Earthdawn: Twilight

Leaving the Mountain, Riverboat Style

Musings by Nova

As Nova tosses back a beer while sitting at the table of uniformed Orks in the small trading village along the Serpent River, her mind wanders inward for a moment to reflect upon the dramatic voyage out of the mountains on the river boat.

When the blind leader of the pale T’skrang was killed and all her previous gear returned to her, Nova’s mood greatly improved. There was some debate and conversing among her companions and the pale T’skrang, but as long as the eventual plans put her on that boat and out of the mountains, she didn’t care much for the details. Having never been on a river boat before, Nova was interested mostly in observing and helping out the 30 T’skrang crew members that decided to leave their village to sail along the river. The pale T’skrang had built a barricade inside the mountain along the river, but quickly enough the debris was moved and boat sailed ahead. It was slow going for a time and a sense of surrealism befell Nova. It is one thing to spend a life dedicated to learning the art of a sky raider and to dream of life outside of the kaer, it is another thing completely to actually be on the “outside” and sailing upon boats.

Still sailing within the mountain, the river boat came upon an island in the middle of the current, as well as another stone barricade blocking the path. On the island was some sort of green crystal structure, which got Armiger and Kylin all stirred up. The ship came to a halt and right when Nova started mocking them for their curiosity about simple rocks, a shape pulled itself from the crystals. An obsidiman emerged much to Nova’s surprise and began speaking with them casually. . . apparently it was more than 400 years old! Nova simply did not know what to think about the situation, and instead went back to assisting the boat crew, confident that the rest of her party was going to make a wise decision on whether to bring the fascinating namegiver with them. In exchange for joining the boat for a time, the obsidiman offered to have elementals remove the stones blocking the path.

Emerging from under the mountain, Nova spent as much time as she could above deck, trying to take in any and all new sights, sounds, and sensations, while a couple of her more wounded companions attempted to rest below deck. A strange disturbing mist covered everything, leaving an oily residue on all it encompassed. Over time the “creep factor” of the mist became overwhelming and a bit frightening. Then suddenly, Kylin flew down from the nest at the top of the boat with a flying worm-like creature attacking him. That is when Nova noticed the sound… the mild whooshing sound of potentially hundreds of flying things. Nova downed two of them quickly, but everyone on the top deck of the boat soon had half a dozen trying to munch on each of them. Frantically, everyone (except Armiger who created some sort of protective circle around him) ran below deck to hide from them. Nova took up the duties of smashing the ones that kept trying to squeeze in under the doors. Eventually, after eating a few T’skrang crew members, the swarm of flying foot-long worm creatures flew away.

The mist began to fade and a safe spot for rest was found along the river’s shores. The crew noticed that the places were the oily residue from the mist had been heaviest, something was starting to grow. Everything, including all the namegivers on the boat, were scrubbed clean.

The next day, while sailing south down the river, a morbid scene was stumbled upon. Humans and orks were crucified on the four corners of a bridge, with two cages dangled from it. The persons in the cages had died previously from exposure and their zombie-selves attacked Armiger when he got to close, so he mercifully destroyed them. Uncertain what to make of the communities that could potentially live out in the Twilight of the world, Nova discussed the option of posing as slavers with Beasley, while also agreeing with Daksa that a “simple” fight with some namegiver races would feel refreshing after the slug-like horror, its constructs, and evil flying mist worms from hell.

Kylin noticed that another huge mist bank was starting to roll in, right at the same time that the river boat was approaching a small village. A man was on the dock and hurried them into a protective shelter with other people, though about half the T’srang crew chose to remain onboard the ship. The man who greeted them realized that they were not the boat he was expecting, after everyone had gotten safely inside the shelter and the doors locked.

Nova, wanting to share company with other orks, sauntered over to a table of four local orks dressed in some sort of military garb. One of them asked her why the elf, Dule, had no thorns on him. She gave him a steely stare and told him it was really none of his business what the elf in her company did or did not look like. He dropped the inquiry and Nova sat down to join them in merriment and shameless flirting.

Currently, the sound of flying things fill the air outside the village shelter. The tension in the air inside the “safe house” is getting thicker.

Comments

OOC: Of course you were the one to write this up! Well done. And I suggest bonus points for making it entertaining!

 

OOC: Aww, thanks! Looking over it, I realize there is some more editing I could do to make it a little smoother, but I figure this is the tale from Nova’s perspective. If there are setails that I left out, or moments that are best explained from another character’s view, I hope they get added in here!

 

Your party has corralled the ten or so pale t’skrang off to a large table on the side. The t’skrang are uneasy, muttering among themselves, nervous among so many strangers. Sliko talks to them quietly, trying to ease their fears. Your group as a whole continues to get a fair amount of attention and occasional stares from the others in this waystation tavern. Several engage in whispered conversations and the sense of disquiet is high. Over by the bar, the drunken dwarf has finally noticed you, and seems to be openly sneering at Dule.

The dockmaster, whose name is Grat, continues to pester Daksa with questions. “So, you come from the northern front, you say? Hopefully you avoided any fighting? I’m curious, are you carrying cargo, and where to?”

The branded humans begin to serve you drinks and food. As you settle in and take in the surroundings a bit more, you notice a few new things. The windows and exterior doors are all barred, and numerous spears are stationed within reach of each. The occasional odd noise filters in from the mist outside, sometimes pausing conversations as everyone stops, listens, and then resumes. No one has entered or left since they closed and barred the door after your arrival. Off to one side, several curled posters are nailed to a wall. They don’t seem to have writing, but seem to have images—possibly moving images. Over the bar, a strange sign shows a namegiver-like figure, green in color, hunched over and with black eyes, crossed out with a large red X.

Beasly, you notice a shield hung on one wall has a Shosaran military symbol. A large axe is buried in it.

Nova, the orks you sat down with are mostly discussing the taste of the ale, the status of their armor and weapons, and making remarks about each others’ sexual conquests and proclivities. You get the sense they are being a bit guarded in what they say around you.

OOC: Let me know what you want to say or do while in this bar everyone!

 

With an wary out to avoid getting within easy reach of anyone, Kylin flutters over to hover around the posters, trying to see the images more clearly.

OOC: hmmm, I take it they don’t like name givers around these part :P

 

Daksa waves off Grat and moves to the table with the pale T’skrang, saying “Please, let’s save the talk of business until we have had a chance to eat and the mist has cleared. It has been a long journey and we appreciate your hospitality.” She is sure to take a seat near the wall so that no one can surprise her from the rear… She quietly asks Dule if there is anything he can do to make the patrons more…friendly…

 

Kylin flies over and takes a look at one poster. When you focus on the picture, which features a dwarf’s face, it suddenly comes to life and shows the dwarf’s head from various angles. You hear a voice which tells you that this dwarf is wanted for Treason and Illegally Exercising Adept Abilities, along with some info on where the dwarf was last seen and what he might be doing. The other posters seem to be different.

OOC: Everyone in this tavern is a Namegiver. Namegiver = sentient being, basically. As intelligent creatures, Namegivers can name things, which gives them magical power. The picture over the bar seems to show a roughly humanoid Namegiver, but unlike any you’ve ever seen.

 

Nova decides to start laying off the drink a bit, but continues to behave as though she is getting continually intoxicated, just in case she needs that upper-hand. Obviously considering her own group’s slim options in this situation, being outnumbered and all and not having the choice of escaping outside, she will appear both tough and confident (as she displayed when they first inquired after Dule) but also defer to the orks in conversation and appear just “the active listener” and laugh at their jokes and flirt enough to be playful, but not overtly interested.

OCC: Remember, Nova has “Knowledge: Trade Routes” if she needs to pretend to know about local things, as well as “Steely Stare” if it is absolutely necessary to get any questions deflected from her own background and that of her companions.

Amby_Dextrous

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