Cut Off

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Re: Cut Off

Postby Shade-Duelist » Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:06 am

When Jake explained what he thought, Adeline found her heart freezing in her chest in pure horror. Inhuman thieves? Water spirits that desired to live like humans so badly that they'd steal souls?!

"Holy Mother of Life and Light! How... you seem to know them, Jake, how do you beat 'em?" 'Do you even beat them at all?', she thought, but didn't dare to add, fearing that indeed they were impossible or near-impossible to kill. So absorbed in her thoughts was she, that she only noticed the harbormaster had rejoined them when Jake asked the man if he had good news for them.
"W-well, maybe... I l-looked around, and t-there is a ship you could take that'll catch up to the 'Wavedancer', but... t-there's just one l-little issue..."
"What's the issue?", Adeline said curtly, feeling a grim mood grip her - the harbormaster paled again, but she didn't feel any satisfaction about the fact anymore.
"W-well... it's o-one of the ships that's got a m-motor fitted onto it by p-pro-professor S-shaia-"
"Do you know someone that can handle this 'motor' thing?", she asked, and the frightened harbormaster nodded, prompting her to shrug. "Well then, what's the issue with it?! We'll take it and pursue that blasted ship and those blasted Matar pickpocket things! Right, Jake?", she finished, turning to her companion.
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Guard Daos » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:15 am

"Well, what I do know is that you can defeat their human form as any human. They need to submerge in water to make the stolen souls and items permanently theirs. Until then, you can break their human shell and return the souls to their owners. Problem is, it's like fighting criminals with hostages. You've got to be careful not to damage the soul. And a more obvious problem is... they're on a ship. We have very little time. Of course, I could be wrong about all this, they could just be humans. But I've got a feeling."

When Adeline asked him about motors, he shrugged. "Never heard of them. If we can catch up to the ship, I'm happy. Take us there."
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Shade-Duelist » Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:55 am

As she heard Jake's explanation, Adeline suddenly felt out of her depth a little. She understood close to nothing of what Jake meant, and the thought of causing irrepairable damage to someone's soul was terrifying to say the least.

'Wait, how do you... not damage a soul? I mean, isn't a soul damaged when it's out of someone's body? Body minus soul equals dead person, no? ...And how does submerging make stolen goods rightfully theirs? ...If those Matar things have someone's soul, though, it's a lucky thing Jake knows so much about them. He'll get all of the souls back right. And as long as he tells me where to strike so I don't damage anything that can't be fixed... Huh, this is going to be one weird fight, I can tell...'

"Lead the way!", she told the harbormaster, who then led them to a man in plain brown clothes that introduced himself as Jyad and that listened to their brief explanation about what had happened - stolen clothes, departed ship, water spirits, possible danger to all passengers, they needed to be quick. Soon, the man nodded and motioned for them to come with, running towards a ship that lay moored at one of the quays further off. Once on board, he shouted loudly at the crew.
"GET UP!! Get up and get her ready to sail, we need to catch up to a ship that sailed half an hour ago! We need full power as soon as we're clear of the tide walls!" Instantly, the deckhands got to work, and it didn't take long for the ship to steer towards the open sea. "...You might want to hang on to something for the first few seconds, the motor gets a little cranky when she's started up, not to mention it'll be a lot faster than sailing by wind alone. ...Will you be alright, m'lady? You look a little seasick...", he asked Adeline, who nodded though she felt a little apprehensive.
"Y-yeah, no, I'm fine, just more used to Warp charms, though..."

'...I can't tell them I've never sailed on an actual ship before, they'll think I'm a rookie or something! Oh hell, why did I ever have this stupid idea to go and impress-' Suddenly, with a mighty shudder and a sound like grinding metal, the ship started to pick up speed and black smoke started to pour from the rear, and Adeline grabbed the nearest rope, holding on for dear life. 'Oh crap, oh god, I regret everything...!'
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Guard Daos » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:17 pm

In the meantime, Jake was sitting before her, paying no heed to the ship's racket. He was reading his book, moving his lips slowly as he caressed the air with his fingertips. Every once in a while, a wisp of cold air appeared from his hand which blew into Adeline's face. After a while, he placed his index finger on the staff in his lap, and continued reading along. The ship, meanwhile had picked on speed, and the sound had shrunk to a low whirring. Without looking up from his book, Jake called to Adeline, "So, what brings you to Gruberik?"
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Shade-Duelist » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:58 pm

The occasional gust of fresh air hitting her face made Adeline feel less queasy, and after a while, when the earsplitting noise had died down and the initial waves of nausea had stopped cramping up her stomach - fortunately without having her hang over the side railing of the ship losing her breakfast to the ocean - she let go of the rope again and groaned, taking a few shaky steps and sitting down closer to the mast, looking at Jake reading. 'How does he even do that? How does he sit there so calmly while this ship feels like it's falling apart?', she wondered briefly before seeing him look right at her and ask what brought her to Gruberik.

"I... well, the Ancient Cave, to be honest. I, uh, promised someone t-that I'd get a certain set of items from in there. Kind of a quest to prove myself, really. I was hoping I'd team up with someone else once there - you know, befriend one of the other glory-seekers there, delve into the Ancient Cave together and hopefully strike paydirt... preferably someone that can use magic, really, because I don't have a speck of magic talent in me. Heh, very few people in Tanbel do, as a matter of fact. Only the old folks who keep the magic shop.", she said airily, looking at the self-proclaimed magic hobbyist. "...And you? You don't look like the type of guy that is used to fighting his way through the world... what brought you to Aleyn?"
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Guard Daos » Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:52 pm

"Hah, don't I? Well, I'm not one to look for unnecessary trouble. I love necessary trouble though." He paused a a soft glow appeared on his finger, and passed to the staff. He stood up, steadied his balance, and gave it a swing. The glow disappeared. He sat down and started over. "I'm what you'd call a storyteller. I travel, and learn and tell stories. I was heading to Gruberik in pursuit of such a story. One that might actually take me down the Ancient Cave myself... if I manage to get my valuables back."
A ship was coming in to view. Jake turned to Adeline. "All right, listen up. We'll search the ship for anyone that looks like they might be an imposter. The more souls they have, the more their bodies look like humans. We don't know if they've started their feast yet. Or If they're even planning to. Or if they're even on this ship. Or if they're actually Matar. Or..." he scratched his head. "We don't actually know a lot, do we. Why are we doing this?"
They were quickly gaining on the ship. "Well anyway, look for suspicious people. And don't damage their soul!"
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Shade-Duelist » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:10 pm

"A storyteller, huh?", Adeline said slowly, smiling. "Well, not my usual brand of friends, but ehh, it's a refreshing change of the usual characters I hang out with. Bunch of no-good, no-hope braggarts that don't have the skills to back up their tall tales. ...Not him, though...", she added under her breath, grinning dreamily.
'Oh, no, not him, definitely not him... he's worth every last drop of blood I spill trying to get his attention...'
As Jake turned to the horizon, she looked along, and was surprised to see them rapidly gaining on the ship even though it had already been out of sight when they left Aleyn. When Jake told her, and the sailors of the ship, that they'd be looking for anyone that looked like an impostor, she nodded. Of course, her eager grin slid off her face as he mused that they didn't know a lot.

"...We really don't know a lot, no, but... well, it's a little too suspicious if ya ask me, this ship sailing early and at the same time your stuff disappearing... And you said yourself, they're water spirits - those things probably feel right at home on a ship!" Jake's final words as they prepared to come side by side with the ship in preparation for boarding it made her nod and then ask in a careful, low tone so that nobody overhead her asking the crucial question. "...Uh, Jake, how... 'not damaging a soul', is knocking them out going to be enough?" She quickly assessed her options to get the job done: her axe seemed like an inadequate tool at first glance, but if she used the flat of it... or if she went with hand-to-hand... "Well, in case getting them unconscious and not too bloodied up does the trick...", she said, taking off her half-plate gloves and cracking her knuckles before taking out plain leather gloves and putting them on. "...hehehe... bring it, you waterfiends... you'll regret having stolen anything from anyone!"
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Guard Daos » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:38 am

Jake chuckled. "There's a fine line between telling stories and bragging. Call me narcissistic, but my favourite kind of heroic tale is one with me as the protagonist. And so, took up the art of swordplay."
"Oh right, a soul... Well, the way I see it, a soul consists of two parts. One in the brain, and one in the heart. So keep your attacks away from those. What we need to do is-"
He stopped as he saw the Jyad walk up to them. "We'll ready the walking plank. We've set the motor to make us move at the same speed as the other ship. But the wind's unpredictable, so get up there as fast and careful as you can. If the ship makes a sudden turn, you'll be going for a dip."
"Well, that's encouraging," Jake remarked.

They walked up to the starboard side of the ship, where a plank was fastened to the ship. Two of Jyad's crew lowered the plank to the side of the other ship. One leapt across, landing only one step on the plank before reaching the other side. He held the plank in place while the other followed, and then walked below deck. "He will speak to the captain on your behalf," Jyad said. "Now go!"
The first sailor was keeping the plank as steady as possible, which was in fact not very steady at all. Jake looked at the wobbly plank and the dark blue water below. He noticed people on the other ship were looking and pointing at them. "Well, no time to lose I suppose. After you?"
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Shade-Duelist » Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:27 pm

When Jake spoke about liking stories with himself in the lead, Adeline couldn't help but shake her head. "Oh, not mine. I mean, I like people talking about my exploits, but I'm really just another fighter. That just happens to be a woman. That just happens to have beaten half of the Bound Kingdom army in hand-to-hand - not bragging. The other half... hehe, now that would be a story that'd really curl those hairs of yours, Jake.", she admitted, though she shook her head and sighed the next moment, looking towards the distance. Maybe after all of those Matar things were dealt with, she could manage to get to Gruberik and delve into the Ancient Cave.
When her new companion spoke about souls residing in the heart and the head, she grinned. "Aha, looks like my li'l cleaver here is going to come in handy anyway, then - arms and legs are fine, right? To incapacitate, I mean." She nodded and watched the sailors prepare the ship for boarding the other vessel, watching the walking plank with a little bit of apprehension. Jyad's explanation didn't help at all.

'I'm gonna fall, I am so gonna fall, I am gonna drown in this damn sea and I didn't even get a kiss... dear Lord above, if I make it on that other ship and then to Gruberik alive and well, I am emptying half my coinpurse in the Gruberik church collection box...'

When Jake said 'after you' after casting some doubtful looks at the plank, Adeline gritted her teeth and took a few steadying breaths before making her way onto the plank and slowly, with her eyes very definitely fixed on the other ship's mast and not on the foaming wild blue water below, stepping across it towards the other ship. The plank swayed underneath her, but just as she threatened to lose her footing and her balance, she heard a voice in her mind speaking out.
'Keep your eyes on the goal. That's the secret to my success, and it'll help you get far, too!'
"Eyes on the goal...", she whispered to herself, moving against the plank's motion, shifting her weight a little. With three more shuffling steps, she stood on the other side, watching Jake as he followed her. "Come on, Jake, time's a-wastin'!"
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Guard Daos » Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:35 pm

"Very well..."
Jake flexed his hands, placed them on his head, at his sides and in front of him. He lowered his legs, as if about to make a huge jump. Jyad said, "Come on, we haven't the time for a whole warming up."
Jake raised his staff, then brought it downwards as he muttered, "Soryl... Float." Smoothly releasing his legs, he hovered a few centimetres off the edge of the ship, and walked slowly but steadily over the sea next to the plank, and let himself land on top of the other ship's bough.
He looked at Adeline. "Did I mention I could do that?"
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Shade-Duelist » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:36 am

Adeline looked, dumbfounded, at Jake's entire routine of preparation, spellcasting, and floating over to the other ship. ...Huh. That was a spell she hadn't seen yet.
"Uh, t-think you failed to mention that... Anyway, let's get to lookin'." Just as she meant to step away, however, the man that had headed below deck reappeared together with the captain, who looked at Adeline and Jake with a nod before coming over to them.
"...I hear there's a possibility there's thieves hiding on my ship?", he said, and Adeline gritted her teeth before speaking to the man in the most formal tone she could muster, remembering what she'd picked up about ship captains being like army commanders.
"Indeed, sir - my companion Jake had his belongings stolen from the inn in Aleyn, and it seemed a little too convenient that the ship sailed right about the same time as he discovered that they were missing. He suspects foul play of the foulest kind - maybe even... inhuman... involvement. Would you grant us permission to search your ship for his effects and talk to your crew and passengers, to see whether we can discover the ones responsible?", she said softly, prompting the captain to blink and look at her incredulously.
"I-inhuman involvement? You mean, orks or shadows on my ship?" Adeline chewed her bottom lip, wondering how to explain further to the man without either getting them thrown off the ship or having their presence found out by the thieves and forcing them to take drastic measures, such as jumping in the sea.
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Guard Daos » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:05 pm

Jake suppressed a grimace. Mistake. He spoke up. "Nothing like that, sir. We speak of bandits capable of inhuman acts. Human lives are of no worth to them. Every person on this ship might be in danger. You are aware, perchance, of the Lisa II incident last month?"
He looked at the captain's face, to see how reacted to that name.
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Shade-Duelist » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:23 pm

Luckily, Jake stepped in to corrected her mistake - his tone was soothing, but his words still ominous, and the captain turned pale when he heard the name the mage used.
"Y-yeah, I think every self-respecting sea captain knows about that... You saying there might be a repeat of that, then?"
'Lisa II Incident? Holy moly, what happened there, then? I... these captains are tough as nails, what would make them turn white as a wisp? Must be horrific...'
"...Look, captain, we're wasting time here...", Adeline said, this time choosing her words with utmost care. "Those bandits need to be dealt with - preferably before they commit any kind of foul deed on board. Can we look for my friend's stuff and talk to the crew and passengers, you know, to try and find out if anyone knows anything?"
"My crew is above suspicion - I sailed with all of these men for years!", the captain said a little defiantly, and Adeline shook her head.
"I'm not saying that they're not good men, I'm just saying... the bandits could be blackmailing any one of them into silence by threatening someone they love - even sailors have sweethearts and families, no?", she said, and finally the captain sighed and motioned around, signaling that they could look. "...Thank you for your trust and your patience, sir, we'll be quick about this.", Adeline spoke with a soft, earnest smile.
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Guard Daos » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:52 pm

Wasting no more words, Jake stepped onto the front deck and took a look around. There were about twenty people, spread out in groups. He muttered to Adeline, "Let's spread out, shall we? You take..." he scanned the deck quickly. "... the port side, I'll take starboard. Check their faces for anything unusual."

After ensuring Adeline was going her own way, he walked straight for a short figure in a long black coat that nearly touched the ground, who had his or her back turned to him. Their long, dirty red hair blew in their face. Jake tapped the person on the shoulder. Softly, he said, "I do believe that's my coat you're wearing."
The person turned around. A great deal of hair was sticking to his face, making it hard to make out his features, but Jake saw a pale complexion. He smiled. "How about you take it off and give me my belongings, and we'll each enjoy the rest of our trip?"
The man stared at Jake for a moment, his eyes wide. Then he snorted. "Is mine. Is fair. Go away, man."
Jake took a step closer. "I think it would be in our mutual interests if we didn't make a scene."
The man backed away, in the direction of the front of the ship. "Is mine. Is mine. Is fair. You don't submerge-"
BAM! The blunt top of Jake's staff hit his right side. He fell to the ground, gasping.
Ignoring the gasps from the passengers around him, Jake opened his left palm upwards, a small ball of fire forming above it.
The man jumped to his feet and drew a sword. He lunged at Jake, who jumped backwards, the ball of fire disappearing, and scowled. "You can't touch me with that sword. I know its dance all too well."
The man spat at Jake's feet, and raised the blade.
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Re: Cut Off

Postby Shade-Duelist » Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:50 pm

Jake's suggestion of each searching one side of the lower deck seemed reasonable to Adeline, and she walked to the side he'd indicated, walking up to the people and checking their faces for any sign of something unusual. However, most of the people there were either travellers from Eastland judging by their style of dress, with one or two of them being fighters just like herself, and all of them seemed perfectly normal to her. However, one of the travellers she'd passed made her look twice. 'Their features... I don't know...', Adeline caught herself thinking, walking over to the woman and tapping her on the shoulder.
"Miss, where are you from, exactly?", she asked, and the woman shook her head, shying away from her. She wore a dress in the Eastern style, but she also wore the kind of shawl she'd seen women in Bound wearing, with a similar pattern, and that seemed odd to her. "Hey, anyone know-", the fighter started, only to get shoved hard in the stomach by the woman. Any other woman, that would've knocked down, but Adeline was experienced in unarmed combat and she reacted instinctively by thrusting her elbow up against the offender, knocking the woman aside and into the side of the ship. "You're one of the thieves!", she said under her breath, and the woman snorted.
"You were fooled-"
"Yeah, well, not anymore.", Adeline said, cracking her knuckles and flexing her fingers. "So come on, give back what you stole-" The other woman lunged at her again, but this time Adeline sidestepped and plunged her fist hard into the woman's soft belly, gaining a loud groan from her.
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