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The Strangling Sea: Chapter 1

Aug 22, 2015 5:10 pm
"Yes, let's go."
Aug 23, 2015 3:06 am
The brightness of Firgin's smile waned as it drooped, "Ah, well, perhaps we shall meet again, and I will be able to work my wonders on your accoutrements." He set the lightning jar on the workbench, carelessly took Nyil's dagger from the stand, and tossed it to her as he walked out the door, "The boat is this way!"

He led you to the nearby waters edge and started to trudge along in a mostly eastern direction. It was almost an hour before you came upon a series of shallow inlets. He waded through two and stopped at the third for a long moment, looking deeper inland and tapping on his chin. Shaking his head, he led you to the fourth, and after wading to the center of the inlet, turned his back to the sun beginning to dip into the sea and continued along for another couple hundred yards. At a tree with a number of branches hanging low over the water, he stopped abruptly and pointed at it, "There it is!"

He flashed a bright grin at them then laughed, "Haha! I see by your confused countenances that you lack understanding. I forced...ahem....requested some spells from a pesky gnome who owed me a favor. Might I say, I have met few gnomes whom I like? No, don't take offense, sir Jeremiah. Rest assured, you and your shield are well within my graces! And yet I am sure you are well aware of the trouble and annoyances those of your culture are capable of causing!"

He waved toward the tree again, "This particular gnome, Bilni I think his name was, had created a most curious set of illusion spells. They were impervious to detection and only dropped when someone nearby shouted out a secret they would rather leave unsaid. As I had to reveal all my secrets in the casting of the spell, I will leave it to one of you to drop the illusion so I can show you how to operate the fine craftsmanship of my boat!" He flashed another grin and waited expectantly.
Aug 26, 2015 11:05 am
Firigin's words are met with a long, awkward silence. All that could be heard was the rippling of water and the buzzing of insects flying lazily by.

In the end it is Blackstar who breaks the silence, startling everyone. "Well, I've never admitted this to anyone, but I think 'Twilight' was actually pretty good. Honestly I don't get what the deal is with all the Edward hate." As the mage reveals this secret, his skin, white despite the faint flush from the battle fought earlier that day, literally sparkles, like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface.
Last edited August 26, 2015 11:53 am, a total of 1 time
Aug 26, 2015 9:59 pm
Nyíl gives Blackstar an awkward look as he prattles on about some apparent shared nightmare he had in the past. "What are you on ab...." she stops mid sentence, and stares at the brilliance that is Blackstar's skin.
Aug 28, 2015 1:50 am
Firigin looked back at the tree as Blackstar began sharing his secret and when nothing happened to the spell, he shook his head, "No - you must SHOUT your secret. None of this simply stating things. It doesn't work like that. You must be proud of your secret, though why you would be ashamed of not hating another fellow is beyond me. But I suppose that's why it's not my secret." Firigin shifted his eyes to Blackstar to ensure he would try again with more gusto then jumped, startled at the transformation that had taken place. Forgetting all about the tree and boat, he excitedly splashed to Blackstar's side and thrust his face at a bare section of skin. Staring at the sparkles dancing across the surface, he cooed, "Curious...no, positively fascinating!" A blade slid from a hidden sheath into his hand and he looked up, "I must have a sample! Just a few square inches should suffice...."
Aug 28, 2015 1:54 am
Nyíl steps forward, trying to move herself between Firigin and Blackstar. "Let's not start slicing into people, we have work that needs to be done!"
Aug 28, 2015 6:31 am
Blackstar uses one of his tentacles to push Firigin's knife away. He bites his lip, turns his face up, eyes closed. His diamond skin sparkles even more brilliantly. He yells, as if in anguish, "I love 'Twilight'! I LOVE IT! It's simply the greatest love story of all time! Oh, Bella..." The mage is too choked up with emotion to say more.
Last edited August 28, 2015 7:16 am, a total of 3 times
Aug 31, 2015 10:14 pm
Firigin pulled back and sheathed his blade disappointed, then looked excitedly at the tree as Blackstar's secret rang out. At the sound of his outcry, the leaves of the trees began rustling under the pressure of an unfelt wind. The wind grew in strength and the leaves were torn from the tree, taking to the sky and whirling around and around. First twigs, then whole branches joined the tempest. Roots were pulled up through the water and earth, taking to the sky before the entire tree dissolved and was taken away by the whirlwind. Where it had been lay a simple, white boat.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1136446/WhiteBoat.jpg

Firigin grinned, "I never get tired of seeing that. To tell you the truth, that's the real reason I no longer have any secrets to tell. I would set the spell then release it over and over. Absolutely fascinating." He pointed to the boat, "As you can see, there are no sails, oars, or tiller - this boat is driven completely by the the magics I imbued into it! You simply sit there and sing the Ballad of the Stone Girl. As I informed you earlier, it was tuned to Inigo, so if he's anywhere near water, this boat will take you right to him! Isn't it a wondrous thing?"

OOC: Jeremiah, you remember hearing that song be sung by Shivoln Thunderbellows as he hammered out the iron in his forge.
Aug 31, 2015 10:54 pm
"Looks to be a tight fit, but we should all be able to make the trip!" Nyíl says enthusiastically as she climbs into the mighty vessel.
Last edited August 31, 2015 10:55 pm, a total of 1 time
Sep 1, 2015 10:48 am
Jeremiah nonchalantly slides towards the boat. Looks rather snug if you ask me, he thought to himself.

He makes sure that he sits right next to Blackstar, because he learned that oftentimes the safest place to be is at the place where "safe" is least likely to take place.
Sep 1, 2015 12:29 pm
Blackstar is sitting in the stern, singing "Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream..."
Sep 7, 2015 6:45 pm
Firigin slapped his hand to his forehead and shook his head, "Oy! You people are terrible at following directions. First you whisper your secrets when you should shout them, then you sing about rowing your boat instead of singing the Ballad. Surely you know it, yes? The last time I was in Axis, even the street urchins were singing it. Granted, it was a horrible rendition, but nonetheless!" He breathed a deep sigh, "I am no prima donna, but I will sing it for you to remind you of how it goes." Closing his eyes, he tapped his hand against his thigh to keep time and began:

A maid there was who dwelt alone
Beside a cold and laughing stream --
Which ran from distant, silent stones
Between the mountains and the sea.

A man there was who wandered far
O'er many long and tireless leagues,
And followed many erring stars
Between the mountains and the sea.

They met beside the laughing brook,
And loved each other tenderly --
There pledged their troth and took their oath
Between the mountains and the sea.

"Nevermore away I'll roam,"
He swore and kissed her tenderly,
"But here will dwell amid the stones
Between the mountains and the sea."

"And here I'll dwell no more alone,
And from your side I will not flee.
Beside this brook we'll build our home --
Between the mountains and the sea."

But wand'ring sickness took the man --
Of lands beyond that quiet lee --
And far away at last he faired
Beyond the mountains and the sea.

The maiden still, she waits alone,
Beside a cold and silent stream,
And stands as cold as a standing stone
Between the mountains and the sea.

And there she waits and keeps her oath
Until her love o'er tireless leagues
Will come again and find her stone
Between the mountains and the sea.

As the song went on, the sound of the tapping blossomed in Jeremiah's mind, and he was reminded of his time in the forge. Hammer had clanged against anvil and the bellows had whooshed air in time with the tune that had flowed from Shivoln's gruff voice.

At the third verse, Jeremiah began singing along with Firigin, and the boat shuddered to life. When the last note of the song dissipated in cool, evening air, the boat scraped along the shore of the stream until the natural buoyancy of the craft took over. It slid into the water and began to coast toward the sea. Behind them, Firigin began jumping up and down excitedly, "It works! It works! I'm a genius!" He stopped his splashing as the realization that Inigo must be alive settled in. A thoughtful expression crossed his face and he called out, "Bring Inigo back to me as I have some questions for him! Good luck!"

He faded into the darkness as the distance between him and the boat grew and the sun finally set. The boat continued a good pace, the prow cutting a small wake in the water, as it carried its cargo unerringly out to sea.

OOC: We're going to do another travel montage, so the next round of posts will need to be in this order:


1. Jeremiah
2. Nyil
3. Blackstar

#1 will need to provide a situation you all encounter on your way to wherever Inigo is. #2 will provide the solution to #1 and a situation for #3, and so on. #1 will post last and provide the solution to #3.

Also, give me another round of Icon Relationship rolls.

I have to give a shout-out to my friend, Richard, for penning the ballad.
Sep 14, 2015 4:00 am
As dawn approached, silhouettes of about half a dozen ships appeared over the horizon; they seemed to be stuck in place, blocking the path of our vessel. With the ship coming closer, and the sun shedding more light, Jeremiah saw a seagull whipped out of the sky; living predatory seaweed! They were covering all the ships, trying to drag them into the waters.

Rolls

Icon Relationship Roll (Dwarf King) - (2d6)

( 2, 4 ) = 6

Sep 18, 2015 1:11 am
Trying to change course Nyíl tries to guide the boat by frantically rowing with her sword but quickly realizes the futility of her plan. "This boat will take us to our death for sure."

She watches in the distance as some of the larger ships start to break apart. The seaweed, apparently satisfied with the destruction of the ships (and a few struggling sailors), seems to ignore the smaller wreckage and the already dead bodies. "I've got a crazy idea..." she yells to the others "...let's flip this boat over, it should still float and trap enough air underneath for us to breath. Just hang on tight!"

The others start to rock left-to-right and within a minute the boats flips over with the party hanging underneath. Quietly as possible she whispers to the others "Don't make a sound and DO NOT MOVE. We want this stuff to think we're just casualties and no longer play things." The magic boat continues on its path, unmolested by the seaweed.

After the longest ten minutes she has ever endured Nyíl slips out from under the boat and looks back as the seaweed continues its destruction. She signals to the others that they're safe and the group sets about righting the boat. Once on board the party continues their journey.
A few hours pass by as everyone spends the time drying off and checking on their equipment as the boat continues on its path. Looking up at the blue sky Nyíl is lost in her thoughts as when she notices a strange smell, faint at first, but quickly growing stronger. Suddenly a gray mist envelopes the boat and everyone starts to choke...
Last edited September 18, 2015 3:18 am, a total of 3 times

Rolls

Positive Relationship Roll [High Druid] - (1d6, 1d6)

1d6 - ( 6 ) = 6

1d6 - ( 5 ) = 5

Negative Relationship Roll [Crusader] - (1d6)

( 1 ) = 1

Sep 25, 2015 5:32 pm
Blackstar reaches for the breathing filters in his helmet before remembering they stopped working weeks ago. The strange greasy mist clings to their skin and clothing and the smell is unbearable! The mage racks his brain for a way to rid the party of it, "If only I could wash this off...or burn it! If only this boat had a signal flare!" Only a madman would have thought that last. Thinking it, Blackstar hears a familiar sound in his ears...a great roaring, as if of a furious wind buffeted by colossal wings...his skin turns scaly and shines like gold...he thrusts his hand into the air, fingers curled like talons, and a manifests a great fiery claw. It ignites the mist surrounding them, burning their skin and their lungs. Blackstar has saved them but almost killed them in the process! As the companions lie in the small boat, moaning in pain, the mad mage gathers power to himself again and sends out healing energies to all. Their wounds are cured, but at a price: as each one heals they also sprout a strange eye, limb or appendage. The hideous growths make them wonder if they would rather have died in the mist. Mysteriously, when they awake the next day, they find that the deformities have disappeared. Blackstar sits shivering and muttering softly to himself. His breath comes out in icy puffs. As far as anyone can tell, the sea has frozen over.

Rolls

Negative relationship roll: Diabolist - (1d6)

( 4 ) = 4

Positive relationship roll: Archmage - (1d6)

( 2 ) = 2

Conflicted relationship roll: Great Gold Wyrm - (1d6)

( 3 ) = 3

Oct 1, 2015 11:44 pm
Jeremiah scoured the horizon, his breath puffing white smoke as the shivering morn was brightened by the sun.

This is ridiculous, thought Jeremiah. At this rate, we'll never get anywhere!

Then he had an idea. He jumped overboard and began alternating between cracking the ice with his daggers and/or schiavona, and pulling at the raft. He figured that the boat would resist going where it wasn't supposed to go, so based on that, he was able to make sure that they were going the right way.
Oct 2, 2015 7:48 pm
The going was slow, as the ice quite thick, but it soon became easier and easier for Jeremiah to hack this way through the ice. When his foot stepped through the shell and into the frigid waters, he knew it was time to climb aboard again. With the boat full, it cut through the softening ice, and after a time of coasting through slush, the boat was in the clear waters, tacking a straight line farther and farther into the sea.

OOC: I'll be starting up a new thread for Chapter 2
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