Murder on the Majestic Otter

For in-universe game play. Journey through both familiar and foreign settings, explore lost ruins and forgotten cities, and try to bring light to the darkness of the world... or, you know, blow stuff up. Either way.

Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Postby Jack Rothwell » August 29th, 2020, 6:23 pm

OOC Just going to send this back over and get a longer one in tomorrow./OOC

Leo gave a Jade and Khoo the nod towards the stranger arriving; with Khoo's background and Jade's propensity to figuring out how things worked it had been acknowledged they were probably the best candidates for the autopsy job (at least in light of Anna Lisa's stomach), and the student was less likely to go missing with the blacksmith at his side. Eve and Anna Lisa would go to 'Maud' (Eve had been strangely insistent on that score) and, of course, Leo would go to his brother to give the update. That left the redhead and the mage in the company of the traumatized looking man; Jade gave him a sympathetic look.

"Sit down before you fall down." She said in the kindest tones she could manage. "You look like you could use a drink."

Jade reached into the folds of her duster and pulled out a hip flask which made a faint sloshing noise. She gave the man a smile and jiggled the receptacle.

......

Eve maintained silence for several seconds after she'd left the chapel with the most excitable member of their group. The short mercenary appeared to be studying the patterns on the walls before she asked the other woman questions in halting tones out of her usual character.

"So... errr... Anna. I was... umm... wondering. Before you and Khoo got together was there a sign he was interested? Did you do something to make him chase you? Do men... umm... hit on you a lot?"

She tried, unsuccessfully, to hide a blush.

......

Silence was the only thing emanating from Leo as he strode impatiently to the Captain's room.
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Postby Graybeard » August 29th, 2020, 8:04 pm

[OOC: Just volleying it back is fine, there's probably going to be a lot of that for a while as the groups of characters interact. So a little bit for each of the three groups, plus a wee bit extra for Kevin:]

As Leo reached the first-class deck, from which the bridge and "special" quarters were accessible one set of stairs up, he couldn't escape the nagging feeling that he was being watched. Nobody was in direct sight, other than a very few passengers and the odd steward or two who paid him no attention whatever. Of course, he couldn't penetrate the first-class section that was closed off by a magical Ward that was clearly too potent to fool around with, but there was no need to, as it wasn't on the way to the bridge. On the other hand, the creepy eyes-on-his-back sensation might have been emanating from beyond that Ward. Or it might not have.

-----------

Young Lonnie Budriel (he might not even have been of legal drinking age yet, not that that mattered here) eyed Jade nervously; eyed the flask; looked at Khoo, who was trying to keep a poker face; shifted back to Jade. "Er, I'm not s'posed to drink while I'm on duty, ma'am," he said nervously ... but then his eyes went back to the flask. "Well, I s'pose it be for, what do they call it, medicine purposes? And our Healer's gone missin', whole crew's wonderin' where she is, prolly." The possibility that one or more of the crew might not only have known where Saraya was, but been responsible for putting her there (wherever it was), seemed completely lost on him; he did not seem like the type to conceal that kind of secret very well.

He took a good, stiff shot from the flask, showing no signs that "medicine" this potent was in any way new to him, and started to talk. "I was standin' night watch along with Ms. Niranjan --" he stumbled over the non-Farrelian name, but got it close to right -- "an' Tori an' Josh, not doin' much of anythin', like night watch usually is, less'n some passenger's had too much to drink. None o' that last night, though, so all pretty borin'. 'Bout half way through the watch, I went 'n made th' rounds like I'm s'posed to. Nobody out that I saw on th' passenger decks, din't check th' crew quarters, no need to." Was there a hint of guilt on his face when he said that? Hard to tell, but he took another drink. "When I got back, there was sump'in funny-lookin' on one of the cameras that keep an eye on the bilges so's we don't have to. Ms. Niranjan thought it needed lookin'; at, so I went on down t' check th' bilges, that's a once-a-shift job for th' new fish like me anyways, and -- and --"

He was in tears now as he took another drink.

----------

Anna-Lisa was more than happy to field Eve's question, although her answer had very little to do with the way things had actually happened. "Oh, it was love at first sight!" she gushed, quite incorrectly. "See, we're both from the small islands, got scholarships to Sashi Mu, that's the top university in Tsuirakushiti, on this special program for islanders. I'll never forget the first time I saw him, we were in my freshman Principles of Thaumaturgy class, and we looked at each other, and we just knew." (She was embellishing things a little bit, no, extensively; she'd indeed been a freshman in the class, but Khoo, a grad student, was the TA, and knew only that this girl was as out of place in the sky city as he was.) "We didn't see each other again for a couple of years, except in the halls, but then, my junior year, there was this class where there was a big explosion --" [OOC: caused by none other than Meji Hinadori herself; see here for Khoo's probably more reliable memory of it -- /OOC] "and he saved my life," she concluded with a dramatic flourish. (This part was actually sort of true.) "From there, we just knew it was meant to be." (This part was not.)

She would undoubtedly have expounded at length on all the things that had happened after that, with varying degrees of accuracy, but "Maud" and Annabelle were heading in their direction, both wearing the kind of frowns that came with deep thinking about a worrisome subject.

----------

Kevin wasn't with them. The boss (had he screwed up earlier by recognizing her as 'Maud' rather than the 'Brunhilde" that she'd used to board the ship? he hoped not) had said there was Eisenfaust business that she and his girlfriend had to discuss, and sent him off to the weight room ...

... Which he would find unexpectedly occupied.


[EDIT: A minor retcon here to bring Lonnie Budriel's tale into agreement with some earlier stuff. It doesn't change much at this point, but might be significant if future events refer back to it.]
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Postby Jack Rothwell » September 2nd, 2020, 11:05 am

Eve listened to Anna-Lisa's tale with a mixture of incredulity and faint envy. She found herself thinking back to a boy she'd grown up with in her small village. Luke, his name had been. The boy had been the only one who'd challenged her tomboyish persona as a teen. She thought of the gang they'd run with, their wrestling contests that had evolved into something else as they'd gotten older. Sweet nostalgia...

"Maud!" Eve greeted the approaching woman as she snapped out her reverie. The short mercenary quietly grateful the big lunk was nowhere in sight. "Just the person I wanted to see. There's some serious shit going on that you and yours should be aware of..."

....

"I heard how horrible it was down there." Jade said in a sympathetic tone, retrieving the flask from the distraught crewman and taking a pull herself before returning it to it's recesses. "It just so happens that me and my companion here are charged with clearing this sorry mess up. So don't fret. We'll fix everything."

She gave the young man a reassuring smile. "Anything you could tell us about this body or your crew mate I'm sure would be a big help."

OOC I'll update Leo on my next post./OOC
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Postby Graybeard » September 2nd, 2020, 1:20 pm

[OOC: Sure, no prob holding off on Leo. One thing: as I envision the layout of the bridge, it can be reached either directly from the first-class deck (stairs going up) or the rest of the top deck, where the officers' quarters and the honeymoon suite are. Which way would Leo be using? I want to tee up one small encounter before he makes it to the bridge, but there would be differences in that encounter depending on how he's getting there. Meanwhile, I noticed a small retcon needed in the last thing I wrote; it shouldn't affect anything at this stage. So on to the other groups, with Kevin also on hold for the moment:]

Lonnie Budriel blinked away tears, wiped his eyes, blinked again, and looked at where Jade had secreted the flask. She got the hint [OOC: I'm assuming she "cooperates" here; if not this too can be retconned], and another swig later, the young man had pulled himself together, more or less.

"Not much more I can tell, ma'am. Afore I went up to th' bridge, I went back to crew's quarters and -- cleaned up a bit. See, the bilges -- don't smell so good."

"And it made you sick," Khoo suggested gently. Budriel nodded miserably and said, "Yessir. By the Weave, it sure did." (It was noticed that the youth was swearing in both Veracian and Tsuirakuan. Obviously this sea voyage was having an enriching effect on him.) "Anyways, once I got cleaned up, I went up to the bridge t' report. Lifemage Saraya was already there, she'd already been down to the bilges t' see for herself."

"Was there anyone else on the bridge when you got there?" Khoo probed.

Budriel got a very odd look on his face; if Khoo or Jade had had occasion to, say, read webcomics, they might have noticed a resemblance to a look on a certain Gewehr Wraith's face after a certain thing happened. "I -- think it was jus' the captain, Ms. Niranjan, Lifemage Saraya, and me," he said. "I'm pretty sure Tori and Josh wasn't there no more." He snorted; whatever had caused the strange look was passing. "Prolly back in quarters bangin' each other's brains out by then."

--------------

"Let's talk," Elke said, steering Eve and Anna-Lisa toward the quieter, less used lounge. This was empty. Indeed, most of the rec deck was nearly deserted, except for the observation platform and the theater (the noises coming from there, however, are best left to the imagination), Either most of the passengers had gone out on the water or even to Alctraziel (Elke suspected that ... special excursions there might have been possible, even if the town was theoretically off limits), or many passengers were sleeping in, or there just weren't that many passengers on the ship, Luminosita knew what.

"So we have seen some things that you should probably know about too," Elke said as soon as she was sure the four women were alone. "You first."

[OOC: Feel free to put some words in Anna-Lisa's mouth to "help" with the telling of tales; I think by now you have a pretty good idea of what her ... inimitable style is like.]
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Postby Jack Rothwell » September 6th, 2020, 11:51 am

As Leo made his way up the stairs from the first class deck the prickly sensation of being watched wouldn't go away. He was no stranger to being inconspicuous; although he preferred the out in the open smiles and lies approach to being somewhere he shouldn't be. He stopped dead.

"It's rude to stare." He said airily.

....

"We'd like a look at the body if possible." Jade said, making mental notes galore at the information she'd received. "it's not right that someone with an emotional attachment to this tragedy should be forced to have to deal with it on top of their day job. is there any chance you could get us in there? We'd be quick and discreet."

...

"Death and intrigue." Eve spat, sugar coating things was hardly her style. "A patchwork body made of other bodies turned up in the bilges last night followed by the disappearance of the woman assigned to examine the unnatural thing and the extremely bloody murder of the side squeeze to boot. On top of that, a couple of our friends found a body floating out from a submarine attached to the ship. (OOC I think that's right. I'm kind of having to right this in a rush :S/OOC) Fun and games and bloody murder! And we're the idiots who've been assigned to sort this shitstorm out. How's your day going?"
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Postby Graybeard » September 6th, 2020, 10:01 pm

[OOC: A bit pressed for time owing to some travel oddities, so two out of three here will be mainly just volleying it back, with a little info thrown in. The third one, however ... BTW, any idea where Edgar is during all this?]

Lonnie Budriel looked uncomfortable. "I dunno, ma'am," he answered Jade. "We was gonna put it in cold storage, like Ms. Niranjan said, but the Stuffed Shi--" he caught himself -- "First Officer Morokuma took over, said he'd do sump'n with it. I think he put it in, what do you call it, a Magic Pocket or sump'n."

"A Pocket Dimension, you mean?" Khoo prompted. The young man nodded. "Yessir, that sounds right. But he said if we asked too many questions, our asses were grass. so we didn't."

---------------

At the top of the stairs leading to the bridge, Leo was having a curiously similar conversation.

"Sorry, sir, nobody allowed up here," a uniformed steward said, a young woman not much older than Lonnie. Her name tag said "Tori"; if she had indeed engaged in a roll in the hay (nautical style) after her shift ended during the middle of the night, she'd slept well, if briefly, because she looked fresh enough now.

In response to Leo's raised eyebrow, she went on. "Captain says he and the Stuffed Sh--" she caught herself slightly more quickly than Lonnie -- "First Officer Morokuma are briefing Ms. Mesuinu on what has been happening. He says nobody's supposed to go in until he says so."

Beyond the young woman, Leo could see forms moving on the bridge. There was some kind of enchantment that blurred the details (a one-way glass of some kind, presumably), but he could see that there were three shapes visible: one the size of his brother, and two larger ones, consistent with what he'd seen of Morokuma on the first-class deck... if there had been two of him. [OOC: To save time, she doesn't know about the third person, and won't do anything other than shake her head and say "I'm not supposed to let anybody in" or words to that effect. She's not on board this thing for her initiative ...]

--------------

"Oh, that's not exactly the way it happened," Anna-Lisa piped up. "See, my boyfriend and I were on our submarine, and we saw another one out there, but the body wasn't floating out of the sub, it just fell out of the sky from a thaumo-paraglider and then, when it came up, it --"

"Stop." Elke had impaled her with a glare that would have dropped an Anuban swamp beast in its tracks. Anna-Lisa was made of sterner stuff than an Anuban swamp beast, but she knew when to shut up and listen. "Repeat that first part," Elke commanded Eve, turning up the full force of her very imposing personality.

As soon as the business about the "patchwork body" was repeated, Elke emitted a low growl much at odds with her usual mid-range voice. "Waffenbruderschaft," she growled in the same vocal register.

"Huh?" said Anna-Lisa, terse for once.

Elke/"Maud"/"Brunhilde" fixed her with another glare for a long second, then sighed. "Okay, you need to know about this. You've probably figured out that I know a little about Farrelian guilds. Of course I do; almost every Farrelite who succeeds in business or politics knows about them, and my late husband, who was very successful, had to deal with more than one of them." Including mine. "No, he wasn't rubbed out by one, if that's what you're thinking, he died of natural causes." For certain definitions of "natural". "But since he knew about them, I knew about them, and there is a nasty one called the Waffenbruderschaft that are organ runners, among other things ... and as I understand it, they're not supposed to be operating here at Alctraziel, but my assistant here says they are here." Another glare. "And if I tell you more about how she knows, I have to kill you." Putting her to the test on that didn't seem wise.
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Postby Jack Rothwell » September 9th, 2020, 3:58 pm

"Well we've got something to follow up on at least." Jade said, clapping the man companionably on the shoulder. "Keep your chin up bucko. We'll get to to the bottom of this I promise you."

...

Leo sighed and shook his head. If his brother wanted to play high and mighty then there was no point in wasting his own time.

"Tell your good Captain to meet me at the Lambass* bar before dinner." Leo said. "Let him know his brother is uncovering all sort of interesting information he might care to hear."

Without another word the handsome mercenary made his way back down the stairs, more determined than ever to resolve this mess as quickly as he was able.

....

Wisdom wasn't one of Eve's stronger traits but she knew when to push and when not to. A raised eyebrow conveyed her opinion of Elke's threat but she made no verbal reply.

"The 'how' of it is no concern of mine." She said levelly. "The why and where of them does. That, and the whether they intended to continue butchering people on the cruise with delicious shrimp and copious amounts of alcohol I was planning on having a much needed holiday being filled with. Can you help a sister out? I'm pretty sure we're all on the same side here."


*I forget if they've been named. Just assume that's the nicer of the two if not.

OOC Sorry about the misstep with Eve's earlier explanation. Just let me know if somethings inaccurate in future and I'll correct it to save time./OOC
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Postby Graybeard » September 9th, 2020, 6:11 pm

[OOC: No prob with the misstep, much the contrary: it gave Anna-Lisa another opportunity to be her inimitable self. I just figured Eve had been whirled away earlier by a typical Anna-Lisa stream-of-consciousness verbal tornado! Meanwhile, it would be handy if one of these three parties passed by the weight room on the way to wherever they're going next, as ... something ... is happening involving Kevin. Your call on which of the three; the following is written so that it can be any one of them, at your discretion.]

"I'll -- tell him," the girl with the "Tori" name tag said uncertainly. Meanwhile, the Damping spell that had apparently been placed on the bridge couldn't disguise the fact that a great deal of yelling and shouting was going on there, although it did make that "discussion" unintelligible.

-------------

"Thankee, ma'am, sir," Lonnie Budriel said, with similar uncertainty, and wobbled back in the direction of the crew's quarters; the "medicine" Jade had given him was beginning to take effect.

"Not sure I trust him," Edgar said, startling both Jade and Khoo; neither was aware that he'd been in the chapel. There he was, though, sitting in broad daylight (metaphorically; the chapel had only magical lighting) on a weird "dwarven" artifact protruding from a wall. Khoo figured it out more quickly than Jade; he'd been around mages, and familiars, for much of his life, after all. "Obfuscation? You, I mean, not that kid."

"Yup," Edgar confirmed. "Hard wired with it." (Khoo was impressed; the spellcraft required to create a familiar with something like that had to cost a pretty tsui.) "Heard the whole thing, and something didn't sound right."

Khoo nodded. "Like his memory had been tampered with." He scratched his chin, where some stubble was starting to grow. "Wonder by whom?"

-------------

Elke had no magical powers (other than what gadgetry gave her), but the look she gave Eve and Anna-Lisa felt like she was reaching inside their skulls to their very souls. She sighed. "Yes, we're all on the same side," she said, "at least for now. We saw some things you should know about too." She went on to describe the weeping woman and the Waffenbruderschaft ship moored where no such ship had any business being. "But if they're pulling something here, how did they know we'd be in Alctraziel long enough for them to pull it?"

Anna-Lisa was on that one. "They've got a mole on board?"

The two Eisenfaust women nodded as one. "And we'd better figure out who it is," Elke said.
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Postby Jack Rothwell » September 14th, 2020, 1:08 pm

OOC I'll edit my reply in here tomorrow. Was gonna write one today but my brain got microwaved by a migraine. One of those beauties that makes me go half blind and hallucinate. Guess that's what I get for trying to improve my lifestyle O_O /OOC
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Postby Graybeard » September 16th, 2020, 10:26 am

[OOC: Ouch! Sorry to hear about the migraine; I am thankful that I don't get these, but too many friends do, and they describe similar symptoms and how debilitating they are. Rest your head! Meanwhile, here's a little more for you to play with when somebody does wander past the fitness room:]

Kevin was on his guard as he opened the door to the fitness room, but he soon concluded he didn't have to be. The hulking figure he'd seen through the translucent door, apparently hefting huge weights, turned out instead to be a not-so-huge man in the ship's liveries; the attendant for the spa, presumably. Illusion spell to make users of the place look more impressive than they were? It would fit with some of the Mesuinu way of doing things. (Kevin was not immune to vanity; he wondered just how imposing he had looked through this spell when he was hitting the bag with that small but surprisingly tough girl.)

He decided he'd do some weight work this morning. Since the spa part of the operation seemed to be open today, though, why not take a look? The attendant looked up from whatever t-book(*) he was reading, nodded, said "sure, go ahead." He opened the door to the changing room, noting with approval that it appeared to be unisex, although it was again empty at this particular moment. There might be opportunities involving that girl ... no, best not to think about that -- at least until Annabelle was well and thoroughly diverted, which this silliness involving that other guild, whoever they were, just might accomplish. There was a massage table against one wall, and behind it, what looked like a small-to-medium golem. He chuckled at this; a sports massage from a golem would be an unusual experience. Maybe he'd give that a try later. There were filmy curtains, almost certainly magical, folded against the other walls. Presumably they would fold out for privacy. He grimaced; maybe the "sightseeing" wouldn't be so good after all. Oh, well. He stepped back out, closed the door, and went looking for the barbells.

Not too much later, there was a scream, and not too long after that, a thump.

(*) "T-book" = "e-book," but working thaumatically.
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