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  2. As Vito reached out to lay his hand on the bar door, Caden reached out and placed his hand on Vito's shoulder. "That mask of yours ain't too friendly like. Why don't you hang back a bit, I'll see what I can fish out." Before entering the establishment Caden took one final look around him. At the bold building. At the filthy, filmy buildings around it, commercial enterprises which were not able to tap into the vice of its citizens as effectively as the building sanctioned to sell mind-bending drink and body-poisoning smoke to its citizens by legal mandate. He knew from reconnaissance that Norkotia allowed the use of morphine for medical reasons . . . and what a short leap it was from totally justifiable to completely illegitimate, when it came to highly addictive painkilling substances. If they struck out here, they would have to crack open some medical records and follow up on patients who received morphine and the like for their treatments. Thoughts for another time – Caden pushed the door open and shouldered his way through the crowds to the bar setup against the distant wall. From there, nursing a drink that he barely sipped, Caden let his eyes wander about, first becoming acclimated to the movements of the crowd and then picking out the anomalies and outliers. It took Caden a little less than an hour to find the information he was looking for – to target the person around which a certain class of people seemed to pivot. Once he targeted the individual Caden posted himself up in a seat nearby, ordering drink after drink after drink . . . whose alcoholic content he neutralized once inside of his body, to keep a clear head, and lower the guard of anyone watching him imbibe spirits as if they were water. Over time Caden insinuated himself closer, and began including 'the man' on his drink orders. At the top of the hour, Caden managed to sneak in a request for something a little harder than drink. The dealer was interested, had a good feeling about this one, nodded down the hall with the single word: 'bathroom'. On arriving in the bathroom the first thing Caden did was open the window and whistle; innocuous on its own, but the pattern was a signal to Vito and, if needed, Floki. Then he set himself up behind the door, so when the dealer entered, Caden had the door closed and locked before anything else could happen. "Oh yeah, I been meaning to ask you." Suddenly his words were crystal clear, and his balance supreme. "I still want to buy you out, but what I want the most is uh, to find out where you get your stuff to begin with. Maybe you can help a fella out?"
  3. "How that's impossible," Bruce said. "They must have been working on a hidden project because I didn't know of such a thing." @Meepinater
  4. "Morgan Industries. They owned the lab, and the scientists worked for them. You are Bruce Morgan, are you not?"
  5. I'm good either way. If we skip, we move forward, which I am always for. If we don't skip, Erin's gonna wreck that guy trying to come in the door (since she either is still in the mechanical room after shutting down the power, or she's lurking invisible in the hallway to take-out anyone who tries to investigate). Though you can add that to your post if you skip.
  6. So just at the moment we're writing out the scenes we talked about skipping, since we basically already wrote out what would happen Do we want to skip with my post or stay the course?
  7. Today
  8. Bruce looks at Blackjack, perplexed. "Who?" he asked. "Morgan who?" @Meepinater
  9. "Does the name Morgan ring a bell?" Snarled Blackjack.
  10. Alright. I'll post my reply tomorrow ^_^
  11. Kalmuli jumped a little when someone approached from behind. She couldn't sense things as exact as she normally could with the yokai around. Turning around, the bells on the cat mask jingling, she reached to it and slipped it up so she could see who was speaking better. They were another yokai, most likely under Akako's employ by the way that they spoke and asked. She would manage a smile, sitting mask atop her head to give the female a small nod. "Ah yes...I'm another Queen Regent...or was. I'm more of a Queen Regent Substitute."Kalmuli answered, awkwardly fiddling with the end of her side ponytail. "I thought I would come to visit...and I was asking Mr. Monk here for a bit of a prayer for someone back home." She stopped fiddling. "Though, I suppose amongst yokai, monks are quite intimidating aren't they? I will have to hold off a prayer for another time then."Kalmuli would step away from the monk to join the side of the falcon envoy. "Should you be in Weland or Altissium Bay, Mr. Monk, feel free to visit. I wouldn't mind the company." Giving the falcon yokai a small bow, Kalmuli would dismiss herself and go back to waiting for a chance to speak with Akako. On the way through, her eyes passed over the Dragon Emperor and his Empress, giving a small bow as they passed as a courtesy before continuing on to stand in the well-worn spot where others had stood to greet. Looking down, her wooden shoes barely filled in space where the man stood before. Kei, who had been following along with her at her side, stood to her right and tapped his spear to make a small announcement. "Substitute Queen Regent Kalmuli of Altissium, Akako-sama." @Akako Akari @Twitterpated @Tenkai Matsumoto @Voldemort
  12. Welcoming our newest addition to R&D - HERB, Caius! @SweetCyanide
  13. We wait for everyone's first post to be up. Then I'll draw up a posting order. 🙂
  14. lycoris romanova Her lips are tingling, even hours after their assault on the guard in exchange for information. It is a fact her Mother has catalogued well despite her initial concerns over Lycoris’ wellbeing: Lycoris prefers to inflict violence directly rather than through the poison in her veins. She very rarely uses her toxin for anything save the direst of situations, and even then with no small measure of disgust. The aversion to touch has long been ingrained, fully settled in her bones even before she had become a Poison Princess. It would bring some amount of satisfaction in her Mother, she decides, to know that the torture, the brutal training, the burning of blood’s bane—they are not the cause for whatever is wrong with her. However: needs must when the devil drives, and the mission is the first and foremost priority beyond personal wishes. It is all she can do to ignore the incessant buzz in her mouth as the group begins to exact their plan of action on the police headquarters. Lycoris is the first one through the hole Xavier had punched through the wall, eyes blinking away the dust and flecks of plaster hanging in the air as she nimbly vaults into the room. As she waits for her gaze to adjust to the darkness and for Eldwine to make his way inside, she pulls out the antidote for blood’s bane, amber liquid swirling around the syringe: a most precious commodity, if only for the fact that there can only be so many existing at a given time. She sticks the needle through the orc’s skin with one hand, readies her throwing knives with the other; should the intruder try to attack them once they’ve come through the door, Lycoris will be ready to strike.
  15. I'm supposed to be posting stuff up about The Rembrandt Project, but I'm hungry!!! =(

     

    1. Neondragon7

      Neondragon7

      Make curry it’s fast, easy and delicious. 

  16. Celestine will take out her tiger's-eye lens and record the proceedings; other than that, she'll also be watching with gauntlets at the ready 👌
  17. Checking if @vielle wants to do anything for Celestine I can integrate in my post. If not, I'll just have Anatase watch quietly. Is there anything else worth noting on the railing where they are?
  18. @Voldemort Hey, you still have the rest of the day, but just letting you know you're up. I'd like to pick up the pace a little, see if we can't finish this a bit sooner. Optimally I'd like to have it done by about mid-July.
  19. "I would not discount the possibility." Diric answered Rozharon's suggestion that the assassins had merely been meant to intimidate rather than kill, "However, their conduct suggests a degree of sloppiness. Perhaps it was a kill order, but the leadership did not anticipate its agents as capable of carrying it out." "Regardless, we'll send them a message in return." Tynes stated. Both men, as well as Kessler, gave nods and quick farewells to the empress as she left their presence to go speak with Koji. This left them with Pallas, one of the two sons. His question drifted to the state of Norkotia, then immediately to a supposed "new sect" of Gaianism in the north. "Do you refer to our own religion, or of the so-called Cothic Church?" Joseph inquired, "In neither case would I consider them to be true sects of Gaianism, our own faith merely attempted to reconcile with the mainstream religion a number of years back. But the reality is that our Goddess and Gaia are not at all the same gal." He accidentally slipped with that last word, a bit of the rural dialect that his father had passed down to him had come through. "As for Coth, I cannot speak for them. All I know at this point is they appear to also be independent of Gaian and Terran influence." he added, though he did have a few rumors about what their faith entailed, and it was none-to-encouraging. More would need to be gleaned about Coth in the coming months, especially given their relative proximity to Norkotia. It wasn't that they were close per-say, but relative to the massive distances one had to travel across the continents of Valucre, they were practically neighbors. And as Tynes hoped to spread the Directivist faith across not only the territories he claimed, but also into ones he allied with, the prospect of a fast-growing, rival religion, was one that had to be investigated and monitored closely. "Has Veluriyam attempted to open diplomatic relations with them?" Kessler inquired of Pallas. @Csl
  20. Csl

    Time will tell

    The last notes of the piece faded into silence. Rozharon stood, swept her gaze over the nobles, then looked up at the gathered spectators. She took her seat. “Thank you all for coming.” A pause, as she picked up her copy of the meeting agenda. “As I’m sure you’re aware, I’ve gathered you here today to discuss several matters that concern the Ursa Madeum as a whole. Most notably, that the Veluriyam Empire will be withdrawing from the islands, restoring Ursa Madeum’s sovereignty as a nation.” Rozharon glanced at the paper in her hand. “I’ll discuss this in more detail later. I’d like to pass over some more issues that require more immediate concern. If it’s necessary, we can take a break midway into the session.” She laid two fingers against the table. The marble darkened, an ink-like substance swirling at the center of the table. Beneath the stone’s glassy veneer, a map of Misral formed. “Mount Egon erupted two weeks ago due to the emergence of a volcano elemental. Mia Uldwar apparently agitated the creature by attempting to cap the volcano’s main vent. The initial earthquakes damaged a great deal of infrastructure all over the island, affecting even coastal areas” A series of concentric circles appeared on the map, originating from the volcano. Outlines of the affected towns appeared, their names scrawled in neat script. “The buildings of the Tankred estate, located on the slope of Egon, were destroyed,” Rozharon paused, a flicker of sorrow passing over her face. “No survivors were found.” She continued speaking, the map updating itself as she ran through a few more details: the extent of the damage to the island’s vegetation, the spread of the fires caused by the lava flow, which had now cooled into trails of igneous rock, and the other losses suffered by the island; both in lives and resources. “Fortunately, several groups were quick to respond to the crisis,” Her gaze settled on Milorian. “Lord Mythal, the Hildebrand's Order of the Orchid, and the Singlances were included among those who assisted in the relief efforts. The elemental was defeated quickly.” She didn’t elaborate on how and by who. There was time enough to discuss the Oathblades later. Instead, she briefly her attention to Godric Uldwar. “Mia Uldwar, as I understand, has been removed from Port Mars? Whatever the case, House Uldwar may manage its internal family affairs, but the extent of the damage to Misral is something someone has to take responsibility of. I have no reason to believe Mia would purposefully awaken an elemental to destroy the island where their estate is located.” Port Mars glimmered on the map. “It’s relevant to mention that a few days after the Egon eruption, Oscar Uldwar was captured in Corinth. He’s accused of murdering several knights of Hildebrand and amassing a group of bandit followers who terrorized the forests. He claims he convinced his daughter to cap the volcano and wishes to takes the blame for the incident.” Rozharon turned her gaze to Varda. “Lady Hildebrand, I believe the decision on what to do with Oscar falls on your house. At least, for his crimes against Hildebrand.” The Empress leaned back in her seat. She regarded the gathered nobility with an expression that lay between expectant and curious. “Thoughts on the matter?”
  21. Beach by Piotr Krezelewski Vanora Quests Author’s Note: I wanted to try out a system where quests listed here would change every month as the city changes through IC events. This way, future quests can build on the events of previous quests or even opportunities borne from IC threads. Let's see how an ever-updating list would work out! Please read the Veluriyam Canonization Guidelines before taking up quests! IMPORTANT: If taking on a quest or creating one to be listed below, please send a PM to both me @vielle and @Csl together to let us know and to discuss what the quests entail in detail ❤️ ► A World Below — A collapse in the streets of Vanora reveal a hidden underwater grotto with an extensive cave network. City officials are willing to pay for the exploration of the caves after an initial search of the shallow areas has recovered some long lost treasure from the era of the Queendom. Difficulty: Class B Reward: Canon items and/or treasures (ex. bejeweled statuettes of ancient gods, pearl ornaments, swords made from leviathan bones) Status: Unclaimed ► Beyond Safe Shores — A strange new ship has anchored within sight of Candleport and all seems normal with the vessel during the day. However, in the moonlight, part of the ship appears decrepit in certain angles and the flag it flies changes from that of Ursa Madeum to a tattered flag of a long lost kingdom. Difficulty: Class A Reward: ??? Status: Unclaimed
  22. finally, first city lore ever finished! ❤️ three days of non-stop feverish research and writing results in:

    i'm gonna go do posts now 😂 hopefully this gives you joy in reading it as i was given while writing it all up 🙏

  23. Symbiotic Fantasy City by Christian Dimitrov The City of Vanora on silver waves; Vanora had once been a humble fishing village built on the ruins of an ancient city that had thrived on the shores of Thraece since before the Queendom came into being. With the growing demand for expansion in the aquaculture industry, House Hildebrand has seen fit to aid the village to build its way up into a thriving hub for commerce and enterprise. Vanora has a population of roughly 40,000 which continues to grow as the city gains more citizens from Corinth: artisans attracted by the potential this coastal paradise offers not only in the economic sphere but in agricultural, adventuring, and scholarly pursuits as well. Geography Topography Vanora is situated along the eastern coast of the island of Thraece, at the tip of a small cape locals call the Ivory Heights. Flanked by towering rock formations and weathered stone cliffs, the city’s natural defenses make it a safe haven in the midst of pirate threats. Various roads connect Vanora to its neighboring coastal villages, with busy highways leading further north to Port Thea and Ylia City. If one were to explore the wildlands surrounding Vanora, one would find places ripe for further exploration, which may be of great interest to adventurers and treasure hunters looking for new exotic locales to conquer. As the city is built on the remains of a long-gone society, one need not look any further than the soaring towers of Cimmerian Keep high above Vanora’s cityscape as it casts tall shadows upon the land whenever the sun passes behind the crest. Safe Haven by Andreas Rocha Cityscape Vanora is a city built over three periods: before the rise of the Queendom, the aftermath of the Tyrant King’s death, and the arrival of House Hildebrand. Therefore, its current urban landscape is composed of mismatched structures and crumbling pieces of architecture built one on top of the other, such as a ruined bridge now used as the structure for an open-air marketplace, or ancient stone pillars and foundations being used to construct an entirely new establishment. The old and the new mesh together in a symphony of sights that would normally appear discordant, but are ultimately harmonious thanks to the efforts of House Hildebrand and a leading team of urban planners. Scenery ► Ports — Sailors and dockers hustling about and singing raunchy sea shanties. Workmen preparing ships to sail out into open waters or to unload them of their cargo. Carts rolling over wooden platforms to reach the fish hawkers intending to buy stocks and sell them to stall owners in the marketplace. Dock bells ringing and answered by horns from the boats dotting the seas further out. ► City Proper — Orchid knights and city guards patrolling the streets in groups of three, gleaming lances held high. Horse-drawn coaches rumbling over stone brick streets. Children playing Fisherman's Luck and Liar's Dice in narrow alleyways. Groups of people cooking and eating together over communal cooking pits. ► Outskirts — Travelers entering and leaving the city like a flowing river that never ceases. Farmlands stretching out across the plains in fields of wheat, corn, tomatoes. Seemingly endless woods with ancient ruins and moss-covered statues off the beaten path. Climate Due to its coastal location, Vanora enjoys a more equable climate with moderate temperatures all year round. This allows the city to boast a serene atmosphere for any travellers looking for holiday destinations. The spring brings with it a heavy amount of rain; nonetheless, children tie colorful banners along the streets to bring splashes of color to an otherwise somber landscape. Summer is hot and humid, causing locals to seek out the cool waters of the ocean in large droves. Flora and Fauna The city enjoys a most varied array of aquatic flora and fauna for both consumption and admiration. Aside from the plentiful marine life one would normally find in the oceans of Ursa Madeum, the waters near Vanora boast the following extraordinary creatures: Ocean Creatures- coral reef, open ocean, deep sea by Seb Avila 1 ► Teal Shelled Chelonian — Popularly known as Tealshells, these large legless turtles swim off the coast of Thraece in small groups of five or six. They are peaceful grazers of seaweed along the ocean floor. Due to their vast numbers, the people of Vanora hunt them for their meat: a primary ingredient found in local delicacies such as spiced rainbow stew and artichoke dipping sauces. 2 ► Giant Sea Gourd — These creatures appear to be a strange mix of flora and fauna in one entity, causing frustrated debates amongst marine researchers. The coral reefs are the Giant Sea Gourd’s natural habitat. The tubes sticking out of its carapace periodically spew out spores that enhance plant growth; fishermen collect these spores to make cheap fertilizer for use on land flora. 3 ► Angler Shrimp — Found in colder and deeper waters, the massive Angler Shrimp is known to be carnivorous, using its luminous esca to lure in schools of fish into its gaping maw hidden behind its whiskers (antennae). Only the most daring of fishermen would attempt to hunt down these creatures, as they've been known to pull nets and anchor lines down into the depths, consequently drowning smaller vessels and damaging large ships. However, with great risk comes great reward: angler shrimp meat is a rare commodity the wealthy would pay a great number of shillings for, and the creature's esca can be used to form unique light fixtures that come to life all on their own when it gets dark. Culture With House Hildebrand ushering in its branch houses as well as many of its vassals to Vanora's shores, the city has ultimately become a melting pot of races, cultures, and religions. Humans mix with the smaller racial subgroups of elves, harefolk, sheepfolk, gnomes, and firbolgs. Ul'dah Citizens Art - Final Fantasy XIV Vanora has grown from sleepy fishing village to bustling city with unprecedented speed. Despite their rising numbers and wealth, the people of Vanora continue to uphold the values of a tight-knit society, working together to boost each other up to greater heights. An entrepreneurial mindset is common amongst locals, which ultimately leads to innovation and creativity in the economic and cultural spheres. The City of Silver Waves can also be called the City of Possibilities—provided one knows where to position himself in a quick-growing community of idealists. Economy Aquaculture remains as the primary source of economic growth and exports for Vanora, with agronomy and textile production tying for second. With the excess of raw food materials in the city, many budding entrepreneurs have taken it upon themselves to create innovative products and services, such as making the logistics of food deliveries more efficient or constructing aquariums for the wealthy. As these businesses flourish, so does the city itself; the cycle of growth continues on, boosting overall wealth and therefore the standards of living within Vanora. Education The Candlesea Academy has been recently established as an esteemed institution for academia in the city, with specialized courses for those seeking to study aquaculture, cartography, coastal engineering, naval architecture, and sail training. Government The city is under the governance of House Hildebrand, with a trusted council of five elders (see below: the Vanorian Council) installed by the noble house to help directly oversee local matters and provide justice in court if necessary. Military 2,000 knights of the Order of the Orchid — headed by Ser Eliott Belanger 500 wardens from House Kinclaith — composed of members from the sheepfolk, harefolk, firbolg, and gnome clans 100 warriors from the Taira Clan 500 local militia 15 caravels with fully functioning crew 5 galleys with fully functioning crew 50 Eagleships — Through an agreement with Ylia City and House Mythal, Vanora is protected with a sizable fleet of Eagleships patrolling its waters night and day. Notable Residents ► Vanorian Council — Composed of five trusted elders, the Vanorian Council are considered as the city regents; however, they ultimately bow to the will of House Hildebrand as the higher authority when it comes to authoritative decision making. They draft and approve legislation, ordinances, and public works for the betterment of the community. The distribution of the city treasury and taxation orders are also handled by the council with oversight from Lord Jasper Hildebrand. Baroness Lorraine Maignes (aristocratic landowner) Shak’al Wehu (tribal chieftain) Dr. Ebeneezer Alichade (head of marine research) Captain Deimos Darringer (esteemed sailor) Lady Esmeralda Gloryday (House Kinclaith representative) ► Branon “Skinner” Montalart — Acting Harbormaster of Candleport. He once lost an arm to a leviathan attack a few years past; with his remaining arm, however, he wields a blade like no other. He is fond of visiting organized fighting pits near the docks and dueling hapless challengers looking to win a bet, often mocking his foes for their inability to defeat a cripple whenever he wins. ► One-Eyed Tris — An infamous former pirate now turned tattoo artist who only inks those that have looked upon the great leviathans of Ursa Madeum's waters and lived to tell the tale. A tattoo from Tris not only serves as a mark of competency and prominence, but can be imbued with luck charms and other magicks that would aid sailors, should one be persuaded to pay her the extra shilling. ► Émile Dyker — A frivolous purveyor of personal luxuries such as soaps, hair oils, perfume, and fine silks who also dabbles in a little fortune telling. Some say that his drowned lover Mauricius is now a ghost that whispers secrets in his ear. Notable Locations Within Vanora ► Isidore Park — Once a crumbling castle from the days of the Tyrant King, House Hildebrand has since repurposed the structure into an expansive estate reminiscent of Acadia's style of architecture. Aside from its recreational gardens that are open for public use, Isidore Park also serves as Vanora's seat of power, where the Vanorian Council come together to discuss local matters. Jasper Hildebrand had given the estate its moniker in honor of his wife Kalika's maiden name. ► Candleport — Vanora’s harbor usually appears to almost glow in the sunlight due to the pale limestone and whitewood used in its construction. With enough space to accommodate ships of all sizes, it also has a bell tower that doubles as a lighthouse, warehouses for shipped goods in and out of the harbor, and a dry dock for ship repairs. Candleport is named as such due to the local tradition of families setting up candles by the shores to guide their sailing loved ones home to land. ► The Hungry Cod — A newly established tavern commissioned by House Kinclaith, the Hungry Cod offers one interesting attraction: the whole floor is lowered and covered in a pool of water about a foot deep, with tiny colourful fish swimming around and nibbling the dead skin off your feet. An engraved sign on the door says, "No shoes!" The proprietor—an elderly gnome named Rosie Lorridan—takes great pains to remind newcomers that there's nothing like a free foot massage whilst they enjoy a good drink. ► Temple of Windsong — A monastery built within the ruined remains of a large ship long since grounded near Vanora’s ports. It is guarded by a Thracian tribe that worships the sea and the wind. In order to even step foot inside, one must have at least spent 15 years of their life at sea. A large whalebone altar has been set up in the center of the temple, where the tribe prays to their sea god for good weather and safe sea travel on behalf of the more superstitious of Vanora’s sailors. expedition by Anton Chernoskutov Outside Vanora ► Cimmerian Keep — With its darkened walls and hollow halls, the ruins of this ancient stronghold have yet to be fully mapped. A ragtag group of adventurers calling themselves the Brave Heralds have set up camp by the gates to serve as their base of operations for exploration runs within the keep. They have a propensity for lighting giant bonfires that can be seen from miles away, inadvertently becoming a makeshift lighthouse at night. ► Nereid's Gates (pictured above) — A rock formation that rises to the heavens a few miles north of Vanora, between the city and its distant neighbor Ylia City. Magical occurrences abound within the vicinity of this natural structure; it is said that the sea nymphs have blessed it as their chosen altar, and that whoever makes their way to the top of the sheer rock face would be granted an unspeakable wish. Many seek to determine whether this legend is true or not, undeterred by the location's turbulent waters and sharp sea stacks. Many have tried, and many have lost their lives to the danger that surrounds Nereid's Gates. The few that do manage to make their way up disappear altogether—whereto, exactly, no one knows for sure. ► The Inkwell — Five miles off the southeastern shore of Vanora and amidst what seems like an endless reef of bright coral lies a dark hole in the ocean floor. It measures 500 feet across, is near-perfectly round and lies just 30 feet below the waves. While what investigation into The Inkwell has all but revealed it to be nothing more than an ominous pit, it has done nothing to quell the rumors of it being a hiding place for countless treasures of the pirates of old, or perhaps the lair of an ancient leviathan. ► Niyogyugan — A small atoll inhabited by a village of sentient coconut people called the Niyog. They worship a giant baobab tree growing in the middle of their island’s lagoon that gives life to their people. They have basic tools such as spears and dugout canoes, and would much prefer to be left alone due to prior experience with people hunting them for consumption. Kakamora sketch from Moana (2016) by Josh H. History Canon - -
  24. It certainly is traditionally but at this point it’s been a week, and we’re only two days from the weekend which is a no-post zone for yourself. So maybe you can go up by / before Friday?
  25. Grant grinned as he felt the warmth of Delphine's spell flowing through him, "Eventful is good, the uninvited guests are the problem." Activating the MERLIN implant in his body, the prince's body was surrounded by a faint light, and radiated a gentle heat. The pirate vessel was within jumping range, but he would have to be careful. If he pushed off the deck of his ship with too much force he might shatter the deck, or even punch a hole through it. Luckily he had become quite well acquainted with his strength over the years. Gauging the distance between the two ships, he nodded to himself before glancing back to his lover. "Cover me." With that, he jumped into the air; pushing the boat down into the water somewhat. Sailing through the air, he drew his revolver and fired six shots before he landed on the deck of the pirate vessel; scoring three fatal shots, two injuries, and one miss. Nobodies perfect. Plucking a speed loader from his belt, he dodged the attack of a large dark-skinned man with a club as he popped the ammo into his gun and put a bullet into the head of the pirate behind him. The first pirate turned back in time to catch a bullet of his own between the eyes. This process repeated itself four more times, Grant dodging an attack before putting down the attacker with a single bullet. Once his gun had run dry, he used the durable revolver to block and deflect attacks before lashing out with powerful blows of his own. Arrows whistled through the air to strike down enemies encroaching on him, Delphine watching over him like an avenging angel. Eventually one of the pirates got lucky, and knocked the firearm out of his hands with an upward strike before reversing direction for a downward stroke. Grant caught the blade between his hands and then stepped to the side as he levered the man into a throw that sent him flying into the mast with a sickening crunch of bones. Suddenly there was a deep basso bellow from below deck, and the remaining pirates stopped their attack and backed away to form a loose circle around the prince. A number of rough looking men emerged from the lower decks; and large, thudding footsteps shook the ship as something ascended the stairs. The source of those steps turned out to be a gigantic reptilian man, body so thick with muscle it seemed his skin would split. He was carrying a battle axe the size of a small child, and he was stalking toward Grant with menace in his eyes. Grant, prepared himself for battle, but was distracted by the sound of something huge breaching the surface of the water. Turning to look back at his ship, he saw some kind of submersible coming up right beside the craft. Multiple hatches popped open and pirates began swarming out, aiming to board the vessel. "Delphine..."
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