Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset.   Posted by Storyteller.Group: archive 4
Darel Arwan
 player, 61 posts
 Aspect of Air
 Emissary of Perfect Water
Sat 21 Feb 2009
at 18:54
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Darel nodded his assent at Treon's words. "From what I have heard, Cynis Megara was a powerful sorcereress. If she encoutered something she could not overcome, we will likely need to cooperate if we were to follow her trail."

This message was last edited by the player at 22:51, Sat 21 Feb 2009.

Storyteller
 GM, 514 posts
Sun 22 Feb 2009
at 10:06
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
"Thank you for joining us, Captain of the Hammerhead," replies the Elder to Treon. She rests her gaze upon Indrid, as well. "And you, Amiliki. For tonight we will eat together in peace."

"Cynis Megara is not one of ours, lady Hera," Risina continues on, when the Elder's words are interrupted by a racking cough. It appears speaking unaided is not always easy for the Matron. "She is a Terrestrial chosen. And her kin are kin of the Realm and their Empire. However, because Megara visited us last, we do feel an obligation to tell any rescue party where she has gone."

After drinking a long sip of tea the Elder touches Risina's arm, so that she may continue in her quiet, wispy voice. "The Black Rock Chasm has been known to my people for centuries. It was considered cursed since before the time of Elder Matron Shiv-hala, thirteen generations hence. The Umai know to avoid it by the color of the water in its vicinity; there it is stained black, as if by a squid's ink."

"When the Handmaiden was among us, She kept the Chasm dormant. But whatever magic She wove has weakened. Now ships that linger there are often lost. Others have returned emptied of cargo, and the crew speak of horrific sea monsters in their midst. Only two have returned with treasures, artifacts of deceptive beauty and untapped power that have been kept sealed since. It is such wonders that draw people to venture there, despite the dangers."

The Speaker takes over again, to allow her Elder to rest and continue to eat. "Megara is only one of the unlucky lost at the Chasm. But she went there willingly. The Chasm, you see, is completely underwater. Deep, so deep that no ordinary human can venture there unaided. She thought perhaps with her sorcery, her superior equipment, she would triumph in the den of the sea monsters. Ha! We've no reason to think she survived, but no proof she died, either. That is where you come in."

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:08, Sun 22 Feb 2009.

Tomistoma
 player, 21 posts
 Western Dragon King
Mon 23 Feb 2009
at 02:02
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
The Dragon King takes his feet, the tentacles of a squid sliding past his conical teeth as he swallows it whole. Addressing Treon, "Indrid Cold is a trusted advisor and companion, regardless of his sense of obligation, and is free to come or go as he wishes." He nods to his companion Indrid before continuing, addressing the gathering at large, "In addition, since I have come here, not as a rival to the ruler's of the people of Umai, but as a seeker of knowledge, I would ask to personally accompany the crew of the Hammerhead. While my experience with the present Age and it's politics may be lacking, I have some small skill at surviving in underwater environments, and combating the beasts that make their home there."
Cathak Garel Treon
 player, 128 posts
 No longer an officer
 ... still a gentleman
Mon 23 Feb 2009
at 21:24
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Treon listens attentively to both the Matron and her Speaker, considering what they say.  That does indeed sound like the Pelagials Indrid described to me not moments ago, reaches a conclusion.  This might definitely explain how such a sorceress became unstuck.

And what do to about Tomistoma?  He seems to be honest enough, at least..., Treon weighed things in his head as he considered the giant lizardman.  He came to his decision fairly quickly, however.  "Your help would definitely be appreciated," Treon told him.  "Your experience underwater far exceeds mine, I am sure."

"Did she travel alone or was she accompanied by a sizable retinue?" Treon enquired.  "And exactly how long ago did she leave here?"
Indrid Cold
 player, 13 posts
Tue 24 Feb 2009
at 01:04
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Coming into the middle of one conversation and in the middle of his own, Indrid inclines his head politely to the room and then falls silent. Breaking off from Treon's side, he moves to stand beside Tomistoma once more, nonplussed by the Dragon-King's dining habits. He has seen them before.

He has some notion of what is being discussed after his talk with Treon, but still must indulge in silence as he figures out the finer points. "These sea monsters of whom thou speaks, are they the pelagial? Or some other creature dwelling in the sea-folks forgotten realm?"

By what Vedas Arundi had shown him, Indrid reasons that the pelagial are, or at least were, an intelligent race of beings. There was, perhaps, an opportunity for reason and discourse to win out in contact with them, should they still be found in that foreboding-named place.
Storyteller
 GM, 518 posts
Tue 24 Feb 2009
at 05:39
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
When Aranita comes in to pour tea for those who have just seated themselves, her eyes linger on Treon. A blush forms on her cheeks, but she quickly moves to the next guest's cup before Speaker Risina can take notice.

"Lady Megara was not alone, Treon Fireblade. She arrived with a vessel of wondrous quality, about the size of yours, and four merchant vessels. It was... quite a fuss when she arrived. Her captains were all Dragon-blooded and her crew, they were rather uncouth and foul-tempered. All of them together numbered over 100."

"Pelagial is not a word we know, Amiliki," replies the Elder to Indrid. "Though it is the word that Cynis Megara called them. We do know the sea monsters are unlike the Fair Folk. They are not of the Wyld. Rather more like those beings we have seen corrupted by the Wyld. Flesh and blood creatures."

"It was, by now, about three weeks ago. With the attitude they had, I would not be surprised if much of her crew has long deserted her." Risina shakes her head wearily. Playing host for Megara's crew must have been a harrowing experience. "But she was able to breathe water like air. A simple drowning would not hinder her."
Darel Arwan
 player, 62 posts
 Aspect of Air
 Emissary of Perfect Water
Tue 24 Feb 2009
at 15:21
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Darel listened raptly to the islanders' explanations. Despite his sense of comradeship for another scholar, he felt that the Dynast and her crew could rot at the bottom of the Western Ocean for all he cared - the West had no need for the pawns of the Blessed Isle who plundered treasures that should by right belong to Westerners - and, specifically, those who could put them to a greater use, like the Cobalt Alliance or the Emissaries of Perfect Waters.

[OOC: What would I roll for knowledge of the pelagials? They're not strictly supernaturals, so I guess Lore.]
Hera
 player, 15 posts
Tue 24 Feb 2009
at 21:39
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Hera shakes her head, "I do not know this word Terrestrial. We do not have that word where I come from, nor the Realm. But it matters not who's people she belongs to. If she is in danger, I will help. It sounds as if helping her could help more down the road. All the better."

"I have had little need for staying under the lagoon more than a minute or two. If you are hunting and wrestling mako, you hardly needs more. I am guessing that the chasm is deeper than this and the monsters are fiercer than the mako. Whatever it is, I will prove my worth as daughter of Nan."
Storyteller
 GM, 522 posts
Wed 25 Feb 2009
at 01:42
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Thinking on the topic of pelagials, Darel knows that they are an old and long-lived race that once had a vast empire beneath the sea. They appear like men but with the lower body of a manatee or bull seal. Their numbers have dwindled since, but savants, traders, slavers, even Western leaders know of them. Despite their grotesque appearance, they are quite literate, and skilled at creating manse and artifice. The Emissaries have had dealings with pelagials before, in fact, though it is rare they trade knowledge or artifact for anything but wealth or slaves (the latter of which the Emissaries, of course, frown upon).

Risina looks a little bit surprised that Hera had never so much as heard of a Terrestrial, but she does not question it. "Terrestrial in this case would be the Chosen of the Dragons. Their largest domain is in the center of Creation, the 'Realm'. But I dare not speak further on a topic those of the proper blood would know," she concludes cautiously, not wishing to offend any actual Dragon-bloods that may be present.

The Elder, on the other hand, appears both pleased and relieved upon hearing Hera's proclamation. "So then you are all in agreement to help one another? Then enjoy this meal, and our hospitality while you still may. Tomorrow we will send you off."

"We will hear any further questions you have for tonight, of course," adds Risina. She frowns slightly when she sees Aranita leave with the teapot, then return, lingering at the edge of the room.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:48, Wed 25 Feb 2009.

Darel Arwan
 player, 63 posts
 Aspect of Air
 Emissary of Perfect Water
Wed 25 Feb 2009
at 22:28
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
With nothing to add for now, Darel contented himself with enjoying Nkiru's hospitality, though he remained observant of the attendants' behavior. At the back of his mind, though, remained the thorny pelagial issue. If they could overcome a powerful sorceress and four Dragon-Blooded, they would be a danger to them as well. Besides, he did not want to run contrary to the Emissaries interests by antagonizing a faction of pelagials. More to discuss with Treon later, I guess.
Tomistoma
 player, 22 posts
 Western Dragon King
Thu 26 Feb 2009
at 03:14
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
[Private to Storyteller: 18:06, Today: Tomistoma rolled 3 successes using 3d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7 with rolls of 8,2,10. Lore. ]

Tomistoma imparts any knowledge of the pelagials he can to the discussion in between mouthfuls of various sea creatures. "I can stay submerged without effort for about an hour. Is there known if any pockets of air exist in this chasm?" He asks, one eye opening wider in what appears to be a lizardly approximation of a raised eyebrow.
Storyteller
 GM, 527 posts
Thu 26 Feb 2009
at 19:28
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
"We do not know, Lord of Tekai," says Risina, frowning towards the Dragon King. "Never have we dared to enter the chasm ourselves. Rather, we thought that since Captain Fireblade came here seeking Lady Megara, he would have the means to seek her beneath the waves."

"The pelagials take land-dwelling slaves," adds Elder Maha-suma, her pinched face showing distaste (and not just from the tart ground-cherries she had just started to eat.) "Therefore one would assume they have some way to keep them alive in their underwater domains. They can breathe both in air and water, so the legends from our forebears say."

Tomistoma knows as much as Darel does of the pelagials, minus the relations to the Emissaries. He also recalls the name of their largest city, the "City of Shining Reefs". He can also speak of pelagial 'cults' he has encountered on other distant islands before settling down in Tekai, though he does not know much about them besides that they were cannibalistic and antagonistic to his presence, prompting him to leave rather than linger. Back then he was not even certain they were specifically pelagials or just some other wyld-mutated race, but the information from the others seems to corroborate with the pelagial cult theory.

[Private to Darel Arwan: Just a little detail on the Emissary relations... I wouldn't consider the pelagials their allies, as much as a source for artifacts and old knowledge. I wouldn't think the Emissaries would agree at all with the pelagials' ambitions in the West, which at base may be even worse than the Realm's. So the relations with the pelagials would be a tentative, distant one--they wouldn't want to outwardly anger the ancient race because of what knowledge and power they can get out of it, but they don't want the people of the West enslaved, recruited into cults or eaten by them, either.]

[Private to Cathak Garel Treon: Don't forget you have a portion of the maruera gum the Tya used. Non-aquatic folk can actually breathe underwater with it, though you'll still have to deal with movement penalties.]
Cathak Garel Treon
 player, 129 posts
 No longer an officer
 ... still a gentleman
Thu 26 Feb 2009
at 21:49
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
"I do," he nods.  "It will probably do about the same for us as you can manage unaided, Dragonking Tomistoma.  Since, as the Elder notes, they take humans as slaves that should be enough to get us down to their levels.  And then back again, of course.

"Do you know what it was that Cynis Megara was seeking in the Chasm?" he enquires of the Elder and her speaker, holding up his cup to Aranita as he does for a refill, favouring her with a warm smile.
Storyteller
 GM, 529 posts
Sat 28 Feb 2009
at 00:32
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
"It is an ancient tome that she sought," replies Elder Maha-suma, "one that supposedly held secrets of engineering from the days the golden ones ruled." The short-statured matron meets Treon's gaze boldly. "She called it the Librum of Adamant Artifice. Such a book of knowledge would no doubt be considered taboo if not outright forbidden texts to those of Immaculate leanings."

"I'm sure she sought more than a single artifact," says Risina, her manner more clipped as she watches Aranita carefully. "The Chasm could well hold untold riches, among its dangers. I'd recommend not to approach this task with hostilities. The easiest way to invite yourself into the Black Rock Chasm would be to present yourself as a dignitary... or a slave."

Aranita manages not to spill the tea as she blushes at Treon's smile.

"It grows late," Maha-suma says with finality. The maidens begin to clear away the plates, leaving only fruits, drinks and desserts, many of them likely too sugary for Tomistoma's palate.



OOC: I would like to get the new thread started soon. So let's try to wrap this up. :)
Hera
 player, 16 posts
Sat 28 Feb 2009
at 05:25
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Hera relaxes for the moment thinking over what has come to pass. While the dragon had little knowledge of he world, this village  had a good deal. They knew of entire races at the center of a place called Creation and kingdoms they controlled. Finding out more would help her father in dealing with them. The two kingdoms might be able to come to an accord perhaps even a trade agreement. Their lagoon was rich with fish, more than enough to feed the people of Home.

She looked to the outsiders of this place. The people who would help her with the monster of the chasm. They were different than these people, but did not share her pale white skin and golden hair. She would have to ask them about their lands and the god kings they serve.
Cathak Garel Treon
 player, 130 posts
 No longer an officer
 ... still a gentleman
Sat 28 Feb 2009
at 21:16
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
"Thanks," he says quietly to Aranita after she pours the tea.

Treon frowned a little at the mention of the book being sought, but passed no overt comment.  "I had not planned to come in belligerently, Speaker," Treon remarks.  "I doubt that would help either ourselves or the lady Megara."

"Thank you Elder Matron, for the fine spread you have presented us with," Treon says with respect to her, as he picks up some of the sweet fruit.  "And for the information you have shared."
Darel Arwan
 player, 64 posts
 Aspect of Air
 Emissary of Perfect Water
Sat 28 Feb 2009
at 21:26
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
On hearing the Matron's explanations, Darel tried to recall if he had heard anything about such a libram.

[OOC: 22:21, Today: Darel Arwan rolled 3 successes using 6d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7 with rolls of 10,8,2,3,5,5. Int+Occult.
22:20, Today: Darel Arwan rolled 7 successes using 6d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7 with rolls of 10,9,10,9,6,8. Int+Lore.]


Darel nodded at Treon's words. "We will have to try the diplomatic route," he smiled. "While not strictly allies, my master and his peers have dealt with the pelagial empire before, though some of their... customs are not to our liking," he added, regarding Risina's last comment.

He leaned closer to Treon and spoke in a low voice in High Realm. [Private to Cathak Garel Treon: "Though as far as I am concerned, I will not risk life and limb just for the sake of a Dynast. This tome of ancient crafting could be boon to Western civilization, but it could also spell doom for our freedom if it landed in the wrong hands."]
Cathak Garel Treon
 player, 131 posts
 No longer an officer
 ... still a gentleman
Sat 28 Feb 2009
at 22:06
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Treon's expression deepens as he speaks back in High Realm.  [Private to Darel Arwan: "You are welcome to stay here on this island then, until we return.  Because I will.  Not because they are a member of the Dynasty, but because they are in trouble.  If you're not willing to do that, then perhaps you should stay here."] And that isn't just because she could so easily have been the one I left behind ...
Darel Arwan
 player, 65 posts
 Aspect of Air
 Emissary of Perfect Water
Sat 28 Feb 2009
at 23:37
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Darel frowned at Treon's comment. [Private to Cathak Garel Treon: "It is not my intention to abandon you. If there is an opportunity to rescue the Dynast and her crew without too great a cost, then... I am not without compassion. But you, of all the people here, should now what the Realm would do to the West if they had an expeditionary force to spare. When the race for the Scarlet Throne is over, they will turn their intentions outwards. Towards the Threshold. They will not take too kindly to any talk of autonomy, or at least getting a just return for the tributes we pay." Though his tone was level, there was a passionate spark in the eyes of the Dragon-Blooded.

"And I thought the Cobalt Alliance, which harbors a number of individual who have been at odds with their former homeland, would understand the danger the Realm poses - to them, or the West. In other circumstances I would much more open to the idea of helping a fellow wanderer of the seas, no matter where they hail from... But here we are talking about someone who would have handed powerful relics of the First Age to the Scarlet Empire. A tome which could be used to further their oppression. When the eyes of the Dynasty turn outwards once more, would you want to face war machines crafted using whatever secrets this Cynis Megara would have unearthed? I certainly don't.

I hope that this Cynis Megara and her crew can return to the Realm unarmed, but they will return empty-handed. I will accompany you to make sure of that."
]
Storyteller
 GM, 534 posts
Sun 1 Mar 2009
at 01:08
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
"You are welcome, Treon Fireblade," says Elder Maha-suma, though she seems more matter-of-fact than truly gracious. Not surprisingly, as it's more than obvious the generosity of the people of Umai is rather short when dealing with outsiders.

She and Risina exchange suspicious looks as Treon and Darel start to converse in the Realm language at the table.

Darel has certainly heard of the Librum of Adamant Artifice; in fact, Megara's expedition was not the first to have sought it. It is a relic many savants have sought -- most particularly those from nations that make use of ancient artifacts for war, such as the Realm. Even Lookshy has sent expeditions there before, though not so much in recent years, what with the Mask of Winters occupying Thorns, and the return of the Solar Exalted.

He has never before heard of anyone who had pinpointed the exact location of the librum though, so there's no absolute certainty that the Black Rock Chasm is the place. If Cynis Megara would risk her life to confirm it though, the chances ought to be good.
Tomistoma
 player, 23 posts
 Western Dragon King
Sun 1 Mar 2009
at 02:05
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Tomistoma's inhuman hearing picks up many small details of conversation that others might wish to keep private as he quietly continues to chew down a mound of seafood he dumped onto his plate as the servants came to clear out the main course to serve the desserts. He shows no interest in fruits or other sweet treats, instead absently putting fish and other sea creatures down his throat almost continuosly until he finally leans back in his chair, his stomach distended around the feast.
Indrid Cold
 player, 14 posts
Sun 1 Mar 2009
at 04:19
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Though quiet, Indrid listens closely. Hera's claim to not even know the word Terrestrial gives him a moment to reflect upon the strangeness of the woman. Foreign as everyone collected here is to his life, that singles her out easily as the strangest creature he's yet encountered. It is almost innocent and fascinating.

"Grandmother," Indrid says softly, addressing Maha-suma in polite tones. He knows it is not her 'proper' title, yet to use the name Elder or Matron has certain implications where he comes from. Standards she would neither meet nor possibly even desire to. "I desire not to be burdensome and strain the hospitality of thine island, yet I inquire if thy people possess an apothecary or store house of regiments which I may be granted access to."

Failing that, of course, the row back to Tekai and the boatsmen doubtless rested by now. His preference is simply to keep close to the boat, now that he was leant to their service.

"Fate willing I find what I need, tonight I shall begin bending myself towards the preparing a tincture which may allow those of us without lord Tomistoma's fortitude or the Dragon-Bloods magics to breath in the water for a brief time. I doubt not the prowess of the Host in keeping us safe in their exultant company, yet I think it may be a welcome caution should the event arise that we are separated in the deep."
Storyteller
 GM, 537 posts
Mon 2 Mar 2009
at 02:58
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
The Elder takes her time thinking on Indrid's request. "Mmm.... we may grant you that," Maha-suma finally replies, a tone of disapproval in her voice; the term Indrid used was one only her own family ought to properly use. "Aranita, you will bring him to Edelina's hut. Tell her our guest may only take what he will immediately use."

The other remaining maidens clear away the rest of the feast. "Risina will arrange lodgings for you should you rest here for the eve. Good night." The Elder stands abruptly, and two of the young women break away to flank her, guiding her to her bedchamber.

Aranita leaves very reluctantly, casting a gaze or two back at Treon before leaving with Indrid toward Edelina's residence. She is their most skilled theurgist, and she lives atop the knoll called Prayer Hill. Rather than receive Indrid from the front door, though, the white-robed Edelina brings him through a back entrance with a lamp to light his way, leading right into a storage area with alchemical items. [Private to Indrid Cold: Actually, I had given Treon a substance for water breathing, a gum from a rare tree that produces air when chewed. But since Indrid wouldn't know that I'm having him go ahead anyway. You could use the time/materials to brew other things, too. Anyway, you'd probably be able to find any components of Res 2 or less here. Res 3, you may have to ask specifically, and Res 4+ is off limits.]

When the others are ready, Risina brings them to an inn on the waterfront that appears to have been vacated for the purpose of accommodating them. It is a clean and comfortable establishment, with soft pillows and clean sheets, fresh floral decor and pitchers of clean water kept filled and available. Joining them are several of the most beautiful young maidens, and a pair of young, attractive men, who linger in the lobby with the unspoken assumption that they would willingly keep their guests company for the night should they wish it.



OOC: When you feel you're done posting here, you can move to 'Chapter 2, Phase 4 - Black Rock Chasm'.

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:19, Mon 02 Mar 2009.

Darel Arwan
 player, 66 posts
 Aspect of Air
 Emissary of Perfect Water
Mon 2 Mar 2009
at 16:18
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Noticing the two women's stares, Darel spoke apologetically: "I am sorry if I offended you, we are discussing private matters - if Treon agrees, we will pursue this matter later if he has anything to add."

With that said, and unless Treon objected, Darel and his servant retreated to their assigned room to rest for the night.
Cathak Garel Treon
 player, 132 posts
 No longer an officer
 ... still a gentleman
Tue 3 Mar 2009
at 21:39
Re: Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Treon is about to reply at considerably more length to Darel, when he too notices the glance.  "Ah, my apologies.  Elder Matron, Speaker, all.  This should have been a discussion for a private forum," he speaks, his tone apologising.  "We should definitely consider it later, however,"  he notes to Darel.

"Goodnight, all," he nods to all assembled, and then goes to the sleeping quarters Umai had been good enough to provide, although he declines the offered company.