Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Prose had always been, at her core, a simple woman. A ship only a little larger than this had been her home for seasons, piled over and over on one another, on the water. She knew the tips and tricks, signs to watch for, weather fronts to avoid and how to do it. She knew to fish for predator fish in the same place she caught her bait fish or where birds were hunting; she knew that big, sometimes dangerous game liked to hang out around large floating debris; she knew her own sea legs.

Letariat's experience had warranted at least a once-over of the ship on boarding, and she was immediately struck by the different sheen of this room. Moving her hand near the flower in the vase as if to touch it only to trace its outline with her fingertip, eyes running along the corner of the table, she came to reside beside the window with an aftward view of the skipping along ship. Looking back, in the bare light offered through the window, she saw that the corner of the table had a single chip notched out of it; a sign of wear that one can't scrub or polish out.

"I used to have a real good hand as a fisherwoman," she said as her black aqueous silhouette mimicked casting a line in front of the window. With the seas and the harbor along her back, her reminiscence looked serenely cinematic; but when she turned her face, the image was marred as her life had been by the smooth black surface that was her whole epidermis.

Throughout the journey for an indeterminable span of time Prose would eventually take up a spot to the right of Emlio,  one chair closer to the window from him, continuing her openness with small stories of her past. They would learn of the aforementioned skills she possessed, that she was once a deepsea fisher of the outlaw variety— she'd hunted trophy animals in her past that were protected by some groups. They would learn that, somewhere in the Ariatic Ocean, her ship had sunk about 5 years ago. The last thing she remembered were the huge jaws of what appeared to be a kraken rising from the depths beneath her, and then she woke on the shores of Lagrimosa.

During their downtime, the gentlemen would also trade whatever stories about themselves they elected for introductory's sake.

"Ever since then, I've dedicated my life to searching out the amazing. I'm excited to see what fun and new specimens we might come across!" she said, punching a fist into her hand before picking up her now room temperature cup of tea taking a dainty sip of tea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I remember that excitement." A dim smile lit up a small length of Emilio's face.

"I am very excited for you to be excited, of course, but if an eldritch horror or mystical demon or something like that, put me to one side and asked me what I wanted most out of this operation. I would say that I want it to go quietly and with a great measure of success. I like this tea."

Emilio motioned to the empty cup in hand, to the teapot nearby, then patted the solid arm of his chair. "I like this chair, this cabin, this ship. I like comfort. I have it more days than I don't but to my misfortunate it is the days of discomfort, the days we will spend in those ruins, that give me the days of comfort. So I must, whether I enjoy it very much or not. But I think I will enjoy it very much this time because I have good company."

He lifted the empty teacup to Thomas and to Prose in small cheers and then poured himself another.

Their journey would take them all of half a day, so that their morning beginning would have an end in the bosom of a matured evening bordering night. Throughout the hours Emilio shared as well. He shared how his life started in academia, studying magical theory before the current age of Empire, and how a childhood fraught with dangers made of him a professional.

"My specialties are with enchantment and abjuration. Many warmages focus on making themselves stronger in the attack which is fine but they are often confused when they meet someone stronger, though it must be. There is always someone stronger. That happens with some frequency. Less frequent are there people more clever. I guard, and I charm, and I daze, and I sleep. And so I have lived to an old age."

Finally, in the evening: "Land ho!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aspyn. The newly bustling city had been Cillian’s home for the past several months. Or was it years? Time had been a blur since the fall of Ashville. Cillian had joined the thousands of other Lagrimosan refugees who had fled as, after a strange mist had driven much of the city’s residents to madness, a voidsent Maw turned the city to dust. The Lightning Rail had taken him here, to Aspyn, a former settlement that lay in the shadow of Mt. Bia’Thera.

It had been difficult to find work due to the massive influx of workers from the ruins of Ashville. Cillian had been forced to do odd jobs for various citizens in order to keep his stomach full and a roof over his head. Luckily, many Aspynians were sympathetic to the refugees and were willing to grant them a place to stay and a table to eat at for a limited amount of time.

On this particular evening, Cillian had found a job working down at the docks. He was tasked with transferring cargo from the large boats. In exchange, one of the dock managers had offered Cillian a couch to sleep on for the night and some leftover beef stew for dinner.

Last one. Cillian thought as he placed a large, wooden barrel on the dock. He was wearing a brown shirt with its sleeves cut off, revealing his slender arms along with some light, black cotton pants. Around his head he had tied one of the sleeves he had torn off his shirt. His travelling cloak lay in a heap on the dock a few metres away, conspicuously covering his trusty Solar Rifle. There had been nights, his stomach aching of hunger, when Cillian had come close to selling the weapon, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. It had been with him since his father had taught him how to shoot, prior to the destruction of his hometown.

Cillian gazed out across the sea, the evening sky a purplish bruise on the horizon. He thought of home and thought of Alayna, his sister. Was she in Aspyn somewhere? Or had she been reduced to nothingness by the demon that had destroyed Ashville? He sighed and scooped up his cloak and rifle, taking a seat at the edge of the dock.

No use in thinking about that now. Cillian thought as he waited for the dock manager to finish up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thomas Boyle had made his presence lessened within the cabin.  As a butler, his function was to ensure comfort but not claim attention.  He had answered Emilio's questions with concise responses, intent on making it like he wasn't even there in the conversation.  As the ship was nearing its destination however, a whisper on the wind caught the butler's attention.  word of a destiny that had yet to be written and another individual bearing the spark of a Personal Creed.  "a young man like that deserves an opportunity for adventure."  Thomas thought, and excused himself from the ongoing pleasantries.

"Apologies Mr.  Arellano, Ms. Letariat.  But I seem to have forgotten a final companion for this journey, I shall take a moment to go and fetch him."  The butler bowed and disappeared into the shadows of the darkening cabin.

As Cillian sat waiting for the dock master to finish, a well dressed, beady eyed man appeared in his vision, with no other indication of his approach.  The man tipped his hat to Cillian and introduced himself.  "Good evening, I am Thomas J. Boyle, a professional butler.  unlike most butlers however, I serve others not for money, but because there are some that whole a special kind of Personal Creed.  I would like to inform you Mr. Terridan, that you are one such individual, and as such I would like to extend to you an invitation to adventure.  Ambition and adventure are excellent ways to ensure that someone who holds a Personal Creed does not lose it, and I can assure you that it is something better to have, then to not."  The butler extended his hand to Cillian as one would propose a handshake.  " we are currently heading for the ruins of Bi'le'ah.  The ship will be arriving soon, whether you disembark it with the others, or stay hear and haul crates is up to you."

If Cillian takes Thomas' hand, he will find himself surrounded by shadows and wind, before appearing in the captains cabin not long after the sailor had announced "Land Ho".  If he does not, Thomas will disappear as soon as he looks away.

Edited by squid peanut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“I guard, and I charm, and I daze, and I sleep. And so I have lived to an old age."

Prose sat, she gazed, and she stared as Emilio talked. Intrigued as she was by his own story, as she always was of a new companion (which she with fond reminiscence related to the concept of her crewmates of old), she couldn’t help but note that the self-spoken charmer and her pursued very different lifestyles with very similar attitudes. Letariat the traveler and Arellano the learner came a long way, wrung out of harsh experience more for themselves, to sit beside one another on this ship.

Throughout their stories and bearing the facial inflections Prose did in her descriptions, the others would begin to understand her opaque facial curves the same way they would have before she was transformed into a black ‘jellyfish lady.’ 

Thomas’ training tried true to the traveling two’s thoughts, and little attention was paid to his as-diminished-as-possible presence. In Prose’s case, she recognized his directly apparent duty and knew not to disturb a man who was— if even, she thought, too unequivocally— on duty.

“Land ho!”

The expression was as familiar to Prose as day and night. She stood and gathered up her bag, taking three steps toward the door before stopping and laughing at herself. So embroiled in conversation they had been until that point, it would be embarrassingly obvious to her comrades that Prose was trained by a lifetime of experience to react a certain way to the phrase “Land ho!” Another thing that would strike them was the light, comfortable sound of her chuckle’s trill. Every time she spoke, some spring-like source, a coil in her dark throat danced with bright blue electricity.

Just then, Thomas whisked out of the room. Prose stood momentarily there with the door open and the bright, cool, sea salt scented air filling their nostrils; but with little motive to stand around and wait for the butler who seemed to move with purpose. Emilio and Prose made their way into daylight. Thomas and Cillian would come upon them on the docks as they departed the ship.

Even in the bright sunset, Prose was a stark black, human-shaped figure with a bubble exterior. 

“Looks like Thomas has already found something!” said Prose, striding forward toward Cillian with her hand out for a handshake. Although in reality Prose was a great gal, to see something so a-human making for him so quickly, the newcomer might be frightened.

“Nice to meetcha. I am Prose Letariat!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"You saw that right?"

Emilio blinked after having seen Thomas vanish from sight, and doing so without the use of a lone chant or the sacrifice of a single material component.

"I have never met a butler so intriguing as that one."

Then Thomas returned moments later; less than a minute between his disappearing and reappearance, and he had in tow a young man. Emilio blinked again, far longer and more rapidly. He brought his teacup up to his lips and took a long, slow sip of the tea, to give himself all the time he could ask for to formulate a proper response.

Which, in the end, was no response at all. Emilio didn't bring it up, Thomas seemed disinclined to elaborate both on the means and purpose of his sudden travel by way of shadow, at least for the moment, and Prose was soon set about to gathering her belongings as the ship pulled into the dock and soon released them into the world.

Introductions were forthcoming now – perhaps, Emilio speculated, because now they could be lost to the din of a crowd and move around on land proper, rather than being hedged in on all sides by passengers whose agendas remained obscure.

"I am Emilio. Just Emilio will do. You look a very young man Cillian. Where we go, it is very dangerous. Would not your lovely mother miss you so, should something occur? Have you taken out a life insurance policy?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Now then"  Thomas began.  "We have just arrived in the city of Aspyn at the northern end of Biazo Isle.  The Eldar company has provided all of of you rooms at the yiddlewicket inn, a hotel found at the intersection of Odin street and wyrm avenue.  The hotel will be serving dinner from now until 9:30 PM.  While you all are free to do as you wish while in town, I would recommend getting as much sleep as possible.  We will be leaving for Bi'le'ah at 7:30  in the morning.  We will be traveling via a carriage drawn by golem horses, We will reach Bi'le'ah a bit before noon.  I shall take all of the luggage straight to the hotel and begin preparations for the morning. If any of you are curious about local restaurants you should talk to the captain, as he has come to this port many times and is a reputable gourmet, and if any of you find yourselves lost or unable to locate the hotel, simply listen to the wind and it will lead you straight there.  The staff will be expecting you and all meals eaten at the Yiddlewick will be payed for by the Eldar Company.  I hope that you all have a pleasant evening."  And with that, the butler bowed, headed back onto the ship and down into the cargo hold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I have never met a butler so intriguing as that one."

"Me either," chuckled Prose, verbalizing her innermost thoughts about him in philosophical tone in the seconds of his absence. It was a true example of the mountains of perceived difference between humans that can be conveyed in a simple instant. "He's either a great ally, or somebody to watch for manipulation. Whose butler is he, anyway? Just ours, the Company's or another—"

That was when him and Cillian rematerialized. Prose regretted that this was where she had to pause, literally reaching her hand out as if to stop her words for Emilio from ending on such a sour note. If she'd had a face for the last 5 years, she might have flashed a look reflecting her feelings. More than anything it was self-consciousness, not anything ill-based, that had led her to the observation. The reality was that, however intriguing she found him in the sense that he had a seamless role in ushering them and anyone else who seemed ready forth into the mission at hand, there was nothing innately suspicious about him. Suspicious was the wrong word entirely. Impressive and effective were adjectives she would have put first. She wondered what benefits he would provide once they reached Bi'le'ah.

Later that evening found them eating at an outdoor restaurant on Odin Ave. with multi-colored lights strung overhead. Prose didn't have a mouth per se, but when she opened the ridges that were the lips on her opaque face and put something in there, she absorbed it just as effectively. So it was that she ate a hearty meal and indulged in an alcoholic libation or two. Conversation was light and easy that evening, more stories exchanged and more laughs shared; a memory she hoped to make prominent of the men she was about to endeavor with. She didn't stay in the hotel Thomas had recommended, but stayed in a lavish hotel that was connected to a government-regulated and low-minimums casino meant for low risk and maximum fun. She enjoyed the flashing lights and tons of people; a peek at the fears she had for being alone.

Regardless of any risks entailed in her staying elsewhere (also low in her mind considering the peace she sensed in the city), 7am the next morning found Prose standing beside the prepared carriage with a hand extended toward one of the golem horses. She had a tender way about her, a knowing that haired mammals enjoyed a nonstatic touch, and the horse extended itself to meet her darkly translucent fingertips. A gentle whinny huffed from its nostrils as one of the softer personalities it had ever experienced reveled in its presence.

The others would arrive soon, and she would be standing beside the horse, and shortly afterward they would be off.

Trotting, jostling lightly along the road out of a much more developed Aspyn than Prose had known existed in her last visit only months earlier, Prose looked out the window with a quiet grin on her face. Something the others would notice was that she'd been clothed when they met on the vessel and when they were out the night prior, but this morning she had appeared naked. (Of course it is important to note that Prose appears as a bubble-like human with plenty of curves but very little to the eyes as far as features.) Wearing clothing was something she tended only to do around new people, as fabric on her skin felt sticky and overall unnecessary. 

Within hours, barring attack or delay, they would find themselves on the outskirts of Bi'le'ah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

# # # before

"The company's. I've worked for the company a little while and I've never, ever, ever had them appoint a butler. I suspect the man is on spec himself and this is no more and no less than that which gives him fulfillment. It is a stranger perspective for one such as I, having spent so much of my life breaking from the road that would see me serve another for interests other than my own. But truly, if the other's interest is also his interests, then he has found happiness."

# # # after

The alternative was, of course, that Thomas was a spy.

Espionage was always a possibility but Emilio couldn't reason who he might be spying for or on. He didn't know enough about what the company got up to, Prose's own sprawling history, the welcome complication of Cillian (though Emilio admitted the kid might not show now that he knew where they were going). He only knew about his own life and as far as his that was concerned, Emilio had no more enemies of the caliber who would orchestrate an intelligence operation around him. Maybe the last son of the last son (or daughter) come to make good on a vendetta or blood oath . . . but if that was the case, they would have struck by now. Cat and mouse games were for the detached, not the passionate.

So Emilio stayed at the Yiddlewicket. He ate free meals and drank free drinks. He shared stories and easy laughs and more drinks with the other members of the party. When it came time to break for the night he walked in the same direction as Prose, knowing nothing of her desire to stay elsewhere but instead interested in low-stakes gambling with the money he didn't spend on the meals or accommodations.

A not-too-late night. An early morning. Coffee for alertness, orange juice for cheap energy, a few eggs to make it last. Mechanical horses, closely inspected by the mage who lived in a tree and saw such contrivances for the wonders they were.

The doors to the carriage swung open with a pneumatic hiss and Emilio stepped out into the balmy heat of a humid afternoon, cicadas sawing the air with noise, the smell of grass and trees and ruin; a distance away, the sprawl of Bi'le'ah.

"Butler Thomas! I expect you know where we go?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thomas spent the night making sure everything was prepared for the journey in the mourning.  Afterwards he reported back to his employer using his zephers to carry his message all the way to Dairut.  "The expedition is looking to be a successful one, the party is small but consists of accomplished individuals.  I will work to cover whatever weaknesses they might have.  More importantly, Captain Vetore has been very receptive to the idea of cooperating with us in the future.  Lastly, I heard a couple rumors of things happening on the eastern side of the continent, and they may interest you to hear.  Something unexpected has happened master Rubicante."

The carriage ride was uneventful and Thomas spent most of it riding shotgun with the driver.  Thomas made sure to muffle the sound and the shaking of the journey for the passengers inside through the use of magical zephers and spells.  Once they reached the point where they would continue on foot.  Thomas placed the luggage on a unsean servant to follow behind the party.

On 8/1/2020 at 8:29 AM, supernal said:

"Butler Thomas! I expect you know where we go?"

"of course sir.  Bi'le'ah is a two hour walk along this old road here."  Thomas said pointing to a path heading off the main road.  "not long ago, Bi'le'ah was the capitol of Baizo island, and this road was used to connect the city to the Baizo Abby, but it has since been altered to lead to Aspyn instead."  Thomas pointed out how the road leading to Asypn had a slightly different kind of stone from the parts of the road that went to both the Abby and Bi'le'ah.  "a separate road once lead to Aspyn as well, but chaotic magics have made that path far more treacherous, so we will enter the ruins from this direction." 

A gust of wind brushed aside the dirt and leaves that covered the old road, and Thomas politely stood aside to allow the others to proceed first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...