[As One River to Another] The Wages of Thalassophobia

Beyond the city of Rharne lies the Stormlands, which is home to a number of farms, forests, fields, Lake Lovalus, and the River Zynyx. This subforum also includes the Stormwastes to the south.

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[As One River to Another] The Wages of Thalassophobia

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35th of Saun 722





The guard merely looked at Tristan’s umbrella, and then shrugged, sullenly stating, “I need all my hands free, sir. But thank you for the offer.” Just so, Praetorum, Tristan as well as Gennadiya and Vivian were all let on board in their turn.

As the four arrived at the deck of the large ship that was set to disembark from Zynyx Delta’s pier, the first voice they heard on the deck came from below, and belonged to Ilaren. “What in the world is that racket! That buzzing, like a fly! Can’t you hear it?!” Despite anyone’s reluctance to hold an audience with the Immortal Sovereign of Rharne, or otherwise shyness, Ilaren wasn’t going to have any of it. She shot like a streak of lightning right to the source of the disturbance, which was…

“Praetorum, Captain of Skydas Company.” Ilaren said, smiling slightly, which faded as she stared at him. “What on earth is wrong with you?”

She approached the large ithecal, and reached up to poke him in the chest. “Hmm…” She furrowed her brow, holding her finger on his chest, and then removing it, then replacing it again. “Did you know you’re buzzing? Nobody can hear it except me, apparently, which…”

She sighed, and shook her head. “Not good. I can dampen it for now, create some interference, so that we won’t get any eavesdroppers listening or watchingi in here.” She looked up at Praetorum’s eyes, and said, “Your broadcasting to Immortal frequencies everywhere, basically.” Ilaren frowned, “Given some troubling rumors, about Valtharn and possibly other unfriendly Immortals being at large… We can’t afford to allow such a security risk. But for now, you’re good.”

She turned to the rest of the comers and arrivals, which included Gennadiya, Tristan, and Vivian. Ilaren gave them a quick glance over and a nod. She knew all three of them well, Gennadiya had comforted Ilaren once, and Tristan and Vivian of course were well-known for their heroics in the All-Tavern’s tournament, among other incidents. “What we’re about today, we won’t want to reach certain ears, depending on who might be inclined to listen. It may seem unlike me to advise discretion, but that is just what I ask of all of you.

“The plants we’ve recovered, samples are below. They appear to attach like barnacles to the hull of ships, but when inspected they don’t appear to take to any growth medium the egg-heads at the Institute have tried.”

“As for the foreign ships we’ve spotted… We could use anyone with knowledge of foreign states to try and identify their banners, in case they are familiar. We have on this ship, several people who’ve spotted these ships, and have a rough view of the banners they were flying.”

“Now, if any of you have questions, and I’m sure you do, please let them be heard now.” Ilaren stated, holding her hands on her hips as she watched them.
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Re: [As One River to Another] The Wages of Thalassophobia

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When the guard pointed out that he needed all his hands free and refused the umbrella as a consequence, Tristan inclined his head politely and stuffed the umbrella in question into his domain bag again before he made his way on deck. He was still perfectly willing to share his tea with the man, once he was done working, or had a break at least, because everybody deserved a cup of hot tea in that kind of weather in his opinion!

Once he was on the ship, he checked his equipment once more before he looked at the people he would be travelling with.

Upon seeing Vivian, his eyes lit up, and he greeted his fellow (former?) Rynmeran noble, “Vivian, it’s good to see you again! How has life been treating you since the tournament?” The last time he had seen here, she had been somewhere under the Lightning Dome, dealing with a Sessfiend, a terrible hound and a Naerikk.

He wondered what she had been up to since then!

Before long, their reunion was interrupted by a loud voice that was coming from below deck. Had Ilaren's complaint about the "buzzing" not been so strange, Tristan would likely have bowed or done one of the other polite things that you did in the company of an Immortal.

As it was, he strained his ears and looked around in confusion for a moment though because he couldn't hear anything before he quickly inclined his head respectfully and turned to face Praetorum, Captain of the Skydas Company who had fought in the tournament.

Raising an eyebrow slightly, he watched as Ilaren poked the Ithecal in the chest and declare that nobody but her could hear the buzzing and that Praetorum was apparently ...

... broadcasting to Immortal frequencies everywhere?

"I'm sorry", he said, hoping that Praetorum didn't mind the question - he just couldn't contain his curiosity. "But why exactly are you buzzing? Did you have some sort of magical accident?" he wanted to know, because that was the most likely explanation in his opinion. If Praetorum wasn't aware of the fact that he was buzzing - which seemed to be the case - then it was unlikely to be magic or a blessing or something similar that you usually knew about.

Tristan himself had never buzzed, but he had meowed due to an alchemical mishap once!

“Tristan Venora”, he added, in case Praetorum – or some of the other people on the ship – didn’t know who he was.

When Ilaren turned to look at the rest of them, Tristan left Praetorum alone again and focused his entire attention on the Immortal. Upon hearing that she was concerned about people listening, he told her in a polite tone of voice,

"I brought Chester with me again, Ilaren. If someone is spying on us, he might be able to tell us more. He is very good at telling if people are spying on us, and he knows a lot of languages", he explained and smiled.

Chester was a diri that loved compliments, so, hopefully he'd appreciate those words!

“Who are you worried might be listening though?” he asked a moment later, in a much more serious tone of voice and added, realizing that there were likely things that she was unwilling to share, for a variety of reasons, “If we are allowed to know, that is.”

"With that being said, I have a few questions on those strange plants",
he continued. "Have your scientists tried growing them in soil that is not from Rharne? It's also possible that they might grow in alchemically enhanced soil. I can give that a try if you want", he offered.

"Furthermore, did the people that touch those plants suffer any ill effects?" he continued, as that was always a concern when you were dealing with unknown substances.

"I'd like to talk to one of the scientists that initially studied the plants, provided that one of them is on the ship and take a look at those plants myself", he decided as that might ultimately be more helpful than trying to get the information from Ilaren. Besides, Ilaren probably had a lot of other important things to do – and other questions to answer. "I might also be of some help when it comes to identifying those banners. I lived in a fair number of different places since I left Rynmere, including Scalvoris and Melrath", he continued.

"It's good to see you again", he finished with a light smile before he fell silent again and looked at her, and the other people on the ship, expectantly.
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Re: [As One River to Another] The Wages of Thalassophobia

The young woman walked around the boat and noticed Pra standing on the boat already. She smiled and walked over to the Ithical, who she had meet on occasion during the siege. “It is good to see you again Praetorum.” She said in greeting, and would bow her head in greeting unless he was open for a hand shake which she was more then happy to offer. The two weren’t overly familiar with each other but it was enough for the young woman to consider him a friend. “I hope all has been well with you?” She asked. Genna was aware that they were there for a reason and so didn’t drag out the greetings, unless he Prae wanted to.

The healer noticed Vivian stepped onto the ship, but was approached by a young man before Genna could approach. She just smiled at waved in greeting and turned to take in the rest of the ship. They didn’t have to wait much longer before Ilaren came on board and well, made an entrance. The young woman found the Immortal and interesting study, as Ilaren was a very boisterous individual. Genna wondered secretly if that was because of her domains and so just who she is, or if it was because as an Immortal there was little to fear.

Genna wasn’t exactly sure what the Immortal was talking about, but listened and made mental notes about what was being said. Something about Prae was being loud. Genna wondered if it was connected to magic, a subject she wasn’t overly informed on, or maybe he had a curse from some Immortal. Which was also possible.

Either way Genna watched and listen and Tristan suddenly seemed very interested in what was happening. Genna’s eyebrow rose at the comment about not letting anyone listen. She turned and looked at Ilaren as the Immortal looked at her. She gave her a curtsy and smiled at her. Genna liked the Immortal even if she hadn’t chosen to deeply follow her domains.

Genna approached the young man called Tristan who was asking about the plants. Smiling she said. “I am Gennadiya, I believe you said your name was Tristan. Pleasure to meet you.” She then fell silent and listened to what he said. She nodded her head in agreement with the questions. After he asked about the Alchemist soil Genna added. “Has anyone tried to uses the growth abilities provided by Moseke’s mark?” She asked in addition as if they hadn’t there was an option there. She didn’t really have any other questions at this point since Tristan asked some good starting questions.
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Re: [As One River to Another] The Wages of Thalassophobia

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Vivian grinned at Tristan as he called out to her. "Not much. Went to visit my sister over in Scalvoris. You?" she said, her tone cheerful. Then she looked over at Ilaren as the Immortal started complaining about some sort of racket, then stormed over to Praetorum and explained that he was buzzing. Since she couldn't hear it, she assumed he was buzzing to some sort of Immortal frequency. Ilaren did something to dampen the sound, then turned and briefed the group as a whole. So there were weird plants showing up and the ships were flying unknown flags. Vivian wasn't the most adept at the foreign affairs, but she figured that it would be good to take a look at the flags just in case. But first, it was time for questions.

That said, Vivian really only had one question at the moment. "Have the ships made any hostile moves at all? Or, for that matter, attempted to communicate?" she asked, her tone calm. Okay, so it was two questions, but they were connected. Tristan and Gennadiya both asked good questions of their own, but Vivian admitted that she wasn't hugely concerned about the identity of any potential enemies at the moment. Given Rharne's luck, particularly with Syroan cultists, she was taking it as a given that they were always being spied on at the moment. With the shapeshifting that Syroans appeared to have at their command, they didn't even know what their enemies looked like. But she'd learned from Rhaum, and she didn't let that bother her. If they could nothing to about being watched, all they could do was keep going forward regardless and let their enemy give themselves away trying to stop them.

For now, however, she went to speak with the people who had seen the flags, to see if she recognized any of them, then went below decks to take a look at the plants. She was not particularly knowledgeable about plants, but if something stuck out to her, then it was worth it to know. She also tried applying a shock from Palenon to one of the samples to see if it reacted at all. She did think about seeing how it reacted to Brightgleam water, but she didn't want to burn her daily use of the Oasis on a plant sample.

When all that was done, she went back on deck, careful to keep her gaze on the ship beneath her feet rather than looking out over the water, and approached Ilaren. "It occurs to me, with our recent troubles with Syroan cultists, it's probably wise to assume any major operation is being watched by those damned shapeshifters. Do you have a way to tell if one of them is on board?" she asked, making sure to keep her voice low. She wasn't sure who else might have figured out they might be being spied on, but making the soldiers suddenly suspicious of each would be very, very bad. If Ilaren could do something, great. If not, well, she'd dealt with being spied on before. She didn't like it, but she'd do her job regardless.
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