Chapter I.   Posted by Life and Death.Group: 0
Sentinel captain
Tue 27 Nov 2018
at 02:13
Chapter I
The captain smiled just a fraction.  "Well, the Gods do oft smile on adventurers, as we know.  Not that it's any guarantee of safety, of course.  Although there may be a vestige of immortality in being remembered for one's accomplishments.  Or even a spectacularly horrific death.  Yes...by all means, let us inspect those remaining places."

Before long, that last action was completed, and Dysis, with Nestor and Chloe standing not far off, awaited Solon and the sentinels as they returned to the deck of the Lelantos.

"I thank you for your assistance, boatswain," the sentinel captain told Solon.   And then faced Dysis and stated-   "We can find no sign nor trace of the one we are seeking.  I appreciate the cooperation of yourself and the crew in facilitating our search."     To which Dysis inclined her head in respect.

The sea-sentinel paused a moment, then offered to her  "I know where you are bound.  And while there is no specific law that bars you from setting foot on that isle, still I would caution you against it.   There are a real lack of tales about what has been experienced there.   But, that is not because no one has gone there before you. It is not too late to change your course."   
Dysis
 GM, 10 posts
Tue 27 Nov 2018
at 02:36
Chapter I
Dysis' expression altered not at all as she received those words.

"It's kind of you to think of our well being.  As you do say, we are embarked upon nothing that flouts the law.   Much planning and preparation lies behind this, and I think the crew would be somewhat disappointed were I to call if off now.  Which I've no intention of doing.  But your words of caution are appreciated, captain." 

The sentinel had nothing else to say on the matter, and made a formal farewell.   He and his men departed the same manner they'd arrived, crossing back to their own vessel, releasing the grapples, and altering course to take them in a westerly direction.

Watching as the other craft veered away, she asked of Solon "Did he tell or ask of you anything I'd want to know about?"   
Solon
 player, 54 posts
Thu 13 Dec 2018
at 14:01
Chapter I
Solon offered a shrug to the captain but deigned not to speak further; giving a nod in farewell. His mind, however, was far from silent as he pondered his course and the chart he had plotted.

He shook his head, watching the other boat release and turn about, before turning to regard her. He thought about his exchanges with the captain again, to be certain, before replyingNo, he didn't. just asked me if i thought the captain had told the truth, and thought it okay to drop formality for me only... which made me feel a bit weird.

He shrugged slightly, then asked "Do you know who he might have been looking for?
Dysis
 GM, 11 posts
Mon 4 Mar 2019
at 01:46
Chapter I
She shook her head.   "No.  Though, it occurs to me perhaps they weren't looking for anyone.  Maybe it was a pretext to board and inspect us.   Seeing that they know where we are going.   Maybe, they even left something behind. We shall look into that possibility."   

Dysis paused to tell nearby Chloe to gather several of the others, and do a complete physical inspection of the ship.  Something she planned to backup later with a magical inspection.

"As for the way he addressed you, probably he knew you were new to this crew.  And possibly that you are from a good background, and so not committed to us, and maybe looking for an out to go home.   Someone like that would be more willing to talk."  She shrugged, "Anyway, further out at sea, we will make a proper sacrifice to Poseidon - and no, I don't mean a blood sacrifice - to pay the great Sea-King proper respect.   I trust that to keep us in favor with him, more so than kissing the rears of his earthly priesthood."
Solon
 player, 60 posts
Mon 4 Mar 2019
at 03:20
Chapter I
Solon pondered her words carefully even as she spoke. He was about ready to respond with a question, but she ordered Chloe to lead a search of the ship, and there wasn't a natural pause for him to interject before she was speaking again. Then, of course, he had to place his prior train on a different track, as he smiled, saying I hadn't thought so, Lady. I've done a bit of reading on the God's, and found that blood sacrifice usually is more indicative of the people serving than the god they're worshipping.

His face grew pensive though. Maybe its only because ive read of them in books, anf my only real knowledge of them is their worshippers and the customs they follow... which don't seem entirely different from any other social custom, apart from their nature. these Gods... they're real beings? i know theyre supposed to be its just a bit hard to believe. but you dont seem like the type to grasp at something to pull your life together for you, nor do you look like you exactly need something to believe in.
Dysis
 GM, 12 posts
Tue 5 Mar 2019
at 03:16
Chapter I
She smiled faintly.   "Not so long ago, no one would have thought to question the existence of the gods.  But, the spread of rationalistic philosophy has led to different thinking, recently.   Well, when one practices the occult, one touches upon parts of the world not visible to our eyes.   Once you know, by experience, that elementals, ghosts, daemons and others are real, the gods are not so much of a stretch.   Sometimes, one can feel them.   What sorts of dreams do you have? Random, mixed up things?  Or, any certain theme that presents itself?   A feeling when you wake up, that you truly have been elsewhere?  Somewhere you even wish you might go back to?"   
Solon
 player, 63 posts
Tue 5 Mar 2019
at 22:36
Chapter I
Solon shook his head wistfully. I wish my dreams revealed such to me, but if they are then it all gets jumbled when i awake. i can sense neither rhyme nor reason in my dreams, or at least of what little i remember.

He shrugged, his eyes alight with curiosity. what distinguishes them from demons and ghosts? Simply the personas they portray and the powers they exhibit? And Poseidon, will he be present for the sacrifice?
Dysis
 GM, 13 posts
Thu 7 Mar 2019
at 03:55
Chapter I
"Existing lore teaches that the gods are children of the Protogenoi, or primoridals. The most basic components of the universe, that emerged fully-formed at creation.  Earth, Air, Water, Darkness, Light, and so on.   Not unlike an elemental, but omnipotent, in their given element.     There's some debate whether entities like daemons and human souls were in turn created by the gods, or are a natural product of certain places, such as the Underworld.    In any case, I suppose comparing a god to a smaller entity is a bit like comparing you and I to a squirrel, or a tadpole.   We are all part of nature, share a few things in common, but there is much we can do they cannot.   And a few things they can do that we can't.   We may be fleetingly brief and oh-so frail compared to a god, yet they seem to pay an awful lot of attention to our doings, regardless."

On the matter of the sacrifice-    "It's said Poseidon knows everything that happens in or on the sea.   If that's so, then he will, in a sense, be present.   Whether he would take a more specific interest then that - " she shrugged.  "I have no idea. But if there is reason to feel so, I'll let you know."   
Solon
 player, 65 posts
Tue 19 Mar 2019
at 17:20
Chapter I
Solon regarded her words curiously but carefully, chuckling slightly. Well, I suppose they must have some needs of diversion, eh?
'and all the lives of men
caught up under the sun
scurrying from here to there
were regarded with infinite care
and attention from on high'


He offered the recital with a slight shrug. Poems he read sometimes had a way of sticking with him. As he found a space with no words, suddenly his previous thought returned to him. Earlier you said that maybe they might have planted something aboard. What motive would they have for doing so? Is there something on the island they may wish to keep hidden?
Dysis
 GM, 14 posts
Sun 7 Apr 2019
at 19:29
Chapter I
"It may be so," she said softly, as regarding the gods requiring diversion.   For a moment it looked as if she might say more, but did not.

"No...nothing of which I know.  That is however, an interesting thought.   What I referred to in general, would be some sort of enchanted thing.   To scry on us, most probably.    That was mostly my consideration."  She shrugged, almost nonchalantly, for the chilling idea that was offered next-  "Or something that would be used to destroy or sink this ship.   Which would be one means of insuring something stays hidden on the isle.  But, the Sea-King's temple both greatly influences and enforces the laws of the sea.   If they sought to make the isle a forbidden place, I doubt the senate would gainsay them, or that any would find it surprising.   That would be the simpler, cleaner way to do it."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:32, Sun 07 Apr.

Life and Death
 GM, 58 posts
Sun 7 Apr 2019
at 20:04
Chapter I
Such speculation concluded, the day wound onward; Solon, Dysis, and the rest returned to their various activities and tasks, and the Lelantos continued its steady, south-easterly progress toward its fateful destination.

Eventually, night descended and it was time to furl the sails and drop anchor. The nearly full moon draped the sea in silver-white witchlight, beautiful and a trace eerie at once.  There were of course a small number of sentries awake during the night, who might be anyone from the crew alternating such duty.    There was too always someone assigned specifically as the anchor-watch:  about what it sounded, they were to ensure the anchor was holding and the vessel not drifting.

Tonight that one was Solon.   It was a bit more lax duty than being a sentry;  didn't require constant vigilance and gave time to go check on other things, or do other things, or just think.

At this particular moment, Solon found himself thinking he was hungry. He hadn't been so much at dinner, but now his appetite had caught up with him.  Well, it was easy to rectify - the galley was open, and he had his own personal stores there...

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:21, Sun 07 Apr.

Solon
 player, 66 posts
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 22:56
Chapter I
Solon would never have imagined that work could be so easy. So long as he didnt get too lost in thought he couldnt be semi vigilant, he was free to gallivant in thought, unrestrained, even holding the freedom of mobility should he care for some pacing. Just now, however, he was far too lost in wonder to disturb it with thought. Sure, he had seen the ocean at night before- entrancing every time- but never like this. The moon shone a beacon that seemed to light the mistladen air afire with its glow. however, the mind is not fit to remain silent and so he inevitably drifted into thought, lamenting the idea that he, too, might lose his wonder and hope to familiarity.

Eventually, however, his mind turned to machinations and he started in on drafting an idea for corrosive gas that would leave everything alive untouched; turning in his mind the various combinations he could use to try to generate the gas. He grabbed his pen and paper, jotting down the idea and- after a moments contemplation- a quick symbol for it, along with possible concoctions, which he pored over and refined in his mental lab, using the instruments of knowledge and reason to eliminate possibilities and suggest more potential for his actual experimentation. besides to thoroughly check the tiller, glancing about and getting distracted by the moon each time, he contented that way for a while before he realized he was now famished. Guess thinking worked up the appetite i missed at dinner.

Well, why not? after all, the mate had implied that he didnt necessarily even have to be present the Entire Time, and he did have his own stores aboard. Not overly much, even insofar as what his father had bargained for. Once implanted, this thought grew more enticing by the moment and he soon found himself in the galley, munching a sandwich made of biscuit, salted beef, and cheese, washing it down with juice. he paused just as he finished making his second sandwich. his eyes focused in on the cupboard and he took a second to swig some more juice before pulling a vial from his pouch.

Oy- if you dont come out, all peaceful like, im gonna release a cloud of poison.

with his other hand, he took another bite of his sandwich.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:56, Sat 20 Apr.

Life and Death
 GM, 60 posts
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 00:49
Chapter I
For a time, nothing at all happened.   And Solon had to wonder if perhaps it  had been not more than his imagination.  As well as perhaps the effects of changing his sleep schedule from the day before.

But then-    "A- alright, I'll come out."    The voice was a man's, middle-pitched, and quite timid in tone.

The door to the cabinet pushed slowly open.   And the owner of the voice emerged, into the low-light of the galley.    These words came to Solon:

 "A man on the short side of average height --  with sandy hair, a narrow scar on his left cheek, and missing the third and fourth fingers of his right hand." 

The Sentinel-captain's words, describing the one whom they had come aboard seeking... which described perfectly the man now before him, blinking diffidently, and raising his open hands.  Dressed in very modest looking clothing, bearing no visible weapons of any sort....
Solon
 player, 67 posts
Tue 30 Apr 2019
at 17:04
Chapter I
Solon finished chewing and swallowed the bite of sandwich over the lump that had appeared in his throat, setting down the sandwitch on the counter, his hunger, for the moment, forgotten. Just how long had this man been in the closet for? why were the sentinels after him? he didn't seem particularly dangerous- but that didn't mean Solon would let his guard down, either. You? why would the sentinels be after you? he shook his had as if it didnt matter, then said best keep your hands up, and march. were going up top.


once there, Solon would signal for the nearest crew member and have them send for Dysis.
the stowaway
Wed 1 May 2019
at 01:26
Chapter I
The man nodded, still appearing somewhat intimidated: "Y- yes.   I - I'll do just as you say.  I can explain this all, I swear to you."   

It seemed Solon had the situation under control, that this stowaway, whoever he was, was to be no threat.    Yet appearances could be most deceiving...

One moment the man was turning compliantly to go with him, and then in the next, he had hurled himself at Solon with astounding speed!

The young alchemist found himself being grappled with, by one possessed of either desperate or lunatic strength.  Or perhaps both. A steely fingered grip was about one of his forearms, above the hand which held the vial.     And Solon had had no choice but to use his other hand to defend his throat, which the man attempted to clutch.   The man growled a single, odd sounding word.

Solon abruptly realized that he could not hear, had gone utterly deaf. But in fact this was another apparency.  An aura of silence had surrounded the both of them, so that neither any cries nor struggles would be heard by others...

This message was last updated by the GM at 01:26, Wed 01 May.

Solon
 player, 68 posts
Wed 1 May 2019
at 07:53
Chapter I
In the split second he had to react- space enough for thought alone- Solon berated himself for not keeping his distance. with the steel grip around his forearm, Solons arm could not expand to let go off the vial- pity, for it was the one poison in his repertoire that he had managed to build up an immunity to. Solon had only one option- to bring his knee up with as much force as he could muster, aimed for the mans groin- and, whether or not the shot was successful, the same foot would lash down for the mans kneecap. Maybe, just maybe- even if neither of those attempts worked- the mans grip would have loosened just enough for Solon to drop the vial, thereby forcing them out of the field of silence. If, that is, it were a static field, and not one tied to the man himself. even still, if he attempted to drag solon with him out of the resulting cloud, surely Solon might count on an attack of opportunity.
the stowaway
Wed 1 May 2019
at 21:18
Chapter I
Solon's assailant seemed to anticipate the groan shot, and managed to twist in time to mostly avoid it.    He was however unable to defend himself adequately from the blow to his kneecap --  the man grimaced as he was struck, and Solon's ploy paid off --  the vial fell, hit the floor, and broke open, making not a sound.

The toxic vapors arose, spread, swirled about the two struggling men --  with the stowaway reacting in the way Solon had hoped --  choking and moving out of the cloud, although yanking Solon back with him.

The world remained shrouded in silence, however.    The man gave Solon a very baneful look as he coughed and gagged, but only redoubled his efforts.     A dim but noticeable reddish light began to fill his eyes, and Solon felt something that was not physical --  it was horrible; as if the core of his persona were somehow being trespassed...

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:19, Wed 01 May.

Solon
 player, 69 posts
Sun 5 May 2019
at 22:59
Chapter I
There is no more visceral feeling than ones inner sanctum being violated by another entity, as if ones very awareness and being were subverted like if two books tried to write on the same pages. It was very confusing, but served to push Solon up against "the wall" where he found his efforts doubled, rationality slicing through him with the weight of panic. Remembering the mans missing fingers, Solon focused his efforts suddenly on twisting and wrenching his arm free of the weakened grasp and slamming his elbow into the mans face with all the force- and torque- that he could muster under the circumstance; then, even if it wasnt successful, he would go for another groin shot- the mans very block reducing his sight. Solon would then attempt to bowl over the stunned stowaway before dashing off calling for "help in the galley!" until his voice could be heard, just in case the stowaway had any spells to catch him on the run.
the stowaway
Tue 7 May 2019
at 00:46
Chapter I
Solon's first bid succeeded --   his elbow connecting solidly with his attacker's jaw, surely producing a very audible 'crack!', were noise possible.

And --  his second and third worked as well:   the man's face contorted in quiet outrage and pain at the groin shot, and it appeared he was mouthing intense words, as Solon sent him over onto his back!

Escape, escape, lay not so far away, as Solon began to move for the doorway.   It wasn't quite to be that easy, however, as he felt that iron grip suddenly close about his ankle, nearly causing him to trip and lose his balance.

Momentarily, he'd felt that intrusion into his will start to abate -- yet now it began again in greater intensity, this adversary plainly realizing he could not afford to let him get away, and sound the alarm.   Solon might turn to kick him, yet the grip was sufficiently strong that that wasn't easy, and he was beginning to feel whoozy now, like he wasn't all there...
Xeno
 NPC, 2 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 00:53
Chapter I
Suddenly someone else stood in the doorway of the galley.

The foreigner with the shaven, tattooed head...whom Dysis had described as both assassin and mystic.    The man's expression was even, almost serene...almost as if there was nothing here to be seen out of the ordinary.

The stowaway did not change his tactic because of this entry.  It seemed he was only pouring more intent and energy into whatever he was trying to do to Solon.

The bald man's swarthy hand dipped within his robe, and he moved over to the left of Solon, so he was not between him and the attacker.      Several darts were hurled in rapid succession, and it seemed he spoke a few words.     All the projectiles struck the stowaway.

Abruptly, it was possible to hear again.
the stowaway
Tue 7 May 2019
at 01:06
Chapter I
"Aaaaiiiiiggh!!" the stowaway screamed -- more shrieked, truly -- with an intensity that did not seem congruent with being struck by a few darts.

The attack on Solon's psyche had ceased, as the man rolled, writhed, and continued to shriek like a lost, suffering soul.   His eyes glowed brightly, hotly red now.

Spasming and kicking, something began to rise from his body --  at first, it looked like smoke.     But, there was something in the way it moved, almost as if alive, that told that it wasn't smoke.     A face was vaguely visible within it --  a hateful visage, with cruel and twisted features.

The man's body convulsed and shuddered with violence --  and then was still.   The smoke like substance swirled around, then began to fade, until it was gone, the face with it.

The bald man withdrew a slim dagger, and put it through the heart of the stowaway, though he appeared probably already dead, looking at the glazed eyes.

He extracted the blade, took a cloth, wiped it, turned his level gaze on Solon.

"Are you well?"

It could be heard that others were hurrying toward the galley.
Solon
 player, 71 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 21:41
Chapter I
Solon gulped and moved away from the writhing body. He turned to his rescuer and nodded, moving to grip and lean on the table, his head still whirling as he tried to process the rapid conclusion.  I... am not sure. I feel fine but... he was in my head and, i dont know if he was able to do anything in there
Life and Death
 GM, 66 posts
Thu 21 Nov 2019
at 04:19
Chapter I
"Kátochos," he replied, somewhat non sequitur, naming the entity that had worn the dead man's body like a cloak, "an occupier.  There should be no ill effect, now it is gone.  But, most disturbing to experience the attempt."   

The others arrived --  Captain Nestor, Allax, and Dysis.   Nestor entered first, bearing an unsheathed blade --  its distinctive shape that of the swords forged in Sparta.  His shirt was open, obviously draped hastily over his brawny, hairy torso.    His deep-set eyes fixed immediately on the corpse.

"Xeno.  Solon! What in the Sea-King's great name happened here?   Who is that?   He - "

"Looks like the one the sea-sentinels wanted." supplied Dysis, as she too entered.   As Nestor, she too had plainly come from bed, grey cloak thrown over a lavender sleeping gown.

"Why was he killed?" the question addressed to Xeno; apparently sure it wasn't Solon who'd done the deed.

The enigmatic foreigner elaborated about what had happened, as much as he'd seen of it.   And supplied a little more about the kátochos:

"A most crafty sort of daemon, one whom has no physical form of its own.  Thus, they hunger to thieve one."

Dysis scowled.  "I swept the ship, after the sentinels left!  And discerned no - "

Xeno shook his hairless head.   "Such entities are notorious for being challenging to detect.  They are sometimes employed as assassins, for that reason."

Dysis frowned, considering the possible implication of that.  "I see.  And this one happened to board this ship, by happenstance?   Or, was it employed, as you say?"   

Xeno shook his head, raised his hands palms up, communicating that he had not the answer to that.   Dysis' gaze went to Solon.

"How are you feeling? What happened, from your perspective?"
Solon
 player, 78 posts
Thu 21 Nov 2019
at 08:37
Chapter I
Solon shuddered to hear the vile being named, though he straightened himself and even spat upon the corpse, ridding his mouth of the sour taste their silent struggle had given it. Returning his gaze to his saviour, he said simply Thank you. i do not believe I would have escaped had you not arrived.

He wanted to query the man but held his tongue, the others were fast approaching and it would be better to address the matter once the initial flurry of questions was over. He turned to give these their attention as they arrived, but -slightly shameful- he remembered his sandwich- or rather, his stomach did. Despite food being the furthest thing from his mind, the brief struggle between life and death really worked one over on him and his body had other ideas.

So it was that Solon almost entirely ignored the others in favor of his sandwich. Thankfully, by the time a response was demanded of him, he had finished the snack and washed it down with his juice. Outwardly he was all calm and collected, something which struck him as strange, as did the sudden third person view of himself. He chalked it down to aftereffects, shook his head, then turned to Dysis, his eyes drinking in her form before they leapt hurriedly to her face, a slight blush staining his cheeks for a brief moment.

I'm... well, shocked. that was not at all like what I thought a meeting of the minds might be like.

He relayed the story of how he'd come in for a late dinner (emphasis on the quick), found the intruder and attempted to deal with him, focusing mostly on what the man had done. ... everything was silent, and he was possessed of mad strength, though, he still flinched from pain. worst was my mind, it felt like I was being, well, rewritten, or at least erased...

He tried to be simple and neutral in the telling, though elements of his shock and panic still wove their way through. Finally, he finished ... I'd have been toast, if not for, Xeno, here.

pausing to remember the man's name, he then turned to face him. How Did you know to come, though?
Life and Death
 GM, 67 posts
Thu 21 Nov 2019
at 18:05
Chapter I
"The art I practice - very old, traditional of my people - is founded on principles of Balance.  Meditation and discipline has made me sensitive to things which disturb the Balance.  Such as the unnatural attack upon yourself." He shook his head.  "I could feel nothing amiss, until the kátochos began to use its power.   Which was like a piece of dung pitched with force into calm, still water. It brought me awake."   

Captain Nestor grunted at the explanation and analogy.  "Dung is about all that's left of this poor fellow," indicating the corpse, with a gesture of his sword. "I think I'll get some others, and dispose of him, unless there's any reason not.  Any precaution we should follow-?" 

"No.  With the kátochos gone, his remains are not different than any other man."   

Dysis bit her lip a moment, plainly thinking on what had been said.  She whispered four syllables, made a semi-circle gesture toward the corpse, and waited a moment. Then nodded.  "Do it," she said to Nestor.  "As quick as possible.  And, assign someone to see the galley is cleaned and sterilized.   Closed to all but those working on it, till it's done."     

The captain nodded acknowledgement, then went off to do so, Allax shifting his great, furry bulk to allow him to exit.

"Well, congratulations on not being 'erased,'" Dysis said to Solon.    "Existence may be trying, sometimes, but somehow I don't think erasure is preferable.  You won't need to finish your watch; best you get some rest, if you can."      Her eyes went to Xeno.

"And I'd like you to sit in his cabin while he does. I understand the danger should be over, according to what you say.    But, humor me in this, if you will.  I do not want to take chances. Not with something like this," gaze flicking briefly to the body.

Xeno inclined his head.  "Of course.  As you will." 

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:07, Thu 21 Nov.