Steampunk Expeditions: The Lost Jungle Temple (RP)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by The Wandering Magus, Apr 25, 2013.

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  1. OOC:

    Tl;dr: steampunk expedition to jungle temple.

    One sentence: Journey through dangers physical and supernatural in search of hidden treasure as part of a group of steampunk adventurers!

    Full: The year is 1877, the twentieth year in the reign of our beloved Queen. Expeditions have already returned from all over the world, and the map has been filled from the North Pole to the Orient with all manner of strange and wonderful treasures as the Empire expands around the globe. Sky-ships float above the spice-markets of India, Babbage Analytical Engines clack and rumble in Cairo, and even in the New World the sound of the Gatling Gun is heard, for technology is at last making its glorious conquest over barbaric superstition, and the Age of Science is at hand. Telegraphs lines, shining locomotive tracks, roaring ships of the Royal Navy and even the sparking, electrifying Electro-Static Discharge Coils of the Russian-born Nikola Tesla can be seen and heard everywhere.

    Yet for some gentleman and lady adventurers, the thrill of discovery lies not only in the machinery that drives the modern world, but also in the exploration of the deepest and darkest continent of them all: Africa! For within those mysterious jungles of savages and rabid creatures lie untold treasure and glory waiting for the lucky and the brave to find it! Already explorers have reported all manner of treasure, from gold and silver to rooms full of every sort of gemstone imaginable. Yet they also bring back rumor of strange curses and shadowy shapes lurking in forgotten ruins, and barbaric tribes of savages guarding the homes of their gods with spears and poisoned arrows!

    You, and those others with you, are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime in search of all this and more. You are all gentlemen and ladies of some sort, though perhaps some of you have darker pasts unknown! The HMS Fortune, the finest Sky-Ship ever to fly from the gleaming brass and wood of Britain's Imperial Sky-Port, will be departing by the morrow. Who knows what may await you in the jungles of Africa?



    GM has final say and can change rules whenever necessary
    GM may choose assistant GMs
    No controlling another's character. This also applies to GMs except in emergency situations.
    If you must argue OOC, never take it beyond conversation (in-character fights welcome within reason).
    Be polite OOC.
    Nobody has higher rank than anypony else besides the GM and the assistant GMs, either in or out of character. You're no longer in Britain, you are in Africa, and rank means nothing when savages are after you.
    Please do your best not to swear, especially OOC. Recall that this is the Victorian era.
    Please participate as you can. Others may be waiting for your character to move before they can move.
    No reversing time except by GM, and only in emergencies.
    No powers. You're all humans. You DO have steampunk technology within reason, but it must be listed.
    No personal attacks at players. We are all respectable adventurers here.
    Please keep violence to a minimum when it's not an "encounter". Encounters are introduced by the GM.
    Please no mature themes here. This is the Fantasy section, not the Mature section.
    No involving others in backstories unless by permission.
    No bringing about any sort of major disaster. This includes but is not limited to floods, tornadoes, droughts, plagues, and famines. If you "accidentally" trip a curse, your new job is to fix it.
    Please sign up before playing.
    Keep OOC in OOC. This is the OOC thread. Please use it.
    Please limit yourself to 3 characters at the most, and play all of them.
    Have fun!


    Current Adventurers:

    Dinann Quile (Wavelength) - Volunteer, good with directions
    Conall Kilburn (Seriack) - Laird's son, good with languages and history
    Viola Cooper (Morning Glory) - Engineer/Mechanic
    Rorik Palisade (Koene) - Hunter/Linguist
    Vrach Tamhota (Dirk Pitt) - Pharmacist / Chemist



    Standing upon the wooden planks of the enormous Sky-Port, you can see the massive construction of wood and brass floating above the ground like some sea creature dragged to the surface. The sound of saw and drill, the clanging of enormous hammers on anvils, shouts of thousands of workers, and screeching of steam through pipes and chimneys can be heard everywhere. The air was full of the smell of the city mixed with the salty scent of the sea: coal from the chimneys of every townhouse in London, cooked food drifting by from the restaurants and street vendors, the sour smell of rank filth from the city's sewers and gutters, and of course the increasingly familiar smell of fresh wood, molten brass and heated turpentine and lubricant from the ship.

    The deck of the HMS Fortune was about two hundred meters long, with a construction vaguely resembling that of a galleon yet comfortably modern in detail, complete with a mixture of gas and new electric-arc lights. Unlike a sea-faring ship, the vessel's belly held windows all the way to the bottom, and there were cannons and Gatling-guns mounted about the sides to ward off threats both terrestrial and avian. The design of the turrets was such that the guns could swivel in almost any direction, with the operator seated comfortably within a riveted brass-plated sphere with portholes on all sides. Brass pipes carried air, ammunition and lubrication to these mechanisms, hidden cleverly beneath wooden planks and leather cushions where appropriate.

    Also unlike a normal vessel, the Fortune featured a command bridge within the ship situated towards the front of the hull, before which an expansive series of ingeniously shaped port-holes, not needing to hold back the enormous pressures of the depths necessary for a water-borne craft, combined like bricks into an enormous window to the outside, giving anyone standing on the bridge a view of the entire landscape directly ahead of, to the side and beneath the ship. These windows were made of layers of reinforced brass and tempered glass to withstand powerful storms and even arrows and thrown spears, as was a known danger when flying above the savage jungles far from civilized lands. Also here were row upon row of desks to either side and upon the bridge itself, with maps, internal telegraphs, charts, gauges, levers, gears, and more, allowing the captain a direct view of all the vital information of the ship at once.

    Behind this impressive area were many living-quarters and storage chambers, and in this regard the Fortune was similar to most other ships. Heavy cargo and ballast was kept in the lower decks, while living quarters were higher up; the most expensive ones, and the captain's quarters, were only a single level below the deck, the less expensive ones were farther down, and the poorest (or stingiest) of passengers rode with the cargo if they wished, though there were no windows down on the lowest levels.

    There was also an impressive galley and dining-room where all guests were invited to join the captain for supper each night; a library with a modest collection of adventure and practical books could be found directly adjacent to these rooms, and one can also find a water-closet in an unobtrusive location.

    In the case of an emergency there were parachutes, inflated rings, medical supplies, fire-axes, a single life-boat with a conventional heated-air lift, and other useful items such as ropes and weapons stored at convenient locations at intervals along the sides of the ship's deck.

    At the moment, of course, all this was only what was written upon the pamphlets and posters that had been publicized in the London Gazette and threescore other news-paper distributors around the world. The ship itself was still having the finishing touches put on, and cargo was still being lifted onto the ship by enormous cranes. A long ramp enabled passengers to come aboard, provided, of course, that they had the tickets or the money to pay for them.
    #1 The Wandering Magus, Apr 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2013
  2. Down one of the many swervey streets, a motorized carriage parts some of the steam that had been filling it. It's horn tooted a few times, parting some of the pedestrians like it had the steam, and came to a stop near the Sky-Port. After a moment, a young man bursts out from inside, a wide smile plastered on his face. "ABADAGU! Look at this place, it's amazing! Come on, let's get going!" He yells back at the carriage, calling the man servant his father had given him for this trip.

    Dikeledi sighs, he always hated being called by that, it was so demeaning, but he couldn't anger the Master's son, at least he couldn't and get away with it. So, he sighs again, and picks up their pack, which had been carefully filled with all the gear they would need to survive in the jungle... The jungle he had left not long ago, to serve as Toag's servant and see the modern world. He hadn't been sold into slavery, but had instead taken it on himself to be able to escape the dead-end life he had been living in his village. As he steps out, the carriage begins to pull away, leaving the two companions to stand and marvel at what the Sky-Port is.

    "Have you ever seen anything like it?! It's so wonderful!" Conell said cheerily, examining almost every inch of the wooden and copper construction. He all but ran toward one of the elevators that would take them to the Port's proper, and waited for Dikeledi to follow, bouncing on his feet in obvious impatience. True, this was supposed to be a punishment, but Conell had taken to it like it was something he had always wanted to do... And it was, to an extent. He had always enjoyed the stories his father had told him as a young child, of the adventures through the unknown lands Toag had gone on. And it had filled young Conell with a wanderlust... As well as a desire to acquire his own treasures... But when his mother had died... He lost that drive, and the pushing influence of his father to continue the adventures in his stead...

    But now, here he was, with trusty Dikeledi at his back, staring at the magnificence that was the HMS Fortune. Such a fitting name! Conell thought to himself as he all but ran for the plank to board, Dikeledi slowly, but steadily, following from behind. Conell ran up the plank, eager to be aboard and to find his quarters.
  3. Dinann stepped off a train just outside the Sky-Port, conveniently carrying all of his possessions between his backpack and a large satchel full of clothes. He gazed up at the marvel of a vessel being constructed, the sunlight glistening off of its bronze-plated hull. He'd never seen such a beautiful thing, with the possible exception of the great red pyramids.
    "Beautifully built," he mumbled, smiling proudly. "I should be rather honored to join this party." Dinann happily approached a structure near the vessel set aside for selling tickets, stepped into line, and waited to purchase his admittance.
  4. As the young Scotsman raced up the gangway, he could see the enormous craft seem to grow, and it began to dawn on him just how truly massive the vessel was. Workers, cranes, cargo, giant boxes of ammunition, supplies for the voyage, trading goods for the colony, everywhere there was movement and action happening. Halfway up the plank, however, he was stopped by a guard with the usual outfit of a security detail that helped protect merchant ships from pirates and other peoples of ill repute.

    “Tickets, please?” the man inquired, smiling at the young aristocrat's enthusiasm. “Only those with tickets may board the vessel.”


    Meanwhile, the line of gentlemen and bored individuals shortened considerably over the next several minutes (at least in front of him, the line behind stretched back quite a long ways during the same several minutes) and soon young Dinaan found himself at the front of the line. A bored man in the booth peered out from over brass spectacles and a rather thick mustache.

    “Here for tickets to the Fortune, I presume?” he asked, adjusting the rims of the optical apparatus. “How many, and for what class? First class, second class, steerage? £80 per ticket for first class, £13 for second, £9 for steerage.”

    ((Historical note: 80 pounds, even during the maiden voyage of the Titanic, was equivalent to approximately 10,000 US Dollars today. 13 pounds was about 1500 modern USD, and 9 pounds about 1000 modern USD. Steerage had modest luxuries, but confined passengers to their area of the ship, which was lower down and did not generally have fresh air. In emergencies this would have caused complications when stewards are unable to get to the lower decks, and steerage passengers are accidentally abandoned below-deck while the relatively free first and second class passengers escape to the life-boats.))
  5. "I see your prices are as steep as the papers cautioned! It'll be second class for me," Dinann replied, holding the money but waiting to be shown a ticket before handing it over. He wasn't the skeptical type, but he wouldn't make a naive name for himself either. The world's a tricky place.
  6. The man nodded, withdrawing a silver-lined ticket from the box beneath the desk and tapping on a counting-machine. "Name and signature here, please. Your room will be on level two, just under the galley. B10. All guests will be expected to dine with the Captain at seven o'clock sharp every evening. Only one ticket, yes? 13 pounds, please."

    The ticket had several lines indicating the ship, the company, and other information in print, as well as the Captain's personal signature and stamp. The ticket seller was putting his own signature in the correct position at the moment as well while awaiting Dinann's payment and signature.
  7. "Tickets...?" Conell asks, but then remembers the tickets his father had given him for the ship, "THE TICKETS!" He shouts out, feeling into every pocket on his person, which was a lot. After failing to find them there, he quickly turns to Dikeledi, "The tickets, Abadagu! Tell me you brought those damn tickets!" He almost commands his servant to have brought them.

    Dikeledi gives Conell the evil eye, but nods his head. He can talk, and speaks almost perfect English, but he hates speaking. There really was no rhyme or reason why he did, he just did. As Dikeledi finally walks up the gangplanks, he produces two tickets from his courier's bag, handing them to the waiting, and smiling, guard.

    Conell's smile returns once more and he looks back to the guard, merrily jumping from one foot to another in impatience to explore the massive airship that was only meters ahead of him. As the guard looks over the tickets, he can see they are first class, A1, closest to the deck, and the captain. His father, however distant he had been, still wanted the best for his son.
  8. Dinann gladly obliged, handing over the 13 pounds and signing his name. "Thank you, sir. I'll leave you to your duty," he said, indicating the line. After the ticket and cash had been exchanged, Dinann made his way to the boarding ramp to have a look about the new ship.
  9. The guard smiles as he looks over the tickets, then carefully removes the appropriate part for company records and returns the rest of the gold-lined paper.

    "Welcome aboard the Fortune then, Mr. Kilburn, Dikeledi. Please feel free to move about anywhere you like, as long as you do not break anything or get in the way of the engineers. If you wish, we can have one of our crew members give you a tour of the vessel and introduce you to our captain. The ship will be departing in a few hours, so make yourselves comfortable. There is plenty of room in your first-class suite, but should you wish for additional storage, simply ask and any luggage you will not be using during the voyage may be moved below with no extra charge. The galley is open to first-class passengers around the clock as well, and provided that the captain is not occupied with something, you may speak with him at any time. Once again, welcome aboard, and safe voyage!"


    After conversing with the eager Scotsman, the guard then turns to the second-class passenger with a polite smile. "Tickets, please."
  10. "Certainly," Dinann replied politely, holding the ticket out to the guard. As his ticket was divided, he added, "Would there happen to be anything I may assist with? Though I was raised in anything but poverty, I do so love being a helping hand."
  11. The guard looked over the silver-lined ticket and removed the appropriate part for company records. As he did so, he looked thoughtfully at the man, and handed back the rest of the ticket.

    "Hmm... well, if you choose to help, you could perhaps assist our engineers below deck. If you choose you can also help the crew move the cargo to the hold, or deliver messages. You look like a sturdy fellow."
  12. Dinann nodded his thanks. "Thank you, sir. I'll check in with one of the workers, then." He looked up at the sky and took in a deep breath. "Wonderful day for flight, is it not?" he concluded, moving to let the guard resume his work.
  13. "Wonderful day indeed," smiled the guard. "Welcome aboard, Mr. Quile. Next in line, tickets please!"

    There were throngs of workers hurrying here and there with equipment and supplies, and groups at intervals with larger crates and packs of cargo for the hold. There were flying machines and Babbage Analytical Engine parts, Gatling guns, parts for building steam-driven auto-motive vehicles, spares for the sky-ship, many rations and boxes of food, enormous barrels of water and other beverages, spices, clothing, weapons, and of course plenty of ammunition. There were also medical supplies marked with the Red Cross, from general medication such as snake oils and tonic, to opium and cocaine for surgery and quinine for malaria, known to be quite a common and deadly disease in the jungles. There was, of course, large crates of tea, as any proper vessel always carried, as well as several packages of tobacco for the gentleman that took up that popular hobby, as well as spare pipes and matches. Explosives also were present, for clearing trees and hunting elephants as well as mining for minerals and blowing open walls in potential archaeological finds to reach treasure rooms. In addition to that most excellent and useful substance, there were also pick-axes, lanterns, reams of parchment, maps, binoculars, telescopes, surveying equipment, photography equipment, compasses, almost a mile of rope, spools of thread, needles, spare boots, machetes, splints, tourniquets, and more, all in their own crates and ready to be stowed safely away in the Fortune's massive hull.

    These items were, of course, not at all easy to lift and carry, but the crew did the best it could with all the available tools present, from horses and wagons to steam-driven cranes and elevator lifts. The company which built the Fortune was sparing no expense for its maiden voyage into the wilderness, and the titanic undertaking was finally about to be completed as passengers boarded the ship.
  14. After the tickets had been torn and returned, Conell all but charged past the guard, running the last few meters to the deck of the Fortune. "Come on, Abadagu! Let's find our rooms! I want to start exploring this thing as soon as possible!" He shouts back to his man servant, who takes it a bit more slow up the gangplank, eyeing the fall until he hears that dreaded nickname of his. His already deep frown seems to deepen and he walks past the guard, nodding his thanks.

    Once the both of them are onboard, Conell takes no time to find their rooms, since they were at the top. A1, turned out, to be a massive suite with a separate side room for Dikeledi. "Look at this place, Abadagu! It's just massive! I think I'm going to love it here..." Conell exclaims in joy, opening one of the cooler cabinets and pulling out a Bourbon. He looks over the year and smiles. He wasn't much of a drinker, but he did enjoy alcohol from time to time, and what better time to celebrate than when he escapes Edinburgh and the world, to sail through the skies and explore some savage's tomb for treasures? He pops open the bottle and pours himself a healthy portion before putting the bottle down.

    "Well, Abadagu, if you don't mind, I think I'm going to go for a walk. Do be good and watch over our rooms. I'm sure you can find something to keep yourself occupied with!." Conell says, smelling the Bourbon and then tasting it. Aaaahhh, that's the right stuff... He thinks to himself as he leaves the room, walking out and up onto the deck. He moves over to a railing and watches the workers go about their business, taking a swig of his drink every so often, just savoring all the sites and sounds around him.
  15. The Scottish Laird's son observed the loading of the ship, a massive undertaking of great importance, as both the passengers aboard and the colonists at the intended destination would be in need of supplies and trading goods. Crumpets and tea, at least, would not be lacking, from the look of the enormous chests and crates being loaded. The myriad cargo waiting to be placed in the hold was staggering, being brought to the docks by all manner of transport: steam auto-mobiles like his own, horse-drawn carriages and stagecoaches, wagons, rickshaws, and more. There were spices and silks, tilling machines and tea, lanterns and lard, silverware and surveying tools. A complete medical set fit for supplying an entire hospital was also coming aboard, from the look of the red-cross-marked wagons rolling up to the dock.

    Other passengers would come soon enough, though perhaps not so many first-class passengers. Fortunately, he had most of the ship to himself and the crew, as others tended to have restrictions on where they could move; third-class passengers, or "steerage" as the tickets were labeled, could scarcely even come to the deck except when boarding and landing. He, on the other hand, could go anywhere he pleased, so long as he did not get in the way.
  16. A disgruntled woman arrived on the docks, grimacing as the horse pulling her cab released another hideous wave of flatulence. What she wouldn't give to afford a steam-engine automobile! Well, perhaps this voyage would do just that. She hopped down from the passenger seat and began to collect her baggage. Once she had her pair of iron trunks unloaded on to the dock she flipped a coin to the driver. "Ta!" She said simply as she pulled her final piece of luggage out of the cab. A large birdcage held a massive hyacinth macaw, which screeched indignantly at the driver before Viola led her away. She stroked the bird's head through the bars. "Hush Nina. That smelly nag is gone now."

    The woman then sauntered up to the guard, who looked to be in charge. "Heya! HMS Fortune's hired a mechanic. That's me." She gazed up at the ship. "A real piece of work this beauty. The height of technology, not a coal engine to be found on board, all steam and electric coils. Marvelous." If there was one thing Viola liked, it was airships. She looked back to the guard. "So, where am I to stash my stuff?"
  17. "Identification and such first, madame," nodded the guard. "Just keeping with protocol. Welcome aboard the Fortune. Soon as you can show me the paperwork I shall sign you off; the engineer's quarters are over there, towards the aft and a story or two beneath the deck. Next to the engines, for convenience."

    He pointed towards the place where the ship's many tubes and wires and gears fed into the wooden floor, and an unobtrusive doorway to a spiral stairwell leading down to the engines.
  18. "Bah!" The woman fished in her pocket and offered her passage documents and the letter she had received requesting her services. They were a bit dogeared and ragged, but official enough. "I know the layout of this beauty like the back of my hand. Got the plans from a buddy. I ain't about to hire on to a ship I know nothing about!" She tapped her temple knowingly. "Not that there's a soul that's not heard nothing of the Fortune..." she added, admiring the beautiful vessel. It was only when the giant parrot squawked loudly that she broke her gaze.

    "Those about right then?" She asked the guard, quickly growing impatient.
  19. A man in a black overcoat and white crow like mask carrying a medium sized black case approaches the sky dock, knowing as a few faces look both in worry of his appearance and others in acknowledgement of the medical attire of the age, but without hesitation he approaches the boarding area for the HMS Fortune looking up at it Thinking

    (“hm impressive the size of this vessel, though knowing my luck its going to be the rich of the rich cruising with no idea what there doing, but I have my duties, though doesn’t stop me enjoying this a bit”)
  20. Dinann went to his assigned room below deck, stored his things, gave the place a good once-over, and came back above deck to help out with loading. He made himself useful wherever there was a stumbling dockworker under a heavy load that he could assist with.
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