• Graded • I. The Ferryman

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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Kasoria
Approved Character
Posts: 1543
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 935
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5

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I. The Ferryman

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22nd Trial, Cylus, Arc 718
Foster's Landing, Etzosi Coast
20th break


"So that's the left, right?"

"If you're standing at the stern-"

"The what?"

"The back, and you're looking down at the bow-"

"The front, right?"

"Yeah, if you're at the stern and looking at the bow, then the port is the left side."

"What if I'm looking off the ship?"

"... then it don't much fucking matter, does it?"

"Why?"

"Oh, for fuck's..."

Stefan didn't know why the old bugger was getting so ornery about. He was hardly a fucking sea dog himself, after all. Both of them had signed up for a job - no, a voyage, he reminded himself - on the Charon a handful of days before with about the same amount of nautical knowledge. Which was to say, fuck all. Now Daniel spends a few breaks around the first mate and suddenly he's a sodding expert? The younger man tapped his pipe over the edge of the side and into the black water.

"Oh, calm yerself, for fuck's sake," he muttered as he watched the rain of red embers twinkle down to die on the lapping waves. "I'll have it straight by the time we cast off. See? Got those words right, didn't I?"

Daniel just shook his head and made a note to keep an eye on the boy. He was an eager one, and good with his fists, but he wasn't rolling drunks or breaking legs for shylocks or even lending the odd hand rousting merchants on the road anymore. Captain Renks didn't fuck about with his crew. Rumor was, he'd been known to hang one now and then, just to remind the rest to stay afraid of him.

"You'll learn what y'need to on the voyage," was all Renks said when Daniel had admitted their... temporary shortcomings, when it came to seafaring experience. The old cunt had fixed them with hollow eyes and grunted. "You'll learn fast, or y'won't learn at all... or ever again."

Danny had no bloody doubts the man wasn't joking. Clearing his nephew thought otherwise.

He's young. You're dumb when you're young. We always forget that, when we get old. Probably-

"Oi, bloody hell are you going now?"

Stefan stopped in mid-step, like a pantomime actor caught in the act. One hand on the rail of the plank leading down to the wharf, another picking his teeth, eyes wide and dripping with wounded innocence. "Gonna get somethin' t'eat. Want anything?"

"Steff..." Daniel closed the gap between them, feeling the schooner gently roll under his feet. Even strapped to the land she was restless. He flashed a look about the deck before he spoke, in cast the First Mate or the cook was skulking about. "We got watch duty until the early breaks. Both of us. That don't mean you can fuck of just cuz your fucking stomach rumbles!"

"But I'm starving-!"

Hell's Fuck, he sounded like such a child. He still was one, in more than one way. If Daniel didn't give now, he'd be a mopey sod all night. He rubbed his beard and sighed and his eyes flickered to the burst of noise down the foggy street. The Rampant Reptile, doing a good business. He nodded to the swinging lamp outside and growled, in no mood to fuck about.

"... a'right, down to the Reptile, two skewers of curried goat, back here. That's five fucking bits and if you're a fucking trill late-"

"Yeah, yeah, a sound thrashing-"

A meaty hand snapped out and grabbed Stefan by the collar. Yanked him close enough to see the steel and fire still burnished and burning under all the wrinkles. All his boyish arrogance faded, replaced by a brittle defiance that was wavering every moment Daniel glared down at him.

"No. I'll tell the Captain when he comes back. Now be fucking quick."

He let go and pushed at the same point. Let the stupid little shit glare and mutter as he walked away, if that's what it took to get his head straight. This wasn't rugrat shit they were about to pull: they were embarking on a proper voyage. Trials at sea, no hint of land, not a smear of it on the horizon. Just salt and biscuits and wet wood...

Daniel smirked to himself and went back to his duty, arms crossed as he paced up and down the deck of the Charon. There'd be other ships, too. Traders and merchants whizzing across the sea, bearing their bounty from one continent to another. Loaded down with furs and spices and oils and dyes and all other such cargo that was so, so expensive, because it came from so, so far away. They'd pack the schooner's holds with then, ship after ship, slaughter the crews and sink the empty shell left once booty and bodies were culled. Just one of them would provide enough look for him to finally, finally retire. A whole voyage, well-

His nostrils twitched. He frowned. Face taking on the distinct look of an annoyed bear, and he turned to the shuffling footsteps coming back up onto the ship.

"Fuck me," he growled, holding his nose as the figure approached. "Full marks on speed, boy, but did y'step in shite on yer-"

"Alms? Alms, sir? Please... jus' a copper a' two..."

"Who the... what in the fuck are you doing up here?!"

Whoever he was, he stank like shit and looked just as bad. Everything from his sandals to his cloak was battered and torn and tattered and stained and he smelled like he'd been marinated in turds, not just ambled through a couple. Stefan recoiled from the little bowl shaking his way, meager handful of coins inside entreating him to add to them. He swallowed hard and tried not to breath through his nose.

"Fuck off, you... no, stop shoving that in my-"

The beggar's arm swung up and across, and Stefan realized he'd been conned. The shuffle, the slurred voice, the stink of fresh shit and fried booze... all constructed to get him to lower his guard. Just another smelly derelict, no worry there. But that wasn't what killed him. It was the begging bowl. Clinking and rattling so close to his face, drawing his eyes, his attention, so he didn't ask himself where the other hand was-

-until it was swinging up at him-

-and holding holding something curved and shiny.

The beggar swung like he was trying to punch him in the throat, only he came up short. But the blade he was holding didn't. The forward-curved blade slashed through beard and flesh and blood with equal relish, karambit designed for such horrific carving. Stefan tried to cry out and the sound was a gargled, strangled, soaking thing that seemed to wheeze out of the hole the knife had ripped in him.

He clutched at his throat and his hand was drenched. His eyes popped open and he sank to his knees. Already the blackness was swimming around his vision. The world got smaller, focused into a pinprick as the darkness grew larger. Drowned his view as he drowned on his own blood, barely conscious of the torrent of it pouring out his throat, soaking his coat down to his breeches and then dripping even lower.

The last thing he saw was the beggar staring down at him. Cold, indifferent eyes measured the damage it had wrought... then walked away.

Kasoria had waited long enough, and wanted this job over. He didn't watch the lookout slump over onto the deck, and didn't need to. He knew a mortal wound when he saw one, beyond the ken and skills of any healer. He'd been dealing them out for decades, after all.
Last edited by Kasoria on Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:58 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 1345

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, and cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Prefers a trimmed beard and mustache

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
User avatar
Kasoria
Approved Character
Posts: 1543
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 935
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Templates
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Miscellaneous

I. The Ferryman

Image
Two trials then two nights passed before Kasoria got the intelligence he required, all of it passing in the same mired miasma of darkness that marked the season. Once or twice he was sure he could see one of the suns, straining behind the moon that smothered it for trials at a time, shift as it tried to bathe the ground in light. It seemed such a fraction of movement, like a man twitching a finger, but for that moment it was enough to make Kasoria squint as if staring flat into the burning orb-

But there was no fiery return. Not yet. The calendars marked this as the twenty-second trial to be endured. They still have nine more. Kasoria didn't know by what skill or training or mayhap magic the scholars mapped such things, but they were rarly wrong.

He sighed and stared out of his window. Another day, holed up like the fugitive he was hunting. Cleaning his weapons. Having his meals brought to him by a Roy, courteous yet brittle. Cleaning his weapons again. Reading. Much reading. Nearly a full trial before he opened Stefan's throat over the deck of the Charon, he'd been poring over the History of Etzos by candlelight.

"... some argue that the revolutionary system of crop rotation and fertilization was able to change Etzos for the better in ways that military conquest alone could not. Thanks to the innovations of Frangat and his partners, the pastures and fields to the city's south saw an explosion in production, both in food and cash crops such as tobacco and dyes. This in turn resulted in a massive influx of trade goods flooding into the city, stoking revenues and seeing a half-dozen smaller trading houses open simply to cope with the fresh flow of coin!

Increased food production also saw prices and thus deaths by starvation plummet, leading to a larger, healthier workforce and even a surplus that was either stored by the army or sold to nearby cities. In the aftermath of his success, Frangat himself showed typical Etzosi savvy and patriotism: he both invested his early harvests into more fields, which of course were farmed better than ever before, leading to even greater harvests, and so forth. By the time of his death his family had become a kingdom unto themselves in acreage alone, and yet a significant portion of his profits were donated directly to the Guilds and Governance of Etzos.

"'Tis not for one man or even one family, that my friends and I toiled and spent long nights frustrated and still determined," he was recorded as saying in his later life, "But that all men of Etzos might benefit, that the vast, wondrous apparatus of our great city-"


There was a knock at the door, and by the time the final rap had faded, the book was closed and the hand that held it clutched his karambit instead. For not the first time, Kasoria rolled his eyes and chided himself. Assassins in Foster's Landing were hardly that subtle: they'd have kicked the fucking thing down. But it never hurt to be cautious, especially in his profession.

"Who?" A familiar voice answered, and he opened the door enough for him to see whom it was... and for them to slide a blade through the gap, as it happened. "You have it?"

Whispered words were given to him. Just a handful, retelling what had been gleaned from the skinny kid's searchings, alongside his skittish partner. From the trial they'd met Kasoria, they'd been invested to hunt down the man he was after.

Two trials and two nights. His mood grew surlier with each day and it was fortunate he saw the boy return back to him with word. He was on the verge of getting it himself, then... going home, actually. No tracking down of Finn and Ivan, no vengeance or reclaiming his money. Kasoria hadn't the patience to go trawling the gutters and hovels for a couple of rats, over a handful of nels.

The door opened wider, and a fistful of gold fell into the boy's hands. "As promised. Now go."

Finn needed no more telling. He scampered off, quick feet beating over the boards and soon vanishing into the darkness. Kasoria considered it fifty gold nels well-spent, for what he was getting. Few had seen him on the streets, and fewer still knew his purpose. Just an innkeeper under Vordund's thumb, and two kids who were in his pay.

Or fixing to betray you, his mind whispered as he stripped down to his undergarments. He's an Etzosi boy, after all. Always angling for an opportunity.

The assassin considered that as he dressed in a far rattier outfit than the simple tunic and breeches he wore before. His trousers were scuffed and scratched beyond belief. His tunic had more holes than cloth and his cloak... fucking hells, it even made him retch. And he'd yet to rub dog shit all over it yet. Under it went his gladius, his karambit, gleaming and ready and eager as their master.

Two trials and two nights. No longer.

Roy knocked and knocked a break later, but no sound came from within. He considered entering anyway, then remembered what he'd seen that little bastard do to people he didn't like. Instead he set his tray of stew and ale on the floor outside, and told his guest it was ready when he was.

He spoke to an empty room. Kasoria was already gone.

Continued here
Receipt
-50gn paid to PC Finnegan O'Connor for intelligence gathered
word count: 957

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, and cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Prefers a trimmed beard and mustache

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
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Pegasus Pug!!!
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Posts: 9774
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:08 am
Race: Prophet
Renown: 666
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Wealth Tier: Tier 1

I. The Ferryman

Kasoria

Overview

Not entirely a natural sailor, is he? I enjoyed this thread, moments of humour, casual brutal violence, light reading and a very shifty beggar! Lots to see and I enjoyed reading it. I hope you enjoy your rewards - please pm me if I've forgotten anything!

Points

XP: 10

Renown: Nope

Loot

Nope

Knowledge

Deception: Getting a Target to Lower Their Guard
Deception: Slurring and Mumbling to Seem Harmless
Tactics: Focusing a Target's Attention Elsewhere
Tactics: Keeping an Open Door Narrow to Minimize Exposure
Blades (Karambit): Perfect for Surprise Attacks
Blades (Karambit): Throat Slash

Non-Skill Knowledge:
Book: History Of Etzos, by Warden Mayfield
PC Finnegan O'Connor: Shifty, But Reliable (When Paid)
Etzos History: The Agricultural Revolution of the 4th Century
word count: 139
Image
~~Red in hoof and claw... ~~
Current Status:
Working on a New User Guide - feel free to feed back in the thread!
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