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  #151  
Old Jul 24th, 2023, 05:27 PM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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Sekshually he says. SEKSHUALLY!? Who said anything about sekshually!? Bingle dies and is now dead. She throws a pleading glance at Banx. Hanging out with evil people is really hard, and they just say the most impossible words right out of their faces. How do vapmires. Do vapmires even. How do drow. Do drow even. Why is he this way. What does it mean.

She takes the cigarette case and lets her hat fall forward as she examines it. She tilts her head to the side. WHAT!? she mouths to Banx. WHAT THE!?

"What is this nice picture here, what is this two trees? Is this what from your family is this?" she babbles. "This is so nice, anyone would think, a person who does not require companionship, is a vapmire, and so, the two trees. Are you familiar with the gnome poet Belak? Who said this: To a spider a web, to a bird a nest, to a vapmire an ancient dwarven prison? To a drow merchant, an electrical water cyclone ship trap? And to a man... friendship. Are you familiar?"

The two trees. Winding and winding. Her cheeks go hot grey-pink. "Or perhaps, well this is nice, very nice, I will certainly--" she taps the cigarettes inside "--deliver these to my friend, with your compliments. And perhaps--" she taps on the front of the cigarette case "--tell him to look no more in the bitter glass, if it were? The Two Trees, by another William. That one Yetas. To the ravens, friendship. To the demons with their spotted guile, friendship. Ah, I apologize for my friend," she says, pointing at Banx inexplicably, and shuts up.

"What's up with the tree thing?" she whispers to Tempest after she finishes her conversation with Vorn. "You know, that other thing? Had trees on it? Your trinket?" She'll keep it whispery, as she may not have understood the Aquaan but would get Tempest's body language in hiding it away or promising Nithe not to show it. "Are you going to open it?!?" She gets Harlan to flap around a bit and see if there's anything else with the two trees on it.

Then there is the Sending to cast to Briony. Good day to you and I hope that your family is well. Sail into whirlpool with all aboard up on the deck. Exhilarating! Spiders fine and safe.


ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


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  #152  
Old Jul 25th, 2023, 12:21 AM
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Before we depart
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Falco thought about it a moment, what Vorn said, and smiled before sayin', "Heroic deeds is subjective though ain't they? Would th' exploits o' fishermen or pilgrims be of interest? T' some maybe. I'd let th' wizard hold it, if'n he wants. They'd be similar stories, as we've traveled t'gether but, from a different angle." He shrugged, it could help 'im with th' image he'd ben workin' at, th' dark an' broodin' wizard.

When he left with Gary, he were still smilin'. One more step closer now. "I s'pose ye already know they're bringin' th' ship down," Falco said casually on the ride t' th' harbor. "Oh, what pen was it we got our miserable lil package from again? In case somethin' happens an' I need a new one. I thought it were four?"

When they got t' th' small crescent island, he took a moment t' jus' look an' assured 'imself that sailin' were sailin'. With or without a sky or stars t' light yer way. Luckily, it seemed Gary an' th' spiders needed neither, an' Falco had 'is chart. One day behind, an' a fast ship. He wondered if'n th' Cloaker an' drow had a crew with 'em an' whether th' four potions t' change yerself might help. Probably too soon t' tell. He called up t' th' bundle danglin' from th' mast, "Hey! How long were ye on me ship? Were ye with 'em when they took it?" Would it be better if'n he was? Maybe.

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  #153  
Old Jul 25th, 2023, 02:00 AM
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Tempest, Adventurer
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"We will work on that, Vorn, and protect Gary to the best of my abilities when I am not in the water." Tempest said with a formality to her voice, trying to be serious and to come across as dependable. She then turned her gaze to Nithe whose drippy head was over the edge of the tank and held out a pink Jennifer in front of his face. "Gonna stick her to your whisker." The poor snail had its little eyestalks poking out as she waited for the Eel Dragon to either slurp it up or not. If not, she placed her on top of the tank to have a place to creep down towards the water. Upon hearing Vorn say something about sexually and companionship, she glanced at him with bewilderment before walking over to Bingle.

"I do not understand what one has to do with the other, really. The books describe the surface world as very sensual, seductive, with bodices being made poorly, and the buttons of shirts popping off to reveal manly chests quite often, but I see it as a manner of manipulation or joyful um…flirting? You did see my glorious dancing and society-joining-in with toast at your Tavern, yes? I am a good companion to those who speak with me, but I do not partake in more than a kiss here and there. I think Vorn would be just fine as a companion." Tempest is naturally a magnetic personality, unless you're a Drow Lord, and has a sensuality all her own as a Siren. It obviously puzzles her as to why a matter of sexualness comes into play with one so handsome, noble, and engaging as Lord Vorn. With a light shrug of her shoulder, she refocuses on the filigree-like work crafted on the beautiful cigarette case.

"We will open the mushroom liquor tonight after we eat or wait until we are up above under the sky. I will show you the magnificent gifts when we're onboard." Tempest whispered in return to Bingle, knowing she would understand the needed obfuscation. "It is lovely, the case. The metalwork is of one very skilled in a beautiful craft." She added in more of a normal tone, leaning forward to sniff at the case, hoping to get a good whiff of the cigarillos. "Lord Vorn, I believe you will enjoy the tea set and mint tea. It is not a complex scent, but I find it very pleasant."

When the Siren left, following Falco and Gary, she smiled over at the blue Eel Dragon, pausing in the archway and said. "Until we meet again, glorious Nithe, Bugbear eater."

"I'm ready to answer Briony's questions if she has any, Bingle." Tempest walked next to the Gnome, eyeing Fela with a friendly grin of a smile. "I did tell her you were fine earlier." The Paladin's near-romance in the Siren's eyes was sweet and could be novel-worthy one day. Once they arrived at the crescent island, and could see a cocooned person hanging from the mast, she had no more time for amusing thoughts. It was time to see to the ship and its riggings. How would one sail without the Sun, Moon, Winds, or typical currents, would be an intriguing challenge she was ready to face head-on. "Have maps been provided for navigation or are we starting with a fresh scroll?" Yes, she's all business now in the dark underworld away from her goddess and the sky itself.
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  #154  
Old Jul 25th, 2023, 07:46 PM
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Fela, feeling the wine
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Trying to be sociable, Fela acts excited for the hospitality, though she's apprehensive that here in the underdark that loathsome mushrooms will feature heavily, and is relieved when they don't. But maybe they're in the wine? She pushes the intrusive thought away with "at least it's not claw wine". The fancy goblet is not Fela's style at all, but fancy food, his description of the view -- she misses home more than she has these last two weeks and change. Cheese and chocolate, watching ships come into Templetome from the griffon's nest, her father, demanding but devoted. And she's never been so far from it. "Home..." But just as she can't understand Vorn, she doubts he'd be able to understand this homesickness, even if she knew how to put this tightness in her chest into words anyway, so she swallows it and chases it down with another gulp of wine, makes appreciative noises about the food, and distracts herself by gingerly fingering the goblet-sculpture.

Vorn's addendum to the note is a nightmare. Briony and her crew wouldn't stand a chance against Nithe. But what was the alternative? Was getting eaten by a homesick eel-dragon preferable to slavery in the underdark? She knows she should be diplomatic, find some compromise, but the wine... "Unnecessary. We'll be back. The crew couldn't stand up to Nithe anyway, and they will be safe..." Her eyes flare like the sun.

She can't help but respond incredulously to Tempest as well. "The surface is sensual? You're a Siren!"

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Not sure this is necessary, but her reaction to Vorn might be an intimidation check..

Dice intimidation?:
d20+7 (20)+7 Total = 27




Aura of Protection: +4 to saves for Fela and any friendlies within 10'

 
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  #155  
Old Jul 27th, 2023, 06:41 PM
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Lrod Vron
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Bingle, that is nuts. Anyway, the whirlpool disappeared. Will it come back? Then we sail in? You are saying — Does Fela—Fela said to do this?

Briony has questions, but she sounds clam and falt, Mtater-fo-Fcat. You can tell Tempest her queries, but then. right after. you know. Lrod Vron. Says the thing. The word. You know, okay, so WHY? You had Jelby. You read the lonely night books. YOU KNOW OK WHY SAY THIS. You saw Not-Thalia in a cemetery. There are rabbits. You personally know many, many voles. The throes. YOU KNOW SO SHUT UP.

You look to Banx. Nope! He is very busy looking elsewhere at literally anything, Banx has Bingle-Specific blindness where his eyes don't point in a small Bingle shaped area where you, Bingle, are existing. He is word deaf to one word and he didn’t hear that word WHAT WORD SAID TO WHOM? You mouth at him and he pulls his black cowl up over his head and over his face and all the way down to his neck. This evil cloak is closed for business, thank you.

WELL YOU HAD BETTER TALK A LOT ABOUT POETRY THEN.

Yes, yes, poetry. Vorn smiles faintly, and when you sputter to a halt, says, almost wonderingly, Warlock of Glasya. What a cypher you are. No, I do not know Balek. Have you any of his books I might borrow until you return? Oh we are talking poems? Banx emerges. You are pointing a blameful finger at him still and he nods, vigorously. Yes, yes, all his fault, or yes, yes, poetry, or just nodding.

When you speak of Yetas, Vron quickens, brightens. He knows this poet, loves this poet! He quotes:

…What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?


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Fela, you should be conciliatory, diplomatic—but this is Briony. You will make a vow for you, but not for Briony. You snap, and once again, that strange deference, as when he told you (and you alone) not to call him a lord, descends.

Of course. I meant no insult, Lady. You are more than equal to this piddling task and shall no doubt return forthwith, triumphant. His tone is well-oiled, soothing, his eyes down. Then he side-mouths, Pozzik! And gestures sharply. Pozzik scuttles forward in a dither and sloshes more wine into your goblet.

Oh, for sure. FOR SURE. We will just keep Banx with us. Banx can handle things that won’t need handling because you will have handled er, um, all the unhandled, er things that need handling and return to see your crew here all totally uneaten by any eel dragons, FOR SURE, this is a Pozzik guarantee, please, have more cheese, triple cream things are so very calming.

Now everyone is talking about sex. COOL. Siren says what?

Tempest, Fela is right to look askance. What is sex to a siren? Very few people can say, because for most who experience it, the little death is quickly followed by the big one.

What a way to go, though, your father has said more than once, smiling and wry, well aware of your mother’s pleasures and practices. He is Bright-born, and for all his goodness, he has that Fey detachment.

For your father's peace of mind, your mother only scuttles slavers and pirate ships and the stupid siren hunters who come practically asking for it, (when you are with her, anyway), but she still snags this or that drowning miscreant: an evil deck witch with long hair uncoiling in the waves, a brash first mate with waxed mustachios, a hard-eyed slaver with a piano player hands. She drags her choice down out of sight into the dark depths, but you know what she's doing.

This truth exists at peace with this one: your father loves your mother as she is.
Your father loves a monster. No, he loves two monsters, because he loves you, too, and you are not a half-elf, Tempest. Sirens might need a partner to egg, but they throw true.

Not that they egg often; it is usually in their last century, when they understand they are mortal, when their territorial savagery has faded far enough for them to (probably) not eat their own. As a Siren with a young mother and a present, living father, a siren who can read, a siren with a goddess, a siren born on the Prime, you are odd in many ways— but you are a Siren.

Your father has raised you on poetry and taught you to work the weave with prayer; your desire for friends and your wild romanticism comes from his nurture, not your nature, but the upshot of his influence is, you have a capacity empathy. Bingle is clearly in some sort of dither, so you are kind to her, but—you are what you are. You were raised to want what you want and to have it. Why should you not? Which of your parents would have taught you shame or modesty? Your Eladrin father from the 'Wild? Ha! Your voracious mother? HA HA! The books you read may value constancy, but it is as theoretical to you as a “town” was last week.

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And yet your parents are in love. Have you ever been in love? Is love a pretty skirt you can pull on or strip off as easily as you call legs, or is it a jewel on a high shelf you can’t reach, or is it a bland box that you let sink into the sand and never bother to explore?

Bingle wants you to open the locket but you must away from Vorn first. Perhaps you SEND to Briony? But then you and your closed locket are carted the same way Falco went, to a tidy little clipper called the Lost at Sea. Gary drops you there and then heads back for Fela and Bingle.

Falco, you are already there with Nilfil. The well-wrapped evil bundle is hung at a convenient height for talking and is staring at you with dead eyes that are way too old for his young face.

Did you leave your pipe with Banx? Banx doesn’t smoke, but he will learn how if you do this, as he is proud of his adventures. And anyway, smoking goes with the sihtkciker evil botos.

Nilfil clears his throat. He has an ignorant, thick accent. I’ll answer what you ask me, sounds like, Erl Arnser whert yer arsk meh. Just don’t put me back with them, eh? I’d rather swing fast from the gibbet than die the way they’ll do me for talking to you. Still. Rather them than be slow-ground to powder by one of these spider-worshipping accursed drowish women.

I wasn’t with the Black Rabbit. A scrub like me? Those that get a berth (and survive) on his ghost ship with its thousand names die old and rich. I was new recruited, a powder monkey on the recent capture – yours I gather. Dusk Maiden. Our job, to take other ships. Those that live get officer slots on those new boats. We tried to take a sloop, and lost, and ran, and hid in The Quiet Water - then the funnel came and sucked us down.


What do you want to know, Corsair?

left-aligned image
Bingle you send Halran for a quick tree hunt. He launches off Pozzik’s head and Pozzik yelps and tries to grab him, saying, OH UM HEY DON’T UM DO NOT FLY OVER, UM DON'T -

Harlan communicates where he sees the tree motif, only two other places. Fela’s wine glass, and the orrery. Strange, to have an orrery in a place that has no sky? You know the planets and placement, same as Keledek’s of the Prime. It moves and spins in the same way, too. But. It is so strange! Worked metal, like the locket, the cigarette case, the goblet. This is art, you understand, these are all arts, all with function. To wear, or carry smokes, or drink from, or show the passage of the planets. Halran moves his eyes from the orrery to Vron as he ---

DON'T FLY OVER THE DAIS! Pozzik finishes.

SO fast, those spiders. SO FAST! Scuttle-leap-jab-pop. A puff of fey mist and feathers. Halran is gone. But not before he puts it in your head. What he sees. What cannot be unseen. Only a flash. For maybe 70% of a second, but it is enough. It is more than enough, forever.

The robe ends where the desk begins, so it will not caught in the works of him. The works of Lrod Vron.

Halran shows you, and you know: he is teh nat tarp. You see his spine stretched down curved into the gears and cogs and workings of the seething metal, all the way into the floor, which seeths him back and forth and around, his flesh dripped among the workings, his soft organs permanently melded in the steel. You see the glass and whirring gears and pulsings of him. He is a juncture. At very meeting point, every binding, every winding connection, at the site of every loss and its welded in replacement, it sparks up blue. You know this blue. His brain, his weave-work, his blood and anima—he powers the machine. The alive blue light in the bottom of the pit is him, it is his soul, subverted.

There is no sitting room in the Ant Trap. He never sits. There is no bedroom. He never sleeps. No, he will never marry. No, he would not want to smoke and see his story.

A silence, and then Pozzik says, Oh dear, but the little bird, he is your familiar? Yes? Not dead, right? Look, here, HERE is incense. HERE are the herbs! I can loan you a bowel if –a BOWL! I mean a BOWL.

However will you unsee the workings of Vorn? Looped among the machinery.

You look at Vorn. He looks at you. You know, and he knows you know. His eyes are like Bongle’s; he will tolerate no pity.

You’d best go and get on with it, he says politely.
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  #156  
Old Jul 28th, 2023, 10:00 AM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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It isn't a tarp for nats or sihps. It's a tarp for him. For Vron. He is tarped. So tarped and clod.

A story blooms into her mind, fully formed. The two trees. One dark and one light, and Vron was the light one. This love was forbidden. Ended in a punishment, too cruel. She, a revolutionary, like Mad Gnone, but madder. He, hopelessly in love, trying to stop an uprising. But she loved a revolutionary, and put him in misery. What happened to Mad Gnone when the uprising failed. She was rich and wild, and the revolutionary died, and the revolution died. What happened to Vron. Look no more in the bitter glass. Bingle wondered if the beloved revolutionary sweetheart was still out there, and suddenly burned to know what the spyglass was trained on. She had thought, the Nat Tarp. Now she understood Gary's loyalty. And so much. But she wouldn't show him pity. Gnomes live a long life. If they're careful.

There's a clod nuderstanding between Bingle and Vorn.

"May I look into your spyglass?" she asks quietly. "I have never looked through such a lens."

If he allows it, she will look through it. She misses Halran with a little awful pang of loneliness but won't use Pozzik's components to get him. She has her own bowl and things. She feels a flare of anger at Pozzik and jealousy and worry over Banx staying here with him. Stupid goblin! His fault! Harlan's quick little nibbling beak and soft wing flutters. When she gets to the ship, she will get Harlan back, and he will never sit on Pozzik's head again, ever. Because she's mad at him for Harlan getting zapped.

"Goodbye for now, Lord Vorn," she says politely, with a bow. "I look forward to seeing you again on our return with your ship and ours. And on that point, I urge you to never give up."



ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


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Old Jul 29th, 2023, 12:16 AM
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Jus' a fly
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Falco didn't mind leavin' th' pipe with Banx. He knew he could trust 'im an besides, a wizard must needs a pipe. It were basically common knowledge, pointy hat an' pipe. Not like there'd be time fer smokin' it out here in th' dark waters anyways.




This loathsome bag of skin, bones, an' cruelty danglin' from th' mast before 'im were nothin' more'n a faceless swab amongst th' Red Feathers. Falco doubted they told 'im much o' anythin'. Still, he may have heard somethin' an' he still values 'is life enough t' talk. "Ye had th' Dusk Maiden an' ye couldn't even take a sloop? If only I'd been quicker!" He paused fer a moment t' look at th' artificial silk-bound bundle t' Insight: 12try an' sus out if'n he were speakin' true or maybe holdin' back.

"Does 'is ghostship often sail the Quiet Water?" Falco asked, "D'ye know who bought it, th' cloaker? Ye ever hear talk 'bout some big weddin'? Or maybe Th' Eye?" It weren't likely but he still had t' ask. Somebody besides Cinderrabbit has t' know somethin' an' ever'one talks on a ship, even pirates. "If'n ye want t' ever see th' sky again, how helpful can ye be? Can I trust ye t' at least help me get us all back up?" He leveled an assessing look on th' half-elf an thought he knew th' answer already."Were that all o' ye, in that pen?"


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Old Jul 29th, 2023, 02:56 AM
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Tempest, Monster at Large
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"Oh yes, Fela Markwig Springer. I, of course, am sensual as well. I am delightful on the Surface." Tempest smiled toothily at Fela, beautiful and ….one could wonder if she ever ate drowning pirates. La Belle Dame sans Merci. But there was so much wonder in her wild eyes, and such a desire to insert herself in the civilized world beyond making merry on lonely ships out at sea. In her grace and graciousness, the Siren allowed a lover to continue living. There wasn't love involved with said 'lover', as much as they would claim such in any throes of passion. That was the Charm, really, this love that most would define as a Siren's appetite - just a scratching of an itch! Life or death after an intimate encounter was whimsical at first, but as she matured, she had gotten more selective, not desiring to black widow each and every person under her spell.

Once Tempest was onboard the Lost at Sea with Falco, she eyed the webbed present that hung there. She could sense that the Starsinger was not pleased with the gift, but yet there the Half Elf was with his rough accent. She walked the length of the ship away from the questioning so she could finish Bingle's discussion with Briony. Weaving the spell, invoking her goddess, Tempest tried to contact Briony with the following woven message.
Fela negotiated deal for everyone's safety while we ship hunt in Glimmersea. Lord Vorn appreciates good stories and books. Enter whirlpool. Brave Fela said Exhilarating!

That certainly sounded correct, and positively Lady Wizard Bingle would admire her similar magical skills.

As the Siren walked with purpose, taking a quick peek at the locket again once below deck knowing if Gary or the spiders witnessed the opening of it, that would hurt Vorn and Nithe, she hid it away again knowing she and Bingle would take a look later. Peeking into the Storage Room, she opened the jar of pickled limes, sniffed them loudly, and snatched one to chew on. The salty, spiced, delicious cross-split lime was joyous! She ran back upstairs with it in her mouth and slurped on the rejuvenating fruit as she set the sails ready, removing it to speak. "Ahoy Falco Starspeaker, I do not know what wind we are to catch, but I am unfurling the sails in preparation to launch when everyone is onboard!"
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Old Jul 30th, 2023, 05:12 PM
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THE GLIMMERSEA
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Tempest, The Lost at Sea is narrow and well built; she will go fast, but the hold, with its hammocks and hardtack, cannot please you. Utilitarian, dim, ugly. You have not been with this group long and are still under the impression that Bingle is a noble just like Fela, and that Fela must be the scion of a major house. What of Falco? How does he strike you? And if they are indeed practically royal, how will they manage this hardship! (Hard ship?) How will you?

You cast SEND, and Briony pauses so long the connection almost closes. Finally she says, Orders received, ma'am. I'll steer us in as soon as the funnel returns.

The sailor is still wary of you, Siren.

Falco, Gary is ferrying your friends to the ship and the Siren has the prep work handled, so you can focus wholly on Nilfil.

"Ye had th' Dusk Maiden an' ye couldn't even take a sloop? If only I'd been quicker!"

He looks ashamed. Not for the piracy and murder, but for the failure. Too right. We shoulda had em! They was just traders, their sloop slow from a fat hold. But the ship you chase is cursed and haunted. All we did went wrong for us. In the middle of the fight, I saw a half-orc rise up, not ours or theirs.Where did he come from? Pale and furious, he was, and he ran at me yelling YAR YAR YAR, and then for no reason I fathom, I punched myself right in my face and blacked out. When I came to, we had been driven off and half were dead. We ran for Quiet Water to regroup, and right into the funnel.

"Does 'is ghostship often sail the Quiet Water?" Aye. We all do, time to time, and other pirate gangs besides. That’s the best kept secret I hand you now corsair, that the toothiest dogs on the sea use that dead space to parley, or rest up, or settle scores and sink each other in peace.

He and his were captured by spiders and in the holding cell before the ship was sold, so that’s a dead end. He knows nothing about a wedding, either. But when you ask about the Eye, he stills.

Scrub like me? I never saw the Black Eye, but he is why no one ever leaves the Red Feathers, not once you have the tat. They track you down, and they give you to the Eye, and then your stinking, rotty corpse comes back to swabbie on board the ship you left. Dumb and desperate, only able to shuffle and swab and pick barnacles and stink and obey, but not like regular zombies. I seen regular ones plenty, and they are just carcasses with jobs. But these he makes from the deserters, they say he traps their souls of in their own dead flesh. Takes decades for ‘em to rot enough to drop apart and be still.

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Naw, naw, naw, I won't go up with you. I’d rather die than let the Eye get me or be a slave to one of these matriarchs. Just make it, quick?
Then he pauses. Crinkles up his nose and squinches up his eyes. But if you pass land and let me off instead of killing me, I’ll see what I can find to do with myself here. I can promise that you’ll never hear from Nilfil anymore.

Bingle, Vorn agrees, and Pozzik will show you how to work the huge spy glass while he says cordial goodbyes to Fela. Gary is back to take her next to the ship. You head over to the spy glass with Pozzik the Bird Killer and Banx. It faces out a porthole, looking into the black waters of the Glimmersea.

Now, This can look in all directions, by way of magic,, Pozzik explains while not killing any birds, but probably only because there are none left. For amost no magic, like a cantrip’s worth, the Lens can look anyplace in the Ant Trap, or right around it.

There are all sorts of knobs and dials, and if you like, you can flip and spin and see the black surface of the sea, or different depth views of the webs and the stairs, or this empty holding cell or that one, or the one where 11 pirates huddle and mutter, or the harbor where Tempest is mucking with sails and Falco is questioning Nilfil and Fela is arriving and Gary is heading back. You can track Gary if you want, turning a dial and following his moves.

Now, if we used these levers here we can look reallllly far, (but we won’t because it drains the Ant Trap. He means Vorn. It drains his Weave to look far. When we want to spend the energy, it can show his city, or any place he knows well, but mostly we use it to look all the way up to the surface world, just above where we are, and watch. When we spot a ship, we calculate and move to intercept and put the funnel up.

While Banx has his turn looking, you find your gaze drifting to the orrery. Very art. Much elf. The roots of the tree spread over most of the platform, and some even twine up the base of the telescope. You are sharp-eyed and smart, Bingle, and low to the ground, and you notice the tiny lever hidden among these roots. It looks like part of the orrery, but no, it is on the scope.

You message Banx to ask dumb Pozzik a lot of questions (which he already wanted to anyway, OF COURSE). Then you look into it again and stealthily click the lever over with your toe. You look.


For the briefest flash, less than a second, you stare into a darkness so absolute you can barely make out the scene in grayscale.

You see a dais. A shroud. A figure. She sits so still. Too still. The gauzy shroud doesn’t so much as flutter with breeze or breath, and it occurs to you that this might be a statue. Is she a person, or an art? Is this a prison, or a tomb?

A click noise and a dizzy swirl of color, and now you are looking into the sea right outside again. A blind white fish with a dreadful underbite goes by. Pozzik yacks on to Banx. If you look, Vorn has wheeled to stare at you, eyes hard and dark. Did he feel that as a power drain? Or did his high perch let him see your toe make the extremely hidden lever click over? Either way, the scene is gone.

Your ride is here, Vorn says, tone mild, but the eyes! You had best be about your business. Tiny emphasis on the word “your.”

Time to go. Banx kicks at your evil boot with his evil boot and presses his mouth very hard down. He looks a lot of places that aren’t you. He says, Well but anyway. Anyway. When you get back, which will be soon, I'll have learned smoking. He waves Falco's pipe at you, and then Gary takes you to the Clipper.



OOCFIRST PERSON to see this occ, roll me a d4. Say the result in Dis please, or in the OOC! This is the number of days it will take for you to catch the Dusk Maiden. No matter the number of days, tell me how you fill the time, and make sure to include a roll of some kind.

We will not roll for encounters. You have the star chart so finding them is not an issue, and Gary Gonme can help you avoid the terror-holes and aboleth lairs and trade routes.

Ptwids, I am just assuming you have travel and move stuff, and I think you were mostly done with this scene, so I too you to the ship. EVERYONE is on the ship but if you want to ask a final thing or say a final thing in the lab, you may.
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Old Aug 1st, 2023, 12:57 AM
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Into th' Glimmersea
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Falco couldn't hold back 'is laughter when Nilfil mentioned th' pale an' furious half-orc scuttlin' their plans. "Aye, cursed an' haunted she is," he said when he regained 'is composure. Garrick always did enjoy a bit o' theatrics an' drama. "But that fearsome phantasm be th' one what taught me how t' manipulate th' natural flow o' magic. It ain't a curse fer me."

Now, th' new pieces 'bout th' Eye came with more questions. A different kind o' zombie. He remembered th' kobolds, who wasn't ghosts either, back in Glotten. He'd assumed it'd been Cinderrabbit or even Crines what made 'em. "Whad'ye think he is, th' Black Eye? Fey, or maybe a demon? That where th' Rabbit got 'is Ghostship?" It'd likely help t' know what they was up against. Falco narrowed 'is eyes a moment an' looked at th' miserable bundle before 'im. "Ye'd rather stay down here, in th' Underdark? I might consider lettin' ye loose but that jus' seems like a different sort o' prolonged death."

He kept 'imself busy as they sailed th' Starless Sea. Falco were constantly checkin' th' star chart, anythin' t' help distract from th' lack o' actual stars. He spent as much time talkin' t' Gary as his friends, askin' questions like how many ships do they catch in a month or if'n he got a very good look at who they were chasin' an' what he made of 'em. He were also very curious how Gary could navigate such a sea an' if'n it could be taught.

Falco left Nilfil hangin' but did pay 'im frequent visits with food, water, an' conversation. He asked th' usual things at first like "Where ye from?" an' "How'd ye get 'nto th' business?". He even offered up 'is own story o' answerin' th' Sea's call which led t' tales o' exploits an' talk o' strategy. He'd be needin' more hands aboard th' Dusk Maiden an' were tryin' t' get a feel fer how deep th' stink permeated Nilfil. Jus' how sorry could one skinny half-elf make 'im if'n he cut that artificial silk? "I know th' world wouldn't shed a tear fer ye," Falco confided, "But, ye ain't th' one I want t' kill. Still might though, before we go back up."

After a time what felt longer than it really were (who can keep a sense o' time without th' sun or moon?) he finally caught sight o' her gain. Th' Dusk Maiden. Home. He tried t' tamp down 'is burnin' excitement an' stay calm fer what were t' come. "When we board," he explained t' 'is crew o' friends, "we'll need t' be fast an' loud. Make 'em think we're more'n we are an' don't give 'em time t' react. All goes well, it'll be over before it even begins." Falco tucked away th' chart from Bramble, drew 'is moon sickle, an' took some deep breaths t' prepare 'imeslf.

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Old Aug 1st, 2023, 09:02 PM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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Bingle hasn't seen much cruelty in her life. Violence, yes. Nature is all about killing and eating each other, and a forest person like her can put most violence in that context. The green dragon eating babies. The smugglers. The sahuagin. Even the basilisk was just being violent, not cruel. The dwarves who put Xolec in the hole were just doing what they needed to do. Prior to this experience, maybe her only brush with real cruelty was with the Fey. So she had associated it with whimsy. Hurting someone when you don't have to.

But as Vorn's story unfolds and she has a minute to let the reality sink in of his organs melted into brass and his skin fused to glass, she has a new angle on this word, cruel. His mother uses him, and is just fine with using him completely up. Never mind his loves or longings. Or the fact that he is a person. A tree is trapped -- nature, a stone gnome is trapped -- violence, a soul in a dagger is trapped -- a contract, a vampire in a dwarf hole is trapped -- protection. But Vorn is trapped because he is being used with no regard for his own self. Cruelty isn't a transaction. You can't have a transaction with a piece of meat.

Bingle shivers when she sees the woman on the dais. Mad Gnone. For sure. But a dark grey Mad so draped with punishment. Awful. And everywhere down here is awful. When Banx kicks her boot and is awkward about her leaving, she thinks he is being very barve to stay and she gives him a hug. "I can already smoke really well," she whispers before she is off with Gary.

While they are on the trip to the Duskmaiden, Bingle has a list of things to do:

1. Cast Sending to her father and find out what is going on with the Pim borther thing.
2. Get Harlan back! Should have been #1! Harlan can help scout.
3. Learn to smoke. The only thing she has to smoke is the cigarettes that Vorn gave her for Xolec. But! Needs! Must! She will ask Falco to give her a smoking lesson. She will smoke one cigarette per day.


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Old Aug 2nd, 2023, 12:47 AM
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Tempest, Wondrous
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Falco has the cocooned one with the weird words well taken care of. Tempest decided at first to work with the spiders that creep up the rigging, and …they were quite efficient with Gary being experienced in this strange sailing under no sky. There were no maps she could dramatically point at, nor could she use her lovely navigational tools, and therefore approached Gary once, or maybe twice, to point at something that glowed, wondering if he was guiding the ship by mushrooms, or gems, or colonies of shiny bats. "Gary, you and I are glorious with our keen eyesight in the darkness, but others here…they are dependent on lanterns. Would it hurt you greatly if I summoned the light of the sun on the ship we are going to attack as to startle them, and light them up so bright that we will not be at a disadvantage? I fear this is something I must do, and I want you well."

The day before Tempest's Mom would bring her on a ship hunt, all she could do was plan. It felt as though the outing was always a lesson and series of tests - to test her mettle, her creativity, her viciousness and judgment. Could she charm pirates over to the edge of a ship so she could grab their leg? Or see if they would climb down to a dinghy in a storm to greet her, sometimes falling on their own accord to their screaming death that she quickened mercifully with a faster drowning. This attack on red feathers with a Drow and a 'Cloaker' was not that. They speak of monsters being on board, and ..to her the Humans, the Hin, the partially Elf-blooded were the monsters and more or less could be seduced to their last breath. Vorn, being a Drow, was certainly not taken with her, barely even glancing at her. The Siren fascination….might only work under the darling Moon, not glowing fungi. Was this a proper time to depend on her goddess? Could She even hear her when she was so deep below the world she was from? Fela prayed, and certainly her faith would never waiver. Tempest would rise up to the challenge like a boiling storm and show her newfound friends that she and Aerdrie Faenya were prepared.

On the first 'morning' after sleeping …not in a hammock net, but curled up in a tasteful silk and velvet coat NOT in a net…the great and wondrous Tempest helped with breaking fast, creating a lovely and bland spread of fruits, berry pies, mutant roast chickens, stacks of buttered and honey'd toast, pots of meaty stews, fishy pies, suckling pigs with apples in their mouths, small wheels of creamy cheese, something green that may be a cross between asparagus and peas, mashed tatoes, baked tatoes, and gold-roasted potatoes carved to look like mermaids, and as much clean, pure water as could fill anything Bingle and she could find that was fillable.

By the afternoon, Tempest approached Bingle and whispered. "If everyone is busy up here, especially those spiders, let's go below deck and go somewhere secret and take a look." If no spiders or Garys were about, Tempest would try to sneak off, wanting to open the locket with Bingle.

By the evening, a Sending would be cast to Briony. "Hi it's Tempest. We are well and sailing without a sky. We have had meals. We prepare for battle. How do you fare, friend?" The Siren was trying to be friendly, not that she was going to win Briony over anytime soon, but at least she is checking in to hopefully keep Fela from being distracted with worry.

Over the next two days, Tempest tried to learn the Glimmersea, and prepared herself to take over the enemy ship.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2023, 08:48 AM
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Glimmersea
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Falco, Nilfil will agree that The Eye might be a demon or sadistic Fey or any kind of eldritch horror you can think to mention. He’s sure The Eye will get him and “Do him undead dirty,” if he ever goes up. He tells you he deserved your knife, but begs to get off at any land you come to.

He tells you, Yes, The Sea Hare (for such is its real name, no matter what lying colors his sly ship is currently flying) was a gift of The Eye to Cinderrabbit, who is his right hand and speaks for him and to him, even!

You and Tempest study Glimmersea navigation with Gary Gonme; it relies on a compass, knowing the trenches and sounding for depth, plus memorizing or having a chart of the currents created by underground springs. Gary is a mechanic, not a sailor, he mostly relies on the spiders. You get the how of it, but, damn. It would take years to memorize the .

He flatly refuses your HIT ‘EM HARD AND FAST idea. You aren’t running Lord Vorn’s clipper into cannon range! She has no cannon, and the Cloaker will shoot first and ask questions la—well, never.

You might need another plan, Corsair. There is a Johnny boat, or you can swim, or magic yourself over, or follow them to land. We are heading toward wild islands, covered mostly in fast-growing mushroom jungle. There are a few trading posts, but the vegetation grows so fast no one builds beyond the coast’s sandy edge. Perhaps the ship you chase means to replenish their fresh water there?

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Tempest, you are an excellent sailor, but this is NOT EVEN A SEA. No moon or tide? You ask Gary about using bright light; he says he doesn't care at all. He is a mechanic, not a fighter; he and the clipper plan to be a half mile away from any battles, waiting safely, and PS SEND spell if any of you live and get the Dusk Maiden so you can follow the clipper back to Vorn?

Briony says: We’re alive. The fall— gods! Spiders drugged us. We woke aboard, harbored at a strange island. Spiders guard the gangplank. Who’s “Lord Vorn?” Is Fela— She is trying to sound steady, strong, but you are familiar with the spice of human fear; she is scared enough to talk to you, scared enough to lose the count to 25.

NO to hammocks, NO to hardtack, yes to summoned feasts and faith. Gary kips on deck, too, unspooling a bedroom on the upholstered bench in the Tool-Hand Spider. You take turns following the star chart, sleeping in shifts, and it pulses flicker like a heartbeat getting faster. Now it is as fast a bird-heart. You can hold the star chart in one hand and Halran in the other and know.

Gary and his spiders do not go below, ever, so it is easy for you to show the locket to any who wish to see. Inside is a miniature oil portrait of a princess in a strange, heavy crown; she is drow, but—the moon is with her! Your moon!

You are insightful and art-savvy; this image was rendered by a master hand, and whoever painted it loved her. Adored her. The Princess faces two cities. You recognize the architecture of the top city as Eladrin, more specifically, Moon Elf. The lower city’s architecture is similar but hrm— it feels elvish, elf-esque — but not sun or moon or seasonal fey Eladrin like your father’s home city. It is strange to you.

Bingle, smoking is terrible. It makes you sick and dizzy. It for sure might kill you. But. Good gods. You look so cool doing it.

Halran comes back puffy and sleepy and happy to see you. The cigarette case is just a case. But also art. Falco can tell you the tobac smells sweet and rich, quite costly, but, BLERGH. Inside the coin, Pim’s plea remains the same. Days have passed. Nearly a week. Can he answer if you do not respond? Maybe you can leave it this forever and he can never lying lie anymore, or maybe he waiting craftily like a spider all poison and vile for you to break down and be nice, or maybe he is waiting patient and hopeful like a sad scared borther, hoping you will be a hero. WELL, YOU WILL NOT. YOU ARE EVIL AND A WARLOCK AND YOU ARE GOING TO CALL YOUR DAD AND TELL ON HIM.

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You message your father with proper manners and formality. Who taught you this? He did. Your mother. Your many uncles and aunts. Bongle and her thumping knuckles on your head. The shape of courtesy is a refuge, but your father blares back into your head instantly with none of it, none of it:

Bingle! My child! Where are you! Come home, samlelst! I thought— the wizard said—you’d scuttle home scared in two days, but no! WEEKS! DEAREST—

Bingle. Your father. Your father. He has big ears, a big nose. His cheek skin above his beard is very soft like paper that has been crumpled and uncrumpled a lot of times. He likes nougat. He likes puns. You soldier on, professional, PROFESSIONAL, and ask about the coin. You get a messy rush of words back. He sounds overwrought. Your mother, if she could hear him, would make him lie down with hot moss on his feet and a cup of Valerian tea.

Must be a STONE, not a COIN. I told Bongle you SENT; she said you couldn’t learn that so fast. Why, she can’t even cast—

You soldier on and ask if you have a borther, and he answers, bewilderment in his tone. Borther? A BORTHER? No? Unless — well, Bongle married, you know this, while you were -- Is this a SEND stone? -- BINGLE! THIS IS MAD! COME HOME!

Is this sad dithery provincial cleric who cannot even cast SEND bossing YOU, Bingle, a Curiosa of the Undine Mouth and a warlock of Glasya? But he sounds genuinely mystified. And genuinely — undone? And when you say that you will not come back, he does louding and urgentness:

No! Come home now. Immediately. Live quiet. Be happy! It's not safe for you out there! A VAPMIRE HUNTS US, CHILD! AND ALSO THE WINTER--
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Old Aug 4th, 2023, 09:03 PM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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Bingle is mad. Again. For these reasons.

1. The wizard said she would scuttle home in two days? The wizard said that? Griselda Erevyn (the beautiful) said that Bingle, favored apprentice and recipient of a spell book copy (very rare) would scuttle home in two days? (S C U T T L E ? ? ?) What the feraking carp. No. Keledek said the spellbook gift was an act of faith and love. So, there must be another wizrad. Fine.

2. Bongle.

3. WHATEVER!

She sends twice on the third day.

She cannot even continue with the polite behaviors. She counts every word and snaps them off in her mind like sticks. The first message is to her father:

What wizard? Tell them I have met this vapmire and he is in my debt. He won't bother you anymore. Release all your stone girls.

She has powerful allies. A durid. A vapmire. A siren. A Slatmrash wizard. A spirgner. A porstitute. A drow. A mnok. She doesn't need to be crawling for approval to someone whose wife controls his honey intake. She feels like crying and slapping someone. So frustrating. She can make a zmobie. She can FLY.

The second message is to Bongle, in a frigid, imperious tone:

Pimbal Wildwander. "Cleric's eldest child." His sister had hollow coin for sending messages with paper scrap. Who put this coin in my bag? You?

To Pim she scratches out a message:


With all this communicating going on, and no Banx, Bingle is moody and spends a lot of time with Gary asking pointless questions or watching him eat. Her father doesn't get it. Her sister doesn't get it. She thinks about the voice that comes from Malbolge during a Hellish Rebuke. Girl, I know you did not tell this wizrad right here that you expect her to be scuttling home. Because you know when she's done with you a vampire's bite gonna be a kind and merciful ending. She does Alter Self into a sea beast. She does Alter Self into the Hin girl. She resets all her spells into violence. She knits on the Glasya sweater. What village, never had a village. What borther, never had one at all.



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Old Aug 5th, 2023, 12:53 AM
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Chasin' a Maiden fair
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Falco ain't never been th' type t' say no t' feasitn' or t' count th' legs on any conjured meal. It were a welcome an' calmin' distraction from sailin' a sea without stars. So did Vorn's fine tabac an' th' smokin' lessons. He showed Bingle how t' just hold th' smoke in her mouth after she turned green th' second time. Banx was gonna be impressed.

He took some o' th' food t' Nilfil an' considered how neither o' 'em liked th' situation none. If only th' half-elf had been there that night, things would be easier. Clearer. Killin' Nilfil wouldn't feel good even if'n it were still justified. Red Feathers were th' worst o' th' worst, after all, but this one were sad an' emptied. Still, what could Falco do?

"I can't be cuttin' ye loose before we take me ship back," Falco told th' cacooned half-elf. "Too risky, I can't rightly trust ye, an' we ain't stoppin'. Not til after th' Dusk Maiden. I'm sure ye understand."

Falco spent some time, when things was quiet, recallin' th' names an' characteristics o' all th' animals he'd ever seen both in th' world or a book. He focused on th' type o' magic what calls or conjures, with th' intent t' add chaos an' confusion t' th' upcomin' boardin'. Cap'n Kieran would always laugh so hard ever' single time Garrick would summon a gang o' squirrels or parrots out from 'is tricorn.

It were understandable, Gary's reluctance at a direct assault. There was plenty o' ways t' take a ship. Falco wanted t' make it happen sooner'n later though. "No worries Gary, I can become a shark or octopus an' they won't even see me comin'. I'd rather hit 'em before th' island, bad form t' disrupt a market day. At least Up it is. Besides, maybe they're tryin' t' arm 'emselves." These things work best when nobody sees 'em happen. "If'n we don't make it back," he said casually, o' course they would, "the little gift wants off th' clipper. Dump 'im in th' Glimmersea, if'n ye want. Otherwise, I'll take care o' th' blighter when we return."

Falco offered t' carry anyone who might want t' ride a shark through an ink-black sea, whenever th' time came. Th' plan were still t' hit fast 'n' hard, only more quietly now. They'd sneak aboard an' take 'em unawares like true pirates.

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