• Graded • Ether Ship Down

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With the escalation of hostilities between Etzos and Rhakros, a series of small walled towns is being established as a network of early warnings and defenses against Rhakros' reprisals. Only the very bravest and most formidable of characters should risk themselves on the Witches' Wilds frontier.

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Yanahalqah
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Ether Ship Down

Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:54 pm

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Yana could feel Fiona’s eyes try drill holes in the back of her head with her glare as the Yludih followed her young guide below deck. The Captain had granted her permission to have a look around, but unfortunately he was not stupid enough to let her do so without someone to keep an eye on her. Though, she supposed, if she wanted to, a thin and lanky boy wouldn’t be much good in keeping her from causing trouble. Not that she was planning to, mind you, all she wanted was some information that the Captain did not want to give her. There was more than one pirate aboard though, and she was quite certain that one of them would be willing to discuss the matter with her. Maybe she could even get Jim to do it.

“Have you been a pirate for long, Jim?” she asked, thinking that a bit of smalltalk would make transitioning to the actual questioning would be better than just interrogating him outright.

“‘Bout five arcs now, Miss,” he responded, rather polite for a boy on a pirate ship.

“How’d you get a spot on board? There’s not a lot of young people around here.”

“I is the only one.” He shrugged. “But that’s not a bad thing. Capt’n says I is as much a man as any other on the sea, and more than any landlubber out there.” He sounded very proud of that.

“Hmm. Because it’s dangerous?” she questioned.

The boy shrugged. “Maybe. But the Capt’n always makes sure I is safe. When the others is going to board the target ship, I always stay behind. Capt’n says it’s to make sure the ship is protected, but I know he’s trying to protect me too.”

“You don’t like it?”

Another shrug. “I want to go with sometrial, but I is not good at fighting. Not as strong as the others either. Capt’n teaches me in his free time, but I don’t feel like I is improving.” He gave her a grin then. “But even if I is just good for cleaning the ship and helping to cook, it’s still better than being on land. We go where we want, we do what we want. No rules to tie us down, no wife to nag our ears off!” The way he spoke made it obvious he was imitating and paraphrasing the Captain. “Our only love is the ocean, our mistress is treasure! Everything else can just go suck a big fat dick!” He laughed, hands on his hips and pushing his chest out, much like how Skunkbeard had done a few moments ago.

“I imagine you hear a whole lot of stories of ships the others have boarded and treasure they’d taken, yes?” she tried, figuring that the boy could go pretty much anywhere to clean.

He nodded. “The Capt’n’s is my favorite ones. He can tell them better than anyone else!”

Good, good. This might just work. “So then, have you heard a story about a ship of Ne’haerians?”
Last edited by Yanahalqah on Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Ether Ship Down

Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:56 pm

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Jim gave her a suspicious look. “We don’t rat out our fellow brothers and sisters of the sea,” he said.

“They’re not pirates. They were traders.” At least she thought they were.

“Doesn’t matter. Merchants, traders, pirates,... we is all family. We don’t always get along, but--”

Yana snorted. “You attack merchants. You steal their goods. You even attack other pirates!”

Another infuriating shrug. “We don’t always get along, but we is of the same blood. What happens on the sea, stays on the sea. We solve our own problems. No ratting needed.”

“And the wavehunters?” the Yludih asked, doing her best not to let her frustration slip through.

“Wavehunters are landlubbers. Blackjacks are landlubbers. Wavehunters is enslavers of the sea. They is not family.”

There was a shudder that rocked the entire boat - a shudder that didn’t feel like anything that came from a crashing wave so much as it did a tremor that came from within the boat. The distant sound of swords drawn in unison were heard - but there was no fighting, no clashing of blades.

Fiona’s go-to move was always a dominance display, she guessed. Things really didn’t change.

“What that?” Jim exclaimed in shock. “What that?”

“Someone’s angry,” she said, “or maybe simply frustrated. Hard to tell when she’s not in sight.” Though, to be fair, angry Fiona would have probably broken the ship in two just to prove a point. “Let’s just say that the negotiations are not going as planned.” It was her turn to shrug now. “So. About the Ne’haerians. I don’t want to hear who they are, or what they have done. All I want to know is if you’ve heard of them, when you’ve heard of them, and if you know what happened afterwards.”

He ignored her, instead skirting past the Yludih in order to be able to rush back onto the deck. “You’re going to leave my below deck by myself? I’m not complaining, but does your captain like you ignoring his orders?” He stopped in his tracks, spinning around to face her.

“You is coming with me,” he said, but Yana made no attempts to move even a muscle. He grabbed her arm then, and pulled, but the Yludih was heavier than a normal woman and actively resisted.

“If you tell me about the Ne’haerians, I will come with.”

“No! Come now!”

Yana sighed, shaking her head slowly. It was always the same with these bloody pirates; either they refused to tell her anything, or they asked her an enormous amount of money for the information, more money than anyone would ever be willing to give for it. This one right here was of the former type, apparently, and was deluded enough to think he was the one holding the leverage. The mistake made was showing his desire to go check what was going on, while not defying the Captain’s orders. Yana however, only had to refuse to come and limit the boy to being able to do only one thing to present him with a dilemma. Whether or not he’d talk was up in the air, but she could pressure him enough to get him to crack. Maybe.

“The Ne’haerians, Jim,” she smiled innocently.




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Ether Ship Down

Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:45 pm

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A second, much deeper tremor rocked the boat, and now there were shouts of anger and more swords were drawn. Yana was starting to believe that Fiona’s idle boast of being able to take down the ship was neither idle nor a boast.

“What that?” Jim said, the tremor in his voice an echo of the one that had come before. “What that? Come! Come! They took ship! They took ship and prisoners. They-”

A third tremor. This one dangerously close to the hold they were in. Crates and barrels rocked to and fro, straining against the ropes and nets that held them in place. They held, for now, but some lanterns and other tools left lying around on top of them crept closer and closer to the edge, ready to fall with the next tremor.

Those were not screams of anger outside anymore. They were of panic and urgency and the kind of commotion not unlike the coordinated efforts of sailors trying their best to fend off a sea monster that had hopped on deck.

“Fingles!” he urged, eyes wide, ready to abandon his orders and take off anyway, afraid of what was happening, something that could only remedied by seeing what was causing the ship to rock and the crew to call to arms. Yana didn’t let him, quickly grabbing him by the wrist while he struggled and fought. He yanked his arm, wrestled with the fingers holding him in a vice grip, kicked and punched. A fist hit her jaw, but she didn’t flinch. His kicks caught her in the leg, but she didn’t budge. She’d had worse. These stung at best, though she was well aware that should he manage to get free, she’d lose him immediately. Her free hand grabbed him by the collar and rammed him into a couple crates.

“Continue. What happened after their ship was taken?” she asked the squirming boy again, a whole lot less nice now, her patience running out. Too many pirate crews, too much time alone with Fiona, not enough people willing to share information. She’d just about had it.

Whatever Yana was going to do to him if he continued to be so obtuse was drowned away by a second crew member running into the hold like it was the last chance to see his mother.

“Jim, grab a sword! We need all hands we can get! She’s gone snapped on us! She’s a fucking monster-” As if Fiona herself had heard him, a giant spike of sharpened wood exploded through his chest, ripping out from somewhere beyond either Yana or Jim’s vision and half-dragged him down the corridor, the man screaming all the way as he bumped and slammed and found the wood over and over again, leaving a wide trail of blood. His hands scrambled wildly, trying to grab onto something, trying to escape his fate. Nails clawed desperately over the wood, scraping of splinters and leaving marks in the wood, but to no avail. “H-help, Jim…” he might have said, but his voice was drowned out in the commotion.

He found one desperate hold in the door leading out into the deck above… and evidently Fiona saw half his body hanging on the outside and a second spike found him, taking him in the legs and running right through him like a pig on a spit, bloody wood emerging violently out of his mouth. His lifeless eyes stared at Jim and Yana, still pleading.
Last edited by Yanahalqah on Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ether Ship Down

Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:46 pm

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Another tremor rocked the entire ship, wood twisting and changing shape, its groans and shrieks oddly akin to an inhuman hoarse laugh. The hull rippled like sailcloth, bulging in on itself as if a giant fist was trying to crush it. Yana stumbled and fell as the floor under her feet rose and fell like the waves of the sea. Jim, now free, managed to land with a bit more grace, and spotted the opportunity. He ran for the door, yelling and screaming for his Captain, Yana in hot pursuit.

The actual giant fist of wood that caught him as he emerged onto deck sent him flying across it. It only barely missed the Yludih on his heels, who angrily whipped her head around to locate the rampaging mage.

It was surprisingly difficult as she refused to stay in one place, her image appearing here and there with irregular intervals, and a horrible, screeching, too-metal sound that seemed to be coming from everywhere, as if a choir of sea banshees were off in the distance wailing a hymn for the departed, loud enough for all the world to hear.

Fiona had been… redecorating, with corpses and wooden spikes, and lot and lots of blood.

Brief glimpses of her handiwork flashed through her sight as she worked her way through the mess of a deck:

The man who had called for Jim held high on the stake that took him from groin to mouth, accompanied by 3 others in an eerily similar position near the middle of the deck. The entry and exit points in multiple areas suggested that Fiona hadn’t been so successful in staking them the first few times.

But quick practice, Yana mused grimly, made perfect.

One of the few female sailors lay still in on the ground, her dead eyes staring into the sky, her mouth overflowing with a tendril of wood still connected to the deck. A dozen smaller spikes were protruding from her belly…

A pair of hands sliced off by a wooden blade were lying around as if someone had dropped them by accident. The owner was nowhere in sight…. oh no, there he was. His torso anyway. The rest of him was nowhere to be found.

The ship itself was… not going to be worth a lot after this. The wood that Fiona had taken to shape her attacks had left it a derelict mess in the middle of the ocean, a shattered wasteland of jagged cracks and broken arches.

And then she found Fiona.

A knife was sticking out of her upper back, her left leg was hurt… but eerily not bleeding to match the damage, and the something had shredded away the fabric on her right shoulder. She was glitching now, her image doubly, tripling, finding colors wild and raging before fading to grey and finding color again. She was posed over a bleeding, kneeling Skunkbeard, her hands filled with the crackling pewter energy of ether… whatever.

“Ramsey,” she said, not looking at her. “Find anything?”
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Last edited by Zipper on Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Ether Ship Down

Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:46 pm

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“A ship in terrible shape,” she said, “and a possible informant whose skull might have been bashed in just now.” She gave the mage a somewhat frustrated look. “Good work, by the by,” she commented, “Who was saying ‘don’t pick fights with the pirates, let me do the talking’ again? ‘It’ll be fine, Red, I’m used to dealing with them. You just stand back and enjoy the show’.” She crossed her arms. “Unless, of course, this is exactly what you meant with that.”

“I said I’ll try to be diplomatic. It didn’t work. Then we went back to war with an enemy that has been taking advantage of our complete lack of a working navy to harass us with complete impunity.” Her hands found Skunkbeard’s face, the sizzling energy melting away at his cheek skin and charring away at the meat underneath. “We still have the captain. You can have your-”

Yana saw the sword on the ground before Fiona did. She tried to scream a warning but it was too late, Skunkbeard’s hand found the blade and swung it right into Fiona’s side. It sliced right through her coat-

And shattered against her like a brittle glass plane, the steel flying to pieces between them.

Fiona pressed her thumbs into his eyes and re-ignited the ether missile and held it there as he screamed like a man watching his children die. Her hands were starting to char from the prolonged exposure to volatile ether but she didn’t seem to notice. She kept her eye gouging grip firm as all the meat sloughed off his face and his skull crumbled in her hands. He dropped to the deck a headless corpse.

“Alive, Fiona!” Yana growled, not having been able to react in time to stop the mage. “Immortals be damned, I needed him alive!”

“I’m fine, thank you.” Fiona snapped back, touching the point where he cut her clothes.

“You’re an absolute monstrosity of an abomination, like hell you’d not be fine if you can take a fucking blade like it’s nothing! You don’t even fucking bleed!”

“With enough exercise you can do it too!” she rebutted with false cheer. “Come on, let’s-” she started walking, doubled again, before appearing behind Yana, her stride unbroken. “There’s bound to be a survivor somewhere.”

“There’d better be or the only survivor will be me,” she hissed, finally reaching boiling point after half a season. Fiona gave her a pitying look, too awashed in battle’s aftermath to even play along with what she perceived to be an idle threat. Yana knew there were limits to a mage’s power though, and Fiona wasn’t looking like she had much to spare after her violent rampage. The Yludih herself hadn’t been exerting any effort however, and picking off a weakened threat would be no problem at all.

She hoped.

Fiona pointed at the pair of hands beneath the wooden blade. “The owner of the pair should be still… oh there he is. Blah.”

“Quite.”
Last edited by Yanahalqah on Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ether Ship Down

Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:47 pm

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Maybe Jim had survived, though she didn’t fancy the chances, as he’d been struck by a wooden fist half as large as himself, which had hit him with all the force of a battering ram. If he wasn’t dead already he’d probably soon be. Yana tracked the trajectory she believed Jim had been following, carefully avoiding spikes and walking over severed body parts, while Fiona only placed her feet in spots devoid of blood and innards.

“It felt good.” Fiona said, a little too quietly. “Felt good to be a soldier again.” She shook her hands, the same hands that had just been skull deep inside a small-time captain's skull, charring the life out of flesh and blood and bone.

“That’s not being a soldier, that’s being a rampant killer. This is why magic is banned in Rynmere. Happened way too often.”

“We’re not in Rynmere and these people are not etzori citizens protected by their vaunted law. I spend every single day of my life walking on eggshells. Beneath the dirt and the hassle and the grime of the jungle, there was a simplicity in it: just the enemy and the Wing.”

“You always were looking for excuses to go wild. Nothing has changed, I see.” There wasn’t an accusation in the words. It was just a statement, her assessing the continuing trend that was Fiona.

“And you haven’t?” she said. “I read your notebook. I saw what you did to those children, to those animals.”
“I didn’t kill the children. They threw stones at me, I threw a brick back.”

“There we go: always an excuse, always a provocation.” Fiona stopped in her tracks, the glitching fading away for a bit, her anger holding it at bay for the moment. “Always the victim, Rayna Ramsey. Always prosecuted. ‘The army tried to hunt me for learning too much wah wah wah wah wah wah’, you cunt. I’m not normal. I’m a monster and I admit it. But you? You don’t even have the sweet corruption of magic as an excuse to pretend to justify why you’re the way you are.”

Yana did not respond to that, not knowing what to say. In a way, Fiona was right. But only because she assumed Yana had grown up as a human, not an Eídisi in Immortal-hating Etzos. As for her Yludih heritage… well, she supposed that the way the crystal race and mages were viewed by the everyman wasn’t that different, but she wasn’t just going to reveal her race to her because of it.

Yet, that too was not an excuse. There were enough of her race who weren’t like she was, but she certainly wasn’t unique either. It wasn’t a race thing, she supposed. It’s just that she simply did not care.

They walked -well Fiona flitted- across the deck, disappointed corpse after disappointed corpse. Yana shot Fiona a dirty look everytime a body that could have been alive proved very, very dead. Sometimes she thought she’d heard one of them groaning in pain, but it always ended up being the twisted shape of the ship making noise as the seawater tried to get inside.

And then; after dozens of useless dead pirates, there was one that moved. Some limbs were bent at in odd angles, and in places limbs shouldn’t have been able to bend. Shards of bone had pierced the skin of his forearm. His other was still usable though, and clawed at the wooden boards of the deck as the survivor tried to crawl forward towards the smoking Captain’s hat. They could hear him whimper and wail the same word over and over again.

It wasn't Jim, she thought. It wasn't Jim but he would have to do.

“See? Nothing to fear. We’ve got a survivor here.”

Yana rolled her eyes.



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Last edited by Zipper on Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ether Ship Down

Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:20 pm

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Yana

Knowledges:
Endurance: Taking a hit to the face
Endurance: taking a kick to the shin
Intelligence: know what the other wants to use as leverage
Intelligence: dead people don’t talk
Interrogation: Small talk first to set them at ease
Unarmed combat: Vice Grip
Unarmed Combat: restraining a struggling individual
Unarmed Combat: Pinning someone against the wall
Quiome’s captors: had their ship and prisoners taken by pirates


Loot: Only the blood on your hands, good luck washing that off.
Injuries/Overstepping: None for YOU
Fame: -5 For being cruel and violent criminals! (I’m shocked and appalled)
Points: 15

Zipper

Knowledges:
Endurance: A wound to the leg
Endurance: Passing into Overstepping
Endurance: Staving off the witchbrand
Endurance: Taking a knife in the back
Intelligence: Dead people don’t talk
Intimidation: A magical massacre
Intimidation: A summary execution via Ether Missile
Unarmed Combat: Eye gouging with an Ether Missile


Loot: Only the blood on your hands, good luck washing that off.
Injuries/Overstepping: Zipper will glitch now for 2 trials, making it hard to blend in to society, then they will subside to occasional glitches for 5 days. She has a leg wound and a stab wound in her back that will cause lots of bleeding if she does anything strenuous (like massacring a bunch of people) within the next
Fame: -2 for nasty nasty magic use, -5 for nasty nasty murder-fest
Points: 15 NONmagic BECAUSE YOU DONT NEED IT SISTAH

Comments: Wow. That poor pirate who got violated by the wooden spike. AND THEN, Skunkbeard is slain in that horrific way. You two have a grotesque spectacle here! Bravo. I still managed to see the wonderful relationship between these PCs through all the distracting horror, which made it even better. All in all, a great thread. :)
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