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Author Topic: Chapter Three - Stranger Things Happen At Sea  (Read 27699 times)
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Malavon Despana
Wizard's Bane
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Maelf , Helcrani Sanhorrhim


« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2009, 10:02:08 AM »

As Malavon landed on the omnious ship , he felt something wrong , something bad happened here , Mal was certain of it , the reek of blood was poluiting the air , but no bodies on sight ...

Acute emerald eyes looked around looking for something , anything , but no , it really was a ghost ship in every sense of the word , no living souls ...
Turning towards the captain , that was asking who would go first , Royce as gallant as ever offered to go first , Mal just smirked , the old man had stones ,and the discussion between the young man and the captain , just priceless .
Without able to control his impatience , Malavon spoke in his usual toneless voice "While this ego competition is fun and all , my patience is begining to run thin , if the old man wants to go in front , let him go , at least his old body can stop a sword or two if indeed the pirates are to blame for this ..." and placing his cold eyes on the young man he continued " Don´t confuse youthfull confidence with bravery , kid , this is serious , leave this for men to resolve , well with this , I would offer to go as well , if there is pirates I can practice my swordplay ..." he finished sending a shiviring laugh , with a mist of madness and arrogance , waiting for the answer
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 10:03:41 AM by Malavon Despana » Logged

Ill give you a moment to comfort each others before I end your pathetic lives !!

Malavon The Mage Killer
Koka Bentarm
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« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2009, 04:16:32 PM »

Ah, so that was what they were all volunteering for - to take a look on the abandoned ship. She seriously considered going back the way she'd come, and wait for the others to come back in the safety of the captain's quarters. But then, she had to admit to a certain curiosity. She did not speculate on what might have happened - for all her knowledge of what went on at sea, it could have been anything.

So she squared her shoulders, did her best to ignore both the sky above and the gap between the ships, grabbed a rope and swung to the other side, where - like so many of the others - she landed in blood. It was all over the place, and rather hard to avoid when swinging wildly off a rope. However, she was not too bothered by it. As a huntress, she had to deal with blood every time she made a kill, and even though the amounts of it were rather excessive, it did not make much of a difference to her. So long as she didn't try to imagine what might have caused it...

The dwarfess wandered around the deck together with the others, but it was rather aimless. She had no idea what she was looking for, so she just tried to pay attention to everything. However, hardly knowing what went where on a ship, apart from the blood she saw nothing out of the ordinary.

After a while she noticed that everyone was gathered around some barrel that was being moved. As she neared, she was just in time to hear Royce volunteer to go down there first, with an immediate dispute from one of the most unlikeliest sources Koka could have imagined - the shipmate who until a while ago had been chained to the deck. In his place, Koka would have laid low for a while, not drawing too much attention to herself, but it seemed that such was not in his nature.

Then the cold man spoke up. She glanced at him for a moment, trying to figure out if he was being silly or just plain arrogant. Alright, so she agreed that it should be people with weapons that went down there, but for a different reason than 'pirates'. She decided to speak up.

"I really don't think you'll find pirates down there, son. You think they'd have killed all the crew so violently that it left all this blood, then thrown the bodies overboard, then hid themselves down there to wait for unwary visitors? Not to mention put that barrel there - how exactly? No, that barrel was put there for a reason, and I doubt very much that the reason was pirates." For a moment she turned to Mallorix. "Or a stowaway for that matter. Even if there is a stowaway down there, we're not here to make an illegal passenger feel comfortable. If he gets scared by a sword coming down, too bad for him, but we're here to find out what happened to the ship.
I for one vote for Royce to go first as well. But I don't think quite everyone needs to go down, I'm sure we can search the place with just a few of us. I'll go down as well, I didn't bring my bow but at least I'm used to dark places."

She stepped forward to stand beside Royce. "But whatever we do... lets do it quickly. I don't like this place."
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Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2009, 05:29:13 AM »

   Captain Fjorwek waited for everybody to finish talking, and as they spoke, he considered the enigma a little more.  He was still almost certain that pirates had been responsible for the devastation, but why they had left the ship afloat still remained a mystery.  Maybe they’d been disturbed, and had to flee?  But then, if that had been the case, how would they have had time to dispose of the bodies?  And what was the carefully positioned barrel all about?  It was obviously being used to stop something from getting out; but what, and why?

   A short pause in the flow of speech brought the captain back to the present situation.  Lifting his eyes from the ominous, dingy hold, he addressed the group.

   “Good points, everyone.  I also don’t like being aboard this ship, Koka, but I must confess that she’s made me curious.  Now, the only way we can discover what happened here is to get below deck, and I agree that those skilled with a blade should lead the way.

   Royce, the honour of going first is yours; be careful!

   The rest of us will follow closely behind.

   Ylva, Fionn, we might need your medical expertise, so I’d appreciate your joining us, too.”

   The captain turned to the marines, and picked a small group.

   “You lads stay up here and guard the hatch; I don’t fancy getting trapped down there!

   Now, let’s get going!  And if we do find anyone alive, then let’s try to practice some restraint.”

   The captain met Malavon’s eyes as he said this.

   “I don’t want any unnecessary killing to take place here today.”
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Fu Luft
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« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2009, 07:28:31 AM »

Fu, also, found himself on the deck of the Laughing Lady. And that came so.

When Olsen had pushed Fu forward, the captain had interpreted Fu’s sudden appearance as a sign that the wizard was volunteering for the adventure. Fu simply didn’t have the courage to contradict. Also, his thoughts were occupied by something he had heard.

There was a tall elf among the people on this ship. His voice sounded like the blade of a halberd slowly scratching an iceberg. Yet it was not chilly sounds that made Fu’s belly quiver. It was what the elf had said:

"I will go and as you see I have my weapon, the Zaroc in the hands of the "Wizard´s Bane is more than enough..."

Wizard’s Bane? What by the seven dead corbies was that supposed to mean? Fu stared at the elf. From where the little wizard stood, the elf appeared to be about twice Fu’s size, and Fu had the distinct impression that if he wanted to, this elf could grab Fu by the hair and stick him into the sheath of his massive sword, so that Fu would disappear and the world would never see him ever again.

As everyone jumped across to the “Laughing Lady”, Fu made sure that he stayed well behind the “Wizard’s Bane”.  The mage was the last of the adventurers to scramble up the Southern Arrow’s railing. Maybe if he pretended to be too weak to make it over, he would just be left behind and forgotten about?

Yet a sailor gave Fu’s bottom a push, and the wizard fell lengthwise onto the Laughing Lady’s deck. As he got to his feet, his first thought was of the “Wizard’s Bane”. Oh, there he was, walking and inspecting, like everyone else. Fu kept well behind the elf, yet never left him out of his sight. Wizard’s Bane, indeed. I be guessing I be not the right person to be asking him where he was getting that name from.

It took Fu quite a while to notice how, ever since the party had entered the Laughing Lady, everybody had fallen silent, pensive and wary. Why was that? This was just an empty ship – was it not?

It was then that Fu saw the blood, and the signs of a violent battle. Fu’s liver made a sudden, painful leap. Then it became very heavy, and slowly sank to the bottom of his body like a leaked ship would sink to the bottom of the sea. His head, however, got as light as a flittertwitch, and seemed to want to soar into the sky.

Fu felt dizzy. He had to grab a railing to steady himself. What had he gotten himself into? These people were not only taking innocents prisoner, whipping young sailors, sitting around with psyrpents, swinging rune-inscribed axes, looking like imps, and calling themselves “Wizard’s Bane” – they seemed to positively seek bloodshed and murder. Oh Grothar, please ye, be blowing me home, Fu thought.

It took Fu quite a while to recover his balance and his breath. When he was ready to look around, he found that the captain was just passing him, and saying: “Let’s go down to the cargo holds.  Mr Luft, I trust you know where to find them!”

Although he was on the receiving end of this little joke, Fu was encouraged by the fact that someone was speaking to him at all. As long as someone spoke to him, there was hope that he wouldn't be left alone in the claws of the Wizard's Bane. The captain’s calm voice reassured Fu somewhat that his end might be postponed a while yet, and may not happen within the next few blinks.

From now on, Fu followed the party around, saw how the hatch was discovered, and listened to the discussion about who should go down into the hold. The Wizard’s Bane also spoke. Again, Fu shuddered. Was that elf incapable of saying one sentence without the word “sword” in it? Well, Fu decided. Wherever the Wizard’s Bane be going, Fu won’t be following.

As the adventurers prepared to go down the hatch into the dark room below, the little mage tried to make himself as small and inconspicuous as he could. Would anybody notice if he just staid on deck?

”I don’t want any unnecessary killing to take place here today,” he heard the captain say.

Unnecessary killing?
thought Fu. That captain be thinking that killing people be all right, then, as long as it be necessary killing? How comforting that be. Fu let out a groan of despair. Only a few blinks ago, the captain's voice had sounded like an oasis of civility amid the blood and the threat of the Wizard's Bane. Now Fu saw that the captain was like all the others, rattling with their words like with so many sabres. Oh, I be wishing I had never been going to Ciosa!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 08:09:02 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

Royce Brodlyn Kristoph
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« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2009, 04:45:39 AM »

When the captain announced that Royce was to go first, the older soldier gave a quick nod and unsheathed his sword.  He glanced back to the dwarf (dwarfette?  dwarfess?) and nodded.  He was glad she would be following close.  Knowing that Ylva believed in him too made this that much easier.  He appreciated the support.  Mallorix and Malavon were not as supportive, but Royce chalked that up to youth on the part of Mallorix, and simple ego on Malavon.

Truth is, he didn't expect too much down there.  Something had locked the hold from the outside, using the barrel.  At best, he hoped to find some survivors, at worst... well, that was why the sword was drawn.  One could never take any situation for granted.  One last deep breath, and Royce took to the ladder.

As he lowered himself down, the fresh salt air was replaced by a pungent odour.  It smelled of excrement, mixed with other smells that assailed the nostrils.  Was that rotting flesh he smelled?  Was hard to tell, mixed in with the smell of waste.  He gagged once as his senses tried in vain to become accustomed to the permeating odours.

He reached the floor of the hold and reached down and used his sword to cut the rope from the lantern.  Around the floor under the hatch, there were drops of blood, but as far as Royce could see, they were only in that area.  Must have dripped down from up above, but it did not appear to have the same evidence of a battle down here.  He lifted the light and shone it about the immediate area.  It seemed very dark down here, and the dark did not want to give up its hold to the light.

He looked one way, then the other, noting nothing unusual in the limited view that he had.  He strode toward the bow between the crates, listening intently.  Between the footsteps of those following, he could hear some movement ahead.  It was a soft sound, hard to distinguish, but it was movement.  Something was alive here!  His fingers became white knuckled around the hilt of his sword, as he prepared to move quickly if needed to defend himself.  A pile of sacks were stacked ahead of him, and the sound came from just beyond there.  He paused for a moment, and handed back the lantern to the waiting hand of the lieutenant.

With a quick breath, Royce threw himself up on top the sacks.  As his eyes became accustomed to the shadows below, he saw the origin of the movement sounds, as several large rats scurried away from the area, where they had gathered near the sacks, one of which was torn open, spilling grain onto the wooden floor.  With the suspense gone, Royce chuckled and faced those behind him, grinning sheepishly.  "Rats."

Continuing forward, the path between the crates led them around the bow of the ship and back toward the stern.  By now, his gag reflex had appeased, and the smell, though still strong, did not hit him as harsh as when he had first lowered himself down.  Thank the gods for small favours.  But, even as his body became accustomed to it, he could tell that the smell was getting stronger.  Whatever it was, the source of it was up ahead.

Suddenly, Royce held up his free arm, bringing the group to a halt.  "Shhh, listen."  He waited for the footsteps to quite down.  He had thought he heard something; something beyond the creaking of the ship.  As he stood still, straining to hear into the darkness, the sound repeated itself, and the hairs on the back of his neck stood up.  This was no rat this time.  It sounded like a long low moan; almost like... like... a ghost?  No.  There wouldn't be a ghost down here, if they existed at all.  That was silly.

The sound emanated again, and again his neck hairs bristled.  He swallowed hard and forced himself to move forward, his sword at the ready.  Coming around a stack of crates, he found a wall across the width of the ship.  Centred in the wall was a door, with a large beam across it, held in place on each side by iron hooks.  Something or someone obviously wanted what was inside to be locked in.  The source of the smell and of the sound was beyond that door.  Cautiously, Royce made his way to the door and leaned his head up against it, pressing his ear to it.  As he listened, he could hear the moaning clearer now, as well as the occasional cough.  Someone was alive in there.

He turned to the captain, a look of surprise over Royce's face.  "Someone's in there!"  He then tried to lift the beam, but it was too heavy for one person, wedged as it was in the hooks holding it in place.  "I need help here!"
Logged

Royce

Violence is not the answer.  But, it will buy you time to think of one.
Koka Bentarm
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« Reply #50 on: November 16, 2009, 03:00:38 AM »

Koka followed Royce down into the darkness, like she had said she would. The smell invaded her nostrils, and she pressed a hand to her mouth and over her nose, trying not to inhale too deeply. As they advanced deeper into the hold, she managed to close her nose and breath through her mouth, though it left a nasty taste on her tongue. She tried not to look into the light of the lamp, preferring to let her eyes adjust to the dark like she would have back home. Not an easy feat, with the yellow shine obtrusive in her vision. She only partly succeeded.

When Royce tackled some sacks, she held her breath, releasing it when it turned out there were only some rats involved. She gave a terse smile to his sheepish grin, and focussed back on what lay ahead. She heard it the same time as Royce, and instinctively she stopped moving, trying to determine what kind of sound she had heard. Her first thought was not of ghosts, but of the wind whistling through the upper tunnels of her home, though this sound seemed lower-pitched, more human than what the wind could cause.

It was Royce who decided that the sound was made by a living creature - and not some dog, of that Koka was convinced. This sound was too full of misery to be made by an animal. The soldier in front tried to lift the beam in front of the door. Whoever was behind there, somebody had locked him in, twice for good measure. The dwarfess couldn't help but wonder why. Royce didn't manage to free the door, so she lumbered forward. "I''ll help."

She went to stand on one side of the door and bent slightly through her knees. She placed her shoulder against the beam and slowly stretched her legs, placing her considerable dwarfish mass under the beam and pushing upwards. The thing was lodged in its holders quite firmly, and she started breathing heavily. She quite forgot to close her nose to the smell, but she was too concentrated on the beam to be bothered by it.

With a final push upwards, she managed to win the struggle from the beam. She grabbed it with her good arm and pushed it backwards, still breathing heavily. Her wounded arm she used to steady it. When the beam was lying harmlessly to the side of the door, she turned to Royce and gestured.

"Your turn again."
Logged

fionn
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Mullog


« Reply #51 on: November 16, 2009, 04:42:17 AM »

Fionn’s already pale skin blanched as she descended into the gloom of the hold, and the rank smell hit her. Bad air was never a good sign, and smells like this tended to mean things had gotten past the stage where a doctor would be much use.

Royce shouted for help – she started forward without thinking, obeying the tone of voice without registering the meaning, the circumstances.

But what help could she be? Small and scarred and feeling queasy. She checked herself, and instead looked, listened – oh, ancestors, I hear it – is that a living creature? She stared into the strange, oppressive gloom, and felt herself shivering. This dark, swaying space, the air so close and sickly, seemed as far away as possible from all she knew. She suddenly found herself remembering a fragment of a story, one of the Naulé web, so often repeated in her home, near the edge of the Despondmire, that every child knew the proper telling...

“...but in truth, my friends, I cannot think of a more hopeless place than Stalker’s larder, nor one I would less like to be trapped in. The space was very small, made of old stones that had stood on the Despondmire since forever, slowly sinking into the cursed mud of that place. The stone walls were covered in green-black algae, and dripped stinking water on poor Naulé, making him shiver with cold. Bones and scraps of skin and gristle remained on the miry ground, reminding Naulé that if he did not escape, he would soon become one of Swampstalker’s meals.”

Fionn shuddered. This ship was a swampstalker, huge and hollow, waiting for its prey to collapse into bones, to be devoured by rats and rot. She hovered anxiously behind Royce, thinking about what it might be like behind there, waiting for the ship to eat you up. And what of the ship itself – is it home to some predator-eru like Stalker? Is it luring us into a trap with soft beguiling words of blood?

Her foot felt sticky and cold as the blood on it dried.

“This was Eru Swampstalker, prowling the spirit world. Mind him, my children, he walks softly and his words burn.”
Logged

"If it's teeth are longer than your fingers, for the Ancestors' sake, assume it doesn't want it's belly tickled..."
Fionn's CD
Fu Luft
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« Reply #52 on: November 16, 2009, 08:25:29 AM »

One by one, the people whom Fu thought of as “The Adventurers” descended into the black hole. The first who went down the ladder carried a sword. Fu hadn’t learned his name yet, but he thought that this man looked exactly like the kind of person who would be useful in a situation where “necessary killing” was to be carried out. Actually, reflected Fu, the man looked like someone who would be useful in most situations – quite in contrast to Fu himself.

Second went the dwarf. Fu took a step closer to the hatch, and he saw that the dwarf put one hand over his mouth and nose as he descended. It didn’t take long for Fu to guess why. His sensitive nose detected the foul air that rose from the cargo hold. If there be a stowaway, he was being there for a distinctly longer time than myself,  Fu reflected, attempting to ease his sense of dread with a pinch of sarcasm.

Next, it was the imp’s turn. No, not the imp’s,  Fu corrected himself: the mullog’s  turn it be. Wait a blink – were they all going to go down there? Fu’s eyes wandered to the Wizard’s Bane, who had not yet made a motion to follow. They weren’t going to let Fu alone on deck with that waver-abouter of swords, were they? True, the elf had said he was going to go down, but suddenly Fu wasn’t so sure anymore. Didn’t that Wizard’s Bane look at him just now? Weren’t his icy eyes sending a shiver through Fu’s bones, even though the sun was still burning hot from the sky?

With the decisiveness of the desperate, Fu stepped toward the hatch and went down the ladder. Clearly, Grothar’s fresh winds hadn’t visited this place for a long time. Mayhap I was being lucky, after all, to be dragged from my hiding place and put in chains on deck by the captain,  he thought. If I’d happened to be stumbling upon this here ship, rather than the Southern Arrow, I might be smelling like this now meself.

”Shh, listen!”

The voice of the man who was holding the lantern and leading the party interrupted Fu’s thoughts. Now he heard it, too: someone be groaning; or singing a song of lament that he forgot the tune of,  he said to himself. It be sounding close to how I be feeling, in fact.

Fu huddled into a dark corner. It occurred to him that, what with the smell and the wailing sound occupying his mind, he had not yet checked whether the Wizard’s Bane had followed the expedition. Fu stepped into a dark corner, turned his head, and strained his eyes to see who was down here with him. The Wizard's Bane was nowhere to be seen. But then there were too many shadows down here to be sure that he really wasn’t around. Fu turned his gaze back to the door. All by himself the dwarf lifted the heavy beam that blocked it. Fu knew how strong dwarves could be – but that this one was stronger than the human leader, who had an impressive chest, surprised him. Maybe it was just easier for the small dwarf, because he could get his whole body under the bar.

Any blink now they would open the door and find out who was moaning behind. I be hoping they not be killing anyone. But maybe if there be another stowaway, the captains and leaders and swordswingers and Wizard’s Banes of this world are going to be busy and be leaving poor Fu in peace for a while.  That was a selfish thought, and Fu knew it. He had never claimed to be a hero, and had hoped that he could get by in his life without ever needing to be one.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2009, 08:34:08 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

Rhia
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« Reply #53 on: November 16, 2009, 11:03:08 AM »

One by one the guests at the table trickled out of the room and followed the captain, leaving a slightly surprised Rhia standing with a lute in her hands. First -ironically!- the lad whose whipping she'd stalled, then the kind, wild-haired Ylva and the quick-witted Fionn, Despana, even the short former prisoner Luft, who seemed to be making fast friends with Ylva- within a few minutes the minstrel was left alone with the dwarf and the huge lizard. The lizard! She hadn't seen or heard it come in...

Rhia quickly replaced the lyre and seated herself stolidly in her place at the table. Well, it shouldn't be too hard to make conversation with the dwarf. (Coma? Cola? Something like that...) She certainly wasn't going out after Fjorwek! That would have to show him how angry she was. Why, she couldn't even remember what he'd come in here and said to make everyone else go with him. But the dwarf. Rhia looked up from her impassive study of her plate and turned in his direction, formulating a plausible conversation. Even as she lifted her gaze, however, the sturdy fellow was heading out the door with an uneasy glance at the lizard person.

Which left only herself and the lizard person.

Rhia swallowed hard. What conversation could one make with a... lizard? She didn't even know if the thing could talk. And she wasn't sure she wanted to find out. Or could stick around there long enough to, actually. It wasn't quite like anything she'd ever seen before, and so it frightened her. Her eyes traveled swiftly back to her plate, and she sat, frozen, for several minutes, struggling with her pride. The awkwardness in the room augmented with every second that went by. And Rhia felt it acutely. With a strangled noise in her throat that was half submission, half frustration, she finally slid out of her chair and strode out the cabin.

On the deck, she was early enough to catch the sight of Fjorwek and  everyone crossing to another ship right by theirs. Determined not to be left alone with the lizard person, she followed them, but- Oh. Look at the water between the boats- I mean ships. There's a lot more than it looked like there was. And it's deep. Alright, I know I'm a "water person," 'cos I grew up in the Isles and all thats, but the water honestly looks more dangerous from the edge of a ship. It honestly does. And what if I should fall into it, would they hear me?-  She glanced up at the group on the other ship. Oop! Where'd they go? Oh, oh yes, I see them, there's Luft, they're going into that dark hole type deal there... Motivated by her unwillingness to be left behind again, she swung over onto the other ship. Oh. Blood. Blood everywhere. And not a soul about except for us. It struck her as somehow ghostly, and, shudder creeping across her back, she followed Luft down, passing by the dark Despana, to join the others in darkness.

Ugh!

The smell assaulted her, the rank odor of feces and rotting something and other things that weren't particularly pleasant to think about. With a revolted expression she covered her nose with the sleeve of her serge dress, making small sounds of disgust. What were they even doing down here, anyway? How'd this weird ship come about in the first place? "Uhhg!" Rhia hated smelling things that were this vile. She was able to make out the others as her eyes grew accustomed to the darker area. A little surprised, she realized that she was standing right behin Fionn. She bent over a little so her head was closer to the little healer's. "What exactly are we doing down here?" she murmured, her voice muffled somewhat by her sleeve.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 07:39:25 AM by Rhia » Logged

Malavon Despana
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« Reply #54 on: November 18, 2009, 10:04:42 AM »

Malavon watched as one by one jumped into the dark , only he, the boy and the axe wielding woman were still behind , turning his head towards Ylva he said as he jumped towards the darkness " Come friend , we shouldn´t let them have all the fun ..." .

As soon Malavon arrived , the feeling he just had was just confirmed now , the stench of death was strong here and the dwarf was right , this was not pirates handywork , but something much darker ...
Walking slowly behind the group , his eyes looked wildly towards every dark corner , there was something here , he was sure of it , and as soon the dwarf helped Royce with the beam , Malavon expressed his feelings " We should quickly finish our business  , I don´t like this , there is something dark here , I am sure of it , my six sense never failed me , and if this something attacks us , they will have the advantage of their side , this merry group of ours cannot fight in such a tight place , furthermore , there are women here , I don´t like fighting worrying about their safety ..."
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 10:05:45 AM by Malavon Despana » Logged

Ill give you a moment to comfort each others before I end your pathetic lives !!

Malavon The Mage Killer
Ylva Rasmussan
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« Reply #55 on: November 18, 2009, 12:07:36 PM »

Ylva patiently waited for the others to descend, and rolled her eyes, as the last one, Malavon, quipped, "Come friend, we shouldn´t let them have all the fun ..."

The healer turned towards the younger blond man, Mallorix, whispering, “If there are any stowaways I feel sorry for them if they meet Malavon first....”

The lady- if that label could ever apply to a wild haired thing like her-, then slowly climbed down the ladder and into the darkness of the hold. The healer let her companions drift further on into the darkness without her. Something dripped onto her shoulder; the woman looked up to see that it was only blood dripping down from the hatch above. Strangely this place had no signs of bloody carnage.

Whatever happened upstairs might not necessarily be linked to whatever appeared to be hidden within the hold. Ylva’s brain told her that this somehow might be important, but it still had nothing really informative to go upon. It was like a puzzle, she had a few of the pieces, but they weren’t enough to see the whole, just possibilities. Her mind needed something really big if Ylva wanted to find the solution that she craved to the Mysteriously-Abandoned-Broken-Bloody-Covered-Carnage-Completely-Deserted-Rank-Smelling-Ship-Enigma that Mari had somehow decided to set them.

The healer heard Royce call out something from further down the area, and so slowly crept over to where the group were, taking her time to survey the group as they were caste in the dim light of the lantern. Fionn and Rhia both showed faint signs of being uncomfortable stuck in the depths of a rotten smelling boat, not many people would feel happy about such a situation.

Luft had cautiously chosen to lurk in a corner somewhere, out of harm’s way, while Koka impressively heaved up the wooden beam blocking the locked door.

" We should quickly finish our business  , I don´t like this , there is something dark here , I am sure of it , my six sense never failed me , and if this something attacks us , they will have the advantage of their side , this merry group of ours cannot fight in such a tight place , furthermore , there are women here , I don´t like fighting worrying about their safety ..."

Ylva grunted, slightly amused at Malavon's peculiar views and insulting chivalry. “If anything happens, Malavon, just concentrate on fighting, the women will handle themselves."

The woman spoke confidently, trusting in the fact that Fionn and Rhia both had enough common sense to be able to look after themselves. Yet the healer stood between them and the door, as if to protect them from anything that did jump out the door. Ylva did trust in them, but her overprotective motherly instincts from years of nursing still hadn't left her.

The healer shrugged, "Sometimes things are not as they seem...Whatever they are keeping in here, might not be linked to what...occurred upstairs...”

As if on cue, Ylva heard, whatever lay within, make a faint moaning sound.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 12:29:13 PM by Ylva Rasmussan » Logged
fionn
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« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2009, 05:41:19 AM »

"What exactly are we doing down here?"
Fionn started at the sudden voice in the breathless hush, and was immediately annoyed at herself for doing so. It was Rhia – there is no reason to be scared of Rhia, she gets squeamish at the sight of blood and plays the lute. She isn’t scary.
Fionn grinned sheepishly up at her, and tried to remember what she’d asked. Oh yeah...

“It’s all a bit strange. There’s something behind there, “ - she gestured to the barricade where Koka and Royce were working- “and it’s alive. Hate t’think how long it might’ve been trapped there, or who’d leave it like that...”

she tailed off, as another moan escaped the floating dungeon. She fixed her eye on the door again, noticing as she did so that Ylva had moved closer. Fionn wished she could remember one of the little charm-blessings from the stories, but it seemed all she could bring to mind were darker, altogether less reassuring fragments. She murmured, half to herself, barely moving her lips and keeping a steady gaze on the door;
“...he walks softly and his words burn..."
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"If it's teeth are longer than your fingers, for the Ancestors' sake, assume it doesn't want it's belly tickled..."
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Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2009, 05:48:40 AM »

   Well, there was definitely something monstrous in the hold; the awful smell!  As Captain Fjorwek descended into the Laughing Lady’s rotten bowels, his mind was swept back in time.

   “Come on, yer ‘lubber; get ‘em ‘osed down!”

   Captain Schnet’s bright red face was bellowing orders at a young Kari Fjorwek, just as it always did, and once again, the young lad had to go down into the hold to douse the ship’s wretched inmates with cold salt water.  Not that it did much good; countless bodies shackled and packed into the stifling hold of Schnet’s slave ship produced a particularly foul odour, which was impossible to wash away.  And that same stench of prolonged human suffering, which Kari Fjorwek had prayed he would never have to endure again, hung heavily in the Laughing Lady’s hold.

   But looking around him, Captain Fjorwek didn’t see any signs of this being a slave ship.  The layout was different, and there were no heavy chains to be seen.  Still, something had caused that rancid smell, and the captain hoped that he wasn’t about to discover a hold full of dead bodies.

   A low, sorrowful moan caught the captain’s attention; once again reminding him of his days spent working aboard Captain Schnet’s terrible ship.

   “They’re alive!” he said in an urgent whisper.

   “Aye, just about,” the lieutenant replied.

   Walking a little faster now, Captain Fjorwek caught up with Royce and Koka, who were standing in front of a barred door.  Koka placed her broad shoulders under the bar, and forced it up with her gigantic strength.  Quickly, the captain tried the handle, but as he suspected, the door was locked.  He then pressed his ear against the wood, and felt a rush of excitement sweep over him.  He could hear soft murmuring, and an occasional cough; maybe even hushed voices.  Had he found the crew of this unfortunate vessel?  Had the pirates, in a typically cruel manner, locked the poor wretches in this room to slowly starve to death?

   “Ahoy there!” he yelled as loudly as he could.  “Fear not!  Help is here!  Stand away from the door!”

   Turning back to the assembled group, Captain Fjorwek quickly took stock of the situation.  Malavon was right, there was still danger here, and it was a confined space if they did have to fight.

   “Yes, Ylva,” he said in response to the healer’s remark, “Some of the ladies here can look after themselves, but I think it best if Fionn and Rhia stay back.

   Now, I don’t want to alarm whoever’s on the other side of this door, but I think it best if we draw our weapons; our own protection is of paramount importance.

   Lieutenant, if you please.”

   Captain Fjorwek gestured towards the door, and the lieutenant nodded with a grin.

   “My pleasure, sir,” she said happily.  “Janskjan!”  One of the marines snapped to attention.  “You go in first.”

   “Aye, aye, ma’am,” the muscular marine said, drawing a cutlass and long dagger.

   Then, after placing the lantern onto a nearby crate, the lieutenant took a step backwards, and catapulted herself forwards, smashing her booted foot forcefully against the door’s lock.

   Nothing happened, but the lieutenant had already hopped backwards, and was launching another kick off the rebound.

   The door creaked, and she felt the wood around the lock give a little.  It took two more attempts before the lock gave way, and the door went flying inwards.

   Almost instantly, Janskjan had stepped into the empty doorway, his cutlass forwards, and his knife drawn back.

   At first, there was nothing; just an awful, tense silence, which seemed to last an eternity.  But then, in a sudden, horrifying movement, something came storming out of the darkness with a blood-curdling scream.

   Janskjan was taken slightly off guard, and he grunted as a blade drove its way through his heart.

   Everything seemed to happen all at once!  Janskjan’s lifeless body slumped to the deck, and a perverted parody of a man presented itself as his killer.  Lieutenant Ustaskjan didn’t have much time to consider the pale, skeletal face of her attacker, nor the weeping sores that covered his naked flesh.  Instead, she parried his wild blow aside, and severed the head from his diseased body in one continuous, vicious arc.

   A fountain of arterial blood sprayed out of the man’s neck as his twitching torso collapsed alongside Janskjan’s.

   But the lieutenant had no time to reflect on her handy work, for two more assailants had come bundling out of the foul, stinking chamber!

   “Peace!”  Captain Fjorwek cried as he closed with one of them.  “We mean you no…” but before he could finish his declaration of good intentions, the crazed man had swung a terrifying blow at him.

   The captain expertly moved out of the way, taking a step backwards.

   “We mean you no harm!  Peace, man!!!”

   But it was to no avail.  Another wild swing came in response, and this time the captain answered it by leaning backwards slightly, slicing the man’s arm open with a scissor-like movement of his cutlass and dagger.

   Before he could close to restrain this lost soul, the captain had to dodge another blade; the darkness of the locked chamber had yielded more deranged men; all of them armed with something.  Some had cutlasses, while others had knives, or even boarding axes!  And all of them had the look of madness about them.  It was clear that there would be no reasoning with such creatures; their harrowing ordeal had obviously eroded their reason; turning them into little better than savage beasts.

   The lieutenant and the captain couldn’t hold back this surge of assailants for long, and very soon, a wave of madness had engulfed the hold.  Taking a quick look around, the captain watched as a melee of violence erupted!  He just hoped that Rhia, Fionn, and Fu, had managed to escape!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2009, 06:30:09 AM by Yurie Yileen » Logged

Royce Brodlyn Kristoph
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« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2009, 09:33:56 AM »

Royce stepped back and allowed Koka to get at the beam.  Using her height to her advantage, as well as her weight, she was able to lift the beam from its hooks, where it was jammed in tight, and he helped her push it to the side.  Triumphant, she looked up at him and invited him to continue on.  He couldn't help but grin back at her.  He liked her.

He then heard Rhia complaining about being down here.  At this, he had to bite his tongue.  If this smell was the worst thing they encountered on this journey, they would be extremely lucky.  If she could not handle this... well, hadn't he voiced his concerns about bringing civilians on this trip back at the party?  Sadly, Royce surmised that this trip was going to force Rhia, and perhaps others as well, into growing up a bit.

Seemed Malavon was thinking the same thing when he voiced his concern over the women.  Obviously, "women" did not include the dwarf.  He probably didn't know the truth behind Koka.  Well, it wasn't up to Royce to expose her charade.  She had her reasons.

Royce was surprised when Ylva spoke up against Malavon.  Although he might have agreed with Malavon in a basic sense, he couldn't help but grin a bit at Ylva's rebuke.  He wasn't sure he liked Malavon, probably didn't in fact, and it tickled him to see the elf stood up to.  Hopefully it would temper his arrogance.  Probably not though.

He stepped back as the lieutenant began to kick at the door, bumping into Fionn as he did so.  "Sorry," he muttered.  One kick.  Two.  Three, and the door gave way.  Instinctively, his sword was pulled partially from its scabbard.

At that point, everything changed.  The first sailor through the door was suddenly assaulted by someone from within the room.  Before there was time for anyone to react, the poor man had a blade plunged deep into his chest and he sank to the floor.  Without the luxury of time to examine the man, Royce surmised that the wound would be fatal, if not immediately, then in short time as he bled out.  The assailant then pushed forward, attacking the lieutenant next.  Sword out, Royce pushed his blade forward, finding his target, and the piercing the back of the man/creature just as its head was separated from its body by the quick reflexes of the lieutenant.  A brief exchange of glances between her and Royce was quickly disrupted by the onset of more men/creatures coming through the door.

His position between Fionn and the door had been compromised, for which Royce cursed at himself.  She needed him far more than the duel capable lieutenant did.  Now, as he tried to resume his position, he found himself blocked by a man/creature.  What was once man had long been vacated and replaced by some insanity that had taken over its soul.  Now it was something less than human.  As such, there was no hesitation as Royce pushed the point of his blade forward, into the side of the creature, just above the hip.

What happened next surprised Royce and flashed a memory through his mind.  Years ago, on his grandparents farm, there had been one of the dogs that got diseased.  Mouth foaming, the dog became aggressive, even toward Royce and his grandfather.  The old man explained to Royce that once the dog got the foaming disease, it had to be killed, so that it did not spread the disease.  Heart heavy, for Royce loved the dog, having known it since it had been a pup, they attempted to kill it.

His grandfather had shot it with a hunting bow, placing three arrows into the dog, but the beast simply did not want to die.  Only when the old man cut off the dogs head with a tree axe did the thing die, and even then its body twitched and scratched as if still hanging on to some type of life and wanting to attack.  Royce's grandfather explained that it was the disease, that it inflamed the dogs hate to the point where death no longer could stop it immediately.

This was how the creature before him now looked, aboard the Laughing Lady.  Royce's blade was pressed deep into its side, enough that were it a normal human man, he would have sagged to the floor and died.  Instead, the man/creature twisted its head around to stare at Royce with bloodshot eyes that showed a hatred as feral as any wild animal, as that dog did so many years ago.  Its icy cold fingers grabbed at Royce's wrist, drawing blood from the elongated fingernails.  Its fetid breath nearly made Royce recoil in of itself.

A groan, or a snarl, or something corrupted in between, expelled from the man/creature as it pushed Royce backward.  Claws, for the fingernails were grown to the point where it was as suitable description as any, went at Royce's face, gouging at his eyes.  Royce instinctively closed his eyes, while twisting the blade, ensuring it did more damage to the man/creature.  He could feel the warmth of blood, and the solid of internal organs spilling forth over the hilt of the sword and washing over his hand.  His other hand hand came upward to rest between his face and the face of the creature, as it gnashed at him with its yellowed and rotted teeth.

Finally, the creature sagged to the floor, after what seemed like an eternity of Royce and it locked in eye contact.  Royce had seen death before; animals, humans, other races, but he had never seen anything die like this creature.  Life faded from a thing when it died, either swiftly or slowly.  This creature, there was no fading.  Was it because the life was not there to begin with?  Or was it that though the body was dying, the horror within refused to leave the shell of a body.  Royce shivered.

They should have never opened this door.  They should have never came aboard the Laughing Lady.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 04:06:31 AM by Royce Brodlyn Kristoph » Logged

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Violence is not the answer.  But, it will buy you time to think of one.
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« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2009, 12:45:43 PM »

Masked by the darkness of the eerie ship's hold, Rhia glared at Despana. What an ego! Behind him, Ylva had entered the gloomy chambers as well, and seemed as aggravated by the elf as she was. "If anything happens, Malavon, just concentrate on fighting, the women will handle themselves." A small smile transformed the features of the girl's face at the healer's irritated-sounding response. She found herself liking the older woman more and more.

Various scuffling sounds of exertion drew Rhia's attention to to the other end of the hold, where Fjorwek, Cola, the woman lieutenant, and the soldier man (hadn't she heard his name was Royce, or something?) were gathered. "Ahoy there!" Startled, the girl peered through the oppressing darkness at the captain, pressed up against the door the group there had just cleared. "Fear not! Help is here! Stand away from the door!" She felt a thrill run through her at the thought of whatever... whoever... might be behind the door that Fjorwek was shouting to. There's something behind there, and it's alive. Fionn's words. Fionn seemed to have quite the thirst for adventure. And so do I, of course. A minstrel must always be willing to embark on an adventure, the better to sing the story. So of course I'm brave enough to go on an adventure. Of course I am.

Nonetheless, now a thread of uncertainty wound deftly through her thoughts, murmuring unpleasantly to her, as the captain turned to them in a serious manner. "Some of the ladies here can look after themselves, but I think it best of Fionn and Rhia stay back." ...Was she really equipped to deal with anything as perilous as this might be? The captain seemed to think not. What... what about any of the others? Did anyone else have any confidence in her?... Royce didn't, she reflected unpleasantly as his faint, "Sorry," reached her ears. He said at the banquet that he'd seen more capable-looking brownies, her memory mentioned helpfully. Take it as a sure sign that you'll be getting no votes of trust from him. But I am capable! I'm quite good with a small blade, I've got my dagger right here with me... Feeling around her belt, Rhia realized with a growing sense of dread that, in fact, she didn't.

A terrifying, grating shriek ripping through the air caused Rhia to shriek a little as she realized that the door was open. The dull, chinking sound of colliding weapons began to fill the air, and her pulse took to a more rapid rhythm. Ahead of her, Royce's blade was plunged deep into an emaciated- man, it had to be- with sunken eyes, an expression of fanatical fury. But no- fury was too specific and intelligent to describe this.. this rabidness that was directed at anyone and anything lying in its path. Rhia's hands, as white with terror as her face, gripped something -oh, it was somebody's arm, not her own, but someone beside her- soft, tighter and tighter as the lightning energy of her fear was directed into the grasp of her hands.  ...Whose arm was she holding onto so tightly? The girl looked quickly to her side, but nearly nothing registered in her frightened brain- only dark, wild hair and a mysterious-looking axe at the person's waist, and then her brain was back to issuing strong commands to the body to flee.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2009, 12:47:04 PM by Rhia » Logged

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