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Gallants: Monoliths of the Ancient

Posted by Mr. Skeli'n, 30 June 2016 · 518 views

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Monoliths of the Ancient

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All posts in this topic will contain the campaign as it plays out. Participants are asked to limit replies to the Gallants Discussion thread.

 

 




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Mr. Skeli'n
Jun 30 2016 01:15 PM

Dai-Zamaar awoke to her Reuk, Ochra ‘Jowoby, standing at the foot of her bed. She would never get used to this. With her smaller upper arms she scratched the sides of her head. This only slightly helped her in feeling more awake—but she tried nonetheless.

 

“Dai, we have a new campaign to undertake, but I must stress that combat is to be avoided.”

 

“Then why am I leading the campaign?”

 

“I will tell you as we walk to the bell. Now come. I will be waiting outside your door.”

 

Once he was outside, she got out of bed, landing her two gargantuan legs on the floor with a resounding thud. She reached for her robe, near where Ochra had been standing, as it lay on a bed post. She threw it over her head with her lower arms, and then struggled to get her second pair of arms through their respective sleeves. Piowok—the seamstress of the Gallants—did her best, but how good could a Turath really be at making clothes for a Xiruen?

 

Once she had her robe on, she put on the brown tunic and tied that off with the sash. She now felt awake enough to take on a new campaign, whatever it was. Ochra was outsider her door, as he said he would be.

 

Ochra saw her exit her room and motioned towards their destination. “Let’s walk.” Said the much taller Dai. Ochra nodded, anticipating her question. “Why am I leading this campaign?”

 

“I have received reports that many ships have passed through The Outcropping while traveling to and from the lower fringe. Not many ships take this route, but nearly all of them have seen some strange occurrences in Pan Arbnhap—”

 

“I’ve never been to Pan Arbnahp.”

 

“That is not quite as important as the fact that you are a Xiruen.”

 

“You raised me, I’m in no House.”

 

“While that is true, you are nonetheless a Xiruen. I know they are not welcoming of outsiders by nature, so sending you will certainly grant us some leeway.”

 

By this time the two had made their way down from Dai-Zamaar’s room to the main hall of Cyliajaca. Ochra’s quarters were on this floor, cordoned off from the main hall. Near his quarters was a special large bell that Ochra rang while they continued their conversation.

 

“So I am insurance?”

 

“More of a ticket through the initial entry to Xiruen-Space.”

 

“What are these structures?”

 

“They are large struc—”

 

“You know Eleethea hates that bell.”

 

“I will dampen it when she arrives down here.” The bell produced little audible noise but instead rang at such a low frequency that it sent vibrations through Cyliajaca, waking the Gallants. Eleethea was a Quarryn, who like all Quarryn depended on the minute vibrations of the ground to tell where she was going. The vibration of the bell threw off this sense, similarly to Omneuttians who have eyes walking around with blurred vision.

 

“Fine. Sorry, continue.”

 

“These large structures appear on both land and water and rise fairly high into the sky before flattening out. The technology to build these structures should be well beyond Xiruen capability, and I have not been able to track down any other Omneuttian organizations who would have given them this technology.”

 

“We’re just checking in, seeing how they got the tech to build these things?”

 

“If these structures are harmless, then yes. Just a cursory report is satisfactory if they appear to be safe.”

 

“And if they’re not safe?”

 

Eleethea came down the stairs, slightly less wobbly than the last time the bell was rung. Ochra muted the bell, certain that the others would be down shortly.

 

Adry ‘Jowo was down next, and he could tell that Eleethea was tired. The two of them had a bond developed on several campaigns that neither ever helmed. Her sash was tied around her tunic neatly—she would not look tired to any of the other Gallants, but Adry knew the placement of her three legs. Rather than being evenly dispersed he could clearly see that she was favoring a more bipedal step, with the third leg precariously holding her balance in the back. He hoped that whatever this campaign was, that Eleethea could have some time to rest in transit. She just got back from a different campaign the day before. Adry and Eleethea exchanged greetings and waited for the remaining two Gallants.

 

Kouoh Sarom was next, also still tired from the previous campaign. His longsword clunked the first couple of steps, obviously in his hand and not in a sheath. “Sorry!” He continued making his way down the steps after sheathing the sword, under the impression that he was the last one down. “Wait a second,” he mumbled. “Ochra, Dai, E, Adry, and me.” He paused. “Where’s the new one?”

 

Adry perked up, aware that the newest Gallant had not yet been part of a campaign summons. “I’ll go get her.” He began bounding up the stairs two at a time, with his tail high in the air for balance.

 

Loudly enough for the three remaining Gallants to hear, Ochra exclaimed “Post haste, pocie.”

 

Adry finished up the steps and made his way to the end of the hall, knocking on Naka’s door. Naka yla Seljovh was the newest Gallant, a young Poria that (really broke into Cyliajaca) had been taken in by Ochra. It seemed she was unaccustomed to sleeping in a bed, as when he was told to come in she was laying on the floor. Adry pieced together that she had not yet been instructed on the garment for the Gallants either, since she only had the brown tunic on.

 

“Put the green robe on under the tunic like this, see?” He tugged at the robe under the bottom of his own tunic. “And then put the sash on.” He sized her up before turning around to leave. “Piowok had it easy with you, not much material required.” Naka was short, and this was supposed to be a joke. She did not really get humor, like most Poria. Adry turned around to leave, “Once you get dressed the right way, and hurry, come down to the end of the hall and down the stairs. There has been a campaign summons.”

 

“Is the vibration of the building an indication that there has been campaign summons?”

 

“Yes, that’s what the vibrating means.”

 

“Why did it cease?”

 

“It makes Eleethea blind…well uh, it messes with her sense of direction. Just meet us down there soon.” Adry scampered off, fairly confident she would be down soon.

 

Naka’s hardened magma that had been formed into boots clicked as she came down the stairs as quickly as she could. Once down in the hall, she stood next to Adry, who motioned for her. Adry was next to Kouoh, who was next to Eleethea. The Quarryn had not moved in several minutes; she was quite tired.

 

“Gallants, you have been summoned for a three-Gallant campaign to The Outcropping. Dai-Zamaar has been selected to lead this campaign, and is free to pick two Gallants whom she sees fit to handle what the campaign entails.” Ochra turned to Dai. “Whom will you be taking with you?”

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Mr. Skeli'n
Jun 30 2016 01:16 PM

“I’ll take Adry and Eleethea with me.”
 
Ochra nodded, “Sarom and Naka are therefore dismissed. You may return to your quarters, or you are free to be out in Miatrzy.” Naka looked at Sarom for direction, but he did not return her gaze. Instead, the Kettlah went back to his room and presumably to sleep. Naka went to have a conversation with Ochra as the three Gallants on the campaign gathered their things.
 
“So, Dai. What exactly is this campaign?”
 
“I’m not sure, actually, Adry. Ochra came to me this morning and told me about these strange structures in Pan Arbnhap—the only area in The Outcropping where water flows regularly and in abundance—but I’ve never even been there. I haven’t even been to The Outcropping in years!”
 
“So we’ll explore a new area for all of us. No big deal, right?”
 
“Ochra said, actually he ‘stressed that combat must be avoided.’ Why me then?”
 
“Well, you know Xiruen the best out of all of us, well maybe other than me or Ochra.” The two paused for a minute, letting the fact that between the active Gallants there was little knowledge of an entire species sink in. “So it will be a learning experience!”
 
“Where’s Eleethea, anyway?”
 
“Not sure if you noticed, but she looks exhausted.”
 
“Well, I was hoping that she could pick out anything wrong with the environment from a…safe distance away.”
 
“She just needs some rest.”
 
“How badly does she need rest, and how much? It’ll be at least a week – probably closer to 12 days before we get there. I don’t even know what planet-star we’re going to.” The large Xiruen was visibly worried about the success of her campaign, and they had not yet left her room.
 
“I don’t know if 12 days of rest would be enough.”
 
“I didn’t realize she was that bad.”
 
“She wouldn’t say anything anyway if you asked.”
 
“Maybe we should take someone else then.”
 
“You and I both know we can’t, Dai.”
 
“What are we going to do then?”
 
“How are we getting there anyway?”
 
“I figured that since I’m leading the campaign that I would be financing the trip. I’ve been trying to track down every piece of Lott in this room—”
 
“Oh, I thought you were this worried about Eleethea.” Adry teased.
 
“I am, but her condition is secondary to being able to finance our way there. How tired she is won’t matter much if the campaign never starts.”
 
“I know, I know.” Adry held his paws up, his pack in one, but the other open, expressing peace.
 
“Right. What are you bringing on this campaign, Adry?”
 
“I haven’t had the chance to go back to my room after hearing what the campaign is, but I think that some long-eye mechanisms for seeing what these structures are might be. A Way map, as always. Uh, maybe some cards or something to keep us—well at least me—from being bored on the trip. Not sure what else to take.”
 
“You should bring a weapon.”
 
“What kind of—”
 
“Something non-lethal, for sure. Just enough to convince a Xiruen that we’re not to be messed with.”
 
“The expandable staff then?”
 
“That seems like a good choice. I think I have enough Lott to make it. Not sure about the trip back though. Not like we could keep one of these merchant ships in The Outcropping for too long anyway.” They shared a quick laugh. “You go get your stuff, and Eleethea – make sure she’s okay, alright? – and I’ll meet you down in the main area. I’ll tell Ochra we’re heading out.”
 
Dai-Zamaar gathered her things and made her way down to Ochra’s quarters, where Naka yla Seljovh was exiting. “Morning,” the much larger Gallant greeted the Poria.
 
Naka flinched slightly, still a little tired and scared, squeaking out a ‘hello’ before moving out of Dai’s way.
 
Not quite the famous Poria interaction I was expecting, but if she’s a little less-normal than most Poria, I think that’ll be just fine. Dai stepped in to Ochra’s quarters, feeling no need to knock as her feet were plenty loud.
 
“Are you ready to depart? Where are your other two Gallants?”
 
“They’re on their way. Adry…had a few more things to grab from his room and Eleethea went to help.” A white lie, but no harm in that. If Ochra allowed or was encouraged by her choosing of the Quarryn, then he likely did not see her condition.
 
Ochra sighed. “Make haste, Dai. You should be leaving on a Poria ship within the hour.” The two looked at the clock, it was 2:55. Less than half an hour to go. “There is a ship helmed by a Poria by the name of Risku dul Ovul. Standard Poria ship, should get you there in just over a week. It’s the fastest I could get you to The Outcropping, but I do not have a way back.”
 
Well that’s not great. Eleethea needs at least 12 days of rest, not 8 and I only have 45 minutes to get those two and onto the ship. What a great start to this campaign. “How am I going to find the ship in time? I can’t find the captain fast enough by asking them all.”
 
“Oh yes. It has a blue crest on the port side of the ship. Near the bow.”
 
Adry came bounding down the stairs and into the main chamber, followed more slowly by Eleethea. “Dai, I brought all my books on Xiruen lore, and a few from our library; let’s go.”
 
Dai turned from the young Turath back to the old. “We have a library that isn’t Adry’s room?” Ochra responded by closing his eyes and raising his brow, as if to say ‘you should know these things.’ Dai took a couple steps towards the main room before Ochra had one last bit of information to depart. “Do not pay Risku a single Lott. This is a service to the Gallants, and myself. Remind him if necessary.”
 
As the three Gallants walked to the docks outside the city, Dai told Adry and Eleethea their predicament. “There is a Poria ship with a blue crest—I don’t know of what—that can get us there in 8 or 9 days. Free of charge. I think that’s too quick for Eleethea, but we’re going to have to pay for anything.”
 
Eleethea opened her mouth and raised a hand as if to say she was fine, but Adry cut her off. “You’re not.” The Turath was stern and protective, and she did not protest.
 
“Let’s try that Avotoc vessel over there. The Poria ship should be further down the docks, I think I see it over there.” Adry pointed, and the two others looked. “We can try that as a sort of last resort, and yes I know we’re on a schedule Dai. Poria always leave on time.” The trio made their way up the gangway onto the ship. “Oh, let me do the talking.” Before Dai could protest this as well, Adry interrupted. “You’ll scare the Avotoc.”
 
Dai half chuckled and smiled. “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
 
Adry left the two at the gangway and quickly tracked down the captain of the vessel, a somewhat tall Avotoc named Ji’Poukk. He reported back to Dai in less than a minute. “After some protest, I convinced the captain to go back to The Outcropping. Well…not really to, more like by. They just came from the lower fringe, but they do have something they just picked up that can go back. They were planning on circling around Omneutta and making their way back in a month or two—”
 
“Two?! We just started Ouovas a couple days back!”
 
“It’s a slow vessel. Isn’t that what we want?”
 
“Right, well you said you convinced him; how much is it going to cost?”
 
“Twelve ninety-five.”
 
Dai took a couple seconds. “I only have thirteen twenty-eight.”
 
“Do you want me to ask how long you’ve been saving up?” Adry cringed, bracing for a hard retort.
“No. I can pay, but we won’t have much for a way back. We won’t have anything, really.”
 
“The Poria didn’t have a way back for us either. What do you want to do Dai? We could have maybe five minutes to spare if we hurry over to the Poria ship now.”
 
“Let me think. Spend most of my money getting to Pan Arbnhap with enough time for Eleethea to be okay, or get their much sooner for free…”

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Mr. Skeli'n
Jun 30 2016 01:16 PM

“Well..?” It had been a few minutes and Adry was becoming a little impatient. He did not want to rush Dai, but they were running out of time to make it to the Poria ship, should that be her decision.

 

“I’m sorry Eleethea.”

 

“I understand, Dai. It’s not your fault. We just need more capable Gallants than we have.” Eleethea couldn’t see Dai—of course—but she could feel her words being taken wrongly. “Not that our current Gallants aren’t capable. We just need more good ones.”

 

“Oh. My apologies.”

 

“I understand.”

 

Adry chimed in, doing his best not to take the campaign over. It was, after all, Dai’s campaign to run. “I hope our new Gallant pans out, but we need to get moving.”

 

“Right. Thank you Adry. Do you know where the Poria ship is?”

 

“It was further down the docks that way-” Adry pointed across the bow of their current location towards a bulky hunk of metal that was somehow still sleek. The three departed from the Avotoc ship and made their way across the docks in a couple minutes. Before they were fully aboard, Dai stopped the other two Gallants on the gangway.

 

“I’ll do the talking this time. I’m in charge of the campaign.”

 

“Alright. Poria should be less prone to intimidation.”

 

“How prone are you, Adry?” Adry nodded slowly and turned his head away from Dai, a Turath’s way of apologizing. He had overstepped his bounds, and this was Dai’s campaign to head. The trio paused for a couple seconds and went aboard.

 

A well dressed but thicker Poria addressed the Xiruen. “Welcome aboard the Eliolzis. How may the crew be of assistance?”

 

“I was sent by Ochra ‘Jawoby of the-”

 

“Yes, then you must be the Gallants of Cyliajaca.”

 

Dai hesitated, indignant after being cut-off. “Yes, we are. Who are you?”

 

“I am, of course, Risku dul Ovul. I am the captain of the Eliolzis. Do you have any proof that you are Gallants?”

 

“You want me…us…to prove that we’re Gallants? Why?”

 

“Yes, well it is not every day that you must promise free passage nearly halfway across Omneutta. Some form of proof is required before my ship leaves in…Well it will need to be prompt, we leave in two minutes.”

 

“Proof? Um, we have our uniforms, I guess?”

 

“Oh no. Any Omneuttian could sew those things together.”

 

Dai took a loud and thunderous step toward the Poria, bringing her shorter right arm between their faces, pointed at Risku. “Do not speak poorly of Piowok.” Dai straightened up and took a step back, still towering over Risku. “Either we take your ship to The Outcropping or you can explain to Ochra next time you see him why we didn’t.”

 

Risku took a moment to compose himself, allowing the magma on his face to return and harden in its normal position. “You will find sufficient quarters once you decide to withdraw to the interior of the ship. The crew can direct you. We will be departing momentarily, if you will excuse me.” Risku turned and walked back to the helm of the ship as the Poria around him were making preparations to begin their voyage. The captain spoke one more time to the Gallants, “We will arrive in 68 hours.”

 

“Great, so what are we going to do for eight and a half days, Dai?”

 

“Well, considering none of us are a species that can survive in the vacuum of space—I think we should get inside the ship, and Eleethea should spend as much time out of these eight days as possible.

 

The Gallants were directed to their quarters—far into the interior of the Eliolzis and separate from the crew. Once Elethea found a quiet and otherwise suitable place to sleep, Adry and Dai began their earlier discussion anew.

 

“Adry, do you think Eleethea will be okay?”

 

“Okay for what exactly?”

 

“Well when we get to The Outcropping. I know that Xiruen aren’t a particularly quiet species, but I was relying on Eleethea to be healthy enough that she could tell us what kind of situations we walk into at all times.”

 

“Hmmm.” Adry paced for a moment. “In eight days time I don’t know if she’ll be ready, even if she slept all the way through-”

 

“She can’t.”

 

“I know. But even if she could, I don’t know if that’ll be enough. What do we do?”

 

“What can we do? Seek refuge outside of somewhere?”

 

“Who knows how safe that would be…”

 

“Neither of us know much about Xiruen culture, The Outcropping or Pan Arbnhap. Adry, how would we even do it?”

 

“Well I brought several books that might be able to help us. Where should we start?”

 

“We could pick a subject and you take a couple of days to learn about it, then report back. In the time while you’re reading each subject I will put together a plan based on what we know so far.”

 

“Ridiculous. It won’t even take me a couple of days to read all of these. Pick a subject and it won’t even take me an hour to go through all of the books and find relevant information.”

 

“What subjects do I have to choose from exactly?”

 

“What do you know of the Xiruen?”

 

“That we don’t like to make hard choices under pressure, Adry.”

 

“Okay, well there’s more than this I’m sure, but these are the main subjects I’d think are relevant. If you think of something else I can look it up. Xiruen History, and Geo-Polotical or Socio-Economic standing of either The Outcropping as a whole or Pan Arbnhap by itself.”

December 2018

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