Go Fightin Banana Slugs



The Bosuns Heaviest Duty
Written and prepared to be sent from next major port.

6th of Readying, 383ONT

Dear Mr. and Ms. Riley

I regret to inform you that your son, Horatio Riley, has perished in honourable duty on the Champions Boot protecting the vessel from a dangerous local creature. Your son only served with us for a short time, but performed his duties with skill and valour, and was quickly becoming a valuable member of the ship. his loss will be keenly felt on our vessel and we mourn along with you.

In the attached package are his possessions from aboard ship, his pay accrued including his danger bonus and Death Gratuity, and his mouse, Mousekins -would-be-safer-staying-on-the-ship-as-it-would-not-be-safe-posting-a-small-mouse-and-its-best-mousekins-stays-on-the-ship-rather-then-being-sent-away-just-now.


Flitt Fargazer
Bosun, Champions Boot

Cainian Politics

9th of Readying 383ONT, Darwheaton Castle, Sivia Province, Cainia

King Caleb Forbes sat beside his beautiful Queen Sara in the throne room of Darwheaton Castle. The room, resplended in polished marble was a mark of beauty that had never dulled. It was said that the Empress of the Dwarven Empire had beseeched her favoured craftsmen to aid in the construction of the palace as a gift to one of their ancestors for services during the great war. Now almost four centuries later the room looked almost as new as the day it was finished. The ancient doors to the throne room stood eighteen feet tall, with ceilings that ran near twenty five feet, the room was meant to inspire awe and allow even the largest of allies room to stand comfortably. Two foot soldiers is tabards of blue and white opened the door as a frilly shirted man with a tri quarter hat entered and spoke.

“My King, My Queen, may I present to you Master Markandeya Bhatia, voice of the House of Omar” the man stepped aside to present a tan skinned human wearing a turban of mustard yellow and robes to match. He had a red sash with writings that were not common for this land and walked with a stiff backed poise. Behind him came to men, each wearing a bright silver breastplate trimmed in gold, with blue turbans and large brown baggy pants. Master Bhatia approached the thrones stopping at the traditional ten foot mark and bowing deeply.

“King Forbes, the beautiful Queen Forbes I am humbled but the most welcome reception I have received, the civility and customs of Cainia rival that the hospitality of Queen Theiraqule herself.” The Queen smiled as the King began to speak

“Why thank you Master Bhatia, I must admit we are curious, we have heard rumors from our neighbors in Glandora and Pritus, but nothing substantiated”

“Well my devout King, it is my hope that we can all walk away with equitable fortunes today.” He paused bringing his hands in front of him and touching each finger to their counterpart. “The Masters of Omar Trading have purchased the country of Rynus. It has even now been renamed OMARU”

“Purchased the Country?” The Queen whispered trying to grasp what the man was speaking of.

“Indeed my lady, we would also like to put forth the same offer to Cainia. Omaru would like to expand its borders and to do so it would humbly offer 4.6 million Golden Dwarven Crowns. By our calculations more than thrice what your country is worth.” There was a long stunned pause at this. Master Bhatia fidgeted with his fingers for several heartbeats before he once again spoke. “I can see that this will take some time and thought, I will retire to my quarters while you discuss and come to a…”

“No… thank you”

“Excuse me Sire, No?” Master Bhatia replied seeming somewhat surprised by the hasty response from the King.

“No, there is far more to ruling than wealth, and as my father always told me ‘King’s are here to serve the people’ What kind of King would I be if I sold this land and left them without leadership or governance? The Gods themselves selected my family to rule this land, one cannot sell divine providence” The King rose from his throne and stepped down, to approach Master Bhatia “I respect your desire to rule a large kingdom, but perhaps we should turn our conversation on how we can be good neighbors and trading partners…”

“Besides…” the Queen piped in from her throne “Ruling Cainia would only split your Kingdom, you have all of Glandora, and a large part of Pritus between us” the King smiled to his wife and turned a head back to the Omaru nodding that she was correct, he was surprised to see that Master Bhatia was shaking his head however.

“I am afraid that this is no longer the case. You see we have made similar generous offers to both Glandora and Pritus, sadly they refused our offers, and a declaration of war occurred”

“War?” the King and Queen spoke in unison, the Kings face clouding.

“I’ll warn you before we continue, that we have a mutual defense pack with Glandora, they are old allies to Cainia, and if you make war on them; Cainia can and will come to their aid”

“My King, I am impressed, the honour of Cainia is indeed irrefutable… but alas you need not worry about such things… Pritus was eliminated as a country four days ago, Glandora was defeated yesterday, their lands now all belong to the great nation of Omaru” the King took a large step back as he tried to process what he was being told… Glandora was not one of the great nations, but they kept a decent standing army, a well-trained militia and were known to have wizards on their side… to just be gone, without word even making it to Cainia, it was neigh impossible to imagine. “Please, Noble King Forbes, take some time and consider our offer, it is for the best for your people and your family. I would hate for war to come to Cainias shores and hills: Master Bhatia turned to leave, but then as if as an afterthought added “But, if it should, please know that I have twelve warships that are mere hours from your harbour, and six thousand men amassed along your boarder ready to race across your land and wipe you from it. I would not wish such things on your peasants King Forbes… what kind of leadership would that be” with this Master Bhatia turned and began walking back to the great doors of the throne room. He made it maybe three steps when he felt a hand on his shoulder and was roughly spun around.


The Kings Sword, Zor’Tekken, Forged in Skyforge, infused with magic from the Mage Knights of Old, gifted to the family by the Great Goddess Selwyn; was ripped from its sheath and placed to Master Bhatia’s throat.

“Listen here Bhatia. I have invited you here as a guest, let you into my home and treated with you in good faith, I will not be threatened in my own throne room. My Kingdom, The Kingdom of Cainia is not for sale, and I do not care how many men or ships you have, I will not be scared into giving it to some soulless company. Take your entourage here and be out of my kingdom by sundown… let your masters know that if it is war they want, then war they shall get, and I will meet them on the field of battle… now go!” As the King gave the final order he pulled the sword back from the man’s throat and lowered the tip to the floor, nodding to his men to open the doors and see the visitors from his Castle.

“As you wish King Forbes… Such a pity” Master Bhatia said, as he prepared to leave however he pulled a needle from his sleeve and flicked it at the king, stinging him in the neck

“What! What trickery is this?” the King said taking a step forward and raising his sword, but as he tried to he found the strength drain from his body, he fell to the ground, finding no strength in his lungs to pull in air. He could hear the Queen scream, could see in his peripheral vision his men rushing to battle Bhatia’s body guards. Bhatia walked up to him and reached down

“Far too fine a sword to be wasted on a Penny King” but as he reached for it his hand passed through the hilt. “interesting… your sword doesn’t like me… this is gruesome work I suppose” Bhatia said as he pulled a curved dagger from his other sleeve… the King felt nothing as he watched his sword hand be hacked off… watched in horror as Bhatia reached down and picked up his hand, and used the hand to pick up the sword. His vision was clouding now as he heard the Queen cry out in anger and watched Bhatia turn and block her rapier with his bloody curved blade. He felt nothing, his body was in a void; slowly everything just went dark as the world seemed to drain away from him.

And so passed the 29th King of Cainia

A Day on the SHip PT more

6th of Readying, 383ONT, Champions Boot, Mess Hall, 5:36pm

The music thrummed as Robinson played his accordion and Maddax drummed on the table. The mood was boisterous. Hatrutt had begun the festivities by announcing bottomless pasta for dinner. That made any sailor happy, but to top it off he announced a doubling on the rum ration as per the Captains orders. Well fed and a little buzzed it hadn’t taken long for the music to come out. Prancer had hopped up on the table and began to dance kicking his legs to the beat as he jumped up and down. Rikka had joined in with spins and summersaults and from there a one ups battle had begun that resulted in Baker juggling two forks and a knife while Miriel summoned creatures to join the music or dance. As Hatrutt worked his way through the room carrying a large pot of pasta and dropping large helpings of thirds and fourths in to various bowls he called the rambling group to order.

“Listen Up! Listen Up! The Captain has asked me to let you know that this feast is a thank you for your hard work over the past few months, and a token of his appreciation. He has also assured that the officers know that tomorrow morning will consist of mandatory duties only, so you can feel free to rest easy and regain your strength…” he was interrupted to a loud ramble of cheers. Hatrutt waved them down. “also… in honour of Prancers Birthday… I have made cookies for you, one each, so pass them around fellas’” Hatrutt placed the plate on the table and was wise enough to jump out of the way as the sailors scrambled over each other for the fresh baked cookies. Seeing things were going well Hatrutt headed back to the kitchen as he heard Robinson start singing and others chime in

Please listen here for Robinsons song

Things were starting to get back to normal on the ship.

Tummy Time Pt Some More

Tummy Time Some More

“I’m just saying, it is real convenient that every time it’s your turn to fetch firewood that is when your goddess summons you” Maul said as he used his hatchet to shave a log into kindling. Curtis looked at his friend sheepishly, the faun guessed that perhaps he was using that excuse a little too often now and that he would ease off

“I cannot control when the Goddess of the Night Wind wishes to see me” Curtis said running his hand through his hair. Maul just shook his head and kept at his work.

“We will need a plan to pass through the Clover Fields” Soaz spoke, her high pitched voice ringing clearly through their little camp “it is infested with gibbering’s”

“I believe the Leprechauns asked for our assistance in retaking their home” Ossawk offered

“I have no desire to fight fields of gibberlings for leprechauns… I say we just take the extra two days and give the entire area a wide berth” Maul offered as he built a small tee pee and began working his flint and steel to light the fire. Curtis scratched his chin for a few moments

“I think the Goddess of the Night Wind would want us to help the Leprechauns… she feels for those fighting for a home” Maul stopped and looked at Curtis

“You think… or she told you? Cause I don’t want to fight a hundred gibberlings over your ‘feelings’”

“I know it is what she wants… if we can help them get a home we need to get them a home… so we fight the gibberlings” Curtis declared. Maul glared at him “What’s your problem anyway, why are you in such a bad mood?” the wild elf tossed his flint aside

“I’m hungry, and the only one trying to get a fire started, and I can’t get a spark to land… so ya, I’m in a bad mood” the wild elf growled

“Oh, why didn’t you say so” Curtis said, snapping his fingers and casting the spark spell… the fire immediately ignited. A deadly silence passed over the group

“How long have you been able to do that?” Maul asked in a forced level tone

“For a while now, it is a low circuit spell, so I can caste it tons of times a day” the faun said with an easy tone

“so all last week when we had no fire cause of the rain and wet wood?”

“Oh ya… I also have a spell that would have dried the wood out….”


Miriel looked at her stomach in awe, it was an odd scene with the bird man and gnome trying to pull the wild elf off the faun. The wild elves hands were wrapped around the faun’s neck while the faun had a look of utter confusion on his face. She shrugged fascinated by the scene and curious how it would play out.

In the Letters

Dear Sir Alfirin

Allow me to congratulate you on another year. I also wish to thank you to the extreme efforts and costs you have put forward in shepherding my crew whilst I was ill. In recognition I have sent word magically to an old friend situated at the Pan Optic Laboratory of Enlightened Learning in Chistles Point. He is a metal worker and alchemist of no small skill. He has agreed to craft barding for Eltheron, a suit of Chain that is forged from Elysian Bronze. It is my hope that this will offer you some peace of mind whilst on your dangerous quests.

In my own hand

Captain Folas Cailana
Champions Boot

Dear Sir Horace

With all the changes that have been occurring it is my hope that this gift is still relevant. I have sent work magically to a friend of mine in Chistles Point. She has agreed to craft a new musket for you in the hopes of replacing some of the firearms that were lost while I was ill. In addition my friend has agreed to craft you thirty five bullets made of Dream Stone, it is my hope that these will serve you well.

In my own hand,

Captain Folas Cailana
Champions Boot

Dear Ms. Mandy Doyle

Humans grow so fast, I can hardly keep up, congratulations on making it through a long hard year, I am proud of the work you are doing on this Ship. I offer you the gift of a lute, as every officer needs to learn to play some sort of musical instrument, and I would be proud to teach you how to play. Now because all of the best lutes are those that are broken in, I have arranged for a new one to be crafted in Chistles Point, but that will be for me, you are to gain my lute. This lute was a gift to me from the Lady Mylaela of the house of Quiphine. The wood was sung into its shape and lives still to this day. Each of the strings on this lute are forged from dried chimaera tendons. I have owned this lute for over four hundred years, and the Lady Mylaela has had it in her family since the second Talib Wars. If you treat it with care it will never fail you. Happy Birthday

In my own hand

Captain Folas Cailana
Champions Boot

A Day of the SHip Pt 2

6th of Readying, 383ONT, Champions Boot, Captains Dinning Room, 5:36pm

The Captain straightened his cravat as he sat down, he looked around the fully set table and smiled, he had been without appetite for so long, it was good to eat, and eat with company; he smiled to the surrounding officers and ushered them to take their seats.

“Ms. Doyle, you have done enough to usher young Paolo along, and if I am not wrong it is the job of the Bosun to train him, not the Master Carpenter… or did that change during my absence?” the Captain sent a playful look over to Thitmed who shook his head

“Not to my understanding Captain”

“Well then, we shall let Paolo set the table from hence forth; Mr. Fargazer, if Paolo isn’t able to set a proper course by the spring equinox I shall hold you personally responsible… fair?” Flitt swallowed a little bit, unsure if he knew how to set a proper elven dinner table, but he nodded to the Captain

“Sounds fair Captain”

“Excellent; Paolo, I believe the wine has had plenty of time to breath, since we are in the company of a vintor, I will defer to Sir Thalion’s superior taste buds in the matter” the Halfling cabin boy nodded, but kept his post apparently assuring the wall would not fall over. He held the Captains gaze for what seemed like eons. Finally Mandy could not take it anymore and moved to rise in doing so she caught Belinda’s eye who shook her head, the Master Carpenter settled back in her chair and offered a small hint instead.

“Paolo, he wants you to pour some wine into Sir Thalion’s glass, and if Sir Thalion likes it, pour everyone some wine” understanding dawned on the poor boys face as he nodded to Mandy and hurried over to pour the wine. As he did so conversation around the table struck up, mostly good natured teasing about the various styles Thitmed was keeping his beard while he awaited new growth, about various market adventures within the town of Hellrick and even a tall tale from Thitmed about the time he saw a ghost ship and stole a pocket watch from the ghost captain on a Talib’s Day river bout. It wasn’t long before the first course was served, river oysters in a thick creamy sauce, with rice and vegetables for the elves. It came with fresh crusty bread and newly creamed butter. As the plates were passed around and the officers began to eat, the Captain began struck up the conversation.

“I want to begin by thanking you all for how you stepped up during my illness, I know it was not easy and I very much appreciate what you all did to assure we survived and the Boot made it through, I am proud of you all” he paused a moment as people nodded accepting the rare praise and thanks. “Now, there have been a number of crew changes and things have been left aside lately as we have all stretched to fill the gaps. As we approach Chistles Point I would like us to focus on getting back on track and clarify a number of areas, please do not take this as insult, merely as efforts to put us back on an even keel, fair?” he asked, the crew nodded again, Thitmed reached forward grabbing another slice of bread knowing a bit more than most what was to come.

“Mr. Ironbraid,”

“Aye Captain” the Dwarf said, knowing he would come first to set the example

“How many officers are currently serving on the Champions Boot?” the Captain asked

“Seven Captain, Eight if you include the Kempai, but I am not fer thinking that is a long term station there” the Dwarf answered, nodding to the empty seat where the Kempia had refused the dinner invitation.

“I share your assessment there Mr. Ironbraid, and we will discuss her situation in private later. For now however can you please tell me how many officers are fully trained on tiller use and navigation?” Thitmed paused hanging his head a little

“Four Captain” he said

“I see, Have we decided that we only require two thirds of our officers to understand how to pilot the ship?”

“no Captain”

“Then I would like that corrected, by the time we hit the Upper Promethean River, have the Bousn, Master Carpenter and Master Gunner take training shifts until you are confident that they could handle the ship in a battle or storm, understood?”

“Aye Captain” the Dwarf said. The Captains eyes drifted down the line to Belinda

“Ms. Featherfoot, When is the Baby due?” The Captain asked in a softer tone

“My best guess would be early Reaping, Captain”

“Will you be remaining on the Ship once the baby is born?” the Captain asked

“I… well…” Belinda looked at Thitmed before fully responding “… I would like to Captain, if you would allow it” she ventured. The Captain took a sip of his wine before responding

“A ship is a dangerous place for an infant, harsh climates, violent storms, pirates and port authorities? Are you sure this is a place you want to raise a child?”

“I can think of no safer place Captain, then with you and Thitmed” she was rewarded with a smile “with your permission, I’d like to try”

“Well then, so long as it does not affect the functionality of the ship, I see no reason why we can’t give it a try… I will however need you to train Sir Thalion and Hatrutt in your duties, to help cover during the lead up and recovery from birth… fair?”

“More than fair, thank you Captain” she said standing and giving the Captain a hug. She retook her seat as he continued

“I would also like us to start keeping a month’s supply of grain as emergency rations on the ship beginning in Chistles Point. We have been in a hurry to leave the last few ports and if this trend continues let us at least be prepared for it”

“Aye Captain” she said, flipping open her notebook and making a note in the ledger. The Captain turned his eyes on the young dashing Knight sitting across from him

“Sir Horace, welcome” Horace or Aurellia made a bit of a nod at the end of the table “I normally do not allow crew to fraternize with our passengers, it can lead to… dark places… that being said, I can tell that this is a different albeit odd circumstance, and I will not deny it for the time being… I will however require you to maintain your duties as the Master Gunner, and let me know by the time we hit port if you will be staying on with us, or departing once we deliver the Lady Alyss to Pelagius…. Aurellia Ouellette was a fine sailor who could make a life on the open seas… Sir Horace Altman is a very wealthy knight, with estates and homes across Argyle and loyalties to attend to… you will have to decide whom you are”

“Yes Captain” the young man said in his strong baritone voice

“In the meantime, I require a battl plan for this ship, when the klaxon blares, who reports to whom, where and when? Please have that put together asap and begin training the crew”

“Yes Captain” Horace nodded

“Mr. Fargazer, Sir Thalion… I am down three Able Bodied Sailors… I want a full crew when we leave Chistles Point, and I want able and experienced sailors this time around, we have our share of trainees for the time being”

“Yes Captain” the responded in unision, then looked at each other and grinned the Captain smiled at the play

“I also need our current crew brought into ship shape, I want training and drills every day, for at least the next four weeks. I see no reason why any person on this ship can’t be a functioning sailor in that time… understood?”

“Yes Captain” Flitt said

“Understood Sir” Thalion said

“Now to the lot of you, one more task for you if you would” the table looked to the Captain in anticipation, “Belinda, please make a duty schedule were an hour each day is dedicated to instructing Ms. Doyle on the history, and etiquette and methods of being an officer, leadership is a skill that must be taught, and each of you have different lessons you can teach. I will not have any officer on my ship be an ‘in name only’ officer, should some of us fall the chain of command must hold strong, are we in agreement?” those assembled nodded assent as the Captain turned to Thitmed “excellent, Mr. Ironbraid, if you can please see to that final piece of business we arrange?” the dwarf smiled a conspiratorial smile as he got up from his seat and ducked out of the room. Those assembled looked around questioning what was happening as the Captain stepped away. He returned just in time as Thitmed opened the door caring a cake

“ ‘APPY BIRTHDA TOO YOUS! ‘APPY BIRTHDA TA YOUS!” He sand loudly as the other joined in, he placed the cake in the centre of the table as he spoke up

“Thalion, Aurllia… er Horace… and Mandy, for shame on me, as I never have before forgotten the Birthday of an officer, please allow me to rectify this now.” He passed each of them a scroll with their name neatly scrawled. Thitmed leaned forward with a large knife

“you read… I’m gonna cut into this cake”

A Day on the SHip PT 1

6th of Readying, 383ONT, Champions Boot, Quarters of the Master Carpenter

Mandy looked into the little silver mirror, the sight staring back at her was hardly recognizable. The acid had burnt most the hair from her scalp as well as her eyebrows. The healing magic that had been offered by Flitt had taken care of the scars the acid had left, and already there was some fuzz of where her hair was growing back, but still. She took her knife and carved off the little hair that was left… better to allow it to grow in all together. He looked down at her drab clothes… her new uniform that Thalion had made her had also not survived the acid bath, she was wearing her old cabin boy outfit while she waited for a new one to be sewn. It had been a hard few days. At first she wasn’t sure how to have taken Aurellias departure… the burning fo the body had been surreal, with Horace insisting that he was still part Aurellia and that it wasn’t a funeral… Mandy wasn’t so sure. Horace had quickly opted to move in with the Lady Alyss and her voice, her gait, all of her…was gone. Things had looked up a little during the full moon, Aurellia had become her old self again… for a time, but as soon as the moon passed, she was back to Horace again, what did that mean? Was this really still her friend? Would they be haunted by a ghost of her their friend every moon? Why had Aurellia left them? Mandy shook her head in confusion trying to process it all.

The Kitchen

“300 meters in that short a time… not too bad for a new swimmer… water wasn’t exactly warm either” Hatrutt said as he expertly diced a few onions. Paolo sat a little straighter as he peeled the potato at the table.

“Ya think? I tried real hard sir… and like ya said, between the dragon and the shark, while my body didn’t seem to want to quit”

“Aye, those can be powerful motivators, but ya seemed to handle yourself well… and it was for the better you weren’t on the ship when the acid rained down… made a terrible mess of things” Hatrutt scooped up the onions with his knife and put them on a pan over the stove, he added some oil and began to crush up some garlic as the onions began to sizzle

“I don’t doubt it sir… Ms. Doyle has had me out there sanding the deck planks since Caliber… I don’t know if she’ll ever be happy with them, they feel pretty smooth to me”

“I wouldn’t go questioning the quality of the Master Carpenters Work Lad…. Nothing but trouble down there” Hatrutt said as he gently added a cut of fish into the pan.

“I know… I just feel like I don’t have a thing yet… and that everyone else is really good at something, and that I am just the extra guy… I wish I knew what I could be good at”

“well Lad… it takes practice and hard work and trying a bit of everything to find your talent… it also takes getting the potatoes peeled soon enough that the Chef doesn’t cut your life short before you find your talent” Hatrutt said, a little sternness creeping into his joke… he saw the boy redouble his efforts on the potatoes and softened a little “Keep your eyes and ears open, watch the crew, even when they don’t mean to they are always teaching, you will find your place, I’m sure of it”

Crew Bunks

Baker tossed aside another crossbow, he had stripped the two useable parts from it, but the acid had destroyed it beyond all repair… fourteen different weapons destroyed by the dragon.

“Arg” he grunted in annoyance, causing Robinson to look up

“What’s on your mind Craw?” the ogre asked

“I can’t believe it… everything I ever thought was wrong… we were attacked by a dragon… a dragon!” Robinson nodded sagely

“Dragons happen apparently, at least on the Champions Boot” the Ogre said

“It’s not that we fought a dragon… it’s that the men were useless… Thalion, and Miriel did all the work, while the men just cowered or were useless” Robinson gave him a long look

“OK… just give me a minute to unpack that… you are mad that the men didn’t play a large enough roll in killing the dragon?”

“You get it, thank the gods” Baker said with some relief. Robinson debated how to proceed… on one hand he wanted to rail on the idiot about women and men and who cares it was a god damned dragon… on the other hand, it had been a long few days, and the Bosun had recommended working on moral with the crew maybe challenging Craws world view was a little too much right now.

“If it helps you sleep better… Sir Thalion is a male” Robinson said, Baker looked up from the broken bow somewhat conspiratorially

“Really?” he whispered to Robinson

“So I have been led to believe, the Knight is indeed a male”

“Well… I’ll be damned… I just went and assumed he was a she… all elves kinda look She-ish but he kinda struck me as a she type”

“well there you have it” Robinson said trying to end this weird conversation as quickly as possible

“and Rikka, he a fellow to?” Baker asked… Robinson paused, he honestly didn’t know

“sure” he said non committedly hoping that the conversation was done. Robinson rose to leave the area

“hmmm… gets ya think huh…. I guess when you look at it, the Master Gunner had to become fellow in order to slay the dragon to huh… I guess our gender really did step it up”

“Oh dear gods I have created a monster” Robinson mumbled to himself as he quickly left the room… he wasn’t sure how he was going to explain this to anyone

Room of the Kempai

Koho cut her long locks as she stuffed a raw carrot in her mouth, she remained wrapped in the blue robe she had borrowed. She sat in bold defiance of Ymeri no longer would she be a pawn, no longer would she worship that which was false… her entire life she had been secluded from living, from doing anything that was not fit for a prophet… but now… now she would know what it meant to truly live. She cut away the last long strand of hair and looked at herself…. How? She did not even know what it meant to live like a …. Common person? What did common people do? And why did they do such things… if she was going to enter into this world she would need a guide… but whom?

On the bow deck

“Again” The Captains voice rang loud and clear as he held his long sword up in the guard position. Thalion and Prancer looked at each other and nodded approaching cautiously. Both were soaked in a thick sheen of sweat but they were learning. The Captain had declared that he felt his sword play was “rusty” at first he had seen Prancer practicing with the old rapier, but a “rusty” Captain made short work of Prancer’s best moves, when Thitmed (still looking ridicules with half his beard melted away) and Belinda had come by with Thalion to watch the Captain had upped the stakes insisting the elf join Prancer. It had been almost half an hour now, between the two of them they had score three blows on the Captain, none fatal. The Captain in turn had “killed” them each about fourteen times. Prancer came running forward, extending his rope arm to grab the boom and swinging over the captain setting up a flank with Thalion who rushed forward shield high and blade low. Prancer offered a series of intricate thrusts and slashes, but the aged elf was fast, kicking at Thalions shield pushing him back and sending long swipes in Prancers direction, that bought him time to dance to the starboard rail putting the sea at his back and forcing the two to approach together in the front. Prancer took a deep breath and rushed forward feeling Thalion beside him


Prancer came up gasping as he emerged from the cold water. He could hear the chuckles of a few crew members as a line was tossed down to him. He quickly pulled himself back up to the deck

“That will be all Mr. Forbes, Master Alfirin… thank you.” The Captain said offering a bow. Prancer bowed in return

Sanity is Overrated

6th of Readying 383 ONT, Champion’s Boot: Rikka’s Cot

Doom, doom, DOOM!

The footsteps boomed behind her as Rikka ran fear granting her an unmatched swiftness and blurred the world around her. Yet she could not shake the steeps, could not shake the approaching shadow at her back.

Doom, doom, DOOM!

It was going to catch her. It was going to find her and there was nothing she could do to stop it. But to face it, to try and fight it was to die. So Rikka ran seeking succour where she could. And then she saw it, that very familiar sight of her family’s estate just outside of High Port. The elegant lines and arches making it look more grown than built but she knew it well for she’d spent the majority of her life within kilometers of its foundation. In front stood her parents and she raced towards them. But as she approached they both crossed their arms and the door boomed shut behind them.

Rikka stopped looking at first her mother then her father and the disapproval etched into their faces much as she had left them so many years before. “Be gone from this place and haunt us no more. Your wicked perversion of the Arts has cursed you and we shall not offer you shelter.” Rikka wanted to respond, to deny their words and accuse them of not being open to the diverseness of the Arts but the image began to darken and fade with the approach of the shadow at her back. She fled.

Doom, doom, DOOM!

Her steps led her to a temple, one dedicated to Ymeri and standing on the lowest step was Kaho. She raced forward to the Priestess knowing that she held the favour of the goddess and could aid in the battle against this shadow. Yet the closer she got the less of a priestess Kaho looked. First her clothes shimmered and changed to a drab and worn brown. Then her hair was shorn in half and her bearing shifted to someone afraid and unsure of themselves. Rikka stopped at the base of the step as Kaho turned an accusing eye on her for the other was swollen shut.

“Why did you have to meddle? Did you really think you were saving me? I could’ve atoned for my failure and found peace with Ymeri. And you, YOU could not help but meddle. Because of you I gave into temptation and because of you I am lost. Be gone from this place and haunt me no more.” She drew a wicked looking jade dagger and plunged it into her chest. Rikka fled.

Doom, doom, DOOM!

The crunch of stone and dirt became the tap of boots on stone as the scene changed again on Rikka. Standing in front of the embassy she saw Alyss. Dried left tracks for the corners of her eyes and down her cheeks as she glared at Paprikka. At her feet lay the dead body of Aurellia. “You failed to save my love then spurned the love I offered. You begged for help and again denied me my price and in doing so doomed everyone. His death, her death,” She pointed at the now smouldering body of Aurellia, “Are your sins.”
A tall man stepped from the shadows and embraced Alyss. His Gibson-blue eyes glared out at Rikka. “I paid the price you would not. Be gone from this place and haunt us no more.” As they turned to each other and embraced in a passionate kiss she fled.

Doom, doom, DOOM!

The world shifted as fast as she moved and she felt the planking of the Champion’s Boot beneath her feet. She staggered to a stop met with the entirety of the grim-faced crew. Not one offered her friendship but many offered words she did not want to hear. One by one they walked in line to her as if giving final words to a departed soul. Rikka tried to move but found herself bound in place by the cords of Prancer’s rope arm.

“You could not replace him, no one could. How dare you even try.” Mandy slapped Rikka hard across the cheek and stepped past.

Flitt hopped forward the small panty-caped mouse on his froggy shoulder. “Mousekins says you did not like the gift and are not worthy of the gift and you look at him strangely and he does not like it so you need to go.”

Odd as that was there was no time to dwell on it for Thalion quickly took Flitt’s place. He shook his head with pity in his eyes. “You are not a real elf. A real elf would face that which stalks you with head held high and spear in hand.”

“You tried to steal my phrase. Stupid elf, to anger a god so.” The Stryx tsked and walked past not bothering to look at her. She struggled against her bonds and felt them loosen as Prancer left her to walk with Miriel.

She was then jabbed in the ribs by the surly dwarven first mate. “Can’t tie knots, don’t know yer starboard from yer port. Was a mistake to rescue you girl. Most useless elf I’ve ever met. Good riddance.”

She watch the dwarf hobble away but a gentle hand on her shoulder brought Rikka around and face to face with the Captain. The sadness and pity she saw brought her to tears as did his words. “It is not right. None of this is right but it is what must be. Everything has a price. Be gone from this place and haunt us no more.”

“No,” she whispered. Drawing her blade the ebon edge drinking in the light. Feeling the steady weight of it in her hand she gained confidence. “No!” She repeated straightening her shoulder and standing taller. “NO!” She shouted raising her black blade high in defiance and the world and people around her melted to golden sands.

Doom, doom, DOOM!

The sun shone mercilessly down on her and the sands sucked at her feet with the shaking from the shadow that followed. Rikka scrambled to keep from being pulled under but there was nowhere that was immune to the pulling and the most she could do is keep from being pulled under. Beside her, standing on the shifting sand was the Fey she’d met before. His amused expression annoyed her even as she reached out to him for aid.

“Well this is a fine pickle you find yourself in.” He crouched, a small toy shovel appearing in his hand as he began to dig.

“Help me, please.”

“I think not. You chose to remain insane. I was only trying to help and you threatened me. This is your mess and you can deal with it yourself. Dust to dust and all that.” He tossed the shovelful of sand on her head and laughing disappeared.

Rikka was beginning to tire. The sand was winning and her desperation was growing. Then the entire world shook and she felt it all lifted up. From beyond a giant pane of glass an eye the size of the sun looked down at her. It was difficult to tell but it looked like a giant version of Pan and she was now inside an hourglass. Whether or not she was tiny and he normal sized or he was giant did not change the fact that she was being sucked down through the neck and running out of sand. “Dense is not the right word for what you are, but it is amusing to watch you flail and fall. And I am curious to see how this plays out.”

“I don’t understand and you didn’t help. Why even talk to me if you were not going to help? For a god you did nothing but mock me. Why show me your realm? Why talk to me at all if not to help me?” The sands were all but gone and she scrabbled against the hard glass sides to keep from sliding too far down. “If my life is to be cut short why do you not save it then? You are a god, there is nothing you can’t do.”

Pan did not answer and she began hammering at the glass with her sword. “If you refuse to help then don’t expect me to just give in to whatever is supposed to happen. I will fight with everything I have to live. Even if that means fighting gods.”

“But can you fight fate?” Pan asked and her sword began to writhe in her grip shifting to become an eon serpent that coiled around her wrist and arm before sinking its fangs into her shoulder. Rikka cried out and fell grabbing for the snake’s head as even her sword turned on her. Down she fell through the neck and towards the shadow that waited below. It opened its maw to swallow her whole and she screamed in fear…

A strong hand grabbed her ankle and halted her plunge a few feet from the snapping darkness below. Shaking with fear she looked up and saw a chain of people all linked together holding her from falling. Thalion, Miriel, Horace/Aurellia and even Flitt. She could feel the strength holding her back and relief washed over her even as the dream faded into the early morning light.


Step, turn, step and thrust. Spin, duck and double slice spinning upwards to end balanced on one foot and blade extended skyward. A deep breath signalled the start of the next set of moves with her dropping into a roll and coming out of it into a lunge with a second set of horizontal slices. Each move was timed with the song in her head and mirrored by her sword’s own thrumming rhythm as they battled unseen enemies across the foredeck. Shadows stretched long behind her as the evening sun settled on the horizon dancing in time to her movements. The gentle pitch of the ship and the various obstacles on the deck made perfect obstacles to force her into adjusting her sequences into something that fit combat on board a ship. Perspiration shone on her brow but she was not close to stopping. Her shift was not set to begin for another two hours and she would use that time to train.

It had been a terrible dream. One of haunting portents she dared not think about, not right now. Instead she took solace in the end where she’d been saved and was determined to be found worthy of friends like that. And that meant working hard and doing what she could to be an asset not a hindrance. It would also help to keep the dream or any dreams away if she did not let herself relax and ensured that it was an exhausted sleep that found her every night.

She became the first to volunteer for any extra work and assignments. She was first on shift and first to lend a hand if there was nothing else for her to do. Rikka’s eyes shone with a desperate light as she trained and practiced hard wherever and whenever she could find the space. Early mornings were good near the bow and later a section of the hold where she’d first identified the magical items they’d recovered became a different kind of obstacle course. Through it all she kept smiling, tried her best to remain cheerful and banish the fatigue that began to eat at her.

When it came for her she would be ready and she would show Pan that help or no she would indeed fight whatever fate had in store for her. There was no other choice, right?

Tummy Time Pt more

24th of Coldeven 383 ONT

“I think we are going the wrong way.” Maul-Chaluim offered once more as they hacked their way through the swamp

“Everyone here who has personally met the Goddess of the Night Wind please put up their hand” Curtis said with an air of authority that made Maul roll his eyes. Curtis proceeded to raise his hand high… Levan also started to raise his hand but at a quick glare from Curtis he quickly lowered it. “Well… as I appear to be the only one who has ever met the goddess, as the only one who can divine her will on this planet, I suppose we will have to trust my instincts on this matter.”

“I agree with the High Priest Tomas” Ossawk offered as he followed behind Curtis. Again Maul rolled his eyes, he was displeased about having another mouth to feed on this pilgrimage to nowhere, his anger or perhaps fatigue got the better of him

“You didn’t meet the Goddess, you disappeared for like a minute, then reappeared, that is hardly special, Soaz can turn invisible whenever she wants” the wild elf huffed as he used his machete to carve away a few vines

“I did so meet Her Awesomeness… and like I said, time operates differently on different planes, I felt like I was gone for hours…”

“You thought it had been hours since breakfast twenty minutes after eating, that is hardly an indicator of divine intervention” The wild Elf quipped as he bounced to the next dry spot on the path

“I told you, she commands a great ship that sails through the frozen ether between realms… we have been quested to follow our hearts and find the Mistress of the Night Winds homeland so that he powers will be multiplied and Argyle will once again know peace” Curtis’s voice took on a somewhat dreamy tone as he cast his memory back to his encounter with the great goddess, as he spoke Ossawk nodded… the Tengu’s people were very superstitious and their elders believed the hair brained story as soon as they heard it. At first Maul had been happy at Curtis’s quick thinking, but then he found out that the faun actually believed his own story, he had been insufferable ever since.

“That doesn’t make sense… if a goddess can’t find something on Argyle, then how are we supposed to do it… and if she is powerful enough to grant you spells and transport you across dimensions, why can’t she just transport you to where you need to be?” Maul stopped as he finished speaking and held up his hand for the rest of the party to stop… he had thought he heard something

“You just have to have faith Maul… and watch all the blasphemy, she works in mysterious ways you know” Curtis replied. Maul turned to glare at the faun

“Will you shut up? I thought I heard… AHHHHHG” he cried as a tentacle grabbed his leg and sucked him into the brown stagnant waters. He dropped his machete as he fell but managed to grab the root of a tree… “HELP ME!” he called. Levan and Ossawk ran forward but Curtis stopped and spoke

“This could be the goddess punishing you for your lack of faith” this caused his other two companions to give pause. The wild elf strained against the pull of the creature and let out a long growl


“Are you certain? So certain you will die because of it? Or maybe you could admit that you might be wrong?” Curtis asked. Mauls hands were burning from strain and he could hear the cracking of the tree he held as it started to break under the strain

“FINE!… I MIGHT BE WRONG… NOW HELP ME OR THEIR WILL BE NO ONE TO FEED YOU ON THE REST OF THIS JOURNEY!” the wild elf yelled…. Curtis nodded to his companion drawing his knife as they raced forward Ossawk and Levon grabbing the wild elves arms while Curtis stabbed the beasts tactical until his let go. The party scrambled further way from the water breathing heavily

“Told you she was real” Curtis mumbled .


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