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  #226  
Old Sep 23rd, 2023, 04:11 AM
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Tempest, Siren
left-aligned image

This dire situation darkened Tempest's mood as the too-thick, sticky and slithering tongue pressed against her face, forcing her eyes closed and to tear - Siren's don't cry - so it was certainly the stinging sensation that caused the hot sea-salt liquid to escape her for moment. The thoughts of her failure in allowing the dead-not-dead to swarm the ocean, eventually making it to her family's territory, then precious island. Her dear parents getting overwhelmed, overrun, even with the cleverness and vicious nature of her Mother, how many could she kill? She's seen the sea bloodied before, but this would be beyond the splintering of a ship and its flailing bones. It's when you're closest to death, you think of home. Being slowly devoured? Tormented? Suffocated? by a once-welcoming but paranoid, and rightfully detested Monster lacked glory. Tempest's fury blurred over her desire to go home with her tail low and head bowed. Perhaps she was too young to have left. Her Mother would eventually push her away, perhaps even attack her, if she ever moped around. Hell, she doesn't remember moping. What a Human emotion.

This fury that rose like a beast, like a monster, as such her nature, jolted awake with the first ribbon of radiating pain that pulled through her, almost unnaturally so. The damn creature was doing something to her. The next thing she felt was an agonizing, sudden gut-wrenching tearing and breaking that would have knocked the wind from her, if she had more air in her strained, unbreathing lungs. Her fingers clenched against the sturdy leather grip of her shield as her other hand wanted to tear into the meat of the Cloaker. If she could CHOMP and RIP and TEAR out his invasive tongue, then dig her hands in…..And she would thrash, and drain her limited energy for she had no air, and then she would just die quicker like a flopping fish caught in a net. The Siren was NOT going to let her parents die, and Mermaids turn into undead. She especially was not going to let her friends and companions get eaten by Monsters if she could help them.

Tempest slapped her shield against the Cloaker again, and planted her bare blue feet on the wooden planks under her. With the flat of her other hand, she gave a mighty shove and heaved herself free of the Captain's maw, ooze-saliva shimmering in her braided hair and coating her scratched face. Damn, she hurt when she gasped in her first breath of air, coughing, and spitting, and catching her breath. Quickly she drew her sleeve over her eyes, sweeping them as clean as she could so she could see through the stickiness. As she glowered, a pained, injured Siren baring her teeth between gulps of air, Tempest touched her hand to the top of her armor with her fingers splayed over the beads to find the one that could Cure Wounds bead for 17 HPheal her. Her ribs under her armor felt….bad and wrong. If she felt blood, it was delayed due to the shocking experience of being INSIDE that Monster's mouth as though she were prey, which she certainly was not raised to be.

"You need to be put down for your crew's survival!" Tempest snarled as she was about to take a step back away from the Cloaker and noticed that there's a pile of hats on the ground as well as an extremely large Gelatinous Cube behind her who was getting evilly cursed and blasted mercilessly by Bingle. "Stand down or your ship will be forever cursed by your ghost-TAINTED Captain!" How she glowered at the Captain with her darkened eyes; fiery stripes more pronounced from her temples to her jaw. He wanted a Monster, and he was going to get one if she survived. Swiftly, if nothing blocked her way, Tempest moved toward Bingle, keeping the cannon between herself and the Ettin as she made her way to the stairs. "Dance, later?" The Siren naturally winked, flashed a toothy smile at both heads and continued on her run. "Back Off." the Siren hissed at the Lizard Deck-Swabber, hoping to draw her attention and give her second thoughts about attacking as she paused by a cluster of barrels.
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Last edited by PlaidPeregrine; Sep 23rd, 2023 at 03:25 PM.
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  #227  
Old Sep 23rd, 2023, 08:16 AM
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Fela, sparking a mutiny?
left-aligned image

Her stomach still has that falling feeling as Fela rematerializes, which is unusual, but -- oh. Oh no. She's teleported not just closer to the boat but somehow also up into the air, her legs still sprinting futilely against ground that's no longer there. She gets a brief view of the chaos on the deck of the ship from up there -- Tempest pulling herself out of the Cloaker, Bingle wounded and being vomited on -- and then stops her legs wind-milling just in time to land again on the ground, collision and weight of her armor knocking all breath out of her but somehow still on her feet.

She's not sure why her friends started the fight early, but they're not getting the better end of it at the moment. She turns to look at Squiggles and sees Falco shifting into a horse and charging onwards -- a few steps to the side and she can slides up onto him as he runs past, barely slowing, her riding instructor would be proud.

Her body manages the acrobatics of the landing and the running mount automatically, smoothly, meanwhile her mind is still up above, flailing like her legs had been, trying to figure out how best to help her friends. The plan was to make the mutiny happen. If it doesn't go off, they're doomed now. She needs to get through to Squiggles. She turns to shout over her shoulder, over the noise of hooves and the fight. "Your captain's eating my friend! If he doesn't get some sense knocked into him immediately there'll be no one left to rid your ship of the ghost..."

To punctuate her point, she draws her sword and raises it high, murmuring a little prayer as she does, and it flashes a brilliant summer yellow for just a moment before settling into a milder orange glow, hoping against hope that the Mindflayer will be charge into battle with her...somehow.

Actions, etc.

Rolls here
Passed the Dex save check so didn't land prone, but still took the 11 damage.

Movement: 15' to position herself to Mount Falco
Action: Rolled a 21 on Persuasion for Squiggles
Bonus Action: Cast Divine Favor on herself
Free action: Draws sword

Status: Mounted on Falco, holding sword and shield, concentrating on Divine Favor

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


 
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  #228  
Old Sep 25th, 2023, 08:16 AM
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BAD DOINGS ON THE DUSK MAIDEN
right-aligned image
Bingle, EFF THIS FOR REAL. Bongle in your head, tsk tsk tsk. Well, where is she, cleric of the Wildwanderer? NOT HERE. No healing magic sparking cool green and smelling mossy. Just you and the red of of Hell, but don't it work, though. One Duergar explodes into fire and staggers shrieking, and the smell of toasted dwarf fills the air. Glasya. Says. No. Seething smoke surrounds that dumb cube and his dumb hat, WHAM! SLAM! How you like Her NOW, cube?

It don't.

Halran is atwitter, having done a careful relook at the webbed chain; he can tell you it is full of religion. MMMM HMMM. Religion for DAYS. What do you call those people who work for gods? Bongle is one? Bard? Yes. The bard of some god or other. What god Ummmmm Some kind of spidery web-based religiosity god here in the Nuderdrak, sooooo... *shrug* Rings no bells for him.

Tempest, you yank your head out of what can only be called a MAW. It makes a sound like a cork coming out from a bottle of fine wine, if the bottle of fine wine was an a******. You give yourself a huge bead-fueled boost of stormy healing energy, and then you slither out from between the cloaker and the cube, skirt the ettin, and go running for Bingle. The Cloaker tries to mash you with a wind buffet, but it is all wind to you, storm-lover. The cube, however, smashes down on you with an acidic psuedopod. Luckily, you can slough off a lot of the pain. Acid doesn't bother you much. Up you go!

You just need to get close. If you can get close, you can all be wind AND IT WILL BE FINE.

One of the visible dwarves stands, gawping, and then POOF, he too can no longer be seen, but the fire-scalded one and the one with him run at Bingle, hurling javelins. One clatters to the deck, but the other hits...

Bingle it hruts, so much so that you have to bend and keep bending and you tumble forward onto your face on the deck which would hurt except there is no deck. You fall through it. What is nuder teh Nuderdrak? Lilladreki says she knows. And now you know. What is nuder teh Nuderdrak is drakness. Bingle, do you dream?

left-aligned image
Falco, you are at core an honest thie---corsair. You tell Squiggles a little truth. Sometimes, the salt of a little truth can flavor a lie. The true-est truth is, you do not care who wins if there is a mutiny. You want them allll dead, or at least off your rightful boat. You hope it lands, this truth-fueled lie, and then your legs lengthen under you and your hands reach for the ground and keep reaching,totally a word longening, and you are a horse. All your clothes and effects go to wherever these things go when you do this. The hell cigarillo goes with them, waiting for your human hand to call it back.

Have you ever been a horse before?

It is satisfying, to feel the hard concrete ground clack and clatter under your hoofs. You charge through the last of the scattering mushroom farmers, proud and snorty. Why isn't it colder? You would love to puff steam from your mighty nostrils. AH HERE IS FELA! So you slow to a canter, briefly, to give her a chance to swing up onto your broad, bare back. Now your hoofs are thudding forcefully on wood. THE DOCK! You have made it. You see the ships ahead, the gangplank ten or twenty feet away.

Fela, no saddle, no bridle, no problem. You have trained for this. You swing up, all algow with holy magics. As you get close to the ship, you see first mate Jiven Starkscream with the two women hanging over the railings on the trader, watching. He has a pistol. You know about pistols. Most Paladins you know disdain them. Trashy. He shoots a bullet that deploys in a puff of deep green smoke and calls, OH OOPS SHE MOVED! as said bullet slams into Captain Cloaker. The two women with him chuckle, amused.

Then the drow turns and stares behind you, looking at the creaky old mind flayer who is still dashing, pating, his withered tentacles all a flop. They can communicate telepathically, you know. Whatever the mind flayer has told him turns the drow's smirk to a feral grin. You hear him say, Excuse me, Lady, I need to off my captain, and then we'll do this deal up proper, drow to drow. The woman in velvet laughs and gives him a slight bow and a wave, as if to say, By all means. He sets off down the gangplank, heading for the Dusk Maiden.

The swabbie-lizard shrieks, JIVEN! I WILL EEEEND YOU IF YOU HARM ONE WING OF HIM AGAIN! She starts down the stairs. Ah, a loyalist.

The Kuo-Toa, Loog Loog sees the twice shot, poisoned Captain chasing after tempeest, and hurls a net. It entangles the Cloaker. OOPS, TOO. I OOPSED, TOO, he says, gleeful, fish-grinning to show pointy teeth. Not a loyalist.

The cube stands and quivers like confused Jell-O salad made with bone and hats instead of canned fruit. CAPTAAAAIN WHAT DO! WHO ENGUUUUULLLLFFFF? This guy is loyal, you surmise, but about as good at catching wise as Harlan is at religion. He lashes out at Tempest, but misses.

The ettin thunders after Tempest, too. The left-side tries to yank back toward the Captain, but the Right seems to have the upper, um hand? head? just now. The left hand flails, but the right hand smashes down on Tempest with a morning star. OOF! You see Bingle is already crumpled to the deck, and the Siren looks not far behind.


OOC
LINK TO VERY SIMPLE MAP. If you move off the boat I will punt, NO WORRIES VAMPIRE = Cloaker (because it has a cloak). Gray Ooze = Cube. Owl = Harlan A screen shot is up in DISCORD
Bingle can roll her first death save with the BLESSED condition, but after that, Tempest needs to roll for concentration.

Everyone check your spells please, and if you use a spell a from either the DIVINATION or CONJURATION (conjuration) school, please roll a d4 in your action block. 1 it fizzles, 4 it works fine, 2 or 3 I tell you what happens.

By now you know:

LOYAL: Cloaker, She-Who-Swabs, Cube, half an ettin
MUTINEERS: Jiven Starkscream, Loog Loog, Squiggles, half an ettin.

The ettin gets a roll each round to see what head is in control. LOYAL HEAD won this time. The Duergar seem to be either hiding or just killing you guys on general principle.

Name Health AC Damage Conditions Concentrating
Bingle0/3913-6 -11 -12 -11Blessed, Unconscious 
Harlan111   
Tempest11/4517-13 -3 -12 +16 -7 -15Blessed  
Falco 45/45 12  HORSE
Fela 41/52 16/18-111.5/
CLOAKERQuite Hurt14 -7 -12 -8 -13RESTRAINED
CUBEHURT6 -22  
SheWhoSwabsHEALTHY11  
LOOG LOOGHEALTHY13  
DUERGAR 1HEALTHY16 Invisible
DUERGAR 2HEALTHY16 Invisible
DUERGAR 3HEALTHY16  
DUERGAR 4QUITE HURT16 -16  
ETTINHEALTHY12  
SQUIGGLESHEALTHY15  
JIVEN STARKSCREAMHEALTHY16  
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  #229  
Old Sep 25th, 2023, 07:26 PM
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Fela, broody like a hen, not a teenager
left-aligned image

Charging into the action atop a noble steed feels right and nearly entirely correct. Only 'nearly' because, one: the mount is Falco, and it's a bit off-putting thinking about squeezing the little guy tightly between her thighs and two: the action is muddled and unclear. She's aware a straightforward rushing in smiting is drawing a target on her back, and that she needs to be more subtle and restrained. But even unclear as the action on the ship is, it's much better than the conversation she's just been having. Trying to sound out a squid person without showing their own hand too much was headache inducing; now she has a clear purpose: keep Bingle and Tempest from dying.

Which appears like it will be plenty of work -- up above Falco horse she can see over the railing of the ship, watch a javelin sink into Bingle and send her crashing down into the deck. Not again... Her purpose is as clear and simple as the noonday sun, now. "Get me to Bingle -- front, er, bow" she leans forward to say into Falco's ear, and then rising back yells louder "I'm not fighting -- just saving my acolyte!"

Even knowing it's Falco the horses reaction catches her off guard; she's ridden smart, well trained horses but there's something decidedly non-equine in the depth and immediacy of understanding, and she's instantly up the gangplank and past the captain, dipping to help Fela off and down the stairs to the lower deck, heedless of anything but reaching the fallen gnome. Sword stuffed back into its sheath so she can reach down and trail her fingers across Bingle's neck...

...and there's a flash in the darkness, a light, yes, but a warmth, too. A dryness in the interminable fungal dampness, a smell of summer, of dry pine needles, as Saliber pours life back into Bingle, Fela merely the vessel. Only then, mission accomplished, does she straighten up and take in the true chaos in the boat, the uncertainty of who's fighting who, the Ettin unsure of itself, even. Plunged back into uncertainty. Except for her shield, which hovers over Bingle like a mother hen sitting on the new chicks, protecting that which has brought (back) into this world.

Actions, etc.



Movement: 15' to dismount, then down the stairs to Bingle (maybe right next to ooze so Tempest is within the 10' Aura of Protection and Missile Attraction Curse coverage)
Action: Lay On Hands to heal 28 points of damage to Bingle
Bonus Action:
Free action: Sheath Sword to have free hand to lay on Bingle
Reaction: Interception Fighting Style to prevent
Dice Protection:
d10+3 (8)+3 Total = 11
(11) -- to Horse Falco from AOO and/or Bingle

Status: Holding shield, concentrating on Divine Favor, shield's curse drawing ranged attacks within 10' to her

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


 
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  #230  
Old Sep 26th, 2023, 12:42 AM
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Aboard th' Dusk Maiden
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It felt good t' be a majestic steed bearin' a true warrior into battle. He could gallop all day, he were made fer jus' this. But soon they were at th' ship full of the scent of blood and sounds of battle. He weren't a horse that shied away from such things, he were a war horse what trampled its enemies 'neath strong legs and iron hoofs bred t' be ever' bit as fearsome as 'is rider. So, when Fela said 'Get me to Bingle' he galloped on an' pounded directly up th' gangplank t' get a good look at what were goin' on.

It were worse than he'd hoped. Well, th' cloaker were netted by 'is own crew mate so Falco snorted an' took it as not bein' lost jus' yet. But Bingle were layin' still on the wood an' Tempest was hurt real bad. If'n that weren't enough, th' two-headed ogre were out n' fightin'. He needed t' let Garrick out, now.

Falco stopped at th' top o' th' stairs so Fela could easily dismount an' get t' Bingle, but she'd be runnin' right into danger. He reared up over th' captain what claimed his ship an' stomped at th' air before slippin' outta th' war horse an' back t' Hin. He knew where he needed t' be with either th' cloaker's key or th' cigarillo behind 'is ear but, his friends was in a bad way.

Falco's right hand went t' his moon sickle an' his left reached fer his sea glass star charts, th' ones he made on this ship, in a different place. In th' most commandin' voice he could muster, he shouted, "We're here t' remove yer ghost, do not interfere!" Before focusin' a bolt o' starlight through th' glass discs o' his first chart an' sendin' it' Guiding Bolt: 22 to hit for 13 radiant damagestreakin' down into th' wobblin' Cube who were quiverin' menacingly near th' rest o' his friends. Now, it were limned in starlight what shimmered as it shivered. He looked at th' big fella with a pair o' argumentative heads an' remembered what th' stars had showed him before, how t' Woe (-1) on the Ettin's next attackinterpret their signs an' maybe bend 'em t' his advantage.

He looked at the restrained captain an' then turned t' join Fela on th' stairs. Th' first moments back on th' Dusk Maiden were jus' like 'is last. Mutiny.

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  #231  
Old Sep 27th, 2023, 01:14 AM
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Tempest, Siren
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Feeling a breeze on her back gave Tempest hope, especially when she was at a loss as to why the storm was not hers in her very being to command. No retributive dance of lightning when she was swallowed or was attacked; the divine thunder didn't swell in her bones and essence. Yes, the Siren was deep, deeper than the darkness of the ocean trenches, and Aerdrie Faenya was up so very high, maybe just beyond her reach at this very moment. It was as though the sun had become a hopeful ember instead of a blazing fire. That would not do. The monster-goo-cube rudely hit her, quiet solidly too, and the acid it was made of would dissolve a Human quicker than it would a thick-skinned, usually beautifully scaled Siren. It hurt though, and she didn't have time to waste being dangerously slimed by two monsters.

The stairs carried her closer to Bingle, and the damn cube wanted to follow with its wet-jellyfish-flopping. If they could become wind, they would be free and the fight would surely continue. This was not something Tempest was exactly used to - all of this fighting in which her blood was spilled. Saughin, it was expected, but these Monsters were not to be dispatched with ease, or at all, because she had listened to Captain Falco on that point. The two-headed strange Ettin stomped after her, and she found herself in such a pickle, having to turn and sweep her shield at the horrible, annoying but square jellyfish Cube. So insistent, swatting at her again with its unpleasant, burning sting. When did jellyfish become sailors and loyal to floating stingrays, that of which was just netted by a Fishman. No, Humans and Elves and Gonmes and Hin…they are not as strange as this, and for that she was thankful.

Distracted for a moment at the cloppity-clop of a horse, such a magnificent surface creature she had never seen before in the flesh, would have kept her attention like a noble school girl preparing to ride, but the Ettin did not pull back to the Cloaker as it shifted its weight once, then twice, bringing down the giant spiked stick upon her blue, now bloodied purplish-smeared body. "If either of us die, you will be haunted until this ship sinks in the deepest and darkest of the sea! A Siren's curse!" Tempest rolled a growled threat, as she clenched her hand, looking at the crumpled form of Bingle as the cavalry arrived with the clomp-clomping upon the wood of the ship. With a heave, she pushed her shield up once again with a pain that radiated through her. "Fela! I saw a Dwarf disappear!" Because she did after all, even though that was quite strange; as strange as it was to not use Fela's full name, because..time, an Ettin and a cruel Cube.

The Ettin made her feel insignificantly small as he towered over her with weapons as thick as her arm. Tempest saw the Paladin caring for Bingle as the Horse-Hin trotted with hard, tromping hooves before returning to his Captain Falco form. The Siren was not in an advantageous place or situation being nearly cornered by foes and smashed, needing healing once again before she fell and failed her family. Touching the last healing bead on her necklace, she ducked with her shield held high on an arm that was straining and bruised. Right now, she needed to return to the sea, even a weird sea, just to throw the Monsters off course (the first course of the meal being her). One moment was all she desired to regain her strength as she planned to cautiously climb back up to support her companions.
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  #232  
Old Sep 27th, 2023, 10:25 AM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/WarlockIn a way it's disappointing to be such a powerful wizard and get taken out by a javelin from a random sailor, but Bingle knows that random siht can be the most merciless. She isn't surprised when the the pain of her wound fades and she tumbles down into the floor, and beyond, because she's headed for the grey. She knows what is here and the fading. But this time, when the imp comes to carry her off, he won't be taking her to the dagger, to speak to Mr. Perpetu, and have infinite chances, and sleep in a box. He'll be taking her to Malbolge to fulfill her contract. And because she has been kind of evil but not very evil, not super evil really after all, she won't get to be a princess or have a tower or command a regimen (Bingle's ideas of hell's rewards for being evil are kind of vague) she will just be tossed in a pit for a boring eternity, with all the other spent souls, forever.

It's sad. And hruts. But! Then! Only a few seconds after she has begun to sink toward that grey pond, she feels a warm touch on her neck, and opens her eyes to see Fela's urgent face, and she is surrounded in glow and goodness. Everything feels better -- everything. The fact that her javelin wounds are pulled together with light that smells like forests and the fact that Fela came for her, dashing into danger and monsters, and a huge horse that morphed into Falco, and Tempest there battling a giant, the ship's creak and everyone shouting out things, she was hardly left to die for even three seconds. She looks up at Fela with pure love and gratitude before leaping to her feet. This is what sisterhood is supposed to feel like.

"Thank you," she croaks out. Still wobbly in the ankles and knees, she stays as close to Fela as she can, peeping out from under the shield to try and understand what's going on. Maybe if they take down all the loyalists and the captain, they can deal with the mutineers differently. But if they take down one side of this fight, leaving the other side fit and strong, that could be a difficult battle. Bingle struggles to her feet, tucking right into Fela's shield. She puts her arms around the paladin's waist and gives a tight hug, shutting her eyes tight with relief, and casting a good spell from the good spellbook, amping up Fela for the fight.


ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


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Old Sep 29th, 2023, 09:25 AM
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Big Bad Battle
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Tempest, are you the first to see that this is death? You have seen death. Plenty. Just not yours. You feel your own coming now, though, coming very close in your wounds, in the huge swarm of too powerful enemies surrounding you in this too small space. You need a moment to regroup, and how can you do this with feet! Feet are terrible. You need the cold embrace of your own true environment. Now.

You pinch off another little bead and cure your wounds, and then you disengage from this doomed combat. One foot on a box, next foot on a rail, a headlong plunge into the place you feel at home. Safe safe safe, and under. You feel your good strong tail reform, your gills open. The truth is, you cannot die here. What will happen to them, if you die here? They do not even know what’s coming at them. Your willful mother will not understand the concept of "a thing that could end her." She will defend her territory to the death. You’re father will not leave her. SO the undead simply cannot be allowed to ever get there, and stopping them, that's your job. You have to regroup. You need to think. You slide under and buy yourself a moment of salty, sloshing, dark respite.

Fela, druids are weird. They get their powers from—what? Pollen? Pheromones? Who knows. Templetome, urban and artsy and golden, is light on druids. But this one, your good and loyal friend, gets you where you need to go.

You holler that you are here to save your acolyte, but your gray, tall (welllll, comparatively), solemn acolyte, is gone. It’s just a small crumpled gnome girl in evil robes and a knitted scraf (as she calls it). Your bold, good friend. You leap off the horse and blaze her into consciousness, protect her, try to protect them all, streaming golden light all over the Underdark.

You dazzle them. You see the two visible dwarves blinking, the Drow, as he comes up the gangplank, is pulling his fancy hat down to shade his eyes. You look around, a trained soldier, a tactical thinker, educated in monsters, and you understand odds: Bramble was right. Unless you get some serious help. Unless there is a miracle—you are all going to die here. Even so, you stand strong and golden and glowing. If your light is put out here, you will go down doing that which you knew was right. No uncertainty. No moral grayness. Regrets? Maybe. But what you are doing in what will be the last minute of life is as purely good as sunlight itself.

Bingle, you are the girl who gets left. Left stone by those who should have loved you dearly-est, but they loved safety more. Sure, sure, the safety of the whole village over one girl. Logical. Makes sense. Unless you are the girl, and then it sucks. Trapped in a dagger, you had to soul-sell to get your damn self out. No one comes. Not ever. This is what you know as you sink into a gray forever.

Shocking and so lovely to be yanked back so immediately into sunshine. Sunshine? Here? In your daze from going under, yes, you see your friend blazing gold, and you know that she has come to die for you. No, with you. Child of Hell, you are no soldier, but you know, don’t you? There is half a disordered mutiny happening, but it is being done under the cover of fighting off strangers who throw lies and weaponry, and that’s you. Yes, these monsters hasve turned on each other, but some are not sure who is on what side, and all are happy to kill you and sort it out after. You do wizrad siht, and you make Fela be fast and perfect, as Grizelda taught you. Good, good Grizelda Erevyn.

right-aligned image
As you tuck close and look out over the dark waters, you see fire. It comes from the dark waters, too far for you to see. Three little balls of it that bang into the cube, ONE! TWO! THREE! Sizzle, Crackle, Pop. Someone in the dark is coming toward this fight across the water, and they hate cubes. Still what the someone has done is not enough. Not enough to save you. But still. On what will be the last day of your mortal life, you are not left, and you are not alone.

Falco, you thunder-hoof up onto the ship and let Fela off, and then you blast the cube. You limn him in the glow of starlight, a thing the Underdark has never seen. You have been here before. On this very deck. It was slight, the deck slick with blood and viscera, like now. But not in harbor. On the wild blue sea. You saw Captain Kieran almost cut in half and hurled into the waves, grunting, eyes wide. The swabbie, a boy still, as wide-eyed and wondering in death as he was in life, was cut down as he tried ineptly to defend himself with a mop. Bordern and Berland, dwarf brothers with a little bard in them. The half-elf who could play the pipes. Billy, Tavis, Ernalene, Miscus. All dead. TYou saw that half Yuanti, Ezlith, still fighting when you went over, besieged by both that laughing cruel Hin, Cinderrabbit, and that traitor Corbeau the Scarred, who you once called friend.

You curse the Ettin with a small bite of your own woe and take your form. Your true form. Bare feet braced on the wooden deck you love most. Home. Your friends are dying. Hin are optimists but surely you can see that this is doom? You hear, behind you, the desperate peeps and cheeps of Halran just down the stairs. You hear Garrick calling you. Garrick whose blood is seeded deep in the ship itself. Falco! FALCO! Rattle and bang. You watched him die, and now his ghost is here to witness yours. FALCO, LAD, FALCO! He is despairing, unable to escape the chains and help you. You, who were thrown from a boat, unable to stop his murder—you know exactly how he feels.

Party, Captain Cloaker rips the net off with a furious gurgle. KILL THE INTERLOPERS WHO SEEK TO TURN US AGAINST EACH OTHER, he says in his weird, voice but he turns to Loog Loog with what looks like hideous purpose. Loog Loog blanches and leaps into the sea. Tempest, you see him splash down on the other side of the boat. He has no javelin or spear left, so he begins swimming toward you fast and sure. The Captain reaches for the railing and yanks himself up, climbing, trying to take cover behind Cube, but he can't quite make it.

The cube moves to engulf Fela, offended by her glowing-ness, or perhaps only wanting to be shiny. She-Who-Swabs comes closer and whacks at Bingle and then Falco. She misses Falco, but one clawed hand (the nails are fillllthy) almost slices the wizard, but Fela's shield intervenes entirely. The smell! The SMELL! Fela and Falco, are you overwhelmed? Bingle, all you smell is sunshine.

The other side of the Ettin drags back at his -- self? Brother? Whatever. He smashes his Mutinous hand down on a Duergar, and that fellow is no more.

Four duergar arrows zing out across the deck, three from Invisible sources. How many Invisible Duergar are now on deck? Who knows! Who are they shooting at? Who knows. Two thunk harmlessly into Fela's cursed shield, but the third slips by and buries itself in her arm at the joint of her armor. Worse, Jiven's poisonous bullet is called to her, and that projectile smashes right through the armor, burning into her blood. Squiggles pauses, not sure who Jivens is trying to kill. Captain or paladin? He turns to his mutinous compatriot, and surely psychic messages are going back and forth.

Falco, across the deck, you see the stairs down to the conference room. Halran peeps out, flapping and chirping all frantic at you.



OOC
LINK TO VERY SIMPLE UNRELIABLE PROBABLY NOT THERE MAP. VAMPIRE = Cloaker (because it has a cloak). Gray Ooze = Cube. Owl = Harlan A screen shot is up in DISCORD

PTWIDS: DC12 dex save or ENGULFED. DC 12 CON save or POISONED. Also, concentration checks. OOF SORRY FRIEND.
GOONIE: DC 12 con save or poisoned condition
ALL: Adv on next attack against cube

Everyone check your spells please, and if you use a spell a from either the DIVINATION or CONJURATION (conjuration) school, please roll a d4 in your action block. 1 it fizzles, 4 it works fine, 2 or 3 I tell you what happens.

Name Health AC Damage Conditions Concentrating
Bingle28/3913-6 -11 -12 -11 +28Blessed, Aura of Protection Haste
Harlan111   
Tempest28/4517-13 -3 -12 +16 -7 -15 +17Blessed Bless
Falco 45/45 12 Aura of Protection 
Fela 26/52 16/18-11 -5 -10 Hasted Divine Favor
CLOAKERQuite Hurt14 -7 -12 -8 -13 
CUBEQUITE HURT6 -22 -8 -13GLOWING
SheWhoSwabsHEALTHY11  
LOOG LOOGHEALTHY13  
DUERGAR 1HEALTHY16 Invisible
DUERGAR 2HEALTHY16 Invisible
DUERGAR 3HEALTHY16  
DUERGAR 4DEAD16 -16 -13 
ETTINHEALTHY12  
SQUIGGLESHEALTHY15  
JIVEN STARKSCREAMHEALTHY16  
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 12:03 AM
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Back on a bloodstained deck
right-aligned image

It weren't supposed t' be like this, was it? Not a direct fight, not with Garrick still locked away. But, sometimes th' stars cross in wicked ways an' ye might find yerself right back in th' place ye nearly lost yerself before. Oh Gods, it were so much like that night—the sounds, energy, an' the feelin' o' it all. Sein' friends struck down, th' confusion an' rage, it were all so familiar on this deck.

But, there were distinct differences here an' now, Falco reminded 'imself. For one, Fela were down there pouring divine golden life force into Bingle, an' some o' the other crew were fightin' each other. Another difference were his own abilities. He'd learned an' grew so much since he'd been thrown from this ship an' his former crew murdered by Cinderrabbit's Red Feathers. He can hear th' frantic cries o' Garrick his guide an' mentor, jus' like that night. There's a good chance he's led his friends t' doom. An' what a place t' meet yer end, not even a star t' look down on ye.

Th' lizard swabbie took a stinky swipe at 'im an' whatever were coatin' her claws brought 'is bile up but, Falco managed t' keep everythin' in. He knows they can't keep this up much longer. He has t' release Garrick, at least an' he'd like t' see th' sky again.

Falco does see Harlan chirpin' an' flutterin' like mad at th' stairs an' decides t' bring th' stars t' th' Starless Sea through 'imself. Eyes glow white as he taps into an' stokes th' spark o' light inside what makes everythin' live. Radiant lines trace across 'is body formin' points like tiny stars where they meet an' trowin' pools o' light across th' deck. He starts backin' away from th' swabbie, hopin' th' transformation has been disorienting enough t' stop her attack but not caring if he does feel those foul claws. They needed some serious help, maybe Garrick could provide it.

Th' glowin' hin plucked an arrow o' starlight outta the air an' On the chance 11 hits, it will deal 9 radiant damagehurled it at the lizard as he turned t' make a dash fer the war room below. Falco winked at th' old Mind Flayer as he bolted past an' said, "We've all got our missions, leave me an' mine t' ours while ye get t' yers." He didn't look back t' see if'n anyone gave chase, he ran t'ward Harlan an' th'' ghost o' Garrick.

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  #235  
Old Sep 30th, 2023, 02:53 AM
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Tempest, Siren
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The briny water was a comfort. The Glimmersea engulfed Tempest, cleansed her of spittle, slime, and sanguineous fluids. Closing her eyes for a moment under the waveless, unnatural underworld sea, she could feel a stillness as she drew in a breath and swished her bright blue tail about. A muted cacophony was restless on top of the water's surface like an evening fog. The battle chipped away at her companions and cut deeply into her with metal spikes and Cloaker insults. The Plunge of Loog Loog echoed and startled her as she sunk deep enough to see in the grayness what had dared follow her. If this was any other situation; if she were alone, she'd tear into him, circle him, but….this Kuo Toa was not supporting his (former) Captain. In Aquan, she sternly shouted. "Take haven under the ship. Do not tempt me to war with you. You have much time to still breed."

It wasn't compassion or mercy Tempest was feeling. No, she wanted one less enemy on her tail, and as all things that live in the sea, thinking of survival was a constant. For Fishheads, thinking of breeding possibly came in a close second or third. Down here, they both knew they were free. But the Siren's freedom allowed her to make the strange and curious choice, one her Mother would probably not understand or fully approve of, to travel with these Surface-folk - to fight for her family and their territory, even that of Saltmarsh and other Gonme-ruled lands.

With a heavy slap-kick of her tail and fluid bend of her body, the Siren shot away from the Below to surface next to the ship again, following the bow quickly for another five to ten feet before she leapt up and out of the water. Clothed legs formed again and her bare feet gripped any rigging and outcroppings of wood as she climbed up like a thief in the night. Drawing herself up, she quickly noted that the Ettin's attention was behind him, splattering someone into a quick death. The Cloaker was climbing. The wicked fart of a Cube was trying to eat Fela but was rather fancy in all of the glowing and starlight, meaning target. Bingle was hiding strategically behind the paladin's shield - and though Fela was still standing, she was looking worse for wear. It didn't help that the Troglodyte loyalist was behind her, stalled on her mission to kill the Drow. First thing's first…

Tempest sat on the railing, swung her legs over and tried to get behind the safety of the crates before she whispered "Heal" in Elvish in Fela's direction as she thought of spring mid-summer rainstorms and how bright the sun and colors of the sky would be afterwards. On a less gentle note, her attention shifted to the Cloaker's back and thought about the glory of taking him down, burning a spell through his flappy-back, but if he did not die, he would be a further threat to her companions. And…the Cube was glowing. Tempest's eyes narrowed as she found her thoughts on entropy, death, and decay - the natural order of things, including a Jelly that did not have flesh, but was in a state of solid-jiggles. With her finger raised, the Siren bestowed a magnificent call of, or for death upon this steadfast enemy. A doleful chime, melodious and resounding, could be heard as she pinpointed such a toll on the Cube.

Unsure of the choice Loog Loog made, instead of jumping off the ship, Tempest tried to crouch behind the two rows of crates for cover.

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  #236  
Old Sep 30th, 2023, 01:29 PM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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Feeling better. It's me, Bingle. I'm okay. She looks at her hands and breathes a deep ragged breath, still in the safe pocket of Fela's armpit and shield. The ship creaks. Another blink and she's telepathically checking in with Harlan, who is with Falco at the locked door. Green again, and he doesn't notice or care. What is more blithe and unconcerned than a fey bird. Nothing. She can smell the lizard's mop water, terrible. Hear the screek of its nails down Fela's shield as it lunges for her, awful. Where is the head of a cube, and how does it keep talking, gurgling.

"Good job, Fela!" she urges, staying so close. "You're okay!"

The paladin's strong two legs are like young trees to help her stand. The shield keeps bending this way and that, protecting her. Bingle pops her head out from behind Fela as she dodges back away from the cube's rush. Three balls of fire from someone in the water zing into the cube and Bingle follows on with two shadowy balls of force. She wants to peep out farther, a little farther, a little farther toward the railing, but BANG Fela gets shot with an arrow, and then a bullet. She hears Tempest call out, healing Fela in a spray of water. She can't make herself go out there -- she's not meant to be out there!

Harlan flaps and flutters out in the direction of the fiery bolts, looking in the water for allies or enemies.



ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


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  #237  
Old Oct 1st, 2023, 05:32 AM
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Fela, sitting out for a song
left-aligned image

Bingle's hug doesn't have the warmth of Saliber in it, but it has a magic of its own. An actual magic, yes, that opens Fela's eyes a fraction wider, speeds her heart and breath so she feels more alive than ever, than the ball in Templetome after she officially swore the vows of a Watcher, and so for the first time she could wear boots and her uniform to a ball instead of a dress and ridiculous shoes, and she felt like herself and could actually move and guided that Peckingham girl -- what was her name? shallow and vain but oh that smile, face flushed, dimples, a strand of hair fallen loose and plastered to her face with sweat -- and she understood why people liked dancing and her life was just beginning and everything was possible.

Everything around her feels slow, and so it feels like a dance, the crowd around her not foes but partners, drawing her blade feels like a curtsy to start, and swishing through the cube back and forth, flashing once twice with Saliber's light, it's like it isn't even there, that she's just waving her arm to some music.

But even with her speed there are just too many partners wanting a turn around the floor with her, too much to keep track of, and the dance turns sinister. Duergar spears appear from nowhere, and she knocks two aside but one slips through. Jiven's shot is dragged off course by the curse and slams against her, a waft not of perfume but some rank lizardness making her cough. It's no longer the Peckingham girl in her arms but Slurrybird, not Templetome but Down the Drift. Not a dance of a possibility and beginnings but an endless eternity.

She's going to die her, she's certain of it. They're in the middle of the fight here and Bramble warned them and this dance will be her last.

But there's a more mundane magic to Bingle's hug, her whispered thanks, her "Good job". To Tempest's voice shouted 'heal' from down below. They hadn't been Down the Drift. She couldn't let them die.

And the mutineers were fighting, if she could get out everyone and her curse out of the way so they'd focus on themselves...

"Back, Bingle!" It's an odd dance, partner behind her between her legs, eyes not watching Bingle but guarding against moves from the other dancers, leading but without a hand on her partner, but back they go. "To the prow or over the side..." She'd had enough dancing for now, let someone else have a turn.

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Dice here
. Failed the poison save, but passed engulf and concentration checks. Down to 26HP from attack, back up to 37 from Tempest's healing.

Dice Save vs. poison at end of turn:
d20+6sh12 (13)+6 Total = 19


Free action: Draw Sword
Action: Attack cube, hitting twice with a level 1 smite on each, doing 16 slashing damage and 20 radiant damage
Hasted Action: Disengage
Movement: Coordinating Bingle to move, too -- Cheerio wrote "stay close to Fela". Get Bingle to very prow of ship with Fela between her and rest if possible; if we can't make it up the deck we go over into the water.
Bonus Action:

Reaction: Interception Fighting Style to prevent
Dice Protection:
d10+3 (4)+3 Total = 7
(7) -- to Horse Falco from AOO or Bingle

Status: Hasted, Holding sword+shield (so AC=20), concentrating on Divine Favor, shield's curse drawing ranged attacks within 10' to her

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


 
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Old Oct 1st, 2023, 08:20 PM
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BAD BOAT BATTLE
left-aligned image
Falco, have any of these things ever seen the stars? Likely not, so do they know what they are seeing now? She-Who-Swabs is so bedazzled that the swipe she takes misses by a metaphorical mile as you dance down and away from her. Adding literal injury to insult, your starry arrow nearly ends her. However, this boat is full of unseen enemies. You jostle into Duergar bodies as you dash, and their bulk pushes you in the path of various enemies. You feel the air of a missed blow, and then two unkind strikes of opportunity lay you open as you pass. The attacks reveal three invisible Duergar who have come up on the deck. The old canny Mindflayer blinks his orange eyes at you. He does not strike as you go by, but he says, Oh, you will get yours. Um, that's not what you said?

You make the stairs, though, and get halfway down to the familiar war room. It is has a musty fungal smell now, but the table is the same. How many times have your bare feet been propped up on that very table as you and Garrick loaded your pipes and Captain Kieran unfurled this map or that one...

Now, the door to Kieran's room is hung with faintly glowing sinister-silver chains. To the north, similar chains shut Garrick's room, and these rattle and rustle. Moaning and banging beyond. FALCO! FALCO!

right-aligned image
Tempest, fish faces are hard to read. No eyebrows. But you are better at it than most for obvious reasons. You can see Loog Loog is afraid. What you can't know is what he fears. You? Or failing to end you? The water restores and refreshes, and you shoot up and clamber back aboard before you can see which it is. You call upon your beautiful god and feel her send a sea-breeze of healing power through you and across the deck to the paladin.

Oh, look, an Ettin. Still here. One head is loyal to the Captain, one to Jiven, and the head that seems to have current control of the body chose to strike at a Duergar, not you. Alas, both rather like Cube, as it happens. You call forth a clang of pain that hurts Cube, deeply. It farts out a slobbery sad sound through its sphincter-y mouth-hole. Both huge Ettin heads swivel toward you in rage and find brief agreement. You turn and run for the prow, and as you go, the morningstar comes crashing down to bludgeon cruelly at your shoulder. The pain and the force combines almost drive you to your knees, but you are your mother's daughter. Who is pain, to ask that you should kneel? You steel yourself and muscle forward to the prow.

Bingle, you are okay and Fela and here is Tempest, dripping and okay, mostly, and Falco is okay enough to go running across the deck and down some stairs. ALL OKAY! You blast the cube with sulfurous hell, and it is NOT OKAY. It wibbles, all its bones and melting hats and armors sloch around in a collapsing internal jumble. It blats panicky frat-sounds. GOOD! You send your dear little bird winging off into the black, out over the sea, out of the harbor, to see who is coming, be it friend or foe or some random happener-alonger who hates cubes.

left-aligned image
Fela, you don't need a hand on Bingle. She clings to you like a gnome-shaped limpet. You can get your sword out, and here, in the darkest dark you've yet known, you call the righteous smiting power of Saliber down upon this gelid abomination. Once. Twice. The blows land in the same spot. The rubbery body is near cloven, and some internal integrity is overcome. The insides of it pump out in a gooey wash. Foul acidic innards, now too devoid of life and energy to burn you, slosh across your feet and the deck, carrying chunks of all its suspended prizes into the dark waters.

You hear derisive laughter and a high, wild cheer from the deck of the other ship. The drow are enjoying the spectacle, it seems, and you have a fan---the woman in the leathers. Captain Cloaker is not your fan, however.

CUUUUUUUUUUUUBE, he screams, KILL HER! SHE HAS DESTROYED OUR CUBE! As you muscle Bingle toward the prow, he lashes at you with his long, vile tail. Your shield deflects it easily, and you hurry away. He is following. Huge. Hot breath. Claws on wood. He bites at you, trying to engulf your head, but again he misses. He screams in impotent rage. The tail again, and this time, the blow lands. He keens in triumph.

What happens next is a wild confusion or dwarves and violence. Jiven, coming onto the deck, calls, Never a better time. STRIKE NOW!

She-Who-Swabs kicks the head off her mop to reveal a spear. She hurls it at you, but you swat it easily away. Another invisible Duergar appears as he hurls a javelin. All the dark dwarves--- seven! ---are running your way, hurling weaponry. Some aim at you, because the captain ordered it. Some aim at the captain, because Jiven ordered it. You can't tell who is what, but it matters not at all. The shield pulls them all, all, all to you. Most clatter harmlessly to the deck. But two find their way to you. Mere stings.

Then. The drow pushes back his fancy hat and takes aim at the Cloaker, and your shield pulls the bullet to you. It punches a hole in your armor, right beside your heart, and ---

right-aligned image
You stare down at Bingle, and see the gnome beside you is stone. Not a warm live girl you can protect and save. A statue. Snow piles on her still head, dusts her shoulders. Her frozen arms offer you a tray full of canapes, and you hear the scree-scraw of those crazy violins.

You go down the dance. Not with Slurry or Sally. Not with warm, steady Briony or a fever-bright Innovation. A stranger. Beautiful and avid and elegant in your arms, her lovely, strange face tilting as she regards you. Seven dwarves, and now? Here is Snow White.

Power in firsts, she says. Power in mortal blood. Power in lasts.

Dear gods, but she is cold.

Tempest, the Ettin follows, and both sides lash at you, furious; the huge club misses, but the hated Morningstar lands again. On your head this time.

How...how did you get back into the sea? Blue and bubbles and no pain. Tail. Gills. A floating bliss. Nithe is there? Nithe? Sure, if Nithe was pink. Your father is riding him.

Baby, he says. You okay? You suspect that you are not.

Bingle You can't see Falco. Tempest is not okay. Fela is not okay. It is bad to stand up in a boat. It is bad to be abandoned. Here you are, so many monsters, facing you. So many awful fangs and faces and bristling spines and weapons and wings and hats. You are going to crumple next and fade. What other outcome can there be?

Three motes of fire zing out of the black and one sizzles into the Cloaker's ugly face. He wheels to look. Halran bursts into your head, showing you a close-up of what you can now see with your own eyes from afar. It is a small boat, entering the lights of the harbor. It is a gnome boy on some crazy little speed boat with a spinning whizzee something on the back. ZOOOOOOOOM. His evil robes billow out black, and a small gray mouse clings to his green hair. He has one hand on a rudder-like thing, and his eyes are so wide you see whites all the way around. His teeth are bared and clamped down on a big-bellied ivory pipe like some kind of ding-dang Hin, his other hand lifted to make somatic motions. He looks---nuts. NUTS. He is aimed right at the ship of monsters and he screams, COME AT ME, YA GREASY ****S!

Well, he can't save you. You are going to die here and go to Hell, for sure, for sure, to be tossed into some horrid slag-pit. But. You will not go alone.

Falco! that familiar voice calls, anguished. I feel your blood sinking into the deck. I feel it. Are you dying? I cannot bear it, lad. I cannot bear to be powerless again, and to again lose you.

The door rattles, the ghost thunders, the frame shakes. The chains hold.

Party. With all of this going on, no one notices the old mind flayer step quietly to She-Who-Swabs to snag her by the head with his tentacles, his arms snaking around her filthy body as his powerful mind attacks hers. She slumps in his grasp, dead, blood leaking out her ear holes.




OOC
LINK TO VERY SIMPLE UNRELIABLE PROBABLY NOT THERE MAP. VAMPIRE = Cloaker (because it has a cloak). Owl = Harlan A screen shot is up in DISCORD

Plaid, No map features on the deck are providing cover in this fight for anyone on either team. Also, you can't get that far after climbing ten feet, which took twenty feet of movement. I put you where you could get.

Ptwids, your reaction cannot apply to Falco as it was used last turn, he took damage from reactions, also last turn, and now he is across the boat.

Plaid and Ptwids, I need a death save from each of you at the end of this next round. Pwtids, Jivens CRIT. That IS halved. OOF.

Name Health AC Damage Conditions Concentrating
Bingle28/3913-6 -11 -12 -11 +28  Haste
Harlan111   
Tempest0/4517-13 -3 -12 +16 -7 -15 +17 -15 -17Unconcious 
Falco 25/45 12 -8 -12  
Fela 0/52 16/18/20-11 -5 -10 +11 -8 -24 -5 -4 Hasted, Unconscious 
CLOAKERQuite Hurt14 -7 -12 -8 -13 -6 
CUBEDEAD6 -22 -8 -13 -10 -3 -36  
SheWhoSwabsDEAD11 -9 -8 
LOOG LOOGHEALTHY13 Overboard
DUERGAR 1HEALTHY16  
DUERGAR 2HEALTHY16  
DUERGAR 3HEALTHY16  
DUERGAR 4DEAD16 -16 -13 
DUERGAR 5HEALTHY16  
DUERGAR 6HEALTHY16  
DUERGAR 7HEALTHY16  
DUERGAR 8HEALTHY16  
ETTINHEALTHY12  
SQUIGGLESHEALTHY15  
JIVEN STARKSCREAMHEALTHY16  
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Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 12:50 PM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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To be too barve? Bingle did not believe it was possible. But look at Fela. Shot through the chest over and over, and now falling down on the deck, the shield banging next to her. Bingle rides her down, clinging onto Fela's hip, and has to drag her legs out from under the paladin, crawling up to her face, grabbing her by the collar.

"No!" Bingle shouts. Not long and anguished but short and bratty, like refusing a plate of cress because it looks wiggly. "No! No!" She looks around, and all over are monsters. The cloaker screaming, the drow commanding, the ettin smashing Tempest's head open, and she falls too. "No you don't die. You! Don't! Die!" Bingle buries her little fists in Fela's shirt and shakes her head furiously. There's nothing she can do for Fela but stay by her, and keep her Hasted, and shout demands. Crying. Crying! She squinches her eyes shut. Harlan slams her head with images of Banx on a crazy boat making his crazed approach.

She screams with her wet face, "Banx! Help us!!" Crying. Bleating like a little kid. "I'm here! Me Bingle!" But who can even stand up? Who can even wave? She can't see Falco, beautiful Tempest is ruined by the stupid ettin with his ugly heads, she can't get Fela to stop getting paler. She turns her fey ring and shoots another couple of Eldritch blasts at the stupid captain and his stupid face and crawls under the magic shield trying to pull its bigness over herself as she tucks up to bleeding, dying Fela. She's not barve, she's scraed. This wasn't supposed to happen. She wants Banx to come and kill everyone. She tells Harlan to go to him, peck his head, flap in his ears.



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Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 10:39 PM
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Tempest, Siren
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The grief-stricken Ettin surprised the Siren when it turned around to refocus its violent attentions (both heads!) on her with its first smash of rounded metal and bloodstained spikes. Tempest was not one to stay on her knees, or kneel willingly unless it was in prayer. Such a position was meant for those with legs, not a tail. The pain was apparent immediately as was the fresh warmth of life leaving her in narrow, dripping rivulets. At least she had healed her sister-in-arms, and tolled the soon-to-be-dead Cube that had been hounding them with its insatiable hunger and bad attitude. If she could just return to the water with Fela and Bingle no one could follow them except Loog Loog who may be hiding, thinking of lady Loog Loogs. They would be able to run across the rather still Glimmersea surface to get to the ster to find Falco.

Tempest's mind raced through possibilities for survival as More Than One person, a rather alien concept that she had read or heard about in stories. They were like schoaling herring; friends, companions, fighting and facing the odds together instead of individual hit-and-hide, personal glory. Success was shared, like with the Saughin battles. Pain was also shared as she's finding out. Bingle showed her a real-life example of comradery when they were saving Mermaids. Such bravery! No fear of a Siren, showing how noble she truly was as a Hin-Gonme. The Siren wasn't used to failure, especially critical failure as she nearly slipped on her own blood; the spiked weapon landing heavily upon her head. It knew her blood, her flesh, and the Ettin was merely satiating its thirst for her. Duergar taste better, the Siren would have said, if she didn't feel the pain through the braids of her silken, wet hair, and she certainly fell into the water or into a spreading pool of her own magnificent blood on the deck. They weren't even hunters, these creatures. The Ettin did not understand the rarity of his catch, the poor foolishly aggressive Monster. None of them knew of her glorious self down here in the Nuderdark.

She had to have made it to the water, she thought or dreamt. Under the surface, floating as she sometimes would on her back, skimming seagrass as her body faced the sun in the island shallows. Her tail was wondrous but did not feel as powerful as before. Floating is not swimming. Tempest's eyes grew wide at the sight of her father, and a pink Nithe. "Father! You did get my message. I'm…I said I was fine." But Tempest instinctively knew something was off. As hopeful as she was that of all the bright sunlit Fey people, her Father could find her in this dreaded darkness, it was so very deep. Her Father's light would burn through them on a sweet, salted breeze; delicate as the wild white roses and as tearing-at-flesh with narrow, hooked thorns. How she loved her Father.

"I -I think a two-headed giant hurt me, Father. Did you know surfacefolk think of others just as much or more than themselves even when there are horrible Monsters trying to kill them? I did not escape when I could have and returned to help. They are going to help me fight the darkness that has already killed the Sea Elves, and almost killed all of the Mermaids. I …I was foolish and put them in danger, Father. Can you and your grand eel dragon …What is your name? It is an honor to meet you, Dragon. I have met one with the bluest gemmy scales. You, though, glow like the most beautiful sunrise." The Siren remembered to be polite, humble, and sincerely flattering to the pink Nithe Dragon.

Her beautiful expression sullied into a frown as she slowly, embarrassedly, looked to her father, just barely, with downcast eyes. "Are you here to take me home?" The very thought of going home brought her shame. Her Mother would know she failed and could be banished from the territory. Her Father, though, was as pure as the glittering sun and would maybe understand his daughter's foolishness. "I have traveled with noble people, Father, and shared in dancing and feasting after glorious, righteous battles. They do not deserve to be without us Clerics of Aerdrie Faenya." An uncomfortable pause came over Tempest as she thought about possibly being freed of this horrible Glimmersea. She added, deciding that if it were her choice, she would not leave her companions, just like the silly Mermaids who refused to leave their own behind. She had already ridden a Falco-spider into mystery and nothingness to find Fela, as Bingle jumped upon a wild metal giant spider to help them traverse the Antrap. "I have found them to be worthy of my company. They are ferocious, true in their hearts and wish to fight against that which is causing a necromantic plague in our ocean. Father, this world has hurt me gravely, I fear. There is an anger boiling tiredly in me yet I feel a gentle breeze across my cheeks. I don't want to kneel, Father." Her voice was soft, melodic, and pained.
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