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The Endless Hunt: Season 2, An Explosive Island

Discussion in 'Machiavel: Ambition' started by Legendary Sidekick, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    REAVER-
    “Now that,” I replied to the wizened gentleman with a respectful bow, “is quite the story indeed. If you and your companions will do me the great honor of joining me for a drink, I’ll tell you how my associate, the famed gladiator Ultimus Manimus, and I found our way to lovely Hanna’s fine establishment.”
     
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Master Rubi

    Reaver


    The master swordsman bows to Reaver in return.

    "I would be honored."

    The old man moves swiftly, keeping his left thumb against the tsuba[SUP]1[/SUP] of the sheathed katana tucked into his obi[SUP]2[/SUP] and through his hakama[SUP]3[/SUP]. His top knot, beard and red robe flow behind him. The crowd parts, clearing a path to Reaver's table.

    [SUP]1. guard
    2. belt
    3. wide-legged pants worn by samurai
    [/SUP]
    Rubi sits at the end of the table formerly occupied by Bouldergut.

    "They call me Master Rubi. Perhaps listening to your story will buy those idiots enough time to leave the island. Their stupidity will get them killed on the continent instead."

    Manimus isn't sure how to take what Master Rubi is saying.

    "I do not disapprove of your friend's actions. Nor yours, Ultimus Manimus. When you rose from your seat with that hammer, the other bodyguards hesitated. If one of them had handled the situation, we would not have cleaned the blood of one arm. It would have been the blood of four bodies."

    Bouldergut interrupts, "Aw, man... I'm not even gone for five minutes and now they're mopping blood off the floor and somebody stole my seat!"

    A slight hint of a smile indates that Rubi sees humor in Bouldergut's words. "These two were the first to respond. They deserve the full payment."

    "Aw, man!" Bouldergut motions toward Reaver. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to get this guy to accept payment? Luckily the big one is shameless about asking for stuff, so it all works out."

    Again, Manimus doesn't know what to think.

    "I'm just messing with your head because I'm in a good mood. You really looked out for my little sister! Follow me."

    Bouldergut leads Manimus to the door.

    "Lily will need to take your measurements for some hide armor. While she's crafting it, I can teach you how to make the best use of that hammer."

    Hanna leaves a shou of sake[SUP]4[/SUP] at the table. Rubi pours for Reaver first, then himself. He sips the steaming beverage, patiently awaiting Reaver's tale.

    [SUP]4. bottle of rice wine

    [/SUP]
    (REAVER is talking to MASTER RUBI...)

    (MANIMUS is being measured for armor, and BOULDERGUT is revealing a secret of the Lava Core Hammer...)
     
  3. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    The Adventures of Reaver and Manimus on Roku-Roku Isalnd Thus Far...

    REAVER-

    I bowed my head respectfully at my honored elder and took a long sip of the rice wine. He exuded an aura of wisdom and patience, so I knew that telling him that this tale would take quite a while wasn't necessary.
    So, after I poured the ancient master another cup of sake, I began at the beginning:

    "Well, it all began when I decided to take on a rather mundane job as a personal security guard on board a sailing vessel captained by an old friend of mine.
    And I have to admit, I must've been completely off my cracker to have agreed to take this assignment. There was absolutely no chance of any real danger threatening that old ship. In truth, I wasn't even sure who I was charged with protecting.

    My employer simply handed me a large bag overflowing with Gold Argents and said: "Keep an eye on my little girl."

    I looked into the bag, and was quite overwhelmed by the exorbitant amount of gold. Then I asked: "What's her name? What does she look like? What cabin is she staying in?"

    My employer shrugged and replied: "Well, er...you see, I've never actually met her."

    "What?" I asked, incredulous. "How's that even possible? You're her mother!"

    "Well, I mean, sure, I gave birth to her,” the girl's mother replied, a guilty look on her refined face, "But I didn't raise her. That's what nursemaids and the rest of my husband's staff were for. I mean, by Bouldergut's Hammer, breastfeeding? Changing diapers? Teaching them things? Ughhh!"

    I didn't even bother responding to that. I simply grabbed my duffel bag and boarded the ship.

    Even though the Captain and I go way back, and were quite good friends, I was still pleasantly surprised at how nice my stateroom was. After unpacking and safely stowing my gold, I donned my weapons, specialized armor, my travelling clothes and cloak.

    From that point on, I began patrolling the ship, keeping an eye out for trouble. I have to say that I was very troubled by the male to female ratio. I expected a fight to break out at any moment. A scuffle over the scantily clad ladies' affections was of no real consequence.

    If something happened, I was ready.

    As I looked around, the only real threat I could see was Ultimus Manimus, the famed gladiator.

    He'd arrived just before the ship got underway: his large retinue of beautiful women in tow, fawning over him as if he were Adonai's gift.

    He seemed completely indifferent to them and they all packed themselves into his cabin, the largest on the ship, and stayed in there for quite a long time.

    It was nice to be out to sea again. The fresh salt air was cool, taking the bite out the hot, sunny day.

    As I walked onto the main deck, I was quite taken aback to see Manimus, clad in frighteningly tight shorts and shirt, leading a large group of young men in some odd form of exercise.

    All the girls were by the bar...looking bored and drinking heavily.

    Within moments, there was a loud crack of cannon fire and a medium-sized pirate ship came within mere feet of the sailing vessel. There were about thirty of them: unbathed, shabbily-clothed and scurvy-ridden.
    I knew instantly that they were poorly trained and highly disorganized. Soon after a portly looking privateer began barking orders and then he yelled: "Avast! Prepare ta' be boarded! Surrender an' we might spare yer lives!"

    Well, now, I thought with amusement. What have we here? Some sort of pirates? At last! A little bit of excitement in an otherwise mundane assignment. Someone up there is smiling down upon me.

    I decided that perhaps I should try to communicate with them:
    "You there! Drop your weapons and I'll spare your lives!"

    No response, other than stupid looks at one another.

    Oh well, more's the pity. I moved toward them with my usual speed and agility, drawing my runic blades from their scabbards. I still believe that they weren't expecting someone like me to be aboard this "pleasure cruise".

    They never do.

    "Manimus!" I said as calmly as I ever could, "Quit wasting time with those two idiots and protect the women!"

    The gladiator nodded and grabbed two buccaneers by their heads, smashing them together before trotting over to the bar.

    I laughed with glee as the pirate's heads exploded into a shower of blood, skull fragments and brain matter after Manimus slammed their heads together. However, my bliss was short-lived the moment I had to turn my attention back to their fellow privateers.

    I decided to step onto the plank, thus giving them a good look at what they faced should they decide to continue with their foolish pursuit. As much as I would relish slicing these poorly organized fools to ribbons, I thought it might be best to at least try to appeal to their limited sense of reason:
    "Who is master among you fine men?"

    "Who are ye' ta be askin' who are cap'n be?" one of the dregs queried. He appeared to be better dressed than the others and a bit cleaner...less stricken with scurvy.

    It was painfully obvious that this moron was their leader. No matter what they chose, his head was going to be my trophy.

    I hate it when people answer my questions with a question.

    "Why, I'm Reaver, of course," I replied.

    There was a chorus of loud whispering and harrumphing as the motley crew talked among themselves.

    As I expected, those idiotic pirates made the wrong choice and decided to go on the offensive. My runic blades quickly dispatched the first two, sending their heads tumbling through the air. The surprised look on their faces as they cascaded down into the crystal blue water was priceless.

    Much to my disappointment, I was only able to dispatch a baker's dozen before the unpredictable sea swelled violently, causing the pirate ship to lurch suddenly. The peg-legged captain gave an odd yelping sound as he stumbled forward and collided with me, his ungainly mass knocking me overboard.

    Fortunately, my martial-arts training allowed me land in the warm, clear sea somewhat gracefully; and once I gained the surface, I quickly stowed my runic blades in their scabbards. Despite my skill as a swimmer, my armor had soaked up quite a bit of the salty liquid and had increased in weight significantly, making it incredibly difficult to stay buoyant.

    As I struggled to tread water, I heard a great commotion coming from the ships above. I barely had time to process what was happening when I was nearly knocked unconscious by two wooden barstools that someone had tossed at me.

    At first I thought it might have been one of the pirates who'd thrown them, a vain attempt at retribution for the bloodbath I'd unleashed upon his shipmates. But just then, the gladiator Manimus looked down at me and smiled; giving me a thumb's up before he leapt onto the pirate ship with a scream the likes of which I'd never heard.

    I took hold of the two barstools, pulling them close to me. They made excellent flotation devices, allowing me to rest my burning muscles. The sound of snapping bones and screaming pirates rained down from above for several minutes before it finally stopped.

    Then, much to my horror, Manimus stepped to the edge of the pirate ship and made several dramatic poses as if he were preparing to dive in to save me.

    "No!" I yelled at the fool, "Manimus! Go and get a rope! Don't dive in!"

    But my words fell on deaf ears. With a grace that belied the gladiator's massive size, Manimus dove in.

    Now what were we going to do?


    With the warm, fast moving undercurrent pulling me toward the not too distant shore and no hope of returning to the ship because the idiot gladiator had jumped into the water, there was no choice but to quite literally "go with the flow". In retrospect, this was quite fortuitous, because I yearned for the excitement of the unknown adventures that lay ahead.

    As I kicked toward shore using the barstools that Manimus had nearly taken my head off with, I tried not to laugh as he dog-paddled next to me, sputtering and whining in the gently bobbing water. At one point I offered him one of the stools, but he flatly refused, stating that he was just fine.

    It took us about twenty minutes to reach the shore. Had I not had to drag Manimus' flailing, spasming bulk the last thirty feet, it would've taken half that time. Once his feet touched the sand, he prostrated himself, kissing it and thanking Adonai with a loud, tearful prayer for giving him the strength to rescue me.
     
  4. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    "The beautiful Hanna brought us another bottle of sake, and after the honorable master and I thanked her, I continued my tale:

    "Directly in front of us was a large, dense-looking jungle, comprised of very tall, coconut-laden palm trees and berry-filled shrubs.

    I immediately recognized them: baneberries. I know that I don't have to describe what they are to you, master samurai, so I'll skip that part.

    I also noticed a large plume of smoke rising up from the other side. The possibilty of fire meant someone-or something awaited us there. But that didn't seem all that important to me at that particular moment.

    "Manimus," I said, trying not to laugh, "You look absolutely famished. Have some of those berries. They're delicious."

    The gladiator didn't even hesitate. He dashed toward the closest bush and started wolfing them down by the handful.

    "By the Android's Shining Red Feather," he exclaimed with a berry-stained smile, "These are absolutely divine!"

    Within minutes, the gladiator stopped his feasting and dropped his arms to his sides, staring blankly at something that only he could see. "Whoa," he said in quiet wonderment, "I like, can't believe it!"

    "What is it?" I asked, unable to stifle a chuckle.

    "The Unicorn King," Manimus replied matter-of-factly. "He's glorious."

    Before I could respond, the muscle-bound fool darted into the jungle. I cursed myself for having such a dark sense of humor.

    As I chased the hallucinating fool through the thickening rainforest, the sweet smell of roasting pig filled my nostrils. That meant that civilized folk were nearby.

    I have to admit that I was famished and perhaps I could offer my services in exchange for room and board. This would provide me with the opportunity to converse with the locals, thereby gaining much-needed information about this place and its inhabitants.

    I would be remiss to not give credit to the gladiator: He was in excellent shape and ran quite fast for a man of his size. I was thoroughly winded by the time I caught up with him. We'd run through three quarters of the jungle and had reached a medium-sized farm set in the middle of a semi-circular clearing.

    Manimus had found his way into the goat pen and was on his hands and knees: speaking some sort of loud gibberish to a small, very frightened one-horned goat that he'd cornered. The gladiator's skin had turned a dark green, his honey colored locks the color of pitch. I'd forgotten the other side-effect of eating baneberries.

    The owner of the farm stood near the gate, armed with a wooden pitch fork while his wife and eight children looked on in horrified wonder at the spectacle unfolding in front of them. He looked extremely relieved when I pushed my way through the brush and into the clearing:
    "Thank Adonai for you, good sir! Surely The Creator has sent you to vanquish this incredible hulk of a menace!"
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  5. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    The master samurai chuckled at this and I couldn't help laughing myself:

    "Suddenly, the six and a half foot tall Manimus began to shrink and widen, his skin taking on the appearance of dark brown rock, even his hair had disappeared.

    "Indeed," I replied, trying to withhold raucous laughter: "But regretfully I must ask a favor in exchange for my services."

    "Anything!" the farmer replied anxiously. "Anything at all! Just get rid of that...thing!"

    "I will need room and board for at least a week, perhaps more. I can pay you in gold talents if need be. I have other forms of currency if that's not acceptable. In fact, I'm not quite sure where I am; let alone what the local currency is."

    "Payment is not necessary!" the farmer screeched. "Just save my goat!"

    "Very well," I smiled, walking over to the pen and walking through the gate, "this will only take a moment."

    I reached into my Bag of Holding and withdrew a tiny leather pouch, untying the small leather cord that held it closed. Then I walked over to Manimus and emptied the sparkling greenish-red powder it contained over the gladiator's head.

    Manimus immediately stopped his loud gibberish and involuntarily inhaled the small billowing cloud surrounding him from the neck up. Within seconds, Manimus had changed back to his normal appearance, shook his head wildly and leapt to his feet.

    A look of abject confusion was plastered to his face. It was hilarious.

    "L-like, where am I?" he queried.

    I looked over at the farmer for an answer.

    "Roku-Roku Island," he responded, his voice filled with awe.

    "There you have it," I added with a chuckle. "You owe these fine people an apology for terrorizing their goats."

    "What?" Manimus said, the look of confusion deepening, "The-the Unicorn King..."

    "What in Sheol's name is he talking about?" the farmer's wife demanded.

    I answered her with a broad smile and a shrug. She reciprocated, albeit a smile that was filled with questions.

    "Come," said the farmer, ushering us toward his thatch-roofed home. "The pig is nearly done and we were just preparing for dinner before all this commotion began...please join us."

    "How generous," I beamed. "Awfully nice of them to invite us to dinner," I added, turning to Manimus: "Considering what you did to their poor innocent goat."

    "B-but like, the Unicorn King..." the gladiator replied dejectedly, "...told me that I could be the savior of his kingdom if I fought the Great Slavering Liger of the Red Mane."


    I looked at the poor, half-crazed man's serious face for nearly a minute before laughing hysterically.

    "Why don't you tell us all about it...” I said, wiping tears from my eyes, "while we eat?"


    After our lovely feast and fellowship with that wonderful family, the oldest daughter presented Manimus with a wooden pitchfork. The head of the household mentioned something about the hundreds of red-maned ligers roaming the jungle and the problems they were causing with livestock.

    He also mentioned something about a bounty for their manes and tails. No more needed to be said.

    The gladiator and I headed north through the dense jungle. I drew both of my runic blades, focusing all my senses on our surroundings. For the first time, I was glad to have Manimus nearby, his loud crashing, bumbling and cursing were sure to attract the attention of a hungry Red Maned Liger.

    As we made our way up a steep, heavily forested hill, there was an extremely loud rumbling followed by a great trembling of the ground.

    After nearly being killed by some sort of seemingly random and unnecessarily loud volcanic activity, I found myself staring in abject aloofness at some sort of large crystal sitting in the middle of a large crater.

    I decided to throw caution to the wind and allow the muscle-bound oaf enter the smoldering pit and bring it out.
    "Oh, I doubt very much that you can pick it up," I chided. "I'm willing to bet that it's far too heavy. Even for someone with your physical prowess."

    The famed gladiator looked incredibly offended. "Like, I could, like, totally pick that shiny rock up, dude. You're like, so totally off your... like...like, shut up, dude."

    After doing several odd stretching exercises, Manimus walked to the edge of the crater and hopped down inside.

    The gladiator Manimus hefted the large crystal onto his massive shoulder and we began our trek southeast to Hanna’s tavern.


    We were greeted by a very lovely young woman and her brother, whom I recognized immediately as Bouldergut the Barbarian. Which I must say is quite the misnomer. Barbarians, while skilled fighters, lack restraint in the heat of battle. Lord Bouldergut is the very definition of compsure in the thick of combat.

    After bringing us some refreshing ale and two menus, dear Hanna asked what reward would we like for bringing her the massive crystal.

    I replied to the lovely Hanna standing before me: "The Lava Core Hammer will do nicely, thank you. As you may have noticed, my friend here is only armed with a wooden pitchfork. I'm sure that he would be extremely happy and grateful to put such a fine weapon to good use here on this tropic paradise you call home. And I must confess that I'm famished. However, I must ask: Do you have a menu that's written in Common? I'm afraid I'm not familiar with your country's exotic language."

    I looked over to Manimus, who was holding the menu upside down, and then back to the beautiful Hanna: "And might I trouble you further to request a menu with pictures?"

    Lovely Hanna obliged and then offered to give us free drinks.

    "You're too kind, miss," I replied with a smile. "And you too, good sir! But I must insist that you allow me to purchase our drinks. May I ask what manner of gold currency you prefer? I have Gold Talents, Gold Argents, Gold Regents, Gold-Pressed Platinum, Gold Farthings and I even have Gold Coco-Roco-Innae-Wabba-Tooahs from the Desert Realms."

    Then the great Bouldergut asked who we were and if we might stay for a while to provide a bit of security against boorish patrons who often acted disrespectfully toward the beautiful and kindhearted Hanna.

    "Lord Bouldergut! Please excuse my rudeness! I am Reaver, knight errant of the Kingdom of Ashterah. It would both an honor and a pleasure to assist you and your dear sister in anyway possible. However, your offer of a free room is too generous. I must insist that you allow us to pay for any room and board we partake of during our time here. My honor and oath as a knight will not allow anything less."

    Lord Bouldergut generously hired Manimus and I, and we were honored to be there.

    It was around midnight when a group of four loud and discourteous curs entered dear Hanna’s establishment, barking orders for food and drink as if they owned the place.

    Manimus and I were sitting at a table in the far left corner, patiently waiting for them to give even the slightest offense to our employer.

    The gladiator and I didn’t have to wait long. A fat, balding, pig of a man with a scraggly beard and a badly-healed broken nose was the first of the dregs to offend the lovely Hanna:
    “Oy! Wench! Bring me anudder pitcher ‘a mead!”

    Manimus grabbed the massive Lava Core Hammer resting by his feet and stood, a look of utter disgust beset into his tanned, chiseled face.

    I motioned for him to sit: “I’ll handle this filth. Keep an eye on the others, especially the one missing his front teeth—he’s concealing a blade of some sort beneath the table.”

    “Like, you got it, dude. If like, any of those ugly dudes even move, I’m like, gonna smash ‘em to tiny little bits.”

    “Well, let’s try to avoid any undue killing,” I replied. “I don’t want to sully this establishment’s stellar reputation.”

    Manimus was about to retort, but I waved it off and walked over to where the five rogues sat. A gangly-looking fellow with crossed eyes gulped down the last of his mead, wiped his unshaven chin and fixed me with a cold stare: “What a’ yew want?”

    It took everything I had not to burst out laughing. “Pardon my intrusion gentlemen,” I began in a friendly yet firm tone, “It would be greatly appreciated if you addressed the lady in a respectful manner.”

    A chubby, dark-skinned fellow with orange hair snickered loudly, elbowing Broken-nose in the side: “Oy, Lungfish! Getta load ‘a thisun! ‘E talks like a bleedin’ sissy boy doan ‘e?”

    Lungfish wolfed down two large hunks of beef before responding. He looked at me with derision and said: “Yeah, he do. Mebbe he think he bedder ‘n us. Mebbe I otta learn ‘m some manner. ”

    I gripped the handle of the runic blade hanging from my left hip and replied: “Now, let’s not be hasty, gentlemen. Boorish insults I can abide, but I will not tolerate dreadful elocution.”

    No-Teeth attempted to draw his hidden weapon and lunge for me, but he was depressingly slow and dim-witted. My razor-sharp blade sliced cleanly through the bone and sinew of his wrist, sending it flipping wildly through the air like a wounded game-fowl. The small rusty dagger that the severed hand gripped tightly hit the wooden floor with a loud clank.

    No-Teeth yowled like a love-starved owlcat, clutching the gushing wound at the end of his forearm. The other curs looked at him in stunned silence."
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  6. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    "Manimus strode up behind me and to my left, the colossal war-hammer clenched tightly in his powerful hands:
    “You losers should like, make like a tree and like, piss off, before we like, totally beat the ever-lovin’ crap outta you.”

    Lungfish smiled a rotten-toothed smile and slowly withdrew a large hide pouch: “Lookit, we doan wun enny trubble, m’ lords. We jes’ pay dissere tab n’ be ons are way.”

    He looked at Orange-Hair. “Git dat dum basserd outta ‘ere! Youse otta beea shame!”

    Both Orange-Hair and Cross-Eyes grabbed their blubbering companion and practically ran out the door with him. Lungfish plunked the leather pouch down on the table and looked over at Hanna, giving her his wretched smile: “Please fergiv me, missus. ‘M a mizzerble basserd.”

    Sweet Hanna’s only reply was a curt nod. More than the pig deserved in my opinion. The cur turned to beat a hasty retreat when I grabbed him roughly by his meaty shoulder and spun him around.

    I leveled my most intense gaze into his jaundiced, blood-shot eyes:
    “You and your vile friend would be well advised to leave Roku-Roku immediately and never return. If I ever see you again, my large comrade and I will exterminate you and feed your rotten carcasses to the beasts. Do I make myself clear?”

    I saw “the fear” etched on Lungfish’s ugly countenance. There was no need for an answer. I spun him back around and shoved him through the entrance.

    After wiping No-Teeth’s putrescent blood from my runic sword, I returned it to its scabbard and disposed of the cur’s detached hand while Manimus cleaned up the remaining mess.

    Once we’d finished, I walked up to Hanna and smiled: “I pray that my actions didn’t offend your delicate sensibilities, milady.

    And after that, Master Rubi, is when I had the distinct honor of meeting you and your esteemed colleagues.”
     
  7. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Master Rubi

    Reaver



    Master Rubi pours the last of a third shot of sake into Reaver's cup, then his own.

    He sips slowly, savoring the wine.

    "Your friend Manimus is a fool. So are you. So am I. Bouldergut is the most foolish of us all.

    "We all run toward danger instead of away from it. Some would say we are fools for that, no matter how honorable our intentions are.

    "It is fortunate that Manimus has run into you. You can teach him to be a better kind of fool.

    "I may be the same kind of fool as you are, or maybe I'm worse! So I cannot help you with that. But I would be honored to train you.

    "I trust you did not drink so much that you have lost control of your mind. If that is the case, our first lesson begins now."

    Master Rubi takes two of the empty sake bottles from the table. The third bottle, also empty, remains on the table.

    "If you wish to have your first lesson, bring that empty bottle to the dock."
     
  8. The Grey Sage

    The Grey Sage Troubadour

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    Sage Aeron Greymoore

    She had moved so fast, he hadn't even noticed. She dispatched the remaining enemies and turned to him.
    "Guess I can't meet any one normal... Now about that demon."

    Thames soared over the island and came to land on a rocky outcropping. He could sense his master was nearby but the direction was confusing. He's below me?
     
  9. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    REAVER-

    "I've yet to have my senses dulled by any form of alcohol," I replied to Master Rubi with a grin as I picked up the remaining sake bottle. "Lead the way honored teacher, for I am not entirely familiar with Roku-Roku's geography."
     
  10. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Master Rubi

    Reaver
    [​IMG]

    Reaver and Master Rubi remove the empty sake bottles from the table.

    Reaver offers to bring two of the bottles out of respect for the master. He appreciates the gesture, and moves his left thumb to the tsuba of his katana. That's when Reaver notices that Rubi's sword is similar to the katana that Hanna has for sale behind the bar.

    [​IMG]

    The only difference he can see is that Rubi's scabbard is red at the end instead of yellow.



    Rubi leads Reaver to the dock area.

    "Of course you do not know where the dock is! You arrived without a boat!"



    Rubi places his empty bottle on a wooden post on an empty dock.

    "You and I are going to have a quick-draw contest. Do not be alarmed. We are not aiming for each other. It would not be a very good lesson if only the teacher or the student survives!

    "Instead, you will draw your weapon and smash this bottle as soon as... somebody says 'go.' Hmm..."

    The master looks around.

    "Hey, you with the orange hair!"

    Orange-Hair backs up two paces and almost falls off the dock. "I swear I am leaving! But the ship doesn't depart until sunrise!"

    "Calm yourself. Reaver is too busy to kill you. I suggest you humor him so he will be merciful."

    Broken-Nose tried to get Orange-Hair to step forward, but Orange-Hair protests, "It could be a trick... if you're so brave, you go!"



    Reaver sees the gleam in Rubi's eye. Both draw their weapons. To the keen-eyed observer, Reaver was clearly the one to smash the sake bottle. But Reaver knows who had the faster hand. The proof is on the tip of Rubi's blade.

    Master Rubi did not aim for the bottle itself. He drew his blade, reversed it mid-swing, and hooked the rope at the top of the bottle. When Reaver smashed the bottle, Rubi's sword still had the knotted rope that was tied to the top of the bottle.

    But what does this prove?

    "This proves that you are fast. If I had been significantly faster than you, I would have hooked the rope with my sword and pulled the bottle out of the way before you could smash it.

    "You are skillful enough to use Heaven's Thunder."

    Master Rubi hands Reaver his blade.

    "Now, none of your fancy dual wielding! The true nukiuchi--draw and slash--technique is fastest with a single blade. Remember that when you face a powerful opponent.

    "Now you face an empty sake bottle. Imagine it is stronger than that idiot whose blood was being mopped from the floor."



    Reaver draws and slices through the ceramic. He sees the clean cut, if only for a fraction of a second, before the shards fly. He is not as quick to sheathe the sword. Reaver is too impressed by the blade. It looks so ordinary compared to his runic blades... but never in his life did Reaver imagine he could move a blade with such speed.

    As he returns the blade (sheathed) to its master, Reaver notices the crowd. They don't seem to be impressed. Their eyes were not trained to see the difference that was obvious to Reaver. The Master was testing Reaver. Reaver passed. Of that he is certain.



    Bouldergut tromps on over to the dock with Manimus.

    "Is that it, Great-Grandmaster?" he asks.

    "I will gladly teach him more if he wishes the purchase Heaven's Thunder, Great-Grandmaster."

    Both address each other by their long-winded titles with a tone of jovial mockery.

    "Well, I just thought you were gonna do something else." Bouldergut points to the remaining sake bottle. "I mean, what'll you do with that?"

    "Have it refilled."
     
  11. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Day 2

    Reaver and Manimus exit their private rooms and witness a boat leaving the island. The four idiots who caused trouble at Hanna's are on that boat. Last night was just the beginning, Reaver tells himself as he prepares to embark on his next adventure.


    Sage Aeron Greymoore now knows of "the lava demon" which dwells inside the volcanic peak of Roku-Roku. Reunited with Thames, he searches for this enemy.

    He now has four tusk earrings as proof of his kills. Violet estimates the two dead snakes to be a seven-footer and an eight-footer.

    The three women he rescued would like to thank him, but they are too scared to speak to Greymoore. Violet will see to it that The Third Sage gets credit for his heroic performance.


    Sigrelyn is having a hard time waking up her husband, who fainted at the sight of the ten-foot cobrathon she had slain. She has three tusk earrings as proof of her victory against the pirates. Perhaps she can tell her husband what he missed...

    Rose and Ivy are nowhere to be found. They left Sigrelyn and Heverik at one of the hot springs so they could clean up in private. It appears to be a private outdoor bath for couples... but romance will have to wait, what with all the pirates lurking about.
     
  12. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    SIGRELYN and HEVERIK

    […and here I was about to say that it was taking Sigrelyn a while to explain to her husband the plan. Oh, well; worked out okay. ;) ]

    "I'm not sure about these tusks, dear… did those chaps really shove them all the way through their earlobes?"

    "No, only halfway. If they'd shoved them all the way through, they'd've fallen out again, wouldn't they?" Sigrelyn was in the finishing stages of 'cleaning up'–that is to say, all the blood had been removed from her weapons, they'd been re-honed, and now she was packing her whetstone away.

    "Hmm? Ah… yes, rather. Well, I suppose I could have one mounted on a stud, though the effect wouldn't be quite the same. Pity about the snake: the Collegium Imperial prefers live specimens before registering a new name. Though I guess this one wouldn't have quite served, anyhow."

    "Not unless you have good methods for teaching them not to bite, no."

    He grinned. "Well, actually, I do, you know. Unfortunately, they usually involve being bitten a few times until the snake becomes accustomed to you."

    "I can see where that would be problematic in this case."

    "Indeed. Ah, well: at least the skin is rather pretty. I'm sure I'll find something to use it for."

    No lie. "Have you seen our guides in the past few minutes?" She gazed about her, looking for something needing to be shot. Or someone.

    "No, can't say as I have, dear. Perhaps they're doing something with that fourth fellow? I do seem to recall there was a man trussed up down there."

    "Let's go find out." Sigrelyn and Heverik head off in the general direction of area 8.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  13. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    ???

    Sigrelyn and Heverik pass through the public hot spring. The man that was struggling is now lying in the bath. He is wearing a tusk earring on his right ear and a bandage on his left shoulder, close to the neck. The surface of the water around him is covered in rose petals, but the position of his arms indicates he is bound by a rope.

    He is snoring.


    To the west (area 8), there is some commotion...
     
  14. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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  15. The Grey Sage

    The Grey Sage Troubadour

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    Sage Aeron Greymoore

    The pair moved down the low incline, heading towards the left tunnel. There's a draft, but no significant heat. Thames flies in, Aeron is close behind. They slide down the tunnel steadily downwards.
    The target is close. Time to release that seal...
     
  16. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Waitaminit… they're all wearing clothes.

    Well, except for Lily, arguably. And the first thing I thought when I saw her was "Waitaminit, that's a Frazetta.…" ;)
     
  17. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    SIGRELYN and HEVERIK

    Sigrelyn stops long enough to verify that he isn't likely to sink beneath the surface and drown (and to rectify the situation if this seems a possibility)—on the assumption that he didn't scatter the petals on the surface of the water after he'd bound his arms and immersed himself. If they want him alive, that's their business.

    "Do you think the petals will keep the cobrathons and ligers away from him, dear?"

    "Nope."

    "Do you think the hot water will?"

    "Depends on how long he stays in, and how well done they like their food."

    "So your interest in checking to see if he might slide in was…?"

    "A convenient excuse to frisk him, in case our hostesses overlooked anything."

    "Right." Heverik seeks out a bit of palm frond, and stuffs one end down the back of the sleeping man's shirt.

    "And that was…?"

    "To keep him from getting sunburnt," he says, adjusting the plumes on his cap. "And, of course, to let those delightful young ladies know we'd come across him, should they return."

    Sigrelyn smiles. "Clever. Though I might point out that the sun is in his face, not behind him."

    Heverik shrugs. "Then they'll know it had to be me, won't they?" She chuckles. "Besides, it goes well with his shirt."

    It doesn't.

    Sigrelyn and Heverik make their way commotionward.
     
  18. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    (The Frazetta pic reminded me of how I envisioned Lily, including the hair do and her uncanny ability to walk between two tigers without getting mauled. I typed a search "barbarian princess" to see if any other Roku-Roku look-alikes would come up... and stumbled across a picture called "Barbarian Princess." She wears green and has a long, light brown braid like Ivy!

    At that point, I was curious to see if I could find a pic for all of them. I was going for face and personality, but only the Frazetta has the proper outfit. Susan's pic is goofy, but I needed a dark-eyed blonde with a katana who wears yellow and ISN'T the Bride from Kill Bill.)
     
  19. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    REAVER-

    I left my private room and entered Hanna's Tavern. The place was mostly empty, the only patrons being a group of five young people that frequented the place. Lord Bouldergut referred to them as the "Breakfast Club". It was an interestingly odd term for such a diverse group of patrons, yet at the same time I felt as if I'd seen them somewhere before: There was a lanky red-haired fellow who appeared to be the brain of the group, a strapping lad who must've been some sort of athlete, a pretty yet obviously mentally-ill young woman with long, dark hair who was certainly a basket-case, a beautiful red-haired girl who carried herself like a princess, and a leather-clad roguish young man who was no doubt a criminal.

    I studied them for a moment more and then turned my attention to lovely Hanna, who stood behind the bar, drying off some freshly cleaned mugs and humming a happy tune.

    "Good morning, dear Hanna," I smiled. "How can I be of service today?"
     
  20. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    MANIMUS-

    So, like, I had like a pretty good night last night, because like, I had like, four, no five hot babes in my room with me. WE were like, gettin' busy all night.

    Then like, after I was done with 'em all was all like, "You gotta like, make like a bird and like, walk away." The babes were all like: "Aww, but Manimus, you're so totally hot and stuff and like, we just want to be with you forever and junk."

    I was like: "Tell me somethin' I don't know, babes. But like, I gotta go get my work out on 'fore I go to work."

    So like, after the babes left, I went lookin' for Reaver, 'cause he said he wanted to work out with me so that he could be strong and bad ass like me. His words, not mine. So like, I decided to wear the totally kick ass armor that Lord Bouldernut gave me. You know, I wanted to like, ask the old warrior why people called him that, but like, I didn't want to like, embarrass him and stuff.

    So like, any way, I went to that one hot chick's tavern, and like, when she saw me in my bad ass armor, lookin' all awesome and junk, she was all over me.

    I was like: "Woah, babe, take it easy. Me and Reaver are gonna go work out. You can like, come watch if you want."

    Then she gave me that look that everyone gives me when they just can't express how awesomely awesome I am. I wish I could say that I get tired of getting it, but I don't.

    Reaver was all happy to have the chance to work out with me. Then Lord Bouldernnuts was like: "Can I like, come work out with you guys? Maybe like, I can get my nut to a normal size again."

    I was all like: "Hell yeah you can come work out with us! I like, need someone to like, hold my feet when I'm doing my mega-crunches."

    Bouldernut was all like: "Woo-Hoo!"
     
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