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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 08:50 PM
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The Tale of the Seabear



The Savage Coast swallows ships and souls by the thousand. Dangerous shoals, benthic serpents, terrible noríeasters, dark shapes beneath the waves the size of atolls, cannibal pirates, corrupt dragoons, and of course the voracious predations of Harthagoa the Krakenfiend are but a few of the terrors awaiting those who sail the open ocean.

Most salty dogs who sail the seas can tell enough tales of death and danger to fill every night of a month long voyage. The most terrifying are not stories of grasping tentacles from the deep, nor the savage war chants of the cannibals of MalíDrakmaht echoing across the waves. Rather, the tales that quickest unscrew a manís courage are of ghost ships. The Sea of Mists, or as some who sail refer to it the Ghost Waters, is prowled by vessels with no man at their helm, their rigging tangled in wild knots like the hair of some crazed hag, and not a single living soul aboard. The fate of their crews are known to no one but the gulls and waves. The dark holds of these creaking derelicts are now home to restless spirits and nameless terrors. Some say the ships take on an unnatural life of their own. Others claim that they are the children of some elder gods more alien than anything known.

So here follows the Tale of the Seabear, one of the Settlement Ships that left Liberty on one sunny day...
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Last edited by Colatine; Sep 28th, 2009 at 12:07 AM.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 12:21 AM
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There were several passengers waiting to board the Seabear. It was surprising to many to see the cannon barrels protruding from the ship; the advent of black powder was a recent event. Many hesitantly introducing themselves to their neighbors during the long wait as water, food and other goods were loaded on board.

The Armada itself consisted of 4 ships; The Seabear, The Avilers, The Maiden, and the Kingfisher-the largest and only for the nobility.

Jim took weight of the others boarding the ship; he smiled to himself; it was an assorted bunch, but mostly barbaric...and stinky. It would be a smelly voyage, to say the least.

"Sploosh." Jim noted a fat man toss two rather large rats off the ship deck.

El felt uncomfortable. He was surrounded by a crowd, the silent push up the gank plank, threatening to carry him onwards. He looked over his shoulder; the saddened tear filled eyes of his wife beholding his; he had to do this...

"Aside!" came a command from behind Artimis, Hamma, Tweepsh and Ricardo. It was a skeletal man and his procession consisting of three large goons. Artimis felt the tension rise; he also noted that the man wore a thick chain with a closed bronze fist- he was a manager of the Guild of Chains;the guild maintained monopoly over slavery and labor, their latest accomplishment being the "assessment" of the debt owed by certain elven tribes. It would only take two or so generations( by elven standards) to work of the debt.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 03:17 AM
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Jim is a smart man, smarter then most, especially those he grew up around in the Old Quarter of Liberty. It's because of this most notable intelligence that most who know him would be surprised to find Jim leaning casually on the deck-rail, despite the fact that he is a convicted murder, supposed to be dead, infamous in this part of Liberty, and in clear view of all those walking by and gawking at the massive gun-toting ship. Of course those who would be surprised don't have Jim's intelligence, and thus don't realize, as he does, that the best place to hide is in plain sight. After all, people see what they want to see, and a dead murderer with a gunpowder cannon a few feet away from him is not what most people want to see.

So does Jim relax lackadaisically against the deck-rail, his hands thrust nonchalantly into the pockets of his worn gray pants and a tune ready at his whistling lips. Jim breathes deep after the chorus, soaking up the warm sun and relishing in the thick smells of fish, salt, and freedom. Jim can't help but interrupt his self-ascribed elegy to chuckle and muse on the irony of just how rare that last scent is in this most hypocritical slave town called "Liberty." Sighing and giving up the requiem for good, Jim looks longingly out at the great blue expanse, is sailors blood anxious to be reunited once more with the sea.

Jim is of average height for a human, his hair and eyes are shades of brown, and his skin is more tanned than is normal for those who originate in the Old Quarter of Liberty, where the vast majority of the day finds the sun hidden by overhanging cliffs. Jim wears a pair of rough but loose pants, accompanied by a similar shirt, both in shades of gray and overtop of which a slightly faded blue cloak hangs. Jim's face his neatly shaven and his dark auburn hair is cut short in the fashion of sailors who can't worry about their hair getting in the way while hauling lines, though a faded brown fedora typically hides his hair, or lack thereof. Jim's demeanor is light and merry, a smile always adorning his face, and a mischievous twinkle eternally sparkling in the depths of those chestnut eyes.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 08:13 AM
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There were too many people stampeding around the port for anyone to possibly understand what each one was trying to accomplish. Sleeshi knew this, but as horribly futile as the task was, he could not help but try to analyze them all, one at a time, as he would his opponents in a game of Chpha or the next landing point as he leaped from branch to tree.

Sleeshi's eyes darted unconciously from sight to sight. Here was an older human pushing up the gang plank, a little more eager to board the Seabear than those around him. Here was a sad-looking workman rolling barrels toward the Aviler. There, near the workman, was a useless port official, apparently trying to fix a wall lantern. Sleeshi looked at each one in turn, his head jumping from ship to dock, dock to building as he slowly became more aware of his surroundings.

There were three large, powerful humans mindlessly following a contrarily scrawny man. Since there was no gain in disobeying, Sleeshi automatically stepped aside in accordance with a shouted order to let the four humans past. The order came from the small human, and Sleeshi's head followed that man as he paraded importantly through the stampede of dockmen, citymen, and seamen. Sleeshi couldn't figure out what that human's purpose was here, although he guessed from the ominous decorative chain on the creature's wrist that, whatever his purpose was, it wasn't good for anyone.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 08:39 AM
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Are you talking to me? was the attitude clearly displayed in Riccardo's sideways stance. Muscle didn't impress him. It did quite the opposite, in fact. When an orc showed muscle, it meant he wanted to fight, or mate; and mating was on no one's mind at the moment. Riccardo's father had naturally been the one to teach him about swaggering and showing muscle when you didn't need to. No orcs showed muscle to their fathers after they were taught not to.

It was clear that the man was indeed talking to him, so Riccardo shrugged his strong shoulders and crossed his arms. If they were going to show muscle, he was going to show muscle too.

"What kind of side do you want?" Asked Riccardo. This man did not appear to be from the Seabear, the men from the Seabear were on the Seabear. As far as he knew, he was supposed to be boarding and joining the crew. Seconds passed and Riccardo's lower jaw became more prominent at each one.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 10:42 AM
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Elder Hama had just returned from fetching a few more supplies, mostly herbs and medicines, and found his way on the ship blocked by a big, orc-ish fellow. Stuck behind him, Hama was forced to wait to board The Seabear. He anxiously shifted on his feet, peeking around the barbarically muscled frame of the half-orc, wondering when things would move along. Hama did not want to be away from his people for long, lest something happen with the crew.

He was dressed fairly simply, in plain leather armor with a sickle and buckler at his side. His bright red hair is cropped extremely short, pale against his fair skin. His otherwise plain and narrow face is dominated by a curling blue tattoo, the mark of his people, its placement signifying his status as an Elder.

As the slave manager barged down the wharf, Hama's heart jumped in his chest. Had the slaver come for his people? Had the captain sold them out? Even if he hadn't, the Guild of Chains had no qualms about enslaving free Rothmen. No one would object, and a few might even cheer. At once Hama went from frustrated to thankful that he had such a massive beast in front of him to block the view of his distinctive facial tattoo. Hama hoped to simply avoid notice and incident until the Guild manager left. But it was not to be.

The half-orc stepped forward and challenged the Guild manager, standing square in his path. His cover gone, Hama felt his breath catch in his throat. With no choice but to think fast, Hama stepped forward, almost blinded by panic. "Come friend," he says, placing his hand on Riccardo's arm, "Let us not delay this man, we have important things to attend as well." Hama gives a deferential bow to the manager as he tugs at the half-orc's arm, trying to urge him away.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 01:42 PM
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Passionate. If there was one word to describe what transpired between the male elf and female half-elf, the term was passionate. The pair kissed each other in a very intimate fashion, but not in an over the top sexual way. They held each other closely not in the groping manner of a young couple in a fit of passion, but that of a long term lovers savoring each others presence. They held the embrace for minutes as they held on to each other one last time. Then the pair separated, the elven male standing his whole height, and though the woman was tall for human standards at just under six feet, the male towered over her.

The two smiled at each other, her behind her Jade Green eyes and he behind a pair of bronze. Their hair swayed in the breeze her's a light blond, his a deep brown that of a chestnut tree. The elf then bends down and two smaller forms come and he engulfs the two in a hug. The larger of the two hovered around four feet and the smaller a head shorter. Both the smaller forms shared features from this man woman as they were half-elves, but seemingly more elven features than human.

With a wave he moves towards the Sea Bear and walks up the gang plank, his eyes a bit misty as he looks to the lovely woman who's embrace he just left. He smiles bravely and then proceeds to deck of the ship. He nods to the lone figure on the deck-rail and proceeds to rail himself leaning on it waving to his loved ones. He wears a well crafted suit of leather armor with a light leather jacket made from the skins of a buck he caught himself. A full quiver is slung over his shoulder along with a longbow. A long sword is strapped to his side.

He watches the on-goings curiously when he see's the motley gang approach the vessel, his curiosity peeks further when he see's the half-orc flex his muscles in a challenge.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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"That is a true saying, Urnja. I would not like to waste my time for a man with jewelry who needs bigger men behind him." Riccardo's acquiescence to Hama's plea is not as clean as the latter may have desired, however. He throws a look of scorn upon the man with the chain around his neck. The kind of look that only heavy-browed and tusked individuals can throw. Then, he stalks the rest of the way up the plank.

The madness of the city was getting to him. In every direction he looked, there were a hundred people waiting to steal his weapons or get into a fight. Buildings everywhere, mud everywhere else. The rivers were filthy and it all stank like humans, like elves and like rats. The overabundance of dirt and people was not something Riccardo had been prepared to deal with. There would be blood if the savage lands did not readily approach. Or, failing that, if the masses of filthy people did not abate. The irony went by unnoticed as Riccardo struggled to find a place to stand where he could remain un-jostled.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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A slight tussle and loud commotion drawing his gaze away from it's seaward bearing, Jim looks to the large man whose features clearly gave away his lineage, to the relatively diminutive human trying to calm the brute, and then to the four men from the guild of chains, men that Jim had just as much reason to avoid as any on this ship. Jim watches calmly as behind them, an elf and a human bid each other farewell with the sort of love that Jim has never experienced. Jim stares uncaring as the half-orc gives in to the human's request, stomping the rest of the way up the gangway with a surprising level of grace and agility in his athletic movements. Stifling a bone-tired yawn, Jim turns away from the new arrivals, his focus once more set on the wide blue horizon.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 08:55 PM
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Artimis- Mage extraordinaire

"I deserve better!"he thought to himself yet what choice did he have? Keeping his head low he managed to get himself in line on the plank leading to the ship. At hearing someone yell "aside" he almost scoffed but knowing his predicament, he simply pulled to the side and made himself as small as possible. "Someone like me should never have to cower in some corner like a beggar or common thief." He watched as the guild representative moved on board with his goons and his heart sank. "They better not be coming with us."

Turning around he scanned the crowd to see if anyone was searching the people there for a face.....his face. Spotting nobody he moved up the plank and went onboard looking for the first place he could find that he could be alone...and hidden. He was mumbling to himself curses when he saw....."YES! The first good thing to happen to me in an hour!" With his beautiful robes, of course of the latest trend in fashion, billowing out behind him he moved his way over to the elf who seemed to be gazing off at something on the docks. He moved up behind El and peeked over his shoulder at the his wife. Fighting desperately to hold back the rolling of his eyes he instead said "My good El, how wonderful it is to see you on this ship. *Pats him on the shoulder* I know that parting is such sweet sorrow *he almost gagged at the quote* but you will see her again. Hey, and if you are lucky you will be rich enough to give her the life you want. Now, come over here and lets talk." Of course he just wanted the elf away from the edge so nobody could see HIM but that was beside the point.

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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 11:08 PM
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El sighs as he waves one final time to his family, he then turns to Artimis and smiles. "Artimis... You read me like a book."

The elf stands to his full height and though not very wide he makes a good form to take cover from, a fact the Elf seems to have complete understanding of. In a low voice the elf leans in "So what... whom... is it this time. A loan shark you are having trouble paying, or did one of your deliveries fail a quality check?" he asks with raised eyebrows.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 11:54 PM
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"There you are!" squealed the petite redhead,grabbing both Elder
Hama and Riccardo by the arm "Come, let me show you our quarters.".

She glanced up at the man from the guild, giving him a smile of recognition. "Emil! How nice to see you, are you going to the Coast as well?" she asked with genuine warmth.

Emil smiled; his hawkish demeanor evaporating. "Mina,ehh...mmm..nice to see you. I am sorry my men were rude, and yes we are going to the coast; there is dire need to tame the savages there."

He turned to Hama and Riccardo. "I apologize for the rudeness of the men" he said genuinely, as he and the men continued on.

Mina winked at Hama and Riccardo. "Well, come on then," she said over her shoulder as she boarded the Seabear.

----------------------------------------
Artimis gave a sigh of relief as he noted no one looking for him in the crowd. He boarded the Seabear, making chitchat with El. Whatever it takes not to be noticed.

El could tell that Artimis was distracted. It is then that the ranger spotted a wrinkled gnome, by the stairs leading below deck, observing the two of them, unblinking. Even before he could say anything to Artimis, the Gnome was gone, as if a mirage.
---------------------------------------

Jim did not notice the man until he was standing next to him. He was dark with green eyes and a jagged scar running down his neck. Something about the man bespoke of a bit of arrogance. "She is sure a looker, he nodded towards the half elven woman who had kissed a passenger. "I've had better." he said, smiling. And you, you look so damn familiar."

----------------------------------------

Sleeshi found himself all alone, even among this crowd. Next to him was a ;large man his face covered in intricate tattoo, working on the rigging. The man stopped working, running his hand on the grain of the mast.

"The wind speaks of evil," he said, in pure elvish.
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Old Sep 29th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Sleeshi watched from within the range of his whip as the orc got pushed away from the dangerous human quartet. For a flicker of a moment, Sleeshi wished that the orc hadn't been shooed along by his human comrade. No doubt that with Sleeshi's assistance, the two could done the humans some good by standing up to them. But there were all these other people around- who knew what they would do?- and the three larger humans looked dangerous indeed. Yes, this was definitely best for everyone.

He then was swept away by the flow of the crowd and, like the orc and the human, finally found himself aboard the Seabear. Many of the crowd were greeting eachother on the deck, but there was no one to greet Sleeshi. Sleeshi was alone in the forest of bodies, more bodies than he had ever seen together at once in his admittedly short life.

As Sleeshi still tried with utmost futility to catalog the entirity of what was happening around him, the crowd pushed him around on the deck of the boat until he finally reached its immobile center: the mast, where just one man worked on the rigging.

"The wind speaks of evil."

The man's pure, well-mastered elvish sounded saliently foreign to Sleeshi, who had only ever heard other Tweephsh speak the language. But what the man said was true. Sleeshi too, felt the evil in the wind. Sleeshi knew, though, what the elder Tweephsh would say, and he echoed them now, saying, "Do not listen. Instead, hear only the..." Sleeshi paused for a moment without explanation.

Normally, Sleeshi would have known what to say. But what could one hear in the wind here, far from home? Sleeshi looked the powerful man ambiguously in the eye for a moment before his head snapped to the sky, seeking not "evil," but a much more practical version of the wind's words.
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Old Sep 29th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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With his eyebrows still raised the elf begins to nod. "I know. I know. Some Gnomes are looking to have a word with you." the Elf adds as he waits for Artimis and keeps an eye out for anyone else paying to his acquaintance. "Arti.. I know life isn't fair and you are looking for an edge, but in the long run it pays to be a bit more honest and forthcoming with your dealings."

He smirks "Then again... I am an elf."
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Old Sep 29th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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The red hair of the small woman was unavoidable. Riccardo could not look towards her and ignore it, he stared. Slowly his mind caught up with her common, and he nodded agreement. The red haired man beside him was an elder Hama, perhaps the city word for Urnja. The two were most likely related. Father and daughter, he supposed.

"I have a room on this ship?" Riccardo had never had a room in his life.
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