Game Thread South, across the Middle Sea - Page 8 - RPG Crossing
RPG Crossing Home Forums Create An Account! Site Rules & Help

RPG Crossing
Go Back   RPG Crossing > Games > Dungeons & Dragons: 5e > In the Coils of Veles
twitter facebook

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #106  
Old Sep 17th, 2021, 04:29 PM
Strangemund's Avatar
Strangemund Strangemund is offline
Your Local Cryptid
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Oct 15th, 2021
RPXP: 6004
Strangemund Strangemund Strangemund Strangemund Strangemund Strangemund Strangemund Strangemund Strangemund Strangemund Strangemund
Posts: 1,226
The oldest rule in the book...
right-aligned image
"’In the necropolis of Gramvar.’" Kazimir repeated del Magrina’s words with far less vigor, and pulled himself to the front of the crowd.

Kazimir was barely dressed. His tunic inside-out and untucked from his slacks, his feet bare on the sleek wood deck, and blue as the fingers on his delicate hands. But it was his eyes that the captain would focus on, for he couldn’t see them. The night so dark and so thick with fog that they were lost in a veil of darkness that not even the stars themselves could penetrate. Only the maniac scratches that scarred Kazimir's eyes still were seen in the pitch black night. It made Kazimir look old, and wild, like some forgotten primal god.

"Ye understand what that means, dontcha?" Kazimir looked between Vrakiras and del Magrina, his voice dark and low, and uncomfortably unlike him. "What awaits us in a city that still suffers, that still cries out in agony. Dun get me wrong. I mourn fer her, too. For the homes taken. For the stories unwritten. For the voices that will never be heard again. But…" He turned to look at the wall of fog, towards the ruin of Gramvar. And even though he couldn’t see its fires, he felt its heat on the wind, baring its teeth on his skin. "The veil is thin in Gramvar, between the dead an’ the living. The gates of Hel are parted, an’ Gramvar’s streets are full."

As if his own words pained him, Kazimir took a sharp and heavy breath, and turned to look back at the bastards he called friends for the last week. "Iffin any of ye go, ye will see more than corpses. Ye will see bodies twisted by the evils that feed upon the pain o’ good people. Husbands and wives. Brothers and sisters. Even friends some of us once knew…" Kazimir paused. "That’s what lurks in a necropolis. ‘A city of the dead.’ And while justice can get ye far." he looked at del Magrina and Vrakiras, before his gaze fell to Zenda. "and anger is fine fer fuelin’ fires, what matters most in times dire as these is the one truth that’s existed since the dawn o’ time…"

The silence was deafening as Kazimir drew out his pause, holding a finger up as if to keep it all their hushed words at bay.

And then out of nowhere, Kazimir grinned, and said:

"Always take a soddin’ elf wit you!"
__________________
Status: Hiatus Until the 19th
DMing: And the Devil Dances Beneath a Mosaic Sky
Characters: Thunder in the Morning - Harp Strum - Captain Tavosh - Sigrun Storm-Eater - Kazimir

Last edited by Strangemund; Sep 17th, 2021 at 05:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #107  
Old Sep 21st, 2021, 12:04 AM
hafrogman's Avatar
hafrogman hafrogman is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Oct 16th, 2021
RPXP: 16910
hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman
Posts: 3,002
Zenda, Swordswoman of Ishadia
right-aligned image
To say that Azar's reveal came as a surprise to Zenda would be an understatement. This could hardly be considered a sympathetic crowd to one of the witch's... persuasion. But here she stood, revealing herself in all her scaly glory... but positioning it as a stand against the Mharoti. Was this real? Or yet another layer of deception? The Ishadian simply could not tell. Azar might be tainted, but at her heart she was human... The little saying she had shared with Kazimir showed she harbored no illusions about the dragons intentions towards the 'lesser' races. Had she finally come to realize that her only hope lay in an alliance against the scale kin? It couldn't be that easy, could it? But caught up in the moment as she was, Zenda couldn't help but hope.

Even Kazimir joined in, toying with the reverse of her own rhetorical device, playing up fears and concerns about what awaited them in the Necropolis. But the fearless grin that accompanied his last words was almost enough to make Zenda think kindly of the strange creature. Was he claiming to be some kind of elf? He looked nothing like Lucia... no matter.

Herself, Bato, even Kazimir and Azar, that just left the enigmatic Nae'laa. A glance towards the fiery woman showed that she had no words for or against the plan... at least for now. Zenda chose to take that as consent and gave del Magrina a decisive nod.

"Well, Captain. It looks like we stand united beside you."

OOC
 

 
Reply With Quote
  #108  
Old Oct 8th, 2021, 07:51 PM
4eyedBadger's Avatar
4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Oct 15th, 2021
RPXP: 7077
4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger 4eyedBadger
Posts: 2,209
Gramvar CoastLet us become the jackal, and teach them to fear it.

Like a sandstorm, old memories of the desert overtake Batoyangi…

It is dusk, and the scrub grasses and twisted acacia stretch far across the rolling hills of Djibbar. The hide tents of the Soul-Judger Clan of gnolls are ornamented with bone and teeth and horns, and the occasional carapace of a tosculi warrior. Painted shields of stretched hide and iron-tipped spears ring the single, central fire, clutched by the warriors. The warriors chant and drive the butts of their spears into the dry earth in unison as Young Bato looks on.

Sitting in the center of the circle, bound by leather cords and with an iron rod across his back keeping his arms immobile, is an adult male gnoll. There is a madness in his eyes, and a defiance in the looks he gives the rest of the clan. The prisoner gives a muffled, barking laugh through his leather-bound muzzle.

The female elders of the clan begin singing, in the yipping, barking tongue of the gnoll. They sing of freedom on the grass seas. Of the strength of the clan. They sing of blood, and the deeds of firstborn daughters. They sing of raids, and heads of cattle, and of hunting the mighty ankhole. They sing of salt and gold, and their voices carry into the darkening night as the rest of the clan joins in the fervor.

Young Bato watches the large tent, remembering what comes next. Two female warriors flank the entry, and pull back the hide flaps. Then she emerges!

Sa Majhuyoag, dressed in the finest purple robes the tribe owns. She dances and whirls out of the doorway like a graceful warrior! In her right hand is the ritual sickle, it’s razor-keen edge flickering in the light of the fire. In her left hand is the golden ankh, her clan’s most holy relic and valuable treasure. On her large head, she wears an elaborate leather mask and headdress of the jackal. Majhuyoag’s own bestial yellow eyes gaze out from beneath the mask as her voice rises above the singers!

"The faithless…the corrupted, will be purged," the Sa pronounces her judgment in the barking tongue, unsuited to subtlety but with great force of emotion. "The demon Nkishi has led another astray! But the soul of the pack will remain pure!"

The clan whoops into the night and the dancing and thundering of spears builds to a crescendo in approval of their clan mother’s words! More precious wood is added to the fire. Majhuyoag places the blade of the sickle into the orange flames. She turns to face the condemned prisoner as the iron heats. "Anu-Akma, preserve the worthy!"

In her aspect of jackal-headed justice, Sa Majhuyoag of the Soul-Judger Clan strides toward the bound cultist. The tip of the iron sickle in her hand glows red hot, and the holy fires are reflected in her eyes beneath the mask. The bound cultist of Laughing Nkishi barks a defiant laugh, but his eyes are wide with fear as the Sa approaches…



* * *

The two launches are lowered from The Sighing Lady into the dark, choppy waters below. At the bottom of the rope ladders, Milkharem the Unyielding Hoof greets each of the “Jambuka Raiders” with a hearty smile and a thunderous clap on the back. He passes each of them a silver coin of Capleon as they board the rowboats. "Should Hune the Portal-master require a toll," he explains cryptically. As Kazimir boards, Milkharem passes him two coins with a wink and says, "Never hurts to tip the Maze-Walker."

The boats are loaded. Captain Thiago del Magrina is at the bow of one, wearing a gleaming breastplate with a relief of a ship on the ocean. His smile is infectious and the laughter that rises from the minotaurs and men near him is genuine.

left-aligned image
At the front of the second boat is Vrakiras, bare-chested but armed with a large axe. His silver pelt ripples in the sea air, and rings adorn his horns where none had been. The bosun’s face is grim, and the strength he exudes settles over his crewmates like a mantle of assured victory.

Above, Arnau Sartori watches the operation solemnly from the railing. As the launches push away from the hull of their ship, the first mate snaps a salute to his captain. "Good hunting, captain. May the Lady cover you in her dark cloak."

del Magrina returns the salute and then starts giving orders to the boat crews. Oars are lowered and the launches turn their prows toward the hellish shoreline, with its broken skyline and orange glow of the pillars of fire that backlight the city.

Zenda’s swords draw admiring looks from several of the sailors. Surely one who wields such weapons will serve their cause well tonight.

Azar’s fierce countenance has a similar effect on the raiders. None have dared question her since she revealed her true form on deck. The nervous looks at the sorceress are quickly replaced with respectful nods, as her innate power becomes more and more apparent to all around her.

"We should not tarry in the streets!" The captain shouts to make himself heard on both boats. "Fouler things than Mharoti walk them now. Vrakiras will lead us to the necropolis, where we will enter the Maze and use its power to carry us into the heart of Chamiras, beneath the Palace of Palms." His tone is hopeful, but a Capleoni merchant is no fool. "Whatever happens this night, we send a message to the tyrants…and, perhaps more importantly, to the oppressed souls of this proud land." He finishes his speech with a grateful nod to Zenda and Azar, and an appreciative look toward the mighty Batoyangi.

The Sighing Lady has disappeared into the darkness behind. The coastline is close now. The launches rise on the swells as the surf breaks toward Gramvar’s coast. The docks jut out into the water ahead, burned and broken in places. Wooden pillars, snapped by fire and claw, rise from the choppy water like jagged teeth, waiting to devour them. The pillars of fire in the distance cast long fingers of flickering light between the abandoned stone buildings. And in the dark places, shadows move and shift with no moonlight to banish them.

Scraaaaaape

Something drags along the underside of the boat. Something is in the water, scraping the wood of the hull from beneath as the oars pull. Nervous looks pass among the crew, and Vrakiras looks to the captain.

The scraping continues the entire length of the boat, ceaselessly. The vibration of it echoes in the concavity of the boat. It reaches the stern, whatever is dragging along the hull. And then it stops as the boat passes beyond.

There is a brief moment of calm, where the only sound is the gentle splashing of the oars in the sea.

And then a large, furred hand reaches up from the black waters just behind the boat. Saltwater drips from it and it is limned in the orange glow of the fire. The hand grabs at the stern, clutching with sharp claws!

Another hand rises on the port side, grasping at the gunwale. Still another rises at the bow of the other boat! Soon, many clawed hands are reaching out of the water! A second hand at the stern takes hold, and the creature lifts itself from the water. The crewman at the rudder lets out a horrified gasp as horns, and then a rotting, eyeless, head of a bull rises from the surface! One hand releases its grip on the boat to reach for the man’s arm, grasping it in worm-ridden, muscular flesh!

All around both boats, dead Minotaurs grasp at hull and limb, lifting themselves from the water and rocking the rowboats dangerously! Their faces and limbs are hideously burned. Horns are broken from their skulls and flaps of flesh are missing where they had been wounded in life or gnawed upon in death!

Water laps in from both sides and the boats are pushed and pulled toward capsizing, threatening to dump their passengers into the water with the gurgling, lowing dead of Gramvar!

OOC
 

Last edited by 4eyedBadger; Oct 8th, 2021 at 07:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #109  
Old Oct 11th, 2021, 10:42 AM
Lazer's Avatar
Lazer Lazer is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Oct 16th, 2021
RPXP: 13351
Lazer Lazer Lazer Lazer Lazer Lazer Lazer Lazer Lazer Lazer Lazer
Posts: 3,436
Azar's eyes glowed bright orange as the fire within her roared. She didn't want to control it any longer, she wanted to let it explode and consume everything, but not here, not now. She had to wait.

As the launch was lowered to the sea she sat near the captain, every muscle tensed, and tried to keep the fire in check. She saw nothing around her, all of her attention was focused inwards, so the looks of the crew at her scales and eyes went unheeded. She just sat and rocked backwards and forwards, sometimes muttering draconic curses to herself.

Some small part of her was aware that they were nearing the coast and the fire was growing ever harder to control in response. She wanted to shout at the oarsmen to hurry, but was afraid if she dropped control even that much she would incinerate them all. She started looking around, hoping to see something on the shore which she could let loose upon… and then the scraping started. Like everyone else, she looked down at the hull beneath her feet. Suddenly reality hit home. She was in a flimsy wooden vessel upon the dark sea. Her fire would do little if she were plunged into its icy depths. She shot a panicked look at del Magrina.

"Is it rocks?" she asked, although she could already see from his face that it couldn't be. Then the hands started pulling on the side and Azar had to grip her seat hard so as not to be flung from it. The dead minotaurs started hauling themselves up and Azar shook her head.

"No," she said to them, and her voice was quiet, almost calm. "No, I won't be denied my revenge."

She looked around, at the crew battering the undead beasts with the oars, at the captain yelling to direct them at this threat or that. What could she do to help? What could she ever do? What had the Empire kept her alive for? There was only one reason, only one thing which was of any use to anybody. She looked to her right as another hand exploded out of the waves and gripped the gunwale beside her, ruined maggoty muscles flexing to haul the rest of the creature up.

She licked her lips and then eased open the barrier that she used to control the flames inside of her. It took all of her concentration to allow only a small trickle of fire through as the great roiling mass of it struggled to get out. She pushed the rest back and allowed the trickle to spread down her right hand just as the head of the minotaur emerged from the sea, a gurgling scream exploding in salty spray from its lips. She could feel the flame burning inside her fist and, with a grim smile, she hurled it directly into the face of the minotaur, the flame searing its remaining flesh from the bone. It wasn't much, it wouldn't likely kill the beast, but it had covered its face with its arms and sunk back into the sea behind the launch.

 

 
__________________
Current status: Currently up-to-date.
Reply With Quote
  #110  
Old Oct 13th, 2021, 02:13 AM
Vislands's Avatar
Vislands Vislands is offline
Blue Mage
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Oct 17th, 2021
RPXP: 11953
Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands Vislands
Posts: 3,709
Let us become the jackal, and teach them to fear it.

Bato's usual vicious grin had disappeared as they began their final preparations to launch, replaced by a pensive stare often directed towards the dark shoreline that was almost more terrifying on the gnoll's long face. To become the Jackal...the memory that came flooding back was one he thought he had long discarded, a life that was now two lifetimes ago. Before his life of servitude and ring fighting and before his life now, a life of harried, but resolute freedom. Sa Majhuyoag...he had not thought of her in many moons, and the seed of melancholy he felt now in his stomach was why.

The Constrictor...no, Batoyangi, he hated to look back because then he could what was lost. And what might yet chase him. Laughing Nkishi. That screeching laugh that followed him over the horizon of sands. NO! He slammed a fist against the wood of the Sighing Lady, crushing that old terror with pain, drawing fearful glances from some nearby human sailors who whispered to each other and gave him space. But to them perhaps it was only a pre-battle ritual, the act of a brutal killing machine. He convinced himself they were right.

When it was time to depart, Bato was grateful for the distraction. He boarded the ship with the captain, joining Azar and sharing a comradely nod with Vrakiras before the large bull climbed aboard the opposite ship. It was simply a matter of weight - he and the bull were simply too large to ride the same small vessel, but there was something about del Magrina shining manner that was easeful to Bato in the moment and made him pleased to ride alongside him.

And then, they were off, slicing through the dark water. They made it some way before the dead appeared, clawing and pulling, threatening to knock them into the water. As the witch began to pelt the sea with fire, a bony hand reached up behind her and made to grab her little neck...when Bato reached forward, gripping the grasping limb with an expert hold that gave him the leverage to fling the thing away and into the sea with a splash. "Go!" He snarled to the captain, turning to smash the face of another encroaching undead with a repelling blow from his leather shield.


OOC
 
Reply With Quote
  #111  
Old Oct 15th, 2021, 01:31 PM
hafrogman's Avatar
hafrogman hafrogman is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: Oct 16th, 2021
RPXP: 16910
hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman hafrogman
Posts: 3,002
Zenda, Swordswoman of Ishadia
right-aligned image
As the preparations were underway, Zenda stalked across the deck of the Sighing Lady like a restless tigress. She could feel the sailors' eyes upon her. She was no stranger to the male gaze, but this was different. Now they were looking at her as a warrior. Something to admire and aspire to, someone to lead them.

As the landing party split between the two boats, Zenda hung back a moment to let the others make their choice. Azar and Batoyangi would travel with del Magrina. Very well, but it would probably be best to split the party between the two boats. Morale could only be boosted by giving each sailor the chance to be central to the story. Zenda headed for the second boat with Vrakiras, but paused just a moment as she noticed Azar's co-conspirator loitering behind. "You." She grabbed Kazimir by his shirt. "You're coming with us." Half dragging, she led the supposed elf to the second boat and climbed in after him.

Zenda perched carefully at the center of her seat, still not quite sure about all this water, but unwilling to show hesitancy in front of the crew. She caught Captain del Magrina's speech across the waves and let loose a full-throat war-whoop in response, letting his infectious courage push back against her hydrophobia, and none too soon. As the boat started to scrape and shudder below her, Zenda was suddenly very much aware of the precarious position they were in. This boat was their best shield against the waves... and what was rising up from them. The dead wanted free of the water... but Zenda was loathe to share her berth.

As the launch lurched violently under the watery assault, Zenda oddly calmed herself. The gentle, smooth rocking of the waves held a foreign, nauseatingly hypnotic quality she felt she would never adapt to, but she was much more adept at keeping her balance while under attack. With a little hop, she leapt up onto the seat, spinning in place, both blades flashing. The dead were numberless and no longer knew pain or fear. But even drowned minotaurs would find it difficult to overturn a boat without hands. She lashed out once, cutting through a rotting limb. A second time, sending chips of wood flying from the hull with a near miss as the boat pitched suddenly as a slab of undead beef tried to climb aboard. Zenda braced herself against the gunwale with one foot as she leaned backwards to dissuade him with another brutal slash. "You shall find no purchase here this night!" Blades glinting in reflected moonlight, and dripping with saltwater and ichor, Zenda danced amidst the tight confines of the boat, repelling all invaders.

OOC
 

 

Last edited by hafrogman; Oct 15th, 2021 at 01:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:02 AM.
Skin by Birched, making use of original art by paiute.(© 2009-2012)


RPG Crossing, Copyright ©2003 - 2021, RPG Crossing Inc; powered by vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Template-Modifications by TMB