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Unread 6th of September, 2007, 15:29
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Prologue: Nuada and Hale

Rumors... rumors and Aiea's memory have been driving you ever faster. A northward journey has had you running from place to place, questioning every bartender, every jeweler and prefect about the gems. Finally a breakthrough, after all seemed lost, a merchant slaver from the west had the ridiculous fortune of having a gem fall into his lap from the sky. Word of mouth has it that he plans to bring it to Chiaroscuro where it may fetch a fine price, from some filthy nobleman no doubt. His fleet of 4 ships is following the coast. You've been keeping up with them for 2 weeks, always one step behind, but now you've got him, for his men grow slow and tired after too much drink. They spend the night in a small town called Faux, lying on the coast just north of the lap. You come upon the town on the eve of night, and they dock till morning. Now is your chance.

You walk through the marketplace. The sun is setting, and the shops are closing. You can see that much of the fleet's crew is occupying the tavern and inn. No surprise there. 4 boats are docked, one big bellied; probably the one carrying slaves. Two are smaller and sleeker. The fourth is giant and plated with metal. It's only your guess as to which one has the gem on it. Either way, there are guards stationed at the docks and on the ships. Nobody is in or out without being questioned, and the dock area is very open. Not good for sneaking, though cover of darkness helps. The moon is with you this night; namely no moon at all. Nuada's options lay before her.
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Unread 7th of September, 2007, 06:16
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Nuada sits underneath the dock, her finger tracing faint patterns in the sand. There had to be a harder way to get into that ship. The downfall of many a thief rested on the fact that he had underestimated the situation and had been outguessed by his foes, but what other defenses did ships have other than guards? Nuada didn't know. In fact, the only type of ship she knew was a slave ship, and why would a precious gem be in there?

Nuada sighed impatiently. Another downfall of a typical thief is indecision. Nuada sighed again. She took one last look at the little sketch she had traced in the sand and trotted silently over to the side of the dock. From the shadows, Nuada could see guards patrolling the docks and various points on the ship - nothing she couldn't handle. The young girl retreated back into the shadows and grimaced as she felt her body change. A series of images flashed quickly through her head before she regained her senses and left her with a strange pull in her chest. She had gotten accustomed to this strange feeling, but still didn't like it.

Shaking off her uneasiness, Nuada dipped into the water and dove towards the capital ship. She came up next to the vessel and looked up, unimpressed. One quick round around the ship told her the best place to climb, and without hesitation, Nuada scampered up the wall as if it were a dirt path. Reaching the top, Nuada looked around for a good spot to plan out the rest of her actions and shook off her wet coat.

[Beastman form (wallwalking) - 1 mote]
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Last edited by Erendiox; 7th of September, 2007 at 06:57.
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Unread 8th of September, 2007, 12:56
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You scamper up the side of the ship, silent and unseen in the pitch blackness. As you rise over onto the deck, you immediately notice the handful of scraggly men standing watch in the near distance. Several lanterns are lit, casting light over certain sections. You can see a few of their faces. Most are drinking and talking with one another, or otherwise being the scum of the sea. Deftly, you stick to where they can't see you.

Unfortunately, as you take a look around, the entrance into the holds is well lit. Three men are also sitting right in front of the door, playing cards. You'd have no trouble sneaking past them normally, but there's no way you can get in there the way they're positioned.

[Stealth: Nuada: (Dex 4 + Stealth 2) = 5(9,8,5,5,2,2) 2 successes vs standard difficulty <success + 1>]
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Unread 8th of September, 2007, 14:53
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Nuada's eyes dart tirelessly around the deck, searching for any type of entrance into the hold - door, hole, grate... anything. Maybe even something a small animal could fit through...
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Unread 9th of September, 2007, 00:51
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You look around for some other way inside. There are grates along the top of the deck for filtering water down and off the ship, though none lead to the inside. Then you notice a big crack in the woodwork. Looks like someone dropped something heavy recently and smashed a hole in the deck. It's large enough for you to slip through if you change forms, and you can see an empty crew's quarters just below.

[Investigation: Nuada: (Intelligence 2 + Investigation 1) = 3(10,9,2) 3 successes vs standard difficulty <success + 2>]
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Unread 9th of September, 2007, 08:58
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Nuada waited patiently for the closest group of guards to distract themselves before letting her body fall into her spirit form. As per usual, a disturbing transition period muted Nuada's senses as she changed. Every time she used Luna's powers, it seemed to get just a little worse. Putting that in the back of her mind, Nuada slipped down onto the deck and padded down towards the hole, following the wavy shadows thrown about by the ship's lanterns.

[Stealth: Nuada: (dex 4 + stealth 2) = (8,8,7,5,5,3) 3 successes]
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Unread 9th of September, 2007, 14:36
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You drop down into the empty crew quarters. It's humid. A musty mixture of sweat and cheap liquor hang in the air. Two bunks sit on the wall to your left, two more on the wall to your right. Personal belongings are strewn about and a small wooden table and chair sit on the far wall. Behind you is a doorway which lets out into a long dark passage. More doorways line the passage, with similar looking rooms. Suddenly, the Kaleidoscope Pin glows faintly, tinting the walls around you an ocean blue.

Just as fortune seems to be smiling at you, there's a series of shouts from above deck. You can't make out what they're saying at first, but you can hear a general commotion and rustle. Then you make out one of them say something about the slave barge and to call men back from the town.

[Awareness: Nuada: (Perception 3 + Awareness 2) = 5(10,7,5,2,1) 3 successes vs standard difficulty <success + 2>]
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Unread 14th of September, 2007, 00:20
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Regretting the immediate change back into her normal form, Nuada looks around to see if anyone below decks had started scrambling yet. Hopefully there was a problem with the next ship over and the crew would leave the vessel, but either way Nuada was too close now to turn back. Following the light of the knife in her hand, Nuada slinks about the dark corridors of the ship.
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Unread 15th of September, 2007, 02:45
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Delving deeper into the belly of the ship, you use the glow of the Kaleidoscope Pin to guide you, like a hot and cold game. The ship seems utterly deserted; the men either guarding on deck or in town. Finally, after dropping two more floors into the shadowy depths, the knife guides you to a room in the lower holds. The door is thick and reenforced with metal plates. A padlock the size of a man's fist guards from entry. There are no windows and no creases, even just to see inside.

You can hear the commotion still, shouts too faint to make out from your place inside the ship.
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Unread 19th of September, 2007, 06:55
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Keeping her wits about her, Nuada begins to work on the lock. The girl cursed herself for not bringing her gear; hopefully this wouldn't take too long. Nuada glanced around quickly before beginning. The faster she figured this lock out, the better. Luckily, the lock was big and she was small, and of course all thieves know that softer is better when lockpicking. Picking such a big lock should be a fast job.

[Lockpicking: Nuada: (Dex 3 + Larceny 3) (9 9 8 7 2 2) 4 successes]
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Last edited by Eternal; 19th of September, 2007 at 07:06.
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Unread 19th of September, 2007, 23:46
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Picking the lock is proving to be difficult. This isn't the hardest one you've ever opened, but it's damn close, and without tools it's making things even more trying. With the shouts still emanating from the top deck, you try to keep your cool. You're sweating a little by the time you finally manage to wrench it open with a frustrated jerk. Sliding the giant lock off the gate, you heave open the massive door.

Inside is a very simple room, small and bare of furniture, except for a small chest of drawers set to one side. Scattered about the room are boxes and bags. A look in the boxes show that they're loaded with bundles of jade scrip and the bags contain scattered jade currency. Lying around, you also find some fine weapons and tools, swords embossed with gold, jewel engraved bows, etc. Inside the dresser you find business papers mostly; things like contract agreements, records, and letters to the slavemaster. On the top drawer, you find what you seek. Wrapped up in a silk cloth rests a magnificent gemstone, the size of your fist. It seems to almost emanate a brilliant sapphire and is warm to the touch.

[Lockpicking: Nuada: 4 successes vs near impossible (difficulty 3 + 1 no tools) <adequate>]
[Investigation: Nuada: (Intelligence 2 + Investigation 1) = 3(9,7,6) 2 successes vs standard difficulty <competent>]

Last edited by Erendiox; 20th of September, 2007 at 01:01.
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Unread 20th of September, 2007, 13:20
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For that one moment everything stopped. Nuada's eyes gleamed as her hands revealed the awesome gem. As soon the beautiful light hit her, everything stopped. The commotion outside, the rocking of the boat, her shaky hands; everything but her pounding heart and the steady glow of the gem. She was one step closer to being reunited with her soul mate. However, even with this discovery, Aeia still seemed as far away as the stars. Nuada plopped onto the floor, the gem cupped in her hands. The last gem felt as though it was beating - like a heart. This one when grasped, on the other hand, seemed to fuel the holder with a sense of the loneliness of the one trapped inside. Staring into the glow of the gem, Nuada felt as though she could see Aeia's face, far, far away.

A sharp cry startled Nuada out of her reverie. With a jolt, she jumped to her feet, stowing away the gem. Still a little out of her mind, the little thief almost forget to clean all of the most valuable treasures out of the hold. Grinning ear to ear, Nuada turned and began filling her satchel. After stuffing an enormous quantity of trinkets, arms, and jade into her bag, she (as deftly as possible) made her way out of the ship. She knew she would have to try to avoid any crew members, but wasn't worried about escaping from any.

[Stealth: Nuada: (dex 3 + stealth 2) = (8 8 7 7 1) 4 successes]
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  #13  
Unread 22nd of September, 2007, 01:21
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Getting back to where you began was easy. You can easily see the way to the main doorway to the deck, where the guards were standing. You can still hear the two of them just outside. They're shouting across to shore or perhaps another boat, and you can hear what they say this time.

"You... yes you man! Summon the realm troops and their captain! We have a demon on the loose!" Says one, with a craggy voice.

"That's right boys! Keep movin, keep at it! There's only one of him! Don't let that scurvy rat get the better of ya!" Says another, with a high pitched squeal.

They both stand outside the door, though they seem distracted. Luckily, you don't have to try and sneak past them. The hole is still where you left it. Still, there's no way to tell if there are any other guards still on deck besides these two. The only hint you have is that they're shouting out to people very far away. You can hear a commotion vaguely on one of the other ships. There's a whole bunch of yelling and screaming coming from far off.

Last edited by Erendiox; 29th of September, 2007 at 01:48.
  #14  
Unread 26th of September, 2007, 10:10
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Nuada readies herself for the usual mental jolt as she allows her body to assume the shape of a meerkat. Shaking vigorously, her little form skitters through the hole and over the deck, making for the edge of the vessel. First things first - escape, then check out what the commotion is. Maybe there's more treasure waiting for her in the other unprotected ships. Either way, Nuada was vaguely interested in the 'demon' rampaging nearby. Maybe she would check that out before going back for treasure...
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Unread 26th of September, 2007, 23:08
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You scurry out of the hole and back onto the top deck. Turning toward the other ships, you now see what all the commotion is about. It's impossible not to notice. Atop the deck of the slave barge is a great pillar of light reaching endlessly into the sky. A brilliant bonfire surrounds a small boy on deck, a brand of gold on his forehead. With your binocular vision, you can see everything. He holds a spear aggressively in one hand, glaring at the score of men who surround him. He's been wounded; his other hand clutches at his side where red blood flows. Several bodies litter the floor next to where he stands. The seamen do not retreat but seem loath to advance and risk losing more of their number.

The two men guarding the door are now at the railing of the ship, getting as close to the action as possible. They're calling out all the more vigorously toward the fight. Other than them, you see nobody else on deck. Looking out to shore, you can see what looks to be some other force headed this way.

You can make it over the deck and into the water no problem, especially since everyone is distracted with the fight and the pyrotechnics. In fact, you could escape the scene very easily due to the commotion.

[Awareness: Nuada: (Perception 3 + Awareness 2 + Vision 2) = 7(9,8,5,3,2,2,1) 2 Successes vs Challenging Difficulty <adequate>]
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Unread 27th of September, 2007, 04:58
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With a splash, Nuada hits the water. Her interest in the commotion on the other ship had peaked considerably after seeing what was actually going on. Despite her urges as a thief, she resolved to ditch her gear in the small stash under the dock and scale the ship where the rauccus was coming from.

Stuffing her satchel into the small cache under where the dock and the coast meet, Nuada dived back into the water, allowing her body to readjust once again to her hybrid form. Once the stars stopped swirling around her head she submerged, heading towards the slave ship. Nuada came up on the side facing towards the sea, and immidiately proceeded to climb the hull, stopping at the very top near the rail. She peeked her eyes over the edge and watched the performance, though something - maybe guilt - suggested that she help the boy... after all, he was just a boy.
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Unread 28th of September, 2007, 01:31
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You peek your head over the railing just in time to see the boy impale another man through the chest, his movements extremely fluid despite his wound. Every time he lashes out you can almost see the image of white sails appear around him, but they disappear soon afterward. He removes the spear from his opponent with a sickening rip and turns to the crowd surrounding him.

"You all are disgusting..." He says shakily, slightly out of breath. "I'm not the demon here... I don't profit off of human misery. I'll kill you all someday."

With that he makes a leap for the railing in your direction, scaling over the heads of the men, landing just feet from where you hide. For one split second he sees you, then he dives off the edge and into the sea. His anima, even underwater, is still lighting him up like a torch. It's easy to tell that he's swimming for shore.

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Unread 28th of September, 2007, 03:05
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Nuada quickly dives off, leaving only a small ripple where she hits the water. She swims quickly for shore, but not after the boy. She could tell which direction he was going, but felt that her treasure had better be retrieved before she proceeded any further.

Nuada pulled away the rubble covering her stash and grabbed the rather bulky satchel. With that, the young Lunar dashed off along the beach towards where the demon child headed, clinking softly with every step. This could be be interesting... it has been a long time since Nuada even talked to a person her age, let alone a demon child. She grinned and picked up the pace, hoping she wouldn't lose him.
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Unread 29th of September, 2007, 02:07
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You grab your stashed treasure, the sound of the commotion in the near distance. You can see that the pirates have not given chase, though they make a weak attempt at shooting arrows. You rush over to where the boy is swimming toward. To your right is the sea, just behind you the pirate ships. To your left is a sandy shore leading into green, rocky hills. Just beyond the hills is a forest of leafless trees; not the best cover, but the best around. You guess that the boy wants to make a run for those trees.

It's easy to see where he is. The fire around him has dimmed but still burns brightly enough to pick him out of the water. You arrive as he finally washes up on shore, his anima glowing like hot coals, drying him in seconds. Somehow he has managed to hold onto his spear while swimming, and he brings it to bear as he eyes you questioningly.
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Unread 29th of September, 2007, 02:19
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Hale manages to keep a threatening face somehow. On the inside he's tired, confused, and desperate. Questions swam endlessly around in his head. What had he done to deserve this? What had he become? Why did that boy have to die...

Forcing back some tears, he points the spear menacingly, gasping for breath. "You don't look like one of them... What do you want?" He says, fear welled up in his throat.
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Unread 29th of September, 2007, 04:48
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Nuada looks at the ragged boy questioningly, thinking his fearful demeanor unfounded and not recognizing his speach. Thinking again, she takes a look at herself and curses her stupidity. The little thief gives the boy as apologetic a look as she can muster in her current form before she goes through the uncomfortable transformation back into her human shape. As soon as her vision clears, she attempts to apologize, wondering what language the boy speaks.

"I'm sorry for frightening you. Who are you?"
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Unread 30th of September, 2007, 00:59
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Hale stares wide eyed. If the hybrid form wasn't enough of a jolt to see, the transformation sure did the trick. It took him a few seconds to recognize that he was being spoken to.

"Uhhh... crap... I don't know what you're saying girl... umm... do you... understand Riverspeak?"
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Unread 30th of September, 2007, 06:35
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Nuada sighed in relief as the boy spoke a language she understood. The girl tossed the goods onto the ground and stood up with her hands on her hips. This 'demon child' wasn't so scary, even if he did act tough.

"I'm Nuada. Who're you and what's with the spear?"
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Last edited by Eternal; 31st of October, 2007 at 05:55.
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Unread 30th of September, 2007, 06:58
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Hale relaxes. The girl seems harmless enough.

"My name is Hale. The spear is for pirates." He says plainly. "What's with the bag?"
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Unread 30th of September, 2007, 07:08
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Nuada smirks. It's been so long since contact with other humans, especially ones her age. This boy, Hale, seemed a bit different than Aeia, the only other kid her age she knew. He was more defiant, more like her. Nuada didn't know whether to like that or not. Either way, she gave him a skeptical look and responded with an air of superiority.

"Nice to meet you, Holee, and the bag's for treasure. I nabbed it off the main ship while you were over there causin' a racket." Nuada winked mischievously. "Thanks for the help."

The thief dug into her bag and produced a tiny piece of gold. "I guess I owe you one. Don't spend it all in one place!"

With a flick of her thumb, Nuada deftly sent the gold through the air to Hale.


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Last edited by Eternal; 31st of October, 2007 at 05:55.
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