Monday, December 26, 2016

The Old Man Emerges

As I said, the old man swims from where he has surfaced, until he reaches the rock where, I believe, Sofia is standing [though she may be in the boat, things got quite confusing there for a time].  As he climbs out, Kismet and Nine-toes will both notice that the guards seem quite taken aback, but at the same time there appears to be some recognition in many of their eyes.

The old man is dripping as he hauls himself out of the water.  At the same time, Enrico, Yuliya and Ibrahim may all climb into the boat or onto the rock as well.

If no one has any objections, the old man will begin wringing out his clothing, sighing, "Dear me, dear me!  That was a long time to be a fish!"

43 comments:

Enrico Guerriero said...

Enrico clambers onto the rock and looks over the old man. So stunned is he by the fellow's words that he just stands there, naked and shivering.

"Pardon me, sir," he finally manages to say, "but if you don't mind my asking, how long were you a fish? And, my most sincere apologies if this is an indelicate question, but... it would seem from that statement I can infer that you are not a fish... so then what, exactly, are you now?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

"Oh, I'm sorry," he says, somewhat abashed. He puts out his hand. "My name is Philoctetes ~ I am something of an outsider in Syros. But I knew you were coming, sometime this morning for certain, so I've been breathing underwater since just before sun-up." He shrugs. "I felt almost completely confident you would not attempt to dive down to the ship during the night."

Enrico Guerriero said...

"That's extraordinary," Enrico says in wonder, shaking the man's hand. "So you're a sorcerer then? Were you aboard the Petrel before it sank -- do you know the fate of my master, Ahmet Oglu-Ahmet? Or his companions, or the captain of the vessel?"

Enrico Guerriero said...

Ack, re-reading it is clear the Old Man got here only a little while before us and so wasn't on the Petrel before it sank. But Enrico is so awestruck by the man's ability to breathe underwater that his words didn't, no pun intended, sink in.

Kismet said...

That's the name of the man who did the divination that got us involved in the first place. That did the divination. If Kismet is there he says it, otherwise this is a reminder.

Nine-toes said...

Nine-toes, unable to contain himself, interjects, "And please sir, if it's not too much to ask, I should like to interview you once we have established why it is you were waiting for us on the ship, as opposed to waiting on the shore,on the subject of divine transference of power, if divinity is indeed the source of your marvelous feats. Please sir, how is that you do such things such as predicting the future and breathing underwater?"

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

Ibrahim greets the old man politely, then places the coffer carefully on the rocks and waves the boat closer so that he can retrieve at least his loincloth and begin to dry off and dress.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The old man nods to Ibrahim, then says to Enrico, Philoctetes will answer, "Not a sorcerer, oh no. But something of a druid with a peculiar . . . shall we say, 'curse'? I have a habit of seeing things before they happen ~ so no, I was not aboard the Petrel, I don't know what happened to it."

Kismet is certainly there to hear this; it is only about twenty feet between the land and the outcropping of rock that overhangs the Petrel's wreck.

In answer to Nine-toes, Philoctetes will say, "I knew the box was under the floorboards, but I didn't have the strength myself to free it. I may be able to cast a water breathing spell, but I am an old man and not very strong. But I guessed that someone would be by to search for it today, since the whole town of Syros last night was talking about finding the strangers from Koufonisia."

Alexis Smolensk said...

He will then add, "The box contains a book. I am sure of it."

Yuliya Romanyuk said...

Ah, Philoctetes! It is an honour to receive your assistance here. I don't presume to know better than yourself, but if you don't mind me asking, why did you choose to wait below the surface rather than on, say, a nearby rock?

Alexis Smolensk said...

"Ah, well you must realize," Philoctetes says in answer to Yuliya. "I am well known, everywhere; the soldiers here ~ as you can see them watching us ~ would have surely pointed you to me. That might have distracted you, it might have ended in your not going under the water at all. I have had like things happen in the past." He shakes his head. "It is best always to keep a low profile, I find."

Enrico Guerriero said...

Enrico looks at the box. "A book? Perhaps it's the captain's log, or some clue about where they were and where they went!"

Alexis Smolensk said...

Philoctetes spreads his hands and says, "I don't know. That wasn't revealed to me."

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

Ibrahim says "Well then, let us find out!"

I open the coffer. (Or at any rate, attempt to do so. It might be locked.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

It isn't locked, but there do seem to be some difficult clasps that need opening. Success comes, however . . . and upon opening it, you find that the coffer was nearly waterproof. The book inside is damp, water-stained somewhat, but not sodden.

Enrico, if shown the book, will recognize it immediately as a brown, leather-covered book that was often in the Captain's hand. A quick glance at the contents will show that it is filled with a loose, rhythmic handwritten script.

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

Shall we all head back to shore? I think the others may want to see what the book reveals, and we could all stand to dry off and dress.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Enrico is so excited by this discovery that he can scarcely control his urge to grab the book and begin leafing through it now, even as he stands there naked and dripping. But he nods to Ibrahim's suggestion that they return to shore, where they can dress and rejoin the others.

"Sir, will you please join us?" he asks Philoctetes. "We can make room in our little boat... if you've breathed enough water for today."

If the Old Man joins them, he'll ask in the boat... otherwise he'll ask now:

"Do you know what became of the soldier, Hermos? He dove down to the wreck yesterday and never returned."

Yuliya Romanyuk said...

Yes let's head to the shore and dry off. I'm sure Philoctetes most of all would appreciate that.

Alexis Smolensk said...

To Enrico's first suggestion, Philoctetes will beg off. "I will take advantage of your boat, but then I must be off. I'm quite tired, worn out really, did not get a good night's sleep and the divination takes a lot of out of me. I must get to sleep soon, before I am woken by another vision."

To Enrico's second question, he'll shake his head sadly. "Yes, pity that. Seems a giant octopus has taken control of the lower decks. I had a sense that it was there before I went down, and I'm sure I heard it. Poor fellow. But his wife will be glad that the beatings will stop now."

Enrico Guerriero said...

"Do you sense anything else down there?" Enrico asks. He pauses before adding in a quaking voice: "Any... bodies? Of the crew or passengers? What can you tell us about their fates, seer?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

"I sensed nothing else alive," says Philoctetes. Then he points at the book. "There are always reasons behind my visions ~ perhaps it is in the pages there, or there was some other reason to bring you here. I cannot say."

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

Ibrahim bows a thank-you to Philoctetes.

"Thank you for all you have done. Without you, we might never have known about the ship at all, and I cannot imagine how we would have found the book under the floorboards without your aid."

Alexis Smolensk said...

Philoctetes seems somewhat embarrassed by this appreciation, and unless someone will stop him, will beg off as soon as the boat gets to the party to dry land. Is there anything left to say?

Enrico Guerriero said...

OOC - I'm good, anyone else want to talk to him?

Nine-toes said...

I would like to question him but not upon anything relevant to the task at hand - finding out what happened to the crew of the ship. So Nine-toes will refrain.

Kismet said...

Kismet is good.
"Thank you again sir."
And he is interested in this book.
He waves the party the 20ft over to the fire.
Which I'm pretty sure we got set up, if not we start gathering wood/building it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Oh yes, the fire is built, and the party is free to warm themselves by it.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Enrico takes the briefest of moments to dry himself off, dress, and warm himself for an instant by the fire.

At last, cautiously, reverently, he approaches the book. He picks it up and runs his hand over the leather cover. He takes a deep breath and opens the book.

OOC - So um... can anyone read? I seem to remember taking reading lessons with Andrej in the Balkans...

Alexis Smolensk said...

Ah, reading. That's tricky. I'd have to argue that since Enrico took mastery of arms and not leadership or training, that reading is not on the agenda.

Still, I should add reading and writing to one of those categories, so that when you eventually amass the necessary amount, you can do either. See, the world and system has changed since those days when Andrej wanted to read/write.

I'll go fix the wiki with that now.

Alexis Smolensk said...

There, I have written it in. You can find "Letters" under the Instruction page on the wiki; Enrico has 5 knowledge points with instruction, so he is halfway to being able to ready and write.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Read and write.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Enrico runs his fingers over the script, but alas, he didn't keep up with his studies after parting ways with Father Andrej. The writing is tantalizingly familiar yet eludes his comprehension.

He looks to his companions for assistance.

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

[I'm taking Poetry as my primary art, so Ibrahim should be literate... but in what? I need to check the wiki regarding how languages work and will do so tonight.]

Alexis Smolensk said...

I have only one commonly used language, that being the English we use to game. I occasionally use other languages, but these are largely dead or completely alien, and are not part of your character's knowledge.

Excellent, Poetry. I am thinking about the bard/sage problem, am nearly ready to take the plunge and start making a page. But I will take you at your word as a poet and give you the power to read and write.

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

[Ah, ok - it looks like there is a common language. So yes, Ibrahim should be able to read. I think Sofia can as well. Not sure about anyone else - Nine-toes maybe? Are monks literate by default?]

Yuliya Romanyuk said...

As a ranger, I believe I cannot read. Nonetheless, still here and agreeing to the plan so far.

I dry off and dress on the shore. Nothing like a good skinny dip to start off an adventure!

Alexis Smolensk said...

I appreciate the break, guys, but . . . if you want to know what the book says, someone is going to have to eventually say that they try to read it. Sofia said she'd be gone until Jan 3, so that only leaves Ibrahim.

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

[Ah, I missed her comment - I was worried we were rushing ahead without her!]

Ibrahim redresses, then opens the book and begins reading it.

If it appears to be a daily log started before whatever befell the ship, he will consult with Enrico to determine when they parted ways and jump to there; otherwise let me know what it appears to be and we'll work out how to approach it.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Why not start on the last page and work backward?

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

Good question!

Ibrahim checks the book's beginning to see what it appears to be, then take Enrico's suggestion if it is indeed a journal.

Kismet said...

Kismet looks over Ibrahim's shoulder as they go through the book.

Alexis, background says he can read from mother's side, I'm guessing that's a workaround?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Some people get a bonus background skill from their other parent, Kismet. So you can read too.

Working on the next post.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The next post is up.