Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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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Graybeard
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: Short one here too, to get back to it. This amused me:
"Try not to look too threatening." Tamina murdered to Shorty. "A big man like you might invite a challenge from someone like Chief Uran."
]

Shorty blinked at Tamina's words, then shrugged his massive shoulders. "I'll try to look small," he said mildly, in Veracian. [OOC: speaking of which, can we get a quick review of who's speaking what language here? I don't think Rip or Shorty have any fluency in "koboldish," but Thurston is hard-wired with Translation effects.] He slouched visibly, which in combination with the shrug gave the impression of an avalanche from a small mountain.

Meanwhile, Thurston was settling in on Rip's shoulder, and Rip was discovering that this disguise had its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, the familiar was considerably less conspicuous visually now that he'd been only minutes earlier. On the down side ...

"Pee-yew," Rip muttered. "You stink. And for once, it's not your cigars." [OOC: So it's your call: is he going as a crow, or as a pigeon?]
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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OOC Crow would be more Southern Continent friendly but whatever you like is fine bud./OOC

"You stink. And for once, it's not your cigars."


"Smells like tilikah*." Oolan agreed. "Don't often see them in this area of the jungle."

"We should retrieve the wagon." T'ska grunted, shifting his weight to lean on the spear he carried. The kobold wasn't a big talker but it was clear that not accompanying his acting elder was bothering him. "Do something useful."

"I can't wait to put this place to our backs." That was Dochi. "I'm getting a bad feeling."

"Another one of your pre..man..ish... erm... pre...mon...ish..."

"Premonitions?" Rip supplied.

"Yes. That." Oolan nodded. "Our last elder thought Dochi might have the gift the same way Tammy does."

"My lessons didn't add up to anything though." Dochi said regretfully. "I just get... feelings once in a while. Sometimes they're true. Sometimes not."

"Then let's hope this is a 'not'." Oolan sighed. "Do you and Shorty-" The blush rising to her cheeks was impossible to miss. "-have any plans after we're done here? I don't think there's any airship terminals around if you were thinking of flying back."

*- scent similar to elderberries

OOC Filler for some neglected character development. The big post is coming soon./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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OOC: OK, crow it is. (Dorrie will be disappointed, if they ever get back together.) Meanwhile, I'm pretty much tapped out here, so go for it with the big one. Rip and Shorty could not respond sensibly about an airship terminal, since they have no idea where they are ....
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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A few more tension filled moments passed as the travellers sipped their various refreshments. Tamina had forgone the offer; although her mouth was dry she was far too nervous to take a drink. A deep voice boomed from the chamber beyond.

"Alright. Send them in."

The receptionist nodded, rose from her seat and opened the large door near her desk. A kobold woman hurried out of the chamber adjusting her clothes with a flush in her cheeks. Tamina shuddered; Alleece rolled her eyes.

Flanked by the chief's personal guard they found the enormous kobold lounging on his throne-like chair. A lazy smile on his face and his eyes dancing with good humour. Eyes which widened momentarily as they noted the huge frame of Shorty standing with the visitors. The mage made a curtsy and launched into the formal address.

"<Greetings great Chief. It gladdens my heart to see you again.>"

"<Your return is a ray of sunshine, Acting Elder. My home is open to you.>" Braccus sighed. "I'm thinking of making a new decree to ban all this nicety nonsense. It really does get in the way of getting things done."

"<It's tradition my chief.>"

If looks could kill the guard who'd piped up he would've been taking a dirt nap right then. Braccus settled for staring coldly at his subordinate for a moment before continuing.

"Indeed. 'Important part of the culture' the peons call it. As if the Killikah's real culture was anything beyond being the most powerful beasts in the jungle." He returned his attention to Tamina. "So? I assume you have something interesting to report?"

The kobold forced herself to meet the chief's gaze and began relaying their expedition into Chittorick hell.

OOC Pausing for a brief moment here. I'll add to this post unless you want to add anything here or with the other group./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: Nothing in particular to add until the stuff with the big shot plays out, so pro forma:]

Shorty was quite good at waiting; it was a useful skill for a crewman on an airship. So, not speaking the kobold tongue, and only recognizing a few words (Killikah, Chittorick, etc.), he waited.

Rip, by contrast, wasn't so good at waiting, but he was quite good at observing. [OOC: I have no idea what he's seeing, though. Over to you... Significant thing in the other thread will follow tomorrow after I solve a computer problem.]
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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OOC Side note here. Text written <like this> is in the kobold tongue, otherwise it's in common tongue. So Shorty would've understood Braccus' final line./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: I wasn't sure whether you intended the two plain-text lines that way. Makes sense, though, so Shorty waited until the change into the human tongue, and then another short one:]

Shorty felt eyes turning to him as the huge kobold finished. It wasn't his place to talk, however. He decided he didn't understand the barb about the most powerful beasts in the jungle, but it did remind him of something. Which of the Killikah could speak either Veracian or Tsuirakuan, and would this speaker be able to use telepathy? He decided to give it a try with Alleece; he knew she fit at least the first part of that. <"I've found that the post powerful beasts in the jungle are the smallest. Got far closer to dying of nasty tropical diseases in places like this than I ever did from a sword at my gizzard. Okay to tell him if he asks, I'm not comfortable enough in your language to say it."> That about exhausted the mind-speak he could get out at one time without getting tired, which didn't seem like it would be a good idea here.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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Tamina's tale was easily told and even brought murmurs of approval from the chief. Her companions supplied the odd missed detail here and there and when it was done there was a smile of Braccus' face that no-one present cared for.

"Excellent work killikah gah. I think my subordinates could learn a thing or two from the Nallaki tribe."

"So... that means?"

"Yes, of course." He waved a paw-like hand dismissively. "Tribute free for a year as discussed. May you have joy of it."

The relief which swept through the visiting kobolds was palpable. Alleece offered a small smile and a gentle clasp of her childhood friend's hand as they turned to leave.

They got three steps.

"There is one more matter before you go." The chief declared.

Tamina froze in her tracks, and turned as if on a hinge.

"The magic you were using." Braccus' chilly grin was wider than ever. "Something you learned from the former Elder I presume?"

"How did you know about that?" The mage replied tonelessly.

"I always keep an eye on my investments." He said levelly. "One of my men saw you healing an injured companion at the entrance to the Chittorick nest." He tutted. "Shameful, to keep something so valuable a secret from me, and here I thought you'd be proud of your gift."

Cold sweat broke out on Tamina's skin. She knew the leader of the Uran tribe lusted for magic talent given the rarity of it among their species. now the cat was out of the bag. She could muster no response as he continued.

"I would be loathe to let such an asset go traipsing off to some tiny shithole of a village when you could be doing so much good in my magnificent city. No, it simply would not do. Therefore, I will have to insist to your tribe that you remain here, acting Elder."

"I have a responsibility...." Panic was starting to creep into Tamina's voice.

"I'm sure there are plenty of others who can manage the doubtless monumental task of telling people to hunt and cook." Braccus leaned forward. "Meanwhile, my tribe needs healers."

"You can't do this!" Alleece cried.

"Actually I can. Of course, if you insist on making an issue of it you can always take it up with my complaints department." He nodded towards his men. "Kindly escort them out, Draalshin. Put our new mage in some suitable accommodation too. Somewhere close by."

OOC Dun, dun duuuuuuun. :twisted: /OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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"I'm getting a bad feeling about this," Rip muttered to the crow/parrot familiar perched on his shoulder. "They shouldn't be taking so long at whatever they're doing."

"RAAWWK," Thurston squawked, definitely sounding more like a parrot than a crow. "Want me to check 'em out, boss?"

Rip considered. Needless to say, it would be a VERY bad idea for Thurston to get caught snooping into whatever had bagged Tamina, Shorty, and so on. [OOC: Incidentally, I too could use a who's-where summation. /OOC:] On the other hand, the combination of the crow disguise, plus the Obfuscation spell(*), seemed to work as well on kobolds as it did on humans; at least they weren't getting any puzzled or untoward looks from the townsfolk, er, townskobolds. He decided to risk it. "Go ahead, but don't get caught, okay?"

"RAWK. Roger that." Thurston took wing.

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

Not too many seconds later, he was outside the kobold chief's lair, listening as best he could to what was going on inside. In this, Thurston had a big advantage that Rip and Shorty did not: he was hard-wired with a Translation spell, so as soon as he could hear the exchange, he could interpret it. Better yet, Shorty, who'd seen more than enough of Thurston over the years to see through the Obfuscation spell, noticed him outside ... and flashed him a two-word telepathic message, that being about all he could manage, but it should be all that was needed. <"Trouble, featherhead.">

Thurston listened intently, for long enough to get a clear sense of what was going on. Then he flashed a one-word reply back to the huge man before arrowing back to Rip.

<"...Shit.">

[OOC:(*) This HKV entry describes the Obfuscation spell, first used by Meji way back in the early days of ES. Unfortunately, links from the HKV to ES itself are bollixed at the moment, as Impy and kaitou, with a little (ahem) help from me, try to get the site ready for Errant Legend to come on line. Look here to see Meji's explanation of how it works.]
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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The trip back to the jungle floor was made in silence. Tamina's stone faced expression was unreadable. Internally her emotions were a swirl of despair and rueful cynicism. She felt like a fool; of course Braccus would twist the deal. He was a ruler who held all the power and could do as he liked. She supposed she should be grateful that he hadn't just annexed the entire tribe years ago.

"We could just run." Alleece's voice, barely above a whisper.

"They'd just attack our village." Tamina replied.

"There's got to be a way out of this."

"If there is. I don't see it."

One level before the ground floor the guards stopped and indicated a fair sized hut. Tamina sighed and stepped towards it. Her path interrupted by Alleece grabbing the mage and throwing her arms around her.

"I'll save you. I swear it."

Tamina returned the hug wordlessly. She released her best friend, gave a sorrowful look to the rest of the her companions and stepped inside the dwelling. Alleece gave a fierce glare to the guards who seemed not to notice.

"Let's find everyone else." She said through gritted teeth. "They need to know what happened."
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