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ZONE - Imperial ship at sea ((Chasing Shadows - Chapter I))


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#41 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 01:00 PM

"And how do you feel about being digested alive!?" Sarael snapped in reply, with an utterly uncharacteristic flash of hot anger.

 

Stevan turned toward the argument, and Kye flinched at her words. An all too knowing look crossed his face, and his gaze abruptly dropped to his feet.

"And, it's not. A. Rumor." she continued, unintentionally biting off her words between gritted teeth in a not-entirely-successful effort to keep her speech calm. "I've seen it; the thing in that swamp doesn't have to sink this ship, it could simply dissolve it! And I wouldn't trust one bowshot's length —or ten— of water to impede it in the slightest."

 

"I don't know of much that does," Kye murmured under his breath, catching a look from Stevan. The disguised demon-kin showed his palms slightly and quickly added, "If - if she's talking about what I think she's talking about, I mean."

 

"Any unknown danger —which might not even exist— is better than that" she declared adamantly.

 

"I assure you it exists," Sten said hesitantly.

 

"Sarael may be right," Stevan put in quickly, stepping up by her side to further lend his support. "The Templars and Inquisition recently sent an expedition into that swamp, and what we found there isn't of this world. It's still out there, and gods only know how far it may be able to reach into the sea. If we get too close to the Moor, we risk meeting it... and we already lost too many to it."

 

He gave Marcus a serious look and added, "I can understand your skepticism, Inquisitor, and I don't blame you for it. If you didn't see it with your own eyes, it can be hard to believe, but trust me: everything she said is true."

 

The Viking leader scratched his chin through his thick beard. "I see," he said. "We encountered no such demon, but I don't doubt the Templars, even if you are an Imperial order," he added half-jokingly. "I advise you to take what I said seriously as well, however, particularly given the wreckage you just encountered - and found only one survivor from that entire ship. But, that said, I believe it's time I took my leave. May Njord guide your path."

 

With that, Sten gave a shallow bow to Captain Jane - who gave a much fancier bow in return - before he returned to the dingy, his companion in tow, as they prepared to return to their longship.

 

"Well," said Captain Jane Ritter as she turned to her many passengers, "I suppose the Templars are in favor of us sailing through the supposedly haunted waters. I'm open to other suggestions, though I'd prefer this not come to blows or anything. Caiden?" she said, turning to the Venator in particular.

 

Caiden, however, hesitated. "I'm not sure," he answered, his voice low. His eye seemed to be watching Sarael in particular, as he seemed quite swayed by her words, even as heated as they were.


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#42 Balder

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 02:22 PM

The Vikings left the ship after having delivered their dire warnings and hearing their opinions matched against those of some of the passengers. 

 

"Well," said Captain Jane Ritter as she turned to her many passengers, "I suppose the Templars are in favor of us sailing through the supposedly haunted waters-"

 

"What! No!" Rutger interrupted suddenly, drawn out from his musings on the matter by the ridiculous statement. "With all due respect to both you and Sir Rolf, Captain, but I am firmly against that we should traverse water that are recently proven to be dangerous", he gestured to the still floating debris left from where they'd picked up their new passenger, "as opposed to waters recently proven to be passable by the very same ship who warned us of this other route. I may not be a knight of the order but I am still a Templar and when viewing the immediate facts available to us the only logical decision is to go past the moor where we know a ship to have recently passed rather than the route where we know a ship to have sunk not to long ago. And while I do not doubt that my compatriots fears are well founded I also have no great reason to believe that what ever horror lurks in the moor will come out of the moors depth just to haunt us. So don't lump all Templars in with the opinion of the good knight-Captain and Sarael, there are others of us here who have yet to speak up!" He lazily waved a hand in the direction of the inquisitor who'd already spoken against going across the open sea. "I myself would agree with our inquisitor and the Vikings instead."

 

He spoke all of this in a vehement tone directed at the captain, something he luckily recognized and chose to address.

 

"This being said I must make it clear to you that though my tone may be vehement it has nothing to do with my opinion as to what route we take. No I am simply aggravated that you would put words in my mouth, something I most certainly do not enjoy!" 

 

Or perhaps unluckily.


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#43 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 06:26 AM


"Oh I highly doubt they had anything to do with it, by the look of what's left of that wreckage it was thoroughly destroyed, I think. Nothing that the Viking would be capable of and besides, if it was they who did it I also doubt there would be any survivors. No, it's much more likely that the ship was destroyed in a storm and that poor lad had most likely been drifting for at least a day or two. Or it could've been a sea-beast. The legendary Leviathan perhaps. Probably not, most likely a storm. I'm going to go check on my books and research, make sure they're properly secured and tucked away, wouldn't want them to get wet. Oh and no need to apologize, I forgive you."

 
The Weeping Mage probably would have blasted the impudent pup there and then, in spite of the fact that there was a Inquisitor on board, if not the Vikings had pulled along side.
 
As the conversation continued, Charon began to grow decidedly concerned: it seemed that no matter which route they took, they risked death by a monster. The only difference is that they knew more about one than the other.
 
As the others began to argue, the Weeping Mage decided to stay quiet this time.
 
---
 
"Well, I've never encountered one personally, but I've heard stories. It could've very well been one, I suppose, if you believe in that sort of thing. Which, by the way, I do. But I doubt it was, since someone survived. I can't imagine a sea serpent being so reckless as to leave someone just floating there. They eat people, after all. I'll bet the man would've been eaten a long time ago, if it had been one of those. I'm going to bet it was either a very bad storm or, more likely, some other kind of monster."

 
 
Any further conversation was interrupted by the Vikings finally coming alongside. Katrina though she recognized the Viking Captain, Sten, but she decided to keep quiet.
 
Apparently, some sort of monster was responsible for destroying the ship that they had sailed past, and now, one of the Templars was babbling about some monster living in the moors that might offer them safer passage.
 
"So," Katrina said, cracking her knuckles "If we head out to sea, we risk getting attacked by an Unknown Terror that can crack a ship like a wallnut, whereas, if we head into the moor, we risk getting attacked by a swamp-creature that could dissolve us like a snowball in Hel."
 
The Archer shrugged "I would honestly like to stick to the coast, fight a monster we know slightly more about, than fight one that we've only seen the handiwork of."
 
But then she looked at the Templar, and how terrified she looked, and said "But, for your sake at least, maybe we should head out to sea: take the risk to avoid that creature."

#44 Lord_Capulet

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 11:23 AM

Marcus fought the urge to sputter in consternation at the Templar’s outburst, though his face betrayed his clear annoyance.  Still, he held his tongue when she and Captain Stevan made their own case, and the Nordling seamen bade them goodbye and good luck.  Marcus returned their bows out of respect, then turned to face Captain Ritter as she addressed those who remained.

 

"Well," said Captain Jane Ritter as she turned to her many passengers, "I suppose the Templars are in favor of us sailing through the supposedly haunted waters. I'm open to other suggestions, though I'd prefer this not come to blows or anything. Caiden?" she said, turning to the Venator in particular.

 

Caiden, however, hesitated. "I'm not sure," he answered, his voice low. His eye seemed to be watching Sarael in particular, as he seemed quite swayed by her words, even as heated as they were.

 

His halberd in the crook of his elbow and his hands held outward non-confrontationally, Marcus apologized.  “Begging everyone’s pardon, I did not mean to offend, and I certainly do not want this to come to blows, either.  My focus is on our goal, but since we are apparently faced with our own Scylla and Charybdis, or worse, acting impulsively would be the last thing to serve our cause.”

 

A few other members of the party voiced their opinion for one side or another...or both, in the case of a lady archer.  Marcus particularly appreciated the input of a studious sort who claimed to serve the Templars, most likely a scribe or something, though the man’s babbling made him feel more self-conscious than usual.  

 

Do I sound like that?  I certainly hope not. The Inquisitor made a mental note to keep his decorum, especially around Neitha.  She seemed to find his social graces, or lack thereof, endearing for now, but he had no desire to become an annoyance.

 

The veteran Inquisitor nodded to the scribe appreciatively while motioning slowly downward with an open palm for him to quit while he was ahead.  He then placed his weapon square in front of him so he could lean on it contemplatively, before addressing the Knights Templar opposing him.  “Madam, if you and Captain Rolf say there is danger in the Moor, then I believe you.  However, we also have testimony of the dangers in the opposite direction, with clear evidence of a destroyed ship and perhaps even an eyewitness, if the poor wretch you pulled from the water is able to speak.  I’m no expert on the moods of Poseidon, but the clear day we have been blessed with indicates no storm or other coincidence sunk that vessel.  So, we are forced to choose between a swamp-monster that kills men and may threaten ships as well, or an unknown entity that definitely sinks ships.”

 

Holding out an open palm imploringly to those around him, he concluded, “I do not seek to discredit anyone’s fears, and I will not presume to dictate my will upon the rest of you.  I merely suggest that we take the route that gives us the best chance of survival, one that someone else has tried and tested.  Besides, if our resident Knights Templar are here to tell about it, that proves this Scylla lurking in the swamp can be survived, though perhaps at a cost.  I doubt whatever Charybdis lurks beneath the waves will give us such a fighting chance.”  

 

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#45 Sareth

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 03:25 PM

"Sarael may be right. The Templars and Inquisition recently sent an expedition into that swamp, and what we found there isn't of this world. It's still out there, and gods only know how far it may be able to reach into the sea. If we get too close to the Moor, we risk meeting it... and we already lost too many to it. I can understand your skepticism, Inquisitor, and I don't blame you for it. If you didn't see it with your own eyes, it can be hard to believe, but trust me: everything she said is true."

 

Sarael relaxed slightly as Stevan joined her.

 

The Captain was listening; and even their leader, Caiden, despite temporizing, seemed to be taking her words seriously.

 

And then things started going wrong again, starting with a member of her own order —not a Knight, he looked to be some sort of scribe— loudly and bluntly distancing himself from them, and casting his lot in with those who wished to court hell.

 

"So," Katrina said, cracking her knuckles "If we head out to sea, we risk getting attacked by an Unknown Terror that can crack a ship like a wallnut, whereas, if we head into the moor, we risk getting attacked by a swamp-creature that could dissolve us like a snowball in Hel. I would honestly like to stick to the coast, fight a monster we know slightly more about, than fight one that we've only seen the handiwork of... But, for your sake at least, maybe we should head out to sea: take the risk to avoid that creature."

 

She turned to look at the woman who had spoken, and for an instant the corner of her mouth twitched —as if trying to form a grimace, but the expression, being so unfamiliar to her features and anathema to her personality, died aborning. "Not for me, for all of us" she retorted strongly.

 

"This thing... It can't be fought —we could barely even slow it down..." she said, as calmly as possible —which wasn't very.

 

Madam, if you and Captain Rolf say there is danger in the Moor, then I believe you. However, we also have testimony of the dangers in the opposite direction, with clear evidence of a destroyed ship and perhaps even an eyewitness, if the poor wretch you pulled from the water is able to speak. I’m no expert on the moods of Poseidon, but the clear day we have been blessed with indicates no storm or other coincidence sunk that vessel. So, we are forced to choose between a swamp-monster that kills men and may threaten ships as well, or an unknown entity that definitely sinks ships. I do not seek to discredit anyone’s fears, and I will not presume to dictate my will upon the rest of you. I merely suggest that we take the route that gives us the best chance of survival, one that someone else has tried and tested. Besides, if our resident Knights Templar are here to tell about it, that proves this Scylla lurking in the swamp can be survived, though perhaps at a cost. I doubt whatever Charybdis lurks beneath the waves will give us such a fighting chance.”

 

"We got lucky" she replied softly, though her emphasis on the last word implied it was of questionable worth.

 

"It is not some fairy-tale monster. If it gets close enough to take any of us, it will take all of us."

 

Her expression and tone were almost pleading now, as she looked around at the others. Why didn't they listen, why didn't they understand!?

 

***

 

After several peoples' input on the subject, Neitha was no more sure of the right choice than she was before. Although, she was certain that she had absolutely no desire to meet this unnamed 'thing' that Stevan and the templar girl —Sarael— were talking about.

 

But things definitely didn't seem to be proceeding in the most productive way. And, unfortunately, her boyfriend wasn't exactly helping matters, with his rather abstract and slightly pompous repeated references to an old story.

 

"Marcus" she whispered, placing a hand on his shoulder as the inquisitor finished his speech, and leaning in close. "Can't you see she's terrified? Turn the rhetoric down a bit —you're not going to convince anyone by acting superior" she suggested. 


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#46 Lord_Capulet

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 11:36 AM

"It is not some fairy-tale monster. If it gets close enough to take any of us, it will take all of us."

 

The Inquisitor blurted indignantly, “I said I believed you - were you not listening?”

 

"Marcus" Neitha whispered, placing a hand on his shoulder as the inquisitor finished his speech, and leaning in close. "Can't you see she's terrified? Turn the rhetoric down a bit —you're not going to convince anyone by acting superior" she suggested.

 

Visibly distressed by this critique, Marcus’ resolve began to waver.  “Is that the impression I was giving?,” he whispered back, worry in his voice.  “I was just trying to make a case and illustrate my points, like I do all the time for work.”

 

Clearing his throat and stepping back, Marcus again addressed the lady Templar.  “Again, it is not my intent to cause offense or presume to give orders.  I merely wished to make a thorough case for what I thought would bring the least risk in accomplishing our common goal.  Whichever path we end up choosing, we shall face its dangers together.  In the interest of avoiding further upset or strife, I shall not argue any further.”

 

With that, the veteran Inquisitor relaxed his stance and held his tongue, waiting for anyone else to speak for or against him.  He had every intention of solving this conflict as amicably as possible, for the last thing they needed was strife within their ranks.  Still, if they chose “Charybdis” and the doom of their ship, and thus, most if not all their lives, he mentally reserved the right for one last “I told you so.”  He also made a note to ask the Templar about this monster that terrified her so much, if she was able to say anything specific and helpful about it through her obvious trauma.  The Moor was not far from civilization, and anyone in that area, especially passing Inquisitors, would value information on a beast that could drive even the Templars mad with fear.

 

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#47 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 02:27 PM

Charon Velos listened to the discussion, and then cast his vote:

 

"I vote that we head out to sea. I think the possibility of facing a Kraken or Poseidon's Wrath would be better than facing whatever creature lives in the Moor."

 

---

 

"Not for me, for all of us."

 

Katrina raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.

 

Then, one of the cloaked figures spoke. Katrina squinted at him, and something about him seemed familiar, he look almost like...

 

But no, he couldn't be Charon. There was no way that it could be him: it was too much of a coincidence.



#48 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 01:33 PM

As Charon finally cast his vote, Jane frowned. "Well," she said, "it seems we're going to ignore the nice Nordlings and head out to this supposedly cursed bit of ocean. That... seems odd to me, but I'll defer to the judgment of the professionals. I'm not an expert on the supernatural."

 

With that, she returned to the quarterdeck. If they turned to watch, the group could see the Viking longship already starting to disappear into the distance as the Lady Amalia set a course straight for Artorius, heading farther out to sea... just as they were warned not to do.

 

---

 

As the ship sailed onward, the sun once more sank lower on the horizon. It had been a long few days, but at least everyone was beginning to get relatively used to the ship now.

 

It had been several long hours since they first began to sail into the "haunted" waters, and despite Liam Eagle-Eyes' tireless watch up in the crow's nest, no one had seen any sign of danger. That being the case, many of the crew were now daring to try and get some rest, by the time it was dusk.

 

Jane retired to her captain's cabin under the quarterdeck, locking the door, while Caiden disappeared to a bed in the farthest corner of the lower decks - clearly, he sought some privacy when none could really be achieved, but given no one was currently in the beds in his vicinity, he at least had some relative separation from others. The Venator went to bed still wearing most of his armor, though he seemed to favor staring at the ceiling instead of actually sleeping.

 

Meanwhile, Kye remained awake, though apparently only through a concerted effort. He went to the forecastle deck and sat just behind the ship's prow, gazing out at the horizon and up at the moon and stars, looking tired and occasionally rubbing his face in an effort to stay awake.

 

Plexaura, meanwhile, was one of the few outside the deckhands themselves to get some sleep, as she found herself a bed in the lower decks and started snoozing. Stevan, only a few beds away from her, remained knelt by his bedside in prayer, the small, round window over his bed veiled by a makeshift curtain. It seemed he had no intention of stopping that anytime soon.

 

Into the night, the ship continued in silence and solace. Big Rob, the largest of the deckhands and a veritable wall of man, had taken the ship's wheel under Jane's last order before she went to bed. It wasn't long before Liam Eagle-Eyes finally descended from the crow's nest and bid everyone goodnight, disappearing to his own bed on the second level.

 

Hearing this, Kye got to his feet and climbed up to the crow's nest, himself. Although he originally intended to find some privacy there and maybe even risk trying to doze off - or perhaps inadvertently falling asleep and possibly getting himself killed - the moment he resumed his stargazing, he saw something in the corner of his eye...

 

Another ship on the horizon - and this one was far larger than the Viking longship from before.

 

"Uh - uh, guys?" Kye called from the crow's nest. "There's a ship to the..." he realized he had no idea what direction it was in and blurted, "over there!"

 

Big Rob looked out at the shape, furrowing his brow. "Looks Imperial," he said.

 

He was right. The shape was large and impressive, with sails just as tall as the Lady Amalia and flying Imperial flags - in fact, they looked Artorian. The ship looked occupied as well, as a very bright, orange glow emanated from all its windows. Some of the sails looked tattered, and its mast almost seemed slightly askew, but at least it was still afloat.

 

((I'm putting these in my DM post this time because I still haven't heard word back from some of the players, so I'm not sure who I should and should not bother PMing with this information. The info in the following spoiler boxes only applies if you have the listed talent(s), otherwise your character is unaware of this information.))

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The ship was coming almost straight toward them. Up in the crow's nest, Kye balked. From where he stood behind the wheel, even Big Rob looked somewhat worried.

 

"Well, she's Imperial," the first mate said slowly, "but... I'll be damned if this doesn't sound like that haunting those Vikings mentioned." He looked around on the main deck at whoever was left awake*.

 

"The Captain is asleep. Unless someone else wants to wake her, I'm open to suggestions. Should we evade the ship or let it meet us, since it seems that's what it wants to do? It looks like they could use some help..." He hesitated before asking, "But do any of you Templars know what a ghost ship looks like?"

 

((*: Feel free to position yourself wherever you want on the ship, although if anyone wants to be in the crow's nest, you'll have to go up there in your post instead of already having been up there earlier this evening [it was unoccupied when Kye went up].))


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#49 Balder

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 03:21 PM

Rutger had not been happy to see his educated advice so carelessly cast aside in favor of the fear-mongering Knight of his own order. And too see he'd completely misjudged Charlon's character as that of a sensible person was entirely chocking. When the man had spoken and cast his lot the scribe had stared at him in shock for a brief moment. And sadly that moment had been enough for the Captain to make the wrong decision. 

 

Shocked in to further silence Rutger looked around the party at those who hadn't sided either way. Why didn't they speak? Why did they just let this madness happen? It was so clear that the best route was to the one already braved! For the life of him Rutger could not understand what these people were thinking letting fear rule the day. At least there was one light in this darkness of ignorance with the good Inquisitor who'd proven sensible.

 

Shaking himself from his stupor he made his way up the quarter deck and to the ships aft intending to forget the ordeal and go back to enjoying the ocean.

 

---

 

Having lingered on the quarter deck well past sunset, long since having cleared his mind, Rutger was in excellent position to see the ship and could quickly answer the first mate's question.

 

"A ghost ship would, by my judgement, not glow warm orange but rather sickly green, haunting purple, or possibly a deathly blue. No, that is most certainly no ghost ship, that much I can assure you. As for if we should close with it I cannot say, they could be pirates and I know nothing of maritime customs." He turned to give the first mate a questioning look. "Certainly you would know better than us regarding what to do in this situation?"


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#50 Klaykid

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 03:56 PM

Sef would have preferred to keep along the safest route to their destination, but her sickness has caused her silence. Now she found herself standing upon the bow of the ship watching these murky waters pass. Curious thoughts of monsters creeping through the deep ran past her mind filling her head with images of undead creatures. But it did not terrify her. Instead, it was more of an annoyance. It was her duty to slay the unholy beasts that dare to step forth onto Midgard. But every once in a while, Sef wanted to enjoy a quick respite. Though, she was completely seasick from the trip (and will likely continue to be).

 

Now there was a ship approaching from the fog. The Templar normally would have thought nothing of it until the words of the vikings returned to her. Something about hauntings in the waters. Maybe this may be one of those cases.

 

[Perception] Attempt to gather information about the ship.


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#51 Burger Warrior

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 02:56 AM

After a few minutes passed in silence as Caid settled down in bed, Percula nudged him. “Hey, we’re coming out!”

With no further warning, both Percula and Rosette appeared atop the Venator’s belly in a small flash, looking a little drowsy if anything. Well, Perky had a light in her eyes as she got to her feet, her younger sister managing the same feat with greater difficulty and less speed. Percula didn’t seem to mind her as she took to the air - after ensuring her wings were dry - and hoved by Caiden’s face.

 

“Hey, so, I had an idea… can I borrow your cloak?” She asked as a sly grin spread across her face.

-----

 

Rosette, meanwhile, sheepishly left the two to their shenanigans as she snuck back up to the main deck, keeping to the edges of passageways and her glow to a minimum as she ascended. Naturally, this took quite a bit of time, so by the point she emerged, Kye was making his way up to the crow’s nest. With a barely-audible yelp, Rosette took off after him at full speed.

 

"Uh - uh, guys?" Kye called from the crow's nest, well before the pixie caught up to him. "There's a ship to the..." he realized he had no idea what direction it was in and blurted, "over there!"

 

The young Saffron landed on his shoulder and peered down the length of his arm to see the ship. Fortunately, everyone else sorted out just what it was, leaving Rosette alone with Kye for at least a few moments. “Uh… if it helps, that doesn’t look like any kind of foul, haunting magic.” She offered, finally officially announcing her presence after the crew below got a little worried about the idea of the ship being haunted or something. It seemed some human - a Templar, probably - was agreeing with her, unknowingly.

 

“But, uh…” Rosette looked her mount over, briefly. “You look like you’re only being kept awake by that kind of thing.” She said, frowning. “I know now’s a bad time, but… I can keep an eye out for you if you get some shut eye.” The pixie pointed out, doing so to make sure no one clambered up and got a look at her without the young Saffron having some kind of warning. Fortunately Kye had plenty of pouches to dive into...


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#52 Lord_Capulet

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 01:48 PM

As Charon finally cast his vote, Jane frowned. "Well," she said, "it seems we're going to ignore the nice Nordlings and head out to this supposedly cursed bit of ocean. That... seems odd to me, but I'll defer to the judgment of the professionals. I'm not an expert on the supernatural."

 

Marcus wanted to interject that he was one of said professionals but agreed with the captain in this matter.  Instead, he let the matter go, though he did offer Captain Ritter his assistance in keeping watch, granting her crew an extra set of eyes on their journey, eyes that had been trained after no small number of watches on the sea-sprayed, windswept, usually uneventful walls of Karak du Vide.  The only difference was a lack of sea-sickness, and looking out ahead in the fresh air was a proven method of avoiding that, anyway.

 

---

 

While many of the crew managed to overcome their nerves enough to try and find some rest around dusk, Marcus was still patrolling the railings around the center of the ship, scanning the horizon and the waters below for danger.  He racked his brains for any memory he could find about known sea monsters and how to see them coming, but most of the sources he could remember said that once you did see a Kraken or similar creature, it was usually too late to do anything about it.  Naturally, this did little to reassure the Inquisitor.

 

Suddenly, Kye’s voice called out to everyone who was still on deck, drawing their attention to a ship that was drawing towards them.  Marcus made his way to the helmsman, the burly man appropriately called “Big Rob” as he also noticed the recent development.

 

"Well, she's Imperial," the first mate said slowly, "but... I'll be damned if this doesn't sound like that haunting those Vikings mentioned."

 

The Templar scribe who had agreed with Marcus offered, "A ghost ship would, by my judgement, not glow warm orange but rather sickly green, haunting purple, or possibly a deathly blue. No, that is most certainly no ghost ship, that much I can assure you.”

 

Marcus added, “An astute observation.  While I concur, just because it’s not spiritual in nature doesn’t mean its intentions are friendly.”

 

“As for if we should close with it I cannot say, they could be pirates and I know nothing of maritime customs." He turned to give the first mate a questioning look. "Certainly you would know better than us regarding what to do in this situation?"

 

Sensing another instance of the scribe’s mouth getting ahead of him, the Inquisitor interjected, “I’m sure he does, but he was kind enough to ask our opinion.  His ship and crewmates, our mission, equal stakes in our survival, as it were.”

 

Addressing Big Rob directly and respectfully, he offered, “I would propose keeping that ship in sight but out of attack range.  No need to wake the captain until we learn more about what’s going on, or to rush headlong toward the unknown with so many of us asleep.”

 

Then, he had a thought.  “Now that I think about it…”  Turning back to the scribe, he placed a friendly hand on his shoulder and said with a slight grin, “I’m Marcus, and I apologize for not thanking you earlier for your support.  Would you please go and see if your fellow Templars are awake?  They argued so strongly for us to take this route despite our objections.  Perhaps they should at least offer you a second opinion on this possible risk?"

 

He guessed that the Templars would be more willing to listen to one of their own, even though he was a scribe rather than a fellow knight.  They certainly did not seem to value Capulet’s own input on the situation.  To him, it was only fair that they take responsibility for their choices.  He would have been just as willing to do the same if they had sailed past the Moor.  With any luck, this ship would be no threat and they would just lose a few moments of rest.  Otherwise, if his last words were about to be “I told you so,” he wanted the irrationally terrified and unusually tall girl to at least hear them.  

 

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#53 Balder

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 05:37 PM

The Inquisitor, who'd been nearby, were swift to add to Rutgers opinion and helpfully prevented perceived insult as he explained the first mate's intention. The scribe, who'd never understood the intricacies of social interaction, were shocked to find that indeed he'd again trodden on a persons proverbial feet. "Oh? That was his intention?" He answered before returning to the first mate. "Well I must apologize then, I did not intend to suggest anything about your competence."

 

Addressing Big Rob, the Inquisitor offered; “I would propose keeping that ship in sight but out of attack range.  No need to wake the captain until we learn more about what’s going on, or to rush headlong toward the unknown with so many of us asleep.” 

 

"Yes, that seems most sensible. We should if possible attempt to device their intentions from afar before we make any ill-advised decisions."

 

Rutger was then surprised when the inquisitor placed a hand on his shoulder, the man earning a confused look before Rutger saw his friendly grin. “I’m Marcus, and I apologize for not thanking you earlier for your support.  Would you please go and see if your fellow Templars are awake?  They argued so strongly for us to take this route despite our objections.  Perhaps they should at least offer you a second opinion on this possible risk?"

 

"They should, shouldn't they", Rutger smiled smugly back. "Rutger Magnusson, templar scribe, at your service. And I wouldn't worry about it, chances are that I would have only snapped something rude at you had you attempted to thank me earlier, I was quite upset. But not to worry, I've put enough of that behind me for now that I should be capable of being civil to that fear monger Sarael. At least long enough to deliver the news."

 

"Oh and there's one of the order just there, at the forecastle. I believe she was in the process of emptying her bowels while our little vote went on but I'm sure she'll answer now if you call." He pointed to sef. "Now, I'll go and break the news to my compatriots."

 

With that the scribe left the quarter deck and made his way down to the hold. There he found his way first to where Sarael were sleeping not far from where the Knight-Captain were praying to a makeshift altar. He gave what he intended to be a rough shove but probably ended up being a light pat to the side of the large woman's hammock. "Get up, there may be trouble abroad."

 

"Captain," he turned and addressed Stevan, "there's a ship heading our way flying an Artorian flag though it seems to be in ill condition. I believe we should make preparation in the worst case scenario considering our recent warnings though I can also assuage our fears in that the ship is certainly not of any immediately identifiable magical nature as far as I can deduce. Our presence have also been requested on deck."


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#54 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 09:34 PM

"A ghost ship would, by my judgement, not glow warm orange but rather sickly green, haunting purple, or possibly a deathly blue. No, that is most certainly no ghost ship, that much I can assure you. As for if we should close with it I cannot say, they could be pirates and I know nothing of maritime customs." He turned to give the first mate a questioning look. "Certainly you would know better than us regarding what to do in this situation?"

 

Big Rob arched a brow, but when Marcus responded for him - in a manner of speaking - he chose to say nothing. And, judging from his posture and the way he looked out at the ship again, he wasn't planning to say much, either way.

 

“I would propose keeping that ship in sight but out of attack range.  No need to wake the captain until we learn more about what’s going on, or to rush headlong toward the unknown with so many of us asleep.”

 

"Aye," Big Rob agreed. He waited until Rutger disappeared below decks before he turned to Marcus and added, "I'll do what I can to evade the ship, but it may intercept us."

 

Meanwhile, Sef looked out at the ship as best she could. Squinting, she found she could make out few other details... until she looked at the waters below the ship instead. In the far off sea, she could make out little, especially with the ship's own light playing on the water around the ship. But she noticed the waters under the ship itself looked... darker, somehow, like some kind of shape lurking underneath it. She saw no other details, however, at least not at this angle and distance.

 

---

 

After a few minutes passed in silence as Caid settled down in bed, Percula nudged him. “Hey, we’re coming out!”

 

Caiden tensed slightly in surprise - at least, until Percula and Rosette appeared on top of him, seemingly out of nowhere. He relaxed slightly again and watched Rosette move off someplace... though he only did so from the corner of his eye, since Percula drew his attention as she hovered up near his face.

 

“Hey, so, I had an idea… can I borrow your cloak?” Percula asked as a sly grin spread across her face.

 

The Venator arched a brow. "You know you can," he replied instantly. But, after a moment, he asked simply, "What's the idea?"

 

---

 

Kye remained up in the crow's nest, and Rosette managed to avoid anyone's attention - particularly as most people were focused on the ship, anyway.

 

“Uh… if it helps, that doesn’t look like any kind of foul, haunting magic," Rosette suddenly said to Kye from where she sat on his shoulder

 

The disguised demon-kin let out a slightly unmanly yelp in surprise, apparently having not noticed her, and he nearly started out of his skin - literally. But he quickly regained his composure and blurted, "Oh - yeah, not haunted. That's good. Thanks." He cleared his throat. "Sorry, I, uh, didn't notice you before." He rubbed one of his eyes briefly with his right hand in a clear effort to stay focused.

 

“But, uh…” Rosette looked her mount over, briefly. “You look like you’re only being kept awake by that kind of thing.” She said, frowning. “I know now’s a bad time, but… I can keep an eye out for you if you get some shut eye.”

 

Kye managed a small, lopsided smile, but it faded fast. "Iiii... dunno... there probably isn't enough room up here for my wings," he said, sitting down in the crow's nest and burying his face in his right hand with a quiet moan. "I haven't slept in days, doing all that traveling," he added, halfway in a murmur and halfway in a groan. "Trying to keep up this stupid disguise... I feel like it's gonna crack any second. I can barely keep my eyes open." He sighed. "I'd try to sleep, but now we've got this freaky ship, and..."

 

He yawned. Rosette noticed that his canines weren't quite as sharp and prominent as they'd been in his natural form, so he was clearly still keeping it together enough, at least for now.

 

"...And I might need to fight... or something... and stuff," he finished, blinking drowsily.

 

---

 

Rutger found Stevan in the same position as before, knelt in prayer, eyes closed. Even when the scribe approached, the Templar did not budge.

 

"Captain," Rutger said, "there's a ship heading our way flying an Artorian flag though it seems to be in ill condition. I believe we should make preparation in the worst case scenario considering our recent warnings though I can also assuage our fears in that the ship is certainly not of any immediately identifiable magical nature as far as I can deduce. Our presence have also been requested on deck."

 

With some apparent reluctance, Stevan opened his eyes to regard the scribe. He nodded, getting to his feet.

 

"Understood," he replied. "I'll go up right now. Thanks for the alert."

 

Stevan reached for his helmet, donning it and throwing his round shield across his back, just in case. He headed over for the ladder leading up to the hatch, but before he headed to the upper deck, he paused long enough to close his eyes again briefly and take a deep breath.

 

After another half a second, he came out of it again and headed on up. Seeing most everyone on the quarterdeck - namely Sef and Marcus - with Big Rob at the wheel, Stevan ascended to join them, not wasting a moment to look around at the night sky or the horizon, save for a cursory glance at the ship.

 

"Apologies I wasn't up and alert," he said, speaking to the group in general. "I do most all my praying during the night." Now that he joined the others, he focused on the ship. Thoughtfully, he commented, "Those are awfully bright lights for a ship. The Amalia just uses candles - they wouldn't make that kind of glow."


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#55 Lord_Capulet

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:52 AM

"They should, shouldn't they", Rutger smiled smugly back. "Rutger Magnusson, templar scribe, at your service. And I wouldn't worry about it, chances are that I would have only snapped something rude at you had you attempted to thank me earlier, I was quite upset. But not to worry, I've put enough of that behind me for now that I should be capable of being civil to that fear monger Sarael. At least long enough to deliver the news."

 

Nodding politely, Marcus responded, “Good to hear.  Probably best not to call her that to her face, though.”

 

"Oh and there's one of the order just there, at the forecastle. I believe she was in the process of emptying her bowels while our little vote went on but I'm sure she'll answer now if you call."

 

That was more than Marcus needed to know.  A LOT more.  He inhaled slowly before interjecting, “Uhh...next time, just tell me where she is.  Contrary to popular belief, there IS such a thing as ‘too much detail.’”

 

Big Rob waited until Rutger disappeared below decks before he turned to Marcus and added, "I'll do what I can to evade the ship, but it may intercept us."

 

With another nod, the veteran Inquisitor replied, “Very good, sir.  I’ll try to get a closer look and keep you informed.”

 

As he stepped back down from the quarterdeck, Captain Rolf emerged from below.  "Apologies I wasn't up and alert," he said, speaking to the group in general. "I do most all my praying during the night."

 

It’s quite alright, Captain,” Marcus answered good-naturedly.  Astra-worshippers were considered a bit of an oddity where Marcus had grown up, but he could certainly respect their religious devotion.  Stevan seemed particularly committed to his ideals, but that was how Marcus imagined the more exemplary Templars were supposed to act anyway.  Other than the fear-based disagreement earlier, assuming they survived the journey, he was still looking forward to working with them.  

 

Now that he joined the others, he focused on the ship. Thoughtfully, he commented, "Those are awfully bright lights for a ship. The Amalia just uses candles - they wouldn't make that kind of glow."

 

Refocusing his eyes did not require much squinting, and Marcus remarked, “Indeed, now that you mention it.  I just thought it looked so bright compared to our surroundings.”  Turning back to the captain, he informed him, “Your scribe, Rutger, and I deduced that it’s probably not a haunting like the Vikings believed, but something still feels wrong about this ship.  I’ve advised the first mate, there, to keep it at a distance, but it’s still headed right for us.”

 

Motioning to the bow, where Sef still stood, he then asked, “Another of your fellows is over there, shall I ask her if she’s seen anything?  I don’t know if what we’ve seen from back here warrants calling Captain Ritter and the crew to arms just yet.”

 


Edited by Lord_Capulet, 27 July 2016 - 07:03 AM.

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#56 Sareth

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:24 AM

As night fell, despite her relief that they would be avoiding the swamp, Sarael found herself unable to sleep. Not from fear, she simply found herself infected with a kind of restless energy. 

 

So, she did what she often did in such times: sat upon her bunk and carefully polished her weapons and armor, removing any grime that may have accumulated from the days of travel that brought them to the Lady Amalia, murmuring prayers all the while. But, eventually, all of her gear was as bright and shiny as the day it was forged, leaving her with nothing else to do but to finally lie down and try to get some sleep —her warhammer hugged tightly to her chest in the same way that a child might with a beloved doll.

 

However, she never got the chance; only a few minutes after she lay down, the sound of footsteps and a light bump against her bunk caused her to open her eyes again, to see the rude scribe from her order standing over her.

 

"Get up, there may be trouble abroad."

 

She gave a silent nod in reply, and immediately rolled out of bed and started putting all of her weapons and armor back on, listening while the scribe briefed Stevan.

 

"Captain, there's a ship heading our way flying an Artorian flag though it seems to be in ill condition. I believe we should make preparation in the worst case scenario considering our recent warnings though I can also assuage our fears in that the ship is certainly not of any immediately identifiable magical nature as far as I can deduce. Our presence have also been requested on deck." 

 

She followed Stevan and the scribe up to the deck, and listened as he and the inquisitor with the mustache discussed the situation. But, not having anything to contribute at the moment, she headed over to the railing to take a look at the other vessel for herself.

 

***

 

Neitha, being a rather practical person, had been fast asleep for some hours. However, she was also, by long-learned habit, a rather light sleeper, and so the sound of talking and movement nearby woke her. 

 

Looking around with slightly bleary eyes, she saw the templar captain heading up to the deck along with the tall girl and another. She almost just turned over and went back to sleep, before the significance of that hit her; if the templars' leader was being called up to the deck, there was probably a situation... again. 'Why couldn't trouble wait for morning?' she thought grumpily as she got up, not even bothering to put on her armor —she simply pulled on her boots and thrust her sword and a couple knives through her belt and followed the templar up to the deck.

 

“... Your scribe, Rutger, and I deduced that it’s probably not a haunting like the Vikings believed, but something still feels wrong about this ship. I’ve advised the first mate, there, to keep it at a distance, but it’s still headed right for us.”

 

"So, business as usual, then?" she commented dryly, as she gave Marcus a brief hug from behind. Taking a brief look around at where everyone was, she noticed Kye up in the crow's nest.

 

"I guess I'll go join Kye on lookout —two pairs of eyes are better than one" she announced, before heading over and starting the climb up the rigging. The breeze would probably be nicer up there as well, and she could use something to help her stay alert...

 

"Hey, Kye" she said to announce herself as she made it to the top, before climbing into the basket to join the demon-kin.

 

"Wow, you look tired" she commented, noting his appearance, before turning and casting a brief sharp look towards the mystery ship to see whatever there was to see.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#57 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:30 AM

Charon would have gone to sleep, but he tended to have nightmares when he was sleeping while at sea, so he decided against it.

 

He left his cabin and returned above deck, just in time to here the lookout call:

 

"Uh - uh, guys? There's a ship to the...over there!"

 

Charon looked and saw a ship sailing towards them. Two ships in one day...it couldn't be a coincidence.

 

...Then again, it would be idiocy to assume that they were the only ship at sea.

 

---

 

Katrina enjoyed the night air: she recalled nights in Northrim so beautiful, that nothing of the Empire's wealth could compare to their priceless beauty.

 

However, the Beauty was shattered when the lookout spotted a ship headed their way.

 

Wanting to get a better view of the ship, the Archer began to climb up the rigging to the crow's nest, where she was surprised to find Kye - the rather awkward looking guy who she had seen at the Manor.

 

"Oh hey!" she said brightly, extending her hand "I don't think we've met yet: I'm Katrina."

 

Then she noticed the other woman up with them and asked "Hey, aren't Neitha, that Inquisitor's...um...special friend?"


Edited by Dalton Westmoore, 26 July 2016 - 12:08 PM.


#58 Burger Warrior

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 03:25 PM

The Venator arched a brow. "You know you can," he replied instantly. But, after a moment, he asked simply, "What's the idea?"

 

Percula giggled. “You can’t be the only one who gets fresh air,” she teased. “Thaaat, and… well, we are in haunted waters or whatever. I might as well be somewhere I can slap a giant sea monster from, right?” She added with a grin, taking a seat on his nose as she waited for any further questions.

 

-----

 

The disguised demon-kin let out a slightly unmanly yelp in surprise, apparently having not noticed her, and he nearly started out of his skin - literally. While he quickly regained his composure, Rosette was busy trying not to simply fall off his shoulder, "Oh - yeah, not haunted. That's good. Thanks." He cleared his throat. "Sorry, I, uh, didn't notice you before." He rubbed one of his eyes briefly with his right hand in a clear effort to stay focused.

 

The pixie offered him a lopsided, rather sheepish smile. “I can see why.”

 

Kye managed a small, lopsided smile back, but it faded fast. "Iiii... dunno... there probably isn't enough room up here for my wings," he said, sitting down in the crow's nest and burying his face in his right hand with a quiet moan. "I haven't slept in days, doing all that traveling," he added, halfway in a murmur and halfway in a groan. "Trying to keep up this stupid disguise... I feel like it's gonna crack any second. I can barely keep my eyes open." He sighed. "I'd try to sleep, but now we've got this freaky ship, and..."

 

He yawned. Rosette noticed that his canines weren't quite as sharp and prominent as they'd been in his natural form, so he was clearly still keeping it together enough, at least for now. Somehow. He really was a remarkable being...

 

"...And I might need to fight... or something... and stuff," he finished, blinking drowsily.

 

The pixie tutted, fluttering up to pat his cheek. “Yeah, no.” She said, frowning. “...I have a couple solutions, though. I mean, I can teach Perky to turn you invisible for a bit, if she listens… and I know she has some shrinking potions around.” Rosette offered him a weak smile. “Sooo… either of those should help you-”

She cut herself off when she heard someone ascending, and rather abruptly darted toward Kye’s mouth. It regardless of whether she made it in or bounced off of his lips, Rosette paused before doing anything more drastic when she heard a familiar voice.

 

"Hey, Kye" the nice(r, as she had jumped to the conclusion Rosette had been putting Kye in danger on purpose and all. And mistook her for another pixie. Ugh) woman said to announce herself as she made it to the top, before climbing into the basket to join the demon-kin.

 

"Wow, you look tired" she commented, noting his appearance, before seeing either the pixie as a whole or her lower half still sticking out of Kye’s mouth. Assuming the latter, Rosette pulled herself out - probably with Kye’s help.

 

“Yeah, that’s what I was just saying.” She frowned, looking both a little slimy and breathless. “Though I can help fix it!” She added… just as someone else came over the edge of the crow’s nest while Rosette was distracted.

 

Someone completely unfamiliar. Oh boy.

 

The pixie remained almost completely still - she kind of had to breath and use her wings to stay afloat by Kye’s head - and as the woman greeted Neitha and Kye she wondered if her own lack of glow would keep her invisible. And if it didn’t…

 

Oh pleeaase don’t flip out...


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#59 Sareth

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 04:00 PM

“Yeah, that’s what I was just saying. Though I can help fix it!” 

 

Neitha looked askance at the tiny speaker who was floating in front of Kye's face; for an instant, she was confused by the fact that the speaker wasn't Percula, before her memory kicked in and she deduced that this was the pixie who'd almost gotten Kye killed back at the manor.

 

She was about to say something, when someone else joined them in the now-rather-crowded crow's nest and introduced herself:

 

"Oh hey! I don't think we've met yet: I'm Katrina... Hey, aren't you Neitha, that Inquisitor's...um...special friend?"

 

Neitha didn't respond immediately, because she had realized that the pixie was still floating out in the open, in more-or-less plain sight. She reacted without thinking, snapping her arm out with every bit of speed she could muster and, with a motion like swatting at a bug, went to snatch the pixie out of the air and hide her in her palm; she tried not to exert too much force in doing so, given the pixie's relative fragility, but it was still likely not a very comfortable process for the tiny girl —hopefully the flesh of her hand would smother any cries of surprise or pain the pixie might make.

 

"Damn bug" she muttered for the benefit of the newcomer, hoping the other woman hadn't had time to notice.

 

"Yes, yes I am" she said a moment later, finally replying to Katrina's question. "Um, why do you ask?" she added after a second, a touch curious at the way the other woman had phrased her question.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#60 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 04:13 PM

Marcus remarked, “Indeed, now that you mention in.  I just thought it looked so bright compared to our surroundings.” Turning back to the captain, he informed him, “Your scribe, Rutger, and I deduced that it’s probably not a haunting like the Vikings believed, but something still feels wrong about this ship.  I’ve advised the first mate, there, to keep it at a distance, but it’s still headed right for us.”

 

Motioning to the bow, where Sef still stood, he then asked, “Another of your fellows is over there, shall I ask her if she’s seen anything?  I don’t know if what we’ve seen from back here warrants calling Captain Ritter and the crew to arms just yet.”

 

"Well, I'm changing course to keep our distance," said Big Rob. "We'll see what happens."

 

Silence fell upon the quarterdeck as they waited a few more moments... But, when they looked out at the ship again, it was still coming right for them.

 

"She's holding course," Stevan said with a frown.

 

"She's also... speeding up. How could that be?" Big Rob said, fear inching into his voice, though he tried to conceal it. As they watched, the ship seemed to grow larger now at a steady rate as it continued to draw nearer now - rapidly. "It may be time to wake the crew," he added, gripping the ship's wheel a bit tighter.

 

---

 

Percula giggled. “You can’t be the only one who gets fresh air,” she teased. “Thaaat, and… well, we are in haunted waters or whatever. I might as well be somewhere I can slap a giant sea monster from, right?” She added with a grin, taking a seat on his nose as she waited for any further questions.

 

Caiden gave a small laugh, leaning back in the bed again and watching her. "A 'giant' sea monster wouldn't notice you slap it, Perky. But it might slap you, probably either into the ocean or into a stomach you don't want to be in."

 

After a moment, he added, "But if you want fresh air, go ahead. I was hoping to get some shut-eye. If you need anything, wake me."

 

---

 

The pixie tutted, fluttering up to pat Kye's cheek. He paused in surprise.

 

“Yeah, no.” She said, frowning. “...I have a couple solutions, though. I mean, I can teach Perky to turn you invisible for a bit, if she listens… and I know she has some shrinking potions around.” Rosette offered him a weak smile. “Sooo… either of those should help you-”

 

Kye was just about to say that he wanted to avoid shrinking potions at all costs, but Rosette suddenly flew right in his mouth. He grunted and froze - it wasn't exactly the escape route he'd imagined as being her first choice when someone started to approach, but he guessed it made sense.

"Hey, Kye" Neitha said as she approached, climbing into the basket to join the demon-kin. Kye mumbled something in response halfway through the pixie in his mouth.

"Wow, you look tired" she commented, and Rosette tried to escape, so Kye carefully pulled her out. Pixies were so weird.

“Yeah, that’s what I was just saying.” She frowned, looking both a little slimy and breathless. “Though I can help fix it!”

 

"I am tired," Kye said to Neitha, breathing a sigh. "And all these solutions sound... I dunno... I mean--"

 

And then another person appeared, some woman Kye hadn't met yet. He didn't mind Neitha hanging around at all - after all, she was one of the few people who ever actually treated him decently and hadn't even once tried to kill him - but this was different. Why the heck was the crow's nest suddenly such a nice hangout?

 

As Rosette ended her glow and hovered quietly next to Kye's head, but before he could react, Neitha did so for him and remarked about a bug for the stranger's sake. Thankfully, Katrina didn't see anything other than what had appeared to have happened ((Perception check failed)).

"Oh hey!" Katrina said brightly, extending her hand. "I don't think we've met yet: I'm Katrina."

 

"I'm Kye," he replied as he shook her hand with his right, trying not to sound drowsy, though his eyes were reddened from exhaustion.

 

Then she noticed the other woman up with them and asked, "Hey, aren't you Neitha, that Inquisitor's...um...special friend?"

 

Kye sighed quietly before he even realized he'd let the reaction slip. In fact, he never really realized he'd let the reaction slip. Neitha answered her and presumably the two would start talking soon, but Kye sat there staring at the bottom of the crow's nest, looking tired and a bit dejected.


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