Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

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: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Graybeard » March 17th, 2020, 8:09 pm

The mustachioed bartender had to exert maximum self-control to stave off a guffaw as he listened to the repartee, which he found more interesting than the music. He had to work even harder to avoid the temptation to lean over to Kevin and whisper "Six, don't you really think?" in his ear, and then apologize by buying the couple's next drinks.

He was starting to lose this last battle with himself when there was another toot from the ship's horn, this one louder and more insistent. The illusory violinist and his music disappeared in a wink (then again, maybe he was real and just slipped out of the lounge invisibly; there was no way to tell -- yet), and the barkeep, back in role now, cleared his throat. "That's the one-hour bell, ladies and gents," he announced, his voice carrying over the rather limited noise in the lounge. "Finish up, please, we need to shut this place down in thirty minutes to get ready to sail. We'll open back up when we're on the high seas."

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

Elke and Khoo heard the horn as well. Elke was tidy by nature, and getting unpacked and stowed for the voyage had gone quickly. Her cabin wasn't large, but it was large enough, and she and Annabelle were going over some small business details when they were mildly startled by the blast. It didn't take long to figure out the meaning and get back to what they'd been doing; socialization, such as it was, would come later.

Khoo, however, had something on his mind. He'd realized on arrival in the honeymoon suite that the extra-large portholes had an enchantment on them that would allow him and Anna-Lisa to see out, but no one else to see in. (Of course; it was a honeymoon suite, after all.) Whether by design or by accident, the portholes allowed him to look down at the main gangplank and watch the passengers board and reboard. This was what he was doing when the horn sounded.

"Whatcha doing, lover?" Anna-Lisa chirped behind him; he was glad nobody could see into the cabin, since he was pretty sure, without turning around, that she was stark naked. He was correct in this guess. (To be sure, his own pants, with Kawamura's card/bug in a pocket in them, were also hanging in the other half of the suite; he knew what was, well, coming up soon.)

"Keeping an eye open for -- that guy who talked to us earlier," Khoo mumbled; he didn't want to use Kawamura's name unnecessarily, against the possibility that even with the bug out of earshot, the walls might have ears. (Remarkably, they didn't, or maybe not that remarkably. Saiko Mesuinu may have been mad as a March hare, but she did have a surprisingly acute business sense, and having word get out that the honeymoon suite was bugged would be bad for business.) "Ah, there he is now, right on schedule." Kawamura had seemed the type to board exactly when the call came.

He was waddling up the gangplank now, still dressed incongruously for a cruise. To Khoo's great surprise, he wasn't alone; a short, stout woman was accompanying him. Her proportions and dress left it open whether she was a spouse or a lover or a sister (how many Tsiurakuans could be built like that? Khoo wondered) or a business associate, or the Weave alone knew what. Her demeanor, however ...

"Looks like it's not just that couple that we saw earlier that wouldn't be unhappy if Kawamura doesn't survive this trip," Khoo observed, his concerns about the suite's security forgotten for the moment.

[OOC: I'm really enjoying the warmup to an Orient Express situation; great idea you had there. Really wish Dru and Al were still around.]
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Jack Rothwell » March 19th, 2020, 3:47 pm

Jade and Leo had wandered off from the bar after the announcement of their departure time. The couple wound up on the deck of The Majestic Otter to find Captain Moriarty standing at the fore, staring at the horizon with a wistful look on his face.

"Ho, brother." Leo greeted his younger sibling. "Still have the wanderlust I see."

"Never lost it." Came the airy reply. "Father always knew I wasn't the type to sit still."

"Mother's keeping the estate in order. She asked me to ask you to visit her again soon after you left."

"Tough as old boots and a heart of gold our old lady." Moriarty still didn't turn. It seemed something was on his mind. "I'll make time when I can."

There came from the aft a cry of exertion, accompanied by a whipping noise. Jade whirled around a little unsteadily, her hand falling to the hilt of her recovered sword.

"Don't worry, that's little Eve." The Captain said. "She stepped on deck a few minutes ago bragging about some new blade she'd brought. I think she's breaking it in."

"The last thing that one needs is more weapons." The blacksmith muttered.

At that moment the rotund couple finished their laborious journey up the gangplank and onto the deck. Jade raised an eyebrow despite herself.

"Keep those two away the buffet table or we're apt to sink." She giggled.

"Could be worse. Seafood can give people upset stomachs." Moriarty said flatly.
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Graybeard » March 19th, 2020, 7:59 pm

The "upset stomachs" remark would come back to haunt Moriarty later.

-----------

The 30-minute horn had just sounded, and preparations were being made to draw up the gangplank, when a man arrived at its landward end, running at full speed. By now, darkness was starting to fall, and the watching steward hadn't seen exactly where he had come from; somewhere over in the warehouse district, apparently. He pulled up in front of the steward, panting hard. "Message for -- Mrs. Baburin," he puffed, using the alias that Elke had adopted, a name that would have been rare anywhere except in a certain Northern Confederacy city-state that she'd visited once. (The puffing was partly to gain time so that his tongue wouldn't trip over the unfamiliar name, although it was also quite genuine.) "Tell her -- from her late husband's business -- open carefully with the -- code word beginning with E." He handed a small envelope to the steward and sprinted away.

Some detection magic (the steward had capabilities beyond what he advertised, and a job to keep the ship safe) later, having established that this envelope contained nothing recognizably dangerous other than a very basic Ward, the message was delivered to Elke's cabin. She thanked the crewman, tipped him generously, sent him on his way, and once he was well out of earshot, dismissed the Ward with a whispered word that began with the letter F, not E; standard opsec for the EisenFaust. She read the message inside with a soft whistle and immediately summoned Kevin as the paper dissolved into ash. "Please go find my small blue traveling bag, the one with the clasp in the shape of a snake, and bring it here. Bring Annabelle back with you." Puzzled, the man complied.

A few minutes later, the three were crowding into Elke's cabin. Elke produced two small gadgets of Tsuirakuan manufacture. The first cast a Damping spell in the cabin; she held the second to the clasp, which popped open harmlessly. (Trying to get at the clasp without the gadget ... well, the toxin that it would have released into the air would have made the most venomous snake seem like a slobbery puppy.) "What you're about to see stays here," she cautioned the other two. "Under NO circumstances is it to be mentioned to anyone else on this ship, got it? But you two need to know about it ... just in case."

The bag opened to reveal utterly unremarkable articles of women's clothing ... except that there was a small compartment underneath the clothes that looked like a case for cosmetics and emitted a pleasantly perfumed scent. Waving this aside, Elke held the Tsuirakuan gadget to this compartment's clasp, which opened much as the outer one had, revealing a collection of small vials and ampules. She nodded grimly. "Good. I hope we don't need any of these, but we have to be prepared."

"Poisons?" Kevin tempted fate by asking, getting, well, poisonous looks from both women at once; Annabelle had figured things out quickly. They answered in unison as well.

"Antidotes."
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Jack Rothwell » March 21st, 2020, 6:22 pm

"Too late to get a suntan I suppose." Jade remarked as the ship's connection to land was hauled away from the dock and the sky began to darken.

"You barely get sunlight in any case." Leo replied. "With the time you spend in your forge it's miracle you don't burst into flame on a sunny day. How many passengers does this ship hold Morty?"

"Geez Leo, three hundred or so, not counting staff. Probably enough to feed a whale or two. Check that rigging!" He whirled around with a speed that made even his light-footed brother blink and yelled at a man halfway up a mast.

"How could you tell?"

"The noise was wrong. The last thing I need is some damn fool falling off it and injuring one of our guests! Wedge! get your head in the game! Engines or not, this is supposed to look classic and classy!"

"Yes sir. Sorry sir. Won't happen again sir." Came the distant, meek reply.

Leo frowned. "Are you ok brother? You seem out of sorts."

Moriarty waved his siblings concerns away. "High grade clientele come with high grade demands."

That seemed to be all the information the Silver Hands were liable to get. What those demands were seemed destined to remain a mystery.
Last edited by Jack Rothwell on March 21st, 2020, 8:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Graybeard » March 21st, 2020, 7:55 pm

OOC in its entirety:
Moriarty wrote:"Geez Leo, forty or so, not counting staff. Probably enough to feed a whale or two. Check that rigging!" He whirled around with a speed that made even his light-footed brother blink and yelled at a man halfway up a mast.

Hm. Did the boat shrink when it got wet? :D The first reference to it, here, had it with room for about 300 passengers, although it's barely half full (and only about 50 passengers or so debarked when it came into town -- about that many more stayed on board). Obviously we don't need to develop all 100 to 300 of those passengers, depending on many boarded here, but they'll be there to be in the way when the shooting fun starts.

We should probably also try for some consensus on just how technologically and thaumatically advanced it is. When I teed it up on that earlier post, I had something kinda like this in mind, the first purpose-built luxury cruise ship, obviously with the big engines augmented (but, as I envisioned it, not replaced entirely) by something magical. There is precedent in Errant Road for ships to be propelled by sail rather than steam, but I hadn't really been thinking about a sailing vessel; this is Tsuiraku, or at least a Tsuirakuan ship, we're talking about, after all. Of course, it could have masts and sails to impress the paying customers when it was en route, but they would be in Mesuinu Enterprises' inimitable style, or lack of it ... (Wife and I did a "barefoot cruise" on a boat thus equipped quite a few years ago, in the Caribbean. It was -- colorful. Mega-ships like the modern floating cities that can carry 5000 people aren't exactly our style!)
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Jack Rothwell » March 21st, 2020, 8:54 pm

OOC No prob. Retconned./OOC
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Graybeard » March 21st, 2020, 10:06 pm

[OOC: OK, all set. In a reversal of the "fade to black" rule that Impy wants us to follow, this little scene, after which another OOC thing:]

Khoo and Anna-Lisa were still in the post-festum, sweaty, semi-exhausted stage of lovemaking when the loudest horn's blast of all startled them. This was followed a few seconds later by another (by now they were disentangling themselves from each other) and then a third (quick Hygiene spells were being cast; fortunately, that was one spell that didn't have too much risk of things going wrong if the caster's attention was briefly diverted). And then, a magically enhanced voice that seemed to come from everywhere at once:

"ANCHORS AWEIGH!!"

Anna-Lisa let out another rapturous "OOOOoooo!" to match the one she'd produced not too many minutes earlier, hurriedly threw on a shirt and pants, and to Khoo's considerable surprise, bolted out the entrance door of the suite and onto the deck. She had a little lead on him; he was only starting to get dressed when she stepped outside. However, shirt and pants went on quickly, and soon he was standing with his girlfriend on the observation platform at the bow, along with maybe a dozen other Tsuirakuans who looked decidedly well-to-do. He definitely did not look well-to-do, and for a brief, uncomfortable moment, he fancied that his upper-class countrymen were giving him a disapproving eye. After only a second or two, though, he realized that they were all looking expectantly toward the bow of the ship, not at him ... and so was Anna-Lisa.

"Oooooh, you're gonna love this!" she enthused as he joined her. "This was one of the things I worked on for Ms. Mesuinu! Just watch!" Completely at sea (so to speak), Khoo could do nothing but comply.

For a moment, there was the sound of a pair of mighty chains clank-clank-clanking on their winches as the anchors started to come up; but after no more than a second, the air was filled with the kind of sound that every magical musical(sic) instrument on board, playing fortissimo, might have made. Simultaneously, there was a boiling of the water along the bow, and both air and sea were bright with magic. And then ...

Khoo gaped as enormous, glowing figures of scantily-clad mermaids appeared on each side of the bow, carrying the dripping anchors, and gently stowed them in recesses in the hull of the ship. These apparitions, reeking of magic so intense that he could barely stand it, gave cheery waves to the spectators (it sounded like the whole hundred-plus passengers on the lower deck were down there watching too), and vanished in a flash of magical light.

Khoo's head was spinning as the other watchers said things like "Oh! Lovely!" And: "Just the perfect end to the day!" And: "Only a Mesuinu could think of something this wonderful!" ("Wonderful" very definitely wasn't the adjective in Khoo's mind; "excessive" and "crazy" were vying for the top spot, with some similar ones bringing up the rear.) Anna-Lisa looked like she was about to produce yet another enraptured shout at any second, but she turned to Khoo and said, "See! I TOLD you you were going to love it, lover!" And without waiting for a reply, she grabbed his hand and hauled him back to the cabin, and to bed for another round of you-know-what.

[OOC: And on that happy note, a thought: Since we're getting under way, how about starting a new thread? I propose "Murder on the Majestic Otter" for a title.]
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Graybeard » March 23rd, 2020, 9:42 am

Entirely OOC: We have a chance to do some very small scale world-building as we proceed here, and it would be wise so that we don't trip over each other's assumptions as to how the ship is outfitted. (I have something very specific in mind on this that I will defer for the moment.) I'm starting a thread in the "OOC Discussion" forum called "Building the Majestic Otter" so that we can do that there and have it all clear in one small (I don't think it'll take a lot of posts to do the work), easy-to-find place. Needless to say, having that thread shouldn't stop us from going ahead with this one and introducing the "Murder on the Majestic Otter" thread as soon as we're out at sea. We've done this before (building the cultures of Goriel and Clovius); we can do it again, and it won't be nearly as complicated this time (ships are smaller than city-states).

Incidentally, if anyone is reading this who'd like to introduce a character, newcomers are always welcome, and the "Building the Majestic Otter" thread would be a good place to start. "Building" the ship isn't just about a hull; it's also about crew (and stowaways...).
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Jack Rothwell » March 24th, 2020, 2:56 pm

OOC Love the title idea. I say go for it. But first.../OOC

"I honestly don't know whether to be thrilled or terrified." Jade said dryly as one couple approached the other. "I've never understood the 'mermaid' thing. I mean, why would anyone fantasise about women who were half-fish?"

"Take a long enough sea journey and you'd be surprised where your mind goes." Moriarty quipped. "I have to get to the control room so I bid you adieu. I have... matters to attend to."

"What's eating him?" The blacksmith asked as soon as the flamboyant Captain had departed.

"Not sure." Leo replied. "His new responsibilities seem to be weighing on him. That's probably all it is."

Meanwhile, at the back end of the ship, Eve marched to the stairs muttering something about 'finding a training room to practise properly'.
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Graybeard » March 24th, 2020, 3:57 pm

[OOC: Okay, one more post from me while we're more or less still in port. If you want to do your next one here, for a nice round 200 replies (or a not so round 201 total posts in the thread), go for it, and I'll open the new thread.]

Kevin was dismissed to start learning his way around the ship (he was one of the crowd cheering the ... unusual way of going up-anchor), freeing Annabelle to ask some puzzled questions of her boss. "I don't get it. What was in that message that got us making sure of the -- cosmetics?" She wasn't sure the cabin wasn't bugged.

"Remember Fenstermacher?" Elke countered; she'd done a professional casing of the cabin and was as sure as she could reasonably be that the coast was clear. Of course, that was far from "completely sure."

Annabelle was bright; she was starting to figure it out. "Tall, thin, works on the docks, right? Does the occasional bit of work for us?" She silently mouthed "wet work?" after the oral question; in the jargon of the Eisenfaust, that expression was usually reserved for handling narcotics and other contraband, but it also could be taken to mean "hits."

Elke nodded. "He was good with -- chemicals, and he got Dr. Rabbitfoot some supplies from time to time. Some of which were to be used on that last -- patient that Rabbitfoot talked to us about."

Annabelle caught the change in tense. "Was."

Another nod. "Was. Word from the home office was that he was just found dead in the warehouse district, single bullet through his left eye. And here's the thing: the body was stark naked. No clothes, no traveling bag, no nothing."

"You mean ..."

"Right. Looks like somebody is trying to masquerade as the late Mr. Fenstermacher. Somebody who might be on board with us, for Luminosita knows what reason, but he's carrying Fenstermacher's cache of ..." She didn't finish the sentence, just pointed at the case full of poison antidotes.

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

Meanwhile:

There were larger ships than the Majestic Otter on the Southern Ocean, but not many, and it was big enough to need some help in getting out to deep water from its anchorage. That had all been arranged, of course. Two tugboats sidled up to the larger vessel and guided it carefully away from shore until its engines could take over and start it across the sea.

What had not been part of that arrangement was the tall man who was standing on the deck of one of the tugboats. (Well, he'd been "arranged," but definitely not by Mesuinu Enterprises.)

The tall man expertly swung a rope attached to a grappling hook over his head a time or two, and then cast the hook, snagging one of the finely polished railings on the lower deck near the ship's stern. He swung over to the Majestic Otter, quickly climbed the rope (he might or might not have had a little magical boost), scrambled onto the deck, retrieved his gear, and went ... somewhere, unnoticed by the crowd watching the mermaids at the front deck.
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