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Dragon's Egg - Act I

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Steerpike, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Three days out of Northport, on the sleek ship Bladnir, and you emerge on deck to find a cold wind and flurries of snow biting at exposed skin. As usual, thin, dark-haired Rodrico is at the helm, your Captain, one Bior Gullisson having yet to emerge from his room beneath the quarterdeck since you left port. The village of Srilkind, southern most point of the land called Holmgald, lies almost a week ahead. A week of tossing seas, bone-penetrating cold, and less than wonderful food. Not an auspicious start to your voyage, but then one can hardly expect more when traveling to a cursed land. For ten years now, most people traveling this route have been moving away from Holmgald.

    Your reasons for traveling are your own, and thus far your fellow passengers have been as quiet about their reasons as you have about yours. Were it not for Rodrico, you'd hardly have had a conversation in three days at sea.

    The ship heaves and salt water sprays onto the deck. Rodrico is hardly recognizable wrapped in wool and furs as he is. Ships hands move about the deck, and a few are even in the rigging, somehow managing to hold on in the cold and wet.

    The door to the quarterdeck opens and for a moment a hulking shadow is framed in the doorway. Then a ruddy-faced man with a wild, continuous head and beard of brown lurches onto the deck, bellowing.

    "Rodrico, lad, what are ye doin' to me ship?"

    "Just a bit of weather, Captain."

    "Skeppare!" Bior pulls himself up the stairs onto the quarterdeck. Despite the weather, he wears only a pair of dark, baggy trousers and a rough-spun wool shirt.

    "Just a bit of weather, Skeppare," calls Rodrico as the other man approaches. He steps aside when Bior reaches the wheel and the big man begins to guide the ship himself.

    "A bit o' weather now," says Bior, "but we'll be seeing ice before we reach Srilkind. Aegir take me if we don't. Whatever possessed us to set north this time o' year?"

    Rodrico rubs imaginary coins between his thumb and fingers. Bior's eyes narrow. "Aye, lad, gold. But not enough to buy a new ship if this one's lost. And if we're smashed to bits on the ice, I don't reckon that coin'll float."

    "I did say we should wait until spring," says Rodrico.

    "And risk missing out on the gold?" Bior rubs violently at his beard. "Them merchants would've just hired another ship. No, lad, you just put yer faith in ol' Bior. I made this run when you were still in yer mama's arms."

    The banter between the two continues in that fashion, but even as they talk the seas begin to calm. Soon the lack of spray on deck makes the cold almost bearable.

    When the worst of the weather is past, Bior turns the wheel over to Rodrico and stomps back to his quarters, slamming the door behind him. Rodrico looks at the passengers, you among them, grinning. "Don't worry, he just hasn't had time to get in his cups yet." The first mate mimes a drinking motion with his hand. "He'll be right as rain in a few hours. May even come back on deck, now that he's had to come out once."

    On that note, your fellow passengers begin to wander below deck, looking for warmth and a little breakfast. It's not a bad idea.

    Days pass, and shipboard life settles into a routine. The ice the Captain predicted materializes, but the chunks aren't sizable and the crew do not seem concerned. Most of your time is spent alone, reflecting on the voyage, your destination, and the circumstances that brought you here. Until one morning, two days from port, you push back up on deck, because something is different.

    The sun is shining.

    ((See the maps below and tell me where on the ship you wish to be to start out. You can be on deck, or anywhere below deck. such as in quarters, or in quarters beneath the fo'c'sle. In fact, you can be anywhere you like except for the Captain's quarters. Also, go ahead and relate actions, if any, you want to take aboard ship, conversations, and so on)).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Rydh will be on the main deck, vomiting over the rail on the port side (larboard). After his guts have settled a bit, he'll hold his stomach and kneel down to pray. Once that's done he'll strike up a conversation with anyone who happens to be near, perhaps Rodrico or some PC who's wandering the main deck.
     
  3. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    I don my wolfskin cloak. It doesn't match the puce outfit, but the mauve still needs time to dry. No matter. The boots tie the outfit together. Leather with soft white fur lining the top, the boots match both my cloak and my armor. And the scabbard!

    I begin to unsheathe my two-handed sword. Its untainted blade shimmers in the morning sun.

    Suddenly, I freeze. I am grateful that I have been entrusted to wander the deck armed. The captain allowed it because he believes in the principle of allowing a woman on a ship to protect herself. I do not wish to betray his trust by arousing suspicion with a misinterpreted action. One last look at the object that cost more than half of my savings—now back into your sheathe, blade!

    Baldhart?

    Ah, I was too slow. Once again, my tactless action has caught the attention of the tiny valkyrie from The Dream!

    Baldhart!

    What do you want now, Nissa?

    Well, look who’s grumpy in the morning. I simply wanted to point out that handsome elf.

    What handsome… oh. Him? He’s shorter than me.

    You’re six-foot-nine. Everyone on this ship is shorter than you. Anyway, I’m not a match maker. Do you see what the elf is doing?

    Half elf. Yes. He is praying. But not to Brynhild, so why is that of any concern to me?

    Well, I can’t speak for the other gods and goddesses, but Brynhild isn’t the jealous type. This man is a holy man. He can be trusted.

    You’re certain.

    No. But I would trust a holy man more than a man who isn’t.

    Thank you, friendly elf.

    I’m not an elf. Not even half.

    With that, Nissa becomes the morning sun. Its brilliance is especially blinding at sea. I close my eyes, but I can still see the ripples of the calm sea and the triangular chunks of ice. I am in the middle of nowhere.

    Nissa is right. I will approach the holy half elf.

    “I am Baldhart.”

    Baldhart the Fool, you mean! He is not a man of the Iron Mountain. You must speak in a gentler tone if you do not wish to be mistaken for a monster!

    “I wish to pray to my goddess. Would you mind if I join you?”
     
  4. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    I work the oil into my leather armor a few paces away from the half-elf and the giant woman. The spoke of kneeling and praying in the somber tone of mortals imitating piousness to achieve it. Still, I prefer their company over the crowded holds below smelling of vomit and unwashed bodies.

    The shy sun chose this day to dazzle the hopeful with it's splendid glory. The warmth against my face reminded me of the first days of spring back home. If I close my eyes, I can imagine the ship and sea below it gone. Such indulgent illusions are for the weak. I force my eyes open and complete my work.

    The north would be foreign lands filled with foreign people and foreign hate. Watching the two continue their prayers, I understood the opportunity they presented. I placed my armor in an oiled sack and call out to the half-elf and giant. "Are you done with your prayers?"
     
  5. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Just when I get a little relief. Just when a fellow pious soul joins me as I linger in prayer. That's when that scruffy, shady-looking elf shouts at us. I look over at him, annoyed.

    "One should never be 'done' with prayers," I say. "One should speak to their Gods at every opportunity."
     
  6. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    If I did not love my Queen so much, I would curse the command from her lips that brought me aboard this thrice-blasted ship. I clutch the starboard rail and lean over the side, expecting my stomach to disgorge any moment. No such mercy is granted me. I shut my eyes and sigh, glad that at least the sun is shining today. Perhaps it is a good omen for the journey ahead. But whatever happens, I want it over with quickly. Swaying deck timbers underfoot and salty air in my face are no match for good, solid earth or a sturdy tree bough, and the smells of loam and blossoms.

    At that final thought, I smile and think of Líadan. Cherry blossoms have always been her favorite, and many and sweet are the nights we spend together in the moonlight under the boughs of those trees -- particularly our final night before I departed from Caer Celynnen. I wonder if she misses me as much as I do her.
     
  7. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    "I'll take that as a 'yes'. My name is Ankari. I intend to travel the north and wonder if we may benefit from each other's company for a time. The lands we visit is said to be cursed. To an elf, it isn't a rumor, but a fact. It would be fortuitous if we share a common path. I've observed you and your giant friend there, and have come to the conclusion that you are not backstabbing marauders."

    The carefully chosen words would make a poet back home proud. I hope what I said isn't lost on them. I force a smile to lend warmth to my words.
     
  8. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

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    As I walked the Main deck I heard a conversation among some of the other Passengers. I decided to investigate.

    "It is unwise to interupt other's prayers." I said.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    ((as you interact, activity on the ship continues around you))

    As you begin to get to know one another on deck, the sun climbs higher into the sky, casting floating ice in a golden light. Rodrico has removed his furred hood, exposing a tan face and long moustache. He guides the ship gently from the quaterdeck, and the winds carry you along at a brisk pace.

    Most of the crew are on-deck enjoying the first sunlight of the voyage and carrying out a variety of duties. There are a few furtive stares at the barbarian, and a few more at the elves and half-elf, races that are poorly understood and often feared in these parts. Still, despite a few glances there is no open hostility and the crew members hold their tongues. Whatever else may be said of Bior Gullisson, he appears to run a tight ship.

    And yes, even Gullisson himself emerges from his quarters, saying "I'll be boiled if it ain't the sun!" as he squints into the distance off the starboard side of the ship. He appears to have waived a comb at his hair and beard and now wears a fine white shirt with a mostly-clean woolen jacket. A thin sword hangs at one side of his belt, at the other a two-pronged steel hook with a leather-wrapped handle. In his thick hand he holds a leather flask, which he raises to his lips as he watches the sun.

    One crew member, a fair-haired boy who is tall and gangly, and has seen fewer winters than most aboard, is hard at work scrubbing the deck, cleaning the dried, crusted salt from the sprays of days past. His pattern of scrubbing carries him along an ever tighter circle, at the center of which are various members of the party, including Baldhart, at whom the boy glances in what he must feel is an inconspicuous manner but is so overt that it draws chuckles from others in the crew.

    Rodrico turns the helm over to a man younger than he, motioning with his arms and explaining the steering of the vessel as the new helmsman nods. As the ship surges forward, you all see an extremely large chunk of ice to starboard, growing swiftly in size as the ship cuts the water at an angle toward it.

    "Steer well clear, lad," says Rodrico. "A chunk of ice like that has most of its size beneath the waves, and you may run afoul of it faster than you think. A wide berth." The young helmsman nods soberly and steers the vessel away from the ice, though the ship's momentum and the direction of the wind still carry the craft in the ice's direction.

    "Reef the main, lads!" calls Rodrico. "Give us a bit more time to get around that ice."

    Crewmembers haul themselves up the main mast and into the rigging, and within moments the mainsail has been adjusted so that only a fraction of its area is exposed to the wind. There is a noticeable drop in speed and the ship begins to take a wider path around the iceberg.

    The boy mopping the deck continues his circuit closer to Baldhart. Bior Gullisson surveys all from just outside his cabin, and though his nose is a bit more red than before he seems in much better spirits.
     
  10. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Careful, Baldhart! You're the prettiest girl on the ship, and there's a boy your age who noticed.

    Please, Nissa. I'm the only girl. As soon as we land and mop boy sees some pretty little northerner, he won't waste his eyes on me.

    I guess I better join the men in conversation.

    "Very true," I say in agreement with the human. "I was praying to Byrnhild, Goddess of Battle. Of course, I was not praying for a battle to exist, but that I may put my strength to use should a battle be necessary and just." I turn to Ankari. Rude as he may be, he did introduce himself. I shall return the favor. "I am Baldhart Eisenberg. I am from the peak of the Iron Mountain." To the holy one, I say, "I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to pray at your side. Though I am obviously the only follower of Brynhild here—"

    Ah, because you're the only girl. I get it!

    Nissa! Not while I'm talking!

    "…um. I am very much interested to know who you are, sir. And to whom do you pray?"
     
  11. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    My thoughts are distracted when someone shouts an order to the crewmen in the rigging. I look up, and watch in awe as the ship approaches a towering peak of ice protruding from the sea. The ship slows considerably and veers carefully around the ice, giving me time to admire it better. Wind and wave have carved the hulking thing, surely over hundreds of years; I wonder how much of it is hidden below the surface, that we must give it such a wide berth.

    I look around at my shipmates, many of whose names I do not yet know. Some are clustered at the port rail, including a woman who bests my height by a good three inches -- and I am certainly not short, even for my kind. The sheer size of her muscles baffles me. It must be strange for her, being the only woman aboard... but I do not doubt her ability to look after herself in a fight, if anyone were unwise enough to antagonize her. I silently take note never to give her reason to be angry with me.

    I look away and do not listen deliberately to their conversation, though I do overhear the woman's name and take note of it. Baldhart... I wonder what it means.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  12. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    I take note of the iceberg and swallow the sour dread in the back of my throat. It appears the northern seas are hungry. Its teeth are bare and seek the less capable of ships to devour the mortals aboard. Very little could be done except keep a wary on the the icy monolith and make mental notes of what gear I should shed first to allow for maximum weight loss should the need arise.

    Something about the giant woman - Boldhart - makes me uneasy. Perhaps it was the thick ropes of muscle that threatens to tear free of her clothing, or the subtle way her eyes dilate in irregular intervals. They say misery loves company. Maybe crazy craves company to give the illusion of normalcy in number.

    "What god do I worship? Name a god worthy of worship first. Their soulless effigies adorn the halls of temples and the walls of the devout, yet they do little when a mortal defaces the very places and people they claim as sacred. Don't talk to me of gods." I stop speaking, realizing I allowed the heat of my conviction to harden my words. I breath in to steady my temper, and force my facial muscles to relax.

    The gods have always been a mystery to me. They lord over one facet of life and ask people to worship them. They war with one another in hopes of wiping out their polar opposite or nemesis. What happens when a god dies? Does that facet cease to exist? If a god of night dies, does night never blanket the skies?

    I clear my train of thought before I get lost down the meandering path. "Anyway, back to what's important. The north and it's foreign dangers. What do you think?"
     
  13. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

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    "Whatever we might find it does not frighten me. Not with Tyr as my guide."
     
  14. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    You see? This is why Brynhild doesn't allow men to follow her!

    What is your point, Nissa? The elf doesn't follow any God or Goddess.

    "Ankari, I was asking the one who invited me to join him in prayer who he was worshipping. You have already made it quite clear that you lack faith in any deity, and that is your choice. However, I find it interesting that watching us pray was the only evidence you had that we are not, as you put it, 'not backstabbing marauders.' By your logic, you are the only one in this conversation who has done nothing to prove he is trustworthy."

    You really don't trust him? Just because he is rude?

    He is too honest for his own good, Nissa! I was just making a point.

    "Now, having said that, you possess qualities that do make you trustworthy. Primarily, you are brutally honest, even when expressing an unpopular opinion. And you are correct that those of us who traveled here alone should band together—though you have a funny way of getting people together with your tactless approach."

    This, coming from a girl who ran to a store practically naked to spend her entire life savings.

    You know what, Nissa? You could learn a thing or two about tact as well!
     
  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    The others' conversation draws my attention again when Ankari and Baldhart exchange terse words. I dally with the idea of introducing myself to them, but decide to wait until the subject changes. Butting in on a disagreement would not be a wise thing to do. For the moment I look around again, and wish for my nausea to fade. The sooner we reach land, the better.
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Most of the ship's hands continue about their business while the party converses. The ship has slowed enough to trace a wide, lazy arc around the iceberg. None of the crew seem concerned about the ice, and it looks as though the ship will clear it with room to spare.

    The young man mopping the deck continues to move toward the group, occasionally looking up at this statement or that. His brow furrows at the exchange between Ankari and Baldhart, as though unsure whether Ankari has given offense and, if so, what to do about it. He mops a moment more, then finally lifts his head from his duties, looking directly at Baldhart. It seems he has found the courage to speak to her at last.

    Strangely, silver glints near the base of his throat, as though he wears some sparkling jewel that catches the sun. The glinting light is short-lived, as a stream of red runs over and beneath it. You see clearly now what the the thing is - a sharp steel point with a cruel barb offset to one side, punched through the boy's neck and now pulled back into the skin. With a choked gasp, the boy is yanked off his feet and pulled bodily some ten feet onto the hard deck of the ship. An acquatic horror climbs over the rail to stand over the prone form of the boy. The creature is man-sized, but with an over-sized fish-like head sporting a wide, lipless mouth lined with sharp teeth. Its eyes are wide and the blue and green scales that cover the creature's skin refract the light of the sun. The body seems covered in an oily sheen. In its hands, it hold a length of chain, one end of which is attached to the harpoon piercing the boy's throat.

    The creature is not alone, for no sooner has it climbed aboard ship than others follow. At the far corner of the main deck, north of Cadell, one of the creatures is fully aboard, trident in hand, its body dripping water that pools in a white foam around its feet.

    Both behind Rydh and south of where Cadell stands, two other creatures are still in the midst of clamboring onto the deck.

    A larger version of the creatures, its scales tinted blood red, pulls itself onto the Fo'c'sle, flanked by two smaller comrades, as though body guards.

    These events transpire in seconds, the entire ship seemingly dumbfounded. Then, as one, the confusion breaks.

    Loud voices call across the ship.

    "Demons!"

    "Fish!"

    "Fish Demons!"

    You hear Bior's baritone as he calls out "to arms, lads!" Unfortunately, most of the hands are unarmed where they stand, though a few have hooks or knives. Bior slides his own sword free then tosses the hook at his waist over his shoulder and onto the quarterdeck, where Rodrico catches it nimbly.

    The fish men hiss to each other in their own wet language, their words like eels sliding around their forked tongues. They brandish weapons as their feral gazes sweep from party member to party member, ship's hand to ship's hand.

    ((The action is now moving to melee rounds. Each square is ten feet. You can move up to thirty feet and still perform another action. Feel free to act in any order you wish. Each 'H' stands for a ship's hand you can currently see; 'B' is for Bior and 'R' is for Rodrico.

    If you're unclear on actions you might take, look at the quick start guide, starting on page 17)).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  17. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    The fish demons gained the first advantage of surprise. The poor youth's death gave the rest of us a chance to live. Why such creatures view the intelligent land bound as food, escapes me. The words of my mentor float to mind as I grab the two hand axes and charge the closest of these fish demons. Armor does little good if you're not wearing it.

    One day, I'll make sure not to make that mistake again.

    I swing both axes at the fish head.
     
  18. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I stare in shock as the fish-creature claims the life of the hapless boy, and reach automatically for my quiver as more of them emerge onto the deck. The nearest of them is thirty feet away, to the north of me -- its slimy, scaled body drips saltwater onto the deck as it stands, a trident clutched in its webbed hand.

    I snatch an arrow from my quiver, nock it to my bowstring and fire at the creature's bulbous blue-green eye.
     
  19. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Fight well and live to fight again, Ankari. I, too, wish for us to be allies, despite my own tactless manner of speaking.

    A sacrifice! I toss my scabbard overboard, and pray Brynhild deems my sacrifice worthy, though I wonder if I'll ever wish to sheathe my weapon again after what I have just seen!

    I thrust my two-handed sword at the nearest fish demon.

    I pray that my attack will save the ship hand's life.
     
  20. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Seeing the greasy guppies on deck, I smile.

    "My name is Rydh, Baldhart," I fairly shout, "and my God also knows war!"

    Drawing my longsword and readying my shield, I jog south along the rail, slipping past the barbarian and approaching the demon closest to Bior.

    "Come, my lady! Let us worship with all our hearts!"

    (No melee attack, had to move too far. Remember guys, put your die rolls in your posts.)

    (Edit: Ok, I'm told I get an attack this round. Here we go!)


    I swing for the natsy thing's belly, whispering "Betula, guide me."

    [​IMG]

    14 + 1(str mod) = 15 (Sorry, forgot to add the modifier in the dice room.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
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