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Dragon's Egg - Act I

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

  1. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I smile and nod. "A pleasure indeed."

    At the question, my smile slips a little. "I am here by the command of my Queen, for my skills in battle and diplomacy and what aid they will bring to our endeavor." Ostensibly, that is. What she does not say is that she feels I need more knowledge of the world beyond home, whether I will it or not.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The mood on deck is solemn as the ship continues on its way, the sun not yet having reached its mid-point in the sky. The two men attending the young boy's body manage to free him from the harpoon as best they can, though it is a sticky task and each man has a black look on his face as he works. They look up as Baldhart approaches, casting glances at Cadell as he nears as well. Both look vaguely uneasy when Baldhart begins to weep, as if unsure of how to respond to the sight of tears from this warrior who towers over them both. They answer her questions readily enough, however.

    The first man, who looks to be in his mid-thirties and wears his black beard braided, says "The lad's name was Eskel...er...ma'am. He's from Srilkind, where we'll be makin' land tomorrow. Normally, we'd give him to the waves. The Captain would say a few words over him and we might have a spot or two o' the good stuff he keeps in his quarters. But this time, I don't think..." His voice gets progressively quieter until he trails off at the end.

    The other man, blonde-haired and clean-shaven, and younger than the first though a nasty scar runs under one eye, finishes the first man's thought. "I don't think Eskel's mother'd appreciate us dumping the lad into the drink, even though we wouldn't mean nothing but the best by it. He's got a couple sisters waiting for him too. I expect we'll let the family bury him, or light a pyre, or whatever they mean to do. That's if Cap'n will let us go two days with the body aboard." The pulls at his mouth and chin, thinking. "Guess we'll have to wait to see what ol' Bior says on that one. Me and the lads will take care of the body 'til he decides what to do."

    Another hand comes from below deck with a length of rough-spun cloth, something that might have been used to cover cargo, and the three set about wrapping the lad in it. The black-bearded man finds a bucket of water and a cloth, and they clean the blood from the boy's skin as best they can while wrapping him up.

    The other casualty is an older man named Olsen. It becomes clear from some of the muttering of the crew that he wasn't well liked, and one man in particular says "wouldn't have been half bad if they'd just took Olsen" as he passes by the party. Still, the men are solemn as they attend to the remains and each says a word or two. It is clear this body will be buried at sea. As the men gather on the fo'c'sle to see to Olsen, a few of them give Rydh a wide berth, and more mutters come as they pass him.

    Various crewmen go in and out of the Captain's quarters, and finally Rodrico emerges, his hands dirty with dried blood. He calls out to you travelers and warriors who have booked passage on the ship and says the Captain has requested that you all gather in his quarters. "He's in some pain, but well enough to have a talk and a drink or two, unless I miss my guess. No need to knock, he's expecting you."
     
  3. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    I enter the captain's quarters, still holding Ankari's ale and my sword. I really should not have sacrificed the sheath!

    "Captain…"

    How does a lady speak to a captain?

    "…"

    Maybe she doesn't?

    Not funny, Nissa!

    It wasn't meant to be. Just look attentive. He invited you. He has plenty to say.
     
  4. Phietadix

    Phietadix Auror

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    As I walk to the captain's quarters I turn to Baldhart and say
    "Thank you for the drink. My name is Matthew, I am I servant of Tyr and he is far greater than I am for: No servent is greater then his master, nor any messanger greater then the one who sent him."
     
  5. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I enter the captain's quarters alongside the others, dread flickering through me. Perhaps the captain's wounds are worse than I knew... perhaps he called us here to say farewell. I dip my head in respect as I approach.
     
  6. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    I do not hate people that worship false deities, only the deities they worship. I give the crewmen muttering at Rydh a hard look before offering a helping hand to the priest. "Come, the captain has called for an audience."

    In the room I give a nod of respect to all who engaged the fish demons. The room smells of copper, sweat and alcohol. Had the setting been a forest rather than a boat, I would have been able to properly dress the wound. Another reason why I hate the sea.

    "What is all this about?"
     
  7. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    The Captain?!? I forgot about Bior! He's wounded badly, and I didn't help him. I'd better go in to see him and heal him if I have the energy.

    And yet, I can't seem to take my eyes off of the strange knife I picked up. It's different from anything else I've seen in the way of arms. It's not even a true dagger, but it's so beautiful. Bone handle with embedded stones the color of... vermillion, perhaps, only lighter. And the blade too, the same kind of stone. I wonder...

    I shake my head. This knife is truly strange. Strange enough to keep me from comforting Baldhart or introducing myself to Catell, or whatever his name is. I follow everyone else into the cabin, trying to ignore the weapon in my hand.
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    You enter to find Bior pulling the cork out of a bottle with his teeth. He motions you all in with his good arm and sloshes some of the drink into a glass. Additional glasses are set on the Captain's desk, one for each of you should you want it. Bottles of varied-color glass rest on the shelves all around you, some full, some nearly empty. A wooden guard is affixed to each shelf, preventing the bottles and books from falling to the floor as the ship tilts and sways at sea. The books catch your attention more than the bottles - numerous volumes, thick and thin, new and old, occupying the majority of the wall space in the room.

    The light is dim through the small wooden window, and when Bior settles back onto his bed he is in shadow. "You'll forgive an old man, I hope. I ain't hurt bad, but my shoulder don't feel none to good." He takes a sip from the liquor in his hand. "Though I do believe it's startin' to feel better."

    Rodrico has bandaged Bior's arm and shoulder well, and the new cloth covering the wound is only spotted with blood in a few places. Bior winces as he adjusts his position, but he does appear to be in relatively good health, all things considered. He takes another quick drink, and then his expression turns serious.

    "I want to thank the lot o' you for what you done for me ship. It's been a long time since I lost a sailor, 'cept maybe to bein' sick or fallin' overboard after drinking. Point is, it's been a lot o' years since one o' me boys was lost fightin'. These just ain't dangerous routes I run. But this time the fight came, and it would've been a damn sight worse if it weren't for all o' you. So you have my thanks." Bior raises his glass and finishes off what remains within.

    "Dammit but I don't know what I'll tell Eskel's mother." He shakes his head. "Fish demons, the sailors call 'em. That ain't the proper name, and they ain't proper demons, though fearsome enough for my tastes. Sahuagin's the name I heard for 'em, though I've only seen 'em a handful o' time, and usually from a distance. Nasty things, they are, and with a hankering for human flesh. Elf too, I suppose, now that it comes to it. It's said they attack small fishing boats, maybe a man or three aboard. What possessed the damn things to try a ship this size..." Again he shakes his head.

    "But that's not why I asked you lot in here. I'm grateful to you all, and no mistake. Which is why it pains me to say what I'm about to say."

    Bior pulls himself to his feet and straightens up, looking at Rydh. He frowns at the stone knife, then looks Rydh in the eyes. "I'm about as live-and-let-live as they come, and that goes fer human and non-human alike. And I've read enough," he waves his hands at his books "to know there's some magic what's dangerous, and some what ain't. The kind that's for healin' is the kind that ain't, am I right?" Bior sighs. "Still, sailors are about as superstitious a lot as you'll wanna meet and right now you're on a boat full of 'em. Some of the lads saw what you done out there, when that faint light went around you. Hell, I saw part of it before the damned Sahuagin decided to make a mess o' my arm. Anyway, most o' me boys are from the north. If you're headed up there, I reckon you already know it's been under a curse of some kind for a lot of years now. Magic ain't trusted up there. It ain't trusted anywhere, truth be told, but the folks up north make the southerners look positively open-minded about it."

    "We got less than two days to put in to shore. I can't have my crew spooked while they're tryin' to get us there." Bior frowns, then nods his head slowly. "What I'm asking you is to stay in your quarters until we get to Srilkind. I wanted to say this once, when I had you all in here together, in case any o' the rest of you know a bit about magic and might be tempted to use some of it between here and the port. You can have some o' me drink if you want, and free use of my library, such as it is anyways. I hope there won't be no hard feelings amongst us all, I just gotta put well-being of me ship and her crew first."

    Bior starts to take another drink, squints at his empty glass, then looks to the group for a reaction.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  9. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    I allow the captain to finish his drunken speech uninterrupted. We just finished saving his boat and crew from these sahuagin and, as a reward, we are asked to stay below deck. It didn't make sense. One armed passenger uses a form of magic but all are asked to stay below deck.

    "Superstitious? Would they rather be dead, at the bottom of the sea, filling the bellies of these sahuagin? Don't bother, I already know the answer. The real question is why are we all asked to stay below deck when only one person used his power? Do not sugar coat your words. Speak plainly and honestly."
     
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Captain shakes his head. "No, I only mean fer this one here to stay in quarters. I just wanted the rest o' you to hear it in case you have some magic of yer own and a mind to use it. Wouldn't take but a couple more uses and I'd have a panic on me hands."

    He turns to Rydh again. "I'm sorry, lad. Ye done well out there."

    Bior refills his glass.
     
  11. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    I sigh.

    The Gods made magic, and mortals shun it. I use power from the fabric of creation, and am condemned because of it. I help others with my god-given ability to knit flesh and deflect blows, and still I know nothing but isolation. It's not fair.

    But the greatest service comes from personal sacrifice. I will not resist.

    "Well, alright. I understand. I'll refrain from casting unless there's some kind of emergency, and I'll stay below decks. I would like a chance to enjoy a book or two - or five - from your collection while I'm confined to quarters, Captain. Would that be acceptable?"
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  12. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "Captain, the magic that your men hate saved my life. I respect your decision. I understand it. I just wish to know... I hate to even ask this, but... is Rydh safe?"

    Nothing must happen to Rydh. I must protect him. No matter what the captain says, I'll knock on Rydh's door.

    If it's just you and him, Baldy, the other men might get the wrong idea.

    They already have the wrong idea.
     
  13. Phietadix

    Phietadix Auror

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    Though I have no Magic I still decide to go to my quarters to bandage my wound and rest.
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Captain nods to Rydh. "I got a fair amount of books on me shelves, and you're welcome to use any of 'em you like. I can't say as I've read 'em all, but I've read more than a few, and bits of most. A couple of 'em talked about magic back around the time of the War. That's how I knew it weren't all bad."

    Bior then considers Baldhart's question. "Don't you worry about that...er...Miss," the title seems awkward as he looks up at her. "They're a superstitious lot, like I said, but they're not bad men on the whole, and they certainly won't be startin' no trouble aboard this ship. No, I'm more worried about 'em being spooked and not doin' their jobs right. Them Sahuagin already put a fear into 'em, I expect."

    He looks around at the gathered party members. "The rest o' ye make yerselves at home, or as close to it as you can. I'll give you one last bit o' advice, if you don't mind getting it - I meant what I said about the folks in Srilkind, and in the north in general. They're good people, at their heart, but they been through a lot and they got more cause than most to fear magic. I'd keep that bottled up or at least out o' sight while I was up here, if I were you. Wasn't two summer past some poor sod got himself hanged fer playin' with magic in Srilkind. Now then, if you'll excuse me, my cup's run dry and I need a sip or two o' liquid inspiration before I write a letter to poor Eskel's mama."

    Bior pours himself another glass of the golden liquor he's drinking, motioning to all of you to help yourselves if you're so inclined. He fishes around in one of the desk drawers and retrieves a couple of pieces of parchment, a quill, and some black ink.
     
  15. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "Thank you, Captain. And I truly appreciate the warning about Srilkind."

    I wonder if there is a way Rydh can heal people without it being noticed. I look at the pink scar--ha! a mere scratch!--that was once a deep cut. Even if his hands don't glow in the dark when he heals a wound like that, I'm sure no one will be fooled.
     
  16. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    I nod to Bior and move to the bookshelves, scanning the titles for topics I enjoy. Betula, magic, swordplay, battle, spell lore, that sort of thing...

    Baldhart seems to me to have the quality of loyalty. She'd make a good True Soldier if she didn't already have Gods she worshipped. I must remember to ask her about that. Perhaps there will be time for such discussions while I'm 'in the cooler,' so to speak.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  17. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I nod and thank the captain, then move to join Rydh at the bookshelf. My mind is not entirely on the books, however; mostly I reflect how fortunate I am to have turned from being an illusionist in favor of becoming a knight, given the captain's warning.
     
  18. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    Superstition is a poor substitute for knowledge. Since Rydh doesn't have a problem with the captain's request, I let the argument drop. A man must pick and choose his battles, not fight everyone.

    I consider the drunken captain and the second in command, wondering who is up top steering this floating prison. Voicing my concern seems pointless. The captain seems chatty, and I am curious, so I trust his judgement and indulge his mood with a question. "You seem to have a solid grasp on the situation in Srilkind and the north. Tell us, If you may, of what we should expect when we dock. What conflicts and threats should we be aware of and, if we can, avoid?"
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Rydh and Cadell find some interesting titles on the shelves, one of which is a somewhat paranoid account of the dangers of elves which was clearly written by a human who had never met an elf. It is almost preposterous in its description of dark rituals undertaking by elves in the shadows of their great forests. Many of the books are fiction - sailing stories, re-telling of myths and legends, dramatizations of events around the Great War. One book does stand out a bit, however. The leather was once blue but has faded to gray and is cracked in many places, revealing the binding. The written characters pressed into the spine and cover have lost whatever color they might have had, but tilting the book just right in the light allows them to be some of the words, the word "GRAVE" being the most prominent among them. It might not have caught either's attention at all save for the age of the work, and for the seal at the base of the spine - a seal once used by practicioners of magic, both arcane and divine.

    Another book, also somewhat frail with age, appears to be written entirely in Elvish script, though it would be a surprise to you both if the Captain could actually read it.

    The Captain looks mildly put out that no one is sharing in his drink while you are in the room with him. He shrugs and addresses Ankari's question. "You'll find the people of Srilkind are good folk, by and large. Simple, hard working. They got their beliefs, and they're firm in 'em, and I reckon having some elves around'll cause a stir in and of itself. Still, on the whole they got enough problems of their own to waste time startin' trouble with strangers. The land has been in a bad place for years now, ever since that priestess of theirs was took. Crops don't grow like they're supposed to. Game is harder to find, and when they find it the animals ain't hardly fit to eat. If it weren't for fishin' and trading with the south like I do for 'em, I reckon they'd be in a right bloody mess." Bior presses his lips together for a moment. "I reckon they are, regardless."

    "I'll tell you this much, though - whatever ails that land ain't natural. The people of the north know it, and you'll know it too once you've been up there a while. There's some magic at work, and that's dangerous enough even when it ain't been consciously turned against you like it has them. I don't know your business up there. Seems like those who weren't born there are mostly headed in the other direction. But if you treat folks well and respect their ways, I don't reckon you'll have much trouble outside of the occasion hot-headed youth. Keep that magic under wraps, though. It's a sure way to scare folks, and when folks already livin' under the shadow of a curse get even more scared...well, that don't end well for no one."
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  20. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Only two flasks of ale left. One for Ankari and one for myself. How awkward it would be to not offer one to the captain.

    "Thank you, Captain. Oh--Ankari, here's a flask of ale from my mountain, before I forget. It's a gift. I have one left, if you're interested, Captain, though it may be nothing compared to what's in your collection. A gift of gratitude for safe passage, all things considered, and sound advice."

    Why did you even pack the ale if you don't get to drink one yourself?

    It's more important that I contribute to the celebration of our first victory. Maybe next time, we won't have the luxury of relaxing with a mountain ale.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
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