Prologue: Red Sky at Morning.   Posted by Raellus.Group: 0
Raellus
 GM, 415 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:31
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

And so, in the fifth year of the fifth cycle of the fifth age of the world, the Five companions came to the city of Balefyre by sea, there to do many great deeds in the service of its good folk. Although they knew not of what was to come, the Great Evil was already at work there, the schemes of its secret disciples beginning to unfold...

Chronicle of the Five


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This message was last updated by the GM at 16:32, Sat 07 May 2016.

Raellus
 GM, 416 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:32
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

The swaybacked cog rolls on the swells, diminished remnants of last eve's brief but violent squall. The amnesiac sky is clear, darkest blue behind, lighter shades ahead. To port, sheer slate cliffs slide slowly by, their nondescript, nearly uninterrupted face belying the many leagues that the ship has already traveled. Off the port bow, to the northeast, the jagged, broken thumb of Beacon Hill marks the vessel's current destination, the rocky outcropping starkly backlit by the angry rays of a red sun.

Red sky at morning, sailors take Warning...

The deck of the ship, aptly yet uncreatively named Sea Horse, is piled high with barrels and crates bound for Balefyre, leaving little space for the ship's dozen or so paying customers. The impatient crew works around the clutter, oaths flying fast and furious as the scattered landlubbers invariably get in the way. A musclebound Half-orc, fairly bursting out of the impractical costume of a gladiator, leans over the leeward rail, one hand resting on the pommel of a huge steel morning star, laughing ruefully between unproductive bouts of heaving.

The steady southeasterly wind carries the fresh scent of the stirring sea, a fine mist of cold spray dampening everything on deck, a the same time both pushing the heavy-laden cog towards and away from the waiting harbor. Gulls fight against the winds to get a look at the approaching vessel, allowing themselves to be carried away once they realize that it doesn't carry fish.

 Four of the Five notice it nearly at once- a long, low, black-sailed ship abeam to port, several lengths off. It seems to fly past the northern cliffs, steadily drawing ahead of the slow-moving Seahorse, whose portly master, it seems, is as of yet oblivious to its shadowing presence.

And so it begins...

Your Turn.

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Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 278 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:33
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Jenna Drax watches as the Sun rise above the horizon, dawn's light chasing away the darkness of night. The Priestess of the Warrior Goddess Arma was in her twenty fifth year, stood some five feet and eight inches in height, her eyes a vivid blue, her hair blonde, falling loose about her shoulders, tempered with hints of fiery red that seem to blaze under the Sun's rays.

 She is slim of figure, a shirt of scale mail worn over her clothing. At her feet was the pack that contained her handful of possessions, her shield propped against the pack, it emblazoned with an upright sword emblazoned on a shield, the symbol of the Goddess that she serves, the Goddess of chivalry, of courage, of just and righteous war. Looped around her belt was the warhammer which bears the name Arma's Blessing, the tool with which she dispenses her Goddess's retribution on those who would stand for evil. A close observation of the warhammer would show faint traces of dried blood on its surface, a legacy of the most recent instance that she had dispensed that retribution.

 Jenna had spent the most of the voyage in silence, a solitary figure, alone with her thoughts, that silence only broken when she had whispered her prayers to Arma, asked her Goddess to guide her in her actions, trusted in Her to show her the way, that way being to a place called Balefyre. She knew not why She had directed her to follow this path, but Jenna Drax did not question Her intent, trusted that all would become clear.

 She had paid little heed to her fellow passengers, for she had no business with them, but though she was quiet and reserved she had acknowledged those who had spoken to her with a nod and a faint smile, for her demeanor was not unfriendly but rather that of one who had much on her mind. She had found a place amongst the barrels and crates, where she had slept, but her rest had been brief, for her dreams had been troubled, and she had awoke long before dawn, stowed her bedroll, recited her prayers, then simply stood, as she now stands, feeling the vessel rock and pitch under her booted feet, felt the breeze caress her, the chill touch of the mist on her face, it causing damp tresses of hair to cling to her skin.

 And then she sees the vessel with the Black Sails. Some lengths away still, but to judge by its speed it will soon close with the Seahorse. And the slim Warrior Priestess of Arma doubts very much that their intent is benevolent. Her right hand moves to her warhammer, touching it reverently, her lips begin to move, drawing strength from the name of her Goddess as she contemplates bestowing Arma's Blessing on those who sail under the black.
Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 215 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:33
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
"Looks like trouble.  There, on your left," Ulfgar Frostbeard said to the rotund Captain of the Sea Horse, pointing out the dark ship nearing them.  While the dwarf wasn't a complete stranger to the water, he certainly hadn't mastered the nuisances of nautical communication, like calling left port and right starboard.  Indeed he was prepared more for a woodland hike than seaborn journeys.  He wore brown leather armor and carried a staff and a handaxe, both useful on the trail.  A large pack with a jagged-jaw hunting trap sat at his feet.

"Don't suppose we can go any faster eh?" The dwarven druid asked rhetorically.  This ship didn't seem to be built for speed.  "What's in these barrels?" he asked without waiting for a response.  Dumping them might lighten the ship load and speed things up.  Please let it be whisky... Uflgar thought.  By his reckoning, he'd drink as much as he could to help reduce the weight of the cargo.  It never really occurred to him that he'd simply be moving the fluid from one container on the ship (the barrel) to another (his stomach).
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 337 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:34
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
The man who now calls himself Nicolai Romanelli sits cross-legged atop a crate, well out of the way of the ship's company and carefully outside the sweep of booms and lines.  His left hand cradles a mug of tea while his right methodically works through the stretching exercises prescribed by a physicker in ji-Kebir.  The bandages came off two nights ago, unceremoniously dropped into the Great Inner Sea, the last vestiges of his prior identity shed like a snake's skin.  The arm may never heal completely but he is young, otherwise healthy, and quietly angry, and that combination will likely see him back to nine-tenths capacity.

 His eyes narrow as the black-sailed vessel comes into view.  He's no sailor but he's kept his eyes and ears open, and there's little good to be had from a vessel flying that canvas.  It's as much camouflage as Nicolai's own dark wardrobe, albeit meant for concealment against shoreline rather than cityscape.  I don't suppose a little professional courtesy is in order, he thinks mordantly, then times his descent from the crate to avoid interrupting the crew's movement.

 A glance around the deck shows that his fellow passengers - all but the unfortunate Gronk, at any rate - have noted the vessel, and Ulfgar has taken the initiative to point out the new arrival to the captain.  That leaves him little to do until the inevitable demands begin, so he slips belowdecks to pull on his leathers and retrieve his weapons.
Gronk
 Party NPC, 78 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:34
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Gronk lifts his head at the mention of trouble. His eyes narrow as he focuses on the galley drawing ahead to port. The prospect of a fight puts a quick end to the lingering effects of the gale-induced sea sickness. He slowly rises to his full height, seeming to expand, robust musculature sharply defined by the rays of the rising sun. It's as if the unfortunate Half-orc hasn't just spent the last 12 hours emptying his guts over the side.

"Took the bastards long enough. I was worried this trip would end without a scrap. Gronk's got somethin' for black sail. Let 'im come." he says cheerfully, hefting the huge morning start.

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