Savage Archanic

Oh Bloody hell... if you will excuse my language...
Cecily

Walking and more walking, a change of scenery here, a bit of nothing there, an interesting discussion with Nicki on the logistics of creating a self powered “mule” device. Ox, who should not be named Ox, but Pelinore, or Ambrosius, seems to be happy following his new humans around, but I wish he would be more involved in the argument over said name. I have to say I have never really had contact with many dogs, but I like it… except for the drool. But, you wander Cecily… Third day out, I’m looking at the horizon, watching the silhouettes made by some scrub oaks when I stumble into a large yellow puddle of waxy ooze. Finding myself mired I look down only to suddenly be spit upon by the strangest, largest toad looking thing I have ever seen. My new scout coat starts to bubble and smoke where the gobbest land, which, in my then state of mind, caused me to stop everything and stare in annoyed puzzlement. Then the thing hit me with another substance that hardened on contact and froze me in place. I knew the others were fighting these things as well, but all my concentration was on the disgusting one directly in front of me… it had broken my chain of thought, destroying the intricate links of gears and coils that was going to serve as perpetual power for my McNittle’s Universal Land Engine. It was going to pay. With a very un-lady-like shout, I tensed my muscles, broke free, ran up to the thing and kicked it under the chin so hard my boot went through its mouth into its brain pan and sent it flying several feet backwards. Having taken care of the horrid offensive creature, my mind was instantly caught by the smoking holes, so, using precious water from my stores I began to daub at the spittle hoping to remove it before too much damage occurred. Then what happened Cecily?…. you don’t even know…. just that the coils and gears popped back into your head and Nicki found you dabbing absently at your sleeve, lost in thought… the other creatures taken care of and Icharus having a look at their holes and trip lines.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have some schematics to sketch before we move onwards…

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By murk sunset and foul sunrise
Dramatic Interludes
I’ve never really liked dags… They’re loud and smell funny. But I’m getting ahead of myself. My most recent adventure, which has landed me, well us, further into the savage lands. But once again, I’m getting ahead of myself. It all started after Mr.McMan sent us to Port Whayan with a package for some stuffy military type. Well, I can’t say I Didn’t enjoy my stay. Barfights, murder accusations, crazy women, and stout dwarven ale. It reminds me of home, like I could go for a walk to the harbor and see the Fatal Renaissance floating there in the salty sea. We Only stayed in Whayan for a couple nights, in the guild hall… I would have much prefered to stay in a tavern with a couple of girls on my arm, but there was one night when we were given free drinks! I gotta say, some of these guild stuffs aren’t half bad people. That being said, neither are some of the Military kind either! Bartail, let us go because he knew that my commrads didn’t kill … well, whats his name. but they didn’t kill them. It wasn’t long after that I was brought into it as a distraction to the murder. It’s just like old times, getting shafted for something I didn’t do, and have nothing to do with. Well, Bartail got us out of there, in the most luxurious way possible! We got first aboard ‘The Striker’! it may be one of the smaller air ships in his royal services, but it is still an air ship. The captain was surely an ass, as he would be expected to be. The crew were brillinat though! They sang along with what they knew and made noise for what they didn’t! We got dumped on a beach a couple days out of the fort that bartail was having us search. I was wrong about one thing though. Dwarves can climb, but Cecily twisted her ankle hella bad on the way down… Such is the luck you get when you bring a woman on board a ship… Travel from there was the same old travel across the savage lands: Lotsa sand and a fort made of brown in the distance. We could see the fort, with only about a day of travel left. It was a fort, nothing new really, except that the view was broken by a funny little gremlin by the name of Robear and his trade caravan. There wasn’t much, but ‘Nikki’ [since its the name he seems to have adopted] found some jar, but I managed to trick the little bugger into a stick o’ magic for a toy gun I stole from the fat man. Hopefully it’ll fetch me a couple of shining crowns. We set off with a brace of conies, some random other supplies and a warning waved to us about some digging monster who spits a wax like flem. Well… I’ve heard of wierder things in the savages. We se up camp a couple hundred yards east of Robear and his caravan, but at an angle away from the fort cause the bugger wouldn’t let us go otherwise. Well the Conies were good, and there was merriment that night as was on the ship. I bet dwarves don’t have squeezboxs in their shallow mines, cause nikki got frustrated quickly after I tried to get him to sing. After Cecily whent to bed, I spent my night looking out at the fort, it was a perfect night, not a cloud and a bright moon. The wastelands were bright, and there was nothing but sand between us and the fort. Once the sun was up, and camp was away, we began towards the fort once again, but it wasn’t soon after that Cecily pointed out a small cabin just to the left of our path. I’d swear to any power listening that it wasn’t there the night before, but all of my suspicions were cast aside when we got to the shack. The poor thing looked like it was plagued by sea rot. The door was stiff but not locked and when me and Nikolai dinally got it open, the air rolling out was thick with sea water and death. Surprisingly enough one of the smells was explained once it was opened fully. It was smaller on the inside than it was on the out. The walls were littered with junk covered with white canvas tarps. In the center of the room was a small round table with two skeletons draped over themselves, a five card hand in per body, then laid out in front of the two were both black aces, both black eights, and the queen of clubs. it started to make sense in a very unreal way. I began to lift the tarps, but Cecily stopped me, and Nikki wasn’t soon to agree with her. With a sigh I figured I’d leave it for someone else. as I turned to leave, I heard a sound, and quickly drew victoria and called my challenge. Both of the gear heads said they didn’t hear anything, but I knew something was there. It didn’t take long for a hulking shape, about up to my waist, crawled out from under the tarp in the back. I stood my ground, and was rather disapointed to see my challenge was sent to a dag… I never really did like dags. they’re loud and smell funny, but there was somehting about this one. He didn’t make a sound, and the sad expression on his face reminded me of how I felt after I was stabbed in the back and left on the beach. To make it even better, he had an eye patch. The big lug reminds me of my father, I think I’ll call him ox and I’ll keep him around for a while… maybe.
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Curse of the Klutz
Cecily

Goodness Cecily, finally get the full use of your arm back and now your ankle… What will the others say when the see that you cannot get your foot back into your boot? Unless the swelling goes down over night, you are going to be in a pickle you silly klutzy girl.

Oh my though, that air ship ride was interesting… disappointing that they depended on magic for movement when perfectly good props would have done the job more reliably… ah well, old bean, you can’t have everything. Cheer up. You are a scout, working for King and Country. Off to do good things, find lost wonders, and refine the empire for future generations. Shame you can’t climb down a rope ladder without turning your ankle. The gruff, loud captain not withstanding that flight was a wonderful thing… perhaps if he had not been yelling at you while you were trying to unload the packs and the casks of water you might not have lost your hold, your concentration… might have landed better… you never did well while being yelled at. Remember that one tutor?…. the one with the large stomach and even larger voice box? Always hollering, and the more he hollered the more flustered you got… silly girl… just hot air and low self esteem, but he sure did make you jump and start!

Big Mick always said you were a bit of an ungainly bird, but he was sure you would grow into it… I guess, even though I did grow into my knees and elbows, I have not outgrown the ungainly. I mean seriously… almost as bad as when you were thirteen… remember that summer, Little Mick?… broken arm, scraped and bloody knees, that last baby tooth knocked out but good when you lost hold of a wrench… remember the welts from the burns where you bumped into the pot belly stove?…. or the new short hair cut to even out the locks you accidentally cut off with tin snips?

Ahh Cecily my dear, we seem to have found a way out of our murder predicament, perhaps you can manage to keep out of trouble for at least a month this time? Hmmm?

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Fresh Faced Scouts
*GM Update*

Icharaus, Cecily, and Nikoli have taken up Jeddick Bartail on his offer to join the Scouts. He uniformed them, and put them on board Striker a magic powered airship, which delivered them to the coast some distance from Whayn Port, enroute to thier assignment at EverReach. Along the way, several things happened, including a meet with a goblin trader, Rutbort.

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Deeper Down the Mine

I can’t help but wonder what power in the universe I’ve managed to piss off. We get to Port Wheyan and find our contact just in time to find him very dead. Of course we get ourselves, well, myself and Cecily, accused of killing him. After the local “Watcher” showed up and decided to simply lump more accusation on us, we went back to the Explorer’s Guild. After talking it over with Cecily, we went and spoke to Jeddick Bartail. We managed to get ourselves time to prove ourselves innocent. On our way out, a woman I can only assume was his aide warned us to “Beware the Chessmen”. Having been given a document allowing us access to where we may need to go, we immediately went back to the Leather Bottle and straight to Sgt Splint’s room.

Once there, we managed to find much. A note in Splint’s jacket of some form of code, crystals in a glass of wine, the presence of a second person in the room, as indicated by both a second glass of wine and a second set of boot prints. There was also a set outside the door, and a third pair outside the window on the ground. From what it looksed like, whoever had eliminated Splint had done so with a powerful ammount of electricity and then possibly gone out the window. The damage to Splint’s body showed that he had been struck in the chest by the blast and it had finished is path through his feet, charring him completely (an image that still makes my stomach queasy. probably from knowing a few people that have gone that way when the spark caught them. It’s generally not quick, and rarely painless).

Cecily however, did seem able to manage it, and even surprised me by coming up with a way to get copies of the bootprints with something she called McNittle stick all.

So we gather all of this evidence and begin looking it over at the Explorer’s club. Even manageing to find a place to preserve the prints, though removal proves problematic. We also began to examine the package that “Watcher” had opened. It appeared to have been cogs with sigils on them. Quite possible it’s part of a code machine.

About this time, we are greeted by an individual representing an interested party in our party. We are given an invite to his home, a run down looking place by many standards. We are lead in to meet with him, first past his doorman, a man we were to later learn was his hit man as well. He offers us an out, but in doing so, we would be digging further in. During his rather long and insulting explanation, he even tells us outright that he is the killer, but that proving it would be impossible, as he has an alibi and people to support it.

His offer was that we help the Arcanists to “prevent the upcoming Civil War the Senators are bringing to us.” It is during this time that we also find out he is the chessman we were warned against. We did not accept his proposal.

As we prepared to speak with Bartail, we found we had grown yet another tail. Confronting this one, we got semi-straight answers. He would lead us to his employer after our meeting. Meeting with Bartail was a good, but still not as final as we had hoped. While we had much evidence that there was other people involved, we had no proof of who had done what. All we had was the involvment of the woman in the hobnailed boots and some form of powerful magics. Bartail made it clear that, while interested in justice, he had no interest in hanging us if it could be avoided. Since we couldn’t bring him a person that was without a doubt the killer, that still left us. He did give us the option of making an escape, but that would hardly accomplish what was needed. His other option was, while not the most appealing, the better of the two. Join the scouts, go to Fort Everreach and allow time to cool things off while the memory of Splint faded. Much as I had not planned to serve in the military, it seems the best way to settle this. We were given 24 hours to decide.

As we returned to the Explorer’s Guild, we saw the rust colored cloak in front of a potter’s store on the hitching post. Going inside, we requested to return it to it’s owner, and we were lead back to meet with our morning tail. He greeted us and lead us to the tent city. There we met with a lady by the name of Clay. She admitted to being a smuggler and of having an interest in the package Splint was to receive. To what end, I’m uncertain, but as she seems to fit the description of the third party involved in the room during Splint’s death as told by Chessman, she is involved in this intrigue deeply. But her willingness to deal with us on the level makes me reluctant to hand her over. It doesn’t bode well for us that the most honest of the people being dealt with is the Smuggler, does it. We’ve been told that, should we want to meet with her again, to go back to where we found the cloak and ask to return it. The person will lead us to her again. At this point, I’m beginning to think we leave a copy of the real gears with her for safe keeping, as she did show an interest in them, then possibly take up Bartail on his offer. as for the real gears…I’m not sure. But I think Cecily has a plan for them, and I’ll back her play.

And where oin the Name of the Forces did she come up with calling me Nickie?

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Daddy's girl grows up... a bit....
Cecily

“Cecily, watch the world around you. You may never know when some small thing will spark your creative mind,” my father used to tell me… but… I wish he would have had the knowledge and the forethought to worry more about my political mind than my creative. We are soundly caught up in a horrible barbed wire spider web of intrigue and power struggles… the more we wiggle, the more we get cut, and the more of the nasty local spiders come out to taste our blood.

In the past 24 hours we have managed to be “invited” to speak with what I believe are all the major powers here in the port. Each one has their own agenda, each one offered us a double bladed sword to get out of our predicament… well.. not all of them… one of them, a smuggler woman calling herself Clay, only offered honesty… which I found surprising… but I suppose I should not have. One of the other offers was from a minter who could not speak a straight sentence if you offered him a life supply of Boar Mint, and threatened us with every other sentence. One was a meet on the street, which came at a very bad time as I was very angry and confused, and I didn’t make it easy for him to talk to us… my answers sent him packing without making any real offer. Then, then there is Bartail who doesn’t want to execute us, but needs to punish someone.. and who is offering us enlistment in the scouts and an immediate assignment out to Fort Ever Reach… to acquire some materials that can be found there…. in all honesty, I think that is the way we are going to have to go. I had thought to turn over the lady… the one who was obviously in the room when Splint was killed… she was even part of the target… but… after having met her, and felt her integrity and honor, even though she is a smuggler, have decided I cannot, in good faith, do that to the woman. So. I don’t know what my companions will choose to do, but I intend on taking Bartail up on his offer, and heading out on another adventure… far away from intrigue and politics. Okay, so I am not naive enough to believe we are escaping this thing without troubles, but, at least I will not have lost my citizenship… and I will be moving far away from here.

What would my father think if he could see me now?… I think he would be smiling with delight at the magnificent adventures I am finding myself in… he always was a dreamer, and always did skip over the dirty details of the “adventurer’s” life. I do miss him so.

As for that package… it contains cogs with sigils on them… Nickolai and I think it is part of a code breaking machine. I am off to find a metal working shop so I can make replicas… replicas not quite to “code” if you get my meaning, to leave for the power strugglers to steal… the real ones we will sew into our clothing and hang onto for a rainy day…

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Getting warmer
*GM Update*

Our adventurers are being even further drawn into intrigues at Whayn Port. They have met the so called “Black Chessman” who claims to have killed Skeer Splint, but has perfect cover, they have been offered to be appointed to the Scouts by Jeddick Bartail, and have met the person who may have caused the murder who calls herself Clay.

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Good grief, Cecily, what HAVE you done now?
Cecily

Cecily old bean, you’ve done it this time. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but that scout, that friend of your guild contact, the one waiting for the package you carry…. Dead. Electrocuted by all accounts, and you blamed for it. How DO you get yourself into these things? I do not believe I have ever seen a more disgusting thing, that corpse, burned to charcoal, bits stuck to the floor, nothing else around it touched… and the smell, roasted meat overlaid with a whiff of ozone… ::shudders::… My iron stomach stood me in good stead, but poor Nicki… I thought he was going to lose his lunch.

… and… as for doing the right thing? I don’t think your father would be proud, well, yes he would, but I’m sure he would have preferred you thought things out a bit more before returning to the bar to tell the taps man what you found. Now you are being blamed, and now there are factions right and left happy, angry, curious, complimentary about the job you did and why. Let me just say, I am not a killer… and I am not a savvy politico… and now, my lack of knowledge is showing as badly as having the back of my skirts caught in my bustle straps. Sheesh.

I would very much like to indulge in a good cry, but, since I promised my father as he got sicker and sicker that I would NOT cry…. I will not. Not now, not over this… worse than crying over the wrong ratchet…

Thank the quirky fates for teaming me up with Nicki, without him I would be lost. He had just the right idea, said just the right thing, got us time to go looking, digging, questing to find the real killer so we won’t be hanged for murder. I don’t know how successful we will be, but, we did get permission to return to the scene of the crime, and we did look close and careful and found clues that will point to the murderer, now to sort them out… in a strange town…. full of politics we don’t know… a bit like navigating your way through an archaic steam car without any printed drafts. Oh wait. I did that… I can do this. I know I can do this. I think…

Cecily, don’t be a little girl. You found boot prints, odd crystals, evidence of how and where the killer escaped… you have the package… now all you need to do is sort through it all, find the right people to talk to, and Bob’s your uncle…. off the hook for a crime you did not commit.

Easy peasy…. now wipe your face, have a drink of water, and get back down there….

On a positive note… McNittle’s stick all works a treat to pick up footprints in the dust!

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Arms aching, Back breaking, legs aching, neck...

Would you just look at that. Right there, over the fort. Do you see it? Right there, the air ship. I don’t know what model or make it is, but I love the damn birds. I’ve crewed one once… just once, but that once was enough for me to never want to leave it. Its quite a thrill, you know, being up there with the wind through your hair, the clouds as your waves, nothing stopping you but the need for fuel. Its a shame I’ll never be able to get on another one with those damn empire rules. First they lock up the harbor, then they issue an order to shoot down any of those beauties that ain’t theirs. the selfish bastards. Yeah, I used to be a marriner. Well sort of, My father was a member of his majesties navy. Or so I thought. For years he’d leave home telling me the king needed his boat, and I believed him. Then when I was uh… I don’t know fourteen, I decided to stow away with my dearest father. Of course he didn’t know, but… hey I was going to find out some time or another. I had snuck out acting as a cabin boy, swabbing the decks, but when his men caught me, which wasn’t very long after they’d set sail, they took me to my father and told him of what I had done. disapointed with me, my father made me take the punishment that one of the crew would have taken. I took fifteen lashes for my crime. Well, he didn’t lie… he was a member of the royal navy, he was a privateer hired as part of a deal so that him and the crew of ‘the fatal rennaisance’ would stop plundering the bays! can you believe it… I was the son of a pirate. I was destined to be a pira… privateer. Then when I had taken up a position of higher stature I challenged my father for his comand over the ship, he was getting old and his judgment was getting stale. and I was indeed right about it. I won the duel that I had never been able to do. It wasn’t long before the bastard… well he led the mutany against me! His sword was the first to be plunged into my back and…

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Of Mud and Elbows
Cecily

Cecily dear, you’ve really done it this time. You just HAD to go down to that stream to wash, just HAD to wander further looking for a sandy pool… just HAD to. Now look at you. Your clothes are covered with mud, your pride is bruised, and your elbow appears to be broken. Alright, so the joint is not very swollen, and there is no bruising, but the whole thing feels thick and refuses to move in many of it’s normal directions… and you can’t hold a screw driver or even lift a cup of tea to your lips with that hand…. and the walking…. Shall I remind you how each step is agony? Each jolt of your foot hitting the ground sends a rolling wave of pain down your arm, into your elbow and down into your fingers? I have certainly never seen a more welcome sight than this road fort…. I can get clean, rest on something softer than the ground, and dull the sharp ache with a bit of beer. One note… mud is slippery… especially mud on slopes. Slippery. That is all I will say.

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