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Side One, Ep.1 "Holey Ship!"

Discussion in 'Flat Earth' started by Legendary Sidekick, Dec 3, 2013.

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  1. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Roku-Roku Harbor

    Many islanders watch slack-jawed as The Black and Blue Oyster almost crushes a fishing boat. Somehow the gigantic, honky-tonk cruise ship makes it to the dock without incident.

    The crowd parts for six women in their late twenties, all wearing outfits made of feather, fur, bone and flowers. Among them, there is one with dark, wavy hair with a rose in it. She rolls her eyes and says, "It's tourist season." Four of the other five disperse, each with a basket of leis to toss around the necks of tourists–or hired help. They can't tell the difference.

    The one remaining–a huntress with painted, muscular limbs, clad in tiger hide, bone jewelry, and a single tiger lily in her matted red hair–stands patiently, her unblinking eyes on the gangplank until a family of three comes down. She looks at the mother, then the father, then the mother again, uncertain about what she should say. She looks at the teenage daughter. "You better be Ariel. Everyone else on the ship is too wimpy." She scratches her head, then smiles at the girl she (correctly) assumes to be Ariel. "I'm Lily."

    Aside from the magician's family, the rest of the hired help is directed to a different exit than that used by the wealthy tourists. Some of the men grumble, but a bare-knuckle brawler with missing teeth shrugs it off, saying, "We're all equal at Drunk Monk's." When a deckhand mumbles an inquiry, the brawler replies, "A tavern, stupid!"



    Our story begins where the play-testing left off.

    Pale Jackal and Reaver are in the tavern, helping Hanako clean up. Bouldergut is with them, as is his wife Jade, though she is in no shape to do heavy work. Instead, she mixes some herbs.

    Anyone who enters sees the mess, then immediately turns to take business elsewhere, though some give silver coins to the nun. Hanako bows to those who do, thanking them for their donations.

    Diana sees her daughter has met her trainer, Lily.

    Cookie got off the boat with the hired help.

    Here is the amount of money you happen to have on you:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Cookie: $459
    Diana: $430
    Pale Jackal: $507 (started with $406, spent $1, searched enemy and found $101)
    Reaver: $0



    1 silver coin = $1
    1 gold coin = $10

    Silver coins are sometimes called "maidens," while gold coins are sometimes called "jacks." Each has the image of a deity. Because The Maiden is the goddess of shopping, clothing and purity, silver coins are often used for purchasing clothing. Silver is never used in weapon shops, casinos or brothels. Fine outfits are often priced with a number ending in 9.
    Drunk Monk's

    Bouldergut presents Reaver with his upgraded katana. "I hope it's not too shiny for your taste. Ehh… you'll bloody it up soon enough if any of them Skull Ravagers–"

    Jade cuts him off with a gently caress to his shoulder. "Let's not speak of this," she says. "I will make you some herbal tea. I dare not drink it for the sake of our child, but the tea will dull your sense of smell. This will help you clean up the entrails." She smiles at Reaver, knowing all too well he would insist on handling the messy work.

    She turns to Pale Jackal. "I will understand if you do not wish to help with this. I am grateful for what you have already done. If anything happened to Hanako, I…"
     
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  2. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    The upgrade that Master Bouldergut made to my Katana natana is utterly astounding!

    The blade is now plated with shimmering silver and the Roku-Roku symbols for peace, harmony and divine justice expertly stamped into the metal just above the hilt.

    Even Bouldergut's lovely wife Jade was incredibly kind enough to re-wrap my sword's threadbare handle with braided pana silk dyed to match the color of my robes.

    I prostrate myself before the mismatched yet undeniably perfect couple:

    "Master Bouldergut, Mistress Jade... Words cannot express my deepest gratitude to you both. May the blessings of The Spirit continue to rain upon you. And should ever be in need of my sword again, I am eternally your humble servant."

    I rise and say to dear Hanako: "Thank you, lovely maiden, for everything. The offer I extend to Bouldergut and Jade applies to you and your people."

    With that, I bow to them all humbly then turn and leave Hanako's tavern. To my surprise, a group of Roku Roku men bearing musical instruments have assembled outside and when they see me, begin to enthusiastically play a song written for me by a local over a decade ago entitled "Don't fear the Reaver."




    As I head toward the docks to board the Black and Blue Oyster, I can't help but think that the song could use more cowbell.
     
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  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Diana reads Lily's lips with a smile, but lets the others handle the talking. She slips her hand into her husband's, shifting the satchel slung over one shoulder and feeling its contents slide around. Hopefully the bottle of ink hasn't leaked and spilled all over the parchments.

    Ariel smiles at the redhead, a faint flush of pride rising to her freckled cheeks at the assertion that she is the opposite of wimpy. "I am. Happy to be here." Her fingers tighten on the leather grip of her bow as excitement courses through her. She turns to her father and stepmother and says, "Hopefully I'll have a new wardrobe next time I see you."

    Vincent chuckles, and he and Diana hug her together. Vincent kisses his daughter's forehead between her pale gold curls. "I should hope so. Take care, alright? I love you. Make me proud."

    Ariel hugs him tighter. "I will! Love you too!"

    She lets them go and steps back, then turns back to Lily and takes a deep breath. Her eyes sparkle as she looks at the island stretched out before her, waiting for her to discover its secrets.

    Satisfied that Ariel will be fine, Diana turns to board the Blue and Black Oyster alongside Vincent.
     
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  4. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Pale Jackal, Jack of All Trades, Master of All Trades, Trader of All Trades

    I nod to Jade. "I have no intention of lingering any longer unless you have copious amounts of maidens and jacks to bestow upon me. I will take a check of rain for your next thrashing, Bouldergut. I hope you bring a pocket full of coin. With that, I bid you all adieu. I'm not sure what that means, but I heard it somewhere once before I strangled the life out of a three-eyed pirate."

    I follow the samurai outside. If there is coin to be made, it could be done riding his coattails. Or the tail of whatever get-up he was wearing.

    I see a boat arrive. Or I guess it's a boat. What the hell is that? I endeavor to find out. Boats are full of people. People make my world go 'round. If my world stops going 'round, I will get dizzy. Now I'm dizzy. Ugh.

    My knees buckle and I fall to the ground. "I'm fine. Just forgetting this world is not round. Or it is? Hmm..."
     
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  5. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Lily signals Ariel to follow. For some reason, she seems very shy around the parents but sounds confident when she talks to Ariel.

    "Let's get away from the snobby tourists. Your mom and dad were kind to endure that crowd to get you here. I'll make it worth their trouble…"

    From what Vincent tells Diana, Lily and Ariel are talking up a storm, but he can't make out what they're saying as the pair moves past the crowd.



    Boarding the Ship
    The captain and a couple of large men allow Diana and Vincent to pass. But when Reaver and the Pale Jackal attempt to board, the men puff up their chests.

    "Idiots," the captain mumbles. His men don't seem to hear the comment. "I'm Captain Robert Jay Goldenrod. Cap'n Bob for short. The bruisers behind me mean well, but… what they mean is you ain't no tourists. Unless you're prepared to part with eighty jacks, I suggest you work for me. No pay in it, but you don't need to pay me neither—and you eat what the rich folks eat."

    He points to a bulletin board.

    "Check out the job postings, and let me know if you're interested. Best deal you can get, men."

    Earn yourself a free ride to Asahi Beach!

    Open Positions
    guard (1)
    bare-knuckle brawler (4)
    deckhand (8)
    cabin boy (3)
    cabin girl (6) female escort
    cook (2) 1
    magician (1)

    If we get enough brawlers, we'll have ourselves a tournament. Winner gets $2000!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
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  6. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Diana

    I keep my hand in Vincent's, and look all around as we board the ship. There's so much to see -- I don't want to miss a thing. I catch snatches of conversation on the lips of those we pass, but never enough to make much sense. I hope it won't be too hard to communicate by writing. I brought plenty of ink and parchment, and quills to spare.

    I let go of Vincent's hand and tap his shoulder to get his attention, then sign to him. Where are we staying?

    He smiles and casts a spell, writing his answer in the air as he often does. He uses a deep blue this time, my favorite. I'll let you know when we get there. Let's enjoy the sights for now.

    I nod as the writing fades, and drink in all there is to experience. Well, almost all. A group of musicians are playing nearby, their song never to reach my ears. Vincent's lips start to move as we pass them, and I wonder if he's singing along. I can't quite read the words; his face is turned a little aside from me, his eyes on the musicians.
     
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  7. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    Reaver: Knight-Errant of Ashterah turned Samurai...

    I bow humbly to Captain Goldenrod.

    "It has been far too long, Captain, but it does my heart good to see you as master and commander of such a fine vessel. I see that The Oyster is much larger in size and with a far grander design than your ill-fated Love Boat. I was sorry to hear of its scuttling. I only wish I was aboard at that time to prevent the tragedy. Well, nonetheless, it appears that the gods deem it necessary for our paths to cross once again and if you'll be so kind as to hire me on as a guard, I will do my utmost to protect the ship, her crew and passengers."
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  8. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Meanwhile...

    ...A stout little figure of a man with a peg leg and a dirty white apron ambled his way up to Drunk Monk's. Upon reaching the door and seeing the wreckage inside, he lets out a huge laugh and slaps his belly with mirth. "So THIS be where the good times are! he says. Harr harr! I'd ask ye for a flagon o' grog, but I be seein' yer done havin a good ol' time. So insedd, let me be sayin' my name's Cookie, and I be wishin' ye well. I'm off to stoke the stove again!"

    With that, the jaunty little man turned and hobbled his way back through the crowd to the pier. Upon catching sight of Cap'n Bob, he waved and shouted "Ahoy, Cap'n! It be lookin like the mornin' after shore leave in yon tavern. So insedd I figured I'd get back yurr an' ask for an advance on me grog ration this day. I've a notion to sets me throat on fire!"

    Looking around him, Cookie blurts out "Well, well! I see we 'ave some tough customers boardin' our vessel. Litrally! Welcome! And ye thinks yer tough enough, why not test yer mettle 'gainst my latest side dish: Jumbo Brine Shrimp an' Gull Egg an' Grog Fondue!"
     
  9. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Pale Jackal

    I look at the Job Posting. "Brawlers wanted. I suppose I could that. But I won't. However, I will place bets. Yes, that sounds like a grand idea."

    My eyes shift over to one of the tourists. "You didn't hear that."

    I'll go talk to this Capt. Goldenrod about being a deckhand. That way, I can see all manner of happenings. I can clean all the livelong day and plot how I will take care of this fellow who sent me the letter. Perhaps I will choke him. Choke him until something breaks and bursts.
     
  10. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Cap'n Bob's guards shift nervously at the stout, loud cook, but Cap'n Bob doesn't flinch.

    "Your recipes are very... interesting, Cookie. I'd like you to be head chef for the casino deck." He turns to one of his men. "Cookie wants grog, give him some." To Cookie he adds, "Just add the... uh... usual amount for the food. The casino deck does well when they do the meals your way. I know some of the chefs have... opinions, stylistic differences. Anyone has a problem with the grog, you tell 'em take it up with Cap'n Bob."

    To Reaver, the Cap'n says apologetically, "I didn't recognize you in that get-up. So it's official then, you training with Rubi. You might not have saved my last ship, but you saved lives. You pick your station - either on the casino deck during the brawler's tourney, or on the upper deck during the magic show. The former is where you can expect a bit of trouble; the latter is if you want to take it easy." Eyeing Reaver's blood-stained outfit, and wounds that (possibly to Reaver's surprise) were clearly recent, and healed by some sort of magic, he goes on, "If I were you, I'd... well, I'm not you. I hung up my sword decades ago." He does his best to bow as a samurai would, though his crooked back limits this motion. "Welcome aboard."
     
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  11. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    I return the Captain's bow and say: "I will go to the casino. But first, I'd like to buy some new robes. Is there a clothing shop or laundry aboard this ship?"
     
  12. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "New robe, huh?" Cap'n Bob signals the guard in blue to come closer. "Bring 'im to Daphne."

    The guard in black mumbles, "Fine piece o' tail, that one."

    The captain gives the kind of look that's normally followed by a punch, but his voice is composed, "Comments like that are the reason Blue Lou always brings people to Daphne."

    "Ah'ma poifect gennelmun," Blue Lou says.
     
  13. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    I give the Captain a grateful nod and motion for the guard to lead the way. As we pass among the throngs of passengers, an uneasy feeling begins to creep over me. The ship's security force is far too small to protect this many people effectively.

    I close my eyes and offer a silent prayer that The Warrior grant me and my fellow guardsmen the strength and fortitude to do our job well.
     
  14. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Party of Five

    Reaver
    Blue Lou tries to defend his fellow guard, who he alternately refers to as Black Bart and Sherrif Bart. "Sherrif don' mean nuthin'. Whenny sez piece o'tail, he meanses..."

    Reaver sees a woman behind a counter. For a taylor, she wears very little cloth--at least in comparison to the amount of sea shells she's wearing.

    "Welcome, Reaver. The Captain sent you," says this woman Reaver has never met as if her words are common knowledge. Her green eyes lock onto the guard. He steps back as if almost knocked over by her look. "You may go now, Blue Lou. Reaver will not harm me. If Bart wants to be assigned to me again, tell him to stop talking about my tail. People have misconceptions. I hear them."

    When the guard leaves, she goes on. "You already have a dark blue outfit." She says this as if answering Reaver, but he has not yet spoken. In fact, he finds he is unable to speak at all. "Will you insist on your favorite color, or do you have something else in mind? Oh, you... well, I'll let you say it."

    Whatever stopped Reaver from speaking a moment ago has passed.
    Don't forget that the GM knows your favorite color. When we get to the Bridge of Death, answer that question carefully.


    Diana
    Diana and Vincent are asked to wait in the common room on the upper deck. This is where Vincent will perform in the evening.

    Most of Vincent's magic tricks involve illusions and telekinesis, but from what he's sensed, the well-dressed passengers aren't impressed with telekinesis. He has another trick that'll wow the crowd, but wonders if that depends too much on the volunteer being an interesting person.

    While Vincent looks around for volunteers, a young woman--some might even say 'girl'--sheepishly approaches the table. She looks at Diana. Desperation. Dispair. Need. Hope. These words appear on her forehead. Of course, Diana knows Vincent's handwriting. Lust. He crosses that last one out almost as quickly as the words appear.



    Cookie
    Oscar Z'No, formerly Head Chef, recently demoted to Assistant to the Head Chef, turns his nose up as Cookie is led into the kitchen. 'Sherrif' Bart turns sideways in order to fit through the door while carrying a keg of grog on each bicep.

    Oscar says to Cookie, "Head or not, I must insist!" He places a glass of wine on a hearth. "The wisp--daughter of our god, The Great Chef--she shall bathe in this glass of wine, as should the meal we prepare for our guests. She shall only grace us with her presence if the meal is marinated in the same spirit as the cuisine!

    "If you wish to see the wisp, you must cook with wine! Not grog!"

    He turns. Then looks back. "Wine!" He adjusts his tone slightly, adding, "Red, monsieur, if we are having red meat. White with fish."



    Shan Mai
    The head chef on the upper deck is more of a wine man himself. Shan Mai overheard Z'No's outburst as he passed the casino deck. Maybe Z'No should work for this guy.

    Maybe Shan Mai isn't too crazy about his boss. The head chef--who has not yet introduced himself--seems to be well acquainted with the bottle.

    "Little bitch!" His voice is slurred. He stumbles. "She said one would appear tonight." He doesn't clarifiy who he's talking about. "How drunk must I be to see her?"



    Pale Jackal
    PJ is led to the casino deck, along with the a few other deckhands. A large man with brick-like fists and flesh made entirely of callouses strides by. A smaller man glares at brick-fists through the eye-holes in his mask.

    A young deckhand looks up in awe at the caged arena where tonight's fight will take place.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Diana

    I look up as a girl approaches our table, and tilt my head slightly as Vincent writes in the air, letting me know what he can sense of her feelings. I can see from the look on her face that she is troubled, but about what, I can't be sure. Lust? Vincent crosses out the word almost as soon as he finishes writing it; the girl's eyes are on me the whole time, not him. I'm not sure what to think of this.

    I smile at her, hoping to assuage her unease, then gesture for her to wait a moment while I rummage in my satchel for writing supplies. I write quickly, but clearly, and hold up the parchment so the girl can read it. Hello. Is there something we can help you with?
     
  16. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Diana

    "Oh, uh…!"

    The girl is surprised by your need to write. She starts writing letters in the air. Of course you can't read them like you can your husband's. She also fails to consider that the letters would appear backwards if you could see them. She speaks slowly as she letters.

    "Yes… fat… rich… guy… likes… me… I…" She pauses. You notice Vincent just wrote, She reads lips, young lady.

    The girl covers her mouth to stifle a giggle, then she mouths, Fat Man will not hear me either if you only need to see me talk. I made a huge huge mistake. I took a job. Not a pleasant one. And I am afraid. I need to get to the mainland. But not like this. You are a shield maiden right? Well. A married one. With a daughter. I saw her. And I was think–

    She mouths something unfitting a dolled up little lady as a fat man cuts her off, "Beatrice! There you are." He looks at you. "Come, my daughter." Then to you and Vincent, he apologizes, "I hope she isn't giving you trouble. Accept my humble apologies."

    On his forehead is one word: Liar.
    I'm going to start the game in "Tutorial Mode." I did the same for the test, by the way. So expect to see tips in spoiler tags for the first month.

    Diana now needs to make a choice…

    If she wants to talk to the fat man, there is no such thing as a "charisma check." If you're charismatic, your role-playing will drive that. Not a d20.

    If Diana wants to hit the fat man in the face with her shield to knock the fat man out cold, the d20 decides that. A 20 will inflict enough damage to KO a non-adventurer. I can't promise a 16-19 will. This ain't the movies–one-punching someone usually doesn't work.

    Anyway, I'm not posting this to hint at an action. I kinda hope Ireth posts before seeing this edit so I don't influence her in any way. What I'm really saying is this: if you roll the d20, you're taking an action. If you just mean to talk, don't roll!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
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  17. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Diana

    I read the young woman's lips as she gives her explanation, and nod in sympathy as I reason what sort of job she must have taken. Poor girl!

    The arrival of a large man draws my attention, and I take in both the words on his lips and the one Vincent writes on his forehead. I smile at him and shake my head, dread prickling at the back of my neck. How can we be rid of this man? I will fight if I must to keep Beatrice safe -- no one deserves to be in her place! -- but causing such a stir on what was supposed to be a peaceful cruise is not my idea of relaxing.

    Vincent

    "No trouble at all, my good man," I say to him with a smile, as the word Liar fades from sight. "We were just talking."

    My body tenses, but my voice and expression are calm. The sight of Beatrice and the fat man together, and the knowledge of what that means, makes my stomach turn. Thank the gods my Ariel is safe on Roku-Roku! But how should we deal with this? I have a few tricks up my sleeve; it's just a matter of choosing between them...

    ((Hope it's okay that I dove into Vincent's POV there even though he's not my main PC. Wasn't sure how to communicate what he'd say otherwise, since it's hard for Diana to read his lips when they're both looking at the fat man.))
     
  18. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    It was like coming out of a fever dream. The last coherent thought I had was when I entered the tailor's small shop and saw blazing emerald green eyes so mesmerizing I felt as if my mind and soul were no longer mine.

    When I regained my composure, the guard who calls himself Blue Lou had disappeared as though he'd been nothing more than a wisp of smoke. The scantily clad beauty had asked me a question and for the life of me I couldn't remember what it was.

    "I er, I... Who--How do you know my name?"
     
  19. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Diana

    The fat man says to Vincent, "Yes. Talking. Very well then." He takes Beatrice by the arm. She submits, looking defeated. He doesn't need to use force. "How many times have I warned you about talking to strangers?"

    She looks back, eyes welling with tears. "Can't we watch the magic show before we head to our room?" she asks.



    Reaver

    "You look like a Reaver," she explains. "Now for your measurements. Done." She says this without having moved at all. "But for the color, I need to hear the words. Sometimes I read the customer's thought—no, it's not a problem you don't have money. The Captain is taking care of this.—and the customer changes his mind. So the choice must be made verbally."

    She smiles as she leans forward on the counter. The shells don't reveal anything, though you're pretty sure the necklace is defying the laws of physics in order to keepher covered.

    "I know what you're thinking. I can't help it. But what I don't know is if you'll be as disappointed as the other men when you see what I am. But I can't help that either."

    You hear a light splashing sound, and realize the woman is submerged in some kind of a bath behind the counter. She beckons you to move closer so you can see over the counter. You take a step forward, though it seems you have no choice. That's when you see she's a fish from the waist down.
     
  20. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Vincent

    Diana meets my gaze, and her thoughts are crystal clear. We have to do something, and fast, before Beatrice is hurt.

    I nod, then turn to the fat man with a nonchalant smile. "I see no reason why I can't start the show a little early."

    Diana beckons Beatrice to her side, while I stand up and stretch. I smile briefly at Beatrice, but focus my thoughts on the fat man -- specifically, his shoelaces. With a thought and a touch of magic, I attempt to knot the laces together. Let him try to take the lady back to her room when he can't walk properly. It ought to slow him down, at least.

    [​IMG]

    Not strong enough -- nothing happens. Oh well. I keep watching the fat man, wondering what his next move will be. If he tries anything toward the lady, my wife or me, I will not hesitate to use force. And neither, she assures me, will Diana.


    ((It occurs to me that Vincent seems much more like a primary character than Diana... I'm not sure if that's a problem as of yet. Possibly it's due to the amount of verbal interaction needed before the fighting starts, if it starts soonish. It's just a little more natural to have Vincent jump in there, since he doesn't need to read lips in order to know what Beatrice, for example, is saying when she talks to the Fat Man. Having Diana write down everything she wants to say might turn out a little awkwardly, plus it would tie her hands if she needs them to fight, which would not be good.))
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
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