Adventure in the Open Skies: The Liralen Irregulars (Eberron, Updated 5/10)


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  1. #1

    Adventure in the Open Skies: The Liralen Irregulars (Eberron, Updated 5/10)

    Carly lopes along the back streets of Stormhome. Crouching among garbage bins, she moves with animalistic grace through the back alleys of the island city, most of which boasts lavish inns with grandiose entertainment ready to please any and all of the senses. A bastion of paradise in the midst of an ocean of near constant storms, Stormhome brims with the rich and idle, a vacation spot and refuge of wealthy nobles and merchants from all over Khorvaire.

    But Carly is not afforded the opportunity to trim the fat from Stormhome’s elite. The young shifter’s prey is the coin of the common laborer, her hunting grounds the hole-in-the-wall hideaways and dark taverns where laborers and servants come to unwind. Her keen ears pick up conversation spilling out of the doors of The Brass Covey. Experience has taught her that people who are engrossed in talking are people who are not paying attention to their purses.

    Carly slips through the kitchen entrance of the tavern. The chef, lost in his own concerns, doesn’t notice the shifter as she moves on all fours behind the preparation tables. Bright light from the chef’s lantern lights her face only for a moment, drowning in the long purple bruise across her temple.

    Joseph is most violent when he is worried. Since she had covered for Errol the day he disappeared, it is only natural that she felt the brunt of that worry. Carly swallows the lump that rises in her throat. She misses Errol. Joseph said he was probably dead by now. Killed by someone, or worse, taken by the Fury himself for running off.

    Joseph had worked them all mercilessly the last couple of days; demanding that they bring in Errol’s share for collection day. But collection day had come and gone and no collector had arrived at the back of the dingy bakery, their home and hideout. Joseph’s temper grew, and Carly took to the streets to stay clear of his path.

    The dining area of the tavern is filled to capacity. Dimly lit and smoke-filled, Carly works her small frame unnoticed between a patron’s feet. Crouching next to the table support she examines the footwear of those around the table, trying to determine whose purse strings she should risk cutting. Conversation drifts down around her and she listens, eager to bring home news that might interest Joseph and divert his worries and his fist.

    “And then he said, ‘Eyls in Sorre, eels in a special thick sauce. The recipe has several secret ingredients that I refuse to reveal lest someone seize this fine dish that I alone can make.’ I’m not kidding, just like that!”

    Several of the dockworkers around the table chortle, glancing back to the kitchen as their server impersonates the Covey’s head chef. He leans in, grinning knowingly as he pitches his voice low for best effect with his rapt audience.

    “Then he serves the House Special, you know what I mean.”

    There are several winces, knowing nods and shaking heads, and the server waits for them all to lean in closer still before continuing.

    “So the judges all take a bite, and I swear half of them passed out in their chairs and the other half ran for the privies! It nearly came to blows over who would get there first, the Host as my witness!” But the dockworkers are no longer listening, banging their fists on the table and laughing loudly at the chef’s expense. Carly’s alarmed squeak at the rancor is hidden by the sound of a loud crash from the kitchen and an angry face yelling out from the doorway.

    “Chard! You useless… miserable…” The chef fumbles for words before reasserting his face into a scowl. “I have a whole crate of onions that will not peel themselves, get on it!”

    “Yes Chef Mewldon!” answers the server, wincing at the prospect of onion duty but knowing his tips tonight will be very good. Picking up his tray he leans down to speak before leaving the table, “That isn’t the half of it, from what I hear, they took on a warforged cook! Have you ever heard of that?” Animated discussion begins anew on the merits of this bit of news as the server goes off to attend to his far less favorable duties.

    Carly’s knife, if the battered piece of metal could be called such, whisks up with precision. In a deft movement she severs the strings and ties the ends to the chair. The missing coin-purse goes unnoticed as its owner loudly argues that a warforged can’t possibly be a cook because they can’t taste a thing.

    Carly edges out from under the table and surveys the room. A loud voice from a corner booth catches her attention and she moves towards the drunken and angry source. Ale splashes on her face as a halfling in the booth pounds his mug against the table. Carly’s eyes sting, but she manages to make it to the dark space under the table. Crouching in an awkward position between the feet of the occupants, she pauses to wipe her face with the ragged edge of a shirtsleeve.

    The halfling nurses his fourth ale and complains to a bored looking pair of dwarves across from him. “I tell you it wasn’t fair, wasn’t fair at all! Why, that big old half-giant couldn’t even push that dumb crate on his own, how’d they expect me to?”

    “Eh, you said they tried out a half-giant for a deckhand?” One of the pair leans forward, a clerk at one of the local House Kundarak banks, suddenly interested in the halfling’s rambling drivel.”

    “I hear one of them was able to move those huge crates, wasn’t it…?”

    “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah… some orc named Crash or Bash or something, but they didn’t take him for some reason, I think they took that half-giant and some others. But see, see, I could have done better peeling potatoes if they would just have let me…’ Both men groan inwardly as the halfling continues his diatribe on the ills of House Lyrandar’s hiring practices.

    The halfling, an easy target, looks to have a light purse. Carly does not bother the bankers. While better dressed than the dockworkers, they always have a tight hold on their money, and the dwarves in particular are known for having nasty surprises for potential pickpockets. Just before she moves on, a spark of light catches her eye: the buckles on one of the banker’s boots! Blackened and tarnished, one sports a scratch that gleams silver. Carly carefully cuts away the fastenings on both boots. The man will not notice it until he stands to leave, if she is lucky.

    Carly slips behind the row of cloaks hanging on the wall next to the bar. Her deft hands work through the garments; searching pockets, as she listens to banter across the mug-strewn counter.

    A couple and one of the bartenders are in the middle of a debate. “I was there at Castle Lyrandar, they needed some extra servers for the banquet, I tell you Ruel’s act was the best! You wouldn’t think a wizard could dance like that, and his magic! Why, the whole room thought he had plucked dryads from the forest to dance for him, it was amazing! The bard was good, but she couldn’t hold a candle to him.”

    “Well I saw the bard at that benefit concert, we both did, and Kashandi was by far the better performer then… isn’t that right dear?” The woman looks up at the bartender; trying to get the tired looking man on her arm to support her argument.

    “Hmm… well I’m sure they are both very talented, but I’m more interested in the theft from the Vidari’s.” The husband, still dressed in the livery of one of House Medani’s sentinels, leans in at a curious glance from the bartender.
    “Its not supposed to be common knowledge, but the proceeds from the Vidari’s benefit concert, you know, that are supposed to go to building an orphanage, were stolen. We haven’t been able to find out who did it, but I hear the Vidari’s ‘enforcer’ is supposed to be on the passenger list for the Liralen now. Me, I think he’s the one who took the gold in the first place. It’s awful convenient for him to be leaving now, if you know what I mean.”

    Carly’s breath catches, these people have been to Castle Lyrandar! Perhaps they have the coin to reflect such status. She measures up the couple, and quickly realizes the risks are far too great. A Medani sentinel and his wife and there is little in the way of cover by the bar. Carly discards the idea and scampers out into the night.

    She will try other spots before dawn. The gossip at the Brass Covey is centered on what most of Stormhome has been fixated upon – the airship Liralen – who made it on as crew, who the passengers are on the maiden voyage, and the controversies and politics that surrounds the ship like a woven shroud. It would have no interest to Joseph. She turns down a dark alley in search of comments more in tune with the life she knows. The darker taverns are more dangerous, but Carly does not want to go home and lie next to Errol’s empty pallet.

    As she passes the dock where the Liralen is moored, she catches the scuffle of footsteps and faint voices. Curious, she peers through a crack in the fence surrounding the great airship. It is just some of the crew loading crates into the cargo hold, but the sudden sound of triggered Alarm spells sends her struck back as if a scorching hot iron touched her. Panicked, Carly looks back and forth down the alley and shoots off the way she came in search of the nearest cover from what is she sure will be hordes of Lyrandar guards after her.

    But it is not the young shifter’s curiosity that triggers the Alarm and shatters the peaceful night…
    Last edited by PhoenixAsh; Saturday, 10th May, 2008 at 08:56 PM.

 

  • #2
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    ř Ignore Herremann the Wise
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    Hi PhoenixAsh,

    I was doing a cruise of the boards and saw a new story hour and so here I am - I always like new stories. In this one, you seem to have captured a good bit of the flavour of Eberron. Our group's considering an Eberron campaign in the future so I've been having a bit of a read of such things.
    I think I like where this one is about to go - based on the title. Good stuff - you provide a good feel for what's happening - so keep it coming and don't be a stranger.

    Best Regards
    Herremann the Wise
    Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not,
    and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.

    Oscar Wilde

    He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.
    Tad Williams

  • #3
    Spoiler?

    I'll try and post a few Dundjinni maps when appropriate.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dock Fight Small.jpg  
    Last edited by Micah; Tuesday, 7th December, 2004 at 12:20 AM.
    ' . * )
    .¸.·´
    * .·¨)
    (¸¸.·´
    * Micah * (¸¸.·´*

    . ´'·.¸¸.·'
    *

    Liralen Irregulars DM

  • #4

    Update #2: In Which the Party is Hard at Work

    Elisa shifts restlessly as she watches the half-dozen crew still working to load cargo and supplies aboard the Liralen. Clutching her greatsword resting against her shoulder and fighting the gradual creep of fatigue, she wishes for the hundredth time that she had been selected for dayshift guard duty. Adjusting to life as a night owl and sleeping during the daytime has been a supreme effort for her, and she still has trouble sleeping when the sun is shining. Stiffling a yawn, she peers up towards the passenger cabins, where two portholes are lit, one by the Liralen’s steward, the other by one of her entertainers.

    Dox is the oddest changling she has ever met. Most of them keep their true self hidden and are bent on thievery, but Dox openly revealed his nature the second they were introduced. Boldly, he proclaimed that House Lyrandar had taken him on because, ‘With me, they can have a new steward every night!’ Maybe she should be more suspicious of him, but his open manner is very disarming, and it is hard to believe he is aboard ship to cause trouble. Maybe that is the exact impression he intends to give.

    Ruel is the first wizard she has come to know well, and not at all as stuffy as other wizards she has met, though he certainly is just as full of himself as the rest. He competes with Kashandi in all things, from performance to magic to friendships among the crew. She suspects that is why he is here tonight instead of nose-deep in his spellshards.

    “I sampled his dishes and my own, I am certain mine had greater variety and quality of flavor, seasoning and succulence. I do not see how they could have selected him as head chef over me, when all he prepared was meat.”

    The warforged cook, Fortunato, unwilling to let his cooking implements be loaded without his supervision is also present tonight. Elisa cracks a smile as Alexandre, one of the other deckhands, rolls his eyes.

    “Sometimes there is nothing quite like a good shank of meat though! Haven’t you ever… no of course you haven’t.” Alexandre shakes his head picks up a small crate and heads down to the opposite end of the dock. Fortunato watches him go with a rueful expression on his metallic face.

    Elisa shares a look with Audric, officially listed as a passenger but really the latest addition to the crew. The warforged has been debating with anyone who will listen that he should have been named head cook for the past few weeks, to mixed reactions among the crew. Most of them still have a hard time stomaching that he will be cooking many of their meals.

    The blare of the Alarm spell surprises both her and Audric, and they turn to find a heavily-muscled orc leading a band of Stormhome’s less savory citizenry at the dock entrance, the gate broken and cast aside. The orc shouts out an incoherent battle cry as spittle flies from his maw, charging down the nearest crewman, Audric, and striking him with a powerful blow from his greataxe, drawing a gout of blood that splatters against Elisa’s leather armor. Audric falls to the dock, dying as Elisa, shocked, raises her greatsword.

    Emboldened, one of the men the orc brought with him calls out over the clamor of the Alarm. ‘Come on boys, she’ll have enough loot for us to live like kings!’ Elisa swallows and steps back as she finds herself facing down the brunt of the mobs charge.
    Last edited by PhoenixAsh; Saturday, 11th December, 2004 at 04:18 PM.

  • #5
    Thank you for the kind words Herremann. When our two DMs (of which Micah is one, thanks for posting the map!) decided on an Eberron game a few months ago, I hadn't even heard of the setting (it had not been released yet, of course). But it has quickly become my favorite.

    A brief aside, to introduce our crew of PCs:

    Alexandre (Human Swashbuckler, 2 - Deckhand):
    Piratical person who loves poking holes in people with
    his thinblade.

    Audric (Human Monk, 2 - Offically listed as a
    passenger, Guard): The smartest monk you'll ever see
    to be cut down by an orc's greataxe before taking a
    single action in his first combat. (Well, okay, one
    move action)

    Dox (Changling Rogue, 2 - Steward): Has a flair for
    bartending, as well as sowing confusion and arrows
    among his foes.

    Elisa (Human Barbarian, 2 - Guard): Rightly feared
    both for her greatsword and attempts at diplomacy.

    Fortunato (Warforged Bodyguard Fighter, 1 - Cook):
    Who's skill with a blade is exceeded only by his skill
    with the frying pan.

    Loki Malganis (Half-Giant Psychic Warrior, 1 -
    Deckhand): Who speaks not too softly and carries a
    large great axe.

    Ruel Dunnanne (Half-Elf Wizard (Enchanter), 2 -
    Entertainer): Who has absolutely no secrets, nope,
    none what-so-ever. Nothing to see here folks!


    Updates will continue to be frequent, at least until I leave on vacation in a couple weeks, then they will be frequent when I get back. I welcome all feedback in whatever its form, and will try to answer any questions as well.

  • #6

    Update #3: In Which the Crew Defends the Ship for the First (And not the Last) Time

    Loki drops a large crate to the dock as he hears the Alarm spell sound from the far side of it. Sparing a glance down, he winces, seeing the words ‘Fine Crystal’ painted across its surface. Above him, Ruel is running down from the passenger quarters with a crossbow in hand. Deftly scrambling down the gangplank, he pauses to clap the half-giant on the shoulder before continuing towards the source of the Alarm, calling out over his shoulder.

    “That is what Mending spells are for, do not worry over it!”

    Loki smiles briefly at Ruel and hefts his greataxe, larger than the half-elf running before him is tall. Pounding down the dock towards the melee, he focuses his mind and spirit to the task at hand: an intrusion, an attack on the ship… his ship. Casting his eyes to the end of the dock, he watches the orc charge down Audric, and fell him with one blow. Tightening his grip, he grits out the orc’s name between clenched teeth.

    “Bash.”

    More than two weeks ago, Loki had applied to be a deckhand aboard the Liralen. Bash had tried out as well, and both of them with many others had undergone a series of tests, from peeling potatoes to obstacle courses to docking exercises, both in Stormhome’s pleasant weather and under the effects of a powerful storm invoked by Ravien d’Lyrandar, the ship’s Master Windwright. One test involved moving crates across a dock, and the largest crate even he had been unable to budge on his own, but Bash had managed it. It was not Bash, however, who had been hired. Rumors flew among the deckhands as to why that had been the case.

    Loki does not care for the reason now, the orc has already committed murder of a friend. Loki’s eyes sweep across the battle and evaluate the situation. With Audric down, Elisa briefly holds the narrow dock on her own, but Fortunato and Alexandre quickly move up to prevent her from being surrounded. On the deck of the airship above the fight, Dox is freeing his bow and taking cover behind the wooden railing.

    Two of the thugs charge both Alexandre and Fortunato, both striking with their shortswords, one drawing blood and the other barely denting Fortunato’s armored plating. A crossbow bolt shoots out towards Dox, but hits low, lodging in the wooden rail of the Liralen. On reflex, he returns fire with his shortbow, drawing a sharp cry but doing little damage as it nicks the shooter’s side.

    Fortunato springs into action; throwing up his shield and turning a powerful slash from Bash’s axe, while driving his blade into the gut of the attacking thug before him. Staggered and bleeding furiously, he flails at Alexandre, but the nimble deckhand turns the blow and the thug falls to the dock, not rising again. Another tough tramples the body to strike back at Alexandre, gashing him across the shoulder with his blade, but not felling the gritty swordsman.

    Elisa swings her blade two-handed and one foe falls before her. Coming up behind the furious melee, incanting and gesturing, Ruel casts a Sleep spell and four of the thugs slump to the ground, dozing peacefully. The crossbow wielder glares at the wizard as he reloads his weapon, running over and stepping on each comatose comrade. All of them stir and reach for their fallen weapons, clambering to their feet. Ruel’s expression turns from a grin to a glower as he considers another spell. One of the awakened men resolves to take out the spell-caster, and tries to tumble past the ranks of the crewmen, but Alexandre repels him at the end of his thinblade.

    “Where d’ya think your going?” He taunts him with a crooked grin as he tugs the weapon free.

    Still pounding down the dock, Loki allows his focus to seek inwards, drawing new energy and strength from his spirit, then flow outwards to enliven his whole self with the effects of Vigor. Casting his awareness back into the heart of the battle, he sees Bash whirling his great axe in heavy arcs, swinging the weapon up under Fortunato’s shield and into the warforged’s frame with a rending screech of metal on metal. Nearby, Elisa delivers another powerful strike with her greatsword, doubling over her opponent and then felling him as she wrenches the blade free. Ruel finishes his spell and a slick of Grease appears under two thugs threatening Elisa as well as Bash, and all lose their footing and fall to the dock, writhing in the oily substance.

    “Well done Ruel!” Fortunato sounds particularly relieved to have Bash floored as he slashes at the prone orc, causing only minor harm. Above him, Dox lets another arrow fly, catching one of the thugs in the chest and dropping him. Alexandre misses with his thinblade, but his dagger gashes the thug before him, staggering the man and who falls back unconscious.

    Loki smiles confidently, as the fight has turned out very poorly for the attackers. Many of their number are down, and one of the thugs caught in Ruel’s Grease spell is desperately crawling out of the area of effect while the other struggles to his feet, but is unable to land a blow against Elisa. Yet again, one of the attackers tries to roll past Alexandre to attack the wizard raining spells down on them, but Alexandre is right there once again to block his passage and stab another hole in him for his trouble.

    Loki’s face falls however as Bash leaps to his feet, moving with grace and speed that seems almost impossible for such a massive warrior. Bringing his axe down on the surprised Fortunato, his blow shatters armor and crumples internals, nearly rending him to pieces and he topples, crashing to the dock, the wooden beams creaking under his weight.

    “That is the last mistake you will ever make Bash!” Loki charges into the fray and brings his greataxe down in a blow that should cleave the orc in two. Perhaps it would have too, if the orc did not manage to sidestep it completely.

    Elisa, equally intent on engaging the orc, fells her third foe with a quick swipe of her greatsword and looks to find a way to navigate the Grease spell to attack Bash. Ruel lifts his hand and yells out a clipped arcane phrase and a burst of light pops in front of Bash, Dazing the powerful orc. Desperate to disable the crew’s spellcaster, the twice-repelled tough pulls a dagger free and hurls it at the wizard, but the agile entertainer ducks the thrown blade, which clatters down the dock harmlessly.

    Dox fires another arrow from the deck of the Liralen, catching a thug through his stomach. Gasping, the man staggers out of the fray and back towards the ruined gate. Alexandre skillfully drives his thinblade into one of the remaining thugs, and then brutally gashed his dagger across the tough’s face, nearly felling him. A moment later he does fall, attempting a feeble attack against the deckhand that proves to be too much for him. Behind him, however, one of the men draws a dagger and leaps at Alexandre, and both fall back in a grapple, until the man sinks his dagger in beneath Alexandre’s ribs, causing the deckhands eyes to go wide as he twists the weapon cruelly.

    "Rest easy now, mate." The tough spits in Alexandre’s face before yanking his dagger free, leaving him bleeding and near death.

    Loki grimaces as he catches Alexandre’s fall out of the corner of his eye. Only himself, Elisa, Dox and Ruel are left standing. But the wizard had given him another chance to bring down the orc, and he intends to take it. Driving his greataxe into the orc’s side, he delivers a powerful strike that should cut any man in two, yet somehow the orc manages to not only stay in one piece, but also keep his feet and keep in the fight!

    Elisa runs in to try and help finish the orc, but crosses the still active Grease effect cast by Ruel and she slips and falls, cursing. Only a moment later the Grease disappears entirely as Ruel levels his crossbow on the thug who felled Alexandre, shooting a bolt that catches him in the arm. He ignores the wound as he studies the massive half-giant facing down Bash.

    Both Loki and the orc now face each other with great axes whirling in heavy arcs. Out of the corner of his eye, Loki catches sight of the thug leaping at him, forcing him to disturb the rhythm of his weapon. Catching the thug with the haft of his axe, he easily repels the clumsy attack. But Bash seizes the opening and drives his axe into the chest of the half-giant. The attack appears to be overpowering, but somehow seems to barely affect the massive warrior, and little blood seeps from the wound. Loki only smiles grimly and starts the deadly whirl of his axe anew.

    One of the toughs slips past the ferocious melee and jabs at Ruel with his blade, stabbing the wizard in the shoulder but failing to cause him serious injury. Elisa, finally retaking her feet, steps in and drives her greatsword in a powerful slash that breaks the orc’s skull, killing him outright. Ruel runs behind Elisa and Loki, intent on keeping both fighters between him and his foe, but his effort is unnecessary, as with Bash down the three remaining foemen run from the scene. Elisa catches up to the most injured one, popping him across the skull with the pommel of her blade and knocking him unconscious, as the other two escape.

    The dock is silent for a moment, until the pounding of footsteps announces the arrival of the watch and members of the House Lyrandar guard.
    Last edited by PhoenixAsh; Saturday, 11th December, 2004 at 04:19 PM.

  • #7
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    Most excellent!

    Thanks for the Eberrony goodness.
    "And once again, tithing is 10% off the top. That's gross income, not net. Please people, don't force us to audit. Now I'm going to pass this around a second time. Brother Ned, you'll do the honors." - Reverend T. Lovejoy


    Zad/WizarDru's Shackled City Story Hour
    Wizardru's Story Hour: The Savage Sword of Meepo

  • #8

    Update #4: The Liralen Departs Stormhome

    The morning dawns bright and clear on Stormhome, and the docks are filled with crowds of spectators wishing the airship Liralen well on its departure. Ravien D’Lyrandar delivers a short but stirring speech on the future of the vessel and the quality of her crew. The ship departs from its dock and begins its first voyage without any further mishap.

    Most of the crowd watching her depart knows nothing of the attack in the middle of the night, but by the end of the day it will be yet another rumor surrounding the mystery of the airship. Even the authorities are not sure whether the attack was simple vandalism or if the orc and his men had other motives. Questioning the survivors has shed little light on the matter.

    Ravien’s first stop, after the ceremonies are complete and attending to the important necessities of welcoming the first group of distinguished passengers aboard his airship, is to visit the healing bay, where he has asked that all of the men and women who defended the Liralen gather to be checked out once more by the ship’s healers and to thank them personally.

    He shares a nod with Vijaya d’Jorasco and her son Grelyn, both checking over each of the injured crew once more, particularly Audric and Alexandre, who suffered the worst at the hands of the attackers. Fortunato too is present, repaired by Levic, the ship’s artificer, and in full working order. Vijaya is a veteran of The Last War and her experience was invaluable last evening in preventing any of the badly injured crew from dying. Though angry at the attack, Ravien is pleased that his particular care in selecting this crew has already been well worth the extra effort.

    “Along with my thanks for protecting the Liralen, I would like to present each of you with a half-share of the worth of the items recovered the attackers last evening. As agreed, in addition to your wages, any special actions or assignments will be rewarded in this fashion. When you are cleared by the Jorascos, please see to your duties.”

    The small group sets about dividing the reward, while Ravien moves to the command deck, to prepare for their passage through the turbulent winds towards Scion Sound, and then to navigate hopefully less turbulent conversation with Adal ‘ir Wynarn, prince of Aundair.

    As the sun reaches its peak the ship draws towards the sheltering cliffs that form the opening to Scions Sound, where the winds are calmer. Passengers drift from their cabins to the deck of the Liralen, enjoying the sunlight and the view. Galifarian era ruins stand atop the edge of the cliff faces, an ancient reminder of more stable times in Khorvaire. Alexandre and Fortunato, carrying silver trays of food and drink, meander among the elite of Khorvaire and the ship’s two entertainers, including the recently healed Ruel, perform on the royal deck where Brelish nobles dine by invitation of the Prince of Aundair.

    Ravien relaxes on the royal deck with the Prince, engaging in idle small talk. Adal, however, seems to have more interest in keeping to his thoughts, and Ravien is happy to give him peace to do so. The Master Windwright has little doubt as to why the Warlord of Aundair is present on the trip. Adal has asked pointed questions as to the ships armament and military capabilities, questions coated in a veneer of curiosity, and hidden in a slew of other non-related issues; but Ravien is very aware of the prince’s design. He wonders if anyone else senses the fleet of airborne warships reflected in Adal’s eyes.

    No Dragon-marked House would ever consider siding so obviously with any of the nations of Khorvaire, but all of the nations jockeyed for any possible advantage in the fragile peace since the last war, and the royalty of Aundair is by far the worst of the lot. Ravien sighs and let’s his attention be captured by his handpicked crew.

    He smiles as his performers garner a round of applause from the gathered nobles, the rivalry between the two of them has kept both of them working at their peak, each attempting to display their superiority over the other. He may have to talk to the steward about Alexandre’s appearance, however, as the crewman still has an unsavory, piratical look even arrayed in the ship’s uniforms. Nonetheless, his deftness and innate grace in clearing plates from around the passengers makes him well suited to waiting tables. Ravien is pleased with his crew’s flexibility, considering he never hired them on with the primary purpose of waiting tables.

    The warforged cook seems to be a hit with the Brelish nobles, and when asked why he left the kitchens, informs them that he is enjoying the fresh air. They start debating between each other whether or not a living construct can truly enjoy fresh air and other creature comforts in the same way most humanoids can.

    Fortunato, is not paying attention to them, however. Looking over the railing, he points out something to some of the crew on the lower deck. Curious, Ravien and Adal both rise and move to the rail to see what he is indicating.

    “What do you see there Fortunato?”

    “Look there, at the top of those cliffs. Figures are firing arrows at us. I believe they are skeletons.”

    Ravien’s eyebrows raise but squinting he can make out the figures, just as Fortunato indicates. “You have good eyes, well-marked. It is almost laughable, even if the arrows could damage our hull we are far out of their range.”

    “What about a little target practice with the siege weapons?” Ruel gets an approving response for his suggestion from the nobles, and Ravien almost glares at the entertainer, as he sees Adal nodding at the suggestion.

    “I think we can pay them no mind, they are no threat to the Liralen.”

    Beside him, Adal finally breaks his silence. “I thought you said this was an expedition ship Ravien, and these skeletons may not be a threat to you, but they might disrupt water-bound vessels traveling the Scion.” The Prince’s words are almost a challenge and it is a moment before he softens his tone and adds, “Besides, I would like to see the ship in action.”

    Ravien has to suppress a groan, as the last thing he wants to do is feed the growing delusions Adal has of a Lyrandar airship fleet for his armies. Weighing his options, he decides on a more palatable alternative to an outright bombardment. He nods to Adal, “Very well then, we can proceed to the observation room and I’ll show you this ship’s most powerful asset.” Turning from the disturbing gleam in Adal’s eyes, Ravien shouts out to his crew. “I want some volunteers for a surface excursion to stop those skeletons!”

    “I will go.” The warforged cook volunteers quietly from beside them both.

    “And I will go!” The boom of the half-giant Loki’s voice, working on the lower decks as he hefts his massive greataxe, catches everyone’s attention.

    “My particular talents are not well suited towards the extermination of skeletons, I will remain behind.” Ruel answers smoothly. Nearby Kashandi shows interest and with an icy glare at the wizard announces, “I’m going.” Ruel rolls his eyes, causing her to bristle as she storms off below decks.

    Soon the bard, the cook, the deckhand and two of the guards are taking one of the smaller elemental-powered craft down towards the cliff-side ruins. Watching them go from the deck, Alexandre crosses over to Ruel and asks the wizard, “Just what is it between you and her anyways?”

  • #9
    Heh he, my favorite update so far! But I guess I know more about what's coming. Thanks for doing this PhoenixAsh! It's certainly giving me a reason to stop by the boards every morning, catch up on the storyhour, browse around and get more evil ideas to throw at the crew!

    A Dundjinni map of the ruins:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Scions Gate Ruins 01a.jpg  
    Last edited by Micah; Sunday, 12th December, 2004 at 06:03 AM.

  • #10

    Interlude: About Two Weeks Ago in Stormhome

    And thank you Micah for all your help with this and the maps you have been providing.

    And thank you everyone who is reading!

    Before going to the ruins, a brief visit into Ruel's past and how he first became acquainted with Kashandi:

    *****

    Ruel Dunnanne enjoys his performance tonight at the Redmoon Hospice, just one day after arriving in Stormhome. After the trials of the trip from his home in Fairhaven and the subsequent interview at House Lyrandar’s castle, here he has a chance to relax and enjoy the company and comfort of a good inn. It has been a hard road but things are looking up. He has a solid job prospect aboard the latest and most lavish Lyrandar airship, the Liralen, as well as new companions, perhaps even friends, and a bright, vibrant city that loves his singing, dancing and spellcasting.

    He lingers in the main hall at the end of his routine, soaking up compliments like a sponge and making pleasant small talk with patrons and staff alike, both noble and common. Flitting from one conversation to the next with natural ease, he cultivates his audience to encourage them to seek out his next performance. Some of the gathered here may be boarding the Liralen in a few weeks after all!

    When he finally does retire he makes his way down to the basement, navigating amidst a warren of orphans the Vidaris have generously housed at their inn with the bulk of their profits. An increasingly crowded and confined warren, Ruel decides. He doubts that many more could be housed here comfortably. Thankfully the Vidaris, the proprietors of the Hospice, have given him a comfortable private room and board so long as he performs for them a few hours every night. However, when he opens the door he does not find himself alone.

    “Nice performance Olerude. I hear you’re out to do your family proud now.”

    An old friend of an old enemy, Paramyx Vathirae, is just about the most unwelcome sight the entertainer could see. Ruel had personally experienced his ruthless torments as a lad, and he was not at all sad the day Paramyx had moved out of his home city.

    "Paramyx," Ruel manages to answer the greeting casually with an effort. He conceals his flinch at the use of his own full name, knowing it would only encourage the elf before him. The only people who use Ruel’s full name are members of his family, as he never gives it to any of his many acquaintances.

    “If I had known you were coming I would have tidied up the place for you. You know, swept the floor, fluffed the pillows, put a better lock on the door. I am glad you enjoyed the dance, but I assume that you did not break into my room to compliment me.”

    "Break in!" Paramyx laughs, "The security around here is reserved for guests. They could have more I suppose, but the Vidari's tend to throw their profits to the orphans maws. And no I haven't come to compliment you, just to . . . rekindle . . . family ties. We've come a long ways since childhood, you have your skills and I have mine.

    I thought you might want some information I have about those that you will be competing against tomorrow?"

    “What sort of information are you talking about?” Ruel asks cautiously.

    “Let’s just say that I want to see a member of our family to make it to certain… heights.” Paramyx grins and leans forward. “The performers you are competing against have been around – some of them for a few days – some of them for a month. I know who they are and can give you a good idea of what you’re up against.”

    “I do appreciate the gesture Paramyx, it is a wonderful opportunity is it not? Can any of these performers boast enough skill to best me?”

    Paramyx’s grin grows slowly as he watches Ruel, as if remembering certain childhood tortures that he participated in. His gaze and oily sweet tone is not lost on the entertainer, who stiffens uncomfortably under it while the elf describes a succession of acts competing for the prized posts aboard the Liralen. None of them strike the entertainer as a particular threat to beat him out, until Paramyx comes to the last one.

    “Kashandi Navoestra. She’s the one you’re going to watch out for. She’s got a better voice than you, plays her instruments well and uses magic. Sometimes she just summons a flute to finish off her folk songs elegantly. She dances and does well at that. Less athletic than you, but more graceful. She’s a threat Olerude. But there are ways to get around threats if you know enough.”

    Paramyx holds out a sheaf of parchment titled “The March of the White Arch Brigade,” a popular Aundarian war ballad and dance. Ruel is familiar with it and he sees notations in a flowing script written on the margins of the piece as he takes the parchment. His eyes catch the words “Ghost Sound” in those margins before Paramyx starts talking again.

    “It’s her capstone performance. The one she’s been holding back for tomorrow night. . . .” He grins conspiratorially, “ But you go first. ”

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