Trinsic Tales:Ships Ahoy!/Chapter 03
Chapter Three: Epic Beardness
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroes, we find them...sleeping. Yep...sleeping. Just lying there, not doing anything. Kind of boring, really, so let's fast-forward to the next morning...
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroes *then*, we find them assembling on the deck of the Flatulent Manatee, well-rested and ready to...do stuff.
<Marilyn> "Ashling, I'm putting you in charge of the wheel. You've proven yourself useful and generally competent so far."
<Ashling> "I have never driven a ship. Sam and Castiel have if you don't mind them doing it."
Marilyn frowns briefly then shrugs. "I don't care who's actually doing it. It's your responsibility. If you want to contract it, fine, but I take it out of your hide if it's screwed up."
<Capn_Ascii> Wes looks up from where he's mopping the deck. "I can second that."
<Marilyn> "Raise anchor! Let's head out!"
Ashling goes over to the big wheel.
<Capn_Ascii> Mr. Tristan looks up from a naval chart spread out on a nearby table. "Uh, where were we going again?"
<Marilyn> "Severe Disfiguring Frostbite Island. There's an outsider village there, and I feel we should make contact."
<Vathgani> "Vathgani still think Deathspire Island is a better name."
<Capn_Ascii> "Affirmative." He begins plotting a course, and then attempts to advise Ashling's...things on the correct route to take.
<Capn_Ascii> Sam and Castiel, presumably understanding the orders, begin steering the ship under Ashling's supervision.
<Capn_Ascii> The sails unfurl...the ship creaks as it sets sail. Frostbite Island, HO!
Marilyn starts adding to her Royal Log, commenting on the usefulness of the two newest crewmembers, an unusual event for someone used to incompetence as she is. Maybe this stowaway thing will work out after all...
<Capn_Ascii> After a couple of hours of pleasant sailing (with no sign of the Kraken, oddly enough), the island comes into view. It appears to be mostly comprised of tall, craggy cliffs, with rock bridges connecting many of them together, almost like some futuristic city-scape. Made of rocks.
<Capn_Ascii> Two things stand out to you. First, the collection of 3-4 half-destroyed ships at the base of one of the sheer cliffs - it looks like the boats were run around and then built around to form an improvised set of buildings. Second is a particularly tall crag in the center of the island - there's a large snow pack capping it, presumably where the island got its name.
<Capn_Ascii> The latter strikes you as odd, given that the crag isn't nearly tall enough to be that cold...
<Marilyn> "Fascinating," Marilyn comments, doing her best Spock impersonation. Wait, who's Spock?
<Marilyn> "Lay anchor and prepare to make landfall!"
<Capn_Ascii> The collection of crags stick straight up out of the water, with small canals running between them. They're far too small for the ship, but you might be able to fit the longboat through them to navigate 'inland'.
<Marilyn> "Ready the longboat. The landing party will be myself, Ashling, Vathgani, Ensign Green, and Ensign White."
<Capn_Ascii> Mr. Tristan directs the two critters in bringing the boat in close enough to drop anchor. The rest of the crew load the boat with provisions, ready to lower it when you decide to depart.
Ashling puts her book down. "Okay. Ariel and Avra, come with me."
<Capn_Ascii> Green and White step forward, wearing heavy armor and wielding swords and shields. "Pardon us, ma'am, but given what happened to Ricky, we decided to bring heavier equipment this time."
<Marilyn> "Fair enough. More important, though," Marilyn looks carefully... "Okay, good, not wearing a red shirt. Let's go."
<Vathgani> "Vathgani likes red..."
<Capn_Ascii> White leans in and whispers to Green. "Should we tell her the undergarments for these armor suits are red?" "Shh, no. Maybe if nobody knows we'll be okay."
Marilyn loads herself into the boat.
Ashling gets in
Vathgani gets in the boat
Marilyn glares at White and Green. "Get in the boat already and cast off!"
<Capn_Ascii> White and Green climb into the boat, which creaks from the weight of their armor.
<Capn_Ascii> The deckhands begin lowering the boat into the water. Sploosh.
<Capn_Ascii> The two ensigns begin rowing toward the 'village'. As they get closer, you can see several torches in high places lighting up. Looks like they're signaling each other.
<Capn_Ascii> As you draw even closer to the wrecks, a large, disk-shaped object points at you. It lights up, casting a bright beam of light out into the water, spotlighting the boat. At the same time, a dozen or so individuals appear on nearby rooftops, all of them aiming bows at you.
<Capn_Ascii> You can hear a voice calling out to you. "Hail! State your intent, or be fired upon!"
Marilyn smirks. "A real defense... We're just here to talk and continue our investigation. I intend to find a way to take down that kraken controller."
<Capn_Ascii> A pause. "...investigation. Riiiiight. And, who are you again?"
Marilyn thinks for a brief second, deciding which name to identify as. "I'm Isabelle Kiradan of Belcadar."
Marilyn gives a quick glance to the rest of the Party, making sure they take note of and remember what she just said.
Vathgani stares as not-dumbly as he can.
Ashling subtelty nods
<Capn_Ascii> Another pause. "...and we should care, why...?"
<Marilyn> "I've been informed that you, eventually, want to get out of here. If that's a mistaken impression, fine, I can leave," Marilyn replies, smirking. "But I have considerable resources and I think that collaboration would work to our mutual benefit."
<Capn_Ascii> Yet another pause. "...you seem awfully self-assured for someone who professes to want our help. What do you need from us that your 'resources' can't provide?"
<Marilyn> "Information. As I said, this is an investigation."
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You get the impression that they're a bit paranoid overall. Perhaps a peace offering might help.
<Capn_Ascii> More pausing. "...maybe we don't want to talk to you right now."
Marilyn bites back the comment she wants to make and goes more concillatory. "What would it take for you to want to talk?"
<Capn_Ascii> Another pause, this one longer. You get the feeling that they're talking to each other.
<Capn_Ascii> ".....have you got any fresh fruit?"
Marilyn looks at Green and White. "Do we? I wasn't checking the provisions individually."
<Capn_Ascii> They nod. "Yeah, we got plenty from the natives earlier."
<Marilyn> "Alright. We got some. We'll come back with some," Marilyn informs the voices. "Let's head back and get the ship to drop us a box."
<Capn_Ascii> *10 MINUTES LATER*
<Capn_Ascii> You return, bearing a large crateful of citrusy delight.
<Marilyn> "Alright, we got a box of fruit. Can we come in now?"
<Capn_Ascii> "...we guess. Just don't try anything, or we'll fill you full of arrows. Oh, and sink your ship."
<Capn_Ascii> The spotlight gestures in front of you, guiding you toward what looks like a dock.
Marilyn nods at Green and White, directing them into the dock.
<Capn_Ascii> A few minutes later, and you've pulled up alongside the dock. There are a trio of people standing there...two men, one woman, all dressed like sailors. The woman steps up. "Welcome to our village. Please forgive our suspicions, but we tend not to get many visitors out this way, for obvious reasons."
<Marilyn> "Yes, I quite understand," Marilyn replies, smiling. "I'll try not to impose on you too much. I just am hoping to learn everything I can to generate a course of action to getting out of this archipelago."
<Marilyn> "I will, of course, inform you if I am able to generate such a plan, time permitting."
<Capn_Ascii> She nods. "Please, follow me."
Marilyn nods. "Ensign Green, mind the boat. The rest of you with me," Marilyn waves her hand onward.
<Capn_Ascii> She leads the lot of you through the 'village', which seems to consist mostly of improvised battlements and a few large bunk rooms. They've obviously built more to defend against the kraken than to make any semblance of civilization.
<Capn_Ascii> Green remains behind, as ordered.
<Capn_Ascii> Before long, you thread your way into what looks like the rear half of a particularly large frigate, converted into a town hall of sorts - the inside is full of long benches for meetings. In the back of the room is a door. "Through here." She gestures you inside.
Marilyn goes inside
Vathgani tags along
<Capn_Ascii> The door leads to what used to be the captain's quarters of the ship, now converted into an office. Before you sits the 'mayor' of this little burg - a huge, hulking beast of a man, dressed like a pirate captain and sporting what might well be the biggest, thickest, bushiest, most epic-est beard in recorded history.
Vathgani rubs his hairless chin wistfully
<Capn_Ascii> "HEEEEEY, THERE!" He bellows in a loud voice, standing up from his desk and hobbling over on a peg leg. "Welcome to our humble little burg!"
<Capn_Ascii> He holds out a hook hand for you to shake.
Marilyn carefully grabs and shakes the hand, making sure not to cut herself. "Your welcome is most appreciated."
<Capn_Ascii> He grins. "Sorry about that whole business out there. We're kinda on edge, what with the whole 'deadly sea monster out to kill us all' thing. We just like to be sure new visitors aren't planning to take what limited supplies we have. Speaking of which, the fruit is appreciated - helps fight off the scurvy. We can't get any from the other islands, so...yeah."
<Capn_Ascii> He withdraws the hook. "The name's Bigbeard. Used to be a pirate captain, afore we wound up here."
Marilyn nods. "Understandable. We are still capable of trade, since I have no intention of dismantling my ship. But down to business... I'd like to know everything you do about said sea monster. What I'm interested in specifically would be speculation as to the motivations for this. Do you think you might have anything that people would want to... keep isolated? Or someone?"
<Capn_Ascii> Bigbeard shrugs. "Honestly? I have no idea. All we know is that the kraken attacks any ship that passes through the area. Which was supposed ta be *my* job! Bwa ha ha!" He laughs heartily. "But seriously, it sucks. It wrecked my ship and a dozen others. I organized the survivors and we cobbled together this little hamlet to stay afloat until...well, until something changes, I guess."
<Marilyn> "Were you first? If not, do you know who was?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Aye, we was the first ta get hit. I was prowling the waters here, lookin' ta prey on trade ships, when BAM!" He slams the top curve of his hook into his other palm for emphasis. "Kraken outa fuggin' *nowhere*, with some weirdo riding shotgun on it. We tried to flee, but the winds were against us, and the beastie right tore us in two."
<Marilyn> "I'll understand if you don't want to answer this, but... anything of unique interest on your ship? An artifact from the ruins around here, perhaps?"
<Capn_Ascii> He shakes his head. "Nah, not really. Just the usual pirate stuff. Supplies, food, cannons and gunpowder, heaps of stolen treasure, etc."
Marilyn nods. "Do you know anything about the ruins throughout the islands? Or the spires? I noticed that this island has a snowbound top with no obvious indication as to how that could be..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, yeah, that. Yeah, I sent some crewmen up there to poke around. There's some ruins up there, half-buried in the ice, but there's some big locked doors inside that stopped us form goin' any farther. No idea why the place is all frozen - it's nowhere near cold enough anywhere on these islands for snow like that."
<Vathgani> "Might all be related."
<Marilyn> "So you haven't found a key of any sort anywhere around here?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Nah. Although ta be honest, we haven't really been lookin', either. We've mostly been keeping to ourselves, scrounging for supplies from the wrecks and trying not to piss off the natives."
<Marilyn> "Fair enough. Is there anything you think I should know as I investigate throughout the islands?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Hmm. Well...the natives don't really seem ta like us. Probably somethin' ta do with some of us being career criminals and all." He grins. "Not that I blame 'em, but it does make it hard to get supplies out here."
<Capn_Ascii> "Also, we've been seein' some weird fellas in robes hanging around the temple up there."
<Marilyn> "Any similarites between those robes and that outfit the kraken controller was wearing?"
<Marilyn> "Grasping at straws, I know, but I want to be as certain as I can before I go ruin walking."
<Capn_Ascii> He looks thoughtful. "Hmm. Maybe a little, but then, all them robes kinda look alike ta me. No idea who they are, or where they come from. They just seem ta vanish when we try to catch up to and talk to 'em."
<Marilyn> "Alright. Well, it was good to meet you," Marilyn comments, giving a slight nod. "I believe we'll be heading out, now, if there's nothing else."
<Capn_Ascii> "No problem. And hey, you're welcome here any time ya like. Always nice ta have fresh company."
Marilyn does an about face and leaves in her usual dignified manner, returning to the boat.
<Capn_Ascii> Yep, there it is. Green is sitting in it, half-asleep.
Marilyn gets a dark look on her face. She whispers at the rest of her group. "Pick him up and dunk him in the water."
<Vathgani> "That's mean."
<Marilyn> "It's discipline. Sleeping on the job? It's not like I'm punching his face in. He'll be fine. But he'll learn his lesson."
Vathgani walks over to Green, picks him up and dunks him head-first in the water before setting him back down in the boat.
<Capn_Ascii> Green ends up sitting there in the boat, soaking wet. He blinks. ".....uh?"
<Marilyn> "Welcome back to the word of the waking, Ensign," Marilyn informs him scornfully.
<Marilyn> "It's so good to have yet another crewmember be crossed off my list of people I can trust."
<Capn_Ascii> White grins. "Ah, don't mind him. I'll keep him in line for you."
<Capn_Ascii> White hops into the boat, and dope-slaps Green upside the head.
Marilyn gets into the boat and refuses to look at Green again.
Vathgani also gets into the boat
<Capn_Ascii> You all clamber back into the boat, and row your way back to the ship. Shortly, you find yourselves back on the deck.
<Marilyn> "Let's return to Deathspire Island. Nothing we can do but try the ruins now, and Deathspire's most likely what the key goes to."
<Marilyn> "Raise anchor, set a course, and engage."
<Capn_Ascii> "Aye, ma'am!"
<Capn_Ascii> You arrive back at Deathspire Island sometime a bit after lunch. The beach looks more or less the same as when you left it, at least what you can see of it from here.
<Marilyn> "Alright... I need someone who can actually stay awake, and not get themselves killed, minding the boat. Anyone think they have the ABILITY to do it?"
Marilyn looks challengingly at her crew, hoping to find some competence.
<Capn_Ascii> White steps forward. "I'll do it, ma'am."
Marilyn smiles, amused. "Fair enough. Ensign White, Ashling, Vathgani, and Lieutenant Black, you're with me on this trip."
<Capn_Ascii> Black steps forward. "Yes, ma'am."
Marilyn loads herself into the boat. "Let's go."
<Capn_Ascii> Black and White clamber in as well.
<Marilyn> "Oh, and Mr. Tristan, assign Ensign Green to KP for the next few weeks."
<Capn_Ascii> Green sighs.
<Capn_Ascii> The deckhands once again lower the boat, and soon you find yourselves on the shore.
<Marilyn> "Mr. White, mind the boat. Vathgani, take point. Ashling second. Me third. Ms. Black last. Be armed and ready for trouble, we're heading for the spire."
Marilyn pulls out her blades and gets into her stance as she walks
Vathgani keeps one hand on his guisarme and takes point
Ashling looks at her Coure friends and just shrugs, following.
<Capn_Ascii> You head back up the path from before, what with it being the only obvious means of passage through the otherwise thick, impenetrable jungle.
<Capn_Ascii> *march, march, march...yes, this bit again*
<Capn_Ascii> Eventually you find yourselves back at the fork from before. The sign from before is still hanging on the tree where you replaced it: 'THIS WAY TO DARK FOREST OF VICIOUS APEX PREDATORS'
<Marilyn> "Apex Predators it is. No other option. Let's go."
<Vathgani> "VICIOUS apex predators..." Vathgani says, but still leads the way
<Capn_Ascii> You head down the path. Almost immediately, the jungle around you gets even thicker and darker, seeming to loom over the path, the trees blocking much of the sunlight.
<Capn_Ascii> The path gets darker and darker, but soon, you see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The jungle parts, and you find yourselves standing at the edge of one of those stereotypical jungle crevasses you always see in movies. You know the type - super deep, long canyon with a river far below, stretching out to either side as far as you can see.
Marilyn looks for a bridge
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Knowing your cliche settings, you look for...yep, there it is. The rickety rope-and-plank bridge, stretching out across the ravine. Looks to be about 200 feet across.
<Capn_Ascii> It's right there in front of you on the path, though, so that's to be expected. But it's the thing you see *below* that makes you do a double-take.
<Capn_Ascii> As you're contemplating stepping out onto the planks, you get a sudden, dreadful tingling at the base of your skull - as if some proverbial arachnid premonitional ability was trying to warn you of something, and whoa boy, it's a *big* tingle.
<Capn_Ascii> You glance down into the canyon itself, and that's when you see it. About a hundred and fifty feet down the canyon, below the bridge, is a large ledge sticking out of the cliffside. And lying there on said ledge...
<Capn_Ascii> ...is a large, vaguely lizard-like creature. No, wait...did I say 'large'? I meant 'fukkin' ENORMOUS'. It's the size of a large barn, with huge forelimbs, powerful hind legs, tiny, beady eyes, and a mouth big enough to swallow a half-dozen men in one gulp.
<Capn_Ascii> You recognize it from pictures you've seen in monster manuals in the library back home. It's a tarrasque. A freakin' TARRASQUE!
<Capn_Ascii> ...it appears to be asleep. It's not moving...it's eyes are closed, and its chest moves gently as it breathes slowly. You hear a scraping sound as it gently kicks one of its hind legs in its sleep, dreaming little tarrasque dreams.
<Capn_Ascii> As you take a closer look, you realize that the creature has a dog-like collar around its neck. There's a large brass jingle bell attached to it, as well as a nameplate - KLONK.
<Marilyn> "Well that makes things... interesting."
<Vathgani> "Such a short name for such a big creature."
<Ashling> "I was hoping those were just legend.
<Capn_Ascii> Sadly, it's all too real. Be vewy, vewy quiet...
<Capn_Ascii> --END SESSION--