Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue.   Posted by Narrator.Group: 0
Narrator
 GM, 33 posts
Mon 14 May 2018
at 19:36
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
The shark flops against the deck, refocusing its attention on Kogane; the sailor takes advantage of this to follow his defender's suggestion and flee belowdecks. Still clearly intent on having a meal, even if one that fights back, the shark snaps its jaws towards Kogane's face again.
Kogane
 player, 35 posts
Mon 14 May 2018
at 20:05
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Kogane steps back from the shark, a hurried backstep intended more to regain her balance thanto create distance. Her ears twitch at the sound of the retreating sailor, then swivel back towards the shark. That would make things easier. Without someone else to worry over, she can focus her attention fully on the shark.

Kogane lifts one hand off the hilt of her sword, the other twisting it about with a roll of her fingers so that she can slide it back into her belt. The wolf-girl's now free hand moves to her side, open-palmed, balancing her against the incoming rush. When the shark charges, just as its jaws are about to close around Kogane's chest, it finds its view suddenly shifted, pointed towards the sky. What follows is a stinging pain that blurs its vision.

Kogane, in the moment before impact, had tightened her grip on the sword and drawn it, backhand, shoving the pommel into the shark's soft underchin, forcing its attack up and away from her. The motion brings her sword part-way out of its sheath, the naked steel glinting in the dim light as she slides it back home. She makes no further effort to move from her spot, her free hand returning to grip the sword and the other moving back to grab the sheath.
Memory
 player, 23 posts
Tue 15 May 2018
at 04:17
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Memory flops rather unceremoniously to the deck as she loses hold of the shark in the wake of it slapping her in the face with its tail. Pulling back up to a sitting position and touching a ginger hand to her sore jaw, she looks back to the shark. She startles as it reaches Kogane and the pair exchange a flurry of blows.

Rushing to her feet, Memory runs toward the pair. There is a flash of sharp light and the glow of her eyes intensifies, semi-transcluscent white flame running up her left arm, which trails behind her, and onto the blade that has appeared within. The blade of the sword glints as if reflecting light, though that should be impossible at this depth. Memory doesn't even seem to notice it.

She charges the shark, her attention focused entirely upon it and upon the idea of getting it away from Kogane. Her arm pulls back into a swing and, without slowing, channeling her momentum into the blow, Memory slams the flat of her blade into the side of the shark's face-- much as it had done to her earlier. She catches the nerve cluster in the shark's nose temporarily disorienting it and-- Wait.

Memory hesitates, nearly tripping as she brings her charge to a skidding halt on the other side of the shark. Where did I get a sword?
Kogane
 player, 36 posts
Tue 15 May 2018
at 04:38
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
A flash of motion and the glint of light prelude the shark pulling its thoroughly confused face away from Kogane's body. The wolf-girl's eyes glint in the gloom as she traces the movement, landing on Memory, a flat blade humming in the water next to her. Now, where did you get that?

Kogane's distracted pondering lasts only half a moment, attention quickly returning to the threat at hand. Seeing Memory's bruised handiwork on its nose, Kogane elects to follow suite. She draws her blade forth, its tip leaving scabbard for the first time so far in the fight. She twists it about in her hands, gripping it between both as she raises it above her head, steps forward and then brings it down. The blunt back of the blade slams down on the shark's nose. It is no blade, but hardly as gentle as her sheath had been; a good, firm wack. Hopefully, it would be enough to make the shark realise this was a losing fight.
Memory
 player, 24 posts
Tue 15 May 2018
at 14:37
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Memory eyes the unfamiliar sword in her hands until the motion of Kogane's swing pulls her attention away. Right. They have a shark to deal with. Once her attention is off the blade, it's almost all too easy to forget she's holding it; it feels so natural in her hand, the weight so comfortable. Almost...

Following the vague idea in her head, Memory forces her mind off of the sword and off of what she intends to do with it. She lets her body flow through the motions, relying purely on muscle memory to carry her through. Her eyes go slightly distant and the white fire runs along her sword again, fainter than before, almost invisible, as Memory lashes out and slices hard at the shark's exposed side.

Her blade strikes true and bites deep, slashing hard into the muscle. Blood spills out in the water, flaring in scarlet wisps from the rent hide. The impossible light glinting off the sword and the faint fire running up Memory's arm fade as she rounds on the shark again, eyes still unfocused.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:51, Wed 16 May 2018.

Kogane
 player, 37 posts
Wed 16 May 2018
at 03:01
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Kogane lets out a whistle at Memory's surprising show of skill, slicing through the shark's flank. Stood slightly to the side, hands ready on her sword, she watches the creature's reaction carefully. To her surprise, she sees the familiar spark of fear in its eyes.

She relaxes her grip on the sword, releasing one of her hands and bringing it down to one side, stepping around the wounded animal to Memory's side. Kogane places her hand on Memory's shoulder. "I think that's enough, firesprout."
Narrator
 GM, 34 posts
Thu 17 May 2018
at 01:57
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
The shark takes the opportunity to propel itself away from the pair of Exalt, and begins swimming away, clearly giving up on the fight.

Most of the sailors had taken refuge when the shark appeared, either going belowdecks or hiding around the deck, so they had not seen any of Memory's displays of Essence. The same could not be said for Britannia, who had retreated from the shark but remained in its line of sight, and had therefore seen everything unfold. She approaches the two Exalts, Zul'thoth's spear still clutched in both of her hands.

"Well, that definitively answers one question, at least."

She's looking at Memory's sword, slightly frowning.
Memory
 player, 25 posts
Thu 17 May 2018
at 03:08
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Memory starts as Kogane lays a hand on her shoulder, eyes snapping into focus upon the wolf-woman as whatever remainders of the translucent flame lingered flicker out. The sword is still a comfortable fit in her hand, but the purpose is largely gone out of the way she holds it now that Kogane has called her attention outward once more. She gives the wolf-woman a puzzled look-- Firesprout...?-- before the shark's abrupt departure captures her attention. Memory watches it, frowning.

She offers only a cursory glance over to Britannia when the captain speaks up, then down at the sword. Eyes turning back toward the fleeing figure of the shark, she flips the sword in her hand without thinking, catching the blade lightly to hold the hilt out to Britannia. When Memory speaks, her voice is distracted, "Hmm? Is this yours, then, ma'am? I was wondering where it came from." Her frown twists into concern. "Should we follow it, do you think? Will it be all right with an injury like that?" It's clear from the direction of her gaze that Memory isn't talking about the sword anymore.
Kogane
 player, 38 posts
Thu 17 May 2018
at 19:30
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Kogane lifts her hand away from Memory's shoulder, grinning at the woman's empuzzlement. Kogane's ear flicks as the captain approaches, evidently responding to the noise, the wolf-girl herself turning to face Britannia. She sheathes her sword with a single smooth motion, then pulls it free of her belt, resting the tip of the sheath against the deck and resting her arms atop the pommel, leaning forward in a relaxed slouch.

"Cat's out of the bag on that one, I guess," Kogane capitulates. "So, you knew what she meant by 'daughters of the sun', too. Does it apply to you?" She raises an eyebrow, golden eyes watching Britannia carefully.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:32, Thu 17 May 2018.

Narrator
 GM, 35 posts
Thu 17 May 2018
at 19:46
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
"No."

Britannia's reply to Kogane's question is immediate, reflexive. A knee-jerk reaction.

The captain frowns, looking down at the spear in her hands.

"Yes?"

She sighs, shoulders slumping.

"It's... complicated."

Britannia takes a look around, as if confirming that there are no sailors in earshot.

"I'm not one of the Sun's Chosen, no. I have never taken a Second Breath." She hesitates, clearly debating whether to continue talking. "But part of my soul is not mine at all, and rather a fragment of another... who has." She frowns, looking towards Zul'thoth in the distance, still swimming through the depths, leading the ship onward. "This fragment is probably what that one smelled."
Kogane
 player, 39 posts
Thu 17 May 2018
at 20:47
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Kogane listens quietly, eyes closed and ears perked. When Britannia finishes, the wolf-girl lets out a low sigh, then straightens up.

"Fair enough," she says, returning the sword to her belt. "That was all I really needed to know. Well, unless you're intending to report me to the Wyld Hunt, in which case, wow, long game, there." She grins at the nonsensical scenario. Resting a hand on her sword's pommel, she continues. "Your secret's safe with me, then."

Turning to Memory, she says, "Don't worry about the shark. The sword is probably yours. I'm not familiar with the abilities of other Exalts, but if you summoned it from nothingness it belonging to you is a solid-enough guess. I can give you a proper explanation of everything once we disembark. It's... long, and complicated, and flashy. In the meanwhile, can you try sending the sword back?"
Memory
 player, 26 posts
Fri 18 May 2018
at 03:03
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Memory allows the larger part of Kogane and Britannia's conversation to fade off as background noise. It's just more things she doesn't understand or have the context to begin to grasp and trying to make sense of the pieces would only make her dizzy. She still listens, sort of. But she listens in the same way she'd fought the shark-- largely keeping thinking out of the equation and letting things settle in on their own.

Her shoulders slump slightly as the shark passes entirely from view. That's another thing she can't quite explain, how she'd done all that.

She looks to Kogane, eyes glittering with faint golden light in the underwater gloom. Her gaze is blank through the brief mention of 'Exalts' and Kogane telling her she'd summoned the blade from nothing... and every now and again, it skips back toward where the shark had been. Memory's brow furrows as Kogane finishes and she looks down at the sword. She's still holding it lightly by the blade, but, while it still feels familiar and natural, there's an awkwardness to it. Meeting an old friend again after so many years, the moments before the ice was broken.

Memory meets Kogane's eyes, looking thoroughly confused. She glances to Britannia as if entreating help. Slowly, she says, "Send it back... where?"
Kogane
 player, 40 posts
Fri 18 May 2018
at 13:23
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Kogane meets Memory's eyes with a momentary expression of abstract terror at the idea of trying to explain the concept of Elsewhere, a subject of which she has abject unfamiliarity. Then the moment ends, she composes herself, and the wolf-girl replies.

"Back to where it was."
Memory
 player, 27 posts
Sat 19 May 2018
at 01:31
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Memory blinks at Kogane's answer. "Ah." Her expression is much the same as it had been when the Devourer had refused to tell her what had happened. Her gaze drops down to the sword in her hand. Her frown deepens as she watches it for just a moment before her eyes find Kogane's again. "How?" Her voice carries the same guileless confusion as the uncertain twist of her mouth.
Narrator
 GM, 36 posts
Sat 19 May 2018
at 01:34
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Britannia chuckles, shaking her head.

"Good luck trying to explain that."

She looks around the boat, frowning.

"I'm going to go round up my boys and make them useful again... but we should talk after we're out of here. Wherever 'here' is."

With a nod to the two Exalts, she turns and goes about putting the crew back to work.
Narrator
 GM, 37 posts
Mon 21 May 2018
at 22:04
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
The rest of the surreal voyage through the depths is without incident, as the boat continues to follow Zul'thoth without further interference. Keeping track of her senses, Kogane realizes as they travel that the relative position of the Poles is adjusting themselves to their normal position, until eventually a light appears at the bottom of the sea; sailing directly into it, the Ruler of the Waves breaks the surface of the water, emerging once again at sea-level.

It turns out that Zul'thoth's domain was not in the clouds, after all, but reversed in the depths of the actual sea.

Zul'thoth's voice resonates around Kogane and Memory as the ship rights itself;

"Face the Guardian of the Isle. Bring me the Fruit of Manann. Do not fail."

Then she submerges out of view.

A sudden shout of alarm grabs the attention of Kogane and Memory, and they turn to see Britannia, with an alarmed expression, staring at a long pile of dissolving bubbles, the remnants of the spear she had still been holding, now returned to its master.

"I hate dealing with gods. And Fair Folk. And elementals. And whatever that creature was."

Britannia approaches the two Exalts, still glancing at the disappearing bubbles.

"I will be honest with you. I'm not taking you to Manann only as a favor to Rocky-chan. I also want the Fruit."
Kogane
 player, 41 posts
Mon 21 May 2018
at 22:49
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Kogane lets out a sigh of relief as the ship finally emerges back onto the open sea. That, she felt, had been a needlessly harrowing addition to what was likely to be a dangerous enough adventure on its own.

"I think I agree," Kogane says in reply to Britannia, "but especially about her. She was sooo smug. I want to punch her right in her smug fish face." Kogane lifts her hands to either side of her face, fingers wriggling through the air in an expression of vexation. She drops them back to her sides shortly thereafter, ears flicking away the last of her lingering annoyance. Without fish and dampness, her good mood returns with admirable swiftness.

"Good to know," she replies regarding the fruit. She is grinning, tone joking, good-natured, but decidedly unyeilding. "Well, they are currently unclaimed, so you can go right ahead and march up the island n' take them yourself. If not, then I can offer a compromise; next time we meet I will give you a lovely carved replica of the fruit, which you can keep and admire. Put it on the desk in your cabin, maybe."
Memory
 player, 28 posts
Tue 22 May 2018
at 02:21
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Memory spends the remainder of the underwater voyage sitting cross-legged on the deck, out of the way of the crew, staring intently, almost dutifully, down at the sword she held in one hand. Her sword, apparently. That she could summon from thin air and, presumably, banish again. Her brow furrows in concentration and she stares at the blade with an unwavering determination. So intense is her focus that she doesn't immediately notice when they break the surface, realizing only once she takes a breath and finds it dry.

As Britannia approaches she and Kogane, Memory rises to meet her. She watches the exchange, uneasy about the strain of competition. It seems a simple enough solution to her. Memory brings her hands up into a confused gesture, shoulders shrugging. The sword is gone. Her eyes glow a little brighter. "Why not each take one? What do they grow on, a tree? A bush, perhaps? I'm sure there will be plenty to go around."
Narrator
 GM, 38 posts
Tue 22 May 2018
at 02:29
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Britannia sighs at Kogane's reaction, shoulders slumping. At Memory's question, she frowns, then explains.

"The Guardian of the Isle protects the garden in which the Fruit of Manann grows, or so the legends go. Only those who prove themselves worthy to the Guardian are allowed to pluck one."

She turns to Kogane.

"When I accepted to take you on, I was hoping you'd be willing to help me out. Whatever trial the Guardian imposes on those seeking the Fruit, I doubt it's something a mortal like me could easily accomplish."

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:31, Tue 22 May 2018.

Kogane
 player, 42 posts
Tue 22 May 2018
at 10:37
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Kogane offers a short, congratulatory clap of her hands at Memory's success.

"Well, that's probably why it's called a trial, yeh?" She grins, a twinge of mischief at the corner of her smile. "I might be interested in taking this guardian's trial, or whatever, but first age fruit aren't high on my list of priorities. Satisfying the desires of sharky gods and the like is lower still. If you wanted the fruit, and you wanted me to get the fruit, you should have asked up front, not waited until we were in the middle of the ocean where you have me captive and it was at your most convenient to ask. I'm a wolf, not a gofer."

"But," she shrugs, "I did promise you a favour owed. So let's split the difference. You tell me what those fruit do, and why you want them. If I like your reasoning, I'll get one for you. If I don't, I won't, and you'll still have that favour to call on later."
Memory
 player, 29 posts
Tue 22 May 2018
at 11:00
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Memory nods at Britannia's explanation and opens her mouth to reply when Kogane's clap interrupts her. She turns to the wolf-woman, puzzled and wondering what that's about.... when she realizes the sword is gone. Memory pauses. She looks about herself and the deck of the ship, but it's nowhere to be seen. Did I do that...? How... How do I make it come back?

Turning back to the others, still confused, Memory catches only the tail end of Kogane's offer. "Oh, I can get it for her if you don't want to, Kogane. Hmm, but..." She considers something for a moment. "Can someone take the trial more than once? I do also owe Zul'thoth." She turns to Kogane. "Or maybe you could get hers, I could get Britannia's, and I could just pay the Devourer back later?" she suggests.
Narrator
 GM, 40 posts
Tue 22 May 2018
at 11:09
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Britannia smiles at Memory's offer.

"Thank you, Memory. I do believe I will take you up on that. Though you might want to think about whether you really want to give one of the Fruits to... that woman. Either way, not my problem."

Turning back to Kogane, the captain begins her explanation.

"No one really knows what the Fruits do. Immortality, power, youth, the legends claim many things. Whatever other side-effects, though, I am fairly certain that the Fruits are condensed Essence. Maybe of the god of Manann, maybe of its Guardian, maybe just elemental Essence, who knows; but it's almost assuredly dense Essence. And I think they may be able to save my beloved."

Britannia sighs, a dejected look coming over her.

"I told you earlier that part of my soul is not my own. My beloved was like you, one of the Sun's Chosen. Thought perhaps not a particularly bright one." Britannia's voice becomes tinged with emotion. "Now, after some pretty stupid choices, his body lies in the city of Onyx, on the Skullstone Archipelago, a mindless thrall of the Bodhisattva Anointed by Dark Water, his Essence subsumed and his mind broken. The only reason he has not disappeared completely is the part of his soul that lives on in me."

"I believe the Fruit will give him the means of breaking free from the Bodhisattva's thrall. Or, at least, that's my hope."
Kogane
 player, 43 posts
Tue 22 May 2018
at 13:37
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Kogane nods. "A reasonable-enough reason. Fair enough. I don't promise to help; I intend to learn what I can on the island, first. But if I'm going to give anyone these fruits, you'd be first on the list. If not... maybe I can think of another way to help you with your misplaced lover."
Memory
 player, 30 posts
Tue 22 May 2018
at 13:59
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
Memory nods in reply to Britannia's thanks, though she tilts her head at the idea of not upholding her debt to Zul'thoth as well, puzzled by the very thought of it. She brushes the thought off, however, when the Captain explains her need for the Fruit.

Mostly heedless of Kogane's more measured response, Memory steps forward and takes one of Britannia's hands in both of her own. "Captain Britannia, engineered by the Devourer or not, you helped to save my life. I've already promised you whatever favor you ask in return, but I'd aid you in this even without that. I'll do whatever I can to help you get your beloved back from this 'Bodhisattva of Dark Waters'. My word on it." Memory's demeanor is unusually solemn as she speaks, but, as she steps back, she smiles at the other woman and offers a nod.
Narrator
 GM, 41 posts
Tue 22 May 2018
at 16:02
Prologue: Perils of the Deep Blue
"I... thank you. To both of you."

Britannia smiles to the two Exalts, before turning back to her duties as captain. She seems to have some renewed vigor as she directs the sailors on the route towards Manann.