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Cheezeegriff

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About Cheezeegriff

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  1. Mapping the Depths

    The cesspit smelled indifferent to Jon's tiger nose, disgusting to his human's and delightful to the senses of his bear. His owl could smell nothing. Jon didn't bother with the magical stones in his belt. They would only provide enough light for his tiger and owl to see by anyway, except for looking at the ground beneath your feet perhaps. The others all stopped near the slope on the way down. Jon pressed on, his bear stepping gingerly on the wooden board walks that acted as mini bridges on the path to the centre of the cavern. He flew his owl forward into the darkness, scouting ahead for dangers. "Come on, little chicks," he said over his shoulder to the rest of the group. The boards creaked dangerously under his bear's four feet.
  2. More Important is the Journey

    We now have more openings for fellow wanderers! See the first post for more information - I've updated it with current information.
  3. More Important is the Journey OOC

    Sound off. Who's still interested in RPing? I'm assuming @Mickey Flash and @Jotnotes are still in. How about you, @Mag? I just want to know how many spots to open up and I can't remember who has left us and who hasn't.
  4. More Important is the Journey

    "Great," Jack said, looking down at Priscilla's crumpled form. Overhead the airship bobbed up and down in the gale like a giant floating whale. As soon as the wind died, it's likely they'd be crushed. "Hey," he said, giving Priscilla three firm pats on the cheek, then resolving to drag her away across the snow. Only a short way away some pirates had descended from the ship on ropes and started running down the slope. Jack resolved to head perpendicular across the slope first. Inside the airship's power was starting to fail, the lights flickering in the deep interior. Still Jack's tiger form led Michelee to the nearest source of moonlight - a gaping hole in the wall of a storage room where the ship had split asunder. Unlike the upper decks of the ship this section was made of metal, and as the ship rocked back and forth the gash opened and closed, broken pipes and twisted hull gnashing together like teeth. But their freedom lay on the other side. He growled, head-butting her gently towards the opening, encouraging Michelee to jump. It was just a matter of good timing, he thought. Elsewhere - and simultaneously - Jack's bear form rose on shaking legs. The world had gone topsy-turvy since it had closed its eyes, and it was hard to tell which way to go. But it was easiest to follow the sloping floor down, so that was where he went. Hopefully he'd find a nice, comfortable ramp to the snow below.
  5. More Important is the Journey

    Of course they weren't heading to flat ground, not like in the battle of Brightwater Bay. Instead they were drifting sideways as much as they were falling, right into a snowy mountain peak. The ship hit nose first but then toppled sideways, blown along by strong winds up the slope, hull dragging across the snow. Jack ducked down beside Priscilla as white powder crashed against the glass of the cabin. His owl launched into the air and watched from above as the Gehenna tumbled, blown in the wind, up and over a tall ridge... ... then out into space again, swinging like a pendulum. They passed over a more fertile-looking valley, full of colourful, autumnal boreal forest, then over rocky slopes, and snow again. Once more they crashed into the slopes only this time, the ship came to rest against cliffs. It rocked back and forth, ready to roll back down the slope and into the valley, but for the wind which kept it loosely pinned in place. Jack stared at the snow outside of two minds. If they left now and the wind died down, the airship would roll down the slope and crush them. But riding the airship down the slope wouldn't be much better either. "Let's go," he said at last, and opened the porthole to the frigid, mountainous air. He helped Priscilla out from under the mattress then stood with her at the open porthole. "We need to jump down, into the snow." He felt her muscles tense. It was a decent drop. One had to hope the snow was fairly deep. "Ready? One... two..."
  6. Mapping the Depths

    Jon slowed down his mount even further, pulling up next to Dorian. “So you know, your sprouting of questions and answers to questions not asked is grating on my bear’s nerves,” he said quietly. “I mean no offense, but it would be safer for everyone if you didn’t fill every moment of silence with the sound of your voice.” The bear grunted below him, swinging its head sideways to glare at the mad dirt professor with beady black eyes. “Whoa there,” Jon said, stroking the bear’s neck – or rather, the fat rolls behind its half-swallowed ears. “He don’t mean nothing, Stubby. Probably just nervous like you are.” He turned back to Dorian with a sympathetic smile and said, “Sorry. I’ll get you to feed him later. He gets along much better with people who give him gifts of food.” With that he stepped away, laterally, and took a deep breath. It might be the last time he could enjoy fresh air for a while. Maybe. Underground air tended to either be well filtered and pure or full of the stench of whatever lived below. He would miss the stars, though, but there were other pretty things underground. Glow worms or crystals. The glittering eyes of a serpent preparing to strike from the shadows. He put his hand on his pistol at his side. Almost as comforting as the weight of the sword on his back. On his left hip hung a small sack of moon rocks. They cast a feeble glow but had the benefit of never going out, and putting several into a lantern casing would be bright enough to traverse the rocks and ledges right in front of them. Either way, he was already looking forward to getting above ground again, and getting paid. And he hadn’t even entered the depths yet.
  7. Welcome to the Mad House

    Ok. Well, I'm not sure I'm a fan of the ambiguity side of things, but I like character building and relationships and stuff. Count me in:). I'll think of a character to use later.
  8. Welcome to the Mad House

    I'm kind of interested, but what's an after world?
  9. More Important is the Journey

    The metal stem of the lamp bent in Jack’s hand. It pulled away from the wall, sending flakes of paint peeling away and tumbling down into darkness. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll swing you.” He swung her once, but not far enough. Twice, and she reached for the door handle with her free hand but missed. Third time she grabbed it, held onto it for dear life, pulled at it but she was pulling from the wrong direction. “Hurry,” he said. Priscilla pulled and tugged, finally getting the door open. She had to kick it aside – the door opened inwards. Jack swung her one more time and she disappeared into the sideways doorframe. That was better. His arm stung less, and he carefully untangled his fingers from the lamp’s fixture. It wasn’t the first time in his life he wished he wasn’t wearing any armour, but those times were outweighed by the time he WAS glad he was wearing it. With his toes on the doorframe of Priscilla’s room, he reached down and drew his dagger, stabbing it into the light wooden wall and using it as a handle to climb down, then stab again. Once he lowered his legs onto the doorframe, arms drew around him and pulled him in. He almost fell on top of her, but stumbled over an upturned chair instead. Around them the ship creaked and groaned, and outside the porthole of Priscilla’s room, the hazy, moonlit mountains were spinning from right to left. The ship was spiralling downward. “Here, get on this,” he said to Priscilla, before bending over and ripping her mattress out from under her upturned bed. Once she was inside he bent it over her, effectively cocooning her inside. Her legs poked out one end, but at least her body would be safe. Jack moved to the porthole and opened it, instantly slapped by a gust of frigid, higher-than-mountain air. It was a big one and he could crawl through it if he wanted, even with the armour on, though doing so right now would be a death wish. He peeked out but the cold wind stung his eyes. He couldn’t see. But from the owl’s eyes he could. The mountains were drawing closer. Icy daggers reaching for them like the teeth of an incoming kraken. They were huge peaks though, with glaciers in between and large clouds clinging to their summits. It would take a few minutes for them to hit the ground. Something clicked over the owl’s head, and sand began raining down. Someone was at the ballast controls and was lightening the ship’s load. “It’s working,” Jack said to Priscilla, closing the hatch again. “We’re dropping steadily. Feel your ears pop? Looks like we’ll be walking away from this ship after all.” Meanwhile his tiger form hopped down from where it clung to the carpet, down to where Michelee, Yonx, the pirate and the vampire’s body had fallen onto the jumbled contents of the room. They didn’t seem to be hurt. Well – any more hurt. He began tugging at Michelee’s sleeve again, trying to rouse her into action. As far as he could tell they were still too far forward to be safe when the ship crashed.
  10. More Important is the Journey

    Twenty degrees. Twenty five. Of course they were estimates, but the slope was getting steeper to climb, plus, through his owl eyes, Jackk could see the silhouette of the ship against the mountainous horizon, as the Gehenna gradually tilted downwards. “This’ll probably do,” he said to Priscilla. “Need to find somewhere safe to hunker down. Somewhere not far from the outside of the ship. We’ll need to get out quickly.” Just then his bird was buffeted by a strong gust of wind, and he felt the ship shift beneath his human and cat feet. Nothing dramatic for his other forms, but the owl took a beating. He flew it closer to the Gehenna, landing on the rim of an open porthole by the cargo bay. Inside was dark, though he could see a few lanterns held by the pirates that had taken up residence among the stacks of crates and goods covered with tarpaulins. The pirates were screaming, shouting. Several of them were straining against the ropes attached to a massive wooden box. The animals, further down in the gloom, were still in their cages, all piled up against the bars on the lowest ends of their enclosures. Then one of the crates shifted, coming to rest against another. The shouting and panic intensified. Those pirates not holding the ropes ran from the door to the stairwell down to the life rafts, which were already spinning up their propellers in preparation for a quick get-away. One of them dropped away quickly, propellers not quite up to speed and without a full compliment. The rest were quickly filled with pirates. Then he heard a snapping sound, and looked back inside the cargo hold as a large crate broke from its rope moorings and slid into another, which slid into another. With a great splintering and cracking and tumbling the crates fell into the animal cage, crushing it, sending a mass of tangled limbs and hooves and horns and timber falling forwards as the entire cargo manifest fell towards the lowest ground. And with all the weight to the front of the ship, it pitched forward like a drunkard. Jack grabbed onto Priscilla with one hand and a lamp with the other as the floor became a wall, and the corridor they stood in turned into a deep well. His bear rolled over sideways until it lay against a wall and was buried by broken furniture. The tiger gripped at carpet with his claws, watching as tables and chairs and bodies all fell to one end of the room in a great heap. The owl repositioned itself around the rim of the porthole, watching as the horizon span almost ninety degrees, and the mountains below drew steadily closer. Gradually the wind became a roar. “We’re goin’ down,” Jack said through gritted teeth, holding Priscilla by the arm until she had a handle on something that would stop her falling.
  11. More Important is the Journey

    Jack climbed back down towards Priscilla, satisfied he’d done the necessary damage. Though their voices were funny he wasn’t content to enjoy it. The tilt on the ship was getting stronger. “We need to get to the back of the ship,” he said, voice still squeaky, but not as bad as it had been higher in the ship’s balloon. He grabbed the dagger from her, pushing her forward gently but firmly. “Come on, move.” They walked along as quick as they could traverse the gangway safely, grabbing for ropes and metal beams to support themselves. Very gradually, subtly, the floor tilted beneath them, until it felt like they were walking up a slight ramp. “It’s working,” he said. “Hurry. Come on.” He put his hand to her back, encouraging Priscilla forward. Once again he forced his bear to stand. Agony rippled outward from his shoulder, his flank. It felt like he was drowning. Fluid on the lungs. But he made it walk out into a corridor – thankfully abandoned – and waddle towards the back of the ship. The tiger was another matter. He had no idea where it was on the ship with Michelee and Yonx, but he’d be damned if he took any chances. With an urgent rawr! he headbutted Michelee, firmly, towards the back of the ship, then turned about and grabbed Yonx by his sleeve and tugged him in the same direction. Come on, follow the dumb animal, he thought, watching through the bird’s eyes as the spire projecting from the front of the airship pointed ever so gradually towards the ground, like the condemning figure of a god.
  12. Mapping the Depths

    Jon observed the man scratching in the dirt with disdain. Something wasn’t right about that one. Most people in his profession weren’t entirely right in the head, but this one seemed entirely one step off the ledge of insanity. He hated working with loose canons. They tended to go off when pointed as you just as often as when pointed at the enemy. “Thief, eh?” he said to the boy. “Where I come from a thief with no shoes must be a really terrible one. Guessing you’re not though.” He turned to James in all his fine armour and fine manners and fine cloak. All that finery made him really want to hate the man, but he couldn’t, just yet. Might find a reason later. “I’m Jon,” he said. “Heard there was work here for a scout or a mercenary. These here’r the scouts.” He pointed a thumb at the bird and a pinky at the tiger. “These here’r the mercenaries,” he said, indicating himself and the bear. “Only been in caves a couple times, so I’ll probably need some orienting first.” He looked back at the lightning man. “Nice trick. You gonna be able to do that from underground if we need someone to get help? Hope you don’t get the jitters and leave us when we need you most.” He gave the man a poignant look.
  13. More Important is the Journey

    His bear form had worked his way to one of the upper decks, into an expensive restaurant – he glimpsed upturned tables and chairs among the chaos of fleeing pirates and passengers. Smoke from musket fire filled the room, making it even harder to see than usual. There were a lot of people here, and a lot of gunfire. But still, the worst it did was prick and itch his skin. The bear’s hide was a mess of blood and gore under the fur. All four of his hearts thumped in their various-sized chests. Oh God, I don’t want to lose the bear, he thought. But things weren’t looking good. A hundred bullets sitting just under the skin was a recipe for infection. A hundred open wounds didn’t help either. He felt has if his flabby sides had been raked over a grater. It stung like crazy, driving the bear mad. Threatening to drive all his bodies mad. There was a louder bang, like a heavy rifle, and he felt a sting in his shoulder that bit through the fat and into the muscle. Another bang and the same punch into his chest, behind the shoulder, over the ribs. It pushed the air from his lungs and though he tried to gasp, it was hard to get it back. He couldn’t see this new attacker. Could barely see at all. Another bang and his legs almost went out from under him. So instead he turned, chose a direction and ran. He felt a few people – pirates, he hoped – crumple under his massive paws. The wooden walls of the Gehenna offered him little resistance. He ran, crushing beds and upturning desks and wardrobes, barrelling through the walls and bedrooms nearest to the dining area. Screams filled his ears but he couldn’t see, couldn’t see anything but a vague sense of the brightness about him. Still he barrelled onwards, splinters of wood flying, squeezing around thicker beams until the gunshots died down, until he found a dark place – or until his vision finally failed – and he could rest, get his breath back, and lick at his wounds with a red-foam-frothed tongue. Sympathetically, it was harder for Jack’s other bodies to breathe. He stopped on the gangway to concentrate for a moment. I can still breathe. This body can still breathe. That was all he needed. The pirates won’t win this time. Priscilla was asking questions. He swallowed, cleared his throat. “Pirates got the vampire girl. Michelee’s in her room now. Not in great shape.” He continued on, grabbing the ropes and metallic frame with shaking fingers. “So how are we going to do this?” There was something strange in her voice. He turned to check on her, found her looking pale, pretty eyes wide. For a moment he smiled, put his hand on her hand. “Find the forward cell. Put a few holes in it.” Then he turned around, looking over head. Written on the great sacks of air above him were symbols. C-3 was the one immediately overhead. C2… C1. “This one,” he said, then drew his dagger. “Poke it with the dagger. Like this.” With that he rammed his dagger upwards. The sack was quite tough and bent against the point of the dagger, but the dagger was sharp, and slid in after a while. He sawed sideways, making an L-shaped cut, and air began to rush out with a firm, warm blast. “Take it,” he said, handing the dagger to Priscilla and drawing his sword. “I’m gonna get a bit higher, put a few more holes in it. Their magic air rises, doesn’t it? We’ll need some holes in the top.” With that he crawled sideways off the gangway, stepping on delicate beams of metal and grabbing at thin cords with his spare hand, all the while stabbing at the air cell as it curved upwards. More air rushed out, and gradually, very gradually, the balloon lost its tautness and became saggy. “Try not to strike any metal with that dagger,” he said. “Don’t want to make a spark.” It was his tiger form that noticed it first – a very slight tilt down as the airship’s nose dropped ever so slightly. Even from outside the airship seemed to be flying straight in the sky, level with the horizon, as far as his owl’s eyes could see. “How’s it going down there?” Jack said once he’d climbed out of sight of Priscilla, but there was something odd about his voice. It was higher pitched and squeaky, like a character in a pantomime. “What the… heck?”
  14. More Important is the Journey

    Jack’s thoughts were in multiple places at once. This wasn’t out of the ordinary but the various activities were doing his head in. “You might not believe me but I’m fighting the pirates right now, with my bear and tiger.” His bear, in particular, was tackling the kobolds and insectoids in the storage area, trying to disrupt their transporting of prisoners to the last two lifeboats. Though its white coat was covered in blood, they hadn’t managed to damage anything except the bear’s thick layer of blubber so far. Meanwhile the tiger was prowling the corridors, extinguishing lights and striking at pirates from the shadows. And the owl was circling outside, battling gusts of wind and watching the pirates herd rich people onto the lifeboats and throw undesirables off the deck at various parts along the ship. “It’s a carnage out there,” he said. “Anyone not worth money to ‘em they’re throwing overboard. If we don’t act now then hundreds are gonna die, and they’re gonna take the ship. Think they’re dangerous now? Come on. Stay behind me.” He climbed another ladder, this one sealed by a metal hatch and a wheel, which spun freely. “We don’t need the bridge,” he said. “Just need to get up to the gas cells and put a few holes in the first one. Shouldn’t be any pirates up there. If we get the gas out at a reasonable rate the ship can come down gently.” Well, more gently than that airship over Brightwater Bay. “Unless you got any better ideas.” He opened the hatch and climbed up, turning to help Priscilla. They were in the upper parts of the airship now. Massive air compressors rattled underneath giant balloons of gas, all supported and interlinked by a thin lattice of delicate metal. The walkway towards the fore of the ship was supported on thin cables and ropes and only a foot wide. “Follow me. Be careful. Don’t want to have to untangle you from all this machinery if you fall.” Zeppelin interior He could barely see out of the bear’s eyes now. The vision was blurry. Something thick and sticky was running over its left eye. Gunshots flashed in the darkness and his skin pricked with the strike of bullets. But nothing important was damaged. Not yet. They hadn’t hit its face yet. The body was impervious to anything less than a hand cannon. Around a crate and he disturbed a group of pirates shuffling cuffed passengers in between the crates and storage. At once they turned on him and the passengers fled, except for one which was thrown roughly to the floor. He crushed one pirate under a massive paw, flinging it aside like a doll and out of site, and the other ones fled – for the time being. Lying on the ground was the vampire lady, smelling of blood, a neat little hole through one side of her head and out the other. He bit down on her foot – not too hard – and dragged her into the shadows, back the way he’d come. Jack didn’t know much about vampires but he was pretty sure a single gunshot wouldn’t kill them permanently. Absently he wondered if she’d wake up mad, or with a new personality after having her brain scrambled by a bullet. Then something shot him in the rump and he turned, charging towards a new group of pirates. Meanwhile his tiger rounded a corner and came face-to-face with a girl with a staff of splintered wood. He recognised the smell – Michelee. But there was something more intense about it now. Something more kin to his tiger form. He walked forward slowly, head down, nuzzling her leg. It was easy to see she’d just been in a fight. The pirate at her feet was still alive, though wouldn’t be for long. Her distress was palpable. Tigers couldn’t purr, not naturally, but Jack had managed to teach it to make a low rumble that seemed to have the same effect. He used it now on Michelee, doing his best to say, you're not alone. We can do this together.
  15. Mapping the Depths

    Jon rode towards the gates of Inns'th on the top of his enormous ice bear. He'd had a horse when he first started. Damn thing fell foul of a keg-sized kraith which had taken off the animal's front left hoof. He'd loved that horse, but in reality it had been a relief to feed the bear a decent meal. Stumpy (as he'd come to call him) had a voracious appetite acquired ever since that head injury, and even for a giant white bear he was massively fat. Jon had no saddle that fit the bear. Sitting across the animal's lardy neck was the closest thing to horseback he could manage. Thankfully his human form could sleep on its back while the bear walked. Unfortunately anything quicker than a slow waddle proved too much effort. Beside him walked an ordinary-sized tiger, though most people still exclaimed over its size. Most people hadn't seen a tiger up close. Stripes was wearing a collar of bronze to distinguish him as a pet while in civilised lands. Well, as civilised as was possible around here. He didn't want anyone in Inns'th attacking him for his luxurious coat. On his shoulder slept Talon, the owl. An eagle owl, to be precise. Jon himself was clad mostly in chainmail, with plate steel on his forearms, shins and chest. A large claymore sprouted over his left shoulder. His hair was cut close above his ears and longer at the top of his head, like a soldier. He sucked at the scar on his lips as he observed the people before him. Guards at the gate, as well as three other travelers, by the wide-eyed looks on their faces. He rode to just outside the gate and had Stumpy sit down, a slow process that squeezed its enormous stomach out across the earth. Then he dismounted, keeping the tiger close to his side and moving the sleeping owl to his forearm, which he crooked to his side. Jon could already feel the bear's mounting hunger grumble deep in its distended belly. He would need to get some food for it soon. "Greetings," he said to the three, putting on his best smile - the scar across his lips probably didn't help him look more civilised, but even a broken smile was better for making friends than none at all. "Am I lost already or is this the famous town of Inns'th?" Famous was probably a bit of a stretch, but they could take it as sarcasm or otherwise. He was relatively sure it was Inns'th, but hadn't noticed any signage on the way. It wouldn't hurt to ask. Probably.
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