The Story So Far.   Posted by Storyteller.Group: 0
 GM, 14 posts
Mon 13 Oct 2008
at 06:50
The Story So Far
In Realm Year 760, the most fortunate and prestigious of Dynasts gathered in the Imperial City to kick off the 5th Grand All-Creation Cross-Direction Quest for recently graduated Secondary School students.

The Grand Quest was a recent tradition, held every twenty five years: a Creation-wide scavenger hunt in which the best and brightest of Dynastic youth could test their abilities and experience first hand all the beauty and danger of the Threshold. Graduates signed up as groups of friends of allies, received a list of five extraordinary items per pole to retrieve (varying from as esoteric as "A Tale from a God" to as specific as "A Sword from a Delzhan Chieftain"), and embarked on a year-long adventure to find them... or prevent their rival groups from doing so.

Among the groups that embarked on the new year of RY 760 was V'neef Jadira, a Wood Aspect archer and sorceress, and Ledaal Lasuri, a Water Aspect who dreamt of sailing the high seas. Accompanied by their childhood friends, Daithi and Kia, they began their Quest in the East with high spirits, only to be tossed wildly astray from their goal. During their retrieval of "A Bow from Lookshy", Kia (a rather fickle and mischievous 'mad bomber') set off an explosion on the Lookshy harbor that ultimately led to their incarceration and exile from the Realm.

One way or another -- perhaps with the help of powers beyond them -- they managed to escape, bribe or otherwise convince their way out of their prison sentence. Jadira and Lasuri, embittered by a fate pushed on them by a senseless act of terrorism, parted ways with their now ex-friends and decided to work together to make a living for themselves. Now an Outcaste couple, labeled as exiles from the Realm and ex-convicts from Lookshy, they figured they might as well make a habit of the criminal record.

After all, they've started to get rather good at it.

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:57, Sun 07 Dec 2008.

 GM, 15 posts
Mon 13 Oct 2008
at 06:50
The Cobalt Alliance
Three years later, in Calibration of Realm Year 763, the Empress disappeared without a trace. Since then, Creation has been gradually awakening to the uncertainty -- or opportunity, depending on how you look at it -- her absence creates.

In the West, Captain Lasuri of the Cobalt Alliance lives the life of a gentleman-privateer, plying the ocean aboard his swift-sailing flagship, the Spring Dryad II. Flying a banner of cobalt emblazoned with a sea serpent encircled by a thorny floral vine, his fledgling alliance of pirates, explorers and seafaring scholars maintain friendly relations with Coral and subtly support the Realm -- not through open tribute or allegiance, but by deterring the Realm's enemies on the high seas in whatever ways they can.

His first mate is Lady Jadira Thornbloom, an outcaste of the An-Teng Shore Lands with contacts among the Dragon-Blooded who live or vacation there. Through them she keeps track on the situation in her homeland, even though she may never again set foot upon its lands.

Despite their own private allegiances, though, the Cobalt Alliance itself has taken in all sorts: outcastes as well as their mortal and godblood allies who share a spirit of adventure, an enthusiasm for exploration and a penchant for working outside the law. They may be shielding among their number those who have been wrongly condemned, those who wish to take justice into their own hands, those -- like Lasuri and Jadira themselves -- who have lost everything and would build a new fortune by targeting the truly vicious, self-serving, and black-hearted villains of the Western Ocean.

But it's a fine line to walk between the stigma of 'pirate' and the good deed of policing the open sea. Sometimes 'good' and 'bad' are not so cut and dry, and one day's ally becomes the next day's enemy. When there's no one out there to tell you what's right or wrong, it's easy to get caught up in the moment. What becomes the priority then: morality or survival? Alliances or profit? Freedom or defending order?

Join the Cobalt Alliance, and forge that answer for yourselves.
 GM, 284 posts
Sun 7 Dec 2008
at 08:30
Thread Summaries: Chapter 1
The start of a grand adventure! The Cobalt Alliance is less focused on specific goals, sailing the seas looking for adventure and enemies to defeat!

Dates covered: 1-7 Ascending Water 768

Chapter 1, Phase 1 - Sorrow's Veil
Captain Lasuri Leomaris and First Mate Jadira Thornbloom hold a banquet for the new members of the Cobalt Alliance at Sorrow's Veil. The next day, they decide a course of action and set sail on their flagship, the First Age warship Spring Dryad II.

Chapter 1, Phase 2 - Manse Hunting
On the way to the workshop-manse that Platinum Dove discovered through her studies at Sorrow's Veil, the Cobalt Alliance encounters a large group of corsairs. When the Cobalt Alliance catches up to them, they are attacking the Tya merchantman Sea's Bounty with overwhelming force. The Alliance members move to defend the Tya, slaying 46 corsairs and their leader, Captain Char "Bloodeye" Kossuth.

Chapter 1, Phase 2 Intermission - Sea's Bounty
The aftermath of the battle with Kossuth. Treon Fireblade takes over command of the custom yacht Hammerhead, inheriting from Kossuth 12 now ex-corsairs willing to serve the Alliance. Zeru is granted the coursair Black Marlena and 5 crewmen formerly of the Spring Dryad II. Lasuri and Captain Tya Rothalga of the Sea's Bounty arrange for a funeral for the fallen Tya and Cobalt crewmembers. Afterward, Rothalga invites the Cobalt officers for dinner, using that opportunity to inform them of the manse the corsairs were previously trying to excavate underwater.

Chapter 1, Phase 3 - Chrysalis of the Deep
Zeru and Jadira proceed with the excavation of the submersible workshop-manse known as Chrysalis of the Deep, with the aid of First Mate Tya Niakuni and her deep sea diving equipment. After a battle with a gigantic butterfly automaton, they manage to reach the manse and bring it to the surface so that repairs can be made on the Cobalt ships (including the former corsair vessels).

Chapter 1, Phase 3 Intermission - Marlena
Before the excavation, Zeru goes to the Black Marlena to commune with the little god of the ship. She answers his prayer, and agrees to let him captain her vessel... with a few demands of her own to sweeten the bargain.

Chapter 1, Phase 3 Intermission - Tethia
Tageru goes to speak personally with his prisoner, Tethia, a Water Aspect archer and Captain Kossuth's first mate. After a very heated discussion, she finally breaks down, and resolves to put aside her weapons a while and reconsider what her path in life will be from now on.

After allowing her a few days rest, Captain Lasuri goes to speak with Tethia himself, to better understand the conditions of her initial imprisonment as well as confirm for himself that she is staying of her own free will.

Chapter 1, Phase 3 Intermission - Dryad in Repose
Too wounded to accompany the Chrysalis excavation, Lasuri waits and rests aboard the deck of the Dryad. In the meantime, Treon comes to speak to him about the Hammerhead's role in the new Cobalt fleet, and Tageru comes to speak about Tethia (after their conversation, above). The conversations come to an end when the workshop-manse rises from the sea.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:29, Fri 01 Jan 2010.

 GM, 777 posts
Wed 23 Sep 2009
at 01:27
Thread Summaries: Chapter 2
A tale of many threads: the Cobalt Alliance at rest in Wavecrest, then splitting on two ambitious adventures. One to find a missing Dynast sorceress (and a certain treasure along with her) in the depths of a pelagial outpost, the other to the Isles of Nevermoor to subdue the sinister Blood Chalice of Kimbery.

The result: Walking into the mouth of a living island! Diving deep into a forbidding black sea! Lintha battles and weird deep-sea mutants galore!

AND coming out of it alive.

Dates covered: 8 Ascending Water - 2 Resplendent Earth 768

Prelude - Helkar's Folly
Captain Amonth Blackblade of the Helkar's Folly brings two future Alliance members to Wavecrest: Darel Arwan of the Emissaries of Perfect water, and Kiana Mahkong, errant Princess of the Crimson Isle.

Prelude - Waiting in Wavecrest
A young man named Xander Lucian, a resident of Wavecrest and recent graduate of the Brotherhood of Night, is tasked to find work on a vessel going to sea.

Chapter 2, Phase 1 - Seahaven, Wavecrest
After their adventures in the Western Sea, the Cobalt Alliance offers to escort Captain Tya Rothalga and her vessel to Seahaven, a major city of the Wavecrest island of Abalone. Here, Alliance officers and crewmen alike are allowed a shore leave to relax and restock on supplies.

Chapter 2, Phase 1 Intermission - Going to Market!
Several Alliance members explore the market of Seahaven. Some make purchases!

Chapter 2, Phase 1 Intermission - Immaculate Temple
Cynis Tageru goes to visit his Sifu to learn more about the Wood Dragon Style.

Chapter 2, Phase 1 Intermission - Ocean Mist Inn
Captain Lasuri and Jadira of the Alliance meet Amonth, Kiana and Darel for the first time. They are encouraged to talk about their origins, and Lasuri and Jadira introduce the concepts of the Alliance to them. Captain Blackblade is extended an invitation to join the Alliance as well, but only Kiana and Darel accept.

Chapter 2, Phase 2 - Decisions and Departures
Just before departing from Wavecrest, the Cobalt Alliance reconvenes to decide where they will go next. Kiana and Darel are introduced to the other members, as well as a third newcomer, a dour but quite competent ex-Lookshyan named Isole Kareth, who joins the Spring Dryad II as the artifact warship's engineer. The group ultimately decides to split: Lasuri, Jadira, Kareth, Kiana, Tageru and Zeru go southeastward toward An-Teng, while Treon and Darel head further westward to investigate a rumor involving the disappearance of a Dynast savant, Cynis Megara.

Chapter 2, Phase 2 Intermission - Marlena, Part 2
Zeru brings his first gift to Marlena, introduces her to her crew, and tells her of their next destination.

Prelude - Adrift At Sea
The Dragon King Tomistoma has made his home on the western side of Nkiru, a far Western island, surrounded by a loyal cult of worshipers. He is accompanied by his 'advisor', a godblood named Indrid Cold. As they relax for the day, they encounter travelers sailing in from a battered fishing boat from the south. On that boat is Hera, Solar Half-Caste and daughter of Nan, whose arrival is heralded with a celebration. The day after, Tomistoma, Indrid and Hera decide to go to the eastern side of Nkiru to investigate the arrival of a vessel captained by a Dragon-blood.

Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Isles of Nevermoor
Lasuri, Jadira, Kareth, Kiana, Tageru and Zeru are waylaid near a region of the Wavecrest Islets named the Isles of Nevermoor. They encounter a strange mist that turns out to be an eristufa, or mist-demon. Within the mist, civilian ships are under attack by Lintha of the Dara-Said sept, led by Lintha Dara-Said Father Hazhain Sul. Two ships from the Wavecrest Navy (the Shieldwarden and the Falchion) have come to their aid, but they are outmatched. The Cobalt Alliance decides to lend their aid and ultimately rout Hazhain Sul, who swears the secret of Nevermoor will never be theirs!

Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Ill-Fated Voyage
Xander Lucian never left with Captain Blackblade of the Folly, deciding instead to try his luck with a Southern explorer-savant named Loukan Hirdu. He leaves the safety of Wavecrest with his fleet of three ships: the Hirdu's Ambition, the Hirdu's Grace and the Hirdu's Promise. Unfortunately for Xander, Hirdu's destination is the Isles of Nevermoor, where the Dara-Said have been searching for an important artifact belonging to the Lintha. Incensed, Hazhain Sul attacks Hirdu's ships and captures him, but he and Xander are saved by the arrival of Captain Zeru and his crew.

Chapter 2, Phase 3 Intermission - Nevermoor Aftermath
After the defeat of Lintha Hazhain Sul, the Cobalt Alliance members meet with Wavecrest Captain Ganesh Irongall of the Shieldwarden and Captain Roche Fairwind of the Falchion. The recently rescued Captain Loukan Hirdu is there as well, and he informs the others of what Hazhain Sul sought in Nevermoor: the Blood Chalice of Kimbery. Hirdu also happens to know where it might be found, and offers to go with the Alliance to procure the Chalice from the Seven-Day Island, Rakatau. The Wavecrest Navy takes an interest in this excursion, sending Captain Fairwind along with them. Xander is dropped off at a stopover at the island of Auragik for supplies.

Chapter 2, Phase 3 Intermission - Kiana's New Duty
After performing well during the battle with Hazhain Sul, Lasuri grants Kiana an officer position on the Spring Dryad II as well as a new surname: White-Fist.

Chapter 2, Phase 3 - Nkiru of the Sunset
Captain Treon Fireblade of the Hammerhead sails with Darel Arwan to the far Western island of Nkiru, where they question the locals about the missing Cynis Megara. This puts them in the position to defuse a potential altercation between the two sides of Nkiru, when Tomistoma, Indrid and Hera arrive from the west. Once this is dealt with, they convene in the residence of Elder Maha-suma, where she and Speaker Risina tell Treon and Darel what they know about Megara's excursion to Black Rock Chasm, and what she may have sought there. Tomistoma, Indrid and Hera decide to come along on the adventure to find her -- as does a young island woman named Aranita.

Chapter 2, Phase 3 Intermission - Hammerhead Chat
Treon confers briefly with Indrid Cold, who uses his artifact tome, the Vedas Arundi, to discover further details about the Black Rock Chasm.

Chapter 2, Phase 4 - Seven-Day Island
Four ships (the Spring Dryad II, Black Marlena, Hirdu's Ambition and Falchion) sail to the living island at the center of the Isles of Nevermoor, which is said to only appear on the seventh day of the week, responding only to appropriate prayers and sacrifices. Before that, they encounter a vicious storm, and the anger of Storm Mother Tashalmira forces Cynis Tageru into a duel! Afterward, the ships are separated, leaving only the Dryad and the Marlena to enact the ritual to call Rakatau to the surface. The Seven-Day Island responds to their call, and allows them to enter his mouth to seek the Chalice!

Chapter 2, Phase 4 - Seven-Day Island, Interior
The inside of Rakatau is a wonder all its own, a complex of caves filled with artifacts and treasure maintained and watched closely by earth elementals known as jokun. Guided by the jokun, the Alliance members travel deep into the interior, past the sand-pumping heart of the great island, through the vast artifact collections in his belly. There they meet Queen Sylpheel of the Nymphs, taken in by Rakatau after she and her people fled the domain of a Storm Mother bent on enslaving them.

Lasuri, Kareth, Kiana, Tageru and Zeru are allowed to choose one artifact each before entering the tunnels where the Blood Chalice has taken root. They need all the help they can get, for the Chalice's slow corruption of Rakatau has taken a life of its own. It has manifested several infernal worms and a vast tentacled beast, and taken over the mind of the Queen's beloved sister, Melusine! Newly armed and refreshed, the Alliance takes on the taint, defeats the demon worms and saves Melusine -- but not before the demon-chalice curses her with blindness, and tests them with visions of terror and despair.

Chapter 2, Phase 4 - Seven Day Island (continued)
Jadira elects to stay behind with the Dryad along with Hirdu and Fairwind and their respective ships. While Lasuri and the others are on their adventure within Rakatau, Lintha Dara-Said Father Hazhain Sul returns with a stronger force that slays half the crew of the Dryad and several on the Falchion and Ambition as well. When the rest of the Alliance emerges victorious with the Blood Chalice, it's just in time to save the day and defeat Hazhain Sul once and for all.

Chapter 2, Phase 4 - Black Rock Chasm
While the rest of the Alliance deals with Hazhain Sul and the Blood Chalice, Treon, Darel, Tomistoma, Indrid and Hera embark on their own quest to find Cynis Megara and the Libram. Diving into the Chasm, they encounter a maze, and meet the mutated slaves of the pelagials, working in the upper levels of the pelagial outpost. After an altercation with one of these unfortunate mutants, they are able to follow a pair of others to where Megara and her crew have been imprisoned. Freeing her, Treon and the others return briefly to the surface, then reenter the Chasm to retrieve the Libram of Adamant Artifice (or rather half of it). At the end of this adventure, Tomistoma and Indrid go their separate ways, but Hera contiues onward with Treon and Darel.

Chapter 2, Phase 5 - The Quiescent Sea
With the Chalice claimed by Lasuri, whose Ring of Being protects him from the demon's curse, all is well in the Isles of Nevermoor once more. Rakatau brings the Alliance members together for one more meeting, during which Captain Fairwind says his farewells and leaves for Wavecrest. The Seven-Day Island grants Kiana a unique boon: the chance to captain a young island ship, his own child. Lasuri agrees to her promotion, and thus Kiana is made a Captain of the Alliance. After the meeting, Zeru speaks with Sylpheel and Melusine, who decides that she will join the Alliance as well, traveling with Zeru on the Black Marlena.

A night of rest is agreed upon by all, after which the Alliance embarks on the 3 month journey to their original destination, An-Teng. Rakatau assures them that in that direction they would find a way to be rid of the evil Chalice for good.

Chapter 2, Phase 5 Intermission - Trading Secrets
During the final battle with Hazhain Sul, Kareth revealed his anima for the first time. Curious about the strange apparitions in his Fire Aspect anima, Lasuri and Jadira decide to confront him about his past, and in turn provide him the secret of their own origins as well.

Chapter 2, Phase 5 Intermission - Nymph on Board
Captain Zeru introduces the blind nymph Melusine to Marlena and her crew.

Chapter 2, Phase 5 Intermission - Rakatau's Child
Kiana formally introduces herself to the island ship she names Akihiro, forming a bond with him. She also meets the crew Rakatau and Sylpheel has assigned to him, a group of fifteen jokun led by Akuj and ten nymphs led by Calliope.

Chapter 2, Phase 5 Intermission - Two Disturbing Men
A very brief chat between Kareth and Tageru, on the night before departing for the City of the Steel Lotus.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:37, Fri 01 Jan 2010.

 GM, 989 posts
Fri 1 Jan 2010
at 17:20
Thread Summaries: Chapter 3
Chapter 3 involves the Cobalt Alliance becoming involved in increasingly larger and more complex plots spanning from Skullstone to An-Teng, and learning more about the artifacts and powers that will affect the future of the West.

Dates covered: 6 Descending Water 768 - ???

Prelude - Silence and the Sundering Sword
Enter Maryam Lamya-kin, an Outcaste Air Aspect hailing from Chiaroscuro. She has been given a job to deliver an important artifact to her contact in the City of the Steel Lotus, An-Teng. What makes this Sundering Sword so important, and why would the Lintha travel so far from shore just to obtain it?

Chapter 3, Phase 1 - Reunion and Darktide
The Cobalt Alliance fleet reconvenes for the first time in months, and discusses the treasures they have discovered on their separate quests: the Blood Chalice of Kimbery, a key artifact to supposedly "reviving the Lintha blood", and one half of the Libram of Adamant Artifice, a treatise on First Age Crafting. Afterward, they encounter two Skullstone ships, including the Last Will and Testament, flagship of the (in)famous Skullstone Captain and Solar Exalt, Moray Darktide.

Chapter 3, Phase 1 - On the Fate of the Chalice
Several representatives of the Cobalt Alliance agree to meet with Captain Darktide on the Testament. Their purpose: to discuss the Blood Chalice, and what is to be done with it. It turns out Moray's liege, the Silver Prince, has a strong interest in this Chalice. He offers to let his (apparent?) ally, the Zenith Caste known as Silver Shell, travel with the Alliance to the City of the Steel Lotus to meet a pair of artifact experts. According to Shell, Horus and Iyadali have the expertise to determine how the demon-cursed Chalice can be destroyed once and for all.

Chapter 3, Phase 2 - City of the Steel Lotus
The plot continues...

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:30, Fri 01 Jan 2010.