Author Topic: Age of Retribution Part IV: The Gauntlet of Izabran  (Read 4533 times)

Offline Tyler294

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Jeff turned and glared daggers at Finnbarr.

"Mr. Finnbarr, you didn't use my vintage 7989 Vinum on the EARL OF PREHLIN, did you!?"

***

"Oh, ye have a friend that lives in Hanichu?" Killroy inquired.

Offline DeadJim

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"Well it depends you you define the word 'used'..." Finnbarr stuttered, "Luetenberger was hiding, but then he sneezed... and I needed knock the Earl out with something..."

***

"Oh heaven's no!" Melvyn laughed, "He just happens to be heading there right now! It'll be like a family reunion! Well, except that half the family is dead. Unless ole Pavel is still alive..."


Offline Shawnex

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"Deve? Deve!?" Broose called looking for Deve till he found him sleeping on the floor with a pale over his head, "Yo Deve," Broose lifted the pale, "Breaks over!" and dropped it on Deve's face.

"YEAOW!" cried Deve and got up, "Can't ye see me trying ta sleep?!"

"It's past your time to get up! Look! It's morning!" corrected Broose.

"Very lovely." muttered Deve and laid back down to the floor, "Good night."

"Good morning lads." approached Tucker and accidently stepped Deve stomach.

"OW!" yelled Deve again and made Tucker fell to the floor, "OI! Watch where ye're stepping!"

"Deve. Ya know you're not suppose to sleep on floors where people can step on you." retorted Tucker and got up, "Have ya not notice it's morning?"

"Same answer as his!" Deve snapped, "I can sleep where ever I want so, GOOD NIGHT!"

Broose and Tucker looked at each other and chuckled.

"To your stations, Deve!" Broose ordered using Jeff's toned voice.

Deve immediately got up to his feet, "AYE-AYE SIR!" he startled and saluted facing the actually Captain the not knowing it was Broose who ordered him.

"Heh-heh-heh!" Broose snickered quietly.

Offline Tyler294

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Jeff's jaw very, very, very slowly dropped.

Also his hand began to reach for his sword, but then another cry came down from the crow's nest.

"LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHCK ACCCKK... *cough* *cough*... ugh... ugh-heh... ahem... Ho!"

Everyone looked up to see the port of Hanichu looming on the horizon, the white and red banners of the city's flag fluttering atop the square, multi-level towers and turrets. Ships of all shapes and sizes were coming and going, and in the distance, beyond, rolled the golden hills of the southern steppes.

Offline DeadJim

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"Oh look, ships!" Finnbarr said he approached the railing pointing toward the port.

***

"Excellent! We're right on schedule!" Melvyn said as he looked down at his compass.

"Well at least some of us are..." Arlyss mumbled to herself.

Offline Tyler294

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"Make ready to weigh anchor!!!" Jeff bellowed, having already forgotten about killing Finnbarr, "Prepare to douse the sails!"

***

The ship drew into port and anchored itself, then Jeff selected a shore party consisting of himself, Finnbarr, Deve, Broose and Luetenberger and Duncan. The rest of crew was told to wait on the ship until signaled to come ashore.

"Alright, lads... first to the market to secure provisions, then to the tavern to get a drink and look for work." Jeff declared, "How many of yas have been to Hanichu before?"

« Last Edit: Mar 02 2019, 12:16 PM by Tyler294 »

Offline Shawnex

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Deve and Broose blinked and looked each other... "Not me!"

Offline DeadJim

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"What's a Hanichu?" Luetenberger asked, thoroughly confused by the question.

Offline Tyler294

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"..."

"Never mind! We'll just figure it out as we go!" Jeff grumbled, "Does anybody see a sign that could tell us where the market be?"

Duncan wordlessly pointed at a signpost that directly behind Jeff.

"Eh?" the captain turned around, "What? Well, by thunder! Why would they go putting a signpost there! Especially that high! How's a man to see it!? BAH!"

He then motioned for them to follow him as they headed down the street and took a left at the next block. Here they came across the marketplace, where dozens of men and women were busy selling their wares, everything from iron bars to sweet rolls.

"Alright, lads. We be in need of fresh food supplies, and probably some more weapons for our new crewmembers. Duncan, see about getting us some fresh water for the trip."

Duncan went wide-eyed and tried to stutter a retort, but Jeff had already moved on.

"Broose, Deve, we need more swords. Find a weaponsmith and secure some new blades for us."

He then looked at Finnbarr and Luetenberger.

"That leaves us to secure sailing supplies and provisions."

« Last Edit: Mar 02 2019, 12:16 PM by Tyler294 »

Offline DeadJim

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"Yes, of course," Finnbarr said as his attention was drawn to a nearby tavern, "Right after a quick game of chindarry..."

***

"Okay, time to go," Melvyn said as he closed his compass.

"What do you mean, go?" Arlyss asked, "We're supposed to stay on the ship!"

"If you want to stay on the ship you can," Melvyn said as he walked onto the plank leading to the dock.

"I'm not staying here! Are you crazy!" Arylss called after him as she ran to catch up.

"Now I have to protect Hanichu," Eamon sighed as he stood up and sheathed the sword he'd been cleaning.

Offline Tyler294

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"Oi! The cap'n said nobody else was tuh be goin' ashore 'till they gave the signal!" Killroy protested as everyone else was leaving the ship.

"Well, are you just gonna let them go off like that, mate?" Cook, who had emerged from the galley to get some fresh air, inquired.

"I don't know. What should I do?"

"Run off after 'em." Cook urged, "Keep 'em outta trouble. Do it for the cap'n."

"Aye aye, sir!" Killroy saluted, then ran off after them.

"Why'd ye send the kid after them." Gideon asked.

"Oh, he doesn't go ashore much. Figured it'd be good for the lad to get off the ship every once in a while." Cook shrugged.

Offline DeadJim

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Melvyn waltzed down the docks, casting nods and smiles towards many people they passed; whether he knew them or not was anyone’s guess. Eamon figured they didn’t, though his sister was much more trusting of Melvyn’s antics. As they were just leaving the harbor, Arlyss glanced to the side and stopped, staring toward one of the ships.

“It can’t be…” she whispered to herself as she branched off from the others, and approached the ship. She climbed aboard and looked around, though it seemed that the crew was either all on shore, or below decks.

“Hello everyone, I’m taking over the ship!” Arlyss laughed as she stood on deck and took a bow. She lingered above deck for a moment, before descending the stairs to go below. The ship, while looking descent above deck, was a miserable mess in the lower levels. Empty bottles lay on the floor, with the stench of moldy food and spilled alcohol (among other things) filling the dark cargo hold. She brushed aside her cape, and placed her hand on one of her short swords, as a chill had suddenly filled her bones. She paused and closed her eyes; she could hear the creaking boards and the sound of the water hitting the walls of the ship. She took a deep breath in, then quickly opened her eyes and smiled.

“Fight now, talk later?”

As she spoke a figure jumped out from behind a crate and swung a large blade. Arlyss dodged and drew her two short swords, both etched with Valskaenen motifs from hilt to tip. She blocked a second blow, then advanced forward a few steps with several well delivered, though easily blocked strikes.

“What clan are you?” the figure asked angrily, revealing that it was a woman.

“Pyroda,” Arlyss replied, “But I already know which you are, Rojavik.

With that the figure attacked again, with more vengeance and less precision than before. Their blades clashed, and the two where in a dead heat. At one point, Arlyss broke free, and the two were separated for a moment.

“You’re the daughter of Marliea Andota,” the figure said as the two circled round one another, “The rojavik who let the Valskaena fall!”

“The rojavik who tried to unite the clans,” Arlyss corrected, “They didn’t unite then; but we can now!”

“And where are our mothers? Both of them are dead. And unless you want to join them, you should stay hiding.”

“Are you satisfied with hiding?” Arlyss asked, lowering her blades, “As long as our people are banished from their homes and fleeing from their homeland, I will not hide. As long as the last stones are hunted down, with our people being slaughtered to find their location, I will not hide. My father died protecting our people. My mother died protecting the stone. I do not fear joining them, if I die with the same honor they did.”

“Great speech.” the woman scoffed, “I assume you’ve found found Savecta?”

“...well no.”

“Or have you found what Ephren and Tuhnar did with the other stones?”

“I haven’t gotten that far yet.”

“So this is step one in your plan?”

Arlyss thought for a moment, “Pretty much.”

“It’s going to need more work than that.” the woman said as she lunged again with her blade. Arlyss spinned out of the way, swing her sword to the back of her attacker. The woman was fast, and turned her blade quickly to deflect. After a moment more of clashing, the swords were caught in a gridlock.

“Why should I help you?” the woman sneered, “Where was your mother when Mysl fell!”

“Where was yours before it did?” Arlyss asked, “Your mother thought she could fight her battles by ignoring them. Are you going to make that same mistake?”

“That battle is over for me; I care nothing for the rojaviks or the Valskaenans!”

“What rojavik doesn’t love a fight?” Arlyss smiled, “You can’t tell me this hasn’t been fun!”

“Optimistic, for a loser,” the woman said as she pushed Arlyss forward, sending her crashing into a stack of barrels. As she was about to stand up, one that was higher fell and hit her on the head. The last thing Arlyss remembered was the sight of a shadow fade into the darkness.

***

“What are we looking for again?” Eamon asked as he caught up to Melvyn.

“We’re not looking for anything!” Melvyn replied, “What we seek will come to us! Though if we happen upon a hog race in the meantime, the wait might be more enjoyable.”

Eamon sighed, “And here I thought we’d be doing something interesting.”

« Last Edit: Mar 31 2019, 09:32 AM by DeadJim »

Offline Tyler294

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"Hey! Wait up!" Killroy came charging in behind the two men.

Offline DeadJim

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Melvyn looked back, "Glad you could join us Mr. Roy! Time to get your feet wet in the finer points of gambling!"

"We could really teach him more useful things..." Eamon suggested.

"Nonsense!" Melvyn disagreed, "When in a short-on-coin-predicament, it is much better to steal money from in front of a man's back, rather than behind it! And I should know; I've tried both!"

Offline Tyler294

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"Really?" Killroy's eyes glistened a little at what Melvyn said, "Mr. Vyn, ye don't s'ppose ye could teach me both ways, do ye?"

Offline DeadJim

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"Well of course, Mr. Roy!" Melvyn smiled, "I'd like to have a eager, young pupil under my wing again!"

"Maybe we should teach him the finer points swordsmanship," Eamon disagreed, "So that when the inevitable happens, he won't end up like your last eager, young pupil."

"Don't be silly! You turned out fine!"

Eamon paused, then looked at Roy, "We're going to teach you how to fight before he gets you into one."

"Teach quickly, cause here we go!" Melvyn said as he waltzed into a nearby tavern.

« Last Edit: Mar 24 2019, 02:32 PM by DeadJim »

Offline Tyler294

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Killroy eagerly followed.

"So, where do we be startin'?" he asked once they were indoors.

Offline DeadJim

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Eamon sighed and followed, "I thought we were here to meet someone..."

Melvyn walked up to a table and quickly joined into a game of chindarry. He motioned for Killroy to come look at his cards, and he began to explain the game.

"Chindarry is a marvelous game played with cards, dice, and a boatload of chance! First everyone must put an initial bet into the center of the table, then the dealer rolls the 4 dice. The goal of the game is to get a chindarry, or to have thee cards and two dice of the same number."

The other players at the table scowled at him for turning their game into a lecture subject, but he seemed like an easy target, so they ignored him... for the time being.

"Next, you place down a card that's the same number as one of the dice, then, you get to re-roll that dice. The next player does the same thing, unless they don't have or don't want to reroll the dice, and then they have to take the card just put down."

One of the players at the table, one sitting next to Melvyn, placed a card down rolled one of dice. Melvyn took the discarded card, and lay his hand down on the table.

"Chindarry! See Mr. Roy? Its that simple!" He then reached for the pot.

"Hey! Who do you think you are?" One of the players yelled at him, "No one wins that quickly! Not unless they're cheating!"

"What? Me cheat?" Melvyn replied innocently before turning back to Killroy, "Like I said, there's a lot of chance involved in the game."

"I bet he's a wizard!" Another player chimed in as he stood up and drew his sword.

Melvyn burst out laughing, "Oh heavens no! I defeated a wizard once, but that hardly makes one..."

"You won't take my money wizard!" Yet another player yelled as he charged at Melvyn. Eamon met him first and after deflecting his blow, pushed him to the ground. Two of the other players also began to attack him, while Melvyn scooted to the side and checked his compass. "Oh dear, we're going to be late."

***

Arlyss awoke a few minutes later in the cargo hold. Her head was throbbing slightly, though otherwise she didn't seem to be hurt. After brushing herself off she looked around the room, but after finding nothing she went above deck. The sun blinded her for a moment, but after adjusting to the light she saw two crewmen with swords drawn staring at her.

"Hault! Why are you on our ship!" The one to the left demanded.

"Sorry, I was just looking for someone." Arlyss replied calmly, though she wasn't interested in sticking around to talk to these blokes for long.

"Avast! I think this one's a woman!" the one on the right gasped as he raised his sword higher.

Arlyss blinked for a moment then looked down at herself, "That wasn't obvious?"

"By the fish I think you're right, Ellert!" the one on the left said. "No woman has ever walked this deck before!"

"Yeah! And the captain wouldn't like it if he found out!" the other replied, "What are we going to do with it?"

"Her." Arlyss corrected, "You should have said, 'What are we going to do with her."

"Ah! It can hear us!" Ellert screamed as he jumped back a pace. "What do we do Kep!?"

"Keep calm," Kep replied, "maybe it hasn't seen us yet."

"... and I just met one of your crew members who's a woman. From what I've learned with my research, she's worked on this ship for over a year."

"It's talking to us Kep!" Ellert cried as his voice began to break up, "We should make a run for it!"

"No, we must be brave!" Kep said heroically as he raised his sword for battle, "Wait, what do you mean a woman has been working on our ship! That's impossible!"

"Don't talk to it Kep!"

"Quiet Ellert!"

"Well I couldn't see her that well..." Arlyss thought for a moment, "But she had long dark hair, and blue eyes I think. She carries a large sword, and is pretty good and fighting... but I won, of course."

"Avast! Do you think she means Crayg?" Ellert gasped yet again.

"I told you there was something fishy about him!" Kep growled.

"Her." Arlyss corrected, "I told you there was something fishy about her."

"See? She agrees!" Kep snapped, "We must find the captain and tell him! We'll be heroes for saving the ship!"

The two then ran off onto the docks.

"The ship is mine again!" Arlyss smiled as she drew one of her swords in victory.

"Thanks for getting me fired." A voice said from behind. Arlyss turned around and saw the same woman she had fought earlier sitting on one of the stairs leading to the helm.

"You're welcome." Arlyss smiled, "My captain doesn't mind having a woman aboard, you know. You could sail with us and not have to hide your gender."

"I wasn't hiding it."

"Okay then," Arlyss said as she raised her eyebrows, "Let's go."

Offline Tyler294

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"Mr. Vyn, is this the point were I be stealin' all the gold from the table while they be distracted?" Killroy inquired.

Offline DeadJim

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"That technically wouldn't be stealing since the money was won legitimately by myself," Melvyn replied, "but nonetheless, you should probably take it now. Then we must get a move on."

Eamon was now fighting four men, with several others sprawled on the floor slightly dazed.

Offline Tyler294

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Killroy quickly gathered everything that was on the table. Except for one of the mugs of ale... which he downed himself, despite being underage in more civilized parts of the world. But he was a sailor, so... yeah, sailors learn that water is for sailin' in, not drinkin'.

"I got ih' all, Mr Vyn. Now where to?"

Offline DeadJim

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"Outside!" Melvyn said anticlimactically as he stepped out the door.

***

"Ah, that's better." Melvyn sighed as he took in a breath of fresh air.

Offline Tyler294

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"Aye...? So uh, you said be late? What we be late to?" Killroy asked.

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"A very important meeting." Melyn answered, "And it should be happening right about... now."

"...I think."

Offline Shawnex

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"MAKE WAY FOR THE PRINCE!" called a voice.

A group of familiar men on horses were galloping through town to the harbor. Other than the two guards in the group, there was Prince Carder, son of King Kolo of Jerando, Harvey Spear, foamer Captain of his king's army, and an Alizarian named Wondu who came to the kingdom about the news of the shards. They stopped a few blocks before the harbor and not far away from the tavern where Melvyn and Killroy were.

"We need to ask a captain or manager permission to sail on one of their ships, your highness." assisted Harvey after he dismounted from his horse.

"Yes we will." agreed the prince, "Me and my men will start here and continue west on each dock to see if their okay with it. You and Wondu will start at the other and continue east incase none are available. Let us know if you have someone who will sail us."

"As you wish." replied Wondu, "Before we start searching, I may need small drink and relax a bit. I'm low of water."

"Yes you may. Just be careful not to get drunk or get into a barfight. It's common nowadays." Prince Carder warned with a smile and set off for the docks to find a ship.

"Mind if I join with you?" asked Harvey, "I could use a drink as well."

"I don't see why not. It's best to have one than to dehydrate and drink the ocean." chuckled Wondu and they walked to the tavern.

They didn't notice a fight occurred in the building till Wondu stepped in and fell back out after being bumped by one of the men who were still fighting Eamon.

"What the devil is going on here?!" he spluttered and got up again as he and Harvey watched the fight, "The Prince was right about barfights!"

"I say you two!" called Harvey to the two men outside the building, "Ya notice that there's a fight goin on?"