Baal Sar, the blind, freakish satyr, leaned heavily on his staff. The battle was over. The Wrathgill had all been slain or retreated. Save for a few that the putrid Necromancer had animated. And those abomination stoods slack jawed around the deck. There had been some casualities on the Arbalest's side. Many of the soldiers that had been press ganged into the crew had been killed or drug over the side of the boat. The large orc who had stopped the shaman from raining lightning down on them had disappeared over the side. It had been sometime since he went over and there was still no sign of him.
The goatheaded thing, limped around,inspecting the wounded. He used what healing he still had built up, but was loathe to take anymore life to fuel powers. A thousand curses on Nergal! Still those soldiers who were too badly wounded to heal, he could still touch them with the Will of Vanth and give them a peaceful release from the world. And so he did, hobbling about the dead, sending those too wounded to survive painlessly into the afterlife, at least until someone stopped him.
"What just happened?" says Ervan to no one in particular. He looks at his shoulder. "Hmm..." He takes off the cloth around his hand and ties it over the wound. "That should do, for now. So, anyone else want to vent at me?"
Audrey's brain tried to comprehend the events that had happed in the short amount of time. The Wrathgill had clawed her, she passed out, she regained consciousnsess, got healed, Ervan came back, Keke had thrown a tantrum complete with almost doubling over with laughter. Her head was still groggy from fainting, though her wounds had healed, and it felt as heavy as lead. Maybe she was still unconscious. . . that would explain the strange events. But still, everything had an essence to it that made it feel. . . real. Just to be sure. . .
Audrey walked over to Ervan and hugged him. He was real, and she was conscious. Yay.
Ervan hugs Audrey tightly. "At least someone's happy to see me," he says, smiling.
Feeling alive once more, even after the wrathgills had made their retreat, she continued to swim the waters. How much had she missed it? It was hard to tell, she had been proud of how well she held up, she had found a sort of tolerance of the land and she thought her dependance on water had been snuffed. However, here she was giddy as a child back in the familiar echos of the water. She sang out a few notes under the water, they carried better, sounded better but most importantly made her feel herself.
In her acrobatics the beaten compass around her neck fell off, sinking to the depths. It took her a few moments to realize its dissapearance, att his point it was already out of sight. Without to much concern she swam after it, her eyes seemed to swallow the smallest traces of light allowing her to see well in the dark. If only her eyes were sensitive like this on land, but alas it seemed it was just one of her many traits that needed the salt of the sea water to function.
She found her prize easy enough, picking it up she placed it around her neck once more. Warned now, she cut down on her antics and meerly floated along. The sea floor was riddled with various rusted trinkets, and it did not take her long to discover it's sorce. Half buried and in fairly poor condition the remains of a ship jutted out of the sand. Probably the vicitims of the wrathgills that had just attacked them.
Curious she swam to the wreckage. She could catch up to the ship easy enough...
Dani joined Ervan and Audrey's hug.
"Dont you dare scare me like that again Ervan." she giggled. "Or I'll have to slap the dumb out of you."
She looked at the deck of the ship, which was strewn with Wrathgill flesh and blood. She thought she could loose her stomach at any moment.
Dare stared at the boy who just arrived. Dani hugged him and said something to him. Dare puzzled over this. "Quite a crew you have got here Danielle. How many are you?" he asked.
IC: Dart walked over to Ervan and gave him a pat on the back, "Stuff, eh? Sounds suspicious ta me," Dart gave a hearty chuckle, "Glad ta see ye're back, though I always knew ye would." Dart walked off, whistling. He kicked a Wrathgill's corpse off the ship and walked over to the mast. He looked up. First day on the job.
Dart began to climb the heavy wooden pole, and the deck soon sank below him and the sails soon covered his sight. It was a long climb,a nd Dart experienced a little dizzyness at some point when he looked down. He got used to the height by the time he got to the top. Dart climbed into the Crow's Nest. It was kinda big, and covered in seagull poop. Dart brushed off some poop with the hilt of his sword and sat down. "I'm gonna need a telescope at some point."
Just as things were starting to calm down again... Wrathgill's repelled, Brother and Sister Reunited, Ninja and Ice Queen Reunited, Scarecrow and Crow's Nest united... All hell broke lose again, albeit briefly. A sudden loud explosion erupted across the deck. It was considerably small and well contained, in fact the deck wasn't even harmed, save for a smoking scorch mark and a heavily armored dwarf.
If Had looked tough, this guy looked possitively invulnerable. His red beard showed from under the thick plated helm and the top of the helm was open, instead of a fin adorning the skull, the dwarf's brightly dyed crimson mowhawk emeged from the helm. His eyes weren't visible beneath the helmet. The rest of his body was just as impressively armored. A suit so thick, it was a testament to his strength and bone structure that he could even move in such a thing. His left hand gripped a peculiar warhammer. It had some sort of metal plate affixed to the back of the head, and a strange crank hooked to the side. His right arm disappeared behind a massive Tower shield.
"Waitaminit! What the! Where in the Hell Am I?! This doesn't look like... well it doesn't look good is what it looks like? Why the HELL am I on a BOAT! Probably elves too by the smell of it," He wasn't one to talk however as he was positively odius himself.
"AWRIGHT," He shouted at the top of his lungs, "Boris Fellhammer wants answers and he wants answers NOW!"
NPC: Had sniffed the air. He could smell... Wait a second! Had stiffened, and just in time as the explosion rocked the deck. Had held on tightly as the ship sank and looked upon the deck to see another dwarf, albeit much more burly and overpowering. Had approached with caution and pulled his beard with the customary welcome, "Hala, brother dwarf, what brings you to come in such a manner upon this beloved ship?"
THe dwarf removed his helmet, revealing a visage that wasn't particuarly pleasant. At least one tooth gleamed in the red light of sunset, capped with gold. His left ear was horribly cauliflowered. His nose was big and bulbous. He blinked at the other dwarf's words, hooked his belt to his side and raised one hand in a half hearted greeting.
"Beloved ship? What kind of a dwarf ARE you? ANyways, ya don't reckognize Boris Fellhammer? Governor of the land of Fellhammer, former captain of the Fellhammer Mercenary Company? Founder of the International Item Reclamations Guild and the undisputed King of Thieves? The Dwarf that drove the Magyan from the capital? Where ARE you from? Where am I for that matter? Must a been a bunch of the "King's" assasins. There always tryin stuff... I don't know how Fellhammer will survive in my abscence!"
The fact that anyone knowledgeable in cartography would be aware that none of those places seemed to exist didn't seem to daunt the dwarf. Neither was he particuarly bothered by anyone who didn't know who he was, famous though he may be. Most of his incredulety was an act...mostly. In truth the land of Fellhammer would be fine, while the Dwarf was not particuarly good at running things himself, He did have a few good ideas and an uncanny knack for hiring competent people, or pressganging them into service as needs be. He looked around and sniffed the air again.
"Smells like ya got elves on this ship. I got no problem with that, My old pal Evelyos is an elf and he's helped me out more scraps 'n I can... Say, did I ever tell the lot of ya bout the time we fought that massive village full of Troglodytes? Seems like EVERY last one of them was some kind of god awful priest. It's a runnin joke in the army now... Fightin anything's better'n fighting Troglodytes. ANyways, ya never did say where I was? Or more importantly, what kind of alhohol ya got on this bath toy."
Baal Sar retreated into the shadows. He had healed most of the crew to the best of his ability, and despite his near demonic appearance, no one had tried to attack him yet. Best to keep a low profile in case that changed.
And what of Cho'kar? Was he truly lost beneath the waves for all time? A casualty of the Red Hand's quest to stop the Ending? Only time would tell...
NPC: Had shook the dwarf's hand, some of the dirt and sweat rubbing off on his hand. Had wiped the stuff on his beard and then replied, "I am Hadem Natha, hailing from Norway. I am sorry, but I have never heard of any of those Fellhammer things, although I have heard a whisper or two of this International Items Reclamation Guild. King of Theives?" Had chuckled, "With armor and clumpy feet like those, you couldn't sneak past a deaf yeti."
Had gestured towards the open deck, "Yes, upon our ship is the 'scrounge' of elves. These ones are quite alright. One's just a lil' female, no older than 22. Another one's pretty alright, he's up there on the mast," Had shuddered, "Of course, I don't think that my dwarven blood would let me follow him up."
"We're on, well, I don't think the ship has a name yet. We just pushed off from Southern Britain and we're on our way to the Mediterranean, and by the looks of how you arrived, you'll be with us. As for some booze..." Had reached into his pocket and withdrew a small bottle and a shot glass, "Here's something to remind you of your homeland. Some dwarven Shtooga."
Audrey stared at the dwarf, then at Had, then eyed both of them, sharing a shot as if they were old friends. Had didn't seem any bit shaken at the dwarf's boisterous entrance, while Audrey had jumped nearly a foot in the air at the sound of an explosion. She looked at everyone else out of the corner of her eye, checking to see if they were surprised at all. Keke, Ervan, Dart, Dani, Dare, Siren, Kitsa, Sigurd. . . they were short one.
She swore under her breath. "Where's Cho'kar?!" she asked, hoping no one noticed the panicked note in her voice.
"I suspect he's alive," says Ervan, unconcerned. Jess walks up behing him and taps his shoulder. "Who are all these people?"
"Well," replies Ervan, "most of them are my crewmates, and the rest are just along for the ride like you."
"I see... Do you think you can trust them?"
"Does it matter? We can all look after ourselves."
OOC: Siren isn't on the ship. She's still in the ocean and out of sight (refer to last post). Watch the dog for her, um'kay?
ic: With another burst of underwater speed she closed in on the sunken mass, continuing at the pace she made her way through a whole in the hull. She knew places of the like often became home to all sorts of dangerous sea critters but she still had her sword and wasn't all that much concerned. Besides, Hikari could always use something exotic to make for supper.
By the look of the ship her trip wasn't in vain. Just as the ground had been riddled with a few objects, the inside had not been cleared of all valubles. She set her sights first on any gold, but the ship didn't seem important enough to be carrying much of it. She continued down deeper or perhaps a better word would be higher, considering she entered through the bottom of the boat.
She picked up a few gold coins scattered about but she had made more just by feighning drunkeness in the bar. It was really a plain ship, more then likely a merchant ship carrying foods that had all but been destroyed by now. One room however tickled her fancy, the door although old stood locked and barred her from entering the room behind. A swift tackle brought it smashing down leaving only a few slivers in her shoulder.
Siren rushed in expectant of something worth the visit but with greeted by two skeltons, one looking to be a child. In all likelihood the travlers must have locked themselves in to save them from a wrathgill attack; indeed they were clutching eachother and had their been flesh left she could have traced out the fear in their eyes.
Humbled by having intruded on someones grave she looked away, only to be greeted by another skeletal figure in the corner, this one clutching a small chest. She most likely should have left them, let the dead bury the dead but she justified that she was a pirate and that the chest would be no use to them now. Careful still she gingerly took it from the skelton, careful not to break or even move it more then she had too.
Despite the aged look of the ship around her, this chest was intact in all ways. She tried to chop at the wood with her sword but it wouldn't even cut it, as if it was enchanted. Curiosity peeked to the max she fingered the engraving on the chest and almost instantly recognized it. Pulling her compass from around her neck she compared the image on the cover of it to the emblem on it.
Opening the secret compartement in the compass she inspected the various keys that lay inside. Picking one out she placed it in the key hole and turned, surprised to hear a faint clicking sound ring through the water; a conformation of it's opening.
Murg'll'gll'clk and CHo'kar battled beneath the waves. The wrathgill tried to use his greater mobility in the water to break free of the orc's strength. It was no use however. Even here in the sea, the orc was choking the life from him. There was hope though, he was slowly dragging the orc toward an underwater cave. There was a place there, above ground, that he could blast the orc with his lightning. They inched ever closer.
For Cho'kar's part he was struggling to hold his breath. And as they entered the cave, he worried idly what horrors the shaman would have in their to aid him. To his surprise the Wrathgill began battling up, toward a break in the water. They separated, both clambering onto a rocky outcropping. The Wrathgill gurgled in triumph for a moment, preparing to blast Cho'kar with the full fury of his dark gods. His triumph was fleeting however as the orc tossed one of the Fangs of the Hunter into the creature's throat. Lightning crackled at the fingertips of the thing and then fizzled. He dropped to his knees, clutching at his throat as his life finally ebbed away. His only hope was that the horrors of the cave would destroy Cho'kar, a final revenge granted by his deities.
The orc took slow deep breaths, he was not a creature of the water, and not used to being under for so long. He walked over and retrieved his blade. placing it back into his kilt. It was dark in the cave, but the orc was used to the dark and he worked quickly, preparing kindling. He fed his anger at the wrathgill into the Pheonix Pinion and concentrated, finally managing to create a tiny bird of fire that ignited the flotsam and debris he had gathered. The cave lit up dimly with the light of the flame. It was large, and a single tunnel led off into the darkness. It looked like the orc's choices were try to swim back down into the ocean then up, hoping he could catch up with the ship, or travel deeper into the darkness of the cave, hoping for a way of escape.
Back aboard the Arbalest, Rajah pawed restlessly at the deck. Carai, the wyvern had aleady taken wing and disappeared over the horizon.
Dare, confused by... the confusion, went exploring around the ship. He opened a door and out came a screeching parrot.
"Gah!" he yelled, ducking. It dissapeared around the corner and outside.
"Rummy!" Dani yelled. She stuck out her finger where Rummy landed semi-gracefully.
OOC: You mean Dare, right?
Audrey couldn't help but feel concerned for the whereabouts of Cho'kar. She tried to convince herself that he could handle whatever the world threw at him. He had fared just fine before joining the Band, and he would be fine now. But no amount of persuasion could convince her to stop worrying.
Just then, something gaily colored flew toward Dani. Audrey's first instinct was to intercept its attack on the unsuspecting Dani, but then she held out her finger and the beast landed somewhat unsteadily on her index finger. It was a parrot, not a monster. "Rummy!" Dani chimed in surprise. The bird was not the Rummy that she had kept as a pet one time at sea; while it was colored almost the same, the half-starved bird had a crazed look in its one eye. The other eye was either gouged out or just covered from the ungroomed feather plumes. Audrey kept her distance, as she knew how quick to bite the critters were -- she still had a scar from where the original Rummy had snapped at her.
At last, the orc decided to head deeper into the cavern complex, searching for a way out. His eyes were good in the dark and so he could still see well enough, though not as well as he would have liked.
For a time, it was quiet. The only sound to break the silence was the distant drip of water as stalactites formed elsewhere in the caves. Cho'kar scanned the area around him as he walked, searching for signs of danger. The path he was taking seemed to slope upwards and circle around, forming some sort of natural spiral. That was good. Upward movement meant he was moving closer to the surface. Of course caverns had been known to play tricks on people.
Suddenly the silence was broken by a low hiss. Cho'kar stopped as a large serpentine head raised up in front of him. Great white eyes, blind forever stared in his direction and a forked tongue dashed out, tasting the air. He wasn't sure how he could have missed it, but the orc had been walking into the lair of some sort of gargantuan cave snake. And from the flashes of emotion he could receive, Cho'kar knew that the creature was hungry.
Ooc: Dudes, seriously, WTF happened to this thread?! It's like.....
Actually, I was just thinking about bumping it today. Anyways, Mutsy's gone, so we can't continue right now anyways.
With a hiss that echoed through the caverns, the titanic blind cave snake lunged at Cho'kar. It was lightning quick and seemed to not suffer terribly from it's lack of sight, and it was only bestial instinct and reflexes that saved the Sav'ran from the creature's strike. He dropped into a crouch, holding very still while he looked for a way to effectively battle the creature. It raised up, head swaying slightly and blind saucer shaped eyes staring unblinkingly in the orc's direction. It was preparing to strike again.
It dove at Cho'kar and this time he was more prepared, jerking to the side, the orc brough his khukris arcing up with an attack that should have pierced the serpent's hide. It was faster though, and managed to writhe out of the way just in time to avoid his attacks.
The Sav'ran kept running, leaping up onto one of the massive coils of the serpent. He struck again and again with his weapons and finally managed to make a few gashes, which only caused the beast to writhe further, tossing Chokar wide. He crashed into the wall and rolled out of the way narrowly missing another strike.
Rage boiled up inside of the orc now. He was lost in caves, separated from his comrades and tossed about like a ragdoll by this creature. His attacks had all proven futile and his beast companions were gone for the time being. He growled low, biting his lip. As the blood trickled down, Cho'kar gathered his rage into the pendant of the phoenix at his breast.
It flared to life, A winged gout of flame erupting from the jeweled pendant and streaking toward the serpent. It tried to shrink away from this new feeling of intense heat, but it's body took up too much of the room. Scales were seared away and it's hiss of pain sounded like icicles sliding into the abyss. The Sav'ran wasted no time, emotionally drained and acting again on instinct he dashed forward, leaping up into the air. The Serpent swung it's head to meet him, but this time it was the orc who was faster. One hand came thrusting up and the other crashing down. The Khukri's pierced the creatures upper and lower jaws and slid together, locking the thing's mouth in place. It thrashed back and forth but the orc hung on for dear life. After a moment more of struggle, the head quietly sunk to the ground and stirred now more.
Cho'kar's cry of victory, similar to that of a bull ape, reverberated through the caverns, lasting several moments as the sound carried through the distance. The Sav'ran sheathed the Fangs of the Hunter and wiped the blood from his mouth. He trudged up the sloping cavern again, unaware that the entrance he was at last approaching would take him even farther from his friends and from the world all together.
What will happen to our intrepid orc? We he be reunited with his friends? Does Ervan look like a woman? THe Answer to the questions and MORE will be answered in the pages of Dimensional Crossroads and rp by Shadow, right here on PD.