Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Jack Rothwell » June 15th, 2019, 8:39 pm

"Are we there yet?"

It must've been the thirteenth time that Riiki had asked the question that day. Tamina rolled her eyes.

"No."

"When are we going to be there?"

"Late afternoon, I told you."

There was little sign of the kobolds usual good humour. Since she'd returned to her homeland with the news of the Ralkin's vanquishing there had been initial celebration, followed by the stark reality that the Nallaki tribe was still in dire straits. Their mortal enemy being eliminated was a silver lining on an otherwise dark cloud.

The tribe had lost several good hunters, their home had been half-burned to the ground and, worst of all, their elder had been killed at the hands of Aleron's henchman Gabriel. The bitter memory of the cold-hearted bastard running his sword through her mother-figure's chest made the young kobold want him killed all over again. But done was done, and so onto picking up the pieces.

"I never liked the Uran tribe... too warlike, too serious."

Alleece sighed and ran a paw-like hand over one of her oversized ears, The trip was necessary, the village's supplies were all but used up in the aftermath of the Ralkin's attack, and the largest kobold settlement on the southern continent was by far the best place to restock. The Uran tribe itself had grown exponentially over the last few generations, mainly by absorbing the smaller weaker clans in the area and uniting them under a caste system that had proven so efficient and so uncaring. Their current leader, a male named Braccus, had seized power by killing the previous leader and was said to rule with an iron claw. Tamina hoped their trading wouldn't cause too much comment, hoped there wouldn't be any cause for her to use her magic while they were in town. She had a gift which was rare within her species, rarer still with her expanded tuition under Argus, and it would definitely be something someone as power-hungry as Braccus would want to possess.

Not that she had any choice about coming along either. As Leli's pupil she had been groomed for leadership since she was young, and maintaining diplomatic relations with the rest of the kobold community was something that came with the job. So she'd set out, taking a small convoy with her, and for the last two days they'd walked the coastline with spears, a cartful of dropla hides, and all eyes on the horizon.

"Let's just get this done and get back home." Tamina said.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Graybeard » June 16th, 2019, 9:23 pm

OOC: Do you want other characters involved in this? If so, I can contribute Rip -- one of the things about being an airship guy is that he can plausibly show up most anywhere. If you want to go it alone, that's also fine, although you might think about shifting it over to the "Fanfiction" category. (That also would give my Sister Rose stuff there some company -- she's been busy! Currently three months pregnant, sorta-kinda married to Argus although she's not sure, and involved in at least three international incidents and one budding civil war ...)
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Jack Rothwell » June 18th, 2019, 5:19 am

OOC I'm cool with other characters involved in this. I've only got vague ideas where I want this to go after all. The Kobolds will be arriving at the town in the next post. Considering the size of the settlement it opens up the possibility for any number of adventurous types being there. :) /OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Graybeard » June 19th, 2019, 10:39 am

OOC: Introduction for Rip (and Thurston) being written, but there's a PM on the way to you, as there is something I want to discuss with you offline first.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Graybeard » June 20th, 2019, 11:26 am

[OOC: OK, then, introducing Rip to this little scene, in a typically improbable, Rip-ish way. I think it'll amuse you, and it's consistent with your PM, for which thanks a lot. BTW, I wasn't sure whether he and Tamina had met, but they apparently "interacted" way out in the boonies in one of the Goriel threads. It is doubtful whether that interaction lasted long enough that they'd know each other, but Rip would at least recognize her, and she'd probably recognize him, even though his sidekick Shorty is the more recognizable of the two. Alas, Shorty may have just shuffled off this mortal coil. Or maybe not. Let's see.]

About this time, a bedraggled man stumbled into the Killikah group's vision, carrying a parachute on one arm and a cigar-smoking parrot on the opposite shoulder. The visual weirdness was followed moments later by the auditory weirdness of a BOOMMM out in the distance, where no such basically technological noise could be expected.

=============

A few weeks earlier, the Bonny Read had finally struck it rich on a raid, rich enough to fill and indeed overflow the pockets of people like Rip Ricordiel, now heading in Tamina's direction, as well as his large friend Shorty. (Those were very large pockets indeed; Rip's was in a Pocket Dimension, after all, and Shorty's pockets were in pants not quite large enough to serve as an airship tarpaulin, but close.) Those circumstances had also caused the ... unique ... captain of the Bonny Read to decide that the services of that pair of crew were no longer required, or desired. They were still on the ground, therefore, buying drinks for half of the waterfront (and making sure that it was a "buy two, drink one" situation) when the airship suddenly lifted off from Ysabel and flew off into mist-shrouded obscurity.

"Looksh llike they lefted wit'out us," Shorty slurred to Rip. (It took a vast amount of alcohol to get Shorty drunk, but he'd managed.)

"Yup, they [hic] was sherioush about keelhaulin' ush if we come back," Rip slurred back, not quite sure what else to say, so it fell to Thurston, who was stone sober, to utter the next line. "RAAAWK. If they tried to keelhaul Shorty, they'd never be able to lift off the ground. Can't blame 'em for not trying." Both men nodded wobbly heads at this bit of wisdom.

"So wadd'r'we gonna do now, friend?" one of the men said, it really doesn't matter which one. The other thought for a minute, got a brainshtorm. "Hey! How 'bout s'pose we jusht buy ourshelves an airsssship, go out, shee the worl'? We 'kin 'ford it..." The first speaker thought thish wash a fine eye-deea, and sho, er, so it was done.

The next morning, after the epic hangovers passed, Rip and Shorty found themselves as co-owners of a small, used airship -- very used. It didn't take them long to learn to fly the thing; they were both experienced with the Bonny Read, after all. It also didn't take them long to make themselves unwelcome in Farrel, as they learned the hard way that the airship had something of a past ... and both knew that people who were unwelcome in Farrel had an unfortunate tendency to get dead. This caused them some small consternation, until they looked at a map. Yes, it should be possible to reach the Southern Continent in this contraption, they judged; flying it was so hands-off that even Thurston could take a shift at the helm. Nobody there would know about the ship, or its unsavory reputation, of which the less said the better. There were even rumors of strange new worlds, new life and new civilizations, that appealed to the anthropologist's heart that still beat inside Rip's privateer's body. And so that too was done.

Unfortunately, so was the airship. Their pockets hadn't been that deep, and there was a reason other than just notoriety why this vessel was within their financial reach; namely, it was a piece of junk that was ready to fall apart any minute, as they discovered the first time they hit a mild storm. At least it had the good taste not to simply disintegrate out over the ocean, which would not have ended well. Instead, it made it into the Southern Continent's hinterlands before finally succumbing in a flash of magic, gas, and fabric.

To be fair, it had given its crew a little warning that it was going to self-destruct, and so both were equipped with parachutes when the fateful moment arrived. Rip had had experience with the hang gliders on the BR and before(!), and had no trouble reaching the ground in one piece. Shorty ... well, not so clear. He had a Rip-sized parachute on a Shorty-sized body, and Rip could see that even after Shorty's 'chute opened, he was still falling fast -- very fast. He could also hear it; Shorty was usually soft-spoken for his size, but his "AAAAAARRRRRGGGHH!" carried just fine, thank you.

He landed in the jungle far enough away that Rip couldn't tell whether he'd survived the landing or not. Meanwhile, the airship was plummeting to earth in a ball of flame ... and it definitely didn't survive its own arrival at terra firma.

==========

And so it was that Rip found himself on solid ground, thanking the Weave and thinking I'm never gonna go up in one of those things again. He had three things to do. First, figure out where he was, and make basic arrangements for survival. Second, look for his friend, or possibly his friend's remains, and do whatever had to be done. And third, see what could be salvaged from the shipwreck.

It was in pursuit of objective number one that he now approached the kobold town, having not the slightest idea where he was or who (or what) was in the place, but you had to start somewhere ...
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Jack Rothwell » June 24th, 2019, 10:17 am

OOC Sorry for the slow posting mate. I'll try to edit something in here when I get the chance./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Graybeard » June 25th, 2019, 8:55 am

[OOC: No prob, mate, you have a life while I just have a retirement pension. :-) Post when you can. Here's a little more to play off of in this scene; it doesn't really change anything, just gives you a little more colo(u)r to work with.]

Kobolds. thought Rip. I remember one from that craziness ahove Goriel. She was ... He was still groping to complete the mental sentence when he was interrupted by an alarmed sounding Thurston, alarmed enough to drop his cigar, which didn't happen often. "RAAWK. Possible trouble comin', boss. Inbound from the jungle at ten o'clock." Sure enough, there was a crashing noise on the left side of the trail in front of them, and somethimg big had to be making it. Mage and familiar did their best to be inconspicuous, Rip feeling a little guilty that they might have done something to put a predator on the track of the kobold group ... although the one he'd dealt with in the mountains had shown she was quite well able to defend herself, thank you.

Sure enough, only a minute or two later (long enough to reach cover although not for Thurston to recover his cigar), a large, very large, fanged head, with VERY large fangs, poked out of the woods to the left and looked in their direction. Rip's blood ran cold for a moment, but only a moment, because the beast's head whipped the other way, its eyes wide open, and a huge, predatory body sprinted across the road not twenty paces ahead of Rip and Thurston, moving at high speed. More crashing noises, and in only another minute or two, it was lost from sight and hearing.

"Hmmm," mused Rip, as he extracted himself from behind the large tree he'd been using for shelter. "What was that all about?"

For once, Thurston dropped the preliminary RAAWWK. "Scared of something, boss. I could smell it on him. Terrified."

This gave Rip some pause. "What's out that way that's big enough to eat one of those?"

"Shorty?"

[OOC: And on that note, which Rip will ponder until something else happens, back over to you. What was the large critter? Also up to you, but if you can't think of something big and carnivorous that inhabits this area, or more accurately haven't written one up already, I have one in mind ... EDIT: a very minor, insubstantial retcon, it doesn't change anything.]
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Jack Rothwell » June 26th, 2019, 3:03 pm

"Who in the spirits..." Alleece had gripped her spear at the sight of the strange man appearing on their path. The sound of the distant explosion had done the rest to alert the other hunters and rouse Tamina from her reverie. She didn't see Rip making a beeline for the undergrowth, but she DID see the morraran scampering across the dirt track as fast as it's sinewy legs would allow. She felt the alarm beginning to rise in her gut.

"What's a morroran doing up at this hour?" Riiki pondered. "They only usually come out at night! Err... unless..."

"...something disturbed it's nesting site." Tamina finished, now painfully aware of the crashing noises further up the path. "But the only thing that would hunt a morraran above ground would be a-

"Don't say it."

"- ferranhar." Finished Tamina, helpless not to. As if the words had made it real, the party became aware of the growing vibrations underneath their feet. The kobold considered yelling for the group to run for cover before she caught herself and remembered it would do little good, ferranhar's hunted mainly by smell, and abandoning the merchandise they were carrying would render the whole trip pointless and leave her tribe in more dire straits than they were already in.

"Spears!" She yelled. "Bows! Pick your shots! I'll try to distract it!"

The kobolds barely had the time to fan out before the creature burst into view.

If the chittorick matriarch was the undisputed ruler of the underground, Kobold reflected through a veil of barely concealed terror, this farrenhar was the ruler of the surface. The creature stood a good dozen feet tall, it's shaggy coat covering a body was was somewhere between an elephant's and a gorilla's. It's head was elongated and canine-like, bedecked by a dripping maw of knife-sized fangs below big black eyes and a pair of leathery ears which flapped in irritation. It skidded to a dusty halt as it spied the party. It's lips drew back in what the southern continent native could've sworn was an evil grin.

Today was going from bad to worse.

OOC I'll add in more later if I can. Feel free to post something in the meantime./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Graybeard » June 26th, 2019, 9:35 pm

[OOC: Just volleying it back to you ...]

"Guess it wasn't Shorty," Thurston whispered softly from his perch atop Rip's shoulder.

As he did so, they both became aware of something. It was hard for Thurston to talk with his cigar clenched in his beak ... and he was having no trouble talking. Conclusion followed.

Sure enough, the stogie lay in the middle of the trail where its smoker had dropped it, not far from where this second monstrosity emerged from the forest, and stinking up a storm.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Jack Rothwell » June 29th, 2019, 12:46 pm

Tamina raised her arm to indicate the party to let loose an arrow volley when she saw the creature suddenly stop in it's tracks with what she swore was an expression of puzzlement on it's lupine face. It's sniffed the air delicately as if smelling something it had never smelled before. Then turned on it's heels and peered on the direction of the still-smoking cigar.

"Now!"

A shower of steel-tipped shafts flew through the air and thudded into the creature's thick hide with unerring accuracy; given the size and proximity of the farrenhar, the kobolds could hardly miss. Tamina channeled and twirled a hand for the hunters to reload.

The farrenhar let out a roar of annoyance and pivoted to face the kobolds again, only to find a furry blur shooting towards it with unnerving speed. At the twenty foot mark it took off from the ground with a flash and completed it's journey with a two-footed kick to the creature's jaw. The impact of the titan spell coupled with the speed of the hummingbird spell was enough to send the farrenhar crashing onto it's back with a squawk of indignation; Tamina scrambled to her feet and yelled for a second volley.
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