Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]   Posted by The First And Last.Group: 0
The First And Last
 GM, 22 posts
Tue 2 Jun 2015
at 15:13
Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
"She's coming around, starboard!" screamed the bosun over the crashing waves, "Sails a'tatter, this is her last run!"

Across the prow of the ship Zama Tenev could see the fat sloop turning right, trying to bring its starboard guns--such as they were--to bear. Behind Zama, Captain Meyer-Holt leaned on the railing.

"Sea witch. Have you some trick to end this bloody chase?" he scowled irritably, "I've half a mind to gut them all when we catch them, just on principle."

They'd been after the sloop for two days now-- a lucky shot on the first had gutted half the sails of Meyer-Holt's ship, the "Mother's Daughter". The sloop was tricky, and flew no flag. For a privateer that was as good as anything.

"Match her to port, tack as you will!" the Captain yelled, pushing off the railing, "Starboard guns, make ready! Sea witch, we're to broadside and bring in for boarding. You'll lead. Understood?"

The Captain was a leathery-faced Caelishman who had known Tenev's mother; it was, he had made clear, a favor to Tenev's mother to take her aboard. He had no great love for magic, but rarely repudiated the results Zama produced.

The sloop's side burst into fire and smoke as it emptied its guns, their shells hammering into the "Mother's Daughter". There was screaming below, but it was mostly from the shock of the impact-- the "Mother's Daughter" was sturdier than the sloop's guns. Her return fire was calculated and brutal.

"Make ready, boarding party, take prisoners as you will!" the Captain bellowed, looking pointedly at Zama. Prisoners as you will was as close to 'no prisoners' as Meyer-Holt had ever said. The crew was not a gentle group; there would be food for the sharks tonight.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:57, Tue 02 June 2015.

Zama Yenev
 player, 3 posts
Tue 2 Jun 2015
at 20:24
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
Zama stood still as a statue, hands resting on the ships railing. With eyes like the still surface of a calm ocean she watched the chaos of battle unfold in a tableau of splintered wood and fire. As the oceans pitched and rolled under her feet she felt the power swell inside of her, slowly rising to the surface, gathering inside her body and with it came the rage of oceans and storms.

At the Captains barbed order her face twisted up in to a sneer and with a flash in her eyes she flicked her gaze to him and hissed. "I'll bring you your gold and your corpses Captain." Then she took a few measured steps backwards, and gathered up her skirts about her knees.

"With me men! Let us see what treasures the ocean will provide for us!" Then she charged ahead, a few quick, long strides before bounding up over the railing and over to the other ship.
The First And Last
 GM, 29 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 13:29
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
The men of the Mother's Daughter were not kind men. Privateers made their living through piracy-- legal piracy, but piracy nonetheless. And so the boarding party--twenty or so men--who leapt aboard their prey did so with wild grins, bared teeth, and open blades. No terms were exchanged, no offer of parlay.

They were met with a line of 'plums'-- Kingsmen, arrayed in a line with their muted purple uniforms dusted with soot and debris. There were only five of them, and the crew on deck barely outnumbered the boarding party.

The Kingsmen Sergeant held up his sword, bellowing "make ready!".

Roll initiative!
Zama Yenev
 player, 4 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 15:50
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
Zama landed with a light thud on the hull and immediately came face to face with the Kingsmen who stood lined up in a neat little row. Wrapped up in the flow of the storm that raged inside of her there was no desire to try to talk or settle this peacefully. She was the storm, and all that stood in her path would be ground in to dust.

A faint breeze began to stir at her feet, flows of wind tugging at her skirts and hair as she prepared to unleash her powers.

17:33, Today: Zama Yenev rolled 2 using 1d20. Initiative.
The First And Last
 GM, 31 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 17:44
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
There is a moment of thunderous silence as the boarding privateers, led by Zama Yenev, faces a line of trained Kingsmen soldiers. Out of the corner of her eyes, Zama sees the cargo hatches of the ship fling open-- so too the doors leading below decks and the Captain's chambers. More purple. More Kingsmen.

"It's a troop transport!" screams one of Zama's boarders, a moment before the Kingsmen's musket rips into the privateers, "It was a tra-"

Fire. Smoke. Searing pain ripping into Zama's body. Darkness.

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

"-it isn't as though we got through this unscathed, Captain. Those privateers did not cleave to the King's authority easily. And imagine the body count if we hadn't the fortune to put down the sea witch at first volley?"

The voice, as Zama's vision starts to return, comes from a the stern-faced Captain who had led the Kingsmen. He stands opposite a haggard, fat merchant who wrings his hands worriedly.

"I am pleased--you must understand, very pleased--to serve the Crown but I've incurred damages. Your men alone occupied space I could've used for cargo-- and the repairs and-"

"And you will hold your tongue. I lost ten men. Might lose another tonight if your surgeon cannot save him." the Captain growled, "Get out."

Sensing inevitability, the ship's Captain left quickly. The Captain glanced askance at Zama, his features--if possible--hardening further.

"You are resilient. Not many will take a musketball to the chest and live. Fewer still would wake so quickly." he says simply, crossing the room to check her bonds. Zama finds herself chained and shackled efficiently. Satisfied, the Captain stands back. "Speak truthfully. Are you an arcanist?"

12:27, Today: The First And Last, for the NPC Kingsmen, rolled 15 using 2d8+1. Musket damage.
12:24, Today: The First And Last, for the NPC Kingsmen, rolled 13 using 1d20+2. Musket attack.
12:23, Today: The First And Last, for the NPC Kingsmen, rolled 18 using 1d20+1. Initiative.

Zama Yenev
 player, 5 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 17:57
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
"An arcanist?" Oh by the deepest pits in the seas speaking was such torment that for a moment she considered just holding her piece. The pain in her chest was excruciating, the bullet must have ripped right through her as soon as she touched down, before she had any time to raise her barriers. It was a cursed fools mistake, she should have wrapped herself in a shield before boarding the enemy vessel! Well it was a mistake she would learn from.

She spat at the captains feet, leaving a red smear of blood on his boot, then she forced a tired smirk. "Aye, I wield the forces of the aether if that's what you're wondering, or did you not hear that fat pig call me a witch?"
The First And Last
 GM, 36 posts
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 14:29
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
"I have heard several accusations from Mister Meyer-Holt," the Kingsmen Captain said, folding his hands behind his back. The man was every bit the stereotype of a Kingsmen officer-- he had the quiet, aristocratic air that came from money, he had the ramrod straight posture of a career in the military, and he had the uncompromising aura of someone who did not accept less than what he wanted. "In the first, he charges you with commandeering his ship from his control. In the second, he charges that you corrupted his crew with your womanly wiles. In the third, that you applied vile magicks to charm and seduce his mind. In the fourth, that against his counsel you attacked a troop transport of His Royal Majesty Jurgen the Black."

As if demonstrating, the Captain tapped a finger on a sheaf of papers on a nearby desk-- and in doing so brought Zama's attention to Captain Meyer-Holt, sitting quietly and smugly in the corner, nearly hidden by an intervening lattice-screen.

"Mister Meyer-Holt is unaware that my brother studies the aetheric sciences at Cudd Lygrall-- and that I am therefore unimpressed by his stories about magical enticement." he said, shooting a look over at the man. Meyer-Holt seemed ready to shoot to his feet, were he not as similarly bound as Zama. The Kingsmen Captain returned his attention to Zama, his eyes grey and calculating.

"Mister Meyer-Holt will hang. I need a witness to swear to his intentions when attacking this ship. Miss Yenev, to be perfectly blunt this is your only way out from the noose."
Zama Yenev
 player, 6 posts
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 16:19
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
Zama had been doing her best to gather herself, to slip in to the tranquil state of a calm ocean. If she could just reign herself in she might have been able to think her way out of this. Of course this was all for naught the moment the captain began to recite the accusations against her.

Howling like a wild cat she threw herself against her bonds, the chains snapping taut and squeezing in around her with a horrible sound of chains grinding against one another. "You low life scum! You muck dwelling, corpse gnawing crab! I'd rather strip naked and grind myself against the barnacle covered hull of this thrice damned ship then bat a good eye at you or your dirty dogs!" She could handle the accusations most commonly flung her ways, she was used to it, her mother had prepared her for those. However, Zama had always been touchy about her modesty. She was a witch after all, not some dock side floozy.

Gasping from the pain of the wound and exertion she finally had to surrender against her bonds and she fell back down in the chair once more, paler then when she had started, but giggling darkly. "You shouldn't have tried to sell me out Holt! My mother raised a properly dishonest and black souled lass. I would have defended you..." She spat again and glared at Meyer-Holt through the screen that divided them. "...He's a pirate, a greedy, blood soaked, heartless wretch, who meant to rob this ship and butcher everyone on board."

She would not die for a man who would sell her with such cheap lies. If prayers were answered, she would whisper one every night before bed, and hope that any god would listen would take his black soul and torment it until the end of days.
The First And Last
 GM, 45 posts
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 19:43
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
There was a disturbing coldness to the Captain's actions-- a professional quality that was also somehow dehumanizing. Very simply, he didn't care. There was no malice or disgust or hatred for either Meyer-Holt or Zama Yenev. They were objects to him, part of the job, and nothing more. The stern-faced man rapped on the cabin's door as Meyer-Holt stuttered and cursed. He could not seem to make up his mind whether to curse at the Captain or Zama.

"She's a liar-- I am bewitched, you filthy rotten whore I trusted-- I have friends" Meyer-Holt flailed as two burly Kingsmen marched in. They tucked arms underneath Holt and hauled him up, half-dragging him outside. Through the open door, Zama could make out a noose being made.

And on the deck outside, the dark shadows of those already swinging from makeshift gibbets.

The Kingsmen Captain followed Zama's gaze back to her as he closed the door.

"Any charge of piracy carries the death sentence, and applies to all officers involved. Bosun. Cargo Chief. First Mate." he said, moving back to the desk. He bent over it, scribbling something carefully. "Fortunately for you, Captain Meyer-Holt-"

There was a muted crack-thump from outside the cabin.

"-the former Captain Meyer-Holt has neglected to update his crew roster for some time. I could not find reference to you as an officer of his ship." he continued, "Hence, it is my discretion. Your statement against Meyer-Holt has been noted and I will grant you the leniency a member of the crew is warranted-- fifty lashes and twelve years imprisonment at Ravenholdt Island."

Without another word, the Captain moved over and unshackled Zama. After, he took a seat behind the desk, pulled out a shining silver coin--the King's coin--and placed it next to the paper there.

"That is your Mother-sworn affidavit. Sign at the bottom."
Zama Yenev
 player, 7 posts
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 21:14
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
Zama had always considered herself detached, cold and fearless, but this man?! Oh by all the oceans and the winds he frightened her. She actually felt her flesh crawl as he worked the bonds that held her, and sighed with relief once he moved away from her.

With a scowl on her face she rubbed at her wrists where the shackles had chafed her pale skin raw. "I should be grateful for this leniency?" She muttered and rose to her feet, which she realized was a mistake. Her head spun, and for a moment she saw double. Obviously she had not regained enough of her strength just yet, which she should have known. A bullet ripping through your body would put anyone flat on their back for a long time and she was up and about in what she could only imagine amounted to a few days at most.

"Do you wish for the wench to smile prettily, and then thank you for every lash you lay on her shoulders and back?" She snarled through clenched teeth as she began the torturous journey across the room. She knew she was swaying with each step, her feet felt like lead and it was a struggle to summon the strength for each stride.

She picked up the quill in numb, nerveless fingers and scrawled her signature in a elegant, flowing hand, then threw the quill at the Captain. "There, I signed my soul away to avoid the gallows, what do I sell for that coin?"
The First And Last
 GM, 49 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2015
at 04:25
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
The Captain managed to turn his silence--ignoring her jibe about his "leniency"--into something so loud it filled the room. He carefully folded the signed paper and tucked it into an envelope, then opened a small chest, placed it inside with several other papers, and closed it. It locked audibly.

"The King's coin must be taken freely, Miss Yenev. Whatever its function, it is not something to be haggled with or bargained over." he said, rising slowly. "You are an aethericist. The Kingsmen will not repudiate your skills."

The stern-faced man moved stiffly over to the cabin door and rested a hand flat against the wood. His meaning was clear-- it was her choice to make, but she must make it now.
Zama Yenev
 player, 8 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2015
at 06:56
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
She felt the cold metal of the coin under her finger. In her mind she played out two visions of the future. In one she was sent to Ravenholdt, and what she would have to live through there was to horrifying to think of. In the other she took the King's coin, and lived out the rest of her life, no matter how short it would be, in shame.

She slid the coin along the table, and then scooped it in to the palm of her hand. Tired fingers clutched it tightly, and with her head hung low she turned around to face the captain.

"Soul and body sold to the king, guess I am a whore after all. Now what will become of me? Am I off to some barrack with the other conscripted lasses to wait for my orders?"
The First And Last
 GM, 52 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 14:24
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
"Life makes whores of us all, Miss Yenev." the Captain said-- even his commiseration sounded cold and bereft of some basic empathy. "Your sentence at Ravenholdt is commuted, pending one and a half tours with the Kingsmen-- three years. When we return to port you will be barracked with other new recruits, offered basic training, and assigned a Regiment."

The Captain moved over to the desk, making some note in a book, then returning to the door. He paused to look over at her.

"Whether you've accepted it or not, you made the right choice." he said, rapping his knuckles on the door. Two Kingsmen entered, whom he addressed. "Prepare the rack and the lash, then administer fifteen lashes to Zama Yenev on the charge of abettment. Three apportions of rum when it is done-- two for her, one for her back."

The two Kingsmen moved quickly to collect Yenev as the Captain watched.

"When you're done at basic, you will likely enter my command, Miss Yenev." he said, straightening formally, "I am Captain Riley Roynard. You will find me fair, not kind."
Zama Yenev
 player, 10 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 17:50
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
She would have fought them like a raging storm, throwing lightning and hurling them around with storm winds, had she not been so weak from blood loss and injury. When they grasped her arms, she pulled against their hold, but managed to do nothing more then annoy them. She didn't go willingly though, they had to drag her out on her heels, and all the while she glared defiantly at the captain, the man she would hate, and who finally had a name.

"Fair?!" She hissed through clenched teeth. "I surrender and I give you what you want and you have me lashed!?" She kicked, and drummed her heels against the floor. "I swear I'll make you regret the day your mother ever thought to kiss your father!" She was hauled outside, were the rack was already waiting for her. She wriggled, and squirmed, but there was no use! Like a animal ready to be flayed she was tied in, and the back of her dress was torn open. The cool air made her shiver, and the feeling of eyes watching her made her skin crawl and her cheeks heat.

She closed her eyes tightly, thought she could prepare herself, to steel her mind and be brave. She thought back on all that her mother had taught her. "You are not the storm, you are the ocean, and the wind. You are calm, you are tranquil, you are in control." Her breathing picked up as she heard footsteps behind her and the whisper of leather coils rolling out one after the other. "The storm is all your rage, all your fear, all your hate given form. Harness it, control it, and be calm as the still ocean, and gentle as the wind." Zama thought she had managed to still herself, to put herself beyond what they could do to her.

Then came the first lash, and the scream of agony that it ripped from her throat.
The First And Last
 GM, 59 posts
Wed 10 Jun 2015
at 14:51
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
A Year Later

"I heard she killed a man for not cleaning his gunbarrel." Private Dennings whispered to the man next to him, a new recruit from one of the small rocks in the Giant Bone Islands. The man--boy, really--licked his lips nervously. Dennings pressed on with devious glee. "She's a witch, she is. The Father Below gave her his powers for a day and she wouldn't give it back when she was done."

"Dennings! I'll twist your ear off if you keep talking!" howled the corporal, a plug of a man named Zapalo. "Atten-shun!"

The man snapped to as Captain Roynard and Sergeant Yenev entered the parade ground.

"Your men, Sergeant. There will be some replacements waiting for you at Cadiz, to round out a proper troop," he said, as brusque and businesslike as ever. "My uncle has promised to sign off on any promotion I put forward as a result of this assignment, Sergeant. Mother protect."
Zama Yenev
 player, 11 posts
Wed 10 Jun 2015
at 18:21
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
Sergeant Yenev, now that was a title to make generations of ancestors spin in their graves. It had not really been her intention to climb in ranks after joining the Kingsmen. More then anything it had come about as happy accidents, one after the other that eventually saw her promoted.

She had distinguished herself in combat, which came as no surprise, on the seas she was like an additional cannon at just the price of food and shelter, that hurled bolts of lightning, froze the sea and stirred up howling winds. Taking charge and barking orders was also something that came naturally to her, she had inherited that from her mother, along with a stubborn streak and the bad temper that seemed to be a requirement for promotion in the navy. Last but not least, she had been obsessive in her protection of the Captain during action, not out of any sort of loyalty or love of course, perish the thought.

The lashings had gone hard on her, as had basic training, and her loathing for the Captain who had put here there was bone deep and as black as thunderclouds. She had signed on for three years of service, and by the Mothers tits they would get three good years out of her and then she would have his skin for a new zapi! Until then, she would keep him safe as a baby in swaddling.

Of course, now he had finally found a way to get her out of his hair.

As they crossed through the parade ground she watched the troops given to her command like a hawk. They looked like seasick boys just off their mothers apron strings to her. "More promotions Captain? Keep this up and I'll outrank you before my years are up." She watched how all her little toy soldiers snapped in to attention all at once and she grimaced. "So when are me and my men leaving for Cadiz? And what's our orders when we get there? This has all been very mysterious so far."

This message was last edited by the player at 06:51, Fri 12 June 2015.

The First And Last
 GM, 66 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2015
at 16:27
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
"You will end up where the Mother wills, Sergeant, as any of us." the Captain said. Religious declarations like that were as close as the man came to small-talk. He led Zama in a short inspection of the men before addressing her question directly. "You're to leave two days from now. I wouldn't expect the journey to take more than three days. When in Cadiz, you'll have at least a day to acquaint yourself with your new troops."

The Captain unbuttoned a single button of his coat, pulled out a letter, buttoned it back up, and handed it to her. The seal was direct from Highgarden House.

quote:


The Captain stood straight as a ramrod, his eyes distant.

"It may sound as though you will be at the disposal of disparate agendas, Sergeant, but rest assured your faculties will be most observed. At command of ten Kingsmen, you will have weight to throw about aboard the ship," the Captain said carefully, "Use it wisely. Lady Salazar is unknown to me--likely one of my uncle's spies--but apparently important. Make of that what you will."

Captain Roynard looked over at her with his passionless eyes.

"I am not in the habit of choosing poorly, Sergeant. Write your success to me when it comes, and that stipend commission will be yours."
Zama Yenev
 player, 12 posts
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 07:26
Re: Prologue: The Sea Witch's Daughter [Zama Yenev]
As she read the words on the page she raised one eyebrow and pursed her lips. All done, she nodded to herself and then neatly folded the letter, enough times to turn it in to a little square, and then tucked it in under the neckline of her blouse. Important letters shouldn't be kept were any pick pocket could get to them without her notice.

The thought of having to work along side lawmen and spies made that one spot between her shoulder blades itch. She didn't hold much love for either of the professions. One was filled with nothing but deceitful, traitorous scum that broke your trust and brought down ruin over their own supposed comrades. The other was a gaggle of hoodlums and bone breakers who meddled in the affairs of people who did what they had to to get by. It was a wonder to her that they were allowed to roam the land, instead of getting strung up by the neck along with the rest of the rabble like herself.

"Coin and rank is all well and good Captain, if only they could buy me freedom." She liked to do that, needle him with her spite. "Just keep 'em ready for when I write." She turned to face her men and bellowed.

"We leave for Cadiz in two days men! Kiss your sweethearts or whores goodbye, pack your kit and say your prayers. We're off to hunt for pirates."