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Author Topic: Chapter Two - All Aboard!  (Read 41526 times)
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Yurie Yileen
Walker of Dreams
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« on: January 20, 2009, 07:14:21 PM »

   Captain Fjorwek was relaxing in his rather spacious quarters; and, as he surveyed the ornately furnished cabin, he reflected on his good fortune.  The ship under his command, The Southern Arrow, was by far the nicest he had ever been aboard.  She was fast, responsive, and looked like a dream-come-true.  He smiled to himself as he pictured her sleek lines in his mind’s eye.  If she weren’t the fastest ship on the sea, then she was pretty damned close!
   And it was her speed, of course, that had led to her being chosen for Jorn Ranskjun’s latest adventure.  Not that Captain Fjorwek minded.  He was going to be paid handsomely for a run-of-the-mill voyage down to Queen’s Harbour, carrying the present cargo of ice-wine, brandy, and a small group of passengers.
   Taking a sip from his glass of ice-brandy, he remembered how insistent Jorn had been, “Speed is of the utmost importance, Captain Fjorwek!”  the elderly merchant had said with vigour.  Jorn had also explained a few things regarding how the captain should treat his passengers.  “Well, at least they won’t get bored!”  Fjorwek thought to himself with some amusement.  They were supposed to arrive early next morning, and then The Southern Arrow could set sail.
   Captain Fjorwek smiled again, this time more broadly.  Perhaps it was the effects of the brandy; but it was more than likely the knowledge that soon he would be doing what he loved best!
   Ans so, with the promise of a fresh journey lingering in his mind, the captain entered his sleeping quarters.  "I should get a good rest tonight," he thought to himself, as he sat down on the edge of his bed, "all the provisions are aboard, the cargo's loaded, and the crew are well-disciplined.  Aye, I’ve got a good feeling about this one!”
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Fu Luft
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2009, 06:54:28 AM »

Fu the wind wizard was in trouble. He was running way too fast for his little lungs; he didn’t know where he was running to; and the thump-thump-thumping of several pairs of boots on the cobblestones behind him got louder and louder – as did the shouts of the ruffians whose legs stuck in those boots. And those weren’t friendly things that they shouted at their little quarry, oh no! It didn’t help that Fu could hardly see where his feet hit the street, as the night was dark and the houses poorly lit. Neither did it help that Fu carried his staff with him, as well as his knapsack with all his few possessions.

Crooked walls, shadowy doors and the blurred outlines of people rushed past the wizard’s eyes as he dashed and frantically looked left and right for a chance to wrongfoot his pursuers and make his escape. There was a gap between two houses – an alleyway. Fu turned sharp to the right, and almost slipped in a puddle. It hadn’t rained for three days! Why did people always have to ditch their dirty dishwater exactly where Fu was going to step? Unless, of course, this wasn’t dishwater. One time, in some other city, some stupid old hag had poured the contents of her chamber pot right on Fu’s head – and instead of apologizing, she … But there was no time to think about that now. Into the alleyway, through it, and then left into the next street. No better here – the brutes were still behind him. Drunk they were, but not drunk enough to be slower than short-legged Fu. Oh, he really had no idea where he was now. The splendid port city of Ciosa was nothing but a baffling maze to him.

Fu had only just arrived in the town, looking for lodgings. It had been a long day. In the morning, a kind peasant woman had given him a ride on her cart, but as she had stopped at a nearby village, Fu had had to walk the last few strals to Ciosa. Weary and hungy, he leaned heavily on his staff as he shoved his little legs through the darkening streets, searching for an inn that looked as if the cockroaches in the bedrooms wouldn’t be all that big. The little wind wizard must have struck a pathetic figure, with his shuffling gait, his sweatiing, moonlike face, and his dusty clothes - and neither did he have his wits about him when life decided to thrust a challenge at him.

“And where d’yer think yer’re paddling to, ship’s boy? Why, you handle that staff as if yer’d be rowing a four-master. What, boys?” It was a hoarse, inebriate voice – and judging by the laboured laughter of the “boys”, they weren’t on their first drink of the night either. Fu decided to ignore the lout and to simply march on. No use getting into a fight now. But the voice wasn’t prepared to be ignored: “Ahoy, yer dirty miserable gnome, I’s talking to yer! Yer wanna be a sailor when yer grow up?” Fine then, thought Fu. He barely turned around, but responded in the most snobbish voice he could manage. “Surely, if it served to get me out of the range of the venerable gentleman’s stinking perspiration, I should sail anywhere in the world, if it were the last thing I did – just to enjoy the clean air with my final breath.”

After this, everything happened very quickly. The venerable gentleman and his associates might not have understood every word of Fu’s reply, but they appreciated his meaning well enough. Crying out with indignation and savage delight, they threw themselves at Fu. The wind wizard quickly turned around and shoved them into disorder with a violent, chaotic gust of wind that he somehow managed to summon. The startled gang of drunken sailors tumbled over one another and came to kneel or sit on the ground. There was a moment of stillness, during which six pairs of eyes stared at Fu. The wizard stared back. Later, Fu would berate himself: “Why did I not put on my most authoritative voice and yell something like: Be gone, vermin, before I turn thee into warg cheese! Or wait, maybe not warg cheese – ship-rats would have been better; they would have hated that. But then, if I’ve already called them vermin, why turn them into anything in the first place? What could be worse than vermin? No, this wouldn’t have been very convincing. Maybe …” But however long Fu deliberated afterwards, he couldn’t avoid the acknowledgement of the simple fact that he didn’t yell anything.

Facing the six men with their square jaw bones and their missing teeth and their upper arms as thick as Fu’s thighs, all the little wizard could think of was his urgent desire to get away from them as quickly as possible. But maybe it was the tattoo that really made the difference. One of the men had a tattoo of a mermaid on his arm. It was very beautiful, and Fu would remember it long afterwards. The spellblower was struck dumb and witless, so he made what was maybe his biggest mistake of the night. He turned and ran.

At least he had some advantage on the gang, as they struggled to their feet and ran after him, hurling insults all the while. There was no time to concentrate on another magic trick. Along the cobbled street, through the puddle and into the alleyway (at least his pursuers could only run through that one by one, thus loosing some speed) and out again into the next street. Fu sprinted and noticed that the road sloped slightly downwards. I must be heading down toward the harbour, he thought. And so he was: after a curve, he saw the water. Fu ran on, his pursuers less than twenty ped behind him. He reached the quay. Where next?

To the right, there was a disorderly pile of empty tubs, crates and boxes, lying about all higgledy-piggledy. For all their maritime rudeness, these Ciosans evidently didn’t know how to keep their harbour tidy. Fu dived headlong behind one of the boxes, loosing his staff in the process, and grazing his hands as he landed. He crawled deeper into the disorderly heap, and tried to calm his breath, at the same time listening for what his pursuers might do. Their running boots reached the quay, and clunked about for a few blinks in apparent confusion. The sailors hadn’t seen where Fu had gone. Thank Grothar for that kink in the road that must have hidden Fu from their eyes at the crucial moment! Fu heard their voices: “Where is the little gnome? Careful, he might do one of his tricks again. Rugfur, yer three look there, we go here.”

Fu was still out of breath, and what was worse, he now had time to be afraid. Should he try to make himself invisible as the wind and gingerly sneak back to the road? But the wizard didn’t quite trust his abilities while his lungs were still hurting from the run. Instead, he carefully crawled on, until he came to the end of the pile. One step further, and he would fall into the water! About six peds from him, he saw the dark outline of a ship moored in the harbour. Maybe he should have followed the sailor's advice and rowed somewhere, far away from Ciosa? Anyway, now it was too late to make an escape. He heard the footsteps of several men around the pile that was now his uneasy refuge. “Hey, here's that staff of his! Now he can’t enchant us anymore. I bet he is behind one of them tubs! Come here, boys!”

These intoxicated imbeciles had a poor grasp of magic, but they were now all over the heap of boxes. Fu had got his breath back, but even if he managed to make himself invisible, he’d surely be hit by one of the empty boxes and tubs that the sailors were now lifting and throwing about in an effort to find him. It would be a mere matter of blinks before they would be successful. There was only one way out. Fu, now master of his breath again, swiftly grabbed one of the corbie feathers from where they stuck in his hat, inhaled and focused his mind on the wind that permeated every part of his body. There is one advantage to being small and skinny, thought Fu, as he stepped out from the quay into the air.

There was a soft breeze coming from the sea, and the air smelled pleasantly of salt and fish. Nonetheless, the time it took Fu to make his next twenty steps felt as long as the whole day’s walking. Treading on wind was a bit like walking through water; progress was slow, and you had to be careful and deliberate. And if one of the boxes that the sailors were tossing about in an attempt to find Fu had hit him, he would inevitably have lost concentration and splashed into the water.

But most people only see what they expect to see. The sailors were busy peeking inside empty tubs and turning over half-broken boxes, while Fu slowly stepped downwards, closer to the water, slowly and carefully as if on an invisible slippery staircase - until he judged his head to be below the angle of vision of his tormentors. From there, the wizard gingerly made his way around the hull of the ship until it completely covered him from the view of anyone who may look for him from the quay. Pleased with his manoeuvre so far, Fu then turned and walked up again, and soon reached the ship’s railing. Peeking over it, he satisfied himself that nobody was around. Then he walked up another eight invisible steps, sat down on the railing, and slid onto the deck.

But he had no time to rest. Immediately he heard voices from somewhere in the dark. “Ahoy, yer canal rats. Stop thrashing about. What are yer looking for in those boxes anyhow? Lost yer rat friends?” There were people on the ship! And they had got aroused by the din that Fu’s pursuers had made in their quest to find him and wring his neck. The wizard judged that the one who had called stood no ten peds away from him, just around the corner of the ship’s superstructure. Fu looked around in panic. There was a dark hole on the deck. A hatch! Without listening to how the seamanlike conversation developed, Fu sneaked towards the hatch, felt with his feet, found the steps of a ladder, and climbed down into the darkness. As soon as he felt ground, he let himself down and crawled, hoping to find cover. He couldn’t see anything in what appeared to be complete darkness, but evidently it was his destiny to hide among boxes this evening – as his groping hands confirmed, this place was full of wooden containers of all shapes. At least, Fu reflected, he seemed to be undetected and alone - apart from his own wheezing breath and faint voices drifting in from outside, the room was completely slient.

After a while of fearful waiting, Fu heard a clear, female voice: “Hey, which flatfish has left the hatch open? Do yer all want us to fall to our deaths?” An ungentle thud, and the faint square of less complete blackness in the sky of Fu’s new hiding place disappeared. There was no way he was going to climb up there again anytime soon. Surely it was best to wait a few hours, until everyone would be asleep and wouldn't notice a little wind wizard making his final escape.

So Fu sat in the dark, his back resting against what he assumed to be a large wooden chest, licked his chafed hands, and contemplated that this long day had decided to turn out a little bit too exciting for his taste. Nonetheless, it could have been worse: although he had lost his staff, he had saved most of his skin. Now, there was nothing to do but wait, and listen to the silence. Sleepily, Fu touched the brass locket that hung around his neck, and that contained a lock of hair from his daughter. He hoped that she’d had a better evening than he. As his eyes struggled to keep open, Fu noticed that a faint light was coming from a round opening in the wall opposite him. Sailors had some sort of strange name for their windows, didn’t they? Was it Baneg’s Eye? Or something else? The wizard felt it impossible to settle the question, as he drowsed off into an uneasy sleep.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 09:12:45 PM by Fu Luft » Logged

KaskaChee
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2009, 07:17:35 AM »

Strange noisy-breath man had quietened down before Kaska ventured out.  The rag-wrapped Rat Brownie released her albino rat which she had been holding still for almost half an hour, waiting for the intruder to leave.  He hadn’t.  He’d just fallen asleep instead.  She strode over to him to check this theory, whilst her mount wandered off, no doubt following whatever scent had grabbed his attention.  No doubt his sensitive nose would lead them to the choicest morsels.  The Brownie had known there would be good pickings on one of these huge boats and this one stocked with more food than her old Clan would have seen in a year.  The appetite of these upper-world creatures never ceased to amaze her, and their bounty was….confusing too.  But those were larger questions, now was not the time.

The day had been going well even before noisy-breath’s entrance.  Kaska had seen the supplies which got loaded onto these giant boats before, and so had finally decided to test the theory out.  Her little red-brown eyes had watched the path of the smaller boats as they struggled back and forth across the water.  The men eventually paused, huddling around something smelling strongly of cooked flesh and taverns.  Kaska drew the white rat away from the tantalising smells, settled onto his back and drove him towards the edge of the jetty.  One scuttling run and a leap and they were aboard the smaller boat, hiding themselves under a scrap of thick, heavy material. 

The men returned soon, reeking of the meat they had consumed, and began loading the boat with more boxes.  After a sticky moment when one of them was nearly laid on top of them, the two stowaways managed to slip through a crack in one of the crates and hide inside.  The rat quickly settled down in the dark, enclosed space.  Suddenly the whole world lurched as they were lifted up onto the main boat.  The rat squealed and cringed into the corner, and even Kaska’s stomach seemed to be left behind, making her want to spill her meagre breakfast.  A few minutes later and the lurching began again, this time to the steady rhythm of a man’s footsteps.  This time she was sick.  She felt better after that.

But as soon as she had left enough time after the men finally seemed to have left and ventured out, the sound of lighter footsteps and heavy, panicky breathing had driven her back into the crate.  And the rather ripe smell of her ex-meal.  The male-smelling human sat down against a wooden chest with only his leather-booted feet visible from Kaska’s hiding place. She listened to the rustle of hand against cloth and the pattern of his breath as it settled.  She waited, impatient but not willing to show herself.  A stamping foot or the business end of a boot were all too often her reward for getting spotted.  So the Brownie had sat down to wait him out, silently cursing the intruder, or at least his boots, with her most irritated stare.

But, finally, noisy-breath slept.  As she crept closer to his sleeping form she caught the nuances of his distinctive smell - pipe smoke and a little of human sweat, although considerably less than most.  Curiosity drew her even further in, until she was near enough to touch.  It was unusual for her to get a chance to actually look at a human face so close up.  Her eyes ran over the huge features, which were large and saggy to her Brownie eyes.   Then they spotted something else, something around his neck.  It was almost as large as her head, and a crescent of light caught the metal along one side.

The Brownie paused, considering her move for a moment, but the pull of so much metal was luring her in.  Something like that had to be worth a good amount, didn’t it?  One tiny foot, wrapped in a casing of thin and extremely dirty leather, slipped its way up into the crook of the sleeping man’s arm, pushing down gently at first and then slowly, slowly getting heavier as the Brownie lent more on it.  Ever-so carefully Kaska reached upwards, little hands clinging onto his clothes with her hands to pull herself up to the next foothold…
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Fu Luft
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2009, 09:06:26 AM »

Six cats with the faces of mermaids ran after Fu. He crawled and squeezed his body into a small wooden box to hide, but the cats plonked a lid on the box, shut it tight, and threw the whole thing with Fu inside into the sea. The cats must have jumped themselves, for now they sat on top of the box and rocked to and fro, to and fro, riding the waves. One shouted jovially: “Ahoy, yer flatfish! Where are yer sailing to?” Fu heard the wood creak under the cats’ weight, heard the water lap at the wood, and heard the cats’ tails splash around in the water. Then, all of a sudden, the cats had become ship-rats, and began to crawl into Fu’s tiny box through little holes. Their mermaid faces glowed in the dark – pale they were, and beautiful, and round like silverbards. The creatures proceeded to scramble all over Fu's contorted body. One rat-mermaid tugged at his right arm. That tickled –  it was almost pleasant, but it tickled so! Fu made a quick movement, lifting his elbow, trying to shake off the rat, and

… awoke. With a twitch that unconsciously went through his whole body, Fu opened his eyes and saw nothing. The space before him was black, blacker even than it had been inside that little box. The palms of his hands hurt, and he noticed a sharp pain on the left side of his neck. And someone, something was  tugging at his right arm. A rat?! Was he still dreaming? Instinctively, the wizard’s muscles tensed and gave his arm and shoulder another jerk. "Off ye be, wee beast!", Fu croaked in his native Darian peasant dialect, and with a voice he didn't recognize, while he struggled to remember where he was, and why he was waking up here in rat-infested darkness.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 09:54:43 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

Mallorix Volinkov
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 04:29:18 PM »

Mallorix woke up in an uncomfortable bunk.
*Where am I?*
Mallorix looked around, and saw empty bunks, and a small window. He looked out, and he saw the sea.
*A boat?*
Then he remembered the events of the previous day.
____________________________________________________________________

"So, will you take the job?"
Mallorix was standing on the quay, talking to a sailor in front of a huge ship.
"Where are we going?" Inquired Mallorix.
The rough sailor said:
"We're going to Queen's Harbour."
Mallorix was excited at the possibility of going to such an exotic place. He was curious about who hired the ship to go there, and why. It could have been just a merchant who wanted to bring his wares to Queen's Harbour, but maybe the ship would be carrying passengers, who could be adventurers!
As those thoughts raced through Mallorix's head, he imagined what sort of adventure the people who possibly may or may not be on the ship would be on. Going after pirate treasure, perhaps?
Mallorix asked the sailor :
"Who hired this ship to go to Queen's Harbour, and why?"
The rough seafaring man laughed.
"Don't you know? Jorn  Ranskjun, the famous merchant, hired this ship to bring some of his friends to Queen's Harbour."
So that was it. Some merchant and his friends. Well, Mallorix decided that a voyage would still be some sort of adventure, so he said:
"All right, I'll take the job!"
In a few moments, he was carrying goods, tying ropes, repairing the ship, and getting yelled at by an overseer.
"Work faster, you lazy rats!"
Suddenly, the overseer started threatening to go to the Captain and ask for permission to whip them. Mallorix thought:
*This is a pretty bad start for an adventure*
After a long day loading crates and doing whatever work he had to, Mallorix fell asleep on his narrow, hard, and uncomfortable bunk.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Mallorix was soon back to loading crates onto the ship. He went into one of the cargo holds with a rather large crate, and put it on the ground.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 03:05:41 AM by Mallorix Volinkov » Logged

"I despise merchants. All of them are fat, rich men who yell about things and take your money."
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KaskaChee
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Brownie, Mud Rat


« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2009, 08:42:29 PM »

Kaska’s dark-skinned arm slipped down her form and removed the long-bladed dagger from her side.  Holding the nailsbreath blade in her hand she stretched out towards the glint of metal, streeetched….but it was still just out of her reach.  Digging the long nails of her other hand further into the thick grey cloth of the man’s cloak, the ripe-smelling creature prepared to clamber further up where she would be able to cut the leather thong that held the metal treasure.  Suddenly the body beneath her shuddered.  The Brownie froze completely, blade held high.   She watched the gigantic face as his eyes opened, blinked.  Another, larger shudder coursed through her body as he shook his arm.  This time the jerk was too violent, and her tiny hand was ripped from the cloak, taking a little bit of the fluff with her.

The ball of Brownie and red rags was thrown to the storeroom floor, rolled, and immediately righted itself, dagger still held in its right hand.  It let out a high-pitched scream of a whistle, a short, sharp noise that could have been mistaken for a mouse in pain.  The pure white rat scuttled to its side, baring two long yellow teeth and giving long defensive hiss.

But that was not the end to the surprises.  There was a quick crescendo of footsteps from above, and before Kaska could get her legs into order and scuttle away, the hatch was thrust open.  A cold salty breath of air whistled into the storeroom, revealing another male-smelling silhouette holding a crate.  The Brownie let out a small growl, leapt onto the rat’s back and the pair scrabbled behind one of the other crates, the white coat of the mount flashing in the light from the hatch.
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Fu Luft
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2009, 09:45:52 AM »

With a soft pluck, the little tug of weight suddenly left Fu’s arm. The wizard heard a tiny muffled bump, followed by soft but oddly frantic shuffling not far from him. The rat – I must’ve shaken it off, and it’s been a-fallin’. In a reflex of fright and defence, Fu pulled his legs towards his body. The sudden tensing of his thigh muscles yanked his senses into place: Fu was now awake, and noticed that he could see the outlines of tubs, crates and chest in the faint light that drifted through the porthole. The wizard promptly looked down, trying to locate the rat he thought had attacked him. But before he could make anything out, a shrill squeal reached his ears from the floor on his right. An old memory – a squeaking field mouse in the claws of a barn cat – shot through the wind wizard’s mind, and he shuddered a little from a current of sorrow and sympathy that suddenly flowed up from somewhere beneath his heart. Despite his shock, a part of him hoped that the rat wasn’t hurt. Then he saw what had uttered the cry.

That ain’t no rat! In one blink, Fu took in the peculiar appearance of the thing that had disturbed his sleep. The creature was about half a fore high and stood on two legs, holding its head high and looking up at him, obviously in a state of alert tension. It was too skinny for a rat, and Fu could see no tail. Instead, he noticed an oddly round head, which seemed somehow too large for the rest of the body. In fact, this being looked more like a tiny human, albeit a deformed one, than an animal. And it seemed to hold a needle in its paw! It was hard to see its eyes in the darkness, but they appeared to sit where they would in a human face.

The startled wizard had no time to take in the implications of this thought, for at that moment the little biped was joined by, of all things, a rat! Not as big a rat as some Fu had seen, but unmistakably a rat. Compared to the muffled colours that dominated the storeroom, the animal seemed to positively glow in the dark. And in contrast to the earlier squeal that had aroused Fu’s sympathy, the rat gave out what seemed to the wizard to be a menacing hiss.

Frightened, Fu jolted to his feet, hoping to bring his head out of the jumping range of this fierce pair, and blurted out a sentence: “Who be ye?”  But before he could consider the absurdity of speaking Tharian (and a peasant variation at that) to this squeaking and hissing pair, the wizard heard the sound of wood bashing on wood from above him, and noticed the room becoming a lighter shade of dark. He quickly turned his head and saw that the hatch had been opened, and that a human head had appeared in it. Immediately the little wizard ducked down behind the crate he had leaned on to sleep. Had he been seen? How long had he slept? By the light, or the lack of it, Fu could tell that it was still night-time. Oh, I can’t let meself be found – them’ll be thinkin’ Fu’s a thief! While his mind was frantically trying to decide what to do next, the corners of the wizard’s eyes spotted the rat, now glowing almost white in the light from the hatch, scampering away behind another crate – and the little fellow (for that’s how Fu now thought of the biped creature), with his needle still in his hand, rode on the rat’s back!

Once again, amazement was cut short by fear. Where to now? To get further away from what Fu had to assume was a sailor going about his business, there was only one way: the way the little rat-rider had taken. The wizard tried to squeeze his body as quietly as possible into the gap between two crates.

But this hiding place was not good enough. If the sailor had seen or heard something, he – Or she? The woman who had complained about the open hatch before Fu had fallen asleep? – would surely investigate, and this time Fu would not be able to wind-walk his way into safety. The wizard would have to do what had got him out of trouble a few times in his life before. Once again, Fu needed to calm his breath. Oddly, he found it always more difficult to concentrate on the wind’s property of invisibility when it was dark around him – maybe because darkness somehow seems more substantial than daylight. But as his breath became regular and seemed to flow through every part of his body, the wizard felt that his powers would yet give him a chance of another escape. It was a peculiar experience not to be able to see your own hands, or your clothes. If it had been daylight, Fu (or, indeed, a perceptive observer) might have seen a very faint outline of his coat and boots – but among the grey hues of the ship’s storeroom, Fu was now invisible to his own and most other non-magical creatures’ eyes. Casting the spell had taken the wizard about the time it takes to have a good pee – or, as Fu reflected, about the time it may take a sailor to step down a ladder into a ship’s storeroom.

Carefully retaining the focus of his concentration, Fu listened for what the intruder would do. And where was the rat-rider? As he once again huddled into a narrow space, the wizard noticed an unpleasantly pungent smell – must be that rat, me reckons. Come to think of it, the little rider was about the right size for a Brownie. Fu had never seen a member of the little folk, but he had heard of their capacity for certain kinds of magic. But didn't Brownies live among flower meadows and under leafy trees, singing joyful songs and riding on little birds? Before Fu had quite finished this thought, however, a jolt of alarm shook his little body, and it was all he could do to keep his concentration from collapsing – if it had collapsed, the spell would have been broken and Fu would have been visible again in an instant. The knapsack! Fu's sack with almost all his possessions was still lying in the dark somewhere by the chest. From where he sat, the wizard couldn't see it, but he remembered very well the precious things that were inside: his juggling balls, his pipe, and the flute his father had given him. Could he risk crawling out of his hiding place to get his belongings? But what if he'd make a sound that betrayed his presence? And in any case, it was impossible to extend the spell to an object once Fu had started, so the knapsack would remain visible even if he managed to snatch it. Making up his mind, for the moment, to wait, the wizard relaxed into his awkward crouching posture as best as he could, and listened into the darkness. Where was that sailor now?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 10:40:17 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

Mallorix Volinkov
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2009, 05:36:04 PM »

Mallorix thought he heard a noise, but it was too faint. There was a white flash that sped right by his eyes into the darkness of the other side of the cargo hold.
*Oh, it's just a rat*
Mallorix went out of the cargo hold, and soon was met by a sailor with a crate twice the size of the other one. The sailor shoved the crate into his hands, and went to the quay to take another.
*Right, back into the dark, rat infested cargo hold it is.*
When he went back into the hold, he noticed a small knapsack that wasn't there before. He heard strange noises coming from the crates, but there was nothing there!
*Oh, just perfect. A cargo hold that's infested with rats and ghosts. I think getting a job on this boat was a very bad idea.*
Mallorix was then called to tie ropes and repair some small scratches. A rough sailor stood next to him, and they were being scrutinized by a woman with a rather nasty looking whip.
Mallorix only managed to whisper a few words to the large man.
"Ghosts in the hold."
The man asked:
"What? Which one?"
Mallorix replied:
"I don't know which one."
Their whispering was finally heard by the woman, who said
"Get back to work, before I go and tell the Captain that you were slacking off. Maybe I'll get to finally lash you."
Mallorix worked twice as fast while he was watched by that woman.
*I really shouldn't have taken this job.*
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 03:09:15 AM by Mallorix Volinkov » Logged

"I despise merchants. All of them are fat, rich men who yell about things and take your money."
Mallorix's CD
Malavon Despana
Wizard's Bane
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Maelf , Helcrani Sanhorrhim


« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2009, 01:52:50 PM »

Midnight and Malavon was the first of the group to arrive , not that he especially looking forward for the long it was about to undertake but he just wanted it to end as quickly as possible .
The taught of having to mingle around strangers in a foreign land was "killing" him , he had to trust these people to watch his back , and Mal was not a trusting person , but he had given his word to Jorn and that was his bond , when he commits himself to a job , either he return with he was hired for or don´t come back at all ...

The ship was indeed a beautiful one , lets us hope the captain is in the same league when it comes to competence ...,  looking around he waited to his so called allies to arrive , maybe they had more things to pack , Malavon himself only had his trusted sword "Zaroc" and a dozen throwing knifes , it was enough ...
Now he found a couple of boxes and leaning against them , he closed his eyes to rest , sure he had a comfy bed at the inn , but he always preferred the outdoors and since he was supposed to be here , best to sleep here .   
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 03:50:52 PM 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
Oddball Healer
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Human, Murmillion.


« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2009, 02:03:14 AM »

Ranksjun had offered servants to transport their things to the ship. However Ylva always liked to handle her own business, so the woman had insisted on leaving the party in the early hours of the morning to get her stuff.

Now outside the inn was a bored looking servant, who stood yawning, as he waited to escort the adventuress back to the party. Inside her room Ylva had quickly changed out of her fancy robes and into her travel clothes. The cream tunic still had dim reddish blood stains on it, but Ylva couldn't really recollect where these marks came from.

As the murmillion packed, there was a knock at the door and the innkeeper came storming in. The wiry man scratched the few hairs left on his head and peered curiously at the scene, “You going somewhere!?”

Ylva just nodded, not telling him where she was going, and not appearing to be paying much attention to him. The innkeeper was befuddled by her sudden departure, he always knew Miss Rasmussan was a bit unusual, being foreign and all, but leaving with no warning was just plain bad manners, “Shall I write up your bill for these past months?” Even a horde of savage orcs couldn't stop this man from demanding rent.

Ylva nodded, “Contact my patients. Tell them find new doctor. Only taking blade-axe and healer's satchel, so you store this bag. I collect it when get back.”

The innkeeper sighed and agreed, it was best just to agree with her and not argue. He was tempted to ask about how the fancy party had gone, what had happened there, and why on earth his tenant was now leaving in the middle of the night. However he didn't ask. “Yes, Miss Rasmussan, I will do so, may your travels be....uneventful....” He closed the door after him.

“Doubt it....
The healer muttered in murmilion. Nothing was left in the room but the storage bag and a pouch containing the money Ylva owed the innkeeper. It was strange how she could just abandon these things for a story, just a story of treasure and pirates. But perhaps that was a story worth seeking. The healer offered a quick prayer to Mari and closed the door behind her.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 11:26:07 AM by Ylva Rasmussan » Logged
KaskaChee
Sanguinary Shaman
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Brownie, Mud Rat


« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2009, 04:11:43 AM »

Kaska leant against the rough wooden surface of the crate, her little heart bu-dumming with the thrill of discovery.  A long, corse splinter of wood was sticking out beside her.  With one deft slice of the sharp knife the Brownie took it off and held it in her calloused hand, snapping it once, twice, three times.  The feeling of the wood breaking in her hands was satisfying and helped release some of the tension coursing through her.  But really she wasn't concentrating on the motions of her hands, straining her ears instead to hear the slightest movement in the dark cellar.  The footsteps had come back for a moment and the man had shouted something she hadn't quite heard at her retreating back.  But then they had gone again.  Now there was nothing more than the man's breath.  No gasp of astonishment, no running feet or accusing voices.  What was going on?

Eventually she couldn't stay in her corner any longer.  The Brownie crept noiselessly around the side of the huge wooden box, and poked her head out....to see nothing.  But...no, that wasn't right.  She could still hear the man, still smell him.   For one moment she considered venturing out and seeing if she could touch him too, but the mere thought sent her scrabbling back against the wall behind her.  What was this magic!  And how was he using it, a little man like him?!  Hearing the noise of her panic, she froze, suddenly, and then slowly made herself comfortable in the shadow of the box.  Her redish eyes were fixed on the spot were she could smell he was still sitting, waiting for him to move or reappear.

But he had made himself disappear!  Or else he was doing something to deceive her eyes and make them tell her he wasn't there.  In Kaska's mind magic was something given to one by the spirits, or by some higher force at least.  Was he some kind of God?  Could he give her the power too?  Or a magical creature that only looked human when it wanted to.  Kaska would have to find out. There was more to this little man than she had first thought, much much more.  The Brownie stared at the place where he was, wondering if she should approach him.  She hesitated.  It was too strange, too dangerous to try and talk when she couldn't see him.  Could he smell how he wanted to as well?  But no, probably not or her wouldn't be smelling of anything now.  Kaska watched him, waiting patiently for him to reappear.  However, the exhaustion from her packed day was starting to tell, and she settled herself more comfotably against the wall.  The slow rhythmic sound of his breathing began to tell on her, and her eyes slowly drooped until she was fast asleep.  A while later the white rat came back from whatever exploration he had been enjoying, and settled down across her body, warming it with his own.
Logged

Fu Luft
Befuddled Spellblower
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Human, Avennorian/ Eyelian


« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 08:35:37 AM »

Fu listened to the footsteps of a sailor in the dark, and flinched when he heard a heavy smash. What was that? Something had been dropped. There were more footsteps, followed by sounds as if the sailor went back up the ladder. Now the storeroom was still. But Fu didn’t dare to get up and look about. He hadn’t heard the hatch being closed.

Sure enough, here was the creaking of the ladder again. The thud of whatever the intruder had been carrying was even louder this time, and reverberated through the dark. But there was no sign of the sailor returning to the ladder. Instead, the footsteps came closer to where Fu was sitting, breathing quietly to maintain his control over the wind ounía and remain invisible. The footsteps stopped for a few blinks – ooh, them’ve been discoverin’ my sack – then, slowly, came even closer. With some trepidation, the crouching Fu carefully turned his head to look up: a shadow stood towering over him. The wizard felt as if the sailor’s eyes pierced his invisible but nonetheless substantial body. As he now saw, this was a man; a man with huge hands, as Fu couldn’t help notice. They’ll soon be havin’ Fu by that scruff of his neck!  But the sailor didn’t stoop down to grab the invisible wizard, didn’t shake him and ask him what his business was, didn’t drag him up the ladder by the hair, and didn’t throw him into the sea for the waves to drown him and the fish to gorge on him. Neither did he raise his huge hand for the knockout blow. Instead, he turned around, trotted back to the ladder, climbed up and out, closed the hatch, and was gone. 

Silence, except for the sound of Fu’s breathing. This ship sure was busy! Why were they carrying things down here in the middle of the night? Were they preparing for a journey? The ship wasn’t going to set sail in utter darkness, was it? Or was morning approaching? Fu couldn’t see the porthole from where he was cowering, but still the storeroom was dark. The silence was eerie now; the night had lost direction, and time had stopped. It was time to get out of this precarious refuge.

But for the moment, Fu didn’t dare to move. Neither did he dare to release his control and terminate the spell, in case the sailor came back. Had the man with the big hands taken the knapsack? Fu hadn’t heard anything to suggest that he had, but couldn’t be sure, whether, in his panic, he would have noticed.

So the wizard sat for a while, worrying. Then he noticed a movement out of the corner of his eye. Of course, the rat rider! The little fellow had sat down with his back supported by a crate, his body orientated as if he was looking directly at where Fu was sat. For a blink, Fu thought that the fellow could see him! A brownie warlock, maybe, who could sense a living being’s cár’áll? But there are other ways to detect a man, Fu reflected, as he noticed the pungent rat smell once again.

Fu watched the little figure for a while, as both sat in the dark, and eventually felt tempted to say something. But he only knew Tharian, and this fellow had so far only whistled, hissed, and grunted, communicating with his little rat. Well, that’s pretty much what I’ve done all night, thought Fu, except I’ve also huffed and puffed and wheezed quite a bit.

There was another shadow by the fellow now. The rat! This was extraordinary. Fu had made the experience that animals usually hid from him when he was invisible, confused and disconcerted by his mysterious presence. This rat, however, happily snuggled up to its rider. The wizard felt almost sad to leave them there. Forsooth, thought Fu, mentally assuming Ximaxian formality, it has been a remarkable privilege to make thy acquaintance. Yet prithee, do forgive your humble servant, for he must be gone before Foiros begins his wanderings. Fare thee well!

As Fu got up, he did so with the utmost care, partly not to disturb the sleeping pair, partly not to arouse whatever else lived on this ship. (The ship that never sleeps, thought Fu.) Still invisible, he felt his way through the maze of crates. There was his knapsack. With groping hands, Fu felt inside – pipe, juggling balls, flute: everything was there. The sailor hadn’t seen it in the dark. Relieved, the spellblower shouldered his possession, tiptoed on towards the ladder, found it, and started to make his way up. Soon he would be on land again. It was high time. Fu yearned for a table to sit down at. His stomach was empty and his throat was dry.

Carefully, Fu lifted the hatch a few nailsbreaths high. A warm wind touched the tired skin on his face. But if he had expected to be able to see better than in the dark storeroom, the wizard was disappointed. A fog had settled down on the harbour, and Fu’s eyes couldn’t see further than three peds! Were there voices in the darkness? Fearing to be spotted, Fu carefully lowered the hatch again, and, still perched on the ladder, thought about how he would actually escape. He would probably have to wind-walk back to the quay, but in order to do that, he would have to give up the hiding spell. Maintaining two spells simultaneously was well beyond the powers of the little spellblower. So what, actually, would he do?

And at that moment – plop! – Fu felt the spell glide off him, and he stood there on the ladder in the dark in all his miserable little visibility. The problem was that the wizard now had time to think about what would happen if he messed up his escape. And with that, his magic failed him. Fu was scared, but tried to be brave: Not to worry, old Fu, it’s happened before. Ye’ll be havin’ to make do without, then.   

With careful resolve, Fu lifted the hatch again, only slightly at first, peeked and listened, then lifted it further until it was perpendicular to the deck – don’t be lettin’ it slam down, Fu! – and stepped up onto the ladder’s highest rung. The he heard the footsteps and a suspicious male voice: “Who’s there?” As quickly as he could, Fu stepped down a rung, pulled the hatch over his head, crouched down at the same time, and just managed to close the hatch. In doing so, however, his hands lost the support that holding the trapdoor had provided. The wizard’s body lost balance, and his right hand only just about managed to grab the ladder and safe himself from falling. During this manoeuvre, Fu heavily banged the back of his head against the hatch above. At exactly the same moment, a heavy boot stepped onto the hatch. Someone was standing almost directly on Fu’s head! And this head was now throbbing.

As silently as he could, Fu climbed down the ladder. The hatch remained closed – the wearer of the boot hadn’t noticed anything. But the wizard felt dizzy. His hand went to his pounding skull. There appeared to be no blood, but this had been a grave bang. Hardly knowing what he was doing, Fu went down on all fours. Away from that hatch, he thought. The wizard crawled to what seemed to him to be the furthest corner of the room, and slumped behind a row of fat tubs. The knapsack was still strapped to his back, but the wizard didn't notice. Bitter bile came up through his throat. Fu didn’t have the power to control his body, and released the meagre contents of his stomach right where he sat. He hoped he hadn’t made a lot of noise, but that was almost the last thing he could think. Weakened from the events of the day, from lack of food and water, and from a severe blow to his head, the spellblower lost consciousness.
Logged

Mallorix Volinkov
Adventurous Peasant
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Human, Centoraurian


« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2009, 03:26:00 AM »

Mallorix was sent to load a few crates into the cargo hold. By then, the rumors had spread and none of the sailors dared to go into "The Haunted Hold."
The sailors found out which hold it was because a sailor saw a ghostly form floating up the ladder before he slammed the trapdoor shut.
Mallorix took one of the crates on the deck, and went down into the cargo hold, as he was curious and wanted to know why the ghost was on the ship.
When he opened the hatch, a foul smell suddenly hit his nose. He continued down, and put down the crate.
Mallorix decided to find the source of the smell, even if it was nothing.
He looked around, and saw a silhouette in the far corner. Someone was hiding there!
Was it a ghost?
*It has the knapsack strapped to its back!*
Mallorix decided, whatever the risk, to approach the hiding person.
He discovered a small man who has just lost the contents of his stomach. The man was sleeping, and he looked malnourished.
Mallorix decided that somehow this person could become invisible.
Suddenly, being on the ship was a lot more interesting then it was before.
He decided that the only thing that was safe to do was leave food and water.
Mallorix had saved a small bit of food from his meager breakfast, and he also carried an extra canteen of water.
He left them on a crate next to the small man, and left.
He loaded a few more crates into the hold, and then told the sailors:
"The hold is full, and I met no ghosts."
One of the sailors said:
"Well, we're not going into the damp cargo holds any more. All of the cargo has been loaded by this shift. All the work left is on the deck."
Mallorix started working again, thinking about the small man.
Why was he here?
How did he hide himself!?
Mallorix decided to keep his discovery a secret, for now.
Logged

"I despise merchants. All of them are fat, rich men who yell about things and take your money."
Mallorix's CD
Yurie Yileen
Walker of Dreams
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Human, Eyelian


« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 08:30:35 PM »

   Captain Fjorwek stood on the quarterdeck of the Southern Arrow, his legs slightly apart and his hands clasped behind his back.  “They should be here soon,” he thought to himself as he gazed across at the quay.  The early morning fog had rolled back a little, leaving behind wispy strands of mist hanging in the air.  The captain had sent a small cutter to pick up his expected passengers, though he himself had stayed on board the main ship.
   “Ah, good morning!” he said heartily to a rather rotund, bald man.
   “Good morning, sir,” Doctor Jorek replied, lifting his hand to his forehead as he did so.  “Have our guests arrived yet?”
   “No, not yet, doctor; though I expect them any moment now.”  The captain returned his gaze to the quay, a slightly impatient look hanging on his clean-shaven face.
   “Good morning, doctor,” a new, huskier voice said, “Why, that red really suits you, though I’m not sure your jacket goes with it.”
   “Ah, thank you, lieutenant!  The blood doesn’t show so much on a red shirt!  But what do you mean about my jacket?  There’s not a colour that goes as well with red as this green!”
   The captain turned his attention back to the doctor and his garish clothing.  “Hmm, it is rather bright, though, doctor.”
   “Good morning, sir!”  Lieutenant Ustaskjan said with a sharp salute.
   “Good morning, lieutenant.  I trust you’re ready to receive our guests?”
   “Yes, sir; you can leave them to me to take care of, sir!”
   “Erm, I thought I would be working with some of them, too?”  Doctor Jorek said a little sheepishly.  The captain chuckled slightly.  “But of course, doctor!  I didn’t forget you.  I’m sure that they have much to learn from one as qualified as yourself.  But look!  I think I see them now!”  The captain pointed to a small group of people that had just exited from a horse-drawn carriage.  “Yes,” he said with satisfaction, “that must be them; I’d recognise that carriage anywhere!”
   Captain Fjorwek was quite right.  The horse and carriage that Jorn Ranskjun had provided to escort his guests had arrived at the quay, and the adventure-bound individuals were being ushered aboard the cutter.
   “Ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding,” the ship’s bell rang out clearly in the warm, morning air.
   “Ah!  Precisely on time!  Look, here they come!” the captain said joyfully as he watched the cutter skim across the harbour towards his ship.

   First Mate Udghrin groaned slightly when she heard the eighth bell; it was time to get up!  Still, wasting no time, she rolled out of her cramped bunk and began yelling at the men around her to shift their lazy backsides.
   Soon, she was hard at work, supervising her watch as they busied about their various tasks.  Most of them were good men, and hard-working, too.  There would always be a few rotten apples, though; trouble-makers, idlers, or maybe even rebellious types.  They all had to be kept in line, and it was Udghrin's job to do just that.  She’d already singled out a few potential problem hands.  One of them was fresh meat, a ‘lubber that had somehow found his way onto her watch.  Sure, he was strong enough, but he had a lot to learn.  He’d already started spreading some nonsense about the ship being haunted.  Yes, he had the look of trouble about him, alright.
   Just then, she noticed the man in question.  He looked a little lost, like he didn’t know what he ought to be doing.
   “You there!”  she shouted to him.  “G’t down that ‘old there ‘n mek sure the cargo’s packed proper!”  She pointed to the cargo hold that was supposedly haunted.  “Then when yer’ve finished with that, come ‘n see me fer somethink more ter do!  I won't 'av no skivin' on my watch!”
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Mallorix Volinkov
Adventurous Peasant
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Human, Centoraurian


« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2009, 03:57:32 AM »

Mallorix came out of the cargo hold, after being yelled at by that nasty looking woman. He went back to her, as she yelled something that sounded like:
"Go into that hold and pack the cargo in a nice pretty stack. Come back to me so I can yell at you in some strange sailor dialect and tell you to do something. I don't want anyone slacking off on my watch!"
Finally, he was finished. Mallorix thought:
*I probably won't understand a thing*
Mallorix went to her and said:
"Well, I'm here. What are you going to tell me to do now?"
Logged

"I despise merchants. All of them are fat, rich men who yell about things and take your money."
Mallorix's CD
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