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Sad Panda

The strange ship pulls alongside your vessel...

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> What can you tell me about Captain Thundernipples?

 

Ellie: "Ah, our illustrious leader. Once an accomplished scholar and acclaimed orator in the University of Ozia, he fell victim to politics and was framed for crimes most foul -- though what exactly was the charge I do not know, for the captain buries his shame deep and I only learned this much from sympathetic whispers who'd not dignify the lies with recapitulation. Suffices to say, he was forced to leave his old life behind at seek refuge at sea. What he seeks besides that, be it vindication, revenge, or simply a fresh start, I couldn't say."

 

> [Perception] Your idiom got very flowery all of the sudden.

> So he was famous in the Republics? You ever hear of him, Pallegina?

> How did he get the name 'Thundernipples'?

> Is there anyone else who might be able to tell us more?

> I see.

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> [Perception] Your idiom got very flowery all of the sudden.

 

Ellie: The ogre's face flares up with excitement, with a hint of pride. "I happen to have a penchant for the dramatic! A dull recital of such an interesting yarn would be downright criminal. And as there are great many wondrous things in this world, an earnest talespinner never finds her poetic muscles out of practice."

 

Aloth: "So are you some manner of an understudy to, ehm... to the captain? You mentioned he used to be an orator."

 

Ellie: "In a way I am." She flashes you a cryptic smile. "And in a way he still is."

 

> So he was famous in the Republics? You ever hear of him, Pallegina?

> How did he get the name 'Thundernipples'?

> Is there anyone else who might be able to tell us more?

> I see.

Edited by Sad Panda

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> So he was famous in the Republics? You ever hear of him, Pallegina?

 

Pallegina: "No, but that hardly means anything. While an Orlan academic might have been noteworthy even among the many great minds the forums of the Republics retain, his enemies would have undoubtedly done their best to wipe the very memory of him from existence. I have seen it happen many times to those who attract the ire of the powerful -- and even facilitated the disappearance of a few of them myself."

 

Edér: "Just the disappearance of the memory, though, right? And not the person." The rogue's wary look at his comrade-in-arms suggests a question where his intonation didn't. Pallegina makes no reply.

 

> How did he get the name 'Thundernipples'?

> Is there anyone else who might be able to tell us more?

> I see.

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> How did he get the name 'Thundernipples'?

 

Ellie: The ogre pouches her lips, bringing a finger thick as your arm to them. "'Get'? He was born with it, as far as I know." She shakes off the clueless pose in favour of a more genuinely contemplative one. "It's an interesting question, the correlation between people's names and the path they come to take in life. Some ascribe it to fate, but personally I think that if there's prophesy involved, it's only the self-fulfilling kind: The name imposes an expectation, or at least a suggestion. Case in point, if one is saddled with the name 'Captain', it's hardly surprising one'd come to give more than passing thought to becoming an actual captain."

 

Edér: "Wait, his first name is 'Captain'? Seriously?"

 

Ellie: "Uh-huh!"

 

> That sounds highly implausible.

> I wish my parents had had that kind of foresight. Think of what I could've achieved if I had been born Dragonfist Goldpockets.

> Is there anyone else who might be able to tell us more?

> I see.

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> I wish my parents had had that kind of foresight. Think of what I could've achieved if I had been born Dragonfist Goldpockets.

 

 

Aloth: "I think you've achieved quite a bit without any additional impetus."

 

Edér: "And you did fist that alpine dragon that one time. Supposedly for tactical advantage."

 

Aloth: "Gods, don't remind me! That unearthly wail still hunts me in my dreams!"

 

Pallegina: "It did turn out to be a solid strategy, however. I must admit I had my doubts when you ordered us to distract it while you, how was it..."

 

Edér: "'Go for the stinker', I think was <%IF(%PCSex==male;his;her)> exact phrasing."

 

Aloth: "Gods!"

 

Pallegina: "Yes, just so. Who knew dragons were so sensitive back there?"

 

Edér: "I think it was a reasonable assumption to make, in hindsight. Just think how you'd feel if a creature tenth your size, say, a xaurip... or a xaurip pup, I guess... anyway, if one without warning stuck their claw up your never-you-mind."

 

Pallegina: "I think I'd really rather not."

 

Edér: "And felt around in there."

 

Pallegina: "No, I got your point already, thank you."

 

Edér: "It'd be pretty unnerving, is what I'm saying. So it's not too surprising that dragon was off its game afterwards."

 

Ellie follows the conversation with an amused if slightly perplexed expression, not quite sure whether or not she should take your companions' tale at face value. The incredulity is understandable, although Aloth's visible anguish does lend the telling a fair bit of credence.

 

> They're only joking, Ellie.

> We should start employing that strategy more often. Maybe hire an Orlan with very small hands to sneak up on our kith-sized enemies.

> Is there anyone else who might be able to tell us more about Thundernipples?

> I had something else to ask about the ship and its crew...

Edited by Sad Panda

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> We should start employing that strategy more often. Maybe hire an Orlan with very small hands to sneak up on our kith-sized enemies.

 

Ellie: "Oh, I could probably get you hooked up with someone like that!"

 

Edér: "We used to have an Orlan travelling with us. Why didn't we ever have Hiravias, you know...?"

 

Pallegina: "I remember our valiant leader suggesting it to him once. There was a lot of cursing involved."

 

Aloth: "No! Fate of Eora be damned, I am not travelling with a party that employs a professional fister! I am... I am putting my foot down!"

 

Pallegina: The paladin's voice sinks and she locks Aloth in a piercing stare. "Yet I heard no protest from you when <%IF(%PCSex==male;he;she)> was planning on having us all wear giant codpieces."

 

Aloth stares back at Pallegina, and then blankly into space, mouth gaping for a reply he could never muster. The sudden epiphany about his priorities seems to have left the wizard shell-shocked.

 

> So are there any crew members with particularly small hands that you know of? Someone willing to do dirty work.

> Where do you get all those codpieces? Thundernipples said you buy them in bulk.

> Is there anyone else who might be able to tell us more about Thundernipples?

> I had something else to ask about the ship and its crew...

Edited by Sad Panda

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> Where do you get all those codpieces? Thundernipples said you buy them in bulk.

 

Pallegina: "Do not answer that! Let this... this evil remain buried!"

 

Edér: "I'm more curious as to why they're wearing those things in the first place. I know I'm still a rookie sailor, but it sure don't strike me as standard issue."

 

Ellie: "Isn't that just what all Orlans wear? I thought it was the captain who was the odd one out for not having one, and I figured that was just because he grew up among humans."

 

Edér: "No, we've been to Orlan towns, and no one wore them there." He pauses. "Although, I guess it would vary from place to place. People in Dyrwood don't wear the same things as people in Readceras, and... look, I'm really not the right person to be speaking about Orlan customs in the first place. Pallegina, a little help?"

 

Pallegina: "Well, I... I cannot rightly say it is not possible it could be a... regional curiosity. It is nothing I would have heard of, but then, Orlans aren't exactly common in the Republics, and my knowledge of Deadfire is limited to matters of trade. What little I do know of fashion certainly does not preclude the usage of intensely impractical attire. Aloth?"

 

Aloth: "What? Oh, well, from the vantage point of cultural variances, and what is known of Orlan societies on a more general level..." He mutely mouths a few words. "I have no idea."

 

Ellie: "Well, regardless, the officers handle the procurement of supplies, so you'd have to ask them."

 

Aloth: "...I feel like anything I'll say will now seem like I'm either advocating codpieces, or trying to hide the fact I am." Thinking his mutterings finished, you open your mouth to speak, only to be interrupted as the wizard grabs Pallegina by the arm and exclaims: "I'm not some kind of a... a codpiece enthusiast! I just didn't think about it that much before. I mean, really, isn't that evidence unto itself, that I didn't think about--"

 

Pallegina: "Get. Off."

 

> Is there anyone else who might be able to tell us more about Thundernipples?

> I had something else to ask about the ship and its crew...

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> Is there anyone else who might be able to tell us more about Thundernipples?

 

Ellie: "Well, you might ask Numella, of course... that's our resident soothsayer, one deck up. Although I suppose she'd have already called it a night by now." The ogre taps on her chin. Her nails are neatly filed down, in contrast to the jagged claws you often see her kin sporting. "Besides that, someone in the crew mentioned they knew him before he become a pirate, but I'm honestly not quite sure who that was, exactly."

 

Edér: "I know right? All the Orlans look so much alike. It's really hard to tell them apart."

 

Ellie: The ogre is about to comment, but from the fatigued groans of the rest of your party deducts that the topic of rogue's gleeful racial insensitivity has already been exhaustively addressed. "Anything else on your mind?"

 

> How is the crew almost entirely Orlan? I haven't seen that many of them in Deadfire.

> What can you tell me about Numella?

> Where does the ship's name come from?

> What's up with that huge capstan?

> What would you say are the ship's strategic weak points?

> That's enough about the ship and its crew.

Edited by Sad Panda

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> How is the crew almost entirely Orlan? I haven't seen that many of them in Deadfire.

 

Ellie: "Oh, they all, or almost all, come from this one big family. Brothers, uncles, cousins... apparently the lot of them were expelled from... what was it? Air Glumfat? Anyway, there was an unfortunate toenail-clipping accident that led to the decapitation of one of the community elders, and the whole family was driven out in retaliation." She adopts a more dramatic tone. "They trekked far south across mountains and marshes, ever their musings growing darker as they pondered their unfair lot. Without destination they wandered, until finally they found themselves in the doorsteps of the Temple of the Tainted Star, in lands unknown to kith and wilder.

 

"There, a cult worshipping a god long since stricken from memory worked their mystics arts on the refugees to greatly increase their fertility -- by their own bidding, no less, for they craved vengeance upon the once-friends and back-turners, enough so to subject themselves to long-forgotten magiks. They would spread upon the land like a swarm of locusts, multiplying until they could reclaim their home by the force of their sheer numbers alone. What you see here is but the barest fringe of their now-expansive dynasty, chilled crust fallen off as the hot core rapidly expands.

 

"Ever do they grow in numbers, but as they do, their souls grow thinner. For whatever power the followers of the fallen god awoke in them, it could not contest the will of the gods yet standing tall. No more spirit can they pull from the Cycle than they could were their numbers fewer, and each generation emerges more savage, more broken, than the last. Too late, much too late, did they understand what was happening. Now -- but a flicker of reason, faintly shining through the mist red dreams, to guide the uncomprehending malice they have birthed deep into the earth, away from those they once swore vengeance upon. Should it ever be snuffed out, then this world would see war like none before."

 

Edér: "Whoa."

 

> No part of that sounds plausible.

> That's terrible! We must do something!

> If their souls are fragmented, that would go a long way in explaining the crew's strange behaviour.

> I see. Well, that's none of my problem.

> Hordes of little flesh creatures that scream when you stab them... now that's what I want to be fighting, and not some adra statue.

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> If their souls are fragmented, that would go a long way in explaining the crew's strange behaviour.

 

Aloth: "Yes, I was thinking the same. Since we know that the complete lack of a soul leaves a person unable to function at all, we can hypothesise that severe fragmentation thereof would gradually yield the same effect." He paces about, wagging his finger in the air as he talks. "However, we can further posit that there must exist a cut-off value above which the effect is suppressed, as 'soul twins' are a fairly well-studied phenomenon, and other than the impulse for the kith sharing fragments of the same soul to seek each other out, there have been no reports of it leading to any overt disruptions in behaviour, that I'm aware of. So either the body or the soul itself must in some way compensate..."

 

Edér: The rogue cuts Aloth off, sparing you what promises to be a very lengthy lecture: "Wouldn't you be able to tell? You know, being a...?"

 

Pallegina: "If you think that is the case, you have not been paying attention. You should know by now, that the scope of our friend's... talents is limited to select individuals." She allows her chin to drop, peering at Edér from below her brows. "And I think perhaps the details of that matter should remain between the four of us... circumstances being what they are."

 

Ellie: "I, uh, I don't think the crew should be too much affected by it, though. As I understand it, umm... they departed their kin quite soon after the events at the temple, over... disagreements over their course of action, yeah! They didn't want to go along with the whole world domination scheme, and went their own way. And, because of that, no one on board would be able to tell where to find the rest of the clan. Or even where the temple is! Since they kind of just hit upon it by dumb luck. So if you fancy trying to stop them or anything, you'll just have to find them on your own." She breathes in deep and then exhales sharply. "Now, any other questions?"

 

> [Perception] You suddenly seem very nervous. Fumbling your words, rushing to change the subject...

> What can you tell me about Numella?

> Where does the ship's name come from?

> What's up with that huge capstan?

> What would you say are the ship's strategic weak points?

> That's enough about the ship and its crew.

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> [Perception] You suddenly seem very nervous. Fumbling your words, rushing to change the subject...

 

Ellie: The ogre curls a strand of her hair around her finger with jagged strokes. "Oh, it's just that I didn't realise as I was telling that story that it might cause trouble for the crew. I have a tendency to get carried away and maybe say things I'm not supposed to say." Her eyes lock with yours. "Not unlike your friend there, I'm gathering. So how about you allow me the benefit of doubt here, and I won't in turn inquire into your 'talents' and 'circumstances'?"

 

> [Resolve] How about I won't, and you instead tell me what it is you're so obviously hiding.

> What can you tell me about Numella?

> Where does the ship's name come from?

> What's up with that huge capstan?

> What would you say are the ship's strategic weak points?

> That's enough about the ship and its crew.

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> [Resolve] How about I won't, and you instead tell me what it is you're so obviously hiding.

 

Ellie: She scowls. "I already told you not to take that tone with me. You can make friendly conversation, or you can make demands, but you can't do both. This is the last time I'm going to remind you to be polite. Or find someone else to talk to."

 

> [Resolve] I guess I'm going to choose making demands: Tell me. Now.

> Don't you take that tone with me, you filthy brute. You think you have a wealth of choice in conversational partners? You're not that interesting, and you sure as hell aren't that pretty, so just be grateful I'm talking to you at all.

> I'm sorry I came on so hard. Again. I just get carried away.

> Alright, keep your secrets, then. I'll uncover them eventually.

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> [Resolve] I guess I'm going to choose making demands: Tell me. Now.

 

Ellie: The ogre's lips whiten as her mouth sharpens into a line. She looks more disappointed than angry. "Be that way, then. Come back tomorrow, and maybe we can try doing this again like grown-ups." She turns her attention away from you and furiously resumes polishing the cannonball she has kept in her hand throughout the conversation, obviously intent on not hearing anything further you have to say.

 

> Alright, alright, I'm sorry. I won't pressure you again.

> You're being much too touchy. Especially for an ogre pirate.

> This conversation is over when I say it's over.

> [grab her hand] Don't you ignore me.

> Fine, I'll be back later. Hopefully you'll have cooled off by then.

> [leave]

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