Delis

Finishing the job (Convoy Duty Part 4)
Putting the pieces back together

Once the drake had been removed Captain Teldal shouted for a medic. Daniel Merson, the first mate and helmsman of the Cygnus, was gravely injured and needed immediate medical aid. Through some quick thinking and a little intimidation to get people moving the helmsman was stabilized although he was not out of the woods.

Leaving Daniel in the capable hands of Neris, all hands began to take stock of the shape they were all in and figure out what needed to be done to get back under way.

Ferus and Tahira used much of the Nunnehi to act at a triage center, attempting to help as many as possible on the ship that was in the best shape.

Gar started going through the cargo of multiple ships to help get the required materials to the right people, regardless of what ship had what. He also volunteered to hang off the side of the Rebel Star in an effort to repair one of her damaged turbines.

Kai Began to organize work parties in addition to doing much manual labor himself, being no stranger to the work. He and Gar also figured out a way for the Nunnehi and the West Wind to tow the Rebel Star so they could get underway quicker.

Aurell spent much of his time struggling with the engines of the Rebel Star but managed to make quite some headway.

Gar and Tahira worked together on the transfer of some of the living cargo between ships as she offered to take over for one of the beast masters who had died in the attack.

With all the extraordinary effort put forth by the various crews the convoy was delayed only 4 days.

They arrived at Sailor’s Isle on the 28th of Purple Month, 844 AC.

After unloading the cargo and getting payed it was time for some RnR for the weather-beaten crews.

Kai had a minor run-in with some Jen-Kal navy, but sorted the matter out. It turns out that the navy was there to hunt some Asido privateers. He also went to meet a possible engineer but after meeting the woman could think of no way to convince her to work for him.

Gar unloaded his less reputable goods and gained some new ones in turn. While attempting to determine just how good the new items were though he kept getting sent to places that just were not helpful. In the end, he got were some new clothes to help him with such matters in the future.

Aurell went off on his own, continuing his ever ongoing quest. He did manage to find some new, if dubious, intel.

Ferus began spreading the word of his religion that he was founding. He visited the disenfranchised and downtrodden, the homeless and ill in an attempt to help them help themselves. And he managed to do so quite admirably and made a mark.

Tahira, having a keen interest in animals, had taken to one of the large birds that she had cared for on the trip. She attempted to purchase the bird before it went to market but to no avail although she was invited to take place in the auction for the animal. When the auction day came around Tahira noticed something odd. One of the buildings was off limits to many people and very heavily guarded. She also noted that Stewart Wook, one of her crew members was allowed to enter. Her curiosity was piqued. After a bit of not so subtle attempted bribery, she did manage to get in, and found herself in the middle of the black market.

Stewart was bidding on, and eventually won, a lot that had various eggs. Tahira attempted to also get a similar lot but misjudged one bidder. Stewart, now noticing she was there, approached and said this was not place for a lady such as herself. They both left the black market and Stewart stayed with her through the rest of the bidding. She even got her bird.

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Convoy Duty Part 3
Dealing with that last troublemaker

After helping out the West Wind and Rebel Star, the Nunnehi moved on toward the Cygnus. As the two ships drew closer the sound of fighting could be heard followed by someone shouting, “GET OUTA’ HERE YOU MANGIE BEAST!” At that Kai and his crew saw an Ancient Red Drake (a creature about a quarter the size of the ship) burst out of the cargo hatch, or what remained of it. The creature was banged up but still fighting fit and not happy. It roared, then plunged back in to the cargo hatch. “OH NO YOU DON’T!” was heard and the drake stopped little more than halfway through the hatch. The head and front legs wound up below decks but the back end not so much. The tail swung about wildly, hitting anything within its reach.

When the Ancient Red Drake roared a few smaller beasts responded and began moving across the deck. Zegram Quet, gunnery chief for the Cygnus had come up on deck to deal with them when he spotted the Nunnehi. WE HAVE OUR HANDS FULL WITH THIS CRITTER,” Zegran motioned toward the tail of the drake, “KEEP THEM LITTLE BUGGERS OUT OF OUR HAIR AND HELP KEEP HIS ROYAL ASSNESS DISTRACTED NOW AND THEN IF YOU COULD.”

At this the crew quickly brainstormed and came up with a plan. Tangle the tail of the beast then haul it out with the Nunnehi and detonate a makeshift bomb they intended to attach to it.

The plan was a great success, although it did not quite go as anticipated.

The crew of the Cygnus had their own plan in motion…also involving a bomb.

When the Nunnehi’s crew had finally gotten the tail under control and began to haul it out, the crew of the Cygnus took advantage of the beast’s distress/distraction to put their plan into effect by jamming a bomb down the creatures throat and muzzling it.

When the bomb went off it decapitated the drake and the Nunnehi finished hauling the now dead creature out of the Cygnus.

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Convoy Duty Part 2
Clearing the decks

As Kai and the crew of the Nunnehi finish ridding their ship of a mess of drakes they look to how the other ships in the group are doing. The West Wind is listing slightly to the port and has a number of drakes on her, the Rebel Star has an injured adult drake on deck still and one of the foes was strong enough to tear up a portion of the deck/cargo hatch to let the monsters get below. The Cygnus had nothing on her deck, but no one as well and had drifted away from the rest of the convoy.

Kai decided to assist the West Wind first, figuring that would be the fastest to resolve.

There were adolescent drakes on the deck with a few loopers and smaller drakes there as well, all are attempting to get into the hold below. As the Nunnehi got closer to the ship, Corat barreled out of one hatch and tackled an adolescent drake. Meanwhile his crew dragged two more into the now flung open hatch doors and quickly closed them behind. Corat stood up while strangling the drake he tackled and swung it by the neck to hit another off his deck. The captain of the West Wind sees the Nunnehi and shouts over, “Moons have mercy! I’m just about out of wind! You my friends have impeccable timing. I need to get to the engine room and get them DAMN LOOPERS out o’ there. Keep any more of the bastards from coming below if you could. FERUS! Get out here and help them.”

At William’s bidding a large man bedecked with heavy armor and great sword comes up on deck. Ferus Clearwater is a passenger on the West Wind who is working his fare and can clearly handle himself in a fight.

Kai and company did exactly what Corat wanted, ridding the deck of intruders in less than a sixty seconds. Checking in with the captain before moving on to assist the next ship Kai left Christopher Vesen to help with the cleanup.

The Nunnehi went over the the Rebel Star next with Ferus tagging along. The sounds of fighting can be heard below deck of the ship quite easy through the hole something caused. The crew of the Nunnehi decide the best thing to do is to rush the injured adult and put the beast down before doing mop up. The drake dies quickly and the rest of the enemies are quick to follow, but not before a looper gets below to harass the crew of the Rebel Star below. When Gar looks into the hole in the deck he sees Simon Othright holding his side and blood seeping out, along with many injured and dead. Stewart Wook was left to help remove the remaining loopers. Simon then asked if someone could stay and work on keeping the Star’s engines running as his engineer was dead and the loopers had done a number on them. Aurell, being decently versed in both magic and science, volunteered to stay behind.

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Convoy Duty Part 1
Third session with everyone

With the crew of the Nunnehi safely in port and well payed for their success in locating Eric Grodstern’s grave, Kai the and others went off and did various things as Erin had informed them that it might be a while before she could find the next job.

Kai for one went in search of a good engineer to hire full time and to purchase some upgrades for the ship. He found two prospects for the engineers roll but did not hire any on the spot.

Gar went in search of more cargo to stow on the ship, and had moderate success but horrible luck. The young cargo master of the Nunnehi got caught by the gunnery captain stashing…items of questionable providence. The two worked out a deal where both made out well. Unfortunately Gar’s luck continued along it’s bad streak as he was also called out by Tahira while she was teaching him how to keep better books. Again, a deal was struck, and the captain was left none the wiser.

Tahira spent a portion of her time digging into her fathers past, looking for any indications that her hunch of him having a second family was correct. She was able to locate a few people who had employed him while he was alive but had no real luck on finding any family.

Aurell spent most of his time among the Academia (those who study Science) and Intelligentsia (those who study Magic). Much of this time was spent buried in one book/tome or another searching for something.

After a couple weeks in port Erin returned with news of a long haul job that they will not be making alone. The employer is having a number of convoys leave Tuxix over the next few weeks and Erin managed to have the Nunnehi be in one of them. Their convoy was bound for Sailor’s Isle, a trip that would take 9 to 12 weeks, and the cargo: rare fish to be sold for delicacies, mysterious animals both dead and alive but mostly moonstone infused reagents used in crafting. The employer also asked the captains of each convoy to meet each other before hand at an informal dinner he was hosting. Kai, Gar and Erin went to this dinner to meet the others of the convoy.

Jeset Teldal, captain of the frigate Cygnus. Kai was already familiar with Jeset and his ship, having worked aboard her when he was first on his way to Tuxix.

William Corat, captain of the frigate West Wind. Corat was a large man who liked to dress a bit flamboyantly and liked to entertain. Garbed in a green jacket studded with medals and a large brimmed hat with equally large feather, Corat could easily stand out in a crowd. He recognized Kai’s accent when speaking and mentioned that the West Wind, while a small ship, was of Jen-Kal construction and would love to show her off.

Simon Othright, Captain of the cruiser Rebel Star. A young man, possibly in his early twenties, who inherited the vessel when his father passed a few years back. Simon practically grew up on the ship and he knew the ins and outs of the Asido built cruiser along with her crew.

Jump ahead 7 weeks, the Rebel Star has had a turbine failure and needs to put into a port to do the repairs safely. The crews of all four ships take this brief, a meager three hour, respite to gather as much information on the happenings in this area as possible. They glean that there has been trouble further south with ships and small villages disappearing. The ships vanish never to be seen again while the villages show evidence of wild animal attacks with possible human encouragement. Some rumors say Black Pirates, others say animals driven to desperation by the harsh beginnings of Purple Month this year.

As the days pass once more and the trip is now into it’s eighth week, the convoy discover just what might have been responsible for the disappearances. A drake storm, and it’s heading was straight at the convoy.

The ships discuss options then decide that fighting might be the only option. As all 4 ships unload as much munitions as possible into the enormous mass of drakes, eventually the convoy is overtaken.

As the drakes swarm all the ships, the crew of the Nunnehi have to retreat below decks and force the drakes into a choke points to prevent themselves from being overwhelmed. After what seems like an eternity but was actually just under two minutes, the crew emerge successful and begin to survey the damage.

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Aurell Volcaire
New friends, old hurts and...a ferry?

15th of Silver Month, 843, on Cor Island under the Silver Moon

As the tavern door swung open, two figures jovially sprung forth from the small town pub, brimming with laughter and carrying along their final ales as they ventured into the coming morning. Both men, as was observed by the local bystanders, carried themselves exceptionally well, but were not of this island. The larger, stockier man was garbed in a sharply pressed green suit studded with medals, and a hat which would have suited a man twice his size. To all eyes most certainly a ship’s captain of some accomplishment. The other man, however, was a much more slender and lanky individual, with a flowing brown cloak and an unusual full length staff that glowed yellow at the crown. He did not seem to be of a familiar ilk from any one particular location. Nonetheless, they carried on merrily in conversation, as if they had been comrades for many years.

The bigger man laughed, “HAHA, oh yes. I have heard that they can be quite pesky suckers during this month. Ahh…well. I must say, Mr. Volcaire, it has been a most pleasurable honor escorting you these past two weeks. You have, much to my surprise, been the most entertaining guest I’ve had in a very long time.”

“Well I must say, Corat, that the pleasure was all mine. With all of the traveling that I do, inherent as it is with my line of work, it’s very nice to be able to trade the mundane comings and goings of the common vessels for a far more commanding and prestigious one, even if only for a short time.”

“Aye, yes, the West Wind is a fine ship, if I do say so myself. And, I know I’ve said it more than once Aurell, but I still can’t help but wonder what keeps you traveling so much. Even for a diplomat of your stature, I cannot imagine that you are in such constant need to be on the move as much as you have been, especially without some modicum periods of rest. You said it’s been years since you’ve had any roots.”

“Ahh…well in anyone else’s situation, I’d imagine you to be right about that…”

“But if I’ve learned anything about you in the past weeks”, Corat interrupted, waving his free hand, “yours is anything but the normal situation.”

“Hahaha. I get the hint, you’ve heard this before. Yes, you’d be mostly right. My adventures are fueled by far more than just my line of work. Although it does help,” admitted Aurell as he took another sip of his beer.

“You know I cannot deny my curiosity, my friend. So I’ll ask just this one more time before I let it go. What under the six moons, praytell, is driving this seemingly endless wandering? Certainly you could offer even a little hint of light to a new comrade, yes?”

“Mmm…well sir, suffice to say you know that my family… do you know of their history?”

“Indeed.”

“Well, we have always held tight to the knowledge that there is…shall we say, more out there of my lineage. Knowledge that is connected to us, but has for many generations been but a mystery. My family has, well, made sort of a business of seeking out answers to these mysteries, and others in a manner of speaking, in the hopes of unlocking that great knowledge. My parents spent their lives in this endeavor and it is my honor to continue to carry on in the quest.”

“A most noble cause if ever I heard one friend…although it has left me with more questions than answers in a way that only a true word smith can. Might I be so bold as to speculate that this has something to do with that?” Corat motioned toward Aurell’s staff in his left hand. “If I’m not mistaken that’s yellow moonstone embedded in it.” Corat chuckled, “A SHOCKingly fine piece if I do say.”

“You may, and indeed it does. And if it is acceptable by you, honorable captain, I shall leave it at that.”

“No problem at all my good man. I greatly admire your dedication and fervor.”

As the two man carried on with their discourse, they made their way down the streets of the modest town. A small trading community at the sole port on Cor, an island so small it does not appear on most maps, it holds little significance for most. The locals who call Cor their home were thus, understandably, not accustomed to seeing men of this stature, or character for that matter, wandering the streets. The two continued to the far end of town, headed for the lone ferry dock. It appeared lightly staffed and not an area designed for large volumes of traffic. The two gentlemen strolled straight up to the ticketing booth, still engaged in conversation.

“Are you certain that I cannot persuade you to accompany me on my vessel for a few more ports? There isn’t a need for you to dawdle in these measly ports for any longer than necessary.”

“Know that your offer is most graciously appreciated, captain, but as my journeys continue to carry me onward, I’m afraid that I must continue making my way forward to Tuxix.”

“Of course. It will be my honor as a finial gesture to see you off…” Corat paused, searching for the word, “honorably” he finally decided on. The finely decorated captain then turned to the ticket attendant behind the booth. “My good man, I would like to purchase one ticket for my friend here to gain passage to the next port.”

The young man behind the counter looked up and responded, “Of course sir. Just provide me with some background information so I can process the fare. Name?”

“Aurell Volcaire,” responded the mage.

“Very good, And yo…wait. Volcaire? As in Suten Volcaire?”

“Indeed, he was my father”

“You don’t say! I remember when they settled that dispute on the Chamber Colonies in northern Asido. That…could have lead to an uprising or…well who knows what without both your parents. You know, they even visited these parts before. I was just a small boy but I remember it well. He and Kitan were some of the most influential diplomats of their time if you ask me.”

“I thank you, good sir, for your kind and generous words on my family’s behalf.”

“My pleasure sir!” The attendant puffed up with pride at being thanked by Aurell. “Now just two more questions. Origin?”

“A little island, somewhere in the far reaches of the silver moon. Its name escapes me right now. It’s of no real consequence though. That place holds almost no significance to me, it was not ‘home’ for very much time. For that matter, no island has been ‘home’ for me in a long time.”

“Ah. Now, normally I’d think that an odd response but, given your family, it doesn’t actually seem all that strange. Desired destination?”

“The next port that will get me closer to Tuxix.”

“That’d be…Setters Reef on the Sten Line. Just give me a moment…and done! Here’s your ticket.”

“You have my thanks”

As Aurell took his ticket and began to walk away, the young man behind the counter snagged a dockman about to head out of the office,

“Hey, Jeck! Have a look at this! You know who that is? That’s old Suten Volcaire’s boy, that is!”

The dockman spun in place and glared at where the boy was pointing. The dockman then looked Aurell up and down, eyes darting all over in a hurried assessment of the person in front of him. After a few moments his flustered inspection ended, but his angry stare remained.

“That ain’t Volcaire’s brat,” the dockman finally responded, indignation clear in his tone. “No. Suten’s son’s the son-of-a-bitch what gave me this.”

At that Jeck rolled up his left sleeve to reveal a large scar covering the entirety of his upper arm. The ticket master winced at the sight of it. The damage was quite clearly the result of a severe burn.

“How DARE you speak to my comrade in such distasteful language!” Corat was bellowing out in protest. “It’s outrageous! How could you make such a claim? What’s the meaning of this Aurell? What do you make of………Aurell?”

Aurell was staring at the man’s horrible disfiguration, then looked down at the ground. With a sigh and a look of deep remorse he said, “He’s getting more reckless…and stronger too it seems.”

“Aurell? What does this mean?” inquired Corat.

Aurell looked to the dockman and, ignoring his friends’ question for a moment, asked, “Brunell. Is that the name of the man who did this to you?”

“YEAH! That’s ‘im! That’s ‘is name! You’ve heard of ‘im then?”

Sighing once more, Aurell responded, “He’s my brother.”

“Your brother?” Corat blurted out in surprise.

“Yes. Unfortunately this seems like his handiwork. He has had a certain proclivity for this kind of thing.”

Jeck, with disgust now evident in his voice, interjected, “To what? Ruinin’ the lives of simple workin’ folk just tryin’ ta make their way?”

Aurell decided to continue his explanation despite the dockman’s interruption. “My brother has had an extreme interest in the magicks associated with the red moon from the very beginning. So extreme that some might even call it unhealthy. Our parents wanted to expose us all to the various types of magic in the world and the knowledge that came with it. They taught us whenever they could, and had others teach us what they themselves did not know well. But once my brother discovered the “red magicks” he wanted nothing else. I would have encouraged such drive to master a magical path, and at first I did…but he was always a bit of a wild and outlandish boy. Over time he became increasingly reckless. You remember that dispute my parents settled in the Chamber Colonies that this young man mentioned?” Aurell motioned to the man behind the ticket counter. “Well the conflict was started by Brunell causing a stir. Flaunting his prowess and degrading the people of Asido at the same time. Eventually there were a number of others who took up his calling and it had almost come to fighting between the factions. And as hard as my parents and I tried, we could never find a way to reign him in. After my parents passed, he took the first opportunity he could to leave my sister and I behind. The last I saw of him was in Jen-Kal.”

Jeck’s eyes went wide, “Aye! That’s where he gave me this! Just outside a pub in Jen-Kal North! It was on the outskirts of town ya see so no one was going ta try an stop a man throwin’ fireballs!”

Aurell reached across the counter and gently placed a hand upon the dockman’s shoulder. “I am truly sorry for the suffering which my brother has caused you. It shames me and my family name. It has been a sore spot ever since the day we parted ways.”

Jeck shrugged Aurell’s hand off, quickly rolled his sleeve back down and headed out of the office saying, “Just try ta keep yur family in line, for the rest of our sakes, would ya?”

After a moment of stunned silence, Corat piped up “…Wow. I am sorry, my friend, for the misfortunes you have had.”

“It’s quite alright. To be honest, it hit my sister, Kristell, the hardest. She shared our parents’ dream of finding out what lay in our family’s history. And, also like our parents, she wanted the three of us to continue on together. When Brunell left, she and I continued on for a little over two months, but as time wore on she became disillusioned to the idea of maintaining our search. She thought that if we were not pursuing it together, as a family, then what good would it do?” Aurell paused for a moment, thinking back, “We parted ways, oh, must be about 4 years back now. She settled in one of the larger colonies under the silver moon north of here. We have managed to keep in touch sporadically. She has a nice life for herself now with a good husband and an infant daughter. Haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet my brother-in-law or niece, with my profession running me round the world. And while I’m in my wanderings I try to keep a lookout for my brother…or his exploits, in this case. Suffice to say…I’m rather used to it by now.”

“That’s quite the tale my friend.” Corat said as he looked at Aurell with sorrow plainly showing. “I do wish you the very best of luck in your endeavor and I hope you find all that you‘re searching for.”

Aurell laughs a little snicker of a laugh, “You probably don’t know this, but that’s the second part of an ancient ‘curse’ from the Gux. They say: ‘May you live in interesting times and find all you are searching for’. There is deeper meaning to it, and from what I know something is lost in translation.”

Corat stammers, “I’m sorry Aurell. I meant no offense, but that does not sound like a curse to me.”

At that moment, a blaring horn sounded from one of the ferries floating nearby. Some passengers that had been milling about began to move toward their chosen vessels as the engines came to life and began to loudly hum. Several sailors began helping people load luggage and cargo on board as they began preparations for departure.

“I do believe that is your cue, my friend”

“Indeed it is. Thank you for all of your kind words and wishes along with your assistance these last two weeks.”

Corat removed his large hat and gave a bow fit for court, “It has been my pleasure sir. I do hope we meet again someday.”

Corat straightened up and the two men exchanged a firm handshake. Aurell turned directly about and headed toward the ferry that would carry him one step closer to Tuxix and the next leg of his adventure. As he set foot on the boarding ramp, he heard William Corat calling out from behind him:

“You make sure to have a safe voyage now, ya’ hear?”

Aurell slowly turned to look at his new friend and a large grin spread across his face. After a moment he said, “It’s only a mundane ferry. [[A Wizards work is never done… | What could possibly happen]]?”

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Foray into the Exploration Busness
Second session with everyone

About a week after the events in the bar, Erin found another job for the Nunnehi and her crew. A Discoveries job had been posted by the Explorers Guild with some promising leads, and very large purse. Erin had Kai, Tahira, Gar, and Aurell all try and get some extra info before they left port to try and find the grave of the famous Blue Rogue, Eric Grodstern.

With a little intimidation, lots of conversation, and some mussel they gleaned several facts that would help. The were looking for one of his old bases of operation, rumored to be four in number, scattered around the large land mass to the south of Tuxix. It was bound to be near flowing water, on an island not actually attached to the large southern mass as well as on the south side of that mass and, with all likelihood, Imps would have taken up residence there.

After a brief trip with some guests and cargo to the large island to Tuxix’s south, they continued still further south in search of the grave.

It did not take them long with the information they had gleaned. And sure enough, Imps were there…in mass. Flying and hovering around the island and slightly under the larger land mass were well over 100 imps. Thanks to some fine gunnery skill paired with a demonstration of magical might and creative thinking to slow the imps down, the imp numbers were cut down severely before even making it to the ship and bottle-necked when they did make it there.

Once the deck was clean of the imp invaders Kai set about getting a life raft ready to take them ashore, as there was no safe place to anchor directly on the island.

With a short trip they made landfall and almost immediately were rewarded with finding conformation that this was a base of operation for the legendary pirate. A large flagstone, heavily worn with age, still showed the original crest of the Blue Scimitars, his pirate band. It was at the mouth of a cave, natural in its appearance but with a trained eye, one could tell that it had been worked at some point and either made to look natural or time had done that work itself.

The group decided to push on and get confirmation that this was his grave and not just a lost base. The caught glimpses now and again of imps and saw many imp markings but no conflict arose. Eventually, they came to a well lit room with torches and a number of imps, including 2 that were nearly 4 times the size of a normal imp, and using weapons.

After squaring off with the larger imps and their lackeys Kai and company investigated the room and found a wordlock (a series of dials with several letters on each) on the back wall. The wordlock had a clue scribed above it:

“I had what all Rogues desire. I then gave it up to grant everyone the same.”

After a short time the party discerned the answer to be freedom. When the correct answer had been entered a portion of the back wall opened revealing a long since forgotten hidden passage…and an office of sorts.

The office was in shambles but some of those present took some time to investigate this as well. Others headed down another passage that connected to this office. What they found was the long abandoned hidden interior of the Blue Rogue’s base. With a little more searching they discovered the tomb of Captain Grodstern, along with a treasure trove of books from over 400 years ago.

The party was astounded to find the place left so untouched after how disheveled the rest of the place was but both Tahira and Aurell noted that there was magic in play, something that neither of them could quite figure out but it seemed to fend off the imps, although not the ravages of time.

With the area more or less secure they closed things up, took a few books, and headed back to Tuxix to report the good news.

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Trouble catches up with Chris
First session with everyone

About three days after the Nunnehi returned to Tuxix, Kai gets word that a group of men are chasing Chris through the streets of the coastal market cluster and goes to bail his lookout out of trouble. While Chris is evading his pursuers, Aurell notices the young man but doesn’t feel he should get involved, after all, he is a sailor, and this kind of thing happens. His curiosity was piqued when Kai, Richard and Stewart also went running passed. He decided to follow along discreetly.

Meanwhile, Garisold Pon has been eking out a living on the streets, trying to make money where he could, however he could. Tahira on the other hand is trying to keep her mind off her now gone family and find what she will do with her life now that everything has been uprooted. Both have found themselves in a little, dark, no questions asked bar located in the coastal market cluster when a young man, battered, bruised and bleeding is unceremoniously thrown through the door and into a table.

Almost all of the patrons leave the bar quickly at this point, not wishing to be involved in what is going on. Gar recognizes the man as a lieutenant of a local gang by the name of Tristan. Tristan, along with a pair of enforcers and a few pickpockets, are speaking of the young man, saying the the Otan, a large multi-island crime syndicate, has a bounty out on him.

At this point Kai enters the bar and tells the gang bangers to leave his lookout alone. After a small amount of banter Tristan gives the order to attack Kai, but Kai doesn’t even let him finish the sentence, laying out one of the pickpockets. Tahira moves to where Chris is and checks if he is alright, then begins to get the poor boy out of the bar to safety while Aurell decides to take up a “sniping” position from outside the window of the bar, and to great effect. Gar on the other hand offers to help Kai…for a price. Eventually Kai takes the rogue up on his offer, and Gar quickly dispatches two more foes, Tristan among them.

When the dust settles Gar gets his pay and inquires about a job for the longer term. Kai decides to give the teen a shot. Tahira also asks where Kai is bound, as she simply wants to be away from Tuxix, since her reason for coming here did not bare fruit. Kai says that he doesn’t yet know, but she’s welcome to a hammock on the Nunnehi when she does sail. “T” takes him up on the offer and says she’ll pay her way in labor. Aurell also mentions that the offer Erin made him is the best he’s seen thus far, and will likely sign on when the Nunnehi next leaves.

After all the dust settles and the crew is all back aboard the ship, Erin informs Kai that they may have their next job, their first foray in to the exploration business. They will have to wait until the refit of the ship is done but they should be on their way in about 3 weeks. After Erin and Kai were done with their discussion, Gar negotiated his way into being the cargo master.

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Tahira
Coming of Age

It was midmorning, on a cool day early in Silver Month, 809.

Tahira’s father, Tywin, was returning from a four month (2/3 of a year) mercenary tour via airship, which had taken him further from home than any of his family could fathom. Tywin walked into his home to find his younger brother, Asher, slumped in the corner. As Tywin approached his brother, the odor of filth and stale wine filled his nostrils. Tywin had trusted his brother with the safety of his wife and two children while he was away. It was apparent now his brother’ love of wine was greater than his sense of duty. Tywin kicked Asher awake and swiftly pitched him onto the street unceremoniously. Tywin liked to take care of business efficiently.

Tywin searched his small property for his wife and children. The living quarters were abandoned, but the workshop showed signs of life, with a small stream of smoke coming from the chimney. His wife, Hazel, usually greeted him with warmth, but he was concerned for her given Asher’s state. Hazel was a capable weaver and savvy business woman, but she was not much for weaponry, combat or travel, unlike her husband. Tywin found her and their children, Tahira and Renard, in Hazel’s workshop, where she made handsome cloaks.

Hazel’s dark eyes caught him, as they always had, and held him captive. Within 3 strides they were entwined in an embrace. The children clung to their Mother’s dress. They always took longer to warm up to Tywin after a mission. When Tywin pulled back he notice a red mark on Hazel’s smooth cheek.

“Lass, that mark is from me brother, am I right?”

She buried her face in his chest, avoiding his eyes. He felt her head nod. Tywins rage filled his chest and head, a physical sensation. He drove away thoughts of vengeance with the need to assure the damage was limited to Hazel’s face. He inspected his children. He could tell they were shaken, but no obvious marks were visible, and there was a steady resolve in Tahira’s eyes. Even at the age of eleven, she had the spirit of a fighter. Unlike her brother and mother, she was willing and capable of action.

Tywin looked into his daughter’s steely eyes. She had always liked watching him clean his weapons and had listened to his tales in rapt.

He asked,

“T, are you ready to learn how to protect your mother and brother?”

Tahira meet his eyes and nodded. He thought he caught the hint of a smile on her lips.

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Garisold Pon
Leaving Home

16th of Green Month, 843, somewhere under the blue moon.

Garisold Pon staggered up the front steps. His head spun and his eyes were seeing double as he struggled with the door latch. A knapsack was slung over his shoulders and his right hand was carrying a course canvas bag. Using his left hand he grabbed the latch roughly and twisted hard while throwing his weight against the door. He felt the metal in the latch give as the door swung open. The broken door latch caught on the bag ripping out the bottom causing the contents of it to spill on the floor.

“SHIT! Dad! Your worthless door latch is busted!” Bellowed Garisold. “It’s about time you fixed it.”

As Garisold was stuffing the contents of his bag into this knapsack he heard a cough and the heavy, uneven steps of his father from around the corner. The years Alistor spent working the forge had chipped away at his health. In his younger days he was much like Garisold, strikingly so. He had the same face, dark eyes, widow’s peak, and square jaw. But now they were marked with age. His tall frame hinted at the athletic build he once had, but even in his prime he doubted he was as strong as his son. Working as a longshoreman had packed a considerable amount of power onto his son’s muscles.

“What did you do this time, Gari I told you we have to be gentle. It works just fine if you…” The older man stopped mid-sentence as he spotted the remains of the latch on the worn wood floor. After assessing the damage he turned his attention to his son. Garisold stank of cheap booze, the kind you get from a bucket in a dark alley that was sure to make you regret your decisions in the morning. His bloodshot eyes and jerky movements meant that he probably had a few hits of Cloud, or Dew as well. Alistor’s disapproval was obvious as he dealt with his son. “Gari, I am going to ask you to pay for this. It’s only fair.”

“Pay for this? You’re the Fucking blacksmith. You expect me to pay the blacksmith to fix his own home?”

“Steel does not grow on trees. I won’t charge you for the labor but you need to know that your actions have consequences. You can’t come home all strung out on booze and Dew, break MY house, and then not be responsible for your actions! Maybe if you actually pay for things you will have more respect for them.”

“Pay for things! Respect? Where the hell do you think my money goes? I spend most of my earnings from unloading those damn airships on food, bills, and taxes. I bust my ass supporting you while all the money you make goes to supporting that hag you married and her spoiling her spawn!”

“How dare you speak like that about my wife? Sheryl spent years trying to get you to accept her. It’s not her fault Ellen died! All you have ever given to the relationship is venom and criticism. Are you to drunk or too stupid to see that Clarence is our only ticket out of this part of life? With the proper schooling he could make it.”

“He could make it? WHAT ABOUT ME! WHAT ABOUT MY TICKET OUT OF HERE?”

In the middle of the argument Clarence rounded the corner into the entranceway.

“Would you two quiet down? I have to take my exams tomorrow.”

“Sucks to your fucking exams! How about you try to pay your fair way, you freeloader. I am tired of feeding you, while you blow stupid amounts of money at your school. Magical trinkets, expensive potions, royal clothing.”

“They are necessities. That means I need all that stuff to further my studies. Perhaps if you didn’t squander all your money on cloud and booze you could afford some of the finer things for your dead end life.”

Alistor stepped between the two youths. “Hey lets settle down and deal with this in the morning, it’s just a latch.”

“NO! I am tired of supporting you and that useless piece of shit while he waves all his pricey trinkets in my face! It’s not fair! It’s always Gari pay for this, Gari get a job, Gari buy the groceries, Gari fix the porch. Clarence here is 17 and he has never done a day of work in his life. You kicked me out of the house at 14 until I had a job. You knew too well that due to my size I would have to work as an adult. No one wants to hire a kid that can’t squeeze into small spaces. Hard labor at 14, just so you could support that Hag and her spawn.”

“Don’t talk about my mom like that. I will…”

Alistor cut off Clarence. “Gari, magical powers take many years to prefect. You can’t judge him after only one year.”

“I sure I can. What useful things can he do?”

“I can fix that latch you broke in your inebriated stupor” Clarence stated. He knelt down and channeled energy into the latch. A warm purple light surrounded the latch as Clarence assessed the damage and applied energies to fix it. Latched started to glow with magical heat and the room smelled like ozone mixed with burning wood from the floor boards. Abruptly the magical energies subsided and a perfectly neat weld repaired the latch.

“It is really quite easy. Energy alteration is one of the first things I learned. I bet you could even learn a little trick like that if you ever applied yourself. I mean if you were ever sober long enough to learn to…”

A hard calloused fist propelled by a haymaker landed on Clarence’s jaw and he dropped like a sack of grain. Garisold lifted him up by the collar with ease.

“INSULT ME ONE MORE TIME! I FUCKING DARE YOU!” roared Garisold.

“Enough SON. That was uncalled for!”

“Not you too old man. He deserved it.”

“It’s time you were taught a lesson. You think you’re the cock of the walk. Bullying, stealing, and destroying everything in your way. Come at me!”

“If you want it that way old man.”

Garisold charged Alistor head down and fists swinging wildly. Alistor shifted his weight dodging the charge and protecting his bad knee. Garisold went flying past and tripped on the unconscious form of Clarence.

“Come on tough guy. I have tried reason and it seems you have no respect for civilized discourse. Guess it’s time to reason it out with you in a way you can understand.”

Garisold rose with a scream and lead with a left jab. Alistor, surprised with the strength and speed, fell back doing his best to keep up with the attacks from the younger man.

“I tried, again and again. Each time I was dismissed. I just wanted a chance and you dismissed me. I’m not stupid. I’m not your mule. Give me a chance, let me have a future.”

“You would just squander it. You and your warf rat friends. No respectable person would associate with such a crowd.” Alistor regained his footing and stuck out with a right uppercut catching Garisold squarely on his chin.

“You pushed me into that crowd. When I spend all day, every day unloading airships who do you think will become my friends. At least they give me a chance.”

“A chance at what? Smuggling, pimping, gambling, protection? That’s no future.”

“It’s more than you have ever given me.” Garisold launched into a furious attack. Full of power and ferocity. Manual labor had tightened his muscles into power cords, but it had not taught him technique. Alistor saw the haymaker coming, stepped inside deflecting the blow with his forearm, while setting up for a powerful cross. The crossing punch landed squarely with a satisfying thug. Garisold’s vision swam with smearing colors, he staggered back unguarded. Alistor pressed his advantage.

“You fight like a punk!”

Garisold saw his old man advance. Moving with the power of a man with a lifetime of hard labor. He tried to block but the effects of the drugs and the punch made him too slow. Alistor hit with the power of a sledge, landing a combo of body blows that knocked the wind out of Garisold.

“Come on you ungrateful punk. You want to act like a man. Then fight like one!”

“ARRGH!” Garisold launched a staggering charge.

Alistor let out a slight sigh. This was not how he wanted this to end, but his fool of a son had it coming. He sidestepped the dangerous but thoroughly predicable attack. The smith extended his foot tripping up the warf rat. Then with the power and accuracy of a man use to swinging a steal from sun up to sundown landed a hammer blow on the back of his sons head sending him into a sprawling darkness.

Alistor sighed and forced himself to relax. Garisold was not getting up soon so Alistor was content to leave him there as he resolutely walked into his room. After a few seconds of rummaging around in his dresser removed a box and a leather pouch.

“Are you coming back to bed?” Sheryl asked.

“Not yet. I need to finish up some business with my son.” Explained Alistor.

“Is he drunk again? I heard shouting.”

“Yeah he is, but this is the last time we are going to have to deal with him.”

Alistor slowly walked back into the entranceway. Clarence had already come around and was getting a drink of water. He stared for a while at his unconscious son. How had this happened? Where did he go wrong? Some people you just can’t reach. Might as well just cut your losses. He went into the kitchen and took Clarence’s cleaned and drying mug off the rack over the sink. He filled it with water, drank half of it and poured the rest of it on Garisold’s face.

“Get up and listen.”

Garisold rolled over on his back and tried to shake forced clarity back into his head.

“Stop your moaning and listen. When we are though you will leave my house for good. I will no longer consider you my son. Our ways will part here. In this bag is your inheritance. I was going to use this to pay off Clarence’s tuition but this debt gets paid off first. Take it, spend it, invest it, drink it, or gamble it away, whatever. All that matters is that this is the last handout from me you will ever get. In the box is your mother’s wedding ring. It is the only personal item of any worth she had when she died. By rights of inheritance it is now yours. As much as it pains me, I am going to cheat you. You wanted your chance at a good life, you have it. Now get up and get out of my house.”

Garisold felt the thug of the coins as the pouch hit him in the chest. He picked up the ring box, and coins stuffed them in his backpack, then he turned and walked out the door into the night.

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A Wizards work is never done...
First session with Jon

Traveling is just part of everyday life for Aurell Volcaire. Skilled sorcerer, sailor and professional diplomat and mediator. To most, he wanders aimlessly, from job to job, but some think there is motive to his meanderings. On the 28th of Silver Month, 843, Aurell is on a ferry headed to some small island he doesn’t even know the name of. It’s name doesn’t carry any weight to him, it’s just another stop on his way to Tuxix. It seems more or less an ordinary trip, until there is a commotion from the observation deck.

It seems that a Black Pirate, flying the flag of the Lizard Killers, is approaching at high speed with what looks like the intent to intercept. This is odd for two reasons in Aurell’s mind. One, ferries like this rarely have anything of worth one them, even the people most of the time aren’t worth taking. Two, Black Pirates don’t operate under the silver moon, too risky with the Silver Armada being everywhere.

As the pirates close in Aurell offers to help the captain and crew of the ferry in any way he can. The Pirate captain is looking for “something” on board and promises to leave everyone unharmed after they have what they are after. Aurell knows an empty promise when he sees one, and it seems that the captain of the ferry sees it too. The conversation eventually ends when, on the ferry captain’s orders, a ferry crewman shoots one of the pirate crew.

Much of the ferry crew quickly retreats below decks to calm the passengers and defend them if necessary but they are not skilled fighters. Aurell, a group of three Red Aspects, an older Silver Aspect named Gedran Chetel, and a man clad in black remain on deck to bare the brunt of the fight.

Meanwhile, the Nunnehi and crew are headed home to Tuxix after having just finished their first contract. Three days out from Crescent Isle, Chris spots a ferry that seems to be pulled aside a ship flying a Black Pirate flag. Kai, knowing this can only mean trouble for those on the ferry, decides to embrace the spirit of those who live under the silver moon and lend a hand.

After arriving in a very flashy fashion, Kai joins the fray, which had not been going very well before hand. Even with the assistance of Kai and his crew, it was a tough scrape. One of the Red Aspects was severely wounded, Gedran, Aurell and the man in black had all taken a number of hits and Kai was rather close to passing out from the beating he had received.

After having their injuries tended to, the ferry captain offers to transfer some of his fares over to the Nunnehi in thanks of pulling them out of the fire. This is to the benefit of the passengers who are headed out to Tuxix. What would have been another 4 weeks (~24 days) of ferry and island hopping for them would now turn into 3-4 days of smooth sailing straight there. Aurell, Gedran, a family of five and the man in black, now identified as Xenon Viricksha, transfer over for the shorter trip with their belongings. Kai also has his crew set up towing tackle to the erstwhile Black Pirate ship, figuring that even in the sorry state it is, he might be able to sell it back in Tuxix.

Aurell meets Erin while aboard, and she begins to pick his brain about magic. Gedran takes an intrest in the cannons of the Nunnehi and offers to “heat up” the power charges he has.

The fact of why the pirates attacked eventually comes to light when Kai confronts Xenon about his odd behavior. They were more than likely after Xenon. He is a courier for those who can afford him but he’s retiring from the business, and assumes that they were sent to ether kill him or take him to try and get information about his clients. He assure Kai that the danger is passed but it never hurts to be cautious, so he has continued to do so after he left the ferry.

After a few days in open sky, they finaly make it to Tuxix. Xenon bids his farewells, and says that if Kai ever need his help to just come and see him. Aurell snags Xenon for a moment to ask him about a cypher to a document he recovered from the pirate. Xenon thinks he might know someone who can help and will be in touch. Erin wants to hire Aurell on as a consultant and mentor of the magical arts, asking Kai, “Can we hire him?”, to which he answered, “It’s your company, why are you asking me?”. Aurell asked for some time to see the sights of Tuxix before he makes up his mind. Gedran requests to stay aboard for a while, having enjoyed the time it spent with the crew of the Nunnehi, plus the power mix isn’t done yet. “I shouldn’t leave the stuff unattended for long, don’t need a new hole in the ship now do we?”.

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