Geometric Archipelago:The Pyramid of Triangle Island/Chapter 03

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Note: This log is still in IRC format, and may be awkward to read as a result.

Chapter #3: The Quest Commences

<mainstreet> ---START YOUR ENGINES---

<mainstreet> Erm, wait, wrong line.

<mainstreet> ---BEGIN GAME---

<Marcus> "As we join our heroes, we find them...oh, wait. Sorry, force of habit."

<Brellius> "Who are you talking to?"

<mainstreet> "Yeah... that's my line now, dude."

<mainstreet> Anyways...

<mainstreet> The Feasting Hall is a large room with a domed roof. The walls, ceiling, and floor are all made of a pristine marble. There is a great elliptical wooden table in the middle. Three thrones lie just beyond this table, opposite from where you came in. Two quite attractive young ladies occupy the thrones on the side; the middle one lies empty. A few guards stand at various entryways to this room. An old wizard sits on a chair at one point of the ellipse.

<mainstreet> A tall, thin man hovers between the wizard and one of the thrones. A proud young warrior stands before this all, wondering why he has been called here. A shadowy figure lurks in the darkness, hiding next to a cabinet, eagerly listening for now.

<mainstreet> (Figurative hovering, that is)

<mainstreet> There is no food currently on the table, although there are place settings as though to indicate that food may be served soon.

Marcus raps his knuckles on the table impatiently. "C'mon, where's the grub? I'm starving!"

Brellius continues standing proud and looking lost in thought

<mainstreet> The black haired lady on the throne opposite Marcus's end of the ellipse glares straight at him. "Lunch is two minutes away, as you were informed three minutes ago that it was five minutes away. Chill."

<Marcus> "Bah." He crosses his arms and pouts like a five-year-old.

<mainstreet> Two minutes later... a trio of chefs come out and start putting dishes in the center of the table. One of the guards grabs a chair from a hidden slot in the wall and offers it to Brellius. A woman comes out and starts filling glasses with some sort of green liquid.

Brellius mostly snaps back to reality and accepts the chair. "Thank you."

Marcus grins. "'Bout time!"

Dusty finally moves from his hovering position and sits down at a place near Marcus, one chair between them.

<mainstreet> "Please, eat," the blonde on the throne on the crowded side (Brellius's right) commands, gesturing at both Brellius and Dusty. "I don't want to take too long to do this, but policy demands that we honor you properly for this."

Kanzel leans next to the cabinet, hungry and wanting to run out and take the chair the young warrior had accepted, and leaning against the cabinet, accidently knocks it over.

<mainstreet> *CRASH* *THUD*

Dusty picks up an item of food and takes a big bite. After a moment of chewing and swallowing, he turns his attention to the blonde. "I must..." He glances over at Kanzel, an eyebrow rising, and promptly forgets what he was about to say.

<mainstreet> The corner of the cabinet clips Brellius's foot.

Brellius stares into space and rubs his chin, then flinches and starts rubbing his foot instead.

<mainstreet> "Who exactly are you?" the black-haired Princess demanded of the pink-haired intruder.

Marcus mutters between mouthfuls. "Dead meat, I'd say."

<mainstreet> "Not helping, Marcus."

<Kanzel> "I'm Kanzel, and I heard about the gathering of great warriors for some quest, and wondered why I wasn't invited"

<mainstreet> "Possibly because I've never heard of you."

<Brellius> "Who?"

Kanzel chuckles a bit, "That was the idea. But I couldn't stand staying in the shadows any longer."

<Dusty> "Perhaps m'lady will entertain the addition of someone unknown. After all, I didn't come to your attention until this very day. Thanks to choppy waters that prevented a proper landing."

<mainstreet> "And, furthermore," the black-haired lady pressed, "it looked to *me* like you were hiding, probably to steal something. I think..."

<mainstreet> at this, the Princess is cut off by her counterpart. "This is my meeting, Lilly, not yours. Please settle down and let me handle this."

<mainstreet> The blonde Princess turns to Kanzel. "Well, if you managed to get in here past all of our security you might be useful after all. We'll decide your fate if you survive this Quest. Cryloth, another chair, if you please."

<mainstreet> A woman steps from behind the Princess's chair, nods briefly, and heads off.

Kanzel breathes out a sigh of releif at the princess's remark, glad not to have been killed on the spot.

<Marcus> "So she's been recruited for this ordeal?" Marcus shrugs. "Doesn't change my initial diagnosis."

<mainstreet> "Marcus?"

<Marcus> "Yep?"

<mainstreet> "Shut up."

<mainstreet> A moment later, Cryloth returns with the chair for Kanzel. As she sets it down, she hisses something in Kanzel's ear.

  • "I don't know why you're here, but if you do anything to hurt the Princess, I promise you the last thing you'll see is my claws digging into your flesh."

<Marcus> "Bah." Marcus pouts again.

Kanzel hisses something back and sits down carefully.

  • "That's the last thing on my mind. But I'd love to see you try."

<mainstreet> Cryloth responds to that statement by grabbing hard on Kanzel's hair. "I am not human. And don't forget that," she growls quite loudly, walking around the table to return to her position behind the Princess.

Dusty looks anywhere but at the lady, although a slight smile crosses his lips.

<mainstreet> "Are there any more disruptions to be had today?" the blonde Princess asks the room in general.

<Dusty> "Ahem..." Dusty takes another bite, then finally looks up at Princess Ashley, "M'lady, is there, perchance, some preliminary information you might provide us while we eat?"

Kanzel mats her hair back down, trying to retain some of her composure.

<Marcus> "I dunno, I might have a few more in me." He sees the look the princess glares at him, and wisely says no more.

<mainstreet> Ashley nods slowly. "Right. It's quite simple, really. I'm sending you, Brellius, on the 13th Quest for the Pyramid. Are any of you familiar with the general terms of this Quest?" she asks.

<Dusty> "Considering the number involved, I'd have to guess it to be a particularly problematic one, but not I."

<Brellius> "Not particularly. I mostly came just because there's questing to be done," he says before shoveling food into his mouth.

<Dusty> "...and food to be eaten."

Kanzel shakes her head silently, and reaches for some food.

Dusty breathes a chuckle, then glances at the blonde and flushes slightly, dropping his gaze to his food.

<mainstreet> "Well, then. First off, it's time we dropped the formalities. There simply isn't time. I'm Ashley, and my sister's Lilly. The Quest for the Pyramid is an epic quest that our family has given out when various pressures have led us to do so. You are attempting to access the Ancient Pyramid at the center and bottom of Triangle Lake."

<mainstreet> "There are supposedly many objects with great powers hidden there by the ancients. Objects of healing, objects of creation, objects of control."

<Dusty> "And why do you suddenly have need of these objects?"

<Marcus> "Objects of obscenely high monetary value."

<mainstreet> Ashley continues with her speech. The speech at this point sounds very familiar -- hey, it's the first three paragraphs of the campaign background!"

<Brellius> "Maybe they need to heal, create or control stuff?"

<mainstreet> "I would have thought that obvious by now. The Quest is only supposed to be given out by the highest availble official of the land. That should *not* be me."

<Kanzel> "Are there any objects of value down there you don't need?"

<mainstreet> "We don't know exactly what's down there. Just rumors and legends."

<Kanzel> "Uh.. Wait, how are we getting to the bottom of a lake?"

<mainstreet> Ashley smiled. "I was getting to that."

<Kanzel> "Oh."

<mainstreet> "There are three objects that, when combined, should be able to transport you into the pyramid directly... and then back out once you have gotten what you need. I have one of the objects. The leaders of our Industrial and Agricultural centers have the other two. They will not give them up willingly though -- you must prove your worth. You have passed *my* examinations, not theirs. This precaution is necessary because we want to take no chances in the unworthy getting their hands on these objects. Furthermore, we do not want to transport people to the pyramid only to have them get killed by various traps."

<Dusty> "So, at this point, we need to travel to the Industrial and Agricultural centers and do THEIR quests before we can get their items."

<mainstreet> "Quest, test, or some other such thing -- we trust them, I have no idea what they will want, nor do I care."

Dusty ponders whether they might do a standardized multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank test, but quickly figures it wouldn't be nearly so easy. "Where are these other leaders? Do you have a map of the island that we can have?"

<Brellius> "Will our quest be fully funded?"

<Kanzel> "Yeah, do we get anything that might help us?"

<mainstreet> Ashley nods at Dusty. She reaches into a pocket of the jacket hanging on her throne.

<mainstreet> "Here. The three main places are at the three corners of the lake. We are here, at the Northeast corner. The Industrial Center is the Northwest corner, and the Agricultual Center is the Southern corner."

Dusty stands up and goes to get the map.

<mainstreet> (Um, you're right next to her. You could probably just reach for it. But suit yourself.)

<mainstreet> Dusty grabs the map from Ashley.

<Dusty> (I figured I was a *little farther than that*)

<mainstreet> (Well, okay, it'd involve a pretty good stretch -- but I guess I'm just lazier than you)

<Dusty> (Heh heh... moving on... ;) )

<mainstreet> Ashley turns her attention to Brellius. "This Quest has a very simple fund... Ten percent."

<mainstreet> "And I will give you a letter of authorization, but that will only get your foot in the door, not help you actually win their approval."

<Brellius> "Ten percent each, or overall?"

<mainstreet> "Hmm. The original plan was for just one questor, but we now have three... I will be generous and grant you five percent each. Fifteen overall."

Kanzel mutters to herself, "five percent... If we find a fortune... I like those odds."

<mainstreet> "Brellius, do you accept this Quest?"

<Brellius> "Hmm...sounds good! I'll accept."

<mainstreet> "Kanzel, what say you? Not that *you* are getting much choice in the matter, but I must ask anyways."

<Kanzel> "Well, since you could have killed me by me knocking over that cabinet, I suppose I owe you at least my life. And the cost of the cabinet..."

<mainstreet> "Indeed. I'll take that as a yes."

<mainstreet> "Dusty, are you up to this challenge?"

<Dusty> "Of course, m'lady."

<mainstreet> "Good. Although please stop calling me that. It makes me feel old."

<mainstreet> Ashley pulls out a letter and hands it to Brellius. "Then the Quest for the Pyramid Thirteen begins now. Oh, and one more thing..."

Dusty drops his voice and whispers, "...it's supposed to lend an extra air of authority, and all that schtick, Ashely. Not meaning anything by it at all, 'cause you're totally not old."

<mainstreet> Ashley rolls her eyes and replies back quietly. "Nice save. But yeah, I have a name and it's fine."

<mainstreet> "oh, fine, nobody reply dramatically. The one more thing is that you will probably need spellcasting help. So *he* goes with you three." Ashley points at Marcus at the end of the table.

<Marcus> Marcus looks up from his plate, mouth full of mutton, and blinks. "...fuh?"

<Brellius> "Will he get funding?"

<mainstreet> "He's on our salary. He's doing a job for us. That's all there is to it."

<Dusty> "Sheesh! Is this all about the money for you people?"

Kanzel looks at Dusty "It's not for you?"

<mainstreet> Ashley turns and glares at Marcus. "Yes, you. You are going. Didn't you say you wanted excitement?"

<Dusty> "...never mind."

Marcus practically chokes on his food as he swallows it. "Now wait just a damned minute! When did *I* get roped into this? I'm the royal court wizard; going out on suicide missions isn't in my job description!"

<Marcus> "Not to mention I don't get hazard pay."

<mainstreet> "Too bad. Take your complaints to... well, since I'm the one here, and Mother's not seeing visitors... sorry, there's no one to complain to."

<Marcus> "Aww, dagnabbit." Marcus pouts again. "Sure, fine, send the elderly, frail old man into the lion's den. And with this bunch of yahoos to boot. Bah."

<mainstreet> "Shut up. Just do it."

Dusty shakes his head, thinking, but not saying, 'We're doomed.' A epithet in whispered Draconic passes his lips.

<mainstreet> Cryloth growls from behind Dusty. "The language isn't appreciated. You're in a palace, human," she hisses at his back in the same language.

Dusty frowns, and whispers an epithet in Celestial, then.

Marcus raises an eyebrow. "I heard that."

Kanzel watches this exchange, not sure what anyone is saying.

<mainstreet> Ashley looks around and notices the empty plate in the middle. "Alright, the food's gone, so I suggest you get to it. Cryloth will meet you at the front gate with my Pyramid-opening object."

Dusty rises from the table. "Thanks for the food, Ashely. We'll try and get your Mom back on her feet as quick as possible."

<mainstreet> "Thanks."

Marcus rises. "Yeah, might be the last meal I get in this place..." Sighing, he picks up his nearby walking cane/whackin' stick, and shuffles off towards the door.

<Brellius> "Let's get going. There's heroics to be done!"

Brellius gets up and quickly walks to the door

Kanzel stands, bows to Ashley, glances cautiously at Lily, and turns to follows Marcus.

Dusty grins and doesn't bow to either one, just gives a jaunty wave and heads out after the group. An additional wave is spared for Cryloth as he passes.

<mainstreet> Ashley smirks at Dusty's waves as he leaves.

<mainstreet> -------SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH!!!!!!!!!!!!-------

<Dusty> *crunch*

<mainstreet> As you exit the palace, you find yourselves on a road with grassland on either side.

<Dusty> "'Scuse me."

<mainstreet> This portion of the island is rather quiet. Other than a few people running around on various types of "official business", you don't see a whole lot. There are a few buildings along the crossroad, as well as a crossroad to that. There's nothing between the crossroad about 200 feet away and the large doors that you just exited, though.

<mainstreet> As you gaze around you, you notice a large shadow creep over you all.

Dusty looks up.

<Brellius> "Hmm...did some ancient evil cult block out the sun again?"

<Dusty> "Nah, it's just Cryloth."

<Brellius> "Is that better or worse?"

<Dusty> "Better. I happen to like Cryloth."

<mainstreet> Sure enough, there she is, in her primary form, swooping down on you. She lands neatly on the ground, a glittering brass dragon, still young in years.

<mainstreet> She has some sort of clear object in one of her claws.

<Marcus> "Oh, there you are."

<mainstreet> "I had to dig real hard for this. Don't lose it," she growls, tossing it at Brellius.

Brellius catches the object and looks at it

<mainstreet> It looks like a Triangular Prism, about 8 inches long, and about 3 inches around.

<Dusty> "Thanks, Cryloth. We do appreciate it. Right, everyone?"

<Brellius> "Yup."

Kanzel nods, looking at the dragons 'hands' marveling how the item arrived unscratched.

<mainstreet> Cryloth flaps a few times and curls her wings around her body. The next thing you know, she looks exactly as she did when you first met her, a tall blonde woman.

Marcus grins. "I have to admit, I like this form better."

<mainstreet> Cryloth rolls her eyes. "And as I've told you a million times, it's an illusionary form. Your futile attempts at making a pass at me only benefit the fact that it means less futile attempts directed at Princesses. Now that you're out of here, I have one less thing to worry about. If you will excuse me, I must be going now."

Dusty tilts his head, and gives Cryloth a somewhat appraising look, (not a lecherous one, mind). After a moment, he says, "Nothing beats the magesty of a brass dragon."

Kanzel raises her hand in a wave as Cryloth leaves.

<mainstreet> "Whatever." Cryloth turns to leave and heads back into the palace.

<Marcus> "Bah. Just because she's a dragon, doesn't give her an excuse to be such a witch."

Dusty examines the map. "I guess the next stop is the Industrial center and find those leaders?"

Kanzel looks at the map over Dusty's shoulder.

<Dusty> "Uh... that way." Dusty points.

Brellius begins walking in that direction

Dusty heads in that direction.

<mainstreet> As you begin to head west, bypassing all the buildings and docks, you begin to see the lake on your left and a vast expanse of desert on your right.

Kanzel follows

<mainstreet> It's not long before you come to a sign.

<mainstreet> "WARNING"

<mainstreet> "TRAVEL ON FOOT THROUGH NATIONAL PARK WITHOUT GUIDE NOT RECOMMENDED."

<Marcus> "Great. So where do we get a guide?"

Kanzel looks at Marcus "Do you know your way around here?"

<Dusty> "Well, we got a map. We could also charter a boat, I suppose. I've done plenty of walking... it's one of those spiritual requirements for Fharlanghn."

Marcus scratches his head. "...goos question. Where are we again?" The 'wizened' old wizard looks around, trying to figure out if he knows (and can remember) where they are.

<Marcus> "Fuh-hu-gwah-gads?"

<Dusty> "Got an incoming winged critter." Dusty points.

Kanzel shields her eyes and squints in the general direction.

<mainstreet> It's getting bigger... and bigger... The sun starts to glitter off the creature's scales. You're beginning to think that the sign might have been talking about stuff like this happening.

<Dusty> "You know, we should probably head back to the docks and charter a boat or somesuch."

<Kanzel> Crylost's friend, perhaps? think we could be that lucky?

Dusty hoofs it back to the docks.

<mainstreet> Sure enough, it's a brass dragon headed your way.

<Marcus> "Oh, great. As if one of her wasn't bad enough."

<mainstreet> This one doesn't look female. Or friendly.

Kanzel turns and follows Dusty.

Marcus notices that Dusty is making tracks. "Hey, where do you think you're going?" He then glances up at the rapidly-approaching beast. "...then again, discretion *is* the better part of...something-or-other..." He hobbles off after the others.

<mainstreet> "Who dares trespass on the territory of Varnith the Great?" the dragon roars at the only remaining member still within the Desert.

Brellius quickly turns around and follows the rest of the group

<mainstreet> "I shall remember this!"

Dusty calls back in Draconic, "We just took a wrong turn at Albequerque, pardon us, sir!"

<mainstreet> The dragon flaps off, ignoring Dusty completely.

<mainstreet> "Do not invade again!"

<Dusty> "You know, they could put that sign about 200 yards farther this direction."

<Kanzel> "Yeah, that'd been nice."

<Marcus> "No kidding. So now what?"

<Kanzel> "Should we try south? Doubt there's a dragon gaurding the farms.."

<Dusty> "Boat dock. Either we hire a guide or charter a boat. I'm rather fond of the idea of a boat."

<Dusty> "...or we could check out the Agriculture side first and come up on the Industrial side from the other direction."

<Brellius> "What? Would the guide be able to repel a dragon?"

<Dusty> "He'd probably know where the boundary lines are."

<Dusty> "Between dragon territories."

<Brellius> "That wouldn't be as fun."

Dusty heads for the docks.

<Kanzel> "Maybe not as fun, but safer, probably. Unless we get mistaken for an ogre, and they grab pitchforks."

Kanzel follows

Brellius tags along

<Kanzel> "Don't much like water, but I don't see another way of getting there."

<Dusty> "I don't much like getting eaten by a dragon before supper, either. Cause, you know, sometimes the dragon wins."

<Marcus> "Only sometimes?"

<mainstreet> The dock is old and a bit rusty. There are two small wood buildings at the docks. One has a sign reading "INFORMATION", the other says "FLABBA'S BAIT AND TACKLE" in the window.

<Dusty> "All right, I'll check out the bait and tackle shop, you guys check the information building."

<Kanzel> "And speaking of supper, didn't we just eat?"

<Dusty> "I'd have to say that was lunch. Kinda early, too."

<mainstreet> Actually, as you look up, it's just after noon -- nope, right on schedule.

<Marcus> "Well, whatever you're going to do, hurry up and do it." Marcus sits down on a nearby dock post, and puts his hand on his back. "Oy, my lumbago's killin' me."

Kanzel wanders over to the information building and looks in the window.

Brellius walks over to the door of the information building

Dusty heads into the bait shop, ready to tell a whopper of a tale.

<mainstreet> The door is unlocked. Inside the window, you can see that the Information building is spotless. A professional-looking desk is in the middle. A man with glasses is sitting behind the counter. Various papers lie on his desk. There is a rack with brochures off to the side. The man stares at you, saying nothing.

<mainstreet> Dusty: The Bait and Tackle shop looks like a store filled with standard fishing equipment. You know, rods, reels, worms, nets, etc. A dwarf stands behind the counter. "Welcome to Flabba's Bait and Tackle. I'm Flabba. How may I help you?"

<Dusty> "Well, two things, first off, I need a new pole. I have line and hook, but I lost my last pole during the boat ride over here. Second, got an suggestions for getting over to the Industrial side without getting chomped by dragons? Good guides or sturdy boats?"

Kanzel stares back for a few seconds, stunned, then waves, and hurries to the other side of the window, and stands with her back to the wall, next to the door.

<mainstreet> "First, examine the selection of poles as you want. They're all high quality poles from either ACME, Nintendo, or Triangle Industries. The best way to get to the Industrial center is by boat. The only "guides" that exist these days are all directly employed with Her Majesty."

<Dusty> "I.E.... yeah. I gotcha." I look over the fishing poles for a particularly good quality one. "Who has a decent boat at a decent price?"

<mainstreet> "Well... there aren't any lakeboats for sail, I'm afraid. You could probably get a ride on someone else's boat, though. Most of 'em usually welcome passengers if you can meet their price and are willing to help out."

Brellius looks over at the brochures in the Information building

<Dusty> "That's... well, that's what I meant. I would rather ride with someone that doesn't have a leaky barge we have to row across the lake, y'know? I'd like to hang my pole off the back of the ship and catch a big one if I can."

<mainstreet> Dusty: All the poles are high quality, it's just a matter of *how* high quality (that is, how much you're willing to pay). The poles range from 3 gold to 20 gold in price.

Kanzel follows Brellius into the information building, and looks around the room

<mainstreet> "Well, the best boat around is the Hypotenuse. Captain Karennen's a fine lass, and keeps her boat in good order. Her prices are a bit high, but... I wouldn't trust myself on anyone else's these days. Too many ruffians on crews. But not the Hypotenuse."

Marcus rocks back and forth idly, while listening in through the doors as best he can.

Dusty selects a flexible pole around 12 gold pieces that is made by Triangle Industries. "How much does she ask? And can that be brought down by offering to crew the trip?" He sights down the pole, then plunks it on the counter gently. "And I'll take this one."

<mainstreet> Brellius: The brochures appear to be various advertisements. "TAKE A CRUISE ON THE CRUISE SHIP ATLANTIS!" "BUY A WAND OF CONCEALMENT TODAY! ONLY 390 GOLD FROM TRIANGLE INDUSTRIES!" "AQUATIC EEL FARM! GET YOURS TODAY!"

<mainstreet> "Hmmph. Alright, that's 12 gold. The information is an additional 2 silver, but I'll give you a 2 silver discount on a bucket of worms. So that would be 6 silver instead of 8. And... her prices varies on her mood. You'll have to ask when she gets here."

<mainstreet> Kanzel: The man simply stares at you.

<mainstreet> There's nothing about the room that you couldn't see in the window.

Kanzel blushes slightly from the repeated attention, and turns to walk back outside.

<mainstreet> The man turns his gaze to Brellius.

Dusty puts down 13 gold, and smiles. "Thanks a bunch, that's some good info. Mind if I hang around out front waiting for Captain Karennen? I'll just fish off the dock, if she's not going to be along shortly."

Brellius turns to the man. "Excuse me, can you tell me about a dragon by the name of Varnith the Great?"

<mainstreet> "I don't know when she'll be back. Although the morning run should be done, so she should probably be making port any second."

Kanzel stops outside the door so she can hear the conversation inside, leaning where she was previously.

<mainstreet> Brellius: "No."

<mainstreet> Flabba scoops up the gold. "Pleasure doing business with you." He throws down 4 silver change. "Don't forget your worms."

Dusty nods, picks up the worms and pushes the change to the man. "For the help." He heads out of the shop to fish off the end of the dock. Pausing with the group, he says, "Best ship's the Hypotenuse, captained by Karennen. Should be making port shortly."

Brellius pulls out four silver coins. "Are you sure? Brass dragon, concerned about invasions upon his territory?"

<mainstreet> As Dusty finishes his line, you hear a rushing noise -- exactly the sort of noise you'd expect to hear if a medium-sized fishing trawler approached the dock.

Marcus takes a look, to see what he can see.

<mainstreet> Brellius: "Well, there was a Varnith about 4 or 5 generations back in the Court, if I recall correctly... Queen Felicia had him, if I remember right. When she died, he went back into the wild, as they all do. What of it?"

Kanzel slowly follows Marcus.

<mainstreet> Marcus: Yup, it looks like a fishing trawler. You know, big steel hull, lots of fishing lines, etc. You can see the word Hypotenuse on the side as the ship drops anchor... into the dock, blowing a hole in said dock.

<Brellius> "Nothing major, just good to know. Thank you," Brellius says as he gives the man the coins.

<Dusty> "...um, hm."

Marcus looks down into the anchor-hole. "Nice landing."

Dusty hollers, "Ahoy the boat! Do you need some assistance there?"

<mainstreet> "No, we got it," replies a chipper feminine voice. "The dock warped again and Zach missed his spot. No biggie."

Brellius leaves the information center

Dusty looks down at the dock dubiously.

<mainstreet> Well, the dock *is* old and rotting... sure, the wood could be warped in a few spots.

<Dusty> "Ahem... looking to speak with Captain Karennan!"

<mainstreet> "Yeah? What for?"

<Dusty> "Passage to the Industrial sector, possibly crew the boat for the leg."

<mainstreet> "Hmm. Yeah, I could use a replacement for Zach. He should not have missed anchor. Hey Zach, you're fired!"

<mainstreet> "Wha...?" comes a drowsy male voice.

<mainstreet> "Oh, that's it, you're DRUNK. Yes, you ARE fired. Get off my boat!"

Dusty watches to make sure he's not in the way of wherever Zach lands.

<mainstreet> A ladder is thrown over the side and two men appear, one pushing the other down it. He falls with a thud onto the dock, causing it to splinter even more.

Marcus prods at the prone individual with his walking stick. "Nice landing." He grins. "Hah!"

<mainstreet> The thrown man appears to have reverted to unconciousness.

<Dusty> "Hello, Zach." Dusty leans over and casts Mending on the thus-splintered board.

<Dusty> "Permission to come aboard?"

<mainstreet> "Yeah, sure, go ahead."

Dusty climbs aboard.

<Brellius> "Did something happen over here?"

<Dusty> "You guys coming, or what?"

<mainstreet> "No, just had to fire a dock-breaking idiot"

Kanzel follows Dusty

<mainstreet> "Yes, please, hop aboard."

Dusty takes a look at the Captain.

<mainstreet> "I only need 1 more crew slot, though. The rest of you will have to be passengers, and pay your passage."

<Marcus> "How much?"

Dusty glances out to take a look at the approaching horses.

<mainstreet> "5 gold per person per run."

<mainstreet> You can't see them yet. You can just hear the hoofbeats.

<Dusty> "Expecting some company, Captain? Got some horses coming in a hurry, from what I can hear."

<mainstreet> "I'll make it 3 gold if you get on this boat inside 30 seconds," Karennen snaps quickly.

<mainstreet> "If there are horses coming for the reason I think they are, that is."

<Brellius> "What reason?"

<Dusty> "Get on board, NOW!" Dusty jumps for the anchor.

<mainstreet> "No time to talk. We'll talk once the Hypotenuse is not in direct sight of land."

<mainstreet> "Or, at least, of this dock."

<mainstreet> The anchor is very heavy, Dusty. What do you expect to do with it?

<Marcus> "Alright, alright, I'm goin'. Sheesh." Marcus (slowly) hobbles up the gangplank.

<Dusty> "Brellius and Kanzel, right? Get over here and help me with the anchor!"

Brellius gets over to where most of the party is and helps with the anchor

<mainstreet> The rope starts to lift up the anchor... slooooowly... if only you had juuuuust a bit more help...

Kanzel mutters "I agree. reason's not important," as she runs over to help.

<mainstreet> The horsemen come into view.

<mainstreet> They look very official.

<mainstreet> They are approaching the dock.

<mainstreet> The anchor lifts up... and up... and uuuuuuuuup... and back onto the ship.

<Marcus> "It's the fuzz! Cheese it!" Marcus's hobbling increases in speed as he crests the top of the ramp.

<mainstreet> "We're off!" Karennen yells, taking the wheel and pushing the ship forward. "To the oars, crewmen!"

Dusty hustles over to whatever oar is needed.

<mainstreet> You can see now that Karennen is a very small person. Well, she's not human. She's a gnome.

<mainstreet> "Captain Karennen," a fading voice calls out from the dock. "You're under arrest. Turn around immediately or we shall take aggressive action."

<mainstreet> "Over my dead body!" she shouts back at the dock.

Kanzel peeks over the railing at the dock. "...Will this affect our reason for being here?"

<mainstreet> "No, they're just mad because I won't pay the docking fee at the Government center... I pay the other two, and maybe if the Government bothered to keep their facilities in reasonable shape more than just a single information booth I'd consider paying. But there's no benefit I'd gain from paying it whatsoever. It's just another pointless tax."

Kanzel turns and sits, leaning against the railing "Makes sense to me. The guy in that booth wasn't very hospitable."

<mainstreet> And... we're off!

<mainstreet> ---END GAME---