steady. The trip below deck was quick, and Eathan was soon standing in the door to a somewhat cramped room. There was a desk and bookshelf along one side of the wall, with a strongbox in the corner. All of his belongings had been stacked next to the box. There was a small, fold-out bed along the far wall, with a marginally soft matress.

[MX:] Kenery helped him to the bed. "Your lucky... the rest of us get hammocks. You sure you'll be alright?"

"I think I'll be fine. Right now, I'm more worried about Buzya."

[MX:] Kenery stood by the door. "I'll talk with her... but I'll need to know what to say first. Mind sharing your worries?"

"Well for one, she can't see all that well... Second, I think things just got way complicated. Ask her if she'd be willing to talk to me."

[MX:] The soldier nodded. "That should be easy enough. Oh, and I still have her glasses... or what's left of them, anyways. I'll try and talk to the mage and see if he can fix them. It's worth a shot." He turned to go, but paused. "Uh... before I go... could you tell me what an 'angcarch' is?"

"Do the glasses, definately... Angcarch was part of what that thing was screaming."

[MX:] Kenery arched his eyebrows. "Maybe it's best that we never find out then... sounds pretty nasty. Anyways... i'll go find Buzya. We'll probably be eatign soon; I'll come down and get you then." Kenery closed the door as he left.

Eathan watched the door close, then he pulled out his notepad, and wrote those two words down. Angcarch Gondheru... Those words shook him deep inside, but he didn't know why. He had so much to learn. He just hoped he had the time.

The cloaked man only stood at the bow of the ship. He had patched up his wound, and made sure the tear in his cloak was concealed. After an hour had passed since their hasty retreat from the harbor, the cloaked man went down from the bow and searched for the captain of the caravan if he was still around.

[MX:] The search took little time; he was standing at the wheel, shoutign orders to a number of crewman. People were constantly coming and going with quick questions and reports.

The cloaked man waited on the side, the captain probably had more problems on his hands from the hasty retreat, and he probably didn't need anymore.

[MX:] It was only half an hour before the constant stream of orders slowed to a more leisurely rate. There were still a number of people around him at any given moment, but the captain waved them aside for the moment, and gestured at the cloaked man.

[MX:] "I suppose you've waited long enough... what weighs your concience?"

The cloaked man stepped forward, and nodded. "I would say our hasty retreat from
the harbor was...targeted at Eathan. I left the caravan shortly before the incident happened. Eathan appeared to stand out too much in the public." The cloaked man continued, "That same group of people set up the summoning spell in which I was not able to stop. It appears they have the same intentions as most protectors of legendary weapons."

[MX:] The captain frowned. "The boy... I can believe that some greater force would try to stop anyone on this quest in mind..."

"The typical story about a cursed sword and how it must not fall into anybody's hands, for fear of the sword twisting the wielder to it's own will. And the odd thing was, these men appeared to be rather of prestigious rank."

[MX:] "Prestigious rank, hm...?" The captain chewed his lip for a moment, lost in thought.

"The mage who casted the summon spell wore garments of the upper class, and his guards were fanatically loyal. It appears they have been around for a long while."

[MX:] "Upperclass garments... fanatic guards..." The captain paused. "Was he dressed nearly in the manner of a soldier, with red cloth and decorative steel trim?"


[MX:] The captain frowned as he continued. "Did he have a strange pair of rings, connected by afine steel chain? The rings would have been set with large jade stones. And did he wear a steel circlet, similarly set?"

"Almost a perfect description."

[MX:] The captain grimaced visibly. "The man you encountered is named Lokemus... he runs a goodly-sized cult of battlemages, all of them as fanatical as you described. I didn't see him at the Gathering of Fortune, and I sincerely doubt Karuzhe would have invited him there... Though I have reason to suspect he may have invited himself, without anyone's knowledge."

The man raised an eyebrow. "Battlemages? His two guards carried rondaches and throwing knives."

[MX:] He rubbed his chin. "Common flunkies, no doubt... He reserves his magical gifts for his acolytes. He has no shortage of soldier-trained fools. Actually, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he and Karuzhe have clashed before now."

The man just shook his head. "Whatever it is, it looks like the prince of thieves is purposely setting the competition to be one against another. To what end, I know not. Lokemus told me he intends to destroy the sword."

[MX:] The captain stared at the cloaked man in surprise. "Destroy it? Really now... Rumors fly about the nature of his magical power; many suspect it is demonic in nature. I imagine this disaster cements that particularly theory. Though I cannot fathom why he woudl wish to destroy the sword." he shrugged. "Maybe he just wants to keep it from Karuzhe."

"He was also spouting stuff about how one look at the blade, and you will be entranced by it's glamor. Perhaps he's right, perhaps he's not. And perhaps there's more to this... That little girl that gave Eathan his runes. Perhaps we can ask Eathan if the girl seeks the sword also."

[MX:] The captain rubbed his chin again. "Not a bad idea... we know they talked about something at length."

"Shall I go retrieve him?"

[MX:] The captain shook his head. "We'll be eating in a few minutes anyways; you and he can join me in my officer's dining room."

The cloaked man nodded. "Alright. Until then." The cloaked man walked off, but he suddenly clutched his shoulder, as a drop of blood fell on the deck. "I need to change the dressings, it appears."

[MX:] The captain nodded. "One more thing, though... what's the deal he made with that girl he dragged aboard? We don't allow bed-mates on sea voyages."

He replied, "Apparently, an acquaintance of Kenery."

[MX:] The captain rolled his eyes. "Any ladyfriend of Kenery's is garuanteed to be of questionable moral fibre... ask him about it next chance you get."

"Will do."

[MX:] The captain waved and shouted at a rewman. "OY Show this one to his room, and see that he gets whatever medical stuffs he needs."

[MX:] The man nodded. "healing or room, first?"

The cloaked man replied, "Healing. I need to change this dressing."

[MX:] The man nodded. "Right this way then." He led the way to the ship's healer's room.

The cloaked man already looked through a few of the supplies as he came on the ship and used the supplies for the first time, so it did not take very long to find what he needed. He only raised his cloak's sleeve up to shoulder level, and started his redressing.

[MX:] he was interrupted as the healer put a hand on his shoulder; she was giving him a Severe Look. "If you'll have a seat, I can bandage that right up for you."

The cloaked man looked back. "Alright. But the cloak only goes up to the shoulder."

[MX:] She nodded curtly, sat him down on a bed, and got to work. "This may sting a little..." She dabbed something onto the wound. The healer paused a little as the medicine failed to get a reaction. "Right... silly me." She began placing another bandage.

[MX:] As he sat, he noticed the girl sitting across from him. She was holding a cloth against her head, and holding her stomach.

The cloaked man gazed at the girl across, and asked the healer, "Seasick?"

[MX:] The girl turned away by only the slightest degree, but grudgingly nodded.

The cloaked man look at his bandage to see if it was done yet.

[MX:] The healer was wrapping the final layer of cotton cloth around his shoulder, and was done in a moment.

The cloaked man nodded, and said, "Thanks."

[MX:] The healer nodded back, but said nothing. She then glanced over his shoulder, at the door.

[MX:] Kenery entered, with a ripe, recent black eye. he and the girl exchanged dirty looks.

[MX:] The healer said nothing, and gave Kenery an icepack.

The cloaked man recovered his arm. As he glanced back and forth, he only chuckled. After he was done with his own satisfaction, he approached Kenery. "Captain's wondering what are we going to do with the girl."

[MX:] He eyed the girl a moment longer. "At least it's obvious what we WON'T be doing tonight..."

[MX:] The girl threw a bottle of cotton balls at Kenery, which he barely ducked.

"Ironically, the captain made a small comment about not allowing bed-mates on voyages."

[MX:] Kenery opened his mouth with a sarcastic roll of his eyes, but glanced at the girl; she'd picked up a small container of scalpel-blades, and was glarign at him. Kenery thought better of his comment, and exited the room, gesturing for the cloaked man to follow him outside.

The cloaked man promptly followed.

[MX:] Kenery talked as he walked. "From what I can tell, Eathan had some kind of falling-out at the library; she was caught up in whatever happened. We'll have to decide how useful she can be, before we decide to drop her off at port Adia. I can certainly attest to her skill in the fields of history and lore, so she might actually be helpful."

"How much she knows about the surrounding islands that Dalis has directed us to and the sword itself will be of importance here...when she's over her seasickness or she has fallen to a lesser degree, I will go see to if she can be of any use...by the way, do you know where Eathan is?"

[MX:] He nodded. "I was just on my way from his bunk; he wanted me to talk to miss-high-and-noble to smooth things over between them..." He rubbed the ice against his eye. "I guess he could have picked a better diplomat... His room is right this way." He led the cloaked man through the corridors, and came to a door.

The cloaked man nodded, and knocked.

Eathan heard the knock, and opened the door.

[MX:] Kenery nodded apologetically. "Sorry... I don't think she was interested in listening to me."

"The captain invites you to eat with him at the officer's dining room in a few minutes."

Eathan tilted his head, studying Kenery's black eye. Unfortunately, he didn't understand what they were saying again. He put his hand into the pocket, holding all three stones, and gently chanted the magic to activate them.
[Eathan Rune Roll: 10 of 12 = sucess]
"Let me guess," Eathan said looking at Kenery, "was that for you, or me? And
would you guys mind repeating what you two said?"

[MX:] Kenery sighed. "Just me... you're in the clear."

The cloaked man cleared his throat. "The captain invites you to a meal at the officer's dining room within the next few minutes to discuss a few things."

"Thank you. I will be there. I guess I should at least go to apologize to her, for dragging her into this. Oh, were you able to get her glasses fixed?"

[MX:] "Dining in the blue room?" Kennery blinked, and turned to Eathan. "Actually, maybe she should be invited to the dinner as well." He shook his head. "Not yet, afraid... the mage has been tired all day from pushing us away from the port."

The cloaked man bowed. "Well, I shall see you within the next few minutes, while I settle in then. If you wish to get the woman into the dinner, go talk with the Captain. I need to go check if my saber needs some wax."

"Right then. See you there." Eathan looked back the Kenery. "Mind pointing me to the
Blue Room?"

[MX:] Kenery nodded. "Right this way. Will the lady be joining you? The captain mentioned her as open to invitation. I'm thinking I could ask a neutral party to invite her... She wouldn't be too pleased to see either of us."

"Right. Neutral party. Please do. I suspect I may be wearing colors to match, in the new future. Let's get moving. And keep talking to me... These stones cut out, if I don't hear or say anything for more than a minute."

[MX:] "Oh... alright then. Hrm..." Kennery led the way. "...well... on the subject of those runes, did that dragon tell you anything interesting?"

"My Ancestor's Runes? Kind of. He said they were ancient, and that there may have been some references in some of the history tombs. The odd comment he made, was 'That damn Tree.' He might have been talking about Yggdrasil, the World Tree. But we'll never know. I pulled out the runes that girl gave me, and nearly got my head ripped of. I landed about a minute before you did."

[MX:] "Hmm... yes... very interesting..." Eathan realized he was nodding in a rather mechanical way. When he mentioned the World Treen, though, his manner changed. "A World Tree? That could be nothing special after all; there are a lot of stories about runes being brought to this world by trees, or being seen in the patterns of their branches."

"Buzya tried to calm him down, and got tossed on her ass for her trouble. This is NOT proving to be a good day."

[MX:] "Buzya usually manages to calm people down. He must have been pretty steamed." He stroked his temple, lost in thought. "Actually my home-country has a legend about how a mighty tree sprang into being at the roof of the world."

According to her, the language the Runes I was given were based off of a Demon Language of all things."

[MX:] Kenery's eyes widened. "Demons? That pretty, white, one-armed girl gave you demon stones!?"

"Apparently. Buzya said neither the Runes themselves or the magic is actually Demonic. Just the language that they were based on."

[MX:] "Buzya knows about these runes?" He blinked. "And right after we fled a city, besieged by demonkin... no wonder she fears you." Kenery paused, and gained a well hidden nervous look. "There's... no reason to fear you... right?"


[MX:] Kenery puffed his chest out a bit. "of course not... i'd just hate to have you walk the plank over a misunderstanding. That's all."

"Oh, that would just be the cap I'd need for THIS day. Without these Runes, it could be months before I could actually hold a conversation with anyone."

[MX:] "You'll have to take that up with Vesper... he's the runecaster in our little band, and i'm sure you've met him before." He lifted his hands. "If he says they're safe, then that's good enough for the rest of us."

[MX:] By now, they'd reached a short hallway, with a blue-trimmed door at the end. Kenery opened the door, and gestured inside. "By your leave, Dragon-knight."

[MX:] Eathan paused... he had a sneaky suspicion the translation runes hadn't substituted those words for the neares approximation; Kenery had meant to kall him 'dragon knight.'

"Right... Maybe he can help me awaken my Ancestral Runes... Thank you." Eathan walked inside. He wasn't wearing his Sunday best, but it should do. But what did Kenery mean by "Dragon Knight?"

[MX:] The room inside would have matched any continental dining hall, though it was perhaps a little more ruggedly furnished. True to it's name, much of the ornamentation was blue tinted, making for a pleasing atmosphere. A large-ish oaken table was the main feature, at which the captain and his commanding officers were already seated. Eathan counted five in total, though he recognized only the captain himself, and the rune-mage he'd met earlier.

[MX:] The mage's extravagant feathered hat was set aside, but he retained his strange-looking pipe.

[MX:] The captain nodded, and gestured at a seat. "please, have a seat... we don't often have guests."

"Thank you, Capitain," he said with a bit of a bow. He then walked to and sat into the appointed seat.

[MX:] The captain arched an eyebrow, perhaps a little impressed. "I suppose some minor introductions are in order... My name is Chromelich, though everyone besides my own Second calls me Chrom. You've already met Vesper, our resident geo-mancer and rune mage." The man nodded to Eathan as his name was mentioned.

Eathan nodded back.

[MX:] "Continuing in that vein are Vorheen, my second in command, Braddoch our navigator, and meredith, who has the unfortunate curse of being both our requisitions officer and head of personelle."

[MX:] The three nodded as their names were spoken. Eathan was rather taken aback as he saw the second in command; though he was dressed like the others, his head resembled that of a reptiles, or a dinosaur. His hands were equally styled, suggesting he was something similar to the humanoid dragon that had tossed him out of the library.

He again nodded, to each of them in turn. So much to learn about this world. "It is a honor to meet all of you."

[MX:] Braddock, the shortest and stockiest of the group, nodded. "Kenery was right... he certainly has some gallantry on him."

[MX:] The woman, Meredith, eyed him critically. "A little too much, to my eye..."

[MX:] The captain waved casualy. "Settle down, Merry... he's here because I think we can help each other."

[MX:] By now, food was being brought in, and piled onto the table. The room's only door opened, and a crewman brought Buzya in. "Ah... another guest. have a seat, girl."

[MX:] Vorrheen immediately rose, and helped the girl to a seat, apparently sensing her limited visibility. he then took a nother seat for himself.

Eathan had been about to say something, when Buzya had come in. He suddenly felt very nervous. "However I can be of assistance, Captain, please ask." His voice while formal, was definatly revealing his nerveousness. His dreaded shyness, was rearing its ugly head once more.

[MX:] Buzya let out a little gasp when she heard Eathan speak. "Er... I didn't realize you were... I should go..."

[MX:] The captain cleared his throat roughly. "Have a seat, young lady... you can worry your nerves later, after we discuss the matter at hand."

[MX:] Buzya sheepishly returned to her seat, her head down.

Her's wasn't the only head angled down. He felt like he'd almost been slapped. He likely deserved it too.

[MX:] The captain continued. "Anyways... that dark friend of ours told me something very interesting a while ago. Seems this entire mess was caused by a cult leader named Lokemus

[MX:] Vesper leaned foreward slightly. "Lokemus? I knew that snake had begun gathering military force to match his political clout... but... demons?"

[MX:] Meredith frowned. "I never knew he had the ability, let alone the inclination... he must be gettign desperate indeed."

[MX:] The captain shrugged. "I'm not sure if this has anythign to do with his political machinations. Seems he's more interested in getting to this blasted sword before anyone else."

[MX:] Vorrheen shook his head. "If Lokemus can already summon demons, what need has he of a simple sword?"

[MX:] The captain waved a hand. "oh, that's an easy one... he wants to destroy it. If what our cloaked friend said is true."

[MX:] All was quiet for a moment. Vesper broke the ponderous silence. "Awful lot of trouble to go through to destroy one artifact..."

"Not to mention all thoughs deaths..."

[MX:] Vesper shook his head. "Bah... Lokemus has no regard for human life... or any other kind, for that matter. He's hatedthis city ever since he was reassigned there, after losing his military comission."

[MX:] Meredith shook her head. "no, the boys is right in a way... Lokemus is a manipulative schemer, through and through... this is absolutely against his style."

[MX:] The captain sighed, exasperated. "Who knows what goes on inside that twisted little
brain of his... anyways, it was also brought up that the demon may have had some connection with
Eathan here."

That got Eathan's attention. "Me?"

[MX:] Meredith arched an eyebrow. "Really... he must be worth something to Lokemus, then..."

[MX:] The captain continued. "not sure what... he said it seemed like the demon was following you personally. You DO stick out like a fifth wheel in these parts."

"No contest there."

[MX:] Meredith turned to face Eathan full on, leaning towards him a little. "Perhaps there's something you haven't told us... something that would catch the eye of such a fearful behemoth...?" If Eathan's shyness had been brought about by Buzya, in her simple, chaste librarian's robe, then it was utterly ignited by the look that Meredith wore. It didn't help that she was a very comely woman; and her outfit was as far more form-fitting.

Eathan gulped. Was it getting hooter...HOTTER in there? his train of thought had deffinately been derailed.
[Will roll to to maintain eyecontact; 10 of 14-6... Failure (Like he had a chance)]

[MX:] Eathan was silent for a moment as he tried to swallow the lump in his throat. The woman waved a hand in his direction.

[MX:] "Hey... I'm up here, little boy." She wore a very slightly mischevious smile.

Part of his silence was also his desperately trying to recover his willpower, the rest was trying to tare his eyes away from her cleavage.

[MX:] Meredith's outfit didn't actually reveal any skin, but that region of her uniform was some kind of tight leather bodice. Somehow, it only made things worse.

[MX:] Vorrheen pointed a fork at her, which still had a bit of meat on it. "Quit scaring the poor thing."

[MX:] The reptilian turned back to eathan. "It's still a valid question... could there possibly have been anything about you that would grip the demon's attention? Anything at all?"

Eathan shook his head a little, not in answer, but to knock his brains back into alignment. "Ah, the only thing I can think of, thanks to Buzya, is perhaps the runestones I was given."

[MX:] The entire table turned to look at Buzya, who bit her bottom lip nervously. She darted a quick 'why'd you do this to me' look at Eathan before clearing her throat and speaking. "He was in the posession of some runes from a demonic language set. That was the reason he was thrown out of the library. I was thrown out for trying to argue his ignorance, but the custodian wasn't in any mood for it. Kenery was thrown out soon after. That's about when the... explosion... happened."

[MX:] The table was silent for a moment as everyone considered her words. Only Meredith was watching Eathan, though.

Now, Eathan's shyness was hitting him full and hard. He looked almost like a cowering puppy, sitting before the pack.

[MX:] Vesper broke the silence this time. "Demon runes... demon tongue... it stands to reason that those translation runes would be able to filter whatever that beast was roaring. Did you experience any such thing? Or did you try to use them against the demon? That would certainly be grounds for it to follow you closely..."

"I only could make out two words, when it was roaring at the docks... Angcarch Gondheru. Even with the stones and the magic I activated with them, that's what I 'heard' it say. There might have been more, but it's all I could make out. I didn't know anything could shake me up like that."

[MX:] Vesper and Meredith shared A Look. Even from within his crippling shyness, Eathan could sense that they rarely agreed on anything, or shared any kind of thought. The captain stared at them both in turn, and lost a bit of his patience. "Well? Spit it out already, you two!" The mage and the lady glanced at the captain, almost in unison, and shared another look.

//This is NOT good,// Eathan thought.

[MX:] Vesper put his elbow back on his table, and resumed eating. Meredith, however, dabbed at her mouth with a napkin, and stood. "I'm sorry, but I have something urgent to attend to. Please.. carry on without me." The captain stared as Meredith exited the room. Eathan was also somewhat transfixed, but not because of her attitude... it was only now apparent how tight (and slightly shiny) her black leather pants were.

//Oh my God... And I thought it couldn't get better. Or is it.//

[MX:] The captain turned back to Vesper, who ate with a bored look on his face. "Would you mind explaining that little profundity?"

[MX:] Vesper shrugged, and waved his fork casually. "Oh... probably nothing. I don't want to say anything till we know for sure. Though I believe the words are something in the Elven tongue..."

[MX:] Braddoch spoke then, after remaining silent. "Elven!? Why would a mindless hellspawn be speaking in elven?"

[MX:] Vesper shook his head. "Bit of a moot point, really... demons can speak ANY tongue with ease."

[MX:] Braddoch pointed at Eathan with a finger. "You there... you said your runes allowed you to understand any language... right?"

[MX:] The effects of Meredith's outfit still lingered, but had faded slightly; Eathan found his tongue a bit less paralyzed.

"Ah... If I'm right about it, but I'm still a novice with real magic. But why would I hear
THOSE elven words, when the thing was howling?"

[MX:] Buzya interjected then. "He should have heard them in his own native tongue... there's no reason for him to hear anything in Elven."

"Exactly. Between the three stones, the spell is suppose to Perceive and Convey Meaning."

[MX:] Vorrheen looked at the rune-mage. "Your the rune expert... how can this be explained."

[MX:] Vesper shrugged again, but this time more genuinely. "Well, it could be a number of things. They could have been words with no equivelant translation. Or they could have been proper nouns; names of people and places , or the names of runestones or spells would be conveyed without alteration. Or it could just be some bizzare demonic thing. I'm no expert on them myself."

"Right.. That's happened before, with something Kenery said to me before."

[MX:] Vorrheen blinked a set of transparent nictitating membranes under his eyelids. "What is this word. This confusion kenery said to you."

Eathan thought for a moment, remembering the conversation from BEFORE the chaos had hit. Then it came to him. "'Quelah.' That's what it was. He said, 'No hard feelings, quelah?'"

[MX:] Vesper nodded. "That would do the trick... there's no real translation for it."

[MX:] Vorrheen turned back to Eathan. The tone of his voice changed completely; Eathan could tell he'd switched languages. "Perhaps thy enchantment doth indeed posess limitatiosn heretofore unmentioned by the giver. Dost though fear their nature?"

"I don't fear them. I barely understand them. She just gave me the knowledge of these specific stones, and their set. I afraid I'm not a linguist. Though I'm beginning to wish I was. But you're right, there does appear to be limitations to the spell I awoke. I had to find out the hard way, that I needed to use all three stones at once, to have a two-way conversation."

[MX:] Vesper swallowed another bite of meat. "Probably stems from the nature of the runes themselves; you obviously don't understand them yourself. I'd actually like to discuss that with you later... It's in everybody's best interests to get you some real knowledge about runes. Borrowed power of that magnitude doesn't mix well with ignorance."

"Makes two of us. If these things are gonna keep dropping me in trouble, I'd just as soon work as fast as possible to reawaken my ancestural Runes. The girl who gave them and the knowledge to me, did so when she learned I had a gift for magic, and knew something about runes."

[MX:] Vorrheen continued from there. "There is one other detail. I am sure we all think it. The runes conveyed the words of the demon. Perhaps they can work against it as well. Like defeats like."

[MX:] Vesper rubbed his chin quietly for some time. "I'm not sure I like the idea of facing that thing again, in ANY form of competition." His face grew a little darker. "The decision to use the runes as a weapon rests entirely with Eathan. None of us could take them from him, and we can't really force his actions."

"I wouldn't want to face that thing again with an entire armored tank division. She also told me that the knowledge would fade over time, more than longe enough to pick up my own Runes, or another Set. With the right practice and help, we could likely get me talking in your common language without all THAT much difficulty. It's just gonna take time."

[MX:] Buzya nodded. "I suppose it wouldn't be that hard... I'm a decent linguist myself, and I spent a year as an english teacher." Eathan couldn't help but be surprised at the idea of Buzya being an "english" teacher... it must have been an odd choice of words from his runes again.

[MX:] Braddoch grunted an agreement. "The sooner he stops using those infernal chips of stone, the better."

[MX:] The captain nodded. "Well, unless anyone else has something to bring up, I think we've touched on all the major points. Shall we get back to the meal portion of this dinner?"

[MX:] The decision to focus on the eating was easily made; the table was already coverd in serving trays and bowls, and everyoen started to dig in. Eathan wasn't entirely sure what to go for first; none of it was remotely familiar, except for a bowl of the green fried rice he'd had at the caravan's campsite. Actually, there was one unusual smell that caught his attention. Something smelled sweet and spicy; he just couldn't tell what it was, or where it was coming from. It had been hanging in the air for awhile now.

Eathan started with the rice, then took little samples of the different dishes, before really digging in. He kept looking for the source of the sweet and spicy smell, but he couldn't bring himself to ask. His eyes kept falling on Buzya as he ate. he just couldn't help but feel completely responsible for her being trapped in all this. He just hoped he could find the way to properly apologize.

[MX:] Some time passed as the table's occupants gorged themselves. Eventually, Buzya looked in his direction. "You look a little muddled. Is there a specific dish your looking for?"

"Ah... That sweet and spicy smell. I can't figure out where it's coming from."

[MX:] Buzya looked at the table for a moment. "Hm... could be the Gaja berry sauce... or the pilne wine..." Eathan was fairly certain neither of the dishes were the source.

[MX:] Vesper glanced over. "Whatcha looking for?"

[MX:] Buzya eyed the table. "Not sure... he said something smelled sweet and spicy..."

[MX:] The captain coughed into hsi hand. "Ah... sorry, but that's nota dish... though none of us can figure out where Meridith gets her perfume either... it certainly is distinct."

Eathan blinked at him. "That was her perfume? I have to admit, it's definately different. You wouldn't believe some of th stuff people use back home."

[MX:] Vorrheen came perilously close to a light sneer. "I approve of anything that advertises her prsence. The woman is too conniving for her own good."

[MX:] The captain gestured at him with a leg from one of the roasted birds. "Your just sore cause she beat you at a game of 'Nine fingers the first day she showed up for the job interview. Ah, those were the days..."

Eathan's mind raced, as he thought about what a game called "Nine fingers," would be like. But being accepted by a group, was definately nice.

[MX:] The rest of the meal was spent eating and talking; much of the latter were stories or gossip. Though Eathan still had little to say, it ws refreshing to just spend time being accepted by the group. After almost two hours (and a very full stomach) the officers rose from their seat,s leaving for their rooms one by one. Kenery arrived, and waved at Eathan and Buzya, to take them back to their rooms.

Eathan got out of his seat, then offered to help Buzya with her seat.

[MX:] She seemed a little reluctant at first, but accepted the help, and took his hand. She seemed almost apologetic.She glanced at kenery. "I'll take Eathan to his room; I can find my way to my own from there."

MechanistoX: Kenery rolled his eyes exaggeratedly. "Riiiight... you'll be going STRAIGHT to your room after his. I believe you!" He jumped as she triet to stomp on his foot, and quickly left the room.

[MX:] Buzya took Eathans hand, and led him off. "Sorry... he's as obnoxious as always."

"That's alright. I've got a few friends like him back home. I... I want to apologize for getting you involved in all this. Sometimes I think the fates try to use me to entertain themselves."

[MX:] She chewed her lip a little; a mannerism she'd performed often. "Well... if what everyone else says is correct, you may have saved my life by getting me out of that city. And... I suppose I owe you an apology as well... I should not have jumped to conclusions about your runes and that demon. I guess I was just frightened at the possability."

"I truly had no idea these things had that kind of history. I had a feeling I was getting into some questionable dealings, but from the moment I arrived it seemed like something was up." He pulled out the pendant with the rune in it. "I still don't know where this came from, or how I feel the power in the rune on it's back. I just hope I can find some answers."

[MX:] "Seems like you'll be talking with that Vesper fellow quite a bit... With him for runes,
and me for language, you'll probably have your entire voyage scheduled out."

"I... I would be honored, if you would help me learn your language."

[MX:] She blinked a bit. "Honored? Well..." She paused and smiled. "I'd be more than happy to." By now, they had reached his room. Buzya took him completely by surprise, and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "See you tomorrow then, Eathan Drake." With that, she left down the hallway.

"Until tomarrow then, my lady." His words were more than a whisper, but he didn't know if she'd even heard. He just moved into the room in a kind of daze. He found himself falling to sleep, with a smile on his face. As messed over as the day had been, it had turned out to be a good one.


Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby SRGPI » Fri Oct 03, 2003 6:55 pm

During dinner, the cloaked man settled in, and picked up some vegetables from the mess hall. He promptly went outside into the night, and ate while looking ahead from the bow of the ship. The man chuckled to himself.

"What a voyage this will be...Such entertainment I get from these kind of affairs."

The cloaked man ate his vegetarian dinner slowly, and looked towards the stars above that were ahead.

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:19 am

(ooc: Chat session, Mech and Talon)

A full day passed, following the banquit, and Eathan awoke from a fitful sleep, to the sound of a knock at the door. He pushed himself out of the bed. Yep... he was still there. He pulled himself out of bed, and was still rubbing the sleep from his eyes, as he openned the door... Completely forgetting he was weaing just his boxers.

The door opened to the sight of Buzya; she was stil lwearing the same mild librarian's robe, though some of the heavier layers had nessicarily been discarded. She held a book at her front. She jumped slightly at the sight of him, but seemed to take it instride. She cleared her throat a bit, and said something unintelligable.

Eathan's eyes went wide. "Good morning," he said, forgetting that he didn't have the runes active. He stepped asside, and motioned for her to enter into the room. Then he walked over to where his Gee was, and put the pants on. He also grabbed a t-shirt. He was gonna have to do something soon about getting his stuff cleaned. He then reached into his coat pocket, and held the Runes that let him speak. He was begining the casting, whe he was interrupted.

Buzya had entered the room. When she saw the runes, she quickly put a hand on his wrist. She said something else, and reached for the runes, as though asking to see them. Eathan nodded, and held them out to her.

She held the three runes in her palm for a moment, eyeing them carefully. She turned them over for a moment, which seemed to satisfy her. The she handed them back to Eathan, nodding for him to continue.

He closed his fingers around them, then worked the words and gestures needed to activate them.
[Activate Runes: 13 of 11+1; failure]

As Buzya spoke, Eathan could sense something hadn't quite gone correctly. Her words were a little choppy and oddly placed, like listening to a recording of poor quality. "Do...ET-rune-anguageword. Of study? Dissipate. With... although? Rune-nature-ability?"

He cursed under his breath. Well, it was bound to happen. He screwed up casting them.

Buzya blinked and recoiled, looking a bit shocked. She even blushed slightly.

Eathan took a deep breath, and gave them another shot.
[Activate Runes, second attempt: 8 of 11; Success]
"I'm sorry, Buzya. I'm still getting used to using magic. I hadn't channelled it
properly. Shall we start over? Good Morning. How did you sleep last night? Did I say something bad?" He definately noticed her blushing, which he figured WASN'T from his being in his boxers earlier.

She smoothed her dress a bit. "Er... it's nothing, really... I guess. I'm used to listening to sailor's talk, but I've never heard such... er... 'creative' profanity..."

"Right... Just like I was understanding part of what you were saying, I guess you were getting the same thing from me. My people have almost prided themselves on their ability to verbally insult other people."

She smirked a little. "I suppose the runes only amplified that particular trait. Seemed a little... garbled." She glanced at the runes. "Well, anyways... I was just wondering if you wanted to start classes. I have so little to do, and none of the crew will allow a woman to do heavy labor." She smiled. "Normally, I'd be enraged at the notion... but I don't envy the work they suffer."

"Very much so. The sooner I can communicate without them, I think the happier many people will be. If I'm right, I'm likely gonna be doing some of that work too, at least at some point. I'd be happy to help you to not be bored. I'm sure there's a lot of thinga we could teach each other. I know there's a lot of thing's I need to learn, if I'm not gonna commit any more Faux pas."

She nodded, with a smile. "You've only had one in my presence; that's a pretty good record. Also, Vesper wanted me to ask if you had any interest of learning rune lore from him."

"Well, if I can't awaken the runes of my people, I may have no choice. Now that I know that I have this talent, I'm not about to let it go to waste."

"He's very interested in the book you have about runes. I meant to ask about it myself, but I guess that can wait."

"At some point, maybe the three of us can sit down and have a group discussion. Would you like the chair?"

"Yes, thank you..." She nodded, and seated herself. "He also brought up a valid point of concern... Those runes you have; what do they each mean?"

He pulled them back out, to show them one by one as he spoke. "'Perceive' or 'Translate,' 'Convey' or 'Deliver,' and 'Word' or 'Meaning.' By working with them in different ways, I think there's a number of ways they can be used. But that's the thing I need to learn."

Buzya nodded. "Well then... we may have a problem. The runes may translate any words I try to teach you. If I say, for example... the word book', you'll only hear me say 'book.'"

"Well, I actually had a bit of a thought about that. My native language is based on the use of 26 letters to form the words. All the rules work from there..."

Buzya nodded for him to continue.

He pulled out his note pad and pen. "Using your Linguistics knowledge, and working we'll build a translation tool to figure it out. Then we work on common terms and words. If it really starts stumping us, we fall back on the Runes. Using your example..." he wrote the word "Book" on the paper. "Book." He presents the pen to her. "Now write 'Book,' in your language."

She nodded, and proceeded to write something on the page; her script was clear, and exactingly precise. Unfortunately, when she was finished, Eathan saw the word "Book," in english lettering. However, as he watched, he realized the pen and the letters didn't seem aligned; the words blurred slightly. He couldn't percieve them as anything but "book," but the writing would surely return to normal when his spell faded.

"I had a feeling that would happen. What you're writing, is translating on me. Is the same thing happening to you?"

She shook her head. "No... I suppose once your words go on paper, they leave the domain covered by your spell."

"Well, at least that part is mostly one way, for the moment. Does your written language use an Alphabet, or symbols?"

She nodded. "Largely alphabetic. Each letter or combination of letters represents a sound. Each word is comprised of one or more sounds, or 'phonemes'. Perhaps if you wrote out the symbols in your alphabet for me? I'm curious to see them... a new language doesn't always fall out of the sky like this."

"Consider it done. My language uses 26 letters. Most keep their sounds pretty well constant.
We call then consinents. 5 specifically, which we call Vowels, will alter their sounds depending on how they are in the word."

Buya nodded, listening intently as he explained. She seemed to resist the urge to ask questions for now, but took a pen from a pocket and scribbled notes on her own piece of paper.

He then went down the lined page, writing the alphabet in both upper and lower case. He put a checkmark next to the vowels. "The checkmarks, are to single out the vowels. Oh, would you like me to save numbers for later?"

A knock at the door interrupted him. The voice of one of the crewman came through, muted by the thick wood of the door. "Hey... you in there?"

"The door's open."

The door slid open a bit, and the crewman nodded. "Those runes of yours... they caught something from that demon's crazy screamin', right? The captain just wanted to know what the words were."

"Ah... Sure." He turned to the page he had the words written on, then spoke them to the man. "I hope that helps."

The man said them to himself several times, memorizing the pronunciation. "That should do fine..."

"You're welcome."

The man closed the door behind him. The atmosphere in his room seemed a little more awkward now that the subject had been brought up.

Buzya looked at her lap, as though trying to shake off the memory.

"Do you wanna talk about it?" Eathan asked, "or go back to the translating?"

Her eyes almost watered a bit, but she seemed to supress it. "It's just... well, I've never been much of one for adventure. I'd much rather be surrounded by dusty old books..." she whispered quietly. "When I saw the size of the thing, from off the coast... I never even imagined it was possible to be so afraid." She adjusted her glasses. "I only thought it was a fire while we ran... I can't believe I was so helplessly stupid..."

Eathan only now realized her glasses were in mint condition. He put his hand on hers. "Don't be," he said, his own voice cracking a little. "What could you have done, if you HAD seen it for what it was? I got to see the thing for what it was, and I still ran. Everything about this world, from its inhabitants, to its magic, are the stuff of legends and fanciful stories back home. If true magic was there, the ruling religions of my world destroyed it, siting things like that as the final destination of your soul for disobeying them."

She clasped his hand, almost unconciously. "I've never imagined anything could be so large, and still be alive. I never got a good look at it, but it towered over the city... and I could see that eye perfectly..." She shivered. "Your world sounds incredibly tame and dull... I could do with a bit of that right now."

"Believe me, you have nothing to be ashamed of. I would have run, even if I'd had the most powerful sword of legend in my hands." he gave the last with a chuckle. "So... Back to work? Or I could tell you the historical tour? There's easlily 5000 years I could tell you about."

"That's quite a tempting offer, actually... nothing like work to focus your thoughts..."
She looked down for a moment, but managed a smile. "I'm thinking it might be best if we both learned the other's native tongue. After we each learn a bit of the other's words, we can start talking about our respective histories. Conversation is the best teacher for any language, after all."

"No arguement there," he said chuckling. Then, his stomach growled. "Sorry. I just realize I haven't had any breakfast. Are you Hungry."

She shrugged. "I'll manage... but don't expect anybody to bring food to your room. Let's head for the mess hall; it shouldn't interfere with our studies."

"Well, actually, I've already got food here."

She blinked. "Oh? I don't see much."

He reached into his stuff and pulled out a shiny pouch, then pulled out another little pouch. "I was on a camping excursion, when I got thrown here to this world. It helps to be well packed." He opened an MRE pack, and pulled out the many smaller packages.

"Odd packaging..." She blinked a bit. "How many of those do you have?"

"It's called an MRE... 'Meals Ready to Eat.' Thanks to the food I've been getting from the Caravan, I've still got nearly a week's worth of packaged food."

She arched an eyebrow. "That determined not to eat swill and hard-tack, are we?"

"These things were made for my people's Military, but given our society, even Civilians can purchase them. They're great for campers and emergencies.... Just a little. That stuff takes a little getting used to."

"Military food?" She mused, quietly taking one. She carefully tried to open it as Eathan had.

"Easy... Let me help you... The packaging is designed to help cook it in the bag. let me show you."

She smiled. "Well then, allow me..."

He pulled out one of the water packets, depositted the stew back in the cooker bag, then pured in the little water packet.

She nodded as he continued. "Do you intend to start a fire in your cabin?"

"In centuries past, my people went from alchemists, to scientists... The water activates the chemicals, which heats the pouch, but not enough to ignite paper or wood."

"The food... cooks itself?" She eyed the package, musing to herself. "Some kind of latent spell built into the materials...?"

"Maybe. My people learned that different chemicals will react differently when mixed. It's like alchemy, but requires no mystic knowledge. But the level of understanding could be under the same level of thought."

Her smile grew slightly. "Eathan, the first thing you will learn about magic is that it is a process that is manipulated... it is the same as science and chemistry. The only diference is that magic is not nearly so exactly understood, nor is it as predictable or reliable."

"Never said I didn't have a lot to learn." Looks at his watch. "Great, it's done." He carefully pulled the meal pouch out, and opened it. Stew ladened steam filled the air, tempting the nose.

Buzya blinked a bit, and carefully took the package.

"Careful. It is hot."

"Actually... that does smell better than anything in the mess hall..." She glanced at the other package. "And it even comes with a drink..." She took a peek in the bag, previously filled with heated water, and found it empty. "Hm... never mind then, I suppose..."

Eathan pulled out a cup, and a couple more of the water packs. He then filled the cup. "This'll likely taste better than what might have been left."

"Interesting system..." She accepted the cup from him, took a sip, and nodded.

"Would you believe that back home, legally, I'd be too young, just to drink the mead?"

She smirked. "I prefer tea or juice myself... though there are some countries I know of where alcohol of any kind is forbidden..."

"Then you try this..." He pulls out the one untouched pouch, and stirrs the powder within, into the cup. "It's called 'Chocolate.'"

She eyed it, critically arching an eyebrow. At that moment, she looked more like a curmudgeoney librarian than she'd ever seemed before.

"It's not quite tea, but most of my people seem to like it."

Buzya took the cup, carefully sniffed it, and took a small sip. Her expression remained constant for a moment. She then closed her eyes, and put a hand to her temple. "Ohh... that's... very good." She glanced at him, craftily. "You have more of this, right?"

"Yeah. Each of the MRE's have a package in them. Maybe through the magic, I
can recreated it and the rest of this stuff... Just about anything to stay out of that mess hall. Something to shoot for, right?"

She smiled, an especially cryptic smile. "I'll see what I can do. In the mean time, however... shall we get back to our study?"

"Yes." As he ate, he pulled back out the pad. "Oh, I was asking earlier... Do you want me to include numbers?"

She shook her head. "Alphanumeric studies can come afterwards... for now, we focus on communication."

And so began the next three months of Eathan's life, and the first leg of the journey... Along with learning the the TRUE definition of "Back-breaking labor." And to think, he had thought it hard handling things back at home.

Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 9:42 pm

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Mechanisto » Mon Oct 13, 2003 10:03 am

A crewman approached the bow of the ship, eyes searching for the cloaked man. The cloaked man was still sitting cross-legged on the bow of the ship, intently watching the sea. The crewman continued looking for a time, and seemed to do a brief double take.

The cloaked man kept watching the sea, but said, "Is there a problem?" The crewman squinted at him, backlit by only the night sky.

"The captain wants a word with you. He didn't say what."

The cloaked man rose from his spot. "Alright." He followed the crewman back to the Captain's quarters. They walked the length of the ship to the rear cabin; The crewman opened the door, and gestured in wordlessly. The inside of the room was reasonably well furnished, but had obviously suffered a great deal of wear over the years.The captain sat at his desk, surroudned by veritable bales of parchment and books.

The captain nodded, and the crewman closed the door behind him. "Have a seat if you wish. I doubt this will take entirely too long."

The cloaked man shook his head. "I'll stand, if you don't mind. I sat long enough on the bow."

The captain didn't seem to care either way. "Kenery mentioned that you, the boy, and the librarian barely escaped from the fire with your lives... but neither he nor the others know what the hell happened back there. I don't suppose you had a better vantage point?"

"It's like the story I told you...I was waiting at the caravan, until three conspicuous men started following Eathan, at a noticably faster pace. I followed, and ended up in an alley where two were guarding the third while the third was drawing up a symbol. I could not tell what the symbol was. After I'd slain the two guards, the third eventually told me his intentions of stopping us getting the sword, and his own retrieval of the sword. He left without a note, and the rune was activating.

The captain nodded, listening intently. "I tried to figure out how to cancel the rune, but apparently my ignorance has cost me the town, and our secrecy."

The captain lowered his eyes a bit. "I mentioned your interference to Vesper... he's of the strong opinion that the mage, Lokemus, probably intended to summon the damn thing anyways... regardless, the spell couldn't havepossible had a peaceful intent. We can't say the result would have been worse without your meddling. Is there any chance you could remember the pattern? Or replicate parts of it for our study?"

[CM IQ roll: 16 of 12]

The cloaked man thought intently. "I don't remember the symbols at all...they were of no visible pattern that I know of. I remember only that the candles were arranged in a five-point shape... the candles snuffed out in a counter-clockwise pattern, and when I tampered with the rune, all of the remaining snuffed out immediately."

The captain sighed. "Suppose you were too busy running for your life to memorize anything magical... I assume you got a good view of that... beast... as we were leaving?"

"Right before I started running, I looked at the beast. It appeared to be more or less like...a plant, except wreathed in fire. It had many tentacles of flame, and a singular eye from what it appeared to be."

"Vesper thinks it was congealing into shape; the thing was nearly liquid fire itself as it emerged from that pentacle. If there was anything distinct about it, I'll pass it on to him; he's trying to figure out what it was." He shook his head lightly. "He's not having much luck."

"I don't recall much...I don't suppose anybody on the ship has a memory delving spell anyways. On a side note, I do think that the hypothesis of intentionally releasing the monster was true. I saw Lokemus on the way; He got onto a small clipper on the dock. And are there any other ports within the next few kilometers?"

The captain nodded. "There are a number along the coast; he could have a warm bed and a hot meal in a day or so. More importantly, though... you said he wanted to see this 'mystic sword' destroyed? He leaned foreward slightly. "...are you certain of that?"

"I presented the solution to him if he didn't want the sword to fall into the hands of the malicious. He told me that was what he had planned. I cannot confirm it myself, but one way or another, he wants to get to the sword first."

The captain arched an eyebrow. "Oh? What was your proposition?"

"He went on his tirade about how the sword is cursed and all, and I simply said, "Why not destroy it?". That is when he replied that's his intentions. I offered my opinion on the take, but he would have none. I just told him we'd cross again if he insists on stopping me from healing wounds of the past."

The captain shook his head, and sighed; this time with greater emphasis. "That will be something to worry about... It's too much to hope for that he'll stay on the coast. Seems your words about us crossing paths may well come true."

"As if events pulling age-long organizations against each other don't have such ironies."

The captain nodded. "Lokemus' cult is older than Karuzhe's little band; older by far... but neither of them are featherweights."

"Is there anything else you wish to speak to me about?"

"Unless you have any insights as to either of their motives, I guess not. Though if you remember anything at all, let me know immediately. Any information could help."

"If any tools or spells around help with memories, I will make sure to do so."

"I'll have to ask vesper... but his domain has never been knowledge and perception."

"Well, we'll just have to make do then with what we have..."

The cloaked man turned to the door. "Oh, and by the way. The next time you call me for an officer meeting, I'll be staying out unless there's a vegetarian course to go on it."

"I'll make a point of it." The captian rubbed his chin, thoughtfully. "Actually, wait... Vesper did mention something about the boy; some perception or knowledge related runes might be in his posession."


"I'm as surprised as any of us. He uses them to translate common. Apparently, they were strong enough to listen in on that demon's hideous cries..."


The captain seemed to visibly supress a shudder. "Gave him quite a shock... I don't envy him that experience at all." He waved a hand, dismissively. "Doesn't matter anyways... apparently, it was speaking in Elven." The captain returned his attention to his desk.

The cloaked man froze. "Could you repeat that?"

The captain glanced up. "Elven. The boy's translation spell picked up some elven from the thing. Though it couldn't have been too useful; he heard the words in elven, instead of his own tongue. Makes no sense to any of us, certainly. The captain shrugged. "Vesper isn't versed in the language; he might be wrong."

The cloaked man looked around the room. He lifted his hood, so that one of his ears was shown.

"I understand the language."

He recovered it. The captain did a full double take, and eyed the cloaked man for a moment. He cleared his throat, and regained his composure. "Well... a rather unexpected development. Though not unwelcome. Would you mind translating for us? It might lead to some rather signifigant insight, I'd wager."

"I had not wished that I reveal such things so early within the quest. However, I can translate."

The captain nodded, gravely. "I understand your right to confidance... only Vesper need know, and none shall be the wiser."

"It is only what I can do to make up for what I was not able to do. Will you be telling Vesper, or shall I make the inquiry with him?"

The captain frowned, and hit the desk lightly. "Damn my memory... he's been bedridden since he summoned the wind to carry us to safety... the exhaustion was most severe. It will be some time before he recovers... though I suppose you could ask the boy."

"Then I shall not disturb him until he awakens..." The cloaked man shook his head, when Eathan was mentioned, however. "I get the feeling that the boy is already convinced by the girl who released us to do this quest...it would do no good to tell him quite yet. I shall speak only with Vesper, lest my confidence is lost."

The captain shrugged. "I'll do you one better... I'll send a crewman to ask the boy what the words were; he'll give them to me, and I'll give them to you. I'll be your only confidant."

"Then so be it...I'll get the translation as soon as I recieve word."

The captain nodded one last time. "I'll send for you when I have it." The cloaked elf now turned toward the door, and left.

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Tue Oct 14, 2003 12:40 am

(ooc: Editted from AIM chat.)

Eathan exited his room. He almost dreaded the thought of having to eat some of what they were serving in the mess hall... He'd run out of his MRE's a while ago, especially sharing them with Buzya. Now, he was looking to figure out a few things. The good news, was that he could now speak with anyone aboard ship, without the runes. The bad news, was that he wasn't sure what they were gonna assign him for work today.

As he walked, he started to wonder about Dalis. Frankly, he'd been wondering about the little she-mouse for while, but his schedule had been pretty well taken. Now that his schedule was a "little" freed up, he thought he might seek her out. As it was, he hadn't seen her at ALL above deck, while he'd been working his but off. He just hoped she hadn't fallen overboard.

So, he decided to go look for her. He found little to no trace of her above or below decks. All of the crew seemed to grumble and bristle at the mention of her name, but several recommended checking for her in the hold.

Eathan, wondered why some of the men seemed disrespectful of Dalis, but said nothing about it. Instead, he headed for the hold. With any luck, he'd find her there.

After wandering through rows of crates, barrels, and lashed down miscellanea, Ethan herd the sound of a haunting flute melody. Following it, he came to what looked like a makeshift encampment: a half sized hammock, some personal belongings laid about, and a small cache of food. Once he arrived at the site, the flute stopped and he herd a voice from above. "What're you here for?" Dalis asked. It was a rather gender-neutral voice.

"Actually, I was looking for you," Eathan said in the common tongue. Surprisingly, he barely and the hint of an accent.

"There's a good reason to get lost in the hold." She said. "But it still begs the question, why?"

"Well," Eathan began a little nervously. He'd felt the harshness of her speech. "We never got the chance to really talk before, and I'm curious about you and your people."

Dalis dropped down from her spot, either atop some boxes or sitting on a rafter, and sat. "I'm Dalis, I'm a street kid, and I'm a Nezujin." She smiled, and slicked back some unruly fur on her head. "I suppose you'll want more details than that."

"It might help a little," he said, sitting down on one of the boxes. "I mean, it doesn't really seem very fair to keep you stuck down here. I got the feeling that the some of those guys don't think too highly of you. That made me wonder about you even more."

Dalis laughed. "I'm more comfortable in this little nook than the captain is on his featherbed with a wench and brandy." She shook her head. "I said I was a street kid, and I meant that at heart. The crew doesn't like me 'cause I shirk the typical sailor duties. The captain knows I'm not grunt material. That, and I don't go through the kitchen for food and the like. I just take it out of the hold, and let the captain know what I've taken."

"Ah. I guess it makes things easier. I've been working my nonexistent tail off... Above, and below deck. I still need to practice more with this language... I actually need to think about what I'm saying. Are your people real common around places?"

Dalis grinned at the tail comment, and flicked hers about. "You seem fairly articulate to me.... Ensifer would probably grill you on the finer points of the language, tho." She got out a bottle, and took a pull from it. "We're common enough. More so than some other races, since others of my kind breed like there's no tomorrow." She offered him the bottle. "Wanna sip?"

Eathan smiled. "Sure," he said, taking the bottle. He took a sniff, before actually taking a sip. It was alcoholic, and strong. He had snuck a sip of saki once, but this stuff was downright firewater. He went into a coughing fit, but managed to keep from spitting any of it out. He was catching his breath, as he handed it back. "Smooth stuff," he choked out.

Dalis accepted it back, and took a full swallow of it. "Smooth indeed. Single malt scotch, aged ten years... The captain gave it to me."

"Afraid I'm not used to that kind of stuff... I'm still trying to get used to the mead. Not mention the some of the REST of the food they serve. Heck, I was thinking the other day, that I could kill, for a cheeseburger."

She grinned. "That's why I bypass the kitchen entirely. Food's much better if just eat it simple and straight out of the hold." She rummaged in one of her satchels, and offered Ethan a round of cheese six inches across. "It's mozzarella. I don't know what a burger is, but there's the cheese for it."

Eathan chuckled. "Thank you. A hamburger, is ground beef, cooked in round, flat patties. It's served on or between soft bread, with different kinds of cheeses and most with lettuce, tomato, and other vegetables. Don't you get bored staying down her all the time?"

Dalis shook her head. "No, I have enough to keep me busy." She gestured to her flute, and some embroidery on a patchwork vest. "Gotta keep in good practice."

"I know the feeling. When I finally get a chance, I gotta get really practicing on my combat skills."

"Combat skills? What school?"

“My Master had created his own fighting art, but mostly was teaching us Kenjustsu... the 'Way of the Sword.' He's also taught us several unarmed methods. I'm more capable in tournament fighting, rather than the real thing... Something I get the feeling I'm gonna have to work on."

Dalis nodded. "Ensifer taught me rapier combat so I could defend myself."

"Part of the reason I was learning what I did. But then, I was also interested on the whole 'Way of the sword' thing." Suddenly, the alarm on his wrist watch went off. "Damn, I gotta go. I'm on deck today. Hope we can talk again. Later then."

Dalis nodded. "See you around. If you want something to eat that hasn't been ruined by the kitchen, come down and I'll find you something."

"I'll keep that in mind. Maybe the menu will improve... I'm learning how to use runes... Food is one of the ones I'm learning."

Dalis chuckled. "I'll see you then, I guess." she said, and continued work on some embroidery. "Come down and talk again sometime, you don't make me too nervous."

Eathan nodded, and headed off to the main deck. If there was one good thing he was gonna get out of that hard work, was gonna be an improvement on his tan.

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Wed Oct 15, 2003 3:20 am

(ooc: Editted again. We advance another month.)

Dawn broke over the horizon as the merchant ship continued it's course. Three months had passed, and while the climate and currents had grown increasingly less hospitable, things had remained very much routine for an ocean voyage.

The last three days had been rougher than expected, but nothing the crew couldn't handle. Today, the crew made early preperations to dock; the navigator had estimated only another 12 hours till landing at the port of Adia.

The cloaked man, as always sat on the bow of the ship, and looked forward towards the dock.

The captain approached, holding out a looking glass. "We've still got a ways to go, but it'll show on the horizon any hour now... the fog is already as good as it's going to get."

While he was wearing the pants of his Gea, he was essencially still in his sleeping attire, which was his t-shirt and boxers. "I woke up for this," he muttered in his native tongue.

The cloaked man nodded in his hood. "I remember scenes like these from other voyages of mine, back in the days I was still considered a child in the times of peace."

"Is this something we should be worrying about?" he asked out loud.

The captain glanced at Eathan, smiling broadly. "Finaly awake, hm?" The air was freezing, and blowing at a strong gust. The water was choppy enough to send splashes of crude seawater washing the deck. "Stiff little breeze, eh? We'll be coming into viewing range of our next port soon enough. Can I assume some dry, solid land would appeal to you?"

"You got my vote. I'm just glad I don't get the sea-sick."

The captain surpressed a smirk. "...does it appeal to you enough to help load up supplies, and drop off the empty crates?"

Eathan looked at him. "Can you give me fifteen minutes?"

"I'll give you more than that... it'll be a few hours till we get to the island itself."

A shout came down from the crow's nest, and the captain seemed to acknowledge it.

Eathan noticed Buzya walking over; she'd long since discarded her heavy, un-flatterign librarian's robes, in favor of a lighter white dress. Buzya looked quite comfortable waking up so early. "Your not forcing my student into manual labor again, are you captain?"

"Ah, good morning, Buzya," Eathan stammered out. "Did you sleep well?"

The cloaked man rose from his spot. "If it is necessary that he get his teaching completed, then I shall take his burdens. I have not done much for the voyage myself."

The captain seemed surprised. "Is that so? I didn't realize you had the capacity to lift objects..."

"Mind not me," the cloaked one uttered. "I'll find a way to get by if need be."

"That's very generous of you." Buzya nodded, and looked back at the captain. "It's not just me that needs Eathan's attention; Vesper wanted to talk with a local mage about something; he's had two teachers for awhile, you know. Language is one thing, but magical studies are limited without proper materials." She smirked. "Though apparently, you've done quite well on what he had to offer."

He smiled. "I'm getting alot of practice drawing the runes."

On that note, the cloaked man went below the deck to help with the movement of crates. At the moment, labor was light; things were being moved and organized, but only in preperation. There were no shortage of tasks, and nobody thought twice of his offer.

Eathan looked to Buzya. "What kind of things are we gonna be looking for?"

Buzya shrugged a bit. "I'll need some supplies myself, and maybe some books. But mostly it's Vesper that needs to look. Something about the 'physics' of magic, if that means anything to you."

The cloaked man just went around below deck and did as people told him to do. Especially since this is one of the few times he had been down here, he had almost no idea what to expect.

"Oh. Actually, it does. Sounds like I'm in for new text books to read."

Buzya approached the side of the ship, leaning on the railing. "I suppose our lessons are finished... you even have a good accent." She smiled at him. "Your defenitely the most attentive student I've ever had."

"Well, I've never been much of the Goofing around type. They say that Knowledge is power... Well, how can you get it, if you don't listen. Besides, it's kind of a matter of survival, at this point. And I like talking to you."

She smiled a little more shyly then, and looked down over the railing. "I think we have something in common... neither of us expected to be on any kind of

Eathan was blushing a little himself, but he continued on past it. "You're right there. Growing up, we read tales of adventure, and even played at going on our own imaginary ones. But this... To tell the truth, I'm a little scared. But when I took up Kenjutsu, a part of me was seeking touch something warriors of the past once did. I just never thought I'd be doing it in live combat conditions. Still, it's a small price to pay, for waking those old runes."

Buzya glanced at him askance. "Your always going on about your Ancestral Runes... How much luck have you actually had with them?"

Eathan smiled. "Actually, quite a bit. Let me show you."

Another shout came down from the crows nest. the captain approached, and pointed his glass off the side. Otherwise, he did nothing to interrupt them.

Buzya paused, biting her lip slightly. "Which runes are you talking about, exactly?"

"Wish me luck here..." Closing his eyes, he slowly began tracing two runes into the air, naming each as he went... "Sowelu, Rune of creation... Laguz, Rune of water..."
[Trace Create rune - 8 of 11-3; Success] (barely)
[Trace rune - 6 or 12-3; Success] (*nearly faints*)
[Casting spell - 11 of 11; Success] (*falls over in shock*)

Eathan's fingers trace through the air, leaving nothign behind; but when the final chant
is finished, the runes let out a slight pulse, like the a lasting imprint of a flash of light. A thick layer of dew quickly forms over Eathan's hand, eventually becoming a flow of water. Water is now constantly pouring form the palm of his hand, at a sedate pace; the sensation of magic suggests that Eathan could control the flow, force and shape of the flow.

"Well, it's not much, but it's a start. Care for a drink?"

Buzya was by now smiling, and perhaps on the verge of laughing. She cupped her
hands under his, scooped up some of the clear liquid, and drank. "Not bad... not bad at all!"

//I did it... I actually did it...// His face showed his happy shock at his success.
"That's the first time I ever succeded in an air tracing."

She smiled. "How much control do you have? Can you shoot it like a Jet of Water spell?"

"Let's find out..."

Buzya backed up a bit, but was still smiling.

Pointing his palm out to sea, he focused on "openning the valve." The result was surprising, but not overwhelming; his hand turned from a kitchen sink into a garden hose. With only a little more adjustment, the result was even more spectacular. For a few short seconds, a massive blast of water shot out, rivaling anything a medium-sized fire-truck would wield. The spell faded quickly after that. As did his strength. He dropped to his knees, as the spell disappeared.

Buzya quickly dropped to one knee, putting a hand on his shoulder.

"Now... That's... something... to work on."

Buzya shifted in front of him, placing a hand on each of Eathan's shoulders; She
closed her eyes, and seemed to chant under her breath.
[Buzya Spell roll: 9 of ?? = Sucess]

A strange sense of serenity seemed to run through Eathan's body; he felt much of his
strength return to him, as though flowing through Buzya's hands.
[Eathan recovers 3 ST, Buzya loses 3 ST]

The action seemed to exhaust her signifigantly; she put a hand to her forehead, and winced a bit.

"Wow," he said suddenly feeling better. Then he helped to steady her. "Thank you. Are you alright?"

She nodded, smiling faintly. "It's alright; I'm not much of a mage, but I've spent plenty of time helping those who are. It's one of the services the Library offered, so there was no shortage of practice. I'll be fine in an hour or so... just a little tired."

"One of the things I learned back home, was a way of breathing, to recover energy. Maybe we can compare notes on things other than language and history?" The last bit was said with a hint of a smile. "Would you like me to help you to your room?"

She seemed to regain her footing. "No, I'll be fine... really. Fresh air helps a bit."

"Works for me," he said, as he began some heavy, controlled breathing.
[Breath Control skill use - 11 of 11; Success]

The captain walked over to Eathan. "Noticed your little display... is everything allright?"

"Yes, sir. Just showing her some of the fruits of my long hours of study."

The captain rubbed his chin. "Spout of water, eh? Don't suppose youcould swab the
deck while your at it, hm?"

Before Eathan could respond, another call came down from the crow's nest; the Captain glanced up sharply, and lifted his glass to the horizon again. He simply watched for a time. "Hm... our port stop may have to wait..."

"Talk about being saved by the bell," he whispered in English, knowing Buzya would be the only one likely to understand him. "How so?" he asked the captain, as he looked toward the port, as if he could actually see something.

The island itself was visible now, though small. The captain pointed ahead. "That's the island we're headed for; the docks are on the south side, so we can't quite see them yet..." He turned around, and bellowed at the top of his lungs. "BATTEN THE RIGGINGS DOWN FOR HAZARD! ALL HANDS ARM YOURSELVES!" He turned back, adjusting the glass as casually as though nothing was out of the ordinary. "...it's just that there's a column of smoke from the general area. Most likely all kinds of trouble."

Word of the order to remain combat-ready spread quickly, including below decks.

The cloaked man came onto the deck at this time. "I heard the yelling from below..."

Buzya rubbed her ear. "You could have heard it on the isle..."

"Arm..? Oh crap! Should I bother with the only armor I've actually got?"

The captain pointed at the island. "I get the feeling our safe haven may be in a bad way... no telling what could happen." He turned to Eathan. "We can get you a mesh or leather cuirass if you'd prefer... not much, but it'll help."

The cloaked man grumbled. "Well so much for a port of call."

"It'll likely be easier to put on than my Sparing armor. I usually need a good 10 minutes to get decked out. I'll take it."

The captain pointed at a crewman who wasn't obviously occupied. "You! Get the boy here into clean overcoat... don't want him going in underdressed." The man nodded, and led Eathan below decks. Buzya followed, looking a little frantic. The captain glanced at the cloaked man. "I don't suppose ye be needing anything from us...?"

"Not for the time being...until something more is known."

The captain nodded. "We'll know soon enough."

Eathan followed the man, but quickly noticed Buzya. "Don't worry. If anyone's gonna get near you, they're gonna need get through me first."

TBC - Next post... Combat.

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Thu Oct 16, 2003 5:46 am

(ooc: as the unofficial editer of this RPG, I now post again for the group.)

The captain stood at the fore of the ship, gazing through his glass as the island approached. It had been half an hour since the call to arms had been sounded, and the entire crew was visibly tense.

The cloaked man stood on the bow, watching the ship approach the island.

Eathan had disappeared below decks to change into a more durable outfit, and had kept Buzya in tow.

Only now did the captain break his silence. "We've turned enough to see the docks... from what I can see, they've been smashed apart, and put to the torch. A little hard to see the city itself though... could just be the docks that were hit."

The cloaked man glanced over at the smoke. "Any signs of life on the docks?"

The captain shook his head. "Not so far... I imagine survivers would have fled back to the city proper. A slightly more defensible position. The ships seem to be either smashed through the hull, or left adrift with broken masts."

The cloaked man continued to gaze in the distance. "I get the feeling this is also Lokemus's work."

The captain chewed his lip. "...certainly fits with his previous actions... though it seems like this happened some time ago. Perhaps a week. He couldn't have been that far ahead."

The cloaked man raised an eyebrow. "With a small clipper that he escaped with? Provided he did not carry that much cargo, he could probably outrun us..."

The captain could lonely frown. "That's a possibility I don't much like."

The cloaked man just started ahead, and waited for anymore information to come in.

A shout came from the crow's nest. "Pod o' war Graava! Bearing Fore Straight!"

The captain blinked. "Gravaa whales? At this depth? Odd indeed..."

The cloaked man raised an eyebrow yet again. "Graava? I'm not familiar with seaman terms."

The captain marched to the side of the ship. "Gravaa are small whales; pretty uncommon outside of the local waters... but they wouldn't be out this shallow."

The cloaked man put a robed arm to his chin. "Hmm...is Vesper awake yet?"

"The recovery took a few weeks longer than expected, but he's fine. Though teaching that boy the ropes of magic was probably even more exhausting..."

The captain squinted out at the sea. "Damn.. can't see much at this angle..."

"I'm wondering whether he can sense any works of magic being contained somewhere near the docks."

"We're probably too far out for that... and if he did, he'd have brought it to me first thing."

The cloaked man nodded, and then just stared straight ahead.

The captain shouted up at the crow's nest. "ANY SHIPS ABOUT?"

After a pause, the response came wafting down. "NAY"
The captain frowned, growing more agitated. "Damn this.... a clear day, and a shattered port... and not another ship in sight."

[IQ check - 6 of ??; Success]
The cloaked man noticed movement under the water in the distance... probably the pod of whales the lookout had reported.

It was pretty hard to miss them, actually... though the cloaked man noticed something nobody else did... they seemed to be heading STRAIGHT for the ship!

"Captain! Turn the ship quickly! The graava are heading straight for the ship!" The cloaked man quickly shouted.

The captain waved a hand. "Calm down... Graava tend to be a little curious, but they'll just pass under us."

The pod continued it's approach.

The cloaked man shook his head. "I'm pretty sure animals that are curious don't start moving hastily towards you."

The captain looked over the waters, casualy. "I've seen'em do it a hundred times me'self; sometimes they even... follow the... DAMN!" The captain's voice trailed off for a moment; he broke into a run for the wheel, bellowing at the top of his lungs. "ALL HANDS BRACE!"

The cloaked man quickly leaned against the edge of the deck.

The crew immediately scrambled for a solid grip. The ship groaned as the wheel spun. The pod of whales charged straight against them, shallow enough that their dorsal fins broke the water.

The ship snapped to one side with nearly explosive force; a series of crashes shook the mast, sending several crewmen crashing against the deck, or into the water.

[DX check - 13 of 15-3; Fail]
The cloaked man was sent flying through the air for a moment, as the ship tilted up.
[HT check - 12 of 13; Success]

[HT check (Eathan) - 11 of 13; Success]

The cloaked man's landing was rough, but nothing was broken or strained.

Apart from the few crewmen that had been tossed overboard, the ship had been the only serious victim. Though the cloaked man had come a little to close to that fate for his own comfort; he's landed next to the railing on the far side of the ship.

A quick glance over the side showed the pod of whales gliding away at an almost indifferent, ponderous speed... but between the larger beasts, more agile shapes flitted; small and dark,
moving like living quicksilver.

The cloaked man started thinking as the graava passed by. Yep. That's not a typical ship-killer tactic.

The ship was trailing a disturbing amount of splintered wood, but didn't seem to be sinking significantly.

The captain shouted orders while he ran over to the cloaked man. "Damnation... I’ve never seen them do that before!"

"They probably aren't supposed to. I saw something else down there."

"What? What sort of 'something else'?"

"Something more agile amongst the graava. Small and dark, moving quickly amongst the graava. To my interpretation, the tamers or the magic devices."

The captain leaned over the rail, looking down. By now, the sleek, dark shapes had approached the ship itself; they swarmed under the hull like eels. At this distance, it was obvious they were smaller than the Gaava, but at least twice as large as a man. They also seemed to have armored upper segments...

Eathan had finished packing his gear, a while ago. Then nearly got knocked him off his feet... "What the... Buzya, you alright? Time for info."

[HT check (Buzya) - 13 of ??; Fail]
Eathan got no response. A quick glance showed Buzya, lying under a few items that had been knocked over. She was out cold.

"Oh God..." He was down next to her immediately, checking her.
[First Aid check - 6 of 13; Success]
A quick look relieved most of his fears; she had only sustained a light blow to the head; no
real harm.

While the cloaked man and the captain watched the dark shapes, a few approached the surface. Their shape became a little more noticeable...

The cloaked man readied his saber from within his cloak for if he needed to parry.

Eathan pulled her up, then laid her on the bed. Then he checked for anything ELSE that might fall on her. Then, he stuck his head out the cabin door, looking for anyone and yelled, "What hit us?"

Unfortunately, the few crewmen in the hall were far too busy running above deck, at a full sprint. A splash of frigid, ankle deep water lapped against his foot. To make matters worse, the sound of screaming was coming from down the stairs leading to the cargo room; some of the screams weren't human.

"Oh you gotta be kidding me!"

The captain frowned, and drew an axe from his back. "Boiling hells... they're boarding us from beneath!"

The cloaked man nodded, and ran first from the deck to below. "Anybody who can't fight, get onto the deck!" He yelled as he ran by for the hold.

Rushing back into the room, he grabbed his bags, then slung Buzya over his shoulder, and ran as fast as he could up stairs.

As he moved past the stairwell, he noticed the lower hold was rapidly filling with water. It was too dark to see much, but he could see large, shiny bodies slitherign around, almost like giant snakes...

[Fright check - 13 of 14; Success]
Eathan's eyes went wide, but only for a moment, before he turned to the stairs, and ran like hell. "We got COMPANY!!!"

The sound of reptilian hissing filled the hallway, offering proof of Eathan's warning.

The cloaked man drew his saber, and went immediately in front of Eathan. "Get everybody you can find onto the deck...I'll hold them off for as long as I can. We can't use numbers in these cramped hallways."

"Where's Vesper?" Eathan yelled, as he moved past.

"You tell me! I was on the deck the whole time!" The cloaked man ran past, towards the stairs below deck.

"Damn," he cursed through his teeth.

The sight in the cargo hold was particularly intimidating; the water was easily chest deep, and shapes were moving through it constantly. The size of the creatures was apparent... about the size of large sharks, but with long, eel-like tails. There was one advantage they had; the shapes were determinately staying below the water.

The cloaked man snorted. "Great...now only if I had a mage who could cast an electricity spell." He waited for any further developments, while keeping his guard up.

Further developments occurred... a high pitched, fearful scream came from the hold, which only redoubled the hissing and growling. Dalis was still in the hold; and the water was rising.

The cloaked man easily heard the screaming, and yelled, "Who's down there? Can you make it up?!"

"I'm... it's me! Dalis! I can't go anywhere... they're all around me! SOMEBODY GET ME OUT OF HERE!"

"Where's Vesper?” Eathan asked as he looked around in the open air of the top deck. Not spotting him, he immediately looked around frantically for a safe place to whole up, for a moment or two anyway.

The cloaked man looked to find any avenue for reaching the young mouse, but found the entire path filled with water, and their unknown guests.

Most of what Eathan saw was total chaos; the crew was scrambling all over, most of them
brandishing weapons. But as a deafening and resounding roar filled the air, something gripped his full attention; one of the creatures was on the deck, facing several of the ship's soldiers. The thing looked
like a horror out of a bad fantasy movie;

The cloaked man entered the water. He found a nearby object to grab the eel's attention.

The monster was like a cross between a merman, a dragon, and an eel; it was covered in
thick scales, with armored spikes about it's upper torso and shoulders. It's neck was long, and it's head was almost like a dinosaurs; a huge, clamp-like jaw, encrusted with spikes. The entire thing rippled with slick, briny muscles. It had a pair of arms, and was wielding a crude looking spear of some sort.

The Cloaked man looked up to the top deck loading doors, thinking there might be another way to get to Dalis. As he looked, he took his first step into the water.

The cloaked man was only knee deep, when he became the center of attention; the water broiled as the creatures charged at him. Things looked pretty grim.

The cloaked man did not approach any further. He called out to Dalis, "I'll have to open up the cargo hatch from above...hold on over there!" He ran back towards the deck.

Eathan desperately looked for a safe place to try and protect Buzya. While at he same time, looking for Vesper, and the Captain.

Not a single section above decks seemed safe; there were only three of the monsters, but they moved with a frighteningly liquid grace. There was no telling where they would move to... Eathan did see the captain and Vesper close by, joining the crew in combat.

Eathan glanced at the rear cabin... if any place could be safe, that would be it. He took the chance on what looked the be the only safe harbor of the moment. So he made for the rear cabin as best he could.

Surprisingly, most of Eathan's obstacles were the crew themselves, as they scrambled about and were tossed in all directions like rag-dolls.

His mind racing, he scanned the deck for the fresh water barrels and a bucket or two...
[perception check - 12 of 14+2; Success]
Eathan set Buzya and his gear down against the wall of the aft-castle, and grabbed the neared bucket he'd spotted. He'd remembered something from biology class regarding saltwater fish, and the effects of fresh water on them. He had no idea whether these things were purely Saltwater based or not, at the moment, it was the best idea he had.

At that moment, one of the crewmen was sent sailing across the floor like a hockey puck, crashing into a weakened section of the railing with enough force to break it. A sudden growl filled the air; one of the monsters was only three feet away from Eathan, holding it's spear at the ready. The thing was at least the mass of a horse, and bristling with black, spiked armor.

He would have cursed, if he'd had the time. in one fluid move he scooped as much water as he could, and launched it into the thing's face.
[Thrown weapon - 7 of 10; success]

[dodge roll: 13 of ?? = Sucess]
It's head tilted down sharply, and the water sluiced cleanly off it's armored face and neck. Eathan could have sworn he'd seen gills along it's neck clamp shut, and a filmy grey layer snap over it's eyes. The creature lifted it's head again, apparently unaffected.

Eathan’s eyes went wide. *Damn, the fish had blown up in the tank... I'm SCREWED!!!*

A moment later, however, the water flared brightly, and gathered around it's neck as though animated. The creature shook it's head slightly, and the blob of water crackled, turned white, and formed into a thick layer of ice.

*What now?*

He heard vesper shouting a short distance away. "Get that girl into the cabin! Ice only bothers them for a few seconds!"


The monster clawed at it's neck a bit, but looked more uncomfortable than harmed. At the very least, it was no longer concerned with Eathan.

Without a second thought, he grabbed Buzya, and pulled her into the Cabin. He didn't have a THING he could really do. What he wouldn't have given for an M-60 at that moment.

He managed to cover the distance without harm, and vesper was soon by his side. "Is she allright?"
"She's unconscious, but otherwise ok. Do thses things have a weakness?"

Vesper shook his head as he headed back out. "Non that I hold dominion over... they can break out of ice in seconds, and they just laugh at wind and water. I suppose you learned that last one yourself... interesting choice of missiles."

"I watched a fish explode in a fresh water tank one time... I thought it might be worth a try. Do these things like electricity?"

"We'll never know... I cannot command it." Vesper frowned. "Freshwater... Are they still gathering in the hold?"

"Last I heard. And I think Dalis is still down there. I thought that lightning was a part of Air magic?"

"Natural electricity more of a weather and climate thing, really... my runes are limited to wind." He frowned more vigorously. "Damnit, this is no time for a lecture! We may have a way to flush the hold... The hull of the ship is enchanted with a general purpose buoyancy spell... but it has other purposes as well."

"MAN, do I wish I knew more about Runes. At the moment, the best I could try and do, is turn his spear into food. Well, at least now I know we won't sink too badly.

"If we're lucky, we can use it to drain the cargo hold forcibly... it's a long shot, though."

"Wait a minute... Are these things technically lizard? I mean, they look pretty reptilian...”

Vesper sighed, obviously agitated, but trying to focus. "It's possible... they could be descendants of an older species of shark... but reptilian seems most likely."

"Would 'Control-Reptile' be worth a shot?"

Vesper frowned. He then arched an eyebrow, and grabbed at a pocket inside his vest.
[Spell roll 14 of 16; Success]
Vesper gritted his teeth, clamping a fists around the runes without having removed them from his pocket. The closest lizard eyed them, but didn't seem to react in any meaningful way. Vesper cursed under his breath. "Nothing... the spell worked, but nothing!"

Eathan's eyes went wide, when he remembered his science classes... "Use all three runes... 'Control, Air, Water.' Make a storm in your hand, then zap him.

Vesper frowned again, and started searching for the additional runes. unfortunately, by then, the closest monster had begun approaching them.

Vesper scrambled for the runes. "Won't make it in time..."

Eathan looked at the approaching monster, and drew his Bokken, and stepped between him and the monster. "Yes you will," he said in a tone so resolute, it surprised even him.

Vesper backed off, adding some distance. The reptile seemed more than happy to oblige, and eyed Eathan.

Eathan set himself into a guard position, and prepared to defend them.

The thing wasted no time, and swept the spear at him.
[Attack roll: 10 of ?? = sucess]

[Parry attempt - 10 of 10= Success]
Even though Eathan barely managed to block the blow, the shaft of the spear still struck against his side; the armor managed to serve it's purpose, and he was only winded. He immediately counter-attacked.
[Swing attack - 12 of 11 = Fail]
The weapon struck the creature soundly enough, but only glanced off an armor plate. The thing hadn't even flinched.

The creature almost seemed to grin; a strange, gargling sound rumbled in it's throat; it sent
prickles down Eathan's neck.

//Oh God... I’m dead.//

tbc - Next post.

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Fri Oct 17, 2003 1:50 am

(ooc: performing my duties once more.)

Seeing no chance to help Dalis from where he was, as well as realizing just how intently the beasts were focusing in on him, the Cloaked Man rethought his course of action. Thinking of the loading hatch, he spun back to the stairs and sprinted back up to the main deck. There, a new problem presented itself, as the FULL view of the aquatic monsters entered his awareness. One in particular, was working it’s way into the Captain’s cabin, with Eathan clearly visible on the other side, apparently standing his ground.

With long, graceful strides, he covered the distance across the deck, and sent his Saber blade singing toward the monster’s undefended backside.
[Attack roll - 14 of 17; Success]
[Passive Defense roll - 12 of ??; Fail]
[Damge roll - 9pts Slashing damage]

Eathan flinched as the creature roared out, but this cry seemed different... and the creature no longer looked quite as amused. It twisted around, and Eathan caught a glimps of the cloaked man standign behind it; his sword was out, and covered with a viscous, black blood. A trickle of the blood lowed from the creature's back.

Eathan reset his guard, but held back. Perhaps it was fear, maybe it was tactics. He was just hoping that Vesper could pull off the magic, and his runes would let him.

The cloaked man backed off a bit, and readied a parry.

[Activate Runes - 16 of ??; failure]
[Additional roll - 6]
Vesper clutched the runes in one hand, but produced only a strangely warped sense of force. A flash of light filled the air, but no electricity was produced. If anything, it left only the faint scent of brimstone. Vesper shook his fist, as though it had been struck. "...out of all the times for this to happen..."

//SHIT!!// Eathan screamed inside. His body shook, and he didn't know if it was from fear, or adrenaline overload. "What the hell are these things?" &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp

The creature didn't seem entirely too concerned with the failed spell, and faced off with the cloaked man. It lowered it's head slightly, letting out a deep, gurgling hiss.
[Attack roll; 13 of ?? = Sucess]
The creature swung it's spear around, and jabbed at the cloaked man with the blunt end; the creature was much faster than it's size suggested.
[Parry roll - 14 of ??; Fail]
[Damage roll - 13 pts Crushing damage]

The cloaked man took the impact, but didn’t crumble. He coughed out much blood from the blow, but madly, he swung at the beast again.
[Attack roll - 4 of 17; Critical Success]
[Critical Chart Roll - 15]
[Damage Roll - 7pts Slash damage]&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp
The claoked man seemed to move faster than humanly possible; The creature let out an ear-splitting shriek, and recoiled from the blow. It dropped it's spear, clutching at it's wound, it's face twisted in rage.

"Vesper, I'm open to suggestions..."

A second roar filled the air, drowning out the sounds of the crew's struggle. one of the other creatures charged the cloaked man, shoving him away with the shaft of it's spear.
[Dex check - 5 of 15; Success]
There was no avoiding the forc of the attack; the cloaked man was sent flying, but managed to land firmly on his feet, none the worse. Only then did he realize he heard something shouting or screaming... in a moment, he realized it was Dalis. Where...? A quick glance revealed Dalis' arm sticking out of a hole in the hatch that led below decks, to the cargo room. It was waving frantically.

Eathan sees the fire in the new beast's eyes, and lets out a roar of his own, as he lunges for the strike.
[Attack roll - 10 of 10; Success]
[Parry Roll: 13 of ?? = failure]
[Damage - 6 pts crushing damage]

The creature tilted it's spear up, moving it like a quarter staff; with the confines of the door, and Eathan's speed, the blow landed successfully. Disturbingly enough, the creature only looked slightly buffeted. It glared at him as before, shrugging the blow easily.

Eathan readied himself for the thing's imminent attack.

[Katana battle skill - 7 of 11; Success]
[Feint attack, spear: 13 of ?? = Sucess]
[Quick contest of skills: 4 VS ? = Eathan wins]

The creature thrust it's spear, but spun it oddly; Eathan barely managed to keep from making a full fledged defense. The creature had feinted, trying to catch him of guard... Just how skilled were these things?

The cloaked man attempts to move towards the cargo hatch, and grab Dalis's hand.

Dalis immediately clasped it in return. "Who's there? Who is it!?"

"It's me...I said I'd have to open the door!"

"Better be quick about it... the water's rising fast, and i think they can jump if it gets deep enough..."

Seizing the opertunity, Eathan struck out at the creature again.
[Eathan attack roll: 7 of 11 = sucess]

[Monster parry roll: 7 of ?? = sucess]
This time, the monster moved much faster; Eathan's wooden sword clattered against the shaft of the spear, harmlessly.

//Damn, these things are fast.//

Continuing the motion, the creature grasped at the top of the door, and swung itself further inside; it's slick torso and tail flew straight at him, grabbing at his legs.

[Eathan Dex roll: 13 of 14 = sucess]
[Creature Dex roll: 14 of ??+3 = Success]
[Quick Dex contest: 1 VS ?? = Creature wins]

The cloaked man, even while spitting blood out, attempts to open the cargo hatch.
[CM Strength roll: 5 of 15-4 = success]

The cloaked man hefted at the side of the hatch, and managed to break a pair of small wooden clasps on one side. Dalis squealed slightly as she was lifted up with it, hanging from underneath. Dalis IMMEDIATELY jumped straight for the mainmast, and scampered up to the crows nest like a squirrel leaping up a tree. She almost knocked the cloaked man over in the process.

The cloaked man fell to a knee after the venture, and breathed heavily.

Strangely, he noticed that the noise of combat had somewhat lessened. The crew was almost entirely crowded around the monster near the fore of the ship.

The cloaked man lifted his head, and looked around, and then at the monster the crew was crowding around.

The creature was flailing about with it's spear; crewmen were being tossed back from the force, but sheer numbers were slowly wearing it down. The cloaked man noticed somethign very odd; a blurry shape was running along the deck, towards the cabin. it seemed to be a crewman, but... the outline rippled in the air.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp
The cloaked man rose to a staggering position, but he followed the blurry shape into the cabin.

Being yanked off of his feet, Eathan grabbed his knife and pulled it out of it's sheath. He continued watching the thing, to maintain his defense.

It seemed to grin, showing a flash of ivory white, needle-thin teeth. It's lower body swirled about, leaping for Eathan's neck and arms.
[Eathan STR check - 15 of 12; Fail]
[Creature STR check - 9 of ??; Success]
There was little Eathan could have done; the thing was overpoweringly strong, and he was already off balance. The tail coiled around his neck, tight enough to constrict his breath completely. A split second later, however, Vesper placed his fist against the thing's scaley skin. A tiny current of blue electricity flowed from vesper's fist, and the skin tensed. The creature struggled to keep it's grip. Moments later, the tail lost it's strength, dropping Eathan to the ground.

Eathan coughed, as he tried to recover his wind.

The cloaked man struggled to keep up with the sprinting shape. it charged at the wounded creature, and leapt up; a flash of steel filled the air, and it brought some kind of weapon to bear. It was too hard to see, but a thick crack filled the air as it landed firmly against the woudned creature's head. it collapsed immediately, twitching and coiling uncontrollably.

The monster that had released Eathan spun around instantly as it's ally let out a keening wail. Eathan was pushed back as it left the cabin; it stared for a moment at it's fallen ally, and then beyond; the third and final beast had had it's spear torn from it's grasp, and was quickly being overwhelmed. The thing immediately grabbed the wounded one, and began scrambling for the side of the ship. The creature charged straight the railing, diving off the ship.

Vesper stuck his head out of the cabin door. "Any more of them to worry about?"

"The ones in the Hold?" Eathan asked, as he continued coughing.

The cloaked man could not talk from his wounds anymore, and stumbled down leaning against a wall.

One of the crew pointed over the side of the ship. "hey, over there... Look'it'em run!"

The captain approached, holding a black-blood smeared axe, and sporting several deep wounds.

A swarm of slithering black shapes were spreading out from teh hole in the hold, streaking away in a tight group.

The cloaked man spat out some more blood in order to clear our his mouth.

The crew immediately doffed their weapons, and began making whatever repairs they could. A pair of them knelt by the cloaked man. "I suppose we slew their lieutenants," he said, as they worked.

Eathan's survival knife found it's home, as he pulled himself to his feet. //I did it... I stood my ground.// He couldn't believe it, but he had.

The blurry shape approached Eathan, disorienting him significantly. "Well... looks like you pulled through. Can't believe you tried ot use that little stick, though..."
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp
"Ah, yeah. Well, I'm trained with it, and don't own a true Katana. Besides, I'm better with it, than a knife... Buzya!" Remembering the OTHER person he had been protecting, he turned to check on her. The poor girl was still lying where he'd left her, and remained unconscious.

One of the ship's healers descended on the cloaked man, checking him over before starting a quiet chant.
[spellcasting roll: 10 of 16 = success]
[CM is healed 8 points]
The cloaked man blinked a bit, and rose slowly, bracing his upward movement. "Ugh."

The healer helped him as best as she could. "That should hold you for now... but you'll need plenty of rest for a day or two"

The blurry shape stood in the doorway. "...something wrong? Is she alright?"

"She took a hit to the head, when we were rammed," Eathan said, still tending her.

The blurry shape seemed to nod. sort of. "We better get her to the healers then. I suppose you'll want to do that personally?"

Eathan belted his Bokken, and nodded. "I feel like I owe it to her.

RockGolem9: The cloaked man walked a few steps to regain his balance. "If we get any rest these next few days."

The blurry figure seemed to regain some substance. in a few moments, the effect wore off; it was Kenery, holding a massive pole-arm over his shoulders; the thing was solid metal, with a flat-based hammer on one end.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp
Eathan Gawked for a moment. "Talk about a difference, compared before. Were you holding back on me when we sparred?"

Kenery smiled a bit. "Big problems require big solutions... not all of us use wooden sticks." He held his chin then. "That's right... I never did get a chance to use that on you... I'm no mage; it's just the one talent." He approached, and helped carry Buzya. "Besides... it wouldn't have been very fair, right?"

The cloaked man cleaned his saber of blood, and sheathed it within his cloak. He then looked around for the captain.

Eathan smiled. "Nice talent." He then picked Buzya up with Kenery’s help. "Or honorable," he added. "I've never been in REAL combat before... I can't believe I actually stood my ground, let alone lived."

Kenery blinked a bit, seeming confused. "Uuh... exactly what kind of combat ISN'T real?"

"Tournament fighting... Nonlethal combat..."

The captain was nearby, shouting orders at the crew. A loud commotion was coming from the front of the deck, and he was heading for it now.

RockGolem9: The cloaked man followed the captain to the front of the ship.

After a few moments, the Captain and the cloaked man were standing a few yards from one of the monsters; a thick web of iron chains and hooks hung between it and the crew that ringed it. It was pacing back and forth, turning it's head constantly, and offering the occasional defiant snarl.

"Any idea what it is?" The cloaked one asked.

Eathan’s eyes went wide. "We caught one?" Then he recovered and looked at Buzya "Ah, Medic?!"

Kenery frowned, and stared at the thing.

The captain eyed the beast. "Seems so. Nets and chains seemed the only way to keep the thing down."

One of the healers briefly touched Buzya's neck, but frowned. "She'll be fine... we have too many wounded to deal with a feinting spell." The healer returned his focus to the crew.

Kenery walked up to the captain, hefting his giant pole-hammer. "...one good shot between the eyes. Drop a towel over it's head so it doesn't see it coming..."

The captain didn't seem to hear. "The sight of their own dead might just draw them closer... that's how sharks work, at least; might just anger them."

Kenery shrugged. "...we can always burn the body before we dump it... Won't be any scent to draw them back."

The cloaked man was just silent the whole time.

Eathan Looked at him. "Wait! These things sure weren't dumb." He grimaced at the thought, but had to offer it anyway. "Maybe through those runes I have, we could communicate with it?"

The captain and Kenery turned to look at him, looking quite perplexed. They shared a look. Kenery waved a hand. "Why?" They honestly didn't seem to think the idea had any merit whatsoever.

"That guy used a demon to attack us last time. Well, if he could do that, why send a force like THIS, that could be defeated like this?" Eathn was trying to prove a point, but to be honest he wasn’t all that sure HE knew the point.

The cloaked man, "..."

The captain shrugged again. "I really don't care who sent them. We can't exactly afford to feed and bed him."

"I'm not talking about keeping it as a pet. I'm talking about getting information from it."

The captain stared at him blankly for a moment, and eventually sighed. "You have ten minutes. After that, we grill it and dump it." He walked back to the cabin. Kenery looked a little disappointed.

The cloaked man turn away, and left the scene.

Eathan nodded, and went back to his gear, and get his runes.

tbc - Next post

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Tue Oct 21, 2003 10:08 pm

Eathan pulled the Rune Stones from his jacket posket, and looked at them. Since he and Buzya had been speaking in their two languages, he hadn't needed to use them. Then there was the problem of how nervous people got when he used them. Clutching them in his hand, he spoke the words and gestures needed to invoke the magic that activated the Runes. With luck, he'd succede. All too often, he'd either failed, or come close.

(GM, Casing roll, if you will?)

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Sat Oct 25, 2003 8:19 am

[Eathan's spell casting, roll ? of 12 = Success]
Eathan felt the runes grow warm in his palm, as the magic successfully took hold; he realized how long it had been since he'd even touched them. The feeling made his swallow, hard. Still, it needed to be done. For his own piece of mind, he needed to know.

He approached the creature, and looked it in the eye, trying to focus the warrior's spirit through his gaze, so he would look frightened. "Who are you? Why did your people attack our ship?"

At the moment, the creature was fully occupied with the crew surrounding it, as well as the thick web of heavy chains and hooks hanging about it's body. When Eathan spoke, however, it turned to face him, warily confused. The creature wasn't the only one surprised; the crew flinched visibly as they heard a guttural string of sounds emerge from Eathan's throat, as though he were gargling and talking at the same time. He obviously had everybody's undivided attention. The creature continued pacing and turning, but had stopped thrashing about.

"I know you heard me," he continued as he walked closer. "Now tell me!"

The creature stopped slithering back and forth, and turned to directly face Eathan; it regarded him for a moment, and seemed to draw it's shoulders up a bit. The quiet moment was abruptly broken as the creature leaned towards Eathan, and let out a piercing bellow; the force behind it actually ruffled Eathan's hair, and spattered his face with a bit of brine. The sound probably could have carried for miles, and nearly deafened him.
[Eathan fright check: Roll 13 of 14 = Success]
Eathan managed to keep his footing, and a modicum of composure. The crew tugged on the chains, pulling the creature back a few feet. The creature opened it's jaws, speaking in a deep, guttural, bubbly tongue. "You mock me..."
"Mock you? I'm the only one apparently willing to talk. My Captain's ready to have your hide filleted right now, so talking to me may be the only chance you have. I trust there IS a brain in that head of yours, or ARE you as just some foul beast, to be eradicated. I'm your only reprieve. Talk to me.

The creature lowered it's neck, leveling a hard glare at him. "You, and the other land-dwellers... you are the murderers here. You are the ones without morals." It leaned closer, it's breath heavy on Eathan's face. "We have always suffered at your hands; your recent crime against us was merely the last link in a long chain."

"I will not deny or acknowledge anything, as I am in no position to have knowledge of such things. Tell me of these crimes.”

The creature seemed to visibly repress it's frustration and anger, and spoke through a tightly clenched jaw. "For as long as we can remember, your kind have scoured the seas; your great wooden whales and your giant nets scoop the waters like a sieve... I remember when the fish became scarce, a hundred moons ago... you slaughtered entire clans of us, to free up the hunting grounds. We were driven to deeper waters; we gave you the surface of our ancestral home... and still you hunt us, to give our flesh and bone to your alchemists and blacksmiths, and jewelers." The creature's eyes narrowed, menacingly. "I have seen you wear necklaces, made from the teeth of my brothers and sisters... even this is not enough; you steal away our shaman. The priest who guides our clan to safe waters, and teaches our young to hunt and grow... without him, our clan will waste into nothing... an agonizing fate worse than death."

The creature leaned even closer, and the fleshy spiked ridges along it's neck quivered with rage. "...is this enough of a crime for you to hear?"

//It seems, we humans are the same, where ever we rise.// Eathan fought to keep his emotions in check. To fight for one's people... He would do the same in this warrior's place... There had to be SOME way? "Has there never been anyone who tried to talk? Tried to communicate between your people and mine?"

The creature seemed to frown; Eathan couldn't be sure. "Yes... there have been a very few times... but you only tell us to leave for other waters, or surrender. Never anything else."

"Your Shaman... When was he taken?"

The creature was silent for a moment. "One moon ago, soon after the fertile current arrived. We were forced to abandon it to search for him... we have waged war against the island and your wooden whales ever since."

//I gotta do something...// "I will return. Please do not struggle. I must speak with ship's captain." Then he turned whoever was in charge of the detail. I am not done with my questions. NO ONE lays a hand on him."

The creature was quiet and motionless for only an instant; It then grabbed one of the chains in it's huge, three-fingered fist, and pulled hard enough to send it sailing over his head; the crewman hanging onto the other end was sent flailing overboard. The pandemonium of crashing chains and gurgling roars resumed, as before.

"Damnit!" Eathan screamed. "Which is more important? Acting like a wild beast, and giving them a reason to kill you? Or living, so that you CAN find your Shaman?"

The creature pointed a roar directly at Eathan. "This is no hunt; this is WAR! We have boarded every ship near the island, and will continue to do so! You will NEVER escape with him to the coast, or ANYWHERE else!"

"I know humans haven't given you any real reason to trust anything they say, but I'm asking you to give me a sliver of a chance, so I can get some answers."

The creature let out a particularly vicious snarl, and glared at him intensely. "Very well... but my trust for you is balanced on a razor's edge." The creature continued impatiently pacing and turning, but halted it's violent thrashing. The crew took the opportunity to toss even more chains about it's limbs and neck, and draw them even tighter.

"WHERE is the captain?"

One of the crew waved at the back of the ship. "Check the rear cabin."

"Like I said, NOBODY touches him." Eathan then stormed off, heading for the Captain.

He found him in the rear cabin, the closest thing to an office on the vessel. He was examining a number of papers, and making notes in a small ledger book. The captain nodded as he heard him enter, but didn't look up. "Finally finished? Kenery is impatient to use his rock-splitter..."

"We can't kill him," Eathan said flatly.

The captain waved a hand. "If Kennery says he can kill something, I'm inclined te' believe him."

"You misunderstand me, Captain. We CAN'T kill him. What do you know of this island and it's people? And the Islands beyond?"

"It's a port town, used as a stop off for several trading routes... they profit by keeping ships stocked and in good repair, and do a bit of trading on the side, but it's not much more than a fishing community." He glanced up idly. "...and what would all this have to do with this monster's fabricated diplomatic immunity?"

"He's not a monster. He's a soldier, fighting for his people and their survival. And we've got a MUCH larger problem." Eathan takes another look out the cabin's door, to make sure his command had been followed.

The ring of crewmen weren't doing much more than keeping the chains in place, now that the creature was less volatile... though he did notice Kenery walking towards the group, holding his huge pole-hammer over his shoulder, and carrying a damp towel.

"KENERY!" he yelled to draw the warrior's attention. When he finally looked at him, he signaled him to come to him.

Kenery rolled his eyes and continued walking. The captain sighed. "Would you mind telling me what this greater danger is?"

"I think his entire race tearing everything within a couple of hundred leagues that floats apart, as well as coastal communities, might qualify."

The captain hit his desk, looking exasperated. "Did you see what they did to the docks? Destruction has already occurred... if what you suspect is true, then they've already started their rampage."

"And we have a chance, that we might be able to stop it, before it gets worse. His people have been forced back further and further into deeper, safer waters by us humans for centuries. As much as they've tried to stomach it, they've bitten back their pride, and done so. Every communication they've ever had with humans, has come down to the humans saying 'Leave, or die.' And even when they DO leave, they still get hunted down. Now, their Shaman has apparently been taken. Without him, he says they'll die, And I believe him. That's why they're attacking. Not only do they feel they've already taken all they could, now the Shaman... It was the last straw."

The captain stared at Eathan for a few moments. "An entire port town has been attacked by watery beasts, who have also brought a major trade hub to a screeching halt... and you want to risk all our lives to help the beasts?"

"We saw how fast they could move, and even without their shaman, they were able to use those whales as living weapons. How much time do you think they'd need to destroy every ship and port within a hundred leagues? The damage already done, unfortunately can not be undone, but what about the other ports? What would happen to all the trade then? And the Island people who depend on the sea? Maybe a little risk, may do us greater good. Otherwise, there might not be ANY ports for us to access between here and our next destination, or our final. And then there's the trip back. Just how many more attacks do you think your ship and crew will be able to survive, and still have the strength to FACE that island. To be honest, I don't even know if he'd be willing to do it. But the way I see it, what does either of us have to lose?"

"ENOUGH!" The captain shouted, almost interrupting him. "If this is such a great threat to us all, and if you seriously expect me to believe that these creatures can be reasoned with at all..." He paused, and seemed to regain his composure. "...see what else you can learn from the snake. If it's not TOO much work, I'll allow you to pursue this objective."

"Thank you, Captain."

He waved a finger in response. "...but I'm not endorsing this madness... if you want help, you'll have to find your own volunteers. You'd better go and spoil Kenery's fun now."

Eathan turned and stepped out of the cabin. Then he turned to find Kenery. "Sorry, me boyo... No weapon's practice for you." He then paced his way to the chained captive.

Eathan noticed that Buzya was on deck, standing between Kenery and the creature; Eathan had obviously interrupted their talking. He also noticed that the creature had a wet towel over it's head, and was tilting it's head back and forth, in a slightly puzzled manner. Buzya pointed at Eathan. "There, see? He says you can't. There MUST be a reason."

Kenery frowned. "What, just so you can finish writign an essay about the damn thing? This isn't a biology lab, four eyes. It's a murderous beast."

"And if you try to strike him down, Kenery," Eathan growled, as he took the towel off the amphibian's head, then threw it at the soldier's feet, "you'll have to do it through me." Eathan didn't particularly want to die, but the feeling in his gut, was moving up his chest quickly. In all honesty, he'd never felt quite so outraged before in his life. The look in his eye definitely said, he wasn't moving.

Kenery sighed, and hefted his hammer into both hands. "Y'see, I wish everyone was as straightforward as you about wanting to die..."

Buzya jumped between them before Eathan could respond. "You could at least listen to his reason... he might actually have one, you know."

Kenery sighed again, but more frustratedly. "Fine... explain yourself."

Behind Buzya, Eathan's feet had shifted slightly. He didn't want to challenge Kenery, he liked the guy, and inside was damn happy Buzya had gotten him to listen. He sighed, but his eyes were still just as intense. "The captain has authorized me to enter a dialog with this entity, to try and solve this peacefully. There's more than just a single ship OR port at stake here. And I gave him my word."

Kenery looked unconvinced, but grudgingly nodded. "If the captain's fine with it, then you might as well get it over with. But one wrong move..." he petted the hammer.

"Care to joins us," he asked Buzya, as looked to her. "I could use a historian."

She offered a feeble smile, and held her book a little closer. "I guess... if it would help, I'd be happy to."

He nodded, then turned to face his aquatic guest. Once again, he held those runes in his hand. He let the previous spell lapse, as what he needed, had to be far more reaching. three runes in hand, he began focusing, and using his words to focus the way he wanted to shape the spell. "May understanding be our key, you to us, and we to thee." That was followed by activating of the runes.
[Eathan spell roll: ? of 11 = Unknown]
Eathan once again felt the runes spring to life, seemingly on their own. With his recent studies in rune lore, THESE runes were feeling more and more alien... perhaps that was only natural.

The creature blinked at the glow, and let out a guttural growl as a tiny glow of light issued from it's eyes. It held it's head, looking disoriented. "What... what is this? I am bewitched!" The words came to Eathan in plain English, though with a guttural, bubbling tone, as though spoken underwater.

Buzya smiled curiously, and Kenery almost jumped back a foot. The rest of the crew gasped and shouted in shock; obviously, the creature was understood by all.

"Please be calm, I meant no harm. To talk, we need to understand one another. It is through my gift, that I can make this happen. I am freeing you, but I ask that you listen to us, so that we may solve this, without shedding more blood. Will you hear us out?"

By now, the creature had lifted itself into more of an upright position; the chains hung off him in webs, but the weight was apparently of little actual burden to him. "What is there to listen to? Return our priest to us."

"Your priest is not on our ship, and to my knowledge, never has been. But I do want to help you find him." Eathan bowed his head. "I know you have no reason to trust or believe the words of a human, but I ask that you hear me out... for the sakes of both of our people."

The creature paused. Kenery broke the silence, staring at Eathan. "What the'ell? What did you say?"
MechanistoX: Buzya nodded. "The other spell must still be working... when you talk directly to the creature, all we here from you is bubbles."

"Do you understand me now?" he asked, looking directly at Buzya.

Buzya nodded. "Yeah. I guess the runes pick a language based on who your focusing on."

The creature frowned again. "You want to help us take our priest back... from your own kind? You would turn on your own race?"

Kenery blinked. "well then... it doesn't know humans very well, does it?"

Eathan scowled a little. Kenery's words could be interpreted in either direction. "Justice is Justice. Yours are a people, as much as mine. I may not know what others think and feel, but I know what is in my heart. If our races go to war, we both lose. If I can keep others from dying by helping you, then there IS no other choice. I'm not saying I can solve ALL problems and wrongs between our peoples, but I'm willing to try. If you're will to listen?"

The air was fairly thick with tension by the time he finished talking; the creature was regarding him silently, and the crew was almost motionless. The creature nodded, hesitantly. "I am listening."

"Have your people pull back. Leave the humans alone. Go back to the fertile currents you had found, and tend to the needs of your people. Have one of your people, one willing to make his presence known among humans, but willing to restrain his anger... Have him bring what knowledge there is of the Priest's being taken. And I will use what talents and resources I possess to help him find your priest."

The creature snarled. "I was there when he was taken, and I am already in the position you describe. My presence will suffice. I am a hunter and warrior among my people; not many of us are able to breath empty space, and those who can are called Ironlungs, if the translation holds. As for the knowledge I possess... there is little of use to us..."

"We were attacked by a strange demon, that walked and swam as men do. His wooden whale was small, but fast, and he was alone aboard it. His magic was strange, and overwhelming, and he took the priest with little effort. We know he returned to the island, somewhere. There are far too few ironlungs among us to search above the water, so we are forced to search the ships that arrive or depart. We destroyed the dock to keep them contained. We do not even know why this demon-man attacked us... he gave no quarter, and offered no words to us. All we know is that he is on the island."

As the hunter's account filled Eathan in on the truth, he could feel his blood boiling. "What is your name?" he asked, forcing himself to remain calm.

The creature reared it's head, and bristled slightly. "My name is not for you. You will call all me Ironlung."

Eathan nodded his head. "I am called Eathan, this is Buzya, and his name is Kenery. I am honored to meet you." He then looked at the crewman. "Release him, then keep your distance, and leave him alone." He looked back to Ironlung, and stepped easily within the being's kill zone. "Honorable warriors, should not be shackled."

"Buzya,” Eathan said over his shoulder, “test the magic, to see if Ironlung can understand you?"

Buzya pursed her lips a bit, but spoke. "Ah... greetings, Ironlung. My name is Buzya."

Ironlung nodded. "Your witching seems to work."

"Well then. Buzya is a keeper of the past, among our people. She helps us to remember what our ancestors did, and what happened to them. If you tell her the story of your people, perhaps we can tell it to people who have the power, to make the future better?” He then looked to the sailors, to make sure they were removing the chains.

The creature eyed Buzya critically. "Unfortunately, you will have to speak with our priest on that topic..." The sailors were obviously quite dubious about Eathan's 'request', and still hadn't moved.

He eyed the sailors critically. Then he stepped up, and began undoing the chains himself. He was in a foul enough mood. To all of them, he was just a bookworm, and a novice swordsman with a stick. It was time to teach them differently. he had to admit, in the back of his mind, he was afraid, but sometimes, trust had to be earned. "Then tell her what you can," he said, pushing his misgivings aside. "She'll be just as fascinated."

While the soldiers weren’t exactly eager to help, they weren't actively pulling on them, and the lack of tension made their removal a simple task. Ironlung himself began removing the chains by the handful, and was soon free.

He eyed Kenery, working his jaw a little. "...does this one speak."

Kenery frowned back, still holding the hammer. "Look at anything wrong, and I'll open your skull before you can blink."

Ironlung merely offered an extremely small smile. The comment didn't seem to aggravate him in the slightest.

"I need to inform my captain of this. If you'll excuse me?" He bowed and turned to Kenery, and took a step, so the he was standing shoulder to shoulder with him. "Find Vesper, tell him I need to speak to him in the Captain's cabin now. Then, find our cloaked friend, and ask him if he remember's seeing ANYONE on that jitatten Summoner's cutter, before he lost sight of him?"

Kenery looked like he was contemplating something, but only nodded sharply in response before leaving for below decks.

Buzya gazed up at Ironlung, looking a little lost. "Well... is there anything you'd prefer to discuss at the moment?"

Ironlung nodded. "Your paper and charcoal... I believe you were drawing me. You may as well finish."

Buzya blinked a bit, and glanced down at the book and paper in her arms. "Oh... well... if you insist..." She resumed her sketching.

//Beauty and the Beast,// Eathan thought, as he smile a little. He then walked toward the Captain's cabin, but waited at the door for Vesper to arrive, before he even knocked.

Talon Starblade

Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:36 pm

(ooc: I so love my job... Here's the next installment.)

Kenery wore a frown as he wandered about below deck. he'd put away his pole hammer, but still wore a larve cleaver axe across his back. Eventually, he arrived at the cloaked man's room, and
knocked three times. "Hoy... you in there, friend?"

A dark and quiet response came from within. "Come in."

He opened the door promptly, and glanced inside. He paused before speaking. "Ah... is everything alright?"

The cloaked man was sitting cross-legged on his bed, as if meditating. "Just recuperating from that last battle."

Kenery nodded, a little solemnly. "I saw you fight... you deserve more rest than any of us. But if you feel up to it, Eathan Drake has invited you to meet with him and the captain. Something about the fish monster."

The cloaked man arose from his bed, and started walking. "I will attend then...perhaps there is something amiss with these fish folk."

Kenery blinked, and looked a bit shocked. "The...? What about us? They almost killed us all!"

The cloaked man shook his head. "If they were this intelligent, they probably wouldn't have bothered to attack us unless something either coerced them into attacking, or they would have attacked something more specific than just the general crew and the

Kenery looked a tiny bit dumbfound, and slumped his shoulders. "Sounds like the same coddling words Eathan had... let's just get over there already." He marched off, leading the cloaked man above deck.

The cloaked man simply followed.

Eathan was only kept waiting a few minutes by the time Vesper arrived by the captain's door. he didn't seem overly affected by the reptilian creature on deck, but still kept an eye on it. He glanced at Eathan. "Seems awfully docile at the moment... quite a contrast. Did you have a hand in that?"

"Sometimes, words work wonders," Eathan said, his face still showing signs of his tension. "Shall we?" he asked, motioning toward the Captain's door. then he knocked.

Vesper eyed the creature again, but nodded. They entered the cabin; the captain was as focused as ever on his papers, but set them aside as they entered. "Any progress with the eel?" He sounded quite skeptical.

"Quite a bit. I asked Vesper to join us, so that I only had to say this once... Ironlung, as he's told me, was present when his people were attacked, and their priest was take. Without him, their people are as good as dead. In his words, 'The Demon, swam and looked like a man. Its wooden whale was small aand fast, but had no crew. The were no words, and no quarter. It's magics were too powerful. It slaughter us, and took out priest. We followed them to this island. Because there are so few like him, they destroyed the docks and all ships, to contain the man here.’ Does any of that sound familiar?"

The captain frowned, and chewed his lip a bit in thought. "A certain demon-summoning cult leader springs to mind... he did escape in a small, one-man clipper. If he's after the same island as us, he probably passed by a month ago. Did you get a description of this 'demon'?"

"Not a specific description. But if we talk to Ironlung, we could likely get one."

The captain waved a hand, and looked back at his papers. "You go do that then."

"He's willing to give us a chance, and I think we should do what we can. It's gonna take time to fix this ship, as it is."

"I think the boy is at least partly right..." Vesper cleared his throat. "Perhaps you could come, this time?"

"He's currently sitting with Buzya, letting her finish her charcoal sketch of him."

The captain stared at Eathan blankly for a full five seconds. "...doing it's portrait, is she? The girl'd probably hug a Fell Eqrasth the first time she saw one..." The captain grunted, but grudgingly rose. "Fine. Might as well have another swordsman on deck, just in case it gets ornery again." The captain followed Eathan and Vesper out on deck. By now, Kenery had brought the cloaked man over.

Kenery himself removed his axe, once more picking up his pole hammer, and approached Ironlung.

The cloaked man looked over the creature, and the surroundings.

"Ironlung did mention that the abduction was about a month ago."

It seemed everyone involved was on deck; the creature was standing perfectly still, with it's serpentine lower body coiled slightly. Buzya was sitting on the floor, tracing a charcoal pencil over paper. Her hands were heavily stained with black powder. She smiled as she saw Eathan arrive, but shied up a bit under the captains glare. "Ih... I guess I’m done here... scuse me." She rose, and gathered her paper.

"Ironlung, this is our Captain, and this is Vesper, my teacher in the arts of magic."

Vesper nodded, and gestured in greeting. The captain remained motionless.

Ironlung looked at each, then at Eathan. "The girl can stay." His voice had the usual low throated, bubbly sound.

Eathan looked over to Buzya, and gave her a reassuring nod. Then he looked back to Ironlung. "How closely behind the 'demon's' wooden whale were your people able to stay during the chase here."

Ironlung lowered his head a bit, looking a bit ashamed. "Not close at all... he filled the waters behind him with a writhing, grey color. We could not approach... many did not escape the cloud. The cloud faded with time, but still filles the mouth of a cove. We believe this is his lair." Ironlung gazed at the cloaked man silently after that, but said nothing.

The cloaked man only stared back. "That certainly sounds like our run-away Lokemus that plans on making sure nobody gets the sword."

"Can you discribe what the 'demon' looked like, what he wore?"

Ironlung closed his eyes, concentrating. "He was a man, dressed in red, like a soldier of your people. he wore silver and gold, but no armor. Also... a metal chain on his hand, and a band of metal about his head. They were set with small green rocks, and glowed as he worked his craft."

Vesper sighed, and placed the palm of his hand against his face. "No doubt anymore..."

The cloaked man only nodded. "It looks like we can solve a problem of ours here and now."

"We can hope so." Eathan turned to look at the Captain. "Request permission to go a shore, Captain. So I can start looking for information. Among other things."

The captain was still frowning. "...we'll be sending a landing party to the city, to purchase supplies, and offer to help repair the docks. You can go with them."

The cloaked man shrugged. "Until their location is discerned, I will remain on the ship...I must recuperate from the last battle."

The captain nodded. "You'll have all the time in the world for that.. we aren’t going anywhere till the bottom of the ship is patched up. And we need docks for that. The buoyancy spell won't hold forever. As for you..." he pointed at Eathan. "Don't get any funny ideas about that cove; I'm sending Meredith and a few of her boys to scout it out personally. No premature heroics."

"Thank you, sir, I don't plan on it. Will you be coming with us, Vesper? I remember you had some stuff you wanted to buy."

Vesper nodded. "Might as well... especially with the boat needing such severe maintenance."

"Cool." Eathan turned to Ironlung. "We'll be hitting the shore in a few minutes. Will you meet us there when we arrive? I'm sure your people would be interesting to see and hear from you?"

Kenery waved a hand urgently. "Wait-wait-wait... we're letting it GO? We should keep it as a hostage, so the others don't attack!"

"I have given Ironlung my word that I would help him find his priest. How can he trust me OR my word, if he's a prisoner? Besides, I plan on trying to solve two problems here. All I can do is give him MY trust. If we're going to have any chance working this out."

Kenery looked like he'd just touched the breaking point. He hefted his pole hammer, angrily. "Come on, just one shot... I deserve that much!!"

Buzya immediately grabbed his arm, exasperated. "Only you could find a way to bully a lizard creature twice your own weight and strength, and four times your size!"

Kenery glared at Eathan. "I wasn't talking about the lizard..."

Eathan scowled slightly, "When we're ready and done fixing this, I'll give you your shot. I owe you that much."

Kenery nodded. "In that case... let's get to work. there's no time to waste."

Ironlung spoke again. "I must meet with my people away from you... their zeal may overtake them if I call them here. But know this; I cannot ask them to release the island... not until our priest is safe."

Kenery's eye twitched slightly, but a glare from Buzya kept him in check. "let's just go allready..."

The cloaked man nodded. "If I am needed, I will be in my cabin,” he said, then turned to walk away.

"I understand. Whatever you can do, will have to be enough. We will see you then."

Ironlung looked at the captain again. "...then I am free to go...?" The captain nodded, and left, rounding up some crewmen to handle the landing craft. Ironlung looked at the cloaked man, but spoke to Eathan. "Who is that one?" He spoke quietly enough to keep it between him and Eathan.

"I do not know his name. He is a fighter of great skill though. He's been face to face with the one who took your priest before."

Ironlung's clamp-like jaw perpetually looked as though it had a permanently tight-lipped smirk; it was a little disconcerting, as though he was always grinning slightly. At the moment, however, Eathan thought he saw the smile fade. "That's no man... not any I've smelled before..." He seemed to have nothing more to say on the subject, and turned towards the side of the ship.

"See you on the shore."

Ironlung nodded, and dove off the ship; it was an incredibly quick move, as though his tail was a coiled spring. He managed to land almost thirty feet from the ship, without leaving the slightest ripple.

Kenery shouted from across the ship. "Landing boats ready, Eathan... grab whateve rgear you need, and get a move on!"

Eathan turned, and recovered his gear. "I'll be there in a sec. I need to finish getting dressed." That said, he headed back to his cabin. Emptied his duffle bag, and got dressed, using his Gee. He figured it would be the most combat worthy of all his stuff. Knife and Bokken on his belts. He wore the armor he'd worn earlier, just in case, and had the bag slung over his shoulder, when he got to the landing boat. "Let's do this." He still had the rune stones with him, but he wasn't about to announce that fact.

He heard a slightly sultry voice beside him, and almost jumped. "I was beginning to wonder if you'd tag along..." He saw Meredith, the woman he'd first seen in the captain's dining room.

"Ah... Well... I gave my word. It wouldn't be too good if I backed out now, would it?" He could already feel his pulse rising... Was that a NEW scent she was wearing?

She shrugged, which did interesting things to the skin-tight leather bodice she was wearing. Her outfit was just as before, though she now wore a left-handed, black leather gauntlet that stretched from hand to shoulder.

Eathan swallowed. He really needed to get a handle on this whole shyness thing.


Re: This can't be good...

Unread postby SRGPI » Mon Oct 27, 2003 7:39 pm

(OOC: This is done in conjunction to the previous post, RPing the CM before he comes back onto the deck again, if people had trouble discerning the time.)

Kenery wore a frown as he wandered about below deck. he'd put away his pole hammer, but still wore a larve cleaver axe across his back. Eventually, he arrived at the cloaked man's room, and knocked three times. "Hoy... you in there, friend?"

A dark and quiet response came from within. "Come in."

He opened the door promptly, and glanced inside. He paused before speaking. "Ah... is everything alright?"

The cloaked man was sitting cross-legged on his bed, as if meditating. "Just recuperating from that last battle."

Kenery nodded, a little solemnly. "I saw you fight... you deserve more rest than any of us. But if you feel up to it, Eathan Drake has invited you to meet with him and the captain. Something about the fish monster."

The cloaked man arose from his bed, and started walking. "I will attend then...perhaps there is something amiss with these fish folk."

Kenery blinked, and looked a bit shocked. "The...? What about us? They almost killed us all!"

The cloaked man shook his head. "If they were this intelligent, they probably wouldn't have bothered to attack us unless something either coerced them into attacking, or they would have attacked something more specific than just the general crew and the ship."

Kenery looked a tiny bit dumbfound, and slumped his shoulders. "Sounds like the same coddling words Eathan had... let's just get over there already." He marched off, leading the cloaked man above deck.

The cloaked man simply followed.

Edited by: [url=http://pub30.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=srgpi>SRGPI</A] at: 10/28/03 12:24 am



Unread postby WhiteWerefox » Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:57 am

Dalis' feet barely touched the deck as she sprinted out from the hold below. Over her shoulder was a satchel, and she wore an open vest, leather bracers, and a light pair of shorts. Over her shoulders was a ragged short cloak that fell to her elbows. Though it was nothing more than a scrap of cloth, it was meticulously embroidered with winding vines and flowers. Attached to her belt was a full rapier, and a series of daggers were sheathed on the inside of her vest. Her white fur was quite dazzling in the sun, and her ears were perked up in anticipation.

Dalis lept overboard, and landed lightly in the small craft. She spared Ethan a quick grin, took a seat next to him, and started checking the daggers sheathed inside her vest.

Edited by: [url=http://pub30.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=whitewerefox>WhiteWerefox</A] at: 10/30/03 1:58 am

Talon Starblade

Re: Disembarking

Unread postby Talon Starblade » Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:43 am

Eathan chuckled, as Daslis sat down beside him. "I'm glad you're ok. I was a bit worried, when I saw the water coming into the hold. Gonna get a little dry ground under your feet while you have the chance, aye?" He smiled broadly at the white she mouse.

"By the way... If you need a dry place to hang your hammock, you're welcome stay in MY cabin, if you want. I'm sure not using all of it, and with my training and ship duties, I seem to be spending more time out of my room than in it.

"Oh, we're gonna be meeting a 'friend' on shore. So be prepared. He's not quite what you'd expect."


Re: Disembarking

Unread postby SRGPI » Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:57 am

On the ship, the cloaked man retreated to his room, and sat crosslegged on his bed, meditated all over again.


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