Ch2 5

Peter|GM: A monsoon rain has exploded out over the countryside, roaring and pounding with sudden wind and gale and choking humidity and the thrum of ferocious downpour.
Peter|GM: Huddled in past the portcullis at the western gate, the travellers - along with other caravans, enormous pack-oxen and wagons and caravans all crammed in tighter than usual undergoing inspection and sheltering from the rain.
Peter|GM: At a convenient moment, Elbereth arrives, stepping through a hand-portal, carefully out-of-sight from wayward attention.
Folis earperks, and waves silently to the suddenly-appearing friend.
Elbereth glances around before smiling. "My. You've traveled quite a ways now. The skies are only cloudy back at the arcolith. It's been a while since I've travelled to Ecafa."
Folis: "Seems like the sky saw fit to weep buckets. Urns, even."
Elbereth: "Were you hoping to acquire passage to Leviathan from here…? I am afraid I am a bit out of sorts with what you've been doing."
Folis: "That's about the right of it. We've got a few options and this was one of the more sensible ones."
Folis: "Plus we need to take stock of ourselves and see if there's anything useful we can get here."
Alianor: "It seems like the world's conspiring to keep us wet, after swimming to that village yesterday."
Folis snorts.
Folis: "It's a good thing I'm used to getting wet."
Elbereth bows slightly. "You have my thanks for doing most of the grueling trip for me then, Miss Sheridan."
Folis: "What with my exciting oceanic adventure and all."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I am less concerned with the water than the fire."
Alianor: "But basically, we can try to get a boat from here and risk Imperials on the boat ride, travel north through some rugged terrain for a safer boat passage… or go straight overland to Leviathan through a deadly jungle."
Folis: "Thought we dealt with that."
Folis: "Unless, like, there are more devils we gotta deal with once we're in the city proper?"
Elbereth: "Getting into Leviathan in and of itself may be difficult all things considered now. No doubt Lady Mcgunnery's crew that was supposed to die waltzing into the puppet state is going to draw undue attention."
Elbereth: "But it is also the best place for me to charter a ship to the southeastern continent."
Folis: "Now see I didn't even think about that."
Folis: "Ugh."
Folis: "This makes two gods damned times I was supposed to die."
Folis: "At least that means I got what… seven more lives left?"
Folis chuckles, a bit darkly.
Elbereth: "It would seem that way, Miss Folis."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I need to get my ship back. And speaking of that…monies to finally see it fixed."
Folis: "Well, we have no small amount of valuables we can push toward financin' that beast."
Elbereth: "What did all of you intend to do upon reaching Leviathan? I will see you paid, no doubt."
Folis: "I got nothing else to do yet, so I was wondering if I could go with you, jam up the Empire's plans as best I can."
Elbereth: "I spoke with a few century old ghost at Filios earlier. He has faded away now since the Mana seed is was no longer sustaining him, but I learned enough that I know the world is in grave danger should we leave the Empire alone."
Folis: "Good enough word for me."
Folis cracks her knuckles.
Alianor: "I am definitely all for exploring the other Arcoliths if we can, and if we manage to do something about the Empire along the way, I certainly won't complain."
Folis: "I do admit a certain amount of curiosity toward the workings of the others, yes."
Elbereth: "If I had to speculate, I have a feeling they intend to infuse the power of the seeds into the black knight. But nothing I learned indicates him in particular, just that the seeds power was often granted to one in the past while others served as sacrifices to store energy. If they are collecting the seeds, they likely intend to give someone the power."
Echo: "I'm torn between staying to help my people find their feet in a new land, and finding out what happened with the spirits in the other Arcoliths."
Folis: "Well, Echo, look at it this way."
Folis: "Even if you found a new land for your people, apparently what the Empire is doing is fucking everything up."
Folis: "So, you'd still be in a pretty bad situation."
Peter|GM: The line starts moving. There's heavy guard on the checkpoint today - a full Imperial unit, with one of the heavily armored guardsmen handling a hound. And what a hound - it's a big grey bulldog. The size of a bull - A Vexit warhound.
Elbereth: "That is why I wish to charter a ship, though. On the southeastern continent is a grand library and within it an Arcolith."
Elbereth: "The other is in the imperial capital, should any of you be daring enough to make that journey. I intend to go to the library first."
Folis grumbles and makes sure the heirloom sword is stowed somewhere out of sight.
Folis: "Well, you know me. I'm brave. Brave and dumb."
Elbereth: "Lady Wintervine as well has expressed an extreme distaste towards venturing into the capital, so my destination is set in stone."
Folis: "Funny how that works."
Alianor: "You're forgetting a fourth one, but that's also in Imperial territory, just more recently conqued."
Elbereth: "Do you know the location of it, though Miss Sheridan?"
Elbereth: "I do not."
Alianor: "Considering it's the one my mother ventured into, I'd hope so."
Elbereth: "How deep did your family delve? I do not recall any tales of spirits, mana seeds or ghosts from you at the interview."
Elbereth pauses for a moment. "While I have little doubt I can enter this city, what story did you plan to spin?"
Alianor: "Nowhere near that far, no. My mother's expedition team wasn't as prepared as our… collection of eccentrics were, it looks like."
Alianor: "That's… I don't think we've quite thought that far yet…"
Echo: "…travellers?"
Folis: "Traders?"
Elbereth: "Seeing as you do not have a caravan among you, perhaps travellers would be more sustainable as a cover." She smiles.
[OOC] Elbereth: Or do you I dunno
Folis: "Bugger."
[OOC] Echo: Nay, we do not
Elbereth: "I will let you do the talking, should you get refused I no doubt can get entry on my own and provide an alternate means."
Peter|GM: No doubt. So, Santiago, are you going in masked?
Peter|GM: They wave another caravan through. Most of the travelers coming in through this gate are country-folk, bearing fruit, grains, cloth.
Le Masked Buccaneer has at some point assembled a complex costume of heavy wraps, bandages, and driftwood, looking for all the world like an incredibly unfashionable Hundred recently returned from fishing and with little care for social presentability. He may have the mask on in there, but it's hard to tell.
Folis isn't about to question it.
Alianor blinks as she surveys the costume, shaking her head.
Alianor: "Would it not have been easier just to… remove the mask?"
Peter|GM: Absolutely make a Lying check, Santiago.
Le Masked Buccaneer rolled 4d6 and got 2, 1, 2, 5 ( Total: 10 ) for sug don't do me dirty
Folis slips around and stands in front of what she thinks is where some of the shoddier costume bits.
Folis rolled 1d6 and got 4 ( Total: 4 ) for Lying assist
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I don't understand the question."
[OOC] Folis: Waiting on outcome list before I drop LP
Alianor: "You've taken it off once or twice inside the Arcolith, even if just briefly…"
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: Same here!
Peter|GM: I think let's say the outcomes are… [1: You make it through the checkpoint, 2: …And you aren't tailed afterwards.]
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Right but then someone pointed out it ruined the mystique."
[OOC] Folis: I'll drop an LP 'cause it's cheaper.
[OOC] Le Masked Buccaneer: <3
[OOC] Folis: Well, 2 lp is still cheaper.
Peter|GM: Wrapped in bandages, with a bit of wood making up the massive shoulders and the huge, hunched back -
Peter|GM: Santiago takes point in a simulacrum of a Bear-hundred afflicted with some dreadful disease.
Peter|GM: Folis, how did you manage to fake the snout?
Elbereth smiles at Santiago. "My apologies, that was me. I did not wish to dissuade you, Sir Santiago."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "No, no, no need for apologies!"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Especially in these dark times, the need to /commit/ in one's actions is vital."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "To do less, fatal."
Folis found a particularly gnarly-looking knot of wood and just made it weirder.
Peter|GM: Eventually, the party comes to the forefront of the line, where one of the Imperial guards makes an impressive show of having that tremendous war-hound, straining on its chain, sniff - or, well, whuff vigorously - at Echo. He pulls the dog back from Santiago.
Peter|GM: "Oh, don't nose at the one, boy. You're close enough to em that I'm sure you could catch somethin'."
Peter|GM: The other asks Alianor:
Peter|GM: "All of you traveling together?"
Elbereth bows her head and smiles at the guard from her spot in line. "I met them on the road, at least."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Mmmrgh." Vague nodding motions ensue.
Alianor gives him a bit of a wan smile. "Unfortunately."
Peter|GM: He nods, looks over a clipboard. (Folis can catch a glimpse of it - there's illustrations of certain faces on it.)
Folis darts her eyes over it but mostly keeps her face averted. Anything of particular note?
Peter|GM: Folis: No one you recognize. Mostly humans… no Hundred.
Peter|GM: "Well, ain't like I can ask you to show travel documentation. Are you, or are any of your cohort…" His heart isn't in it. "Members or associates of the Seville family of Ecafa?"
Elbereth: "Not any living members, certainly. It has been quite some time since I last set foot in Ecafa."
Peter|GM: "Associates of the dead count. Miss, what's your name?"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Eh? Nawww."
Elbereth nods. "Elbereth. If you need me to step aside to keep the line moving, by all means. I have not visited Ecafa in over a century however, so I doubt you will find out anything useful to your current investigation."
Peter|GM: Elbereth, can I get a Charm roll on that? [1: You aren't taken in for questioning, 2: He doesn't search your pack.]
Peter|GM: He considers, as the rest of the Imperials make a cursory show of searching the rest of the party. (But unless suspicion is aroused, they aren't trying too hard…)
Elbereth rolled 3d6 and got 6, 1, 2 ( Total: 9 )
Le Masked Buccaneer shifts back and forth. It's hard being some sort of mange-inflicted bear hundred.
[OOC] Elbereth: Can I even choose 2 without 1 as I can't see a world where they don't check my pack if they take me away.
[OOC] Peter|GM: Nope!!! It's a one-success /two-success thing, not two different options
Elbereth does not spend LP.
Peter|GM: He nods. "I'll have to ask you to, miss. The rest of you can go in." He takes Elbereth aside for a moment and her things are searched - he asks her a few cursory questions, clearly reading off of a script, and records the answers.
Peter|GM: "Where are you traveling from?"
Le Masked Buccaneer shambles onwards. Harumph.
Elbereth: "I'm from Leviathan."
Folis looks a little worried, but continues on rather than making a scene.
Alianor lets out a breath, frowning at Elbereth briefly before continuing on. She's supposedly older than all of them put together, she'll be okay… right?
Peter|GM: "You're coming overland from Leviathan?"
Echo continues inside.
Elbereth smiles. "No. I teleported here. I'm a witch."
Elbereth: "I didn't enter the city proper however as I respect your investigation procedures."
Peter|GM: A little laugh. "Well, that's awful kind of you. You can go in." They close up her pack and hand it back to her.
Elbereth: "You have my thanks." She nods before entering the city proper.
Elbereth disappears into the crowd leaving the party to their own devices.
Peter|GM: Massive mosiac plazas, gigas-scale steps lazily curving down to the harbor district, the Strides are clogged with Ecafa's common market.
Le Masked Buccaneer shambles over to the closest seller of oranges.
Folis lets out a low whistle.
Peter|GM: A huge pulley-device takes cargo from all that purchase conveyance on it, carrying massive loads of grain down for shipment, and goods up from the water to be warehoused.
Peter|GM: …And, of course, commoners willing to travel in a somewhat precarious fashion!
Peter|GM: And there is indeed an orange seller very close, dishes of fruit piled high beneath an awning of silk in Ecafan color.
Folis: "Well if this ain't just a common-land heaven."
Peter|GM: Pots fill her stall, catching the drips, keeping them off of her wares.
Elbereth rolled 2d6 and got 2, 4 ( Total: 6 ) for roll for something unrelated
Le Masked Buccaneer indicates he would like to buy an orange through pointing and grunting.
Folis: "'e says he's got it bad and oranges would do him a world of good. How much?"
Peter|GM: "Oranges do us all good. Sixty pence, with the Imperial tariff." [Since it's less than a G, don't worry about tracking it.]
Le Masked Buccaneer nods appreciatively before ponying up. Even under these conditions…it's good to be home.
Folis: "You have our thanks."
Le Masked Buccaneer is going to find a suitable enchanter, now that he's gotten his orange.
Peter|GM: "I'll thank you for the custom also."
Folis wanders from stall to stall, examining the goods available. Is there anything particularly unusual or extraordinary here?
Peter|GM: With the tremendous rain, the markets are crowded out of foot traffic - what few are working are runners from the noble houses, hunched over in their raincloaks, securing massive orders of groceries.
Folis just grumbles and returns to the rest of the party. Doesn't -this- figure.
Peter|GM: Prices are shouted at top volume - Folis even witnesses a feeding frenzy of sorts, as one farmer dealing with a damaged container is offering lower and lower prices for his grain before the rain gets in and destroys it.
Peter|GM: Stopping and chatting, Folis is told that she could try the markets at the Sprawls (for things just shipped in, down by the harbor) or the Vaults, at the top of the hill (for proper storefronts, and warehouses.)
Folis does perk up at mention of the Sprawls, thanks the fellow for their information, then starts heading thatway.
Peter|GM: Santiago: Actually, there's a cousin of yours that keeps shop down by the harbor, if you wanted to head that way with Folis…
Le Masked Buccaneer grunts and follows after Folis
Peter|GM: The Sprawls: The Harbor district of Ecafa. A shadow is over it, now - there's an Imperial drydock going up, its canvas-draped scaffolding half-finished, its perimeter under watchful guard. An Imperial battleship, wounded, is parked in the harbor, awaiting the structure to be built for its repair.
Peter|GM: Even in the peal of monsoon rain - And Folis can hear the scaffolding creak and shudder in the wind! - There's workers up on it.
Folis: "Man, there's dedication, and then there's…" She just shakes her head and goes to look around for the newly-arrived goods.
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Pressed labor," Santiago mutters as he heads towards his cousin's.
Peter|GM: Imperial merchants have taken prime positions here, selling medicines and pharmaceuticals. There's a ship here from the Crescent - perfumes, incense, spices, and their distinctive arms. Guns seem to be off the market.
Peter|GM: In the shadow of the drydock, the Orrery does trade in magic.
Peter|GM: A quiet sign requests: "Knock before entering."
Peter|GM: A squat little shop, running the sign of the enchanter.
Folis peers at Bucc before nodding toward the sign.
Folis: "Anythin' special?"
Le Masked Buccaneer nods, and then gives the Esquip family knock! …it's just shave and a haircut.
Peter|GM: With a little flicker of blue, the lock snaps open.
Le Masked Buccaneer motions for Folis to follow as he heads in.
Folis follows on in.
Peter|GM: (I THINK the esquip house color is blue but I might be wrong. Anyway:)
Peter|GM: Inside, Berenice Esquip - she is dressed in her house colors, a coat of roaring deep blue.
Folis: "Whoa, nice."
Peter|GM: She wears a single monocle, and she looks up from a careful dissasembly of a magical tome. She works with tweezers and heavy gloves, carefully removing page by page, the book held over a steamer to loosen the glue.
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Dear cousin! Greetings and salutations!"
Peter|GM: "Dear cousin! Allow me to refuse your warmest of greetings and salutations up until the moment upon which you remove any and all ridiculous disguises,"
Peter|GM: "As per, as I am sure you are well aware, shop protocol."
Peter|GM: Glass cabinets line the walls, lit by a dim ambient magical light - they are filled with various little trinkets. They are locked.
Le Masked Buccaneer sighs.
Peter|GM: Some of the doors rattle, and not just with the wind.
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Folis, if you would be so kind."
Peter|GM: She gestures with gloved hand before tweezing off another page of the book.
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Do help with my snout."
Folis loosens the little glued bits before gently turning the false snout round and round before it's pulled off.
Le Masked Buccaneer peers out from the inside of the costume…still wearing the Buccaneer's mustachio'd mask. "Even my
Le Masked Buccaneer: máscara de escritório? "
Peter|GM: "E-specially your mask, my beloved cousin."
Le Masked Buccaneer sighs.
Le Masked Buccaneer somehow shrugs out of the entire Hundred costume, leaving it in a rolled up pile on the floor, and then pops off his faceplate and removes his helmet.
Le Masked Buccaneer has grown more fuzz and whiskers since the last time he was mask-less. It's a good excuse not to shave!
Le Masked Buccaneer: '
Le Masked Buccaneer: "There."
Peter|GM: "Now," she sets her tweezers and scalpel down.
Peter|GM: "I will accept your greetings and salutations."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I am overjoyed to see you in good health! As overjoyed as I am dismayed over the Imperial presence. And the…rudeness of a certain family. The dire, fatal rudeness."
Folis: "And the fire."
Peter|GM: She sheds her gloves. "You've gotten a little news, I see." She strides forward, embraces Santiago, smiling with a dry warmth.
Folis: "And some experience. It seems that a fire devil had taken residence in one of the wrecks."
Le Masked Buccaneer hugs hard. "A bit. Less than I might have, which made me…concerned." He looks over. "This is Folis, who is a dear comrade."
Folis takes a small, polite bow. "We've been through quite a bit together."
Peter|GM: "She is, isn't she?" A little nod in that direction, as she slips free. "A fire devil. Concerning but not surprising."
Folis: "Don't know if it was the method or the aftermath."
Folis: "I was busy rescuin' someone left behind."
Peter|GM: "Likely the aftermath. And I'm very happy to hear that."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Indeed. More than I had hoped."
Peter|GM: "Arson is a rite for the summoning of fire devils, in essence."
Folis: "Oh, fun."
Folis: "Thankfully, water is by far my element… for the most part."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Most ably dealt with, I'm happy to say."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "So. As I expect you suspect, I am here on business."
Peter|GM: "That's so. House business, or the trade?"
Folis: "I reckon a little of both."
Peter|GM: "I'll start on the topic my cousin wishes, then."
Folis: "By all means."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Well, at first the trade. I do hate to be so brusque, but I have a lovely ancient artifact that is unfortunately a sword, and I need its magical puissance moved to my baton. Our fencing master would be disgusted, but practicality must win out in this fallen times."
Peter|GM: "I'll perform the transference. Fifteen gold and deep respect and gratitude for my devotion to the heroism of our great name?"
Folis: "… Puissance."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I do not deserve such generosity. Thank you, dear Berenice."
Peter|GM: "If you deserved it," she says, as she takes the items, sets up the pattern. Ignites the transmission, in flickering blue flame. The glass cabinets rattle.
Peter|GM: "It wouldn't be generosity."
Peter|GM: "House business."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "As to House business…I assume that Horatia is still the heir and I in no way speak for the family interest per say, but…seeing you here, door still lit, tells me that no…inter-familial rudeness has been directed towards those of the Esquip lineage?"
Peter|GM: "Horatia is heir and house head - Master Esquip has taken retiring ill. Which I would forgive him for, but his age, but…" She sighs.
Le Masked Buccaneer sighs. "That is….unfortunate, given the circumstances."
Peter|GM: "Deeply. Horatia's lordship is being held up. The ruling council likes very much one of the Esquip seats belonging to someone without the stamina to sit a full session - that is to say, Rivorando likes it, and Rivorando sitting in Seville seats likes it, and for some unimaginable reason, Senicce is playing along."
Peter|GM: "Which is to say, we are under Rivorando rule. Which is also to say, we are under Imperial rule, plus a madwoman arsonist."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "If I was of the political bent I would say it is unsustainable."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "But I am not, so I will say I was never here, and it is better if Horatia not know that I am."
Peter|GM: "Santiago!" She calls out, a sudden turn of her head from her transference work.
Peter|GM: "I need not tell you what will happen to an Imperial protectorate that cannot rule itself."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Indeed- wait, what are you implying my most beloved of relatives!?"
Peter|GM: "This is not Rivorando seizing power in the ordinary fashion of us squabbling houses."
Peter|GM: "The Empire has put an incompetent in power over the council in order to make it worse than useless."
Peter|GM: "When it seizes and fails…"
Peter|GM: "…That's their excuse for dissolving the houses."
Peter|GM: "Certain peoples are saying this already. There will be no more Ecafa after this, even if the Empire one day falls."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "AH."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Say no more."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Think no more of it."
Peter|GM: "Splendid. Relations with a pirate are useful for something. Remember that -" she nods to Folis. "Folis, was it? Indeed."
Peter|GM: She completes the transference.
Peter|GM: "It is done."
Folis: "Aye, that's me, magicked warrior and whatnot. You carry anything interesting in the way of mainhand weapons or armors for those of our persuasion?"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Ahhh, excellent."
Le Masked Buccaneer hefts it and admires the green sheen.
Peter|GM: "Well, I won't miss the opportunity to go over a few options…" Berenice takes the moment to demonstrate a few pieces, carefully unlocking the cabinets… (We'll talk shopping options later. But for now:)
Peter|GM: After some discussion, Echo and Elbereth - and was Alianor along for this, also? - follow a chain of leads to find the only captain planning a voyage west. He's Alloci, haggard, scarred, iron-studded, his grey hair in a ponytail.
Peter|GM: The Varellan is a somewhat fancy place - servers gliding from low, pillow-surrounded table, pouring wine from amphorae.
Peter|GM: Its rooftop garden patios are typically a popular attraction - but they're closed now, with the rain.
Echo is feeling not just a little out of place.
Peter|GM: In a firepit in the middle of the room, a master chef is slicing open a six-eyed fish, its oils sizzling and popping even as he produces filet after filet for… well, a smaller than usual crowd.
Elbereth seems to have met Echo-Thirty Six at the tavern. She gives him a simple nod and a smile. Whatever business she had seems to be concluded. She laughs softly. "I haven't come across another of my kind either, for what it's worth. Dantali are rare these days."
Alianor was definitely not going to be wandering a city alone with Imperials around, even if they weren't looking for her specifically… Even she feels a bit out of place here.
Elbereth goes over to purchase a drink to break the ice with this captain.
Peter|GM: The tender of the bar is driftin, her ears and tail brushed to fluffy voluminousness. She is veiled in false diamonds, and pours Elbereth wine without a word.
Peter|GM: The captain turns, looks Elbereth over. A little snort. "We're kin, but -" A suspicious look.
Peter|GM: "Mirage tribe. Old Ti Qin?"
Elbereth smiles sadly. "I'm afraid so. But we all know about that tale, don't we? So I'll cut to the chase if you don't mind, Captain."
Elbereth: "These two behind me and their companions need safe passage to Leviathan and I was hoping you could provide it to them before I went on my way."
Peter|GM: "You know,"
Peter|GM: "Three times in my long life have the Dan Tali appeared before me, asking mysterious favors. And, o, what wonders they've promised, and what beautiful forms they've appeared in!"
Elbereth smiles. "I admit I would be surprised if the other two showed up in a maid outfit. But you are not wrong, State your price and I will see it done."
Peter|GM: He smiles widely. Some of his teeth are iron.
Peter|GM: "I'll take whatever you wish to Leviathan, and no trouble will catch us. I'll even take you onboard, as terrible luck as that is. In exchange:"
Peter|GM: "There's a certain relic in the city. A spear, almost. It's Pheros-born. It must be destroyed."
Elbereth pauses for a moment before nodding. "That can be arranged. Do you know where it is stored?"
Peter|GM: "I do." An iron smile. "The Ecafan treasury."
Peter|GM: "I'll leave immediately after. We won't be caught."
Elbereth: "I admit I am curious as to the particulars on why you want this particular relic destroyed, but if you do not wish to divulge this information I am not going to pry." She waves a hand as the wine in her glass almost freezes. She then takes a long sip of it. "Echo-Thirty Six, don't be shy. Do you accept these terms or are they problematic…?"
Echo: "How much trouble to get in there?"
Elbereth: "Less brute force than your last venture, that much is certain."
Peter|GM: "Trouble plenty. I wouldn't ask it for passage of anyone but a mirage witch - but, ah, here she is, and either way, it needs resolution 'for my departure."
Peter|GM: "The Imperial liason's taken the treasury as his headquarters - after all, if you're paying the guards, what does the council matter?"
Echo: "And the spear must be destroyed, not just stolen?"
Peter|GM: "It's a Devil Nail. Its existence is a curse, especially with an Arcolith this close."
Peter|GM: "All forbid the liason decides to visit that."
Elbereth nods in agreement. "It'd be best to have it destroyed."
Echo: "Alright."
Peter|GM: "We're in agreement? I'd shake your hand, but-" A dark laugh.
Echo: "Mine should do."
Echo extends his large paw out.
Peter|GM: "I like you better, 36." He shakes Echo's paw with strong grip.
Peter|GM: "Captain Xunlu of the Proudline."
Peter|GM: "Charmed."
Alianor: "A Devil's Nail… that's not ominous sounding, at all."
Echo laughs as well. "A pleasure, Captain."
Elbereth bows her head slightly. "Much appreciated, Captain."
Peter|GM: "The name's not perfectly apt," says Xunlu. "But though I trust our little jewel not to speak a word of it unwisely," He gestures to the server, who bows her head. "Us in the trade and tradition keep our euphemisms."
Echo: "Yes. We have a comrade in a similar line of work."
Alianor: "Ah… I see."
Elbereth: "Speaking of which, while you were out and about I purchased a variety of supplies for dinner tonight, Echo Thirty-Six. Should the heist be successful we'll have a worthy meal on the ship."
Echo: "Good to hear."
Elbereth: "Now if you'll excuse us, Captain. We have work to do."
Peter|GM: "I'll always excuse a mirage witch. Would that I could do it more often."
Elbereth bows one last time before nodding to the others. She heads out to find the rest of her companions.
Echo: "Take care." He nods to the captain before heading out.
Peter|GM: Soon, the rain has stopped, as evening comes - the wind suddenly cooler, brisk on the edge of discomfort against wet clothes as it comes in across the ocean.
Peter|GM: You meet up with Folis and Santiago along the harbor-walk, beneath a defaced statue.
Peter|GM: (When it was faced, it was a Seville.)
Elbereth: "I have secured the lot of you passage to Leviathan. It just comes with a small price."
Folis: "How small is small?"
Echo: "Not very small at all."
Elbereth: "We must destroy a relic in the deepest part of this cities treasury."
Folis: "That's what I thought. What's the gig?"
Folis: "Cooooooooooooooool."
Folis grins madly.
Elbereth: "I had a feeling you always wanted to try your hand at thiefing, Miss Folis." She smiles.
Alianor: "Which happens to also be where the Imperial liason has stationed himself, so I don't think any of us will mind that too much."
Elbereth: "Our passage leaves tonight, so we must act swiftly. Should we linger here long we will draw suspicion."
Folis: "What can I say, the good captain gave me the peculiar desire."
Peter|GM: (Actually, Xunlu will be leaving after the matter's handled, whenever that is - which is to say, it's okay if you take a while to prepare.)
[OOC] Elbereth: Oh!
[OOC] Peter|GM: Just wanted to clear that up bc there's a few things you might wanna do in Ecafa! <3
[OOC] Alianor: So we could try to save Ecafa first
Folis: "Well, let's get down to business then. I'll probably need a better set of tools that what I got, given modern tech sometimes actually beats out the old stuff."
Folis: "Mostly, it's not rusted."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I also have an errand I would like us to attend to."
Folis: "Yeah?"
Folis: "What's that?"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Murder the madwoman burning this country to the ground."
Elbereth nods. "Securing passage should likely be our last missive. How can I be of service, Sir Santiago?"
Alianor: "Well, we found a good toolkit in the Arcolith, Miss Folis, but… my tech skills might be up to picking locks up, loathe am I to admit that."
Folis: "Wait, you did?!"
Elbereth falters for a moment. "Removing a puppet will do naught to fix Ecafa's problems, in my humble opinion. I am not one to take lives if I can help it. But if this is truly what you seek…"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "There is a particular problem."
Alianor: "Yes…?"
Folis: "… Well, I defer to your technical superiority, pending future moral issues."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Said puppet is unsustainable. She will burn herself up along with the Sevilles, and the Imperials will step in to assume direct control."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "The country will be broken forever, even with an eventual Imperial fall."
Elbereth: "And if she is removed… will the imperials not step in to take direct control regardless?"
Elbereth: "Signs of a coup, an assassination at that would show that the proxy state can no longer be run by any but their own."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "The council will elevate someone else. If an external threat, say…an awful pirate were to do it, it is the 'protector's' fault that this occurred, and attempting to assume direct control becomes…dubious."
Folis: "You sound pretty sure about that."
Elbereth nods. "You would know of Ecafa's affairs better than I, of course. If this is your wish I will assist you in it. But I must ask that we do not resort to murder. I do not wish to see lives taken for political gain ever again. Not after Tiqan."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I am sure of the advice that I received. But perhaps I am hasty in my call to violence! Luchia Rivorando is a murderous monster, however, and must be removed; either through main force, or pressuring the council."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "So! Suggestions."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I mean, we /could/ try to kidnap her, but I'm unsure how far we will wish to travel with a pyrotechnic murderess in tow."
Folis: "Put them in a hole somewhere and forget about them?"
Elbereth: "I could teleport her to Filios's island, if you would prefer?"
Folis: "I think you have a fancy word for that."
Elbereth: "We need only shove her into the stream of light."
Folis: "Oh."
Folis: "Even easier."
Elbereth: "Kidnapping is ill advised as we'll likely be caught during an inspection at a port."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Wait, that would work?"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "We can maroon her via lightbeam?"
Elbereth: "It is how I got here, after all."
Elbereth: "A few hours ago I was still at Site B."
Echo: "Admittedly quite the convenience for smuggling."
Folis: "Interesting…"
Peter|GM: A
Peter|GM: falling
Peter|GM: star.
Elbereth glances up at the sky. Where did it fall?
Folis: "Huh…?!"
Folis bows her head slightly, and mutters something to herself.
Peter|GM: That streaks through the fading clouds cutting a hole piercing in a stream of shining light down through one of the wharves, to the rocks beneath.
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Ah! An auspicious omen, perhaps?"
Folis: "Think we should check it out?"
Elbereth: "An ill fated omen if I ever saw one. We need act quickly before our direction turns. Take us where we need to go, Sir Santiago."
Folis: "Ill omen? Then, I hope my wish is not turned against me…"
Peter|GM: Others check it out - calling to one another, leaning to peer into the hole, gazing at what could have happened…
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Perhaps something has survived the fall! Stellar gold, perhaps? Lunar silver? A bit of the sky itself?"
MiRA-[CLE] glances up from the small crater, holding a hand above her eyes to shield them from the sun at the approaching onlookers. "Yo! Which way to the nearest Exarch lair?!" She then spins around, before gesturing with both thumbs over her back towards the writing on her jacket that reads "WORLD SAVIOR"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Oh! It appears to be a…"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I have no idea."
Folis: "Something incredible, no doubt."
Peter|GM: The young man investigating looks Mira up and down and - decides Clearly Some Ridiculous Magical Thing Has Happened, and skedaddles shouting a beg-your-pardon!
Elbereth grins slightly. "I did warn you that we needed to leave quickly before our direction turns. No matter." She steps forward and through the crowd. "Greetings, World Savior. I was hoping you'd arrive, although I admit I expection to find you at Filios, not Ecafa."
[OOC] Elbereth: *expected
Echo: "…world savior?"
Elbereth gestures to their jacket.
Folis: "Doesn't it say it right there?"
Echo: "It seems…presumptuous."
Folis shrugs, and grins.
MiRA-[CLE]: "I've been reasonably informed that is what the script says." She gives her head a shake, before popping the jacket's collar and starting to climb up out of the crater.
Elbereth: "I do admit it would have done us a great service had you shown up last week, however. But late is better than never."
Elbereth: "You are the weapon that will save the world, correct?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Psh, ain't no time like the present, lady."
Alianor …cocks her head to the side. "Do you know something about this, Elbereth?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "She don't know shit she's bluffin'."
Peter|GM: She is - she is a person. Her hair is impossibly long and almost luminescent pink. Her clothing is of unusual material (though, it resembles some things seen in the Arcoliths.)
MiRA-[CLE]: "But yeah, that's me in a nut shell."
MiRA-[CLE]: "So."
Folis: "I like her already."
Elbereth: "Elizabeth and I were looking for a weapon beyond our understanding to stop the Empire. I did not expect it to be sentient, but I am by no means bluffing."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Where's the Exarch?" She grins.
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Wait this…person will help us fight the Empire?"
Alianor: "It might help if you explained what the Exarch is, first."
Elbereth: "If you refer to Filios, it's not far from here."
MiRA-[CLE]: "If the Exarch's are the one's ruling your empire… then yeah, I'mma be the one that crushes it."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Christ. You fuckers not know what an Exarch is?"
Echo: "No."
MiRA-[CLE] sighs, loud and exaggurated.
Folis: "Can't say I do."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "I am afraid not."
MiRA-[CLE]: "No wonder the primary objection is to save and protect, not destroy. Oh you poor, sweet, precious little babies. Don't worry. I'm here now."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Everything will be okay."
Elbereth: "Do you or do you not intend to stop the Empire, World Savior?"
Le Masked Buccaneer: "…Could you help us depose a local murderous despot while we discuss this?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "What did I just say…? Those ears not function, just for show?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Man, I am all about desposing murderous despots. Sure."
Folis: "Right to the point."
Le Masked Buccaneer: "Fantastic!"
Le Masked Buccaneer turns to look at the others. "See? Good omen!"
Folis: "Welcome aboard."
Elbereth: "If you do not understand whether Exarchs are related to them, it would be helpful if you could find out."
Peter: (…But you can totally keep going. Maybe hang out at the Valleran?)
MiRA-[CLE]: (god no I'm not answer any more questions until I do my intro)
[OOC] Elbereth: lmao
Elbereth: "We have little reason to accompany you if our goals do not align."
[OOC] Peter: hahahaha ok I'll let ice have that hard clip for now <3
MiRA-[CLE]: "Ears, I literally just landed like…" She glances down at her wrist, taps at an invisible watch that isn't there, then looks back up at Elbereth. "Fucking two minutes ago. Lets take a fuckin' second to get out bearing before being overbearing, yeah? Yeah." She then shakes her head, before trailing after Santiago back into the city.

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