MAIN STORY The Seed of Life

Discussion in 'THE ASCENDER CHRONICLES' started by Effervescent, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. Trynten Lothorsen
    the Path of Wyn's Kidnappers
    the Druid's Woods

    Hand on hilt, Tryn whirled at Charlie's approach, ready to meet the perceived threat with decisive force. But the tension bled from him when he laid eyes on the young man, and he cursed quietly.

    "We're in foreign, hostile territory, Charlie; keep your voice down." He frowned, examining the path before them. Hopefully they were far back enough from Wyn's kidnappers that they weren't heard. Gesturing to the rag, he pointed into the trees, away from the crashed airship. "I left this to let the main search party know where we came. There needs to be an advance scout, so that's what I'm doing.

    "I. Alone. Scouting with more than one is dangerous." The woodsman frowned, examining Charlie's form with critique. "You took a good knock to the head; you need to stay with the Skadrad. And where's the Seed? Isn't that your charge?"

  2. [​IMG]

    The Druids moved across the woodland without much disturbance in brush or sound, and were they not moving they would have blended in too well with the lush foliage and dappled tree bark. They barely gave Wynleth or the orc a glance but kept their spears close to their ribs. The orc, named Krat, looked over to Wynleth, his expression denoting more annoyance than fear.

    “Can they understand our common speak?” he asked. “Or should we devise a plan to free ourselves?”

    If they could understand, they did not reveal it. There was only a forceful poke to Krat’s side in an effort to silence him. A group of Druids broke off to the left and doubled back into the woods, headed in the direction they came. The woman who had first made commands finally looked back at their captors and spoke once again in Old Elvish.

    “Your people will join you soon,” she said. “Then we can begin the cleansing.”

    @Elle Joyner

    Wynleth had expertly laid a path for Trynten to follow, the distance closing with each step he took. And as he spoke to Charlie, he would find the tip of a spear nudge at his side. It was at this very moment Hal and a few of the Skadrad’s crew approached, Hal wearing a grin of relief as he found his friends were also there to help find Wynleth. At the angle they approached, the elves could not be seen, and had they waited a second or two longer Trynten might have been able to warn them.

    The Druids emerged from the brush and trees seamlessly and gracefully revealing themselves, weapons at the ready as they surrounded the group. There was a moment where one could see the orcs calculating the risks in engaging in combat, their stances shifting subtly as they counted the surrounding elves in their mud and furs. Though they carried with them crude looking spears with feathers or teeth or little stones dangling from them in ornamentation, it was known these elves carried the attunement of Earth, which made them formidable even unarmed.

    Hal, holding his hands in the air in mock surrender, looked to Trynten and Charlie in hopes they would do the same and encourage the orcs to follow suit. If the Druids were going to kill them, they would have done it already. Perhaps this was their chance to find Wynleth a bit more quickly, and their lack of sudden death felt promising that maybe she, too, had not suffered such a fate just yet.

    The orcs relaxed their stances prompting the Druids forward to herd their captives. Hal complied without a fuss warranting few pokes from spears to urge him forward. They eventually ended their journey in a seemingly generic looking woodland covered in brush and brambles and bushes. As other elves emerged from the flora, it was evident this was their home, and the dense foliage their shelter.
    His heart nearly leapt out of his chest as he saw Wynleth a stone’s throw away in the process of being tied to a tree along with Krat. It seemed as though they all were going to be handled in the same fashion. The elves called out orders in their old tongue and pointed to trees in which each person would eventually be tied to. Other Druids gathered various nicknacks and assortments of trinkets. Bones were placed on stones before each person. They used their attunement to weave ivey about their frames or roots around their feet. A few took away any blades they saw affixed to a person. Hal did not wish to relinquish his sword, nor did the orcs feel keen on letting their own blades rest in the hands of the druids.

    “Better think of your escape, humans,” one of the orcs grumbled as he struggled against a Druid attempting to take his axe. “There is about ten seconds before I get pissed.”

    @Red Thunder @CloudyBlueDay @Elle Joyner

    Iballat was a man of simple sentiments that made him somewhat annoying to Vi. The elf carried nothing on him but scars as memoirs of his past which told a tale of a man without ties that only added to his aloof demeanor. His Maldviri mentor took care to find a place for Charlie’s rattle to stay safe and protected should anything else jostle the ship, and even took down from his own pillow to cushion the ceramic toy in its box. Despite Vi’s lack of care for such things, he did not tell Iballat to abandon the task, and rather waited for its completion with patience and silence as he looked out at the lopsided trees from the window.

    “What a conflict we face,” said Iballat as he carefully closed the dresser drawer. “Two groups in need of protection. It seems we will need to split up.”

    “They can all handle themselves,” Vi said. “And if they can’t then let natural selection take its course.”

    “Your time away from your lessons is showing,” Iballat said with a shake of his head. “You grow so cold when you go off on your own. How is your connection with your Inner Light?”

    They began their trek out of the Skadrad with a bit of a struggle by either falling into walls or jumping up to catch corners until they could reach a point where they could exit and slide off the side. Vi didn’t want to answer Iballat’s question, evident in his silence the Maldviri did not press. They both knew the elf took bonds as a weakness and one he could not help himself to, for even in his cold demeanor he still stood dutifully beside a man that annoyed him to some degree. It was because Iballat was his friend, though he may never admit to it. Iballat did not need to hear it, for he knew it, too. And to that, this was likely the true reason why Vi did not wish to split up.

    While the crew of the Skadrad began to repair what they could, Inara emerged from the woods and approached Tza’Hal with a walking stick of bright white wood. Tza’Hal called out to the captain who even with his apparent annoyance to their situation still regarded her with respect both in demeanor and in tone of voice.

    “The giddy one recruited some of my crew to go and hunt for the blonde and Krat,” he explained. “That affords them all some extra time to get everyone and get supplies for repairs and come back. We can’t leave without repairing the coils to secure the boyant. I give them three days before I assume they’re dead and send others to get what we need.”

    The captain sighed in exasperation, eyes rolling as he massaged his temples. “Understand that this is not only a disaster for my business, but a political nightmare as well,” he continued, and looked at Tza’Hal and Inara with severity. “We’ve destroyed a part of these damned barbarians’ sacred ground, and preserving these woods is one of the few things keeping the Druids from being at war with Dradmida. Flying through their airspace is illegal, and I made the call because I thought we could make it to the next skyport. It’s the closest one… And I’ve done it before. So do yourself a favor and don’t make it known you’re part of this mess.”

    @Doctor Jax @rissa
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  3. [​IMG]

    Leaving a trail without making it obvious was not an easy task, but if there was one thing in life Wynleth excelled at, it was tracking. She knew what to look for, and in this, knew what clues to leave. Even still, she wasn't doubtful rescue would come. Hal was a capable man in many ways, Inara was attuned to the earth and Charlie was a determined soul, sometimes to his own detriment. Even Tza and Tryn, who had sustained injuries were still sturdy as they could be in their conditions. And where they were limited, there was a mess of orcs who would undoubtedly not take kindly to one of their own being taken. Not to mention Vi and Iballat, both skilled in their magic and not likely to stand idly by…

    What worried her was the increasing frustration in the orc captured with her, his words gathering the ire of the strange natives, who seemed all too keen to keep him silent. She understood the language, but speaking it was another story, and she didn't imagine there would be much use in trying to reason with them, as it was. So as quietly and inconspicuously as possible, she continued to leave her trail, anxiety keeping her alert.

    Before long, they arrived at an encampment and the orc spoke again, suggesting they devise an escape. The reaction of their captors gave little indication of whether they understood what was said or not, but the sharp jab to her companion’s side indicated perhaps it didn't matter either way. Escape would not be easy, but if she could manage to use her powers, even just as a distraction…

    Before she could formulate so much as a thought of a plan, she was being nudged towards a tree, a frown finding her features as she went along, compliantly. It would be much more difficult if she was bound, particularly since, for however primitive they seemed, they didn’t appear the sort to exercise delicacy.

    The Druid before her divested Wyn of her weapons, and as her brother's sword was pulled free from its sheath, Wyn grimaced, “Careful…” She muttered, to little avail.

    As she fell quiet again, there was a sudden commotion and looking up, Wyn felt her heart sink at the sight of the others, being led into the camp as well. Her eyes moved to find Hal and the breath left her lungs in a whispered, “No…”, as sudden tears sprang to life.

    Escape wasn’t just an option to pursue, now… It was a necessity.

    TAGS || @Doctor Jax, @Effervescent, @rissa, @Red Thunder
    #143 Elle Joyner, Sep 11, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
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    A disheartened look came upon Charlie’s face and Tryn’s harsh words, one that morphed into hotness. “You! Alone!” Charlie echoed with a higher tone, one of mocking and anger. “You’re the one that nearly got ripped to shreds! I’m the one who bumped his head!” Charlie balled his fists at his sides. His cheeks were getting increasingly red. “I can take care of the Seed fine. Can you take care of yourself?” Charlie did not mean these words as harshly as they came out. He was as hot as his attunement, especially in the face, and he would have stomped off if there was anywhere to go.

    The rustle in the brush made him jump, but after the initial flinch and putting his palm in front of him, Charlie looked relieved to see Hal. “Hal, tell Tryn that I-”

    From the thick of the woods came the Druids, and Charlie swallowed his words when the point of a spear poked him in the back. A helpless noise came from the boy as he watched Hal raise his hands, and his eyes urging Charlie to do the same. This is what happened to Wyn. A feeling of heaviness dawned upon him, but the fear seemed delayed. He slowly raised his hands.

    He was eerily silent for the trek to the Druid’s base. He kept on thinking about the Seed. Maybe Tryn was right. He should’ve stayed behind to protect the Seed. What can I do. What can I do? Fight? Tza would be pleased but he couldn’t make a mistake. What about Wyn? Was she okay? What about Hal and Tryn, would they be okay? Where were Tza and Inara? He should have thought about this! Why didn’t I think about this!

    Charlie’s eyes widened when he saw Wyn. He felt his breath hitch and he finally realized the amount of danger they were in. Something about their tongue was familiar to him, and as he listened closer, he found he recognized it. Elder Lannya had taught it to him. She always seemed pensive when she spoke of things beyond Eversyth to Charlie. Especially Old Elvish. There was a particular emphasis on the words cleansing and ritual in her teachings, but Charlie thought nothing of it.

    He muttered a few words of protest, but they were so soft that the druids did not consider it a fuss. As he was bound to the tree, Charlie struggled to remember something to say in response to this. But even in common speak he had nothing to say.

    A druid approached as the ivy wove its way across him, eyeing the bag. “N-no!” Charlie announced, squirming. He attempted to tell the druid in old elvish not to touch the bag, but perhaps his lessons were not as fresh in his mind as they were at age fifteen. He spared a glance to Wyn and Hal. They seemed strangely docile. Were they giving up?

    No, no. They couldn't be. Hal and Wyn were not giving up. This was a play. Charlie slowed in his squirming until he came to an eventual stop. He let the druid take the bag, and promised himself he would get it back at all costs. He focused on the vines that dug into his palms and wrist. I need to get out.

    As discreetly as possible, he willed the tiniest of flames to ignite in the palm of his hand and began to burn through the ivy. He failed to ask himself what he would do after he was free from the binding.

    @Elle Joyner @Effervescent @Red Thunder
    #144 CloudyBlueDay, Sep 12, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  5. Trynten Lothorsen
    the Druid Village

    Oh, so we're doing this now.

    Quiet. Subtlety. Solitude. These were imperative to successfully tracking anything, especially a group as large as what Wyn's captors was, and it was bad enough that Charlie was raising such hell. It was admirable, to be sure, that the young half-elf wanted to help. But the well intentioned fool needed to stay with the main group that would inevitably follow. Better yet, he should stay at the Skadrad with whomever remained and keep the damn Seed safe. Tryn opened his mouth to reiterate the point.

    The sharp prod in his side convinced him that doing so was rather unnecessary at that point. The woodsman's lip raised in a snarl, but his hands raised as well, careful to keep his hands from his sword. Damn. However, perhaps the hostiles would be so preoccupied with Charlie and himself that any pursuing party from the air barge might slip past or even better get the jump on-

    Tryn's lip raised further, baring his teeth in frustrated aggression. Hal had emerged from the undergrowth looking rather enthused to see the pair of would be scouts. That orcs that he had in tow seemed to have little regard for stealth, and it didn't take long for the Druids to take advantage. Nor did it take them long to herd everyone to their village.

    A particularly surly elf took Tryn's arm and pushed him forward, spinning him expertly to place the woodsman's back against the tree to which he'd been led. Hands still raised in the promise of compliance, Tryn felt thick strands wrapping themselves about his feet. The tree's roots seemed to have taken on a life of their own, and soon he was quite literally rooted into place. There was a tug as his waist; the elf had pulled free from its sheath Tryn's ill-gotten sword. He frowned in response, but his own action was limited.

    But his friend's was not, apparently. Eyes downcast as ever they were to avoid meeting those of others, Tryn spotted Charlie's magic at work. He gritted his teeth; fire utilized near a sacred tree would likely not be well appreciated. Yet the half-elf was clearly not allowing their captors to hold the advantage for long. Fire would be sure to draw their attention, so he'd need to draw it first.

    "Hey, you pointy eared bastard!" He screamed at the elf who'd just relieved him of his weapon, pulling an arm free from the creeping vines and reaching aggressively for the sword. Hopefully he'd make enough of a scene. But his eyes remained downcast; better to not touch that option as yet.

    @Effervescent @CloudyBlueDay @Elle Joyner
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  6. Tza'Hal Aggraf

    Tza'hal rubbed the bridge of her nose, her fingers massaging the ridges as she closed her eyes and tried to think of a solution to their problem. So Charlie and possibly Tryn and Hal had decided to find Wyn -- Fine. That would be the best way to split resources, by having a search party of the most able (though one of them had a concussion, the other had half his face split open, and the third was plain lovesick) while Tza'Hal, the least mobile, could work on something dealing with the ship.

    Of course, the problem being now was that they had to figure out how to get to town, get supplies, and get the ship up and running in a few days without being noticed. A fight with Dradmida's court of law would do them no favors, especially given the fact that they were running out of time. The easiest thing to do would be to try and fix the boyant with what they had on hand, if at all possible, before setting out, and from there searching for the rest of the party discretely. No one in the airspace meant no one was monitoring within the airspace, either.

    "Inara, I believe our efforts are best spent trying to help the engineer find what they need. Perhaps there is something here in the forest we can use to either prop or fix the boyant. Your knowledge of forestry outstrips mine, so I defer to your judgment," Tza'Hal begrudgingly stated. "We must leave the search for Wyn and Krat to the boys. If they run into trouble, we won't be much help as we are anyways."

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  7. Inara Belanor
    Glancing up at the sound of her name, Inara stood, wiped the dirt from her hands and stalked forward. Her head wound made her a bit light headed and the use of magic caused a dull throb around her temples. It had taken too much effort, perhaps, to do something she normally had no issue doing. Inara glanced at the handiwork behind her and smiled sadly. Not much could be done alone, but she offered the injured ecosystem of Dradmida what she could.

    Furrowing her brows as she listened to Tza, she couldn’t help but feel doubtful. But the grizzled orc knew more about these machines than she ever would, so she turned to the captain and poised her concerns.

    “Do you think there’s anything I can do to aid in repairments? I’m attuned to earth magic and I’m willing to help if you desire it.” Glancing back at Tza’Hal and then to Iballat and Vi, and then again to the forest path, Inara felt her stomach tighten with doubt and unease. “Perhaps…”

    They needed to go after their friends… She didn’t know why, for they were all capable of defending themselves, but she had an all too familiar falling sensation. The Skadrad’s descent was still on her mind and while she was happy to be back on the ground once again, she wished her reunion was on better terms.

    “I think we should go after them though, perhaps once I’m finished we could go look…”

    @Doctor Jax @Effervescent
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  8. [​IMG]

    Hal Midigan

    The tension in their capture and surrender was halted suddenly as every Druid began to wail and cry out as if in pain. They screamed of heat and fire that burned, yet they had not been set ablaze. The orcs looks taken by surprise and looked to the elves of the group for explanation.

    “Hey,” Trynten yelled to the Druid before him, “you pointy eared bastard!”

    Their pain began to manifest in anger as the elves adorned a different stance. Their cries became more uniform, echoing through the forest that generated palpable unease. But instead of feeling fear, the orcs felt elated, smirks widening to brandish their teeth as they looked to each other and agreed within that very brief moment: this was their cue.

    With a back-handed swoop of her arm, one of the orcs initiated retaliation, her hand colliding with the nearest Druid with such force it caused him to briefly become airborne and smacked into the tree where Charlie was being rooted. He could smell the burning and see the flecks of ash fall from where vines used to tangle around the half-elf.

    “HYBRID SCUM!” cried the Druid, and he grabbed the elf that had been manipulating the vines with her magic, tears streaming down her muddy face as she screamed about the burning.

    The orcs had taken to a brawl against the Druids who proved to be a more formidable foe than they had anticipated. Their attunement to Earth allowed them to raise the rocks from the soil to make the ground more uneven, often tripping up their larger opponents forcing them to improvise creatively on their advance. Without their focus on the vines, it was a lot easier to break free from them and join in on the fight or rush away from it.

    Hal watched as Krat flexed his pectorals, ripping himself from the confines of the vines with ease and grabbing a Druid by the throat. He tried his own pectoral flexing and ended up only frustratingly squirming himself free instead. Free was free no matter how graceless, and he cupped his hands over his mouth to call out to the others.

    “Come on! Let's go!”

    With his own motion of his hand, he ushered his friends to make their way out of the scene. Their weapons had been cast aside by the Druids in favor of freeing their casting hands in the attack. The orcs not only used the discarded weapons, but even threw rocks and sticks at the Druids while laughing, almost as if they viewed the fight like a game. Hal did not share the sentiment, heart racing as he rushed forward to retrieve his sword just as a rock the size of his torso slid forward and knocked him off his feet.

    It was a chaotic commotion, and the orcs’ disrespectful nature towards the Druids only fueled their anger further. The group would find themselves with the option to fight or run once they freed themselves from the vines. Whatever they chose, the Druids aimed to kill, and so whoever opposed them would need to be willing to do the same.

    Feel free to collab or solo post! Your characters are free to remove the vines and retrieve their weapons and help others. I'll leave it to Red whether or not he wants to trigger Trynten based on the events! Feel free to also roleplay encounters with Druid NPC cannon fodder for your characters to go up against! Just don't roleplay their leader being the one.

    But...where is the bag? It's on a Druid. Good luck!

    @Red Thunder @CloudyBlueDay @Elle Joyner

    Djavi Nam Abil

    Screams echoed from the woods that merged with the squawks of a flock of birds as they rushed into the sky in a flutter. Vi scanned through the trees into the dense white forest, the curl of the bark glittering faintly in a wave. “That does not sound good,” Iballat said thoughtfully before walking over to Tza’Hal and Inara. Vi did not initially follow after his mentor as he fixated on his senses. Inner Lighted welled like a dim light within him, but enough to feel the anger in the air.

    The orcs that had stayed behind to do as much of the repairs as they could paused at the eerie sound. It came in the direction of the trail the others had followed, and despite their lack of magic they could surmise well enough. Thoughtful glances were exchanged in silence before returning to their duties a little more on edge. Vi could hear one of them mutter, “I never get to be part of anything fun.”

    “Something has upset the Druids, it seems,” Iballat said as he looked to Tza’Hal and Inara.

    “Knowing the orcs,” Vi said as he approached, “there's likely already a fight in progress.”

    “There's a lot of controversy in attacking the Druids,” Iballat explained. “The orcs may not care, but I do. Please, if you come, try not to kill them unless you have no other choice.”

    While Iballat’s compassion and concern for the Druids was evident, so too was the evidence that Vi did not share the same feelings. His lips pursed as he looked between Inara and Tza’Hal, eyes half lidded and threatening to roll were it not for his quick turn to rush into the woods. He had no intention of meandering next to the injured orc to arrive at her pace. It caused a sigh to flow from Iballat’s chest in a heavy heave.

    “Would you like a piggy back?” he offered Tza’Hal. “I'm a steadfast steed. And I'm stronger than I look, if I do say so. You two were aiming to go in, yes?”

    All the action is in the woods! If Tza chooses to ride on Iballat's back to the scene, you're more than welcome to say he did so and have him set her down at the scene after a jumpy ride! If they run, they can get to the scene quick enough to help out!

    @Doctor Jax @rissa
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  9. [​IMG]

    Charlie. Blessed Charlie. The poor kid probably had no idea when he started burning at the vines that it would have the effect it did, but that was the beauty in Charlie, truly. He found a way, even when he wasn't looking for one. When the chaos erupted around them, Wyn wasted no time in struggling against her own bindings. A small blast of ice was enough to make the vine rigid and a snap of her arm splintered it to pieces. She was free, and the others, it seemed were managing as well, but there was one factor in the mess that cold not be overlooked...

    The Seed was in the hands of the Druids, and they needed to get it back, or their escape would be worth nothing. Her eyes scanned through the madness, searching, for the familiar tattered sack. She inhaled sharply when, at last, she spotted it, slung across the back of one of their assailants. Racing forward, she zigzagged between orcs and druids alike, leaping deftly over the craggy earth until she was within range. There, skidding to a halt, she crouched down, firing a blast of ice at the woman's feet. The woman gave a cry and a jerk as her momentum brought her into a forward pitch and Wyn straightened and started towards her when she heard Hal's voice call out among the cacophony.

    Canting her head back towards him, she saw just in time as the rock collided, tossing him off his feet. Crying out, she froze, and heart pounding, skimmed the crowd until a familiar form popped out to her, "Charlie!" She called, desperately, gesturing to the woman whose was chipping madly at the ice block around her ankles, "Charlie, the bag!" Hoping, praying that he heard... that he understood, she tore off back the way she had come, narrowly avoiding rocks and sticks and swinging arms and legs, collapsing beside the man.

    "Hal! Are you alright??"

    TAGS || @Doctor Jax, @Effervescent, @rissa, @Red Thunder, @CloudyBlueDay
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    The sudden cries of pain made Charlie flinch. He continued to burn through, not even realizing the relation, watching with wild eyes as the druids convulsed with unanimous suffering. He couldn’t tear himself away from the task. He had to get the Seed. His one and only duty; his only purpose on this entire journey. He had let it slip through his fingers and he had to get it back.

    Somewhere in the back of his mind it dawned on Charlie that he had caused the sudden pandemonium, but the brand new mess that erupted distracted him from that brilliant deduction. Just as he had burnt through the vines, a druid was flung into the tree that had trapped him. Charlie ducked out of the way, panting and gasping. Earth was being pulled up and thrown around in every direction and in the midst of it all he felt at an absolute loss. It was chaos. He couldn’t see the Seed and he didn’t know where to look, much less —

    “HYBRID SCUM!” The cry was fierce, thrown in a fit of rage and pain. Charlie was shocked, mouth falling open as he jerked his head to the aggressor as he shook a fellow elf. Tears streamed down her face. Charlie could not imagine how much pain she was in, and suddenly it clicked.

    I didn’t.. I didn’t mean too…

    Another voice. Familiar, comforting.. Wyn. Wetness brimmed in his eyes but he forced it away, the shock of it all threatening to overtake him. The bag. The seed. He suddenly saw what she was gesturing towards; a druid, feet encased in ice, his bag slung upon her shoulder.

    He couldn’t think of any other way to avoid the two in front of him, and scrambling away with his breath caught in his throat, Charlie brought his palm up and let a blast of heat erupt from it. It was short, but it was enough to harm those who stood against him, and leave him just as scarred. He struggled to his feet, not allowing himself to look back, his sight locked on the druid that had his bag in tow.

    Poking out of the bag he could see the bone that the dragon had so graciously bestowed on Charlie, and an idea popped into his head. In between the mess of flying hands, attunements and weapons, Charlie ran, shielding his face with his arm and praying that no one would come after him.

    With one fell swoop while the druid was focused on chipping herself out of the ice, he yanked the bone from the bag and readied it like a baseball club. The druid’s attention snapped to the half-elf, but it was too late.

    He had nothing to announce, and was gnawing on his lip hard to just to keep himself from bursting into tears as he swung.

    Her form collapsed and he grabbed the bag from her limp body, running to Hal and Wyn, covered in dirt and grime and now, most definitely tears.

    “C-can we go?” He choked out, clutching the bag in one hand and the bone in another, blood spattered against it.
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  11. Tza'Hal Aggraf

    Tza'Hal stared off into the woods with a look of trepidation as the screams echoed. The bark on the trees seemed to shimmer in sympathy with the cries that echoed, and her heart thudded behind her eyes as she wondered if, in that maelstrom of screams, her party were the source of such a chorus. However, her mind quickly dispelled this idea as she realized that the forest would not react so to the passing of her companions, but rather it was the druids which had drawn such a sudden stream of screeching from the trees. Her jaw bunched with muscle as she gritted her teeth.

    She could not let her bloodlust get away from her this time. Dead Druids would put them at odds with Dradmida, possibly causing a war. It was unfortunate her Old Elvish had never got a chance for a polish, seeing as there was little chance the Druids would know the Common Tongue. No, intimidation was perhaps the only way to impress upon them that their companions had to be released, but killing may not be necessary.

    To her surprise, the two strangers that had joined their party approached, and she warily listened to the dark-skinned one's suggestions. He seemed to care for the druids as well, if in a more moralistic fashion than Tza's practical mind. However, at the mention of a piggy back into the forest, she snorted rather raucously with displeasure, almost offended by the offer. She was not an elderly woman, to be carried about like a frail bird! She was an orc! A warr--

    Well... perhaps not quite. What was it that her masters had beat into her through their patience? Humility?

    With a grumble as she realized that she would not be near fast enough to rejoin her party, she hopped aboard. It was an extraordinarily odd feeling, that was for sure. It was a rare moment that someone was able to lift the heavy orc into the air, but Iballat proved his words right. He was a noble, sturdy steed, for all intents and purposes, and for once the orc felt no pain in her leg, with surprise. She did not so much appreciate the sense of unsteadiness, whatsoever, of the quick loping run towards the commotion.

    She quickly tapped on his shoulder to let her down, quickly surveying the scene and waiting for Inara and Djavi before making another move. The orcs and the druids were going at it, the orcs not one to back down from a fight, and Tza'Hal recognized that she needed to be somewhat more thoughtful here and now. It would not do to have a political fight on their hands, but it was probably too late.

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  12. Inara Belanor

    Breathing through her nose as she ran, Inara fell behind Vi and his long strides and Iballat who, miraculously, carried the grizzled orc upon his back. She hadn’t expected Tza’s concurrence to the offer, but she was relieved nonetheless. Inara had to believe that together, friends both new and old, they had a chance against any foe. Still, something nagged at her. And it intensified as they grew ever near the shrieking. Acting on instinct, Inara slowed her gait and strayed from the path, letting her magic guide her instead.

    She continued on, not far from the path and allowed herself to be submersed with her connection to flora. Inara held her bow loosely in her hand, having retrieved her quiver and bag as well before taking off, and she hoped, like Iballat, that she didn’t have to use it. Not that she was hesitant to defend and fight for her friends and the orc crew members, but she… understood. These were their woods, their home, and they disrespected them by decimating a portion of it.

    There was a line however, that Inara hoped the Druids didn’t cross, like hurting her friends… because if they forced her hand, she’d have no choice but to act.

    Sooner rather than later shrieks became shouts of anger and curiously, Inara crept on, all of her senses straining. She felt the earth before she saw the brawl and slowly coming to a stop, Inara scanned the area as best she could. There! Dashing through the thick of it was Charlie, bag and bone in tow. Her eyes flashed away, drawn to a blonde elf that she mistakenly thought was Wyn. A glance later she realized her mistake and sought after Charlie once more. Smiling hopefully, she realized Charlie was running towards both Hal and Wyn. That only left Tryn unaccounted for.

    Inara inhaled deeply, gambling everything in the hopes that whatever distraction she could make would be enough for Hal and Wyn to get Charlie and the Seed to safety. Focusing, steadying herself, and calling to her magic, Inara slung her bow over her shoulder and started forward, manipulating a throng of vines to follow in her wake.

    “Stop this!” Inara shouted in Old Elvish, obviously directed towards the Druids, but her eyes flitted briefly to Wyn’s and they pleaded with her to run. “Brawling with the orcs is disrupting the forest further!”

    @Effervescent @Elle Joyner @Doctor Jax @CloudyBlueDay @Red Thunder
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  13. Trynten Lothorsen
    the Druid Camp

    If Hal looked unfortunate and awkward as he struggled to free himself from the arresting vines, he was not alone. Try’s ripped an arm free, scrapes appearing on it as the hard wood of the vine made purchase on his skin. His other limbs were extracted in short order, and finally he looked up. His eyes found chaos: Druidic elves fighting Orcs, Charlie sprinting off Maker knew where, and Wyn rushing to aid Hal. The latter two were fine in each other’s company, but it looked as though Charlie were beset upon by several rather grumpy looking Druids. The recent memory of his tactless words to the young half-elf filled his mind, and he rushed forward.

    But Charlie was capable and otherwise aided, blasting the first of his foes with some form of his fire magic and ripping the bag Wyn had identified from the she-elf’s hands. Some relief eased into his heart: his friends were alright.

    His attention was diverted, and he just ducked a swinging club aimed at his head. Spinning, Tryn’s eyes went wide with shock as the weapon was delivered again at his head, and his hands raised to catch it. The Druid bore down on him, displaying a frightening strength. Or perhaps the woodsman had lost some strength as his wounds had healed. At any rate, all he managed to do was hold the club above him, slowly giving way to it.

    The pressure was suddenly released, and blinking, Tryn shifted focus. The elf was on the ground, an orc standing above him, raining clenched fists down in obvious pleasure. Not waiting around to be another Druid’s target, Tryn looked about for the nearest ally he could find. Somehow in his confusion, he’d found himself closer to ... wait, when had Tza and the rest arrived? No matter; with them there was safety. He surged forward, stumbling in his eagerness. Again relief filled him, replacing a fear that had grown in his heart.

    “Are- are we all accounted for?” Inara’s call cut him off, and he stepped aside as vines erupted past. His eyebrows furrowed in concern as his hand reached to his side: the hell was his sword? This regularity of loss was becoming annoying. Perhaps they’d have spare on the ship. The ship. “Tza! Is the Skadrad ready to fly?”
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  14. Tete a Tete

    In the fray, Tza recognized Inara’s cry as Old Elvish, a dialect she had only ever read. She was surprised to find she could pick out a word or two, but she would in no way be able to speak it along with the elf. She hoped that the druids would take Inara’s words to heart. In the meantime, she did a headcount, trying to pick out the others while she held her staff out in warning towards any druids that might come near or send rocks flying her way.

    She saw Hal being attended to by Wyn some ways away, Charlie holding his ever-present satchel. There were three of their number, but where was the four--

    As if on cue, Tryn appeared near them, and she stated succinctly, “Yes, this is all of us. The Skadrad is still in no shape to fly, but we have worse problems. These are protected woods. The druids may declare war on Dradmida nearby if they think we’re at fault. We need to get out, and we need to get them to back off.”

    “They seem less than inclined to do so,” came the grumpy reply. Tryn looked on helplessly, feeling distinctly incapable of changing what seemed to be the path from its inevitable course. His eye fell on Charlie. “We had probably just make a break for it. If the Shadow takes over because we couldn’t get the Seed to the World Tree in time, political disputes will be the least of anyone’s worries.”

    That arrangement of priorities did, indeed, make the most sense at the moment. However, Tza’hal was aware that their current situation would bar them from leaving, not to mention the fact the druids would continue following them unless some sort of treaty was met.

    ”Krat! Get the others to retreat! We need to fall back to the Skadrad!” Tza’Hal called out in their native tongue, hoping that her brethren would choose a more high-minded path than pure violence. “Where are Charlie and the others?”

    She smacked a vine encroaching upon her space, becoming nervous as she realized that against so many other magic users, she would be of little help.

    The invading plant was only the first attack of what seemed like a particularly impetuous Druid, who followed swiftly after it. Perhaps he should have waited; between the combined combat abilities of Tza, Djavi, Iballat, and Tryn, a lonesome frontal attack wasn’t the smartest course. Already warned of the impending approach by the vine, Tryn turned to see a tall Elf run at his orc friend, brandishing a spear. Moving to intercept, he applied his fist to the enemy’s head with as much force as he could muster. The Elf fell sideways limply, his temple having taken the brunt, and the spear dropped to the ground. Shaking his hand to try to ease out the pain, the woodsman retrieved the wayward weapon.

    “I don’t know,” he grumbled, readying the spear against further attack. He gestured back into the throng. “Last I saw, they were trying to rally in that direction.”

    Tza grumbled under her breath something about “hobknocking magicians” making life difficult, but she quickly sobered.

    “First priority is the Seed -- you’re right. The sooner we get out, the better,” Tza said, glancing back at the other two - the Maldviri and the half breed - and deliberating. “We don’t have much time for decisions. Should we go fetch our compatriots without them?”

    “It would seem … if not wise, than at least expedient.” Tryn glanced at her with a wry smile, finding some humor despite the circumstance. “That looks to be our little group’s motto, after all: do what is right and damn the consequences?”

    The path to the trio was less thickly packed than before, the onslaught of Orcs having somewhat scattered the Druids marginally. Tryn glanced at Tza’s leg as he placed a hand to his still healing chest wounds.

    “A cripple monk and an injured woodsman. Can we make it alone, do you think?”

    It was no question of concern; there was none in his voice. Rather, it was one of assessment. He knew better than to pity Tza; he’d resented the small pities he’d himself received. Tza, to her credit, only scoffed slightly with a small, wicked smile crossing her face.

    “I should think we’ll manage,” Tza stated, beginning the forward trek at a surprising clip given her lame leg. “Just try to keep up! I’m not about to haul you back with me!”

    Smiling in what felt like a fair while, her companion hefted the spear and stalked after her, eyeing their foes and introducing them to the butt of his spear if they came too close.

    a collab with @Red Thunder
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  15. [​IMG]

    Hal Midigan

    The Druids were falling back by the efforts of the crew and their rag tag team. They were apt against unexpected odds and quick on their feet, but most importantly they were all willing to work together. With this, Hal had a moment to regain his orientation from the jolt and find his footing, and his sword, as Wynleth approached.

    “I’m alright,” he assured, resting his hand on her arm and giving it a reassuring squeeze. Behind her, a Druid began casting a spell, hands undulating through the air to call upon the earth below their feet. Hal stumbled a bit and saw another Druid rushing towards them with a spear. “Go after the caster! I’ll get this one!”

    Rushing as best he could given the shifting ground, his sword swung out to deter the spear from finding its target, and the two weapons crashed into the dirt giving Hal the opportunity to backhand the Druid’s jawline and thrust his blade into his torso.

    Charlie looked in a mess, bag in one hand and the giant bone in the other. “C-can we go?” he asked, the Druid collapsing from Hal’s blow as he turned to look at his friend with concern. He brought out a hand and placed it gently on his back to usher the half-elf away from the scene.

    “Let’s get the Seed back to the Skadrad,” he said, and looked over his shoulder at the others. They were still fighting, and Inara shouted over the chaos in that foreign tongue the Druids spoke in earlier. They seemed to take note of her, some glancing back to the Sur elf in hesitation as they listened.

    “Wynleth,” he called out, “let’s fall back!” Urging her to follow with a swoop of his hand, he turned back towards Charlie, patting him on the back as he took point. “Let’s go while they’re distracted. We can hold up in the Skadrad and let the others handle the supplies.”

    Djavi Nam Abil

    Inara’s words garnered enough of the Druids’ attention for them to think on their actions, but not enough to deter it. The orcs were focused on the attack, attempting to push the Druids back or kill them altogether. It wasn’t enough to call for retreat, especially when their leader spoke out.

    “She’s one of them!” their leader shouted in Old Elvish. “Pay her no heed! The trees demand their blood!”

    It took Tza’Hal to change the course of the Orcs’ actions. She called out to Krat for them to fall back to the Skadrad, and Krat gave a respectful nod as he slapped away a rock thrown at him. “Fall back!” he called out, and began pushing orcs away from their fights when they did not comply immediately.

    Trynten’s words incited a chuckle in Iballat. “Do what is right and damn the consequences,” he repeated, and then gave a knowing look over to Vi, who did not look back at him. Instead, he watched as Tza’Hal marched confidently across the scene in a hobble, Trynten at her side as they headed towards the other half of the group.

    “I like them,” Iballat said with an approving nod, and followed suit.

    The Druids were still out for blood, and so the Orcs found themselves in conflict. Krat and the others punched and kicked and deflected the onslaught, not exactly eager to turn tail and run. Vi took in a deep breath as he scanned over the battle, mind focusing on his Inner Light and how much he could conceivably conjure. Being a Dvadri, his kind was not keen on relinquishing their natural attunements, thereby weakening both natural and Inner Light through practice of both. The pool of Light within would never be as strong as Iballat’s potential.

    But in this moment, he was the only one capable of casting it. Iballat was still magically drained and recovering, and so the idea concocting in his mind would be his duty. They needed the Druids to fall back enough for an escape so that all could make it safely back to the Skadrad.

    He began to conjure a ball of light in his hand, allowing it to grow in brilliance. “Run or shield your eyes!” he called out as he ran towards the middle of the fray. Orcs, seeing the ball of light, turned away quickly in time for a sudden blast of light to fill the woods as Vi brought his hand down to collide with the earth.

    The light was enough to disorient those unfortunate enough to have looked directly at it, and it was enough to give way to a successful retreat towards the Skadrad.

    @Red Thunder @CloudyBlueDay @Elle Joyner @Doctor Jax @rissa
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  16. [​IMG]

    Grateful did not begin to cover the feeling Wyn had to find Hal in one piece. Her heart rate did not slow, however, as chaos reigned around them. Through the shouting and the tumultuous mess of orcs and elves and man, she could make out those of their party and a surge of anxiety crept over her like too warm a blanket. Hal called out to her again and she looked up to see the caster in question.

    Somehow, it felt different than the mess they had stumbled upon in Lauderdine... perhaps because, despite knowing that these elves would kill them without hesitation, without question... or worse, she also knew that they had been the ones to invade. They had encroached upon a private, sacred world in one of the most offensive fashions they could manage. And while survival was important, she loathed the thought of harming someone just to preserve her own safety.

    Nevertheless, she wouldn't let anyone she cared about get hurt, either, because she was afraid or apprehensive. Tryn, Inara and Tza, and Vi and Iballat were out there, too, and it was imperative they all got back to the ship, alright. Her hand shot out and from her fingers a spray of ice that encapsulated the caster's arms, locking the tightly together. They cried out, something in that language that Wyn could only partially understand, but she ignored it, looking to Hal instead, who was calling them to a retreat.

    And rightly so. They had done enough damage - it was time to recruit, to escape... To get back on their mission and remember exactly what it was they were supposed to be doing. Nodding, she spun away from her target, shielding her eyes from the brilliant incandescent glow of Vi's spell, and took off after Hal, catching up to him and Charlie with swift steps, "Is the Seed alright, Charlie?? They didn't hurt it?"

    TAGS || @Doctor Jax, @Effervescent, @rissa, @Red Thunder, @CloudyBlueDay
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  17. Trynten Lothorsen
    Tryn heard Vi’s warning; even above the chaos, it was somehow clear as crystal. Nevertheless, he couldn’t avert or even close him eyes. His momentum had been arrested by a particularly imposing elf, and the club he wielded now beat against the wooden haft of the spear with persistent weight. With every blow, Tryn felt his weapon give a little more, the small cracks giving way to larger ones. He frowned, his enemy’s strikes keeping him in a defensive posture that he couldn’t seem to break out of. Ah well; better him than Tza. The orc looked to have managed a few steps past and so was in a better position to aid their friends.

    The elf suddenly seized, body becoming tense as a blade point protruded from his chest in a spurt of blood. Not waiting to see who his rescuer was, the woodsman shut his eyes, managing somehow to avoid at least most of the brilliance that filtered through the area. Still he was left partially dazed, and when he opened his eyes, his vision was obscured by a huge dark spot where he’d seen the very onset of Vi’s spell.

    “Tza!” He yelled, casting about with his hand as he tried to see past the light blindness. “Let’s go! I don’t wish to linger while our friends retreat!”

    @Doctor Jax
    #157 Red Thunder, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  18. Tza'Hal Aggraf

    Tza was barely cognizant of Vi's forewarning, her attention purely spent on defending their route back. The other orcs had followed her advice and were headed back the way they had come, and once more Tza'Hal was extremely grateful for her commanding set of lungs and sergeant's bark. Most often, orcs only listened to the person with the loudest voice.

    However, while she was, indeed, distracted, she was not unaware that Vi had said something that vaguely sounded like a warning, and seeing the motions he was going through, she could guess what sort of magic was afoot. Probably something to control the crowd. Probably something I don't want to be in. Best to get out now.

    Her eyes darted over to Trynten and his struggle with a rather burly elf (well, burlier than the norm) before his opponent was run through with a sword. At that moment, she saw Vi's descent to the ground, and she swiftly turned her back, arms over her head. She'd never run fast enough to get out of range, but she could shield her face and head. To her relief, there was only a loud noise and a bright light that - even through closed eyes - left a slight afterimage, but other than that, there seemed no other ill effects.

    A distraction. Very handy, she realized quickly, and she turned back to look at Tryn.

    He must not have been so quick, nor so lucky. He was managing to go in the right direction, but his flailing hand spoke to the temporary blindness Vi had probably put upon him. Unable to hobble too terribly fast to help him, she instead stuck out her staff for him to grab onto, gently tapping the palm of his hand.

    "Here, grab hold!" Tza'Hal ordered sternly as she limped at a quick clip away from the melee. To the dark-skinned stranger, Iballat, and Vi, she shouted over her shoulder, "Well hurry it up and guard our backsides, would you? Let's move it!"

    With that, she turned forward to lead Tryn out the forest, watching the backs of her retreating party, a sense of relief falling on her as she came to know the battle was over. Funny - ten years ago, you would have been disappointed the battle wasn't longer, she thought morosely with a single chuffed chuckle. Despite her lame leg, it did not take her long to draw up behind Hal, Wyn, and Charlie, constantly looking over her shoulder for anybody who would take a cheap shot at their exposed backs.

    @Red Thunder @CloudyBlueDay @Elle Joyner @Effervescent @rissa
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    Without Hal’s hand on his back, ushering him forward, Charlie might have stayed frozen in place. He felt as if he could see the world before him in slow motion, the chaos. He brought his hands up and he could see the blood spattered across fingertips. The bone, spat out from the teeth of a dragon, covered in red.

    He trembled, helplessly, eyes wide and mouth frozen open. What had he just done? Not only.. Not only had he bashed someone’s head in, he’d hurt all of them. I was just trying to escape. He forced himself to believe it.. But whatever he was trying to do, he’d caused so much pain. So much suffering.

    How.. how could he look at himself the same? The rest of this.. Anything they’d ever done on this journey.. He had taken comfort in knowing he had been a victim. But now.. He wasn’t sure he could justify it. Charlie never wanted to hurt anyone, and especially not people who were just trying to protect their own land, the land that they had crashed upon.

    He was hardly in any state to react properly to Vi’s warning, and the light, albeit blinding, snapped him out of his daze. Cringing, he blinked away furiously as the light dimmed, trying to regain his sight. Wyn’s voice had him struggling to find her, and at her question he balked. He hadn’t even considered it in his guilty stupor.

    Charlie wouldn’t dare touch the Seed with bloodied hands. There would be no greater act worse. He gingerly lifted the flap of his bag, cringing as blood stained the worn leather, and gazed in on the Seed. It seemed.. Cold.

    “I-It’s f-f-fin-ne.” He stuttered, finding it hard to push the words out. “P-p-please, l-let’s get o-out of h-here.”

    @Red Thunder @Doctor Jax @Elle Joyner @Effervescent @rissa
  20. [​IMG]

    Hal Midigan

    Heatless Light enveloped the white woods, and while for a brief moment it was difficult to see, Hal had not looked directly at the source. His back had been to it when cast, and so he was able to press on after the light dimmed back to the mid-day sun. It looked so much darker now by comparison, yet the sun was high and bright in the sky. He looked back briefly to make sure everyone was following, relieved to see Wynleth close by; relieved to see almost all of them trailing behind. Trynten and Charlie seemed to carry themselves in a bit of a struggle, possibly having been afflicted by the spell Vi had conjured.

    “The Skadrad should be back this way!” he called out to the others. As much as he wished to aid his friends when they struggled to see clearly, others had already stepped in for the help, and so he kept point. It seemed they had traveled a fair distance into the woods, deep enough where the fallen ship and the broken trees were far and away from sight.

    Their retreat took on a significant heading, forming distance from the Druids with each hurried step. The trees seemed to glitter as they rushed past in a way that mimicked their urgency, the pulsing pushing forward as if to mark their path to the ship. Surrounding the Skadrad were the rest of the crew already working on the repairs they could manage.

    Seeing the retreat rushing towards the ship alarmed the other orcs as they collectively abandoned their repairs to either aid the injured or ready themselves for a possible attack. The first mate was sure to position herself to greet those returning, her brow furrowed deeply at the nature of their approach.

    “I’m assuming we won’t be able to get the supplies we need,” she said as Hal slowed himself to catch his breath. Head shaking, he looked back in the direction where they came. Orcs ran alongside his own comrades, with Tza’Hal and Trynten bringing up the rear. There seemed to be no sign of the Druids, and he couldn’t see Inara.

    “We may just need a different path,” Hal said, still scanning through those rushing towards the Skadrad to account for everyone. Had they left Inara and the others behind to the fate of the Druids?

    “It may be more prudent to consider alternative repairs,” the first mate grumbled. “Or alternative ways of getting out of here. Get inside, the lot of you! This isn’t a military outfit, but we do have a cache inside for defense.”

    Djavi Nam Abil

    The Light faded, and Vi felt it dim within him considerably. His Inner Light was nowhere near as potent as Iballat, and so with this one powerful spell he was nearly drained of the magic. The Druids had not anticipated such a disorienting attack as they shielded their eyes all too late, some suffering from temporary blindness while others struggled to see clearly and blinked away the haze. His party was able to flee the scene of what was likely to be their sacrifice to the woods. That is, most had made no hesitation in retreat.

    Inara had remained behind in the fight, and once Iballat caught sight of her he called out to the both of them. “Now is the time to run!” he said with urgency.

    Vi looked back to where Inara came running, and he motioned to follow Iballat’s lead. “The Druids will regain their sight soon,” he said as they ran. “They’ll be able to track us easily, but they may not bother us if we get inside the Skadrad.”

    “Yes,” Iballat chimed in as he remained on point. “They won’t be able to harm it even with their magic. It would take careful planning on their part if they want to infiltrate.”

    “I think they will keep perimeter and force us to remain inside,” Vi said, and then looked to Inara. “But they may regard you. You speak their language and have their attunement. If the situation rises, we may need you.”

    The remainder of the group would file into the clearing of broken trees and disturbed brush where the Skadrad lay like a beached whale. Inara, Iballat, and Vi are assured a reunion without issue, for no Druid could be seen hot on their trail. Perhaps they had also retreated, or perhaps they were planning an attack. Either way, the group would find themselves able to regroup within the safety of the Skadrad. It’s halls were lopsided and awkward to maneuver through, but with a bit of climbing they could make their way.

    @CloudyBlueDay @Elle Joyner @rissa @Doctor Jax @Red Thunder
    Now is a great time for any collabs you would like to do! If anyone has any questions for the captain or first mate, let me know! Otherwise, they will find themselves awkwardly resting in rooms where the floors rest at inclines. Most furniture is bolted down at least. The night will be uneventful apart from the events your characters talk about or collab through. If your character wants to patrol outside the Skadrad, let me know and I can let you know what they may find.

    They’ve all been through a lot, but if you don’t know what to collab, you’re more than welcome to solo post!

    If you roleplay them throughout the night, their morning, just at dawn, they’ll find the Skadrad uprights itself, and they will no longer need to roam awkwardly on the ship on inclines. My next GM post will take place on the morning the ship rights itself with the captain coming in to brief them.
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