Arcana Evolved: The Tale of the Crystal Princess


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  1. #1
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    Arcana Evolved: The Tale of the Crystal Princess

    It is a balmy summer evening at the end of July*, and the village of Waybeloved is gathered to celebrate the wedding of Gilda and Fernando, two young locals. Already the festivities have been going on for some time, and as the sky deepens to dusk, the village green beside the Waybeloved Inn is lit by coloured lanterns hungs from the ancient oak, and by the glowflies that seem to want to join in with the dancing.

    As luck would have it, a couple of viajetes boats are moored by the ferry crossing, and the viajetes musicians are more than happy to play lively jigs and reels in exchange for food and drink. Most of the spit-roasted pig has been eaten by now, but there is still plenty of Waybeloved Ale and Rosenblume wine to go around.

    Waybeloved is a mere crossroads, where a ferry takes the road from Rosenhof (largest town in the County of Rosen) over the river to Gildenspyre (an airship port), and where traffic taking this branch of the White River travel between Candlespire Keep and Mournharbour. Over the years, it has grown around the ferry and the Inn, and it is always welcoming to travellers. Many of the "guests" at the wedding are strangers who are just passing through and have been inexorably drawn into the festivities.

    OOC

    It's a predominantly role-playing opening. Your characters are all at the wedding party. Some of them might know Gilda and Ferdinand, others might just be passing through. You might know some of the other PCs already. Further details of Waybeloved (such as there are) can be found in the OOC thread. For now, just have fun describing what your character is up to.


    *Although I usually like to create worlds with their own calendars etc. to give a sense of a different place, this setting uses real world months, and possibly a few references to real places (like Ancient Aegypt) to give the fairy tale sense of somewhere real and yet unreal.
    Last edited by Dr Simon; Wednesday, 2nd June, 2010 at 05:16 PM.
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    From out of the underbrush to one side of the wagon trail peered a pair of amber, slitted eyes. Then, when the coast was clear, an unlikely vision manifested itself. Out of the bush slinked a cat with a girl on its back.

    The cat was bigger and more muscular than a housecat typically would be, but not wildly so. Tufts of fur from the tips of its ears marked it as some kind of wildcat. It was otherwise not so remarkable as to draw second glance, with its tabby coat and careful prowl. What drew the eye back again was the girl riding on the cat, perched just behind its shoulders with her legs tucked between its forelimbs and ribs. It looked like it must be very awkward, as a cat's gait is not generally suitable for a rider...but she leaned forward and held on, and managed to make it look practiced.

    This was marginally less peculiar than the fact that she was very, very small. Less than a foot and a half, but more than a foot tall, to eyeball her. Clad in a tiny leather halter and skirt that looked like they'd been made for dolls. The details of her appearance were a little hard to make out, for she wore a wide-brimmed hat that hid her hair and most of her face...save only a delicate chin. Around her shoulders was a cloak, or perhaps a sort of serape or poncho, that revealed only where it dangled open down the front. It was, in short, the sort of thing a person who took themselves very seriously would wear. Its overall effect was something along the lines of, 'Ooooo, look at me, I'm mysterious, ooooo...'

    Of course, that effect was almost entirely spoiled by the fact that a large man could wear the ensemble on his hand.

    The tiny woman reached out and scratched her feline mount affectionately behind its left ear, then said in a quietly mirthful, high pitched and slightly breathy voice, "What do you think? Feel like crashing a wedding?"

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    The cat blinked its eyes at the spectacle which now lay before him. He sniffed the air, sampling the staggering aromas of food, people, and the cool breeze winding their way through the town.

    The cat watched the revelry a few moments before responding. "I still do not understand your fascination with the Tall Ones, but it would be fruitless to attempt to dissuade you from a celebration."

    ooc
    Awesome intro, Shayuri! Exposition is one of my weakest writing tools.


  • #4
    The dragon roared in pain as the knight's lance pierced the scales beneath its wing. It drew its mighty head back and unleashed a gout of flame that threatened to engulf the armoured figure, forcing him to crouch behind his great shield for protection, When the inferno had passed, the warrior lunged forward, dodging a swipe from a huge claw and sunk his sword up to the hilt in the beast's chest. With a thrash and a final scream of fury, the great wyrm lay still, its reign of terror finally over.

    One by one the tiny figures which had played out the scene on the upturned ale keg, winked out, until only the 'knight' remained. He wearily climbed aboard his white charger, and with a salute, rode off, the pair fading into a twinkling mass of tiny coloured lights which began to spin in a vortex above the barrel until in one great rush they zoomed skywards and burst in a multi-coloured spray of tiny fireworks, drawing laughter and applause from the children clustered in a circle on the grassy hummock near the placid millpond.

    'More, more!' they shouted excitedly, eager hands grabbing the robe of the story teller, pleading voices urging another fable.

    'Very well' said the erstwhile bard, clearing his throat. 'This tale is about a beautiful princess, who wore a shimmering white dress that made her look like an angel. Look, there she is now'. He extended his hand to the small house from which Glida had just emerged with her handmaidens. As the children turned in the direction the figure indicated, he used the distraction to softly chant words of power which caused a beam of sunlight to grow momentarily in intensity, making the young woman appear to glow with an angelic radiance as she walked amongst the wellwishers, bringing gasps from the crowd.

    'I'll tell you more of her adventures another time. Now, who'd like to help an old man up?'. A couple of the older children helped him to his feet, whereupon he carefully brushed strands of grass from his embroidered robe, and stood up as tall as he could manage; which for one as old as he was a feat in itself. With a wave of his hand, he summoned his staff to him from where it lay on the ground - a smooth rod of metal, no thicker than a coil of fine rope and as tall as its owner. At the tip it split into a Y shape, with each branch having a clear crystal shaped like a tooth at the end.

    Dalmatius Gruffle, Professor of Magical Studies at Candlespire Keep, Master of the Arcane, Wizard of the Order of the Dove leant heavily on the staff, his stooped frame an indication of the many summers he had enjoyed. His brindle fur, once majestic tan and chestnut, was now heavily streaked with grey, almost white around the muzzle, yet his eyes still held a merry twinkle as he hobbled over to watch the wedding ceremony.

    No sooner had it finished, and the bride's bouquet had been caught by a rather embarassed looking Verrik woman (who at least hid going red rather well), than Glida excused herself from her family and new husband, hitched up her dress and ran over to where the ancient Sibeccai stood.

    'PROFESSOR!' she yelled in delight, 'you made it!'. She wrapped him in a hug that made his frail bones ache, but which nevertheless made him feel full of life. Pulling away from her embrace, he made a show of taking out a pair of half moon spectacles and perching them on his snout. 'Well, I may be old, but it would take something special for me to miss the wedding of one of my favourite students. It is so good to see you my dear, you look radiant. Now, you'd better let me meet this husband of yours so I can lecture him on depriving the University of a talented pupil'.

    He linked arms with the young woman, and together they walked over to meet the groom.

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    Uncomfortable around the air breathers, Targas tried not to show his natural contempt. Unbelievable that one of the royal line has such a ... strange... origin. But he was chosen as a representative of his people. He wears the ceremonial but still very functional coral armor of his people for this occasion. Some of his head scales had been colored and the tridents on his back were bound with the traditional peace bond, required for such a diplomatic mission (still, they were more a seal, that could get quickly broken if required). He looks around, searching for the princess, but all humans look nearly alike to him. One should think these humans would have someone to greet an ambassador of their sworn allies...

    OOC
    I'm choosing Cyan as speech color.

    Imagine him looking like the attached pic, but more muscled ad wearing coral-like armor.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails abe%20sapien.jpg  
    Last edited by Walking Dad; Tuesday, 8th June, 2010 at 11:53 AM.
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    Seelia grinned at her companion's grumping. "I like the Tall Folk, because they're who we get most of our money from," she pointed out. "And a celebration means free food, and even you must see the appeal of that. Come on, get over towards that long table, and I'll get up on top and toss stuff down for you."

  • #7
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    The spryte and the cat make it to one of the long trestles bearing food without being seen by any of the big folk. Amongst the throng, two individuals stand out. An ancient-looking sibeccai has been entertaining some children with illusions, and is now talking to the bride and groom like an old friend. Across the green, towards the riverside, stands a strange warrior whose appearance, armour and weapons all speak of the sea. He looks ill at ease and out of place.

    Gilda grabs a young man wearing a smart tunic, his mop of brown hair tied in place with a garland that matches hers. He has a round, kindly face and wears an expression of mixed pride and surprise.

    "Ferd, this is Professor Gruffle who I told you about," she says to him. "Professor, this is Fernando, my husband," she adds with a note of pride, looping her arm through that of the young man. Fernando looks down at his hands full of food, drink and wife and up at the professor, slightly embarassed.

    "Nice to meet you Sir," he says. "Forgive me for not shaking hands."

    The innkeepers wife appears bearing another platter of steaming pastries, putting them down not far from Seelia. She doesn't notice the tiny woman, but turns to Targas, the sea warrior, wiping her hands on her apron.

    "Welcome, stranger," she says with a smile. "What brings you to Waybeloved? Are you a friend of the bride or groom? Come, let me introduce you to them."
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    The cat watched the exchanges with mild interest as he plopped down underneath one of the tables to feast on his prize - a small, perfectly prepared slice of glazed ham. Between mouthfuls, he asked the spryte, "Did you see the strange fish man? I would like to know his story, his world. The Sea is a magnificent creature."
    Last edited by Herobizkit; Friday, 11th June, 2010 at 02:52 PM.

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    "My name is Targas. I'm here to honor the pacts between my people and yours. It is good that at last someone help me to find the bride." Targas answers, his speech are a bit strange, as if he has still trouble with the common tongue.

    OOC
    Targas thinks the woman as someone more official...
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  • #10
    The professor nodded at Fernando's reply. He winked at him conspiratorially before quickly glancing at Glida he said with a straight face 'oh you've certainly got your hands full, young man'. Seeing the girl screw up her nose in mock indignation, the old sibeccai broke into a throaty chuckle, which quickly became a wheezing cough, lasting for several seconds. Once he had recovered, he said 'if you don't mind, I'll just sit for a while and maybe take a little food. Off you go and see to your other guests', shooing them gently towards the crowd of well-wishers.

    The Professor shuffled over to a seat at one of the tables and eyed a succulent roast ham. He was just about to spear a piece with a fork when it disappeared from view! Thinking perhaps his eyes were finally about to give up on him, the wizard again donned his spectacles and peered more closely at the meat. A second piece detached itself from the plate and began to move away from him. Stooping, he looked under the table and saw a large cat, on whose head was balancing a tiny figure, on whose head was balancing the slice of ham.

    'A fine pair of rogues!' he thought. As the tiny creature made ready to pass its ill-gotten gains down to its furry accomplice, Gruffle whispered a few words of power and the tasty morsel began to rise back up towards the table...

    Dr Si
    While looking for height and weight info (to see if I could lift that slice of ham with a Lesser TK) I've just realised I should have applied ageing modifiers to my stats - didn't know they had them in AE. I'll make the changes to my sheet this evening
    Last edited by grufflehead; Friday, 11th June, 2010 at 04:49 PM.

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