Zomaris:Khanate Rising/Chapter 22
Chapter #22: The Boxen of House Camsell
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN SESSION---
- Nil looks Blueclaw up and down, slowly shifting his stance from defense to offense. "Nice sword. Maybe this will almost be a fair fight," he says, following the verbal jab with a physical one
<mainstreet> Blueclaw smirks. "Was that supposed to do something?"
<mainstreet> Kenny flips over and attempts to engage the first mate.
<mainstreet> However, he also misses.
<mainstreet> The pirates and friendly crews engage each other and don't seem to accomplish much except upon each other.
<mainstreet> Blueclaw takes a pair of hacks at Nil.
<mainstreet> Neither of her slashes appear to hit, either.
<Nil> "Were either of those supposed to do something?"
<Capn_Mercy> The haft of Mercy's axe locks with the first mate's sword. Admittedly, she's strong enough to force her way past his guard, but this just looks cooler. "You're the UGLIEST monster ever created!"
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy grins, shoving his sword off to one side and landing a devastating axe strike. "Wrong answer!"
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy blinks. "...are you injured or just being piratey again? It's hard to tell."
<mainstreet> The first mate flies backwards and lands on the deck, a pile of blood left in the center. He's quite clearly dead.
<Capn_Mercy> "I mean, uh...YAAAR!"
- Fir starts making her way across to the pirate ship.
<Nil> "Well, here's another go," Nil mutters, bringing around his other fist for another try at that jab
<Nil> For once, Nil actually hits, his fist landing solidly on Blueclaw's shoulder! Then he winds up, seemingly for another strike...and then reaches into his coat to quickly and sloppily down the contents of two flasks
<mainstreet> Kenny runs off to engage a nearby pirate, who happily does so. The miscellaneous pirates and crew members continue to engage.
<mainstreet> Blueclaw takes a pair of hacks at Nil.
<mainstreet> The first hack slices right into Nil, freezing him up a bit, but on the second she fumbles a bit and barely manages to hang onto her blade. "That could have been worse."
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy sees that Nil is in trouble! She backflips up onto a nearby railing, grabs a dangling rope, and swings across the deck! Leaping from the rope onto the nearby sail, she sinks her axe into the cloth, using it as a hook to slow her descent as she drops down behind Blueclaw...about ten feet away from where she started. "I'll carve you like a sow at a buffet!"
<mainstreet> *WHABAM* Blueclaw takes a shot in the back. She instinctively yowls.
<Fir> Holding a flask of seawater from her spell component pouch, Fir says, "Ye don't deserve the sea", and reaches out to touch Blueclaw.
- Fir 's short arm doesn't quite reach Blueclaw. Fir glares at her arm.
- Nil changes up his stance again, this time going for a quick hook at Blueclaw. "If I think of something clever, will you give up?"
<mainstreet> The hook doesn't actually hit.
<mainstreet> A bunch of crewpeople engage with each other. Blueclaw looks around and it's clear she's going to lose this fight. Few of her pirates are still standing, and she's surrounded by very capable adventurers.
<mainstreet> She starts to cry a bit. "I've lost. No way out... but my capture is forbidden. I must protect the children..." she lights up briefly... and vanishes in the shimmer of a teleport.
<mainstreet> Kenny grins. "Gentlemen, the ship is ours!" This seems to be true. Blueclaw's departure seems to have completely demoralized the remaining pirates.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy falls to her knees. "She got away..." ;-;
- Fir looks around. "Aww, fooey." She looks at her hand, still glowing with a spell.
<Nil> "Hold up. She wasn't kidding about the children."
<Capn_Mercy> "She has kids? She doesn't look it."
- Fir walks over to one of the more-or-less captured pirates and holds up her glowing hand threateningly. "What land is Blueclaw from? What do you know about the kids?"
<mainstreet> "...I have no idea what you're talking about. Cap'n never talked about herself much."
<Nil> "Well, that confirms she was supposed to keep it secret."
- Fir looks around at the other pirates. "Was she from the Meterrian Empire? Somewhere else? Where did y'all first meet her?"
<Nil> "Just have to figure out who's holdin' the children hostage and where. Do we have a spellcaster who can trace that teleport or somethin'?"
<mainstreet> "You turned our caster into a toad!" one of the pirates yells out 'helpfully'.
- Nil facepalms. "Unless there's another caster who can do it, we will have to un-toad that one."
<mainstreet> "I can do it," a new voice comments from behind you all.
- Nil turns to look at the source of the voice
- Fir also looks at the new voice.
<mainstreet> An old woman in flowing robes steps onto the vessel, from the Camsell vessel. "Captain Isabelle Langston of the Firehawk," she introduces herself. "I can trace it. Least I can do, for you helping save my vessel."
<Fir> "Sounds good."
<mainstreet> She nods and hums to herself for a minute, murmuring the spell.
<mainstreet> She points off to the northwest. "City of some kind. Pretty beat up one. Marshy. I'd say in the Wastes somewhere,"
<mainstreet> "...and that, frankly, terrifies me. Active cities still in the Wastes? That's not good."
<mainstreet> The Captain looks at your group. "You definitely have the thanks of House Camsell for this... say, that's a flag I don't recognize. What are you doing in these waters, if I may ask?"
<Nil> "Stumblin' into some complex stuff, it seems."
- Nil dusts himself off. "We're from the Meterrian Khanate."
<mainstreet> "I'm sorry, the Meterrian... Khanate?" the Captain prompts gently. "Have I missed something?"
<Nil> "Yes," Nil says, then gives as brief a summary as he can about the rise of the Meterrian Khanate.
<mainstreet> "I... I see. So, you're headed to Quillband, I assume, to get support? Hmmmm... well you've helped us here, I recommend you dock in Camsell Port, and go to the Duchess's castle there. The Queen generally won't see visitors without some preclearance, no matter who they are. But I'm confident the Duchess would help you out with such an introduction, after you saved her vessel here. We're headed home ourselves, and we'll be sure to
<mainstreet> tell her of your assistance."
- Nil nods. "The line about the children concerns me, but I suppose there's nothing I can do about that right now. Let's clean up and get ready to head to that port."
<mainstreet> Isabelle nods. "As for you all," she looks at the pirates. "You are under arrest for piracy. Ladies and gentlemen, please proceed to throw these fools in our brig." Several of her crewmembers hop aboard and begin transporting people over. "Yes ma'am!"
<mainstreet> Isabelle nods in satisfaction. "Now, let's see what valuables they have here that most certainly do not belong to them," she heads towards the cabins.
<mainstreet> "RIBBIT RIBBIT RIBBIT" a toad protests, hopping for the cabins herself.
- Fir finally lets go of the spell she was carrying.
- Fir picks up the toad and follows in the general direction of the captain into the cabin. "Anyone want to do something with the toad?" she asks loudly.
<mainstreet> Most of the cabins seem to be general crew barracks. Nothing of interest can be found in here. There are two locked cabins, however. Isabelle is unable to open either immediately. "Anyone got a lockpick? Or the keys?"
<Nil> "I have an any-tool and some know-how."
<mainstreet> Isabelle steps aside for Nil to attempt an unlocking. There are two doors, one on each side of the hall.
- Fir looks at her companions, who she assumes were following her. Then suddenly she says, "Oh wait, that's me." She hands the frog to Mercy and pulls out her tool kit.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy stares at the frog in her hand.
- Nil goes for the door on the left, pulling out his Traveler's Any-Tool and getting to work
<Fir> "Don't eat the frog," Fir says as she picks the door on the right.
<mainstreet> Fir: *click* *click* Skillful work causes both cabin doors to open.
<mainstreet> Nil: ^
- Fir checks the door for traps before opening it.
<Nil> Seeing Fir be cautious, Nil does the same
<mainstreet> Fir: You look inside the rightward cabin, and it appears to be a cabin for two individuals, both of whom are fairly wealthy individuals. Looks like both the first and second mates used this cabin.
- Fir starts rummaging through the cabin, looking for anything useful or pretty.
<mainstreet> Nil: You look inside the leftward cabin, and this is clearly Captain Blueclaw's cabin. You expected to find a lot of obvious wealth in here, but surprisingly, that does not appear to be the case.
<mainstreet> Nil: You search the room, and find a stash of 2000 gold -- a nice find, but hardly the vast wealth expected of a Pirate captain. You also find about 1000 gold in jewlery and a pair of fairly large books.
<mainstreet> Fir: You search the cabin, and scrape together about 3000 gold plus another 1000 in jewlery, as well as a few assorted containers of booze.
- Fir gathers it all up and rejoins Nil, handing him the booze.
<mainstreet> "House Camsell would like to claim half of the forfeiture here," Isabelle interjects. "We both participated in this enforcement action, after all."
- Nil quietly stashes the booze in his handy haversack, then checks the covers of the books
- Fir shrugs and dumps the money in a pile on the floor. Slowly she begins sorting the gold into two piles. "One gold for you, one for me. One for you, one for me."
<Fir> "Oh, captain lady, you should see if there's any magic items we missed," Fir says, looking up from the piles for a moment.
<mainstreet> Isabelle rolls her eyes and quickly separates them into two equal piles, simply by overall size. "Don't overthink this."
- Fir blinks woody eyelids. "Oh, ok."
<mainstreet> Isabelle nods and takes a sweep of the rooms, but she returns farily quickly. "Nope, looks like anything they had, they used. Or kept on themselves. Your toad probably has stuff tied up in her... form."
<Nil> "Probably, but we don't have to deal with her right now. Best to do it in a more controlled environment, yeah?"
<mainstreet> Isabelle shrugs. "Do you want to keep her? We can throw her in the brig with everyone else."
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy is still staring at the toad as if it might explode at her at any moment. "Can you un-ribbit her?"
<Fir> "I...maybe tomorrow I can?"
<mainstreet> "I can, as it happens," Isabelle confirms. "Do you want me to?"
- Fir waves her leaves indeterminately and takes and hands the frog to Isabelle.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy practically jumps as the frog croaks at her. "GAH!"
- Nil takes a swig from a flask. "Really, it depends on how much trouble our little friend wants to make, and how much more more trouble she wants to be in," Nil says, leveling his gaze at the toad.
<mainstreet> Isabelle waves her hands and mutters something. The toad is replaced by the elf lady.
<mainstreet> She sighs. "I'm not going to make trouble, not after the way that crazy lady crushed my husband. I guess I'm captain now... what are you going to do with this ship, anyway?"
<Fir> "I think the plan was to steal your gear?"
<Nil> "I think the proper term is 'confiscate'."
<Fir> "Do you have any cool magic gear I can use?"
<Capn_Mercy> "Hey! I'm not crazy! ...wait, husband?"
<mainstreet> "Why should I make it easy on you?" the elf sneers.
<Nil> "You realize that goes both ways, yeah? You make it easy for us, well..."
<mainstreet> "I'm listening. Details, what are you offering?" she asks, a bit hollowly.
<Capn_Mercy> "We could arrange to rez your hubby."
<Nil> "For one, you'll get to live as a non-toad entity. Bet you can get quite a bit of leniency on that 'piracy' charge giving out good info, too."
<mainstreet> "Not sure there's a whole lot of info to give, but fine," she pulls off her necklace and tosses it at Nil. She then kicks off her sandals and sends them at Fir.
- Fir looks doubtfully at the sandals, then tries them on.
<mainstreet> Fir: You are now wearing sandals! They give you a light feel. You think you might be able to just... take off, for a bit!
- Nil gives the necklace a quick examination
<Fir> "Wheee! Thanks!"
<mainstreet> Nil: You recognize this little gem arrangment pretty quickly. You're mostly impressed with the fact that this seems to be completely intact. The eventual 'boom's you can turn these into look awesome.
<Nil> There is an ominous glint in Nil's eye...
<mainstreet> Isabelle looks down and grabs a few things off the elf's belt. "Alright, you're coming with me. You are under arrest."
<mainstreet> "Yeah, yeah, I get it, I got caught."
<mainstreet> It takes a while, but eventually the three vessels are under way, Kenny and the first mate of the Firehawk working together to run the formerly-pirate vessel, now flying a House Camsell flag.
<mainstreet> Three days pass, and you eventually pull into the Camsell Port in the coastal forest state of Vardall, one of the wealthiest areas of Quillband.
<mainstreet> A quick discussion, and you are pointed in the direction of Castle Camsell. You can either acquire a cart, which the Meerkat's Flea would pay for, and Kenny would drive, or you can hike the distance, about a day's journey, yourself.
<Fir> "I like walking. What do y'all think?"
<Nil> "Should save time where we can."
<Capn_Mercy> "Yeah, I'd rather take the cart."
<mainstreet> A quick vote puts you on the cart path, and you begin the journey up to Castle Camsell. It takes a couple of hours to engage on the journey.
- Fir looks at Kenny while they ride. "You seem...very alive."
<mainstreet> "...Is that a joke?"
<mainstreet> Fir: You get the disturbing sense you're being watched, but you can't figure out wherefrom.
- Fir looks around more carefully for any possible figures.
<Fir> "Do y'all see anything?"
<mainstreet> Nil: You see a raven that has been following you quite suspiciously for some time now. There's no way it's normal.
- Nil gives the raven a glance...a psycho glance. Psychic! I meant psychic.
<mainstreet> Nil: The raven does not seem to be susceptible to your psychotic -- I mean psychic -- abilities.
<mainstreet> You continue through the forestlands, on this path, to Castle Camsell.
<mainstreet> Castle Camsell is an impressive building, with lots of ornate design on the exterior stonework. It’s large enough to have a substantial tower on each corner, each one flying the banners for Quillband and for House Camsell. This castle comes complete with a moat-and-drawbridge system to make attacking it difficult. Since the castle is expecting you, the drawbridge is promptly lowered at your approach. You are ushered quickly though the castle’s main walls and into the courtyard. The courtyard is actually a bit crowded, containing a great many wooden boxes lying around. It’s not apparent what these boxes contain, if anything. The guards seem to be mostly elves, with an occasional human.
- Fir knocks one one of the wooden boxes. "Hello?"
<mainstreet> There is no response.
<mainstreet> At least, not from the box.
<mainstreet> One of the guards, however, walks up to your group at this. "Welcome to Castle Camsell. I'm Commander Lellis," he informs you. "I believe the Duchess wishes to meet with you."
<Fir> "That's lucky, I think we want to meet her too!" Fir says enthusiastically.
<Nil> "...yes. Yes, it is very lucky, Fir. Let's go meet her."
- Fir follows the guard and Nil.
<mainstreet> Lellis smiles. "Follow me to the Audience Chamber, please," he leads you through the winding maze of boxen, and to a large door near a far corner. He opens it and leads the way inside.
<mainstreet> The Duchess’ Audience Chamber appears to be connected to one of the towers, as this room has a quite high ceiling indeed. There seem to be plenty of chairs that you can sit in, as well as one that you clearly can’t – simply because you can’t reach it – it appears to be carved into the wall, ten feet above your heads. There doesn’t seem to be any way to get to it. That particular chair is clearly ornate and luxurious unlike the ordinary chairs in the room for you.
<mainstreet> “Her Grace should be here momentarily. She likes to make an entrance, with new people,” Lellis murmurs softly towards your group. He takes a seat and seems content to stare at the ceiling for some reason.
<Fir> "I bet I could reach that chair with my new sandals," Fir says softly.
<mainstreet> A minute passes, as you settle in... then suddenly, Lellis spots something up top, and announces, "Presenting Her Grace, Kayla, the Duchess of Vardall, Countess and Matriarch of House Camsell!"
<mainstreet> At the top of the room you can see a deep blue zoma with a formfitting pink jumpsuit gently descending towards the fancy elevated chair. She seems to be completely unfazed by the fact that she is apparently floating… or flying… through air. As she gets closer you can see her suit is dazzling with all sorts of gems and crystals, and she has a fair bit of jewelry attached to her hands and neck, but all firmly tied against her, so it can’t float off her as she flies.
<mainstreet> She takes about half a minute to float down to her throne, finally seating herself with a smirk on her face, well aware she’s made an impression. “Welcome to Vardall and Camsell, adventurers,” Kayla croons. “I am pleased to hear of the assistance you provided to my vessel and thus my House. What can I do for you?”
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy grumbles under her breath. "I'd look awesome too if I had a billion gold in jewelry and could fly..."
<Nil> "Hmm. I assume someone has told you of the Meterrian Khanate?"
<mainstreet> "Yes, a fascinating tale indeed... House Camsell sees the benefits immediately, I can tell you. Always good to see a little less evil in the world, and Xalrin was definitely a pit of evil not that long ago. But of course, I am merely a woman with money, I do not have the ability to give the Khanate the support it needs at this time. While I'm sure we can work out a trade agreement, we first need formal relations established between our nations. And that means Her Majesty's approval. I can introduce you to Her Majesty, perhaps."
<Nil> "Will anything else need to be done for that?"
<Nil> "In my experience, things are rarely simple."
<mainstreet> Kayla nods. "In point of fact, there is one thing I need done. I believe you have shown your worth and potential, in general, which is why I will have a letter for you to take to the Queen in the morning. However, I will have a mission that I expect you to complete. Since you will be heading to Quillspire City anyway, I would like you to provide an escort for a recent archaeological find we have obtained in this county, and make sure it gets to the Quillspire City Museum. I believe such a task is well within your capabilities."
<mainstreet> "After the item is safely in the museum, you can then proceed to the palace and submit my letter, granting yourselves an audience with Her Majesty. Do we have a deal?"
<Nil> "If none of my associates object, then we do."
<mainstreet> Kayla lounges on her chair, waiting to see if anyone does, in fact, object.
<Capn_Mercy> "What sort of 'item' are we talking here? Dinosaur bones? Ancient tablet?"
<Fir> "Ancient wood?"
<mainstreet> "It's a sealed wooden box. Of note is the artistry of the design, consistent with the civilization that was here a thousand years ago."
<Fir> "Was it like all those other boxen you have out there?"
<mainstreet> "It's in one of those, actually. Those boxes are our standard crates."
<Capn_Mercy> "A box...*inside* a box. Whoa."
<mainstreet> Lellis facepalms.
<Capn_Mercy> "I'm joking, dude, calm down. So, are you anticipating trouble?"
<mainstreet> "It's possible. It's a valuable piece of art. There's always a market for that sort of thing. I'm hoping that capable adventurers protecting it will discourage any such raiders, frankly."
<Nil> "Yes. Capable adventurers."
<mainstreet> "You *are* capable adventurers, are you not?" Kayla raises an eyebrow.
<Fir> "Hey, we did that before. We can definitely do it again."
<mainstreet> "Very well. Lellis, please show them to rooms for the night."
<mainstreet> "Yes, Your Grace."
<mainstreet> ---END SESSION---