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Thread: Round 1: Team A

  1. #11
    Member
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    jdd2035's Avatar

    Name
    Captain Cain Jodin
    Age
    27
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Blonde
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'11
    Job
    Merchant Sailor/ Privateer

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    “On deck! Sail! Sail Ho!” cried the lookout stationed near the taffrail of the ship.

    Cain strode to the aft of the metal slug and asked the look out, “where away!?”

    The lookout turned and from his seat and shouted, “two points starboard abaft of us!”

    Cain nodded to himself, borrowed a telescope from one of the midshipmen, and peered through it. He leveled the glass to the horizon, and trained it on the ships in a smooth piot. The larger ship he recognised it as a caravel and she was beautiful. It was a caravell, at least sixty tons, with enormous square sails and a lateen one her foremast. She was ancient, but her decks gleamed white from faithful holystoning. Her hull was beautifully painted, and her cannons were old enough to fire marble shot, something that has not been used for centuries now. The strange thing was that they looked as if they were fired recently.

    Blinking, Cain trained his glass farther around the caravel and spotted a number of smaller boats. Most of them were fore and aft rigged outriggers with larger boats being catamarans. The boats were sailed expertly but the crew of the caravel seemed not quite as skilled with the bigger vessel. Nevertheless, the the strange fleet was catching up, only an hour or so behind.. “If they would adjust the trim they would overtake us in forty five minutes,” Cain said to no one in particular. He didn’t know off-hand whether the fleet with strange colors were meaning to attack, or just sailing on the same tack as the Phoenix. To that end, he ordered, “we shall beat to quarters!”

    There was a steady urgent drum beat as the hands began moving about the deck. In an organized chaos, and stream of humanity, each hand moved to where they were supposed to be. Not as practiced as the Peregrines were, thought Cain, but he was just an advisor, and not the captain here

    “Excuse me!” said a voice behind Cain.

    “Yes? How may I help you?” Cain asked with a touch of sharpness to his reply.

    The engineer said, “Mr. Osiris would like you to keep our starboard side to the incoming ships.”

    There was a definite difference between sea and shore etiquette, thought Cain as he said, “very well.” He then turned toward crew and gave a series of orders to slow down the ship. There was a series of whistles and calls as the sprit sail was rolled up and the ship began to slow down.

    As the strange fleet bore up on the Phoenix, Cain took another look at it through his glass and observed their signals movements and calls. A series of pendants (no not pendants, he thought, but streamers) were raised, and the smaller boats shifted position. “Fetch me a fresh log and a pen!” he ordered, never taking his glass off the fleet. Each streamer was of a different color or series of color.

    “Your log sir,” said the nearby voice of the ship’s steward, who was touching his knuckle to his brow.

    “Thank you,” Cain replied and began scribbling down notes.

    ~Blue, and red and white striped equaited to wear in succession. ~

    Cain once again looked through his scope focusing more on the crew members. They had a mottled grey skin with quills on the back. He focused his attention on what seemed to be the boatswain. The boatswain had begun to striking one of its idling subordinates with the end of the rope. Some things are universal, thought Cain. Then he observed something very strange - both the boatswain and his subordinates skin tone seemed to shift in shade and color. The boatswain’s skin first turned crimson, while the subordinate flashed a bright scarlet, followed by a pale yellow, followed by a faded blue. The subordinate’s shipmates carried on some sort of caper, and had a skin tone of light green.

    Thinking back to his younger days in the lower decks, Cain remembered the bitter end of the boatswain's rope. The boatswain had been annoyed that he was idling. Cain was pissed that he was struck by the rope, then feared being smacked again, and finally felt shame for being struck in the first place. Again he scribbled notes. Thanks to the expanse of the ocean, and the rumble of the steam engine, not to mention all the other sounds the steam engine made, he couldn’t hear what was being ordered on the other ships. Not yet, at any rate. He scribbled in the log again.

    ~Red equates to anger or annoyance.~
    ~Yellow equates to fear or startlement?~
    ~Blue equated to shame.~
    ~Green equated to joviality.~

    The fleet bore up closer and closer, and the crew of the Phoenix grew anxious. When the caravel came to within pistol shot, Cain had the opportunity to observe her crew more closely. There was a lot of orange, and yellow skin tones. If they meant to board us or give us a broadside, I suspect there would be more red and maybe some blue, Cain thought, and ordered, “‘vast quarters!”

    "Cain called for both the sailmaker, and the ship's carpenter mate. From the former, he asked for streamers that matched those of the strangers. From the latter, wooden planks painted green, blue, yellow, orange, and red. Both men touched their knuckles to their caps, and disappeared below."

    Minutes later, both crewmen were back on deck, awaiting new orders. Looking at his opposite member with consideration, Cain decided to try. “Green placard, hoist the red and white streamer!” The boatswain lifted the green placard while the red and white streamer.

    The captain of the caravel watched this, his skin tone changing to various shades of orange and green, and his quills shivered curiously. Eventually, the captain of the caravel grunted an order. The ship and the boats wore and formed up in a line, and the captain of the caravel pointed up at his signal line. Cain looked up and saw it had the red and white streamer with a yellow streamer. “Ok, making progress,” Cain said.

    Throughout the next hour, Cain and the captain of the caravel experimented with one another, using the streamers and various maneuvers, tacks and sail configurations. Through communications via signals, Cain learned enough that the crew of the fleet were in some sort of trouble. At this juncture, he was not sure what kind of trouble, but it begged to be investigated He gave the order. “Bare up and follow the fleets course.” After some calculations and consultation of the charts to double check, Cain knew he was going home. The fleet was sailing for Corone Cain then ordered a midshipman “Would you pass my compliments to Mr. Osiris and desire him to come up on deck.” The midshipman proceeded down below

  2. #12
    Administrator
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    Rayleigh's Avatar

    Name
    Rayleigh Aston
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Female
    Hair Color
    Brunette
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'3 / 115
    Job
    Mechanic

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    Though the walk to the camp lasted nearly an hour, the dusty road saw enough traffic to keep things interesting. The path was filled with passing Rangers, moving in groups of twos and threes. Hushed conversations carried between them, but the sounds fell away as the men approached Rayleigh. She hardly noticed their silence, or the strange glances that they offered, because the path was also filled with her questions.

    “What have they said?” the girl asked of her companion.

    Darin, another Ranger, and friend of Vance’s, shook his head. “Nothing,” he answered in his deep baritone. Then he frowned. “Well, they’ve said plenty, but not in any language that we recognize.”

    She mirrored his frown. Darin had first told Vance, and then told her, that the Rangers were working with a group of strange individuals. His reason for seeking them out was that these strangers needed a mechanic’s aid, but given the language barrier, Ray wondered how he could know that. “How do you know that they need a mechanic then?” she wanted to know.

    At this, Darin shook his head. “The refugees don’t need one,” he corrected gently. “I do. The Rangers do.” At her confused expression, he added, “that’s what we are assuming they are right now. Refugees. It also gives us something to call them, considering we’ve never seen anything like them before. They seem to be a new race.”

    His long strides carried him over a deep jut in the road; Ray’s short legs pumped twice as fast as she skirted the same hole. “Hmm,” came her thoughtful response. The idea of a new race intrigued her, but no more-so than a new job. As such, she asked, “why do you need a mechanic?”

    “They have some strange mechanical contraptions with them.” He shrugged, indicating that was the extent of his knowledge.

    But that was enough for Rayleigh. “I know about mechanical contraptions,” she informed him, seeing no need to feign modesty.

    When Darin spoke again, his tone, and his expression, were sheepish. “Vance told me about your ability.” Ray’s silence, and scowl, explained that it had not been Vance’s information to share. Yet considering the significance of the matter at hand, Darin continued. “That is why he recommended you help, rather than him.”

    The brunette snorted. When she spoke again, her words were dry, and humorless. “At least he recognizes that I’m better fit for this. Not sure where he gets off talking about me though.”

    Darin had never understood women, nor claimed to do so. He poured his heart into his work, so much so that he had little left to share with any person, and that suited him fine. But he did recognize the venom in her voice. And when a snake bared its fangs, poking it with a stick was altogether the wrong course of action. Even an idiot knew that much. He let the matter drop. “As I mentioned, no one has been able to communicate with the refugees. That means that there are questions as to who they are, and what they want.”

    His relief was nearly palpable as he steered her through the checkpoint, and led her to a waiting table. Other Rangers spared her curious glances, as their comrades had on the journey there. But amid the chaos of the camp, it seemed that there was little time to pay her much more than a passing thought. The same men clutched weapons, hurrying a short distance off, where shouts could be heard.

    As Rayleigh’s own curiosity got the best of her, she turned away from Darin, away from her table, and toward the scramble of bodies. “What’s all that?” she asked, squinting. When her gaze finally carved a single, fur-covered being from the crowd, those eyes quickly widened in startled surprise. Her voice, high-pitched and strained, could only be heard by Darin. “Is that a cat?”

    “Cat… person.” He struggled for the word, raking a hand through his neatly cut salt-and-pepper hair; the Ranger’s attention was clearly elsewhere. “Those are the refugees. I’m not sure what the commotion is, but I am going to find out.” He paused only long enough to point at the table, and state, “there’s the staff. No one has been successful in determining how it works. I hope you’ll do better.” And he was gone, loping off in the opposite direction.

    Surprise lingered a moment longer as Ray observed the scene, but the promise of new and wonderful technology soon drew her back. And Gods, was it extraordinary. The long staff that rest atop the table was ornately carved of a substance she could not identify. Though it nearly resembled stone, she carefully lifted it to find it weighed no more than a few pounds. She guessed that the precious gems that adorned the top of the piece were sapphires, but, like the material that comprised the staff, she could not be certain. “Interesting,” she hummed, pleasure bubbling up inside her as she closed both hands around the staff. A new mystery. She closed her eyes.

    There was darkness, as there always was. The palms of her hands grew warm, and as she took a steady breath, she felt the heat move up her arms, pooling in her chest. It took physical form there, appearing to her as strands of shimmering, rust-colored wire. Energy raced up and down those wires, up and down her, in a sensation she figured she would never grow entirely comfortable with. But it had been years since the first time, and she had more control. She knew what to do now. How to keep the hooded figures who lingered on the edge of her vision from breaking her concentration.

    She focused on those wires of untapped energy, cracking and simmering just beside her rapidly pounding heart. And she willed herself to draw from the force, pluck at the strands of light and heat. When she did, she was rewarded with a new vision. Though the mechanic still stood at the table, eyes closed, hands firmly clasping the staff, she saw herself in the middle of a war zone. Cat creatures, like the one she had found only a moment before, gripped the staffs to their chests as if their lives depended on it. Considering the reptilian creatures that swarmed them, the girl guessed that to be the case. Bright, brilliant bursts of blue light spilled from the staves, exploding against their enemies chests, forcing them backward. Mortified, Rayleigh watched the cat people as they scrambled for safety, their panic-stricken expressions painfully clear, even despite their unusual feline features.

    Overcome with both anger and fear, she felt her connection to the piece fracturing. It was a weapon, and she had sworn that she would do everything in her power to keep her precious technology from such vile deeds. Yet the fear she saw was undeniable, and while she wanted badly to hate the cats for what they had done, Rayleigh found it impossible. It was self defense. They truly were refugees.

    Her emerald eyes opened once more, and with a silence that was lost to the roar of the camp, she slowly set the staff back on the table.
    Althy's Judging Admin
    To try or not to try. To take a risk or play it safe.
    Your arguments have reminded me how precious the right to choose is.
    And because I've never been one to play it safe, I choose to try.




  3. #13
    The White Wolf
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Human
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    Brown
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    6'0", 155lbs
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    "Executor" (Leader) of the Brotherhood

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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris had rarely enlisted the help of hired hands for the Brotherhood as freely as he had done on this mission. However, he had found that the return on Cain Jodin’s employment was already surprisingly pleasant. As the midshipman reported the seaman’s polite request for his presence, the Brotherhood leader nodded in the affirmative and grabbed his coat, taking off through a series of passageways on the upper deck that connected his official quarters to the starboard side of the ship.

    Given the monumental task ahead of them, the Telgradian was further surprised by how far the experienced sailor had got in managing their crisis. With systems still only running at just above a third of available power, Jodin had managed to not only steady the ship but had also set about attempting to establish a common system of communication with the odd creatures. As Shinsou stood on the deck, soaking up the morning sun and swaying in the sea breeze, he observed curiously as Jodin demonstrated his colourful array of flag signals.

    “Jodin believes we have made contact,” Malachi’s voice appeared from behind Shinsou; his first mate seemingly materialising from nowhere to be at the Telgradian’s side. Shinsou’s eyebrows rose.

    “What do we know?”

    “All early signs indicate some sort of distress, as we thought. Not only that,” The short, stubby man handed over a copy of Cain’s log, “These things aren’t from any race or culture we recognise. They are responding to our signals but not in any standard way recognised by any of Althanas’s seafarers. Oh, it also seems that their skin changes colour with their mood or their emotions. We’re trying to fathom each one out now.”

    Shinsou’s eyes followed the spider like scrawls across the page.

    ~Red equates to anger or annoyance.~
    ~Yellow equates to fear or startlement?~
    ~Blue equated to shame.~
    ~Green equated to joviality.~


    He flicked the page thoughtfully.

    “Mr Jodin,” The Telgradian called, folding the pages of the log between his fingers. “Make it as clear as you can, by whatever means, that we are able to help them. Get close enough to establish a moor, and prepare a boarding party.”

    From the corner of his eye, the Telgradian noticed a small but well-armed and equally well organised group of mercenaries, headed by the stone-faced Razel. They waited patiently, watching with weathered expressions and experienced eyes as the caravel drew closer on the breeze. They seemed to dislike Jodin’s crew. Most of them ensured that there was some sort of segregation at all times between their own and the sailors who attended to Jodin, and unlike the seaman they seemed to be wary of the creatures aboard. Razel, especially, seemed on edge with the Telgradian’s orders, stiffening up and glaring at him.

    “Razel, please escort Mr Jodin safely aboard their ship when it moors. I am counting on you.”

    Shinsou saw her as sleek and dangerous; a cold woman who would do anything for a quick buck. She wasn’t much different to any other mercenary types he had encountered in his time. Seeds of doubt as to her absolute loyalty to the mission were starting to be sown, even with her earlier exemplary performance taken into account. After all, she was not of the Brotherhood. The bigger picture would be lost on her the moment the pay hit her purse.

    Perhaps Razel was concerned that the action and the money would dry up faster than anticipated.

    Or, perhaps, she is worried that we’re about to be ambushed…

    Althanas Operations Administrator


    Off through the new day's mist I run - Out from the new day's mist I have come - I hunt therefore I am - Harvest the land - Taking of the fallen lamb - Shape shift, nose to the wind - Shape shift, feeling I have been - Move swift, all senses clean - Earth's gift, back to the meaning -

    Back to the meaning Of Wolf and Man


  4. #14
    Member

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    Razel's Avatar

    Name
    Razel
    Age
    21
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Female
    Hair Color
    Dark Dirty Red
    Eye Color
    Aqua Blue

    The fact that Shinsou and Jodin believed in what they were doing, both amused and irritated Razel. It seemed foolish to be assuming anything about these creatures. Here they were all stood on deck for the eyes of the strange race to witness. Were they giving away too much too soon? She believed so, and this act of communication seemed foolhardy and even over-ambitious. The mass of ships all floated towards Corone, seemingly sailing to the same destination like a race to the finish line, although in this situation it was potentially all vs one.

    The first thought that crossed her mind was that of fear. Fearing the unknown was not a stupid thing, it had kept animals alive for thousands of years while curiosity had proved to be the end of many others. Still, in the open water and outnumbered by a fleet of ships there was little they could do to fight back. Coming aboard though, that was something they could defend, face to face, weapon to weapon, life to life.

    Shinsou had continued that same suspicious look in her direction, both pretentious and presumptuous with his thoughts and actions. Her attitude filled stance didn’t help, leaning on one leg, hand on her hip, and followed with a sceptical glance that peered up through her hanging strands of red hair that hid her face.

    Razel though, had been stubborn her entire life, it had kept her alive this long, so it can’t have been a bad thing. One would think she was paid to agree with him, but that was a lie, she was there to be watchful even when he wasn’t.

    Lian, standing firm in the cold salty sea wind, placed a firm hand on her shoulder and squeezed, their fun and games had been left at the card table, and the group openly feared the worse. “We’re sitting ducks. Regardless of where we stand, we need to stand together if things go south.”

    “I know.” Razel bit her lip to hold her tongue, then turned away from view of Shinsou. “I don’t get why a fleet of unknown ships is cause not to worry… But what do I know? I suppose I’m just a Merc.”

    “We… What do we know…” Lian corrected her in a supportive manner. His rough voice low and almost a whisper under the sound of the loud swaying waves against the ship.

    It was a little strange to have such strong support from the other Mercenaries. Razel hadn’t known any of them before this venture, and while in their spare time she had proved easy to connect with, they had bonded quicker than even she expected. Lian never seemed to stray too far from her, he was a bold and even fearless man, although, while he hadn’t approached her directly, he displayed a nature of fondness towards her. He was often tormenting her in a teasing act, and being that bit touchy feely, such as his shoulder squeeze moments ago. An associate needn’t give that, but Lian had done it on more than one occasion. She was sure he’d take a bit more if she let him. Though she hadn’t the time or moment to consider such a thing.

    Lian then continued as they huddled in a group. “I am concerned he trusts us very little.”

    “Trust… “ Razel repeated back. “He trusts us enough to give orders and leave us to it. He’s not exactly asking me to suck him off… Might bite his dick off.” A few smirks and chuckles echoed over the group as Razel’s crude humour continued to amuse. The men loved it, she was easy on the eye but was no polite lady, something that caught the men’s imagination. “Let’s ease off this conversation… We’re gonna keep the trust we’ve earned. Those fucking, colour changing lizards have nothing… I’m keeping my eyes and ears open until we know what’s really going on here!”

  5. #15
    Member
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    jdd2035's Avatar

    Name
    Captain Cain Jodin
    Age
    27
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Blonde
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'11
    Job
    Merchant Sailor/ Privateer

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    Cain touched his knuckle to his tricorn and said, “aye, Sir.” There was already an idea running through his mind. As soon as Osiris had let Cain have command of the Phoenix, he set the crew to work.Turning to the signal midshipman, he ordered, “signal the strange ship. We desire to board and parley.” He then turned to the master's mate and ordered, “close to the strange ship and set an accommodation ladder between our ships.”

    It didn’t take long, because as the Phoenix closed towards the strange ship it did the same. The accommodation ladder was laid between the two ships, and Cain, with a midshipmen, touched their knuckles to their brow toward who they assumed to be the captain. The “captain” thumped his right hand against its left shoulder, and said, “Anch-Toch.” Cain assumed that to be an introduction. Likewise Cain pointed at himself and said his name.

    Both captains had observed one another's ships enough to recognise salutes, names and titles. Though Cain would never know it, Anch-Toch had even boarded the larger ship from his smaller catamaran, with the intention to get a better vantage point. Now it was time for the hard work. Reaching into his breast pocket, Cain produced a small metal tool which was used to work knots and rigging in a sailing vessel. He showed it to Anch-Toch, said “Marlinspike,” then demonstrated its purpose. Anch-Toch then pointed at the same tool and said “Kat`es`ska.” The next hour both captains pointed at various pieces of equipment and named names, with Cain’s midshipman keeping copious notes, and one of the lizard folk doing the same.

    Progress was made, Cain had learned the terms for most of the sails, rigging, tools, and rates of the crew, as did Anch-Toch. There was an awful amount of information lost between the pair of captains, but progress was progress. Eventually, Anch-Toch showed a set of charts, and began to tell a story in gestures, images drawn, and words Cain had learned. Another hour went by, and eventually Cain was back on the deck of the Phoenix explaining the situation to Osiris. First off, he explained who they were, and where the fleet had came from. Then he added, “the ship’s name is the Ke`lay eswa, and her Captain is Anch-Toch. The Ke’lay eswa fleet is tracking down a ‘fleet of cat men’ that took an important tool from them.” It was the best translation he could come up with, but he thought it served its purpose.
    Last edited by jdd2035; 02-18-17 at 12:30 PM.

  6. #16
    Administrator
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    Rayleigh's Avatar

    Name
    Rayleigh Aston
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Female
    Hair Color
    Brunette
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'3 / 115
    Job
    Mechanic

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    "Rayleigh." Darin was there behind her, the tension that drew thin lines across his brow also heavy in his voice. "I am sorry, but you have to go back into town."

    She either chose to ignore his words, or merely did not hear them, too consumed by the fresh vision that remained imprinted on her memory. "Do you want to know what I saw?" Without giving him time to respond, she spoke again. "The staffs are weapons." The word was sour, and her her lips pursed with it; there was no doubt as to her disapproval.

    But Darin's did not have the time to investigate her dislike further. He shifted from one foot to the other, throwing a hurried glance over his shoulder, before assuring her, "we know."

    Oblivious to his impatience, she continued. "The blue stones provide some sort of energy, which can be shot like some sort of laser." Her finger tips hovered above the staff before her, but only to indicate the stones she referenced. She would not touch the thing again, for fear or reliving her vision.

    "We know," he said again.

    This was enough to get her attention. "You do?" she asked him. "How?"

    Darin prided himself on his mild manner, and nearly unflappable temper. And he really did like the doe-eyed mechanic. But given the circumstances, his thin thread of patience was drawn taut, and at the risk of snapping. "Because they have begun shooting them."

    Horror darkened her expression, her eyes widening, her mouth falling open wordlessly. Only after a handful of seconds, which felt like hours to Darin, did she speak. "At the Rangers?"

    He shook his head impatiently. "No, up into the air. A warning, probably. So we are evacuating all non-essential personnel until we figure things out. That means you. I apologize for bringing you out here just to end you back, but we have no choice. You can leave through that gate-"

    "They are afraid," she interrupted. Suddenly, she felt an overwhelming need to share all she knew. "I saw them being attacked by lizard people. In my vision, I mean."

    Darin nodded, apparently unsurprised, even by the mention of lizards. It seemed the situation was already so unusual that nothing could make it more so. "I figured something had them running scared." A thought occurred to him, and he fished a small, rumpled piece of paper from his pocket. After a hurried attempt to smooth it out, he offered it to the woman. "Did you see this symbol in your vision?"

    Ray accepted the paper, studied it, and frowned. "No."

    "Well, hold onto it, and see if something comes to you." There was little hope in his deep-set blue eyes, but he figured that it was worth a shot. "One of the refugees drew it in the dirt. If you recognize it, send a note in with another Ranger." Now he was all but pushing her back toward the checkpoint, as the shouting from the mob grew louder. "Back the way you came," he told her. "Go quickly."

    "Be safe," Ray commanded, clutching the worn paper tighter. Darin merely offered her a small, tired smile that fell far short of reassuring.



    Nothing had come to her, though she had stared at the paper for the entire walk back. Though she had avoided returning to the shop, altogether too anxious to focus on work. Though she had desperately willed herself to remember. The emotions that coursed through her ranged from pity for the cats to frustration at her own incompetence. Her vision had not given the Rangers anything that they did not already know, and when they had asked one simple thing of her, she could not deliver. "What are you?" she snarled at the paper, but she was answered with only the lapping of water, and the typical sounds of a bustling port at midday.

    Her restless wanderings had brought her back to the dock, where some part of her had hoped to find inspiration. Another part of her had hoped to spot the unusual boats again. As she passed a stack of crates, and had her first unobstructed view of the sea, she was not disappointed. The ships were there, nearer know than they had been before. Only this time, they were escorted by a much larger ship.

    Despite the negative emotions that still swarmed beneath the surface, unbridled joy lit her face like sunshine. She recognize the mechanical monster as an Alerarian steamship. Not only had Rayleigh worked on dozens of ships just like it in her short twenty two years, she spent the first twenty of them in Alerar. Pure, simple nostalgia warmed her.

    Unfortunately, the sensation was short lived. As the mechanic focused on the ship, she was able to distinguish its sound from the ambient noise of the port. It was sick, she realized with panic. Where she should have heard the powerful, measured sound of steam and turbines, she heard only sharp clanks, clumsy thuds, and the ship's shuddering gasps for breath. Her response was the same as if she had been observing the suffering of a dying animal.

    Thoughts of the cat people, the unusual symbol, and even the mysterious catamarans were shelved as concern for the ship pushed to the forefront. The small woman paced the length of the dock as she watched the great ship limp closer. And when it finally slowed to a halt beside her, and the crew went about the extensive mooring process, she all but assaulted the nearest mate.

    “Your ship is sick,” she informed him hurriedly. Then, realizing what she had just said, she corrected, “broken. I can hear it.”

    He regarded her warily, then deeming her harmless, nodded. “Aye.”

    “Do you need me to take a look?”

    The man lifted an eyebrow. He had figured that anyone could recognize the sounds of a ship in distress, but he had not pegged her as someone with the know-how to fix it. He gave a shrug, and pointed toward a second sailor. “That, over there, is Malachi. He is the chief engineer. You might talk to him if you-”

    But she was already striding away, expression set in hard determination. She had heard everything that she needed to hear - if there was anyone who would understand her, it was this man.

    “Busted ship?” she mused aloud.

    Without glancing up from the part he turned over in his hands, Malachi grunted. “Goddamned propulsion rods.” It was only then that he recognized the voice as female, and when he finally rounded on her, it was with an apology. “Excuse me, ma’am.”

    She merely gave a careless wave of her hand. “I suspected as much. Sounds a bit like you have some steam build up too.” Glancing at the piece he held, she added, “bronze-nickel alloy?”

    Appreciation lit the man’s eyes. “You’re a mechanic.” It was not a question.

    “Alerar’s best,” she assured him, wasting no time on modesty. “Need help?”

    Malachi hummed his approval. If anyone knew her way around a ship, it was a mechanic from Alerar. “I'll take you up on that. With everything else that has happened today, it will be nice to have another dependable hand.”

    “Wild day?” Rayleigh asked, reflecting on her own run-in with the cat people.

    The chief engineer thought of the giant lizards and frowned. “You have no idea.”
    Althy's Judging Admin
    To try or not to try. To take a risk or play it safe.
    Your arguments have reminded me how precious the right to choose is.
    And because I've never been one to play it safe, I choose to try.




  7. #17
    The White Wolf
    EXP: 56,454, Level: 10
    Level completed: 23%, EXP required for next level: 8,546
    Level completed: 23%,
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    AP
    8
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Brown
    Eye Color
    Gold
    Build
    6'0", 155lbs
    Job
    "Executor" (Leader) of the Brotherhood

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    They had finally reached their destination.

    The number ten dock was a new dry dock built to service the imperial navy’s largest caravels; a huge wooden box over eight hundred feet long, larger than it had to be. The Golden Phoenix had been slowing for several minutes, and it was another two hundred yards before she came to a complete halt. A small fleet of Coronian service ships had pushed her bow round.

    Shinsou would have preferred to power his own way in but the damaged drive-shaft made manoeuvring tricky.

    As the steam-ship settled on the black water of Etheria port, the Telgradian ordered his men topside to handle the lines tossed to them by a handful of sailors on the rim of the dock. A canvas cover the size of a clipper’s mainsail was drawing over the bow of the ship so that repairs could be made in earnest, and as the final drawstrings pulled shut, a group of thirty or so relieved men began cheering like fans at a game of hock-ball. The only thing that was missing was the band.

    “Shut down everything. I want all the engines off until we can find someone to make everything work again.” Shinsou said with authority in his tone. As he stood on deck to oversee preparations for maintenance, he wondered what to do about his reptilian guests, the Numantians. It had taken an age for Jodin to semi-accurately translate the name for the collective of chameleonic lizards, and even then the Telgradian wasn’t sure it was correct, but they at least now had something to go on.

    But what to do with them? They had been riled by the theft of this tool or item, so much so that they had gotten themselves into complications and were even prepared to parley with what they must have considered to be an alien vessel to get help.

    Surely someone must know who these people are, and Corone is as good a place as any to start looking for that person.

    The canvas over the Phoenix’s nose was hardly in place when a woman, and in front of her a short and stubby man with oil stains almost up to his elbows, walked up the gangway and strode across deck towards Shinsou. He recognised the man in front as Malachi.

    “Shinsou,” the pot-bellied man huffed, “I’d like to introduce you to Rayleigh Aston. She’s a mechanic from Alerar; I believe she might be able to help us with fixing the drive-shaft. Do I have permission to take her down to the engine room?”

    Shinsou turned and greeted the mechanic with a simple nod, his eyes sizing her up. She stood about five foot three; unassuming and rather plain. To the naked eye, one would have wondered what all the fuss was about. However, the Telgradian knew Malachi and knew full well that not one person from outside their ranks would have been allowed to place a foot on the Phoenix unless his chief-engineer was utterly without doubt as to their value. Without trust we cannot have synergy. Without synergy, we become individuals capable of much less than we’re worth. Shinsou repeated to himself. His earlier caution to Razel held no less worth now than it did then.

    “Permission granted. Welcome aboard the Golden Phoenix, Rayleigh. I am Shinsou Vaan Osiris,” The Telgradian dipped at the waist slightly, showing a politeness reserved only for complete strangers “and I am the Executor of the Brotherhood and the captain of this ship. I hope you can help us, because we need all the expertise we can get.”

    The trio hurried down the exterior ladder next to Jodin’s makeshift sails. The descent into the heart of the ship wasn’t at all easy as the three battled human traffic and moving cargo throughout the dank corridors of the Alerarian ironclad. Malachi was puffing as they reached a fork in the main corridor, splitting the already overcrowded living quarters from the more technical areas of the boat. Shinsou helped the pair over the bridge coaming before stopping just short of one of the larger rooms.

    It was then, as they passed, a pair of crimson eyes stared out into the cold metal intestines of the ship. The Telgradian stopped and looked in to meet them.

    Anch-Toch, the leader of the Numantians, sat on the cold floor despite the adequate seating around him. His companions were dotted about the room in similar fashion, curiously all refusing to sit on the metal chairs provided and huddled in small groups of two or three. Little had changed to improve their moods; ever since they had come on board the same array of pigments showed in each of them. Nothing but scarlet reds, dark oranges and jet blacks adorned their leathery skins.

    Fear, resentment and anger. Shinsou observed, recalling Jodin’s earlier notes. Whatever those cats stole, it must have been important.

    The tribe leader turned his elongated face to Shinsou. Anch-Toch looked worried and even a little sad. His skin shone a golden yellow; the colour of fear. But the question rang again and again in Shinsou’s mind; a fear of what? Of this ‘tool’ being used against them? Of vulnerability without it? What?

    The explanation would have to wait, at least until Jodin was available to translate again. A meeting of eyes revealed nothing further except the slightest exchange of amicable feelings rising above the cloud of uncertainty, marked by a slight adjustment in both Anch-Toch’s body language and pigmentation. This wasn’t Shinsou’s fraternity, but he understood the universal language of facial expressions.

    “These are, I believe, called the Numantians.” Shinsou began, introducing the small group of bipedal reptilians to their newest mechanic. “We picked them up about five miles outside of Etheria.”

    “Actually, they caught us up,” Malachi interjected, “on account of our engine failing.”

    “Right,” Shinsou acknowledged, “and unfortunately, bar a sterling effort from our right hand on deck to translate their language as best as we could, we are struggling to understand fully what has happened to them. All we know is their ship, the Ke`lay Eswa, was in some sort of distress. They were giving chase to what has been described as ‘a fleet of cat-people’. They seem to have stolen something important from them. I’m not quite sure if that translated correctly, though.”

    For a moment all was quiet, as if there was a fear that speaking about this in front of them would further sour the already grim atmosphere. The Telgradian turned to face Rayleigh and gestured to Anch-Toch.

    “This one, whose name is Anch-Toch, is their leader.”

    By now, Shinsou was clutching at straws in his quest to find someone who knew who the fuck these people were and where they had come from. If Rayleigh was none the wiser, and he had no reason to believe she would be, perhaps the Brotherhood's vast archives at Whitevale could point him in the right direction.

    Althanas Operations Administrator


    Off through the new day's mist I run - Out from the new day's mist I have come - I hunt therefore I am - Harvest the land - Taking of the fallen lamb - Shape shift, nose to the wind - Shape shift, feeling I have been - Move swift, all senses clean - Earth's gift, back to the meaning -

    Back to the meaning Of Wolf and Man


  8. #18
    Administrator
    EXP: 23,017, Level: 6
    Level completed: 44%, EXP required for next level: 3,983
    Level completed: 44%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,983

    AP
    52
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    2,980
    Rayleigh's Avatar

    Name
    Rayleigh Aston
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Female
    Hair Color
    Brunette
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'3 / 115
    Job
    Mechanic

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    "That's wrong."

    The words escaped her without warning, and without consideration. Turning the corner to find the lizard people had caught her breath, and sent her mind racing. They looked just as they had in her vision, though the shade of their skin was slightly different. She had pictured solid colors, and the group that huddled before her sported a variety of hues. Still, it was surreal to see them there, after the mysterious figures had haunted her vision. Then, she had been so sure that the lizards had brutally attacked the cat people. Those emotions still lingered, though they had been pushed to the back of her consciousness. As she watched the strangers, the anger breached the surface once more.

    First, she had forgotten herself, and spoke without thought. But as her outburst had attracted all eyes to her, she rode the raw emotion, and continued to speak. "I'm sorry, but that isn't true."

    Malachi spoke first. "What are you talking about?"

    The mechanic's lips pursed as she struggled to come up with an explanation that did not take too much time, nor reveal too much about herself. "I have an ability." Might as well dive in head-first. "I can see a machine's past, just by touching it. I'm not sure why I can do it, and I'm still trying to control it, but-" She waved a hand in the air, indicating she was rambling; it was a terrible nervous habit. "Anyway, I was asked to look at a piece of machinery earlier this afternoon. A group of refugees had come under the protection of the Rangers. They're a really weird race, kind of cat-like. Sort of like what you just described," the last bit was spoken directly to Shinsou.

    "And they had these strange weapons," she continued. "When I touched the weapons, I saw the refugees." Her hands extended, palms up, motioning to the collection of individuals before her. "They were being chased by these lizard people." The group that she spoke of merely stared back at her, their eyes unusually large on their reptilian faces. While she had been assured they could not understand her tradespeak, it was clear that they were watching her intently. Did they have any idea what she accused them of?

    The other humans who surrounded her watched her as well. The group fell into silence, more than likely working to process the information she had just unloaded on them. As her jade eyes scanned their expressions, Rayleigh noted that a few other individuals had joined their small party. Whether they had simply wandered in, or been intrigued by her presence, she could not say for sure. Malachi left her little time to mull it over.

    He coughed once, raked his hand through his hair, and stated, "that is quite a story."

    "I know," the mousy woman answered hurriedly. "I know it is, and you hardly know me, so you have no reason to believe me. But I'm just telling you what I saw."

    Malachi heaved a sigh, and glanced toward his captain. When Shinsou said nothing, he spoke again. "Is there anything you can show us? From the refugee camp, perhaps?"

    Any evidence to prove your outlandish claims. The words hung unspoken in the crowded room, and to Rayleigh, the air suddenly felt altogether too thin. "Uh, yes," she replied, easing the crumpled paper from the thin pocket of her breeches. She offered it to the chief engineer, but her gaze never wavered from Shinsou's golden eyes. "This is just a sketch, but the refugees carved it into the dirt. I have no idea what it means."
    Althy's Judging Admin
    To try or not to try. To take a risk or play it safe.
    Your arguments have reminded me how precious the right to choose is.
    And because I've never been one to play it safe, I choose to try.




  9. #19
    Member

    AP
    5
    GP
    200
    Razel's Avatar

    Name
    Razel
    Age
    21
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Female
    Hair Color
    Dark Dirty Red
    Eye Color
    Aqua Blue

    Razel observed and followed. Shadowing the other members of the crew as they discussed and fretted. The growing concern to their situation plagued her mind like nothing else mattered, and she was able to see everything without even the slightest part of acknowledgement. Was it that she was unimportant? Or that there was simply too much going on for anyone else to take notice of the lost souls aboard this ship.

    The Golden Phoenix was a grand name for a ship that now felt so bland when stood upon its deck. Without a fully working engine it’s woes would ultimately descend deeper into despair. Shinsou ran this ship with half a faithful crew, while the other half remained half paid and half arsed at that. They had been salaried to take control of the ship, not to serve as future believers for Brother of the Castigar’s cause.

    The words of her fellow Mercenaries echoed in her conflicted mind. “We could just take whatever money we can find, and get out of here. We’re docked, we aren’t needed anymore. We’ve done our job… F*** hanging round here with a bunch of lizards!”

    Razel stood at stern of the deck, the shoreline stretching out into the distance before her, while just behind her, a ship of complicated mechanical problems and confused thugs. She’d be lying if she denied being one of the thugs group, but she had always wanted more than that, to be more than a mercenary who followed orders. She had never been as free as she thought she was, not while she worked for the Brotherhood.

    The recognisable footsteps of the heavy booted Lian approached from behind, but he wasn’t alone. Their expressions were clear as the sky above them, they were fed up, bored with waiting and displaying their unpredictable nature of loyalty. The hardened men carried what little things they owned and appeared to be waiting on her, but Razel had wanted to await Shinsou’s further payment - if it ever came.

    “Mr. Osiris is too busy to consider that we’ve overstayed on our agreement.” Lian said sternly and with no stutter. He meant every word that was leaving his lips. “We’ve agreed to head inland and find something else. Wanted to give you a chance to join us?”

    “You…” She paused, wanting to make a joking comment, only to realise it would fall short to their temperament.

    “Jokes over, Raz.” Not even a smirk graced his face. They were here from an earned respect, nothing else. “We won’t ask again.”

    This trip with the brotherhood was such a small part of her life, this would all probably be forgotten and resigned into the deepest recesses of her mind. There had to be something more exciting on the horizon for her, be that with Lian and the others, or even if she was to head out of her own.

    The only thing that made her hesitate was her word. Did she still owe Shinsou her time? Granted, he was an arrogant man who she had found difficult to deal with, but that didn’t mean she would betray a promise to him. Still, the ship was taken and had reached the docklands safely. A potential storm of war was on the horizon, these reptilian people had come to fight for something, and in truth Razel didn’t know what. Only a fool openly looked for a war, that or their bloodthirsty urges were higher than that of the average sane person. Razel would rather live.

    “Okay. Let’s get out of here.” Razel replied as she checked herself. Her few belongings still on her person, she had nothing else keeping her here.

  10. #20
    Member
    EXP: 10,590, Level: 4
    Level completed: 32%, EXP required for next level: 3,410
    Level completed: 32%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,410

    AP
    30
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    jdd2035's Avatar

    Name
    Captain Cain Jodin
    Age
    27
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Blonde
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'11
    Job
    Merchant Sailor/ Privateer

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    Cain had spent the last several hours studying the lizard folk listening, to them talk, and interact with them. He focused especially Captain Anch-Toch. Anch-Toch was a lizard after his own heart, a thorough seagoing creature, who was not a flogging, or in this case, a caning captain. The same could be said for his midshipmen. He was not a black guarding captain either, and he kept his crews well practiced. In spite of the sorrow on the whole, his ship was an efficient one.

    When the engineer came aboard, he had been busy training Osiris’ crew how to dip the eye around bollard, and how to properly moore a ship the size of the Phoenix. But presently, he had caught up with the engineer, and Osiris. He listened as Rayleigh explain her side of the story, pursing his lips in concern.

    “With your permission” Cain said taking the piece of paper from Malachi he looked it over. The symbol was familiar to him, as he had seen it on the caravell Ke`lay Eswa; it was on the Ke’lay’s colors, it was carved along the railing and painted on the sails, and it was stylized in the captain's quarters. Scratching his chin, Cain stepped over to Captain Anch-Toch and bid him to come with him. “With my compliments,” he said in trade speak and then in Anch-Toch’s language. “Follow me.”

    When the pair found a better lit part of the ship, Cain showed the paper to Anch-Toch. Anch-Toch’s eyes widened, his skin changed hues, and he started chattering faster than Cain could keep up. Eventually though, Anch-Toch called one of his own midshipmen near, pointed at his forearms, and pointed at the symbol. The lizard midshipman then raised his arms in a blocking stance, and Anch-Toch hit the arms. Cain understood, or at-least got the idea.

    Thanking Captain Anch-Toch, and returning to the group with him in tow, Cain addressed Rayleigh. He took his tricorn off, and spoke in the utmost sincerity. “Ma’am, I am Captain Cain Jodin of the Private Man O’war Peregrine, and I am humbly at your service. I have spent near two thirds of my life on the sea and upon my honor, I can tell you Captain Anch-Toch is not a blackguardly captain.” He offered his communication logue to the mechanic. “They are quite concerned about the loss of this symbol, or whatever this symbol represents. I can not tell you about their home culture, but I can tell you that they feel that they have had an injustice done upon them. After asking him about this symbol, I believe it to be some sort of a defencive object.” Cain’s face showed a sanguine sincerity. He truly wished to know the whole story.

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