No.749927[Last 50 Posts]
The party have continued their journey, continuing due south towards the perilous Isle of Glass. On their adventures, they have sought out the sorcerer Black Pudding, rescuing him from the clutches of the false Oneiromancer Malverlain. They have since learned that Pudding has apparently destroyed the Beldam, eliminating a potential ally of theirs. He has offered to join them in their travels, at least for a time. Since then, the party have ventured due south, to the pirate town of Broome, their final stop before continuing onward. Here, they have stopped to rest, recover, and resupply for the battle to come…
Morning comes. One by one, you awake to the sound of lapping waves, chatter and shanties from the neighboring docks, and the salty scent of the sea. Gawain, Aurora and a couple of Servitors are serving up breakfast for everyone. Looks like cinnamon porridge.
There's some idle chatter around the table during breakfast.
"Is there anything left to do before we head off?" Dawn asks.
"I checked the inventory last night," Violet answers. "We might be low on food again. I can go out and buy some if you guys want."
"Oh, I'll come with you," Dawn smiles. "I'd like a chance to stretch my legs."
"There's a ship nearby selling siege weapons," Aurora comments, looking over to Norv and Rabi. "I think it might be a good idea to invest in them."
"Captain Carabas and I were at the Battle of Garanir's Fang," Etrigan muses. "I've seen what siege weapons can do firsthand. I don't think we should pass up this chance."
Marisol speaks up, looking a bit demure ever since Hermodur left. There's an empty seat next to her. "On our travels, Hermodur and I encountered Lysander's new warship. An enormous steamboat, with a full crew. We're going to need all the firepower we can muster."
Gawain looks up from spooning down his bowl. "Ahem. If one of you would do me a kindness, could we discuss our plan one more time? So everyone is informed!"
The past few weeks have gone by in something of a blur. You have secured yourself a rather brainless job as a dock worker, helping arriving to unload cargo. You have become slightly more accustomed to the more anachronistic aspects of Echoes culture, though you have not had much of a chance to go exploring; your employer, an unlikable goon named Bogdan, has had you working constantly for peanuts, and with little other knowledge of the world, you have nowhere else to go for now.
Attempts to join a crew and leave have also been fruitless. Most are either not interested in another mouth to feed, or from their appearance, would offer you an even worse situation than Bogdan would. For all intents and purposes, you're stuck in Broome.
However, you get the feeling your luck may yet change. You notice a ship that must have sailed in recently, one unlike any you've seen before. A black ship, with strange, fan-like sails, and a crew that seems to consist of peculiar, faceless blue phantoms. Emblazoned on its prow is the name Fate's Fortune.
It's Bogdan, a squat, overweight saurian with spines running down his throat giving the impression of a beard. He hops down from a stack of crates and waddles over to admonish you, scowling. "What am I paying you for! Quit your slacking and get back to work!"
"Yeah. I was looking at some of the weapons too. They're pretty crazy. It'd also probably be a good idea to invest in more gunpowder. There's also this, like, super gunpowder stuff I wanna buy. A whole big barrel of it is 75 bits, and I think it and more normal gunpowder could be really useful if we can spare it."
"A siege weapon couldn't hurt, yeah- if everyone thinks it's a good idea to grab one, I think we could all pitch in."
After such a traumatic entrance to the Echoes, Tlawīli has had little time to contemplate her feelings on it all, instead trying to find atonement in her meaningless work. Fearful, however, that growing close to Broome or any of it's inhabitants would just lead her down another path of betrayal by her homeland, she has been desperately attempting to join any crew she can to get out of this town.
As she coils rope around her forearm her eye is caught by the strange ship. The appearance is striking but the words written on the side are what truly grabs her. "Fate's Fortune"
She thinks. "What fortune does one gain from fate?" the concept enthralls her as she is caught in daydreams of what the fortune at the end of her fate cou-
The moment is cut short by Bogdan, as it always is. "It is still pronounced 'koh-AL-ti', scalekin. Not coal-tee." She says, gathering her rope and moving to hang it in storage.
Zunden looks to Gawain, "We fly out to ze Izle of Glazz az we compile more and charmz and runez on our zhip to obzcure it from being zcryed by ze enemy. By time we are zhere, it zhould be untrackable by normal meanz, and we zhall be in a plaze where no zcoutz will be to find uz phyzically." She sips tea quietly, looking in a better mood than usual, "If zhere have been zpiez liztening to zhiz converzation, zhey will have ze Izle of Glazz az ze lazt known locazion we were headed to. We will dezide zhere whezher we ztay or leave from zhere, but eizher way zhey will have to explore ze dangerouz izland if zhey want to find ze egg."
"Precisely." I chime in, between blowing on spoonfulls of porridge. "With any luck Lysander will burn through his crew long before he finds it."
Oh! I look up at Silver and reach into my pocket. "Hey. Before I forget. I have something for you." I pull out the glass bottle that used to imprison Kairon. Now a small black petal sits in the bottom. "You should try mixing something up with this some time. It's a petal from the Black Lilly."
"I doubt they're spying on us right now," Aurora comments. "This ship is secure, you've seen to that."
"They'll most likely know where we're headed," Marisol points out. "Given what happened in Larkstead, Braildorn, and with that band of Mummers, they know we're in this area at least. It's only a matter of time before they get wind that we're here in Broome."
"We should see about buying that siege weaponry," Violet chimes in. "Marisol's right. We should expect them to figure us out."
For convenience, here is the siege weaponry available to add to your ship: https://pastebin.com/zcEk0998
You have enough room for two siege weapons, and a dozen barrels.
"Another thing," Marisol says. "Now that we've… lost… Hermodur, I've been thinking. Broome has no shortage of sellswords. Maybe we could hire someone to replace him."
"More mouths to feed?" Dawn asks with raised eyebrows. "And allowing strangers onto our ship? I don't know if it's worth the risk…"
Gawain nods as Zunden recaps the plan. "Capital! Whether these ruffians are aware of our location or not, our destination will be the same. It's good to have everyone up to date!"
At the mention of everyone, Aurora looks around. She frowns. "Where's Black Pudding?"
He's right; the sorcerer is nowhere to be seen. Violet seems a bit relieved, while the others look concerned. "I didn't detect him returning last night,"
says Etrigan quietly. "This isn't good."
"Maybe he decided we're not worth his time," Violet says with unconcealed bitterness.
"So we've lost our warrior and our wizard," Dawn muses. "I am skilled, but not in the magic he weaves. This is bad."
"Last time I saw him was last night. I traded with the local apothecary some and he had some business with her. I went back, but by then he was done. Think we should check with her?"
He ignores your correction completely. "Get those fish crates sorted, then you can go on your break," he orders you, pointing at a large pile of crates on an unattended ship nearby.
After completing this rather arduous and foul-smelling task with zero help, Bogdan wanders off to yell at someone else, giving you an hour to spend on your break as you will. Seems the Fortune
hasn't left port yet.
"Interesting.." i trail off, leaning forward to look into the jar, before taking it into my hooves.
"I'll have to consult the notes later on, perhaps they've a recipe for the petal further in."
"Thank you, Norvy! Between you and Aegis it seems there's no shortage of finds for the lab." i add with a chuckle.>>749937
"Hmm.. i suppose the end result is the same, regardless of who we choose to hire."
"So long as we can confirm they're uninvolved with Lysander it would only be one more mind to pull the memory from, once we've finished.">>749938
"Maybe.. I suppose we could drop by her shop whilst browsing the siege equipment here, save ourselves a second trip."
"I suppose he must've gone off on his own… though, it is a little concerning he'd leave without so much as a note. We might be fine as-is, though."
"As far as siege weaponry goes… maybe the mounted crossbows? Light, pretty simple, not a chance of something like gunpowder going off."
"We'll zearch for him zhen. I am not one to zit idly and let our numberz fall." Zunden says, "We know where he waz lazt."
"No prob. Hope it turns out to be somethin neat. Ain't like those things are easy to come by."
Marisol nods to Silver. "It'd be a risky venture, but I think we could handle it."
"I don't," says Aurora. "Dawn's right. We've been so careful for weeks trying to avoid letting spies and mercenaries from getting near us. Why would we throw all that away now when we're so close?"
Violet looks between them. "Yeah, I guess that makes sense. The last thing we want is getting ambushed by someone when we could've avoided that altogether."
Marisol crosses her arms. "It's still on the table. But very well."
As the conversation turns to Black Pudding's absence, Ganzen enters the room with something feathered in his mouth. Seems he caught a bird of some sort. It's flapping about wildly, trying to get loose. Dawn pales at the sound of wings. "Is that another cuckoo?"
"Oh. How unsightly," Gawain comments, seeming disturbed by seeing a bird injured.
"Did someone leave the chicken pen open again?" Aurora asks. "…Wait, that's not a chicken. What is that?…"
Etrigan looks closer. "What if it's a Harbinger?"
"Ah… hmm. Zunden, think you can get him to let go? Hard to get a solid look at whatever it is."
Zunden crouches down to Ganzen, gently stroking their back to coax them into letting go of their catch.
I wrinkle my nose a little at the sight of Ganzen chewing on a bird, but ease a little at the mention it might be a harbinger. Guess that'd make sense why it's even still moving while in a Balur's mouth. Something from Black Pudding or Hermodur, maybe?
"A Harbinger? Perhaps. The one we sent before may have been destroyed, but Black Pudding may have had another.."
slowly approaching the lizard, I try to examine whatever it's holding within it's jaws.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 9 = 9
He spits it out. Etrigan was right: it is indeed a Harbinger. Black Pudding's takes the shape of a glossy black moor-hen. Ruffling its feathers, apparently uninjured, it stands up proudly and delivers the message:"It pains us to have to depart and not bid farewell in person. Carlotta's suspicions are correct. Our actions in Durenwol Fen hath borne ill fruit.
Hear us well, drifters:
Make for the Isle of Glass yarely. On the sixth night of thy departure, fear not the storm that will come, or the stars that will shine. We shall join thee hence.
Until then, we must correct the great error."
With that, the Harbinger departs.
"…Well that just happened." Aurora blinks. The group at large seem unsure of what to make of it.
"Guess that's it then," says Violet. "He's gone. We don't need his help anyway."
"But we do," Dawn points out. "You may not like him, but he is a powerful ally. Let us hope he sees his 'great error' through.""Six days,"
Etrigan muses. "It won't even take six days to reach the Isle. What's he playing at, I wonder."
"First Hermodur, now Black Pudding," Marisol grumbles. "This doesn't bode well."
"He said he'd return," says Gawain. "I trust him to keep his word on this! Let's, er, focus on that siege equipment then leave. Yes."
I sigh and shake my head. "I wonder how he even plans to 'correct' killing her. It looked like O-Man took over the Fen. There's no way he'll take on the real one on his own after almost ending up killed by the fake one."
"Yeah. I trust he'll come back, in some form. Let's focus on what we can do, and get moving." he says, before cocking his head to the side. "Is, uh… is yarely 'soon'?"
"At what point did he menzion ze dreamweaver? Zhey were lazt at ze Dreaming Zpring and ze Zhifting Zandz zeperatez zhat and ze Fen. I am paranoid of ze Oneiromanzer'z zcheming, but even I won't invoke it'z name for every problem zet about ze Echoez." Zunden responds sceptically, before turning back to the group,>>749962
"Zo be it, he iz zafe. He waz able to help wizh renewing our runez, and he zaid he will return. We can do no more zhan to truzt him and puzh on wizh our own tazk."
"I should hope that Black Pudding has some plan before rushing headlong into the Fen, but for now the only thing we can do is prepare and move on."
finishing my breakfast, i make my way towards the stairs leading to the main deck and the city proper.>>749956
"Zunden, did you have anything in mind for outfitting the ship?"
"No opinion of weaponry, zhat iz ze ozher'z choizez. My goalz have juzt been to bolzter it'z defenzez wizh runez."
I knit my brow. "Did you not see that big black thing over in the fen when we rode past? I just assumed that was connected to the 'consequences' of killing her, and it screams dak magic."
"He's not the type to charge in blindly, especially not after what happened," Marisol points out to Norv. "Him and this Carlotta must have something up their sleeves."
Aurora chimes in on the conversation between Norv and Zunden. "It didn't strike me as the Oneiromancer's work. But I don't want to get closer and find out."
As the conversation turns to the siege weaponry, Etrigan and Gawain give their two cents."At Garanir's Fang, we used flying scythes to repel the Capricon invaders. They'll make short work of boarders, if we have them. The ram would be good too, as a last resort."
"The lord I used to serve had many a scorpion on his walls! Trebuchets too! Luckily, we never had to use them. These explosive barrels would make for deadly ammunition. Especially if Lysander's ship is a metal hulk."
Dawn weighs in: "I think we should at least invest in more explosive barrels. We're going to need all the firepower we can muster."
"I think as long as we've got a safe place to stow the barrels, explosives wouldn't be a terrible idea… the flying scythes looked kinda dangerous when I saw them before, but if you think they might be good… hmm. We probably don't want to take too
much, though. Maybe the Barrels, something to toss them unless we've got a better way, and a couple of flying scythes?"
"Black iz a color az iz a zurname, it iz not ze mark of a zingle entity." Zunden says calmly.>>749981
"I found it very detrimental lozing my bedroom, zo my only zuggeztion iz to put holez in zhipz, and optionally fill zhoze holez whizh zhingz zhat zhouldn't be zhere like fire."
"Definitely some barrels. I want to play around with some of that viripowder stuff. I'll even pay for it myself amd keep it in my room instead of the hold if I have to. Besides that I think the scorpions would be easier to aim than the catapults, but both would be useful in different ways, right? How do the flying scythes work?"
"Yeah. I guess I shouldn't just assume. Just looked kinda ominous."
''Considering they will most likely never attempt to damage the ship enough to break it, I think we can safely invest completely on the offensive. We should prioritize anything that keeps our enemies from boarding… Perhaps the Scorpions are our best bet, as it will be easier to shoot down flying invaders, we have cannons for everything else. I suggest one Scorpion on both sides of the ship''
"Yes, i'd say trebuchet would be very useful, a touch of wildfyre on the deck to cause the chaos we need to distract lysander's crew.. provided the barrels don't detonate on our
ship, of course."
"The scythes i had assumed were rather impractical, but you do raise a good point. If boarded, I'd rather we deal with them swiftly than risk fighting them off manually."
"Ah, of course." She says, defeated by disrespect again.
After sorting the crates, she considers going over to the strange ship, but stops herself. It would be the thirteenth crew she'd try to join just to have a chance at getting out of Broome. She freezes where she is, paralyzed by indecision. In the moment, she hears Bogdan yelling someplace else and his harassment echoes in her head.
Her shock eventually turns to frustration as she slams her wings down and walks away from the ship. "If I cannot leave here by sail, I will leave by my wings." She says to herself, marching over to her current abode at the docks.
After packing her things, and taking a fine looking fishing spear as a memento, she leaves the docks for good, ghosting Bogdan and the docks wordlessly.
She heads over to the Tavern Wake mentioned, hopefully to find the barkeep he spoke of.
You take a nearby fishing spear and head to the Her Majesty inn. It's about what you'd expect for a tavern in a seaside town; the decor is distinctly nautical, with a set of shark jaws hanging above the entrance, crossed cutlasses hanging from a wall, and a rustic decorated wooden interior. Mounted lanterns light the room, and there's a distinct smell of alcohol and burning herbs. The patrons are more or less what you've come to expect; lively, rough and tumble looking sailors and dock workers. Maritime music crackles from a weathered old gramophone next to the bar, behind which stands a monster of a griffon. He is immensely tall and fat, with brilliant red feathers forming a sort of beard, black legs like a panther, and fiery red eyes. You've met him a few times already; this is the owner of the establishment, Parzival, a jovial, larger than life character. He peddles food, drink, lodging, and information.
A little bell rings as you enter, and he looks up from rearranging the liquor cabinet. He makes eye contact with you and greets you with a wave. "Aha, the new blood!" he booms, turning a few patrons' heads. "How's Broome treating you? If there's anything you need, let me know. A friend of Wake's is a friend of mine!"
She takes a curious peek at the music box, wondering how the intricate magics likely powering it could work.
"Ah, greetings Parzival. I do need something." She says, taking a seat close to him and leaning in a bit. "It is tragic, yes, but I cannot stay in Broome. I have been trying for months to leave upon one of those great vessels in the port but… no such luck." She says. "I am not unfamiliar with the way of the sellsword and adventurer. I can recall a great many adventures I had been set upon with my friends by tavern keepers such as yourself…" She says, almost about to retell stories.
"Ah, I should not ramble on so much. I am simply asking if you have heard of any groups leaving this town, and if I may join them as a means of safe travels out of here." She says, reaching to her satchel to pull out ten bits.
It seems to be powered by some mechanical contraption you can't comprehend. That or it's just magic.
"It's understandable. The Echoes are boundless. Why would you want to stay here when there's a whole world to explore? Let me see if I can remember…" He takes your money. "Ah, yes. There is one chance I can think of."
He subtly draws your attention to an alcove at the far end of the tavern; a blue-gray saurian in a red turban sits there, smoking a hookah. He looks in your direction with mild curiosity. "Him and a few others came in not too long ago. Heard they're looking for adventurers to join in some sort of expedition. They're heading southwest. To Rithmere. Not a place I know much about, but if you're looking to get out of here, you should talk to him."
." She almost habitually goes to scratch a Xochitl
but leaves him simply with her thank you.
She approaches the saurian and his strange device, silently nodding to him before sitting nearby. "Pialli
, Hello scalekin. I am Tlawīli. What is your name?" She says, serious and concise.
"I'll assume that's a thank you. Good luck!"
You sit in the alcove with the saurian. The smell of burning herbs lingers in the air, and the place is coated in a fine layer of smoke. The saurian looks curious as you approach, nodding in greeting. "Melas," he says simply. "Pleased to meet you." He has a distinct regional accent you've heard before; it reminds you of Vajra and Kalidan's speaking patterns. "I can only presume you're looking for a way to leave this town."
"Melas." She repeats, as she does with all names. "Yes, in our estranged home dimension I was a adventurer of sorts. These tasks of endless menial nature do not suit me and I would not like to stay here too long." She says, looking over him. "I do not want to sound presumptuous, but I am sure you will find a dragon at your side will be both well for your safety and profitable." She says, not a waver in her tone.
Melas looks you up and down as you talk, sizing you up. "I see. …Well, you should know, where we're going, we're going to need someone with your skills. Rithmere is not a hospitable place these days, given the rumors coming from it of late. Have you any experience with combating dark forces? Necromancers, specifically."
. The Trakalian word for undead. My people vilified the practice." She says, entirely unphased now at the word that once held so much weight on her lips. "I resent such practitioners still, save a seldom few. A necromancer I once traveled with was a saurian like you. She had such grand and lofty aspirations and I can only assume she achieved them." She says, wondering what Vajra could be up to.
"I am familiar with combating such creatures. Once I could draw power from Trakali itself to slay them in a burst of light but my connection with that blessing has been… severed." She says meaning it both literally and metaphorically.
"Good," he says simply. "I should explain. Castle Rithmere is an old settlement. It's changed hands plenty of times throughout the land's history. Its previous owners, whoever they may be, seem to have been overrun by an aspiring necromancer from the south. Our employer, Cecile Grosvenor of Braildorn, wishes to take back Rithmere. It's a weed that's grown unchecked for too long. We had a full team ready, but after some bandit raids, we've been thinned on the way there."
He takes another drag from his hookah, covering his face in a thick grey haze. It's intoxicating. "Now, Tlawili, is it. How ready are you to leave? We have booked transport due to leave soon. It's lucky you came to me when you did."
She looks over his hookah before speaking. "Strange smoke." She says, mostly to herself. "Stars would align. I am ready to depart as soon as possible. I wish not to grow too fond of Broome… as hard as that is proving." She says, perhaps laughing if she wasn't serious.
He smiles widely from ear to ear. "Excellent. I think you'll make a good addition to our team. I'll take some time to gather my belongings. In the meantime, you should head to the eastern docks, and look for the ship known as the Concord's Dawn
. Tell them I hired you. The rest will follow."
You face an uncomfortable encounter from here; the eastern docks are where you currently work. It's likely you'll have to confront Bogdan before you leave.
"I will. Thank you." She says, notably in common tongue this time.
Tlawīli walks to the docks, standing tall in confident with her sword and spear mounted upon her back. In this rare moment, she felt happy. Another life of sellswording and adventuring may be what the fates had destined her. Perhaps, she thought, she would find another moment of ikniutli
; another group of friends like the ones she once knew. She stood in the east dock, smile on her face, searching for the Concord's Dawn
It takes you a minute to locate it; the grandiose name belies its rather humble appearance. It's a small vessel with one mast and a single deck. There's only room for a handful of people on board. It looks like it's seen better days, but the Dawn
looks reliable enough. You can see its crew - a bipedal amphibian species you've seen in Broome before but haven't learned the name of - starting to prepare for departure. It appears to have three or four passengers that aren't part of the crew itself, presumably Melas' companions. You approach the ship-
It's him again. Bogdan frowns at you from across the jetty, hands on his hips. "Where do you think you're going? Playtime's over. You here to work or to just stand around all day? Quit daydreaming and come untangle this rigging. Then you're going to pry some barnacles off the schooner that just came in. Chop chop."
"Ah." She says, instantly recognizing his garish voice. She stops for a moment, takes a deep breath and lets down her shoulders. "Bogdan." She says, turning and taking a step towards him. "I apologize for my sudden departure. Such a spontaneous exit is considered rude in my culture. But so is your crass and utterly detestable demeanor. Please, scalekin, do not let this be what you are." She says, in the tone of a scolding dragon mother who caught her hatchlings writing bad words in the dirt. "To make it simple for you; Be nicer to your workers." She says, her tone changing to be much more serious, and then deathly serious on her next words as she puts a hand on her blade when she says them "Do not make me come back."
Bridges burnt and scores settled, she steps aboard the ship.
Intimidate (Bogdan) [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
He blusters and takes a step back on instinct, thrown off completely by being talked back to. "Wh… Whatever, you'll be back," he calls. "There's nothing for you out there. You're gonna come back and beg me for work!…" He watches helplessly as you turn back to the Dawn
You step up the loading ramp and on board. You get odd looks from some of the amphibians, and you are soon approached by one of them, a heavyset, bright green fellow wearing a knitted sweater. You get the feeling he's in charge. "Oi, you can't be here," he croaks. "We're not taking any more crew or passengers. You lost?"
Tlawīli lets out a triumphant "Hah!" towards Bogdan as she sheathes her sword and turns away from him and Broome.
"I am Tlawīli. Melas sent me as a another hire." She says, greeting them with the same serious tone she did Melas.
The sweater frog looks you up and down, rather skeptically, but shrugs. "Well, as long as he pays. I'm just the ferryman. Name's Rupert. I'm the captain of this ship. He motions at the three other passengers: a wily looking crystal pony mare with a dull black and white coat, a hulking, surly Dog with an axe, and a sallow Changeling wearing a fur cloak. None of them look too friendly; the mare eyeballs you from the other end of the ship, while the Dog just scratches at his ear, flicking something off his fingernail. The Changeling just spares you a glance, then turns away.
"Guess these are your companions now," Rupert grunts. "We're just waiting on Melas to hurry up and get here, and we'll be off."
"Rupert." She repeats. She looks over the other members. "Anything to get out of Broome" She says to herself. She doesn't force any of them to talk to her, simply taking her own spot towards the center of the ship to sit and inspect her newly stolen spear.
Looking over it, she tries to recall methods Noghu and Thungr employed in it's usage.
Ikniutli ka Uelilistli Prayer
Overhealing (Self) [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Looking over your find, you discover that it's not like other hunting spears you've seen before. This one has a rope attached to it, with an adjustable strap at the end. The end is arrow shaped, and large, and heavy, while the handle is remarkably broad. You could do some serious damage with this thing; it seems designed for particularly large targets. More of a harpoon than a spear.>+3 hits/+1 wound from Overhealing
The other crew get the ship ready. Eventually, Melas shows up, toting some traveling gear. "Ah. Tlawili. I see you've made yourself at home. Have you met our associates?" He motions for you to follow him and introduces the other three, leaving a trail of hookah smoke in his wake.
"I assume you've already met our good captain, Rupert. Him and his Batroc crew will be escorting us to Aplek Cove, where we'll be departing to go on foot." Rupert seems occupied weighing anchor.
"Our company includes Onyx here, our resident philomath. She's an accomplished practitioner of the mystic arts, something invaluable where we're going." The crystal pony mare looks you up and down again, with curiosity. "Never seen anyone like you before," she remarks. "Interesting."
"This fine specimen is Church. Our muscle. A new arrival, alongside yourself." The giant Dog looks down at you; he's even taller than you are. He doesn't say anything, except for an indistinct mumble. He reminds you of Thungr, but somehow even less talkative.
"And finally, our infiltrator, saboteur, and analyst, Rakka. They've joined us at my lady's request. They'll be handling more discreet operations on our mission." The Changeling greets you with a nod. "Pleased to meet you," says the changeling of indeterminate gender. "Hopefully having you around will make things easier for all of us."
Most of the day is spent organizing your ship's upgrades for what is to come. After some deliberation, you decide to fit it with six scorpion ballistae. Some crewmen from the neighboring ship that sells all the weaponry go about their business.
Violet looks pleased with the decision. "This is a good option. We should be able to both attack and defend with these. They're faster than the cannons, at least."
"And more maneuverable," Aurora chimes in.
Marisol looks unsatisfied. "We won't be able to do much damage to Lysander's warship with them. We should've taken something heavier…">-150 bits
You also purchase some explosive barrels, the nature of which is to be determined. The rest of the day is spent doing some last minute supply shopping and readying for departure, both physically and mentally.
The following morning, you depart. The ship is a bit slower to move due to the new cargo on board, creaking and groaning as it begins to float upwards out of the water. Seaweed and barnacles have begun to cling to its hull already, sloughing off as the ship rises out of the water. The shipwreck town of Broome begins to shrink below you as you depart for your next - and perhaps final - destination.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwravGilUGc
flies. The familiar greens and browns and blacks of the land below are no more, giving way to an endless blue below. The occasional rock or reef is all that breaks up the monotony. Far in the distance, you see a looming, glistening formation. The Isle of Glass. Etrigan estimates you'll reach it in three days from here.
"Three days," Dawn muses. "Three days until the fate of our reality is sealed."
"Whatever's waiting for us, we've survived far worse," Gawain asserts. "We can endure this! Stay hopeful, friends!"
Marisol doesn't seem to be paying much attention, focusing on a strange dark cloud you can see in the distance. It seems to be coming from the west, from the mainland. "Is that a storm cloud? It's moving awfully fast…"
"Maybe it's Black Pudding," Aurora comments. "He said he'd join us in six days. It's only been one and a half."
Etrigan watches the cloud formation. "I sense a trap."
"Maybe we should go down to sea level for a while," Violet suggests.
"Or head higher," Dawn suggests.
"Any higher and it'll get hard to breathe," Marisol points out. "What should we do about this?" she asks you all. "Whatever it may be?" Even as she speaks, the cloud seems to move ever closer.
''It will no doubt catch up with us'' Aegis comments, watching the cloud move
After a few seconds of thought she speaks up again ''I suggest we fly higher once it approaches and try to avoid it. We can all hold our breath for a time while we wait for the Cloud to finish crossing our path''
I hold my rifle in both of my hands, examining it after having picked it up from the smith. "We should probably drop to sea level," I agree. "If we're in the sky and something happens we can't easily land. If we're on the water we at least go a chance of being able to take off. We got the ammo for them scorpions below deck? I wanna take a look at em. I've been thinking of trying to figure something out. Some way they can target the ship and hope to do some damage if we gotta. Also got a couple more things I wanna try to throw together. Honestly I'm thinkin if this don't take to long to deal with if we gotta deal with it-" I vaguely gesure at the cloud. "I might hole up in my room a few days. We got some stuff that'll help but I think we could be more prepared, y'know?"
"I know not zhat iz how it workz, who iz to zay it won't be longer zhan zhree minutez and we will be forzed to lower ourzelvez directly into ze cloud? Being near ze zea meanz we have zome time to zee if zomezhing ozher zhan rain will be falling from ze cloudz. In any caze, check ze Beaztiary to zee if it iz a creature, if nozhing zhowz zhan it zeemz an effect more magical or meteorological."
"Maybe there's a way we can inspect it… uh, magically? It wouldn't be good to get close, but even an idea of what it might be could help us decide."
Aegis opens up the beastiary, levitating it in front of herself with magic
''I suggest we fly above because I am afraid of what might happen if we are caught in a storm at sea level. From heavy rain to monsters falling on us or the sea swallowing our ship…'' She lists off possibilities as she flips the pages in search of an entry
Glaring at the clouds looming ahead, i fish for the compass among our things, picturing for lysander.
You don't find any new entries. Either this isn't a creature, or it's something you've seen before.>>750163
The compass vaguely points towards the cloud, then starts spinning erratically. Violet looks over your shoulder. "You don't suppose..?">>750160>>750159>>750158>>750161>>750162
Etrigan considers taking the ship higher, but goes with Norv and Zunden's wishes this time. "Down, then."
The ship begins a gentle descent. The cloud gets even larger in the meantime. Gawain pulls out a comically small spyglass to get a better look at it. "Why, how queer. They're just birds…"
''That'' Aegis speaks up, turning to Gawain ''Is a likely sign of Lysander. We should prepare for battle'' she warns the others
"What doez birdz have to do wizh Lyzander?"
"I expected as much, in a way. If Lysander is hiding somewhere, nothing as simple as a compass would find him.">>750165
Nodding, i make my way below deck
"I shall ready the cannons while we've the time for it. Better to have the first shot, after all."
heading below, i get to work loading one of the cannons in preparation
[1d10] Pre-loadRoll #1 9 = 9
''Remember my vision when we summoned the demon Ragalaseab? I saw Lysander performing a ritual to send doves after us'' Aegis turns back to the cloud formation ''I will not trust any flock of birds as long as Lysander is not dead''>>750167
''I will handle one of the scorpions then'' Aegis nods back
"Zeal any entranzez into ze zhip, batten down ze hatchez. We will not want any in ze zhip."
Zunden goes to start placing protective runes on the inner walls of the ship with a paint bucket from the bag of holding.
[1d10] Return (Activated when hostile projectile hits the wood)Roll #1 2 = 2
"A… cloud of birds, huh? It could be nothing, but we'd best get ready otherwise." the stallion remarks stepping below deck to grab his Greatbow.
Dawn pales and seems to freeze in place for a moment. "Shaska,"
There is a sudden flurry of activity on board as everyone starts doing their part. Silver and Gawain load up some cannons, while Aegis loads a scorpion with the help of Marisol. Rabi, Violet and Norv grab their weapons, Dawn and Aurora start sealing the ship with Zunden, and Etrigan lands the ship and conjures Servitors to aid in the incoming fight.
The cuckoos arrive in a swarm, catching up to your ship and flying over it. They seem to converge there and spiral a few time. The sky goes black, and all around you is the sound of fluttering wings. They don't seem to be attacking. Just… flying there. Watching you. It feels like a standoff.
''Under no circumstance do not open any windows. If you see a bird, kill it on sight, even if it starts talking to you''
Aegis passes around warnings as she gathers up her focus to summon orbs of crystal ice
'1d10' homing magicRoll #1 7 = 7
Zunden keeps up runecraft.
[1d10] Return (Activated when hostile projectile hits the wood)Roll #1 7 = 7
"Ah- yyyyeah, this could be a problem. Should we strike first? Or just… wait?"
As the swarm of birds continues to circle, i busy myself below deck loading more of our cannons.
[1d10] loadingRoll #1 8 = 8
You summon two icy orbs behind you, ready to strike.>>750173
You brace for an attack. Your rune should reflect some damage back, at least on the initial impact.>>750175
You load another cannon.>>750172>>750173>>750174>>750175
Violet opens her mouth to say something in response to Rabi, but-"You still have something I want, drifters."
It's Lysander's voice. It seems to come from all around you."You've led me on quite a chase. It wasn't easy finding you. I have to congratulate you on being able to cover your tracks for so long.""Now, you haven't really done anything completely unforgivable yet. I do like what you've done with the ship, though. I'm not here to kill you. I'm here to negotiate.""Either you hand over the Egg now, we go our separate ways, and all this can finish here and now. Or, we take this further, and you scream for years, like Carabas will."
Aegis preemptively takes a stand before Dawn, stopping her before the mare tries anything foolish from Lysander's taunt ''Dont''
Rabi gently plants his bow on the ship's deck, waiting for Lysander to finish. After mulling it over for a moment or two, he… shrugs a bit. No sense in negotiating, really.
I tense up a little. Great. He's already harrassing us. I lean my rifle on the deck and slam an oil canister into the flamethrower, pulling my gas mask on. "I'd stand down," I say, lighting the cloth that serves as a pilot light. "I've exterminated flocks of birds way scarrier than a bunch of-" I squint. "Seriously? Cuckoos? You're still going with the theme even though you're not technically the black whatever anymore after you and O-Man's lovers spat? Ain't that a little silly? And still had that Marvelous felid guy dressed like him. You got some creepy thing for that guy or somethin?"
Pausing as Lysander's voice emanates from the birds around us, i hold fast, waiting at the cannon freshly loaded for a sign of a fight
Dawn is trembling. The floor rumbles slightly as her horn sparks. "He's alive," she mouths.>>750179>>750177>>750178>>750180
You get the feeling he's almost amused by Norv's banter. "The Oneiromancer and I may not see eye to eye, but his gifts are still… useful. I imagine you of all people would know about being resourceful, Mr Black, after your stroke of ingenuity in Last Hearth. I'm surprised to see you still alive, Violet, after his escapade resulted in a rock through your chest."
"A what?… What's he talking about?…" Violet looks to Norv, lost."Oh, you hadn't told her yet. I'm sure that'll be an interesting conversation."
Gawain loses his nerve a bit, firing one of the cannons off by accident. The flock disperses somewhat at the sudden cannonfire roar."I take that as you choosing the second option. I can't say it wasn't worth trying to reason with you. Based on where you are I can only presume you're going to the Isle of Glass. I'll meet you there in three days with my cohort. Then we'll see who stands down."
''Stop it Lysander'' Aegis speaks up, sounding uninterested ''Your desperation to gain power over the echoes is meaningless. We have a bigger enemy to face. Much bigger than you'' She squints towards the flock ''You are a nuisance''
The bird cloud dissipates, and i sigh in relief, beginning the somewhat annoying task of tipping the cannons to unload them safely, rejoining the others on the deck soon after.
"At least it wasn't anything dangerous just yet." the stallion says, loosening up a little and leaning his bow against the railing. When Silver joins the rest of them above deck, the Saddle Arabian leans over to give her a soft nuzzle.
''Yet'' Aegis replies ''The worst is about to come. Be prepared Master Rabi'' Aegis gives the saddle arabian her trademark poker face glare >>750183
''What are you doing'' Aegis asks as she sees Silver unloading the canons ''Master Silver, do not ever sheathe your weapon until you are certain the battle is over. Lysander could be trying to lure us into false security by pretending to leave. He knew we'd be ready for him when he made his arrival clear, but we will not be ready for a surprise attack now if you unload the cannons so soon''
I halt my unloading as Aegis inturrupts. "Hmm.. you do have a point, Aegis, though given Gawain's cannonshot earlier would our element of surprise not have been lost already?"
"Of course. I don't expect things to get much easier from here on out, really. It'd be best to try and keep everything ready, just in case."
''You seem to have misunderstood Master Silver. I have no doubt Lysander expected us to resist. Remember, he even complimented the changes we did to his ship. He already knows we are armed and ready, and sly as he is, might have a trap ready for us. And even if he isnt, be wary from now on. For the next few days I suggest we begin taking turns for guard duty during the night while others sleep''>>750187
''I agree. So long as no one stumbles around and accidentally fires the cannons or the scorpions, having them all pre=loaded now would be wise''>>750181
''Etrigan'' Aegis speaks through the mental link ''I want to have every square inch of this ship examined in case one of Lysander's birds slipped in. Please help me''
"Ah, very well. One can never be too careful, especially now, this close to the isle." i add, tilting the cannons back into place.
"Sure. I think everyone around here's capable enough not to set them off."
My jaw locks at the mention of what happened in Last Hearth, and briefly glance at Violet, unable to hold her eyes. I feel my heart twist in my chest, and for a moment my vision clouds. I've been doing my best not to think about it. About losing her, even after trying so hard to keep her. About how it's all my fault in the first place.
As the flock dissipates, I wait a few moments to prepare for an attack. If none comes, I snuff my pilot light and replace my nozzle, pick up my rifle, and turn to the door leading below deck. "Let me know if anyone needs me. I'm going below deck. I'd appreciate some help, but I'm sure you guys got your own stuff to work on. Where do we got the forge set up?"
The final stretch of the party's journey thus far is at hand. With Hermodur gone and Black Pudding completing some mysterious task, the drifters have set sail from Last Hearth, making for the rumor-shadowed Isle of Glass, far beyond any sane person's reach. There, they hope to be able to be rid of the Cuckoo's Egg, once and for all.
Out at sea, however, destiny has caught up with them. Their old nemesis, Lysander, has manifested as a flock of birds and located them. Refusing his offer of surrender, he has issued them a challenge, meeting them at the Isle of Glass in three days. With their new weaponry aboard the Fate's Fortune, the board is set, and the pieces move, converging on this fateful destination…
The cuckoos disperse, and it feels like a shadow lifts from your ship as Lysander's influence wanes. Aurora trembles slightly in place, reeling slightly from the grim encounter. "Guess that's it, then," Marisol says quietly. "Three days, and this is all decided. For better or worse."
Violet seems out of it. The encounter with Lysander seems to have stirred something in her. She doesn't respond to anything around her, looking out at the waves blankly. Something's eating her.
Dawn seems lost in thoughts of her own. "'Like Carabas will'… Could he…?"
"It's a trick," Etrigan growls. "He's trying to throw us off. Don't focus on it." He addresses the group at large, taking on the stern demeanor of a military veteran.
"Alright. The enemy knows we're coming. We have three days to be ready, but we need to expect the worst. Aegis has the right idea. We need to keep constant lookout for enemy activity. I'll get the ship moving and try to make for the Isle as quickly as possible. I want everyone to prepare themselves in whatever way they can."
Marisol nods. "Zunden, Silver, we'll need the most powerful runes and potions you can muster. We don't have much time to waste. Gawain, Norv, you're our best craftsmen. You two should put that new forge to good use. Aegis, you and Dawn should work together to hone your magic spells. Rabi, you can slip into the Astral Plane. I can't think of a better lookout. The rest of us should work on keeping ready for combat, and prepping the ship."
Gawain looks shaken, but pulls himself together as Etrigan and Marisol start talking. "The gauntlet has been thrown. We must answer. Let's make ten of us feel like a hundred!"
Dawn snaps out of her reverie, swallowing and nodding. "This is the fight of our lives. We have to win this. At any cost."
"At any cost," Etrigan nods grimly.
Marisol looks around to the rest of the group. "Is there anything else we're forgetting for preparations?"
I nod. "Gawain, I already have some things I want to work on. I'm going to need your help, but I need to check my clockwork orange reserves first. I'll bring a few things to the forge that we can use. Can you grab a scorpion bolt for me? I have some other ideas, but as it is I don't know how well they'll work out." My eyes flit over to Violet, and I almost force myself to ignore her and walk away. Sighing, I look back up at Gawain. "I'll meet you below deck."
After he confirms, I make my way over to Violet and lean on the nearest leanable thing. "Can't be easy just bein shoved back into all this, huh? Most of us- well, we've had months to get used to the situation, and it's still gettin to us in one way or another. You gonna be alright? Not too late to bow out just yet." I knit my brow and study her for a moment. I can feel something welling up inside me, but I can't tell if it's sorrow or dread. "This don't gotta be your fight no more, Vi. The echoes ain't a nice place, but you survived way longer than any of us. Just about any place is safer than on this ship."
Rabi looks to Violet and moves to say something, but decides against it for now. He turns back to Dawn, and gently rests a hoof on her shoulder. "Just… let's focus on what's here and now." he mumbles, nodding a bit in agreement with Etrigan.>>750903
"Astral Plane? Yeah, sure. I can do that. Want me to get started right now, or should we hold off until we're closer?"
''I understand'' Aegis nods to Marisol in agreement and then turns to Dawn ''Come Master Dawn. You are one of the pillars of this group and When the time comes we cannot have emotions cloud your mind. I can help you train your focus, and you can help me push past my limits''
Zunden nods at Marisol's last question, taking the Lute of the Moon from her back strap and brandishing it. "If we are truely to uze everyzhing we can in zhiz encounter, zhen I will uze my ztrongezt artifactz az well. I will require ze whole crew to be prezent in one of zheze zhree nightz to lizten to a zong played from zhiz lute. I have uzed zhiz artifact incredibly zparingly due to ze implicationz it'z uze may hold, but I hold a zheet of muzic zhat allowz any to hear it'z performanze to rewrite time onze. If any one of uz iz to make a grave error or need to uze ze inzight of ze future to change a pazt from ze point of liztening to ze muzic, all of reality will change onze you uze ze power it endowz."
She looks to the manifestation of Etrigan, "I have uzed it only onze before, and zhat waz to create a ruin from a failed attempt in order to zave Etrigan from ze dream weaver. Ze zooner I can peform zhiz muzic, ze more time we be able to undo zhould we need to."
I nod, a look of grim determination on my face.
"Very well, i shall prepare what i can from my stock."
Taking my leave, i move to my lab below deck, assessing the ingredients i have on hoof, preparing my equipment for brewing.>>750908
"Interesting.. With luck we won't require it, but such magic as contingency would be very useful."
Gawain nods and heads below deck. "Right away!"
She doesn't respond, looking out at the water. You're not sure she heard you for a minute.
"…I'd be a coward to back out now. I need to see this through to the end. We've come this far, right? Just a bit further."
"Don't blame yourself."
She looks at you from the side.
"I don't know what happened, but… I forgive you. For whatever that's worth. I doubt it was something that could've been prevented. …It's still strange to think about, that I've… I've died before. I'm still trying to come to grips with that. But… don't think I have anything against you. For what happened." She gives you a small, slightly sad smile.>>750905>>750906
Dawn nods slightly. "No matter the truth, we have to concentrate on what we can do right now." She doesn't seem to believe her own words, but goes along with it.>>750905"As soon as you're ready would be ideal,"
says Etrigan. "He could have some unseen advantage over us. We need to cover all our bases, now more than ever.">>750906
"Perhaps we could combine our magics to allow the ship to speed onward," she muses. "If I were to push myself, and create a portal closer to our destination large enough for the ship to pass through… I don't think I could do it alone, but with our combined strength, perhaps…">>750908
Dawn looks intrigued. "Whatever this artifact is, its power isn't like anything I've felt before. We should use it as soon as possible."
"If it's as powerful as you make it sound," Marisol chimes in, "then I agree with Dawn. Every advantage helps right now." "I've witnessed it firsthand,"
Etrigan asserts. "Its ability is beyond description. If ever there was a time to use it, it's now."
"So what are we waiting for?" Aurora urges. "If this thing is so useful, why not use it right now?"
You assess your stocks of potions and ingredients. With the ingredients you've collected and the time you have, you can craft any four of the following:
>Addersfang: A wicked burning venom. When applied to a weapon, on the next successful attack the target will take 1 hit/rd for 3 rds, or until helpless. Stacks with repeated uses.
>Alacrity Draught: A potion that stimulates the sense and improves reflexes. Dodge rolls autocrit for the next 3 rounds.
>Aqua Vitae: A potion that closes wounds and cures all manner of ailments. Functions as per Heal when imbibed.
>Beast's Bile: A poisonous gas, despite its name. When release, will release a cloud of noxious, stinging vapors that will gradually blind and choke anything in a 30 foot radius.
>Pheromone Tonic: A potion that seems to attract baser animals. Useless if ingested, but when applied to something, will draw creatures to it over time.
>Potent Redwater: A stronger brew of Redwater. Rupture gets a +2 and crits on 8+.
>Potent Midnight Oil: A stronger brew of Midnight Oil. Sleep Serum gets a +2 and crits on 8+.
>Potent Sightsbane: A stronger brew of Sightsbane. Blind gets a +2 and crits on 8+.
>Snailgut: A potion that stimulates natural healing and numbs the user to pain. Target takes 1 less hit of physical damage until the end of combat, but suffers a -1 to Dodge rolls.
>The Strangler: An insidious poison that closes the victim's airways, making them choke to death within minutes. There is no antidote. This poison must be ingested to work as intended.
>Trickery Toxin: A poison that befuddles the target's senses, making them unable to distinguish friend from foe. Enemies will attack other enemies for the next four rounds or until knocked helpless.
You currently have the following potions: https://pastebin.com/NJs66YVt
''It is a possibility. Although it is a great risk to take, if we can arrive at the isle before Lysander, setting up a defence against his would give us the advantage''
Aegis takes Dawn to a corner of the deck to practice ''It will take a lot of practice on my end to pull this off, so we should begin as soon as possible. Cast the spell so it can resonate with me''
"We have juzt been zubject to a vizitation by Lyzander'z magicz, I do not any zpiez zhat may be on board to zecretly be in ze audienze of zhiz performanze and be granted ze zame power. I zpend ze firzt night zweeping ze zhip of all zpiritual or phyzical intruderz."
Rabi rubs Dawn's shoulder a little, before looking back to Etrigan and nodding. "Right. The sooner, the better. Let me just find somewhere where I won't slide off the deck…">>750909
"I'll try to be safe- see you when I wake up, dear." he says, stopping by Silver to give the mare a nuzzle.
Lighting the burners and retrieving water from the tank, I begin the process of refining ingredients into usable potions.
Setting one flask aside to condense Aqua Vitae, I Seal a globe to fill with Beast's Bile, the noxious boiling safe behind glass, ready to throw.
From the distiller, a dose of Alacrity Draught drips into a vial, to be corked closed and stored within my kit.
Finally, the slime-like Snailgut is skimmed from the top of a beakered solution and into another Vial.
>High Aqua Vitae X1>Beast's Bile x1>Alacrity Draught x1>Snailgut x1>>750914
As the beakers boil, i step away to nuzzle you back in passing.
"No doubt, dear. I'll have something for you once you come out of it, so don't get lost."
"We were surrounded, and most of us were on our last legs. If I hadn't-" My jaw clenches. But it is my fault, even if I did what I had to. "I guess it don't matter now. What's done is done. You were always worried about me getting myself killed, but-"
I snort and cover my face with a paw, letting out a quiet giggle. It takes every ounce of self control I have not to break out into a fit of laughter. She was worried about me, but she was the one who died. I messed up the throw, but the grenade got shot off course and landed closer to her instead of at my feet. What kind of luck is that? I wasn't killed. I was barely even scratched compared to the others, but Vi -the one who was always worrying about me-… I take a deep breath, hold it for a second, and when the laughter is gone let it out. "No. I guess it don't matter. Leaving wouldn't make you a coward. It'd make you smart." I shrug. "Ain't like I got a say in it, though. It'll be nice to have you at our backs. You always been real smart, strong, and competent." That's what drew me to you in the first place, I keep from adding.
I tuck a paw into my pocket, pull out my gas mask, and pull it over my head. My vision blurs as I let tears well up in my eyes behind the lenses. "Anyway, only three days. We got a lotta work to do. I wanna be as ready as we can be. If you need me I'll be with Gawain at the forge." I move to turn away, but pause, quietly staring out at the water for a moment. Finally, I say, "Thank you." Turning the rest of the way around, I head below deck to my room.
I move to grab a few things. First is however many clockwork oranges Butler has managed to farm for me. Second is the smelly fungus stuff. Finally, I look up at Purdue. "Makin some stuff to help with the coming fight. You wanna join? You been kinda quiet."
"We have to take that risk," she answers simply.
She moves to the ship's prow, focusing on the horizon in the direction you are traveling. She sits down, concentrating hard. Her horn starts glowing silver, and she starts trembling from the effort after a few moments. You can hear her breathing heavily, struggling to cast the spell on this level. Aurora and Etrigan move over to her with concern, the former getting ready to heal her if need be.
The glowing flares up, and a shockwave emanates from her from the exertion. Far in the distance, you see a silver sparkle. "It's working," she grunts through clenched teeth. "Do it now…!">>750913
Aurora purses her lips and nods. "That's a fair point," she mumbles, looking a bit embarrassed by her shorsightedness.
A few Servitors Etrigan had conjured return from below deck, walking up to him before dissipating. "Initial search hasn't come up with anything,"
he informs you, "but we can never be too sure. Is there anything we can do to help you with this?">>750914
You slip into the astral plane. Once again, your vision blurs, and you feel your consciousness shifting.
Only this time, it's different. You're… not where you should be. Your surroundings feel… cold. Metallic. There's faint, groaning noises, like the belly of some ancient machine. You try to focus on the background but it seems to bend, always blurry, out of vision's reach.
She's standing there. You and Elaina lock eyes. She looks lost. Confused. Before you can react, she lashes out like a cornered animal, pouncing at you with claws bared!>>750915
You take the time to prepare the potions. The familiar golden, glowing liquid of Aqua Vitae fills a bottle, while a glass globe of constantly bubbling vomit-green fluid now sits on your table. The Alacrity Draught is a pale blue substance, similar to water but iridescent, with pale silver streaks almost like little fireflies dashing to and fro within ithe liquid. Finally, the Snailgut, thick as honey and grey like caked mud, causes the vial to thunk into its holder. It's abnormally heavy, for such a small amount.
It's Marisol. She seems to be taking an interest in your potions. "I thought I'd check in, see how our inventory is. Did you make all this?">>750916
She seems to feel like laughing as well, smiling and looking away. "To be honest, I feel like I remember… bits and pieces. Sometimes. Nothing concrete, just… feelings. Thoughts. Vague memories." She gives you an odd look. She seems to want to say more, but leaves it unsaid, for now.
As you leave, she opens her mouth to say something, but can't find the words. She nods, and turns away.
You get to work. You find a neat little wicker basket with seven metallic spheres, each containing a plethora of mechanical bits and pieces. Sat next to it is the jar of miasmal fungus gifted to you by Carlotta; it seems to be reproducing, sickly yellowish tendrils creeping up the insides of the jar, almost impossible to see through the spores.
Purdue stirs. Feels like he's been resting forever. "Hm. Sure, why not. I apologize for being a stranger recently. I've… not been feeling myself. Truth be told, I feel like I might not… might not have much time left. Every day I rest for longer. My dreams are filled with visions of an inevitable end."
His emerald eyes glint as he looks at you with an earnest tone. "It'll be soon. The celestial event I predicted will come soon. Only a few more days. There's a thunderstorm coming, brother. I'll do my part when she does."
Aegis closes her eyes and feels the echoes of Dawn's spell resonate within her crystal body, and with her mind and will, she fills the gaps of the Portal spell
'1d10' Spellcatcher, Portal
Roll #1 4 = 4
Rabi shakes his head and tries to get a better feeling of his surroundings- he's used to the experience being somewhat disorienting, but nothing like this. He looks around at the unusual, fuzzy surroundings. His eyes eventually fall upon Elaina. He hardly has a chance to say anything before she lunges for him, and he tries to dodge out of the way. "W-Woah! Easy, easy! I'm just as lost as you are! L-Let's try and be nice about this, yeah?">Dodge: [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Seven. I'd somehow hoped for more, but I guess we're mostly going to use the cannonballs anyway. I still have to figure out how to use the gas. Maybe if I could get a piece at a time I could put it in something. A corked glass jar like this one, maybe. Let it spread its spores and stench. Really wouldn't want to try that below deck, though.
I gather all my stuff up. "It isn't your fault," I tell him, scooping him up as well. "I'm pretty sure it's Discord slowly taking his magic back. We didn't exactly give him a good reason to let you keep it in the first place. That's something we can work with. The event, though-" I make my way out of the room and start toward the forge, freezing just outside the door. "She? And a few days? That's when we're supposed to fight Lysander's crew."
"We've had an azzazzin on board zhat waz able to pazz from ze eyez of Zervitorz due to effectz zhat prevent zight from magical meanz, I wizh to zearzh ze zhip over by zhree meanz at ze zame time: Runic, artifact, and phyzical.">>750918
Zunden looks to Aegis, "Your chime of revealing, might I uze it to zweep ze zhip for outzide influenzez?"
''I would do it myself later'' Aegis replies as she floats the bell towards Zunden's claws''
"Oh yes, when i manage to find the time. I never have enough supply to be satisfied, but what we have here will have to do."
"Four vials of healing Aqua Vitae, for the ones likely to be in the thick of the fighting. Enough to allow Zunden space to not fret over us, at least."
"Beast bile, the globe over there, is a potent gas once shattered. Provided the wind is minimal, it will send whoever is inside the cloud into a fit of choking. Just in case the deck gets too crowded."
"Alacrity Draught for myself. According to Black Pudding's Notes, this will greatly improve reflexes for a time, and as i'll be behind the crush of lysander's thungs something to help escape will be invaluable."
"And finally a dose of Snailgut, for sir Gawain. He's likely to face the brunt of the attack, so this will keep him standing and bolstered against pain. Numbs the senses, you see."
You reach out, focusing your magical strength on mimicking the spell. The effort takes its toll on you too; you feel your strength leaving you, but you manage to stay focused and complete the spell. Together, you open a Silver Door, holding it for long enough for the ship to pass through and come out the other end. Looking forward, you can now see a vague shape on the horizon, ostensibly your destination. The spell has worked.
Releasing the portals, Dawn, collapses, drenched in sweat. Blood trickles down her nose. She struggles to remain conscious, and Aurora hurriedly casts healing spells to keep her in one piece.
"I… I think it… worked…" She smiles feebly, her horn sparking silver. "…I probably shouldn't do that again." She laughs weakly.>>750919
You dodge, but not quite fast enough. She lunges - and passes through you harmlessly. She freezes in bewilderment. "I know you. You're the one I keep seeing. …Rabi."
She looks around the strange environment. Looking around, you can make a little bit more sense to it now; you can see vague shapes resembling where your physical body is, but it seems to be merged with something… other. Presumably, her location."…So it's not you doing this?…"
She swipes at thin air, looking lost. "…What do you want from me? Why do I keep seeing your face?…">>750920"…I… I don't know. I've had dreams of someone. A green woman, riding the lightning, black streaks in her hair. She is the storm, I think. It… it doesn't feel like it's something I've seen. That toothy serpent is behind it all. I know it. …But, well. If this is the end of the road for me, I can't say I haven't had a good run of it.">>750921
You are handed the bell. Ringing it reveals nothing. It seems Lysander is well and truly gone from the ship, presumably dedicating his efforts to launching his own battleship.>>750923
"Good thinking," she concurs, with a nod of approval. "We're lucky to have someone with your knowledge aboard. I just wish I could be of more help."
Her eyes are drawn to the shelves and drawers of ingredients, looking simultaneously intrigued and repulsed by some of them. She notices the black lily petal in particular, but doesn't comment on it. "Hm. Maybe I could be of some help, now I think about it. I have some experience in potion crafting, but not much. Maybe I could gather some ingredients for your work while we're out in the field. Would you like that?"
"It isn't Kairon, is it? Could Lysander actually have helped her get her body back? You worked for her before. Did it seem anything like her?"
I walk into the forge and find Gawain. "Cannonballs first," I tell him. "I want to take a look at the barrels and see how many shells we can make. We won't be pinging the hull with useless steel the whole time. Same with the scorpion bolts. If I can work out a good way to get them to stick to the hull it'll be a more accurate way to deliver the witch powder than lobbing them or cannons would."
Aegis's shield collapses on the floor with a clang, and she follows soon after, sweating and breathing hard in an attempt to not pass out
''I agree… This spell nearly killed us. It was risky but you managed to pull through Master Dawn. My concentration failed for a moment and I nearly ruined us both, but you pulled my weight. Forgive me'' Aegis spoke through ragged breaths
Aegis tried to gather the strenght to get up and walk to Dawn ''Aurora, please help me take Dawn inside. Exaggerated use of spells is a huge drain on stamina. She likely needs rest and sustenance''
Zunden then goes around the ship physically to check rooms with Ganzen in tow to aide the effort, using the opportunity to test the Sight rune in secret, using a claw to scratch the pattern into her palm underneath her sleeves so that none in the party might see it and accidently dream of it.
[1d10] Sight to see all entities that are or have been in the rooms lately.Roll #1 10 = 10
"Why, that would be perfect!"
brushing past the chemistry kit, i pull the Alchemical notes from the bookshelf, setting the text onto the nearby table. "The notes here have diagrams of the ingredients, for visual reference. I suppose the most pressing things to look for would be the components for Aqua Vitae, we certainly can never have too many healing potions.
On the topic of ingredients, my thoughts turn to the black lily petal, still sitting within it's glass bottle.
"Ah, speaking of components, i had meant to search The notes for mention of the black lily petal norvy brought back.." I trail off, already flipping through the book's many pages.
"Perhaps Black Pudding knew of the lily? Given his knowledge one would assume so, at least."Roll #1 9 = 9
>>750928>>750924"A-Anyways… where are we? What is this place?"
he asks, looking around in confusion. "I, ah… I assumed you did this."
>>750925"…Maybe. I can't explain it, really. It was a dream. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. If she really has recovered her body, gods help us all."
You enter the forge for the first time. The world seems to shoot up around you as you approach, the tiny model forge growing to many times its size. Of course, it's really you that's shrinking; it takes a minute to get accustomed to the surroundings.
"Oho! Welcome, welcome!" Gawain greets you, wearing a blacksmith's gloves and apron, waving at you with a set of tongs. He motions at the scorpion bolt. "So, should I get started on forging cannonballs then? I'm… still learning. But I'll have them ready by the time we're set to encounter those fiends!">>750926
A conjured Servitor helps you up, and Aurora nods and assists Dawn, guiding her below deck. "There's… nothing to apologize for, friend," Dawn answers in a hoarse voice. "We did well. And that's what matters.">>750927
You invoke the Sight rune. Your mind races as you see everything that has come before in the recent past; ghosts of your allies flit in and out, moving backwards as if being rewound. Seeing glimpses of it all, you witness past events that feel like forever ago now; Etrigan in his former body, Carabas walking the halls, Lily having tea with you all, Clawson getting apprehended, Hermodur's departure and return, and even Discord floating about inconveniencing you all back at the Sands. The whole history of your adventures flashes before your eyes.
Luckily, it seems what you have examined twice now proves true a third time. There's no traces of Lysander or the Oneiromancer on board the Fortune. >>750929
Marisol nods, examining the notes. "Do you mind if I borrow this? I'd like to do some research while we prepare. It'll help me find ingredients for the cause."
You go through the book, trying to find information on what you possess. Eventually you find it: A black lily is the vital ingredient in what is called the Ichor of the Undying, a rare and wondrous potion. When imbibed, it allows one to put a stopper in death itself.
>Ichor of the Undying: An extremely rare and coveted potion. When imbibed, the user will be able to survive a single fatal blow, no matter when it may come in the future. Be warned that this will not stop death from sickness or old age. (Mechanically, when taking damage that would result in death, the user is restored to full H/W instead.)>>750928>>750930
She peers around. "I can't… see your surroundings… But you're close… I can feel it. We'll be…"
The area seems to pulse, and she recoils, as if suddenly pulled backwards by an unseen force. She seems to flicker in and out of existence. She twists and looks around fearfully. "No… Not again!…"
And with that, she's gone. The spell is broken, and you remain in your astral form, back aboard the Fortune. Looking around, you can't see or sense anything out of the ordinary. Seems it's all clear, for now.
''I promise this will not happen again'' Aegis nods as Dawn gets taken with her. Once at the Kitchen Aegis almost desperately seeks a quick meal for herself and Dawn
"Definitely. I'm gonna need-" I set Purdue down somewhere convenient and pick up one of the scorpion bolts, looking it over. I don't think a magnet would work, and even if it would I don't think we have one strong enough. Maybe if we made it armor piercing somehow? We'd just need it to stick. Not pierce through… I look back up at Gawain. "I don't know how many. I have no idea how to figure this out. I've looked for books on engineering and geometry and stuff for situations like this, but they're not easy to come by in the Echoes. What do you think? How many cannonballs do you think a barrel of the Viridust stuff would fill?"
Rabi folds his ears back and whinnies as she's yanked away by whatever force caused all of this, trying to grab on to her and pull her back. He awakens back on the Fortune with a start, yelling out in shock- likely in the material plane, as well. He shakes his head and lets out an unsettled huff, before trying to settle down enough to do his watch.
"Certainly, feel free to study while we have the time." i reply, flipping through the text before finally finding the passage on the petals.
Reading through it, i hurredly move to prep an empty beaker, bringing the water to a boil.
"My word! Have a look at the passage, The petals norvy brought have quite the effect! I simply have
to prep a flask of it, while we've the time."
"A means to dodge a fatal blow.. who should receive that? ..A question to ask if we successfully brew it."
"This would prove an excellent learning opportunity, Marisol. care to assist me?"
[1d10] BrewingRoll #1 8 = 8
Zunden looks satisfied, shrugging off her paranoia for the time being and setting up pillows for playing cross legged in the main dining area, getting ready for the night.
He looks at you blankly. "I… You lost me. Sorry, friend. I'm not much for such grandiose plans. I'm just the cook, as it were. Quite literally!">>750935
She nods and observes, assisting you where needed. After a bit of trial and error, you manage to make the potion, a tricky procedure that takes up a significant portion of your afternoon. The Ichor of the Undying is a black, gelatinous substance, with a purplish tinge to it. It seems… strangely familiar.>>750934>>750933>>750932>>750935>>750936
Later that day, you reconvene in the dining area. With Gawain busy in the forge, Marisol and Aurora prepare dinner, a nice, simple pasta carbonara. As you settle in for dinner and enjoy a comfortable silence of eating, Etrigan eventually speaks up. "Aegis, Dawn, we're all in your debt. Because of your efforts earlier today, we've cut our travel time in half. By tomorrow afternoon, we'll be at the Isle, and we'll have time to explore, and prepare for Lysander's arrival."
"Make a bunch of hollow cannonballs," I clearify. "I'll do the rest.">>750937
"Yeah," I say, nodding. "No way it was easy for you, Dawn. Thanks." I look around. "Dang. Ain't often we're all together like this, is it? Weird."
''They were mostly Dawn's efforts. Her experience compensated my lack of it'' Aegis raises her head to glance towards the blind mare ''I still have much to learn''>>750938
''Hermodur isnt here'' Aegis notes ''But I agree, having meals together with ample company is one of the things I missed the most from my home''
"Perhapz the extra time will give uz time to make rockfall trapz on cliffz or whatnot. Zcout out cover to bring around ze zhip to."
Zunden partakes in the group communion, bowing her head briefly in thanks.
"I aim to enzure Lyzander doez not leave alive zhiz time. He haz cut ze threadz of too many fated livez."
"Definitely a good chance to set up traps. We'll have to set up the ship, too, once everything I'm working on with Gawain is done. Probably not gonna leave either my room or the forge for most of tomorrow." I rub the bridge of my nose. "Still so much we gotta do, but I think I got some ideas that'll really help out. Anyway, sorry for bringing this up now. Supposed to be takin a break."
"Yes, excellent work you two." i reply in agreement, taking another bite of the carbonara.>>750938>>750940
"While we're all here, i've taken the time to prep some potions for the battle."
opening my flask kit, i bring out the four golden flasks of aqua vitae, the vial of snailgut and the inky black ichor, setting them on the table in front of me.
"The golden ones are Aqua Vitae, healing potions for those likely to be in the fray. Not quite enough for everypony, so we'll have to choose who carries them."
"This grey vial is a pain suppressant. Sir Gawain, given you're the most likely to face lysander's crew head-on, i suggest you take it for later."
"And this.." i add, gesturing to the black ichor with a wing. "Is Ichor of the undying. Courtesy of Norvy. Whoever drinks this will be spared from death once, should they be struck down."
"Particularly powerful, this one. The black lily was a valuable find. Now, who should take it?"
"Why should we dezide on who to take ze ichor now? It would make zenze more when one of uz iz clozer to deazh, but not on deazh'z door."
"A-Ah, hey. While we've got time before we get there, we might want to talk about… something. It relates to Elaina, and me, sort of." the stallion says, folding his ears back.
"True, but in the heat of battle i'm worried we may not have the time to hoof the bottle over."
"We could wait for now, and provided i can disengage i can just slip it to whoever needs it."
''Have you not yet managed to make something with the sparkstone, Master Silver?'' Aegis speaks up, momentarily changing the subject>>750943
''In most cases death will not wait for one to chug down the potion Zunden, and we cant guarantee we will all be closely together always. Waiting for the heat of the moment to use it might be risky''
"Actually I have some potions too. Some of that Aqua stuff, and a couple better ones. Then another one that's supposed to make your skin harder or something. I'll have to check, but I'd planned on handing some out and seeing if I could get others to work with my sprayer so I can help heal."
My eyes widen as I look down at the potion. "And that- that was just one petal?" I whistle. "I knew it would be strong, but that's crazy."
"Ah, not quite yet, Most of my lab was dedicated to finishing the potions here, but with the time you've bought us i'll have ample opportunity to research Black Pudding's notes and make something of it."
"Indeed! I had no idea something like this was possible. Effective from the moment one drinks it to the moment of their death, according to Black Pudding's notes. Everything aside from old age or disease it can spare the imbiber from, hence the hesitation in it's use."
''I see. I am tempted to ask for the Ichor myself but I doubt I will be in the frontlines. Even still, the risk of getting ambushed from behind is real, so I will settle for one bottle of Aqua Vitae''
"Oh? What happened, dear?"
"Aye aye!" He springs to attention and salutes comically before getting to work.>>750944
Marisol looks over from her dinner, as does Dawn. "Something happened?" the latter asks.>>750938>>750939>>750940>>750942>>750944
"Yeah. Weird." Violet looks pensive still; even though she had that conversation with Norv, there's clearly still a lot weighing on her.
"We don't have Gawain either," Marisol points out.
"I'm here, I'm here! Present and accounted for!" Gawain hurriedly bustles in, sits down, realizes he's filthy from working, goes to wash up quickly then sits down for good, beaming at the table at large. "Apologies. I was busy with forging for what's to come."
He takes the vial as Silver offers it with a gracious nod. "You are too kind! Thank you, milady. I will not let it go to waste!"
"If we're arriving tomorrow," Aurora comments quietly, "this might be the last chance we have to be together like this."
There's a beat of silence.
"Well I should hope not," Marisol replies half jokingly. "The coming days will be over before we know it."
Wordlessly, Violet raises her drink with a smile. "I feel like one of us should make a toast, but I can never find the words."
"When I projected this time, I was… I don't know, elsewhere. It was like I was in some weird, half-way sort of stage. Elaina was there- I figured it was her at first, but she seemed as confused and scared as I was. I'm not sure what's us these visions, but it's like… I don't know, there's something else there. Something had us both caught, and it drew her away from me. I 'woke up' back on the Astral plane, here."
''Prost'' Aegis says in her usual monotone, raising her mug of water near the center of the table ''That is a word you can use''
"Something else? You don't suppose the oniromancer has a hoof in this, do you?">>750952
"Oh not to worry, Aurora! Between our magic, our potions and our skill, i dare say we'll all see this through to the end!"
Raising my own glass, i help Violet with a toast of my own.
"To the battle ahead! May we finish this here and see the end of lysander's plotting!"
"To whatever our fate may be." Zunden holds up a glass.
"I'm not really sure. We were, ah… it's like we were somewhere that was halfway her location, halfway mine. Maybe it's the Oneiromancer, or maybe it's just something else. Not too sure."
I raise my glass. "And to, when we screw up, screwing up in the best way possible." And to Lysander's head, I don't add.
"Elsewhere," Dawn muses, looking pensive. "Like in a world between worlds…"
"Definitely sounds like something or someone was interfering. And I don't think it's the Oneiromancer." Marisol looks dark. "Grosvenor had an interest in all sorts of magics. It wouldn't surprise me if she's trying to use my sister to…" She swallows nervously. "To observe us. …Though, if she could only see you, it doesn't seem to be successful. Yet."
"The other possibility is that she's physically close by," Dawn theorizes. "She could very well be on Lysander's ship. And we know he's not too far behind. It could be causing some sort of interference with your bond.">>750954>>750955>>750956>>750957>>750958
Gawain beams with delight as Aegis uses his toast. "Prost! To our friendship!"
"To victory." Marisol raises her own glass."To old friends, not forgotten."
Etrigan joins in, despite not being able to drink.
"To a brighter future," Violet adds.
"And to being rid of our burden, once and for all," Dawn toasts.
Recap: After some time spent drudging away in Broome, you have joined a crew of drifters that are sailing due south. They are set to make port further down the coast, then travel inland to an old fort known as Castle Rithmere, which has become occupied by a necromancer. These drifters have been employed to lay siege to this necromancer and take back the castle, claiming it in the name of their benefactor, one Cecile Grosvenor. You have accepted this mission, and joined the crew aboard the ship Concord's Dawn
, which they have rented for transport down the coast.
Looking over your find, you discover that it's not like other hunting spears you've seen before. This one has a rope attached to it, with an adjustable strap at the end. The end is arrow shaped, and large, and heavy, while the handle is remarkably broad. You could do some serious damage with this thing; it seems designed for particularly large targets. More of a harpoon than a spear.>+3 hits/+1 wound from Overhealing
The other crew get the ship ready. Eventually, your recruiter Melas shows up, toting some traveling gear. "Ah. Tlawili. I see you've made yourself at home. Have you met our associates?" He motions for you to follow him and introduces the other three, leaving a trail of hookah smoke in his wake.
"I assume you've already met our good captain, Rupert. Him and his Batroc crew will be escorting us to Aplek Cove, where we'll be departing to go on foot." Rupert, a bipedal amphibian known as a Batroc, seems occupied weighing anchor.
"Our company includes Onyx here, our resident philomath. She's an accomplished practitioner of the mystic arts, something invaluable where we're going." The wily black and white crystal pony mare looks you up and down again, with curiosity. "Never seen anyone like you before," she remarks. "Interesting."
"This fine specimen is Church. Our muscle. A new arrival, alongside yourself." The giant axe-wielding Dog looks down at you; he's even taller than you are. He doesn't say anything, except for an indistinct mumble. He reminds you of Thungr, but somehow even less talkative.
"And finally, our infiltrator, saboteur, and analyst, Rakka. They've joined us at my lady's request. They'll be handling more discreet operations on our mission." The sallow fur-cloaked Changeling greets you with a gentle nod. "Pleased to meet you," says the changeling of indeterminate gender. "Hopefully having you around will make things easier for all of us."
"Onyx." She says with a nod towards the crystal pony. "Are dragons not common in these lands?" She says, used to the awkward stares of non-scalekin.
"Church." She repeats, not saying anything beyond that and simply returning his silence.
"Rakka." She says, looking over them. "I have not met many of your kind."
"A pleasure meeting you all." She says, genuinely with royal manners. "We go now? How long until we are at Aplek?" She asks a bit impatiently.
"Only ever met one dragon in these parts," Onyx shrugs. "And he's someone you don't want to cross." She doesn't elaborate.
"Maybe you have," Rakka replies with an unfriendly smile.
Melas takes another puff of his hookah, sitting down as Rupert gives orders and the crew weigh anchor and the flags unfurl. "Three days, as the Harras bird flies. We're passengers on this ship, so don't feel the urge to help anyone. You'll have quarters with the rest of us." Church and Rakka start heading below deck, while Onyx takes a seat nearby and starts poring over a tome.
She reacts with a slightly concerned "Oh." to both of them.
"Ah, yes, I understand." She says, mentally noting the strange names of birds they have in this land. She decides to sit on the deck with Onyx, taking the calmer moment to remove her armor and weapons to bask in the strange new sun.
After a while, she tries to make conversation with Onyx "You are… a scholar of sorts? A historian of Dominion?" She says, trying to sound more accustomed to this land.
As your companions disperse, you are left with a slightly uncomfortable feeling from the introductions. You get the feeling you're not exactly in august company.
Onyx nods slightly, glancing up at you but not putting her book down. "I was a scholar before I came here, and I still am. Grosvenor's given me the task of recording everything we come across at Rithmere. As well as retrieving whatever magical artifacts may lie there. Nothing you'll have to concern yourself with, of course. Unless you wish to enter our lady's service as well."
"Not the first time I have heard that one. I spent enough of my life in service of empires and warlords. Your pursuit of knowledge is admirable however." She says, hoping the best of her new friends. She still, however, carefully indexes her belongings and keeps them neat and organized. Just in case.
She lies near her belongings, daydreaming while looking at the sky with a claw over her gear.
"Someone has to keep track of history. Or we're doomed to repeat our mistakes forever." With that, she leaves you to your own devices and goes back to her reading.
You are shown to your accommodations while on board the Dawn
. It's rather cramped, and not exactly five star; you are forced to share a bunk bed with Church, who doesn't do much but grumble at you indistinctly, and the threadbare cabin smells of mildew and sea salt. Still, it's better than nothing.
While you have seen many ships in your time working in Broome, this is your first time as a passenger on one. It's less than ideal; the constant shifting and swaying of the great wooden vessel, the everpresent sound of work from the crewmen, and the intoxicating smell of the sea works together to make you more than a little nauseous. The food at dinner time isn't great either, being mostly dried and salted meat that's been preserved for who knows how long. You try to get some sleep that night, but it takes you a long time before you are able to drift off into a dreamless slumber.
You jolt awake. Alarm bells are ringing, and you can hear the crew yelling up above and running about frantically. You smell smoke in the air. Church stirs below you, groggily grabbing his belongings and heading out to see what's going on without waiting for you.
"Tlen ka inin?
" She asks to herself, half awake and still speaking Trakali. As she hears Church arise she realizes the gravity of the situation. Tlawīli quickly gathers her gear and heads up to the deck, looking around for the source of the smoke.
You get up, stumbling a bit as you haven't fully gotten your sea legs yet.
Heading to the upper deck, you find a violent scene unfolding. The crewmen are firing rifles and harpoons into the waters below, as some unseen force rams the ship from below. The vessel groans and rocks. The smoke is coming from a torch that was kept to illuminate the night shift, which has been knocked over by a previous impact, spilling hot coals across the deck and catching some rigging alight. Rupert is up there with the rest of his men, barking orders in a croaking language. Overall, the ship is in disarray, between the repeated attacks by the sea-beast and frantic attempts to stop the fire from spreading.
"What is this? Mirodan?" She asks out into the night, her claw already glowing with Inuring magic in preparation. She nearly stumbles over the edge going to take a look for herself at the sea creature assaulting their ship. "Do I just attract tragedy?" She says to herself.
What is this thing? (Perception) [1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
You don't get much of an answer; everyone seems to be busy getting the situation under control. Taking a look for yourself, you can see dozens of shapes swarming in the water. You recognize their kelp-like strands instantly. Mirodan. One was hard enough, but there must be at least a dozen. These savage creatures seem to have been driven into a frenzy by something, throwing themselves madly at the ship, pummeling it repeatedly with their blubbery bodies, sometimes injuring themselves in the process. The terrifying part is, it seems to be working; every time they swim away and come back to ram the ship, it rocks the mighty vessel, destabilizing it and its crew.
They come back for just such an assault, slamming the ship with terrifying force!>roll to remain standing in addition to whatever else you do
"Perhaps it seeks vengeance." She says, her claw glowing more with the same inuring magics as her last encounter. Helpess for ideas to actually stop or defeat the creature, she instead focuses on trying to protect as many crew members as possible, starting with herself.
Inure (Poison) [1d10]
Don't fall over [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
/ Roll #3 2 = 2
You cast a warding spell, protecting your body against the Mirodan's venomous tongues.
The ship rocks as the frenzied creatures ram it again. Two crewmen fall overboard from the attack, quickly sinking below the waves. A cloud of red billows out in their wake, momentarily distracting them. The exception is one particularly large Mirodan which pokes its maned head out of the water, its prehensile blue tongue reaching out to a struggling crewman that clings to the gunwales!
Behind you, the fire continues to spread, despite their best efforts to smother it. Rakka is dipping in and out of the water rapidly with a bucket, trying to put it out, but to little avail. The choking, blinding smoke billows, and you feel the flames start to rise!
Tlawīli flies over to the side of the boat, her spear firmly in her claw. She takes the opportunity of the exposed Mirodan to attack it, trying to stab the spear firmly into one of it's eyes. "Begone!" She shouts with youthful fury.
Optometry [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
You plunge your spear into its. It emits a loud bull-like bellow and writhes, thrashing in the water blindly. Its blue bristly tongue writhes, lashing out at you in an attempt to ensnare you by the wrist!
[1d10+1]Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
As the beast counterattacks Tlawīli attempts rip her spear out and breathe burning light into it's remaining eye, throwing off it's aim and hopefully getting to to back off for the moment.
Dragon Breath (Light) [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
It twists its head at the last minute, smacking you with the butt of the spear still embedded in its eye before you can unleash your breath.>-2 hits
Its tongue wraps around your left wrist, and it throws its head back, violently dragging you overboard. You manage to throw your other hand out, clinging on desperately by the ratlines. It feels like your arm's about to get ripped out of its socket as it thrashes and squirms, trying to drag you into the depths below!>-2 hits again, grappled; roll to break free
Onyx sees you in trouble and rushes over, firing a blast of magic at the Mirodan!
The rest of the sea monsters begin to come down from their feeding frenzy, banding together to prepare for another impact!
Tlawīli winces as the blunt side of her spear strikes her, nearly causing her to lose her grip on the ship. She digs her claws into it's tongue, trying to rip it off before her arm comes off. "Tepalkonetl…" She curses at it.
Break Free [1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
You fumble about and manage to grab the tongue in a death grip, digging your claws into it with as much force as you can muster. This along with a magic blast from Onyx causes it to flinch, releasing you from its grip - and taking the spear with it. As it swims away, injured, its own kind turn against it. Two or three Mirodan break off from the pod, savagely mauling the wounded beast and ripping it apart in the water. Your spear breaks off in the process, beginning to sink beneath the waves.
The rescued crewman takes a moment to recover, breathing heavily but nodding. "Thanks," he manages to say, still catching his breath from the close encounter. Onyx thumps you on the back. "You alright?"
The crewman is about to say something else when a warning cry rings out. The Mirodan surge towards the ship at full speed, aiming to ram it again!>roll to remain standing like before
The crewman climbs up what's left of the rigging with a single frog bound, getting to high ground and up to the crow's nest. Seems he's digging for something useful…
She looks at the spear sinking away, strangely emotional about it's breaking. Her mourning ends as Onyx speaks to her. "Still standing." She says, not sure if it's blood or seawater dripping off of her claw. As the ship is rammed again she tries to put her wings down for balance.
Keep standing [1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
You manage to keep your footing, anchoring yourself with your large wings. This impact seems weaker than before; the Mirodan seem to be wearing themselves out.
You are suddenly aware that the fire is getting more under control; your teammates are helping with keeping it at bay as best they can. The crewman you saved calls for a heads up; as you brace yourself, he drops down a set of large harpoons, much like the one you saw earlier. Seems like a decent replacement weapon, for the time being.
He nimbly leaps down and takes one up. "I think you have the right idea, passenger," he explains. "If we manage to injure them, they'll tear each other apart!" Captain Rupert overhears this from nearby, and barks the order. "Man the harpoons! Wound the yellow beasts! Show them no fear and less quarter!"
The crew step to, reloading their rifles and grabbing harpoons, doubling down on their assault on the Mirodan!
Onyx, ill suited for long range combat, joins the others in putting out the fire!
Tlawīli grasps the harpoon, spinning it in her claw a bit. She eventually points it towards the water and lifts herself on her wings, breathing more light down into the swarm, trying to get them to expose themselves again.
Dragon Breath (Light) [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Your breath shines like a lighthouse's beacon, flaring out and exposing the Mirodan in the water, marking them for death. "FIRE!" Rupert roars, and the crew begin their attack on the sea monsters!
Tlawīli lands back onto the ship, electing to just watch the crew work instead of risking another attack. She breathes slowly, trying to calm herself down from the endeavor while keeping an eye on the crew.
Watchful Eye [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
The crew of the Concord's Dawn strike. The air is filled with the thunder of rifles and a rain of harpoons. Their shots ring true, thanks to your shining light. The Mirodan roar and contort in the water under the sudden barrage, whipping each other into a feverish state. At Rupert's command, the ship begins to move, turning keel and leaving the churning, infested waters behind.
The last of the flames are put out, and the ship survives with minimal damage. After ensuring everything is safe, there is a resounding cheer and celebratory chatter as the day is saved. Many of them approach you, offering their gratitude at your assistance; except, noticeably, the rest of your passenger companions. The most you get is a nod of approval from Onyx; Rakka, Melas and Church seem to be turning a blind eye to your contributions.
"That was a close call."
It's the Batroc crewman you saved. He approaches humbly; he has large brown eyes, a wide mouth like others of his kind, and mottled smooth brown skin. He wears a teal shirt and a black scarf, which he fidgets with awkwardly.
"I just wanted to say, thank you, stranger. I don't know who you are, but you saved my life back there. I can't repay that enough."
She breathes a sigh of relief as the ship departs, glad the encounter is over with. As the crew thank her she smiles and nods, grateful for the recognition, but exhausted from fighting. She notices her companions, but doesn't say anything to them.
"You are welcome." She says, polite as ever to the crewman. "Are you okay? Mirodan poisons could be affecting you." She says with motherly concern as she looks him over for any open wounds, offering a glowing claw to Inure for poisons.
"I-I'm okay. I think. They didn't touch me. C-can I get you something? A drink, maybe? I'm Vasiliy, by the way."
You notice in the background, the chatter's turned to chants of 'Heave!' and grunts of exertion. They seem to have killed one of the Mirodan, and have released a fishing net to haul it back on board. The captain overwatches the efforts, not seeming in as good spirits as the rest. He seems gravely troubled by the incident.
"Vasiliy. No, thank you. Perhaps later." She refuses, sitting down and looking over her own wound on her left arm. "What is it that they are doing?" She asks him as they pull the carcass on board.
"Oh, don't you know?" he says excitedly. "Mirodan are valuable catches! No one really dares to hunt them, but their blubber and venom glands are rare ingredients for all sorts of potions."
"We should never have run into them," Rupert muses. "They've never come this close to shore. And never that aggressively. It's like they were possessed…"
"Fascinating." She says. "I'm sure Mikoapahtli would love to see one." She says to herself, reflecting on memories of her sister. "One moment." She says to Vasiliy, trying not to rudely leave him.
She goes over to Rupert "I have seen similar things. A friend of mine and myself were nearly killed by one of these things. This cannot be coincidence." She says, worried for the adventure ahead.
He nods slightly, watching the crew haul the carcass aboard. He starts fumbling with a corn cob pipe. "Lost some good men today. I've been sailing these waters for years. Never seen anything like this before." He side eyes you. "Don't suppose you'll reconsider your loyalties? Always spots open on the crew."
"Perhaps after this affair with the others. I do not intend on turning my back on them for no reason." She says, a bit shifty over their behavior during this. "I have spent some time serving as a dock worker, and time away from the sea may do me well. You are an admirable captain, perhaps I will find myself in your service sometime later." She says, offering the harpoon to return.
He takes a pensive puff, then motions for you to hold on to the harpoon. "Going to need a weapon where you're headed. Best you hold on to that, till you can find something better."
"There is a greatsword I have as well. But the gesture is appreciated." She says, holding onto the harpoon for now. "If any of your crew shows sign of poisoning, send them to me." She says, returning to Vasiliy.
"Apologies for that." She says, sitting on a nearby barrel looking over her own left claw. "You were speaking of the potions that can be made out of Mirodan, yes? Are you a student of alchemy?" She asks Vasiliy.
"I will. Thanks, drifter."
Vasiliy looks up. "Hm? Oh, no, I don't really do that. It's just what I've heard. I don't know much about potions. Or magic, really. I'm just a deckhand."
"That is more than what I know of such things. I am unfamiliar with these lands, but the people seem the same." She says, looking around for anyone from her party still on the deck.
Rabi sighs a little, before saying "I hope she's alright- she seemed as confused as I did, and I think she was kind of… I don't know, scared? shocked? I know it might sound kinda weird, but I want to help her.">>750959
"Hmm? Oh! To calmer days." the stallion says, smiling a little bit.
"Have you mentioned these visions to Black Pudding? I'd imagine he could have some insight into this."
"Ah- I never got around to it, actually. Things were so, uhm… just kind of worked up, I guess, that it never came to mind. Kind of dumb of me, ehehe…"
"Anyway." I set my glass back down. "Unless anyone had anything else, I got more work to do after dinner. Gonna have to scout out the island a little when I get the chance, too, but for now I got some projects I need to finish. Anyone know if we got any extra glass jars with corks or somethin?"
I turn my attention to Dawn and knit my brow. "And, uh… how you holdin up?"
"Zhiz may be one of ze lazt timez we'll eat togezher az whole az we are," Zunden lowers her glass from the toast, drinking and sighing softly. While still melancholic about the nature of what will come in the next couple of days, it's clear it is no longer weighing on her to the point of breaking. "Of courze, we're all uzed to putting zhingz back togezher by now, nor iz whole a requirement."
''To the salvation of both the realms'' Aegis says without any energy, shaking her mug and calmly drinking its contents''
Marisol nods. "Me too," she says quietly.>>751292
"Still a little weak," she replies with a grateful smile. "But on the mend. I should be better soon. Thank you for asking.">>751293
"We've survived worse," Aurora says confidently. "We'll pull through. It's not the first time we've defeated Lysander. Right?">>751289>>751290>>751292>>751293>>751294
As you eat and drink, there is a small, comfortable silence as you enjoy each other's company. You almost feel like forgetting about what's on the horizon.
"Zunden," Dawn asks eventually, "you mentioned playing that lute of yours to grant us the power to change fate. Will that be tonight?"
"Not ze firzt, but it will be ze lazt." Zunden says firmly to Aurora, matching her confidence.
She turns to Dawn, "Yez, it will take zome time, but it will be bezt to do zo after we are done eating."
"I'm not sure how, but I'll help her. I promise." he says, setting a hoof on Marisol's shoulder.>>751296>>751295
"Of course- it's nice to see you a little less… tense, Zunden." he says, giving her a bit of a smile. "And, uh… thank you. You've been a solid rock in all of this mess for us for a while, and it means a lot to me."
"Hardly zolid, but zhank you nonezelezz." Zunden nods, "You and ze ozherz help unbelievably."
Rabi lets out a little snort, before patting the Saurian on the shoulder. "Well, we all help each other- it's like, a family!"
I nod. "Good. You seemed pretty beat. What about your doors? They outta the question for now? Don't mean to jump straight to askin for things, but I gotta know what we're workin with.">>751298>>751297>>751294>>751290
"On that note, actually, I gotta talk to all of you about somethin. Purdue's been getting visions. There was some 'celestial event' that's supposed to happen real soon that he was excited about. In the next day and a half real soon, that is. Somethin else is supposed to happen then, too. He said he couldn't make out much, but there was somethin about a strong, scary figure." I shift around a little and clear my throat. "Z. You, uh… you think you could do a reading for me?"
''I thought Purdue could no longer see into the future after Discord claimed the power from him'' Aegis comments
''Do you think it will be the same figure that the O-man made back at the lake?''
"Of courze, we will do zo in ze morning after we have rezted from ze performanze and before we make our final preperationz."
"He seemed to think iw was going to be a 'she'. And he's always been an oracle. It was his job even before he died. Discord just beefed up his power. Maybe, though. Either way, definitely something we should at least try to expect, if not be prepared for."
Dawn thinks. "I… should be able to. I just need a bit more time to recover. I should be able to use my magic by the time we encounter… him."
"That's when we're due to encounter Lysander," Marisol remarks, pointing out the obvious. "I wonder if it's a cosmic coincidence, or if they're somehow connected…">>751297
She smiles, touching your hoof gently. "Thank you," is all she can say.>>751301
"…'O-Man'?" Violet parrots, blinking in bewilderment. Aurora suppresses a giggle.>>751296>>751297>>751290>>751300>>751301
Dawn simply nods. After a bit more idle chatter around the table, dinner begins to wrap up. The hour wanes, and through one of the windows, you can see the enormous moon of the Echoes shining its light through. It's a half moon tonight.
''Another unpredictable event to get in our way. What a bother''>>751304
''It is how Master Norvegicus came to call someone who'se name would better be left unsaid. I adopted the expression'' Aegis replies with the utmost seriousness
I chuckle. "Yeah. Easier than saying Oneiromancer every time, and 'omen' kinda fits. I guess it stuck for more of us than just me."
"As for the event, it feels like they're related." I fall silent for a second. "I'm a little afraid it's Kairon."
"Zhink zhe'll be reclaiming her body, mayhapz?">>751304
Zunden flips her lute strap around so that it sits in her lap, the saurian herself sitting crosslegged in some pillows she brought to the dining hall. She strums the instrument softly to warm up, having not played in some time.
[1d10] inconsequential warmup performanceRoll #1 4 = 4
"I'd argue that fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself," Dawn points out.
"I like it!" Gawain says simply and boldly.>>751306
There's an uncomfortable silence at the mention of Kairon. The table exchange troubled looks. "If it is, we might have more on our hands than we bargained for," says Marisol. "How much do you know about her previous life?"
"Who's Kairon?" Violet asks, completely sincerely.>>751307
You get a little self conscious as you try to warm up, suddenly aware of everyone's eyes on you. You noodle for a bit, just plucking a few random notes. The others wait patiently for you to begin, while Gawain looks rapt by the noodling.
"Of course, Mari. Like I said, everyone's like family here to me- I'd be happy to help.">>751308>>751307
Rabi will try to be as patient as possible- he doesn't want to make things worse!
''The O-man is deserving of fear'' Aegis states simply
Zunden closes her eyes to calm her anxieties, remembering how her claws will move without her input once she starts playing the sonata proper.
"Iz everyone here and ready?"
>>751310"You'd have to be a fool not to be afraid of him,"
Etrigan agrees grimly.
"Then call me a fool," Gawain states boldly. "I do not fear his tricks and illusions. He is just another coward hiding behind a mask. I deny his fear utterly!"
"Oh, that wasn't it?" Gawain looks slightly embarrassed. The others nod in assent and prepare.
(assuming after most conversation has lulled)
Zunden places the sheet music in front of her and begins, starting the first few notes slowly and carefully as she reads the music.MOONLIGHT SONATA
[A piece of music of uncertain origin. When played at night, the performer and anyone who hears it are filled with inspiration and improvement, gaining a single reroll of a failed roll to spend at any moment. The Sonata is long, and takes up to 3 turns to play in its entirety. Each subsequent turn playing the Moonlight Sonata grants the reroll a +1 bonus, up to +2. The Moonlight Sonata can only be performed twice every lunar cycle. Depending on the phase of the moon, altering fate through the Sonata may have unforeseen side effects.
''You were praying when the Ichor Elk showed itself'' Aegis points out to Gawain ''And could hardly move afterwards. Their power is beyond bravado, Master Gawain. Beyond your knightly courage''
"Not much," I admit. "Only that she was a powerful, terrible, and terrifying queen. I'm honestly not sure how much we'd actually be able to do, but… well, we wouldn't have much of a choice.">>751315
I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and take in the music.
"I'm quite sure you're misremembering," he replies obstinately.
''Unlikely. I commit many things to memory. I am not afraid to admit it if I might have misunderstood your intentions, but I am certain I saw you performing some kind of prayer. Or was it perhaps some kind of sentence of preparation for a battle to come, as custom among knights?''
He doesn't reply, looking miffed at you calling him out. His pride is a sore spot, it seems.
Zunden plays. From the opening flourish, you find yourselves captivated; some indescribable energy takes a hold of your souls. It seems to fill you with determination, hope, and bravery. You feel - no, you know - that you can change your fate, and everyone's.
Yet some part of you knows it's not just your own bravery taking hold. As Zunden plays on, you think you hear whispers on the wind. Your senses tell you you are under an enchantment by an unknown force now. It seems to be compelling you to succeed, endure, and overcome.
You can't see them, but you can perceive them, in your mind's eye. Three figures, somewhere amidst the multiverse, huddled together and watching you from afar. Zunden knows them well.
As Zunden's performance comes to a close, you feel like some great weight or veil has lifted. You're not quite sure how much time has passed - if any. The whispers you've kept hearing seem to coalesce, forming a pair of words from an unknown voice.Well done.
The performance is done. Some faint force still lingers within each of you. You feel empowered, possessing some ability to tug on fate's strings at will.>everyone gets 1 reroll with a +2 bonus!
Aegis listens in quietly, at some point closing her eyes and idly humming the song she once heard before. She lets herself be enraptured by the music, looking brighter than usual as it ends
"That was… really good, actually. Even if it doesn't do anything, I definitely feel more ready than I was before."
"Do not miztake ze performanze you juzt heard me play to be talent, ze artifact itzelf takez control when I attempt to play ze zong. I did not even know how to read zheet muzic before uzing it."
She sighs again, this time more relaxed as her shoulders intense, "It iz alwayz interezting hearing ze Agree."
Leaning against Rabi as i listen to the music flowing from Zunden's lute, i applaud the saurian's performance with the clopping of hooves.
"What a soothing melody… A wonderful end to the evening, i say."
I slowly exhale and open my eyes. "Alright. We can do this."
''Regardless it was very enjoyable. Thank you Zunden'' Aegis nods and even forces a reassuring smile, although only briefly
''There must be no doubt in our minds of our victory''
Rabi whinnies softly, and rests his head atop hers. "I can agree with that."
"Magnificent," Dawn concurs. "I've never heard anything like it before,"
Etrigan says quietly. "And that voice…"
"Don't put yourself down! It can't all be some outside force!" Gawain encourages Zunden.
"That was… something else, alright. Thank you, Zunden," says Violet warmly. "I think we all needed something like that," Marisol concurs. Aurora hums part of it idly.
The rest of the night is quiet. Filled with newfound inspiration, despite the dire circumstances, you all retreat to your beds. That night, you have the best sleep you've had in a long, long time.
The following morning is mostly uneventful as well, consisting mostly of last minute preparations for arrival at the Isle. You can see it on the horizon now; a vast, glittering mass jutting out of the open ocean, resembling a gigantic shining pyramid.
As the Fortune draws near, however, it starts getting jostled by unseen forces from the ocean. Looking down, you can see shapes moving about below the surface, but nothing concrete. Etrigan frowns. "There's something in the water. …No, multiple somethings…"
"That doesn't sound good," says Violet. "Should we fly to the isle from here?""Can't see many places to land,"
Etrigan replies. "There's no open spaces that I can see, at least…"
''It would probably be best if we started flying now before the ship's hull is attacked and it begins to sink… Or is dragged down. I say Etrigan lift us out of the surface for now''
"Hmm." the stallion says, looking out over the ocean. "T-To be honest, I've got no idea what kind of thing lurks in the water.">>751330
"Good thinking. I can't really swim that well, so getting pulled under sounds like a bad idea."
"Yeah, I don't know. We should probably try to fly. We really can't risk already taking damage to the ship. Landing back on the water close to the island won't be easy, I guess?"
''Me neither. And my Ice attacks will no doubt be not very effective against those who lurk in the cold deeps''
"Ideally we'd want all ze monzterz in ze zea to remain zhere, zhould we knock Lyzander into ze water. Do we need to land?"
"Yeah, we could just hover near the island, couldn't we? Might not be easy checking the place out and setting any stuff up on the island itself if we do that."
Peering over the edge of the deck and recalling past experiences with the pale lurkers, i shudder and step back.
"No place to land further ahead? Is it viable to float near the ground, given the difficult terrain? The map did
mention rather fearsome beasts in the waters near the island.."
>>751334>>751332>>751330>>751331>>751336"Understood. I'll take flight and lower a rope ladder so you can disembark."
The Fortune begins to rise, causing great waves across the ocean as it pulls itself out of the water, bringing kelp and barnacles with it affixed to its hull. You fly closer to the island; as Etrigan suspected, there's no real place large enough to allow the Fortune to land. Docking doesn't seem to be an option either; from above, you can see the island is positively teeming with huge, dark gold seal-like creatures, with what look like manes made of kelp. They can be seen all over the island, from the black sandy beaches at the bottom all the way up the island's many cracks and crevasses. You see many of them swimming about in the waters near the Isle; presumably, they are what was jostling the ship. Many of them rear their heads to look at you as you draw near. "They are brave beasts to try to attack such a mighty vessel," Gawain remarks, looking down at them. "What could possess them to do so?"
The Fortune comes to a stop in midair, floating above a ledge near the summit of the island, clear of the native creatures for now. Servitors manifest and lower a rope ladder down to the ground. "Should get a lay of the land and see what we're dealing with,"
says Etrigan. "You know how to contact me if anything comes up."
''Could simply be that they are defending their home from outsiders. Another possibility is that something is compelling them to, but I doubt it. Lets just try to avoid them best we can''
With that Aegis joins the exploration party
"Could also use it to our advantage, maybe. But yeah, other things take priority." I look down at the island, rub the back of my neck, and hum. "I don't know. Maybe I should stay up here on the ship. I still have so much I have to do and not much time to do it. You guys think you need me with you?"
"I doubt they can talk, but maybe they're not as hostile? They could just be curious." he suggests, before sliding down the ladder.
"Territorial creatures, i'd imagine. Given the location you'd have to defend any room you had in as hostile a place as this."
With sturdy ground beneath me, i hop off the deck to glide down to the island below.
"What zay ze beaztiary on zhoze creaturez by ze way, it'd be good to zee what creaturez we can take advantage of by uzing zheir traitz againzt our enemiez.">>751337
"I'd like to go and find a plaze we can fly ze zhip zhrough we could prepared trapz down on Lyzander'z zhip. Perhapz zcout for nearby canyonz or ze like?" Zunden responds to Etrigan.
''Lets see…'' On suggestion, Aegis pulls out the beastiary and begins fliping its pages in search for the correct entry
You consult the bestiary.
>Threat level: High
>Large predatory sea-dwelling amphibians with fish-like flippers, reptilian heads, and a mane of long strips of mottled skin. The latter strongly resembles a clump of seaweed, and Mirodan are known to use this as cover when hunting for their prey. Their long, blue, bristly tongues are prehensile, venomous and extremely sticky, and Mirodan use these to ensnare their prey. Many a beachcomber has inadvertently walked past some seaweed drifted ashore, only to be promptly devoured by the beasts. They are highly aggressive, and just as agile on land as in the water, despite appearances.
>When on land, Mirodan are known to excrete a transparent mucus that helps them get a grip on rocks. The Isle of Glass, off the southern shore of the Echoes, got its name from being coated in generations upon generations of Mirodan slime, giving the Isle a distinctive glassy appearance. It is a breeding ground for their kind, and all attempts to drive the Mirodan off of it have failed, as they reproduce extremely quickly. Though they are difficult foes, Mirodan are valued in alchemical circles for their blubber, venom, and mucus.
>Resistant: Fire, Light, Poison
"It's up to you," Marisol shrugs as she prepares to disembark with the others. "If you want to stay behind and finish preparations, that's your choice.">>751341>>751340>>751338>>751342
Violet climbs down the ladder and lands nimbly on all fours, looking around to gauge her surroundings.
Aurora hesitates for a split second before gliding down, stumbling slightly as she lands then smoothing out her clothing.
Marisol joins as well, sliding down and landing with a bit of a flourish of her coat.
"Good luck, friends!" Gawain calls from above. "We'll keep the ship shipshape!"
You look around. There are no Mirodan in sight here; you are standing on a rocky ledge overlooking most of the island. The ground is smooth, and slippery like polished glass; Marisol wrinkles her nose slightly when she learns where the "glass" came from. You think you can glean a path that would lead a bit further down, towards a sort of plateau, but there is also a path that seems to lead a bit higher up, culminating in some sort of pit at the top of the island.
Violet sizes up both paths as a few seabirds wheel overhead. "Hm. Which way, do you think?"
"Wherever we go, we should watch our step," Aurora comments. "I don't fancy having to fight one of these things."
''Neither do I.'' Aegis adds to Aurora's words ''But if fighting them cannot be avoided at least we wont be completely wasting our time if Master Silver can do something with their bodily fluids. I say we make our way down and try to know the area better''
She begins casting a spell
''Keep your eyes open for the seaweeds''
'1d10' homing magic, iceRoll #1 7 = 7
I wave goodbye to Gawain with a wing, before turning to assess our options.
"Hmm.. If we were to take the higher path, we could find a better view of the island at large, perhaps prepare some form of ambush as well?"
"Alright. Yeah. I think I'll stay up here. Maybe take a trip down if there's anything worth checking out. I know I might be able to set something up or use some resources down there, but-" I shrug. "Wanna work on stuff I know I can work with first."
"Indeed! If we do stumble onto one of them, i'd be eager to gather some of these ingredients. Perhaps we could heft it onto the deck for proper dissection?"
"Weak to Dark? Ah, I think I can handle that, actually- err, hopefully." he says, taking a look around. "The high path might be for the best right now, I'd think- that, and everyone seems to be down for it."
"Right, heading up would allow uz to zet zome rock trapz, I don't zhink we could manuver our zhip down much anywayz.">>751349
"Yez, and I do zhink my prowler znare would alzo prove effective."
''An effective method to extract materials. But I leave that to you if it comes down to it''>>751350>>751349
''Up then? Very well. I suppose it is too dangerous to split into groups so let us look around together''
"Very well. We'll be back by nightfall." Marisol nods and leaves you to your own devices. Gawain retreats to the forge, while Dawn seems to be meditating nearby.>>751345
You conjure two icy orbs that swirl around your head like planets in orbit.>>751346>>751345>>751349>>751350
"Up, then. Watch your step," Marisol warns. "It's a slippery slope."
Indeed it is; climbing the path up to the island's summit will be easier said than done. You all manage to make it there, with varying degrees of success.>roll Navigation in addition to your main post
The view is quite impressive from up here; you can see all across the island, all the way down to the volcanic beaches. The glassy, blinding white slopes of the Isle are dotted with the dull gold of basking Mirodan. You can see that the Isle was originally much smaller; cracks of black rock peek through here and there, showing that the region has grown over time with the slime of generations of the sea beasts.
Looking down at the pit you noticed, you can see that it's significantly larger than initially expected; it seems to run around the rim of the entire Isle, making for a huge gaping maw that runs deep into the island's roots. From within, you can feel a great heat, and there are clouds of what looks like smoke swirling in the depths.
Violet shrinks away, intimidated by the sight. "I don't think we should play around here much. Maybe we could break off some of this glassy stuff to use like Norv suggested." She starts looking around for fragments of rock or "glass" that could be used as a defensive trap.
Marisol stares down at the swirling smoke with concern. "I'm starting to think this isn't just an island…"
''What else could it be?'' Aegis speaks up at Marisol's comment ''Regardless, whatever it might be, I doubt there will be any complications coming from the island itself. So long as we do not damage much of it''
'1d10' NavRoll #1 5 = 5
The view is quite impressive from atop the summit, and i take a moment to admire it before looking over the lip of the smoking crater.
"A Caldera? Interesting! If there is still magma further down, perhaps we could trigger a collapse into the pit? It would make short work of anypony fighting atop here!"Roll #1 4 = 4
I watch as everyone leaves, stop, and squint into the horizon, closing my eyes to see if I can gauge how hard the ambient wind is here. After getting my answer, I heave a sigh and head below deck to where we keep our explosive barrels, looking specifically for the witchpowder.
"Yeah… the less time we spend here, the better, I think. Gives me the creeps."
Roll #1 4 = 4
Zunden takes up the rear and follows the others, making note of other features of the island that might seem interesting as they climb.
[1d10] climbRoll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
You don't have a good time of climbing up to the top. More than once you slip while hiking, loosening some rocks and glass. You can see it tumble all the way down the isle. Zunden almost falls during the climb, only barely managing to right herself. It's sure to have attracted unwanted attention.
"Well, yes," Marisol replies to Aegis in reference to what Silver said. "I think this is a caldera, or a volcano. Dormant or not, we should still be very wary of disturbing the island."
"What's a caldera?" Aurora asks.
"It's a crater that's left after a volcano explodes," Violet explains. "I'm not sure which one of the two this is.
Zunden manages to notice an opening along the side of the crater's rim, which seems to lead into the pit itself; and then, inside the island. It seems there's a whole system of tunnels that the Mirodan must use to navigate this place. There also seems to be a secure path down the slope which leads to a ledge. An educated guess would say that the ledge is part of an abandoned Mirodan lair.
The wind seems fairly rough here; it'll most likely have to be taken into consideration when making elaborate plans.
You head to the magazine, examining the barrels of witchpowder; an iridescent dust that glitters in purple, blue and green, almost like a million crushed beetle shells.
You hear Etrigan manifest nearby. "What's your plan?"
he asks. His tone is unclear.
''This leads further deep.'' Aegis notes ''With any luck, there might be a place where we could cast off the Egg safely. Should we keep going in?'' She asks the others
"Hrm… hopefully it's not active, then. That path looks pretty safe, so we could keep heading down.">>751360
"I think so, yeah."
"I suppose so, though we'd have to tread carefully. There may still be active magma runs further down, given the heat."
''Do you think the egg would remain whole after sinking into the magma of the land? Maybe if its cast to the deepest fiery reaches of the Echoes, in an endless sea of magma, it would be safe for a couple of aeons''
"It zeemz me and rockfacez do not go well togezher. Zhere are a number of cavez here, I wonder if any are large enough to fit ze zhip…" Zunden says, looking out for holes in the surrounding area.
[1d10] percepRoll #1 3 = 3
"How do you know so much about calderas?" Marisol asks casually as you descend.>>751360>>751361>>751362>>751364
You head deeper down. Most of the tunnels you notice in the walls of the crater seem to be made for the Mirodan. Hardly large enough for a fully fledged sailing ship. The path is precarious, but you have grown accustomed to the uneven footing by now, and have less trouble than you normally would in heading down.
While on a narrow path along its edge, Marisol pauses. A single wet, translucent drop oozes from somewhere above. Listening closely reveals heavy breathing coming from that direction. Violet reaches for her blades, and Marisol for her sword. "Tread lightly," she whispers to you, keeping a wary eye out for a Mirodan ambush.
Aegis keeps quiet as well, redoubling her focus and maintaining her two orbs floating by. Wary to any noise and movement
'1d10' sneaky sneakyRoll #1 1 = 1
Rabi readies his Magic Bow- not feeding magic into it just yet, but ready at any moment to imbue it with Dark energy.>Sneak? Maybe? [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Zunden steadies Aegis' hooves by invoking Temperance, holding out claw to make sure she does not knock over rocks to trigger the Mirodans' ire.
> (XIV Temperance[TR]) automatic instant, once per day; When invoked, this card imbues the target with the virtue of Temperance, turning a failed or successful roll into the bare minimum for a success or failure, respectively.
[1d10] SneakRoll #1 4 = 4
"My father's study had quite the selection of books, so when i had a spot of free time I'd search through his library for something to read. I'm no geologist, but I've certainly learned a few things here and there." i add, nodding assuredly.
As Marisol pauses and draws her weapon, i take heed and lag behind, blending into the cave background.
[1d10] StealthRoll #1 2 = 2
I hum. "Well, the idea is to attach a canister of the dust to one of the scorpion bolts with a small charge of gunpowder or viridust. The small charge busts the canister of the dust, probably shaped so it only travels forward and scatters it across the hull of the ship. That should, if this stuff works on a large scale like it did on a small scale when they showed it to me, weaken the shell. Unrelated, I'd hoped I could drop some stink gas on deck to keep from being harrassed there, but it doesn't look like the wind is gonna let that happen, unfortunately. So anyway, with the combination of dusting the hull with this stuff and our explosive cannon shells we should be able to do some serious damage to the ship right out of the gate. I'd just have to make sure the bolts stick. Piercing just enough to stick in is really the only thing I can think of, though."
As you creep along, two slender blue tendrils burst out from the tunnels above, covered in stinging black bristles. They lash out unexpectedly with a sudden guttural roar, grabbing Rabi and Silver by the forelegs, yanking them upwards! The bristles on the appendages send a shock through their bodies, setting their veins alight!>Silver and Rabi take 2 hits>Grappled: Roll to break free>Poisoned: -1 hit/rd for 3 rds or until helpless
With a low growl, a Mirodan slithers out from a tunnel up ahead, splatting onto the path in front of you. They are huge up close, the size of Rabi, with thick, bristly golden skin, a mane of flabby kelp-like tendrils, and a cetacean body with a snake-like snout. The Mirodan roars, revealing a brilliant blue mouth, shooting out its bright blue tongue to grab Aegis!
Violet and Marisol spring to action, attacking the tongues grabbing Rabi and Silver!
Aurora flies off the path and goes to flank the Mirodan blocking the way, unsheathing her rapier!Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4
[1d10] [1d10] CompanionsRoll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
He nods as you explain your machinations to him. "Ingenious,"
he nods approvingly. "Of course, this all hitches on just how large of a warship we're dealing with, and how potent this stuff really is,"
he muses, touching his chin.
He disappears and reappears near a scorpion. "As is, I doubt these scorpions could do much against an iron warship on their own, at least not compared to the cannons we already have. Then there's the issue of whatever firepower they might have…"
He seems apprehensive about the whole plan. "…We make do with what we have. Touch wood. The biggest advantage we have is being able to strike from above as well as from the sea."
"Yeah. My idea with the scorpions isn't really to damage the ship directily so much as to soften it up. I've seen what regular gunpowder shells can do. I'm sure this viridust stuff will be even crazier. Wish we bought the boarding towers, but-" I rub my chin and look the scorpions over. "Well, if we can make the "make a bolt stick" thing work I guess if needed we could zipline across. That wouldn't exactly be safe, and gravity kinda means it's a one way trip, but it's an option to have in our back pocket. Shouldn't take too long to rig up, either. For now I wanna test this stuff out some. Now, did they give us anything to scoop it with? I don't want to dip a spoòn in it and have it rust to nothing." I look around the barrel, along with if it's enchanted or lined with anything to keep the barrel itself from rotting.
You find a scoop included made of some sort of stone, ostensibly flint or slate. Etrigan watches on with curiosity, interested in seeing the results of the stuff. "Do you need any help?"
he asks, eager to contribute to the preparations.
I hum as I look the scoop over. Interesting. I guess it would make sense that stone would be safer than just about anything you can easily come by. Probably good information to have if I'm going to try to contain it, too. I was thinking glass would probably work alright, but- "Yeah. Can you grab a couple things for me? Somethin made of steel you don't think we'll miss, and somethin made of glass? I'm just going to try out a pinch, but it should give me a good idea of what it can do. If it can actually weaken the hull enough for it to make a difference. I can find another use for it if not, but I think that's where it could help out most."
I set the scoop down and pick one of the bolts back up, humming to myself as I turn it over in my hand. What if we used some on the head, too? Just a tiny bit to weaken the side of the ship enough for the bolt to stick in. Might not be something we actually gotta do, but there's no telling how thick the steel is, right? And we don't want these just bouncing off. If they were bigger ballista thingies I wouldn't be as worried, but I'm not totally sure these will be able to shoot them hard enough.
"I don't know. What do you think? I'm having Gawain forge a bunch of hollow cannonballs I'm going to turn into bombs with the Viridust. If this works out like I think it will then it could really help out, but just damaging the outside doesn't seem like it'd be enough. Especially if his ship is a sanctuary and not just a ship. If I have any idea about how steam engines work we could do some serious damage if we blow the boilers, but I don't think we could do that from the outside. Someone would have to board to sabotage it like that." I rub the back of my neck. I've already been thinking of boarding as it is, so maybe I can do something. No matter how I hash it just bombarding their ship doesn't seem like it'll be enough. They're going to have a crew, and The Sisters know how many are going to be as strong as the guys he's been sending after us. He probably won't be expecting all of this, but once the surprise is over he's not just gonna sit there and take it. He needs to be confronted in person.
My heart races a little as I think about it. Just boarding the ship is a hell of a gamble. Even if someone could zipline down while somehow still not being seen. And then what? Confront him? I already know he isn't the smaller guy he used to be, but I wonder just how big he's gotten. It's pretty safe to say one on one in a fair fight most of us probably don't stand a chance.
While I wait for Etrigan I take a few pieces from one of the clockwork oranges and fiddle with them. Two longer, straight pieces of metal, a nut and bolt, and a spring. Fitting them together, I make what looks like a pair of springloaded metal chopsticks. Gently, I test the weight of the spring, hoping it's pretty heavy.
Thanks to Zunden's efforts, Aegis managed to avoid making an even greater ruckus. She steadied herself and her shield, dodging the Mirrodan's lash just in time, retaliating with icy blasts and shards
'1d10' homing magic, ice
'1d10' homing magic, ice
'2d10' magic bolt, iceRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
/ Roll #3 8, 8 = 16
The air knocked from me as pain lances up my hooves from the tendril's touch, I struggle and kick, trying and free myself from the mirodan's grip!
[1d10] escapeRoll #1 2 = 2
Rabi huffs and lets out a choked wheeze, before attempting to squirm free of the tendril. The poison's definitely making him more anxious, for sure.>Escape! [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Remembering their weakness to shadowy magics as listed in the bestiary, Zunden invokes a magic she hasn't in a long time, calling forth tentacles to bind the Mirodan in its place in a hope that it's weakness to dark magic will keep it at bay.
>Snare: spell, recharge 3; Conjure shadowy tentacles to bind a target in place, rendering them immobile for 2d3 turns. On a crit, this roll also gets a +1 bonus, but the effect cannot last more than 6 rounds. A Snared target may roll to break free of the spell. Larger targets, as well as those tainted with dark magic, may be more resistant or outright immune to Snare.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Aegis blasts the attacking Mirodan with a powerful combo of ice blasts. It snarls as the missiles impact on its leathery body, growling and unfurling its grasping tongue. Before it can grab her, however, Zunden invokes the shadowy bracelet she received from Black Pudding. Inky tendrils burst forth from her wrist, twisting and yanking the Mirodan by the tail, binding it in place. It growls and thrashes, restrained for the time being.
Marisol rushes forward, slicing through the tongue with one swift stroke of her shortsword. Silver is released, albeit still poisoned. Rabi kicks and thrashes, pulling the hiding sea creature out of its tunnel, bringing it out onto the pathway with a loud splat, releasing himself in the process.>Rabi/Silver: poisoned, -1 hit
The Mirodan Marisol attacked rumbles and surges outward, squirming onto the narrow walkway. As if it weren't precarious enough, you are threatened by the three of them now, blocking a potential escape route!
Mirodan 1, which grabbed Rabi, rushes forward and lashes with its tongue at Rabi once again!
Mirodan 2 with the severed tongue eyes Zunden, moving forward with surprising agility to deliver a powerful bite!
Mirodan 3 struggles against the tendrils that bind it!>Restrained for 2 rds
Aurora attacks Mirodan 3 while it's down!
Violet and Marisol continue to attack 1 and 2!
Etrigan nods in response to your request. A few moments later, a Servitor arrives from the kitchen with an old metal crockpot and a wine glass."Seems like a sound engagement. Rather than fighting them in the sea, we could bombard them from above. We have that advantage. We can't rule out them having some sort of anti-air defences though. They're surely packed to the rafters with weaponry. If this ship is what I imagine it to be, it's a mobile base, not just a ship. We might have to board it, but that won't be easy. I won't be able to join you if you do either. I can only defend the ship and attack from here, remember. It'll be up to the rest of you to lead the charge.""This is all assuming that Lysander is even there, too,"
he muses. "It's not impossible that he decides not to show up. …But I don't know if it would be in his character not to meet this challenge. He's always been prideful. But if he's smart, he won't be on the ship itself. We should consider he has some other trick up his sleeve…"Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6
/ Roll #2 5 + 2 = 7
/ Roll #3 3 = 3
/ Roll #4 6, 3 = 9
"H-Hey, keep off of me!" he shouts, backing up a little bit and lining up a shot with his rifle.>Copperhead Rifle (Dark Element): [1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Aegis takes a step back to recharge her supply of magic while the Mirrodans are occupied
'1d10+2' homing magic,iceRoll #1 7 + 2 = 9
"Yeah. That's true. If he's supposed to be some kind of dragon of wrath he'll be here. That doesn't mean he'll be here on the ship." I lightly dip out just a little sprinkle, set the wine glass and pot on the upturned lid that was on the barrel, and dust the inside of both.
"Hopefully it doesn't end up Kairon we have to deal with. A dragon is one thing, but an Alicorn?" I pinch the bridge of my nose. "And we can't rule out Discord, either. I feel like this is the kinda thing he'd think was fun. Even if he doesn't play a direct role he might show up to mess with us." I let out a quiet snicker. "Just as likely to mess with both sides, actually. Granted I wouldn't be surprised if it was Kairon getting her body back that it was because she made some deal with him."
Zunden winces bracing herself for impact with her parma held to block the blow.
>HIDDEN PARMA: shield, can block weak attacks by matching DC-1.
[1d10] DC-1 to match a 7 (need a 6 or higher)Roll #1 2 = 2
Nothing notable happens to the glass, save for growing slightly more opaque. Over the course of about two minutes, however, the pot changes color, gaining a rusted patina and becoming much more brittle. It only happens on the inside, however; the outside seems just as good as ever. "We're going to have our work cut out for us either way,"
he nods. "Let's hope it's only Lysander we'll have to deal with, and not any of these others. Then again. Why would we be so lucky."
He smiles wryly. "At least we have an arsenal of our own."
He watches the aging properties of viridust with curiosity.
Hitting the ground hard once the tongue is severed, I barely recover enough of my wits to trigger Zunden's healing orb, the flash providing clear sight to strike at the Mirodan lumbering towards Rabi!
[2d10] dual, mirodan 1Roll #1 8, 7 = 15
Rabi manages to fire a well aimed shot right into the Mirodan's maw as it lunges at him. The rifle roars, piercing the creature's mouth, leaving a trail of dark purple mist as the shot tears through the beast's gullet. Taking advantage of the opening, both Silver and Violet strike in unison, piercing its body with both of their dual blades, slicing through its leathery hide. The Mirodan twists its head away and thrashes, roaring in anger. It's badly injured, but that just seems to make it even angrier.>Rabi/Silver: poisoned, -1 hit
Aegis backs up, conjuring four more icy missiles to unleash at a moment's notice.
Zunden flinches and tries to defend herself, but isn't quite fast enough to block the attack. The Mirodan sinks its teeth into her arm, but mercifully is stopped from delivering a fatal bite by Zunden's tough scales, and her assorted jewelry. Beads go flying, and Zunden is left with a painful mark on her arm.>Zunden takes 1 hit
The wounded Mirodan (1) surges forward on a trail of slime, gnashing its teeth at Rabi!
The Mirodan attacking Zunden (2) lunges at Zunden with a powerful headbutt!
The restrained Mirodan (3) thrashes, knocking Aurora away with a lash of its tail. She is knocked off course and hurtles over the edge into the pit below, struggling to right herself with her wings!>Mirodan 3 is restrained for 1 more rd
Violet skirts away to hide in the shadows for a sneak attack!
Marisol wheels around and attacks Mirodan 2!
[1d10]Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #3 5 = 5
"Aurora!" Aegis calls out as she dashes through the battlefield to help out the bat mare from falling. On the way, she spreads out her magic and fires off her orbs of ice to freeze the Mirrodans
'1d10' homing magic ice, Mirrodan 1
'1d10' homing magic ice, Mirrodan 1
'1d10' homing magic ice, Mirrodan 2
'1d10' homing magic ice, Mirrodan 2Roll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
/ Roll #3 4 = 4
/ Roll #4 10 = 10
Rabi scrabbles back a little bit and lets out a nervous whinny, before trying to blast the Mirodan in the face with his rifle.
>Copperhead Rifle (Lightning) Surge Shot: [1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
"Well, it isn't eating through it. That's kind of a bummer, but it's definitely weakening it. I didn't use all that much, either, so I think it'll probably be worth trying. Maybe focus down somewhere specific and possibly even try to sink it if we get the chance. Glass is definitely the way to go, backed by iron to direct the charge. Do you know if we have any jars?"
My shivs hitting the beast's hide with great impact, it's resilience despite this staggers me briefly. Refocusing, I quickly saturate a shiv in sightsbane, slinging the poison into the thrashing beast's eyes!
[1d10] blind, mirodan 1Roll #1 4 = 4
>>751637"I think so…"
He concentrates for a moment, and a few more Servitors come down, with about a dozen glass jars from the kitchen. "Not sure how many you need."
Unable to cast anything except to defend herself with the constant attacks of the second Mirodan, she attempts to put up a small barrier of earth to at least lessen the damage of the incoming headbutt, pushing out healing energy in the meantime.
>Spending Creation Orb to put some earth between the headbutt and Zunden (8)
[1d10+1] Healing Bonds Rabi & Silver (frozen), Zunden (regular)Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
Mirodan 1 has a pulse of dark magic course through its body as it attacks. Rabi's shot is thrown off by the sudden lunge, but the black curse on the creature prevents it from inflicting any lasting damage. He is merely grazed by the creature, suffering a nasty cut.>Rabi takes 1 hit
Silver lashes out to blind the Mirodan, but the constant thrashing of the beast proves her attempt fruitless.
Zunden manages to erect an earthen barrier, which promptly crumbles as the Mirodan slams into it. It looks dazed for a moment. She takes the opening to try to cast a healing spell, but is interrupted by a wild swipe of the creature's fluke tail, disorienting her and interrupting the spell.
Aegis unleashes an icy barrage as she wheels back, wounding both Mirodans significantly. She seems to have drawn the healthier of the two's attention…
Mirodan 1 lunges at Rabi again with a powerful bite!
Mirodan 2 ignores Zunden and surges towards Aegis!
Mirodan 3 frees itself, unhinging its jaw and lashing out with its tongue at Aegis!
Aurora rights herself, starting to fly back to help in the skirmish!
Violet lunges out at Mirodan 1 with a sneak attack!
Marisol leaps with her shortsword to try and sever Mirodan 3's tongue!
[1d10]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #3 8 + 1 = 9
/ Roll #4 1 = 1
/ Roll #5 9 = 9
Zunden holds off on attempting another heal, preparing a stronger binding magic to restrain the beasts.
Aegis turns around just in time to see her attackers incoming. With nowhere to back off as she has her back against the pit, Aegis resorts to raising her shield and turning it into a spiked ball of ice spires in an attempt to counterattack the first Mirrodan
'1d10+2' Earthen strike, IceRoll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Correction: The Mirodan's blow is weakened, but it manages to throw itself on top of Rabi, pinning him under its tremendous weight!>Rabi takes 6 hits, helpless
Mirodan 1's attack targets Silver instead.
Rabi wheezes a little bit as he's crushed, before squirming out and bouncing back on to his hooves! His hoof crackles with electricity, and he jabs one of the two Mirodans lunging for Aegis! (Mirodan 3)>Astral Strike (Lightning): [1d10+2]Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
With Rabi crushed beneath the bulk of the Mirodan, I attack with renewed vigor, moving to avoid the snapping jaw of the beast as I apply midnight oil to the other shiv, jabbing the sedative past the blubber of the creature!
[1d10] sleep serumRoll #1 4 = 4
Zunden takes a moment to gather herself, channeling power into her bracelet.
Aegis meets the creature head on with a powerful blow. She is thrown off her hooves as she slams an icy hoof into its snout. Both she and the Mirodan are sent flying, the terrible beast hurtling into the black abyss below, never to be seen again.
Aegis is left dangling over the edge, ensnared by her hind leg by the other Mirodan, slowly being reeled in - until Marisol swoops in and severs the beast's tongue with two wicked strokes of her shortsword. Poison courses through her veins!>Poisoned: 1 hit/rd for 3 rds or until helpless>Aegis takes 4 hits, 1 from poison
Rabi channels a lightning-laden magic blow, but the Mirodan does a barrel roll to the side at the last minute, dodging his strike with surprising agility for such a large creature.
Silver dodges and strikes, but their thick blubbery hide seems resistant to her thin blades. It just gets annoyed if anything.
The Mirodan grabbing Aegis starts pulling her towards its ravenous maw!
The injured Mirodan lashes out as Violet attacks it, knocking her off the edge, leaving her dangling desperately by one hoof off the edge of the bottomless pit!
It then swipes at Silver again with its powerful tail!
Aurora flies to try and help Violet up!
[2d10] Both recovery
Marisol rushes to attack the Mirodan that grabbed Aegis!
[1d10]Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #2 1, 7 = 8
/ Roll #3 3 = 3
"Well, I'm gonna work with ten for now, but a couple extra will be good to have for another project too. Thank you." I clear my throat and awkwardly shift a bit. "On that note, you don't, uh… you don't have a sense of smell, do you?"
"H-Hey! Get away from her!" the stallion shouts, firing a bolt of crackling lightning into the Mirodan's back when it lunges for Silver.>Magic Bolt (Lightning): [1d10+2] [1d10+2]Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6
Zunden binds the injured beast in place with shadowy tentacles yet again.
>>Snare: spell, recharge 3; Conjure shadowy tentacles to bind a target in place, rendering them immobile for 2d3 turns. On a crit, this roll also gets a +1 bonus, but the effect cannot last more than 6 rounds. A Snared target may roll to break free of the spell. Larger targets, as well as those tainted with dark magic, may be more resistant or outright immune to Snare.
[2d3]Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #2 3, 1 = 4
Aegis holds on the best she can, Her concentration even in this moment allowing her to channel magic through her shield. She quickly lifts one hoof to touch the tongue that snares her, sending a wave of frost through it and towards its source in an attempt to expand the coat of ice covering the Mirrodan and freeze it over
'1d10+2' FrigorRoll #1 8 + 2 = 10
As the Mirodan moves to batter me with it's tail, i try desperately to clear the way, leaping towards the side of the cavern, away from the ledge!
[1d10] Dodge!Roll #1 10 = 10
Correction: The Mirodan that grabbed Aegis snarls and chuffs in pain before throwing itself at Aegis!
[1d10+2]Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
Silver artfully dodges the Mirodan's charge. As Zunden unleashes a burst of shadow tentacles to restrain it, Rabi lines up a well placed shot, piercing the Mirodan's skull with a lightning charged round. It shudders and snarls before finally flopping over, stone dead.
The Mirodan crushes Aegis under its weight, teeth like scythes ripping into her foreleg. In a moment of pure instinct, she retaliates with a devastating frigid strike, encasing it in an icy prison in an instant. It freezes like some hideous statue, completely immobilized. Despite herself, Aegis flops over, bleeding profusely from her wound.>Aegis takes 5 hits, helpless at 0/4
Aurora only barely manages to haul Violet back up. Seeing Aegis injured, she grits her teeth and rushes over, casting a healing spell to help her.
Marisol, seeing the frozen Mirodan, wordlessly starts trying to push the creature over the edge and into the pit.Roll #1 10 = 10
"Get that thing away from her, yeah." he mumbles, quickly getting up to help Marisol shove the Mirodan off.>>751655
"Thank you, Aurora."
"I might have something else I need you to do. I picked up this mold stuff from the apothecary back at port that's supposed to smell horrendous. I was going to trust my mask and try to do it myself, but I want to take a couple pieces and put one in a different jar and one in one of my sprayer canisters. It looks like it keeps growing inside whatever it's in, releasing gas and spreading spores. If I'm right, since the canisters are pressurized the gas should just keep building up. Something else I want to see if I can do? Just drop and break an entire jar of it on the first floor below deck on their ship. Which is why I wanted the second jar, too. I figure if you don't have a sense of smell you could briefly open up the jar above deck upwind, pluck a couple samples out of the jar, put transfer em, and seal everything back up without really being affected by it. Would you mind?"
Correction: Rabi manages to shoot the Mirodan dead, while Zunden restrains the Mirodan and drags it off Aegis before it can deliver a more fatal blow.
Aegis grits her teeth as her face contorts into a pained cringe for a moment, but she manages some composure and stops herself from crying in pain, and is completely recovered by Aurora's efforts. Shaking a bit, she stands back on her hooves and fixes her mane
"Thank you, Aurora. These animals are fiercer than I expected. They should guard the egg well enough"
Zunden tries to pass out healing orbs again.
Healing Bonds: Frozen to Silver and Rabi, regular for Aegis
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
With the Mirodan shuddering to a stop, I breathe a sigh of relief.
"Goodness, if that was a result of only three
of them, we most certainly chose the right place for safekeeping!">>751659
"Aegis, while we've a few Mirodan on hoof, did you read what parts of the creatures were key to extract? If we're fast we may be able to harvest and move on, before more are attracted here."
He blinks. "That's… unorthodox. But we have to use everything we've got, I guess. Sure, I'll have a Servitor do it now."
Sure enough, a Servitor descends with two jars full of the spores, one of which is rapidly multiplying.
"Their Blubber, Venom and their mucus" Aegis replies with calm certainty "If you intend to harvest their bodies now I'd recommend doing it quickly, Master Silver"
Aurora nods in acknowledgement to Aegis, and offers to help her walk. "If we survive long enough to hide it," she comments.>healed for 5/1
"Looks like we've got our work cut out for us," Violet agrees. "Let's finish up here as quickly as we can. These things are dynamite."
Zunden conjures up more healing orbs.
Marisol nods as Silver and Aegis discuss harvesting them. "Best work quick then keep moving. It's only a matter of time before we run into more of them." She passes Silver a hunting knife before making her way over to the remaining corpse, starting to take samples from the body.
"Given the size of the body, i doubt we'd be able to haul it back for proper dissection, so i'll have to work fast.."
Grateful for the Knife, I nod to Marisol and struggle with pushing the Mirodan corpse into position, carving the chest blubber before opening the throat on the hunt for a venom gland.
[1d10] HarvestRoll #1 9 = 9
"I can offer my help if you need something frozer for better preservation as well" Aegis says as she watches Silver and Marisol dissect the Mirodan
"Ah, excellent. Once i've pulled the pieces from here, we'll just need to keep them refrigerated with your ice magic and i'll have them properly stored on the ship."
"Oh! Uh… good luck, dear!" he says, taking a seat to relax for a moment or two while she harvests.
I grin at Etrigan and put the original jar to the side. "Thank you. And come on, Etrigan. You've seen me work. You'd be expecting cannon fire. Maybe even explosives at this point. But something like this?" I hold up the newer jar. "Well, would you plan for it? Starting to think unorthodox methods are my bread and butter. Which-" I shrug. "Kind of makes sense, I guess. Never been the strongest or fastest or anything like that, so always sorta had to think on my toes. Take risks." On that note, I gently take the lid off of the new jar just a crack, purely out of curiosity. Without trying to let too much out I give it a sniff.
Zunden catches her breath, "I waz ill prepared wizh runez, I'll need to prepare zome more az we go."
Zunden conjures a Creation rune first
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
You open it a bit.
You wake up in your bed. You're not sure how much time has passed. Your head's pounding, and your vision is blurred. You're vaguely aware of not being able to smell anything.
"Oho! You're awake! Good!"
It's Gawain, donning a set of armor you haven't seen before. It looks much more well kept than his old set. "Etrigan said you took quite a fall. How are you feeling?" He offers you some water
You conjure the complex Creation rune. It lingers behind you like a saint's halo.>>751665>>751666>>751668>>751670
Silver and Marisol manage to retrieve suitable samples of what they're after!>Mirodan Blubber x2>Mirodan Venom Gland x1>Mirodan Mucus Extract x1
Marisol wipes off her shortsword and her hands, offering Silver a cloth to clean herself with. "We should keep moving. I say we double back and move around the crater perimeter to scout the whole island from above, then signal Etrigan."
"That won't give us much of a close up idea of the layout," Violet comments. "We should continue on this path and see what it leads to."
"What about down?" Aurora suggests. "Those of us with wings could explore the pit, and Rabi as well."
I groan and rub my head, trying to blink some of my vision back. I take the water and take a big gulp. "What happened? How long was I out?"
''As much as I would want to explore the pit as well, I am against splitting up our group. It took a great effort from all of us to dispatch of a small group of three'' Aegis shakes her head
''No, I think either exploring the perimeter of the island or dive deeper in this cave are a much better use of our time before Lysander arrives''
"Yeah- I can get a look down there, probably. I could even look first, if you'd prefer Hopefully nothing bad happens this time." he says, chuckling nervously.
"An hour." You start to regain your senses after a bit; you're dimly aware of a sort of crusty feeling around your nose and mouth. Probably blood. "I suppose that gas must be quite toxic. Etrigan said you were out like a light. Landed face first. You could have broken something! Are you sure you're alright?"
"Jeeze. Yeah. I'm fine I think." I run my paw over my nose and sniff. "Didn't expect it to have made enough to do anything yet. That stuff is crazier than I thought it was. Gonna have to be careful where I use it. I imagine my mask will probably keep me safe from it, but using it with everyone else around is probably a no-go." I sniff again, trying to catch a whiff of the air. "I think- I think it might have killed my sense of smell. I hope that's temporary."
"I ztill feel it zafest to continue up, we will not be directing the zhipz furzher down anywayz, zo I zee not ze purpoze of zcouting down zhere exzept for plazez for to hide a fake egg."
Zunden continues to make runes to prepare for further encounters, this time with a Return rune.
[1d10] Return (Frozen)Roll #1 5 = 5
Quite proud of myself, I thank Marisol and take the cloth, cleaning off my Hooves and muzzle.
"Not bad at all, for being out of practice!">>751678
"Hmm, you do have a point. Better to examine the area we will
be fighting Lysander through, then return here once the battle is over."
"I'd say we could have Rabi search the pit further down. If he could find another route out, we might be able to use the caldera as a cave-in trap of sorts. Bury Lysander and leave it at that."
You can only barely smell something. "Well that's troubling. Maybe a fresh of breath air will help!" He doesn't notice his butchery of the expression, offering to help you up if you need it and head up to the top deck.
I take his help and wiggle my snoot a bit, following him above deck. "Yeah. Was thinking of taking a break anyway. How those shells coming along?"
"Actually… I oughta not, given what happened last time."
"Right. Let's keep moving and see where this leads, then," says Violet. "If things get difficult, we can always ask Etrigan for a pickup."
You keep moving along the narrow path. The further you go, the more you question why this path would exist. "Something must have carved it out," Aurora ponders, "and it probably wasn't the Mirodan. They don't seem to be intelligent. What if something else lived on this island once?…"
"They did a good job hiding their traces if so," Marisol replies.
The further you go, the harder it becomes to see, forcing you to use your orbs for vision. The path winds off into the walls of the caldera, becoming one of what looks like a labyrinth of glassy tunnels. Moving forward, you find something unusual: ashes, some bundled sticks, a shredded backpack, and bones. The remains of a campsite.
"How did anyone survive here for that long?" Violet wonders. "Did they have some way to fend off the creatures?"
"Doesn't seem to have been effective," says Marisol, nudging one of the gnawed bones.
"Maybe there's something more around here," Aurora suggests. She starts examining the campsite, while the others keep an eye out for Mirodan ambushes, as well as gauging the paths ahead.>roll Perception
"Swimmingly! I'll be finished by nightfall. I made something of my own as well!" He thumps his new chestplate. "I'll need armor for what's to come, after all!… Hm. What's that over there?"
The ship is still floating above the island. Off in the distance, you can see a shape out at sea. It's too far to see with the naked eye, but you think you can see a plume of smoke coming from it.
"Great. Then after all I have to do is fill them and seal-" I freeze as I see the plume in the distance. "No…" I pull out my spyglass and see if I can't get a better look. "Already? Do you know enough about sea travel to estimate how far off that is, Gawain?"
''It could just have been other drifters like us who had bad luck or were not as prepared. Maybe they found a way to pass by unnoticed by the Mirodan? That would be a gread advantage for us if we could discover how'' Aegis says as she joins Aurora in appraising the place
'1d10' perceptionRoll #1 5 = 5
"Plenty of people have reazonz for wanting to get away from ze rezt of zoziety, zhey may have chozen ze mozt remote plaze imaginable." Zunden keeps a watchful eyes as she continues to work on runes.
[1d10] frozen ReturnRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
By the light of my orb, I trot around the campsite, stopping to examine the backpack in particular.
"Curious indeed. The pack is still intact enough, perhaps there could be something salvageable?"Roll #1 10 = 10
"No!" he replies cheerily.
You can see it a bit more clearly through your spyglass. It's an enormous, dark metal vessel, with a pointed, knife-like prow. Looks at least three stories tall, with a pair of smoke stacks. You can't make it out too well, but one thing is clear: it's large. Much larger than the Fortune by far.
"Maybe there's something they don't like the smell of, or the look of? They're animals after all, aren't they?"Roll #1 8 = 8
Examining the backpack reveals a journal of some sort, though it's too weathered to be readable. You can only make out a few words here and there:
"…lit the incense… repel… should hold…"
"who wanted this… to the surface… follow markings…"
The final entry is untouched: it simply reads "oh no".
My blood freezes as I take in the sheer size of the thing. "Yeah," I say. "Me neither." I slip the spyglass back into my pocket and stare out at the ocean. "I knew it was going to be big, but that-" I lick my lips and swallow again. "Heck. This isn't going to be easy. I think I need to get back to work."
"Ah… maybe it didn't."
''Incense… By the looks of it they must have run out of it, or else they would still be here. The mention of markings on the surface is interesting though. Have any of you seen something like that when we were at the surface?'' Aegis inquires the rest of the party
Gawain motions to ask for a look himself. Upon seeing it, he looks rather spooked. "Oh me, oh my. Yes. We should, er, redouble our efforts. And warn Etrigan. He should know how long it will take to arrive."
"None that i've seen, no. Given how old this journal is, the marking they might have used are likely coated over by now.."
Zunden frowns, "Makez going down zeem like even badder of an idea, if zhere'z zomezhing zhat'z not zuppozed to be at the zurface."
"'To the surface follow markings'?" Marisol parrots. "It's probably gone by now, but it sounds like there was a marked path to the outside once. Maybe it's still here, just covered."
"This glass stuff is pretty frail," Violet points out, chipping at one of the walls with her blade. "Maybe we could pry some of it off and find the way out."
"I think we should keep moving, and find the way out ourselves," says Aurora. "But which way?" She gestures at the four tunnels branching from where you are, not counting the way you came; they all look more or less the same, with minor differences. It's going to be easy to get lost in here.
"He can probably hear us. Just in case-" I focus a bit. Etrigan. He's coming. We can see his ship in the distance.
Tucking my paw into one of my pockets, I turn away. "Let's go. I'll start filling my clockwork orange hulls and the shells you have finished with viridust, then start modifying the scorpion bolts. Nice armor, by the way."
Etrigan has already manifested the second you begin to think to him. He hisses ethereally at the sight in the distance. "Less time than we thought. Should I contact the others?"
Gawain nods, takes another look back at the enemy ship, then falls in line to follow you. "Why thank you! I thought it wise to reforge myself something, given what's to come."
"Yeah. Definitely should. I'm gonna get what I can done in the meantime." I make my way below deck to get to work on my grenades, modified scorpion bolts, and cannon shells.
"What do you think Deep Fire means, anyways? Maybe there's still, uh… what is it? Lava here?" he suggests, before shrugging "Either way, it might not be a bad idea to go a little deeper."
"Zheze zertainly could be volcanic tubez formed by lava, zhey are not the zafezt plazez to explore. Mayhapz zhere'z a way to traverze wizhout exploring ze tunnelz?"
''I suggest we give an attempt to uncovering the layer of glass over the walls as we go. If someone was here before us, following their footsteps might reveal something useful to us''
"Hmm..given the mess behind us likely attracted more of those Mirodan, chipping away to find the marks sounds far more preferable.. But where to begin?">>751987
"That bell from earlier, do you think we could use it to divine the path if we found a mark? You do still have it, correct?"
You follow Gawain below deck. He eagerly shows you to the forge, where he's been hard at work. "Luckily I was able to find a mold for more cannonballs!" He gestures to a large stockpile of hollow metal shells, some still smoking from the heat of the forge. >>751985>>751986>>751987>>751990
Ringing the bell does indeed reveal a path, albeit obscured by layers of glass. Whoever explored this place before left a trail of near invisible markings on the walls, obscured by some smaller form of magic. It seems to lead both upwards toward the surface, and downward, into the depths of the glassy tunnels. You find yourselves at a crossroads following them; while both up and down more or less look the same, you feel a distinct muggy heat coming from the downward tunnel. Upward, however, doesn't fare much better; you can hear the distinct sound of heavy animal breathing.Drifters.
Etrigan's voice pierces your thoughts all of a sudden.It's him. He's coming. We should regroup and prepare. Where are you? Should I bring the ship somewhere?
"Hmm… this might not be the best place to be- and, if Etrigan's to be believed, we've got little time. Maybe we back out?"
"Great! Yeah. I doubt they'll see this coming, but even if thry do I'm not sure it matters. This viridust stuff sounds intense on a small scale, let alone a full shell." I rub my chin. "I guess I should start getting some metal plates together to back the jars. I won't need much gunpowder to pop them, so I think I'll just add a fuse to a little sachel between the plate and jar. I'll work on those for now. I think I had enough jars for, what, 11?"
"Yez, let'z. I do not zee how continuing to exzplore will aid uz in ze battle, we zhould leave and look for cliff fazez zhat we could rig to fall on whatever pazzez under it. I do not zhink we could fit our zhip in many of zheze tunnelz anywayz."
Zunden continues to summon orbs, creating a small growth of rocks to only partially obscure the party's retreat from whatever is in the upward tunnel.
>Creation: 6 orb
[1d10+1] Recreating a frozen Creation orbRoll #1 6 + 1 = 7
My interest in the markings is interrupted by the worrying message of Etrigan
"Here already?! My word, we're out of time."
"We'll have to risk retracing our steps, pursuers or no. The last thing we need is another predatory ambush ahead whilst Lysander catches us unawares."
The rest of the night continues without further incident. That morning, you join the rest of the crew and your would be companions at breakfast. It consists of dried fish, mostly, with some dried fruits available. Nothing too impressive, but a practical meal for hardened sailors.
Your companions who you enlisted with sit in a group separate from the crew, though while they don't actively shun you, you get the impression you're not the most welcome among them. It's like you did something to set the group off. The hulking, reticent Dog Church eyes you with mild annoyance, and the changeling Rakka, who seems to have been mid conversation with your recruiter Melas, stops talking as you approach. Onyx is the only one of the four that greets you, with a simple nod and acknowledgement before serving herself breakfast.
Looking around, you see the captain Rupert at the head of the table, poring over a map with who you assume is his first mate, a squat, brown, toad-like member of the Batroc race that crew the ship. Something seems to be vexing them both.
Your new acquaintance, the deckhand Vasiliy who you saved in last night's scuffle, heads over and joins you, offering a friendly smile. "Good morning!" he says politely. "Is this seat taken?"
Tlawīli awakes after sleeping surprisingly soundly after the stress of the previous night. She arrives at breakfast out of her armor, still nursing a few of her own wounds. She eats the dried foods carefully, still not used to the texture and taste.
" She responds to Onyx. "They are traditional Trakalian words for good morning. Meant to be exchanged between friends." She says, intentionally only saying the phrase to her. She then repeats the same to Vasiliy, adding on "It is not." before biting into another sun-dried tomato.
Onyx blinks. "I'll write that down," she remarks. You're not sure of her intent behind that.
Vasiliy seems happy to take a seat next to you. He offers Church and Rakka a smile and wave, to no response. He seems disheartened, and just tucks in for a while, helping himself to some raisins, as well as what look like some sort of small arthropod eaten like popcorn. "Sleep well?" he asks eventually. "Crew had some mixed feelings last night. Lost a few veteran sailors to those creatures… But we're in one piece, and we have quite a haul for next time we make port. So that's nice."
Over at the captain's seat, you see Rupert seemingly finalizing something, getting ready to make some sort of announcement.
"Suprisingly so." She responds, expecting the stress and motion of the vessel to prevent her from sleeping soundly. "Ah, such is tragic. May they find peace." She says with a somber nod of her head. "We survive however, thriving in their stead." She says, finishing her food. "Seems like we will know exactly how soon." She says, turning towards Rupert for his announcement.
"It's not the first time," he remarks. "Won't be the last either. Working here is hard living. But it's better than some alternatives…"
Rupert thumps the table, getting everyone's attention. "Right, men. Guests. Given recent events, we're going to be changing the course for our journey. We're sticking closer to the coast and heading southeast. It'll take longer to reach port, but it's better than suffering another Mirodan attack."
There's some idle chatter from the crew, with mixed reactions from acceptance to mild annoyance Your employers look especially disgruntled. Rakka voices an objection. "This wasn't part of the arrangement. Our mission is critical. We've already paid for our journey to be as fast as possible."
"I insist you stay the course," Melas adds, less heated than Rakka but clearly displeased. "Lady Grosvenor won't be happy to learn of the delay."
"If it comes to it, we'll refund the lot of you for the difference. I'm not going through Mirodan infested waters any more than I have to-"
"It's not about the money, it's about the mission," Rakka insists. "We have to get to our stop in Aplek Cove within the next three days to continue our plan!"
"Hang the plan! I'm not risking any more lives," Rupert retorts, raising his voice. Church rises to his feet with a low grunt, the table shaking somewhat. There's a tense murmur and a clamor; the situation seems to be rather heated.
"I am sure your Lady will not be pleased to hear of our death due to easily avoided recklessness, Melas. Those creatures are a larger threat to your task than a minor delay. The vitel
are not going anywhere." She says, giving a stern look towards Melas while keeping her seat.
"While I consider your behavior quite inappropriate for a guest in another's home, I will forgive your outburst in exchange for you letting these men do what you paid them to do." She continues, scolding him carefully. She turns to Rupert "How long will this delay be?"
He side eyes you. He looks like he's about to argue, but sees the sense in this, waving Church down. You can feel several sets of eyes on the lot of you. "…Very well. We'll take the long way around." "This deal's getting worse and worse," Rakka grumbles. Onyx just watches from the sidelines. You get the feeling she's up to something.
Breakfast continues as the situation diffuses, though there's still an air of unease. You spot Rupert giving you a strange look, but you can't quite read him. "What was that all about?" Vasiliy asks, looking a bit tense. "I thought you were friends with those guys."
"Our relationship is one of business, but that does not mean I will allow such rude behavior. The hospitality your crew has shown us admirable, regardless of payment." She says, still in her scolding mother tone. "Ah, I apologize. The customs of visiting another's home were very specific in my homeland and I try my best to maintain them." She says, gently coming down from the elevated situation.
"Well, we try our best. It's not the first time we've had unpleasant passengers. But the captain always has the last word."
The Concord's Dawn
changes course, and a bell begins to ring, signaling the crew to get back to work. In a matter of minutes, the ship is bustling with crewmen going about their work, swabbing the deck, hoisting flags and otherwise maintaining the ship. A crewman climbs up the rigging like a squirrel, positioning herself in the crow's nest. Before long, the ship is on the move, and the sound of hard labour and sea shanties fills the air. As for Melas and the others, they retreat to their quarters, seemingly discussing something in hushed voices.
A few hours of uneventful sail later, a piercing whistle is heard from the crow's nest. The Batroc you saw climb it earlier gets the crew's attention. "Ship to starboard!"
Sure enough, you can see it. A vessel, a bit smaller than yours, marooned on some black rocks a few miles away. It looks to have been run aground relatively recently; no telling if anyone's survived. Rupert peers at it through a telescope. "A shipwreck. And a fresh one at that." "Must've run afoul of the reef," his first mate comments.
Rupert ponders this discovery for a moment, and a few crewmen look to him for instructions. He spots you nearby. "Tlawili, is it? You're a reliable sort. What do you make of it?"
"You said we are too far inland for Mirodan, yes?" She asks, looking over at the ship. "What would cause such a thing to happen in these waters?"
"Any number of things," the first mate remarks. "Pirates, mutiny, malfunctions, scuttling, bad weather, poor navigation…"
"I don't think your friends would take kindly to investigating," Ruper muses, touching his chin. "But if there's survivors…" He lets the sentence linger.
"We should go to them." She says firmly. "Whatever caused this could still be out there, and we wouldn't want to sail into it as well." She swallows after she says this, a bit worried at sailing into what may be a grave.
"If the rest ask, I can explain."
Captain Rupert's mind seems to already be made up, and your assertion only steels his decision. He barks a few orders, and the ship starts steering towards it.
Melas and company emerge from below deck as the ship begins to dock next to the rocks. "What's the meaning of this?" Rakka demands annoyedly. "What's next in the parade of obstacles?"
"There's been a shipwreck. We're checking for survivors."
"Ugh. Fine. Just make it quick, toad."
Melas looks intrigued. "A wreck. The work of some outside force, perhaps?"
The ship pulls up on a rock formation. A few crewmen start disembarking, and hopping from one jagged rock to the next; they seem to have no trouble navigating uneven surfaces, due to their natural climbing abilities.
Rakka spreads their wings and flies to join them, looking back to you. "You coming?"
"That is my concern, Melas." She says, bringing her wings up. "We will be quick."
She smiles at Rakka's question. "I am glad to see you coming along. At the very least there will be something to recover of value." She says, trying to appeal to her greed. With this, she spreads her draconic wings further and takes off to the ship, searching carefully for its sailors.
You join Rakka and the half dozen or so sailors exploring the craggy rocks. You and the Changeling fly overhead. The air is thick with the crash of the waves below, and the pungent smell of sea salt. The wreck is larger up close; a broken cadaver of wood and steel, hugging a large, dark coral formation that heralds the reefs below. It looks to be a two-deck ship, with one central mast, large enough for a crew of six or seven. A tattered red flag can be seen sadly clinging to the mast. On initial view, it seems as if the ship dashed against the rocks, stranding it there. There's no signs of life from what you can see, but closer inspection might yield more.
"Such tragedy." the dragon says, floating with the changeling. She looks over the ship, still fascinated with the designs. "I will look closer." She says, flying down to the ship.
She lands on the mast, perched like a gargoyle for a moment, then dropping onto the deck unceremoniously. "mitskateh?
Anyone there? We are friends." She shouts, walking the deck in search for signs of life.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
The deck sags and creaks as you land. It seems the wreck's been here a while; the wood is sodden, and encrusted with barnacles in some places. You don't hear a response. "Looks like no one's home," one of the crewmen comments.
Moving to the lower deck, you see the brunt of the damage; a huge spike of coral has pierced the hull, and this whole level is flooded. Algae and other sea life clings to the interior, and there's a smell of dead fish in the air. You think you can see something - or someone - lying in the water near the hull breach. There seems to be some sort of marking on the coral, as if carved by some hand. Most of the wood here is long rotten, and you'll have to be mindful of where you step if you're to explore here due to your considerable weight and frame. The crewmen seem to have an easier time of it, though, starting to poke around the interior for anything of interest.
"Ah, if only Vajra was here. Two flicks of her tongue and we would know exactly as many inhabitants this vessel had. Though she would likely turn a passed sailor into some sort of abomination soon after." She says to herself, with a more non-serious tone at the end.
She then approaches the figure near the breach, walking carefully towards it with her breath gently glowing as she breathes light softly.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
You approach. It's a corpse alright: a griffon, mostly bones with sodden rags of clothes still clinging to it. There's nothing from the waist down; the skeleton must have fallen apart over time.
You contemplate your discovery for a moment. As you go to turn away, however, a blue glow appears in its sockets and it springs to life with a ghostly snarl, clawing and biting madly at your legs!
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
" She shouts, kicking frantically at it before shouting again with a burst of light from her lips. "Away!"
Draconic Breath (Light) [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
You punt it away, unleashing a burst of light. It sears the undead fiend's bones, causing it to hiss and smoke from the brunt of the magical impact. It retreats, scrambling towards the coral and scuttering into the waters below.
Rakka and a few crewmen come quickly. "What was all that?" the Changeling asks with a bit of a frown.
"A passed one who has not yet found peace. Undead is your word for them." She says, shuddering at the prospect. "I would like to stay and try to put them each to peace, but this far away from anything worries me… what could cause this curse to befall them?"
She walks back towards the deck of the ship, looking carefully into the water.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
You see a glimpse of some sea creature lurking below; a fell befinned arm drags the corpse away into the murky depths as you go to examine it. Rakka spots it too, baring their fangs in irritation. "Merrows. Just our luck. We should ask Rupert if he keeps a stock of Lungale. Might be worth our time raiding them."
''A simple spell to cover their tracks. We might not be the first ones who attempted to hide something in this place'' Aegis notes
Her attention completely shifts at Etrigan's mention of Lysander, and she turns around to leave back to he ship with the others ''He must already know we are here and does not intend to give us time to prepare''>>752052>>752053>>752050
''Maybe we could find a way to put the Mirodans between Lysander and us. He is the one thats coming to us after all. Having him dealing with these beasts might improve our chances''
You invoke the complex sigil, bringing up a wall to block off the group from the upward path.>>752053>>752050>>752052>>752876
"Not a bad plan," says Violet with a nod in response to Aegis' suggestion. "We can definitely use these things to our advantage."
"Easier said than done. We'd have to find a way to get them to do what we want," Marisol points out.
"Maybe we can lure them somehow," Aurora muses.
"Either way. Let's head back and get Etrigan to pick us up at the top of the crater," says Violet.
"Which way is back, though," Marisol points out quietly. Looking back the way you came, you see that you've traveled a fair distance through the tunnels; finding the way out is easier said than done.>roll Navigation>>752051
Gawain nods. "A sound plan! Is there anything I should do in the meantime?" He looks eager to help with the preparations.
I think for a second. "There are a few things you can do to help prep. I'm gonna need to put everything together either in the forge or in the little workshop I have in my room. It'd be a big help if after I finished something you could take it where we're gonna need it. And fetch materials as I need them. That way I can move to the next project. I'll get my butler to help you out. If I don't have to keep going back and forth I should be able to get everything set up by the time the ship gets near enough to be a threat." I rub my chin. "Do you know if we have any really, really long rope? That we use for docking or something? Might be able to rig something up to board if we have to." Something I've been thinking about doing anyway, I decide to keep to myself. "Can't really rely on the few of us with wings playin cabbie."
"Other than that, there anythin you have to add? Ideas or opinions? I don't really got any kinda solid midgame or endgame plan yet, but our opening move?" I look up at him and flash him a manic grin. "It's gonna be chaos."
"If we know what kind of food they like, maybe we could bait them?"
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Zunden prepares runes in the case they need to find the way back by magical means, but navigates when she's not focus on runedrawing.
Thaumaturgy: Frozen Sight
[1d10] navRoll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
''The Monster Manual doesnt seem to list their prefered food, but you could safely assume they would attack anything that enters their territory with no distinction. Its not a very graceful plan but we could rile up a group of them and direct them to where Lysander's group is''
'1d10' navigationRoll #1 7 = 7
"Butler?" He cocks his head in confusion. "You mean Etrigan?"
You're cut off mid sentence by the manifestation of a Servitor, wielding a few dozen feet of coiled rope for you to use. "Well that's convenient," Gawain remarks.
He thinks. "I think we should come up with a boarding plan. We'll only be able to go ship to ship for so long. We have firepower, but I don't think it'll be enough to take down their ship if it's as intimidating as it sounds. We'll have to fight him face to face eventually, or he'll bring the fight to us. Maybe we could use the opening barrage as a diversion…">>752880>>752882>>752881
"I'd assume they eat anything that moves," Aurora comments. "They don't seem very picky. They almost tried to grab us."
"Maybe we could lure them out ourselves. Bait them along," Violet suggests. "Or Dawn could help with her portal spells…"
Zunden's attempt to conjure her latest learned rune fizzles out.
You start retracing your steps. Rabi does a bit of scouting ahead, and manages to find the right path to return to the surface. Soon enough, you're on the rocky, unsteady path up the side of the crater, heading towards its rim. You notice, however, that several Mirodan have set up shop there while you were exploring. They seem to be sunbathing - inconveniently, right in your way.
"I don't like the look of that," Marisol remarks. "Maybe we could draw them away somehow, like we were talking about just now."
"Or sneak past," Violet chimes in.
"Either way, we should signal Etrigan," Aurora points out. "We need a lift out of here. Maybe he could fly in from the top and avoid getting their attention."
''We call for Etrigan to get close and then we sneak past. If they notice us we make a run for the ship while Etrigan keeps them away with the canons'' Aegis speaks up
"Huh… well, alright then. I think we can manage it.">>752883
"Ah… hm. That's a rough way up, why don't we see if Etrigan can help us? If he could avoid getting their attention, we could potentially slip past."
"We could alzo uze a ranged attack to provoke zheir attention in ze oppozite locazion we are, in addition to contacting Etrigan."
'Etrigan, we're heading towards the rim of the crater and are looking for pickup. There are hostile creatures that are blocking further progress.
Zunden also continues to prepare for battle through runecraft.
Thaumaturgy: Frozen Sight
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
''Perhaps…'' Aegis ponders for a moment. ''Dawn could set up a portal, one of us call the attention of the Mirodan, then when they start running away from our path, the 'bait' returns from the portal and Dawn closes it
"I would prefer Dawn wizholdz from uzing portalz az much az pozzible, it doez take a lot out of her and zhey are much more valuable during ze heat of battle."
I smile and take the rope. "Oh! Great! Thank you."
I sling it over my shoulder and nod. "Yeah. That was my thinking. Use the barrage to make an opening. Once we have the opening have the servitors keep up fire if they can while we board. I'm gonna turn one of the scorpions into a zipline. Admittedly it isn't the safest plan. All someone would have to do is cut the rope and we're in the drink. But that's part of what the servitors keeping up the attack is for. Right now that's my only idea. Might try to come up with something better as things go on. Don't want to ask Dawn to do more than I need to, so portals are on the back burner."
"Oh! Right. I don't know if I've introduced Butler to-" I pause. "Well… anyone, actually. Man. That's kind of rude of me." I pull the bell out of my pocket and give it a quick tinkle. Slipping it back into my pocket, I lift up one of the shells and look it over. "We have anything we can load a bunch of these in at once so we're not carrying them one by one? I think we have some empty wooden crates down here from our food stores, but I'm not totally sure."
''If thats your wish'' Aegis nods ''I am aware of that fact, but a portal here would also make our lives much easier''
You fail to conjure it again. It's always difficult getting a hang of runes initially.>>752884>>752885>>752886
"Sound plan," Marisol nods. The others agree."Understood. Heading to your location now. Hang in there."
Before long, you start seeing the ship looming over the rim of the crater. Some Servitors start working to lower a rope ladder for you to climb up. It gets the Mirodan's attention; there's about seven of them basking on the rim, rearing their heads in curiosity at the large wooden hulk floating through the air in their direction.>>752889
The Servitor bows out politely.
"It's risky," Gawain agrees. "These waters are teeming with pelagic nightmares. If we fall in, we might not get back out. We could try taking some of the lifeboats instead, but those tend to draw more attention…"
As you ring the bell, Butler steps in, well dressed and phlegmatic as ever. "Good afternoon, sir." Gawain tilts his head in slight bewilderment. He doesn't seem to see or hear him.
"I think we might," Gawain nods. "I'm sure a Servitor will be along shortly to- Oh. There we are." A few Servitors enter, carrying many crates, waiting to be loaded up to carry them wherever you wish.
You feel the ship start moving beneath you. Etrigan seems to be heading off somewhere.
''Its time to move. Before they get closer'' Aegis says, casting a spell
'1d10' homing magic, ice
''In case something goes wrong''Roll #1 6 = 6
"I ought to be able to hop to my feet pretty quick if something bad happens- you guys get on first, I'll follow along after."
I look between Butler and Gawain. "Ah. Right. I'm the only one who can see him. Forgot about that. Oh well. Hopefully he can still work in front of other people and it'll just look like stuff is floating around."
I turn my attention to Butler. "Can you? I'd appreciate if you can help me move these shells-" I give a half wave toward the hollow cannonballs. "Over to the barrels we have pretty much right outside of the forge. Then after that if you can help Gawain play gofer, fetch materials and tools, and move stuff around as I finish working."
I stumble just a little as the ship lurches and starts to move. "Hopefully that's Etrigan picking the others up and not somethin we need to worry about. I'm sure if it was then he'd'a already said somethin."
I start loading the shells into the crates, counting them as I do.
Sneaccy '1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
Zunden grimaces, taking a slow breath to calm herself and move towards the ship slowly.
[1d10] maybe frozen Union will do better?Roll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
"Of course, sir." He starts loading them in with his unicorn telekinesis, lifting several at a time effortlessly. Gawain looks a bit unnerved as to him they're simply floating in thin air, but joins in the effort. You count 18 shells all in all.>>752892
You conjure a single crystalline spike above your head, poised to strike.>>752897
You conjure a Union rune, but it seems rather feeble and unstable.>>752897>>752896>>752893
You start making your way towards the rope ladder as it descends. In the process, however, a rock loosens under Zunden's foot, tumbling off the walls of the crater and into the abyss. You hear a low groan from the Mirodan above, and they begin shuffling downhill towards you with malicious intent! "Time to go," Violet mutters, moving towards the ladder with a hastened pace. Aurora doesn't waste time, taking off and flying up to board the ship.>roll to board
Aegis makes her way to the rope quickly, briefly turning around to fire a bolt of ice on the path the Mirodan would take in hopes of slowing them down
'1d10' homing magic, ice
'1d10' boardRoll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
Zunden bites her tongue and makes no noise but a low hiss, scrambling towards the ship.
board [1d10] i'll sacrifice a turn of making a rune just for a minimum success pleaseRoll #1 4 = 4
Flying up onto the deck with Aurora, i turn to help pull up the others as the wave of blubber and teeth descends on us!
[1d10] AssistRoll #1 9 = 9
"18. Great. I think that'll take us just over a barrel to fill. I can probably get this done in maybe an hour and a half?" I heft one of the crates. "Welp. Let's get this taken care of. I need 11 scorpion bolts, too. You know if we have any solid pieces of iron, steel, or some other kinda metal? The lighter the better. Doesn't need to be big. Only barely bigger than the jars I'm using."
I carry the shells outside and drop them next to one of the Viridust barrels. Sitting down on a crate, I pick one of them up and look around for a piece of paper or something I can use as a funnel. After, I begin filling them.
Aegis, Silver, Violet and Marisol manage to grab on, but with a heavy thud, two Mirodan land on the walkway, making it shake and crumble slightly as they block Rabi and Zunden's path!
The first and largest of the two lurches towards Zunden, shooting out its prehensile tongue!
The second one lunges to body slam Rabi!
Aurora starts flying back to help, while Marisol and Violet climb higher to try and jump the beasts!
Two more start moving down to join the commotion!>>752903
"The scorpions we bought before came with bolts," Gawain points out. "Wha's the metal for?"
As you begin to fill the barrels, you hear a commotion from outside. Seems like your friends are in trouble. Gawain perks up and drops what he's doing - quite literally. Some bits of metal scatter across the floor. He gives you a meaningful look before grabbing his sword from nearby and heading off to see what's going on.Roll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
Aegis quickly firest off a sharp bolt of ice at the Mirodan's face, trying to get it to release Zunden
'2d10' magic bolt, ice on Mirodan 1Roll #1 6, 4 = 10
'1d10' Potent potionRoll #1 2 = 2
Knowing their weakness to darkness, Zunden summons shadowy tentacles to grab the outstretched tongue out of the air.
>Snare: spell, recharge 3; Conjure shadowy tentacles to bind a target in place, rendering them immobile for 2d3 turns. On a crit, this roll also gets a +1 bonus, but the effect cannot last more than 6 rounds. A Snared target may roll to break free of the spell. Larger targets, as well as those tainted with dark magic, may be more resistant or outright immune to Snare
[2d3]Roll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 3, 2 = 5
"Gack!" the stallion shouts, trying to dodge out of the way.
"The metal is to back a small bit of gunpowder I'm putting behind the jar of witchpowder. Shoot the bolt, the charge blows, the jar shatters and dusts the area. The metal is to aim both the charge and the dust. Don't need it going backwards. Just what it's aimed at."
My jaw clenches as I hear the party fighting outside. We don't have time for this. As good a time as any to try out my new weapon, though. On the way up I grab my rifle and start loading it, shoving a large paper cartridge into the barrel.
With rising panic, I Follow Aurora's lead, returning to aid Rabi and Zunden!>Bounce
You grab the rifle and head up top. Dawn, Gawain and Etrigan are there already; you see your companions near the rim of a huge crater, being attacked by huge gold-skinned creatures resembling elephant seals with reptilian heads, kelp-like lion manes, and long blue frog-like tongues. There are four of them total, and more on the way.>>752905>>752907>>752909>>752911>>752910
Rabi manages to roll out of the way of the incoming beast, artfully dodging the lunge. Zunden is not so lucky; Aegis' shot bounces off its leathery hide as it grabs Zunden by the ankle before she can cast her spell, reeling her in inexorably. The stinging black barbs on the tongue pierce her skin beneath her scales, injecting their deadly venom!>Zunden is grappled>Poisoned: -1 hit/rd for 3 rds or until helpless
Mirodan 1, which has Zunden ensnared, continues to drag her across the glassy stone towards its gnashing teeth!
Aurora dive bombs it instinctively!
Mirodan 2 lashes at Rabi with its own tongue!
The ship starts moving closer so Violet and Marisol have an easier time striking!
Dawn and Gawain join the fight, the former charging up a magic bolt to blast the one attacking Rabi while the latter instinctively charges with his mighty zweihander at Mirodan 1!
The other two Mirodan join the fray!Roll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
/ Roll #3 5 + 1 = 6
/ Roll #4 6 + 1 = 7
/ Roll #5 1 + 2 = 3
Zunden attempts to wriggle free.
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Flying within range of the Mirodan, I brandish the more substantial Tanto and dive towards the tongue ensnaring Zunden, bringing the blade down to sever the offending appendage!
[1d10+1] MeleeRoll #1 4 + 1 = 5
"H-Hold on, hold on! Gotcha!" he shouts, frantically yanking on Zunden.>[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Heck. I rest my rifle on the ship's guardrail and search for a shot. Seeing one has Zunden, I immediately line up the shot. A slow inhale. A slow exhale. Pause. Squeeze.
Aegis takes a moment to climb back up on the ship proper and prepare another spell as she does
'1d10' homing magic, iceRoll #1 4 = 4
Aegis fails to conjure more orbs.
Rabi dodges the tongue, stabbing the Mirodan in the base of the tongue with his bayonet. It roars, momentarily distracted by the attack, then gets blasted into the wall by Dawn.
Gawain soars down, only to get swatted aside by a last minute thrash of its tail; Aurora suffers the same fate.
Zunden gets dragged across the ground. The Mirodan lurches forward to sink its scythe-like teeth into its prey; then, a well placed shot rings out. Norv's homemade rifle rattles jankily, but does its job, hitting it between the eyes. It's not enough to kill the beast, but it provides an opening. Silver slices its tongue with her tanto, drawing blood, but not quite severing it. As it's distracted by the sudden assault from multiple directions, Rabi hauls, forcing it to loosen its grip and pulling Zunden free!>Zunden is no longer grappled>-1 hit from poison
Gawain and Aurora right themselves and go for another swoop, targeting one each!
Mirodan 1 takes a moment to recover from the attacks!
Mirodan 2 tries to body slam Rabi again!
Mirodans 3 and 4 attack Silver and Rabi from afar with whiplike lashes of their tongues!
Dawn starts opening a portal at the bottom of the rope ladder! "Forget them and climb aboard!"
Etrigan calls.Roll #1 7, 7 = 14
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #3 8, 6 = 14
Zunden tries her best to climb aboard.
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Aegis takes a moment to breathe and recover after casting spells back to back while running, but manages to whip up an unrefined magic blast to serve as at least a distraction to the Mirodan closest to Zunden
'1d10' magic attack
She also catches the magical imprint left behind by Dawn's portal spell
'1d10' spellcatcherRoll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
"Guh." he says, squirming a little bit and trying to climb up the ladder.>Climb! [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Zunden free, i keep the approaching Mirodan in my sight as i back up towards the ship. As the mirodan tongue lashes out, i try to dodge the strike by diving for the open portal!
[1d10] dodge!Roll #1 7 = 7
I pull out another cartridge and ram it into the barrel, preparing to line up another backup shot if needed. Gonna have to tweek it a little. Or take it to an actual gunsmith if I can find one. Pretty dang nice being useful at a range, though.
Silver gets grazed by the Mirodan's tongue, but manages to get away without being grabbed. Her leg stings as the venom runs its course!>Silver takes 1 hit>Poisoned: 1 hit/rd for 3 rds
Aegis blasts the Mirodan. Everyone manages to get to safety; everyone except Rabi who gets stunned by a tongue lash, then pounced on by the returning vengeful Mirodan. It pins him under its tremendous weight, threatening to crush him!>Rabi takes 5 hits, helpless
The Mirodan bares its teeth and gnashes at Rabi in a frenzy!
Dawn senses him in danger and fires a powerful blast at it!
Her portal opens for Rabi to run through!Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #2 2 + 1 = 3
/ Roll #3 10 + 1 = 11
Aegis joins Dawn's efforts and launches a powerful ice missile aimed at the Mirodan's eyes
'2d10' magic bolt, ice
Roll #1 8, 9 = 17
'1d10' Potent potionRoll #1 3 = 3
Rabi manages to push himself through it, attempting to scrabble up and out.
With the newly loaded round I take aim at the thing trying to pin Rabi. Finding an opening, I squeeze the trigger.
[1d10]ImproviseRoll #1 10 = 10
Zunden casts our healing magic to her friends in need, finally safe on board.
>Using Healing Orb on self
[1d10+1] Zunden (frozen), Rabi, Aurora since she got swatted once and she's less tanky as GawainnRoll #1 7 + 1 = 8
Nearly losing by balance, I brace myself against the railing as the venom burns my hoof.
gritting my teeth, i dig through my weapons for Blister as the others struggle to help Rabi escape>weapon swap, ranged
Dawn, Norv and Aegis work together to blast the Mirodan, injuring it greatly. Norv hits it right in the eye, blinding it. It roars, made even angrier by the attack and thrashing madly!
Zunden manages to heal Rabi and Aurora. The latter looks dazed and bruised from the attack, but shakes her head and smiles as her injury disappears. "Thanks," she says softly.
As Rabi struggles to slip away, he feels a tingling sensation overcome him, like when he projects astrally. The others look on as he somehow manages to just… phase right through the Mirodan. It snaps at him, but he's not there. The next thing Rabi knows, he's through the portal and back on board the ship. "…Since when can you do that?" Violet asks, as the others look at him with bewilderment. Marisol's face looks lined with concern.
There's a brief moment of silence, but before the matter can be pursued, there's a sudden lurch. The other Mirodan has latched on to the rope ladder before it can be raised, hauling itself up to try and get to you all!
I blink as Rabi just slips through the Mirrodin. As everyone else stares at him, I can't help but respond to Violet. "I know I'm in my room or the forge a lot, but as far as I know that's new." I stumble as the ship lurches, look down the rope ladder, and groan. "We. Don't. Have. Time." Without waiting, I reach out, try to pull Violet's sword, and, if I manage, swing it around, attempting to sever the rope.
[1d10]to pull the sword if needed
[1d10]to sever the rope ladder if neededRoll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
Rabi scrabbles up the rope, without realizing how he managed to do it in the first place. The tingling sensation barely registers until he's back in the ship- it doesn't take him long to look around at Violet, Marisol, and the others, before asking "Since when can I do what?" he asks, looking around in confusion. "Did I… w-what happened?"
"A development zhat can hopefully wait till we have dealt wizh ze drake. Do you feel any different or hurt?" Zunden asks with mild concern, getting right back to attempting runecraft.
Thaumaturgy: Frozen Sight
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Sighing in relief as Rabi makes it aboard, the pause is short-lived as the ship lurches from an uninvited Mirodan!
Pulling my sling from the bag, I ready a glass bead and aim for the beast's head!
[1d10] RangedRoll #1 1 = 1
"G-Gah!" he shouts, firing a bolt of light at the Mirordan from his gun!>Ranged Attack (Light): [1d10+2]Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
Aegis squints slightly at Rabi's development, but maintains her focus and conjures a couple of ice orbs to deal with the pesky Mirodan
'1d10' homing magic, iceRoll #1 4 = 4
Since I forgot to add it.
"Definitely new," Violet agrees.
"You just… passed right through it. Like Elaina." Marisol puts her paw to her mouth in thought. It's cut off by the dogged determination of the Mirodan below.
Rabi and Silver's shots ring true; a burst of light and an explosion of acid blind the pinniped beast, loosening its death grip. Norv and Violet spring to action, taking a sword each and slicing through both ropes of the ladder. With a vicious scream, the enormous beast tumbles helplessly into the darkness, vanishing into the depths of the caldera.
There's a moment of relief as it's cut loose and the ship begins to rise; Violet gives Norv a nod of approval, wordlessly gesturing to take her sword back. Everyone in the crew is assembled now; Etrigan keeps the ship hovering above the caldera. There's a slightly tense atmosphere.
"So what happens now?" Aurora asks, breaking the silence."We prepare. Lysander's ship is out there now. He'll be here in less than 24hours. If there's anything we want to do to finish getting ready, now's the time. Whether on board here or down there on the Isle. He's going to come at us with everything he's got. We need to be ready."
"U-Uh… d-do I? I don't think I feel too different, no. I felt a little tingly for a moment or two, but I feel fine now, I think." he says, panickedly.>>752939
"I, uh… I-I phased through it? I didn't even mean to- I didn't even know I could!
" he says, looking around. "Maybe… that encounter I had, when I tried to project. Maybe something happened to me."
''I have faith we will finally end this conflict this time, if we each play our parts in the coming battle. But we will need to be in our best condition. Master Gawain'' Aegis turns to the large gryphon ''A hearty meal is in order, and I acknowledge you as the best cook in this ship. Please prepare something that will give us the vigor for the day to come''
With that, Aegis walks toward Aurora ''And Aurora, let us have another sword training. If it comes to it, I might end up having to wield a blade as well, so I want both of our technique to be in good shape. Come''
I nod back to Violet, flip her sword, and hand the hilt over to her. Turning around, I brush my coat off, grab my rifle, and glance back at everyone. >>752937>>752936>>752935>>752934
"If anyone needs me I'll be below deck. Making bombs. We should be thinking of a boarding strategy. I'm working on some stuff, but more ideas would be nice. If anyone ain't busy with something you can help me. I'm sure I could come up with some extra stuff to give us an edge if I had the extra hands giving me the time to do it."
I pause, tighten my grip on my rifle, and clear my throat. "Also, while we're all here, I wanna go ahead and say-" I shuffle a little, not sure how to bring the topic up. "I want the potion. The Black Lilly one. I'm telling you now, I don't know what you guys plan but after the first barrage I'm definitely going to board. I have some stuff I'm going to try to do, and…" I lick my lips. "Well. The odds aren't great, but if I can manage then it should mostly deal with the problem. Maybe even completely. Of the ship, specifically, anyway. Doubt Lysander is actually on it."
"How against would you be to me borrowing your bottomless bag thingy? Is it important? Or just convenient?"
"While we've time, i'll have to examine the Mirodan parts we've collected. Perhaps it could be of some use?"
Storing my sling, I check the Mirodan parts as I make my way to the lab, reviewing the guide once i've secured the samples.
''It wouldnt be of much use to me besides a safety net if I was being targeted. So if you want it to ensure you live after a suicidal maneuver, I am not against it, Master Norvegicus''
"If you are boarding, zhen I will wizh to craft you a ztrong charm wizh a Return rune. If you end up uzing your lifeline, I do not want you dying a zecond time. Zhat, or if we have zucceeded and ze zhip iz zinking, no need to wazte ze effect eizher.">>752943
"Ze only reason I would be hezitant iz zhat I find it to be ze only zafe ztorage for ze Zhip in ze Bottle. If I am to fall on ze bottle while it iz in the bottomlezz bag, it will not shatter ze bottle. But if it iz in a regular bag, it will be prone to breaking. Do you plan on deztroying ze bag?">>752940
"Good, zhen I will create a charm for you after all zhiz iz over. I care for your zafety deeply, but az you know we have ze battle approaching.">>752939
Zunden creates another rune in the midst of talking to her allies.
>Thaumaturgy: Frozen Union
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
"Well, uh…anything we could send with you to help, I think we could. That sounds dangerous, and I'd hate to see you get hurt." he says, somewhat nervously.>>752946
"R-Right. I, uh… I'm almost more worried that didn't hurt. I don't know what I did to myself. And, thanks for caring. I'll try to be as careful as I can."
"It sounds like whatever happened to you back at the Sands is… progressing," says Marisol quietly. "Like it did to her…"
"This isn't something I've come across before," says Dawn. "My talents lean towards investigating unique forms of magic through experimenting with certain techniques. If you'd like, we could try to get to the bottom of this that way.">>752941
Gawain stands to attention and salutes, clanking off to the galley.
Aurora's ears prick up. "Hm? Sure. I found some training swords before. We could use those.">>752942"I'll help,"
says Etrigan. "As will the Servitors. No need for anyone else to dedicate themselves when we have all the helping hands we need."
Marisol's eyes narrow slightly. "That's a dangerous tool to have at your disposal. I hope you know what you're doing."
"Do any of us really know what we're doing?" Dawn points out politely.
"I'm just along for the ride," Violet chimes in. No one really hears her."The Servitors and I should be able to keep up the assault after the initial encounter,"
Etrigan points out. "From there, you should consider boarding. That potion should be invaluable, no matter who uses it.">>752944
Marisol pipes up before you go. "Depending on how useful they are, maybe we could organize a trip down there to find more," she offers. "There might be other things on the isle worth using for your potioncraft as well. Island fauna tends to be different to what's on the mainland.">>752946"I'll keep the bottled ship safe,"
Etrigan offers. "I had ideas for a maneuver to pull with it, when the time comes…"
You manage to conjure the Union rune. It burns in a fiery light before fading into the glowing orb.
"I think that's the case, yeah. I… u-uhm, I have no clue how much further this'll go. I'd appreciate investigation, though- I just want to go what's going on."
I shake my head. "Nah. Just bringing some heavier stuff with me. Might not be able to do it with an actual bag. If I have yours then I don't have to worry about cargo space. If it fits through the hole it fits in the bag, right?" I fall silent for a moment. "I-" I swallow and lick my jowels again. "I also have one more favor if you ain't too busy for it. Think I can get that reading? I'll be busy, but it's mostly mindless work for now. Filling a bunch of shells at once. Actually sealing them and stuff comes after, so while I'm doing that if you don't mind." I smile. "I'd really appreciate the charm, too. Might surprise you, but I used that trick once. Took out an entire nest of Mournwings and banged up their queen real bad. Definitely come in useful.">>752945
I nod. "Thank you. Here's hoping it won't come to that, but-" I give a halfhearted shrug and a wan smile. "I've lost on better odds and won on worse.">>752947
"Great. Seems like everyone is alright with it, then." I let out an uncomfortable laugh. "I didn't even have to pull the 'I ran at the wave of black ooze to get the flower' card, either. Thank you.">>752948
"Great. That's that, then. Let's give this bastard hell."
Dawn nods. "We should start with the basics, I think. Astral projection would be the first place I could think to start. See what effects it might have now. You mentioned you had a sort of vision last time, yes?" She stands up and starts heading up to the upper deck where it's more spacious, gesturing politely for you to follow.
"A vision, yeah- an intense one. Normally I see bits and pieces of her life, but this time, I was, well… talking to her. She was there, too." he explains, before settling down to try and relax. "Astral Projection? Right, let me try…">Astral Projection
"Curious. It seems this entanglement between you two is becoming stronger the closer Lysander gets. I think it's very likely she's on board his ship.
You follow Dawn up to the deck. She stumbles slightly, having difficulties with stairs sometimes, but catches herself.
A fresh breeze is blowing, carrying the sharp bite of sea salt. Gulls wheel overhead as waves grasp at the glassy rocks below. You can see a few Mirodan sleeping and sunbathing in the distance. The world is quiet here. On the horizon, you can see the great steel hulk of Lysander's ship, smoke billowing from its stacks.
Dawn ignores it and sits down, motioning for you to do the same. Though she can't see, you can feel her attention on you. Her horn glows a faint silver. "Go ahead," she prompts.
You do so. The familiar feeling of release washes over you, as you slip into the astral plane.
It takes you a few moments this time. But she's there again. Elaina doesn't seem aware of your presence; she is making sort of chopping motions, as if carving up some dead animal. She stops all of a sudden, as if alerted to your presence. She turns around, wiping her claws. It seems to take her a moment to see you. She jumps slightly, hissing sharply in shock, but doesn't try to attack this time."How did you-? …No, it's not… it's this again. Why does this keep happening? What do you want from me?"
She looks defensive, her arms raised slightly, hairs bristling.
"Y-You're here too? Elaina, please, relax- I'm trying to figure out why this is happening. Whatever happened before, it's getting to both of us, now. I'm turning out like you did- I can phase through things without meaning to, I can kind of, uh… fly? While projected… I don't know what's happening."
She lets her guard down ever so slightly, still on edge and not fully trusting you."…I've been having… the opposite. …I feel more complete than I have since…"
She trails off. "…Well,if you've been experiencing that, then… then you've had an easier job of it than I ever did…"
She looks vaguely frustrated and confused. "Why could this be happening? Who's doing this? It's not you or me. Someone or something's linking us. And… it's stronger. …I think I… I can see you. Where you are."
She tilts her head slightly, looking directly at you with an unreadable expression. You feel more focused somehow; you too seem to be able to discern her surroundings. To an extent. It's cold. Metallic. There's a table, a door… You can hear the sea…"You're on a ship too, aren't you. …We're going to meet. And we're going to fix this. I want you out of my head,"
she growls. "I want you out of my head and I don't care what I have to do to do it. You and your friends will be dead by the end of tomorrow. You can't survive what's coming. You're not prepared, you hear me. …Tell… Tell Marisol to run."
"It's like… we're swapping, then? I'm picking up traits of yours, and you're feeling less broken. I feel… I don't know… happy for you, I guess. I've seen some of the stuff you went through- how much it hurt. If we could fix whatever's going on without making you worse off, that'd be… nice." he says, scratching at his neck. "I can see where you are, too. But, please- it doesn't have to go badly. My friend's trying to do what she can to help. Maybe she can help both of us." he offers.
At the mention of what's coming, he folds his ears back a little "Well, we're going to try our best, anyways. You could help, you know. Tell us what's coming, come over and work with us- you don't have to stay wrapped around Lysander's finger. And… I, uh, I guess I'll tell Marisol. She'd want to hear that. She still cares about you, you know."
she jabs forcefully. "Stop. Talking. Haven't you learned anything? Kindness is only going to get you hurt. The only way you can help me is by dying. You're going to die, you hear me. You're going to burn! You and everyone on board! Get out! GET OUT OF MY HEAD!"
Something seems to trigger somewhere; the next thing you know, you're alone in the astral plane once again. Dawn is standing over your physical form, inspecting it with curiosity. Something seems to have changed, but you're not sure what…
Rabi winces a little bit, before letting out a frustrated huff responding with "No, I guess I haven't. I don't want to have it end that way- I don't want to end it that way."
He goes to say something else, before shaking his head a little as he's suddenly back… where he should be. The stallion shakes his head and lets out a sigh, before trying to test things out- he can still fly, likely. After a moment or two of thinking it over, he tries floating back down to the ground, and pushing his way through the floor.
"Ah, good idea! We'd have to step lively around those mirodan, but I'm sure there's something useful further in."
The floor gives way, like there's nothing there at all. You pass through solid wood and metal into the chicken coop Aegis has set up. They're mostly roosting at the moment.
Something strange overcomes you; a feeling that can only be described as a cloud hanging over your mind itself. You're only vaguely aware of your current surroundings; you're back in your body, through no action of your own. You can barely perceive Dawn next to you; she seems to be asking you something, but you can't seem to quite comprehend your reality.
Rabi lets out a startled whinny as he passes through the floor like it's hardly there, getting a view of the chicken coop. His head gets foggy and confused, and he tries to focus on… Dawn? But, wasn't he below deck? He shakes it off and tries to return to his own body, even though he's… almost there? Is he back already?
"We have an aerial advantage too," she points out. "We could easily descend somewhere not as exposed to danger."
She follows you out of curiosity into your lab. Consulting your notes reveals that Mirodan ingredients are quite valuable:
Their venom when distilled is a powerful catalyst for strengthening other poisons, though the process is tricky. You have 1 Mirodan venom gland.>Mirodan Venom Catalyst: Combine with another poison to improve its effects.
Their blubber is an extremely effective flammable agent, being a key ingredient in an extremely reactive and long-lasting oil that's sure to cause some truly devastating flames. You have 2 samples of Mirodan blubber.>Pyrefuel: An extremely flammable substance, usable as both fuel to grant light and a destructive oil when combined with an open flame. Handle with caution.
Their mucus has regenerative properties, acting as a catalyst for improving already existing curative potions. You have 1 sample of Mirodan mucus extract.>Mending Mix: Combine with a beneficial potion to improve its effects.
You currently have the following: https://pastebin.com/NJs66YVt
You try to steel yourself and regain lucidity, but you find yourself unable to. You feel a distant, lingering ache; not in your body, but somewhere deep within you. In your soul, perhaps.
You are adrift in the astral plane once again. You are floating above everything, going higher and higher. The ship starts to shrink out of view, then the island, then the ocean itself. Like you're being dragged off into the sky.>roll again
The stallion's breathing grows more panicked as he tries to force himself back to where he should be- whatever's happening, it's getting worse by the second.>Mental Fortitude: [1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
>>753048>Astral Anchor: [1d10+1]
Running out of options, the stallion tries something a little more desperate.Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4
You try to reach out and anchor yourself, to no avail. You find yourself being almost thrown about, like a child with a toy; with a rush, you find yourself awake in your body, then you're back out, plummeting through layers upon layers of wood, earth and stone, through the ship and through the isle itself. Darkness consumes you, and you freefall to the ceiling, then down again, into the crater and the abyss beyond. You feel a blazing heat within you and around you, threatening to incinerate your very soul…
"C-Come on, l-let me back in!" the stallion shouts to himself as he feels himself being pushed further, and further, and further down. He fights the burning sensation to the best of his ability, trying to shut it and everything else out.>Mental Fortitude: [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
"Interesting.. according to the notes, The parts can be used to catalyze potions into stronger effects.. provided I can cook the pieces down into something more manageable."
Securing the venom gland above a flask, I carefully cut into the gland, dripping the venom into the container to begin condensing the substance.
[1d10] Venom Catalyst
While the venom condenses, I pull the blubber onto a plate, cutting the fat into smaller cubes before sliding it into a beaker and placing it above the burner to melt.
Sliding the mucus into a flask, I add water and seal the glassware under a condenser to evaporate the catalyst into another glass.
[1d10] Mending MixRoll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
/ Roll #3 1 = 1
You continue to hurtle through the dark, now in a full freefall. The burning sensation continues to intensify, now an agonizing inferno coursing through your body. You start to see red, which gives way to shapes. Then, you see it: the heart of the Isle, hidden from sight. A vast, neverending lake of molten magma in an underground cavern, hidden from the eyes of any living being for untold aeons.
You feel a sudden rush. You're back on the deck, drenched in a cold sweat. Seagulls screech and wheel, and the waves gently lap. Dawn is standing over you, her horn aglow in a silver blaze. You feel weak, as if a part of you is missing.>-1 max wounds for the next in game week
"Can you move?" Dawn asks with concern. "Your heart rate was… dangerously high. I had to project myself and attack you with an astral strike to return you to us. What happened?"
"Hmm. Let's hope it doesn't go to waste, then. That would be quite valuable."
You get to work, with Marisol as a lab assistant. The Pyrefuel comes out quite nicely in the end, materializing into a viscous semi translucent jelly. The Mending Mix and the Venom Catalyst are not so lucky; the procedure goes awry, and the ingredients are lost. "Kazdan!" Marisol curses. "Forgive me, it was my fault. I should've known better… What happens now? Should we organize a trip to the island? I feel like it's on me to make up for this." She rubs the back of her head uncomfortably.
Rabi awakens with a start, letting out a panicked series of whinnies and shouts. He touches his chest as he feels something… missing. Like, he'd left it behind. It takes him a moment or two to come to his senses- he looks up at Dawn shakily, before drawing himself in and trying to sit up.
"I-I can… I can move, yeah. I feel… damaged, weakened. W-When I tried to project, I found I could push through solid o, I just… I don't know, I lost control of my soul. I got flung around and forced into the ground, to the core of the island… i-it was awful. I've never been so out of control of it before. I don't, uh… I-I don't know if I can do it again. Not until this is fixed."
"O-Oh… and, uh, I bumped into Elaina. The same thing's happening to her in reverse, and I'm stuck in her head like she's stuck in mine. I-I think she's going to kill me for it, or try to."
Her brow furrows. "I've heard of something like this in a different field of magic before. There was a case before my time at the University, of an experiment done with the transference of healing magic… A bond was formed between the performer and the subject, who was gravely injured. They recovered over time, at the expense of the performer's own health. If others hadn't intervened, they would have died. It seems something similar's happening here. Whatever caused you two to become linked is siphoning your strength to her. Whether she did it on purpose of not, who can tell. There must be a third party involved here…"
"Here. Can you stand? We should get you back inside. Best not to try experimenting with astral projections for a while. Maybe we can try again later. It'd be troubling to lose such an advantage on the eve of what's coming, but I don't want you pushing yourself, of course. How about a cup of tea?"
Scowling at the Residue that was once valuable ingredients, I unclip the beaker and swirl the thankfully successful Pyrefuel.
"No no, It's quite alright. I may have underestimated the sensitivity of the ingredients. Still, the Pyrefuel here turned out quite well, I'm certain Norvy would love to play around with this find."
"Now, onto the island.. We might not be able to gather more mirodan parts, but perhaps the notes have some information on flora of note here."
Setting the Beaker down, i trot over to the Alchemy notes, flipping through the pages for a section on the Isle of Glass.
[1d10] Note checkingRoll #1 3 = 3
"For some reason, she's as… upset about it as I am. I don't get it- wouldn't she want to be normal? I can understand not wanting our thoughts linked, at least… as for a third party, maybe someone in Lysander's crew? I could figure out where she was, at least. Somewhere metallic, with a table, and the ocean, I think."
Rabi struggles to his hooves, taking a few moments to catch his breath and collect himself before following. "A-A cup of tea would be… nice, really. Let's do that."
Marisol peers over your shoulder as you consult the manual. Due to the Isle's remote location and hostility, Carnifex doesn't seem to have written much about it, save for passing mention of a mushroom which can be used to make something called Lungale, a potion that allows one to breathe and speak underwater. This mushroom, a misshapen light blue growth known as Nun's Heart, seems to grow on beaches all around the central Echoes, including its islands. "Lungale might be worth investing in," Marisol comments. "What do you say? Should we launch an expedition? Maybe with someone else from the crew to be safe…"
"She seems like a very wounded person," Dawn comments quietly. "I don't think she can trust anyone to help her. Even someone as genuine as you."
You head to the mess hall, where you find Gawain merrily working in the kitchen, humming loudly. He jumps slightly as he sees you looking haggard. "Rabi! Goodness gracious, are you alright? Shall I call Zunden?"
"He's not wounded," Dawn reassures him. "Not physically, at least. Could you get us some-" She is cut off as a Servitor rushes out with some tea already served. Etrigan, presumably busy elsewhere, is helping from afar.
Gawain looks a bit relieved, but still worried, pulling up a chair for you as the Servitor pours you some tea. "Ayayay, what happened, friend? Some sort of magical mishap?"
"Hmm.. The book doesn't hold much on the island, but I'm sure there's more worthwhile out there."
"An expedition it is, then. We'll need all the supplies we can find before Lysander arrives."
"As to who to bring, We'd need to travel light to avoid running into trouble.. Aurora, Perhaps?"
Marisol nods. "If she's not busy."
It turns out she isn't; you find Aurora below deck, reading a book while hanging upside down, as bat ponies tend to do. She looks up and rights herself hastily as you enter. While she seems to have gotten over her dislike for you, she still seems a bit wary, but agrees to come along after you explain the situation. "If we travel lightly and in small numbers, we should be able to avoid Mirodan more easily than before," she points. "We should take one of the flying lifeboats down to the shore. Try and land somewhere away from one of their colonies."
"H-Hey, Gawain. It's, uh… a bit of a story. I'll be happy to explain over tea, but there's no need to go get Zunden. I don't know if she could fix, uh… whatever happened." he says, settling into the chair when it's offered. He sags in the chair a little bit, before taking a few moments to collect himself.
"I, uh… I'm linked to Elaina, like I've said. The link's getting stronger, somehow- she's growing more whole, while I'm getting more, uh… ethereal? We tried investigating it, but that was… a-a bad idea, I think. I had trouble returning to my actual body, like it just didn't want to take my soul back. I got flung around, and then flung into the island, all the way down to the core- I just kept phasing through things, like I did coming up that rope ladder."
Some time later, you and Aurora make your way to one of the lower sections of the ship, an unused corner of the cargo hold. It's spacious, giving you ample room to spar. "I managed to find these in storage somewhere," she says, showing off two wooden training swords. "I'm not sure whose they are, but they shouldn't mind. Right?"
She hands you one and takes the other for herself. "Violet and Gawain have been showing me some techniques, actually," she comments as she gets ready for the spar. "I haven't had the chance to try them much yet." She adjusts her hooves and places herself in a poised swordsman's stance.
Aegis wordlessly takes the sword in her mouth and gets into a stance as well ''Thats good, They are both decent swordfighter as well. I look foward to seeing how far you progressed with their help''
''Ready'' Aegis says as she takes a few steps towards Violet, with unreadable intent in her calm eyes until the very last moment to launch a quick strike on Aurora's left side
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
She keeps her defence up as you press the assault, parrying your initial attack but being forced to shift her stance to meet it. She fumbles slightly, but is not downed. She twirls the sword and attacks with a sudden reversed grip in a horizontal swipe!
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
Aegis effortlessly brings her sword back and with precision, disarms the Aurora, then bops her on the shoulder with the sword before lowering her blade and backing out
''Focus on your grip when you attempt that move.'' She says simply ''Unexpected maneuvers to throw your opponent off wont work if you leave a mistake for them to exploit. Again''
"It worked on Gawain when I tried it," she grumbles almost inaudibly. She looks embarrassed to have been beaten so easily already.
She readies the sword, then moves forward in a swift downward thrust!
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
''The same technique wont work on all opponents. With Gawain's lack of finesse, he wouldnt be able to simply disarm you''
Aegis reacts by attempting to side step with a spin, aiming for a swipe on Aurora's legs
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
Whatever she was about to say is lostas she focuses on regaining her posture after barely blocking your strike. She attempts to gain momentum over the fight with an upwards slash!
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Aegis reacts quickly, and suddenly lunges at Aurora's exposed throat with a jab of the wooden sword
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
She reacts equally quickly, bringing the practice sword down immediately after her uppercut slash, forming a V shaped pattern to her attack and blocking your strike. Both of you are on even footing now. She keeps up the pressure and slashes diagonally!
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Aegis moves her sword up to block and push Aurora's blade away while attempting to throw the bat mare out of balance
'1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
You clash blade, your forceful strike nearly breaking her guard wide open. She struggles to keep up, readjusting her grip before rushing forward for a focused thrust, using her wings for extra momentum!
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Aegis gains a faint blow glow to her eyes, and attempts to sidestep Aurora's powerful trust at the last moment before striking her on the side of the neck with the chop of an executioner
'1d10+2'Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
The tea is nice and hot, but not too hot. You feel better already.
"Oh. Oh me, oh my. That won't do at all." He looks a bit distressed at the idea of having your soul rent.
"There has to be a solution," Dawn says firmly. "Whatever happens, I won't let you fade away. That's a promise."
"In the meantime. I might have a temporary solution. I'm not sure if it will work, but I could try sharing my strength with you. Temporarily. My magical power would diminish, but yours would be bolstered. You'd be able to access the astral plane again, in small bursts. Don't worry. It wouldn't hurt me. …Shall I?…">>753091
She flutters to the side, dodging your swing. She swings; you only barely manage to block it this time. Both of you are losing posture at this point. Aurora tries to gain the advantage and pressures you with an overhead swing!
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
"I-I… I know you won't let me fade away. I trust you." he says, rubbing at his neck a little bit. "B-But, uh… t-that wouldn't hurt you? I don't want you messing yourself up because of my mistake."
"I have strength to spare," she answers with quiet confidence. Gawain steps back as her horn begins to glow.
She concentrates, manifesting a silver orb that constantly shifts shape; it's dizzying to look at for too long. Gently, it floats out from her horn and towards you, landing gently on your chest and passing into you. You feel a faint radiant warmth within you, soothing the damage you felt within. Dawn leans back, seemingly exhausted from the effort, taking a deep breath. "It's done," she says simply with a small smile.
"An excellent idea! It seems they tend to congregate near the edges of the isle, so a foray into the greenery should prove safe enough."
Once the three of us are ready, I set off for the Lifeboat, directing the craft as close as we can to the outskirts of the treeline, away from the mirodan below.
[1d10] NavigationRoll #1 6 = 6
You land on the edges of the upward slope to the caldera. A wall of slippery glassy stone looms over you as you touch down in a dirt field. Lowland shrubs and small, ailing saplings dot the landscape, with the terrain having a slow, gentle slope downward to the beaches and rocks below. "It's quieter here," Marisol comments. "Almost seems normal." Aurora wastes no time. "We don't want to spend too much time here," she points out. "The others might start to worry, and we're on a time limit as is.">roll for foraging
Rabi shakes his head a little bit, trying to keep himself from looking too closely at it- it's bright! He looks back long enough to see the mare pass the orb into his chest, and he lets out a somewhat confused, albeit content-sounding nicker. He pats himself down, and reaches over to steady Dawn.
"Are you… a-are you okay? You sure?"
"I'll be alright, I think. The important part is that you can use your abilities, though not as much as before. It's better than nothing at all, right? …I think I'll have some tea as well." She seems winded, but otherwise in good shape. Gawain clears his throat. "If you'll excuse me, I'll be in the kitchen."
Landing the craft, I step out and admire the view, before Turning to the task at hoof.
"Right. Carnifex's notes are unfortunately quite barren when mentioning the isle, so it seems we'll be on our own for this trip."
Approaching the shrubbery, i begin the search for plants of note, using what knowledge of harvesting I've accrued for reference.
"Do keep me informed if you find something of use." I call out to the others as I searchRoll #1 9 = 9
"I guess it is, yeah. Thank you for this, Dawn. I'll make sure I put it to as good of a use as I can. But, uh… it's temporary, isn't it? I wouldn't have wanted to take this stuff from you permanently."
Aurora nods. "I will," says Marisol. The three of you split up to search for valuable plantlife and fungi.
It's difficult to find much at first, but eventually, you start unearthing all manner of unique forms of life. Under a rock, you find a strange type of brightly colored pink slime mold clinging to it. It doesn't look edible, but experimentation might give some interesting results. It doesn't take too long to find samples of Nun's Heart mushrooms either, growing out of a patch of sand a bit further down. Off of a shrub, you find a peculiar flower with many scarlet petals. The smell of it is intoxicating; surely it'll yield something interesting. Plucking it scares off some strange beetle-like insects that are shaped and colored exactly like the flowers.
Aurora returns to your side, with some more ingredients in tow. "I found some samples of Mirodan slime on the rocks back there. That's useful, right?"
>Nun's Heart Mushrooms: x2>Unidentified pink slime mold: x1>Mirodan Slime: x3>Unidentified scarlet flower: x1
Aurora is about to say something else when you hear a shout from nearby. Sounds like Marisol's in trouble.>>753135
She nods. "I'll have my energy back in no time. Hopefully this little boost is enough to tide you over, at least until the battle is won."
Gawain and the Servitors return with extra tea for you and Dawn. She thanks him politely.
"Thank you, Gawain. And… thank you, Dawn. It means a lot to me that you'd help like this."
"Ah, excellent! The slime is just the thing to replace the last batch."
Taking the slime into a vial for later, the good find is cut short by Marisol's shouting!
Settling my ingredients in my pack, i rush towards the screaming. "Marisol!"
You run towards the shout. Aurora unsheathes her sword and takes to the air. You find Marisol struggling to free her leg. It seems to be stuck in a sand pit of some sort at first glance; then, you notice something below the surface actively trying to pull her down. "H… help…!" She looks to be in great pain.
Taking flight, I grab hold of her in an attempt to keep her from descending further
"Aurora! can you see what has her leg?"Roll #1 4 = 4
Aurora flies over, trying to see what's in the pit, but shakes her head. She joins you in trying to pull her out of it, but it only seems to make things worse, and she sinks even further in.
The dirt shifts, giving a glimpse of what's made its nest there. The walls of the pit are lined by cruel hooked teeth within a fleshy maw, hidden by a layer of earth and sand. Whatever this creature is, it's rooted in place, and trying to devour Marisol's leg. "Kill it! Kill it!" She kicks at it frantically with her hind claws bared, while Aurora goes in for a swooping stab!
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
Drawing My Tanto, I join Aurora in slashing at the creature, trying to dislodge it's grip!
[1d10+1] meleeRoll #1 2 + 1 = 3
No luck. You slash at the buried creature, but it only seems to make it angry. Its grip is loosened slightly by Aurora plunging her sword into the walls of its mouth. A deep rumbling sound comes from within the earth, and some of the teeth lining the maw dislodge, revealing themselves to be prehensile hooked appendages, flailing towards both of you angrily!
Aurora tries to stab it again!
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
assailed by the hooked teeth, i try to dive out of the way!
With the beast momentarily relenting, I try to coat my blade in midnight oil, stabbing the beast to try and force it off of Marisol.
[1d10] Sleep serumRoll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
Aegis's brightness fades as Aurora's maneuver completely throws her off her balance. She attempts to stabilize by blocking Aurora's strike and pushing her away to get some space
'1d10-1'Roll #1 6 - 1 = 5
You're not quite quick enough. Your swing is interrupted by the sudden burst of activity from the barbed toothy tendrils, gouging your arm before you can react!>Silver takes 2 hits>Hits reset after last combat, so you're at 3/6 now
Aurora manages to pierce it. The earth rumbles and the creature gurgles in pain. The maw contracts, attacking you with the prehensile teeth again!
Marisol starts freeing herself from its death grip!
Aurora keeps up the attack, swooping repeatedly like a magpie!
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 10 = 10
/ Roll #3 6 = 6
You fail to block the attack. Aurora strikes your chest, pulling back so as not to actually hurt you. "That's one for me," she says confidently, pausing to catch her breath.
"Ready?" She reassumes the position and attacks again with a thrust, emboldened by her success!
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Aegis sighs, a hint of frustration showing, and relaxes as she backs out to start the next round
''I hope you noticed the two mistakes I made this time''
She readies her wooden blade and waits for Aurora to come to her ''Ready''
Aegis attempts to shut down her opponent with a parry and counter to keep her on her toes
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
"I did," she nods, sounding a bit out of breath. "We both made mistakes. But I'm getting better!"
You clash blades twice; first with your parry, then with her blocking your counter. You're on equal ground, though she has the slight footwork advantage. She presses this with a high strike!
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Aegis tries to react in time, once again trying to sidestep Aurora's overhead and throw in a jab while she recovers
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
No luck. She manages to get a square strike in, rapping you on the shoulder. "Yes!" She gets the better of herself, grinning excitedly, then composing herself. "Er, sorry," she mumbles. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
After resetting, she opens with a low strike to the foreleg!
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
''Not at all. Well done. Again''
Aegis tries to switch up her strategy and keep dodging Aurora's attacks, attempting to coax her into overcommiting into a mistake so she can easily counter attack
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
You are evenly matched. You dodge her attack, and after another blocked attack from her, she seems to catch on to your change up. She mirrors you, hanging back and changing her stance slightly, pacing slowly for an opening. Without warning, she strikes with a sharp jab!
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Aegis anticipated this, but instead of dodging this time, she attempts a risky maneuver of stomping down on Aurora's weapon with a hoof and finishing her off with a simple swing
'1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
The jab hits you in the foot instead. Aurora looks a bit surprised that it worked. She's definitely improved from her first attempts; twice now she's gotten the better of you through skill alone. She simply nods and resets, entering a defensive stance and waiting for you to strike. "Two-one. Best to three?"
''You are three-to-one. Lets try for best out of seven''
Aegis knows she cannot beat Aurora's speed, so in this round she tries to play the agressor instead, advancing on the bat with a flurry of swift blows to pressure her
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
"Four to one," she corrects, as she parries and ripostes your attack easily. She's looking more confident by the minute.
Bringing her sword up to eye level, she attacks with an upwards spinning slash!
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Aegis breathes in and attempts to even keep up with the savage bat, finding it hard to punish Aurora's ruthless hits
'1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
You block the attack, jabbing her in the shoulder with an expertly placed counter riposte. "Ow!" it doesn't seem to have actually hurt her, more caught her off guard. She steps backward, rubbing the place where you struck her, acknowledging the well played counter.
Readjusting her stance, she goes for a stab, then feints into an uppercut at the last moment!
Roll #1 9 = 9
That small victory helped Aegis maintain her focus, and she used that to keep up her momentum, bringing down her blade to block Aurora's move and attempting to disarm her
'1d10+2'Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
You only just manage to counter her this time, blocking her attack by a hair. As she tries to keep up the pressure, you lash upward, sending her sword clattering to the wooden deck. She freezes in the headlights as you point your own sword to her neck. She concedes.>4-3
Having been bested twice in quick succession, she opts for a more cautious approach, raising her sword in a high stance to block an incoming attack.
Aegis regains her faint glow, and commits to a savage swift strike, this time she would be the one to test Aurora's reaction time and speed
'1d10+2'Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
It seems her offense is stronger than her defense; she fails to block your incoming attack, taking a sharp blow to the neck. She flinches, looking a bit shaken.>4-4
She seems to acknowledge this flaw silently, resuming her position and waiting for your next attack.
''Focus Aurora'' Aegis says cooly, only giving the mare a couple moments before pressing in for another blow, attacking and pulling away just before exposing herself too much
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
She manages to block it this time, but not without leaving an opening. Rapidly, she tries to regain the defense with a cautious strike!
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Aegis gives this weak response a brutal rebute, fiercely slamming her blade back to Aurora
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
You counter her attack and break her guard, striking her again. She looks unnerved, only pausing briefly to reset before striking out again!
[1d10]>4-5Roll #1 5 = 5
''Raise your head'' Aegis commands when Aurora looks down from losing another round, and prepares a counterattack to the Bat mare's obvious swing
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
She looks up, only to get parried once again. She tries to side step your riposte, but isn't quite quick enough. You get her again.>4-6
She takes a moment to cool down, holding her blade vertically in front of her, trying to defend as best she can given the current score.
Aegis simply glares right into Aurora's eyes, an indiscernible look of absolute indiffirence
And a moment after, lunges at the Bat mare with a swift strike to test her defences again
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
She blocks with a sideways swipe; you only barely manage to avoid her riposte. Having gained some pressure, she strikes again with a slash feinted into a thrust!
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Aegis is ready, and disputes Aurora's feint with a swing and a sidestep to avoid the thrust, pushing the mare with a shoulder jab and moving in for a hit
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
Your blades clash again; once when you block her thrust, and again when she deflects your riposte. She pushes this opening with a swift downward swing!
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Aegis goes for the punish again and attempts to Disarm Aurora
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
You lock swords; Aurora holds hers to yours for a brief moment, looking up fiercely and going for a pommel strike!
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Aegis tries to react in time, shifting backwards, then foward again, but angling her blade at the last moment to hit Aurora on the side
'1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
You dodge her attack; she manages to block your dead angled attack, but only barely. She steps forward for a powerful piercing attack!
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Aegis tries to position herself in time to clash with Aurora's blade, knowing she had no chance of dodging this time
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
Not fast enough. Her attack knocks you backwards, leaving a smarting mark where it hits you dead in the chest. Aurora pulls back. "Oh, sorry, I overdid it didn't I…">5-6
Once you're both ready again, she opens with a low-aimed swipe!
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
''Its fine. Steel your heart and Focus'' Aegis warns her as she takes a couple steps backwards and follows her own advice by regulating her breathing and emptying her mind, putting all of her being into this fight
'1d10-1'Roll #1 9 - 1 = 8
You manage to dodge her attack. She blocks your counter, but not the followup. You strike her foreleg; she flinches slightly and huffs, conceding defeat. "That was close. Closer than I thought, really. I'm getting better, but still a long way to go… Swordfighting is like a dance, really. Just have to memorize the movements. Do you dance?"
Aegis puts her blade away and sits down with a heavy sigh, dropping her usual neutral demeanor
''I do not, but my sister Snow Flit is an excellent dancer'' She replies, rubbing some sore spots Aurora hit her earlier
She smiles a little at that. "I did dance classes when I was a girl. Back in the Dominion. I remember my teacher always said that there were two types of people in the world, those who dance and those who don't." She looks out as some seagulls bicker in midair. On the horizon, Lysander's steel warship looms. "I think when this is over, the first thing I'll do is dance."
''My sister used to say something similar to that. Perhaps you two would have been fast friends. Flit would enjoy showing you her dance, and Frozen Flow, my eldest sister, would see your potential''
"Maybe it can happen someday," she muses. "Do you think we'll find a way out of this place? I mean, you have places to go, don't you?…"
''Yes. I must be with my family, so once this is over I will seek a way to leave'' Aegis stares off to her own shield, leaning against the wall in a corner ''No matter the cost or how long it will take me''
"I see. I don't really have anything out there myself, not anymore. I don't think I'd leave given the chance. Maybe it won't have to be a binary choice, though. Imagine being able to travel between worlds, with no restrictions, no rules, no one to tell you where to go…" She drifts off into a reverie, staring off into the sky.
''Perhaps we will find the aswer one day'' Aegis joins Aurora, gazing at the distance
''I wonder if both worlds share the same sky'' She mutters before stepping out
''Gawain must have finished the meal by now. Come, we need to regain our strenght for the trail ahead''
"Ze bag, a charm, and a reading. Juzt perhapz keep ze bag under your coat incaze zhingz go up in flamez, I have no idea what zort of damage is required to undo ze enchantment on it, but I imagine you would not want to be caught on fire and zhen have all your explozivez zpill out at onze."
She offers a small smile, "Any zpecific queztion for ze cardz?"
I wince. "Yeah. That'd probably be bad." I giggle a little. "Be a heck of a boom, though. Doubt anyone would see that coming, considering I wouldn't see it coming either."
I clear my throat. "Anyway. No. Nothing in particular, I just-" I pause and rub the back of my neck. "Things have been… weird. I've been feeling kinda weird, if that makes sense. Just sorta wanna know what path I'm on, y'know? If it's the right one. Does that make sense? I feel like that sounds silly."
Zunden lets out a deep reptilian chuckle, sighing softly afterwards, "Ah yez, it haz zertainly been 'weird'. I would be happy to now, if you wizh."
I nod. "Yeah. I'd appreciate it. But head below deck with me so I can get to work right away. 24 hours doesn't leave much time even if I don't sleep. Even less if I do."
"I would azk you pleaze do rezt; I have been told by Black Pudding'z witch ally in ze port town zhat I may be vizited by ze oneiromanzer, zo I do not know when my next rezt will be interupted."
Zunden stands up to follow Norv down below deck.
sweeping back with my wings, I barely have the time to react from the first hit before diving to avoid the second wave!
Navigating the best i can away from the prehensile teeth, I quickly apply a coating of Redwater to my Tanto, striking at it's exposed body segments!
[1d10] ruptureRoll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
You artfully dodge the grasping hooks, coating the tanto and stabbing all in one swift spinning motion. Your blade sinks into the fleshy wall, gouging and leaving a terrible biting wound on it. The monster roars and flinches, giving Marisol a moment to free herself and crawl to safety. She uses Zunden's sun to cure her injuries.
Angered by the attack, a volley of tentacles burst from the maw, attacking everyone in a fit of blind rage!
Marisol and Aurora try to dodge and get away from the beast!
[1d10]Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10
/ Roll #3 3 = 3
I tuck a hand into my coat pocket and make my way back below deck to the little workshop I set up, intending to pick up where I left off. "Yeah. I know. I just-" I rub my eyes with my free hand. "Trying to do what I can to make sure this ain't skewed two far out of our favor. Wasn't as worried when I thought we had a couple days. Now that it's shorter I might need to prioritize some stuff. The more I sleep the less I can do. Still, not sleeping at all would probably be even worse, so you're right."
Another wave of swinging tentacles sends me scrambling in the air to avoid them, sweeping away from it's rage while triggering Zunden's healing magic
[1d10] Dodge>healing orb usedRoll #1 4 = 4
You head below deck to the mess hall. You can hear some Servitors working in the galley, but no one else seems to be around, except for Ganzen who's sleeping under the table. He rears up slightly as you enter, expecting attention. The main table looks like as good a place as any to do the reading.
You take a blow to the gut as you fly backwards, but patch it up with the healing orb. Aurora gets slashed as well, wincing in pain, but does the same. Marisol manages to avoid them rather easily. The tentacles retreat, clawing at the dirt and sand around it, concealing the monster's presence.
that thing?" Aurora grunts, still in pain from the attack.
"It's probably best not to stick around and find out," Marisol points out. "I'd found some ingredients, but it swallowed them when it grabbed me. Sorry. …We should probably get back to the ship, before they start worrying about us."
I smile as my eye catches Ganzen. "He seems like he's been doing pretty darn good. No problems with the surgery at all. That's neat." I give Zunden a chance to call him if she wants before continuing to the cargo hold where the shells, bolts, jars, barrels, fuzes, and several other things are.
"The lezz you zleep, ze lezz effective
you will be at doing zhoze zhingz. You will promize me to zleep pazt noon after we have recovered from ze battle, yez?"
Zunden sits down and pats her lap for Ganzen to hop up on, sitting a little away from the table to account for his size. "A zimple card zpread zhen to confirm? No zpecific queztion, juzt want inzight on your current pazh in life."
stumbling on the landing as I absorb the impact with Zunden's magic, I watch the creature quickly retreat, before turning to the others.
"It's quite alright, Marisol. I was more concerned with you nearly losing your leg!"
"We were quite fortunate to have Zunden's magic to rely on, but now we really must get back to the ship. I'd certainly not want to risk falling into the nest of another creature like that.."
With the group intact, I lead the way back to the lifeboat and ready the craft for the ascent to the main ship.
Ganzen tries to hop on Zunden's lap, but has difficulty doing so due to his great size. He opts for just resting his head in her lap with a heavy thump.
Eventually, you make your way down to the cargo hold, where Norv's been working. Ganzen seems to have avoided this room for the most part, and immediately takes to prowling it, sniffing around at all the unfamiliar stuff in here. There's a small clear area where you could do the reading.
The others agree. Marisol nods in gratitude for your help and concern.
You make your way back to the ship, and return to your lab. Marisol and Aurora excuse themselves, retiring to their own rooms to rest after the ordeal. You lay out your finds:>Nun's Heart Mushrooms: x2>Unidentified pink slime mold: x1>Mirodan Slime: x3>Unidentified scarlet flower: x1
"You zertainly have been working hard, I have not looked over ze zhip zhrough magical meanz zinze Etrigan'z zoul inhabited it. Do you need to clear anyzhing off firzt?"
With the ingredients safely stored within the lab, I take the time to open the alchemical notes for information, cross-referencing the samples we've found with potential candidates from the book.
[1d10] IdentifyRoll #1 1 = 1
"Oh, when this is over I'm sleeping way past noon. I might wake up in time for dinner. And yeah. Just a general reading. Like that first one you gave me.">>753237>>753235
I pick up an empty shell, a piece of paper, and sit near one of the barrels. Setting the shell on the rest of the stack to keep it balanced, I roll the paper into a funnel and poke it into the hole. "I'm kinda hoping it ain't changed too much, y'know? But we're in the futute now, so I guess there's only way to know."
Neither of them resemble anything you can find; at least, not on first glance. You could go over the research notes again, or simply experiment with them and see what happens…
"Nah. I was about to get to work before the stuff up there. I can just pick up where I left off."
"Our lifez are in a conztant ztate of change, Norvegicuz - we can plan around eventz, but new zhingz will continue to happen between zhem." Zunden sits down, pulling out the saurian tarot deck and offering it to Norv, "Zhuffle it pleaze."
Struggling to find any information on the slime mold or the flower, I instead opt to take a small sample from each, running a gamut of tests with the lab equipment on hand.
[1d10] Testing, slime mold
[1d10] Testing, FlowerRoll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
Tests with the flower sample prove inconclusive, and most of it (but not all) is lost in the process. The slime mold, however, seems to have a strong reaction when combined with some poisonous. It's harmful in some way, but without more research or actually testing the poisons, it's going to be difficult to discover its purpose.
Setting aside what remains of the flower, for now, I turn my attention to the slime mold. Grinding the mold down into a more manageable form, I prepare a batch of Redwater, applying the mold to the mixture once the flask begins to boil.
[1d10] AlchemizeRoll #1 2 = 2
The mold seems to have a strong reaction to being mixed with Redwater; it turns from its usual rusty reddish hue to a dark burnt orange, becoming much thicker and sluggish. A bit of research seems to match the poison to a similar one called Prisoner's Chain, which slows the movements of its victim to the point of paralysis over a short period of time. This doesn't seem to be a straight mix of Prisoner's Chain, however; instead, it is a diluted hybrid of it with Redwater, having the properties of both.>Torpid Redwater: 5 uses>When used, Rupture will slow its opponent's movements, making them easier to hit. DC-2 when attacking an afflicted target while Rupture is active. Failing an attack will not consume a use.
"Yeah. Guess that's true." I leave the paper sticking out of the shell, take the deck, split it, and give it a couple quick bridge shuffles in my hands, cut it once, and hand it back.
Eying the mixture with great interest, I quickly write down the reaction for use later, before setting the newly minted mixture into my poison stores and turning to the gathered Mirodan slime.
With the replacement samples, I relight the condenser and begin the process of evaporating the slime samples into a stronger concentration.
[1d10] RefiningRoll #1 9 = 9
The cards tell of great change. Not good, not bad, but change. Chaos. Destruction, and reformation. To add to this, there is a strong emphasis on fallout. Action and consequence will have a fiery reunion.
"Zhank you." Zunden splits the deck into four piles and lets Norv pick from one, leaving the other three off to the side. >>753237
> Once per in-game day, however, she may seek more clairvoyant guidance by using the arcana to offer guidance, gaining a vague hint or brief vision from the past, present, or future that applies to their current situation.>>753254>>753256
"Let uz begin your zhree card zpread wizh ze pazt zhen. What haz led up to zhiz moment, what changez have you made zinze we lazt had a reading togezher."
The first card flipped is upright facing (as Norvegicus would remember, usually a good sign) though unfamiliar. The card depicts a tan, almost sandy looking mugger crocodile saurian rowing a small boat made of bound reeds down a desert floodplain, six curved khopesh standing on end in the front of the boat. There are two shrouded figures, presumably also saurians, sitting ahead of the crocodile, one obviously being a child.
"Ze zix of zwordz, a very fitting card for being ze firzt. We cannot bring everyzhing wizh uz az we move towardz ze future, and zome zhingz muzt be left behind. Ze zix of zwordz iz a card zymbolizing tranzition - zhingz zhat were how you were uzed to now are different zhan zhey were, and you have had to move on from zhingz you've onze had. Zhiz iz not unfortunate lozz nezzizarily, more like leaving zorrow behind for… what iz ze pony zaying… green pazturez I zhink."
I move back to filling the shell and hum. "Yeah. I guess that makes sense. You don't have to be a genius to see I've changed a lot. Not sure how much for the better and how much for the worse, but-" I shrug. Softly, I tap the shell against the one below it, evening out the viridust and letting me pack it a little more dense. "Not sure I'd call where I am greener pastures, but I can see it for where I was."
Zunden lets out a short hum of amusement, "I do not chooze ze cardz, zo I cannot zay if zhey will apply to you perfectly or not. Zhey are for your interpretation - zhiz doez not portent ze greener pazturez zhemzelvez, only leaving ze worze behind to get zhere."
Zunden taps the next card, "Zhough az alwayz, we do not dwell in ze pazt like it iz our home - we live in ze prezent. What zay ze cardz on your prezent zituation."d
The next card is upright as well, but far more familiar. The familiar sandstone tower is depicted, as usual, as crumbling while and aflame as it's hit by lightning. An unfortunate rhinoceros iguana plummets in the night sky towards the ground, a crown falling opposite of him. Zunden grimaces, straightens up her posture, then clacks her fingers on her chin, "Well, ze Tower haz been zneaking it'z way into many of our fortunez az of late, but it zeemz it no longer wizhez to plaze itzelf at ze end of ze reading in ze future. Impending iz no longer an accurate dezcription of ze upheaval zhat haz been drawn before - it iz now upon uz. Pride, chaoz, and deztruczion iz what makez up our prezent. Az much planning az we can do, zhere zomezhing in your- our
livez will breakdown, zomezhing we may find foundazional. I have learned to ztop fearing zhiz card, ezpezially now that it iz in ze prezent. If we know what iz to happen now, zhen our future cannot be ze zame card, no?"
I lick my jowels and gulp, anxiously shifting around some. "Yeah. That's about what I both expexted and was afraid of. Guess we're right there, huh? Still. It doesn't mean chaos we can't deal with, right? Or does that depend on what's next?"
"It iz unavoidable, but az I zaid - it iz not ze end. I do not believe eizher of uz zhink tommorow will go flawlezzly and wizhout effort. You are right, juzt becauze it iz upon uz, doezn't mean we are not preparing for it. It iz far better to ready ourzelvez zhen to deny it haz arrived."
Zunden reveals the final card, another possibly seen before if Norv had once spied on Silver's first card reading. The card features a stern-faced armadillo girdled saurian wearing a crown and holding court. In one hand he holds an ornate sword, and the other a balanced golden scale.
Zunden does not grimace as she did with the Tower, but continues to tap her chin pondering. "Well, it iz anozher of ze Major Arcana, and it'z appearanze iz interezting. Zhiz iz Juztize, which unlike it'z brozher Judgement typically comez before ze Tower in termz of ze fool'z journey. I zhink again it iz a pozitive zign we do not zee Ze World, a card zhat zignifiez completion and fufillment." She pauses, "Zhough I zuppoze mozt of uz would want zhiz all to be concluded neatly az well."
She catches herself and raises a claw, "I diztract myzelf on a card zhat waz not drawn zhough. Juzt az ze cardz are only what you make of zhem, Juztize
iz about what you put into a zituation and what you take out of it. Juztize zymbolizez cauze and effect. All of our pazt and prezent turmoil will come togezher to provide clarity in ze end, wizh all your prior and current aczionz having conzequenzez. Good will beget good, bad will beget bad. I would zhink zhiz card after ze Tower would more zymbolize balanzing of moving zcalez - an aftermazh of evening out after fiery chaoz."
I stop filling the shell and quietly look the cards over. Chaos, and its result. Past actions having their payoff, good or bad. I run my paw across the top of my head. "Thank you," I mumble. My grip around the bomb tightens a little, and I shudder as my heart races. Then, looking up at Zunden and grinning, I say, "Yeah. Tomorrow's gonna be fun."
"If good is to beget good, zhen let uz go into ze frey wizh pozitive energy and conviczion. I will begin work on ze charm for you, here iz ze bag-" Zunden looks through it one more time, pulling out a couple more trinkets, one being a wooden medallion, "Oh, zhiz may be helpful incaze you go overboard. If you wear zhiz, you will not be able to breazhe air, but it allowz you to breazhe water." The other object is the last ring from the set of those that used to be the ship's fulcrum, "If you are to board, and have any idea how to make an clever ztatement to ze drake about hiz old property. I am not good wizh quipz or jokez in ze heat of ze moment, but ze zight of it might rile him up at leazt."
I let out a snorting laugh and put the shell back down again, taking the ring, the medallion, and the bag. "I'll do what I can. Not sure how witty I'll be, but I can definitely try. And the water breathing could be useful, considering. Just hope if it comes to that I don't run into anything too nasty in the sea." I study her for a moment before, finally, "Thanks Z. I know you been stressed. I know we all have. Ain't even really got much time to talk to eachother in a bit we all been so busy with our own things, but I know this whole thing's really been getting to you. So yeah. Thanks. For everything."
I start to pick the bomb up again, but pause. "Hey. One of your runes can link stuff, right? Does it do anything specific or depend on what you want it to do?"
"Zhank you Norvegicuz, we all have been ztrezzed yez, zome wizh more toleranze or having different wayz to cope. You've went zhrough more zhan I or ozherz zave Dawn, I'm… I have a lot of empazhetic feelingz I do not know how to zay right. Zhank you too."
Zunden nods, "Perhapz, do not take for me az an exzpert, I have only been exzperimenting wizh runez for a few monzhz. Union bringz zhingz togezher: it haz bound an agreement, linked ze vizion of two, bound Etrigan'z zoul to ze zhip zo he waz not taken over by ze Oneiromanzer…"
Zunden rubs her chin, "Mozt of zhem zeem more zpiritual conneczionz, but I could attempt phyzical onez too."
I pick up a nearby knife, pull a little off the spool of fuse, and cut off two more or less equal lengths an inch long. "Think you can try using it on these two? I wanna try something out. If it works and doesn't take too much out of you I'd appreciate a few pairs. You're fine if you don't want to, though. Just somethin I've been messing with in my head."
You manage to refine all your slime samples, providing you with just the right mixture, after a bit more brewing. When combined with some of your other potions, you should be able to get a more potent mixture going!>Mending Mix: Combine with a beneficial potion to improve its effects. (x3)>Current inventory: https://pastebin.com/NJs66YVt
With the condensed mix dripping into the vials lined up nearby, I then begin the process of applying the mix to my already formidable potion stores!
Taking the first vial, I retrieve my dose of snailgut, Transferring it to a larger flask before gently adding the mending mix shortly after, swirling the contents for an even mixing.
[1d10] Alchemy, Mending mix + snailgutRoll #1 2 = 2
The transparent Mending Mix fizzes and froths violently on reaction to the potions, causing a violent bubbling that surges and creeps inexorably up the sides of the vials. They start shaking on their racks from the violence of the chemical reaction. You are forced to cork them to avoid causing an accident. When the storm passes, however, you are left with three potions, glowing slightly now, looking overall more potent and more effective than ever before.>Aqua Vitae has become High Aqua Vitae>Alacrity Draught has become High Alacrity Draught: Duration extended to 5 rounds>Snailgut has become High Snailgut: effects improved to -2 hits taken until the end of combat
After the initial panic of the potions nearly spilling, I'm elated to see the glowing results!
With the experiments done, I practically prance about the lab as I finish cleaning the equipment and secure the potions for later.
We can attempt it yez, do you mind me zcratching into ze table wizh my claw or do you have parchment on you?"
"I have a couple pieces of paper. One sec." I reach down and tear another piece of paper out of the back of a now three-quarters-full journal. "Was using some as a funnel for the viridust, so I don't have a anything to write with."
"Nor do I have any ink - I'll juzt make zome zcratchez, it iz ze zhape and intent zhat matterz.">>753349
Zunden scratches the rune of Union into the paper, attempting to once again bring the two pieces of fuse together.
[1d10] UnionRoll #1 7 = 7
It seems to work, but the newly created fuse is flimsy, and prone to defects. But it should serve its purpose.
"Great. Now let's see if what I hope happens happens." I pull out what looks like a springloaded pair of tweezers with a chunk of rusted iron on one prong and a piece of flint on the other, bring one of the fuses up, place it to it, and pause. Slowly, I look over at the barrels of viridust, gunpowder, and everything else. "Yeah, probably better to do this somewhere I don't risk blowin everyone up." I stand up and make my way out of the cargo hold. Setting one of the fuses on the floor, I put the striker to the one in my fingers, squeeze, and release. The spring springs back out, striking the flint against the iron and sparking the fuse.
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
It works. As you light the fuse on one, so too is the fuse lit on the other. They start burning down very fast; faster than most fuses you've seen before. You'll have to be careful using them.
I grin and drop the fuse I'm holding, letting it burn out on the ground. "Even better than I hoped for. Perfect." I look up at Zunden. "Thanks. Think you can make just one more? I want to set up a little Hail-Mary. Just in case. This'll let me do that."
"Of courze - I do not know how much magical knowledge iz required to practize runecraft myzelf, but would I not want to create zome artifactz for ze crew before tommorow I would perhapz like to teach you what our ozher Black ally taught me."
Zunden focuses on the carving once again, now having a better understanding of what Norv wishes for and tries to link the fuses to go off at the same time.
"It might be important to tezt ze range of which zheze will ztill function too, you only tezted zhem lezz zhan a few pazez away."Roll #1 2 = 2
[1d10] but with extra effort and less talking this timeRoll #1 5 = 5
each failed roll being some time and effort until the first successRoll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
/ Roll #3 9 = 9
/ Roll #4 6 = 6
/ Roll #5 5 = 5
"Yeah. From what I seen you do it'd be useful to know at least some. I can think if all kinds of things I'd wanna try out with em. Mainly the making things and connecting things ones."
It takes a few minutes of etching and invocation, but you eventually manage to connect the two fuses. This one should be more stable than the other.
"Zhere we are, I will begin working on your Return charm now. I zhink to better enzure it'z zuccezz, after it'z crafted I will zhen link it to you and ze zhip via Union. It will only be able to be uzed by you, and only to ze plaze it iz bound to."
"Good. Thank you, Z. I'm gonna get back to work, now. Long couple of days ahead of us." Or short, I guess. Depending on how all of this goes.
Zunden returns to her room and pulls out her sewing kit, cloth, and twine, making crude cloth wrist braces, using the twine to physically stitch in the symbol of Return into the fabric, a rather time consuming task given the complexity of the return rune's multicircle pattern. Knowing creating an artifact that's reusable would likely require much stronger magic, Zunden instead opts to make one time charms imbued with the concept of Return, ready to be linked between a person and location through Union.
>instant Frozen Return rune (6)
[1d10+1] Making another Return rune (regular action)Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9
You take the makeshift bracers, flimsy affairs, and strengthen them with the familiar circular symbol. The enchantment on both will hold until it's invoked, but won't survive the usage. They'll break on use, as you intended.
Zunden then sets out to seek down Rabi on the ship, intent on talking to him about his prior ghosting.
"Rabi? I wizh to zpeak for a few minutez."
Rabi is in the kitchen area, seated at the table with a cup of tea. He looks significantly more haggard than the last time Zunden saw him. "H-Hmm? Oh, hey, Zunden. What do you need?"
"I wanted to zpeak to you on ze matter of your astral projeczion - you are indeed alright, correct? I want to make zure you're zafe after what happened."
"I'm, uh… i-it's gotten worse, but Dawn's done a little to help… stabilize things, I think. When this whole things over, I think it won't be a problem anymore, one way or another."
"Ahh.. I created a charm to help if you indeed get zeperated and cannot return eazily - what did zhiz ztabalization entail?"
"Y-You could do that? E-Err… you did that? That'd be really good, actually. I really appreciate that Zunden, r-really." he says, letting out a sigh of relief. "And, uh… she granted me some of her magic? Temporarily, I think. I-I was having trouble re-connecting with my physical body when we tested what was wrong."
"Well I have ze Return rune, which haz allowed objectz to return to a ztate zhey were before, or where they were before. I figured- if are ztill wearing ze zame clozhing while projeczion, and we conzider your phyzical body your deztination to Return to, it would zheoretically work. Do you zhink zuch a zhing would be uzeful?"
"I… think it could, yeah. In case things go kind of wild again, I could try to snap back to my body- avoid something nasty, at least." he suggests, sipping from his cup of tea. "Anything to help would be appreciated, really… thank you."
"Put zhiz around one of your forelegz zhen, and I will bind your zoul to ze deztinazion of your body.">>753367>once worn
Zunden takes the forehoof in her claw, holding the bracer and disipating her powerful Union rune, properly attuning Rabi's soul to his body through thaumaturgy.
>Instant Auto, held Union roll
Rabi gains RETURN BRACER >[A simplistic bracer made of cloth and with a stitched design of the Return rune. On use, destroys the object and returns the recipient to the bound destination with it's capabilities equal to the rolls used to create it (RETURN: 9, UNION: 10. Bound User: Rabi's Soul. Destination: Rabi's Body]
>also using the +1 from using an orb to refresh a new Return rune
[1d10+1] Return (frozen)Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
Rabi slips it around his foreleg without much delay, and allows Zunden to work the necessary magic into the bracer. Once the process is complete, the stallion gently wraps Zunden in a hug, and says "Thank you. I hope I don't have to use it, but… it makes me feel safer."
Zunden returns the hug equally as gently, not wishing to prick the saddle arabian with her thorns. "Ze felid you're bound to- zhe can forze people out of her body, no? Perhapz it will be uzeful zhere, if you are to fight her. Keep our zpiritz zafe, you are ze only one who can defend uz from her properly."
Rabi feels a gentle warmth in his chest as Zunden weaves her magic. Like a part of him, previously missing, has been replaced with something else. He feels more… whole, somehow.
"I-I can actually feel the change, I think. I feel… whole, again. Sorta. It's nice." he says, nickering a little bit. "And… right. I won't let her hurt any of you- I don't care what her life was like, or why she's like she is. I won't let her hurt my family."
"I am glad to help in any way I can, be zafe dear." Zunden smiles, "Here iz to ze dream of onze again being on warm non-inzect
zandz onze again."
"Ahaha… yeah. Some non-insect sands'd be appreciated, that's for sure. Maybe we can find something like that out here, sometime… anyways. I've still got the pot of tea, and Gawain left some of the leaves. If you'd want to join me, I could make another pot."
"I've got one more relivery and zome runez to remake, but I'll ztop here wizh you and drink zome tea firzt. Zhank you Rabi."
Zunden works to replace her runes such.
[1d10] >Frozen Union
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
>>753384>Zunden takes more time making the Frozen return rune, each failed roll taking up more of her night
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
/ Roll #3 2 = 2
A full moon looms on the horizon. The waves roil. Far to the northwest, a great storm brews, staining the black skies eigengrau.
The drifters have their final meal. Drink their final drinks. Sleep their final sleeps before the quiet comes.
Etrigan watches from the prow. Just staring out at the waves under the moonstruck sky. Will he remain after all this is done? Should he exist anymore? …Does he exist?
A part of him longs for release. To be free of this half-life.
But perhaps a half life is better than none at all.
Gawain polishes his armor, and tempers his beloved sword. The greatest challenge a knight can face awaits. Yet is he truly a knight, or merely a pretender? What is knighthood, really?
This wasn't meant to be his fight; yet, it's one that has to be fought. Not for knighthood, but for everyone. Everywhere.
Marisol closes her eyes and sits, shutting out her thoughts of tomorrow. Trying to forget about the world for just one night. But she can't. She won't. Elaina… She carries so much hate, for everyone. She's in pain. And she needs to be healed. One way or another, this is her war.
She needs to be the one to make things right.
Violet sharpens her swords. She is adrift; for reasons she can't explain, she feels a tug of melancholy, pining for something she can't remember.
She has lived two lives. One that seems as if it happened to someone else; yet, she has… impressions. Feelings. Visions in her mind's eye of something torn from her. Maybe she can reclaim it. In some way.
She is split in two, but like her twin blades, maybe two can become one.
Purdue tries to stop himself from sleeping. He can see the stars through the porthole. They're moving. Aligning. It's happening here and now. He should warn them of what he knows, but if he does, it will make things worse.
No. It's time. The wheel of fate must turn on the drifters. After three lifetimes, it's time to let go.
Dawn shrinks away, trapping herself in a reverie of her own creation until the thunder comes. She uses a portion of her strength to conjure something for herself. A perfect world in her mind palace, one free of the impending doom.
For one last night, she is loved. She is whole. She is happy.
And in the crow's nest, Aurora sings…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-F7K6UZEVg
Across the bay…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVxSMEvxaaE
Gavrilo puts down his spyglass with a lopsided grin. It's in range. Finally. Now the real show begins.
He un-manifests the spyglass and takes to the air, flying out of the crow's nest and onto the bridge. He trots eagerly below the upper deck, with its helm and guns. Past the main deck, where the armory, capstan and galley are. Down past the lower decks, past the captain's storage, cockpit and cabins, and into the hold.
This long, cold room is kept in good condition. Cruel meat hooks line the walls, with those… things… the boss brought with him hanging from them, like marionettes. He notices that feral cat on rent from Grosvenor working on one of them.
A single grey and white cuckoo bird stands perched near an iron table; whatever lies on top is covered by a stained sheet. Gavrilo's lip curls a little. He doesn't fancy what's under it, but whatever pays.
"Boss. I've seen it. We're in range now. Is it time?"
The bird's head turns to the newcomer. "Yes. Mobilize the crew. Let's not waste any more time. Not that it matters, but do we know what they have?"
"Couldn't make out much, nah. It'll be over quickly anyway, I reckon." Gavrilo picks his teeth and glances at the misshapen sheet covering the table. "We gonna be bringing that thing?""We'll be sending him first as a messenger. Then you, like we discussed. Let them see what's going to become of them."
"Grouse. Can't believe I'm getting paid for this." Gavrilo cracks his neck and stalks off as Lysander takes flight.
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