"Auuugh, TUT!" Hopping off the bed with a suddenness that perplexed the nursing fox, Alis proceeded to shake her dress, swatting at it to ensure there were no unwanted guests lurking within the folds. "Tin, take those away from him and have the bedsheets changed!"
I'm going to have nightmares about being back on The Shiv...
"Yes, your Highness, of course." In spite of Tut's protests, the able-bodied royal agent swiftly whisked the worms away, returning promptly with fresh linens. Once the bed was stripped, searched, and remade, with Jasmine and her kits resting peacefully on their own plush cushion, Tiniel asked, "Your Highness, do you imagine that this Shivone wishes to be found?"
Tiniel hesitated for a moment, wondering if perhaps she had some hidden weakness against mental intrusion that has gone unnoticed until only today. "Yes, that is the crux of it. An assassin of Shivone's supposed caliber could have easily slain her, or made her disappear. Yet instead we found her in the first place one would naturally look — her very own quarters. It... feels like she is taunting us."
"Perhaps," Alis said, eyes closed as her fingertips massaged her temples. "I rather doubt she wants to be found, but I wouldn't doubt that she wishes to lure me away for some purpose."
Thinking back to her conversation with Prince Tyralor, her shoulders shuddered.
At least that fate should no longer be possible, the dark seal upon Tyralor was broken when he was stricken by Lucretia...
"Tin, do you recall what we discussed last night after the others left?"
There was a twinkle of mischief in Alis' violet eyes. "Perhaps, but you'll just have to be patient, Tin."
With a sigh and a smile, Alis reclined on her bed and patted a spot next to her. Doffing her shoes, the slender elf climbed up on the bed to sit next to her charge, remaining quiet. "I do hope our fashionable friend is able to recover what was so foolishly sold..."
Alis cast a sidelong glance at Tiniel before reaching out to attack her side with erratic strokes of her fingertips. Yet when the older elf turned to look at her in curiosity, the Princess' amusement turned to chagrin.
Damn, she's not ticklish?
Withdrawing her hand, she waved it dismissively in the air. "Well, Lureene does tend to bring that out in women... jealousy that is."
For some time, the two women continued to laugh and talk idly about less grave matters. Yet when she eventually began to drift off to sleep, Alis found herself wondering again about what she had learned after her inspection of the palace's completed repairs had been concluded. For although she had been seated beneath the moon and stars in Villa Sempronius' peristyle garden, Alis had been present at the interrogation of Captain Ridger by way of her scrying mirror.
Iole Bonati... What schemes do you have your fingers in...? Well, at least my house looks to be in order...
Waving to Lureene, Amelia asked, "Joo dere, pree-tee girl, joo got anyting else? Dis one's geevin' me a headache naw."
Lureene looked hard at the prisoner, like examining an intersting species of insect. He has certainly DAMNED himself here...it is only a matter of time before justice is served. Wingilme's death CANNOT be forgiven here!
She shook her head slowly, "No Amelia. I have nothing more to ask of him. His fate is sealed." She then takes Arion's hand in hers, "let's go...the sight of HIM is making me ill." She will then head to the cabin to begin examining the magical gear.
And I thought he was arrogant before. That was nothing compared to this display. What Ugorji did was wrong, but are his aims deserving of such malignant arrogance? They are, after all, not much different from my own. I think it would be best to keep these two separated until we return to Eldarion...
Silently, Amhranai emerged from the shadows of the brig and tapped Arion on the shoulder. "I believe we're done here. As it is, I doubt we'll gain much more." Her eyes fell to the Sky Elf's hand. "Rather, if we do gain more information, the means by which it is gained will force me to lock you up as well." Beneath her cloak, the priestess' other arm was held horizontal to the deck, ready to fend off an attack. I don't think he would try it, but considering what I just saw, I'm not too sure. "I'm sure the Princess wouldn't be too pleased, either. We'll be back in Eldarion soon enough; allow Princess Kirmoon's agents to deal with him."
Seeing that Amelia's connection had ended, Arion watched the prisoner closely and said, "We are Princess Kirmoon's Agents. Thus ends the verbal portion of this interrogation."
With a step back towards Ugorji, Arion targeted him with an abjuration to end whatever magic might be affected, although the Agent felt distracted by some of those nearby.
"I do not trust this creature to be left here, even in chains, without at least one powerful magic user on guard. Do as You will, I shall spend some minutes of observation."
The wizard then emanated a conic spell towards the criminal, searching for magical auras.
Detect Magic is used upon Ugorji
I do not like this in the least. Is he too incensed to think clearly? Am I going to have to subdue him?! I doubt that would go over well with those three making moon eyes at each other every chance they get. Where's Darvesch, dammit?! He's the inquisitor!
"We may be acting as agents, but I know I'm not qualified to interrogate this man and I doubt any of you are either. This is not within our purview, Arion, and if you'd like to discuss this further, I suggest we do so elsewhere. I'm sure arrangements can be made to have Ugorji watched until we're done."
At Arion's approach, Ugorji squirmed and mumbled in protest, eyes seeking towards Amhranai and Amelia for intervention, cringing as the elf began to cast his spell.
Yet Amelia was no dummy and held waved a hand to her neighbor from The Flats. "Joor not foolin' me wit dem sorry eyes, Obanohi boy. Now sit dere an be a good boy or else Ah'll be lettin' da tall one mind ya tanight instead o' keepin' afta ya meself!"
After a thorough search, Arion could detect no spell-effects active upon the prisoner. Not that that should have made him feel any better, after all, Darvesch had purportedly seen his turn invisible while in gaseous form, and Lureene had likewise found no spell components when she searched him.
Once Arion had satisfied his curiosity, Amelia sat upon the floor, back propped against the bulkhead as her familiar wandered the area, its sleek form easily able to fit between the bars of the cell. Looking pointedly at Arion and Amhranai, she said, "Get some rest, all o' joos. I got dis."
1d20 ⇒ 8
Sense Motive Checks:
E 1d20 + 25 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 25 + 3 = 48 alertness
M 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (16) + 12 = 28
R 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (4) + 14 = 18
L 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 + 2 = 19 alertness
S 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 + 2 = 18 human
Lureene motioned to Grak to help Amelia keep an eye on their prisoner and responded quietly to the Zuck witch. "Thank you, we will. Be careful around him, I do NOT trust him."
After she and her lovers returned to the cabin they were assigned, she turned to Arion with a questioning look in her eyes. "Arion? I know you really dislike Ugorji, and I can understand why. He did lead to Wingilme's murder, yet I think he is more valuable to us alive." She took a breath, unsure how he would take her next words. "I don't want to see you go down the same path of corruption first trod by Daede-- ", she interrupted herself before finishing, "The Destroyer!"
"The Destroyer? What, like Invidia?" Suddenly grimacing, she whispered, "Look us by..."
The redhead frowned and kicked at the locker in which Ugorji's gear had been stowed. "The guy's a creep, and he pisses me off too. I mean, you weren't there when he froze me up with his spells, I thought he was gonna do like your Mom said and take me out! Good thing Grak was there..."
Shuddering at the thought, Sasha tossed her cloak aside and hopped up into a hammock, unbuckling her armor as she kicked her long legs back and forth. "So anyway, who's this King Muckaluck that Oogey-boogey got you all pissed off about, Ari? And could a guy like that really make you do what he wanted, Ellie?"
Man, I hope Captain Scar remembered to bring along a cook, I'm starving!
Within the cabin, the silver glow of Brightpool created contrasts of soft white reflections amid dark shadows. So clearly distinct, the divisions of black and white drew Arion towards the round aperture on the cabin wall. He unlatched the porthole cover, swinging it outwards to admit fresh air. For long moments, the Elf stared out into the night sky.
"I don't want to see you go down the same path of corruption first trod by Daede-- ", she interrupted herself before finishing, "The Destroyer!"
Arion shook his head solemnly and in a low voice uttered, "Alíta shield me from such a fate."
As if echoing from far away, distorted by distance and obstacles, he heard Sasha's voice as she spoke to Lureene.
Alíta's Shield... In the records of the stars the Sky Elf was reminded in that moment of the ancient wars of the gods. His eyes opened widely and he wondered out loud, "Is that why my heart is encouranged by You in battle, Lightbringer? Shall I cast Her arcane Magic to counter the terror of the dark flames while Tuonwë charges into the fray, wielding the Secret Flame?"
High Elven eyes sparkled with excited revelations and strained towards the ever-gibbous radiance of the blue moon beginning to dive towards the vast oceans.
"Divine Callinya, shall I someday study at the feet of Your Queen in the halls of the Valar?"
Arion's head nodded slowly, as if in acquiescence to visions from afar, and he said, "Although I have allowed relapses these past days...though it might seem I am nonreligious lately, I shall never cultivate the rancor, born of self-hatred, of that breast-biting serpent. Her younger sister, Astra, holds the keys to my power of flight. The orderly discipline of her Logic...the ever enticing wonderment of her encrypted Magic..."
The stoic armor had returned as Arion the Scribe faced Lureene and Sasha. With expressionless face he said, "Our religion, in the Academy of the Queen of the Valar, domesticates the fire elemental within me."
Arion caressed Lureene and said, "I do not regret some of my fiery passions. If You please, allow me now to enter a trance and rest while we travel. I may need all my powers restored by the morrow, for Your sakes as well."
As he said this he looked towards Sasha and added, "May You find Your just desserts, and Your hunger be satisfied...if not tonight, then one day soon."
He winked at them and retired to a corner to enter a deeply desired trance-like state.
Sasha blushed and clutched her hands over her tummy as her lover settled into his meditative trance. Looking to Lureene, she asked quietly, "Wow, is my tummy that loud?"
Maybe Ari's got the right idea here...
With a sigh, the redhead finished stripping out of her armor and tights, until she wore only her long, green tunic. Then, reclining in her hammock, she loosened the laces at her neck, pulling at the collar with both hands so that she might enjoy the sensation of the cooler night air upon her skin.
"I'm just gonna sack-out for a bit Ellie," she whispered, "wake me if there's food or a fight."
"Sure thing Sash."
Lureene stroked Sasha's hair for a moment as she watched Arion slip into his trance. She then slid into her own hammock, wings shifted to cover her body, but she realized the motion of the Avenger made her restless, preventing her eyes from closing for long.
She slipped out of the hammock, careful so as not to disturb her lovers and paced the cabin for a few moments.
I HATE sea travel!
Figuring she may as well do something productive with her time, she went to the locker and opened it. Taking Ugorji's gear out she looked it over and soon the sound of soft chanting filled the cabin as she bent to examine the items for their magical properties.
(Hat) 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (17) + 13 = 30
(Headband) 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (15) + 13 = 28
(Amulet) 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22
(Cloak) 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (11) + 13 = 24
(Ring) 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (8) + 13 = 21
(Bottle) 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14
(Wand #1) 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (14) + 13 = 27
(Wand #2) 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (11) + 13 = 24
(scimitar) 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20
She will also read the scrolls as well. If she cannot ID the Iron Bottle, she will use her Scroll of Identify on it.
"Ugh, I hope they realize we're all sharing a room on this trip." The nude warrior thinks to himself, swinging above his pile of armour, enjoying the comfort of the hammock. Of course, being behind some barrels might not give way to the fact that he was there. "Whatever." He mentally shrugs and turns from his side to lay on his back.
For quite some time, Lureene poured over Ugorji's equipment, reaching many conclusions about the properties of the magic items she had found upon his person. Still, the nature of his amulet, the iron bottle, and his sword (the three most powerful items) continued to elude her.
Nevertheless, the nature of the items she had recovered was troubling...
A necklace of fireballs and a wand of fireball? A wand of locate creature along with scrolls of geas, demand, sending, and contact other plane? What sort of mischief was he up to and was it Avoreen or this Makatimbe who had put him up to it? Evidently there were still many questions to which they still needed answers...
L 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
Brightpool was already an hour beneath the waves when Darkshoal's waning crescent and the glimmer of Pinnacle Lighthouse saw The Avenger safely within Port Eldarion's harbor. Straight ahead, the light of the red moon had cast an eerie glow over Arrowhead Citadel while beyond the white marble of the palace seemed to almost shine of its own accord.
To port, the music and twinkling faerie lights amidst Tol Lonnduil's trees seemed more solemn than they had the night before, mourning for Wingilmë's passing still continuing even into the night. By contrast, further to port New Viamaré seemed just as lively and raucous as ever – perhaps moreso given the number of sailors whose shore leave had been unexpected extended by the events of the past morning.
Now flying Ilmarond's colors, the repurposed brigantine slipped quietly past the naval blockade, yet Aerys did not turn her towards the military docks. Instead, following the signals from Arrowhead, she proceeded upriver, noting the lights from Sentinel Tower as the center span of the illuminated bridge parted and tilted skywards.
"Didn't figure on visitin' the palace quite yet, Captain," she confessed.
The Captain merely laughed and pushed off the rail to clap her pilot on the shoulder. "You didn't allow your friendship with our fair Princess to fool you into thinking she's not royalty did you? Rulers always have secrets, and they will go to great length to keep them."
Pointing towards the ruined towers of the penitentiary, she whispered, "That was just to hold your run of the mill thugs, thieves, rapists, and murderers, but not anyone truly dangerous."
"Compared to radicals and demagogues? Not by a long shot."
Chuckling softly, the Captain squeezed Aerys' shoulder and confided, "Don't worry, Mavato, you seem like the sort who's a good judge of character. Besides, the palace dungeons are officially just a rumor."
With that, Këowyn left Ms. Mavato to her own thoughts, adding as she went, I'll go wake your Shiv-friends — steady as she goes."
It was time to escort a new guest to the royal dungeons...
Mmm... Oh yeeaah Lissi, just like that!
Sasha was in the middle of a very pleasant dream when a sprightly knock upon the forecastle door roused her to wakefulness. With a quiet gasp her eyes fluttered open in the darkened forecastle, straining to make out any details in the dark.
Aww damn, should've known it was just a dream.
Biting her lip a bit, wondering if the knock was perhaps in response to a loud dream, the huntress slipped out of her hammock and cautiously tip-toed over to the door, cracking it slightly. In a hushed voice, she whispered, "Hey, everybody's sleeping, is dinner ready or something?"
R 1d20 + 15 - 5 ⇒ (20) + 15 - 5 = 30 distracted
D 1d20 + 15 - 10 ⇒ (10) + 15 - 10 = 15 sleeping
L 1d20 + 9 - 10 ⇒ (10) + 9 - 10 = 9 sleeping
S 1d20 + 12 - 10 ⇒ (16) + 12 - 10 = 18 sleeping
Captain Fingel couldn't help but crack a grin at the sight of the disheveled young woman rubbing her eyes in the dark, priorities clearly well-defined. "No, not quite. We've reach the palace docks. It's time for you to take your prisoner and deboard."
Before Sasha's shoulders could slump too much, she added, "After that, you're free to find your own supper in the city. You wouldn't have liked Giovanni's gruel anyway, it was all rice tonight for some odd reason."
"Rice?" Sasha wrinkled her nose at the very word. "Yeeaah, good call letting us sleep in. I'll get the others up."
"Say, you haven't seen Darvie, have you? He's the short guy," she added helpfully.
Note: Everyone is awake by this point. (I'm assuming that Amhranai did not join the other four in the forecastle.)
Elven lyrics threaded through mystical melodies came to an abrupt halt.
"GREAT GATES OF CELEBANNOS !!! HE HAS A THIRD LEG NO LESS !!!"
Creatures of the night and everyone aboard the ship were unexpectedly apprised, by the well trained vocal chords of a Court Herald, of perhaps more information than most would have cared to learn.
At the promptings from Lureene and Sasha - as to why he was even more pale than usual, eyes frozen widely open, staring through the walls - Arion at first merely mumbled replies. Had he seen a wraith?
Slowly he returned to them and related, "I was wandering beyond the barrels, singing an ancient ballad of the war of the Gods. As the rhymes I sung mentioned The Paladin of the Gods laying low our enemies with his mighty hammer of justice, what I mistook in the darkness for another barrel, placed upon a hammock, rolled towards me. My waking eyes beheld..."
When at last Arion was wrenched from his shuddering memories enough to speak again, he concluded, "...the stark-naked war-beast, as wide as he is tall...with indeed a mighty hammer of justice!"
He had seen IT. He could not, now, unsee IT!
He was startled awake by the yelling elf, surly and still groggy, the dwarf implores with Arion. "Dammit man! I was sleeping!"
He stands out of the hammock, noticing the lingering elf with his jaw agape. "Don't act like you're not impressed." He gets his clothes on and begins to put his armour on. "Since you're here anyway, help me with my armour."
The inquisitor speaks up in a tone loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. "Are we back already?"
Yeeaah, third leg is right...
Sasha bit her lip, remembering the last time she 'helped' Darvesch with 'his armor' and the inevitible fuss she had caused. Brow furrowed for the sake of her newest lover, she told the captain, "Nnnevermind, I think Ari just found him," and closed the door.
Trying her best not to make eye-contact with either the dwarf or the succubus, the ranger shuffled over, covered his eyes with one hand, and then towed him to a safe distance with the other. Sitting him down on the edge of the footlocker, she hugged his head to the comforting softness of her chest and stroked his hair, repeating over and over, "It'll be okay Ari, somehow it'll all be okay..."