The Pyre Sands (D&D)

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  1. The Pyre Sands
    In the hundred-fifty-seventh year of the Marxou Congress, the known world consisted of seven continents;the names of which are unimportant at this juncture. In the vast oceanic expanse that encompassed these land masses, no voyage had ever returned from beyond the swells and squalls of that endless abyss. The furthest ship out ever to return home had only to report that the waters were no less shy than two of the largest crossings between shores. It was this particular year that expansion had been proclaimed "a necessity" by the cooperative assembly of the ruling governments.​
    Countless ships set forth sail in every direction; their crews made of representatives from every walk of life. Among these passengers were pilgrims, criminals, admirals, explorers, political exiles, and more than the occasional treasure hunter, led on by the tale of wealth waiting on distant shores. For now it only matters, that of the vast armada that dare sail out on the black abyss of the Reliad Expanse, the ship Aether Wing would arrive on a shore alien to them.​
    On the sixty-seventh night of its voyage, the Aether Wing caught wind, the secure line on the main mast had broken open; the ship was steering itself through the intense storm that had cursed their lives for three days hence. Henchmen scrambled to cut off the sail to relieve the helm, only not in time to prevent a collision course with the rogue wave; one that would be referred to by the survivors as the 'swell sky'. Cresting waves further above their heads than thought possible, few had little time to brace themselves as the first drops hit the deck, torrents of water that broke through both mast and bone. The most rugged of men, trapped in the hull of ship, could recognize the ships third roll before he went under.​
    The rays of dawn brought the first sight of land beyond the Reliad Expanse, even though it came from the battered remnants of a once proud vessel. The shattered hull, and countless fragments of cargo and debris, rolled themselves onto the sand, landing with a dampened thud before finally resting still in the sand. Bodies, many yet none so much as had set sail at the beginning of the trip, came to shore as they clung to life in whatever form of buoyancy it took.​
    As luck would have it, some would pull through. Others would lose life on that very shore, unconscious as they drowned. The survivors of the Aether Wing had been accepted to the burning terra known as The Pyre Sands. Maybe it had been the intense heat of the sands that coaxed life back into those battered bodies, the first survivor began to stir.​
  2. When the night-terrors came, and flight could not be fathomed between the sweating walls of sheet and blanket, the hands of Vale Radamen would invariably seek the short sword of the man she killed. In her troubled sleep she would pluck it from the bedside and clutch it to her breast, night after night. And in doing so she had the sense of gripping the man's spine - of freezing him and all the desecration of the world he signified. It was her control; her defiance.

    And for that same reason the story found her, nestled in the bow section, or what was left of it. She was curled inside the hull fragment, with coats of dirt and seaweed, blood and sand. And in both hands she clutched the short sword. One might have thought her the painted statue once mounted at the bow, or perhaps a ghost once haunting the rafters. Yet when the sun rose and light painted veils of dust through the vessel's skeletal husk, she marked herself human with a blink and a twitch.

    Then, in motion synchronous with the other stirring survivors, she unfolded from her abode. Vale stood, sodden, trembling, and wracked with deepest thirst. She picked her way across the ruin of wood and paused only moments at the sight of a severed arm, wrapped amidst the seaweed. Her backpack had survived a short way off, crammed in the rafter as she had crammed herself. She retrieved it, almost solemnly, then moved into the light.

    Another mile put between herself and home. Pity so many had had to die for it.

    Yet for all her bravado, Vale knew that survival upon a foreign shore was no solo act. She would need the others - the vagrants and reprobates she had forged uneasy alliance with throughout their days upon the ocean. It was the prime instinct of the moment: see how many had survived, and see what provisions could be scavenged.

    She spotted a man, prone like the living, and crossed to place a hand on his shoulder.

    "Still alive, hero?"
  3. The captain had sent word that a man of good and war would be needed. Relkin Kebel, a cleric of Heironeous, was whom the ship ended up with. He was told that the service that was going to be provided was a distraction. Something to guide the crew with and keep them from doing anything stupid. It seemed like the job was nothing more than babysitter for the less than reputable members of the crew. If they came to him, for advice, he would give it. However, Relkin refused to just be there so the captain could sit around on his ass yelling orders that only suited him. For most of his life, the cleric dared to be more than just what people thought of him. This time would be no different.

    Once a week, there were sermons held down in the lower decks. It was where the cleric chose to sleep, with the rest of the crew. There wasn't a remarkable turn out, but they took place nonetheless. This wasn't one that needed speeches about being good to each other. They weren't children. The chosen topics were mostly about renewal, making your mark, and living your lives while you still can. Little did he know much those little sessions were almost preparations for the coming events. At least, for the ones that survived before darkness temporarily took over their minds...hopefully to awake with peace.

    His mouth opened slightly, as the body began to check itself to see what was working and what was faulty. Salty water slipped onto his tongue and caused a sensation that almost made the rest of him jump. Blinking, the good cleric looked at the stranger. He barely recognized her but only from afar. Then again, she was probably agile enough to slip into a sermon gathering and out without the cleric even knowing it. Now the woman, who looked as though she was carved from luna stone or maybe white carrara, chose to see whom was alive or not. He moved to his knees and then stood and all of the front of his robes were sand covered.

    "I am, thank Heironeous...and you for coming to my aid."

    He spit out the little taste of sand, stretching.

    "That is two, so far. Let us check the others and hope we will have more than just people to bury."

    Relkin then realized that a certain chest was not in his sight. The chest with his battle gear. This was troubling. He looked around, hoping to see it. His vision was not quite back yet.
  4. "Yeah, let's hope," Vale murmured an agreement, while brushing sand from the back of the man's robes. "Girl's worst nightmare: stuck on a desert island with a priest. I don't think I've sinned enough to deserve that yet."

    There was a flicker in her, amongst the desolation. Perhaps it was joy. Knowing that the holy man had made it - that the well-groomed cleric who'd given his nightly sermons in the bowels of the ship had been more than some ironic symbol of what they were about to lose - was enough to lessen the shock of these moments.

    And this one didn't look too rapey. She didn't imagine her sisters, screaming and choked, when she looked at him. Perhaps he was one of the good priests.

    "In the Daegris Moors, we have a saying. 'The Sea will have its victim'." The rogue chatted idly while kicking over timbers and checking under canvas scraps. It seemed she was happy for sound itself on this whispering beach. She kept a few paces behind Relkin as they searched. "They say if you try to save someone who's drowning or washed up, then the Sea will take you instead. That's why so many people drown up north, because of superstition."

    And all the while she spoke, she salvaged. A rope was bundled around her shoulder; she slipped a dagger into her boot; some odd-shaped stones and sticks were scooped up near a dead man's body, and then a lantern that had not been shattered. "But I guess you're good luck, right? Perhaps the Sea won't be angered if we save a few of these poor bastards."

    Her sentence ended with a little gasp, signifying that she had seen something she recognised. Dashing forward past Relkin, she came down and seized a small, leather bundle half-buried in the sand. It was no larger than a purse - the kind of rollsack a craftsman might keep.

    Stuffing it into a pocket on her her belt, she smiled over her shoulder at the cleric. "My name's Vale. Like the space between mountains."

    Asmodeus threw 20-faced die for: Conceal Thieves Tools Total: 6 $dice
  5. She had hired herself onto the crew as an insurance against pirate or monster attack - a living canon. The young spellcaster had actually seemed surprisingly dainty, all things considered - a result of her noble upbringing. She always seemed pleased to tell others about her training at the war college, or the results of her magic. It was considered idle boasting for most of the trip - a tall tale to amuse the sailors. She did this very well - a sense of humor and a resilience to the barbs of the crew and a clever tongue in return.

    When the storm hit, she had been above deck with the rest of the crew. With snaps of her fingers, she lit the lanterns with supernatural light, allowing some small comfort from the storm. As the wave rose to loom over them, the roar of water nearly deafening - Shiela's roar matched it. Orb after orb of fire launched from her hands as the panicked mage relieved herself of spells in some vain attempt to lessen the monster wave closing in upon them. Salt water mixed with tears as she realized how fruitless it has been - the wind was knocked out of her as she was swept off the ship and pulled under. In the darkness, bereft of power, she could do nothing but swim - though she did not know the way. She continued to swim until her lungs burned, never finding the surface. With a muffled scream, she blacked out.

    In her unconscious mind, the mumbles of her parents' friends haunted her: "What scandal." "No academy will take her." "The Arctica family has lost it's touch." Her eyes opened to a ruin - her home. Her limbs were heavy, and she could barely move as she ran through the dessicated halls she grew up in. At each door, her family members stood - closing them before she could get close. Shadows crept behind her, reaching forward... and as the last door closed, their speed tripled - and she felt their icy clutch upon her heart as they caught her...

    ...She coughed, opening her eyes. The sea lapped against her feet, and she groaned, feeling herself retch. She gets to her hands and knees just in time to vomit all over the beach. Salt and sand covered one side of her face as her body purged itself, quickly becoming painful as she willed it to stop - but on it went. When she finally had enough, her arms wobbled in a vague attempt to keep her up, seaweed clinging to her hair. She crawled up the surf, flipping over onto the sand and regretting the action - she must have been laying there for a while, as the sizzle on the back of her neck and head alerted her to a painful sunburn.

    She lay, willing herself not to weep. She shivered again and again as her mind reminded herself of her futility. She forces herself to sit up, catching her balance before the movement forces her down again. In her blurred vision, she noticed the blue steepled hat he was given as a gift. She crawls over, happy to have even the smallest degree of luck - she picks it up, as an angry crab drops out of her, snapping at her and scuttling away. In frustration, she screams at it - followed very shortly by a sob, slamming her wide-brimmed hat atop her head, quickly becoming awash with seawater. She sits there for a few more moments before rising to her feet.

    As she looks around, the skeletal remains of the ship sits there like a beached whale stripped of flesh. Her heart leaps as she staggers to her feet... It takes a while for her to get momentum, but at the end of it she's sprinting to the wreckage, waving her arm above her head. She croaks out a few attempt, before succeeding at a "H-hey... hey!"
  6. [​IMG]

    It was a loud caw that woke Henry.

    Eyes still shut, the man began retching onto the sand. Mixed into the salt water he swallowed, were the remains of his dinner, a yellow colored runny slop. It used to be porridge; quite frankly he wasn't sure if the sea gulls gliding above him would want it. Henry wasn't inclined to find out.

    Still heaving, he crawled further into the beach with his elbows and knees. The waves were trying to take him back into the sea, and Henry was not having any of that. Feebly he opened his eyes, seeing the beach covered with sea weed, the ship's debris and bodies. Lots of bodies.

    He averted his eyes from a corpse who was impaled on a mast.

    A familiar looking lump caught his eyes. Henry coughed and crawled towards it, nearly crying out at how heavy he felt. It was a backpack and after fluttering though its contents he recognized it as his. He gave it a weak pat and struggled to his feet. The beach scene spun momentarily before the stench of salt water and rotting meat overcame him. Once more Henry emptied his stomach but nothing came out but bile. Luckily a large boulder was nearby and Henry leaned his poor body against it. While he heard voices on the beach, his throat was far too hoarse for him to shout. He hoped they would come looking for him from the sounds of his retching.
  7. Felix awoke at first only aware that he was in fact alive. Then his body heaved and he heaved up salt water and the dissolved bits of what he had last eaten. Mmm slop stew. There was a rushing sound in his ears as wiped his mouth and tried lifting himself from the sand, his body was sore and he was certain he had smacked against the large boulder near him. When he looked around he saw the rushing sound was coming from the waves and that there were bits of timber here and there along the shore with some survivors and the remains of those less fortunate. Hearing retching sound, Felix continued to get back onto his feet using the boulder as support. He heard another retch as he was making his way around the boulder and came to see another survivor maybe worse for wear than he was. He made eye contact with him and the only greeting he gave was hard breathing, and the half-stunned awareness of their situation.

    Looking up again he saw the other survivors starting to come together. He brought his attention to the survivor he was sharing the boulder with, he had seen him here and there on the ship and as far as he could remember he wasn't an asshole. Felix extended his hand to the man, he had to clear his throat before saying "Need a hand?"
    #7 Effort, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  8. It's the sound of the sea that rouses him, just as it has been since he first made the regrettable decision to sign on to the Aether Wing.

    Someone who has lived amidst trees and woodland his entire life is not overly used to bodies of water any larger than a lake. And the sea is most certainly not befitting of that description; swirling, shifting, pulsating, noisy and alive. Alive and seemingly rather irritated by the combinations of wood lashed together by mortal races in an attempt to cross her.

    For days, Castellan had been fearing that something would happen to the ship. And now, as he slowly opens his eyes to stare up into the empty sky, as he feels salt water and sand clogging his clothing, his boots, his hair, he realises that his fears have been well-founded. With a groan, he slowly pulls himself into a sitting position. Scattered debris from the ship are all around the beach, and not too far from him he can see a small cluster of survivors.

    At least he's not the only one to make it out alive, he muses.

    There are plenty of shining examples to the contrary, with bodies of the dead crewmen scattered across the beach. Nearby he can hear one of the survivors emptying the contents of his stomach at the sight, and he can't be overly critical of the fellow; this isn't exactly a pretty sight to wake up to. With care, in case of any injuries, he gets himself back on his feet and walks a few feet forwards to a raised portion of the beach in order to gain a better view of the region they have wound up in.

    So... I suppose it would be overly optimistic to ask if anyone has a map?”
  9. "Then I am glad to have already been rejected once." He smirked and wandered the beach. An ear was dedicated to the white carrara and the other was offered to the environment. Her chatter was received by a legitimate smile and a shaking of his head. "I wouldn't count on it, for you. Doing the right things, just to avoid death, doesn't always keep life from swallowing you whole." He spoke in an honest, matter of fact tone. When she rushed by, his eyes followed. He was curious as to what she found. Probably her things, no doubt. A head tilt was the best efffort the cleric wanted to give. No dice on seeing the treasure. "Vale?" He nodded, committing the name to memory. "Cleric Relkin Kebel, of Heironeous." Rel sounded rather proud of his title. "Nice to meet you...even in these unfortunate circumstances. Next time, I plan on meeting new friends over a pint."

    A chuckle escaped, as he heard something. It sounded like a scream. His head turned and seen another crew member up and about. This was a lot more familiar, as they both followed the great Heironeous. "Sheila!" He called back, as a bit of excitement entered his voice. She had made most of his sermons and it was always easy to get along with those who believed in him. If he didn't make any other friends on these trips, Sheila and he would have that divine connection going for them. Rel waved. "Three." He smirked at the talkative rogue.

    Then the sound of projectile vomiting rode the wind around his head. That was....a horrible thing to hear. The poor bastard must have swallowed to much seawater. He decided that the monk and he could make their way over, once they were ready. "Six." He was about to answer the elf, when a light shined in his eyes. The chest. His chest. "Right, I am going to check my things and then we will see if there isn't drinkable water around." With that, the cleric sort of hop-stepped to his stored possessions. Hopefully, everything was perfectly intact. They were. Armor, weapon, and shield were all fine. "By the will of Heironeous..." He whispered to himself.
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