Prologue.   Posted by Life and Death.Group: 0
Kassandra
 NPC, 1 post
Sun 12 Aug 2018
at 21:49
Prologue
As Solon left his cabin, possibly to get some air, take in the glorious view, or see whom might be about --  he spotted a lone figure near the railing, over on the ship's starboard side.

Seen from the backside, little detail was discernible -- a light, grey travel cloak was thrown over the shoulders, and the cowl was up -- yet general size and stature suggested a woman, rather than a man. Could it be -- the craft's enigmatic, elementalist proprietor?    Nestor had said, after all, she was a private person.  And this one rather seemed to be keeping to themselves...

As Solon's foot made the deck creek just faintly, the person in question appeared to hear it, and turned to peer backward toward the young inventor-alchemist.

"What do you want?"  came the brusque inquiry, voice and visage plainly belonging to a young woman.   Perhaps just a bit older than Solon himself, if at all.
Solon
 player, 20 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 00:46
Prologue
Solon stopped, momentarily taken aback by the strangers brusqueness. He quickly recovered, however, retorting A view of the sea, so move over. his tone conveyed his light-hearted manner, however, as he moved to join her at the rail, resting his hands upon it lightly. My name is Solon. Is it always your manner to treat strangers so roughly? this was offered with a warm smile.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:21, Mon 13 Aug 2018.

Kassandra
 NPC, 2 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 20:08
Prologue
"Mmm," came the initial, sort-of-reply which was not-really-a-reply.  She glanced at him momentarily, then turned her gaze back out from the ship.

Off this side was a rather splendid view of the peninsula of Argos, with its fertile, sprawling plains, and its stately structures.    The breeze was cool and near perfect, at variance with the sullen, stormy mood of the one Solon stood next to.

"Solon, is it?" she finally said after a time, and seeing that she hadn't succeeded in chasing him off.

"What'd they bring you along to do?" 
Solon
 player, 21 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 21:01
Prologue
Not combative, not really, but quiet, sullen, and nonresponsive. He gave a small toss of a shoulder, leaned more onto the railing, and gazed out over the sea at Argos. He was good at waiting, he thought with an internal chuckle. She broke the silence first, causing him to smile and turn back to her.

That's right. Solon, son of Demetrius. Rather than letting her slide on withholding her own name, he didn't hesitate to nudge. And how might I call you? he said, his hazel eyes twinkling, but nevertheless boring into hers.

Chuckling, he gave a small shrug in response to her question. Oh, you know, a little of this a little of that. Two could play the silent game, after all.
Kassandra
 NPC, 3 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 21:27
Prologue
"Kassandra."     she said flatly.     Then, lips curving into the faintest of smiles, "I'm along to shoot arrows at things.  Mostly."

To their left and forward, some distance away, several bottlenose dolphins broke the surface of the water. Filling their lungs with air, before gracefully diving back under.

"Are you a thief?" she asked casually, apparently trying to add more clarity to the fuzzy picture Solon had drawn of his skills and purpose here.
Solon
 player, 22 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 21:47
Prologue
A smile! A small one, admittedly, but hey, it was progress. Small as it was, it elicited yet another from the young man. You must be a helluva shot, if it landed you a spot on his voyage, he said, laughing slightly, just a hint of a question in his tone.

He watched the dolphins surface, and dive, looked up at the sky, a smaller, more private smile on his lips. It broadened a bit as he looked back at her. No, not a thief. You can say I'm along to, Stir things up. I'm quite a Blast, he said conversationally, a smirk playing about his lips.it wasn't that he minded telling her, but it was more fun this way.
Kassandra
 NPC, 4 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 22:34
Prologue
"Ah, good.  I hate thieves.  And I am a 'helluva' shot," she said affirmatively, while nodding.    "Much experience hunting, out in the woodlands, around Thessaly."       

She was quiet again for a moment, then: "Are you a pyromancer, or something of the sort?"   
Solon
 player, 23 posts
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 00:00
Prologue
I don't think many people do like thieves, he said with a shrug. He left the silence to sit, leaving Kassandra with her musings and he to return to his contemplation of the beauty around them. He shook his head at her next question, turned to look at her. No, I'm an alchemist... mostly, he said, imitating her again. Though it would backfire if he had read it wrong; if she hadn't meant mostly in regards to what she did as much as to why she was here.
Kassandra
 NPC, 5 posts
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 00:23
Prologue
It did not seem to bother her, if she understood that he was mimicing her.    She nodded.  "Alchemist.  Good.  I hate pyromancers."   

It was a little hard to tell if her demeanor was truly as taciturn as it seemed, or if there might in fact be an underlying sense of humor, there.

From somewhere behind the pair, the sound of a hatch opening could be heard.   And there came a snorting sound --  more akin to a beast, than any sort of grunting a human might make, in the effort of heaving open a heavy portal.

Kassandra glanced back.    "Ah, it's Allax.   Have you met him, yet-?"
Allax
 NPC, 1 post
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 00:30
Prologue
Emerging from the opened hatch onto the deck, was a creature distinctly not human.    Even if one had not seen one before, the general aspect of a minotaur was well known to most Aegeans.

Though sometimes reputed as being ten feet in height, the truth was that this individual, somewhere around seven foot tall, was more average of the species.    But, minotaurs weren't fearsome for their height, but rather for the rippling, inhuman muscle that bedecked their broad frames, and the savage ways which they put it to use.

This one seemed restrained enough, for the moment --  standing upon the deck, stretching, and sniffing the briny air.   Almost surely enjoying release from quarters that weren't designed for an inhuman creature of such bulk.

Most of the crew seemed comfortable enough with the beast's presence -- though there were several nervous glances cast, as well...
Solon
 player, 24 posts
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 01:00
Prologue
That seems to be the general sentiment when it comes to Pyromancers. Though i can't say I've ever met one, it seems to me that I wouldn't mind, if they were smart about it. Using controlled bursts rather than just spraying wildly.

He imagined that he could sense the humour in her demeanor. Certainly, she wasn't entirely unsociable, else she'd have left the rail to him. He looked like he might say something else, when he heard the hatch being opened. He started to turn, but looked back to Kassandra as she spoke. He shook his head No, looked back... Impressively, his jaw was dropped for a few brief moments before he had the presence of mind to close it again.

Swallowing his fear, which seemed to be mostly from the reputation, as well as the impressive display of muscles. He smiled, but Kassandra would not, if she had paid more than passing attention to his previous ones, that this one, though genuine, nevertheless held just a trace of tension. He raised a hand in greeting, waving, and said H-ello, Allax, his voice wavering Juuust slightly before straightening out.
Allax
 NPC, 2 posts
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 20:35
Prologue
The bovine head shifted in Solon's direction, as he offered greeting to the creature.   Solon traded a brief glance with a pair of green eyes, that to the young alchemist gave an impression of intelligence, not dull-witted bestialness.

The minotaur gave the briefest inclination of its head, that were Solon less perceptive he might have missed altogether.    Some acknowledgement in return, it seemed.   Of course, the creature's face was incapable of the myriad expressions a human might make.    And if it was capable of speech, it gave no indication of it, here.     Its attention went out to sea, as several more dolphins again broke the sun-sparkled waters.
Kassandra
 NPC, 6 posts
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 20:37
Prologue
"He is the guardsman of Dysis," Kassandra put in.

"Naturally, he will accompany her and the rest of us, once we disembark onto the island."     
Solon
 player, 25 posts
Thu 16 Aug 2018
at 00:00
Prologue
Staring into the Minotaurs eyes, and seeing the bright intelligence that laid there served to put his troubled nerves to rest. He turned to Kassandra as she spoke, his eyes alight with curiosity. He nodded,then turned back to Allax. Ah so you are the one the captain told me could charm a bird out from the air, then!
Allax
 NPC, 3 posts
Thu 16 Aug 2018
at 23:51
Prologue
The minotaur snorted once again; a sound that almost seemed a remark on the absurdity of that idea, for all it wasn't a human sound.  Minotaurs were known for having some issue speaking human dialects, not having lips like a human.    Some held them as too bestial to learn or comprehend human dialects, as well.   Though others would advise that was a dangerous assumption to make.

As for Kassandra, she laughed a little, then offered:    "I wouldn't go treating everything Captain Nestor says like an oracle's truth!   He likes to have his fun, he does.   If he tries to tell you that a man who mops the ship's decks is blessed by the gods, don't listen!  Or that a pegasus awaits the man who gives all his silver to a captain."   
Solon
 player, 26 posts
Fri 17 Aug 2018
at 05:56
Prologue
After Kassandra cleared the air, Solon laughed at himself. Looking back on it, the captain's words had held the tone of a jest. Still, he retorted My situation here is hardly comparable to those outlandish examples he shrugged a little, then turned back to Allax. How is it you came to be in Dysis' service, Sir? he asked Allax the question, but it was Kassandra he turned to for an answer, an eyebrow cocking as he glanced at her.
Kassandra
 NPC, 7 posts
Mon 20 Aug 2018
at 01:39
Prologue
"Goal in common," came the basso, grunting response of the horned one.

Kassandra shook her head, "I've not long been with them.   I knew the captain, and Chloe, from a previous venture.   And was recommended by them.   That is how I came to be along.   I was told only that Allax has been guarding Dysis for some time. And that, on the isle, there may be some sort of maze that we will need to pass through.   Minotaur have a natural instinct for mazes, you know."

"So.  Tell me, alchemist - are you trying to figure out how to turn lead to gold?  That would be a safer way to gain riches, than stalking about on haunted, forsaken isles.."
Solon
 player, 27 posts
Mon 20 Aug 2018
at 02:19
Prologue
Note to self: Don't assume. Solon silently chided himself. He had erroneously assumed that the Minotaur couldn't talk. That aside, however, this Dysis lady must have one helluva goal to have so assured the service of Allax. He thought of querying the Minotaur again, but thought better of it, smiling at... The man? The bull? At him before turning to Kassandra.

I must admit, I haven't tried my hand at transmutation, I mostly just make potions. However, from what I've read, one must work on transmuting themselves before trying to transmute matter. That sort of science is the understanding of the mind as it relates to matter, and vice versa. So the alchemist in that work is focus for the transmutation in question.

It was immediately clear that Solon had no passing interest of the subject, which might lead one to wonder why, if he was so interested, he hadn't pursued it himself. Anyways, though, I'm not really interested in gold. If need be, I have many a thing I can craft and sell. Nay, my interest, Kassandra, is in the adventure of the whole affair! Not that I'm kidding myself of the danger that we're like to face, just that I'm terribly excited. To test my mettle, survive by the skin of my teeth, and smite evil! he flashed a smile, then continued And, mostly, to find my niche in a team facing incredible odds, each with a specific function, and all brought together with trust forged in battle!
Kassandra
 NPC, 8 posts
Mon 20 Aug 2018
at 19:37
Prologue
The archeress listened with authentic interest, as he related a little of his goals, mindset, and general philosophy.    Then smiled and chuckled some, on the last bit:

"Hmm.  Battle.   And, have you seen battle?   Do you know what that is really like-?   The songs and the sagas all make it sound romantic, and splendid, but the reality, let me tell you..."  she trailed off, perhaps recollecting something specific.
Solon
 player, 28 posts
Mon 20 Aug 2018
at 20:37
Prologue
Here, the young man ceded To Kassandra, smiling, tossing his shoulders lightly. I will admit, I have not seen battle. But one must begin somewhere, go get anywhere. I'd rather dive headlong into danger than skirt about its edges; at least to start with, generally speaking, as opposed to being headstrong and foolhardy.

As to the songs and sagas... I will not deny the influence they have had on me in making this decision, but I have also read accounts of soldiers, and historians accounts of various wars. I'm aware that battle is not romantic like it is made out to be, and yet there is something of battle which I must experience. Both for my own sake as a man, and to Ste the urge I have to combat the evil of our world.


He seemed to blink somewhat sheepishly, then said But please, co tinue, i am quiye interested to hear your account.
Kassandra
 NPC, 9 posts
Tue 21 Aug 2018
at 01:56
Prologue
Although she said nothing, she was reassured that he'd at least studied the reports of fighting men and (hopefully accurate) historians.   She'd already met far too many young men eager to charge headlong into melee, emboldened by the lyrics of some doggerel tune they'd heard at the local kapeleia*.

When he inquired of her own experience, her eyes strayed out to sea, and she was silent for a time.   The taciturn demeanor she'd begun with returned.   Eventually she shrugged.

"I suppose I could speak of the first.  Which was also the very worst.   Bandits attacked the village where I was born --  but, they didn't attack in an honest, straight forward way.  They were attired to look like soldiers of the nearby city -- and they ordered everybody to the front of the village.   Where bowmen began picking people off from cover.   While those in the soldiers' garb speared anybody within reach.  My parents were among the first to die.  I ran then, as did most of the other children -- some of which they slew, but they were not really interested in the very young, or the decrepit.   Only those who might fight them.  A few older girls they spared for -- well, you know.   I managed to make it back to our cottage, and hid inside, sobbing hysterically.    When I heard someone approaching the door, I got my father's short bow and an arrow.   He'd already strung it, in anticipation of hunting, that day.   I wasn't strong enough to draw it back with one arm -- I had to brace it with my feet, and use both hands.   I sat there some ways back from the door like that -- till it was forced open, and I saw the reddish, scowling face of one of the bandits.   I let the arrow fly -- and it struck him in the gut.    He toppled back, with his eyes bulging, jaw gaping.  I knew for certain others would come and kill me, if I only sat there.    So, I ran to the back, out a window, and fled into the woods.    Where I wandered miserable and half out of my head, till I was found.   By the one who took me in, and trained me."   


*kapeleia = old Greece equivalent of a bar.
Solon
 player, 29 posts
Tue 21 Aug 2018
at 03:26
Prologue
Solon listened to her account somberly, his hands gripping the rail as if in anger, but otherwise betrayed no sign of his countenance. He looked at her as she told her story, but as she concluded her tale, it was his hands he turned his gaze to, unclenching them from the rail. They were soft hands, could say they were pampered, even. Only a few tracings of scars, whispers of callouses. It was then that he resolved to take up the blade, instead of merely playing at inventions. Though he didn't quite know it yet, as the resolve yet lay half formed.

He turned back to her, his eyes hardened. It is for your story, and all others like it, that i wish to fight, he said quietly, Though in livelier moments I am like to slide over the gloom in tones of cheer and words of valour.

He had another silent moment as he looked at Allax, then about the ship. Warriors, all, and all with their share of tales, some cheery and bright, but others dark and grim. Scarred, not just in body, but in mind as well. The captain's words of ghosts came back to him then,in a haunting tone. And he, son of Demetrius, wished to fling himself headlong into this life, when he had had a soft, cushiony life.

What they must think of this one, who spoke with the bright tones of naivety, for little reason but he had few words to describe what lay underneath? He struggled for a moment, then said I just, have to do something, you know? My dad was grooming me to take over his business, but I just couldn't... I don't know when I decided that adventure was me, I just knew I couldn't sit in some corner of the world and call it mine.
Kassandra
 NPC, 10 posts
Thu 23 Aug 2018
at 01:00
Prologue
Kassandra gazed at Solon earnestly as he spoke.   Appearing perhaps a little surprised at the honesty and sincerity of his words.    From a distance off, Allax's horned head shifted their direction, seeming to overhear, and to take note.

She smiled a little wistfully, and arched a brow.   "Well, be in no hurry to rush off and lock blades with death, no matter how noble the cause.  The reaper is good enough at finding us without our help.   But, I respect you for feeling that way.   It is rare enough to find someone who possesses a conscience."  She smiled.  "And please don't think that words of cheer are a bad thing.  Sometimes, those are all there is to brighten the darkness."     
Solon
 player, 31 posts
Thu 23 Aug 2018
at 01:43
Prologue
Solon smiled back at Kassandra, even turning to shine it at Allax, whom he'd noticed shifting to look in their direction. I'll certainly keep that in mind, Kassandra. though I think, for now, Ill leave the charging to Allax, there, he said laughing, inclining his head towards the Minotaur.
Life and Death
 GM, 37 posts
Mon 27 Aug 2018
at 00:36
Prologue
She enjoyed a good chuckle over that as well, and, it seemed even the minotaur may have been faintly amused.  If one could discern from the sleight and wry tilt of his head at all.     The laughter, the sunshine and pleasing weather made it almost hard to keep in mind where the ship and its diverse, competent crew were en route to.

But then, it was said that the path to the Underworld was lined with lovely spring blossoms.  Set there by Hades' wife Persephone, so that souls leaving forever the mortal world might scent and see the beauty and bounty of life one final time...

In any case, the growing comradery betwixt several of the journeyers was warming, and laid the foundation for the sort of trust that those whose lives would depend on one another had to have.

The Lelantos was making good speed on this initial stage of the journey.   And, as the captain had promised Solon, the winds did favor the ship.