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The Endless Hunt, Season 3: "Snakes! Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?"

Discussion in 'Machiavel: Ambition' started by Ravana, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    The Endless Hunt, Season Three: “Snakes! Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?”

    ---

    To Whom It May Prove of Interest:

    His Highness, Heverik, Baron of Marnau and Prince of the Line of Maritsa, wishes to proclaim an Expedition, the purposes of which shall be to advance the noble Science of Herpetology, concerning which he holds an abiding interest. This expedition shall be made into certain lands to the west of the Empire which have, until recently, been difficult of access, owing to the hostility of the former Kingdom of Vaesthegnar; with the happy accession of the Prince’s noble cousin Teover, sometimes Duke of Rek, to the throne of the newly-constituted Kingdom of Althegnar, political conditions now permit these more peaceful pursuits to be conducted beyond their borders without the need of first winning passage through to them.

    This Expedition shall assemble in the Imperial Free City of Daarmuth on the 20th inst., whence it shall set out by ship to the Archduchy of Thanding, afterward proceeding upriver to a point not too distant from the seldom-crossed Pass of Three Rigors in the Turighard Mountains. Upon descent from this pass, civilized lands shall be left behind and the little-known realms of the western barbarians shall be entered. Also, the self-styled “Kingdom” of Turinga lies immediately to the south of the areas to be explored, and there is little love between these rude peoples and our civilized cousins of Althegnar.

    For these reasons, only Hunters sturdy of body and steady of courage need apply, along with any staff, retainers, or other assistants the Hunters consider most likely to be of aid in their pursuits. It is also to be noted that the eternal handmaiden of expeditions to faraway lands, Dame Rumor, has populated these realms with a variety of creatures not known to be found within the borders of the Empire, so it may be hoped that even those Hunters not well-versed in the collection of serpentine specimens shall find opportunities suited to their individual predilections. Diverse Rewards shall be bestowed both for the intended objects of the expedition and for such other Curiosities as might impress His Highness.

    His Highness shall at his own expense provide the expedition with a caravan to serve as a base of operations, supply, refuge and communication, which His Highness shall himself facilitate by various means. His Highness’ wife, Sigrelyn Drachteving, Baroness of Riedvin and Duchess-Elect of Sjaermund, shall coordinate the disposition of the hunters, and shall also supervise such medical, rescue, evacuation and resuscitation services as are necessitated by events arising from the expedition.

    Mindful of the hazards of the road–and the no doubt greater ones once roads are left behind in the distance–all reasonable efforts shall be made to ensure the safety and well-being, in addition to the success, of the expedition. It should be noted, however, that His Highness cannot anticipate all such hazards, and therefore cannot warrant said safety and well-being. In particular, he wishes it to be known that this support does not extend to misadventures involving personal dentition. Generous pensions shall be paid if and as needed in the event of loss of significant bodily parts, and standard funereal benefits are provided.

    Heverik, Baron of Marnau and Prince of the Line of Maritsa
    [his hand and seal]

    ---

    Or, for those less interested in the convoluted syntax of Imperial court:

    "Y'all come down now, y' heah? We's gonna go ketch us some snakes!"

    Rewards, rumors, additional assignments and quests, and other information will appear in the next post as they are announced. The prince, being even more than usually eccentric for a nobleman :rolleyes: , will be prone to bestow rewards on impulse as often as by prior arrangement, so expect to be surprised. If that makes sense.

    "Rules," such as they are, appear here:

    http://mythicscribes.com/forums/machiavel-ambition/2268-endless-hunt-info-thread.html

    I'm aiming for a start date on or after June 20, depending on how quickly participants gather. The Hunt will run until the end of July, or until you exhaust the target region of resources, whichever comes first.
     
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Bounties

    - pelts: standard rates
    - claws, teeth, etc.: ditto
    - complete specimen suitable for stuffing: bonus pay, possibly other reward based on how exotic
    - meat: better eating that night

    [Stay tuned for more specifics as they arise.]
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  3. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Departure from Roku-Roku Island

    Jade walks into the tavern. Heads turn at the sight of her outfit. She is wearing a scarlet top with shoulder straps, and a scarlet and earth-tone skirt with a hem that is almost as low as mid-thigh. She wears bands that wrap around the balls of her feet, and the tight bun in her hair is laced with green and purple jade.

    "A bit overdressed, aren't you?" asks Rose, who like the other Huntresses, is wearing nothing but flowers.

    "My husband and I are headed north," Jade says. "I hear the climate is cooler over there."

    Bouldergut adds, "We're headed to Daarmuth, my homeland."

    * * *

    As Bouldergut escorts his wife onto the ship, she asks, "How will they see you? As a hero for saving me and all of my sisters? Or are you under suspicion for being the sole survivor of the army that failed to overtake my island?"

    "I've done enough hunting on the mainland to know I still have a stellar reputation as a warrior and a hunter, but... I haven't been to Daarmuth in ten years. People will wonder why I haven't returned, and why I kept silent about what happened on Roku-Roku Island."

    "Why do you choose now to come back?"

    "Chief Targhan is dead. It was he who united the tribes and sent ships south of the mainland in search of new lands to conquer. I don't know what he was thinking, or why so many of my people listened to this fool."

    "If not for his crazy orders, I would have been sacrificed to the Lava Demon and you would be a lonely bachelor."

    "A what? Lonely?"

    Jade silences her husband with a kiss. "Pay your respects to the late chief first thing when you arrive."

    "Second thing," he replies. "My first order of business is to visit Tusk, if he's still alive. He was a messenger boy, but even at he age of ten I saw the warrior in him. I trained him for a couple years before I was sent to your island. I don't know what's become of him since then."





    My characters for this season:
    • Bouldergut [Brute, age 41] - a mountain of a man who loves a good steak
    • Jade [Ranger, age 29] - an exotic young lady who knows a lot about plants
    • Tusk [Brute, age 22] - a gung-ho errand-boy inspired by tales of Bouldergut rescuing damsels in distress ten years ago

     
  4. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Bouldergut and Jade

    "This is your homeland? You always struck me as a bit more… rural."

    The ship they're departing is one of perhaps forty or so at the docks. The Free City of Daarmuth, crowded though it is within the defensive walls that kept it free from the kingdom of Vaesthegnar the past sixty years, might be as large as all of Roku-Roku, for all Jade can tell from where they stand.

    "Well… this is connected to my homeland. I actually come from—" he checks his bearings—"thataway." Bouldergut points a bit north of west. "About fifty leagues, I'd guess. Or two duchies, depending on how you like to count these things. Most people in this region would think of the second. Getting permission to bring our army to the coast was complicated."

    Jade suspects this is an understatement. "Why did they let you through?"

    Boulder shrugs. "I seem to recall 'voluntary contributions to the improvement of civic welfare' being involved—"

    "Bribes."

    "Yeah. That, plus fewer barbarians left for them to fight on their borders." He scowls.

    "Is that how they see you?"

    "It was."

    "And now?"

    "Now, they will see me as a man-at-arms escorting a rich, bored fop prince into lands they would as soon forget exist."

    Bouldergut points to a banner. One half bears a device nearly impossible to make out, given the distance: the first and fourth quarters appear to be a blue three-petaled flower on a white field, while the second and third have a tawny background sporting what you might get if you crossed a gazelle with a cuttlefish, then crossed both with a heavy wagon two or three times; it involves at least three colors not approved by the Imperial College of Heralds, not counting any that might be present in more subtle detailing. The other half bears a white wyvern rampant on green, with a gold border. No question where the Prince's "scientific expedition" is assembling. The banner flies from a pole of considerable height, perhaps a quarter mile along the docks to the west, over an open space in front of some warehouses.

    A similar flag drapes from the masts of—Bouldergut groans—four ships.

    "Or," he continues, "they might see me as the vanguard of a counter-invasion."

    Jade is puzzled. "I thought this was going to be a hunt?"

    "You met the prince."

    "He intends to travel with a retinue?"

    "That, too."

    A stooped, shrouded crone hobbles past, muttering either to herself or something she carries. The only thing Jade makes out clearly is "A circle of pain, a circle of suffering." Bouldergut seems not to notice her at all, but he's from this land: perhaps such things are not unusual here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  5. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Silver Whitestar was down on her luck since months ago, as she had lost her house in a fire and then, thanks to her habits of heavy wine drinking, she had been expelled from her wood-cutter job as well two weeks ago. For some time she had no idea what to do with her life: at just 22, her harsh living conditions at the forests and her drinking made her look like she was thirty years old, but now she had heard about an expedition to mysterious lands and she had decided to join them as a Hunter.

    Silver's life had never been easy: she had to work as a wood-cutter for a living since she was twelve, started drinking at thirteen and was abandoned by her family at fifteen. Poor Silver then lived inside a little wooden cottage that she built with her own hands, and really, despite her name all she had known in her life was starvation and poverty.

    Thanks to her hunting skills she had managed to survive eating a variety of small prey, and now, at 22, she was a 5'10'' slender woman that was quite stronger than she looked. Silver was quite a brute fighter and she was a skilled survivalist, but her life was always getting ruined because of The flask is half empty and she was constantly seeking ways to get more wine.

    Silver had long and sleek black hair that was long to her waist, and powerful, dazzling blue eyes- she would have been a stunningly good-looking woman if her cruel and harsh life had not ruined it all, and she would always wear a long black cloak and wood-cutter clothing that used to be full of all kinds of dirt.

    So, that day Silver Whitestar arrived at the Imperial Free City of Daarmuth with her battle axe and her longsword, hoping that somebody would guide her to join the expedition that His Highness, Heverik, Baron of Marnau and Prince of the Line of Maritsa wanted to start...
     
  6. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Tusk

    (In a forest somewhere...)



    "Aah... ain't this the life," I say to myself. "Livin' off the fat o' the land..."

    The wild boar is just about ready to eat. I'll eat the unsalted portion for now. The salted portion should be preserved for a while... but still, it's a shame I have no one to share this with. Some of this meat's sure to go to waste.

    ...

    Who's making all that racket? Oh... a girl!

    Oh... she's a bit old for me. Gotta be at least thirty. Still, the way she's staggering like that... she must be weak from hunger.

    "Hey, lady!"

    Is that any way to address a lady? Aw, hell... she's not a proper lady. If she were, she'd have ignored me.

    "You look like you could use a bite to eat."

    Crap... all that's left is the salted meat. I know my tribe would be disappointed in my being a gentlemen, but screw them. She's my guest. Chivalry's not dead. The plate I'm fixing is hers.

    The lady actually looks at me, just standing and staring with those dazzling blue eyes. Hopefully, she's not attracted to me. That would make things easier.

    "You're lucky. I just took the last unsalted cut off the fire. You can have it. I have to cook another one anyway and I can't eat this one while I cook another."

    Y'know what would make things really easier? Telling her your name, dummy!

    "They call me Tusk," I tell the lady as I offer her a plate, "because that's my name."

    I wish I knew when to shut up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  7. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Silver Whitestar walked straight towards this young man that had arrived at the forest, intrigued by him but happy to finally meet someone... and she was also very happy to see that this man was offering some good food to eat that day! Silver took the plate that Tusk was handing over to her, and then, so hungry after her long travel, she devoured the food in less than two minutes.

    "Hello" Silver said with her hoarse, throaty voice- "Thanks for that, I was starving!! Do you happen to know anything about the Expedition to mysterious lands that His Highness, Heverik, Baron of Marnau and Prince of the Line of Maritsa wants to start soon? I want to join them in this great adventure."
     
  8. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Geographically Challenged…?

    [Either Silver has manifested previously unsuspected powers of teleportation, or Tusk is badly mistaken about where he is at the moment. :D Think you're the one stuck with hitting the rewind button on that one, LS.]

    -

    Silver Whitestar

    …requires little time to determine where the expedition is forming. She requires a bit longer to actually reach that point, as she gets lost several times in the tightly-packed streets of the unfamiliar city, and gets waylaid by a tavern or two along the way, but every time she asks directions, a helpful native points toward the docks and says "Look for the ugly banner."

    She doesn't quite understand that advice until she nears the docks. Eventually, however, one of the times she looks up.… One half is a noble-looking silver wyvern on green with a golden border. The other half… well, the two parts of it that have a blue trillium on white are quite fetching; the two parts with the orangish background have what might be a very surprised stag copulating with an even more surprised chicken–though the profusion of interlacing ornaments makes it hard to tell–done up in no fewer than a half-dozen colors, three of which Silver doesn't know names for and at least two of which she's never even seen in vomit. Hers or anyone else's. There are also neatly-done silver coronets near the top of those two panels. She wonders if those mightn't be mistakes.

    Silver spends a moment taking deep breaths; unfortunately, the air, with its unfamiliar but pleasant salt tang, does nothing to dispel or even alter what she sees. She reluctantly concludes that she is not suffering from hallucinations. It really is that ugly.

    At least she no longer has problems finding her way.

    Finally she reaches an open space near the shore–or it would be open, and was obviously chosen because it was open: at the moment, it's somewhat crowded with people, wagons, a pavilion, horses, dogs, barrels, crates, several tall ornate boxes on wheels, and a pair of what appear to be fencing dummies or dress forms. All of which is roped off, evidently with the purpose of forestalling its further spread rather than preventing access. Several ships are in the process of being loaded with various bits of the clutter, and there seems to be an intense discussion taking place among a cluster of longshoremen as to how to best organize the lading of each ship in order to best fit everything in. Or perhaps in order to determine if everything will fit in.

    A stooped, shrouded crone hobbles past, muttering either to herself or something she carries. The only words Silver makes out clearly are "The answer is within the question." Then the crone is absorbed into the anonymity of the crowd of onlookers.

    By an opening in the rope, a young lady–perhaps near Silver's own age, or a bit younger–perches on a stool, arms crossed and chin lowered to her chest, presenting an outward appearance of supreme boredom. She is dressed entirely in shades of green–it takes Silver a moment to realize that most of this is probably leather, since she also has a bow case on her back and a sword on her belt. In fact, it was only by her stature and the honey-colored braid between her shoulders that Silver registered her gender in the first place. Bored or not, she is not inattentive: she looks up before Silver is ten paces away, quirks an eyebrow at her.

    "Come for the Hunt?" she inquires casually.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  9. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    (sorry, it's the first time that I play in the Machiavel world or anything like this- please guide me a little.)

    .

    Silver Whitestar

    Silver was very impressed by the mere view of the great ships, the sea and all the necessary gear and equipments that were in the process of being loaded into the ships. After all, she was just a wood-cutter forest girl that had rarely visited the coast before in her life, and now she started to realize the magnitude of the adventure that she was just about to join.

    "Hello" Silver said casually to this young lady with a honey-coloured braid, a sword and a bow case- "My name is Silver Whitestar, it took me so long to find my way across the city to finally reach this place- Yes, I am here for the Hunt... Are these the ships that are departing for the Expedition of His Highness, Heverik, Baron of Marnau and Prince of the Line of Maritsa? They must be, everything is so... majestic."

    Silver was starting to wonder whether she really knew what she was getting into, maybe it was a bad idea as she was dirty, and a savage forest girl, and she smelled of vomit and wine but it was already too late...
     
  10. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    [Not a problem. LS moved you; that's why he gets to fix it. ;) ]

    Silver Whitestar

    The lady she addresses laughs–quietly; Silver gets the impression this is likely the only way she ever laughs. "Majestic?" She sweeps the commotion with a glance. "Hmm. I suppose that's one way of putting it. One of the more polite ones." She appears to begin assembling a mental catalog of alternatives, but then thinks better of it. Or perhaps the list got too long too quickly.

    She stands. A bit taller than average for a woman, perhaps, but still inches shorter than Silver. Why, then, does Silver feel like she's the small one? The other woman's gaze flicks across Silver. Then she cocks her head sideways, raises that eyebrow again.

    "Let's see. You know how to use that axe. You at least know which end of that sword goes where. Never ridden a horse in your life, and if you've ridden a pony, it hasn't been for years. Can find your way around in a forest without difficulty. Twenty… three? Give or take a year? Prefer wine to ale, have a slight preference for red over white. Can you shoot? We can find you a bow if so."

    Silver… is stunned. Is she wearing a sign or something?

    While she's waiting for her jaw to remember how to close again, a man wearing blue and white livery comes hustling through the enclosure to where they stand, stops two paces away… and bows.

    "Your Excellency, His Highness would solicit your advice on a matter of urgency."

    The lady quirks one corner of her mouth in a brief grimace. "That makes six." Looks to the sun. "But the day's still young."

    Ignoring the messenger for the moment, she addresses Silver once more: "You're in. As of now, you have two jobs. One is to get your gear stowed on that ship." She points to the leftmost one of the four flying the banner that marks the expedition's varied appurtenances and impedimentia. "Specifically that one. I've posted guards at the gangway to prevent anybody from trying to load anything other than personal belongings, and themselves, on it."

    She rolls her eyes. "As it is, they've already sent four dockworkers to the physickers. I think everyone remaining has gotten the message."

    Looking back at Silver, she continues: "Two. Call me Sigrelyn. Everyone else around here"–she glances sourly at the still-waiting messenger–"insists on calling me other things. I need someone to follow me around and remind me what my name is."

    Turning to the messenger, she says "All right, Meindar. Where is he now?"

    "This way, if you please, Baroness."

    Over her shoulder, Sigrelyn flashes a grin to Silver: "See what I mean?"

    They head off into the hustle.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  11. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Silver Whitestar

    .

    Silver took a few minutes to recover from the surprise and the shock, she finally remembered how to close her jaw and then, still trembling after her encounter with the Baroness Sigrelyn herself, Silver shook her head in desbelief and walked straight towards the ship that Sigrelyn had pointed with instructions to stow her gear right there.

    How could the Baroness Sigrelyn know so many things about her by just staring at her for a few seconds?

    It was true that Silver was very skilled with her battle axe, and even though she was not a great swordswoman, she knew enough to defend herself just fine with her Longsword. Also it was true that Silver had never ridden a horse in her life, that she had a preference for red wine over white... and to cap it all, Sigrelyn had nearly guessed her real age.

    "Almost everybody else thinks that I am thirty!" Silver thought, and then she finally stopped in front of the guards that were protecting the access to this ship in particular.

    "Here" she said, handing over to the guards her battle axe and her longsword, keeping her two-feet long dagger well-hidden in her clothes- "I am in for the Hunt!"

    Silver did not really like to be separated from her longsword, which was after all the only keepsake that she still had to remind her of her dead father, but orders were orders and she wanted to be in good terms with the baroness.

    She hoped that they would give her a bow and arrows later when they were in the Hunt... because, even though she was not a great shooter, Silver was capable of defending herself and killing some prey to survive in the forests.

    One of the Guards took the weapons into the ship (Silver knew that she was not supposed to board it herself) and then she walked away to stray around the docks, waiting to see what would happen next...
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  12. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Silver Whitestar

    …is actually quite welcome to board the ship—the restrictions allow both personal gear and the persons themselves—but the guard is also quite willing to stow her belongings for her, and it occurs to her that, grand though the ship might be, there's only so much of it, and she'll have plenty of time later to see it all.

    Likewise, obtaining a bow and arrows presents no difficulty, as long as Silver knows what she wants; someone apparently anticipated the usefulness of being well-supplied with spares. There's no space nearby to try them out, though, so if she's unsure she can wait until more open territory is reached.

    In fact, the more she looks around, the more she realizes that someone apparently anticipated the usefulness of being well-supplied with spares of everything… whether or not spares actually would be useful, nor how many of each. And those are just the things she can identify. Much of what is being loaded is crated up, and the gods alone knew what might be in those. Well, probably someone besides the gods did, but few of the crates are marked in any way she can make out.

    One of the more mysterious activities is being conducted by a group that is passing loads up a ramp and then placing them into a wagon on the ship's deck. Which seems odd to her: clearly, the wagon could get on board, so why not load it first and drive it up? Then she notices that another group is unloading a similar wagon near that pier, and that they're working behind an empty wagon next to which sits a pile of goods about the right size for the wagon to have held.

    She also notices that a gang of carpenters by the next ship down the line appears to be busily engaged in constructing a new ramp. And that they're cannibalizing some badly-shattered planking to supplement their materials. And that everyone else standing near that ship wears distinct looks of displeasure or disgust. Even the ones probing the water with some sort of hook at the end of a long handle.

    One area of calm does exist along the docks: several men seem to be doing nothing but standing quietly in a circle. It takes her a moment to realize that the reason they appear to be doing this is that the center of the circle is not in fact empty, but is occupied by people rather shorter than they are. Two people. One is giving the men instructions. The other, apparently, is giving him instructions.

    The circle parts, and Sigrelyn strides out of it. The person she was with, who remains behind to talk to a couple of the others, is a man about Sigrelyn's own height and build. He wears a shirt of some fine sea-green fabric, an ochre vest of what might be suede, an elbow-length purple glove on his left hand, baggy breeches composed of wide vertical stripes of saffron, indigo and verdigris, and knee-high teal boots—with silver bells on the toes. A wide, cream-colored baldric supports a scabbard at an angle between his shoulders; it looks as though if one were to stand the sword upright, it would be taller than he is. A thin silver coronet constructed of arches so fine they almost looks like lace secures a tightly-fitted particolored blue and white skullcap, at the crest of which is a narrow spike supporting a pair of silver snake-heads facing opposite directions. He occasionally reinforces the directions he's giving with what looks like a marshal's baton covered in black and white tiger fur.

    Sigrelyn snags Silver's elbow as she passes. "They're so you can hear him coming," she offers without preamble. "Come on. It will take them at least another day to finish loading at this rate, and I could do with a drink."

    Nodding toward some new stir near the opening in the ropes, Sigrelyn adds: "Besides, I think I recognize that underdressed young lady who's just arrived."

    Silver is confused: all she sees in that vicinity is an enormous, muscular, grizzled man. Again without waiting for a question, Sigrelyn says "Yeah, he kinda gives them away." The hint of a grin touches her lips. "You just got a third job. Under absolutely no circumstances whatsoever should you ever, ever call him 'Bobo.'"

    Did the baroness just wink at her? "Not until I give you the signal."

    Obviously, there was much here that Silver did not yet understand. But the baroness is right: there is a lady, perhaps a bit older than she or Sigrelyn, standing with the huge man… her clothes somewhat scanty by any standard Silver had ever known.

    She barely even notices the motion of Sigrelyn's hand darting to her sword-hilt. The baroness stops four paces short of the newcomers, and in a carrying voice declaims "I knew you'd catch up with me one of these days.…"
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  13. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Bouldergut and Jade

    The large man bellows, "Of course, Siggy!"

    The underdressed woman gives her husband a look and whispers, "Bobo!" but he keeps talking (rather loudly).

    "You know we're here to support the Hero of Roku-Roku Island. Speaking of... where's Hev?"

    "Who's Hev?" the lady asks.

    "You know... Heverik the Heroic. But you know how he is about titles."

    "They're a distant second to fashion?"

    "..." Jade is about to address Sigrelyn by title, but figures that the Huntress next to her must be aware that the Baroness despises titles; otherwise, the two would not be standing together. "It is good to see you again, Sigrelyn. As you may have guessed, the people on my island still speak of your husband's showdown with Chief Torashishi. It is regrettable that I was unable to join you at the time. My husband was worried about my condition."

    "I still am... and will be for the next six months."

    Ignoring her husband's comment, Jade bows to Silver.

    "You must be a local Huntress! I am Jade of the Roku-Roku."


    (Silver sees that Jade is well-endowed for a woman of her size, and also notices that while Jade has the body of a dancer, her toned abs are slightly round. As for the man who is with her, he is extremely "round" for such a muscular man. Silver quickly dismisses the thought that the man's large stomach could be the result of "sympathetic pregnancy."

    She introduces herself to Jade.)


    Jade replies, "A pleasure to meet you, Miss Whitestar. This is my first time on the mainland. I am interested in the local customs, especially regarding how a woman should present herself. I cannot count on my husband for this." She puts an arm around Bouldergut (--as far around him as she possibly can). "I can count on him for everything else."
     
  14. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Silver Whitestar

    It was clear to Silver that the man with the complex, impressive clothing is no other than His Highness Heverik himself, but who are these strange two newcomers that Sigrelyn is talking to?

    Sigrelyn was ready to draw out her sword, she had said "Not until I give you the signal" and now Silver was ready to draw out her hidden dagger and defend the Baroness in a split of a second in case anything bad happened...

    This place was so mysterious- Why were they loading the ships with so many crates? Why Sigrelyn seemed to be alarmed at the presence of the huge man and the lady with scanty clothing? And most importantly...

    When would the other Hunters show up to start the Hunt?
     
  15. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Silver Whitestar

    Silver was now more calm after Jade had introduced herself, and she hoped that they would become friends in the Hunt.
     
  16. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Sigrelyn

    …offers to have some of the assorted functionaries stow away any gear the recent arrivals don't want to take with them into a local tavern. She also mentions that the recent arrivals are welcome to stow themselves away if they'd prefer inhabiting cramped shipboard quarters any earlier than absolutely necessary over accompanying her to said tavern. Her tone seems to imply she doesn't expect any takers but feels obliged to point out the option, if only out of politeness. Then she leads

    Silver, Bouldergut and Jade

    off to the nearest tavern to be found that smells more of alcohol than of fish.

    "Bouldergut actually made my sword," Sigrelyn explains to Silver as they walk. "And Heverik's. Yes, he's still carrying it," she tosses in Boulder's direction. "He finds it useful whenever anyone tries joking about him walking around with only half a staff—which, I might add, he's constantly stroking."

    Boulder seems to be in the throes of trying not to choke on something, which is odd because they haven't even reached the tavern yet. She goes on: "Yes, you can imagine the reactions. And whenever he gets one, he stops, brushes his fingers along the sword's hilt, looks dreamily up to the sky.…"

    She draws it out for a moment.

    "…then says 'Mine's still bigger.'"

    Sigrelyn manages to deliver this in such an innocent tone, with a total absence of facial expression, that one might think she hadn't the slightest notion what she was saying could possibly be found funny. Unless you look in her eyes, that is—which are positively twinkling. Jade is managing a fair approximation of dignified amusement. Boulder… is experiencing difficulty walking, bent double that way.

    Sigrelyn looks across his broad back to Jade. "C'mon, we better get him sat down. Poor fellow looks like he's about to keel over from thirst." Pause. Still deadpan: "Or something." Which doesn't seem to help him in the least.

    Nevertheless, they soon find a tavern with tables set up out of doors. Sigrelyn orders "One for the road," then sets to with the others catching up on news, mostly allowing Silver to make do as best she can from context.

    Silver is once more puzzled when they leave after finishing their "one"—it seems unduly hasty, by her way of thinking. Things become slightly clearer when, four doors away, they stop and order one for the shore. The tavern after that, it's for the sea. By the time the skies begin to darken, she's received an astounding education in geographical terminology, and Sigrelyn and Boulder are taking turns dipping into regional variants from distant lands. It never occurred to Silver that learning foreign languages might prove so useful.

    Jade—who made no attempt at matching the others drink for drink, especially once she saw the probable trajectory of events—finally points out that they might wish to head back toward the ship. Wherever that might be. Sigrelyn snags a passing local, presses a thaler into his palm, and says "You! Ugly banner!" Then gives him a shove… in the wrong direction, as it turns out, but he clearly understands the intention. The party manages to hew a comparatively straight course—thanks mostly to their guide. As they come within sight of the enclosure, Boulder stage-whispers to Sigrelyn "Just what the bloody blue blazes is that thing on the banner, anyway?"

    "Hell if I know," the baroness replies. "He has it changed every day. I lost track months ago. What did it look like?"

    "Three ostriches tied together by their necks and thrown into a blueberry bush."

    "Can't be. He never repeats himself."

    Boulder stops in his tracks. "You mean… he's…?" Then he plops down on his backside in the middle of the road, howling in laughter.

    Sigrelyn, apparently oblivious to the uproar, continues in all earnestness: "Now, if at least one of them was a pelican.…" And Boulder is flat on his back. She shakes her head. "No, there still would have to be a hedgehog involved somewhere, or at least a drop-spindle. Do you remember seeing a drop-spindle?" She looks quizzically at Jade.

    "I think you might be causing my husband a debilitating injury," Jade replies.

    "How about crossed polo mallets?"

    "I thought you said you had lost track."

    "I did. But I'm also the unfortunate victim of a more-than-usually-comprehensive education where heraldry is concerned, courtesy of—"

    A droll male voice cuts in. "I thought we would need to send out search parties."

    "—right on cue," Sigrelyn winks at the other two women, eyes obviously a-twinkle once more, even in the dim torchlight.

    The owner of the voice is a man of average height and build, in his late middle age, or early old age: it's too dark to be sure. The evident plainness of his garb made it clear that this was at any rate not the prince.

    "Again," the man adds. His face is so carefully neutral he could probably give Sigrelyn lessons.

    Sigrelyn gestures toward him. "Ladies and… uh, Boulder… allow me to present my longtime companion and tutor, Hogar." At which point it becomes obvious he has given her lessons. "Hogar: Princess Jade of Roku-Roku; her husband, Bouldergut the Great-Grandm—"

    "Now don't you start!" Boulder exclaims, as he struggles to rise between guffaws so he can be properly on his feet while being introduced.

    "And Silver Whitestar, who life has thus far spared the burden of a title, though I'm sure we'll remedy that before all is said and done. Hogar, Boulder was just asking what the Marnau device is today."

    How the man could look neutral and so sternly disapproving at the same instant is beyond any of the others to account for. His enunciation is too clear for the words to be coming through gritted teeth… you think. "Do you wish the full blazon, or merely the update? The only changes from yesterday were the removal of the spectacles from the aquillama, and changing the color from apricot to puce on the drop-spindle."

    "See? I knew there was a drop-spindle involved!" Boulder has once more located the earth. It seems oddly proximate to where he'd last seen it. "Though heraldry wasn't all I learned from him. He also taught me everything I know about…" Her voice drops to a conspiratorial whisper, as if sharing a secret her tutor ought to be well ashamed of: "…geography!"

    Which serves to incapacitate the other two drinking companions.

    "Are we to expect your guests to be permitted to board any time soon, my lady, or shall I have a tent set up over them for the night?"

    "Don't even dream about it. The tents are three layers down in the Mistrider's forward hold, under—" Then she stops short. Then favors him with a slight bow: a fencer's gesture, conceding a touch.

    Hogar strolls over to give Jade, then Silver, then—astonishingly, for a man his size—Boulder a hand in rising. "Don't forget to tell them I also taught you analytical thinking, memorization techniques… and how to hold your drink."

    From Hogar's grip, Boulder suspects the other man had somewhat to do with her martial training as well.

    Letting his last comment pass, Sigrelyn inquires: "So, are we all loaded?"

    "Enough, please, your excellency."

    "Oh, my: he only calls me that when he's especially displeased." Which seems to amuse her. "Very well: 'laden'?"

    "Nearly. We won't catch the morning tide tomorrow, but we can surely take advantage of the evening one, if we so choose."

    She shakes her head. "We'd manage at least one collision, or someone would run aground, the way things have been going. Another day won't hurt anything, and might give some more Hunters a chance to arrive." She motions the group toward the Sea Hind. "Besides…" she trails off.

    "There are still some bars left standing?"

    "Yep," she chirps gaily. "But tomorrow… we bring you with us."

    They board the ship.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  17. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Silver Whitestar

    That had been a fun and unusual day in the otherwise twisted life of Silver, she had met the Baroness Sigrelyn (always call her by her name, always!! Silver kept thinking for herself) and also Princess Jade, her husband Bouldergut and also that other man that was called Hogar.

    She had really liked all of them!

    Maybe at last, after so many years of being a solitary wood-cutter in the forests, Silver had finally found... friends. Silver was also quite excited at the idea of receiving a title like Sigrelyn had said! Yeah, now she was sure that travelling from so far to join this Hunt was perhaps the best idea of her life.

    Still, Silver wondered why so few Hunters had showed up so far to join the Expedition... Sure that one day or more waiting for them would not affect Heverik's plans so badly, but she was sure that they were going to face many dangers in those mysterious lands and quite more Hunters were needed...
     
  18. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Omar Metzger

    Omar saw the ship. Good, now maybe I can finally find somewhere to end this miserable life. I hope a thousand snakes bite me and I swell up with poison and die. Oh, there are other people here. Ok, Omar, time to put on your happy face.

    "Hello!" Omar says as he gets on the ship.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  19. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    9,872
    2,884
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    Jade and Bouldergut

    As Omar boards the ship, his eyes are fixed on Jade and her outfit, or what little there is of it. She politely returns a smile to the man, and starts to say, "Welcome aboard..."

    Her husband drowns her out with his loudness. "Ha! One look at my wife is all it takes to make a guy smile!"

    (Bouldergut doesn't notice that the man winces at the word 'wife' before he quickly snaps his smile back on.)

    "No harm in having good taste. The lovely ladies before me are my wife Jade; Baroness Sigrelyn, wife of Prince Heverik the Heroic; and this young Huntress is White Silverstar."

    "Silver Whitestar," Jade says with a roll of her eyes. To Silver she says, "Please forgive my husband. I think he is letting the drink speak on his behalf."

    "Could be the colorblindness."

    Jade kicks her husband in the shin.

    "Or shinsplints," he adds. "Anyway," he says to the newcomer, "you can call me Bouldergut. And you are?"

    (Omar introduces himself...)

    * * *​

    As Omar and Bouldergut continue to talk, Jade sheepishly takes Silver aside and softly asks,

    "Do you think you could take me shopping before the ship departs? I hate to admit that Bobo is correct about the eyes of men. The way they keep starting at me, it is only a matter of time before one man accidentally walks overboard and drowns. You seem to have very good fashion sense. As a reward for your assistance, you may choose an outfit for yourself."

    Jade tugs on what little there is of her skirt. Coins jingle inside.

    "I insist to pay."
     
  20. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

    3,440
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    Silver Whitestar and Princess Jade

    "I would be delighted to go shopping together, Jade" Silver replied, happy to hear the coins jingling inside her little skirt- "I do not have much style really, when you live at the forests and work cutting down the trees what you really need is to wear something sturdy and strong, if you are stylish or not has less importance."

    Silver and Jade walked away together from the docks and into the busy and crowded streets of the city. They soon discovered a little shop ran by an elderly woman with just one eye, where Jade chose a black cloak and heavy boots that were just like Silver's, to start with. Jade paid also for a purple riding hood that Silver loved, and later, after stopping at a tavern to have some glasses of wine, they walked into another shop where Jade found a new outfit that she really liked.

    "This is perfect!" she said, looking at her reflection on a large mirror- "I am paying for this, and also for that pair of good leather gloves for my friend here."

    They departed from that shop a few minutes later, maybe they still had some time left before the ships would depart...
     
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