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.
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

Post by Jack Rothwell »

OOC Yeah, Leo and Morty had very different relationships with their father as their character bio's show. It's basically the one thing that a huge point of contention between them. I've been figuring out the best to bring it up and that private(ish) interaction was the perfect opportunity./OOC

Leo was sullenly rubbing his jaw but listened closely all the same. This woman would not be the subject of any discourtesy from him.

"Whereabouts is her cabin?" He queried. "There may be clues to find in there. Also, any personal information you know about her; personality, hobbies, relationships would be a great help."

........

"Not unless he wants to get punched in the jaw." Jade replied, although lightly enough.

"He's off to meet with the Captain." Eve supplied, somewhat more quiet than usual. "Did you lovebirds have a good evening?"
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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"Very," Anna-Lisa purred, nestling closer to Khoo, of course. For his part, he just nodded and tried a bit of meat that he didn't recognize (Anuban swamp beast, although he would have no way of knowing it; it hadn't been on the menu at the Tower of Artifex). Honestly, would the girl's sex drive ever be satiated? She'd be the death of him if they kept this up ... although what a way to go.

"There was just one thing, though," he got out. "Not too long after we got to sleep --" finally! -- "there was this tremendous, loud scream from somewhere on our deck." [OOC: I would assume the "honeymoon suite" would actually be on the top deck, behind the bridge. (Note that this would put the observation platform that they'd used earlier directly in front of, and a few feet lower than, the bridge, above the two main passenger decks.) Note also that this scream would have happened several hours before the last time Lifemage Saraya was seen -- alive. Obviously, Khoo doesn't know that yet. /OOC:] "Sounded like the ship itself was in pain, took me a long time to get back to sleep afterward."

Anna-Lisa looked at him in surprise. "I didn't know that, lover! Must have slept right through it. If I'd known it woke you up, I'd have got up too, and we could have --"

Khoo stopped that sentence with his customary kiss, never mind that it would be swamp-beast-flavored.

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

"She had -- has -- a first-class cabin with her husband," Second Officer Niranjan answered Leo. "It would be best if we didn't go in there. Her husband was absolutely beside himself when he found out she wasn't there in the morning. He's an archmage, some kind of xenobiologist at Sashi Mu, supposed to have incredible skills with magic dealing with wild animals. Disturbing archmages when they're as upset as he was this morning .,. is a bad idea." She shuddered. "The poor cabin boy who knocked on his door ... well, just say he'll be able to swim underwater for a long time now without breathing, as soon as he wakes up from the Polymorph that Professor Hoashi hit him with." Another shudder.
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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"A scream?" Jade's expression darkened. "Why do i have the feeling that has something to do with why Leo was called to the-whatdoyoucallit- cockpit?"

Eve giggled. "That's for airships Jade."

"And I was having such a nice vacation too." The tech sighed.

.....

Leo shook his head.

"The longer we wait the less likely his wife is to turn up alive, along with any clues that might we find in there." Leo said. "It's harsh, but we have to face facts. In most cases of a spouse disappearing the other partner is the most likely suspect. If he's guilty, leaving him alone increases the chance he'll get away with it."

He tried to put himself in the mental state the Archmage would be in after such an event, and couldn't. But, like it or not, talking to people was his strongest skill within the Silver Hands so if anyone was going to talk their way inside, it was him.

"Let me try to convince him to look around. If there's anything that could help us find your friend it's worth a try. I'll send my associates to look at her regular haunts while I do. Is there anyone else on the ship she's close to? Anyone she'd have been likely to speak to yesterday?"
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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Niranjan didn't like what Leo was saying, but she had to admit, there was some truth in it. "Okay, but let me come with you. I can at least cast a Barrier if he starts to throw something lethal at you, as he very well might." It was not lost on Leo that that last sentence contained the word "you," not "us".

The two made their way from the bridge down to the first deck, in the process passing several passengers apparently heading for the dining hall, none of whom Leo recognized. On arriving at the Hoashis' cabin near the bow, Niranjan took a deep breath. "Well, here goes nothing ... and don't say I didn't warn you." She knocked softly on the door, then swiftly moved aside.

A curiously high-pitched voice called "Gimme a minute, dammit!" in reply ... and a moment later, the door opened to reveal a remarkable apparition.

It looked more or less like "Zero," Dr. Rabbitfoot's familiar back in Lorrel; a small-to-medium-sized monkey with a long, prehensile tail that must have been wrapped around the door's handle to get it open. However, Zero most probably didn't have external gills, which this creature had. Zero certainly didn't have wings, which it also had.

It held a finger to its mouth in a "ssshhhh" gesture that was the same the world over, regardless of species, and stepped onto the deck, propping the door open with what appeared to be some kind of empty bottle. "Name's Edgar, I'm his familiar," it said. "Best we be talkin' out here -- the boss ain't doin' so good." Through the door could be seen a human form splayed on the bed, snoring stertorously, another bottle in each hand. "Lemme guess: it's about the missus, right? And as for this stuff --" he stroked a wing and a gill with his tail -- "don't ask."

[OOC: See the thread in the discussion forum. You're right about the need for cabins, and if this thing looks anything like real cruise ships, they don't fit on the specified number of decks. We're gonna need a bigger boat ... or at least bigger than we've been describing it as being.]
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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Leo made sympathetic noises at the state of the man on the bed. He was starting to lean towards the idea that maybe the mage wasn't responsible. Either that or he'd done his homework in how to portray grief. He addressed the familiar. He kept his tone as low and gentle as possible.

"I apologise for the intrusion." He said. "I've been given charge by the Captain to investigate the matter of your master's absent wife. Obviously, time is of the essence in situations like this and any potential clues we might find could become less valuable the longer we wait. If it's not too inconvenient, may we look around the room? Also, any information you might have about Saraya's activities over the last day could prove invaluable."
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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The monkey nodded solemnly, and as he did, the external gills shrank slightly but visibly. "Damn well about time," he muttered apologetically. "When the boss went off on that poor kid, I got in the way and got these. Not to worry, happens all the time, he and the missus both have short fuses, fight like cats and dogs and then make up again a couple hours later. You wouldn't believe what he did once to my ... no, better not tell you that." Could a monkey smirk? He managed to. "It'll go back to normal in an hour or two, I'm designed for that. Wings are standard equipment, though. Anyway, they really do love each other and he was very upset when the cabin boy told him she was missing." His voice dropped another notch. "Boss has a little drinking problem," he whispered conspiratorially. "And yes, I know where she was planning to spend the night. They had a big fight last night over something, I don't know what, he threw me out of the room when the yelling started and threatened to Dispel me if I came back before lights out. But they do love each other. Seriously." He seemed anxious to get that point across.

"I wouldn't come in here if I was you, though," he went on. "He's going to have a helluva hangover when he wakes up, and he'll take it out on the first person he sees if he's still got it. Do you really want to wake him up and get turned into a salamander?" [OOC: Actually, what he has in mind is more like an axolotl -- that's what his gills look like -- but you get the idea. /OOC]

--------

"I'm just sure I've seen that short, round woman before, the one who was crying last night," Annabelle said as the three Eisenfausters made their way back to their cabins on the middle (upper tourist-class) deck. "Maybe with one of the other outfits, I think. It was weird, though: last night she was dressed like an upper-crust Tsuirakuan."

Elke raised an eyebrow. The few people who'd boarded in Farrel as she, Annabelle and Kevin were coming aboard clearly fell into one of two categories: Farrelites like themselves who were boarding for the first time, and Tsuirakuans who were coming back after going into town. It wasn't difficult to tell them apart; the Farrelites, herself included, were dressed casually and comfortably (Annabelle and Kevin were partial exceptions, being dressed up slightly to be in role, but still clearly Farrelian), while the Tsuirakuans' apparel was ... showy. "Working on a job?" she asked, leaving it open whether the "job" was just a contact with a Tsuirakuan that the woman wanted to impress, or an assassination.

Annabelle shrugged. "Makes sense, but why would she be bawling afterward like her mother died?" None of the three had a good answer for that, at least none that they got out before the ship's horn sounded; the island of Alctraziel was finally coming into sight.

---------

Khoo and Anna-Lisa heard it, too; they were on their way back up to their lofty suite after breakfast and had seen the island on the horizon before the horn announced its presence. Khoo breathed a quiet sigh of relief as Anna-Lisa started to go into raptures about the possibility of water sports that would await them in an hour or so; at least, he reckoned, that would mean he wouldn't be required for stud service before then.

He was wrong about that last part, though.
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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OOC Gaaahhh, swamped again! I'll edit replies in when I can. :evil: Btw, don't suppose you've heard any word from the old crew at all Al, Dru or sareth?/OOC
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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[OOC: No prob, again. Honestly, I kinda envy you; I don't do "shelter in place" well ... The following can be assumed to be happening while Leo and Niranjan are getting whatever they can out of "Edgar," plus a little time afterward. The Eisenfaust aren't going anywhere or doing anything -- yet.]

"Oh, we're almost at the island, lover!" Anna-Lisa enthused, after ... well, after. "Let's go get ready for some fun on the water!"

Khoo didn't feel like "fun on the water" at all; what he felt like doing was taking a nap for, oh, a day and a half or so. By now, he knew that that wasn't going to be an option. "Yes, dear," he mumbled; they cast Hygiene spells on each other (he had to admit, that felt pretty good), and soon enough, he found himself at the ship's stern, looking at the gear that a few of the crew were unlimbering from a built-in Pocket Dimension.

"So which one do you want to do?" he asked his girlfriend. "Thaumo-parasailing, kayaking, just going out in a small boat? Looks like those are our choices." But a crewman held up his hand. "You have time to think about it, friends. We have to get everything set up, do safety checks, all that. And then it will be first come, first served."

"But we came already ... oops," Khoo said, blushing red as a beet. If the crewman noticed, he didn't seem to react. "So did those people over there." He pointed to where a small crowd was gathering around one of the hang gliders (in which Khoo had absolutely no interest, after what had happened at the Tower of Artifex). "They were here first. Don't worry, though, there are enough that you'll still probably get to do what you want to." He went back to fussing over a kayak.

"Oh, that's okay," Anna-Lisa said brightly. "We won't need any of those."

"Huh?" said several voices at once, one of them Khoo's.

Anna-Lisa beamed proudly. "Just watch! I made sure this thing was designed to meet all of Ms. M's safety regulations, you won't need to do a thing!" She summoned and opened her "special" Pocket Dimension.

Khoo groaned. "Oh, no ... You don't mean ..." But it was too late. She was being more careful this time than she'd been when she made landfall (emphasis on "fall") up north. First, she extracted the lines, secured them to a conveniently placed davit or two. And then, she extracted ...

"By the Sea God's Great Green Glands," Khoo swore. "You really brought YOUR OWN FREAKING SUBMARINE along on this trip?"

Anna-Lisa gave him a look that was half amusement, half pity, as one might look at a small child doing something hilariously clueless. "Of course, I did, silly! I had to do something with it, didn't I?" Without another word, she resumed preparing the small vessel for its next voyage.

She had a point, Khoo had to concede, his post-coital lethargy replaced by a growing dread.
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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"I suppose not." Leo conceded, mentally moving the archmage back up a notch in suspiciousness. Big fights between couple could sometimes spiral out of hand if one of them had the wrong temperament and the wrong power. Sometimes to the point where something horrible happened that couldn't be undone. "Where was she going to spend the night if not here? Did she have a place to go on the ship when she was fighting with her husband? A go-to friend perhaps?"

..........

Eve and Jade had finished up their breakfast and headed out. The blacksmith pocketing a handful of bacon wrapped in a napkin and leaving a message for the staff to let Leo know where they'd gone. Eve had nagged the other woman into heading to the gym... well... taunted really.

"You get out of shape and Leo'll start looking for someone leaner." She'd said.

"That's not... he wouldn't be so shallow." Jade had replied.

"Yeah, you're right. I'm sure he wouldn't..." Eve said, leaving a pause hanging in the air until Jade had brightly repeated her idea.

The truth was Eve had been feeling somewhat out of sorts given the appearance of the strapping handsome Kevin the last time she'd been there. It put the young mercenary in mind of the last time a man had paid attention to her for anything other than work related purposes, and she was coming up short for memories. Also, she found herself harbouring a low grade resentment for the happiness that Leo and Jade had in that regard. Not that she had any romantic feelings for her long time friend, just a desire to be looked at by someone the same way he looked at her.

"You sticking to your short swords?" Jade said, stripping off her shirt and marching to the weapons rack. Eve caught the definition of the blacksmith's shoulders sticking out of her undervest and felt another pang of resentment. "I never understood why a short stop like you went for such sort reach weapons."

"You don't need reach when you've got speed." Eve murmured, retrieving her own implements. "Bring it bitch."
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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[OOC: I really wish Drusia was here for what's about to happen! Based on some offline chat, I think she's more "experienced" with writing this kind of thing, and she'd have a BLAST with some of the ways this could go ... but anyway, leaving room for you to decide how Leo would react to it:]

"Did she have a place to go on the ship when she was fighting with her husband? A go-to friend perhaps?"

Edgar's simian "face" grew an expression that was part smirk, part leer. "Yeah, I think you might say that," he said. "Gimme a minute." He disappeared back into the cabin, reappearing seconds later with what was obviously the key to the place. With this in hand, he let the door click shut, and continued.

"Yeah, her stud's cabin is on the opposite side of this barge, about five cabins down. I'll take you there. And no big deal, they do this all the time. Y'see, the boss had a Polymorph experiment go wrong on him a few years back, wiped out his, uh, dangly bits. Ever since then, they've had this arrangement where if they're going somewhere, she gets to pick some stud to go along and give her what he can't. Only thing the boss ever asks is that he never meets the guy or figures out who he is." The smirl changed to incorporate some drollery. "It's turned into kind of a game for 'em. If he ever does meet the guy, the rule is that she can't sleep with him any more, has to spend the rest of the trip sleeping with the boss." The drollery dominated now. "Listen to that snore and you can see why she doesn't want to do that."

Niranjan and Leo exchanged a look. [OOC: As I said, up to you to decide what's going on in Leo's head, but as for Niranjan:] She was originally from Kiyoka, which had more ... conventional mores than Tsuirakushiti, and not having sailed with this particular duty-lifemage before, it would be fair to say that she was rather taken aback by this arrangement. It showed in her face.

Edgar raised a paw. "Hey, like I say, no big deal. The boss has one of those too, same rules and everything. I'm sworn to secrecy on where he is, but I'll say he's on one of the decks with the tourists, and I think he'd surprise you." Back to the leer. "Now can one of you two pick me up and carry me? With these things --" he touched the gills -- "the wings don't work right, and if I have to walk that far, my feet'll hurt like hell ..."

----------

Khoo and Anna-Lisa weren't the only ones who were "in the mood" after breakfast. Had the kitchen slipped some kind of aphrodisiac into the coffee? Elke wondered about that, as Annabelle and Kevin retreated to their cabin and rather pointedly locked the door. Well, let them bang each other's brains out; this was probably as good a time for it as any. Not having anyone handy for that purpose any more, she decided to take a walk around the ship and get better acquainted with what she'd gotten herself into, so to speak.

A surprise was waiting when she got to the observation platform at the bow. The ship was dropping anchors (rather less ... colorfully than they had been raised) and sounded two longs and a short from the horn, letting all and sundery know that she was going to be here a while. That wasn't the surprise. The surprise was that Elke could clearly see another ship in the small artificial harbor that she recognized ...

... Because without any attempt at concealment whatever, it was flying the colors of the Waffenbruderschaft.

Exactly repeating the thought she'd had a few short months earlier in Lorrel, she muttered "What in Luminosita's drawers of hell are they doing here?" to a passing seagull. She got no reply, but she wasn't really expecting any.

If she'd thought about either shapeshifting or the odd designs for some Tsuirakuan familiars, however, she might have been, and might have kept her mouth shut.

[OOC: As I figure it, Khoo and Anna-Lisa are an hour or two ahead of everyone else, so their next escapade will wait until these two groups, plus Eve and Jade, move the ball ten yards or so.]
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