Форумната платформа беше обновена на версия phpbb 3.2. За повече информация моля посетете следната тема

[7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Литературен кът за колективни изяви и разкази, вдъхновени от ролеви игри. Тук може да пуснете разказ за вашите приключения, да пишете историйки с продължение или пък просто да споделите интересни случки и герои от ролеви сесии.
Потребителски аватар
Tinuviel
Мнения: 688
Регистриран: ср авг 21, 2002 10:36 pm
Местоположение: София
Контакти:

[7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Мнение от Tinuviel » пет юли 05, 2013 1:14 am

Това е дневника на героинята ми в току-що започната кампания по Седмото Море. Тя е шпионин и част от таен орден, в който всички са длъжни да водят дневници по събитията, които се случват и в които участват и реших, че това е готин начин също да запазвам и преразказвам събитията за тези от играчите, които са пропуснали дадена сесия. Текста в italic е свободни съчинения за събития, които са се случили преди или между ролеви сесии, а нормалния текст е преразказа на самата сесия.

Дневника е на английски, защото така го пиша директно. Ако някой има проблем с английския в него (граматика или употреба на конкретна дума) - да ми пише на лично тъй като се старая да си го подобрявам когато мога.
Illegitimi non carborundum

Потребителски аватар
Tinuviel
Мнения: 688
Регистриран: ср авг 21, 2002 10:36 pm
Местоположение: София
Контакти:

Re: [7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Мнение от Tinuviel » пет юли 05, 2013 1:19 am

Septimus 1st, 1667 AV – Carleon, Avalon.

I had a “real” dream last night. I was in the crow’s nest on a small ship in the middle of the sea. I could hear orders being shouted, the crew being anxious, but did not pay attention to it. My ship was chasing another, but it was getting away and close to the horizon. I remember feeling so desperate because of it. I woke up with the determination to be at sea as soon as possible. The dream was probably not a message from the Oracle, but I knew not to ignore such premonitions – a mission was coming and I had to secure a ship that will be able to catch the one from my dream.

I took a stroll down the docks – as Aileen, the sailor, of course. I did not know if I will have the resources to hire a ship, but there have been so many lately in Carleon – applying for Queen Elaine’s navy – that it felt right first to look around. I found one, the “Albatross”, that looked promising – even if a bit old, the ship looked elegant, fast and the captain was hiring new crewmembers. Half the crew was Vesten, just like the captain – a sorceress by the name of Thórhildr Thórarinnsdottir, but she was looking to hire able seamen even if they were from Avalon. I showed her my skill in climbing and rigging and she seemed satisfied enough. I am expected to show up tomorrow for the first watch.

Septimus 5th, 1667 AV – Carleon, Avalon.

It has been busy few days, even if we were docked for most of the time. The captain has applied for joining the Sea Dogs, but has had no news from the Office of Admiralty so far. So she was using the time to get the new crew to work with the old one. We had few trips in the bay until she figured I am best suited to be Master of the Tops. We have a crew of 12 people right now, 6 of which are Vesten – the captain, her first mate – as far as I understand also a relative of hers – Thor, and four other big and experienced guys. From the rest, four were hired in Carleon, just as me – Thom, a reliable looking fellow, and three others that I am still figuring out. The last person of the crew is a man from Montaigne. His name is Pierre du Pont and he is probably one of the largest Montaignier I have ever seen. He is working on the ship as a navigator, but he seems well educated and with good manners, too good for a simple sailor.

Septimus 9th, 1667 AV – Carleon, Avalon

The Oracle sent me a vision last night. I saw a Montaigne ship with its colors flying high anchoring near a small island. They had noticed a shipwreck hidden behind the rocky beach and sent an expedition. I saw them going around the cracked hull, trying to find entrance and then salvaging everything they found inside. There were few skeleton remains of the unfortunate crew, but the derelict was too old and had endured too many years of the elements for anyone to be able to say if it wrecked because of a storm or a battle. Nevertheless, the expedition continued. They were looking through the remains of the officer’s quarters and the captain’s cabin and in there they found several log books and maps still preserved in different chests and sealed compartments. I saw the leader of the expedition opening the books one by one, but I couldn’t read anything. However, my heart skipped a beat when I saw on one of the books the sign of the Sofia’s Daughters. This was the journal of one of our own! The crew seemed excited when exiting the wreckage and turned around only for a moment to look at engraved but barely readable now name of the ship – “Latro” .

I knew this was going to be my mission – the letter with instructions and more details would arrive soon, but the Oracle gave me the warning ahead – I will need to get our sister’s journal back, if not anything else. I needed to be at sea and not stuck in this port, but we still had no news whatsoever about the Sea Dogs application, not even a notice that they have received it or are reviewing it. Thórhildr was getting also uneasy – she had her own reasons to want to get into the Sea Dogs and this delay was obviously getting on her nerves. I told her I have some contacts in the Admiralty and will ask them for information what is going on.

Septimus 10th, 1667 AV – Carleon, Avalon

I received a note from Sir Carlyle Hancock asking to meet with me. He seemed happy that I reached to him for information about the application and said he can make sure it is the next one the Admiral gets to see. However, he needs something in return. Few nights ago a family heirloom was stolen from his home – a black thin sword – and he is certain who has done it, but the person has already left Carleon and will soon depart from Avalon as well. There is little time before his grandfather’s sword is lost forever and if I could return it to him his gratitude will push the wheels of the bureaucratic machine. The thief was a Montaigne nobleman by the name of Jean Poulet, who has boarded a merchant ship currently in Whitby and is scheduled to depart in a week at most. I relayed his request to the captain of the “Albatross” and she did not take long to be convinced – as soon as all the crew is on board we will set sail for Whitby.

Septimus 13th, 1667 AV – Whitby, Avalon

It took us day and a half to reach Whitby and we docked late in the afternoon of Septimus 12th. It was easy to notice the ship that Jean Poulet is on – it is a massive merchant ship that looks like it takes half the harbor. I proposed to try to obtain some information from the night watch of the ship and Pierre said he would help me out. I talked my way on the ship – who can refuse a young, beautiful if not a little drunk (or so it seemed) girl? – and the younger of the two watchmen proved a good source of information. Jean Poulet was indeed on the “Gourde” – such a weird name for a ship – and he was meeting with his mistress, who the ignorant sailor thought might be the queen herself. I saw the woman leaving and the cabin in which the thief went back and I headed on to it, while Pierre was keeping watch on the gangway with the barrel of beer he brought. That is when the captain of the “Gourde” came back.

Alfonso de Montega, the captain of the “Gourde”, is a malicious castillian dwarf with enormous hate for women, heights and people larger than he is. While Pierre attracted his attention when he walked up the gangway (“Oh, sorry, I did not see you there.”) I was getting into the room, which I thought was the one Jean Poulet went in. The room was empty and in retrospect, I should have first checked for secret doorways, but I didn’t. I started searching through the room, looking for the sword and when I opened the chest near the bed, a trap sprung. I managed to evade the explosion, springing behind the bed, but the flash bang alerted everyone on the ship and the wave of the explosion brought down the fake wall to the next cabin. Jean Poulet, who was in it, immediately attacked me and managed to stab me with his weapon before I could stand up and oppose him. It took me two good hits and the poison incapacitated him, but it was not fast enough. I did not even have time to look for the sword and the dwarf captain opened the door and yelled at me.

This time I was prepared – my pistol was out and I shot him right in the shoulder, but he still had enough resolve to pierce me with his rapier. That is when Pierre came to my rescue. The Montaigne giant grabbed him by the neck through the open door and lifted him into the air over the deck’s railing until the dwarf begged for mercy. This view pretty much ended the crew’s resistance, which, I understood later from Thórhildr, was considerable. She was also hurt and the lower deck of the ship was covered with unconscious or wounded men, who tried to stop her and Pierre. In the cabin we found the black sword, some gold and a letter in a language I did not recognize. As a crowd was already gathering on the dock trying to see what the fight was about, we left the ship and headed on to our own.

I learned later that Thórhildr already met Alfonso on her way to visit the harbormaster with Thom earlier in the day. They found out the ship was set to leave the next morning and I knew from my talkative night-watch friend that they were heading to some islands off the coast of Castille. However, what Thom found out from that visit was that there was a string of robberies and murders following the “Gourde” through her visits in the Avalon ports and they wanted her out as soon as possible. That is when Thórhildr sent Thom back to our ship and she headed to the “Gourde” to see if we need help.

Back on the “Albatross” we were in for an unpleasant surprise. Half of the crew was still out to the local pubs, but the rest has had some kind of violent confrontation – and Thor was being treated by what looked like a skilled doctor. I am waiting now to see if he will treat my wounds as well, while Thórhildr is talking very angrily with her Vesten crew in their own language. I am starting to doze off and will probably not have time to write again until we are back in Carleon. If we are lucky, we will be able to get out of the port before the dwarf decides to confront us again, or worse – try to catch us while at sea. If I am lucky, this whole mishap would not delay us into losing that Montaigne ship and the journals from the “Latro”.
Последна промяна от Tinuviel на ср окт 02, 2013 2:10 am, променено общо 1 път.
Illegitimi non carborundum

Потребителски аватар
Tinuviel
Мнения: 688
Регистриран: ср авг 21, 2002 10:36 pm
Местоположение: София
Контакти:

Re: [7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Мнение от Tinuviel » чет авг 22, 2013 10:52 pm

Septimus 14th, 1667 AV – off the coast of Avalon, somewhere between Whitby and Carleon

Yesterday was a tough night and even tougher morning. Thom got the boys back from the docks, all but Jack who did not come back at all. While we were at the “Gourde”, the “Albatross” was attacked by some masked people – Thor described them dressed entirely in black and Thórhildr gave me a piece of cloth he tore from one of the attackers. It has a very particular emblem of an animal skull – maybe cat or some other small animal – surrounded by 9 swords or knifes. The doctor fought all night to save Thor’s life and he succeeded. Thórhildr was very pleased and offered him a job as the ship’s surgeon. We put a bit of a bargain over his salary, however I was amazed that he agreed on the price we settled on – it is at least twice below what I would expect when hiring a doctor like him, as he acts and talks like a proper, well-educated doctor and not a simple surgeon. Maybe he has some other reason to want a way out of Whitby and into the sea, I will have to keep an eye on him. Either way, Poulet’s gold will pay for a bit over a month of the doctor’s services and Pierre pretty much said he will take care of buying a proper surgery kit for the doctor when we are in Carleon. These tools cost quite a lot, but by now it is quite obvious that he is of noble heritage.

We did not have time to rest – everyone able to walk and work was preparing the ship to set sail as soon as we have everyone on board. I must have been a bit weak from the blood lost or the wounds cause even though I was on the top of the nest I did not see the ship maneuvering towards us until one of the crew spotted it instead. The “Gourde” was trying to trap us in our dock just as we were leaving it. There were few men with muskets shooting at us from a nearby balcony and I swear I could hear that awful red dwarf shouting orders. We managed to set “Albatross” apart from the pier just as few of the men were trying to get on board. I shot one from above, Pierre shot midair another, and the crew threw in the water the rest soon after. We had bigger problem with the ship, much bigger, but our pilot – Helga – did amazing job and Thórhildr was remarkable in maneuvering the ship away and past the “Gourde”. They were bigger and with much more guns, but we were faster and very slippery. At that point the rush of the battle had taken over me and I was helping the rest of the rigging crew to move the sails as fast as we could to turn the ship towards the port exit. For a moment I thought the merchant ship was going to ram us into the dock’s sea wall, but we got through just in time. They fired their cannons at us – in mid-port – but we took no real damage and no casualties. We were almost at the port exit when we heard the loud crack when the huge ship hit the sea wall. I could see sailors from the other ships and guards trying to subdue the men on the dock while the port’s turrets were turning their cannons towards the “Gourde”. We did not wait to see what they will do to it and instead set full sails towards Carleon.

Once the excitement was settled and the sails were set proper on our course, I went to see the doctor for my injuries. He had some considerations about trying to treat both wounds at once, but I thought of no better way to see the extent of his skill. He did not disappoint and even ensured me that there will be barely a mark visible once the stitches are gone. I felt drained after the operation and must have fallen asleep on the cot for few hours. I woke up in the middle of the night with that unmistakable feeling of impeding storm, but the captain did not seem too worried. The weather grew colder and rougher, but not as bad as I expected and it seems we escaped the storm that went instead raging on the edge of the horizon.

In the morning we sailed past a shipwreck. Pierre and the doctor found a survivor, who ranted about people attacking their ship from the water and something valuable in a chest that had to be protected. Could this be the same people who attacked the “Albatross” in Whitby? I could not question him more elaborately, as the doctor intervened very protectively of his new patient. Among the few sailor’s belongings was a golden medallion with engraved picture of what I guess are his wife and child. The engraving said “Never too far from home. J.K.” and later the doctor shared that his patient’s name seems to be Jonathan Kaisha. His ship was named “Hoarder” and was unmistakably one of the Sea Dogs. We are expecting to arrive in Carleon later today.
Illegitimi non carborundum

Потребителски аватар
Tinuviel
Мнения: 688
Регистриран: ср авг 21, 2002 10:36 pm
Местоположение: София
Контакти:

Re: [7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Мнение от Tinuviel » чет авг 22, 2013 10:55 pm

Septimus 15th, 1667 AV – Carleon

We arrived in Carleon shortly after sunset yesterday and almost immediately went on our business. I needed to return the sword to sir Carlyle Hancock and for this I needed to change appearance without alerting too much the crew. Thankfully, the captain allowed me to use her cabin to bathe and change and the heavy rain that greeted us in Carleon gave suitable explanation for my heavy cloaked appearance. The captain, Pierre and the doctor decided to give escort to the shipwreck survivor – Jonathan – and also gave him back the chest they found on the “Hoarder”. I have no interest in the chest, however, I found this sudden streak of charity a bit odd – after all, we had no way of knowing of the chest really belonged to the survivor or he only knew of it existence because he was part of the crew. Moreover, even the oldest salvage sea laws state that a person risking his ship, crew or life to save another man’s cargo should be rewarded appropriately to the value of the cargo saved. I did not see this happen so far, but I hope the Queen of Sea will reward our efforts in the future. After all, she keeps a close eye on these shores and makes sure everyone receives what they are owed, no matter if it being good or bad.

I joined the escort along with the others, but Jonathan seemed unwilling to take us to wherever he was going. He tried to ditch us near the university library and I was happy to leave the captain and Pierre trying to follow him. I still needed to return the sword to sir Carlyle and the doctor was so very helpful to provide me with some escort into that part of the town. Whether if that help will be discreet I will learn relatively fast, but I did not have much choice – a lone woman walking that time of the night and that part of the town could raise eyebrows as easily as naked woman walking at the port midday. The doctor did not ask questions or provide comment, but I suspect he is far more observant than he shows. I have yet to figure if this is a sign of loyalty or some kind of deception.
Once we reached the Hancock’s house there were hearses and a lot of carriages bringing people to what seemed like a wake. I got a note about meeting with my elder sister J.A. from a small street girl that also told me there was a murder in that house the previous night. Once we closed to the house we saw a carriage bringing captain Jeremiah Berek to what we understood is the wake for sir Carlyle. The guards initially declined to let us in, but I insisted that I have an urgent private matter with the late sir Hancock that has to be handled by someone from his immediate family. We ended up talking to captain Berek instead. I introduced myself as Alais Ros and explained the favor the crew of “Albatross” was doing for sir Hancock. Captain Berek seemed to know about the stolen sword, but lady Hancock did not desire to keep the weapon and insisted we take it away. I assured her I will just safe keep it for her, but she seemed not interested in the sword’s further fate.

The conversation that we had with captain Berek was much more interesting. He told us there is a group targeting Sea Dogs captains and sympathizers and they usually hit when it is raining, which started a rumors about a “killer rain”. The late sir Carlyle did not have any injuries or obvious clues for his death, so poison was the first thought that came to mind. Captain Berek assured us that the “Albatross” has attracted the positive attention of the Sea Dogs and sir Carlyle already processed our application prior to his death. We were to prepare for the final inspection of our ship before the decision for approval. The doctor was really excited to become acquaintance of captain Berek and I don’t think he paid much attention on the information important for the “Albatross”. This is, however, understandable since he is on the ship for mere few days now.

We split ways once we left the Hancock mansion. He was heading back to the university library for some research he wanted to do, while I needed to meet my elder sister in few hours. It was still raining, but I caught a glimpse of a strange person observing the mansion. It was a cloaked, possibly female, figure with weird red long-nosed mask. I tried following, but eventually lost her after about fifteen minutes. I went off to meet with sister J.A. at my safe house in the merchant district. She provided me with some extra information about my target before leaving for some other arrangement and I spent the rest of the night in the safe house.

The ship I am looking for is called “Sang Salé”, a Montaigne vessel. They will find the derelict of “Latro” in three days on a small island off the Castille shore and head north afterwards. Our chance to intercept it is in about week time off the coast of Montaigne. I got the exact locations on one of the many maps in the library of the safe house and filled my night making copies of the maps and placing the locations along with some decoys with codenames on them. I couldn’t really sleep – not after the talk with captain Berek and the ominous warning by J.A. that the “Acolytes are watching”. I haven’t heard anything of the “Harsh Mistress” or her captain in more than few months. Last thing I knew was that she was heading for Castille’s shores, but nothing after. Probably it was better if he wasn’t in Avalon with all the danger for the Sea Dogs captains. Still, the thought of it kept me wary and awake.

I managed to make two copies of the map by early morning when I stopped just enough to make an early visit to the market. I sent a message to the “Albatross” about the inspection and went to visit few sailor taverns to gather a bit of information about “Sang Salé”, “Latro” and “Harsh Mistress”. The Montaigne ship is best known as treasure hunter and different people have sailed her in the past, I did not manage to find out who is her current captain. “Latro” was a ship part of the Sea Dogs armada under Berek’s command in 1659, but her course after his victory over the castillians was unknown and not one had heard of her since. I made it back to the “Albatross” later in the morning only to find that neither the captain, nor the doctor was on the ship. I warned the crew of the impeding inspection and helped organize the repair works and the tidying up of the ship. By the time the captain was back the work was well on its way and I was happy to leave the supervision to someone else and try to catch few hours of sleep. I mentioned to her that I have a target for us, a treasure ship to catch, but left out the details for now – needed a bit more sleep.
Illegitimi non carborundum

Потребителски аватар
Tinuviel
Мнения: 688
Регистриран: ср авг 21, 2002 10:36 pm
Местоположение: София
Контакти:

Re: [7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Мнение от Tinuviel » чет авг 22, 2013 10:58 pm

Septimus 16th, 1667 AV – Carleon

Admiral Thomas Middleton inspected our ship yesterday, in the early evening. He left the impression that we would probably not pass if it depended entirely on his opinion, but someone else thought we were worthy. I kept out of sight, not very obviously so, but joined the celebrations after the captain signed the letter of marquee and we were given the Sea Dogs flag. I did not have heart for it though and took the opportunity to go back into town with Pierre to exchange some loot we had from Whitby for more vesten-type weapons. On our way we encountered a woman that introduced herself as lady Cassandra and a boy, who was supposedly under her guardianship, by the name of Jess. I am pretty sure he is a street pickpocket and she is his handler. Pierre was totally ignorant of it and I am sure only my timely intervention saved his gold pouch.

We later visited an old contact, which keeps a weapon shop open in extraordinary hours. He is a sleazy person, who likes to have people owe him favors, but seemed in trouble this time himself. He had a weapon of some sort, which he wanted to get rid of, so I negotiated a deal for the loot we had in exchange for that mysterious weapon and a future favor. He swore it wasn’t cursed, but he kept it wrapped in a piece of leather and was paranoid about someone from “the Society” looking for the item. I assume it was stolen from them and it was definitely not the Explorer’s society he was referring to. Once we were back on the “Albatross” I went on to leave it in our cargo hold for safekeeping. I could not resist the urge to take a look and when I unwrapped it the weapon, which turned out to be an axe, let off an incredibly strong light, which blew me off my feet. I woke up minutes later to the worried looks of the captain, doctor and Olaf, a new addition to our crew, which I met earlier when I was boarding the “Gourde”. The axe was not shining anymore and before I can advise against it the captain was yielding it in hand. She looked somehow energized by it, but I managed to convince her to let me wrap it again and leave it alone. She was definitely unhappy about it, but let the axe rest in a tightly closed box and hid it in the cargo hold.

I went to sleep after and woke up in the morning by the request of the captain – she wants me to accompany her to the town. I really need us to get in the sea and out of the city. The long days and longer nights filled with action are starting to take their toll on me and even if my resolve is still strong I am starting to make mistakes. I hope we leave on the trail of “Sang Salé” before they become big enough to compromise my mission. Last night’s fiasco with the axe cannot be repeated.

***

The captain needed my expert opinion and haggling skills to find her proper attire for a meeting she was invited to at noon. I wished to find her a vesten clothing that would suit her new status as a captain of a Sea Dogs’ ship, but I did not manage to find one that was in a good price range. I guess I will have to keep this in mind for the next time I can go shopping – the look of the captain can add a lot of inspiration to the crew... and can intimidate the enemies. We settled for a nice avalonian dress by the latest fashion and I escorted her to the mansion where the meeting was supposed to take place.

I was a bit amazed to find out that the list of the captains expected to this supposedly secret meeting would be straight out nailed on the front door of the mansion and I could not help myself comment that to the guards. I guess I was a bit on edge, because I noticed Sean’s name in the list of expected captains. That meant he was in Carleon, in the middle of this entire killing spree, cat-attacks and killer rain. The guards did not appreciate my comments and kept me out of the mansion, but that was perfectly fine for me. Sean was still expected to arrive and I also noticed the red-masked woman I saw earlier at the sir Hancock’s mansion. She was hiding in the shadows of a nearby crossing and I wanted to try my luck again and catch her before she would disappear again. I suspected she had something to do with sir Carlyle’s death and did not trust her knowing or observing the arrival of guests at the meeting.

By the time I was approaching her, three riders appeared from one of the side streets and passed by her and then me. I caught a glimpse of Sean’s face, stern and focused, but he did not see me. The woman did not either, and I positioned myself with my pistol drawn towards her back, waiting for her action or reaction to the arrival of the last of the captains expected on the meeting. My heart was pounding so hard I thought she could be able to hear it, as I knew how easy of a target he would be right now and I think I stopped breathing for the few moments until he got off his horse and went inside the mansion along with his companions. The woman nodded to herself and I got the feeling she was happy that he had finally arrived. Could it be that she was waiting for all of the captains to gather at one spot in order to strike at them all at once? If my suspicion about the poison used in sir Carlyle’s demise was correct and as the secrecy of this meeting was obviously compromised, this would put all of the captains in the mansion at a great risk, Thorhildr and Sean included. I had to learn what was she doing here.

I told her not to move or I will shoot her, and it seemed like I caught her by surprise. I tried to take her hood down, but she evaded my grasp in an elegant movement that placed her facing me, but still within a hand’s reach and point blank range of my pistol. I demanded her to take off her mask in avalonian and vodacce, but she did not reply, at least not initially so. I reached to take it off myself, but she used the same movement as before and evaded my reach again. This was getting on my nerves, but I was thinking of a way to use her move against her.

At this point from a nearby street I heard the familiar voice of Aaron, a very old most-of-the-time friend, who is running a petty-crime network in Carleon’s underworld. He was vague in his words but called the woman “one of the Acolytes”, just as J.A. mentioned yesterday, and made it clear that he thinks that I should not try to test my skills against her. I’ve had quite enough with vague information in the last few days, though, and I needed something concrete to make sure both my captains were out of harm’s way. I fainted a move, similar to the one I did before, trying to grab her mask, but prepared to switch my hand’s direction half-way trying to anticipate where she would move this time using her slick evading maneuver. For a moment I thought it would not work, but it did and as I threw the mask out of her face, her hood also dropped to her back and I saw her face.

She had definitely foreign features, very beautiful face with jet-black eyes and hair. She seemed more than surprised, maybe even shocked, that I managed to hit her and even spoke back to me in heavily accented avalonian. She refused to offer explanation why was she monitoring the mansion and the meeting and on several occasions tried to position herself between me and the mansion, as to cut my way in case I want to run and warn them. I warned her if she tries to do it again I will shoot her and for a moment she did look almost scared. I took the opportunity to ask her if she had anything to do with sir Carlyle’s death or the killer rain or the attacks on the captains. She said something weird and then shut up, as if it had unexpectedly slipped her lips. She said something like – “this is all nothing the raven cares about, he has much bigger plans”. She asked me not to try to interrupt the meeting and if I am doing this because my beloved is in the mansion, which made me freeze for a moment. How could she know about Sean, how could anyone? She tried to move again and block my way to the house and this time I pulled the trigger. I had warned her.

She made a weird movement and somehow avoided my shot by a hair, but I was already prepared and slashed her with my knife. She seemed taken aback, but not so affected and hit me with her hand in a quite forceful blow with technique I haven’t seen before. Her next hit was with her fist and I took it pretty hard, it might have even cracked a rib, as I felt sharp pain and she seemed more pleased with herself. She was waiting for my move, deliberately taunting me to act first. She told me she cannot let me interrupt the meeting and I told her I am making sure she is not going to cause them harm and attacked her again. She tried to evade my knife, but failed and my second slash across her torso cause her visible pain. With one smooth motion I dropped my pistol, took out one of my hidden daggers and made a second attack towards her hand. She stumbled back and asked me if it was doing this for love, saying the word as some unknown concept. Then the poison finally swept her off her feet and she fell unconscious.

I took a moment to take my breath and pick up my pistol. Aaron was astonished that I had prevailed in that fight and outright said it - that I look much more sweet and nice than dangerous. I managed to joke that this is part of the idea, but I was trying to wrap my head around what the woman had said. She was trying to prevent me from interrupting the meeting – but in the final moments I got the impression that she did not want the captains harmed either. I have been wrong before though, and she was quite difficult to read. I searched her quickly, but found nothing – really nothing in her costume, no weapon, money, jewelry or any other item. I noticed a small tattoo with the word “Ajari” and few foreign symbols that looked alike to the ones from the strange letter I found in Jean Poulet. No matter if friend or foe, I could not let her just die in the rain in some dark alley – I thought she could provide us with more information, so with Aaron’s help I picked her up and carried her towards the mansion.

The guards tried to stop me again at the door, but this time my warning that the meeting has been compromised and we should warn the captains actually got through. I thanked Aaron for his help and he wished me good luck catching the “Sang Salé”. Is everyone a mind reader these days? The guards helped me carry her to a room on the first floor, where I found the first mate of “Harsh Mistress” and some other well looking fellows sitting, probably awaiting their captain’s orders. Mr. Higgins recognized me and started checking the woman’s wounds. I told him I have to warn the captains and that we are not safe in this house, but he laughed it away, just as any true Sea Dog would. That is when the front doors got widely open, and the rain blew in.
Illegitimi non carborundum

Потребителски аватар
Tinuviel
Мнения: 688
Регистриран: ср авг 21, 2002 10:36 pm
Местоположение: София
Контакти:

Re: [7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Мнение от Tinuviel » чет авг 22, 2013 11:01 pm

The first time Mr. Higgins met Aileen Ruadh was about a year ago in the port of Buche, Montaigne. But I first met him about two weeks earlier in Carleon, when Alais Ros boarded the “Harsh Mistress” on her way to the delta of the Dechain river. Mr. Higgins was the ship’s master and the captain’s first mate and as such we would have polite and very short conversations over dinner in the captain’s chambers. Since I was in the role of the fragile sophisticated singer we did not have a lot of common topics to discuss and he never acted very comfortable around me. He sure felt very comfortable around Aileen, though. Mr. Higgins, whose first name was hidden in a shroud of mystery even among his crewmates, is a black-inish man in his 40s with quite a lot of white streaks in his hair and beard, and two very distinctive scars on both his cheeks. He speaks with strong accent and loves stories and especially stories from Inishmore. Since Alais already knew his quirks, it wasn’t difficult for Aileen to get on his good side and makes herself memorable enough to remove any slight resemblance to the red-haired singer.

When Aileen walked up the gangway of “Harsh Mistress” and introduced herself to Mr. Higgins, the ship was preparing to sail away and the entire crew was busy with fixing some last minute supplies in the hold or preparing the sails and rigging for the orders to come. He was quite stern about hiring any crew in the last minute before departure, especially one he did not know, but I showed him the captain’s ring and that got his attention. He knew that ring meant that I have the captain’s trust and it could get me a lift on any Sea Dog’s ship, but I could see him trying to figure out how exactly did I get it, since it was on the captain’s hand the day before. If I had stolen it, showing up on this ship would be a suicide, so he reluctantly agreed to my terms – I was to board the ship as part of the crew and he was to keep silent of my presence to the captain, until we are out in the open sea. I promised I would be a good addition to the topmen crew and he sent me off to climb along the ropes, keeping an eye on me during the entire departure.

From the top, I noticed the moment when he pointed me out to the captain and explained the situation with the ring, and I also noticed Sean nodding and smiling towards me. I was bound to have a very interesting conversation with him later in the evening, but what concerned Mr. Higgins was that I was friend of the captain and part of the crew until we arrive. I spent the better part of the next ten days fixing the sails, telling stories and drinking in the evening with the rest of the crew, Mr. Higgins included. He was the first mate, but he preferred to stick with the fellows as he had come up the ranks and the crew knew and respected him for it, even if he would drink more than most of them and sing worse. Mr. Higgins met Aileen few more times since then, but never again Alais - I could not risk the crew making the connection between the two.


Still on Septimus 16th, 1667 AV – Carleon


I ran out to the hallway and tried to close the front door. The winds that were blowing rain in the house were strong and there was some eerie shadow, almost like a figure of a person, floating in the air around the house. I closed the door and locked it with the latch. Neither of the guards was around and I ran up the stairs where the captain’s meeting was happening. The doors of the meeting room were widely open and as I approached the entrance I saw Thorhildr and five other captains sitting around a big table, looking at Sean and someone else standing next to the table. All the windows in the room were as well blown away and wind and rain were starting to make a mess of the place already, but I could see on the big table a drawn circle with some mystical signs around it. The woman that was standing next to Sean, embracing him, called out my name and invited me in the room. I took a step in, blurting out the apology and warning I had prepared beforehand as I was trying to think fast what all the signs in the room meant – the table, the woman, her knowing my name. I knew the woman was a Sidhe, a powerful Sidhe. Moments later someone called her “Queen Meave” and the chilling realization of who was standing in the room took me over, my heart skipped a beat and I had to force myself to breathe out and in again.

Meave gave the captains seven pink gems, finishing some instructions she was giving before my arrival, gracefully kissed Sean on the right cheek and prepared to leave. I could feel her gaze on me and I curtsied to the floor as she was passing. She allowed me to stand and told me to take good care of him, then left. For few moments everyone was still quiet and the only thing I could think of doing, besides staring intensely at Sean, was to walk to the broken windows and stare instead into the rain outside. The shadowy figure was gone; I guess it was some kind of Sidhe escort. Sean adjourned the meeting saying that he will see everyone the next morning and retired to some room in the upper floor. I could not speak to him with all the unknown faces around, but even if I could, I probably shouldn’t have. I was half-crazy out of fear for him and half out of anger of what he had done and that was not a good combination.

Thorhildr said she needed a bit more time to talk to captain Seamus, the one who invited her to the meeting and I went down to check on my prisoner. The woman was still alive and Mr. Higgins had patched her wounds with some bandages, but she definitely needed more serious medical attention and fast. Mr. Higgins was asking questions and I tried to give as little information as possible, without lying. I hated lying to people that I like and Mr. Higgins was one of the few I liked a lot. I asked him to find me some transportation for her and headed back up to see Sean.

I checked few other empty rooms before I could find his, it seemed like all the staff and guards of this place had vanished. When I finally found his room, he did not hear me enter and he was standing with his back towards me. His coat was off, the back of his shirt was half way down and I could see marks, scars on his back for whipping or torture or something else. Some looked old, other newer and I could even see some bloodstains on his shirt. I must have gasped and alerted him of my presence. He turned around and was ever so quick in putting his coat back on. I tried asking about the scars, but he avoided answering and I did not press him. In due time, when he felt ready he would tell me. It was only fair, after all, both of us had the right to keep secrets and I definitely had quite a handful.

I had to change the topic of our conversation since we both no longer felt comfortable with the current one and I did not have a lot of time, so I went straight on to the subject of “Sang Salé”. I asked for Sean’s help to intercept the ship and take back the journals that they took from the “Latro”. I did not mention explicitly the journal of the Daughters, of course, I implied there were few things taken from “Latro”’s shipwreck that I needed back. He readily agreed to help and asked for the route of the ship so he could fit it into his plans. I realize now, by that time I did not actually had time to fill in my own captain and crewmembers in the details around the ship, which they knew only as a treasure ship I had information about. I did not intent to keep it such a big secret, but there was just not a good moment to share more until now. I needed to fix this as soon as we were back on the ship.

Sean was amazed that “Sang Salé” could be coming from the Bermuda Shatters, the island group where he thought the Nine Cats were hiding and where he was planning to take the small Sea Dogs’ fleet he had assembled downstairs. The Bermuda Shatters were notorious, even legendary, for the ships lost around them and were generally avoided by all sensible captains. I admit, I was a bit taken aback that he would doubt my information. After all, if he just summoned a Sidhe to provide help for his campaign, why would a ship sailing back from the Bermuda Shatters be impossible? I am pretty sure I said something of the sort as my fury of his dangerous actions was rekindling. I did not want to see him hurt, but I did not want him to see this nagging side of me, so I kissed him quickly and bid farewell. We would see each other soon enough, after all the fleet was leaving the next morning.

On my way down I caught Thorhildr just coming out of her meeting. I explained her the situation with the unconscious girl and she agreed to take her on board. Captain Torres’s carriage was waiting outside and he helped us transport the girl back to the ship, where we left her in the skilled hands of the doctor. I gave him the antidote salve that would neutralize the effects of the poison I was usually using on my blades and he did not take the news well. Poison is not a nice subject and not one you can break easily to people. I hope he would be discreet about it, but I did not mention it as I felt it would be counterproductive with his current disgust and disdain towards me. I made sure he knew, though, that the girl was dangerous and should be considered and treated as a prisoner. When he was done with his surgery and felt confident of her recovery, he allowed me to put some constrains on her, even though he said she should be weak for quite some time.

While the doctor was treating the prisoner, I went back to thank captain Torres for his assistance. He was still talking with Thorhildr, but he asked for a favor. I do not like owing people, so when the captain asked if he could take my portrait I reluctantly accepted. It was a fair trade for his help and cost me just a bit of time. Thorhildr seemed amused by the attention I was getting, but I did not feel in mood to play along. I still had the image of Sean’s back imprinted before my eyes. Tomorrow, when the doctor had time to think things through I will ask him if he has some medicine that could help wounds like that. Just in case.
Последна промяна от Tinuviel на съб авг 31, 2013 12:54 am, променено общо 1 път.
Illegitimi non carborundum

Потребителски аватар
Tinuviel
Мнения: 688
Регистриран: ср авг 21, 2002 10:36 pm
Местоположение: София
Контакти:

Re: [7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Мнение от Tinuviel » чет авг 22, 2013 11:06 pm

Septimus 17th, 1667 AV – Carleon

We left Carleon with the first light, seven ships of all sorts and sizes, but with the same banner – the Sea Dogs. Our first stop would be the Isle of Scully , about 200 miles from the Glamour Islands and we are expecting to be there around noon tomorrow. Already in the early morning we were slipping ahead from the group and most of the ships were left behind the horizon already before noon. Only the “Harsh Mistress” was sailing along us, which was a bit ironic since our both vessels were the ones looking the worst and oldest among the fleet.

Once we left the Glamour Isles and were well into the open sea, I left my position at the mast and went to check on our prisoner and the doctor below deck. He examined my bruise, explained that it was probably a broken rib. I told him I don’t have the time right now to let him fix it properly and the pain was not that bad, but I asked him for a medicine that would relieve the pain or from open wounds, like Sean’s. He said he might be able to make something about it and went to check his supplies, while I kept an eye on the prisoner. She looked better but it took her over an hour of the terrible vesten sea shanties to slip out of sleep and into consciousness. She did not realize at first where she was, but once she did her demeanor changed. She looked a bit more scared and mentioned she would not be a good slave and would kill her master if we tried to sell her. Was she already a slave? I explained to her that we are not barbarians and we do not condone slavery, but I will feel no remorse to kill her if she tried to harm the ship or her crew. I tried to get a bit more information from her for her master, offering to leave her in the next port a free woman if she does. I think I was starting to get through to her, when the captain called me to the deck.

We were catching up with two ships in a fight – and I could distinguish that one of them was a pirate ship, while the other had the Avalon colors. As part of the Sea Dogs, we were bound to help, but by the time we were close enough to fire at the pirates, the other ship had already taken serious damage and was dead in the water. We managed to get two shots hit the pirate vessel, but did not seem to slow her down. We split from the “Harsh Mistress” and tried to flank the pirates, who left the other ship and in their turn tried to sail past us and probably fire. With the expect piloting of Helga the smart plan of the captain succeeded and we managed to hook our ship to theirs and board them instead.

Pierre, Thom and Thor led most of our crew in the boarding party and the captain with few others joined them soon after. I was still on top of the sail, but the ships were tied together and I figured with all the rigging hanging so close it was easier to get from our sails to theirs than to climb down and move while on the deck. I balanced my way to the end of the main mast yard and leaped to the ropes of the main sail of the pirate ship, then used the rigging to climb back to their own main mast yard. I could hear gunshots below and the sounds of the fighting, but did not have a lot of time to pay attention to it – all I thought of was that if I cut the ropes supporting their main sail the ship will be stuck like a duck in the water. So I did it. The sail started dropping slowly at first, but then it caught a bit of the wind and swung down like a huge curtain.

Unfortunately, what I hadn’t noticed by that time was that Thorhildr had managed to explode a barrel of rum just below the main mast and some of it that had spread over the deck had caught fire. Once the falling sail supplied it with the extra bit of oxygen, those flames spread faster than a wildfire. In the meantime, the “Harsh Mistress” had caught up with us and there was an entire squad of musket men on the deck that took down most of the pirate crew in a single shot. As I slid down the ropes, I could see Thom, all covered with rum, helping out Thorhildr, who was wounded and extremely angry. Pierre was holding the pirate captain in a bear hug, but he would not yield. I saw one of the pirate’s officers going below deck and the rest of the pirate crew coming up screaming and jumping in the water. I draw my pistol at the captain to persuade him to yield to Pierre, but as he was rambling about we all figured what could that officer do below deck – set the gunpowder on fire! In a split second we were all trying to get off the ship when the stern of the ship exploded. I managed to leap onto the “Harsh Mistress”, while the rest of the crew ended up in the water. In only the matter of minutes there was nothing left of the pirate ship on the surface, but floating debris and people trying to hang on to them or swim to one of the two ships still standing.
Illegitimi non carborundum

Потребителски аватар
Tinuviel
Мнения: 688
Регистриран: ср авг 21, 2002 10:36 pm
Местоположение: София
Контакти:

Re: [7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Мнение от Tinuviel » съб авг 31, 2013 12:53 am

Rogné is the province in southwestern Montaigne that holds the delta of the Duchain river and any merchant vessel that would like to trade upstream would have to pass through the port-city of Buché. The opposing Castillian port, Barcino, was one of the first war-prizes general Montegue took in his conquest of western Castille. Ever since the two entrances to the Duchain were under the rule of the duchess Therésè Rois et Reines du Rogné, the province has been flourishing despite the burden of war and the heavy militarization. Gerard, one of the duchess’s grandsons and well-known musketeer, was set as an advisor to “The General” – the Eisen mercenary that the Emperor of Montaigne chose as the Admiral of his fleet. It was well known that the main task of the General was to clear the Montaigne waters from pirates. Thus, the General and his fleet posed a real threat to the Sea Dogs’ domination in the Frothing Sea and possibly danger for Avalon itself, if the Emperor would decide to try and invade the Glamour Isles. His orders and plans for future endeavors were of great interest for the House of Kings, which made Sir Alton send me on a rather risky venture in Buché in the summer of 1666.

While Gerard disliked his controlling grandmother enough to resolve to spend most of his time at sea, his hedonistic nature encouraged him to participate in exuberant parties and balls every time when he was back in Buché – if just for the purpose of having enough alcohol in his veins to be able to stand the company of the duchess. He had a birthday close to Midsummer, which was always celebrated extensively and provided me with the perfect opportunity to try and obtain the General’s plans. I had a contact with another member of the Daughters in Paix, which used her influence in the diplomatic circles to drop few hints in the correct places about a certain avalonian singer that would be visiting Paix in the middle of the summer. Gerard’s sisters considered the possibility of having a foreign performer for the wartime social event a fortunate opportunity and since my route would take me through Buché anyway, they cordially extended an invitation for a performance at the semi-private event.

The entire enterprise involved a rather complicated plan with many tricky points, which is thoroughly described for the Daughter’s records in one of my previous journals. What I knew at the time was that I would use a skeleton key to gain access to Gerard’s study and find his correspondence. I was fluent in the spoken language, but my reading and writing was very limited – I had to spend most of my travel time towards Buché memorizing different keywords, which would hint me that I have found the documents I am looking for. My performance was scheduled for the early evening, when the granddame was going to be present still, and the later event was a masquerade ball so I was to have the entire evening after to make notes of the most important information, coordinates and times I could figure out and rejoin the party before the masks fall and my absence becomes suspicious. There were a lot of if’s and else’s in that plan, with keeping my cover staying on the highest priority and the option that if I cannot copy the letters, I should instead steal the important ones and stage a fire to mask their loss.

On the night of the party the celebrations were progressing well. The entire mansion and the park around it were decorated and prepared for the incoming guests, which I estimate were more than a hundred. Earlier in the evening the cultural program was more elaborate and so was the audience, which was almost exclusively of noble birth. I sang several inish songs and quite a few traditional montaigne ones. I received a lot of compliments after and even a modestly positive appraisal from the duchess herself. With the dusk and the start of the masquerade more guests appeared, who had uniforms and less pompous clothes and masks. As expected, the musketeer’s uniform was dominant, but I saw quite a lot of navy officers and even some foreign ones. As the evening and spirits progressed, the main entertainments among the guests turned towards dancing in the main ballroom, various games played in several saloons and in the park. However, the main occupation of most of the guests was socializing, gossiping and flirting in the smaller rooms. When pairs of drunken guests started to splinter and stroll through the corridors of the mansion, I knew the time was right to get into that study.

The study was in the north wing on the second floor of the mansion, away from the central staircase and the guests. I knew the floor plans so managed to get to it through a secondary staircase. The room was unlocked and dark, with the exception of small patch of outdoors light coming in between the curtains. It took me few moments to light a candle and few more minutes to look through the desk. I figured out pretty fast that there had to be a secret drawer, but while I was trying to find the trigger that would open it someone else walked into the room. It was a man with a wolf mask, holding two glasses of wine. I was so shocked that I had forgotten to lock the door that I simply stood there for a moment just looking at him. He was tall, dressed in a dark-gray uniform, which I did not recognize.

“Madam… I hope I didn’t startle you.” he was speaking excellent Montaigne, but a bit too clear, as if it was a foreign language to him. He left the glasses on a small table and came few steps closer. “I don’t presume to know why you are here…” – “Monsieur, I am not sure what…” I tried to interrupt him, while my hand was already searching for one of the daggers hidden in my bodice, but he just continued “… But I hope you are ready for some company as the servants are changing the candles and going through all rooms on the floor right now.”

I gasped with a hint of a panic in my voice - “They should not find us here, monsieur, it will be terrible! Please…” It wasn’t difficult to act desperate and vulnerable. I remember thinking that it could not have been a coincidence that he would wander into this room to warn me. He was dressed like a gentleman, with a weapon on his belt and if he intended to harm me he could have simply raised the alarm. “Your wish is my command, madam… but it will be easier to hide than to try to sneak out. They are probably only moments away.” I nodded in agreement and pointed towards the windows. Big, heavy curtains covered them with enough space for us to hide behind them. He let me go in first, then quickly put the candlelight out and joined in the small confined space. We were almost chin-to-chin and close enough as if we were dancing. “If they find us…” he whispered and I saw his arm moving towards the handle of his saber. The movement was taken up by the curtains and could reveal our hideout if there was anyone to see it in the room.

I took his hand in mine and moved it on my waist, using the little space we had and completing the dance impression. ”If they find us, we can always say we were just looking for a little bit of privacy.” I tried to sound reassuring and I think I saw him smiling. Then we heard the door opening and my attention moved to what was happening on the other side of the curtains. I saw the dim candlelight move inwards towards the center of the room, the servant obviously making sure there was no one else in it, and then it went back towards the door. I heard it shut close and a moment later the distinct click of the lock. I finally breathed out and was about to move away from the curtains when the man pulled me closer and kissed me. After a moment of doubt, I embraced him back and then there was nothing else – no letters, no hidden drawers, no servants in the corridors, people dancing below us or laughter coming from the garden. It was just him and me.

After what seemed like an eternity he let me go. I struggled to gather my thoughts and contain my emotions. It was a gentle kiss and even if it was a surprise at the start, the imminent danger was gone and this stranger did help me avoid it. “I gathered the courage to kiss you, in case we got caught, and it seemed like a terrible waste not to use it. I apologize, if you found it inappropriate.” This time he was speaking in clean Avalon and my brain started to make the right connections. I moved towards the desk to light the lamp without replying. I was trying to figure out why his voice and posture looked so familiar to me. Did we dance together earlier in the night? Or maybe shared a conversation? He couldn’t have known I was the avalon singer, since I had changed my mask before coming in the study…

Once the light from the lamp was illuminating the room and my hands were no longer trembling I turned around to face him. He was checking the locked door and the tapestries covering the walls for other exits. “Who are you, sir? Have we been introduced?” He turned to face me and I could see him smile again. “I guess I will not take offence that you don’t remember me under these circumstances… ” he removed his mask and I gasped again. “Captain MacCodrum! How…?” Last time I had seen him was shortly after the “Harsh Mistress” had arrived in the port of Buché three days ago and I thanked him for the trip before leaving for a nice inn in the center of the city. The Sea Dogs’ ship was incognito, flying neutral merchant colors and I assumed she would leave the port as soon as they refill their supplies and before someone might recognize her. “I have orders to meet in this very room with a friendly party that would provide me with some invaluable for our fleet information. I decided to intervene a bit earlier because of the servants.” I lifted my own mask and smiled back at him. The pieces in this unexpected puzzle had started to shift into places and suddenly I was feeling much more confident in the success of our endeavor.

Not long after we were going through the letters in the hidden drawer. There were only several of vital importance and fortunately, Sean could read montaigne so we could make notes of the information and return the originals. He was reading out the important passages, coordinates and times to me and I was encoding them down in cymric. One copy of the orders was to be sent to our embassy in Paix and the other was to be taken back to Avalon directly by the captain. He could not read the language, but he saw the code I was using for the numbers and he knew the meaning of the letters, in case he needed to use the information.

We finished with the letters and returned them in their hidden storage maybe an hour before midnight. Then we got out of the room and locked the door behind us. With the glasses in hands, and holding each other under arm, we could have fooled anyone, if we actually met a soul on our way back to the ballroom. The celebrations were still at their highest and we decided to share a dance before Sean would leave. He had to exit the mansion before the masks would fall at midnight, as he could be easily recognized by one of the many navy officers. I, on the other hand, had to stay well after, so I would be remembered and seen in the center of the action. It was not only the case of maintaining my cover, but developing it, as on such party I would be able to make connections that would easily grant me access to others like it in the future. It was a dangerous game, with the set of letters strapped to my garter, but now that I knew another set was going to leave with the captain I felt at ease.

Neither of us mentioned the kiss after it happened, but as we were dancing he gave me one of his rings – a signet ring with his name and crest. “You probably already have plans for returning to Avalon, but just in case – the “Harsh Mistress” is ready to sail at dawn. If you show this ring to any of the sailors, they will let you onboard without questions.” As the clean and successful outcome of tonight was so unlikely, I did not have exact plans how to exit Montaigne in case I was not hunted for or I did not have to stay here, stuck after the mansion fire. “I don’t like gifts, captain.” I was serious, but I took the ring. “It is not a gift and I must insist that you return it to me as soon as possible.” He was smiling back and nodding to another dancing pair. “And you should call me Sean. I will also insist on that.”

Then in almost a split-moment the music was over, he bowed, kissed my hand and left. The night became somehow emptier afterwards. I had many more dances and conversations and after the masks fell I even danced with Gerard Rois et Reines du Rogné. Eventually, as the night progressed I excused myself and left the party. Allegedly, Alais Ros was going to travel on the morrow to Paix and I had already arranged carriage to transport my belongings from the inn where I was staying. Now, instead of taking the carriage I had another option for my own transportation and every reason to use it. So I packed a small bag with all my necessities, changed my clothes with more simple ones, dyed my hair and made some tattoo-like drawings on my face and arms. I hid the letters in my other belongings and I decided that I would send a separate letter detailing the code used, but from another port. I had no time for sleep, but the rush from the magnificent night and the job well done was keeping me on my toes. So without any waiting, I walked back onto the gangway of the “Harsh Mistress”, which I had left less than a week ago…
Illegitimi non carborundum

Потребителски аватар
Tinuviel
Мнения: 688
Регистриран: ср авг 21, 2002 10:36 pm
Местоположение: София
Контакти:

Re: [7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Мнение от Tinuviel » вт сеп 17, 2013 12:06 am

***

The aftermath from the battle was chaotic at least. I had managed to jump onto the “Harsh Mistress” moments before the blast from the explosion covered the air with splinters and burning rigging. The musket men on the deck were still reloading, but the rest of the crew was quick to take care of any flames. It took me few moments to get back on my feet and assess the situation. Most of the crew of the “Albatross” was in the water, trying to swim through the debris and cling to floating pieces, but the waters were cold and unwelcoming. There were also some of the pirate crew still alive and swimming and with all the bloody bodies in the water it was only a matter of minutes before either sharks or sirens appear. With the permission of Sean I started organizing the crew to throw ropes and take out the swimming survivors. Of course, my priority was the crew of the “Albatross”, but we managed to get some pirates out as well – most importantly, I saw Pierre swimming to the “Harsh Mistress”, still holding strong to the pirate captain, who was half-drowned, half wishing he was dead already. While we were rescuing survivors, the “Albatross” had started to drift away from the spot of the battle. Her sails were still raised and without being hooked to the pirate ship, she was gathering speed and sailing away. We weren’t sure why the crew that we left on board – Helga, Olof and the doctor – hasn’t done anything to turn the ship around, but as soon as we had all the survivors on board we set to catch up with them.

I saw Sean holding one of the gems that I saw in the captain’s meeting in Carleon and talking to Thorhildr, after which the ship started to speed up as the sails were catching really good wind. We caught up with the “Albatross” in no time and managed to board her easily. The captain immediately went towards the steer to help Olof, who was trying to pilot the ship. We saw Helga, lying in a pool of blood on the deck, with a really bad-looking wound on her head. I heard Olof explaining that he last saw the doctor unconscious, as I, Pierre and Thom went quickly below deck. My first fear was that the prisoner somehow freed herself and used the explosion and the distractions to wreck havoc on board. But that plot had so many holes that even as I was thinking about it, it seemed more and more unlikely. Earlier in the day I had offered her to drop her in our next stop, if she wished, not to mention that she had just undergone a major surgery and I doubted that she could untie herself from my knots, even if she was with her full strength. Still, I knew not to underestimate her, as her hits were much more powerful than she seemed at first. So I went down the hold in full alert. It was easy to spot Willem, as he seemed just resting, half-sitting, half-lying on a crate. However, as we got closer we saw that he was posed and in fact unconscious. As I looked around I saw some damage, definitely done by the explosion and the release from hold – moved cots, crates and cargo. Nevertheless, I also noticed some small details that were definitive signs of a struggle. As I opened the door to the brig, however, I found the prisoner still tied up and looking curiously at me. She seemed unaware what had happened to the doctor and was much more communicative than before. I wondered, at the time, if it was because she was trying to hide something, show better attitude with the hope to be able to escape on her own, or the time we gave her in solitude was enough to let her think better about her situation. Either way, I did not have time to worry about her.

Pierre and Thom carried the doctor into the captain’s cabin, where already Mr. Higgins was trying to help Helga. I don’t want to diminish in any way Mr. Higgins’ skills, but he was no proper doctor, like Willem, but more like the ship surgeon most of the privateer vessels had. Helga’s condition was much worse than what he had to deal with usually, and it was a bit showing through his actions. I went on to report back to the captain and organize the crew to check the ship for damages. The “Harsh Mistress” had detached and set back towards the sinking merchant ship, so we were on our own for a bit. Olof was also hurt, but stubbornly insisted that he was fine and should help with the rest. I tried to persuade him at first nicely, but eventually just told him to sit and await further orders. I am not sure if he took it badly, because he knew I was right, or because he did not like taking orders from me. The captain was busy and someone had to do it. Once she was back on deck, I summarized what I had found and went back to check on Willem and the prisoner.

The doctor was still unconscious, but there was something about it that bothered me. When I took a better look at him, I found a small bruise on his chest, as if from a punch, but smaller. His breathing had weird pattern in it, which sounded even more worrisome as they reminded me of the symptoms I’ve seen from some poisons. His condition was definitely caused by someone and that bruise reminded me of the punch I received from the mysterious girl. I went to talk with her, half-convinced already that there was someone else on the ship that either tried to free her, or to kill her, when was interrupted by something… maybe the explosion? I shared my suspicions and told her about the doctor’s condition. She seemed genuinely concerned for him and I played on that, convincing her that as he saved her life, the least she could do is help him now. Then, I decided to trust my instinct and release her from the brig. She was still tied, but more discreetly and could walk around.

I led her towards the captain’s cabin on our way there we met no one else but sir Olivier de Gras. He is the single largest benefactor the Sea Dogs have, after Queen Elaine herself. Obviously, he was a passenger on the sinking ship and was brought to the “Albatross” along some other survivors. He intended to take the captain’s cabin, oblivious that Mr. Higgins was trying to save Helga’s life there for some time now. When I was there to check on Willem, half the floor was covered with blood. I tried to reason with him, but he would bulge until Pierre, with a rather smug smile, showed him “the best room on the ship”. Sir Olivier changed his mind rather quickly once he took a look in the cabin and Pierre took him towards the brig – the only other confined space in the hold – before his face becomes more green than red.

Ajari, as the prisoner presented herself, took a look at the doctor and said that his condition was caused by a special hit, but there was a countermeasure. Following her instructions, I pushed Willem’s neck in two otherwise inconspicuous points and he suddenly awoke and became instantly aware of his surroundings. He managed to say only that he remembers someone hitting him, before he noticed all the blood and Helga lying on the table with Mr. Higgins doing his best to save her, but without very obvious success. The doctor immediately joined with some instructions and I did not even try to divert his attention from this point on. His story could wait and Helga not. Instead I led Ajari on the deck and towards the steer, where Thorhildr, Sean and the captain of the merchant ship were standing and talking. The plan now was to deliver sir Olivier and the rest of the merchant ship crew on the Isle of Scully, where we were scheduled to stop next. Sean excused himself, explaining that the “Harsh Mistress” needed to be there before midnight and the “Albatross” was unlikely to be able to keep with the speed. Both our pilots were down, but fortunately, the pilot of the merchant vessel was unharmed and he took the charge.

I had a moment or two to talk with Sean in private before he left the “Albatross”. I gave him the healing salve Willem had made before the battle and the instructions how to use it. We were both very uncomfortable, as moments earlier Ajari made some remarks which caught both of us off guard and I guess gave a big hint to the other two captains standing there of our relationship. Being discreet and hiding something are two very different things though, and I am not sure how Sean feels about this ordeal. I tried to hint how I felt, but I am not sure if he understood. He rushed off and not long after the “Harsh Mistress” was already running towards the horizon. I did manage to give him the journal Pierre gave me for him, so he can send us orders or we can convey news to him.

Last, but not least in importance, I really think I started to get through to Ajari. I realize she must be coming from very different upbringing, as words of love or gratitude seem unfamiliar to her. My suspicion that she was or is a slave is even bigger now, when she openly called herself Ajari – the word I found tattooed on her body when we initially examined her. Who would tattoo his own name on his body, unless it is more of a branding or a mark for others to know it? I am determined to stay behind my word, even though she did not believe me when I gave it – if she does nothing to harm our ship, the crew or the other Sea Dogs, I would let her leave or stay – whatever her wishes are – as a free woman. She did not seem hostile, actually much friendlier and even if she does not want to speak of her order or masters yet, I am sure she will start to soon. She already slipped out a word or two – she referred to the assailant of the doctor as a “she”. Did she say it, because she knew of the exact person responsible – even though we searched the ship thoroughly we found no other souls aboard – or because she is part of some sisterhood society, much alike the Daughters were at first, I do not know at this point. I believe her skills and knowledge would be of great advantage for us in the days to come, but she still is a big mystery. When we were climbing to the deck, after she helped me “cure” the doctor’s condition, I thanked her for her help saving him. She reacted so strange, as if this was the first time someone acknowledged she did something good and I had to explain to her what I mean by gratitude.
Illegitimi non carborundum

Потребителски аватар
Tinuviel
Мнения: 688
Регистриран: ср авг 21, 2002 10:36 pm
Местоположение: София
Контакти:

Re: [7th Sea] The Seven Secrets of the Black Raven

Мнение от Tinuviel » ср сеп 25, 2013 1:33 am

The weather started to get worse as we approached the Isles. I recalled the warning Sean gave us back in Carleon that they were a place where the Veil is thin and we should be very careful approaching them. The doctor seemed better, but not much – his skin was cold and he looked very pale. He went below deck to rest and I tried to extract some more information from Ajari – if she would know a way to treat him. She admitted she might have a way, but when I showed her his medicine bag she looked at it and talked about its contents with great disdain. I have to admit, I started to doubt her motives again. If earlier I was convinced she is willing to help us, now everything she was saying sounded as if she had a hidden agenda, as if she was playing with us. I left her in Pierre’s care for few moments, while I was bringing the doctor’s bag and he seemed almost angry with her afterwards. Later, when she suggested that she might have something that would help the doctor in her original clothes and I went to bring them, Pierre actually asked if I could gag her for the time while he has to watch her. I don’t know what she said to him, but it had to be pretty upsetting. In the original black clothes of Ajari I could not find any hidden items, but as a person used to conceal her own weapons, I know it can be pretty tough to find one if you don't know where to look. I had tied Ajari to the main mast, as the captain made me promise I would not let her go untied on the deck. I made her direct me towards finding the item she was looking for and I found a small secret pocket containing two pills – a pink and a white one. She suggested that if I give the pink one to the doctor he would get better. She would not mention what the second pill was for, but I took a guess and when I asked her directly she admitted it was a last resort poison. Knowing this, I knew I would not take the risk of harming the doctor, in case she was lying about which pill was the poison and which the cure. I went to place her clothes in my traveling chest and to hide the pills in my own clothes. I would probably not risk it on another person, but for last resort of myself it sounded like a good idea to keep them close.

When I went back on the deck I decided to check the crow’s nest as part of my watch. Thor was sleeping up there and I could not resist giving him a little lesson. I climbed quietly and stood on one of the ropes nearby, but away from his reach, when I noticed the isles and the ship of captain Torres, just entering the mist ahead. I yelled for attention and then scolded the startled vesten for sleeping when on watch. We sounded alarm and started watching for the reefs that Sean warned us about. However, the reefs weren’t the only trouble we met. The weather took a turn for the worse, and only Thorhildr’s magic managed to make it bearable. The winds were strong and soon after I noticed a whirlpool forming ahead of the ship. We managed to sail past it, when I started hearing the terrible sirens’ song. Whoever sailed here before us, left some unfortunate crew behind as a food for the foul creatures. I knew that this sound terrifies even experienced sailors and tried to make a distraction. I started singing a well-known sea shanty and not a moment later the other sailors had started following my tune and soon the entire ship was singing. I could still see the eyes of the monsters glowing at us from the waves, but their song was no longer audible.

As we sailed in between two of the isles, the winds disappeared and our sails came down empty. The “Albatross” was moving on the current flowing in this type of a sea canyon and we had to instead make sure we make corrections in our trajectory in the correct time to avoid hitting the ever so narrow rocky walls around us. I could feel that we were getting very close to the Veil and the mists around us were not of natural origin. That is when I saw the unicorn. He was standing on one of the rocks above us and nodding his head towards me. I could barely move or think at the sight of the beautiful creature and the knowledge of the Bryn Bresail and the Sidhe that I had from the Daughters of Sofia saved me. I started singing again, another more beautiful song for the unicorn. I knew that the Sidhe like music and entertainment and this could be in our advantage. As I did a female Sidhe with blue hair and cold gaze came forward from the mist. It was not a second later that a huge claymore almost cleaved her in two and the nearby mist and the unicorn disappeared. I realized it was an illusion and looked down on the ship noticing that almost everyone of the crew was a victim of the Sidhe magic. They were looking confused, but luckily the ship had already reached the meeting point – a small gulf between the isles. We saw several other ships resting in the distance and prepared to stop the ship and wait for a contact from the others.

As we were preparing our crew, the captain, Pierre and I went to check on the journal that Pierre gave to Sean. We asked Orm and Mr. Higgins, who were keeping an eye on Helga to take a leave for a bit and had the captain’s quarters all for ourselves. Pierre used his magic to open a rift in the space and get the book back to him. There was a short note by Sean that he cannot stay for the meeting and he will catch with us in Entour, our next scheduled stop. He wrote us to beware of Templeton Hawthorne. I remember stories about this crazy person, who claimed to be a Sidhe slayer. I was sure it was him, who killed the blue-haired Sidhe, but that did not make me feel relieved. The captain asked me to write some instructions back to Sean about the events that we faced and additionally, by the idea of Pierre, I also wrote a question only Sean would know the answer to, to make sure he is the one in possession of the journal. I wrote everything in Avalon, but I mentioned to Pierre that next time he could try to write in Montaigne as captain MacCodrum understands it. It was about that time when we heard knocking from one of the secret compartments in the captain’s cabin.

When the captain opened it, from inside came out the weirdest creature – a Seelie with feline features, named Toby. It seemed that Pierre and Thorhildr were familiar with the creature and started talking with him about things and events I did not understand. I was all about to leave, when the creature mentioned Meave as “the pretty face of the Sea Queen” and something about crows. I left the room to bring Ajari to it. She did not look surprised by the looks of Toby, but he seemed to know something of her too. He mentioned something of a deal she made with Maab, the Sea Queen. Unfortunately, he spoke out her real name and in the shock of it, he disappeared, so that was all I could understand. Just because Ajari had deal with the Sea Queen and she was also helping Sean and the Sea Dogs did not mean we were all friends though. The sea is a harsh mistress and sometimes cruel and always unpredictable.

***

Shortly after, when I had left Ajari sitting tied in the captain’s cabin under the guard of Orm and Mr. Higgins, we received a note of captain McGraph waiting for us on the shore. He was surprised of the news of Sean and told Thorhildr he needs her for a meeting at some ancient ruins. About that time we saw Willem was also up, looking better and already taking care of the many wounded among the survivors from the merchant ship. When the captain mentioned the ruins though, he reacted immediately. Soon after Thorhildr, Pierre, Thom, Willem and I were on our way through the mist, walking on a yellow paved road. Thorhildr and Seamus McGraph were talking about the meeting and Sean. I could not stop myself when captain McGraph spoke about his doubts in Sean and how he thought he might be compromised somehow. I spoke out to defend his image, although Seamus seemed not very convinced. He said he knew Sean for very long, but he had changed in the last few months.

About that time the mists around us started to get thicker. Pierre and Willem both started to act strangely and while Willem was speaking in vendel, which I could not understand, Pierre was talking in Montaigne, which I was fluent in. He was talking to his sister and was insisting that she should leave him alone and he would not follow her path. Suddenly, he became alarmed and pulled out his two guns, preparing to shoot at something in the mist. I tried to hold his arm, but he was much stronger than me and seemed to not notice me at all. Moments later he tried to step of the road and it was only because of Thom that we managed to pull him back in and snap him out of it. In the meantime, Thorhildr slapped Willem who was much easier to subdue and return to his senses. According to Seamus, they already lost few people on this road. He kept looking at his watch, worried that we were late for something.

We finally arrived in front of a door, which Seamus opened with the help of his pocket watch. Once opened, all we could see on the other side was white mist, but I could feel that this was the Veil and we would be stepping on the other side. As unsure that I was if this was a good idea, Thorhildr and the rest seemed determine to follow captain McGraph. Once we were on the other side, we were almost in the heart of the battle. In front of us there were numerous huge rocks, which I immediately recognized as Syrneth ruins. Their rocky-metallic material was unmistakable. Spread in between them were several groups of the sea dogs captains and their closest confidants and some Sidhe fighting other fallen Sidhe. If my confidence of entering this place was low, now that I saw the Syrneth ruins I knew I had to join this fight and so did the others.

The doctor rushed towards a couple of castillian officers that were surrounded by four other dark creatures. I rushed after him, killing one of the creatures with my pistol, while Thom chose a smarter way to approach them, going around one of the big rock piles. Thorhildr looked paler and almost sick, ever since we stepped on this side and while she joined me and tried to hit one of the remaining three creatures, she missed by a big margin. I saw in the corner of my eye Pierre rushing to the help of a unicorn, surrounded by few other creatures and taking them down in one smooth motion. As Thom came from behind the rocks and he slashed two of the fallen Sidhe down, another creature stumbled after him and I recognized was a ruin monster. I focused my entire attention to it, stabbing it and slashing it numerous times before it was finally dead. The others were fighting some other monsters in the back.

Only moments after, the scent of the ocean filled up the air and I could feel the ground shaking. In the distance, I could see a great wave spilling over the horizon and approaching the ruins at a great speed. I managed to climb to a higher ground and I saw Willem, Thorhildr and Thom managed to do it as well. Then I caught a glimpse of Pierre’s body, being taken up by the wave. He seemed to be unconscious and it was only a matter of moments before he would sink and drown, so without thinking much I dove after him. He was huge and heavy and I would have never been able to lift him on the ground, but in the water he was lighter and somehow, barely, I managed to keep him adrift and steer us to a piece of rock. When the wave passed all the fallen Sidhe and other foul creatures were gone, but I could not see anyone of the “Albatross” either. Pierre was still unconscious, with some terrible bruises appearing on his face, but at least he was alive. At least we both were.
Illegitimi non carborundum

Отговори

Върни се в “Приказки Безкрай!”

Кой е на линия

Потребители, разглеждащи този форум: Няма регистрирани потребители и 1 гост