* 
Welcome Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?


*
gfxgfx Home Forum Help Search Calendar Login Register   gfxgfx
gfx gfx
gfx
Embed Maximize


Newbies, read these!

Character Creation
FAQs
Restrictions

Main Site
Portraits
Rules
Story Creation
Racial Crossbreeding
Magic

Contact
Tips and Tricks
IRC Chat
Measures Converter
Elven Aging Calculator
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Chapter Four - Things Fall Apart  (Read 29541 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Yurie Yileen
Walker of Dreams
Story Mod
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 760

Human, Eyelian


« on: August 16, 2010, 08:53:26 AM »

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.1

***

Captain Skjangarris sat back in his wooden chair as the ominous words from his dream echoed once again around his mind.  They were cryptic, and disturbingly sinister.  He'd had the same dream for a number of nights, now, and that short piece of verse had burned itself into his thoughts.  A dolphune chanted it.  A dolphune with a face which bore a remarkable resemblance to one of his late friends.  Was it a portent?  A message from those who had gone before him?  The captain had tried to work it out; to find meaning in the lines; but to no avail.  Perhaps it was just a reflection of his worries?  Another nightmare that would fade away, eventually.  Vildrek Skjangarris was, afterall, no stranger to nightmares.  But whatever it was, there was no point in brooding over it now; he had company!

Here were Jorn’s new recruits, sent to help find Jovloff’s treasure.  Captain Skjangarris took a long, studious look at the group sat around his table.  A few of them looked like they had seen tough times before, and obviously knew how to take care of themselves.  But there were also a few faces which didn’t seem to fit; noticeably the young girl and the short man.  Still, Vildrek Skjangarris had learnt long ago not to judge a book by its cover; he’d met more than his fair share of pretty girls who could pack a hefty punch.  And now that he looked closer, Vildrek noticed that the short man had the look of a magician about him.  Maybe it was the way he sat, which spoke of hours upon hours of studying at a desk?

Whatever they looked like, though, Captain Skjangarris had a good feeling about them.  He was sure that Seyella had brought them to him for a reason, and so, suitably reassured, he smiled slightly; a thin smile, which hardly lit up his face at all, but a smile, nonetheless.

Despite only being the first hour of Sunblaze, the cabin was already hot, and a layer of sweat bathed the captain’s body.  He was used to it, of course, having spent many years sailing the Scattersand Shoals; but he wondered how his new companions were finding the climate.  It was very different to the mainland, and Vildrek hoped that it wouldn’t bother them too much.

With a slow, deliberate movement, the white-haired man reached forwards and lifted his glass.  The cloudy drink inside it was a mixture of potent spirits and local fruit juices; a very refreshing combination, and an excellent way to forget about doleful dolpholk!  The captain pulled a face after he’d taken a draught, and shook his head from side to side.

“Ah, nothing like a drop of Arkan’s Glory to beat the heat; or to melt the ice, for that matter.”

Captain Skjangarris was acutely aware that he hadn’t properly introduced himself, yet.  His new companions had arrived late the previous evening, and had been too tired from their long journey to talk much.  Then, he’d insisted that they leave Queen’s Harbour early, and this was the first chance that they’d had to sit down together.

“As you know," he began, after putting his glass back onto the table.  “I’m Captain Vildrek Skjangarris, and I’ve been working for our common friend for more years than I care to remember.  My work has led me to places that most people would prefer not to be led to, and introduced me to people that most places would be glad to be rid of.  Pirates, vagabonds, murderers and worse have called me their friend, and some still do.

“But I digress.  We’ve been brought together for a reason; a reason that, until now, has been little more than words to you.  Well, this is where those words start to become real!”  Captain Skjangarris’s eyes were glowing, and he sat upright again as he started to warm to his subject.

“I’m sure that Jorn and Kari must have told you lots of stories; of hoarded treasure and cunning pirate lords.  Exciting stuff, no doubt, but it gets a lot better than that!  I’ve so much to tell you, and I could talk all day, but I need to know more about you, first.  I haven’t been told much, you see; only that you come highly recommended by Jorn.  So, if you don’t mind, could you introduce yourselves to me; what do you bring to this venture?  And if you have any questions for me, now would be a good time to ask them.”

The captain fell silent, and leant back in his chair again, waiting to see who would be the first to speak.

***

1 From "The Second Coming" by W.B.Yeats.
Logged

Fu Luft
Befuddled Spellblower
Mini-mod
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 963


Human, Avennorian/ Eyelian


« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 07:35:23 AM »

It was awfully hot. Fu sat hunched forward in his chair, keeping his back away from the backrest, because if he leant back, he feared, he would press the sweat from his body into his shirt, which would then be wet all over, so that everyone would be able to see how badly the little wizard fared in the heat. On the journey south with the Southern Arrow, the sun had got ever more relentless, until the air seemed to flimmer every time Fu tried to focus his eyes on anything. And here in the southern sea, not even the nights brought relief anymore. Fu felt constrained by the heat, imprisoned by the stifling air, as if it was pressing on his small chest with the weight of a dozen anvils.

In short, Fu did not feel very adventurous. But even if he had, he would hardly have thought that it was up to him to be the first to respond to Captain Skjangarris. The captain had spoken so casually, with so much self-assurance, as if he went hunting for pirate treasure every week. Fu doubted very much that he would enjoy hearing from a wimpy wizard like Fu, whose response to pirates, highwaymen, and other such folk had usually been to make himself magically invisible, hide in some corner, and hope for the danger to pass. Therefore, Fu avoided looking the captain in the eye, lest he attract attention to himself.

Instead, Fu risked a furtive glance at the person who sat next to him. There he was, mighty Royce, who had awoken from the dead, or at least from a death-like sleep. Royce, too, was vulnerable – but down in the hold of the zombii ship, thought Fu, Royce had been the bravest. To puny Fu, the beefy, broad-chested man looked like the true leader of this adventure, no matter what sea captains that merchant Ranskjun had hired to ferry his mercenaries towards the islands – the islands where, supposedly, the pirate treasure waited. And much else besides might wait there, too, thought Fu.

The little wind wizard leant over to Royce and whispered as furtively as he could:

”Be asking him about dangers. What we be having to be looking out for. And if he be knowing anything about them zombii ships.”

Then he quickly resumed his former position, and, in an effort to conceal his agitation, used his shirt sleeve to wipe the sweat from his forehead.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 07:47:33 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

Royce Brodlyn Kristoph
Lost Soul
Approved Character
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 97


Human, Centoraurian


« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2010, 09:08:32 AM »

Royce had never been bothered by the heat.  In fact, summer was by far his favourite season, and the hotter it got, the better he liked it.  People had oft remarked that they thought he had lost grasp of his senses, because as others were complaining of the heat, he still would be wearing a tunic.  He almost never took off his tunic.

But, there was heat, and then there was this.  Maybe it was because he was still hurting from the wound he received in the hold of the derelict ship, he wasn't sure.  But, his body was not reacting well to this oppressive temperature.  His tunic was resting over the back of his chair, the ties of his shirt loosened so the bush of hair on his chest could be seen.  Still, it was hot.  If only it were prudent, he probably would have lost his pants by now, but in deference to the women on board, he kept his britches on.

As he sat listening to the new Captain's toast, Royce raised his glass of water.  Liquor did not help him in this heat.  Meanwhile, his free hand traced the jagged scab that was drying around the stitches above his hip.  He had been lucky, the doctor had been good and no infection had set in.  If it had, he probably would not have survived.  Still, every drop of perspiration that dribbled down his back and ran over the scab made it sting just a little.

He tasted the water, cool to his throat and closed his eyes, relishing the momentary relief.  He listened to Captain Skjangarris continue on, introducing himself.  Royce couldn't care less.  If it were not impolite, he would excuse himself and go lay down, but he knew he should be here.  He listened to the Captain's warnings, then to him asking for their names.  There was a moment of silence, as if suddenly the group formed by Ranskjun were all strangers to each other once again.

Next to Royce, equally bothered by the heat was the little wizard, Fu.  It seemed as though Royce had made a friend, though he didn't know what he had done to warrant the honour.  Since waking, Fu had been near Royce; not bothersome, often just on the periphery.  Royce wasn't sure why, but the little guy was friendly and had even told stories to Royce while he was recuperating in bed.  It made the time fly by more pleasantly, and Royce had appreciated that.

He leaned into Fu when the little guy began whispering to him.  A slight grin came over Royce's mouth at the worried tone in the wizards voice.  Apparently Fu was not one of the warriors in this party.  Royce winked reassuringly at the little guy and gave a quick nod.

"Captain, I'm Royce Kristoph.  I think what a few of us might like to know, is what exactly are we looking to go up against.  We were taken by surprise, as you know, by depraved man creatures that nearly went horribly wrong for us.  I would prefer, as would the others, to know what exactly we are going to face.  No more surprises."
Logged

Royce

Violence is not the answer.  But, it will buy you time to think of one.
Koka Bentarm
Bearded Lady
Approved Character
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 101


Dwarf, Mitharim


« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 03:30:26 AM »

Koka was silent. More than that though, Koka was sweating. For once she wished that she had kept up her home tribe's habit of shaving off the women's beards, just so her cheeks would feel some coolness on them. And why not her hair, while she was at it? She had braided the beard in such a way that she had least trouble with it, but nevertheless it was WARM. Every now and then she would lift either it or the many braids of her hair in an attempt to cool down. It was no use of course - this seemed like a place that had never even heard of a nice little breeze, or even cold water. The stuff she was drinking might be called water here, but she could hardly help thinking of a nice rock pool back home, water dripping from the ceiling and walls and falling musically into the little lake below. What she wouldn't give now to dip her whole head in there!

She was sitting next to Fionn. In the past three weeks she had come to appreciate the little mullog with her down-to-earth common sense. She had not yet forgotten that it was this small woman who had gotten her through her first and worst panic attack, that first day on board, as well as two smaller ones in the course of the journey - neither one as bad as the first time, but bad enough that she had been glad that apart from the mullog, the others didn't seem to have noticed. And then of course it was thanks to the mullog's ministrations that she had no more trouble with the wound she had received on her head during the fight with the creatures.

On her other side sat Ylva, the other healer woman. Despite their three weeks on board the same ship, Koka was still not entirely sure what to think of the foreign woman. There was something... well, mysterious about her, possibly helped by her strange accent. And of course there was that weapon, so often an unknown consort of a healer. It was intriguing, but the dwarfess had not yet asked her about it. She sensed a certain aloofness in the woman, which kept her from actually touching so personal a subject. Possibly she wronged her with such a feeling, but she could not help it. And now they were on a smaller ship. Maybe it would be enough to break down barriers. Or it would build them higher. Things could still go both ways.

When Royce asked his question, she directed her gaze towards him. It was a good question, in a way, and yet it sounded naive to her ears. You could not predict what would happen. There would always be dangers that nobody had foreseen. Even if there were more things like those human-like creatures they had fought, captain Skjangarris would hardly be able to tell them so. But maybe there were other things that it would be good to know, that she could not imagine now because she did not know this place quite as well as she had known the caves back home. Yes, on reflection, perhaps it was a good question to ask after all, though she for one would not blame the captain if they met something that he had not warned them of.

As soon as an opening allowed, she said calmly: "I am called Koka Bentarm." She did not really think it necessary to elaborate, especially not on the reason she went on this journey - a reason she hardly remembered anyway, after their journey so far, and would probably forget altogether before they were much further. After that, she was content to lean back and listen to the others talk.
Logged

fionn
Prosaic Waif
Approved Character
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 321


Mullog


« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 11:00:45 PM »

Well, the weather was nice, at the very least.
Fionn pulled her feet up onto her chair and folded her arms on her knees, resting her chin on them to regard the group lazily. She was particularly interested by Captain Skangarris, and her eye kept returning to his hair – it wasn’t blonde, but really white. He looked like some sort of spirit – like the waterfall spirit with its veils and crests of white-water. Only he didn’t seem powerful like a spirit at all – this boat was barely bigger than some of the river-barges she’d seen back home. Somehow, that made her more inclined to like it. Or maybe she was just happy to be somewhere a little humid – the others didn’t seem to be enjoying the climate so much, though. She’d never been somewhere so hot before, but she quite liked it – it was new, and much more comfortable for bare feet.

As the captain started speaking, she endeavoured to stop thinking about the weather and pay attention. Her good eye widened slightly at the mention of befriending pirates and murderers – it seemed nothing was straightforward in this adventure... but maybe that was a good thing? We’ll see, won’t we?

She turned as she heard whispering – Fu talking to Royce, she guessed, though she couldn’t really see, as her good eye was turned away from them. Her smile widened slightly, briefly displaying pointed teeth, as Royce spoke up. Yep, Fu talking to Royce, most definitely. It was a good question, too, and she nodded quietly, sipping from the glass of some-kinda-fruit-juice she’d been given. Surprises were all very well, but she didn’t think her skull could take too many of that kind. She was still keeping off the headscarf, as it chafed against the bruising that still barely lingered on her forehead. Well, that and the fact that the heat made a headscarf a fairly foolish thing to wear, especially once the others had all apparently gotten used to her hairless head.

She glanced to Koka, who looked to be suffering as much as anyone. It was almost strange to think she’d been so struck by the contrast in appearance between them when they first met. She barely noticed it now – she’d gotten to read the expression on the small section of visible face that the dwarf displayed, and at the minute he looked to be struggling – no wonder, under all that beard. But she thought she understood, sort of – it was another way of closing the world in – like building a cave for your face, sort of.

Fionn grinned, keeping quiet for the moment, to listen to the captain and the others. She was certainly learning a lot on this voyage. For “panic attacks” (it was a good name for them, that Koka had used. The eru “panic” fighting the patient’s eru. It made sense.), prescribe Yahrle to relax the breathing, and a cave for the face.
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
Yurie Yileen
Walker of Dreams
Story Mod
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 760

Human, Eyelian


« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2010, 02:51:00 AM »

Captain Skjangarris smiled slightly as he watched the small man next to Royce whisper something to his friend.  He obviously had concerns, but didn’t feel confident enough to be the first to speak.  Or perhaps it was humility?  Maybe he didn’t see himself as being important enough amongst the group to speak first?  The captain hoped that it was the latter reason; he had little time for cowards.

The question itself held no surprise; it was an inevitable query.

“A very good question, mate,” the captain replied in answer to Royce, though he looked at Fu as he spoke.  “And one to be expected, considering what you have already encountered.  To be honest, though, I can tell you little of the cursed ship that you came across.

“And you’re right, Royce Kristoph, Kari did tell me a little of your journey.  All I can say, and I know that it sounds weak, is that strange things happen at sea.  Who knows?  Maybe the men you fought had been imprisoned by pirates?  Or perhaps they themselves had been pirates, and were being punished?  I think the most important thing for you all to know is that it was in no way related to your quest.”

Captain Skjangarris paused for a moment, considering how best to proceed.  It was clear that Royce’s main enquiry was about what lay ahead, rather than what had already passed, and it was a difficult one to answer.

“As for what lies ahead, Royce, I can only tell you what I know for certain; what I fully expect to encounter.  There will be, I’m sure, unforeseen factors, which we shall have to deal with as they arise.

“We are currently sailing on dangerous waters, which are generally avoided by honest men.  If the shallow reefs don’t sink you, then the bloodthirsty Crimson Blades probably will.  With regards to the first peril, you have little to worry about; my crew and I know these waters better than most.  We do, however, need to be concerned about the second problem.  The Blades are notoriously unmerciful; if they board a vessel, they leave none alive.  Negotiation is useless.  It’s much better to outsmart or outrun them.  However, if a Crimson ship does manage to close with us, I trust that you’ll do what is necessary, and fight for your lives!

“I truly hope that it won’t come to that, but it is a very real possibility.  Fortunately, we don’t have too far to sail, and we carry little weight.  I anticipate that we can make land by this time tomorrow.

“Which brings me to our destination, Triam; a fairly large island which is covered in thick forest.  Once we’ve secured our ship, we’ll enter the forest, and make our way to the treasure.”

The captain’s eyes started to glow again when he mentioned the treasure.

“Yes, I know it sounds fanciful, and discussing it in the luxury of Jorn’s mansion over in Ciosa must have made it seem remote.  But trust me, mates, I’ve seen it with my own eyes!”

The captain laughed slightly, and clapped his hands together, rubbing them absent-mindedly.

“Oh, yes, I was close!  So very close!  I trailed and stalked Tendrim Jovloff for more moons than I care to remember, but that sneaky old salt got wind of me, and moved his riches to Triam.  Chest after chest after chest he unloaded and took into the forest.  He wasn’t that smart, see, I still managed to ghost him and watch.  But I didn’t dare follow him into the trees.  I waited, instead.  And waited, and waited, and waited.  Only one of his crew came out, though, and he’d lost his mind completely.”

Captain Skjangarris paused again, and reached into one of his deep pockets.

“I did manage to obtain this from him, however.”

The captain carefully placed a thick, leather-bound journal onto the table.

“This,” he continued, “is our guide.  It contains comprehensive directions on how to track Jovloff’s route; he had no intention of leaving it to memory, see.  Most of it is written in code, but it’s a code that I know well.

“Now, what can we expect to find in the forest?  None of Jovloff’s crew, fortunately.  I’m certain that they perished in the forest, along with Tendrim himself.  And as far as I’m aware, no other pirates or bounty hunters know of this, which means we should be the only group going after the treasure!  Just think of it!  Those crates of riches are lying in the forest somewhere; undisturbed and unguarded!  I’ve hardly been able to sleep since Jorn gave me the go ahead to retrieve it!

“Even though there shouldn’t be any pirates in the forest, I can’t say the same thing about the local flora and fauna.  To be honest, nobody really knows what’s in there.  We men of the sea tend to stay in ports and onboard our ships.  What reason would we have to venture into snake and spider infested jungles!

“So it could be that our greatest foes will be the furry and scaly inhabitants of Triam!  And of course, there’s the climate.  As I’m sure you’ve already noticed, things are much hotter and stickier here than the mainland.  I’m afraid it will only get worse once we’ve entered the forest and moved away from the sea breeze.  Disease is a distinct possibility, too, though we should be able to find clean water and decent food.  Besides, I believe we have some expert healers among us.”

Captain Skjangarris fell silent once more as he wracked his brains.  Had he told them everything?  Well, perhaps he hadn’t, but he’d certainly told them all that they needed to know at this point in time.  During his pause, the dwarf spoke up, giving his name and nothing more.

“Well met, Koka Bentarm,” the captain replied, before turning back to Fu.

“I hope that answers your question, mate.  Do you have any others?  And please, don’t be shy this time; I’m sure Royce would soon tire if he had to speak for two men the whole journey!”
Logged

Malavon Despana
Wizard's Bane
Approved Character
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 359


Maelf , Helcrani Sanhorrhim


« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2010, 11:29:54 AM »

With his eyes closed , Malavon heard these people rambled in and out , in and out , it was starting to annoy him and instead of asking about the voyage itself , no they were introducing themselves ...

With eyes flamed by irritation , Malavon spoke " And my name is Malavon , now that we are all friends , can we start this voyage as quickly as possible ?
And I do hope your a better captain that our previous , last time I remember , I was fighting crazed mariners , just because , that might be survivors on a ship ...."

Closing his eyes again , he returned into the darker part of the room , and crossing his arms , he just waited , for something ...
Logged

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

Malavon The Mage Killer
Koka Bentarm
Bearded Lady
Approved Character
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 101


Dwarf, Mitharim


« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2010, 04:53:27 PM »

Well, say one thing for this captain, say that he is honest. If worse should come to worst, she would do her own part in saving the ship - and therefore her own skin, and her companions. When Skjangarris addressed Fu rather than Royce, Koka smiled into her beard. She thought she liked this man who would go with them to find this treasure. That was a good thing.

When a lull fell in the conversation another companion came forth with an accusation to their previous captain. If she had grown quite close to Fionn in the past time, and didn't really understand Ylva yet, Malavon was the one person she actively disliked. She had felt it the very first time she had seen him, and only had it confirmed over and over in the past three weeks. He might know how to fight, but otherwise his people skills were close to nihil. She could not help herself - she had to answer, perhaps a little more venomously than was strictly necessary.

"If that is the last thing you remember, you have a strange working memory, that would leave out three weeks of sailing safely to get here, with the incident you mention happening right at the beginning. The captain did what he would have done for any ship they met, and he was the more humane for it. He could not have known what those people had turned to. They might just as well have been quite sane and starving, in which case it would have been murder to leave them locked up. If you're going to blame him for not knowing what the future will bring, you might as well quit this venture right now - Captain Skjangarris, while very honest about what he does know, is equally honest about what he does not know. Things might happen in that forest that none of us could foresee now, just as they did on the ship, and it will be captain Skjangarris who will be pointing the way. You do the math."
Logged

Fu Luft
Befuddled Spellblower
Mini-mod
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 963


Human, Avennorian/ Eyelian


« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 12:16:41 AM »

Three reasons are sufficient to explain why Fu’s face was bright red. The first, of course, was the heat, of which we have already spoken. Fu felt like a piece of roast meat in the oven, his head balancing on top like a baked tomato. Even before the Southern Arrow had reached Cape Strata, Fu had decided that the South was not for him. No wind wizard should ever have to deal with so many fire ounía swirling within his body.

Second, there was embarrassment. Captain Skjangarris made it quite plain that he had heard Fu’s whispered request to Royce. In front of the whole party, he accused Fu of being shy, and unfair to Royce. What rudeness! Couldn’t one be a dashing sea captain and nonetheless show some tact and common courtesy? Fu felt small and insignificant enough, as it was. During the last two weeks, he had gaped in awe as the fighters had sharpened their weapons, the healers had patched the wounded back together, and the sailors had steered the ship through high winds and low, past reefs and through archipelagos, and finally into Queen’s Harbour. He, Fu, had felt utterly useless. He had stumbled about the ship, trying his best not to be in the way of anyone.

The place he had liked best had been the sick bay, because it had been quiet and cool there, and because the people spoke with softer and gentler voices than anywhere else. But help, he felt, he had not been able to give. Probably, Fu thought, all the other members of the party had already regretted that Captain Fjorwek had admitted Fu into the party. And now this new captain, who of course knew nothing about the strange way in which Fu had joined the adventure, had picked him out for criticism within blinks of meeting everyone. It was enough to make a wind wizard wish he could just fly away on the next cloud.

The third reason for the shiny red colour of Fu’s face was fury. This captain Skjangarris, and indeed his boss, the merchant Jorn Ranskjun, were reckless fools at best, and murderers at worst. They obviously didn’t think twice about risking a dozen lives, and more, if there was an ever-so-small chance of getting gold and gems and whatnot. There he sat, the captain, in his pretty wooden chair, sipped expensive booze, and cheerfully reported that nobody had ever got out of Triam’s jungle alive. Oh, except one person, but that one had lost his mind there and never got it back. Splendid piece of news.

And as for the treasure, all Skjangarris had to go by was the pirate captain’s notebook. Now, where had Skjangarris got this notebook from? Obviously, if the pirate captain perished in the jungle, and Skjangarris has never been inside it, the entries in the notebook were written before  the pirate had ever hidden his treasure. Who in Grothar’s name could guarantee that whatever notes were in there would actually lead anyone to the treasure? The pirate might have died before he ever got to the hiding place he had intended; or he might have changed his mind while in the jungle, and chosen a different spot.

Or the pirate might even still be alive, living the good life in some jungle paradise, enjoying the freedom that rumours of his death afford a criminal; and when Skjangarris and his fools come along, looking for the spoils with their greedy eyes – why, the pirate will have them all roasted on spits, pick his teeth with their bones, have their heads put on poles on the edge of the jungle to warn off the next gang of dimwits. Ah, this whole adventure was foolhardy humbug. And the worst thing was that everybody else in the room seemed to think Skjangarris’ words perfectly satisfactory. Inside, Fu was seething, fuming, boiling!

So it came that he hardly heard what Koka said. All he understood that the dwarf was criticizing Malavon, the Wizard’s Bane. That be yet another piece of evidence for that foolhardiness of theirs , Fu thought. Be this dwarf not seeing the embers that the Wizard’s Bane be having in his heart? Be throwing but one burning faggot in there, and he be flaring up like a bonfire.

Oh, he wanted to tell them all that they were fools! That they could go and get themselves killed by pirates and spiders and jungle creatures as long and often as they liked, but that they could do it without Fu! Because Fu, in contrast to anyone else, had still a few muts of sense in him, despite this heat! That's would he wanted to tell them. And then he would walk off the ship and have nothing to do with any of these daredemons anymore, ever.

But obviously, it was far too late for that.

There was only one thing Fu could do: cool down. He forced himself to breathe deeply, and after a few blinks, he was sufficiently calm to try a bit of magic. Pursing his lips, he exhaled a thin waft of air, and made the wind ounía dance. Soon, a soft breeze began to swirl around his head. Fu gave a sigh of relief as he felt the cool wind brush through his sweat-pasted hair, tickle his febrile skin, and disperse the heat inside his skull. The wind was not strong enough to be felt throughout the whole of the room, but on the table in front of him, Fu saw tiny ripples forming on the water in Royce’s tankard. And to his right, it seemed that the breeze had got caught a few strands of Ylva Rasmussan’s hair, and enjoyed shaking them about a bit.

In the meantime, Koka had finished his speech. Fu, on his part, now felt ready to address the captain. He put on his politest voice – the voice he had first acquired and cultivated in Ximax during conversations with his teachers (he had been terrified of every single one of them). It was no use getting even more heat into this room.

”Captain Skjangarris,” he said. ”My name be Fu Luft, and I be having another question indeed. How do ye be knowing that yonder notebook of yours be telling ye where that pirate captain was burying that treasure of his? That pirate was making yonder notes before  he was entering the jungle, yes? Else how did ye come by that book of his? Be it not possible that the pirate never was carrying out those plans that ye be finding in yon book?”

The be courteously said,  Fu thought. He can’t be saying that Fu be uncooth. But it be the right question, yes. This captain was being jumping to those conclusions of his!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 01:48:13 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

Ylva Rasmussan
Oddball Healer
New Santharian

Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 262


Human, Murmillion.


« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 09:23:55 AM »

The creature sat within its tiny wooden sanctuary staring out at the world. Through a small barred window it watched the group of large squishy furless prey squirm in the heat. It’s limbs felt as the world swayed gently, to and fro. The world was somehow moving, rocking back and forth, but this didn’t bother the hunter either. For an animal that can balance on a single thread or walk on the ceiling, stability is not a priority.

Outside one familiar bushy haired mammal was fetching it its next victim. The two-legged being did this everyday and the arachnid had reluctantly adapted to the arrangement. The towering mammal appeared more nervous than usual, more shaky, the predator had seen such behaviour in previous prey, the actions of an animal that knows that it is hunted. Maybe it would slip up this time. Spiders are patient creatures, and this one was waiting for the day that the bushy-haired two-legged made a mistake.

Four beady eyes peered out its prison window, hungrily eyeing the remaining prey. The beast’s instincts drew it to the smallest first, no doubt some sort of two-legged youngling. When it did escape this strange prison, it’d bite that one first. There was another one, with a round fleshed face and jittery deposition that the spider was unimpressed with, too fearful to survive in the jungle.

Others were larger, more trouble, much too dangerous to bother with. There was clearly tension within the group, one shorter hairier two-legged threatening a taller dominant one. The spider wondered when the taller one would strike. And yet the two two-legged hadn't attacked each other yet. If a spider challenged another, the bigger one simply leaps at the other and bites it head off. Hierarchy is sorted out very quickly within the arachnid kingdom.

These furless flabby animals were strange creatures. Little bristles on its spindly body had picked up signs that one of the other larger mammals was clearly injured, strange chemicals wafting through the air. If arachnids could actually feel bafflement, then this one would have wondered why the group hadn’t rejected it yet. Yes it was strong but it was also weakened, why let it stay? How on earth did these mammals survive when this was their instincts told them to do?

But the creature did not dwell on the strange ways of soft fleshed prey. Instead the spider watched as the bushy-haired one leaned in carefully, opened the hatch and dangled its new meal into the spider‘s domain. One hairy leg reached out and examined the meat that appeared to be unwriggling, unmoving and unalive. Not what any killer wants, the beastie chose instead to leap for the nice tasty hand holding the unappetising offering.....

-----------

Ylva yelped quietly as Hildegarde jumped for her hand. The spider narrowly missed as the Murmillion quickly dropped its food into the cage and shut the hatch. Not disappointed, the spider simply crawled over to the food it did have, and started to digest it. Above its owner frowned, examining her pet within its prison. Clearly the lack of available living prey on the ship wasn’t agreeable to the tiny predator.

Sighing, the woman placed the creature back inside her bag and turned back to face the table once again.

((To be continued.))
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 09:26:05 AM by Ylva Rasmussan » Logged
Mallorix Volinkov
Adventurous Peasant
Approved Character
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 516


Human, Centoraurian


« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2010, 11:10:35 AM »

     It seemed like it was just a few hours ago when Mallorix was told of the quest to find the treasure of the pirate legend Tendrim Jovloff. Now, the group was in a new place, on a new boat, and had a new captain. The young man took in the grizzled and old face of the captain. The white hair on the new captain's head suggested that he was passionate about the sea. Why would someone still be a sailor at such an age if they didn't love the job?

     The heat in the cabin was oppressive, and sweat covered Mallorix's back and chest. He kept on wiping the sweat off his forehead so it wouldn't drip into his eyes. The young man was about to look around to study the other people at the table when the captain began speaking.

“As you know, I’m Captain Vildrek Skjangarris, and I’ve been working for our common friend for more years than I care to remember.  My work has led me to places that most people would prefer not to be led to, and introduced me to people that most places would be glad to be rid of.  Pirates, vagabonds, murderers and worse have called me their friend, and some still do.

“But I digress.  We've been brought together for a reason; a reason that, until now, has been little more than words to you.  Well, this is where those words start to become real!”  Captain Skjangarris’s eyes were glowing, and he sat upright again as he started to warm to his subject.

“I’m sure that Jorn and Kari must have told you lots of stories; of hoarded treasure and cunning pirate lords.  Exciting stuff, no doubt, but it gets a lot better than that!  I’ve so much to tell you, and I could talk all day, but I need to know more about you, first.  I haven’t been told much, you see; only that you come highly recommended by Jorn.  So, if you don’t mind, could you introduce yourselves to me; what do you bring to this venture?  And if you have any questions for me, now would be a good time to ask them.”


     Mallorix wiped his forehead again. The heat was making him sleepy. Soon, he dozed off, nearly sleeping, but still aware of what was going on around him. He waited for the others to finish their questions and receive their answers.
Logged

"I despise merchants. All of them are fat, rich men who yell about things and take your money."
Mallorix's CD
fionn
Prosaic Waif
Approved Character
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 321


Mullog


« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2010, 09:41:39 PM »

Fionn’s good eye lit up, much as it had all those days ago in the misleadingly named “eagle dining room”. This was a story, here! An adventure! Thoughts of dangers and practicalities melted away as she listened to Captain Skjangarris’ story, one hand absently wrapping round the new fish-hook shaped talisman. Part of her, the part that felt her scars ache on cold days, was taking careful note of mentions of disappearances, unknown horrors, and the like. But for now she could ignore it, caught up in the mystery of the thing.

She was brought back to reality suddenly, by the voice of the one “adventurer” of whom her opinion had barely changed since they first met. Malavon, it turned out, was as moody in person as he had been in first impression. As far as she could remember, she’d yet to see a real smile on that distant face. She couldn’t help but nod in support of Koka’s scathing reply, though she might not have put it quite like that herself.

As Fu spoke up, she realised her view of the captain’s tale was less than universally shared. He sounded miffed, to say the least, and she supposed he had reason. She looked down at her hands, still fidgeting with the talisman, abruptly realising how foolish it was to let herself get caught up in pointless ideals of adventure and mystery. What use were they?
 
If it has no use it is worse than something broken. A broken thing can be fixed or made into something else with Ehpi. But a thing without use is a hindrance, it will drag you down into the waters.

She blushed faintly, remembering her father’s words. She was carrying unnecessary weight in her own mind, by that measure. Fu had the right idea.

Something yelped, and she looked up sharply – only Ylva, with that enormous spider of hers. She watched the human healer carefully for a moment, but it looked like she’d avoided the thing’s fangs. Seems everything has teeth, round here. Well, we have teeth of our own, don’t we?
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
Yurie Yileen
Walker of Dreams
Story Mod
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 760

Human, Eyelian


« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 09:50:58 PM »

   “Thank you, Koka,” the captain said softly as he listened to the dwarf’s reply to Malavon’s observation.  “You are quite right; Kari couldn’t have left a ship in obvious distress to its doom.  The possibility that there were survivors who needed help would doubtlessly have steered him onto the course that he took.  I, too, would have boarded the vessel; though for less noble reasons, I’m afraid.

   “Make no mistake, Malavon, we have begun our voyage, already.  And even though it may bore you,” Captain Skjangarris briefly cast his gaze towards the dozing Mallorix, “it is essential that I take the time to learn more of your skills and weaknesses.”

   It would be interesting, the captain thought to himself, to watch how this group worked together.  There was already an obvious, common dislike of Malavon, and yet he had only voiced a thought that most of them had probably been thinking.  Perhaps he was arrogant?  His tone of voice seemed to suggest so.  Royce appeared to be the natural leader, but Koka showed a clarity of thinking which suggested that he would be best suited to making decisions under pressure.  Where the sleepy fellow fitted in was anybody’s guess.  Captain Skjangarris was just about to address him, when the shy man spoke up.

   “Perhaps I didn’t make myself as clear as I had hoped to,” the captain began in reply to Fu’s concerned speech.  “I obtained the journal from that sole wretch who emerged from the jungle.  And you are quite right, much of it was written before Jovloff entered the forest.  He continued to write in it up to what I assume was his demise, however.  It gets confusing towards the end, and I believe he was losing his mind; perhaps he suffered from disease.  But the directions that lead us to the treasure are lucid enough.  I hope that dispels your worries, Fu Luft.”

   A sudden yelp made the captain focus his attention on one of the female members of the group.  For some reason, she kept a vicious-looking spider in a cage.  Perhaps she was a naturalist?

   “I trust that your spider has a purpose?”  Captain Skjangarris enquired.  “Perhaps it has medicinal properties?  Or it’s delicious when roasted?  Either way, I believe that you’ll find plenty of companions for it in the jungle.  Truth be told, there are quite a few onboard this ship.  Only last night I saw one as big as this,” the captain splayed his right hand out to indicate the monstrous proportions of the spider in question, “lurking on my cabin wall.  Not that I mind, of course, they do tend to keep the rat population down.

   “And so what of the ladies?”  The captain asked, addressing Ylva, Fionn and Rhia.  “What do you bring to this quest, besides furry beasts, trinkets and pretty faces?”
Logged

Eric Kattaisson
Gentleman of Fortune
Approved Character
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 381


« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2010, 06:24:17 AM »

   Eric stood on the poop deck of his boat, watching a distant ship through his small scope.

   “Ridin’ ‘igh in the wa’er, she is,” he said as he lowered the scope.  “No cargo on ‘er; no good ter th’ likes o’ us.”

   “Aye, cap’n, no cargo,” a thin man standing next to Eric said.  “But there’s something about her.”

   Eric took a moment to smooth his beard with a rough hand as he pondered his first-mate’s words.  Then he lifted the scope to his eye to have another look.

   “Aye, mate, maybe yer right.  She’s runnin’ fast; too fast, I’d say.”

   The first-mate leant in closer to the captain’s ear, and whispered, “Whether she’s got something to hide or not, we should close with her; the men are getting restless.”

   This much was true; since delivering Captain Blyte’s letter to Simon Dante, Eric and his crew had been working for the Dante’s.  Why Blyte had arranged for this, Eric didn’t know.  What he did know was that the waters around the Scattersand Shoals were thin pickings compared to his usual haunts along the Mithral Coast.  There were too many pirates and not enough merchants here; that was the problem.

   Life had been tough for the crew of the Rainbow Runner.  There was too much heat, not enough food, and almost no medicines.  Yes, there had been a lot of grumbling onboard, and the first-mate hadn’t been the only one to notice the discontent.  The prospect of a handsome prize would do wonders to raise the crew’s morale.  And even if there was nothing worth taking, at least the action would find work for the idle hands.

   Eric briefly considered the situation.  With a little luck, and a lot of good seamanship, it’d be possible for the Runner to intercept the distant vessel.

   “Look lively, ladz!!!” the captain bellowed, deciding that there was no time to lose.  “Sail sigh’ed off th’ larboard bow!  Let’s ‘av ‘er!!!”

   A collective cheer went up among the Runner’s crew.

   “’elmsman, there!  Set a course sou’, sou’, wes’!”

   “Aye, cap’n; sou’, sou’, wes’!” the helmsman repeated joyfully.

   As the boat lurched onto her new course, Eric grinned.  Surely there was nothing better than this.  The sky was clear, the wind whipped by, and a new hunt was on.  No matter how many times this veteran rogue started to chase down a victim, he still felt a rush of excitement.

   “This iz livin’, matez!” he shouted into the wind.  “This iz livin!”
Logged

Don't talk ter me 'bout naval tradition; why, 'tis nowt but drink, whores 'n the lash!

Eric's CD
Mallorix Volinkov
Adventurous Peasant
Approved Character
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 516


Human, Centoraurian


« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2010, 11:05:08 AM »

Mallorix's head dropped a tad lower, his chin coming to rest on the young man's chest. He realized that it maybe wasn't such a good idea to fall asleep, so he reluctantly raised his head again, his eyes on the verge of closing. The conversation had stagnated. This new Captain asked questions, but the occupants of the room on the ship seemed to be apathetic towards them.

A thought came to the young sailor's mind. Captain Skjangarris would probably address him about something that was said. Mallorix, after a few moments of careful thinking, decided that it would be best to start listening again.

"... didn’t make myself as clear as I had hoped to. I obtained the journal from that sole wretch who emerged from the jungle.  And you are quite right, much of it was written before Jovloff entered the forest.  He continued to write in it up to what I assume was his demise, however.  It gets confusing towards the end, and I believe he was losing his mind; perhaps he suffered from disease.  But the directions that lead us to the treasure are lucid enough.  I hope that dispels your worries, Fu Luft.”

Mallorix breathed a sigh of relief. He hadn't missed much. What this Captain said also had some useful information. The writing grew less clear towards the end of the journal. Perhaps something caused him to go mad?

A cry interrupted Mallorix's thoughts. Before he could identify the source, Captain Skjangarris started speaking again.

“I trust that your spider has a purpose? Perhaps it has medicinal properties?  Or it’s delicious when roasted?  Either way, I believe that you’ll find plenty of companions for it in the jungle.  Truth be told, there are quite a few onboard this ship.  Only last night I saw one as big as this,” the man speaking made a gesture with his hands showing how large the arachnid was, “lurking on my cabin wall.  Not that I mind, of course, they do tend to keep the rat population down.

The captain continued with another question.

“And so what of the ladies? What do you bring to this quest, besides furry beasts, trinkets and pretty faces?”

Mallorix looked and saw the spider mentioned. He shuddered in a mixed feeling of fear and disgust, then turned back to look at Captain Skjangarris. The spider provided only a momentary respite from boredom. He soon began thinking of other things to pass the time. Mallorix thought it would be so much more interesting if something happened. Perhaps if a pirate ship appeared, the situation would become more exciting.....
Logged

"I despise merchants. All of them are fat, rich men who yell about things and take your money."
Mallorix's CD
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8   Go Up
Print
Jump to:  

Recent Posts
[February 10, 2022, 09:09:05 PM]

[February 10, 2022, 09:07:54 PM]

[July 30, 2021, 06:03:43 PM]

[July 30, 2021, 06:03:25 PM]

[July 30, 2021, 06:01:01 PM]

[February 12, 2021, 07:16:33 AM]

[December 13, 2020, 12:16:51 AM]

[December 13, 2020, 12:16:21 AM]

[October 05, 2020, 02:58:40 PM]

[March 19, 2020, 03:47:44 AM]
Members
Total Members: 2849
Latest: abigailjordan
Stats
Total Posts: 214569
Total Topics: 8052
Online Today: 30
Online Ever: 216
(November 30, 2006, 09:08:03 AM)
Users Online
Users: 0
Guests: 59
Total: 59

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2005, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Theme based on Cerberus with Risen adjustments by Bloc and Krelia
Modified By Artimidor for The Santharian Dream
gfx
gfxgfx gfxgfx