Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bound for Iraklia


last quarter

March 4, 1651, Thursday morning
With overcast skies and cool temperatures, and a gentle prevailing wind

Yet another cool morning begins with the rising of the sun, though its cloudy and grey. The night before was no worse for temperature, and the party bore up quite well. Arkemis makes apologies to his masters for the weather being so god-forsaken cold, and spends half the night waking and attending the fires to keep the party warm and content.

Carlito wonders aloud to Enrico if the summer is as hot and unpleasant here in Greece as it is in Italy, and makes an unhappy comment about Tazio having a roof to sleep under.

You eat a hearty breakfast near the gray-blue water, no longer the brilliant turquoise it appears to be in the sun, and the water's a might chilly to dip your feet into as the boat is ready and you wash up. Soon enough you push off from Skhoinousa to make the short twenty-minute journey to the next island. There's no current in the water, Arkemis notes, as he directs the sail to catch the good wind that's blowing behind you.

Iraklia is rising big and bold before you, the large knobby rise on the right, and a low flat shield-like hill dominating the whole south half of the island. Between is a flat area of grass and sparse two-foot shrubs, most probably rose bushes and the like. You're about 400 yards away when Sofia sees something that appears to be a body floating in the water some eighty yards to the right of the boat.

It's very low in the water, its head must be down, and there's no movement at all that can be seen, but there's the humping of the shoulders and something very much like hands or legs that are bobbing with the waves rolling over the surface.

58 comments:

Neklan Krasna said...

I cast clean on the party when we're all in the boat, and ask if anyone has anything to drink.

Lets investigate the body.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Enrico readies his bow and tells Carlito to do the same. "Perhaps it's not a dead body," he mutters, a tad nervously.

Kismet Korkmaz said...

Does it look bloated at all?

Kismet Korkmaz said...

Oh and Kismet readies his pike and eyes the water around them for any more bodies closer and possibly under the boat.

Alexis Smolensk said...

It does look bloated.

Arkemis takes in the sail and directs Carlito to help him, and pulls the boat in the direction of the body. As you get close, it is evident that the body is perhaps eight, nine feet tall, a pale, unnatural yellow in color and with a disturbing texture.

When you're close enough, Arkemis suggests someone throw a grapple at it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

It does look bloated.

Arkemis takes in the sail and directs Carlito to help him, and pulls the boat in the direction of the body. As you get close, it is evident that the body is perhaps eight, nine feet tall, a pale, unnatural yellow in color and with a disturbing texture.

When you're close enough, Arkemis suggests someone throw a grapple at it.

Kismet Korkmaz said...

Because it is so large I will not be using my pike to try an bring it closer, however I am all for throwing the grapple should someone have one.

If we are close to shore, I suggest dragging it to shore rather than on the boat however.

Sofia Koleva said...

Sofia directs Arkemis to make as tight a circuit as he can around the body with the sail boat. She wants to observe it from all angles before we haul it anywhere.

Also, echoing Kismet's question... how far from shore are we?

Alexis Smolensk said...

You're 400 yards from the shore.

Arkemis pulls the boat around as requested.

Neklan Krasna said...

Before we tow it onto the shore, perhaps we could try to turn it over?

Sofia Koleva said...

Do we note anything further regarding the body once the circuit is complete?

Sofia removes her grapple and 50' of rope from her pack.

Alexis Smolensk said...

It seems to have bloated enough to lose a lot of its substantiality.

Neklan Krasna said...

maybe if we dragged the grapple across it's back crosswise, we could cause it to turn over. That or we'll just rip it to shreds...

Kismet Korkmaz said...

Well, if it would rip it to shreds, the same thing would happen if we reel it in or pull it to shore.

Alexis Smolensk said...

"Let's try," says Carlito.

Neklan Krasna said...

I'm not relishing smelling this thing.

Kismet Korkmaz said...

We try and flip it.

Sofia Koleva said...

Sofia begins swinging the grapple. Let's have the sailboat pass the body, Sofia will try to catch the body as we pass and hope that it doesn't fall apart as momentum takes us ashore.

To hit roll?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Nah, its pretty big and its not moving.

The grapple falls into the middle of the body and passes right through, as though into water, and the 'body' disappears. But as you haul the grapple back, it has whatever the thing was attached to it and you can get a good, close look.

It isn't a body at all, it appears to be the shedded skin of some lizard humanoid type creature; you're fairly sure it isn't something sea going, but rather a land humanoid that has shed its skin to get bigger.

Neklan Krasna said...

weeeeeirrrd. this doesn't bring anything to mind that I'd know about, correct?

Neklan Krasna said...

Well, let's continue on to shore, and keep a close eye on the island for any giant lizards. Kismet, perhaps you should use your glass to scan about as we approach.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Presumably Arkemis has never seen anything like this before?

Enrico keeps his bow handy, and asks Carlito to do the same.

Sofia Koleva said...

Sofia thinks briefly of Andrej and his knowledge of legendary creatures as she wordlessly puts the grapple and rope away, offering the molted skin to Neklan. "For your collection."

(OOC: So Alexis, last night I dreamed you were running a D&D game for me, Jeff Buckley and Noel Coward. You and Noel kept arguing over some obscure literary reference. Jeff threw his arms up at one point and cried "Why can't we just fucking play D&D". Then the president called to inform me I was going to Egypt.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

As an illusionist Neklan? No. Can't remember your field/specialty, but I don't believe there's one that applies.

Arkemis is as stumped as the party.

(OOC: Gad, wouldn't Noel be someone to run for? Every word I said would have this incredibly abusive and brilliant retort ... did you go to Egypt?)

Sofia Koleva said...

(OOC: In the dream? No. Though I did sadly get up from the table and make to leave. In real life, not yet. Maybe soon but I'm hoping not.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

Arkemis puts the boat onto the shore, a wide flat beach, muddy rather than sandy, with a thin skein of water a couple of inches deep that fills a large round (shallow) bowl next to the water.

There is a small forest of lemon and almond trees towards the island's north-side knob, with one big oak, 120 feet high, gnarled and old, some 100 yards away (across 30 yards of water and up 70 yards of shallow slope, perhaps 10 degrees.

Please note I have said YARDS, not feet.

In front of the tree, though it is above you, is a tilted flat rock, 30 feet across, partly shaded, and in the shade there's a white, indistinct patch that does not look like vegetation or rock.

Sofia Koleva said...

Shall we? To the oak, I mean.

Enrico Guerriero said...

To the oak!

Enrico Guerriero said...

Enrico and Carlito struggle into their armor first. Then... to the oak!

Neklan Krasna said...

Call me nervous, but I'd like to look through the spyglass before approaching.

Kismet Korkmaz said...

Kismet will freely lend the spyglass to anyone who does not intend to abuse it. Those folks get a kick in the shins. Unless it is Neklan, he gets a noogie.

Kismet will put on his own armor, and have his pike and his hand axe at the ready whenever possible.

(OOC: Oh what is the check for recovering thrown weapons like the hand axe again?)

Kismet Korkmaz said...

Oh and he marches towards the oak happily once everyone is settled.

Neklan Krasna said...

Wait, wait, I say, as I peer through the proffered glass.

Sofia Koleva said...

Sofia stretches and limbers up as the fighters don armor. Addressing Arkemis, "You moved rather nicely when the Cyclops was about. You have a talent for this." letting the statement hang there like a question.

Alexis Smolensk said...

In the outdoors, I don't worry about thrown weapons breaking. In stone settings, throwing a weapon has the same chance of breaking it as dropping one.

Through the glass, it is evident that the figure is a man, or possibly a young boy. Not at all large, perhaps 110, 120 lbs. The 'white' seems to be a sleeveless garment that falls to the knees. The figure is sleeping with his back to you.

Neklan Krasna said...

I relay the information thus gained, and ask if they'd like me to approach in stealth, or if we should simply go forward with nothing to hide? I lean towards the latter.

Kismet Korkmaz said...

Better not to surprise the fellow with anything less than a fully armed dwarf and party of folks. Maybe it's a hermit druid and a potential ally!

Kismet Korkmaz said...

In other words, let's go say hi. I'm not certain it's not a trap, but it's definitely interesting.

Neklan Krasna said...

Yeah, that's fine. It certainly seems peaceful enough.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I have this image of a bunch of people having agreed to do it, but still standing where they are.

Neklan Krasna said...

no no, I'm pretty sure we're casually walking in that direction.

Neklan Krasna said...

I guess I'm the only one who didn't _actually say_ I was.

Kismet Korkmaz said...

We march to the fellow without being sneaky. I do not put away my weapons, but am not standing at the ready to chuck things at the fellow.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You cover about half the distance when the man happens to roll over and, seeing you approaching openly, stands full up on his feet.

You can see, then, that his wrists are fixed with manacles and chains, which are in turn attached to the rock itself, each wrist chained independently. It's an old man, some sixty years, and at once he begins to shout, "GO AWAY! RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"

Though of course, being 50 yards distant, the sound is naught more than a gentle calling above the wind.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Enrico immediately halts. He looks to the others, perhaps a tad eagerly, for any sign that they're going to heed the old man's advice.

Sofia Koleva said...

Can we discern any details regarding his clothes? Ragged? Dirty? Pristine? Naked?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Good question. Ragged. He's wearing nothing else except the one piece of cloth.

Sofia Koleva said...

Now that we're closer do we see anything else? He's alive and presumably in captivity... somebody must be feeding him. Do we see huts, a cave entrance, anything of note?

Alexis Smolensk said...

The slope behind him and the tree - extending left and right of the flat rock upon which the man stands, beyond the thin forest of trees, does appear to have a cleft in it, but that could be the illusion of a way into the rock.

The man continues to holler.

Kismet Korkmaz said...

For someone concerned about our welfare, he seems to be attracting a lot of attention to our presence.

That said, given the large skin in the water we are probably dealing with something large here other than said man.

But yeah, for some reason whatever it is imprisoned this fellow, or the town forgot to tell us that they sacrifice folks... semi-regularly? Or that there's another settlement somewhere nearby that's sending folks here?

Anyhow, I'm worried this is a fair warning of something horrible coming, but I'm also interested in following up on it.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Enrico mutters "Borge?" while glancing around nervously, bow at the ready.

Sofia Koleva said...

I say Sofia and possibly Neklan sneak up and try to unlock the chains and manacles. Optionally, if Sofia goes alone, her higher movement rate of 6 AP may allow her to get away should things go sideways. I interpret the man's concern for us as grounds enough for wanting to free him.

Thoughts?

Enrico Guerriero said...

(OOC: The title of this post, "Bound for Iraklia", has taken on a new meaning...)

Enrico Guerriero said...

Enrico says, "I worry that whatever he is warning us away from has heard his screams."

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: Hee Hee, aren't I funny?)

Neklan Krasna said...

I'm willing to try, but I'm not surehow much possibility there is to stay hidden, assuming we're still crossing the beach. If we do wish to sneak, we must hurry, before whatever hears the man sees us.

This is surely fair warning, but there's also something strange about the man's hollering.

OK, Sophia, let's _run_ for whatever the nearest cover we can find is.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I'm sorry about that last instruction to run.

I was waiting for action, and had interpreted the chatter & curiousity and searching of the distant rockface as the passage of time. So I put up the next post.

It occurs, I suppose, a second or two after Neklan makes his suggestion.

The next post is up.

Neklan Krasna said...

OK, np