Old January 21, 2010, 05:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[OPEN] Markalin's Lament: Lovers and Oracles

Morning. 50th Melora, Winter, Era XVII in the POST-FRACTUM

A woman had washed up on the shore.

It was the last day of winter, which in Eunesia meant rain and a few cold days interrupting their regular beach weather, and spring, the first real spring in a long time for much of the continent, was already in the salt breeze and between the palm leaves. Secyclion had had a quiet winter. The usual festivals, the usual dramatics, the locals’ usual histrionics, although there had been a kerfuffle about a new settlement discovered on Eosnesi island, a Linn Feanii shanty town. The city still had no thane, but no crisis had yet warranted more than the stewardship of the local government. The local militia was almost capable of bringing peace, law, and order to the streets of Neos Megalis, between their necromancy hunts, out-of-control religious orders, and the raving lunacies of Nexian anarchists. The force of nature, the life impulse, the tremors and undulations that broke the regular patterns of mortal lives, had to return at some point.

Melora, the 50th, Markalin’s Lament. The day when all Secyclionians and all men and women whose lives depended on the sea mourned Daphne’s tragic death, for she had been Markalin’s lover. On this day, aeons ago, she had been devoured by a leviathan, Kukkachuk. Markalin, furious that she had been sacrificed by her countrymen, sank the island of Brujeya, east of the Trident, and imprisoned Kukkachuk. On this day, all Secyclionians, from Neos Megalis, Arthro Galanos, or Toichos Kikkimos, came down to Nephele Beach to toss flowers into the sea. None sailed from Secyclionian’s harbour. No fisher-men, no sea-merchants, not even (or especially not) the pirates. Many even travelling across the Eunesian seas had harboured here so as not to be caught on the seas.

And there, like the head of a wrecked ship, stood a woman. A Nereid? An oracle? An apparition of the dead? She was draped in a gown like sea-water, stood like Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses. To the assembled Secyclionians, who were many, standing with her feet still in the water, among the scattered orchids, she pronounced:

“Beware, Secyclionians, for the wrath of Markalin on this day of mourning is great. Many on this island have offended, and if the wrongs are not righted, all on this island will suffer. Remember Brujeya. A Daphne has been stolen from Markalin’s arms, on the eve of this very day of mourning, from this very shore. Many are to blame. Salmoneus. Bloodbeard. Clytemnestra. Secyclionians, you are leaderless, adrift. Only strength will save you. Markalin’s wrath extends to you all.”

Anyone who came to the agoras, sat in the cafes, walked the streets, hung out in the bars on the Main, would have heard the rumours of late. There was a girl, the daughter of Salmoneus, a wealthy Secyclionian noble. Her name was Tyro. A strange yet magnificent girl. She spent each evening strolling Nephele Beach, and the rocky shores beyond. They said she had fallen in love with the sea. One night, Salmoneus had spied on her stroll to a far cove, and had seen her make love to a bearded man in the water. Livid, only yesterday, he had sold her to Barabas the Money-lender, to pay off a debt he owed, as her punishment. Even the staunchest, most traditional Secyclionians knew it was a cruel punishment.

By morning, a fishermen who had made it to Secyclion before dawn and the moratorium on setting out to sea, brought rumours that a gang of pirates had brought a beautiful Secyclionian captive to Eosnesi, and they had been seen travelling through the forests and over the volcano, where they said a sorceress lived in her tower.

“We are doomed!” shouted a woman.

“The end is neigh!”

“Markalin save us!”

“Markalin will be our end!”

“Curse Salmoneus!”

“Damn him! Damn him!”

“Tyro, Tyro, Tyro.”

“We will die like the Brujeyans!”

“Spare us, Markalin! We are not guilty!”

The oracle replied to the chorus, “If Tyro is not saved by next dawn, Tesalyon, the ancient beast, will come, and all will drown.”

A buzzing of flies. Dead wind. The Eunesian sea was still as marble. And yet the Secyclionians felt the rumbles and the waves and the thunder behind the thin tranquility on the last day of winter.

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Old January 27, 2010, 12:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Aurelius had returned back to the island briefly. He had found the place interesting in its openess about its behavior. The large sexy man had been getting ready to leave on this brightening but then had heard the tragic story. He had listened with a stony face and a amused mind.

So it was then that he had been told about the behavior of some rich girl. He hadn't though much of it. A beautiful woman taking walks by the sea, and it being discovered that she had a lover. It wasn't much of a surprise to Aurelius. He had on many occasions been that lover himself. A rich girl, or even boy, believed by his parents to be pure and innocent, would sneak away or leave under some innocent sounding trip. In reality their destination was the house of affection, and his services.

He had joined the city when they had come to listen to oracle. He was interested in strange things like this. The handsome young man's face turned down in a frown as he listened to the oracle. He inwardly cursed love and all of that. It so often made life harder for those around the lovers then it made their life easier.

He wished people would stop whinning and just get working on solving the problem. He looked around trying to see if he could find anyone else who appeared calm enough to try and help him solve the problem. The first thing he need to do was find this silly father, and the silly money lender.
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Old January 27, 2010, 07:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Kenkuroi had never heard of Markalin. His mother never mentioned such 'god' but then again, she is a Kemite, and Kemites don't really seem to care much about the other gods apart from Aslan. His father's kin never mentioned such a god either, but that's coming from elves, ardent followers of Phedos and Carmelya.

The tale of Markalin, the half elf considers it as one of those Secyclion experiences. It was an interesting tale, sad yet beautiful. And the Red Isle seemed to be bursting a lot with such tales, made even more alive with their superstition. Perhaps this was the reason why the Lord of Moonwillow could almost call the Dreamhouse his second home. The dizzying intoxicants, the tales and songs, the beauty of the place and its people.... it carried the air of Moonwillow, just without the political stink.

On this brightening, Ken was at his usual hang out spot, having his obligatory early cuppa. "So are you trying to tell me that this Tyro is equivalent to Daphne. And that bearded man is Markalin. And that her father, Salmoneus had done what the Brujeyans did. Now Tesalyon is going to bring Secyclion to the depths of the sea too?" he asked alternating between sipping his glass of Ouzo, and smoking a cigarette, blue eyes gazed questioningly at the bartender whom he heard the rumor from.

"But I don't get the connection with this pirates. This beautiful captive they have. Is it Tyro? And why would they bring her to the sorceress? Did Barabas sold her to these people?"

Questions, questions.

But that also meant the youth was very interested in this latest development to hit the quaint little island, regardless the rumor was true or not. Perhaps this would be that occasional break he need from living such a rustic life?
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Old January 28, 2010, 04:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Qiara hadn't been part of the Secyclionian community for long, but she had made enough friends among the locals to be aware of upcoming holidays and celebrations. It seemed that there was no end to the festivals hosted by the city in which throngs of people would swarm into the streets to sing and dance. Qiara had spent as many nights a week as she was able dancing at The Mouse and the Masque, and had worn several pairs of sandals to pieces. She was beginning to be able to knock back more and more ouzo shots with the help of her waitress friend Alkyone, and she was starting to really feel like she was part of the island.

And so it was that when she got out of work at the Palati Ariadne, she went not back to her cottage but to one of the local cafes, where she ordered a cup of tea and some dolmas and prepared to sit down for a relaxing snack. But she couldn't help overhearing the conversation buzzing all around her, and when her curiosity could be sated no longer, she leaned over to a woman at an adjacent table.

"Kalimera--what's going on?"

"Haven't you heard, kyria?" The woman's eyes were wide, and her husband across the table shook his head with a heavy sigh. "Tyro, Salmoneus's daughter, has been sold to Barabas the Money-Lender. If she isn't saved, the oracle says that Tesalyon will drown all who live on the island! Just like Markalin did for Daphne!"

Qiara sat back in her chair with a long, low exhale of breath. It seemed that there was never any end to the number of girls who got captured by tentacled sea-monsters or held for ransom at some godforsaken rock. Well, if it would stop her from drowning, Qiara was in. She had only really just moved to Secyclion and she didn't fancy seeing her cottage flooded by some angry sea beast.

She hurriedly gulped down her dolmas and tea, then threw her cloak around her shoulders and headed down to the waterfront. Perhaps the oracle would still be there, preaching doom to the crying crowd.
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Old February 8, 2010, 06:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"I've heard," said a man at the beach, turning to face Kenkuroi, whose self-ramblings had been overheard, "From my wife's cousin out there on Eosnesi, that the sorceress on the far side of the volcano is Clytemnestra. She was the wife of Agamemnon, the pirate king, before she and her lover Aegistheus murdered him. Markalin brought a curse of flies upon the island, for he favoured Agamemnon. The Champion of Secyclion, Lyr Tlansson, took up Markalin's revenge and killed Aegistheus, but Clytemnestra escaped. She may want Tyro for her revenge against the sea-god."

"Clytemnestra! Murderous wench!" hollered the man's wife.

"She'd have paid a high price for Tyro, and Barabas sells to whomever pays the highest."

Someone else, "Let's get that usurious scum!"

"No!" shouted another, "There's no time to waste. Someone must go to Eosnesi and bring back Tyro."

"Who would dare sail on the day of Markalin's Lament?"

"Oh, where is Lyr Tlansson?" and the woman swooned.

A mob of angry Secyclionians went off to go find Barabas the Money-lender, who would likely be in his usual place in the Agora Megalis, while another mob went off to find Salmoneus. But to what end? They knew they had to bring back Tyro, and they knew where Tyro was going. Nevertheless, some went off in their diverse directions.

The oracle was still on the beach, but mostly silent, when Qiara arrived, as the Secyclionians continued to wail, weep, and bicker.

The oracle addressed the crowd again, echoing her last words,

"Markalin's wrath extends to you all, Secyclionians. Your bickering will end you. You have languished too long without a leader. Let one arise now."

This was enough to encourage Mikhail, a tough-looking fisherman, the same man who had, in his small fishing boat, had rowed Lyr Tlansson and Elektra to Clytemnestra's pirate ship against the raging sea. He stood forward and said, "If none else are willing to sail to Eosnesi, I will, and take all who would bring back Tyro."

His boat, tied up at the nearby harbour, had been upgraded, thanks to the gold the city had awarded him for assisting Lyr. It was a quick sailed cutter.

The mob had retrieved Barabas. The man, held between two large militiamen, cried out, "How was I to know she was Markalin's lover? It's not my fault Salmoneus traded in his daughter to pay his debt. Why don't you mob him?"
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Old February 8, 2010, 09:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Aurelius standing at the dock had watched everything that had occured. He stood their with his eyebrow raised and watched the mobs moving off in their directions. He would have asked those two more about what was happening but he never would have gotten to them with that mob, and besides with the gossip going on around him he got the story anyways.

Wow it was an interesting and impressive story, many layers affection others, again proof to the powerful man the dangers of love. He looked towards the fisherman and walked forward to him. His mucled legs moved with grace and his body was confident as he came to stand before the man. "I will sail with you good man."

The man before him was tall, with an angular face that was handsome, but hard eyes that spoke of a strong spirit and a determined soul. His face currently was in need of a shave. He didn't have a beard yet but stuble covered his face. He held out his hand to the man and said. "Aurelius Lucretia." He said by way of greeting. He turned and looked at the man the crowd had brough with them. "I would suggest telling us everything you know about this transaction before these good people desided to extract their version of justics on you." His hard green eyes looked down on Barabas.
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Old February 9, 2010, 08:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Lyr Tlansson... Champion of Secyclion!?

Huhuhuhu.

Ken almost dropped his bottle of ouzo, spit out the delicious liquid, choke on his smoke, and willingly swim naked to Tesalyon's bosoms.

How on sweet Telath could that fail Thane and fail daddy be the Champion of Wherever? Oh he got it. It must be the time Lyr went out and enjoy himself again, rescuing damsels in distress, kicking ass and getting booty while he had to sit back at home and change Rose's diapers. In Ken's mind, he was the real Champion there having to help run and keep together 'The Champ's' lil Dreamhouse for no cash and no gratitude. Where was his share of the glory?

"Lyr is still sleeping and can't give a rat's ass about you!" a very sour Ken bellowed at the woman.

"I'm Kenkuroi Mithania. Where's your boat!" the boy roared again, now spurned on by the fuel of passion in his belief that "anything Lyr can do, he can do better!"

At the meantime the crowd had dragged Barabas out into the open. While Ken had no love for the ill-reputed man, he thought if he could help the loan shark out from this tight spot a bit, maybe Barabas would be so kind as to lower the repayment interest, maybe lengthen the duration a bit, or even better - forfeit his debt?

Plus he agreed with Barabas's excuse. What kind of parent sell their own child into slavery! That man ought to be keelhauled. Maybe that would appease Markalin a bit.

"Take your hands off him!" Ken interrupted as he pushed the handsome man who identified himself as Aurelius away. "He's right! It's all Salmoneus's fault! He prevented his daughter from returning Markalin's love and sold her to cover some of his responsibilities! How unmanly! I say we bring him to justice!" he yelled, hoping this would remove Barabas from their attention, and onto the 'real' culprit instead - the man who started the whole mess; Salmoneus.


ooc: I hope it's okay to assume Ken got the loan?
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Old February 9, 2010, 12:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Aurelius felt someone trying to push him away and turn and gentle pushed back not so much to hurt the boy but because Aurelius had rules about people pushing him. "I am not arguing his guilt here, I want information about the transaction, and the pirates. I agree that the silly father crossed the line, but this man was in the end still the man who sold the girl. He still could hold important information needed to retrieve the woman and save the island. Since you missed it, there is a concerned group of citizens off to get the idiot father now. When they get here we will take care of him."

He turned back to the Barabas clearly not deterred by the young mans claims at all. Aurelius wasn't about to go chasing pirates and a sorceress with out all the information he could get. "While I don't blame you for selling the girl, that still doesn't change the fact you were the one who knows the most about the group you sold her to. So I recomened you coperate tell us everything so we don't fail getting her back, which will save not only this island but your life as well."
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Old February 13, 2010, 01:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Qiara arrived on the beach just in time to hear people on the beach debating whether to try and save Tyro or to fetch Barabas, and who would try and do so. Most of the crowd split into two groups, presumably to try and find someone to help.

At the mention of Lyr's name, Qiara's heart sunk a little. She had almost forgotten about Lyr, about how they had shared a few brightenings together happy in each other's company... but they hadn't had the chance to let it grow into anything more than that. She was almost certain that it would have, had they had the chance, which was the worst part about it.

Anyway... Lyr was gone now, to where she didn't know, and that was over now.

She stood back and listened as the oracle addressed the crowd again, and a man volunteered to sail to Eosnesi to retrieve Tyro. When the mod returned with Barabas, Qiara took advantage of the commotion to approach Mikhail. "I'm Qiara. If you'll have me along, I'll gladly sail with you," she offered, just as Aurelius approached Mikhail to say the same. She gave the Imperian man a quick smile before he darted away to address Barabas. Rather than getting mixed up in the argument that was stirring up over Barabas and Salmoneus, Qiara kept to the side near Mikhail. No arguing would solve this problem now; what they really needed to do was get Tyro back to the island so they didn't all fething drown!
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Old February 14, 2010, 06:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The druid appeared, dressed in his usual attire. No, not quite his usual attire. His robes were much the same, true. His gills still flickered with anticip..ation. And he still looked much like Milo L'Evienne, enough to throw off anyone who'd met both.

But there were a few differences. At his belt were several carrots, doubtless imbued with a variety of minor spells. It was something the druid did fairly often, that type of imbuery. They were there, and ready for useage. Perhaps the druid was anticipating trouble. Or perhaps a sudden outbreak of dietary insufficiency.

And as to the second part- well, the druid was holding something odd this time. A floatation device, of some sort. Not just a normal floatation device, but a very distinctive floatation device.

A pool noodle. Striding boldly forth as if it was a weapon to smite the gods, while humming a tune vaguely reminscent of bat guano. Straight up to Qiara, in particular.

"Morning all. Apocalypse now? Or a little bit later?"
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Old February 14, 2010, 11:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Spyre had heard the rumors and was planning on making it down to the docks to see about it. The first two times he heard them, he had merely assumed it was some rumor that went around the city as a way to gossip about some newly discovered lovebirds. But his opinion changed as he continued to hear them, all so similar in detail. And that bothered him, because if they were in fact true.....

He had quickly payed for his meal and rushed up to his rented room, frantically grabbing equipment. Pausing as he reached for his bow, he decided against it given his lack of training. And though it pained him, he left the staff behind as well, not wanting to risk it's damage should combat ensue. Spyre adjusted his weapons belt for maximum comfort, shifted the knife sheath alongside his boot and headed out in a rush for the docks, his cape giving small snaps against the ground.

The rumors had continued to flow around him, adding to his speed. Not only had the girl been sold into slavery to cover for someone's mistakes. The people of the city seemed to prefer finding a scapegoat to pin the blame of their blight on than actually doing something about it.... most of them it seemed. He had heard about someone actually willing to deal with this problem. And that was where Spyre would go.


Thankfully finding his destination was easy, due to a large mob of rather vocal individual's. Some even cursing Mikhail's stupidity for trying to sail on this day. Spyre pushed his way through the crowd and to his target. "Your the one going after the girl? I'm in." The Esh'lahier glanced over his shoulder at the crowd, a glare of hate aimed at them. They would probably continue to stand about, arguing over who to blame until it was too late to do anything.

"Have any others said they....will....join..." Spyre trailed off as his head tilted slightly to the side. His mind trying to wrap itself around just what he was seeing. A man wearing carrots on his belt and wielding a large, floppy....tube looking object. He had no words to try and describe whatever this feeling was he had.....
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Old February 14, 2010, 02:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Qiara had encountered Z'kron during the last Secyclionian shenanigan over Lyr and pirates, so although she had in fact met Milo before, she spied the carrots at the druid's belt and knew better. She saw the noodle under his arm wobbling out of the corner of her eye and turned curiously towards him, greeting him with a grin.

"A little later, I think," she replied cheerfully. "We're still trying to decide whether to waste time by bullying the money-lender or taking action and going to Eosnesi ourselves, it seems."

She gave the floating noodle an appraising glance. "How fast do you think you can go on that thing? Room for one more?"
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Old February 23, 2010, 02:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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"Salmoneus gave her to me to pay off his debt," spat Barabas, "And I sold her to Captain Bloodbeard of The Leaping Dwarfman yesterday. He knew I had her not a candlemark after Salmoneus brought her to me, and he paid twice as much as the strumpet was worth. What was I supposed to do? Who knew she was Markalin's lover? Did you!" He threw the accusation back at Aurelius and the mob that wanted any excuse to hang the usurer -- which of course would have been disastrous to the Secyclionian economy, as Barabas the Money-lender essentially single-handedly enabled what large scale merchant ventures the island's merchants mounted. "I don't know why he wanted her or where he took her."

The Eosnesian fishermen who had reported The Leaping Dwarfman landing in the harbour at one of Eosnesi's small towns, and the pirates hauling her into the jungles toward the volcano, was their only lead, but so far no one had contested it, and Mikhail was ready to set sail on the day that no man was meant to sail on Markalin's seas.

"My cutter might not be much," said Mikhail to Qiara, "but she sails quick and she'll fit us all. It shouldn't be a thing -- I once sailed Lyr Tlansson and his companions out to Agamemnon's ship with a tidal wave coming on from the horizon."

The mob had let Barabas go, and a few of the civilians were storming up the cliffside to Arthro Galanos to seize Salmoneus, but as that district was up the cliff and beyond Toichos Kikkimos, it might be as much as an hour before they managed to bring the nobleman back.

"The Prince is here!" somebody shouted in the crowd as Z'kron walked onto the beach with the pool noodle -- an Acores Foam Beach Flotation Toy, made from a curious naturally-occuring styrofoam-like material harvested on one of Trimalchio's Acores plantations.

"The Prince doesn't waltz around with carrots on his belt, you idiot!" shouted someone back.

"But I saw the Prince once, back in Ieffreon, and I swear that fellow with the carrots is Prince Milo the First or my grandmother's a sea turkey!"

"I say we set sail, all-comers! There's no time to waste," said Mikhail, and he lead the way to his boat tied up at the docks back in Neos Megalis.

And so Mikhail and all others who would join him: Qiara, Spyre, and Kenkuroi, perhaps Aurelius and the weird Z'kron. A crowd of Secyclionians followed, and wished them well and cheered and mourned and prayed Markalin deliver them and their boat to Eosnesi in safety. Mikhail was not a man to waste time. He had the boat unroped in a moment, and as he rowed out past the docks and into Nephele Bay a fair wind picked up and filled the sails.

"Aha! Markalin's with us on this journey! We have the seas all to ourselves today!"

The city on the Red Island shrank behind them as they sailed out of the bay, and Neos Megalis vanished as they swung around the caldera, headed south to the Acores Keys. The blue-green Eunesian sea spread out before them, and in the distance the emeraldine islands of the Acores Keys. They were in the Acores in only two hours. The islands were innumerable, some of them tiny, no more than a collection of rocks and trees, some desert, some with towns and villages ranging along beaches or peeking out from underneath the thick forest growth. In another hour, they reached Eosnesi, the biggest and most populous island of them all, and Mikhail harboured in Port Callimachus, a northwestern town and the largest on the island. Anchored past the docks of Port Callimachus was a ship, with The Leaping Dwarfman painted on its side.

They landed in Port Callimachus in record time. The wind had been them the whole way, the skies clear and the waters smooth.

Port Callimachus was a small town, but the central marketplace on Eosnesi where goods from inland were sold to small-time traders taking them to Secyclion. Here they recognized Markalin's Lament as well, and the beaches were strewn with mourning flowers and mourners. The streets were mostly empty, the shops closed, although there were some people in the public baths and on the terrace of an ouzerie. Looming over the city in the distance was the volcano. On the outskirts of Port Callimachus, the cobbles turned to dirt, and the roads led into through the sugar plantations and into the jungles: one east to the town of Satyria, one south to the village Kalendryene, and one southeast, toward the volcano and the villages and tribes of the interior.
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Old February 23, 2010, 11:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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After the brief explanation Aurelius nodded his head satisfied and turned to join the rest at the ship that was ready to depart. He had hoped for more information but that name of the ship and the pirate would have to do. He nodded to the captain. "I agree good Sir, I doughty we will get anything else of use this brightening here." The Leaping dwarfman. Who had come up with that silly name for a ship.

The tall man stood in the ship. He glanced at the crowd around him wondering about each of them in turn, but glade that they had decided to come. He knew some basics about fight and other skills, and while confident in himself, he wasn't sure that he was up to fighting off a witch all on his own.

His green eyes noticed the calming of the weather, and he turned to Mikhail. "I believe you speak the truth. It is nice to have one of the divines blessing us with help." Aurelius said back.

He was surprised at the speed with which the moved across the ocean as soon they found themselves climbing off at their destination. He turned at looked at the group. "I believe the fisherman said that they saw the pirates taking her into the jungles towards the volcano?"
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Old February 25, 2010, 06:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Spyre Kla'teluth Kaldres is a benevolent Adventurer


Spyre stood at the front of the ship, watching the ocean going by. There was much to consider about this whole situation. Especially since Barabas or whatever his name was had spoken. The speed in which the pirate had come for the girl, and the amount of money. Granted, a pirate would likely have access to a great amount of coin. Spyre let out a small sigh, there were just too many questions that didn't have answers.

The trip was fast, and he spent most of that time deep in thought. He closed his eyes, letting out a slow breath as he adjusted his weapon's belt. As much as he would like this whole thing to go easily and just be a matter of telling the pirate the dangers of what was going on, he'd hand over the girl and all would be well. Though, things never went that easily and he'd be ready for it.

Still the fact that the pirates ship was so easily docked in the open, it meant that there might still be some people on it. And if that was the case, they would see the groups arrival. Though hopefully they would be unable to send some sort of message to the people seen going ashore. He turned his head slightly to look at the man who had spoken.

"He did. But that worries me too" He pointed out to the pirates ship. "I doubt they would leave it unguarded. And if they have a way to send a message to the rest....then we'll have more to worry about."

He reached back adjusting the ties on his hair, to make sure they were tightly in place and give the others a chance to speak their part. "But either way. We need to hurry. There is limited time, and with the lead this Bloodbeard has on us.....
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