South Midlands, Markol; Present Day.   Posted by GM Sedai.Group: 0
GM Sedai
 GM, 22 posts
 The Wheel weaves as the
 GM wills, always.
Tue 21 Jul 2015
at 08:19
South Midlands, Markol; Present Day
Bleak were the gray skies of dawn, chill was the damp drizzle that sprinkled the empty plains with the soft pitter-patter of a promised another dreary day. Miles stretched as far as the eye could see with not a single tree in sight—save for the arbitrary copse of inexplicably high trees, their mutant fibers rebelling against the lackluster soil and defiantly growing nearly four hundred feet into the sky.

The wild creatures that roamed the plains avoided these trees, and for good reason. Towertree Stand was a well-known place for travelers to rest, for while humans were seemingly ignored, any dangerous creature that entered into the small stand was mercilessly beaten with enormous flailing limbs until it either fled or became the next boost of fertilizer for the trees. As such, there were a myriad of corpses scattered through the area, most long-since decayed; the creatures had adapted and learned, and now more fauna shied away from the defensive trees.

The rain fell more slowly through the trees, dripping lazily from the leaves as the wood and branches soaked up every drop they could. The drops that made it through the canopy spotted the mossy ground with tiny pools of water and glazed the skeletal remains of fallen monsters with an eerie sheen, almost as if the bones were fresh from the kill. With the leaves overhead and the absorbent floor, the ground stayed remarkably dry for the constant rainfall that had plagued the plains for the last several days.
Edain DeRavone
 King of Elsewhere, 1 post
 Started from the top and
 now I'm here...
Tue 21 Jul 2015
at 23:03
Re: South Midlands, Markol; Present Day
Carefully, he thought, separate the landscape into quarters and memorize each one. Predict the motion of the trees. Predict the wind. Search for the missing piece to the pattern. Edain was no longer the young hunter he was in his youth. He was no longer living in the Lakahota tribe yurts learning how to feel the thrumming energy of the Raven Lady. He was no longer running to escape crazy family. He was no longer floating in those endless eternities into which he was flung. He was here.

And so is that.

The thrumming vibrations reached his sensors in the nor'easter quadrant. Northeastern. Only a couple weeks aboard a ship and it takes months to lose the language again. He felt the movement with his own hands, heard the power with his own ears. This was a big one. Mutant, maybe. Strongarm, most likely. Depending on how old, a Giftwurm could have the necessary materials to finish the project. Not to mention he hadn't seen one since Journey Day 17, and that one made a fashionable cape, a month's worth of meat, and a decent amount of materials for a yurt. Those were the days before the bunker. Those were the days of sustenance and want.

Get your edge back, he thought bitterly, no better place for that than Markol. The perfect getaway. The kingdom will never look here. Almost like I forgot why I never returned.

The thrumming turned eastward, away from the mutant trees. And away from Edain, who lowered the Blasted Sword of the Absent Lady and watched the landscape swirl as his eyes saw again from his own point of view. He'd been away from the Bunker for... 9 days? Kyketh that's a longer time than I was supposed to be gone. And I've been awake for 5 of them. Maybe it's time to head back and crash.

One leap, and he flew towards the earth. The perch he sat in was 300 feet above the ground, but that didn't matter. "Aerurum Dox Treya Danreyedux." One simple, hoarse, croaked command and his fall was broken multiple times by summoned walls of wind, preventing him from ever hitting terminal velocity. "Aerevis" came the second croak, a mere two feet from the ground. He halted himself cold and hovered - body aching from the strain of stopping the fall so short - for a solid thirty seconds before brought himself up and away from the trees, landed directly outside of the copse and ended the spell.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:35, Tue 21 July 2015.

Edain DeRavone
 King of Elsewhere, 2 posts
 Started from the top and
 now I'm here...
Wed 22 Jul 2015
at 15:01
Re: South Midlands, Markol; Present Day
The bleak landscaped rolled out before him, gentle and dead, while the rain rolled over him, shockingly cold and alive. The vastness of this place often surprised him when he took a moment from his thoughts to look at it - usually in those moments when his wedding ring came off.

Seems like ages ago now. A young Edain landed here. Right here, outside the trees. He had traveled the world, met many people, studied vigorously, loved intensely, and then forgotten everything in the Dark Days. He had been pulled into the Bleak days that followed - using his own unique grasp of higher magic to improve understanding in students at lectures in the university.

He felt his footfalls in every joint of his body. Five days without sleep is pushing it for me. I haven't been this bad about regulating my patterns since the Dark Days. Weariness was pushing in on him. His brain wasn't making connections as quickly as he liked. His body reacted slower to the natural tectonics of the region. Maybe in the old days, this would have been fine, but I'm in my 50's now. My body may not age much, but my mind and my spirit have kept trucking. I need to get back to the bunker. I need the Ring.

The rain was distorting the stone spires - in this weather, it was easy to believe the gods walked among men, seeing these great shapes that seemed like giants. The Larkeese believed that storms were the spirits showing pleasure with your people - the great rains were a cloak behind which the Gods hid and blessed your crops and women with equal fertility. A grin passed over his face. You don't see fun beliefs like that in so "civilized" a place as Verkhain. But here? In Markol? it seems so possible that gods could step out of the rain at any moment. Though I doubt these gods are ever in a "blessing" mood.

The sound of raindrops wove into the silence of the land like music, like the weave in a spell, like the web of a spider. Small, staccato notes of water on dirt. Edain felt each drop hit his skin and a chorus of sensation swept through him. I'm losing concentration. He thought. I need to return to the bunker soon. One foot, then the other. March like the infantry in the Capitol. One. Two. Three. March.

Towertree slipped farther back. Edain sunk deeper into the rhythm. One slowly shuffling dot on a canvas of rain and wild and quiet.
Ryees Kimara
 The Sword in the Sun, 5 posts
 These eyes see the
 mystery in this world
Wed 22 Jul 2015
at 15:53
Re: South Midlands, Markol; Present Day
Castle Cardon; Caricia, Carmenaria
Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Crash!

The water clock burst in place, drawing a muttered curse from the room's only occupant. It had been a gift from a poor family he had pardoned from years of taxes incurred by their estranged son's addictive gambling habits in Tego. Chased in platinum and silver, it had likely cost as much as the little family had made in a year, but their gratitude had been such that they forgot themselves in the moment and gifted it to Ryees without a second thought.

With a heaving sigh, Ryees traced a handful of intricate gestures, knitting the framework of the delicate metals back together with his Harmony. He murmured a lazy, "Aquexon," and a rivulet of water shot from his fingertip, arcing through his office to fill the canister before another offhand gesture snapped the lid shut. It would have to be recalibrated and was likely at the wrong water level. He would have to find time to care at a later time.

I know you're out there.

The king waved a hand at the diagram etched into his desk, prompting a small crystalline ball of energy to coalesce above it. Palm-sized and cloudy, Ryees gazed into it, resigned. It showed all the areas that had been mapped to the sphere as if it were a globe, gently rotating in place. He knew what he was looking for—unfortunately, what he was looking for could not be found. Finding nothing, finding an absence, was frustratingly more difficult than finding something real.

He picked a region at random that he hadn't explored yet, somewhere in the south half of Markol, and began scanning. In his mind, he counted, and with his hand, he wrote, mentally separating the area into ten equal sections and writing a number when each was finished. When his scan came up empty, he huffed a sigh and fell back in his chair. He rubbed his eyes and yawned, not tired in body but in mind, his efforts coming up fruitless once more. He glanced at the paper as a matter of course... and froze.

1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Ryees' mind perked, and his hand was much more active this time as he swept it over the globe, bringing up that same section of Markol once more and starting the scan. As he did so, he dove into his soul and carefully watched it flow through An'Roaer. Sure enough, the moment the scan reached that early middle section, his soul spun about, ignoring the contents of the screen for a handful of seconds before returning its attention.

When Ryees returned to his body, the tiredness had left his eyes. His legs were no longer leaden, his heart no longer given up.

You're still out there, still alive. Good.

His mind paused.

Now... what are you up to?
Edain DeRavone
 King of Elsewhere, 3 posts
 Started from the top and
 now I'm here...
Thu 23 Jul 2015
at 14:53
Edain's Bunker/Havenport, Markol; Present Day
The Bunker was Edain's safe place. He'd designed it and carved it out of the stone himself using weeks of magical theorizing and study. Here in Markol, it's where he went to indulge in his mental exercises while the wilds are where he did the physical work. His body was more in control than it had been in years - no beer belly, no slouching aching walk, he was once again a honed warrior. His heightened physiology made losing the weight easy, but gaining the muscle was harder in the less-harsh environment of Alvaera.

Kyketh, it may have been easier to do all of this at the castle. At least I would have had Crosspawn's help. That thought passed bitterly from his mind. Except I'm not Crosspawn. I don't know this world. I don't owe it anything and it doesn't owe me anything.

Edain walked through the bunker ponderously, pausing at several of the cages in the prison block. The mutant-gifted Fishlizard pen seemed empty if you didn't know what to look for - that distinctive shimmer in the top-left foliage was the cloaked monster that had ambushed him in week 13. It was a fascinating creature, able to use it's gift to adapt to seemingly any environment, though it had taken quite ably to this jungle biome. Further down, strong-arm beetles labored at whatever construction their psion-moth overlord directed them on. It seemed a strange and symbiotic relationship, much like that of ants or bees with their queen. The moth had surprised Edain in week 17, and lived here ever since. Many other creatures had piqued his interest over the weeks - almost all gifted, with one exception. In one pen, nearest his office, there was a simply canine, much like a house pet, who had a very complicated soul, unlike any other animal in this place. It seemed like the animal had a soul very much like that of a person, but completely devoid of the parts most responsible for thought, gift, or vijrmaen.

All seems in order. Maybe now I can get some sleep. The prison block was at the base of a set of stairs that climbed to a loft. The Loft was the part of the bunker that Edain kept as his private living space. There was a small study with desk and drafting table where he worked on ritual spells and magical research, a kitchen, a den for company (not that he'd had any), and - perhaps most importantly - the bedroom. Edain took the time here to pull open his closet and begin picking out clothes - mostly handmade from the local wildlife and vegetation, but some high-garb from the castle town - and packing it in a bag at the foot of his bed. Tomorrow he thought, I'm going to leave the bunker for a while. It's time for the gods to remember exactly who I am. He draped his wurmskin cape over the outfit he'd picked out for the next day and laid the Blasted Sword of the Absent Lady in it's cradle on the headrest.

Tomorrow, he thought as he climbed under the covers, I am heading out to make my mark on Alvaera and prove that one doesn't have to be Crosspawn to matter.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Havenport Harbor was like any of the other Southern Markoli harbors - defensive from the random monster attacks and distrusting of others who were often crooks or cronies for worse crooks. Markol had a lot of issues. Edain had chosen Havenport for three reasons. Firstly, he'd only been here once before in his life, when he lived on Markol decades ago, first learning to hone his new magic and adjusting to a world that genuinely seemed to want to kill him. I wish that was an exaggeration, but Markol is crazy, even for Alvaera. Secondly, it was large enough to have a decent number of ships, but small enough that no one policed it too carefully. Thirdly, to his knowledge, Crosspawn had never been here. That last point was very important to him.

"You there!" Edain shouted across the din to who he assumed was the harbormaster "I require passage this day, and am willing to be very generous to a man who can point me to an adequate vessel. Is there anyone casting off before evening?"
GM Sedai
 GM, 23 posts
 The Wheel weaves as the
 GM wills, always.
Mon 3 Aug 2015
at 02:59
Re: Edain's Bunker/Havenport, Markol; Present Day
Thunder rolled in the far distance and the harbormaster's eyes flicked up before dropping to scan Edain up and down before nodding shortly. "A handful," he grumbled, spitting into the ocean. "Thinking they can bea'the storm, damned fools. B'generous t'the cap'n on the vessel," he added, "no'me. I'not th'one sailin'into suicide." The portly man scribbled onto a piece of parchment and tore it off, offering it to the wandering Mage. "Here'sa ship'sre sailin' tonight. Within the hour." The note was scrawled in a tight, scribbled hand, legible but uncouth.

Breakman's Bay
Ocealla Rumio Duzin Cutolujia
The Marauder
The King's Men

Edain DeRavone
 King of Elsewhere, 4 posts
 Started from the top and
 now I'm here...
Mon 3 Aug 2015
at 04:09
Havenport, Markol; Present Day
Edain grasped the paper and examined the names, scoffing at the last. The irony behind a ship named The King's Men while a nationless King was looking to travel? Too easy.

"Thank you sir. I'll do that." Edain's wandering gaze steadied for a moment on the old harbormasters face. The weathered lines there reminded him of someone from a lifetime ago. Who even knows the distance, and yet faces can be the same. So strange. The eyes were tired but honest, and that was enough. Edain knew he would remember this town, and he would repay the man later.

One foot. The other foot. Slow, practiced steps. The ring was on, and he needed to allow himself reacclimate to being Alvaeran for the moment. It always takes a while to adjust he thought. It was a strained process, letting his brain adjust from the oxygen-rich environment of Alvaera to the restrictions of his ring, of the Limiter he wore to blend in. It was like being drunk for the first half-hour or so, and he was almost past that point. His words were slower, his body a little more clumsy, but he forced himself on. The King's Men was directly ahead, according to the note - Last ship in dock, first to leave port.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:12, Mon 03 Aug 2015.

GM Sedai
 GM, 24 posts
 The Wheel weaves as the
 GM wills, always.
Sun 9 Aug 2015
at 03:37
Re: Havenport, Markol; Present Day
Boxes and barrels clattered about as better than two dozen men darted about the upper deck of the King's Men, stowing cargo and tying lines in preparation to set off. One figure stood out, perched on a railing above the rest and shouting orders to which the sailors scurrying about quickly responded, a well-oiled machine just starting up to take on its task. The captain belted the orders nearly as rote, obvious that this was a routine.

Her eyes were focused upon her ship, it seemed, but their keen scans quickly noticed the figure standing dockside, approaching her vessel. She made no effort to make it apparent she had seen him, but as her gaze returned to watching the machinations of her ship, those sharp eyes would flick back to Edain every handful of seconds, tracking.
Edain DeRavone
 King of Elsewhere, 5 posts
 Started from the top and
 now I'm here...
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 05:45
Re: Havenport, Markol; Present Day
Ah, she's sharp. This may be a good trip. Edain pulled out a not-insignificant amount of money in a slightly straining leather purse, flashing it just long enough for her to see it, and then strode confidently up the dock to the moorings of the ship. Salty sea winds with the heavy, cloying smell of storm. Almost like those first couple years coming back to haunt me.

The crew was good. Practiced. Experienced. That was impressive. They also emitted a kind of confidence that showed they weren't afraid, either. Not the overconfidence that Edain had shown at his first stormy sea, certain that his amazing luck through the years would aid him in surviving anything, but instead the confidence that they were simply going through another storm, the same as the last storm and the one before that.

Edain very casually leaned against a crate waiting to be loaded and secured on the ship some twenty feet from the captain's perch, moneybag in hand, and watched the crew. Seasoned was a good word. A fair amount of steel in their hair I see. And on their hips. Survivors, to a man.

"Oh Captain!" He exclaimed. "Whenever you aren't too busy, please?"

This message was last edited by the player at 05:32, Mon 17 Aug 2015.

GM Sedai
 GM, 25 posts
 The Wheel weaves as the
 GM wills, always.
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 12:58
Re: Havenport, Markol; Present Day
As soon as Edain shouted, the captain gave a knowing sort of twitch of her head and dropped down from the banister. Automatically, two men broke from the crowd and fell in step beside her as she glided to the guard rail and leaned over it. "I've exactly one moment, traveler!" she called back in a very light Poralian accent. "And only that one, so I'll make this quick: If you wish passage, climb aboard—you'll pay in either coin or labor, depending on if you have enough of the first—and I've no time to sell or buy any wares so if that's what you're here for, I'll bid you farewell."

Her hand twitched, prompting one of her burly escorts to move to the gangplank, expectantly waiting to see if it would be lowering. The other stood stoic, silently but obviously appraising Edain from the deck. The captain's eyes were searching, startlingly invasive for such a distance as she did the same as her cohort, estimating, weighing, judging.
Edain DeRavone
 King of Elsewhere, 6 posts
 Started from the top and
 now I'm here...
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 09:16
Re: Havenport, Markol; Present Day
Edain worked hard to suppress a smirk. Oh now? Really? She's rather... curt. It went against his every instinct to stay polite, though he couldn't help showing off a bit. He threw the bag of coins toward Muscle and Brawn, but manipulated his Harmony to move the bag around the pair and directly to the captain, where he left it hovering at her eye level.

"I do believe, Ma'am, that you will find that to be enough coin?" He cocked his head to the side and calmly strolled aboard. He made sure to stand eye-to-eye with each of the brutes to get a good judge of their reactions. "Though if you require my labor, I could oblige there as well. What is your destination?"

This message was last edited by the player at 09:17, Wed 19 Aug 2015.