Trinsic Tales:Ships Ahoy!/Chapter 08
Chapter Eight: I Like Big Buttes
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, we find them awakening after a restful night of slumber aboard the ship. Though, minus one more crewmember..."
Marilyn gets up slowly, not particularly inclined to deal with the new day, but knowing that there's little choice in the matter.
Vathgani sleeps in
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You open the door to your quarters...yep, it's morning. Deal with it.
Marilyn sighs, makes sure she's looking her best, then begins the quick walk onto deck.
<Capn_Ascii> You step out onto the deck, where the crew is hard at work doing...ship-related stuff.
<Marilyn> "Status report, if you please," Marilyn asks, trying to keep her voice commanding and steady.
<Capn_Ascii> Mr. Tristan pipes up. "Same as last night, ma'am. We're all ready to go, when you've decided on a destination."
Marilyn walks over to the Navigator. "The map," Marilyn commands.
- Vathgani snores deafeningly loud
<Marilyn> "Oh, and someone go wake that one up," Marilyn indicates the snorer with a hand.
<Capn_Ascii> A nameless deckhand goes to bang on Vath's door.
Vathgani stirs. "Five more minutes?"
Vathgani begrudgingly drags himself out of bed, opens the door and ducks under the frame. "Next time Vathgani would appreciate ship built with big people in mind."
<Marilyn> "Send a petition to the Shipbuilder's Committee when we get home, Vathgani. For now... we set course back to the Severly Disfiguring Frostbite Island."
<Marilyn> "If there's an approach that avoids the pirate colony, I would like to make it," Marilyn adds with inspiration.
<Vathgani> "Vathgani thinks islands could use longer names."
<Capn_Ascii> "Really? Hmm...well, I guess we could swing wide and approach from the southeast, but that might take us farther out into the waters..."
<Marilyn> "Okay, well, if it's not feasible, that's fine then. I was just hoping to not have to deal with them again... but if we're going to spot them, we might as well meet up again. Set course for the colony, then."
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, we can *do* it, sure. But there's that kraken to worry about."
<Capn_Ascii> The ship begins to move. "We'll make the attempt, at least."
<Marilyn> "Alright, but we'll abandon attempt at the first sign of trouble. I don't want to take chances."
<Capn_Ascii> "Aya, ma'am."
<Capn_Ascii> A WHILE LATER...
<Capn_Ascii> The navigator circles wide, coming up on the island from the southeast, where the village can't spot you. Soon, you see the crags looming overhead.
<Marilyn> "Alright, let's find a convenient spot to lay anchor, close to the island, and we'll go down as usual."
<Capn_Ascii> Bob does a skillful job of bringing the ship in without colliding with the dangerously sharp rocks that encircle the island, and drops anchor. The crewmen ready the boat for you.
<Marilyn> "The away team will be myself, Ashling, Vathgani, Ensign White, and Ensign Blue."
Marilyn loads herself into the boat.
<Vathgani> "Vathgani senses naming theme here..." he says as he tags along into the boat
<Capn_Ascii> Blue, a skinny, somewhat neurotic fellow, clambers into the boat as well.
<Ashling> "What, that they're all named after the color of their hair?"
Ashling gets in too
<Capn_Ascii> White lowers the boat into the choppy waters below.
<Capn_Ascii> White begins rowing the boat towards the nearby crags, which tower overhead. It'll be tricky finding a place to safely park the boat and get up there without falling.
Marilyn looks around carefully for a safe beachhead.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You spot a suitable location off in one narrow 'alley' amongst the crags - the tunnel-like opening ends in a small, but sandy, beach. There's a cave opening next to it, leading deeper into the stone maze.
Marilyn points out the spot, directing the boat into it.
<Capn_Ascii> Soon, White row, row, rows the boat up onto the little beach niche.
<Capn_Ascii> "Okay, this seems good. I guess I should watch the boat again?"
<Marilyn> "Indeed. Everyone else with me. Let's move out. Vathgani take point, I take back," Marilyn commands smoothly. "Let's see if we can find a way through and/or up these crags."
Vathgani keeps one hand on his guisarme and leads the way
<Capn_Ascii> You set out from the landing, and head into the opening. It doesn't seem to be a proper cave, so much as a natural gap between the overarching cliffs of stone - perhaps the ocean ran through here at some point, cutting an opening through the rock.
Marilyn prepares her blades "just in case"
<Capn_Ascii> The path winds upward, almost like a natural staircase, until you see daylight overhead. You emerge to find yourselves standing atop the cliffs of the island. You can hear the seawater lapping against them far below, while the clifftops extend in all directions, forming a maze-like arrangement of elevated stone paths with buttes scattered around them seemingly at random.
Marilyn scans the area for anything interesting
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Waaaaay off in the distance, you can see a particularly large butte that stands much taller than the rest. Seems like a good place to start.
<Marilyn> "Let's start... there," Marilyn points at the tall butte, indicating the path the formation should take.
<Capn_Ascii> You make your way across the buttes, being careful not to accidentally slip and fall - nothing waits below except the cold seawater and many jagged, pointy rocks.
<Capn_Ascii> Blue is epsecially careful, picking his way across the cliffs as though expecting to step on a landmine at any moment.
<Vathgani> "Reminds Vathgani of home..."
<Capn_Ascii> Soon, the large butte looms close overhead. Off to the northwest, you can hear the hustle and bustle of the nearby village, as the shipwrecked folks go about their villagey lives.
<Capn_Ascii> As the three of you approach the close side of the butte, you can hear muted voices on the far side...
Marilyn pulls out an invisibility wand, uses it, and tries to sneak around the butte to hear the conversation.
<Capn_Ascii> *poof!* Invis'd.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Slowly, you creep around the edge of the butte. The voices begin to resolve...
<Capn_Ascii> "Look, I'm sorry! I don't know how they did it, but..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Be quiet. The interlopers already have two of the idols. The Master is highly displeased..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Look, I tried my best to steer them in the wrong direction. And, my guys are already following them as we speak. Maybe we can get the idols from them?"
<Capn_Ascii> "For your sake, you'd better hope so. Otherwise, your little community here is as good as gone."
<Capn_Ascii> It seems like they've got more to discuss, but at that exact moment, your foot happens to scuff against a loose stone, which makes an audible sound.
<Capn_Ascii> "Huh? What was that?"
Marilyn freezes in place
<Capn_Ascii> You hear the sounds of rapid footsteps scuffling...then, two sets approaching your position.
Marilyn waits, gripping her blades anxiously.
<Capn_Ascii> After a few moments, an individual comes around the butte. He's dressed head-to-toe in a long, black robe, with a hood pulled down over his head, obscuring his face.
<Capn_Ascii> He stands there, looking around, as if surveying the area.
<Capn_Ascii> Vath, Ash: You can hear footsteps coming from the right, around the other side of the butte. They're coming toward your hiding spot...
Ashling hides better.
Marilyn very carefully, very slowly backs up.
Vathgani attempts to hide his bulky self somewhere more out of the way
<Capn_Ascii> Ash attempts to hide behind the biggest object she can find. Which, as it turns out, is Vath.
<Capn_Ascii> Vath, meanwhile, tries to crouch down behind a (very) small nearby rock. His attempt meets with little more success; the both of you are still fairly visible.
Ashling quickly and quietly casts invisibility sphere
<Capn_Ascii> The sphere envelops you both, rendering you visible! ...er, I mean, invisible!
<Capn_Ascii> Soon, the figure reveals itself - another man in robes, just like the first. He, too, stands there, as if looking for the source of the sound.
Ashling looks over to see the courses sticking their tounges out at the man.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: After a few moments, and a few suspicious glances in your general direction, the robed man turns around and walks back the way he came.
Marilyn continues walking backward, looking for her party.
<Capn_Ascii> The second man does much the same - he seems to suspect something is amiss, but eventually turns and heads back around the butta and out of sight.
Marilyn frowns, not finding the group, and getting slightly worried. However, she doesn't dare risk a sound.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You continue to back around the butte, until you unexpectedly bump into something you can't see.
<Capn_Ascii> Ashling: You feel something bump against you from behind...you turn to look, but see nothing.
Marilyn resists the urge to make a sound, and cautiously looks around.
Ashling pokes the invisible thing.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Something pokes you in the butt.
Marilyn's eyes go wide and she... barely... resists the urge to swing her blades in front of her. She contemplates, and attempts to carve an "MK" into the side of the butte.
Ashling realizes she touched a butt, watches the letters being carves into a tree. She mutters "I figured it was you. We did watch you go invisibile."
Marilyn sighs. "Okay, it is you. Did you run into anyone?" she whispers.
Ashling whispers back. "One of them came over here and then went away."
<Marilyn> "Same. I stepped on a rock that moved on me. But..." she relays the conversation she overheard. "Something's clearly up. We may want to consider jumping them... but then, maybe we don't want them to know we know."
<Vathgani> "That might not be bad if we know they know we know."
Ashling thinks. "Not letting them know we know may be the best course of action. But eventually, they're going to make a move either way."
<Capn_Ascii> --END SESSION--