Chapter I.   Posted by Life and Death.Group: 0
Life and Death
 GM, 38 posts
Mon 27 Aug 2018
at 01:14
Chapter I
It was later in that same afternoon, that Allax himself came to fetch Solon:

"She see you now," came the grunting, basso order;  for it was plainly not put as a question.    But then, Solon had been apprised that the mistress of the ship would want to become acquainted with him, at some stage.    No time like the present...

Allax gestured with his massive, furred arm, directing the young alchemist to a hatch near the ship's middle, over on its port side.   Upon nearing the hatch, the minotaur reached out, opened it, and indicated for Solon to descend.   Below was a short passage, illumined by soft glowing lamps, and a pair of doors on Solon's right.

"Second door," Allax supplied. "Knock; say name. " 

He did not follow, but instead remained on deck, standing near the hatch.
Solon
 player, 32 posts
Mon 27 Aug 2018
at 01:52
Chapter I
Solon hardly had to wonder as to which "she" that Allax was referring to. Could it be any other than Dysis? He rose from where he had been fiddling with some parts, and followed the Minotaur, with a nod and a Hello.

He was grateful that thus far, he wasn't the seasick type, even if he was still getting the hang of walking across the deck. It wasn't <i>too<i> troublesome, at least. He descended into the hatch, his usual cheer dampened somewhat by a certain solemnity, which he marked with interest.

The faintest stirring of nervous energy flitted about him, only to be banished by the impact of his knuckles on the door. Three times, and it seemed like the simple action grounded him somehow. I am Solon, son of Demetrius.
Dysis
 GM, 1 post
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 00:22
Chapter I
"Enter," came the immediate response;  a woman's voice, even toned, clear and certain sounding.

And, with the depressing of a bronze door latch, Solon was admitted to the personal quarters and presence of Dysis.

The cabin was softly lighted by the same of kind of lamp as lit the passage outside;   which on a closer glance, Solon realized was not an oil lamp, but rather glowing by some other means.   Some sort of a sleight, pleasant scent freshened the air inside;  though it was not any blossom or herb that Solon could identify.    Against one wall sat a moderate sized, metal bound, oaken key chest, carved with some mythological scene.  Above it hung a small wreath of blue and violet flowers.  On a small desk that was affixed to another wall sat a pair of scrolls, contained in sturdy leather cases. A third scroll resided in the hands of the cabin's occupant, who refurled it as she looked on the one who'd entered.

Dysis looked to be nearing two and a half decades of age. Her coloring was unusual; she had the dark-gold hair and tawny complexion associated with barbarian territories that lay northward of the empire. She did not possess the grey or blue eyes they were known for, however. Her eyes were dark, almost unusually so. Her demeanor was relaxed, her expression neutral.

"Stay there for a moment," she instructed.    On the bed next to her was a small, clear crystal;  she lifted it, appeared to look at Solon through it for several seconds, then placed it back upon the bed.

"Sit down, please," she indicated the single chair

Different coloring aside, Dysis might have been some aristocrat's young wife.    She plainly wasn't enduring a life of hardship, or toil;  though of course anyone who could do what she was said to wouldn't need to toil.    She wasn't garbed like aristocracy, though.   The azure color gown she wore was tasteful but basic, and her hair was efficiently pony tailed.    She wore little in the way of jewelry:   only a cuff-bracelet of hammered silver, on her left wrist, set with a triangle shaped, onyx stone.

"Did you know," she began, casual sounding, as if she had all the time in the world, and was making small talk "that I'd recruited another alchemist for this voyage?  Weeks before it worked out that you would be on board?   After he died, I didn't know how I'd find another on short notice."

This message was last edited by the player at 02:49, Tue 28 Aug 2018.

Solon
 player, 33 posts
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 01:29
Chapter I
The scene was, altogether, appropriate for Solon's first encounter with a magic user. The soft light, reflected by the dark wood of the cabin; the gentle aroma which wafted through the air; to the lamp itself, mysteriously lit; and even the chest, where it lay to the side, carved with a magical scene.

Dysis looked to be only several years older than Solon himself, but he found himself to be slightly skeptical. Was it some enchantment that made her look so young? Or had she really accomplished so much in so little time, such that he felt a kernel of shame in comparison?

He shut the door behind him, and moved forward, only to stop when she bade him to; that she she could observe him through a small crystal. Curious, that, it occupied his attention for some time such as to make her next words fall late upon his ears. It was then, as he sat, that his gaze truly fell upon the elementalist, sweeping over her before returning to her face.

Well, I do now, he remarked with a small laugh, unsure of how to react to the question when they both knew the answer. Despite my lack of experience, I have no doubts I'll be able to perform ably in any endeavour which might call for my skills. there, that answered what to him seemed like the real question: the implied comparison between him and the other alchemist.

Then, his voice more natural, without the trace of defensiveness he had just displayed, What was the purpose of that crystal? he blurted.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:57, Tue 28 Aug 2018.

Dysis
 GM, 2 posts
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 03:08
Chapter I
"If you had hostile intent, or were something other than what you seem, I'd know," she answered.

"Well, any alchemist is better than no alchemist," she told him equably.  "In truth, I don't know what you'll be doing. What I've attempted to do, is to gather a diverse set of skills, so problems may be solved in as many different ways as possible."   She half smiled.  "Wouldn't it be horrible to end up in some dilemma only an alchemist can solve, and not have an alchemist?  I want to avoid that."   
Solon
 player, 35 posts
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 04:26
Chapter I
Interesting. He was tempted to immediately inquire about the crystal and how it functioned, but managed to restrain himself to listen to her reply. Which, was true enough, and certainly showed the level of thought which had gone into the whole endeavour.

He smiled, and said Well that certainly makes me feel better about this whole ordeal, as I imagine that same level of planning would have gone into the other aspects of our journey as well.

A thought struck him then, his eyes flicking to the side, then up, before flicking back to her, as his conversation with the captain came back to him. Tell me- Is it truly ghosts we are to face? I thought it was more like to be some sort of sorcery.
Dysis
 GM, 2 posts
Fri 31 Aug 2018
at 01:52
Chapter I
She nodded once, solemnly.    "That there are shades and phantoms haunting the isle is no mere myth.    It is true.    And, I have obtained protection against that.   Protection of which I am very sure."   She smiled faintly.

"While such restless dead can pose dangers, many of those have to do with how they may affect our minds, based on our fears.  People attribute all sorts of bedeviling powers to ghosts.   But, in truth, are we not ghosts, clothed in flesh?    There is less difference between the living and the dead, than many would suppose.   Still, it can be very...disturbing to meet one.   And some do possess power beyond the norm.   Some of them can work sorcery.   There may be other residents on the isle, the living sort;   though if so, I hope they are no worse than very eccentric hermits. I hope.  But if otherwise, that is why we have fighters like Allax and the captain, as well as a man who is a master assassin, and a mystic. And Kassandra -- I believe you've met? -- whose bow I wouldn't wish to be on the wrong side of." 

This message was last updated by the player at 01:52, Fri 31 Aug 2018.

Solon
 player, 36 posts
Fri 31 Aug 2018
at 19:25
Chapter I
Solon paused to let that information sink. Neither myth nor sorcery, but real ghosts. Some might have felt fear, then, but Solon had already resolved himself, and felt only a breed of caution. His eyes turned back to Dysis, seeming to twinkle as he asked What protection is that? or is it enough that you are sure? he asked, laughing.

He then listened to her musings on the dead and living alike. I wouldn't have thought of it that way, but I suppose we are. Makes me wonder by what power we cling to our shells, and the dead to the world.

When she mentioned the presence of fighters aboard the ship, something inside him solidified. He wasn't sure exactly when he had decided it, buy he knew he wanted to learn a martial skill of some kind, something to roughen his smooth hands.

Also, i know its not something that can just be picked up. but is there anyone on board who would be able and willing to teach me how to use a sword?
Dysis
 GM, 3 posts
Mon 3 Sep 2018
at 01:03
Chapter I
"A particular artifact," she said in answer to the first of those questions.

"Allax and I went to some trouble to find it, before the plans to do this were made.  It was needful to have it, first.    The dead do not linger in this world, normally" she said as to the second.   "after the flesh withers and dies.  The gods are more merciful, than that. Normally. But, some are left stranded by strong attachments -- things they've left undone.  Or uncommunicated.  Or, as in this case, they become ensnared by some enchantment, or curse."    She paused a moment, looking at him frankly.

"Tragodia has a dark history.  Do you know it?   An awful betrayal occurred, there.  One that offended Cybele, who was the patron goddess of the isle.    Those who offended are still paying the price, it seems. Forced to linger, instead of rest.  They are, understandably, disturbed spirits.   The most unpleasant sort to meet.  Which is why I would not be doing this, without the right protection." 

And, as to the last matter-  "You know, the captain is somewhat renown for his skill at arms.  And his sense of tactics.  He actually enjoys teaching, when someone is willing to learn, and bright enough to be able to.   He told me he thought you were intelligent.   He has not said so, too often, in my time knowing him.   He's more likely to say less complementary things, in regards to people's brains."

This message was last edited by the player at 01:50, Mon 03 Sept 2018.

Solon
 player, 37 posts
Mon 3 Sep 2018
at 02:32
Chapter I
Solon assumed that he would no doubt become acquainted with the particular effects of the artifact at some point, so he didn't push further on that subject. He did smile as she elaborated on the causes of spirits, a smile that said aha! for he had been right, in a dastardly sort of way.

He nodded at her question, though, and grew sober as she continued. He frowned, interjecting before she moved on. Is there not some manner by which we might give them peace? you said the dead are not so different from the living- do they yet retain reason? Can we perhaps negotiate with these spirits?

As to the matter of his intelligence, Solon ignored the compliment entirely. Embracing it might lead to arrogance, while denying it seemed like foolishness, leaving him only the one course. So he pushed on, saying So he might be willing to teach me, then? should i broach that subject, or should i leave that to your hands?

And, Is there anything else i should know of our adventure, or that you would know of me? Not that I'm so hasty to be departed, he added somewhat sheepishly.
Dysis
 GM, 4 posts
Wed 5 Sep 2018
at 20:37
Chapter I
"I think he likely would be willing.    Given the time;  of course, his duties on the ship take up a fair bit of that.    But, he prides himself on the efficiency of his crew, and that means he isn't busy all the time.  By all means, approach him yourself.  He's friendly enough, despite the exterior, and shouldn't hold such a wish against you."     

As to the restless dead:   "You are compassionate, to think of that.  It's...a complex matter.   This happened because of a goddess' curse.   You understand, it isn't for us to question her judgement.   I considered very carefully -- and consulted --  before deciding to go and set foot on Tragodia."    She gestured toward the wreath of flowers, that hung above the ornate chest.

"Not just a pretty decoration, that.  It is a holy symbol -- of Persephone, of whom I'm a worshiper.    I wanted to be certain that we wouldn't be offending Cybele, in going to the isle.   And so I consulted my own goddess, through one of her oracles.   And learned Cybele has no further interest in the isle -- as long as her will is not defied.   So, it will be for her to one day free them of their sentence, as she so chooses."   

Lastly, "You do grasp that this is dangerous?   I've planned to reduce all the risks, as much as I could.   I believe in the people I've gathered to do this, and their ability.   I want everyone to leave safely.   I believe that we can. But...there aren't any guarantees.  Even for myself.  Before reaching the isle, we will put into port twice.   And that is two chances to change your mind, before it is too late."   
Solon
 player, 39 posts
Thu 6 Sep 2018
at 03:36
Chapter I
When she spoke about the captain, Solon shook his head, smiling. I just didn't know if the request would as well received given by myself as opposed to you, is all. I try not to let my actions be dictated by the way I perceive people; that's one thing I learned from my father, amongst other things: oftentimes, its the people you would least suspect as will screw you over; while some of the best sorts of people don't exactly look it.

Kinda like Allax,
he said after a moment with a smile.

He listened carefully as she elaborated on the nature of the undead, turning his head curiously to regard the wreath as she indicated it, his eyes widening marginally. He thought for a moment after she finished, then said So we cannot win them peace- is there a chance to make peace with them, instead? Or are they wild, lost of their reasoning?

He nodded solemnly at her final question, I do, he said quietly in the space between one sentence and the next, his hazel eyes fixed unwaveringly upon her own. He waited until she was finished speaking to speak again, his head shaking at her comment about two more chances to change his mind.

I'm well aware of the risks, and growing more so wig every conversation I have. Far from weakening, however, my resolve has only grown stronger. I need this, Dysis.. He paused as he tried to formulate the feelings that composed his normal exuberant optimism for adventure into words.

I need it, to be a man, he finished lamely. I'm not like my father, or most of the people ive met before coming here. I can't be idle, he continued, still missing he mark of what he was trying to say. Close enough, he supposed.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:37, Thu 06 Sept 2018.

Aetius
 NPC, 5 posts
Thu 6 Sep 2018
at 03:37
Chapter I
The next two chances to get of his cursed boat filled Aetius' mind as he tried to keep from retching, and failed, leaning over the side of the railing. The heave didn't end as his stomach emptied, however, continuing on this awful dry heave that stretched, paused, and stretched again and again, leaving him feeling miserable.

He reminded himself that he had chosen this- at least until his master had removed that choice. His master had made it quite clear that if he quit on this mission, he would never be allowed into the Library again. A fate worse than death, Solon shuddered, not noticing the chill of the sea breeze. He had to do this, the Library was home and haven, School and job... The only place Aetius' ever felt he belonged.

No, he had to follow through, quitting wasn't an option. He thought about heading back to his room, bit decided against it. The assassin scared him too much. Aetius' tried not to think about how he was gonna be able to fall asleep tonight. That was laters problem.
Dysis
 GM, 5 posts
Fri 7 Sep 2018
at 02:14
Chapter I
"Point taken," she nodded, regarding appearances.

Dysis sighed, raised a hand in a somewhat helpless gesture, when the topic turned again to the undead.  "I wish I could tell you.  I don't know.  They will be disturbed, as would any spirits so trapped. Normally, we would expect them to act and manifest in very different ways.   It is rare for ghosts to organize, as the living do.   They don't need to work together for physical survival, obviously.   But, these all share a fate.  And the same dilemma." 

At the last remark, she gave a brief, faint laugh; not in mockery, but as when one hears something that is at once surprising, yet also to be expected.

"Really?"   She shook her head, "why am I surprised?  My middle brother, the one I am close to, spoke like that.   He - "    Whatever that thought was, she bit it off.

"I see.  Well, I doubt my urging you to find fulfillment in a quiet life of philosophy or farming will change your view.   I do understand desiring to make the most of oneself, the need for purpose.  If this has become yours, so be it.    As I said, I hoped to have an alchemist along." 
Kassandra
 NPC, 11 posts
Fri 7 Sep 2018
at 02:30
Chapter I
Aetius, in his plight, was spied by one with whom Solon had earlier conversed.

"Would you like some of this?"   she offered, in the brusque way that Kassandra had, where she might have appended 'you poor bastard?' to the end of that question.

"It's eltriu," she named the pungent herb she offered the scholar.    "Good for sea-sickness," she added, assuming the probable thing.
Solon
 player, 40 posts
Fri 7 Sep 2018
at 02:55
Chapter I
He nodded as she answered his query of the undead, but said nothing, having no further questions or comments on that particular subject. A small smile appeared at the laugh, while his head tilted at the sudden stop mid-sentence. Dead? It seemed like bad form to raise the question, however, so instead he merely inclined his head with another smile and a slight shrug of his shoulders. He contemplated for a moment more, then said So what all kinds of tools are in your toolbox, Dysis? You have an alchemist, an assassin, a marksman, several melee types, and a, Mystic? While you yourself can harness, amongst others, the wind to your call. What, or who, else is at your disposal?
Aetius
 NPC, 6 posts
Fri 7 Sep 2018
at 03:04
Chapter I
Aetius wiped his mouth with his sleeve miserably, contemplating the mess on his sleeve with distaste. He didn't know which was worse, not having control of his mind, or his body. At the voice, he startled, shrinking back, looking, not because he thought she was speaking to him, but out of curiosity. But, she Was talking to him! He stammered wordlessly, before managing S-sure, ill take it... Thanks,, he said, meeting her eyes only briefly before reaching for he proceeded herb. M-must it be steeped, miss? O-or may i simply chew it? he asked his feet, still clutching the railing with his other hand.
Dysis
 GM, 6 posts
Mon 10 Sep 2018
at 21:08
Chapter I
"And we have a scholar.  One who knows unusual lore, and obscure facts, that others would not.    Not the most...adventurous soul, mind you.    I'm of half a mind to have him remain on the ship, with those who will guard it once we disembark.  But, we might not have access to his knowledge, at such time when we need it most, if he was to stay behind. So, I believe he will be coming with us.  As for myself, my skills do encompass more than wind and water working. I'm certainly no necromancer, but the third element I can beckon is shadow.   And, shadow is the threshold between here and the Underworld.   I'm not unfamiliar with ghosts, for that reason."   
Kassandra
 NPC, 13 posts
Mon 10 Sep 2018
at 21:18
Chapter I
Sweet Artemis, Kassandra groused inside of her head, Who is this ailing, timid softie man? Surely not crew?  Nor a physician, plainly, since he does not know what to do with the herb!

"Yes, just chomp on it.   Bitter tasting, but works fairly quick.   What role do you serve among us?"  she added bluntly, seeing no real reason to restrain her curiosity.
Solon
 player, 41 posts
Tue 11 Sep 2018
at 19:57
Chapter I
Solon sat straighter in his seat at the mention of her powers. His sharp eyes focused on hers as he asked So it's true that Shadow is, or draws power from, Death? It seemed a bit fanciful so I was inclined to disregard it as flavorful. Is the energy itself neutral? Or is it in itself corrupting? I've read that many a mage using shadow didn't start evil, but turned that way over the years.
Aetius
 NPC, 7 posts
Tue 11 Sep 2018
at 20:02
Chapter I
Aetius nodded and put the bitter herb in his mouth, chewing it fast like to draw out the juices faster. He took a step back as if the force of her inquiry were physical, his eyes flashing up to meet hers for a moment before looking away again. He swallowed hard, then said I w-was hired in the c-capacity of scholar and scribe... And y-yourself? he added in a feeble attempt at conversation.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:03, Tue 11 Sept 2018.

Dysis
 GM, 6 posts
Wed 12 Sep 2018
at 23:38
Chapter I
"No, shadow doesn't 'draw' from death.   Rather, it is it's link to the Underworld itself, as an environment.   Many think of it as an evil place, and its ruler Hades as evil, but that is mostly because mortals tend to find the prospect of dying to be a terrible thing.    From a different perspective, life is one state of being, and death is another, both half of a whole.   I would not argue that we lose something, passing from the world of the living, into Hades' realm.    More than just the physical body, I mean.    The Underworld isn't warm -- shadow isn't warm.   Emotionally and psychically speaking, I mean.   Mages whom become too immersed in the arts of shadow don't grow evil, per se -- they become cold."

This message was last updated by the player at 23:38, Wed 12 Sept 2018.