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Old 12-17-2019, 04:09 PM
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Chapter 2 - Stranded!

Ani, Lienna, and Broke race up to the deck where they find ... no fire? The flickering is coming from the bowels of the ship. As Habakuk lugs his (slowly leaking) bucket up to the ship everyone dashes below to find flickering firelight emanating from every room. Then the sounds reach the crew's ears; rustling, crashing sounds. Suddenly, a figure appears in the hallway, flickering torch in hand. A grayish torso with very human appearing appendages, but ending in the head of a shark. A loincloth and several leather satchels adorn his waist.

The strange creature reels at the sight of the Thorners, something akin to panic in the eye he has trained on the crew. Suddenly, he straightens and thuds his staff on the floorboards. A moment later, more of the strange creatures emerge from every room, perhaps a half dozen in all.

As both groups stand staring at one another, a voice suddenly booms out from above, "I am sorry, but we have claimed this ship. Leave peacefully and we will not harm you." Turning, the crew find another of the strange creatures standing on deck looking down upon them. This blue-hued version has but a single arm, which is grasping a thick, steady staff and a white, scarred eye. He is flanked by many more of his kind.
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:42 PM
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Brokey
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Pembroke Aurestes Catullux Smythe-Smithendowne, the Lord Chivahhani, hustles along like a good sailor as Ani barks orders. His mind is all aflutter with debt and inheritance and assassin's guilds and the Empires that remain to him to hide in. That leaves him so distracted that his outwards motions are easily guided by order, which Ani provides.

He is ready to belay a sail as he hoists himself over the gunwales of the ship. No fire is there to greet him. He shakes his head, mystified. His visions of the most wretched possible future vanish as he tries to make sense of the situation. "Lanterns?" he postulates, as a figure emerges from the belly of the Rose-Thorn. The shark-man seems as confused as the Thorners, and that's all the leverage Brokey needs. He straightens his clothing and raises a finger to begin wagging. "Now see here..." he begins. But the shark-man begins his own self-righteous speech at the same time, as reinforcements emerge.

The tilting of the scales of battle initially distract Pembroke, as he re-calibrates the right approach to weaseling is way out of the situation. Then the full import of the shark-folks' statements hit him. ...claimed this ship... leave peacefully... They've squatted on his ill-gotten ship!

Pembroke is utterly dumbstruck by the effrontery of these creatures. He sputters a number of attempts at a retort. "Claimed?!?..." he says, physically staggering, hand over his heart. "I... your... mine...!" He recovers himself by bracing himself against a mast. "The cheek!...we must... gall, the gall of it!" He pauses, gasping. His face is beet red. He leans over, hands on his knees, hyperventilating. "No, mine. My.... peacefully. Peacefully! An outrage, outrageous!... The gall!"

Pembroke is no help in the first round of negotiations with these strange scavengers.
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:43 PM
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Lienna hurries onto the the ship--not bothering with buckets or water, heedless of Ani's orders or Pembroke's ideas. Even when she reaches the deck, she does not stop to processs her surroundings, but rushes below. Only then does she hesitate, slightly relieved to see that the flames are more or less under control, not in danger of engulfing the ship. Of course, the people holding the torches are a problem, one she is sure she will have to deal with in a moment.

But for now, the shark man's words fall on deaf ears. As her eyes frantically dart back and forth, surveying the floor below deck, she pulls the pistol from her hip and points it in the direction of the voice without looking. "Once ah find my coat we can talk about this like civilized folk. Otherwise ah start shooting and you get to see how many of ya'll die before you can put me down, don't you f**kin test me on this."

 
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:09 PM
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"Oh, do we have guests?" It had taken a little while to dawn on Habakuk that the lights on the deck of the ship were not caused by an open fire, and slouching over slowly he was among the lasts to glance upon the sharkmen that were scuttling across the Rose-Thorn. Initially he had thought about descending and throwing together a little platter of Hors d'oeuvre, but was stopped in his tracks by the declaration of the leader of the squatters.

"A misunderstanding," the Mennoam chuckled lightly, then rapped his claw once on the wood of a railing. "This is our ship. I think you are a little lost."

The others seemed to take this all rather seriously, but Habakuks mind was content with his own conclusion and moved on to other matters. What manner of creatures were these? Now he had always been a bookish sort, and interested in other cultures to boot, but they were especially peculiar to him. He tried to think back to times of leisure, when he could browse the alchemists guilds libraries as much as he wanted, often straying from the tomes directly related to the transmutating art.

 
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Old 12-25-2019, 12:35 PM
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Ani | 2 Fate Points
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The idea of being marooned on this island mote, with few resources and fewer means of escape, would be of some concern to the average person, even before they factored in the angry pursuers. To Ani, this development is little more than another easily-hurdled obstacle in the frantic, uncontrollable series of events that has made up her life as of late. She has talked her way out of worse.

"Yes, sir," the kek starts calmly, agreeing with her friends, "this is our ship. I'm sure we can obtain another if we had to, but we've all become quite fond of this ship's... 'quirks'. Like the pine-y smell of the waterproofing resin on a hot day, the comforting creak of the masts at night, the way the wheel screws itself off if you turn it too far to the left... oh! I could go on and on about how we can't find where the privy is leaking into the bunks, or how it takes a half-day to untangle the rigging if you forget to raise the foresail before you angle the jib. And..." she giggles uncharacteristically, "we MAAAY have developed some addiction to the mana discharge the engine vents into the cabin." As if on queue, a POP! is heard, and a frog appears in mid-air and tumbles to the deck, where it scrambles to re-orient itself and madly dash away. "Oh! Look at that! Fairly tame, that time."

Ani giggles again at the frog anyway, but pretends to compose herself to conclude her rambling. "So, er, I think that's why my mates are taking this so hard, because the Rose-thorn is home now. I suppose we could settle for the ship that's set down a few minutes in that direction," she adds, pointing to the stolen and abandoned rig, "but it really lacked character, it has to be said."


OOC
I'm thinking an Overcome action, Deceive skill, attempting to make the Rose-thorn an unappealing prize, or at the very least make the shark-folk think it might be worth bringing us with to deal with problems as they arise.

Deceive Roll: 3

...Okay, so, I'm also going to reach back to the fight with the griffons here. In combat, Ani actually vented the engine as a Create An Advantage action, and the Chaotic Mana Impurities aspect was created, but the free invoke was never taken because it was the end of the encounter. I invoked it here to help sell the lie, so the total Deceive Roll is raised to 5.
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Old 12-31-2019, 03:24 PM
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The scene on the Rose-Thorn is nearly as dire as anticipated, just ... in a different way. The strange tribe that greets the crew - and their preposterous demand - throws Brokey into a sputtering fit of disbelief. Lienna, on the other hand, swiftly takes control of the situation in a way that only Lienna can manage. Her initial threat goes unheeded, forcing her to fire a warning shot. The resounding BOOM echoes throughout the ship. Lienna is pleased to note that the leader takes a step backward. Unfortunately, her tantrum has less of an impact on the rest of the tribe. In fact, several new faces appear, craning to see what is happening ... including one that is wearing a coat.

The tribe, which by now occupies most of the floorspace, stands silently as Habakuk and Ani reassure them that the ship is actually not just anyone's. Ani's speech has almost no impact on the tribe - until the frog suddenly appears. There is a sudden swell of creaking boards and shuffling feet as every member of the tribe takes a step back. Most eyes dart to their leader (who has now taken at least two steps backward) before silence falls once more.

In the intervening silence, Habakuk has a chance to inspect one of the nearest tribe members. They are strange but he does have a vague memory about something he read once. There were notes on a particularly rare, water-farming species who were known for particularly potent lakeweed. Whether that memory pertains to this particular species or a similar one, he cannot say for certain. Several other small tidbits slowly come back to him as well: the water-farming species were quite docile, and could not venture far from their watery farms. Something else nags at him, but he can't quite place a finger on what details he is missing.

Suddenly, the silence is broken by a loud THUD! All eyes snap to the chief. "Return the angry one's coat and secure them. We must hold council and we cannot afford for them to get away." The good news, it would seem, is that Ani managed to improve the crew's value in the eyes of the leader...

Before anyone can react, Lienna's coat suddenly appears and is draped over her shoulders (much to the apparent dismay of someone in the back). Then, in unison, the tribe closes around the crew and several strong hands fasten on each member...

OODMTheir intention is actually to take you all (forcefully) off ship, but I want to give anyone that desires the chance at a rebuttal before we narrate that (or at least a reaction).
 
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:53 PM
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Now this was peculiar. Why would a waterborne people need or want an airship anyway? As Habakuk remembered some tidbits that he had heard about or read when he was still in academia things started to make less sense, until suddenly he thought he got it: They wouldn't like the climate of a sinking island very much, and would need to get off it quickly.

"We can ... give you all a ride," he said meekly, still not having internalised that these rogues were hell-bent on just taking their Rose-Thorn. Looking at his crewmates the Mennoam gauged their level of panic or worry, and seeing nothing that reassured him his heart started to drop a little. Even though he didn't actually mind the arid and hot climate of a low-hanging piece of earth - this wasn't far enough away from Sellaine so he didn't have to worry about the Alchemists guild, and not what he thought a sailors life would be like either.

"Eeeek," as hands closed in on him Habakuk tried to shuffle backwards, raising his gangly clawed hands to ward off the fishy assailants.
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:45 PM
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BrokeyPembroke's hyperventilation does nothing to improve the situation. He is not-unreasonably disregarded by everyone around him. And the situation evolves, with more water-people emerging, and Lienna somehow getting promoted to the position of captain, by some complicated interaction of frog and shark. Even so, the dynamics mostly pass beyond Brokey's notice as he struggles to cope with the absurd situation.

It's only when the invaders try to lay hands upon him that his course of action crystallizes into one of his standard tactics: throw a tantrum asserting his (nearly-unlimited) rights. "NO!" he shouts in a high-pitched squeak as a shark-man tries to seize him. Broke squirms and strikes with limp-wristed blows as he tries to resist arrest.

"No, no, no! No again, I say, NO! This is MY ship. Ours. You will NOT lay hands on my person! Do you know who I am? If anyone will hold Council, by the gods, I will hold it with YOU! ME with YOU, do you hear me?" He is reduced to more sputtering as his ineffectual squirming continues. "By what right... YOU afford US?..."
OOCI'm going to roll Fight to resist being grasped. He's not using any weapons, just wriggly limbs and open-handed slapping, so I will abide by my Trouble and roll +0 for Fight rather than +2 (can one invoke a Trouble against oneself? Can I appeal the GM to invoke it against me for a FATE point?)

Dice Fight to avoid being grasped:
4df -1, 1, -1, 0 Total = -1
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:02 PM
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When Lienna spies one of the intruders wearing her coat, she acts without thought, taking aim and squeezing the trigger. It is not any form of restraint or sound judgment, but the technical limitations of the pistol, that stops her from escalating the already tense situation to the point of disaster. So shortly after her warning shot, the weapon has not recovered its charge of mana, and only gives a distressed whine rather than the cacaphonous bang it had emitted a moment earlier. By the time the sound has wound down and the gun is ready to fire, Lienna has managed to rein in her anger, just a bit. The coat isn't worth dying for. It's barely worth killing for.

But it seems her point has been made, as the garment is returned to her. It smells foul and foreign, but she can live with that, at least until she can get a chance to wash it. It's been a few months since she properly cleaned the thing anyway; it's about time.

With that resolved, she puts her weapon away, prepared for a civil conversation. But it seems the shark men aren't so keen on a dialogue, as they have opted to mass up and manhandle the crew. Lienna grits her teeth and digs in her heels,
Dice Fight:
4df+2 (0, 0, -1, 0)+2 Total = 1
holding her ground as best she can, alongside Broke's feeble efforts. "Now ya'll hold on a minute. Brokey's right, if you need to talk this out you talk it out with us. Ah'm sure we can make a deal, but you do not get to decide the terms all by yerselves."
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:15 AM
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Pembroke's ineffectual flailing does little to dissuade the laying of hands on his person. In fact, within seconds he finds himself held much more firmly than is comfortable. Nearby, Ani is quickly overwhelmed and held firmly, her small frame somehow lending her no advantage against the large, strong hands.

Only a few feet away, Lienna and Habakuk do their best to resist the encroaching tide of limbs as well with notably different results. While neither makes nearly as big of a fuss as Pembroke, they both manage to ward off the grasping hands. Lienna's firm stance - and clearly unstable use of weaponry - results in a more wary approach from the tribe. A single firm swat of one of the first hands to seize her causes the wielder to withdraw. From that point on, the simple threat of a swat causes any encroaching limb to retreat. Finally, the tribesmen simply form a perimeter, seemingly reluctant to reach into the now-coated woman's vicinity. Habakuk, on the other hand, only tries to defend himself, yet the clawed hands waving about before him seem to have a deterring effect on the assailants. After accidentally scratching an arm when it reaches to seize him, the reaching stops entirely and a restraining perimeter is formed.

Through the commotion, another loud THUD! resounds. All eyes turn to the one-armed chief as silence falls (at least from the tribe). The chief snaps his jaws Habakuk has the strangest feeling that the gesture is less a threat and more of a nervous gestureviciously. His one good eye locks on Brokey for a moment, then turns to Lienna. He holds her gaze for, what feels like, an eternity. Finally, he breaks away and glances behind him - toward the direction of the bridge. His gaze lingers for a moment before returning to take in the eager gazes of his kindred.

Without warning, the chief's upright, powerful stance disintegrates. His shoulders slump and his grip on the staff softens, allowing it to lean absently away from his body. "Release them." His voice rumbles out softly. Not a single one of the tribesmen moves. Then the chief straightens and his voice rumbles out, the commanding tone returned, "Release them." Without waiting for the objections, he continues, "Desperation drove us here. If we take their ship and leave them to die here, then we are no better than those that we hate. I, for one, cannot condemn someone else to our fate."

One by one, almost reluctantly, the hands grasping Brokey and Ani release and retract. Once more standing tall, the chief turns and strides out of sight on the deck above. With sidelong glances at each other, the tribesmen slowly begin to file up the stairs and out into the night, though none of them seem intent on dropping their pillaged goods.

OODMYes, Brokey can have a FATE point!

They are currently making off with A LOT of food. Enough to drop food stores to "Exhausted".

 
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:46 PM
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BrokeyDoing his best to cause all his limbs to wriggle and flail like indignant eels, Pembroke's jelly-legs buckle beneath him when he is dropped, and he collapses. He scrambles, stumbling, to rise. Brushing himself off in an attempt to regain his dignity, he simply nods sagely at the idea that theft makes the water-people no better than those they hate.

"Right. That's better. Wisdom is the better part of valor." He pauses to re-consider what the staff-bearer said. "Say, do you live here? Are 'those you hate' those chaps yonder across the jungle with a few ships of their own? Because if you would like to show yourselves better than them, we think they may have one of our friends prisoner. Perhaps we can repay this little misunderstanding by putting our goods down," he points at the foodstuffs being taken away, "and seeing if we can't work together against the ruffians across the way.

"We left one of their ships unattended, so perhaps it will be more to your liking than this, my dear Rose-Thorn. If we showed you where the other ship was, and perhaps you helped to run those skywaymen off, we might call this little misunderstanding square?"
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:14 PM
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It was a situation tense enough that even Habakuk felt it acutely, standing silent after the little physical quarrel with the fishy intruders. He perked up as the top cod seemingly came to his senses, ordering his goons to finally leave them be.

So those were the good news, but as the sharks started to lumber off the deck they did not seem to leave any of their plundered storest behind. The Mennoam had spent only little time in the ship's kitchen, but he already knew what those crates, boxes and bags contained.

"But the... that's the... why are you taking the food?" His brown eyes started to water as he realised that if this got done there might not be any dinner, let alone a midnight snack.

He raised a clawed hand and loosely pointed a curved nail at Pembroke as the would-be captain suggested a reasonable trade.

"Yes! The ship! Let's do... that!" Habakuk's eyes darted from beady fishy eye to beady fishy eye, looking for any sign of interest in this deal. "It's a great ship. Flew like a charm. You could go anywhere really!"

While the sloth wasn't naturally a malicious person there was also a stray thought bouncing around the inside of his flat head: These were all burly and strong guys, and if they got into trouble with the mean pirates from before that might get the both of them off their backs. Pointing them in that direction seemed like an even greater idea with that in mind.

 
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:42 PM
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"Ah mean... if ya'll want off the island, no reason you can't fly the Rose-Thorn with us. Ah just don't wanna get stuck here, any more'n you do. But yeah, there is another ship out that way, if that works for you." Lienna jerks her head in the direction they came from. "Flies fine. Honestly if ah hadn't left my coat here, ah woulda asked these folks to leave the Thorn behind and fly off in the other one. Ship's a ship, as far as ah'm concerned."
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:23 PM
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At first there is no change in the tramping feet, the sharkmen continuing to file out of the Rose-Thorn spoils in hand. Then the file starts to slow until there is a bona-fide traffic jam at the ramp up to the deck. A now all-too-familiar THUD resounds through the lower deck and the sharkmen slowly shuffle aside until the one-armed chief is visible.

Slowly, the scarred sharkman traipses down the stairs. His good eye swivels about taking in the crew. "You offer help, yet you know not our plight. One ship, a little revenge, this food," he gestures toward his kindred and their heaping arms, "none of that solves anything. In desperation we boarded your vessel. In desperation we planned our escape from this death sentence. In desperation we learned the final, resounding truth: there is no escape."

Somehow the massive chest and muscled arms look weak and defeated, with shoulders hunched as the chief continues. "There are too many of us to fit on this ship alone. We were desperate and could not tell without further inspection. Now we know. Of course even if we did accompany you, where do we go? This is our home. We cannot venture far from the water to get to the other ship. Even if we did and murdered the vultures, they are not the ones that caused the problem to begin with. And this island still dies a slow death with only some of us left to usher in that fate. We do not have the food supply to sustain ourselves, we cannot save ourselves, and we cannot exact revenge on those that came and destroyed our lives. We are already dead. Now we understand that. Finally we can stop hoping."

The hulking form rises to his full height, "I am Egyrk Zeep, King of my people and keeper of the island of Balyra. Despite our fate, I find your words to be quite interesting. You offer help, yet you do not understand what we need. If you truly wish to help, then come and we can discuss. Your wariness is surely warranted by our past actions, yet I make this promise now: we will take your food in our one last vain hope that our youngsters can survive our failures, but we leave your ship to you."

OODMThey are (still) making off with A LOT of food. Enough to drop food stores to "Exhausted".

 
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:41 PM
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Ani is silent for some time after Egyrk Zeep speaks. She was flippant before, when the tribe was nothing more to her than a new threat to be avoided and forgotten; but then, how could she have understood the stakes? Now, though, to find these people doomed in this way, unable to enjoy the mobility and freedom offered by the sky that she had taken for granted all her life...

"So your island is falling?" she says finally, with a look of sympathy. "And this lake we landed in was a lot bigger once, but now it's all drying up 'cause of the heat, and you can't make it far without the water." Summing it up in that manner really made her own problems feel very small in comparison.

"What about the Rainchasers?" the kek speaks up again, and she hurries to explain herself amidst looks of confusion. "I mean, it sounds like you need big boats that hold a lot of water. Rainchasers collect rainwater from thunderheads and transport it to cities that need it. They're pretty mercenary, but maybe we can try to find one willing to transport, or who's looking to take on crew? Of course, it's dangerous work, only the type you take if you're desperate..."
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