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  #1  
Old Aug 19th, 2018, 11:23 AM
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Chapter 2: Peril at Managh Island

North Meshkou, Hamra Square, Late Evening, Month of PeaceIt was a cold evening in the usually sleepy and quaint hamlet of Meshkou, a northern trading hub associated with the Free City of Dimi. Barely any fires were lit atop the walls of the 'old-town' nor the battlements of the small castel the city called its own. The village had maybe five hundred regular inhabitants and even during the busiest months for business rarely had more than a thousand people to contain. It probably held as many now.

While it was not usually a time for major trade, the month of peace being the hottest of the year and usually dedicated to more carousing than any other, there had been unusually cold and stormy weather blowing in from the sea these last few days. Mists could be seen over the ocean in the northwest for days, leaving superstitious or merely cautious captains to stay anchored in the harbour waiting for the storm.

Sailors with nothing to do had been roaming the city for the past week bored out of their minds, most of which mildly annoyed that they were stuck here of all places. On this night the pent up energy resulted in an impromptu celebration of the Month of Peace, like the Free Cities were wont to do down south, as various groups of people started fires on the squares of the outer cities and harbour to make music and dance. The blood moon had waned the last couple of days, so the first moon of regular bluegrey colour could be seen clearly.

Seemingly hundreds of people were gathered thus, and the light and music carried far into the darkness around the village. It was a swampy country out here in the delta of the river running through Meshkou, with few tall plants to hide amongst. As such it was a hazardous area for Atale, who had to be mindful not to sink into the pools of murky water covered by a thin layer of green moss or disappear in the occasional spot of quicksand. The few roads of stomped earth that marked permanently solid ground she most likely preferred to avoid - Yet when one is not rushed by the needs of a physical body traversing even this land was possible. The upside was that even she, having run away as far as her legs would carry, could still see the lights of the carousing city.

Pataya had found a cave to his liking West of Meshkou, which was only accessible by swimming and so could be considered relatively secure. It was also cooler than outside, which made it worth clearing out of aquatic vermin. He had been told that the weather had been exceptionally cold recently, yet for him it was still unpleasantly hot during the day. Late evenings he could just about call comfortable when he was outside, so it is not unlikely that he was currently. If he cared to he could also see that something was happening in the city.


OOCRight - I actually had forgotten that both of you included in your backstories that you are not in the town anymore. So I've no idea if your characters would ever have had the chance to meet or hear about each other.

It might be more likely that Pataya, who is still going into town sometimes, has heard about Atale. It was a tale some people told for a few days maybe, having seen a walking piece of dough - but maybe they would not exactly gossip with the antlered polar bear. As far as I'm concerned there were not a lot of people at that 'performance' either, and the local merchant Pataya has angered does not have all the power in the world - what I am saying is the town is no danger zone with everybody all out to get you.

So earlier I was thinking about having you at the exact same place in the town, before I remembered that you had both ran away, so I guess my plans have changed now. But not to worry, nothing has happened in Meshkou yet anyway.

You are both in different places of the wilderness, but regardless you can just present your characters, what they are doing now, whether they care about the party in town et cetera. Maybe they don't, and go the other way - go wild.

Last edited by Phettberg; Aug 19th, 2018 at 11:24 AM.
  #2  
Old Aug 19th, 2018, 04:23 PM
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Pataya investigatesSince starting to live in the little cove he has begun to think of as his den, Pataya has been busy. He has completed a message to the High Captain of Puki, his second since Nekal carried one when they parted, and passed it to the Captain of the Arrow. He has sailed out of port a week ago with the ship as it continued its trading journey before diving overboard and swimming back to the cove. He has fished and caught a manatee. He has tidied the cave. He has trained with his weapons and armor until he sweated off the excess weight he had picked up on the ship and regained his fighting trim. He has swum across to the town and been a delight to the local children by giving them rides on his back and traded spare fish for the items he needs. He is waiting - waiting for news of his meeting with the people in charge and waiting for something to happen.

On the night in question he is sitting on a rock near the cave from which he can see the town. The blaze of fires draws his attention. He wonders what is going on so decides to swim over and find out. He will not need his arms and armour so he dives off the rock and swims rapidly towards the town. His streamlined body drives through the water and he dives to swim through the shallow water by the cliff and catch a crab or two on his journey. He arrives at the port and climbs up onto a jetty before making his way towards the nearest fire. He intends to find out what is going on before he returns to the cave to rest.
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Last edited by Fwalin McFundin; Aug 22nd, 2018 at 04:09 PM.
  #3  
Old Aug 20th, 2018, 07:58 PM
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Marsh Rats for Atale
Atale regarded the row of small stretched skins with satisfaction, her impassive purple eyes gleaming in the weak light of dawn. It would take days to dry enough of the silvery rat furs to make even a decent belt. But at least it seemed that once you caught one, you had the bait for more. Sign of the vermin was getting denser the closer she got to the huddled outpost. Most likely they were attracted to the middens. She wrinkled her nose at the thought of the steaming refuse heaps, just for the look of the thing. Abayomi had attempted to describe smell to the flour golem, but it still remained a mystery.

She turned away from her paltry trophies and crept carefully between two shadowy pools, making her way up the small hillock from which she could get a good view of Meshkou. Loneliness, boredom, and curiosity were fast eroding the panic that had driven Atale into the wilderness. Those human creatures had obviously been the worse for drink. Another mystery, that. She set her brown arms akimbo as she gazed defiantly at the village. Whoever lived in this dreary corner of the world would surely welcome a little fun! And of course they would appreciate someone clearing out the mangy fur-beasts that you got in these sorts of places.

Starting to hum mirthfully to herself, Atale busied about her campsite, packing up her things. Then slinging her spear across her back, she smoothed down her hair and set out to make some new friends.



Last edited by Yoshimi; Aug 20th, 2018 at 10:12 PM.
  #4  
Old Aug 21st, 2018, 05:20 PM
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North Meshkou, Hamra Square, Late Evening, Month of PeacePataya closed in on the city from the west. He could already see that the big fires were coming from the upper portside and the warehouses behind it, while the southern part of town was only slightly livelier than it had been before - the inner city was certainly not lighting any large fires. He had not concept of the class or wealth divisions of this land, so the location of the festivities had no real relevance to him in either case as he strolled north along the water, stared at by some.

He knew the north side of town a little, considering it was here he had found lodge and board when he had arrived in Meshkou first. To be precise he had spend some nights in the stables of the "Harlequin and Mug", considering his frame was too large for any of their regular rooms, and it was there that he inquired about what was going on.

Upon questioning a patron of the inn he was informed that the north side of town had merely decided to celebrate the Month of Peace early, prompted by all the seamen trapped in the vicinity as they waited for the storm that they were sure the previous mists over the ocean had predicted. The largest firest had been constructed right around the back between the warehouses, and from the back of the inn he could already hear the strange music of these northeners as they danced around it.

The explanations what this celebration signified was also given to him in brief. It was said apparently that hundreds of years ago the whole world had been at war, and this was the approximate time that peace was agreed upon after a battle devastating for everyone had been fought. It was the first time Pataya had heard the story. The dancing of the townspeople around pyres and the merry music played on the square seemed pleasant enough. A few people here knew the Yatak already, but they only dared nod his way, still slightly anxious around the large creature.

Atale had some knowledge of the celebrations this time of the year brought about, since it was adhered to both by the people of Vinja and the Sage Coast. As she approached from the east she could see the light of the flames dancing above the warehouses instantly, and she honed in on the vicinity of what she knew to be the Hamra Square, where during the day goods were lugged around and at night the same workers stumbled home drunkenly.

As she entered the square few people took notice of her. With her cap and cloak she was merely a smaller than average person joining the festivities. Across from her, beyond the largest fire she could see the large antlered creature that was Pataya. In fact there was no missing him.

If she looked around trying to spot her erstwhile merry band of mummers - the To'Ari travelling group she had spend a bit of time with - they were not to be seen. It was odd, considering this would have been easy pickings for them, but alas the musicians playing around the fires were locals. They had talked about making their way down south to Bura on foot, because the ocean could only be more tranquil there. Possibly they had.


OOCI assumed Atale would probably have wrapped herself up a little. If she did people will think her an ilder or keita, or something along those lines, upon a quick look.

I get that you may not want to interact instantly (or think it in character), considerign Pataya probably can't pick out Atale as an oddity anyway - but I'm just testing the waters here.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2018, 10:49 AM
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Make Way for Atale
"A party!" The small golem claps her hands together then practically skips forward the last few yards to the fire, her cloak flowing out behind her. She stops behind a group of musicians playing a lively air. She claps again and laughs merrily, her voice like a high-pitched young girl but sounding disconcertingly as if it were coming through a hollow tube. Over the generations, Ufan bakers had learned to sculpt reasonably lifelike human figures, but there didn't seem to be anything to be done about the voice.

She lays her weapons and pack down by the musicians' gear, then raises her hands over her head and begins to dance happily on pointed toes, with short leaps interspersed with the sinuous twirling and bending that she learned from her To'Ari mentors. Her cloak twirls around her but her furs and leathers cover her torso and limbs, and her hood still mostly obscures her features. Still, what people can see in the shadowy glow of the fire as she moves about is enough to make a careful observer wonder if there is some trick of the light.


Last edited by Yoshimi; Aug 22nd, 2018 at 10:50 AM.
  #6  
Old Aug 22nd, 2018, 03:56 PM
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Pataya investigatesPataya sits quietly on his haunches and watches the crowds dancing. A strange thing to celebrate. It is not like the sun is returning after the Long Dark. This is a strange land he thinks as he observes those around him. One figure draws his eyes, a small Ilder/Keita/Human who is dancing very energetically, All these different types of people. There are only the Yatak who think on the Ice. But the world is full of different types of people. I wonder what that one is?

He sits and watches quietly for a while. He will return to the cave soon. He needs to sleep early so he can catch the manatee at their most docile in the morning.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 03:16 PM
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North Meshkou, Hamra Square, Late Evening, Month of PeaceThe dance around the fire continued merrily. People were having fun, as the ale and wine was flowing free of charge. Nobody was particularly keen to inspect Atales appearance further, so she could let herself go in tune with the music without fear of discovery. A cheeky older Getta even attempted to lure Pataya into joining her in a jig.

"Look, a shooting star!" A small Uxian child pointed towards the sky after having stopped the music by tugging on the clothes of one of the players repeatedly. And indeed there was a small orange dot that made its way across the nights sky eastwards.

Yet the dot did not expire like a shooting star inevitably does. A small portion of the crowd stared upwards at the orange circle as it grew ever larger, while most remained obliviously distracted by their own merriment. Only a lone woman in the mass of people on Hamra Square dared to utter a piercing shriek as the flaming ball of fire soared by over their heads to crash into the town somewhere to the south with a shattering crash.

For a second everything was eerily quiet, with some merely confused and those that bore direct witness frozen by their own fear. After what felt like a sheer eternity later weak screams and shouts of 'Fire' could be heard in the distance, and had there not already been a large fire here the crowd could have seen the dark sky being tinted orange over the center of the town.

All of a sudden people on Hamra Square broke out of their paralysed state to dart this way or that. Some obviously fled towards the water, while others seemed bold enough to go southwards, maybe to help put out the fire.

"Another one!" Nobody really saw who had shouted it as the heads of those that were not in full flight yet were raised to the sky again. And there it was again, another flaming circle that traversed the skies to detonate somewhere around town, this time striking the ground somewhere further west, maybe closer to the river.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 04:47 PM
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Pataya reactsPataya watches the incoming shooting star with interest then realises it is some sort of projectile coming from the direction of the sea. When the first one impacts, and the crowd starts to panic, he gets to his feet and moves towards the sea, scanning the horizon for any sign of the ship which is launching the projectiles. Anyone watching can see that he is moving fast and with purpose, and most get out of his way. A foe uses the celebrations as distraction to attack the town. They need my help though they do not know they do he thinks as he moves towards the sea. I will need to see if I have to go and get my arms and armor or if there is something I can do as I am.
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Old Aug 24th, 2018, 11:43 AM
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Atale
The shouts of delight turn to screams of terror all around Atale. Reflexively, she springs in the blink of an eye to where her equipment sits, and takes up her spear. Peering left and right, she sees the crowd parting before an enormous bear of some kind, as he plows determinedly in the direction of the harbor. As he looks like he knows what to do, she patters along in silently in his wake, but keeping her distance for now.

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Old Aug 24th, 2018, 05:53 PM
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North Meshkou, Portside, Late Evening, Month of PeacePataya hit the docks first to get a look at what was out on the ocean. Atale had followed quietly and unheard by the Yatak, peeking out at the sea from behind the cover of a house. The soutside of the docks was already orange with Fire encroaching on it from further east, where the Ball of fire had hit. A lot of people were about portside, most of which were running about wildly trying to form a bucket chain, but a few were also staring out to sea like Pataya and Atale.

Instantly both could see that dark rectangular shapes loomed above the black waters, blocking out the stars behind them. Some of them had triangular shapes about them that glistened in the moonlight like Crystal, but beyond that there was no light to illuminate whatever was out there on the sea - the moon and stars alone was not enough to see the details. Symmetric shapes most likely meant ships sailing without lights to guide them, but in the darkness they flowed together to form a gloomy mass seemingly two hundred yards wide - who could count them?

A moment later a globe of fire appeared above one of the ships to hover in the air, instantly lighting up the area. Over two dozen broad flat ships with lowered sails came into view, with a faint trace of many more masts behind the first row. As far as Pataya and Atale could tell there may as well be a hundred or more ships. A lot of those of the townspeople that wanted to see their assailants on the docks gasped and started to shout at the sight.

A few of the ships - maybe eight or nine - indeed had a bow of a strange crystalline structure. It reminded Pataya of the Ice of his home, yet how it could be of use on a ship he did not know. He had experienced that the only thing some builders were wont to do was to put figures up where these ships had a triangle of reflective material.

Yet there was no time for contemplation. The ball of fire started to seemingly move on its own, as if thrown by the hand of an invisible giant, to detonate somewhere east of Hamra square, from where Pataya and Atale had just come.


OOCI rolled for your Atales Stealth and whether Pataya would hear her (assuming an average distance of ten yards) here.

How long it takes Pataya to get to his cave is a bit up in the air - we've not settled how far away it actually is. For convenience sake let's just say a mile. When conserving Energy (Fatigue Points) somewhat it's eight minutes of running there according to the Gurps rules, and fifteen back (due to the increased weight). If you all out sprinted it would be four and eight minutes.

There are a lot of HT rolls involved to avoid Fatigue loss (it's not automatic when running), but I would roll that for you considering it's 8 and 14 rolls, or a lot more if sprinting.

For Atale it's different, considering she has no fatigue. Actually I realise now without Fatigue you should drop the running skill, since it is not there to make you run faster, but to avoid fatigue drain from running. Technically it would mean you can sprint as much as you want (doing a mile in five minutes), but I might nerf that when the story calls for it - as rough terrain limits sprinting anyway, which would often be the case when traveling long distances for example. Hiking and the other physical skills are not about conserving fatigue, so they are fine.

Anyway, an approximation of where the Fireballs might have hit:
 

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Old Aug 24th, 2018, 11:18 PM
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Horror rises in the soul of the golem as the great fireball flashes past and impacts, and Atale shrieks, “No!”. She senses that the large bear-person has something special about him and runs up beside him and tugs at his fur wailing, ”All these people. They must be gotten to safety! But where can they go?!”

Last edited by Yoshimi; Aug 25th, 2018 at 07:52 AM.
  #12  
Old Aug 25th, 2018, 05:15 PM
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Pataya plansPataya looks down at the tiny figure that is pulling on his fur. He nods. "The weak and helpless must be removed from those who launch this monstrous attack. I am Pataya, Fire Walker of the Piku clan of the Yatak. I shall slow down the attack to help as many people leave the town as possible. Unless you can swim well, you must lead the people out of the south gate and along the road to the town on the south coast. The river lies close to the road and I will join you in due course. What is your name, little one? " He waits for a reply then starts to run along one of the jetties. Reaching the end he dives into the water and swims underwater towards the ship firing the fireballs. As he swims, he travels slowly and uses infravision to watch for boats moving towards the docks. He rises for a breath once and scans the approaching fleet to identify if there is only one ship firing fireballs. He also identifies the type of ship so he can formulate a plan to destroy a few. Ships are made of wood; and wood burns. I just need to work out a way to damage as many as possible he thinks as he moves towards the fleet underwater before rising just by the rudder of the fireball wielding ship making a bit of a splash after the long underwater swim.

 


OOC: Rolls not deleted but moved to a spoilerbutton when I had access to laptop. Yoshimi, sorry for rushing off but this is an impulsive creature with a Code of Honor
Warning: rolls have been deleted from this post.
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Last edited by Fwalin McFundin; Aug 26th, 2018 at 05:26 PM.
  #13  
Old Aug 25th, 2018, 10:13 PM
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Atale
”A...Atale,” she says, looking on in wonderment as the bear dashes forward and dives into the water.

“Lead the people?” Atale turns to survey the panicked crowds, wondering how she might ever get anyone to listen let alone follow a small girl of...unique quality.

She then decides that girls and boys might be the answer after all. They tended to be more open-minded than adults in her experience, and some that she met even seemed to be expecting her, for some reason.

She hurries lightly through the crowd searching for children. Each time she finds one, she will try to
Dice fasttalk:
3d6 1, 4, 4 Total = 9
convince it to run for the south gate, screaming for help. She will use her spear as a
Dice Intimidate:
3d6 6, 1, 1 Total = 8
convincer as a last resort. If she can get a small crowd of them, she will try to blend with it and guide it along the path away from town that Pataya suggested.





Last edited by Yoshimi; Aug 28th, 2018 at 07:33 AM.
  #14  
Old Aug 28th, 2018, 10:14 AM
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Out on the Water, Late Evening, Month of PeaceThe fires in the city behind were already quite high, since because most houses had a good amount of wood used in their construction there was ample food for it. The orange of the flames was reflected on the black ocean around the port. Pataya was swimming towards the Armada, over 20 ships in the first loose "row". He dove most of the way, coming up at some point halfway towards the enemies fleet. In the second he came up to the surface to catch some air he could already see a lot more with his infravision.

Firstly, the crystal that a few of the ships had covering their bow radiated varying degrees of heat depending on which ship he looked at. If he had to guess the fireball had appeared above one of these decidedly different ships, of which there were around ten that he could see.

Secondly, several figures were standing on the forecastle of each of the ships staring out to sea towards the village - unsurprisingly, since they were in the process of attacking it. He saw many more figures standing atop of the ships decks further back, atop the single masts or in the rigging. They were all still too distant to see details yet, and Pataya stayed at the surface only the shortest amount necessary. He could hear a whistle and a shout from the wall of ships before he dived back into the waters.

Coming up behind the first row of the ships, at the keel of one of the ones he thought could have sent forth a ball of fire he was still in the line of sight for anybody standing at the bow of the ships of the second row - of which there were, again, many. For a second or two he had time to look more closely at the vessels, before shouts from the ships of the second row and directly above him informed him that he had been noticed. As if that was not enough something slapped into the water a few yards away from him.

As for the construction of the ships he discovered that they were all broadly clinker-built (with overlapping dark hardwood planks) sailing vessels with one square rigged sail. The general design was the same for all of them, even though they came in slightly different sizes - though all of them were over sixty yards long - and details of the design.


North Meshkou, Portside, Late Evening, Month of PeaceMeanwhile Atale was scouting the mass of panicked citizens for children to send towards the south gate. A lot of the children were pulled around this way and that by their parents or other parental figures, but Atale was succesful enough in driving some individual unsupervised kids towards the inner city, even though some of it was burning at the moment, and away from the water. They were few in numbers, and not as willing to follow her orders blindly, as some of them were just scared of her. As a consequence she did not manage to actually 'collect' any of them into a band as she made her way through the first gate set into the walls of the inner city, but she felt like she had at least contributed in getting some of them to move in the direction she thought would be the most opportune.

Different cries were heard about town, all with conflicting orders by men of varying degrees of authority. The major was dead apparently, so it was petty officials and the elderly, almost decrepit captain of the guard that 'directed' some of the defensive efforts. Three conflicting ideas were put forward by the guard, the city and the townspeople themselves. Some just wanted to put out the fires, mostly those that had not accepted or realised the magnitude of the attack. Others shouted for able bodied men, asking them - almost begging - to rally at the castle to receive whatever arms remained in its cellars for the defense of the town. Some thought at least the inner city could be held for some time from atop the walls, and if that failed the defenders could retreat to the castle, awaiting a siege. As it was a fair chunk of people - mostly those with families - had the same idea that Atale and Pataya had, which was to evacuate the town.

Atale found herself on the inner cities main square watching as some of the children she had hassled along joined the trail of fleeing citizens. In the direction of the castle people that had already received crossbows and various melee weapons were shouted at to get up on the walls, while other soldiers were used to form small bands, ready to march towards the port to contest a landing if it was tried directly there. With the city filled to the brim with bored seamen as it had been it looked like there was actually a sizeable amount of defenders gathered - maybe around two hundred or a little less even.
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 01:35 PM
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Atale
Not seeing much hope in military defense against massive fireballs coming from far offshore, Atale continues to try and help the evacuation. She gives up trying to coordinate a big effort and doesn't think she has a chance of convincing the officers or soldiers to listen to her. So she will keep heading toward the south exit, trying to help people who may have fallen or are less mobile, and listening for any cries of distress where she might intervene to assist citizens in need, such as babies in slightly-burning buildlings.
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