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  #16  
Old Oct 24th, 2020, 04:55 AM
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Cazler took a step back into the shadows when the watchmen approached. The cart settled silently onto the ground and a soft rhythmic rustle could be heard from the shadows where the man stood. Lillian, Aziq, and Berimus would recognize it but if these two wanted to shake them down it would be best to have their tools at the ready. He used slight variations of the placement of his hands to keep the rhythm going but slowly creep one hand to the small metal tube he palmed earlier, just in case the words didn't work. He was sizing them up for his verbal assault when a strange accent shattered the night. Now that is a voice I need to acquire. Amanath's eyes, which had seemed to be narrowing almost like a cat's, drifted back to normal and a wry smile played across his lips as the guards left shaking in their boots. Stowing the tube and taking up the cart once more he stepped out of the shadows, in just his normal Amanath guise once more.

Well come on then ya roustabouts. We have a timeline to keep. He turned his eyes in the direction he had marked earlier and waved toward Jeydavu, You too Rocky! Starting to the boat once more he addressed the others We've somp fink....hmm no sumfng.....not quite....sumfink.....sumfink... His voice isn't a perfect match for the captain's but the inflections and the accent are settling in alarmingly quick, We've sumfink important ta...ter be doin' an don't need no...firbolg stubble for the Captain. He whistles and taps and deliberately slaps and taps his feet in a rhythm along the docks and up to the boat. All the while repeating phrases and words the captain had said.

Following the crew directions, he secures his cart and the items within and walks right up to the captain. Cap'n Thatcher, I am Mr. A and we are indeed the agents you were contracted for. He holds out his hand then indicates the others, We have Mr. B, Mr. Z, Ms. L and... Amanath looks around dramatically and points, ...yes of course, Mr. J waaaay back there. The boat is capable of holding extra weight yes? That one is heavier than most boulders, maybe if you lose an anchor we can tie a rope around him and use him as a replacement. He laughs to show the good nature of the jest and nods to his crew as they board. Me and my crew are happy to have the work of such a swell and swift crew. Merely tell us where we will be best out of your way and we shall leave you to your work, though I'm sure they will desire to move about. Myself, I would love to speak with you and the men when not inconvenient, sailors always know the best tales and songs. I can share a few of my own as well in payment for such goods. He smiles winningly at Captain Thatcher

 
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Last edited by Scimmy; Oct 24th, 2020 at 04:58 AM.
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Old Oct 26th, 2020, 12:20 AM
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Berimus Throamire
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Berimus was bemused as Amanath emerged from the shadows. "Amanath! That is your cart, is it? Someone was just here wheeling it around and looking generally suspicious..." Berimus motioned vaguely to the docks at large and looked around, trying to spot the strange guard who had only just disappeared. "Ah, well-they are gone now. Time to get this underway then!"

Berimus strode forward as Amanath introduced everyone. Placing a hand on the young woman's shoulder as he passed her onto the boat, Berimus smiled and spoke his turn. "Mr B here, but feel free to call me Berimus." Berimus called out to the Captain up behind the railing. "Captain! Consider me at your disposal while you take us to Nisroch. If you have ill, infirm or injured sailors, point them my way. If you are in need of blessing, I can lend my aid. Give me a call and I will happily acquiesce." Berimus strode onto the boat and happily cast his eyes about, looking for some way to be useful, stifling a chuckle as Amanath suggested using Jeydavu as an anchor.


 
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Old Oct 27th, 2020, 01:17 AM
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Aziq
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Aziq was by no means an 'accomplished sailor', but he had spent a fair amount of time at sea during his time with the Aspis Consortium. Enough to know that the two most important things for him to do were to ingratiate himself with the Captain, and then stay out of the way of the crew.

As he boards the ship, he throws back his hood. It would do no good to conceal his identity from the crew; hopefully they held no superstitions concerning his kind, but if they did it would be best to know now, rather than after they were out to sea.
"Thank you, Captain Thatcher, for providing us passage. I hope the late hour of our departure did not cause you too much trouble. I am Aziq. Please met me know if I may be of any assistance to you or your crew. About how long will out journey be, once we are underway?"



 


 
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Old Nov 4th, 2020, 03:36 AM
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Liliana
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Lily made her quickly onboard. Amanath stepped from the shadows, and things clicked. Stifling a grin, she waved. "Good to see you, Amanath." She gave him a knowing look, an eyebrow raised in amusement. "I hope you're doing well."

She turned and continued, "Anyway, Berimus, I think once we get to Nisroch, you in particular will have to proceed with caution. The worship of any deity other than that of Zon-Kuthon is strictly outlawed." Grimacing, she shuffled her feet. "I have my reservations of visiting Nidal for that reason, but..." She shrugged. "Our help is needed."
 
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Last edited by SonofSamWich; Nov 12th, 2020 at 05:08 AM. Reason: Left something in by accident when copy/pasting the format.
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Old Nov 7th, 2020, 03:21 AM
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Getting Underway
Selkie’s Plea
Location: Korvosa, Varisia
Time: Wealday, 24 Rova, 4714 AR

Ship-Shape

As far as oceangoing vessels went, the Selkie’s Plea wasn’t much to look at. One thing she had going for her was the rather excellent state she seemed to have been kept in. While the canvas showed a few stains from use, it looked to have been freshly cleaned, and the wear on the rigging took a fine eye to see. Her captain might be a rough sort, but he put a great deal of pride into his home. Getting aboard the keelboat was a simple matter. The small vessel had her loading ramp down as if she had just taken on cargo. As the agents made their way onto the main deck, a trio of thick-thewed sailors disappeared belowdecks, each hefting a barrel or crate. A small pile of similar containers remained near the hatch, and after a minute or so, the men returned to make more progress on their task.

The ship’s master was nowhere to be found, but that resolved itself shortly after the sailors retreated. To the aft of the vessel, two sets of stairs leading up to the pilot deck flanked a single door. From that door, the smiling face of Gershakh Thatcher emerged and he picked his way across the deck, avoiding his crew without seeming to break stride. The happy expression faded quickly as the half-orc whirled about, looking at the state of the deck. "Where did Jendon go?Whar did Jendon git off ta?" The question was directed out at the ship in general, a head poked out from the bow. "Nilaya, have you seen Jendon? We can’t set sail until the rest of this cargo is stowed.Nilaya, have yer seen Jendon, then, eh? We can't set sail until the bloody last of this cargo is stowed." The woman at the front of the ship nodded wordlessly and returned from whence she came, the sound of shouting accompanying her before a shaggy dwarf man burst out of the same door and rushed to help with the cargo. "Much better," the captain grunted.

Stretching his arms out to encompass the miniature island of wood and rope around him, Captain Thatcher chuckled, mostly to himself. "I'm sorry. This isn't a luxury transport, but I will get you to Nisroch faster than trying to find enough fresh horses to go over land.I'm bloody well sorry. This ain't a luxury transport, but I will cop yer ter Nisroch faster than tryin' ter find enough fresh 'orses ter go over land." Gesturing toward the front of the ship, where the dwarf had just come from, the captain pointed at the door. "In there lies the galley." His finger rose slightly to reach onto the forecastly. "Me crew sleeps above that." Lowering the finger again, he made a circular movement. "There be some space around that galley that yer can claim." The seasoned sailor’s voice suddenly shifted, more serious than before. "My crew knows better than to poke around in your things. If you have any problems, tell me. Don't wait.Me crew knows better than ter poke 'round in yor fings, init? If yer 'ave any problems, tell me. Don't wait."

As the big man finished talking, the dwarf returned, the deck finally clear of debris. "The crew reports all cargo secured, captain. Rowers are at their stations and awaiting your commands. Permission to haul the ramp aboard and shove off, sir?" Even at something resembling a posture of attention, Jendon looked almost comically short up against the captain. At a curt nod from the bigger man, he set off to prepare the ship for departure and take his own station.

Gershakh shook himself from the fog of his own mind, returning his attention to the passengers. "You have free rein of the main deck. As long as you don't get in the way, you're free to do as you like.Yer 'ave free rein of the main deck. As long as yer don't cop in the way, right, yor free ter do as yer like." Sighing heavily, he reached one meaty mitt up to his face and rubbed at his eyes. "Go stow your gear and stay out of the way for a bit while we clear the harbor. I need to see to my crew.Go stow yor gear and stay out of the bleedin' way for a bit wile we clear the harbor. I need ter see ter my crew." The captain turned to leave, but stopped himself before he could take more than a single step. "You have plenty of time to kill. You can make yourselves useful if you wish, but otherwise all that I ask is that you show up for meals. Am I understood?Yer 'ave plenty of time ter kill. Yer can make yorselves useful if yer wish, right, but uvverwise all that I ask is that yer show up for meals. Am I understood?"

Nodding one last time, the big half-orc stomped on the decking beneath himself twice, hard. A voice echoed up from belowdecks, followed by a chorus of eager echoes. The captain slowly made his way aft and up the stairs to take the tiller himself. "Cast off, Jendon! Keep the boys rowing and I'll guide us out of port!Cast off, Jendon! Right! Keep the bloomin' fellas rowin' and I'll guide us out of port! Right!" In a flurry of shouts and splashes, the Selkie’s Plea slowly roused herself from her slumber and knifed for the open ocean, the thought of Nidalese gold on the minds of her crew.


Down by the Conqueror's Bay
Selkie’s Plea
Location: Conqueror’s Bay
Time: Wealday, 24 Rova, 4714 AR

Into the Unknown

A rowdy cheer erupted from the benches below the main deck as the Selkie’s Plea left the last of the Jeggare’s influence. Crew rushed up onto the deck to unfurl the sails and catch the wind, while others clapped each other on the back, then made their way into the forecastle to get a few hours of bunk before sunrise. Jendon trundled up the steps to the pilot deck and saluted the captain, then both men clasped each other by the forearm before the half-orc nodded and beat a hasty retreat into his own cabin. Trusting to the power of the wind and waves and the experience of the ship’s mate, they set to finding the right tack and angling toward the mouth of Conqueror’s bay some fifty miles due west. The sun would be up long before they found the Arcadian Ocean itself. Most of the crew could catch up on rest, but a ship never truly sleeps.


OOCI’m sorry to change plans on you all here. After conversing with a few of you, I decided to break the journey up into two posts. This one covers from boarding until dawn. You are welcome to come on deck and interact with Jendon at the pilot deck or figure out your accommodations in the space around the galley. There are bedrolls laid out for you on the deck itself and plenty of room for your gear, but it is otherwise just empty space around the kitchen.

I will be out of town for a few days, but feel free to drop any questions by. My next post will get you all the way to Nisroch. From there, the journey truly begins.
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Last edited by Ziether; Nov 7th, 2020 at 03:58 AM.
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Old Nov 9th, 2020, 06:53 PM
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Jeydavu found an out of the way spot he could unfurl a bedroll, and claimed it for himself. No where on the ship would be comfortable, such vessels were not built for that, but with the proper mindset, he could probably meditate and achieve some rest. The wall behind his chosen spot was relatively straight, so he could use it as a rest.

He stowed his gear carefully, making sure he had wiped any salt water and moisture off everything, before putting it in his packs. Magical, they would likely keep everything safe and dry. The Oread took a few moments to tie a small leather thong from his packs to a wooden peg sticking out, just to keep them from being tossed about or shaken loose, should a storm squall arise.

Then, he went out onto the deck, to watch and observe. He knew little to nothing about sailing, and it seemed an excellent chance to learn at least a small amount, if he remained out of the way, and quiet.
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Old Nov 11th, 2020, 01:50 PM
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Aziq
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Aziq stows his gear, then makes his way to the bow, where he sits and lets the salt spray wash over him. He recalls his first sea voyage, that took him from the only home he has ever known and set him on a journey that he has still not completed...and perhaps never will. After years of existence in the caverns beneath Goka, where the 'horizon' was rarely more then yards away, the immeasurable vastness of the open sea had struck him numb; his small mind could not comprehend the nothingness that was the open sea. But as the days had passed, he observed that that 'nothingness' was in fact filled with activity. Sea birds filled the skies, and once they were out of sight of land, whales, dolphins, and other creatures filled the waters. And the nights...the nights filled him with a sense of awe that he could scarcely understand. In the Deepmarket, there was no such thing as 'sky'; even in Goka, what was happening on the ground was far more interesting than anything that might be going on above. But on the open sea, with 'nothing' in all directions, his gaze was drawn upward. And what it saw! Stars beyond counting...meteors...nebulae...even the vastness of space was filled with activity.

As they leave the comfort of the harbor and enters the sea proper, the ship lurches as it meets the current, and he is brought back to the present. Nidal. He had never had a given thought to visit there - except as a condition of his desire to "go everywhere". He should talk again with Lily before they arrive; she at least seems to have remembered to do her research. And he should take to heart her suggestion to get some sleep; there was no telling what dangers they might face once they landed.

But not just yet. He lays back on the deck and stares up at the night sky, and listens to the pounding of the waves and the whistling of the wind through the rigging.


 


 
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Old Nov 11th, 2020, 10:46 PM
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Berimus Throamire
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"Ho Captain! Cop away-take us hence to Nisroch and don't mind our comfort too much. I am sure we have all been subject to far worse." Berimus was bemused by the Captain's turns of phrases, linguistic nonsense that otherwise would have been as clear as mud somehow twisted in his ears into comprensible sound. Berimus laughed to himself and pondered the Captain's words, conjugating and extrapolating his favorite as he wandered over to a spare bedroll.

"Cop... I cop, you cop, we are copping our way to Nisroch. Had I copped a different way, I would have been copping far longer than Captain's copping provided. Yes, that makes sense... Cop goes to copping, or coping? I am coping with copping? The copula copped a cop, coping as copper co-populated copper-headed copybooks... Hmm..." Ah! Lily!" Berimus motioned over to the linguistics expert on board. "I forgot to thank you for the warning for me going into Nisroch. Desna knows that luck will have to be on our side, but I will not help matters if I am displaying my faith so errantly." Berimus tapped his golden amulet fondly, the butterfly's twin comets catching a flicker of lamplight. "Consider the matter hidden, only those who give me tight hugs might feel its presence, but they will feel a good deal more unwelcome spikes too." Berimus winked at Lily and grabbed the amulet, tucking it under his barbed vest, then patted his chest carefully.

"There! Safely away. Now, onto more pressing matters. What do you make of this Captain? The etymological roots he displays are far beyond my simple knowledge, but have you come across such a man before? Such colorful idioms!"

As Berimus and Lily talked, the cleric idly tugged at a loose thread on his robe, pulling at the strand and rolling it into a tight ball until it was about the size of an orange, then pulled a knife out of his bag and cut the strand clean. A sailor passed by and Berimus suddenly placed the ball of twine in his arms, smiling absentmindedly. "For minor repairs, yes?" The night was young and Berimus was just starting to enjoy himself.


 
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Last edited by pianoman90; Nov 11th, 2020 at 11:17 PM.
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Old Nov 12th, 2020, 05:58 AM
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Liliana
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Lily peered around, shuffling her feet awkwardly. The hustle and bustle of the ship at full productivity was quite... loud. And not in a purely auditory sense. The vibrations of bare feet pounding the wooden deck, the sea breeze, surprisingly much stronger than inland Korvosa, and of course, the frequent call and response of sailors working the machine that was the Selkie's Plea expertly and efficiently. Lily felt overwhelmed.

Overstimulation was not a new sensation, of course, even if it would never be a pleasant one. A deep breath, and a dark corner of the boat, out of the way of the busy seamen and women, and a good distraction would all be beneficial to finding her calm once more. The captain directed them to where they could bunk for the duration of the journey, and moved off to find some rest as soon as the ship found open waters.

Jeyvadu and Aziq each moved off to settle in and Lily began to follow suit. Berimus called out to her, making her stop. She nodded, smiling slightly. "Yes, of course. I would hate for you to be unduly prosecuted. I surmise that they would not take ignorance as a defence." The tiefling grimaced, folding her arms. "Seems like a horrid practice, legislating religion, especially restricting it to mandatory worship of such a... distasteful god. Were it not for the client's need, and the not insignificant payment, I would probably have declined."

Berimus nodded and proceeded to tuck his Desnan holy symbol within his vest. "Consider the matter hidden, only those who give me tight hugs might feel its presence, but they will feel a good deal more unwelcome spikes too," he said with a wink, and carefully patted his vest. From the slightly uneven mottling of the leather its wear patterns, and his caution with handling it, she surmised it was probably lined with barbs or spikes underneath a thin layer of material on top. A nasty surprise for unwitting attackers, or at least those that used claw or fist. His wink was an odd gesture. It was often used as a non-verbal cue, Lily had learned that much, but the context was confusing. It usually meant something along the lines of, 'we both know what I mean,' when speaking in euphemism. But did he intend the wink for the barbed spikes? Or was he making an innuendo? The language seemed to indicate as such, what with the talk of hugs. Maybe it was a poorly constructed joke. No, it was probably in reference to the hidden barbs of his vest. Berimus didn't seem to be the raunchy type.

She shook her head, having lost herself in her thoughts, and caught Berimus' question. "Uh, yes, it's a fairly standard dialect of Taldane, often used by sailors, corsairs, and pirates. Especially those who spend most of their life at sea." She made her way, still conversing with Berimus, to a relatively quiet corner of the ship, and laid out her bedroll, distractedly aligning it with the seams in the timbers. "It can come across as a little uncouth, especially when compared to upper class dialects, but it's a very utilitarian way of speech." She set her pack down and began rearranging her gear, placing most of her weapons in the haversack, but leaving her pistol and daggers on her belt. She didn't need to be fully armed, but should there be an emergency, it didn't pay to be unprepared. She set the pack against the bulkhead, making sure everything was neat and tidy. "The exesive profanity, or colorful idioms, are almost an integral part of the dialect, if not structurally, then culturally."
 
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Old Nov 18th, 2020, 08:08 AM
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Ham(bone)ing it UpAmanath internally sighed as not only did they introduce themselves...but Liliana said his name. By the Honest Men, I know she struggles with social cues but that was obvious. He kept his face clear of any of his internal frustrations however, no need to spoil the opportunity presented here. Slipping that ever-present metal tube into his hand he began a variation of the beat he had used earlier. Thumbing and rolling his fist at his sternum allowed him a mid-tone and a soft *tink* of metal on metal as the tube connected with one of his amulets, with his other hand in a loose blade snapping back and forth along his outer thigh and slapping to his shoulder. At first, it seems like random sound, though his companions may recognize it, Probably not considering they forgot my other lessons. His frustration flows through him as he shuffles and taps his way toward the front. He alternates between toe-heel and heel-toe, sometimes sliding between steps, humming softly to himself he seems to absently turn in a circle on his way, he notes the positions of his companions on his first rotation and picks the idea spot at the railing. He leans back against it and slides down slightly, increasing his speed and giving himself some new angles to work with. And then he reached for magic.

Berimus and Aziq worked with magic in a more basic way. Amanath didn't discount their power, but to Amanath it was much like a sword, you trained the right muscles and skills and you did it. There was variation of course, but mostly it just felt...dead. He had tried to explain this once to Aziq, but it was one of the few times his words had failed him. To Amanath, music was magic. He knew others like him existed, and they all did it differently, one talked of the pattern of notes they plucked, another the rhythm of nature singing to them, and some even found their music in the clashing of weapons, but for Amanath, it was about vibration. His magic moved at one speed, not even one speed really but a semi-predictable fluctuation of vibration, and Amanath brought his being into harmony with that vibration. Aziq had his spellbook and Berimus had his prayers and holy text...heck even Liliana had a book of formula she used to make her concoctions, but Amanath was a symphony, sure an unconventional one, he wouldn't be finding himself with a dedicated gig at a tavern or for a noble family, but that was fine, he preferred a more subtle art anyway. Amanath smiled to himself for a few moments, just lost in the subdued performance, he was very aware of the need to not stomp too hard lest he disturb those trying to get some sleep, but for a few simple moments, he did something he rarely allowed and lost himself to the music of his soul.

But reality, as it so often did, wouldn't allow him too much time, so he caressed the proper rhythms and enticed the magic forward, lightly flicking his fingers to each of his companions in turn. Message Spell: whispered communication*Can you hear me? He waited for at least one affirmative then continued, I see you have forgotten my lessons in discretion, we will have to work on that. However, Amanath paused and let a smile show through his words, it is nice to be working with you again. Amanath bent his head over and increased his speed again, working through his frustrations both at the team and at work unfinished yet but also the excitement of an unknown challenge. I noted the dwarf and half-elf are the night crew it seems so I shall engage in conversation with them, any information we need from the crew? Amanath was pretty sure they didn't, he was pretty sure they were just transport, but it never hurt to confirm their orders were the same. Amanath had decided to start with the dwarf. Oh and Berimus please remember, this communication only requires whispering. With a flourish, Amanath finished with a rapid succession of toe-toe-heel-heel-fist-fist-palm-palm and stood facing the water in a classic 'ta-da' pose.

With a deep breath in and out, Amanath turned to seek out the first mate. Time to add two new people to my collection, I wonder what stories they have... He ambled in a mirror of the captain's gait and softly tapped his fingers on his leg as he walked. Hello friend, he said to the dwarf, how does the night find you? Amanath smiled openly, Do you mind a little company? I always find the beginning of voyages to be hard to sleep through plus, Amanath leaned in, I'm a bit of a nightstalker myself if you catch my meaning. He winks to show the joke and chats with the man for a bit, before repeating the exercise with the half-elf, positive after speaking with Jendon that there was nothing mission critical to learn from them, but he found it useful to have a wide variety of personal stories and quirks to pull from when creating disguises and so it was never wasted time. Plus, learning the rhythms of the crew would be helpful since Amanath preferred to be active at night.


 
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Last edited by Scimmy; Nov 18th, 2020 at 08:11 AM.
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Old Nov 20th, 2020, 03:27 AM
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Over the Waves
Selkie’s Plea
Location: Conqueror’s Bay
Time: Wealday, 24 Rova, 4714 AR

A Day in the Life

When one thinks of the common dwarves of the Inner Sea region, Jendon Ambermane is not the image one conjures. The ship’s mate was as comfortable on the deck of the Selkie’s Plea as any except perhaps her captain, and his bright smile shone as a welcoming beacon to the passengers, as they had not yet been made aware of how quickly that visage could twist on the crew when the sailors allowed incompetence to come to the fore. On Amanath’s approach, he chuckled aloud and offered a meaty palm to clasp wrists with the newcomer. "Welcome aboard, my good man. I may have drawn the short straw to take the tiller tonight, but the winds are good and the sea is calm. The night is not one to complain about." Color flooded the man’s face, illuminated by the lanterns set about the keelboat’s deck. "Probably best if I keep my voice down. The boys’n’girls need their rest if they’re going to see you safely to Nisroch." Nothing of the voyage required any serious secrecy, and as such Jendon was completely at ease speaking with the passenger. The only oddities were the timing of their departure and the insistence on haste. "Captain Thatcher says there’s a bonus to get you to Nidal quickly. I can’t say as I like the place, but if they have the gold, it’s worth the trip. I ain’t getting off the ship, though. Creepy buggers, those Nidalese."

The rest of the night passed without incident, and the dawn crept upon the stern of the ship as she rode the smooth crests of the waves toward the mouth of Conqueror’s Bay. The first hints of autumn sent chill winds through the cabin surrounding the galley while the first rays of the sun caressed away the bite. It was the perfect day for sailing, and the crew streamed from their bunks to see to the maintenance of their vessel. "Send someone for me at lunch, eh?" the dwarven mate barked as he climbed up past the ship’s fare, slapping the cook on the back as they passed each other. "Save some of the good stuff for me, ya hear?" With a jovial laugh, he disappeared into the sleeping cabin.

The first full day started off smoothly, and Gozreh’s whims did not deign to alter that fact throughout the rest of the daylight hours. The crew kept busy mending the spare sails and fishing, the meager catch serving more as sport than any attempt at subsistence. The galley was never quiet as the cook fought bravely to keep a steady stream of food flowing to sustain the larger complement of mouths aboard. A hearty porridge with thick pieces of bacon served as a breakfast, but by shortly after noon, a savory stew of fish, onions, and tubers brought everyone together once more, a loud groan of disappointment echoing among the crew when the bottom of the huge pot appeared. Shortly thereafter, the docks of Veldraine came into focus off the starboard bow, heralding the mouth of the bay and the true perils of the journey ahead. Nilaya, the comely half-elven sailor, gathered the crew together to give thanks, praying aloud, "Great Dreamer, we thank you for your guidance thus far, and we humbly pray for your good favor as we traverse the mighty sea beyond the point. Spread your wings over our course, and let your fortune precede us on our journey." The assembled sailors all nodded in assent as both Captain Thatcher and one of the sailors remained in place, each fidgeting slightly and fingering small icons in their hands.

"Pull us ter port, Mister Ambermane!" the captain called out ceremoniously, the stocky greenskin picked his way through the crew to the stairs and replaced the dwarf at the tiller. "Inspect the cargo and prepare for rougher seas." With a respectful nod, Jendon descended below the decks to carry out the order while the rest of the crew fought with the rigging to get the sails re-arranged to take them southward, tacking along just out of sight of the land off the port side. It made no sense to head out into the unfathomable depths. There were dangers enough within striking distance of the coast, but those could usually be dealt with. Captain Thatcher solemnly looked to his passengers before calling down, "We don't want to chance tangling with a kraken or the like.We don't want ter chance tanglin' wiv a kraken or the bleedin' like."

Gershakh kept his command for the rest of the day, and as the sun set, the winds flagged, sending the crew to chattering in hushed tones. "Jendon! Get this canvas as good as you can, then get some supper. It's going to be a long night.Jendon! Oi! Cop this canvas as good as yer can, ffen cop some supper. It's gonna be a long night." The ship’s mate grabbed a pair of sailors and got to work while everyone else dug into bowls of beans and rice, a few strips of dried meat rounding out the meal. Within a half hour the sails caught some wind once more, though progress was minimal. Satisfied, the captain thanked his crew for their service, nodded politely to the passengers, and retired to his cabin.

The crew’s prayers must have found their way to their intended deities, as shortly after dinner concluded, a steady breeze came from the west and billowed the sails, the sailors cheering as they set to capturing the wind and using its power to drive them further south. There would be no all-night rowing session, nor the resulting fatigue and irritability. Sailors drew lots and claimed watches, each in turn grumbling at the fortune of another before the bulk climbed up to their bunks, downing a ration of some unidentifiable spirit to help them sleep. They would all need it.


Rumors and Whispers
Selkie’s Plea
Location: Conqueror’s Bay
Time: Oathday, 25 Rova, 4714 AR

Here Comes the Sun

A day at sea is generally the same as any other so long as nothing remarkable happens to alter that course. The crew of the Selkie’s Plea cheered their progress when the lookout spotted a well-known waypoint island, and all went about their work with satisfaction, if not outright enjoyment. Meals came and went at their appointed hours, and sailors took up booming shanties to dispel the monotony.

Not all was merriment and laughter, though. It was impossible to miss overhearing the sailors as they moved about the deck, tying things down and swabbing errant puddles from the deck. "Two days at Nisroch? Strike me with a spade and wake me when it’s over. If there’s a worse port to be stuck in, I don’t want to know about it," Nilaya grumbled, an uncharacteristic dour expression crossing her face. She looked up to the young man helping keep the rigging taut for her to tie off. "A city like that with no music, no dancing, no tavern revelry..." her voice trailed off and a disgusted look took over her features, "Even the diversions they do permit require a certain outlook on life."

"Nil, your appetites never cease to amaze. Those kuthites are a strange lot, I must admit. Just keep reminding yourself that in a month’s time we’ll be back in Korvosa and you can indulge whatever whim you desire." The straining sailor gave one last heave and released, watching the rope hold its place perfectly. "Those clouds look ominous." The man stood still on the deck, riding out the waves as he watched the gray mass creep along. "Hopefully we pass south of it. I don’t know if our guests are ready to see a real storm on the sea."

The whole crew was alive with talk of the oncoming storm, the preparations even cutting the evening meal short and keeping everyone awake late into the night to be on guard. It wasn’t until nearly midnight when Captain Thatcher came back out on deck and chastened his crew that they gave up their fretting and got some rest. The captain might have been the most imposing presence aboard, but the sailors also knew him as almost a surrogate father. When the old man came out to put things right, they could trust him.


Implacable Fate
Selkie’s Plea
Location: Conqueror’s Bay
Time: Fireday, 26 Rova, 4714 AR

Rain

The night’s wind never abated, but dawn seemed to never arrive, as the ominous clouds overtook the Selkie’s Plea as she fought her way southward through the night. Thick storm clouds blanketed the sky from horizon to horizon, and as the muted haze of light penetrated to the lower reaches of the clouds, a pattering drizzle began, adding a dampness to the crisp morning air. The crew paid it all little mind, gratefully downing their gruel and relishing the bits of salted meat that accompanied it. As long as the wind held, the promise of gold kept the sailors in decent spirits.

Their spirits held, that was, until the storm unleashed its full fury. Waves swelled high, rocking the ship side to side and forcing everyone into shelter in a sudden rush to secure all loose tools and belongings. Sails billowed and threatened to topple the vessel, the only savior coming from the weighty cargo belowdecks. Torrential rain battered the Selkie’s Plea. Soaked sailors huddled in the corners of the space around the galley, running out in pairs to reset the rigging and keep the ship on course. Throughout it all, Captain Thatcher stood at the wheel, laughing and barking out orders, good-nature day deriding his crew for their aversion to “a little wet.”

The sun set at last, but nobody could tell that for certain. Darkness had fallen hours before, though Gershakh Thatcher still manned the tiller. The rain gradually abated, wind fled along with it, until at last the sea lay still. The captain finally stumbled down the stairs and burst into the galley. "All right, you lily-livered laggards, you got your shelter. Now get your bleedin' selves belowdecks and get to rowing! There's rest enough in Nisroch.Arright, yer lily-livered laggards, yer got yor shelter. Right. Now cop yor bleedin' selves belowdecks and cop to rowin'! Right! There's rest enough in Nisroch." The half-orc roared with fatigue, grabbing a large mug and pouring an obscene measure of the crew’s overproof death liquor into it. "Jendon has command until dawn. Wake me before then and we'll have a real problem.Jendon 'as command until dorn. Wake me before then and we'll 'ave a real problem." His piece said, he took a deep breath, then chugged the cup down in one long draught, then retreated in the direction of his cabin.

The chorus of groans started up as soon as the crew heard the captain’s door slam shut. One look from the dwarven mate silenced them, though, and it was but mere moments later when the drum began to beat in the rowing cabin and the rhythmic dip of the oars could be heard on deck. Reduced to a bare crawl, the Selkie’s Plea insisted on heaving along its course, guided at first by compass alone, with the stars peeking out to lend their aid long after midnight had passed.


Over the Waves
Selkie’s Plea
Location: Conqueror’s Bay
Time: Starday, 27 Rova, 4714 AR

Good Day Sunshine

While the rowing kept the quiet of the night at bay long into the night, a bright, clear moon brought with it a renewed breeze, and with it came a resounding cheer. The crew climbed up on deck, each tossing a silver coin off the starboard railing to splash into the waters below. Jendon ensured the sails were set, then sent the sailors to their bunks to steal as much rest as they could before the coming day. Stoically standing his watch, he was the lone man to greet the coming of the sun’s blessings, and still stood alone as the captain emerged to spell him. The bigger man weaved his way across the main deck and up the stairs to find his mate. "Go wake the cook and two others. The rest can sleep. I expect you on deck after lunch.Go wake the cook and two uvvers. The bleedin' rest can sleep. I expect yer on deck after lunch." The dwarf visibly relaxed and silently moved towards the stairs. "Before you go, grab me a bit of the grog. Hair of the dog, you know?Before yer go, right, grab me a bit of the chuffin' grog. Hair of the dog, yer know?"

Nobody was truly rested, but morale was bolstered by the freedom to remain in bed. A double ration of bacon went a long way to putting smiles on the sailors’ faces, and a beautiful autumn day made it pass much faster. The strong winds kept the Selkie’s Plea knifing toward her destination, and soon the coast came into view ahead. Gershakh had the crew abuzz getting the sails rigged for the westward leg, then announced a fishing competition until dinner. Eager men and women broke out poles and their favorite lucky bait, each praying to one god or another for the edge in the contest. Several hours later the youngest aboard, a tiny halfling man only ever called Monkey hefted a shard of parchment aloft bearing the right to a triple ration of grog for one day. "I’ll be drunk for a week!" he crowed, a silly grin plastered on his face. The sailors set to gutting and dressing the catch, and soon the smell of grilling cod fillets wafted from the galley. A supper of fish, boiled potatoes, and dried fruits washed away any lingering memories of the previous day’s storm.

Before nightfall, the ship’s mate found the passengers to keep them apprised of the state of their journey. "Captain wanted me to let you know how things are looking," he offered with a smile, slowly sipping at a warm cup of ale pilfered from the galley. "We’re in Nidalese waters now. There are a few worthless towns along the coast here, but nothing to write home about. We’ll round the point at Albatross by late tomorrow, and have you in Nisroch before noon on Moonday." The dwarf’s grin never let up. "You’re either crazy folk or there’s something very profitable afoot in Nidal. Maybe both. I’ve gone ashore in Nisroch a few times, but those bloody kuthites give me the shivers. Nothing good happens in that country." Noticing that he had blundered, he stammered for a moment before recovering, "Except, perhaps, some things that never make it into the tales. None of you look like devout adherents of the Lord of Pain. May Desna watch over your travels, and may the Drunk keep you." His benediction spoken, Jendon fled before he could say something else stupid.


Around the Point
Selkie’s Plea
Location: Conqueror’s Bay/Nisroch Bay
Time: Sunday, 28 Rova, 4714 AR

The Long and Winding Road

The last full day aboard the Selkie’s Plea began with a dusting of drizzle for just long enough to make every surface slippery, but not long enough to delay breakfast. The sun rose behind the ship as she sailed ever westward, climbing along until, at its apex, the lookout cried out the landmark they had all been awaiting. "We’re rounding the point, captain!" The sailors burst into motion, trimming sails, tying off rigging, and carefully riding out the shifting waves as the weathered half-orc at the wheel negotiated the rough waters off the promontory, sending the cargo ship into a wide arc around the bit of land that separated the tip of Conqueror’s Bay from the domain of Nisroch Bay.

"It's not that much further to Nisroch, but the bay is full of shallows and shoals. We have to be careful to pick our way to the city.It's not that much furffer ter Nisroch, but the bleedin' bay is full of shallows and shoals. We 'ave ter be careful ter pick us way ter the bloody city." The Selkie’s Plea shifted further out to sea for a bit, taking a route that avoided a cluster of dangers that Gershakh pointed out on a map, then the big man called out an order. "Strike the sails! Get ready for the straits!" Crewmen leapt to obey, lowering the sails and scrambling to their places at the oars. Jendon took command of the crew at their stations while the captain held their course above. "Just leave this here to old Gershakh. We'll have you through this in no time.Just leave this 'ere ter old Gershakh. We'll 'ave yer frough this in no time." The captain yelled encouragements down to the crew, and they rowed with all the strength they could muster. For three hours they rowed, and at last the man at the tiller sighed with satisfaction. "Let's feed these savages, then on to Nisroch.Let's feed these savages, ffen on ter Nisroch."

There was no time to cook, so everyone tucked in for dried fruits, nuts, and salt beef with a healthy complement of ale. There was a celebratory air among the crew, with the pressing danger behind them. With everyone fed, they broke away to get the keelboat back on its way, then set out tables to while away the evening with games of chance. "Best to enjoy ourselves before we get to No-Fun Nisroch. The law may not forbid merriment aboard ship, but it’s best not to flout the local customs. The Nidalese have gold as good as anyone else, and it would be a pity to lose access to their port," Nilaya offered with a twinkle in her eye before descending on a dicing table. Ale and grog flowed freely, each crewmember having the awareness to have saved up their rations to make the night worthwhile. It was almost midnight before Jendon arrived to break up the party, reminding the men and women of the hard work that awaited in Nisroch’s port.


The Land of Pain
Selkie’s Plea
Location: Nisroch Bay/Nisroch, Nidal
Time: Moonday, 29 Rova, 4714 AR

Act Naturally

By daybreak the coast of Nidal was visible to all. Towns and farms and forests took shape as the ship inched around the last bend in the bay, finally aiming itself eastward toward the mouth of the Usk. The weary ship’s mate made one last appearance before breakfast, pulling the passengers aside. "Captain sent me again. It seems your patron is sparing no expense. A rather chatty raven arrived about half an hour ago, the companion of a wizard of some sort in the employ of a Baron Tiboros." The dwarf shook his head in disbelief as he spoke. "The baron has secured a berth for the Selkie’s Plea, and will be on hand when we arrive. He’s asked to come aboard and meet you in the privacy of Captain Thatcher’s cabin." Chuckling, he continued, "Captain doesn’t like people poking around his cabin. The rich pain-fiend must be sweetening the pot if Gershakh agreed to that sort of arrangement."

Unlike the rest of the voyage, the crew didn’t have an idle moment. Decks were swabbed until they gleamed. Any cargo that could be loosened without endangering its value was quickly readied to be offloaded. Every last crewer was as sober as a tree, and each schooled their expressions to avoid any hint of glee or amusement. Shortly after breakfast, the city of Nisroch came into view, a massive, sprawling place obviously built up over centuries or millennia. "Get your laughs out while you can!" someone shouted before the woman next to him punched him in the shoulder, hard. "Sorry, I couldn’t help myself." The man returned to his work, chastened, and soon everyone climbed down the ladder to row the last few miles into port. The ship was eerily quiet.

As the Selkie’s Plea slipped into the marina, Captain Thatcher called down to the passengers and invited them up on the command deck. "Thank you for staying out of the way. Your Association pays well, and I wouldn't mind doing this sort of thing again. I hope we've made this simple, and that you can tell your people back in Korvosa that when you return.Thank yer for stayin' out of the bleedin' way. Yor Association pays well, right, and I wouldn't mind doin' this sort of fin' again. I 'ope we've made this simple, and that yer can tell yor blokes back in Korvosa that wen yer return." Gesturing his apology, the hardened sailor turned to shout down a tube that connected his station to the rowing deck. "Careful, lads. We’re comin’ in!" Carefully turning the wheel to maneuver between docked ships and around to the berth he had been directed to, he returned his attention to his passengers. "I'd hate to lose business, so be on your guard in Nidal, do you hear me? Like me, you may have your beliefs, but keep them to yourself, no matter what, especially here in the big city. These people are crazy, and they will not hesitate to do horrible things if you break their laws.I'd 'ate ter lose business, right, so be on yor guard in Nidal, do yer 'ear me, eh? Like me, yer may 'ave yor beliefs, but keep them ter yorself, right, no matter wot, especially 'ere in the bloody big city. These blokes are crazy, right, and they will not 'esitate ter do 'orrible fings if yer break their lors." He let his lips break into the smallest of smiles then. "Cayden watch you blokes." With one last deft turn of the wheel, the ship slid into its space and the sailors emerged to tie her down. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have money to make.Now, if yer'll excuse me, I 'ave brass ter make."


A Father’s Request
Selkie’s Plea
Location: Nisroch, Nidal
Time: Moonday, 29 Rova, 4714 AR

Help!

It didn’t take long for the ship’s arrival to bring attention to the docks. Sailors dashed this way and that, ferrying cargo from the depths of the keelboat’s lower hull to the main deck and lowering the huge ramp that would serve to offload their goods. A few severe merchants arrived with their carts, and each came aboard to haggle with Captain Thatcher or inspect their cargoes of interest. One of the merchants, however, seemed less invested in the business at hand, and a few moments later Jendon ushered the man into the captain’s cabin at the bow of the ship, waiting several minutes before discreetly fetching the passengers to join him.

The instant eyes came to rest on the man, it was obvious that he was no simple merchant. The balding middle-aged man wore richly appointed robes of jet black ornamented with copious gold trimmings. A curving line of gold rings starting at the end of his right eyebrow outlined the socket until meeting up with a hefty diamond stud set into the right nostril. As soon as he saw the very people he sought, a small smile flashed across his features before his training took over and he erased the sentiment from his face. "Oh, thank the Dark Prince, you came!" Unfurling his hands from the sleeves of the opposite arms, he indicated chairs around a table strewn with maps and ledgers. Intricate scar patterns ran along the backs of both hands, disappearing up his wrists, and the smallest two fingers were missing from each hand, along with the first knuckle of the index finger on the left hand. "Thank you for your haste. I am, as you must surmise, Baron Grigor Tiboros, and I am in need of capable individuals to make contact with my daughter on my behalf."

Baron Tiboros declined to seat himself, instead leaning over the table for a few seconds before pacing back and forth. "I am sure she is well, but my Anya has stopped responding to my missives. That never happens. We send letters at least twice per month, and it has been much too long since I have received anything out of Karpad." The fretful father finally stopped, turning to face the adventurers. "My daughter, you see, she married a baron out in the rural part of Nidal. His family has held land for a thousand years. She seemed quite happy, and they recently had a child, my precious grandson. I would go myself, but to leave Nisroch would be suicide for me. Not in the physical sense, but my fortunes would be destroyed. Nisroch is not a kind place for a nobleman. Every move must be calculated."

The anxious man looked across at the five people the Association had sent, nodding his satisfaction. "What did I promise, six thousand? I am nothing if not a man of my word. My offer is thus: you go to Karpad, you speak with my daughter and determine her good health and that of young Marek, and you find out why there has been no correspondence. You return to me here with the news. For that, six thousand gleaming pieces of Nidalese gold." Holding up one finger, he asked for a moment’s more indulgence. "To aid you, I can offer one thousand more to acquire any supplies you feel you might need, as well as mounts to carry you to Karpad. I expect either their worth in gold or the beasts themselves upon your return." The nobleman’s eyes flitted from person to person, taking a measure of each as he did. "If you have any questions, ask. I have nothing to hide from you outsiders. I am simply a father who cannot live without the knowledge that his only daughter is alive and well." Collapsing into a chair opposite the five, Baron Tiboros rested his chin in one hand. "Time is of the essence, though. If you accept, the cart on the docks can take you to the stables, and from there you can be on your way with my prayers and my thanks."


Relevant Skill DCs
 


 


OOCFinally, we reach Nidal! Welcome to The Midnight Mirror itself. If you wish, now is a great time to roll any checks regarding Baron Tiboros or his words, and he will field any questions you have. If you accept his proposal, any shopping can be managed along with getting through Nisroch. Take your time here, and please let me know if I’ve left out any crucial details. I’m more than willing to edit things in, but with this post’s dimensions, I would rather err on the side of leaving something out at first than overwhelm folks more.

Do not feel obliged to write out events for every day of the journey. Only talk about things that stand out as mattering to your characters. The interaction with the baron is more important than anything aboard ship.
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  #27  
Old Nov 20th, 2020, 08:20 PM
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Jeydavu checked his gear and packs, and prepared to leave the ship. He had expected to meet the Baron's people on the docks, but soon saw, that would not be easy. The docks were bustling, and soon that bustle swarmed onto the ship, as people moved about to barter and trade. They brought with them the sounds of people and chaos, and the smells of u unwashed masses, fish and stink of rot.

Jeydavu shook his head slowly. The ways of trade, commerce and mankind were odd, and varied. Most ports did business in opposite manners, with the bargaining and tradecraft on the docks themselves, but the monk understood that every place was different, and all customs were just that... customs and traditions handed down from generation to generation. Perhaps, eons ago, there had been a perfectly reasonable explanation for the boarding of the ship to trade... perhaps a disease ravaged the town, and this was the way to remain away. Or perhaps, he thought, it was a way to avoid taxes, or payments to dockmasters or gangs. If you never officially unloaded your wares, then the tax belonged to those who did. He shrugged his shoulders. It was idle speculation, and nothing he really cared about, except to note that this group did things differently than other groups.

A seaman approached, and whispered to the group that they should remain aboard, and the Captain would have another word with them soon. And so, the archer stood close to his fellows, not only to stay close, but to provide a bit of a breaker for the smaller statured ones, who could slip into his wake, as it were, among the crowds. He was not a large man, but his rolling gait and barrel wide hips tended to give most men a bit of pause, and they steered slightly wide of his stony gaze, and dark complexion and often permanent scowl. They steered wide of him, and gave his companions some breathing room on the deck, as they waited.

And the wait was not long. Not for someone used to spending long hours in practice and contemplation, at least. It didn't take long for a cabin boy to find them, and less time even for them to be whisked into the Baron's presence.

Jey listened to the man, and nodded his head. He didn't care much for the reasons, or even the money. The mission was the challenge, that, and a bit of guilt that guided him into sticking with his friends, and protecting them. He could imagine some of his friends already counting the money, it clinking in their minds in whatever imaginary vault they had planned for it, and it brought a small smile to his face. They were not greedy, or avaricial, simply pragmatic, and there was nothing wrong with that. Because he had a lower value for the metal coins than they did not mean one of them was more right, or wrong than the other. Just different. If it brought them enjoyment to think on money, to earn it and spend it, that was good. It was their right, just as it was his to not do so to their extent.

"You said you have tried many normal means to send and recieve your missives," the monk asked slowly. "What of the arcane?" He swept a hand to include almost everyone else in his group. "I myself have no talents there, but there are many, many who do, and I believe there are many arcane spells that can send and receive messages, even thoughts and images at times?"
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Old Nov 22nd, 2020, 09:20 PM
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Berimus Throamire
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5 days aboard a ship, with nothing to do but keep out of the way of the sometimes harried, always excellently efficient sailors and their Captain. Some would find this torture, Berimus lived for these moments.

There were moments that made Berimus' heart sing. The first day, when Nilaya led the sailors in prayer to Desna, Berimus suddenly produced an old reed from his spell pouch and started blowing tuneless, yet joyful music across the deck. It nearly stopped everyone hard in their tracks, but the apparent enthusiasm seemed catching, and the Song of the Spheres rang out across the ship. He had noticed the Captain's 'lucky' mug and the sailor's own icon and felt joy knowing that they too held the gods close to their hearts. Luck, Nature, Freedom and Bravery would all be needed to get them safely to Nisroch, and Berimus could think of a better trio to placate and revere than Desna, Gozreh and Cayden Cailean.

The excitement continued the next day as the ship's crew started discussing the storm that was coming. Berimus had never witnessed a storm on the sea, his eager attempts to contribute his own tales of hard rain lashing windows and the winds whistling through tight alleyways were met with laughter and pitying looks - apparently these stories were not impressive enough for the hardened sea dogs. Berimus spent the morning listening wide-eyed with wonder listening to the tales of Gozreh's destructive fury. He offered to produce his reed once more and call on Mother Moon to calm the seas, but the conversations were quickly changed.

Berimus and the other sailors had been lulled into a false sense of security the next day, though the forward-thinking cleric knew the sailor's may need his divine help later and sent another prayer to Desna on their behalf. The rain started, dripping almost sarcastically on deck, causing the young cleric to start disbelieving the tall sailor's tales from the night before. Then the storm came, bringing with it pounding surf, terrible winds and torrential rain. Berimus had been below deck, gathering some food for himself and his companions, so had not noticed the change until the boat started rocking from side to side more violently. Once he had brought the food to Jeydavu and the others, he had braved the open air of the deck only once, curiosity getting the better of him as he just had to know that the stories the sailor's told could ring true. He had only left the others and the safety of the hold for seconds before he returned, his glasses askew, hair and clothing drenched to the bone and shaking slightly. "Ladies and gentlemen-I, uhh... Don't take yourselves up on deck just now, there seems to be quite the fickle God flexing his powers. Best to stay down here I think and listen to those sailors up top..."

The young cleric didn't sleep, instead he offered his strong arms to the dwarvern oarsman and the crew. Jumping down, he heaved alongside the others in rhythmical unity, occasionally lifting flagging energies of his rowing companion with a timely prayer. He knew however, that his own enthusiasm would run out eventually and Berimus took the opportunity to crash only once the Captain came down in the morning to relieve the crew of their duties. He slept solidly and soundly for most of the next day, rising only to eat and drink a simple meal before returning to his quarters. It was quite typical of the young cleric, burst forward with adrenaline and energy for several days, nearly overdoing things in order to be helpful, then take a day or two to recover once the excitement had dulled down. The next two days served their purpose well, restoring and reinvigorating Berimus as they rounded the peninsula towards Nisroch.

Baron Tiboros met them upon arrival, saving the party the task of seeking the man out themselves. Berimus already liked the man and concern was writ large on his face as he listened to the worried father speak. Jeydavu had, with stoic pragmatism, started the conversation directly and Berimus nodded earnestly. "Amanath or Aziq might just be your arcanists there, they probably have the knowing of that sort of thing."

"And what of the mundane messages themselves? Do you send a courier, or a messenger to take the missive directly? What of travelers to the city, have you heard any rumors that might lead to any more suspicion? If you would be so kind, tell us of the dangers that Nisroch holds so that we may prepare for the journey ahead with eyes wide open." Berimus tapped the side of his glasses and smiled warmly. "We are, and will always be, outsiders here but the more we know, the more we can fit in and not alarm anyone, yes?"

OOCI have altered one of my spells prepared below, from Shatter to Lesser Restoration, reflected below.

Perform check (day 1) - 21
Knowledge religion checks vs Captain's and Sailor's icons - Passed
Diplomacy check vs Baron Tiboros - 16

Rolls

 
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Old Nov 24th, 2020, 04:52 PM
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Five days aboard a ship, with nothing to do but keep out of the way of the efficient, if occasionally harried sailors and their captain. Some would live for the hustle and bustle; Lily found it to be torture.

While she typically tried to sleep through the mornings and stay up late, the tiefling found it difficult to do so through the cacophony of the day-to-day operations of the Selkie's Plea. The smells of fish stew, unwashed bodies, and salty sea air were overpowering, and while she wasn't one to complain, Lily wished there were somewhere other than next to the galley to place her bedroll and rest. Her only escape was her attempts at reading, but even her notes were hard to focus on.

At least the crew was friendly. They may have been a rough sort, but they were also a kind of family. They prayed together before meals, and while most of the sailors prayed to Desna, Lily spotted the captain holding a stylized tankard, a token of his reverence for Cayden Cailean, and one of the other sailors held an icon of Gozreh. There was a sense of comradery among these people that was hard to find elsewhere.

That comradery was put to the test during the storm. Lily wasn't one to get seasick from a normal voyage, but the storm's fury rocked the ship back and forth like an enthusiastic child with wooden horse. She huddled on her bedroll, tempted to offer prayers to Gozreh herself if it would make this accursed ship stop heaving. While she knew that logically, with reasonable confidence, that the vessel would probably be fine, especially with the efficient crew at work, she still couldn't help but be terrified that the ship would capsize at any moment. She was a novice swimmer, at best, and at open sea, she might as well make peace with whatever gods would listen.

Luckily, however, they survived the storm, no casualties, and whatever damage the ship may have suffered as a result was superficial. The rest of the journey was calm and relatively uneventful. Within a couple of more days, they were pulling into the harbor at Nisroch, and Lily never thought she'd be glad to see the shores of Nidal of all places.

The relief was short lived, for as soon as the ship docked, a crowd of merchants and their like streamed on board and began haggling for wares. What was already a crowded boat now felt painfully stifling. Liliana's reprieve came in the form of a cabin boy, ushering them into the captain's cabin to conduct a meeting with their client.

Baron Tiboros of Nisroch stood before them in all of his mutilated grandeur. He implored the Darkwatch to help him contact his daughter, playing the part of the concerned father well. Every word he said seemed honest and forthright, but something about the man put Lily on edge. Maybe it was the multitude of scars, or the amputated fingers, or just the fact that he was a nobleman in Nidal, a country she personally found distasteful, but she felt an immediate distrust for the baron. Which made it all the more frustrating that she couldn't catch a single falsehood in his testimony.

She grimaced, reprimanding herself. Don't succumb to your biases, Lily, that's what people do to you all the time. Pulling forth a notebook, she procured a pen as well. "Baron Tiboros, we will do whatever we can to ensure your daughter's well-being. If you'll please forgive me, I'm going to ask several questions. I want to make sure we have as much information as possible. The data I have, the more I can extrapolate from there." She turned to a blank page, and looked up, not quite meeting the man's eyes, but staring at a point on the wall just behind him. "What can you tell us of your last communication with Anya? Did she say anything that might be, in retrospect, odd? When did you receive her last correspondence? Do you still have it on hand? Analyzing the message myself could be potentially helpful. How long has Anya lived in Karpad? What do you know of her neighbors, friends, her husband? Of Karpad and the surrounding area itself?" In between each question, Lily nodded absently, scrawling his answers down and tapping her foot, deep in thought. Whatever information she could glean ahead of time would be an invaluable boon. She hoped for the best, but it was always wise to prepare for the worst.
 
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Old Nov 26th, 2020, 09:39 AM
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Jeydavu nodded and sighed as the others spoke up.

Of course, he thought. They are sharp. Intelligent. They would think of things I would not. Or at least, faster than I would.

The monk knew his talents, and where they lay. In serenity, in observation. In piecing things, often disparate things, together, from experience. His own, or others. But being curious, and innovative, was not in his quiver, so to speak. He had thought he was being smart, asking about magic, and yet the others showed that they were leaps ahead, already racing down many other paths of exploration.

No doubt, I would have reached those paths, too, he thought. With time. A smile crossed his face. He was proud of them all. His decades of experience served him, and them, well when it counted, and their sharp minds and thoughts served too, just differently.

He continued nodding. "Good questions," he said quietly in compliment, and set his ears to listen to the answers. They would be important, he knew. "Thank you Lily, thank you Berimus."
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