• Solo • Stalemate

Job Thread

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks and small villages of note.

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Tio Silver
Approved Character
Posts: 719
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:04 pm
Race: Yludih
Profession: Pirate Captain
Renown: +422
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Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:31 pm

Surrounding Waters
5th Cylus, 718
Stalemate; a state in which two parties are unable to move forward without putting themselves at the mercy of each other. It was a term common in games such as chess, but not all that often found in real life, mainly because it was such an uncomfortable position to be in that most people took care to avoid it. In those rare times it did occur it was almost guaranteed to end badly as both parties became increasingly impatient and frustrated with each other until their tempers got the better of them.

And unfortunately, Tio and his crew were now stuck in one.

Their most recent voyage had been going very well at first. Their target ship, ‘Thin Elizabeth’, was a simple schooner with a small but valuable cargo of fabrics that'd been relying on speed and stealth to avoid pirates as it followed the sea trading route round to Viden. Sadly for them the merchant who owned it had fired the original captain over a wage dispute before the voyage, and that old captain had been more than happy to sell the information to one of Tio’s contacts in exchange for some more nel to line his retirement fund. The contact had sold the information on to Tio, and armed with that knowledge setting up an ambush had been a piece of cake.

The problem was that Tio’s contact was by no means loyal to Tio, just the money he had in his pocket, and had decided to maximise his profits on this lead by selling the same information to another crew, The Whiskey Pirates. Had the crews set their ambushes up at different points he probably would have gotten away with this, but what he didn't account for was that Cylus was not a good time of year to be at sea, and so both crews had chosen the point closest to Scalvoris to lay their traps. ‘Thin Elizabeth’ had given up in an instant when two ships flying black flags had popped up and caught it in a pincer attack, and when both ships boarded at once the crew had submitted quietly to being tied up and jailed in the brig. The pirates from both crews had silently worked together in an unspoken agreement as they secured the ship and brought the cargo up to the deck, but once the job was done they took their places on opposite sides, the sides closest to their ships, and stared down each other. Everyone knew that only one crew could take the prize, and the tension was so thick you could have swam through it.

“So… how should we go about this then?” Captain Downey, the leader of the Whiskey Pirates, announced from his spot in front of his crew. He strutted forwards, eyeing the masked faces of Tio’s crew mockingly. “Haven't heard of a bunch of masked weirdos sailing around here before, so I'm guessing you lot are pretty new. Tell me, do you know how the Pirate Lords settled their disputes over prizes way back when? It's pretty common knowledge.”

“Hah, of course I do!” Tio replied, hoping that the tinny echo of his mask would hide the waver in his voice. As subtly as he could he turned slightly to his left and whispered to Grace, who stood by his side, “Grace, what did the Pirate Lords do?”

“Either the captain or a representative of the crew would fight one-on-one, and the winner took the whole prize. It saved all their crews massacring each other.” She gently replied with an almost audible roll of the eyes.

“With a duel! Obviously! I totally knew that!” Tio announced loudly.

Downey sneered, tilting his head up so he could look down his nose at him. “Righhhhht. Well let's do this shall we? I assume it's going to be us captains fighting, right? We are supposed to be the leaders after all, it's only honourable.”

Before he had a chance to do anything Grace’s hand was on his shoulder, pulling his ear down to a level she could reach. “Captain, hold on a second. I know this is the sort of thing you'd jump at the chance to get in on, but let's think this through. How effective is your magic going to be in this fight without any corpses to control?”

Tio thought about it for a moment. “Not very.”

“Then respectfully I don't think you should fight for us. Teddie’s our best melee fighter, he'd be perfect in these circumstances. You should appoint him your champion!”

Teddie, who stood on Tio’s right, perked up at the mention of his name. “Captain, I'd be honoured to fight on your behalf! I can break this punk like a twig, just say the word.”

“Tempting, tempting… but no, I want to do it myself.”

He could feel the disapproval coming from Grace crash over him like a wave. “Captain, I'm not sure this is the wisest-...”

“No, it's not the wisest thing, I know that. But then again I'm not exactly the wisest person am I?” Tio replied, a grin forming underneath his mask. “This is about respect, about proving I'm as much of a Scalvoran Pirate Captain as anyone. I'm not normally one to care about the opinions of the crowd, but business will be a lot easier for us if the other crews knocking around respect us, right?”

Grace sighed in exasperation, but it was clear to see that she'd given up. “Fine, have it your way! It's not like I can stop you anyway.”

With that sorted Tio stepped forwards and drew his cutlass at the same time as Downey did, and the two captains circled each other warily. Every step was carefully measured, bit by bit nudging closer to each other and looking for an opening to strike, waiting for an unofficial starting bell the set them off.

And then it came. A flash of light reflected off Downey’s cutlass into Tio’s eye, slightly dazzling him for a moment, and suddenly Downey’s cutlass was swinging through the air towards him. Taken aback, Tio was forced to give ground as he parried the swing, and was pushed onto the back foot as Downey pressed his advantage with a series of thrusts.

It seemed that Downey was a little more skilled with the cutlass than him, because Tio couldn't find an opportunity to counter as the flurry of strikes rained down on him and was forced to keep backing away down the deck until he reached the railing. Downey swung low towards his shins, hoping to end the fight with a deep cut to the legs now that Tio didn't have enough space to back away into, but was surprised when Tio jumped up and balanced on the railings. He swung at them again, and once again Tio jumped over his blade, this time rabbit kicking Downey in the cheek before landing back on the railing again.

“Son of a…” Downey growled furiously, stabbing at his torso again with renewed vigor. But this time Tio had the high ground, and with gravity on his side he was able to match Downey’s higher level of skill with brute strength. Again and again their blades clashed; almost looking like a dance, but a clumsy and unrehearsed one. When Tio swung at his head Downey riposted it, which Tio then sidestepped and answered with another strong swing.

This trading of blows continued for about a full minute, until Downey underestimated the force behind one of Tio’s swings just a little and had his cutlass knocked away a fair bit. Seizing the opportunity Tio jumped forward and stepped on Downey’s shoulder, using it as a springboard to hop over his head and land back on the deck. Now with their positions reversed Tio put his back into a full-on attack, swinging savagely at Downey’s now injured sword arm in the hopes that it would buckle and leave him helplessly pinned up against the rails.

But Downey had a trick up his sleeve! With a flick of the wrist he tossed his cutlass up into the air and caught it with his other hand, then proceeded to counter Tio’s blows just as easily as he had before. The git was ambidextrous! Without the height advantage Downey’s superior skill came into its own again, allowing him to counter Tio’s sloppy slashes, and soon he was able to start pushing Tio back again and regaining ground.

At this point Tio’s all-out attack was starting to leave him tired, whilst Downey looked like he could keep going for a while longer. If he was going to win he needed to end this, and quickly! But how?

As Downey lunged forwards with another stab, Tio swatted it to the side with as much force as he could manage, smacking both their cutlass’ wide away to the side. Before Downey could bring his blade back in Tio bounded forwards and headbutted him in the nose with as much force as he could manage. His mask protected his face from most of the damage, but for Downey it was the same as being hit in the face with a frying pan, and with a cry he dropped his cutlass and brought his hands up to cover his broken nose. Tio followed up with a blow straight to the stomach to wind him, and once Downey had collapsed to his knees brought the tip of his cutlass down to rest on the nape of his neck.

“It's over! I win!” He declared, the note of satisfaction clear even from behind his mask.

Downey glared up at him, his eyes practically spitting venom, but with a sword to his neck he didn't dare refute him. There was a moments hesitation as he wrestled with pride within his head, but in the face of a clear loss he had no choice but acceptance. “Back to the ship!” He snapped to his crew through gritted teeth. “We've lost this one.”

Grudgingly the Whiskey Pirates began to make their way back to their own ship, casting dirty glances back at them as they went. Tio kept his sword levelled at Downey until the Skylance crew had finished loading their hard-earned prize onto their ship, and then with a flourish sheathed it and hopped over to his ship as it pulled away before the Whiskey crew could change their minds.

“This isn't over you masked freak!” Downey shouted at Tio as his ship pulled away. “You only won because of cheap tricks! Next time we meet I won't fall for them, and I'll have your head! You hear me!”

“Oh yeah?! I'm looking forward to it Gitface!” Tio shouted back. “‘Till next we meet!”

And with that challenge hanging between them, Tio took the helm and set a course back to Scalvoris.
User avatar
Approved Character
Posts: 351
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:34 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Museum Curator
Renown: +175
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Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:55 pm

Tio Silver

Acrobatics: Balancing on ship railings
Blades: Cutlass - Matching skill with strength
Blades: Cutlass - Swordfighting while balancing
Blades: Cutlass - Attacking all-out
Blades: Cutlass - How to riposte
Blades: Cutlass - It's a pain dueling ambidextrous people

Loot: None
Fame: -5 for being a charismatic pirate captain!
Points: 10
Comments: Hahaha, I love Tio’s character. You write him to be entertaining in every aspect. I confess I haven’t had much time to read many of the Scalvoris crew outside the reviewing queue and this is the first one of yours I have seen. I absolutely love Tio’s charisma and its totally fitting that he used underhanded tricks to win. Love it and will look for more.
Please remember to edit your review request post with my lovely button featured below ;)

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“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” - Lovecraft
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