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The strange ship pulls alongside your vessel...

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#141
Sad Panda

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> [continue to twiddle your thumbs]

 

Surely Aloth must be close to the solution by now, and by the gods, you're going to twiddle your thumbs in his support until they catch fire if you have to. The wizard is currently engaged in what is either a very involved somatic component or a single-player game of Patty Cake. You return to the grave task of ignoring the world around you and hoping it ignores you in turn.

 

As long minutes wear by, you conclude that you definitely weren't imagining it earlier: There is a sinister chill in the air, and the ship around you rocks and creaks erratically as if shivering. The sounds of thunder rings much clearer, and you realise all the hammocks now swing empty, what crew can be seen on the deck securing loose objects in place with an increased sense of urgency. Suddenly there is a loud crack and the galleon violently lurches back and forth, almost causing you to lose your balance.

 

Aloth: "My mage's shakers!"

 

Edér: "Is that what he calls... oh, never mind, it's just more of his weird doohickeys."

 

Pallegina: "They are raising the anchor, Watcher." The paladin takes you by the shoulder, both to steady herself and to underscore the seriousness of her words. "We need to return to our ship. Immediately."

 

Edér: "That storm still sounds ways off, though. We have time, don't we?"

 

Pallegina: "No, we don't. If they're raising the anchor, then they will soon cut our ship loose, as well, if they have not done so already. They can't keep the ships tethered in a storm; the hulls would smash apart against each other. And only a fool would wait until the last minute."

 

Edér: "The captain knows we're down here, though, doesn't he? He'd send someone to fetch us if it was go time, right?"

 

Pallegina: "I would not count on it. Despite what Ellie said, we don't know if he has any intention of letting us go freely. On the contrary, this might be our only chance to slip away without a fight, while the crew is occupied with the preparations."

 

> Alright, let's make for the sloop.

> Let's go up to the main deck and see what the situation is first.

> I trust the captain. He wouldn't just leave us stranded.

> We go when I say we go, and I don't want to hear another word of it.

> [ignore them] Aloth, get back to work.

 

((Won't probably be any posts for the next few days, since I'll be out of town.))


Edited by Sad Panda, 13 March 2017 - 02:34 AM.


#142
Harry Easter

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> I trust the captain. He wouldn't just leave us stranded.



#143
Sad Panda

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> I trust the captain. He wouldn't just leave us stranded.

 

Edér: "Your faith in your fellow kith never ceases to amaze me, boss." He pauses with his mouth still slightly open, closing it sharply after a brief moment. "Although I guess that's worked to the benefit of us sorry buggers. Were I in your shoes, I'd have seen me off with a firm 'Thanks, but no thanks', probably."

 

Pallegina: The Godlike groans and brings her hands up to massage her temples forcefully as she speaks. "Captain, whatever accord you think you have build with that... man, the fact of the matter is that you are on the verge of abandoning your ship." She locks eyes with you. "Many are the misdeeds I am willing to overlook, but the bond between the captain and the crew is that of sacred trust." The paladin's tone does not suggest she's opening the matter for debate.

 

> Alright, let's make for the sloop.

> Let's go up to the main deck and see what the situation is first.

> We go when I say we go, and I don't want to hear another word of it.

> [ignore them] Aloth, get back to work.


Edited by Sad Panda, 30 March 2017 - 03:44 PM.


#144
Harry Easter

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> Alright, let's make for the sloop.



#145
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> Alright, let's make for the sloop.

 

You hurriedly make your way to the main deck, just in time to feel the first drops of rain fall -- specifically feel, as it's only when Aloth emerges from below and rekindles his magical light that you're able to see the wispy driblets hitting your face almost vertically in the sharp wind. The crew is busily taking down the last remaining sail and tightening all ropes and straps. All loose objects, such as the crates and barrels among which you lucked on the sandwich earlier, have either been moved below decks or secured in place. The lanterns of the pirates buzz about like fireflies, all but their most immediate surroundings hidden by the pitch black darkness which grows more oppressive by the second.

 

If Captain Thundernipples is on the deck, you've yet to catch sight of him. Were you able to, you'd be inclined to express dismay over your misplaced trust, as you quickly come to realise your sloop is no longer tethered to the galleon and is instead drifting far out in the sea, its now-distant lights periodically hidden by the pitch black waves. Apparently no one on board thought it worthwhile to notify you of the matter, and had you dallied even a minute longer you might have missed the opportunity to return entirely. Especially in light of the lecture you just received from Pallegina, this certainly would've reflected poorly on your reputation as a captain.

 

Already having committed yourself to leaving and seeing no other means at your disposal, you and your companions hurl yourselves overboard and make for the Watcher. The task immediately proves more difficult than anticipated, as the darkness had hidden how unruly the sea had become in your absence. Sailing on a much smaller vessel, you had gotten used to even slight changes in the weather being felt throughout the ship, but clearly the Musical Fruit boasts much greater stability and can simply shrug off all but the most fearsome waves. Pallegina is almost pulled under, and your party is grudgingly forced to strip off several unique pieces of armour for the sea to claim lest it claim you as well. Eventually you do make it to your ship, by which point the drizzle has morphed into a deluge. Exhausted, you and your companions are fished up by the rest of your crew, who fortunately have had the foresight to make all the necessary preparations for the storm that is already upon you. You brace yourself for a night that promises little rest and many further calamities.

 

The storm rages into the small hours of the night, at times threatening to overturn the ship entirely. You direct your crew in a desperate effort to keep the Watcher in one piece and above water, waves tall enough to lick the underside of the crow's nest washing over the deck one after another. Drained, grey clouds still spout drizzle on your tired crew as the first light of day begins sneaking in from behind the horizon, and you collapse on the deck, completely spent. You count yourself lucky for having lost no one to the waves, although there are many injured. One man nearly lost his foot as the top of the mast came apart and was carried out to the sea, one of the ropes still attached to it snapping around the leg of the hapless crew member and threatening to grind its way right through both flesh and bone. Only quick thinking and an even quicker slash of the sword on Edér's part had averted the tragedy, although the sailor would still walk with a limp for a good while.

 

As could be expected, the pirate galleon is nowhere to be seen come morning light. With most of the mast gone, it would take you several weeks to make your way back to Neketaka, and all thoughts of pursuing the pirate vessel had to be stricken from mind. You would not see Captain Thundernipples or his crew again.

 

Some months later, you to your surprise find a beautifully scripted copy of And Gods Bore Witness: The Pirate's Wager, bearing the official seal of the University of Ozia, in one of the local bookstores on Neketaka. The clerk is quite enthusiastic about the tome, telling it had made quite a splash in the academic circles around the Republics, and is more than happy to gift you a copy once your hand in birthing the work becomes known -- in exchange for autographing several more copies, which will no doubt turn her a tidy bit of profit. The edition you receive is something of a deluxe one, featuring skilful carvings depicting you and Thundernipples -- credited as the primary authors -- in midst of the debate, as well as those of Pallegina and Aloth -- both credited as contributors -- engrossed in their clerical duties. Even Edér is featured, pictured on the very final page of the tome merrily matching up against the pirate lieutenants. You get the feeling his inclusion was more for marketing purposes than to service the discourse.

 

You tuck the book away, a memento of a small adventure among many, and continue on your journey.

 

 

[NEUTRAL END -- Could've been better, could've been worse. Feel free to pick any earlier point in the story to see where a different path might take you!]



#146
Harry Easter

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RELOAD
 

Edér: "Your faith in your fellow kith never ceases to amaze me, boss." He pauses with his mouth still slightly open, closing it sharply after a brief moment. "Although I guess that's worked to the benefit of us sorry buggers. Were I in your shoes, I'd have seen me off with a firm 'Thanks, but no thanks', probably."

 

Pallegina: The Godlike groans and brings her hands up to massage her temples forcefully as she speaks. "Captain, whatever accord you think you have build with that... man, the fact of the matter is that you are on the verge of abandoning your ship." She locks eyes with you. "Many are the misdeeds I am willing to overlook, but the bond between the captain and the crew is that of sacred trust." The paladin's tone does not suggest she's opening the matter for debate.

 

 

> [ignore them] Aloth, get back to work



#147
Sad Panda

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> [ignore them] Aloth, get back to work

 

Pallegina: "Captain...!"

 

You turn to Aloth, who's obviously quite uncomfortable in getting caught up in the argument, and unsure as to whether or not following your order is really the best course of action. The wizard sits sprawled on the floor in front of the onerous door, appearing to have made little progress on it, although perhaps a little more hands-on management will produce results more expediently. Before you get the chance to test the theory, however, the ship again lurches to the side forcefully, causing you to momentarily lose your footing. You feel a sharp pain at the back of your head and the world around you grows blurry: For some reason you can't quite place, you find yourself staring at the ceiling, while three obscured figures loom over you. Another visit from the gods?

 

Figure 1: "Oh, dear. What an... unfortunate accident. He must have... fallen and hit his head, right? Right?"

 

Figure 2: "Well, it's a very low ceiling and all. Easy to bump your head on one of the crossbeams."

 

Figure 3: "Whatever. Just help me carry the oaf to the sloop. I can't be done with this nonsense soon enough."

 

Figure 2: "Hey if we dump his gear, we can probably use <%IF(%PCSex==male;his;her)> big head as an improvised floatation device if need be..."

 

You wake up on your own ship to find both the night and the storm passed. The crew appears to have weathered them well enough in your absence, although the officers having had to drag the captain back to the ship in a time of need -- not to mention the said captain then having soundly slept through said time -- hasn't endeared you to them any, and it looks like you'll be lucky to avoid an open mutiny before reaching shore. Which by the looks of it won't be any time soon, as the besides robbing you of your memory and your gear -- which Pallegina tersely explains had to be dumped into the ocean to ensure they got the other dead weight attached to it safely back on board -- the storm appears to also have robbed you of most of your mast. The damage to the ship looks pretty bad in general, although she yet floats and the crew is all accounted for.

 

Having spent the entire day arsing around, you never found out the secret to the Musical Bean, and would not see Captain Thundernipples or his crew again. Some months later, however, you to your surprise find a beautifully scripted copy of And Gods Bore Witness: The Pirate's Wager, bearing the official seal of the University of Ozia, in one of the local bookstores on Neketaka. The clerk is quite enthusiastic about the tome, telling it had made quite a splash in the academic circles around the Republics, and is more than happy to gift you a copy once your hand in birthing the work becomes known -- in exchange for autographing several more copies, which will no doubt turn her a tidy bit of profit. The edition you receive is something of a deluxe one, featuring skilful carvings depicting you and Thundernipples -- credited as the primary authors -- in midst of the debate, as well as those of Pallegina and Aloth -- both credited as contributors -- engrossed in their clerical duties. Even Edér is featured, pictured on the very final page of the tome merrily matching up against the pirate lieutenants. You get the feeling his inclusion was more for marketing purposes than to service the discourse.

 

 

[SLIGHTLY WORSE END -- You'll have to load a much earlier save if you want to significantly alter the ending -- the storm will always limit the time of your visit to a single day.]







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