Return of the Emblem Chapter Six: Enemies Abound
Posted 13 August 2011 - 11:29 PM
After the crew and their passengers ate dinner, things took a turn for the worst. The thunderstorm returned like a bad omen and rocked the ship violently as it crossed the channel. It was a long night, and everyone was forced to stay aboard until the storm passed. Even by morning the rain hadn't completely subsided, but compared to the previous night, it had become nothing more than a light drizzle. Traveling conditions would be ... good enough, Raquel hoped. Early that morning, when the ship stopped rocking enough for them to safely get the ramp laid down, the crew did just that while also helping to get the mounts ready to disembark.
Raquel's wagon was in better condition that it should have been given the two storms it helplessly sat through, but it still bore the signs of worn wood and weakened frame from all the turbulence as well as its previous hardships. She wanted to give it a new paint job as soon as possible, but even that wouldn't completely disguise its worn down state. For Raquel, it didn't matter how impressive a merchant dressed if their vehicle was in shambles. Coupled together, that would only give the impression of someone pretending to be better off than they really were, and coming across as disingenuous wasn't good for her kind of work.
Other party members like Amon had been ready to leave for some time but needed to wait until everyone was ready. He spent that time checking over his gear and eating a quick breakfast. Gabbie did those things in the opposite order and got something for Ringo to put in his stomach for the road, before heading up to the main deck to feed it to him. Once her wyvern was fed, she went back down to help a few of Giovanni's men transfer Siv from below deck to the wagon. She was going to have to travel back there to avoid getting any unwanted attention. She also had to be gagged as a precaution, otherwise any screaming she decided to let out could easily alert people and they wouldn't be able to explain yet alone justify a kidnapping.
Atsuko watched closely while Siv was moved and was extra careful about not letting the fallen out of her sight. Being tied up so thoroughly and being suppressed with a magic seal wasn't enough for her after everything she had been through, it seemed. Despite it being intrusive, she went into the back of the wagon and kept a close eye on Siv herself.
Rico approached Raquel the moment the wagon was ready to be moved to the shore. "Hey."
"Yeah?" she replied turning away from Riley and Sandrock for a moment.
"I didn't get a chance to say this earlier but, if you need anything, anything at all ... you can count on me."
"Oh ... well, thanks but how will that really be any good when you're always away at sea?" A decent question.
"Hey, you never know. I'd rather you know than not know and come with a weird plea or somethin'. We're family so I want you to know that if we can help out in any way at all, just send for us." he explained with a smile.
Raquel blushed but then quickly snapped out of it and asked "Well how are we even supposed to get a hold of you if you're at sea? You don't even have a messenger pigeon or anything like that."
"I already figured that out, luckily. Sometimes during fights, we get separated from Fira by a surprisin' distance, whether she's over on the enemy ship burnin' their shit to to smithereens, or we're on a treasure hunt and she's just not in plain sight." he explained before pulling out something that looked similar to the fire runes embedded in the ship's woodwork. "This, is a little system we use to signal Fira. I have no godly idea how it works but she can detect it from anywhere she says. We only tested it up to ten miles though so ... maybe you ought to ask her. She's our little fire goddess so I'm not surprised by any of her abilities, heheh."
"I guess I could ask her ..." Raquel said as she carefully took the object.
"Uh ... one more thing. There's not much point sending for us unless you're near the water ... know what I mean ...? Oh and also, at least a week in advance would be nice."
"Well duh. I can't predict the future but if I know we're going to be heading over water, I guess I can give it a try. If you'll take us places without charging us a whole lot, then that would be more than just helpful. It could save lives." she explained with a smile.
"We can get you there faster than most others at least ..." he muttered a bit. "Let's go see Fira." With that, the two of them left the wagon for a moment to go seek out Fira, who was below deck at the moment.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 01:00 AM
Nadya let Luca over to the wagon and looked inside at the bound and gagged Siv.
"Are you gonna check to see if she's still alive now and then? I don't think we'll get paid if she meets, uh whatever the Fallen worship, before her time is up," she said to Atsuko.
Veronika and Connor
Veronika ate her dinner quickly and slept for a very long time, tired from the battle and the running from the day before. She went to check on Axel shortly after waking up. Still sleeping...but still alive as well. It must be difficult to wake up after such an explosion. she thought to herself, eventually lifting him up and placing him inside the wagon. He still did not wake, so Veronika thought it best to leave him there until he did.
Connor, who had slept fairly peacefully the previous night, was aghast to see the state of Axel's armor.
"What did he do!? This armor was designed to handle serious impacts...what could have possibly had so much force to tear it apart like this?" he asked Veronika.
"He made a firey explosion centered around himself," Veronika answered curtly, not knowing more details that that.
"But there are only a few suits like that in- ugh I'll let Uncle Seth handle the lecture about preserving valuable property. Also would be more useful when he's awake," Connor added thoughtfully at the end.
The silver haired, violet eyed woman awoke from her slumber early, as she often did, and went to retrieve the various letters that accumulated by pigeon, wyvern, pegasus, or however else they got there from the entrance hall of the Western Ursium estate. Bringing the reports back up to her room, she began scanning the documents for information of interest.
Another report from Rex-Avaz, like I care what happens down there. New Neviskotian recruits, I don't need to read about cannon fodder... she thought to herself, tossing the reports into the fireplace as she scanned them. Wait...the prototype? Silvia may have found something worth my time for once... she thought to herself, settling down in one of the count's armchairs. She read the entire report several times over, then put a hand to her chin as she pondered her next course of action. Well this report is slightly dated...I suppose I could have a field agent search for the prototype. I doubt Sardis needs all of them at this moment anyway.
Edited by -Cynthia-, 14 August 2011 - 01:01 AM.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 01:30 AM
Looking at the source of the query, there was Nadya. Siv gave a mean look, and Atsuko glanced over at her before answering. "These demons worship the dark one. The Wrath that comes from below. Isn't that right, demon?" she ended by indicating Siv, who promptly looked away. Then looking back to Nadya she said "I'll keep an eye on her. That is why I'm here after all."
Posted 14 August 2011 - 01:51 AM
"Oh right, I remember. The elders use to tell us that the mulos- or Fallen, followed the dark one...sort of like how the Rexians follow the lady of sand. I doubt Amon would like that comparison, but that's how it was explained to us," Nadya said to Atsuko.
After a few minutes, she finished pondering her course of action and decided to go downstairs. She passed a few subdued looking servants on the way, she paid gthem little heed as they showed no signs of rebellion after the initial takeover. Eventually she located her target, a red haired woman in white armor.
"You there, er- pegasus knight," she said, not remembering the armored woman's name. There were a number of red-haired pegasus knights running about and she hadn't bothered to distinguish them by name, one was as good as another anyway. "I have a task that may require your skills that I would like you to start immediately- assuming you don't already have a job from someone higher up than myself," the violet-eyed woman added as more of an afterthought than anything else.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 02:49 AM
"A Rexian travels with your group too? I thought you were both nomads. Actually, I was surprised by the different peoples in your group, but assumed that Weyland hired you all especially for this mission. You seem to know each other very well though, so does that mean you've worked together before?" She hadn't worded her questions exactly like she hoped. Common wasn't her type of language and she only learned it so she would be able to get a larger variety of work, but what she really wanted to ask was if these mercenaries that came to help them were their own group, or if Weyland had hired them individually.
Talking with Fira
Once Raquel and Rico found Fira, she turned around revealing a small knife and rune in hand. She seemed to be doing something with it, but stopped to talk with them. "Did you need something?"
"Well, we're getting ready to leave, but Rico wanted me to talk with you about a signal ... thing ...?" She looked to Rico when saying that of course.
"Alright, here's the deal. We're fast enough to be at any spot in the Central channels within a week or week and a half's notice. So, I'm thinkin' we should let Raquel have one of those signalers we use and use it if she needs us to be somewhere. Whaddya think, Fira?" he said crossing his arms. Frankly, the man was worried that goddess or not, Fira wouldn't be able to detect a signal from so damn far away. How could she?
"I wonder how we'll know where to dock, but other than that, it would be fine, I think."
"It will?" both Raquel and Rico asked in unison. Neither one of them could figure out the mechanics of the signal, but having said that, they were about to find out.
"Yes. Those signals work because I imbue them with my power. The distance I can sense them from isn't necessarily limited, or at least, I haven't ever discovered what the limit is just yet."
"How does that work exactly though?"
"Well, it's difficult to explain, but my power isn't true anima magic. It carries other properties that I wouldn't know how to describe. All I can really say is that anything I imbue with my own power I can sense from just about anywhere. If you do anything to change how the power flows, I can pick up on that as well." she explained.
"Oh, well okay, I guess we'll try it then."
"I'm kind of surprised actually. Don't you already know about something like this? That tall Rexian boy has something on him that seems to work in a similar way." she noted bringing up Amon's trinket.
"Similar way?" Raquel echoed.
"It's imbued with a power not entirely unlike my own. Thus, it can work in the exact same way."
"Wait-wait-wait, imbued by a god or goddess or somethin'?" Rico cut in.
"He is a Rexian so that wasn't surprising. I was more interested in why she didn't know about what I was getting at."
"I like to stay out of other people's business." Raquel answered, lowering her head slightly. "I don't really have a right to bug people about stuff they'd rather keep to themselves.
Giving Raquel a moment's glance, she gave an intrigued look ... "No, I guess you don't."
"So this'll work?" said Rico.
"Yes, just give me a few minutes to make a new signal just for her. The old ones don't have much power because it wasn't necessary, but I don't want them relying on something that's so weak. I'll make one that will be easier to sense from afar."
"Thank you, Fira." Raquel said, bowing a bit.
"It's no trouble at all, really."
The woman's eyebrow raised a bit when she was called out so generically. She had been staring at a painting with her arms crossed for a short while. Glancing over she saw the other woman and remarked "Clearly we need dogtags. So what exactly would you need done that requires my skills? More importantly, my and my sisters' skills ..." she added, implying that she didn't favor working alone.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 10:26 AM
Instead, she sat just outside the mouth of the cave, watching as, at last, the storm clouds crested over the mountains and flowed down into the valley. Before long they were overhead and the sharp sting of raindrops started to shower down upon her. She let them hit, each one cold and refreshing, cleansing her in both body and spirit as the mighty storm poured down upon her. It was pure, primal, powerful, and she loved it.
Robin awoke that morning, bound up in the hammock. The muted rumble of thunder afar off told her that the storm had passed by only recently. Despite this, she did not feel refreshed at all. Instead, she felt sick, queasy, green from the rocking and rolling of the ship as the storm had passed and she slept. Quietly she got out of the hammock and, seeking peace and steadiness, she pulled out one of her arrowheads. Then, being careful and as quiet as she could, she slowly started to modify it. It was too short to make a proper knife, that was for sure, but even a improper one was comforting to her. Before long, she had turned the arrowhead into a knife, more of a 'scraper' than a 'blade' to be sure, but a knife just the same.
She wanted to sit down with a piece of wood, slowly carving into it. Though she was not much of a wood carver, even with her poor skill, doing such a thing would have been relaxing until, at last, the ramp was dropped. The moment she realized that that had happened, she rushed up and off the boat, almost leaping over the edge to get back onto dry land again! Once she was on the ground, she hurredly rushed away from the riverbank, but not far enough away to lose sight of the group. She was happy to be on land, solid, unmoving land, again. This is where she belonged, not cooped up on a boat.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 03:45 PM
The next morning, Domovoi found that they had landed and the crew was helping get the mounts off the ship. Quickly thanking the crew for their help, Domovoi and Miskavolv got off the ship and waited for the others to do the same.
Must say, I'm not going to be sad about never being on a boat again.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 05:27 PM
Posted 14 August 2011 - 05:41 PM
Nadya laughed a little at Atsuko's comment. "Amon would be a pretty bad nomad, not havin' a horse and all. I actually just joined up with Raquel after they got into a fight with some folks. Didn't know this Weyland guy was offerin' so much money until after we got done dealin' with those artifical humans. Seems to be a profitable enough group so far, so I'll stick with 'em for the time being. Can't really speak for how long everyone else has been together, though it doesn't seem like it's been too long to me. Maybe fightin' together makes us seem like we're closer together than we really are," she said, shrugging.
"Dogtags probably wouldn't hurt, there are an awful lot of agents to keep track of. Anyway, my mission for you is one of reconnaissance. I need you to find someone, the prototype specifically. His eyes and hair...should have the same relatively uncommon traits as yours truly," she said, smiling a bit. "He should be going by the name of Gabriel if I recall correctly. All I need you to do is tell me his current whereabouts, I can handle things from there. Do not engage him in combat, there's no use in antagonizing him at this point and you'll probably be slaughtered anyway. If you want to bring whatever relatives you have fine by me, as long as I get the report in a timely manner," she said, fixing her gaze upon the white armored woman. "If you want more information I can give you Silvia's report."
Edited by -Cynthia-, 14 August 2011 - 05:47 PM.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 07:18 PM
When dawn came, Ranyin'sbody clock managed to awaken him despite being no where near the reaches of sunlight. Rushing to the top of the deck, and cursed silently in his native language. There was still some rain, and that meant he could not paint the scenery of the large river outdoors where the view was best. Then he remembered he knew how to manipulate the winds to ward of the raindrops from him and the parchment.
By the time everyone else was awake and departing the ship, Ranyin happily kept the finished painting of his that was sufficiently dried by wind magic.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 10:21 PM
I need to find a way to keep out of view, I do not want to be recognized.
Saken got out his sword inspected it and sheathed it again after making sure it would not break on him and then left and had breakfast as the ship came close to the shore, leaving him ready as he ever would be to leave.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 10:26 PM
Wow ... a group that hasn't been together very long ... and they were so much more effective than us, even though we've been fighting together for years. That was a depressing thought, but it gave rise to curiosity more than anything else. Maybe there was something to the group that gave them an edge. Her curiosity died immediately when a few key factors came to mind. Oh right, they were fed and rested, the fallen were focusing entirely on us, and these people had much higher numbers than we did. They aren't really better ... it was just ... circumstance. I guess there's nothing to fear from the north then ... save for people going for broke and blowing themselves up at the final moment ... "Well, at least you all seem to get along well. I've seen a lot of mercenary squabbles in the past." Maybe it's because Weyland pays so much?
It took a few minutes, and any magic user aboard the ship could have been alerted when Fira compressed a staggering amount of power into her new signalling device. Once that was done, and it cooled off from the intense heat, she handed it over to Raquel. "I doubt there's anywhere you can travel where I won't be able to pick up on that. As for how to use it, simply change the flow of energy in some noticeable way." she explained.
"That looks like a job for one of the mages, so I'll let one of them know ..." Raquel replied giving the device a bit of a grimace.
"... okay then. Let them know that I'll consider it more of an emergency if the change is intense. This doesn't fix the docking issue but it's something I guess."
"Right. Thanks again, Fira."
Normally I would think of something like this as poorly disguised grunt work and pass, but now I'm a little curious. Someone named Gabriel, hm? "Yes her report would be helpful, but I have a question. Assuming we found him, what are we permitted to do in order to keep from losing his trail?" she asked thinking carefully about a few scenarios that might force them to take action, mainly the target trying to evade them making their report a bit inaccurate by the time it arrived.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 11:03 PM
"They're not very grabby when it comes to the payout, so they're good from my account. Don't know why some of them didn't show up for the last battle though, supposedly the pirate lost her cat or somethin'," Nadya said to Atsuko, shrugging again. "We got out with the little devil anyway, so as long as she doesn't get the same cut I'm all for it,"
"Hmm, as long as you don't kill him, by any means necessary. Like I said, I wouldn't try engaging him in combat unless you have a death wish. I'd be able to handle him myself of course, if the situation came to that, but I am a superior being. You'd probably just get your head blown off," she said the armored woman, laughing a bit.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 11:39 PM
"Members of your team stayed behind?!" Atsuko exclaimed in shock. After the fact or not, that was something to fume over. "Urgh, forget I said anything. I don't want to cause any problems here. The fallen are the real enemy here, not your group's cowards ..."
The small workings of a glare came from Cecily's expression before she asked "And how will we go about contacting you once we locate this Gabriel person? A regular report could take a couple of days which is useless if we can't keep him in one place." Having said that, she took a closer look at the report. Ah so this is what she meant ... I hate blade masters with a passion. Fortunately we probably won't have to fight this one.
Edited by Phoenix, 14 August 2011 - 11:45 PM.
Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:23 AM
"Maybe they figured that they were going to die fightin' the Fallen so they decided not to come at all. Mighta been cowardly, but it wasn't stupid. The way the Fallen tore up those mercenaries...hard to believe such powerful creatures exist in this world," Nadya said, shuddering a bit.
"Well he was last seen in Ursentius...doubt he's gone too far. I'll be making my way to Ursentius shortly. If you deliver the message quickly, I'll be sure to catch up to him...I move pretty quickly," she said with a smirk after handing over Silvia's report.
Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:51 AM
"If everyone used that kind of logic, then defeating the fallen would be impossible. We can't always run from the fallen when they have the upper hand. I ... understand that they're mercenaries so their own lives should come before anything else but ... one day the fallen might overwhelm us, and if that happens, the north will fall next." she said before giving Siv a glance. She was still just sitting there, every limb on her body restrained thoroughly, still upset, still gagged with her little fangs digging into the cloth ...
"I wonder if capturing her will do any good to give people some courage. We might soon learn what the fallen are capable of, and what they aren't capable of, at least."
To that Siv glared, something Atsuko caught glimpse of. The young fallen's eyes shifted from white to black, and her irises began to glow for just a moment, slightly startling Atsuko. "She ... has not done that in a while ..."
"Ursentius? We'll start our search from there then." Cecily said, giving Gabriel's description one more once over.
Edited by Phoenix, 15 August 2011 - 03:35 AM.
Posted 15 August 2011 - 01:51 AM
Shadrak woke up that morning with a pleased sigh... he needed the sleep, that for certain. He noticed everyone was already up and going, and in fact, mostly gone... he got up with a stretch and headed to the top deck. I wish they woke me up atleast... though I'll admit, I'm kinda grateful that they didn't... I needed the sleep. When he reached the surface he groaned at the sun, flipping up the hood of his cloak to block the light. He noticed Zel was on the top deck, tending to his horse somehow...
Zel was indeed tending to Sliep, making sure the hard ride from the previous day hadn't hurt anything, and that his chains weren't rusting from the rain. Shadrak called to him, causing the knight to turn around. "What is it?" He asked, turning to the dark mage.
"Do you have any fruit left?"
"Yes I do..."
"Can I take some off ya for the trip?"
"No problem." Zel said, opening up the satchel that he kept the produce in. He smiled and tossed Shadrak several apples. Shadrak caught them with ease, but Zel's gauntly ended up getting caught on itself somehow on the last one, screeching as metal rubbed against metal on the last throw, and sent it wild. A black pulse came off of it as it went soaring, instantly re-directing it back to Shadrak, landing straight into his upheld hand.
As Zel fumbled to un-jam his gauntlet, Shadrak called out a thanks to him, walking toward the wagon, whipping out Robin's knife as he began to idly cut the apple.
Krystal was sitting on the rim of the wagon, toward the middle, just kinda minding her own business... Raquel hadn't showed her how to tend to the horses yet, so it wasn't like she could do THAT right now... she was partially eavesdropping on Atsuko and Nadya, though, it didn't really apply to her, so she didn't really care. She soon heard the voice of the blacked robed man... the one with the Raven, that she'd only managed to catch glimpses of the night before. She started to listen a leetle more intently, waiting for him to leave so she could intercept him... it wasn't hard, she could easily hear him as he spoke to the pair. "Excuse me Nadya, miss.... uh, actually, I don't think I've caught your name yet miss, mind if I inspect the prisoner? Don't want her wasting away on us and all... and what is she doing?"
Edited by Zsword, 15 August 2011 - 01:52 AM.
Posted 15 August 2011 - 02:24 AM
"I'm Atsuko." Atsuko answered blankly. When asked what Siv had just done, it occurred to her that people from the north truly didn't know much about fallen. It was slightly obscure, true, but it was something any Kigenese person who have fought the fallen would recognize. As Siv's eyes returned to normal, unable to fight against the power of the magic seal, Atsuko explained. "When a fallen's eyes turn black like that, it means they're about to fight. They're very dangerous while in that state. It requires magic though, so she can't sustain it with that seal on her, nor can she cast her magic. I doubt she can put up a barrier either."
Having received the mission, Cecily wandered around through the estate looking for her sisters.
Posted 15 August 2011 - 02:47 AM
Posted 15 August 2011 - 03:27 AM
"She's wearing a magic seal and she's tied up. Her evil stares can't do anything so I think you're safe." Atsuko commented.
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