Thursday, July 19, 2007
“Well it’s good that I’m structurally sound, because then I don’t get poisoned by, y’know, air.” – Sigrid
“Do I smell death in the arr?” – Blank
“No one could beat his backhair soufflé” – Blank
“So he’s a better cook than I am?” – Sigrid
“Probably.” – Blank
“But I actually cook food.” – Sigrid
“Wait, your cook had no hands?” – Sigrids
That thing I said last week about talking to Taevin’s contact? That conversation also involved Taevin giving Blank a package to deliver to his Uncle Grizby, who lives in Gorzam, his old hometown.
They went back to the Black Angle; Soern asked Cer-Athene for a staff of water and waves, which would arrive in 14 days. Then Sigrid went to talk to Ea-Shamar, and (unsuccessfully) tried to negotiate giving Gannen “prosecutorial immunity” if they could retrieve Iu-Malan.
Then everyone went back to the boat, Soern cast scry on Gannen, and discovered him killing people in the streets of an unfamiliar town. Based on Soern’s extensive knowledge of architecture, he deduced that this was most likely Gorzam, a northern, unsavory sort of place from which Blank turned out to hail.
They did a bit of checking up on K’max’s, and discovered that he was some kind of fighter-type, worked for Mixastomere, and had been seen in town only a few times in the past six months. Soern cast a few protective spells on the ships, and they set sail for Gorzam.
They went down to Blank’s Uncle Grizby’s tavern, the Scurvy Seadog, and hung out there for a while. Blank delivered his package, and Grizby gave them the latest rumors—filled them in on the murders, mostly. There were several separate incidents, involving two people who were probably Gannen and Monala by description, where they killed a lot of people (or, rather, Gannen killed a lot of people, and Monala happened to be there) and then teleported away, taking the bodies.
Then they headed down to the black market, run by Blank’s childhood friend, Don Marko. He and Blank reminisced while Soern sold some things, and bought some things. (Most notably, the oils necessary for animate the dead, lesser.) He also checked up on Gannen (at the Temple of the Hora Quan, talking to a dracha), and Sigrid tried (momentarily) to buy a boat.
Then they visited to Pental and talked to Morek, who assigned Sigrid a henchman/assistant, a greataxe-wielding warmain named Jocelyn, after she (and the rest of the crew) explained their plans—bringing back the Hora Quan.
They sailed back to Ao-Manasa, picked up the items they’d ordered from Cer-Athene, and scried Gannen again. He was somewhere dark, probably underground, and they then made plans to teleport in and rescue him. They decided they would leave Paerk and Jocelyn behind, and the key with Paerk. (Because they didn’t want to have all the items on the list they’d found in the pirate hideout in one place.)
Soern teleported the rest of them, and they found themselves in a dark room with Gannen and Iu-Molan. Iu-Molan was somewhat confused, and Gannen was completely unresponsive. The room was filled with ice mephits, and a giant block of ice. The observant among them spotted a glittering jewel along the lines of what they had recovered from the Island of the Jeweled Trees in the ice. The quickly deduced that this had something to do with the second poem they’d found—and that it was very important not to melt the ice, because that would probably fulfill the requirements for reactivating the Hora Quan, which was exactly what Monala wanted.
Unfortunately, despite their care in battling the mephits, someone still let off a blast of fire. Someone invisible, probably Monala. The aftermath involved everyone fleeing (very dramatically) just inches ahead of the lava.
Monday, July 9, 2007
“Quick! Everyone on the ship! Jump him!” – Blank
“That’s okay, we don’t have to attack him anymore. Freaky, freaky Sigrid.” – Blank
“I have the other member of the crew.” -- Blank
“Oh?” – Ea-Shamar
“Yeah. Backstab McBackstab of the clan McBackstab.” – Blank
“I believe you owe me a good chunk of money. You know, there’s a little known fact about healing spells that they sometimes misfire.” – Paerk
“My genius plan is we bake a cake, and then we put all their stuff inside the cake.” – Blank
“I know everything’s so chaotic now, that sometimes people slip through the cracks. I know two people who need to.” – Sigrid
“Hot-air ships are full of win. That’s how they fly.” – Paerk
“I choose the banjo!” – Blank
“I accept.” – Hellas
“You do?” – Blank
“You’re not a guard! You’re a gardener.” – Sigrid
“He is a guard! And I’m a pirate! And together we’re like Chuck Norris and that one guy from Mars.” – Blank
Soern and Rellik had escaped to the ship, but Soern returned to the place where the wedding had been because he figured that the situation had probably been resolved. When he got there, Sigrid, under instructions from Monala to assist Blank with his plan, grappled him. She and Blank gave Soern a rough explanation of Blank’s agreement with Ea-Shamar, and Soern agreed to mostly go along with it if they would break him out of prison and share the money with him. (Sigrid refused to take any of the “blood money.”)
They went back to the ships, and Blank picked up a couple more followers in a bar somewhere on the way. On the ship, nearly got into a fight with Rellik, but Blank convinced him to come along quietly if he would break him out, share the money with him, and not tell Ea-Shamar his actual name. (Rellik didn’t think his organization would appreciate hearing of any involvement with the law.)
As it turned out, though, Captain Blank had no plans to share the money with the rest of the crew. He went to the Black Angle, bought some things from Cer-Athene. His plan to rescue Soern and Rellik involved cake. (Which he directed his minions to bake.)
Sigrid, meanwhile, recovered from the dominate spell, and decided to get Soern and Rellik out of jail the same way she had gotten Gannen out of jail: bribery. She had one of Blank’s minions put together a basic disguise, then went down to the Wicker Goat to talk to Oa-Tenasil, the other guard whose name Morek had suggested when she went to talk to him about rescuing Gannen. Oa-Tenasil agreed that it was very possible that these two individuals might get released, through some kind of clerical error, if Sigrid could provide a certain sum of money. (One thousand? Two thousand?)
Sigrid went back to the Black Angle and told Blank about her plan, and that they would be able to pick up Rellik and Soern tomorrow, at noon. He was very upset that she hadn’t even tried to let his plan work, and tried to sell the cake his minions had baked to Cer-Athene. When he wouldn’t buy it, Blank threw the cake at Sigrid, and stormed out of the bar in a drunken rage.
He went fishing. He caught a boot. And a bootfish.
Meanwhile, Paerk tried to commandeer one of the hot air balloons; Ea-Shamar gave him one, because, being faen sized, they weren’t particularly useful to her.
When Rellik and Soern got out, they were not happy about Blank’s plan. They apprehended him, and many angry words were exchanged. Eventually, they worked it out so that everyone got an even share, except Sigrid, who still didn’t want anything to do with it. (This meant canceling one of the orders Blank had placed with Cer-Athene.)
Rellik got his new mark, from under a rock—K’max’s, a dracha, in the Temple of the Hora Quan.
Then they went to see Uthar, and showed him the seeds. He told them that these were what they probably needed, and picked out one that he thought would work the best. They sold the rest.
Something about talking to Taevin’s contact.
Then they decided they should go talk to Hellas; apparently, he had been something of a terror until very recently, and was an associate of Illiam’s. They went to the bar he was at (The Rusty Bucket? The Rusty Scupper) and Blank challenged him to a duel. With a banjo.
He lost. Turned out, Hellas was very good with the banjo.
It also turned out that he hated Illiam, and probably had been working for him against his will, so they decided to let him alone for a while. Even though Blank wanted to turn him in for money, and Paerk wanted to arrest him.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Fourthmonth 8 (Continued)
A mostly boring afternoon. We visited the Mevarin household in the hopes of speaking with Ratham about why he was telling lies to the guards. Someone must have intimidated him. Oh, wait, that was us. Someone must have intimidated him better. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the Mevarin household, no one was home. I decided that Ea-Shamar might know where Ratham might be, so we decided to go see her. It turned out that she indeed did know where Ratham was. He was in protective custody. I asked if we could talk to him and she (very politely) refused our request. Typical.
We decided to go speak with Uthar Kalenil (from the list we found in the pirate's lair). We asked around the city and were directed to the University. It turns out he's a historian, as we had suspected. We arrived at the University library and I started talking to him. He asked me if I was new here, so I told him I came from the University in De-Shamod (not entirely a lie, as I did visit the University in De-Shamod once or twice). I asked a few questions about the Hor Quan, to which he gave vague, uninteresting answers. He directed us to some books and went back to his work. Soern read for a little while, not really learning much. I eventually decided I was bored and we left.
It was nearly sundown when we got underway for the Island of the Jeweled Trees. I'm already tired and I'm taking night watch duty tonight, so I suspect I will be really exhausted by tomorrow.
Night watch was boring (though significantly easier now that I can see in the dark; thank you Alastor) At dawn, I climbed down onto the deck and was greeted by Commodore Blank. He asked me if I has seen anything overnight, particularly anything that appeared to be a tentacley monster full of hatred and evil. I told him I had seen one of those, but it turned out it was just looking for directions for another pirate ship and had gone on it's merry way after enjoying a quick game of dancing bones with me. Commodore Blank didn't see the humour of my story and requested that I stay out of his sight for the rest of the day, lest I feel his icy wrath. I reminded him that wrath is metaphorically thought of as firey, not icy, but this just made him glare at me with a very cold stare until I went below deck. Note to self: Commodore Blank has a great sense of humour, except when it comes to krakens and ice.
Half of the crew was ill today. Blank suspects spoiled food. I suppose that's probably the case, though I feel fine. I spent the rest of the day tending to the sick. I also enlisted the help of a couple crewmen to look through the Ocean Blade's stores, tossing overboard a few things that appeared rotten or contaminated. I sent a message to Soern informing him that he should have some crewmen do the same.
Most everyone is recovered from yesterday's sudden illness. I haven't been sleeping much lately. Between watch duty, quartermaster duty, and nursing the sick, I've had precious little time to fit sleep into my schedule. Today was more of the same, really. I took daywatch and took the rest of the night off.
Mark and I made another wager again. He says we'll arrive at the Island of the Jeweled Trees tomorrow. After consulting with Blank (who, looking at his map, assured me were at least two days away still), I decided to take him up on his little bet. I figure I have got to win sometime.
Also, it was Moon's Eve today, which Commodore Blank reminded me of once or twice... a minute... all day. Silly witches.
First off, we did arrive at the Island of the Jeweled Trees today, so Mark won our bet.
It was a very busy and tiring day. We disembarked, leaving the young crewmen in charge of the boats (with orders to set sail if anything from shore threatened them). We then began heading up a cliff and were waylaid by no less than twenty crabs. We almost met our doom, but I managed to heroically hold them off until Soern could cast a massive acid explosion thing (which destroyed my idea of having a crab bake after we were done with our business here).
We continued up the cliff and into the jungle (which was indeed full of crystal trees). We then found the most peculiar red birds. They were quite pretty. Unfortunately, they were crazy-magical-annoying and were accompanied by two giant snakes. The battle was intense. Mark got grappled by one of the snakes, which then proceed to almost squeeze the life out of him. By angels' wings I managed to hit the snake with a massive, massive strike, cleaving it's head clean off and nearly dropping the Aur Xica due to the force of the blow. The Aur Xica seemed quite pleased with me (for once).
After the battle, Soern cast a detection spell to look for Gannen. He said that Gannen was farther up the path, so we continued on our way. We finally reached a clearing, surrounded by a curved glass wall with an opening. We stepped through the glass wall and noticed Gannen and Monala standing in the centre of six crystalline trees. I drew the Aur Xica and tried to charge Monala, but I hit an invisible wall of magic before I even got within 30 feet of her. She then (snidely) asked us what had taken us so long to get here and laughed at us. Then she kissed Gannen. Yes, she kissed him. I really hate Monala. I think I might have said something along the lines of “Bitter suns to you, you gob-friended maggot!” as she teleported away, though I can't be entirely sure. I was rather angry at the time. Fortunately for me, Blank didn't have time to tease my about my lovely vernacular, as the glass wall we had just walked through morphed into four glass golems. I put the energy of my anger towards Monala into the battle and we were triumphant (though I will admit that Soern's acid pits were far more useful than my fighting abilities in this particular battle).
After the battle, we went to inspect the circle of trees (the magical barrier had magically disappeared... I hate magic). We collected about 40 jewels from the trees, noting that they looked similar to the egg-sized gem we'd found at the Temple of the Hor Quan. We then returned to the ships, finding the crew safe and sound, much to my relief.
I hate Monala.
I feigned illness this morning to get out of crew duties. I'm really too depressed to be of much use today anyway, so I just laid around in my hammock most of the day.
I'm sorry I lost you, Gannen. I will find you. I hope you don't doubt me. I care more than you even know, perhaps more than I even should.
I hate Monala.
I felt bad about being lazy all day yesterday, so I ended up getting up at dusk last night and taking night watch. As usual, nothing to report.
I hate Monala.
I talked with the Aur Xica for a while today. I asked him if I was doing the right thing with all of this. His answer was, “Well, you've been killing things, so yes, you are definitely taking the correct course of action.” Typical answer for a sword, I suppose.
I hate Monala.
One of the kids fell overboard today in a patch of bad weather. I jumped into the water to save her, but all her flailing and grabbing at me nearly drowned us both. Fortunalely, Blank tossed us a rope and I managed to get both of us back onto the boat. Thankfully, she was perfectly okay once she calmed down and dried off.
I hate Monala.
The girl I pulled out of the water yesterday braided me a bracelet. I told her that she really didn't have to give me anything, but she was quite insistent. She even told me that I was “Almost as amazing as Commodore Blank,” which, I suppose, is her idea of a great compliment.
I hate Monala.