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  #286  
Old Nov 4th, 2023, 12:48 AM
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Tempest, Siren
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There are no answers from the Siren, for matters of coins and hiring are the business of Falco, the Captain. Perhaps she did not want to be Captain with all of these logistical things to deal with, though a nice hat was a brilliant perk, and deciding who sits closest to you during a meal is quite important. Then there is the respect, and you can choose who you desire to dance with - and can even snap your fingers to change the tune. BUT gold and jobs that are not a simple to n' from, well…how are such things secured? Pish posh. It is easy enough to see she will place her expectations of being Captain or co-Captain to the side, or over the side and allow the others to fuss with fussy things, and deal with liars that lie about paying, and such things ought not trouble her when she has other strengths.

As Tempest thought about Titles and Importance, her eyes grew wide at the absolute surprise at the Drow who spoke with her so very respectfully. It must be the blue hat since they do not know what a Siren is here. How absolutely polite and worthy they are for the ship! With a nudge at Falco's side, a toothy grin formed with a wild glee that rose to her gaze. She reached out for a crate next to her and kept the beat with them; how she wanted to dance. "They are true sailors, Captain. We can get to work on the sails and rigging so we are prepared. Ah! Our friends have returned!"

The thought of working on the ship and the shanty the trio of Drow have earwormed into her Siren-head has more than energized Tempest. She nearly danced over to the gangplank with a more subdued smile on her lips. "Greetings, my friends. I am pleased to see that you are well." Well in terms of Banx is 'well, he's alive!' so that is good enough for the moment. Listening to the tale of Charwell's dragon, the offering of fresh water, and newfound hope, Tempest did her best to take it all in. "Will she be traveling with us? To be down here for more than a few days without daylight must be horrible, and then to have only a diet of sad young crabs, or lost fish and….mushrooms...I do not understand it. You did a great kindness, Bingle Curiosa. What an honor to have been in such company, and to be gifted by one such as she. Yes, I knew when I met you all, there is a gloriousness and splendor down to your very bones that one such as myself can sense even from the depths of the sea." The blue woman was all set to assist, though she would love to jump off the ship and introduce herself to a Dragon, but that would probably not be proper, and she could make a social um..error again. With grace, she offered. "I can seek out the logbooks to see if there is anything edible onboard for us. I promise to create a large table of offerings after I sleep. Lady Bingle Curiosa, and Fela Markwig Springer.."

Tempest's voice lowered as she paused a moment on a serious note, eyeing the lady-friends with what would pass as some sort of embarrassment or perhaps an understanding. "...I have wronged you both the most in my … wrongful words with the deceased Captain, causing much pain. I do not want any of us to have wrongful pain, or accidental fights that lack in righteousness and …" Her brows knitted as her perfect blue cheeks blushed slightly to a rose-purple as her stripes darkened. "...I owe you all. All that I can offer now is to swab the sleeping quarters of 'monster' stench and wash what needs to be washed. If you are hungry, I have delicious Elven-canned pickled fish you can squish on hard biscuits." Not that her most favorite treat will make-up for near-death experiences and trauma, but the capers do make the silvery sardines fancy. Though weary from a rather tough day, the Siren was ready to get out of this dark, heavy place, wonderful Dragon and water-statue brightening the island at least.

"I will go to Gary and collect biscuits and limes for us, and speak with the cocooned pirate, Captain. I will be quick." Tempest said with a salute to Falco before she ran off to the dock, relieved that they were going to be leaving soon.
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  #287  
Old Nov 5th, 2023, 06:45 AM
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Fela, fishing for information
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A gem dragon. She'd paid more attention to the dragon sections of her lessons than usual -- of course she did -- but gem dragons always seemed esoteric and theoretical. A classic "Excuse me, sir, but when are we ever going to use this?" topic. Well, now she had her answer.

Some of the weird comments -- wizard tower in a fire plane? -- made sense now, as did her question, her interest in Templetome. But mostly Fela wished Tumble were here to geek out about Experiences with her, to really bond.

Still, they seem to have made some positive connection -- the advice about Nithe is a little thin but potentially useful "Thank you -- a promise might work, I'll try that..." and will give her something to keep her mind busy on the trip back to the Ant Trap. Bingle gets a gem-scale that...she's not sure what it does. Connects her to Upvai and the statue and the proselytising she's done here. And Fela gets a question, with a warning about what she might or might know...

"You said you hadn't been to the Feywild, but you know about the planes...still you might know something about getting there? I don't know enough to ask the question right! We've got a quest, a prophecy, to get there, to a part of it called the Brineweave...I don't think you can help with that. But the rifts to the Feywild move -- 'orbit', 'breathe'? And you can map them, follow them -- is this something you know about? Cinderrabit and the Eye were mapping them, somehow, harvesting some weird necrotic energy from them, and maybe knowing more about these rifts between the planes could help us, somehow -- find them, know what they were up to? It's all vague, but it seems where you might be able to tell us something useful..."


At the ship, she's happy that Bingle is talking some sense into Banx finally, but when she speaks about keeping an open mind..."Bingle ... I'm not going to turn my back on you. Whatever you do. I know you, and can't imagine that you would do anything that would require that. This deal...the dagger...I understand. Nexa Banishae...I also have a ... a patron " she touches the side of her lip " ... who's not exactly nice. A gift that's a curse...and I use the power, even though it's impure. But...I don't, I wouldn't, help Nexa. I'm trying to get free of it. And you...you don't need to help this devil. We could try to get you free from it...you're so clever and determined, I'm sure you could find a way to get free of it. You've got centuries! Just...just think about it. I won't disappear on you if you don't...but I'd help you, if you wanted."
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  #288  
Old Nov 6th, 2023, 07:41 AM
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TO THE ANT TRAP
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Fela, Lilladreki has heard of the Brineweave, but only in passing. It's a prison, right? Or a punishment, with two sides, hot and cold. There's a song about it by a famous Eladrin bard, Tedhughes of Mytholmroyd. She sings, her voice low and pleasing. It's a little growly, for one so slight.

Even Moonlight freezes in the Drift
Like a statue of ice -
The past and the future
Are the jaws of a steel vice.
But the otter swim the Brineweave
Like smiles on a nurse.
The snail is in the tide-rip
Like a key in a purse.
The flies buzz the mushrooms
Like the lost score of a jig.
Heron are in the cat-tails
Like money in a pig.

Such a frost
The flimsy moon
Has lost her wits.

A star falls.

The sweating fae
Turn in their sleep
Like oxen on spits.

But rifts? What rifts?
She is fascinated to hear about your order, the swamps, the leaks, and then she gives you your answer. I've no idea how your enemies are tracking openings or what they are harvesting, but I can tell you this: There are no naturally occurring "rifts." If there is a through-way, someone caused it, owns it, guards it. If these are up for grabs by fey and pirates, I'd guess they are a by-product of some serious, dangerous magic. If it keeps happening in this one small area, the rifts could collide, join, widen, until the very fabric of reality itself shreds and collapses as the 'Wild dumps into the Prime. Oh. Heh. That sounds dire! But then she shrugs and laughs. Maybe. Possibly. Probably it's fine. But in case these rifts could spell the end of life and time, you might want to take a look at who or what is causing them. And stop it.

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Bingle, Lilladreki is as interested in your age/time loss as she is in Fela's order and the rifts. You have become interesting to her, both of you, you feel it. This is good---her interest is better than her friendship, maybe. She is oddly like Banx, in that if you had to distill them both down to a single word, it would be, Curious. What would your word be? Can you be one word, oh small-town hider, wild adventurer, ancient young maiden, Wizrad of the Nudine Motuh, and thrall of Hell?

When you put the scale on, when you touch it with your skin, there is a brief and dizzy moment when the world tilts on its access and you almost fall right off, up into the far darks of the ceiling. Then it stops, and you remember Lilladreki saying: Wear it always... If he decides wants to do this, I can make it happen. That is real. She said that. You heard it. But now you also remember that she said: If he decides wants to do this, I can make it have happened. Both are true. Both are real. If you look to her, she gives you the smallest, slyest quirk of one pale eyebrow.

Tempest, Gary is good to go, and says the spiders and he can get the clipper back. He wants the two boats to stick close, though, as both will be severely under-crewed.

Nilfil is down to be a mushroom farmer, since his other choice seems to be "corpse." He will likely stay here only long enough to find a berth on a ship. You won't regret, he tells you, by which he means you will never see his sorry arse again. I can never go back up. Those red feathers will kill me so slow for my betrayal---this is a better fate than I had hoped. He scampers off onto the island.

You get food and go back to clean up the Dusk Maiden. They have a makeshift galley in the conference room, stocked. Sure, the jerky is what you might call suspect. Monsters eat rather more indiscriminately than you might like. But there is hard-tack and jars of nut-butter and a barrel of briny pickles to ward off scurvy.

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Falco the three drow scoff at your offer to go UP, but they know the Ant Trap. Likely many sailors do---Vorn sells ships. UP? UP to the burning orange wastes? No! We can crew to the Ant Trap for 50 gold apiece. It's high, but Lord Vorn will charge us high passage to send us back here to find our next berth after you are gone.

With or without them, you set sail. The sea is dark and wrongful, the currents strange, the tide nonexistent, the stars unseen---but this is your ship, and you know her, and she knows you back. What a joy to feel her dance with you again. At some point you do manage to catch up with Bingle, who can tell you your backpack parasite (who has not eaten any of your things, as far as you can tell. In fact, it seems quite pleased and snoozy), is a Living Loot Satchel. This one is made of patchwork monster-leather with a “purely decorative” fanged mouth.

It functions as a bag of holding, but if you like, it can also "swallow" small items or money that will then appear in a large, black chest you find in the captain's cabin. The bag can deposit anything that fits into its yawping mouth into the chest from anywhere -- even across miles or planes.

Bingle, many bows and waves and assurances, and you all are back aboard. You put Banx to bed under the approving eye of Fela. He is concerned about his durgs. If you want the durgs, you have to smoke them, do you want the durgs? Because if no one smokes them the rock goes out and it is done being durgs and only a rock forever, is that what you want? When you take the pipe away, he cries and gets oddly petulant about the MOTOR BOAT that you all have loaded onto ship next to the Johnny boat. He wants to take the MOTOR BOAT BACK not this DUMB SLOW SHIP. I could just not stop the pipe it would be fine and then I ZOOOOOOM and lead the way, is it out yet, maybe I should smoke it, hand it back?

Yeah, no. He flips and flops about in his bedroll very sweaty and restless with rolling eyes. He foams a little. Then he passes out in a heap, so still he looks dead.

Party, you set sail from Charwall Parish, heading back to Lord Vorn through the Starless Sea.



OOCYou are a little shorthanded and having to help Gary. EVERYONE roll a DC 13 con save, on a fail, you will have 1 level of exhaustion when you reach the ANT TRAP. A crit fail = 2 levels of exhaustion.

GOONS, the roll determined how much the drow sailors asked for. They are good to go to the Ant Trap IF you pay the high fee (SORRREEE that's the dice!). If you pay them, everyone can roll their con save with advantage. If you want to keep them, getting them to go UPWORLD will take good RP + whatever social roll makes sense with your RP.

PARTY any player can attempt to do this, and one other player can do a help action to let the first player roll with ADV; the RP of both these players will determine the DC.

Tempest and Falco have water vehicle proficiency. Plaid and Goons, if one of you wants to take over Banx's pipe, they can smoke DURGS. If you also have the drow, no con saves for anyone. If you do not hire the drow, everyone else can still have adv on the con saves beecause YOUWILL NOT SLEEP. However, when you reach the Ant Trap you will have 4 levels of exhaustion. If you keep on smoking for 2 days after you reach the Ant Trap, you will have 6 levels and die, so don't doo that!

GOONS the satchel can be UPGRADED as you go forward to a SECRET SATCHEL that has the THAT THING YOU NEED PROPERTY. You are not sure how, but it will tell you that if comes to trust you it can, DO SPECIAL! With time and attention, it may even become a PORTABLE HOLE SATCHEL. I leave this up to you to RP and noodle with if it interests you. Bag IDed by Bingle with permission.

cheerio, Banx has 4 levels of exhaustion. He will get better and better and be normal by the time you dock.

We aren't going to roll for encounters as Gary is with you and knows these seas, so this round, tell me how you spend the 4 or 5 days (hard to tell time when you are sleep deprived in TEH NUDERDRAK) it will take you to return. NEXT ROUND I am going to dock you at TEH NAT TARP, as the gnomes say...

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Last edited by Fillyjonk; Nov 6th, 2023 at 07:41 AM.
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  #289  
Old Nov 7th, 2023, 02:14 PM
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Once again, across the Starless Sea
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"Come aboard then, lads, I've yer gold. We can always reassess th' situation later at th' Ant Trap." Falco motioned down fer th' Drow sailors an' waited near th' gangplank t' hend 'em over a roll o' gold each, compliments o' th' former Cap'n Cloaker. "Let's take in th' lines an make her ready t' sail. We're t' stick close t' th' clipper there." He can see these men know their way around a deck, so he don't waste words 'n' time givin' specific orders. A quick nod t' Nilfil, that miserable bilge rat will fit right in here, then he heads below t' double check th' quarters an' make certain all what needs tyin' down be secure.

Now, Falco were mighty tempted t' keep th' pipe lit an' never sleep like Banx. Part o' th' desire were t' spend as much time with th' Dusk Maiden as possible, some was t' jus' get on an' be done with th' Underdark, an' a tiny bit were born from a fear o' what dreams might find 'im in 'is slumber. Mostly he were jus' anxious t' feel how she would cut, glide, an' dance through th' alien waters with 'im. O' course, all this were blowed away like dandelion cypselae in a summer breeze when he witnessed all th' floppin', thrashin', an' foamin' Banx were doin' in 'is hammock. It almost looked like they'd be needin' another exorcism. Maybe some drugs really was bad?

It were a bit o' a surprise t' learn Lillidreki were a Dragon! That makes 3 he's met so far an' only one has tried t' kill 'im. Yet. "I knew she were somethin' different but I just assumed a skilled adventurer or maybe an unconventional Matron. That explains th' sense o' danger she wore about her like a cloak, an' the reverence from th' locals. Y' know, it were her what saved us back there. Not directly, but she gave me th' key t' what bound th' doors. I owe her, maybe one day i can repay me debt."

Th' first day, he spent nearly all 'is time on deck steerin' or double checkin' every loop, line, knot, an' sail until he were half asleep on 'is feet. He fell into a blissfully dreamless sleep, deep an' dark as th' Starless Sea itself. Falco awoke in a familiar room what made th' Dusk Maiden feel like more o' a ghost ship than findin' th' entire crew waitin' fer 'im. This room, Kieran Skrimshaw's, never felt so empty. Sure some o' his books and personal effects was still here but th' life an' energy that once filled this space were gone. Well, not gone but shifted t' memory. Part o' th' ever turnin' cycle what plays out from foundation t' firmament. Now, it'd be up t' him an' his new crew t' fill these well-loved spaces with new energy an' memories. Th' thought were somehow comfortin' an' sad all at once.

Falco were much relieved when Bingle told 'im all about th' strange bag and excited t' learn it could safely stow away valuables. "So that's what it meant by eatin' up me special loots!" He did a test by feedin' it th' funny mechanical beetle an', after confirmin' it were safely in th' black chest, he offered it up fer her t' feed anythin' before showin' th' others an' lettin' them try, if'n they want. He asked th' satchel if'n it had a name, or even wanted one.

Any time he weren't actively sailin' Falco spent below deck in th' rooms he knew like 'is own shadow, cleanin' up an' erasing any trace o' Red feathers or th' monstrous crew. Anythin' he found o' Garrick's or Cap'n Scrimshaw's he stored away in 'is quarters fer when he felt nostalgic. Anythin' with a happy memory attached likewise made it down there with him but there was precious few t' be found. Jus' an old sextant an' octant from 'is first navigational lessons, th' slide rule Kieran let 'im use t' plot 'is first course, and a few logbooks noting memorable voyages. Falco put these treasures into th' black chest. At night, or th' closest they could tell without th' sun, he retold pages from th' logs t' his friends in 'is own, sometimes exaggerated, style.

He felt at peace an' at home fer th' first time in a while an' couldn't wait t' be back under th' precious stars.

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  #290  
Old Nov 7th, 2023, 11:03 PM
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Tempest, Siren
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Tempest watched as Nilfil escaped the ship to start anew on Mushroom Island. She had shoved a blanket into his arms once he had taken his rations and gold. "You will now earn a name for yourself and survive in this dark wild." This is what parents on the Surface say to their offspring when they are shoved out of the cottage so they can find adventure, love, various mates, and eventually their place in society. Nilfil obviously did not have such positive words that she, a Siren, would have heard from her father if there was any warning of her unexpected departure. Her mother was more of the 'eat them before they eat you, and find glory in their blood' type - which were comforting and valid parting words if you were from the sea. If they ever find themselves here again, perhaps they will find that he survived more than a day in this everlasting night.

"Bingle Curiosa, Nilfil will crave water, being one of the Surface. In short time, he may join your cult unless they cannot tolerate him." Tempest clearly is not sure where to categorize 'cult', but assumes it is the worship of what the Wizardly Gonme follows, that of which is not a deity, but something close. Curiosity got the best of the Siren, eyeing poor foamy Banx with a thoughtful frown for a moment of distraction. "This is a small almost-deity like a powerful, pushy spirit that latches on like a lamprey? It requires a praying-following above and below?" This was quite fascinating, having heard of statues for worship and believing to have seen such things on her way through sunken ships and lurking about underwater colonies of other intelligent sea-denizens.

The busy blue Siren kept herself on deck, watching for the closeness of the false, cavernous sky (now and again) concerned a mast could brush against the fungal stars. When Tempest was on duty, she enthusiastically learned the songs of the Drow to keep in rhythm with their rope-work. If Falco needed an adjustment made, a rope replaced, a section of the deck cleaned and re-oiled, Tempest had no qualms as she did her best to keep a steady pace. Her work ethic had nothing to do with trying to impress the Drow, nor her companions, but she simply had pride in what she did. At no point did the Siren bow her head or submit to 'orders', but instead tipped her fancy blue fedora and went about doing what was expected of her, and then some.

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Each new day Tempest quickly cleaned up any leftover conjured food that started to decay as its magic faded, tossing it overboard like a champ. As though summoning an orchestra, the sleep-deprived Siren would sway at one end of the makeshift table of lined up crates and bippity boop - her hands swept gracefully over the wood as beautifully colorful, sometimes incorrect, dull-tasting edible treats appeared. A giant, bready 'mushroom' of purple, or pink, spotted or striped appeared tall in the center with smaller ones springing up all around it with the bite-able texture of soft merangue filled with the flavors of either mushroom water, almonds, hard boiled eggs, or buttery custard. Requests that were offered and explained were always attempted the next day with a wry smile.

Four legged roast chickens surrounded by marshmallow-textured carrots, roasted red potatoes, halved onions, and plump green, sprouted, and sometimes brightly flowering lima beans bookended a cauldron of mashed potatoes swirled with little muted horn-shaped peppers. Toast was piled high and 'glorious', offered with a subtly sweet, vibrant pink apple jelly and a dragon-shaped butter sculpture. There were bowls of crispy six inch sticks that were 'fried baby eels' or red-orange balls with the texture of crab hushpuppies, minus any spice or truly spunky taste. Water-dulled grapes, chewy mollusks on the half shell, and flaky finger fooded silvery-blue fish were found around the setting like flower petals in edible decoration. Slices of bright fruit mock-ups, spongy strawberry-spotted pancakes and random tofu-y seafood were always present day after day. Whomever onboard learned to creatively use pickled limes, pickles, nut-butter, and any form of salt or spices was a true hero of the ages taking the mediocre but not bad flavors and punching them up a notch or three.

The Siren was quietly proud of her morning creations that lasted throughout the 'night'. Tempest was equally as proud to take over for Captain Falco if he had the need to rest his eyes or walk through the memories of this ship of his. Concern for Fela was also on Tempest's mind, because it reflected her own issues with the lack of a sky. Without the sky, the wind, the rain….where was her goddess? Everything felt wrong down here, so escaping into work had its use as a distraction. When it was time for Tempest to take a small break, a little escape, she decided it was time to make a little temporary something in any space available belowdeck, away from the sensitive Drow.

On a gold coin that she could place in an unlit lantern, or take a glob of kneaded wax to stick to the ceiling, Tempest cast Daylight causing a curtained off corner to brighten ever-so bright as though there were sunshine. Of course, the light could envelop a good section below, casting shadows and illuminating the rooms for an hour.

During breakfast on the second day, the generously glowing, rather happy Siren announced. "Captain Falco, Fela Markwig Springer, and Lady Bingle Curiosa, being those of either prayer and blessings or not, are used to the sun, moon, and sky. Since we are to return to the surface soon, once a day I shall bring light forth below deck, but it will not last very long. Please use this as you see fit - to search, to pray, to know we will not always be in a moonless night." Tempest tipped her head toward Fela with a surprisingly empathetic way about her.

For the days that came and went under the unnatural Nuderdark Gimmersea, Tempest would find herself below deck to check on Banx's health, praying over him in whispers with glowing hands and clasping gentle fingers around her necklace. The Siren would then sing a wispy lullabye about the moon overhead and the world being asleep as she yawned, halfway through. Knowing they would do the same for her, she found another puzzle-piece of empathy now understanding how to 'return favors' without feeling as though she is doing any such thing. Her mind wandered to the mermaids left at the tavern, not too worried about their well-being for some reason, having found some real trust in a handful of Surface-dwellers.

While Tempest was below deck and all felt steady with both ships sailing within shouting range of each other, she took the Daylight lantern when free to use in the War Room. "If anyone would like to see what the former Captain was up to, if there is anything of any value we can use, let us know now before we meet with Vorn." In a rather Siren Drew manner, she moved into the room, first to brighten the most obvious - whatever was on the table, before she tried her hand at searching for the 'hollow' sounds along the walls, or just under the floorboards. This time, her experience was not simply from books, but from spending time watching those on ships, and exploring the remains of those vessels lost under the ocean waves.

As time shifted strangely, Tempest, wanting to further feel a camaraderie with the crew as she had read about in novels as well as sailor diaries, felt the need to contact Briony again once the Drow, as well as the regular crew, settled into some sort of understanding and rhythm of the ship on the first night at sea. From the bow of the ship she took a moment to concentrate and spoke the message. "Greetings Briony! We all live. Falco reclaimed his ship. Banx and Bingle rest. Fela remains stronghearted. Vorn's ship accompanies us. Prepare to join us."

The following 'evening' the Siren trailed after Fela when it was time to take a break and asked her if there was something she If Fela wants something to be relayed, if she puts that in her post, then Sending would be cast for herwanted relayed to Briony or anyone else on the ship.

On the third night, after her giddiness from being so very tired caused her try to teach a leapy hornpipe dance to anyone willing or not, Tempest decided to cool down and close her eyes and catch some rest against a thick coil of rope. Before she nodded off accidentally, she felt it in her heart to try to speak with her father, having seen him in that near-death vision. "Glorious Father, I have adventured to the terrible Glimmersea. Soon I will return to our ocean with fearless companions. I miss you and Mother deeply."
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  #291  
Old Nov 8th, 2023, 09:17 AM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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If Bingle could be distilled down to one word it would be two words and they would be sutpid gerat. Sutpid because she often does wrong things and doesn't understand. But also gerat because she often does right things and is amazing. Ultimately she has to believe she is gerat and that the sutpid part will either fall away or become a modifier that means the opposite of itself as the kids now say. She is a kid so she says it. And yet, the word curious is right in her wizard title. Bingle doesn't feel curious as much as she feels desperate: to hold pieces together and get more pieces to fit in, to build and strengthen and glue and form. There are terrors out there. You can fall into them like the black pit. They can look at you and cause a century freeze. They can come out of nowhere. If the rifts join and the world turns inside out.

Bingle tries to quickly memorize the poem that Lilladreki gives them for these reasons:

1. It is beautiful
2. A dragon gives it
3. Snail, statue, mushroom, star, otter!

Back when they used to be the Five Pips with Tumble and Kasja, she had whittled their five little icons into wood where they went: the bolt hole in the woods, the smugglers' hideout. Now they need new icons. Falco is a ship, not a star pointing the way to one. Fela is a shield, no longer just a watcher eye. Tempest is a wave, a reaching-up part of that great and terrible flat that Bingle used to fear but now has learned to breathe. Bingle is... well, she and Banx laugh about "cultivating."

She thanks Fela for her offer of help. It means a lot that Fela has seen her doing devil stuff and still wants to be her friend.

"I don't really know what I'm doing," she admits. "And I don't know what will happen. Most of the time, I'm scared, but sometimes, I feel powerful. You're a good friend and I need you and I love you. Thank you for coming back to me and saving me on the ship. Now, if you ever want to extract yourself from the clutches of Saliber, I can help you with that too," she ends with a little devilish wink, but she grabs Fela in a tight hug and kisses her shield. "I love you too, shield," she adds. "I never loved anything more." Those terrible moments under it. She felt she could hide there forever.

When she gets back to the ship, she searches around until she finds the ring that made her old, where she threw it in the pile of ropes. She is afraid of it, a little bit, but it's valuable, and they can use it for trade or sale. She helps Fela to tuck Banx into a hammock where he can start to sleep of his durgs, and the smoking rock goes dull. When they've had a day of sailing, and she's used her Mage Hand to help with ropes and her Prestidigitation and other boons to help with the work, and everything is set and they're moving, she will crawl into the hammock with Banx, both rolled into their own little balls, but back to back. Sometimes when they wake up Bingle is wrapped around Banx's head, or has wrenched his arm nearly off to use as a pillow, or has his feet between her knees.

She will whisper two sends to Mr. Perpetu:

Dear Mr. Perpetu, I hope you are well and your family, and that your power prospers with the establishment of the temple at Charwall Parish.

Thank you for connecting me to your friend in the portrait. May I know her name? I hope to sign up a great warlock soon.

A send to Jelbi Gimble, her naughty friend from childhood:

Jelbi it's Bingle. I'm sailing in a ship on a sea in the Nuderdrak. There's no sun or moon here, only glows. I miss you.

She considers Sending to Pim but she is a little bit afraid. Is Pim in time travel? Is Pim a statue? He isn't her brother, but a long ago person from a village before. So she looks in the coin instead.

She samples and loves the magic food. She can flavor and heat and cool some of it in different ways, and she and Tempest have fun doing epxerimnets. She basks in the magical daylight and it helps with the gloom and the sad songs and the purpleness of this sea. And after a couple of days, she demands to get in the speedboat, learns from Gary (or Banx when he's not napping) how to operate it, and takes whoever will try on skimming, fast rides over the dark water. This is how it is. Sometimes tucked into the hammock, in nightmares of shriveled age or stony paralysis. Sometimes sunbathing under the deck, remembering normal mushrooms and otters and stars. Sometimes sampling bits of pretend food like mushroom ice and boiled apple. Sometimes helping spiders trim sails on the clipper or drow haul ropes on the Duskmaiden. And sometimes roaring over the waves, hair flying, hat off, laughing like a loon.



ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


ۜ\(ಠ_ಠ)/ۜ
 
[/QUOTE]
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  #292  
Old Nov 10th, 2023, 04:09 PM
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Falco you pay the drow to crew you to the Ant Trap. You don't try to convince them to go Up with you, at least not now. The three of them keep to themselves, and if you ask their names, they say you can call them Minë, Atta, and Neldë. Tempest, who speaks Elvish, knows that these words mean merely One, Two, Three.

You test the satchel -- it works perfectly, but when you ask the satchel if it has a name and it says, WHAT? NOT! NEVER EATED! NAME? Which maybe it means no one named it, or the concept itself is foreign or---well, who knows. Not an intellectual giant, this leathery gobbler. You can name it, if you like.

You clean the stench of Red Feathers off your girl, and she feels more yours every minute. This place is full of memories. Here is the board in Keiran's cabin with the knots that make a lion face. Here is the notch in the doorframe you made running with a saber in a storm and fallign over your own two hairy feet (you may have been drinking...). Here is the hammock with all the holes because that damn yuan-ti couldn't stop falling asleep while smoking... you tell these memories and more to your friends; Banx has returned your pipe, so you can show them, if you like.

right-aligned image
Tempest the drow crew come to pity you and your friends. The horrible glaring light you summon and the weird, bland food give them an odd impression of the surface world. Neldë, the most friendly, says to you very gently, Is this truly what you eat up there? Is that bright horror-magic like the "sun?" Because, you could stay here where things are so much nicer, you know. He fishes off the bow and makes eel soup for you with his small, personal spice kit. It's pretty great.

Briony sounds fraught: Praise Marisol, please hurry! We’re cooped up, scared, mad. Metal spiders bar our way off the ship, Harbor’s pitch black, no sense of time left...

Your father sounds his usual mild, charming self: Delighted to hear it, darling. I’ve never heard of this “glimmersea.” Let us know if you discover what happened to the mermaids and suchlike. Ta. This is very Eladrin. He lives slowly, lightly. What is a few weeks? Nothing. What is a worry? No one he knows.

You search the War Room molecule by molecule. You find a small box made of hardened, odd blue leather. It is not off this world - perhaps it belonged to the Mind Flayer? Inside, you find a diamond worth 300 gold, a vial of powdered silver and iron worth 100 gold, a smaller vial with about 250 gold's worth of diamond dust, small jeweled ear horn, and a glass eye hung with jeweled strands. There is also a small golden display stand that can hold either the eye or the horn, but not both at once.

Most importantly, in the floor you come across an almost-impossible-to-find secret compartment, smaller than acorn. Inside, a ball of spider-silk, fine as onion paper, but infinitely stronger. Unfurled, it covers the table and shows a sea chart that leads to the secret shoal here in the Starless Sea where the monsters were trolling to find the sickstone geodes.

left-aligned image
Bingle, Banx is pretty sick for a couple of day-like spans of time, but he feels better and better; he stops smelling like burned up sweat and smells like Banx again, and he wants to go in the Motor Boat. He loves this. First he loves it sitting in the bottom wrapped in a blanket, but later he loves it in the very front, arms spread like wings, eyes wide open to peer into the fathomless black, Sass clinging and squeaking. King of the Wooooooorrrrld.

You morun. Do you know that you are mourning? Then you help Falco and Gary sailing in snatches, and help Tempest food, and help Fela feel okay, and this is paly. Do you know that you are playing? You need both these things --- to see your losses and adjust to the ways you have been lied to, but also remember you are in fact young, no matter what you say to dragons. The scale clinks against the Saliber medallion as you MOTRO BOTA. You see a tiny bit of dried blood on the edge, and you understand a thing: She didn't dig loose it out of her bag for you. She put her hands down in her bag, DEEP, because a dragon surely has a bag of holding, and in that interplanar space, her small deep-gray hands stretched and gloried into purple and gem-hard claws, and she peeled one living scintillating scale off of herself, fresh.

Mr. Perpetu has a hard time doing manners, but he does try: Indeed. I am promoted out of the dagger. Ermemrmemmmm... remitting fond wishes that your own family sucks warm marrow from the bones of their enemies.

He is better at saying names. The Lady Vanisthe. Used to be an Erinyes. Now Executress for Non-Carceral Control Outreach and Evangelism, Department of Humanoid Resources. I am given to her. He says it with 3 syllables. Van-IS-thuh, and he sounds very puffy and chuffed about the new job. Non-Carceral Co-WHAT now? If you tell Banx, he says, Must mean her job is not the part of the prison. Because we know Malbolge is mostly a prison. Sure we do, Banx, because WE keep reading books about Glasya when WE aren't puking thin bile and recovering from durgs.

Jelbi has a sweet little wibbly voice like a meemaw now, because she is a meemaw now. But she still has spark. She says, laughy-breathy: I wanted to imagine you on such adventures while you were gone. I miss you less, so heart-happy to know you have them aplenty, now.

You look in the coin. The paper looks BLANK, but if you pull it out and peer, you see tiny tiny tiny tiny words in one corner. They say: Yes, pelase save or klil me. Dead is fere, nulses I am dead alerady? Where I am is supn to clod place. So clod. HLEP.

Party, your adventure continues here.
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Last edited by Fillyjonk; Nov 10th, 2023 at 05:00 PM.
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