The Story Thus Far

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The Story Thus Far

Post by J1NX on Thu 28 Feb 2008, 11:22 pm

Nemir Levecs paced in the halls of the great arcane library of the Aether academy, Codex, on Paragoth Island. Since he splintered off from the current sage order, he has done nothing except meditate, research, and train himself. His ability to absorb and manipulate Aether grows at such an extent, the Order of Codex meets regularly to discuss banishing the young sage.
Though he has yet to meet the level of some of their "weaker" prodigies, they have come to fear him none-the-less. Nemir began a series of weeks where he pushed himself to the point of collapse; at times he could be found unconscious in one of the "healing rooms." Other students became restless at his endeavors and fearful that he would truly be as his brothers were. As a result a small group banded together to force him out of Codex. When they arrived at his room, they discovered that he was no longer there in Codex or on Paragoth Island for that matter. If they had been more observant on their way to his quarters, they would have caught the faint light of a teleportation circle. It was not that he was scared or lacked the power; there was nothing else for him there...

The sea stretched onward in all directions as the boat bounded up and down upon the waves. Ren stood ever watchful by the ships helm. He pulled his compass from around his neck and stared at it for a moment. "I know there is something beyond those waves. There has to be or I have doomed my crewmates." It had been seven days since the death of their stalwart captain. The whole crew felt the need to abandon ship right then, seeing it as an omen. Ren replaced his compass inside his shirt and patted the helmsman on the shoulder. "Keep her steady due east and we should be able to see land by nightfall." The helmsman nodded as Ren left to the captains quarters. Ren was no captain, he had only barely gotten his sea legs when Captain Rockwood had stolen him away from his formal training to join in to a life of piracy. He closed the door behind him and made his way to the captains chair. He sat and stared down at the maps that crossed the desk and sighed. "We have to see land soon. We are on rations as it is with the water and there isn't much to speak of for food. I can't let this go on as my crew grows more fatigued by the day."

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Re: The Story Thus Far

Post by J1NX on Thu 28 Feb 2008, 11:22 pm

Ren had won the honor of being captain without his trying. When Captain Rockwood was engulfed by the sea the whole crew was up in arms. It was uncertain if they would even sail on to the next port or if they would stay anchored where they were for the rest of their pitiful lives. "Rise up men!" Ren cried. "Rise up! Are you so weak as to believe that we cannot carry on without the captain?" "No!" Shouted the crew at his insult. "Then rise and set the sails. If we stay here forever what will that say for us and our dearly departed captain." The crew was wary of his words, unwilling to trust a man that had only just recently been promoted above cabin boy. Ren was the new navigator ever since he won the compass around his neck. "Are you trying to play cap'n, boy?" Shouted the large black-skinned helmsman. "No Coatl, I am just unwilling to let my dreams and the dreams of the captain die here. We are pirates! We do not shirk at the sight of pain! Let us rise up and show the sea that no matter the terrors she wields she cannot kill our spirit!" The crew shook with a fire inside at his words. "Now who is with me?" Ren ushered back as he stood be by the helm. The crew grew silent, as if all were afraid to speak. "I am wit you, but you betta not let me down boy." Coatl said as he claimed his space at the helm. All the other men looked from side to side and one by one assumed their posts. "Then onward men, to our fortune, our dreams, and our future!"

"Where did that confidence go, boy? Where did it run off to?"[/color] Coatl's words could be heard from the doorway. Ren sat up in his chair and looked to him. "The crew is only as strong as their captain, you need to be strong so your crew can live on. Do ya understand what I be tellin ya?" Ren stood and crossed the floor to him. Lowering his voice to a whisper he spoke freely with Coatl. "I can't go on in this. I am no captain no matter how hard I try. Why can't you take over, you know so much about the sea and this crew?" Coatl clasped a hand over Ren's mouth and closed the door behind him nodding at one of his subordinates to take the helm. "Boy, you betta shut yo mout or you be seein' da cap'n soona den you be tinkin'! Dis crew be unda you now and dere ain't nuttin' dat gonna change dat' but you dyin'" Ren's eyes grew wide at his words. Would they really kill him if he showed his fears? Ren knew Coatl was being sincere and that scared him more than anything. Ren nodded to his friend and Coatl released his grasp. "Very well....I will continue my captaining of this ship. I suppose it would be best that way, can't trust ones like yourself to run it right anyway?" Ren laughed lightly at his friend. Coatl straightened up at the remark and threw back his head to laugh. As he chuckled the braids in his hair writhed like serpents and seemed to be more alive than he was. "You be watchin' what you say boy! You neva know when dis poor soul will let yo secret slip either." They had held their secrets with deep regard for each other since they first met. Coatl was the bastard child of a sailor and a gorgon which left him in the position to be slain at any moment. He covered it well, always dyeing and braiding his hair to keep the fact that they were snakes hidden, but his knowledge of Ren was even more important to the crew they traveled with. Ren was a native to his home of Cerulean. Though it was not as visible as Coatl's deformity, Ren was as much a man as he was a fish. The gills he was born with were conveniently covered by his wild blue hair and though his feet were webbed, his hands were not. If the crew had any clue that either of them were what they were they would have been hung or thrown overboard or worse. This was their way. A pair of half-bred pirates fighting to survive in a world not meant for them.

...Nemir actually had no idea where the teleporter would take him. He stepped onto the circle almost impusively as if his body knew. Soon the blinding light around him faded. Nemir lowered his hands from his eyes and surveyed his surroundings. He was in some sort of back-alley in between a local inn/tavern and bank. "Where...am I?" He thought to himself while peering out. "It looks so...familiar."Shrugging slightly, the sage took a moment to examine his attire. "Hmm..not sure how people will react to my appearance; could be that they do not appreciate Aether users." With a slight downward jester of his hand, Nemir's gauntlets vanished and his robes altered in both shape and color to that of the wear of the commoners he observed walking by the alley. Afterwards, he made his way into the Lyre Tavern and sat at a table in the far corner, drawing in his surroundings. The smell of liquor in the air was overwhelming, and yet...few appeared to really be enjoying their beverages. The place bustled with much activity...not surprising..but this early in the morning..interesting. Almost all of the tables were filled with with people engaging in intense conversation, seemingly forgetting that they were in a place that was suppose to eclipse your everyday problems.

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Re: The Story Thus Far

Post by J1NX on Thu 28 Feb 2008, 11:22 pm

Within a few moments, a young, attractive waitress stood over the sage. "Tek yer orda, sir?" "Oh..um..yes. I'll have a pint of mead." Nemir paused for a moment still staring up at the waitress. "Sumtin tha matta, sir?" "It's probably nothing at all. I was just wondering...is it always so busy here..at this time of day?" "Oh..no, sir! Tis the rumers.""Rumors?" "Yes, ther hav ben rumers of the darkens invadin Caedinn, so the Cornesian counsel hez called fa recruits." "Cornesia, you say?" "Yes, sir! Hav ya ben ere befur?" "A...long time ago.." "Hah, not too long I'd be thinkin..ya awful yung."
Nemir nodded slowly at the waitress' jest. She smiled a bit and then left to fetch his drink.

Cornesia...his home...well at least the city of his birth; Nemir really had no recollection of his time here. "Strange," he thought to himself. "Why would there be an order issued for recruits based solely on a rumor?" Even if the rumors were true, Cornesia was well-known for its large standing-army. In fact, over a century ago before the formation of its counsel, the great King Cornesius (the king by which the city was renamed after) made the boastful..yet highly honorable proclaimation that this city would act as guardian and protector of all others dwelling in the lands of Caedinn. With this proclaimation came the later formation of the famed Cornesian Guard, an elite, formidable force whose ranking members were actively sought out and handpicked throughout the region.
If any Darken commander had the slightest gall to attempt an invasion, the Cornesian Guard would hunt him to no avail.
"Either way...I ...can't be bothered with this now. I have much work to do..and even more to accomplish." The waitress brought him his drink, and smiled flirtingly as he took it and began drinking. He did little beyond nodding his head over his pint, to which the waitress turned away and walked off angerly. Nemir finshed his drink, dropped a few copper pieces upon the table, and left to find himself a quiescent place for undisturbed meditation.

As Ren and Coatl conversed over a bottle of rum their laughter was overshadowed by the shouts of the lookout. "Land Ho!!" Ren sprang from his seat and made haste for the door Coatl wasn't far behind as the door was flung open. "Captain, ahead thar be land!" Ren nodded with approval. "As I had thought. The sea cannot stretch onward forever." Ren pulled out his compass and went to the map. "This has to be the capital city. I'd stake my life on it." Ren walked to the bow of the ship and turned to his crew. "Men! As soon as we dock and secure the ship, shore leave for everyone!" Ren's words were greeted with a hearty 'Hazah!' as the men sprinted to their posts preparing to dock. Ren walked back to his favorite position beside Coatl at the helm and grinned. "And to think...ya doubted yaself." Coatl whispered to him with a smile. "To be honest Coatl, it wasn't me I doubted so much as this compass. I am beginning to think it has a mind of its own." Coatl chuckled and looked out across the bow. "Whateva it may be we av arrived. When we dock let us continue with our celebration, ok?" Ren shook his head. "No, I wish I could but we are in dire need of supplies and are running low on gunpowder. If we have to set sail quickly we'll be as good as dead. Tomorrow we'll pick up where we left off, that is if you are still up to it?" Coatl nudged him and smiled. "Alright, but you be buyin' dis time." Ren laughed and went back to his quarters to await the alert of port. He readied himself for his venture into the city. He tightened his belt around him and slid his scabbard into place. The long shamshir had served him well since his induction into the crew and made him rise in standing among the men as the best swordsman of the crew. He checked his coin purse quickly before sinching it to his belt. "I hope that nobody asks questions about this money. I don't know how common it would be for a man to be throwing around coins the way I intend to." Ren had reason to worry. He carried in that leather pouch a small fortune, courtesy of the royal galleons he had plundered under his old leadership. "Well, I suppose the worst that could happen is I get put in prison and knowing my men I..." Ren thought for a minute and chuckled as he spoke to himself. "...I'll probably end up staying there." He looked across the room at the captain's coat and hat and shook his head. "I don't belong to those bloody things. They are not my style. Besides if ever there was a sign I captain a pirate ship, there would be hell to pay. That reminds me We need to hide our flag or we'll never even hit port." Ren walked out the door slowly and caught a glimpse of the coast for the first time in almost a year. It was breathtakingly beautiful almost making him well up inside. "Coatl, instruct the men to take down and stow away the ships flag. There is no need to cause more suspicion than need be." Coatl nodded and barked out the orders to the crew. "Ya eard dat ya slimy water rats! Da cap'n wants the flag don before we get within range of a spyglass! Now move ya arses!" Coatl was more than just commanding when he spoke it had a feel of urgency wrapped in threat that made even the most stalwart hop to. Ren smiled and continued his preparations
There was a certain still cleanliness to the sea. The salt air and the lapping of the waves were peaceful and comforting to Ren. Ren felt the exact opposite when it came to the mainland. It always seemed cramped and crowded in every corner he had been to. Cornesia, though cleaner than most ports he had laid anchor in, was not much different. The dock workers moved back and forth among the ships loading and unloading cargo. The city streets could be seen clearly from the port and they as well seemed to hum with the hustle and bustle of people on the move. The ship docked with no trouble and the men disembarked to find what would entertain them best. Ren paid the harbor master for his time and set out into the city. As he reached te edge of the dock he looked back to his ship and waved to Coatl who sat eating an apple on the bow of the ship. "Don be wavin' to me you bastard son of a sea rat! Get out dare and find our supplies 'fore I be forced to eat dee 'elm." Ren laughed and turned back to his duties.

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Re: The Story Thus Far

Post by J1NX on Thu 28 Feb 2008, 11:22 pm

As Ren wound through the streets he wasn't too good to pick a few pockets, after all piracy doesn't stop once in port. His eyes fell on a simple looking man that stepped alone out of a tavern. "Easy pickings or so it seems. I hope he didn't spend all of his money on ale and wenches." Ren slipped up beside him and walked casually looking over the man's head at the shops as he passed by. He keenly surveyed his surroundings before attempting the filch. As he watched a fellow crew-mate head his way he winked at him and the man knew what was going on. Ren ran into him hard and fell over on top of the unsuspecting peasant lifting his coin purse in the process. "Oh I'm dearly sorry sir." Ren said as he stood back up picking up the man. "I do beg your pardon. Let me help you up. I wish I had longer to apologize, but I am in a hurry. Best of luck to you." Ren turned and began to walk quickly away from the man laughing to himself at how easy it was.

"Apparently grace is not a quality these people posses," Nemir thought to himself with a chuckle as he dusted himself off. "Colorful little bugger, though, and..." *pat..pat..pat* "Aww..what ill-luck! How could I possibly of lost my coin purse from the tavern to this..." Nemir put his thoughts together quickly and looked in the direction his "colorful" run-in had taken. "Graceful, indeed," the sage muttered under his breath as he gave chase. His quarry was quite fast. Not surprising for he appeared to be a man in the prime of his life. Nemir had an edge, though; he wielded Aether. This thief had no idea who he had dealt a blow...for now. The mark on Nemir's hand glowed slightly, followed by an increase in his speed...just enough that it wouldn't draw any unwarrented attention.

The thief came into view just ahead. He had slowed a bit, apparently revelling in his recent success. "Time to make myself scarce a bit," Nemir thought to himself as he veered off into an alley and blended in, while keeping his target in sight. "He had his fun, and now it's my turn." Concentrating, the sage searched to make a connection with the other's mind. Success. "You know...others might not be as..appreciative of a talented maneuver like that...Maybe you should be a little bit more careful..in choosing your....targets...If I were you, I'd return that..I ..don't want to have to resort to anything...unpleasant while I'm in here...

Ren looked around for the source of the voice and chuckled. "Well I suppose you've got me. Quite clever aren't ya? It'll normally take at least a few hours before most folk put two and two together." Leaning up against a building he looks for the man he ran into. He casually tosses his coin purse in his hand. "You know, I do think you should be careful where you leave your money. If you let it hang casually from your belt like most then you are a prime target. I should know." Ren smiles wide and tosses the purse at him. "Captain Ren Atreyu, pleased to meet ya." Ren was more than neighborly, besides the coin in that bag was only about half as much as his own. He reached into a barrel by his side and pulled out an apple and began to eat. "You wanna tell me how it is you did what you just did exactly? I've been a lot of places and never have I seen a gift such as that." Ren eyed the man up and down and make a gesture at him with his free hand. "You aren't from around here are ya? No offense if I'm wrong, but you don't seem to fit into the clothes you're wearing. You seem kind of off." Ren stepped out of the alley casually and wrapped an arm around him. It had been a long time since he had anyone catch him and he felt like celebrating the man's success. "Let's go enjoy a hot meal, my treat, and then we can discuss your wages."

Upon hearing the thief's reply and seeing him approach, Nemir allowed a slight grin to cross his face. "Uh..a bit clever...you could say that," the sage replied catching his purse and replacing it on on his belt. "Ren, eh, it's a pleasure, though, I do wish it had been under...other circumstances. Nemir Lavecs. Thanks for the advice." Nemir received an interesting vibe from Ren. There was definately a charisma to the way he handled himself. This situation could have resulted illy for the roguish man, and yet he carried himself calmly. "Let's just say there's an energy that's around us, and I possess the ability to 'tap into it' for....a variety of effects. For example..." Nemir glance over his shoulder and around the two men, making sure that the...demonstration had only one onlooker. Holding his hand before his mouth, the symbol upon it glowed slightly and then dimmed. The sage then bit into the apple that had manifested in his hand. "This is just small.....endeavor, but effective enough for proof, no? Yeah...you're right in your assumption. These clothes...like the apple are merely a small conjuration." Nemir allowed himself to relax with his new aquaintence. The idea of a free meal was quite appealing to him. "Meal...sure...that sounds great! Um....wage? What are you getting at?" A puzzled look crossed the sage's face as the two men continued together down the street.
The tavern Ren brought his newly aquired friend to was dark and dirty and filled with the city's most seedy of characters and Ren knew the most of them. Ren nodded to a few of his mates as he made his way to a table. "I guarantee you that the food here is of a much different quality than any other upper crust restaurant." Ren moved sharply and whistled to a bar maid as she went by. "Can we get a little bit 'o service over here darlin'. My friend and I are turning to dust waiting on you." The bar maid turned her head to him ready to unload a rash of insults and then caught sight of Ren. She smiled wide at the duo and winked at Ren. "Anything for you Ren." As she spoke she scurried off into the kitchen to fetch them food and drink. "Ahh. There is no place like home, eh Nemir? I grew up far from here, but it seems like every time I end up here when I travel to Cornesia. What of you are you a native or are you a traveler like myself." Ren leaned back in his chair not making eye contact as he talked. The place hadn't changed since he left. Still filled to the brim with cutthroats and wharf-rats alike, still smelling of sea water, mold and rum. "Once upon a time I could have had my pick of any wench in this little pit. What happened you ask? Well, women on a ship is bad luck and none of these ladies care to wait around for me, well none except Lona." As he spoke, Lona, the bar maid came back from the kitchen to their table and laid out a platter of bread, cheese and meat and two steins of ale. Ren smiled up at her and grabbed her around the waist. "Still up to your old tricks or do I have to worry any more?" Lona blushed as he slipped a hand under her skirt, rubbing her leg. "You watch yourself or I may have to go back to my 'tricks' as you call them." She smacked him hard on the cheek and he released her. Ren winked at her and she blushed once more before disappearing back into the kitchen. Ren's eyes follow her until she is out of sight and he turns back to Nemir. "Well here's salt in your eye." Ren said as he knocked his glass up against Nemir's and guzzled down a large helping of it. "Hmmm....I guess Lona was telling the truth. Last time I was here she drugged my drink so I would miss my ship and couldn't leave port. What a little minx." Ren grabbed a hunk of meat and ate heartily, this having been the first bite of food to cross his lips in almost a day and a half. He was like an animal as he devoured his meal not making time for manners. To a refined person it may have been rather disgusting, but Ren didn't care. All that mattered to him was to fill his stomach.

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Re: The Story Thus Far

Post by J1NX on Thu 28 Feb 2008, 11:23 pm

"Aye, definately an interesting young woman you have there," Nemir remarked nodding towards the kitchen as the two of them were left to their conversation. "I can't agree with you more, Ren. There is, indeed, no place like home. You could say I'm a bit of a traveler like yourself; I was actually born here in Cornesia, though I do not remember much of this place. My parents...well..I know even less about them. Only relatives I really care to know of..are my three brothers. Often I find myself ashamed to even claim them as my own. That's a story over another meal and ale. I'm merely here to converse with an old friend of mine that usually stays around these parts. You are exceptionally perceptive; this is not a place I normally darken the door of, yet the atmosphere intrigues me....most interestingly. I'm curious...You say your're a sailor...what of the wages you spoke of on our way here? I'm not saying that I'm interested..per-say as I have much work that lay ahead of me....but....enlighten me."

Realizing that his food lay before him getting cold, Nemir began enjoying his meal..glancing around slightly, taking in the atomosphere. This place veered much from the strict disciple of Codex. Ren definately seemed to enjoy the more boisterous lifestyle: loud music, lewd conversations, and the women......."The women..I like," Nemir thought to himself. He looked across the table at his new friend who gorged himself upon the savory delicantesents before them...not allowing one morsel to escape the fate of the rest. "Hmm...hungry I see...So, I wonder...have you heard the rumors of them seeking immediate recruits into the Guard? Strikes me as an oddity that a such propaganda of an ensuing invasion from Deluge would inspire such desire."

Just as Nemir was finishing his perspective on the rumors, a page sent directly from the Counsel burst into the tavern and reported: "Darkens have been discovered in Caedinn!! So far, four merchant caravans have been hit along the north-east border of the Darkspire Mountains!! It is as if Deluge has poured out upon us!!! Recruits must report to the guard posts immediately" And with that...he ran out to carry the news elsewhere...Nemir's question was answered, and he was right. Something still did not feel right about all of this. He would have to debate this feeling later. Cornesia lay only two days journey from the border, and more than likely the news was quite old.....

Ren's enjoyment drained from his face as he saw the page enter. "I think we will have to speak of business at another venture. I have to set sail sooner than I thought." Ren set a sack of coins as big as his fist on the table. "Finish if you wish, I will be leaving for the border as soon as I can gather my men." Ren stood and gathered his things before running to the kitchen to kiss Lona goodbye for the thousandth time. "Oh Ren...do you have to leave so soon? You just came into port and I thought we could spend some time together." Ren smiled at her and carressed her cheek. "Sorry m'lady but I have to. A captain's work is never done." Ren turned out and began to walk to the door. His footsteps halted beside Nemir and he sighed hard. "I realize how this sounds, but my first mate is from the valley around Darkspire and he would disown me if I refused to help him and his family. If nothing else it has been a pleasure meeting a good enough man to sit and chat with me for a few moments." Ren continued walking to the door and turned his head over his shoulder. "Or you could join me if you have nothing better to do." Ren wasn't one to think his decisions through all the way, but he had an odd feeling that he had crossed paths with Nemir for a reason and maybe this would be why. "If you decide to follow me my ship is docked at the southern most port. You can't miss her." Ren said as he ducked out of the tavern and whistled his special call to his men as he ran to the ship. "It's a good thing I got my provisions taken care of before I set out to having fun." His shrill whistle drifted through the air and alerted the men to an all hands call. They wouldn't be happy, but such is life for a sea rat.

Nemir looked up and nodded at Ren as he ran out of the tavern. The young sage took a last drink of his ale and then left as well. "*sigh* Guess my visit to the old man will have to wait. Knowing him, though, he is probably already preparing the Aether users of Caedinn for the approaching 'storm'." Nemir spoke of Mage-master Girno; one to whom he owed greatly. It was the old man who fought for Nemir's induction into Codex. It was also he who convinced the elders in the Aether Counsel to allow the potential young boy to practice in the Aether arts. He even offered to tutor Nemir himself...an offer that Nemir surpisingly refused. It was not ungratefulness or anything of the sort that drove the sage to such a decision. Some called it pride while others called it stupidity. Girno, though, could see the potential that lay in the lad more than anyone. There would only be so much he could teach someone that could look at the Aether arts so much differently than everyone else. Something else also influenced Nemir's decision. He greatly feared becoming like his brothers; this fear forced him to keep people at an arm's length.

As Nemir walked down the the street towards the southern port he retrieved a letter from hit belt and opened it. The letter was from Girno. The old mage had been catching up with Nemir after he had left the lad in Codex for Cornesia to train a few potentials he had heard of here. With his index finger Nemir began making a writing motion upon the paper under Girno's words. Slowly his thoughts appeared on the page. He stuffed the letter back in the envelope and casted the letter into the wind...the mark on his hand glowing slightly as he made the motion.
Nemir entered the southern port and turned to look about him. "Ren was right...nice ship," Nemir smiled as he walked towards her plank.

Ren ran aboard his ship darting from board to board trying to take count of all the men that had returned. "Damn, not even half. I suppose I should have expected that." The crew was skeleton at best and Ren almost knew it would be such. His men were like brothers when at sea, but on land they could care less for one another mostly. "I really need to do some recruiting, but there is no time." Ren thought to himself as he reached the cabin. Coatl lay asleep in his chair with his arms tightly wrapped around a bottle of rum. "Coatl...Coatl its time to weigh anchor. We have a job to do." Coatl stirred slightly but didn't open his eyes. "An what be da prize dis time cap'n? Gold? Women?" Ren swallowed hard and felt his heart in his throat. "Family." Coatl's eyes slid open. He knew as well as any other on the crew Ren was an orphan and that only made Coatl's brow furrow. "What ya sayin'?" Ren sighed heavily and put a hand on his friend's shoulder. " The shadow has fallen on Darkspire. I don't know how bad it is at this point, we can only hope that your family is still alright." Coatl rose slowly to his feet. His face was lost in thought for a moment and then he rose his eyes to Ren. "I spose if dis be true, den ope be all we 'ave." Coatl walked solemnly to the helm and assumed his position with Ren at his heels. "Stow da cargo and cast off ya scurvy dogs!" Coatl called out to the men. "We have a rescue mission to see to and if I ear a word ya be gabbin' wit me!" The men that lay about the ship groaned as they carried out the orders, knowing that it would be better to listen than meet the wrath of the toned and tattooed helmsman. Ren walked down the steps to the deck and then went to help in preparations when he saw an all too familiar face. "Nemir?! You came! Wonderful, if you wish you can sit in my cabin or if you think you can keep up in that robe of yours start helping us cast off." Ren jested only because it was his nature. He new they were undermanned, but with a man like Nemir on board maybe it would balance as long as the men could put up with an aether user on the ship without becoming too paranoid.

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Re: The Story Thus Far

Post by J1NX on Thu 28 Feb 2008, 11:23 pm

Nemir smile, shaking his head slightly at Ren's jest. "Such a quirky, man. Definately, a good soul." "Quite right....I think I can be a bit useful," Nemir called back, his words followed by the plank rising with a gesture of his right hand. Luckily, all of Ren's men were too busy to notice such an anomaly. The sage quickly assimilated himself into the crew, helping to stow the cargo, raise the anchor, and move from the harbor. He calculated his efforts in the labor, utilizing his abilities in discrete ways as to not raise suspicion.
Once they had reached deeper waters, the main sails were lowered and fasted in their proper places. A strong eastern wind caught the sails, and the ship lurked forward. Nemir looked over at Ren. He could see a grin cross the rogue's face as the two of them gazed out over the open sea. "Ren has good reason to be proud. His crew responds well to his commands, as does this ship." Suddenly, the winds dissipated and the ship began to slow. Nemir could hear the crew around him groan in response; someone even cried out something about a bad omen. He moved to the starboard side and looked at over the waters as if observing the shoreline. Glancing over his shoulders, he then raised a hand slightly and his mark began to glow. The aether in his body once again assumed the form of telekinesis, and with it he guided their lost winds into the sails. The ship picked up speed, and they were off. Shortly after, the winds assumed the favor of their heading, and Nemir released his hold. He sighed deeply and then moved over towards Ren. "I believe I'll accept your offer and take leave in your cabin for a while...I feel a bit..tired." Nemir bowed his head slightly towards Ren and left for the cabin. The Darkspire mountains did not lay far from the Cornesia....a few leagues at best. At the speed this ship could move, it would not be long before they reached them.

As the crew finished readying the ship they held fast as the wind picked up around them. It was a good omen for the crew to go by and they relaxed as we sailed away from sight. Ren thanked the crew and returned to his cabin to plot their course. He walked in and sat at his desk and flipped through maps. "Nemir...I should have said something earlier, but I was too excited to see you to make a point of it, but..."Ren chewed his words for a moment before letting them fly from his lips. "You aren't working for the king are you? I mean...its not a bad thing if you are, but I have a hard time trusting those in power." Ren looked up from the maps to his new companion and sighed. "Nemir I am not your normal sailor and I want you to appreciate that when I invited you it was for a purpose, but if I have to worry about what is said around you then I don't know what can be done. If there is a doubt in your mind that you cannot work with a pirate than speak now." Ren motioned toward a large map that hung up on the wall. It was gigantic and hand written, but had large gaps without any information. "That is my greatest dream Nemir. To sail the whole ocean and sea all the land. It keeps me going and doing as I do. A man as myself is not meant to reside inside a cell like an animal." Ren turned back to him and smiled. "Theres room enough for me and enough treasure to satisfy a thousand crews our size." Ren pulled open a drawer from the desk and pulled out a small chest. He flipped it open in front of the sage and let him see a piece of what he was in for. The contents sparkled and shimmered in the lantern light of the cabin. "This is a rare gem. It was first mined from a long forgotten place beneath the sea and than it was found again off the coast of Darkspire. It is rare and very valuable, but it has another purpose I am sure. I just have never gotten close enough to find out what. This is what I am after and would like your assistance in finding it after we get through with this messy business. In return for joining my crew you will receive a share in all our capital, a place on my ship and the loyalty of the finest ship to sail these waters." Ren plopped a sack bulging with coins on the desk as he stood and extended a hand to Nemir. "I am not just making an offer. I am giving you a chance to find what you are searching for in life. Join me and taste freedom." Ren's eyes were on fire as he spoke. He was more than serious about his offer and made sure it was known. He hoped that the man was not so straight and narrow that he would turn him down, but it had happened before.

"No...I assure you..I no more work for the king than you do. So, whatever business you wish to conduct, it is your own concern. I do appreciate the offer, but wealth does not interest me. Personally, I do not think it is all you are about either, for here we are racing across the Torrent Sea with whatever risks may lie ahead to aid the family of a friend. Heh. No. Neither wealth nor power as you would probably assume. I do wish to grow in my abilities and become more adept....maybe even form a new Aether guild. Those ambitions are secondary to an ultimate goal. What is that, you ask. I seek an atonement for my family name. You see, I do not exactly come from a very accepted one, at that. In fact, I am of one both hated and greatly feared. A gift from my three older brothers, you could say.....or a curse. Puzzles me how they can be so kind to me and yet so evil. I have not seen them in.....nearly 4 decades. Ahh...the expression on your face tells me that you do not believe me to be that old. To tell you the truth, I have no explanation. I know that it has something to do with Aether, but I have yet to master that aspect of it. This is probably another 'gift' of my brothers. So many want to see me fail; nearly as many wish for my death. All because of a name..."

Nemir stopped in his words. "Indeed...., that crystal does appear valuable. I have never seen anything like that except.....many years ago. When I first arrived at Codex I spied some of the elders burning some old tapestries...ones bearing the likeness of the ancients-what we call the first Aether-users in Caedinn. Anyways, one tapestry, that bearing the ancient, Dream Walker, depicted him wearing a jeweled chain. The main piece of that chain held something like that. The elders told me that it was nothing more than a trinket, and I lost interest in pursuing its origin...until now. Strange.." Nemir peered into the gem as Ren leaned his hand over to him. His eyes caught a slight glimpse of some sort of movement...very slight..like fog in the morning air. "Strange indeed. Being a sage..I have immediate access to all of the information that has been gathered on various things throughout Caedinn. I find it a bit humorous that even though I left Codex, the elders have not tried to deny me this ability." Nemir focused his abilities..straining a bit. "As you would figure..nothing...no parchments...no tomes...nothing....although..." Nemir peeered further into the gem as if absorbing the very concept of it into his thoughts, and upon closing his eyes, he focused again. "I feel as though something pulls me towards Gnoblia, home to the Gnomes of the Jade Hammer, Some sort of essence surrounds that place."

Nemir opened his eyes. "I can tell you that Aether exists inside of this gem...Aether like I have never felt before-raw..alive...I can feel its call on me. Yes..valuable, indeed. I feel that you are right...this is neither a random occurrence nor a trinket formed for mere desire. It must serve a higher purpose. If you wish, possibly we should journey to Gnoblia after we help your friend's family. Till we arrive...I must meditate....I feel a bit...drained... Please call me if you need me." And with that...Nemir closed his eyes and fell back into a meditative trance.

Ren nodded and closed the chest and replaced it in his desk. As he leaned back up he saw Nemir leaned back, seemingly asleep. "Amazing, I wish I could sleep so easily." Ren thought as he raised from his chair and exited the cabin. He closed the door quietly and walked to the edge of the ship to watch the waves lap against the side. "What ya worrying bout now boy?" Coatl's voice crawled up from behind him. "I just don't know. I feel like something is missing, I feel as though no matter what I do my whole life is incomplete. I just wish I knew more of where I came from." Ren's words were distant and breathy and he turned to face his friend. "You at least know who your family is. My whole life I've lived at sea and I never knew anything other than the life of a sailor or a thief. I just crave more. Do you understand?" Coatl nodded and clasped a hand firmly on Ren's shoulder. "Everytin will work out jus fine lad. You be findin what ya want in life soona den ya tink. By the way I disobeyed ya ordas when we hit port. I left the ship to do a little bit o tradin meself. I was gonna save it for ya birthday present, but seein as you be lower den a snail belly I thin it be time to show ya." Coatl smiled wide and Ren laughed "You sneaky devil, what have you gotten us now?" Coatl pressed a thick meaty finger to Ren's lips and ushered him to the hold.

The two men made their way through the bowels of the ship to the storage hold and larder. It was an interesting journey as the portholes are rather small and Coatl is rather large, but they made it there in short time. "Fore I open da door I wan ya to remember dat it may naw be exactly wha ya be wantin, but it should make traveling easier on ya." Coatl pressed hard and eased the large iron door open, letting Ren step into the dimly lit room. Two huge wooden crates sat dead center of the room and were marked with large black Xs. "What in the great divide is this?" Ren said as he scratched his head looking at it. "Its the parts required to get this heap of a ship into the next century." A voice said from the corner of the room. Ren walked around the crates, bringing a lantern to the corner. The dim light brought into view a cot, a small table & a young woman dressed in a man's work clothes. "OK, who are you and how did you get on my ship lass?" Ren said as he looked around for more surprises. "I am Gretchen Gerefreid, your new ship's mechanic." She said as she jumped from her cot and stood at attention. She stood about 5'5" in bare feet in front of him. Her long blond hair was a tangled mess in a pony tail that hung low on her back. She was unlike any woman Ren had ever laid eyes on and she confused him greatly. Ren stared slack jawed at her for a moment and tried to wrap his mind around what was going on. Gretchen clear her throat at him and tapped her foot impatiently. "See something you like?" Ren was taken aback by her attitude and resorted to his more civil tone. "My dear, you need to leave this vessel. You see we are going to a very dangerous place and it is no place for women. I will have my helmsman make way for the nearest port and you can make your way from there. I hate to think what the..."Ren was cut off as Gretchen laid a hard right cross into his chin knocking him to the floor. "All you bastards are the same, just because I'm a girl you don't think I can understand how the world works. I'm not some damn china doll you have to protect, I can stand up for myself! I'm twice as tough as any man and..." As her words left her lips she was hit hard to the gut by one of Ren's patented mule kicks. "If you're as strong as any man than you best be able to take a hit like a man. There is no quarter given among my crew. Every man works just as hard as the next or they get the hell off my ship, understand?" Gretchen coughed and wheezed as she tried to catch her breath. She stood up to face Ren again and sneered at him. Coatl laughed heartily at the two of them which caught their attention. "Ya two are so alike it be scary. I thought you'd be hittin it off, but not quite like this. Ren, I made a deal wit Gretchen in exchange for her elp. I smuggled her out of the city, you see, she is wanted the same as you and I are." Ren looked back at Gretchen and raised a brow at her. "It's true. I am an inventor and engineer and it just happens that because my tendencies are towards weaponry I was considered a threat, so I was meant to be jailed later today...Coatl found me and offered me a way out." Ren looked back at his mate and shrugged. "Why would you do this? You know the men will have my hide if they find a woman on board this ship!" Coatl smiled and wrapped an arm around each of them. "Ya see nobody need to know. It be kinda like our undastandin, she covers up being a woman and helps us in our mechanical needs and in exchange we give her passage till she sees fit to leave and give her a cut of the profits from anythin that she sees fit to help in. I thought you'd be happy Ren, after all she was the one who designed your gift." Ren grabbed Coatl's arm and pushed him off his shoulder. "What could be so fabulous so as to warrant this?" "It isn't ready yet. I have to install it and make sure this rig can support the power it throws out. I hope she's more sturdy than she looks." Gretchen said as she walked over to a barrel and grabbed a pear from it. Ren was infuriated. "I swear...." Ren began to say as he watched her and stopped himself. "You stay here, Coatl come with me!" Ren said as he stormed out of the room back to his cabin.

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Re: The Story Thus Far

Post by J1NX on Thu 28 Feb 2008, 11:23 pm

As Coatl came through the door Ren slammed and locked it behind him. "By all things great and powerful, I hate that sea hag! If she insults my ship once more I swear I will throw her overboard right here." Coatl clasped a hand over Ren's mouth and looked over at the new man on the ship. "Calm yaself Ren. If ya shout ya will just be makin tings worse. Who in the blazes is that?" Ren tore away from him and sat back in his chair. "So we both have met someone, hmm? This is my new friend and our newest crew mate, or so I had thought. No need to censor what you say around him, he can read your thoughts anyway." Ren kicked his feet up on the desk and began rubbing his temples. "I'm sorry Ren, I didn't mean to upset ya, I just thought she could help and besides, when ave you been able to turn down a woman in need?" Ren furrowed his brow as he looked across the room at Coatl. "Very well. She can stay as long as she keeps her secret, but she shares your rations from here out until she proves her worth to this crew. Savvy?" Coatl grinned and shook his head. "Do ya get lonely inna that big glass ouse? So ready to judge da girl and ya don' even know how good she is." With that Coatl turned and exited the room. "Why, does he have to be so difficult sometimes." Ren said as he stared at his desk.

The air around Nemir appeared to take a form of its own...almost like a substance. The symbol upon his wrist began burning brightly and with that..particles of light around the three men took shape and moved towards the young sage, growing brighter as they moved as one. The particles coalesced like droplets of rain and circumvented the sage..until reaching the mark upon his wrist. The light poured upon him like a fire chasing an accelerant, and vanished. It seemed only a moment for him..but to those around him nearly an hour passed. Nemir's eyes glowed emerald briefly when he opened them, and then his normal shade appeared. Upon hearing the door to the cabin shut, the sage looked around him and then stood to his feet. Looking at Ren, "Your friend...interesting character. Don't worry, his secret is safe with me. I certainly can understand his feelings. Ahh....how people judge. Anyways, you appear concerned, my friend. What troubles you? Sure...I can probe your thoughts...but I make it a point never to invade the privacy of my friends...Hmmm...I'm sensing a new lifeform on this ship....female....oh right....Ahh..is that the problem?" I do need to tell you...while I was meditating..I sensed something...strange. As if our mission is 'veiled.' Please do not ask me to describe that; I know no other terms. Anyways..." Nemir stopped. "Excuse me for a moment..I believe that a letter has arrived for me." With that, Nemir exited Ren's cabin, leaving the rogue with a questioning look on his face. The sage moved towards the bow of the ship and waited. Overhead the cries of a falcon filled the air. Nemir held out his arm and the falcon landed softly with a rolled letter in its beak. "Perige...it has been a long time since I have seen you. Is the master well?" The falcon squaked in agreement. "Good, I see you have a note for me. May I see it? Thanks. You may leave. Inform Girno that I send my best, and I will be in contact soon. Fly, Perige!"

Nemir opened the letter and began to read it. Girno had spared subtlety and was straight to the point:

As you may have heard, the regions surrounding the
Darkspire Mountains have reported Darken advancement.
I shall not color this picture quite has..."rosey" as the
Cornesians. Merchant caravans were not the target of the
enemy. Actually, three patrol units from Blue Anchor were
destroyed. Cornesia sent two squads of its "famed" guard,
and no word has been reported of their status. What is known is
that the squads did manage to draw attention away from Blue
Anchor. I suggest that you dock there...if you truly wish to
investigate. My friend, please be careful. I know that you have
great potential, but do not let it fuel an ego and lead to your
destruction. I shall see you soon.
-----Girno

Nemir shook his head slightly. Old man always did look out for me. Nemir folded the letter and headed back to Ren's cabin.
Ren scratched his head and groaned. "Thats it, I am going to sleep. I can only run so long without sleep." He rose from his seat and made his way to his bed in the corner. He didn't even bother disrobing as he hit the sheets. His body felt heavy as he fell asleep and he was out.

Coatl watched the crew as they did their normal routine. As he watched his eyes fell upon the new traveler. "I wonda wha he be up to?" Coatl thought. "Someting about im I jus don' feel good bout. Jus someting down in me bones." Coatl was never much for trusting people, especially when it came to ones with such an odd scent as Ren's new friend. "You betta be right about im Ren."

While day turned to night Ren slept and so did most of the crew. Coatl kept watch at his place at the helm looking out into the great reach of stars that expanded over their heads. "Is a big ol world out dare....I wonda wha be round da bend na?" He leaned hard on the wheel and looked out across the deck scanning his eyes across the few mates that still crossed her floorboards. "I be sure da troubles is a comin, we best be ready for dat."

As the ship rocked to and fro Gretchen did all in her power to control her nausea. As she worked tirelessly into the night she cursed to herself about her new surroundings. "Why did you have to become an inventor, huh? Why couldn't you be a beer maid or a seamstress or god forbid some lucky man's wife? No that's not good enough for you is it Gretchen? Damn it all." She sits down to rest her swirling head. "I swear if there is one thing I'll do its stop that blasted rocking!" She jumped to her feet and continued her work. She stood amid 2 huge piles of parts and went over them with a list. "I think I brought everything I'll need, I just hope this doesn't get me kicked into the sea." As she spoke she drew out her wrench and began assembling some of the parts. "No sleep for me anyhow, least ways with all this rocking."
Nemir peered into Ren's cabin. He could see the rogue asleep at his desk. He closed the door quietly and made his way towards the helm of the ship where Coatl stood steering the ship. "Greetings," Nemir Coaxed as the two of them made eye-contact. "I must say this is by far one of the most skilled crews I have ever witnessed. I am honored to have joined you. We have not formally met. I am Nemir. I know that I may not appear as much, but believe me I shall be of some use to this crew. Anyways, I have a few resources at my disposal some of which have informed me that the situation is more dire than we have suspected. I have few actual details, but I do know that Blue Anchor's Port is safe to dock. Listen, I do hope that your family is safe and no harm comes about them. Sorry, I am not good at small talk. I believe that I shall head off for some shut-eye of my own. Please, inform Ren of what I told you. I dare not wake him; he appeared horribly tired." Nemir smiled slightly and parted company with Coatl. The young sage made his way through the darkness breathing in the night air one last time before bedding down. The sounds of the waves suddenly grew almost mute around him as an entrancing melody danced across the air everso lightly. As the melody's pitch grew, Nemir could feel himself losing control of his body's mobility. Calling upon the Aether phase of mind, Nemir regained control and warded himself from the hold placed upon him. "That melody...almost like one of the bard's songs I listened to during my stay in Codex....yet....different. I have heard this before." He looked about him and realized that he was no longer alone. Much of the crew had surfaced from below decks, all bearing the same entranced expression he had once wore. Nemir drew within attempting to access the Sage archives once again, but he was overcome by feelings of a great, heavy darkness that invaded his senses, spelling out the situation completely. "Why did I not sense this before?!" The sage ran to the starboard side of the ship and peered out into the waters of the Torrent Sea. In the distance he spied three hazy lights, that appeared to burn with a warming..almost comforting shade. The forms of the lights seemed almost humanoid. "This is impossible...I should have known this!" Nemir's self inquisition cut short as he saw one of his new crewmates climbing to the edge of the ship. He grabbed the man just has he leaned into a dive and wrestled him to the ground. "Do not be a fool, man. Do you have any idea what lies out there?!" The sage's words fell upon distracted ears. He peered back out over the waters. The forms were now moving closer and at a great speed towards the ship,....which had shifted course and moved to meet them. "Coatl!" Nemir screamed in the large man's thoughts. "Death lies ahead!! Take action, man." The large man appeared responsive to Nemir's cries and turned in the direction of the sage. Once again Nemir summoned the Aether phase of mind and warded Coatl from "death's call." The large man tried to take evasive action, but it was too late. The forms were already upon them, and then suddenly dove below the ship. All around the air fell silent. The crew shook the "cobwebs" from the heads and began referring questions to each other attempting to ascertain what had transpired. Nemir ran to the starboard side and then to the port. "Where is it?!" The water surrounding the edges of the ship began to bubble and churn violently. Before question could cross anyone's lips a large wave moved virtically into the air and fell off into the distance revealing a dark, arachnid-like, aquatic beast-a slydrid. The slydrids had become nothing more than a fictional character to most in the interior of Caedinn. To those who had lived or continue to live a life at sea, legends of these creatures were pure truth. It had been a number of years before the last sighting. They had become the aquatic tools of the enemy. Surprisingly, the sea stories told of these creatures were exceptionally accurate, though there were few. As it lay in the water beside them, Nemir could estimate that the beast was approximately thirty feet in length. It was hard to know for sure because below the surface a large tail moved under the ship. Eight legs surrounded its body, edged with sharp, rigid fins; the tip of each leg displayed a spike sharper than any whaling ship's harpoons. Around its multi-eyed face an acidic cloud poured from its mouth, and green poison dripped from its fangs. Around the sides of its body and over its back spore-like bulbs covered the beast....spores that appeared to be moving. With little warning the spores launched themselves from the slydrid and landed around the ship. Out of the waters, three foot long slydrids began to climb the sides of the ship....
ALL ANDS MAN YA STATIONS!" Coatl screamed over the commotion. "REN! WE NEED YA BOY!" Ren had already been shook from his bed and he dressed himself quickly and rant o the deck. "What in the depths is going on?" Ren shouted as he bounded down beside Coatl. "Da ole bloody ship be comin in upon us! A beast da likes a which I neva seen be trying to drag us unda!" Ren walked to the center of his deck and braced himself against the mast. "Men! I want you to ready yourselves for the worst bit of sea we ever fared together. Lash yourselves to the mast and give me the other end of the rope.” The men did as commanded and tied themselves to the mast tightly and threw the other end of the massive rope to their captain. Ren ran to the port side and jumped to the top of the barrier. "Coatl, make sure the men get out of here safely! Nemir I want to know what caused this!" His mind was focused as he looked deeply into the black eyes of his opponent. "And men, I want you to know that if this is our last voyage it has been a pleasure being your captain." With his last words Ren jumped high into the air and dove into the water beside the ship. The inky blackness of the ocean swallowed him up and a calm silence filled his ears for a moment. "It has been too long since the last time I have done this. I missed this feeling so much." As his mind began to relax he opened his eyes and breathed deeply just soon enough for him to see a large tentacle reach out and swat him lower beneath the waves.

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Re: The Story Thus Far

Post by J1NX on Thu 28 Feb 2008, 11:23 pm

Coatl calmed the men and went to the helm to lash it as well. As he readied the ship Gretchen bound onto the deck and saw the monster that had attacked them. She staggered across the deck to Coatl and grabbed onto him. "What in the hell is that thing?" Coatl looked down at her. "Jus a bit a motha nature sayin ello lass. You'd best find somethin sturdy and tie yaself to it." Gretchen was shocked at how calm Coatl was. "How is it you can act as though nothing is going on? Theres a huge monster threatening to rip us apart!" Coatl laughed as the spray of the sea lapped on to the deck. "We need na worry. Da worse we can expect is death an I'm sure da cap'n ave somtin to say bout dat!" Gretchen looked to the water and screamed back to Coatl. "You mean Ren is out there with that thing? Why...how?" Coatl's face became stern as he finshed tying the rudder. "He is our only ope lass, an he know dat. Wit out im we be in fo worse den dis. Now stow yaself fore we get to far along to do so." Gretchen grabbed some rope and lashed herself to Coatl. "Have the two of you handled anything like this before?" Coatl shook his head. "Nuttin dat big, but if dare be a man dat can it be Ren, jus watch the sea."

Ren shook the blow out of his head and rushed head long at the monsters gigantic body. Ren's sword slid free from its sheath on his back as he swam hard to the waters face. He burst forth from the frothing waters and dove at the monsters eyes. "Back to where you came from you big slimy bastard!" As he screamed he stabbed his sword deeply into the first big of soft flesh he found, just below the eyeball. The monster writhed in pain and rocked so hard Ren nearly was thrown skyward. The beast reached up to its face and ripped Ren from it, sword and all. Its grip tightened as Ren began to hack at the tendril that gripped him so roughly. Ren's lungs were emptying and he was soon going to pass out if his bones weren't crushed first. "Nemir!? Any suggestions?!"
A storm began to form around, as if summoned by the slydrid itself, raging with unpredictable fury. The smaller beasts made it over the sides of the ship and moved towards the crew; there were five of them. Nemir released all of his restraints on trying to remain "suttle" with his abilities. The pets of the enemy crawled forward, and he raised his hands against them and let go. As the rain poured, Nemir drew upon the elemental phas, forming the rain drolets into spikes of ice, and directed them hard at the beasts. The smaller slydrids fell to the deck writhing in pain as every inch of their flesh was pierced by the sage's attack, and then their threat was ended. Overhead, Ren's battle with the great beast reached a climax, and Nemir could hear his friend's shout over the storm. As Ren fought on, the air about him crackled with aether. Using the phases elemental and physical, Nemir directed the energy around Ren, transforming his skin to a stone-like form. "The nape of the neck," Nemir spoke in his friend's thoughts. "Tis weak and unproteced there! Attack on my signal!" With that Nemir's eyes glowed green, as a concussive blast launched from his fingertips and struck the lower abdomen of the great slydrid, causing it to bend forward.
Ren focused all of his remaining strength and cut down hard slicing through the dark tendril and almost into himself. As the grip released his body he began to slip and grasped the side of the long appendage. "Here goes everything." Ren thought as he steadied himself on the arm and jumped atop the creature's head digging deep into its neck. With a mighty roar Ren pushed hard and fast letting his weight and momentum do the work for him. He twisted the blade to let the hooked end face inward and he dove toward the sea dragging the blade along with him. It opened a deep gash as it trailed around the dark aggressor and Ren hung on tightly as it swung again upward connecting with the cut he had made previously at the base of the neck. Ren ran up the back of the monster's head and stood looking down on the ship below. "So here it is...I finally see what this sea has hidden away for me and it is a beast as black as the heart of the dark soldiers of Deluge. Remember me world when my breath leaves my body." Ren spoke to himself and to the sky as he felt the fibers of the monster's neck give way. The head began to slide and tear away from the body and Ren took a step forward and let his body fall or so he thought.

His ears were filled with the sounds of whirring and clicking as he felt himself be slowly lowered from the sky. Ren opened his eyes and gazed upward at the most unusual contraption he had ever laid eyes on. "I hope you didn't think you were getting out of our agreement that easily." Gretchen said in a rather flustered tone as her legs pumped hard to keep her ornithoptor aloft. "Now, if you don't mind, this rig was only meant for one and I am losing altitude. Would you like to resume your plunge to the depths or would you like to go back to the ship?" Ren was speechless and looked down to the sea at the monster that thrashed hard throwing rocks and crashing waves. "I...would like to go back to the ship, since you asked." Ren's mind boggled at what had just happened and he had to shake himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming. "Cut that out! I told you its hard enough flying this thing with two people let alone with you thrashing about down there causing trouble." Ren looked hard at her and at her machine that grabbed hold of his shoulder so firmly that it saved his very life. The duo descended to the deck where Ren breathed a sigh of relief and nodded over to Coatl who had 'somehow' become tangled in some rigging line at the helm. "I swear Cap'n it wad na my idea." Ren smiled and looked back to Nemir who was still standing by the edge of the ship watching the giant beast slip beneath the waves. "Nemir, I want to speak with you alone when you get time. I need to know what in the depths that was and why it attacked us without warning." Ren turned back to head to his cabin and caught sight of his slack jawed crew looking back and forth between the woman and the sage. "What ave we ear Cap'n Atreyu? Be day stow aways or something else?" The general voice of the crew was questioning and angry to say the least. "They are friends. Didn't you see how they helped save you sniveling lot and this ship." Ren looked over at Gretchen and smiled and awkward smile. "That woman even saved my life. Any of you rat's that want to touch 'em can take their turn with me." As he spoke he lifted his sword in the crew's direction. "Any more complaints?" The crew members looked back and forth at each other in a disgruntled and confused manner. Not a man would dare challenge Ren after his previous display against the monster, at least not as of yet. "Very well than. Back to work!" Ren stormed across the deck and into his cabin closing the door behind him.
Nemir looked about the deck, exchanging glances with each of his crewmates. "I do not need your approval," he said in passing as he opened the door to Ren's cabin and entered. "Ren," Nemir spoke up upon closing the door, "I must say, you handle yourself exceptionally well. In all truth, I have never seen anyone move in such a fashion without the aid of Aether. Anyways, that is not why called me in confidence. The creature that attacked us, tis referred to as a Slydrid. Over the decades they have become more of a legend than a realistic fear, supposedly drawing ships to them through enchanting melodies. As we have both seen, legend is clearly a foolish label. Their origin still remains much of a mystery to the Sage guild. Even more of a mystery is how they came to pay their allegiance to Deluge. They are a chaotic species with no moral aptitude bound by a very rigid set of instinctual desires that has often brought them in conflict with our enemies. Normally, they tend to live in the darkest depths in the colder regions of the sea. One coming this close to shore would suggest that it has been 'influenced.' They have long since believed to be extinct by those who knew of their existence. This recent appearance alongside Deluge's aggressive movements deeply troubles me. Possibly the attacks we have heard of are not random acts of violence. Maybe they are coordinated assaults led by a greater head. This is only speculation, though, my friend. While we fought it I attempted to gain some access to its mind. The thought processes were too primative to gain any sort of understanding beyond reflex or impulse. I did, however, find a latent trace of Aether on the outreaches of its thoughts. To me this would suggest that the beast, at some point in time, might of been under someone's control. Really, that is all I can tell you. Oh, I received a letter from a friend of mine. He suggested that we dock at Blue Anchor. It is relatively safe and close to the reported assaults.
"Very well, we shall make way to Blue Anchor." Ren said as he leaned his chin on his folded hands. "I will make the arrangements with Coatl to steer us there forthright. I do fear one thing though Nemir, after the display of your power and the uncovering of our fairer crew member I would not expect us to have much crew left once we dock." Ren's eyes narrowed as if looking not at Nemir, but through him. "If that is the case I don't see how we will be able to sail onward. By now I am sure that they are blaming the attack on the presence of the two of you. I just hope..." Ren shook his head and sat up. "I just hope that we can continue onward after that." The door to the cabin swung open and Gretchen stepped inside shutting it behind her. "I beg your pardon Re...er..Captain, but I have been checking the ship over and she is pretty banged up. It would take a month in dry dock for her to be seaworthy again." Gretchen's words were those of sorrow. She, though hating the sea, loved the technology of ships and this was a beauty of one. Ren looked over to his map on the wall. "Alright Gretchen, I understand. Are we going to make it to port at Blue Anchor with the way she looks?" Gretchen frowned and fiddled with her hair. "I want to say yes, but it is doubtful at this point to tell." Ren stood and walked over to the map tracing the course they had laid in. He sighed and ran his fingers across his neck as he stretched. "I...I will do everything in my power to keep her together that long, Ren. Just do me a favor....tell me something." Ren turned his head over his shoulder to her with a questioning glance. "And what would that be?" Gretchen shoved her hands in her pockets, trying to hide her nervous nature. "Did you mean what you said out there? The stuff about you being our friend and willing to fight your whole crew if it came to it?" Ren smiled and shrugged. "I drew my sword didn't I? I suppose we'll never have to find out for sure though, will we?" Gretchen giggled and turned to leave. "I suppose not, all the same....thanks." Gretchen left as quickly as she entered and Ren and Nemir were left looking at each other. "I wonder what that was all about?" Ren said with a smile. "I swear I will never understand women."

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Re: The Story Thus Far

Post by J1NX on Thu 28 Feb 2008, 11:24 pm

Coatl stood at his post watching as the few men that were scattered about the deck resumed their previous positions. He could sense the tension in the air and didn't care for it one bit. He heard the door close behind him and turned slightly. "I tawt da two of you hated each other, now you gone off and riskin ya lives for each other. Wha can I expect next?" Coatl joked as Gretchen stood next to him and leaned on the railing. "Ren said we are heading to Blue Anchor now. Mind the men and I will try to keep this ship together long enough to make it there." Coatl quirked a brow at her. "Not gonna talk about it are we? Very well den, but da nex time I bring a woman on dis ship I bring er fo me." Coatl smiled wide his white teeth showing in the darkness of his face. Gretchen blushed and hit Coatl hard on the back of the head. "You watch what you say, I don't take kindly to people poking fun at my expense and I doubt the Captain does either." Coatl turned the helm and the ship sway slightly beneath their feet. "What eva ya say lass. If ya find any troubles wit da men you lemme know first, got it?" Gretchen nodded and went to her room to begin repairs.
Blue Anchor, caretaker to Refugge Port, stood as the major supporter of sea trade in the lands of Caedinn. The city itself could not compare to Cornesia in size, yet its port, though, stretched much farther and attracted a wider spectrum of merchants. Indeed, the city formed its very survival around the lucrative endeavors of its patrons, so most of its resources centered on improving the quality and ease of trade. Much of the success that current businesses throughout the land experienced owed virtually everything to Blue Anchor’s dedication to the cause. One would assume that such a place would be an attractive target for raids; in the early years this was the case. Since those days, the city has received a tremendous amount of support from Cornesia and its famous Guard. In fact, Blue Anchor has its own barracks to house them. It is said that Veiar Dunbar, the Guard’s current leader, often visits the city personally to assess its defenses, and has assigned one of his most trusted Lieutenants, Jecht Turu, to act as leader. Since his tenure began crime dropped drastically within the city.
Gretchen was every bit as skilled as she boosted…perhaps more. They reached Refugge Port at Blue Anchor within the predicted time, still afloat. Strange, as the ship drifted into the harbor the travelers were not greeted by the morning’s rays creeping over the eastern mountain tops. Instead, the night continued to reign as if day had forfeited its hold over these hours. As everyone around him ran about the deck making the preparations to dock Nemir stood staring at the sky puzzled at what was transpiring. “This is…most disturbing,” he thought to himself. “Tis more than an hour past the point of dawn’s arrival, and yet it has not come.” Realizing that Ren shared his concern, Nemir spared them both the obvious. “I realize you fear for your helmsman’s family, and that you must aid them. Though I desire to assist you, I feel a great urgency to investigate this anomaly. It may seem as a happenstance, but I sense a grave evil behind this. Maybe all of these events that began a fortnight ago fall under the same source. If that is so, what more can we expect and what could possess such power? My friend, I shall go with you if you wish, but I feel that this should not go overlooked or taken lightly. This is only the beginning to something beyond any of us, and yet…it is veiled from me.” Nemir allowed a slight chuckle to escape his lips. “I must be sounding quite mad to you…crying wolf before any true evidence solidifies. Well, I doubt that I may be able to do much on my own, and it would not sit well with my conscience to let you go to the Darkspire Mountains without my assistance. Tis settled, then. Whilst you gather whatever we need for our trek and make preparations, I shall seek out the city guard captain and see what he may share about the recent activity in this region. Oh, and Ren, you should consider your role in all of this. Everything that has happened and will happen affects all of us...even you. Caedinn could very well be in danger. Perhaps a more active role is in order…” With, Nemir disembarked from the ship and entered the city.

-------------------=========Elsewhere=================-------------------



Ever wonder what darkness would be like if it actually took a tangible form. If you breathed it in during each passing moment and it filled your lungs and every inch of your body, how would you feel? Isolated, virtually powerless, pain coursing through your veins, dwelling in a darkness that no light can penetrate, strangely cold…cold beyond reason, no hope whatsoever, what would be going through your mind? Xver dwelled in this darkness. The Ancients, what the earliest Aether-users on Parragoth were referred to as, saw it fit that he live out the rest of his life in a place as black as his heart, the Shadow Plane. He was a Mindweaver, an Aether-user who focused his abilities around such things as manipulation, control, domination, and enslavement. Others’ thoughts were open to him completely and at his disposal-their worst fears…their worst nightmares at his fingertips. The eldest of five brothers, he was by far the most dangerous threat that Caedinn ever faced, though few even knew of his existence. Most who cared to listen to the stories of old knew of his three brothers that were imprisoned like him long before in another realm. They were immensely powerful beings who sought to take control of the Paragon Apparatus, an incredible device created by the Ancients with the initial purpose to bring about what is referred to as the Age of Tranquility. When the three rose up against the Ancients, the very device they had attempted to steal was used to seal them away into the Entropy Realm-a plane with no exit except through the power of the device. Xver wished to avenge the shame that had been brought to his family by freeing his brothers and taking the power for himself. Being even more powerful than his other siblings the Ancients found themselves outmatched. In the end, only one stood between Xver and his ultimate goal-Dreamwalker, the powerful Summoner and master of Girno. The battle ended with the Summoner left for dead and Xver finding himself casted into the Shadowplane by the device, which somehow appeared to hold some sentient aspect of it. Indeed, the Ancients had created a living, thinking, aware device that was bound by a sense of order and morality. While Dreamwalker was struggling for his life against the Mindweaver, the Paragon Apparatus sensed Xver’s evil and, utilizing the remnants of the Summoner’s power, it opened a vortex over Xver. Then, the device shattered, scattering its remains across the corners of Caedinn…never to be used again.
Xver levitated in the darkness still holding curses under his breath as if it were his first day in this plane, and yet…seemingly concentrating on a single thought. “Nemir, my brother,” he spoke to himself. “You have grown abruptly in power; strange that I could not foresee it. No, I saw exactly what all of those fools saw-a weak, pathetic, being unworthy of bearing the Lavecs name. And now, you have exceeded all expectations, save for one-you allow yourself to be used. How could you ally yourself with our enemy?! I’ve considered sparing your wretched life, even though it is still pitiful, but seeing your commitment to them, I will gladly end your life, when I depart from this place, and keep the Lavecs name intact.” Xver began concentrating deeply again, attempting to make contact with his followers. The barriers that encompassed the realm poured into him like fire chasing and accelerant. Still, he continued even through the massive agony. Nemir had been right when he suggested that the creature that attacked the ship had been controlled. Contrary to what the Ancients believed, Xver could traverse the Shadowplane with his mind and make contact with his guild of Darken Aether-users that he had established. It was their power he had ordered into action to summon the great slydrid that attacked the ship Nemir traveled on. Not only could he contact the outside world, Xver had become more powerful with each passing moment he spent in this realm.
“Soon, Nemir, you shall meet the brother you never knew, and I will cut your heart out for betraying our family,” Xver grinned as he continued to sharpen his abilities through the anguish the experienced.
The inky blackness of the shadow realm stretched out in all directions. A cold barren wasteland that held nothing, save darkness and endless night. Lysander stood in quiet contemplation as he readied himself for his next trial. The whisp-like voices of the shadows crept into his ears and stirred him from his meditative trance. "....another...." The voices echoed. "...alive...for now..." Lysander's eyes fluttered open and he stared at the unending darkness. "What...what is another living thing doing here? This is a world for only the dark and black. Take me to it." His words were as cold as the air around him as he drew forth his blade and cut his hand. As his blood splashed upon the floor it pooled and made the darkness around him squirm and slither to him. His wound leaked his precious life force upon the ground and the lesser shadow demons drank it in gratefully. Red eyes stared up at him from the pool as a dark tendril extended and wrapped his wound. "I will not be stalled any longer brethren. Bring me to this new comer to our world." As his words left his lips his body was enveloped by the things that supped hungrily on his blood.

Darting through the shadows Lysander reflected on his last conference with his master. "You are still not ready to learn the next step in your training, youngling." The ominous voice never produced a face for him to look upon only offered council in his progression in the ancient art. "You still hold too true to the world you hail from. You have to accept the fate that is dealt to you. The world of your forefathers is a world of unrequited feelings and balance. Once you can truly control your heart, only then will you be able to become a true Shadowwalker." Lysander was confused and disheartened as he thought about his words. "I have hardened my heart to all the world and let no one man turn my mind from study, what could my lord require of me? Perhaps that is the problem in itself. Perhaps I have tried too hard to hide my true intentions and should embrace not only the strong, but also the weak side of my bloodline. We shall see."

Lysander had been in and out of the shadow realm since just after his forth year of life and he had become all too accustom to the dark and heartless ways of the demons that dwell therein. After spending the last one-hundred years training with the deep and black he was ready to step foot on hard ground again. The swift movement of the demons that carried him couldn't be matched by anything while they inhabited the shadow realm, after all it was what had spawned them. Lysander stepped out from the shadows that surrounded him as he reached the position of the newcomer to his world. He waved a hand and the demons that quietly supped on his life force parted from him. "It is unsafe for you to be here man of the realm. Please tell me who you are and how you came to be in this of all places. This is a sacred place for me and mine and you are not to be here." Lysander bit his lip and spit blood on the ground before them and let the shadows chew a hole between the worlds opening a large gate that swirled ominously before them. "Speak now and let me assist you on your way home."

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Re: The Story Thus Far

Post by J1NX on Thu 28 Feb 2008, 11:24 pm

----====Elsewhere in Cornesia====----

The light of day was far from sight and it worried Ren as he finished securing the ship in dry dock. He tossed his pistol to Gretchen with a frown. "I cannot guarantee your safety here, are you sure you will do this on your own?" Gretchen laughed and shoved the pistol into her belt. "Ren...Captian...darling, I have handled worse crowds at family reunions. Besides I won't be alone." Ren squinted and raised a brow and then heard a loud bang from above them on the ship. "Ay, Cap'n!" Coatl shouted as he lowered down on a line of rigging. "I volunteered to give er a and on da repairs. Afta all, dis ship be me baby as much as yours. No worries bruda!" He grabbed Gretchen around the waist and took to climbing like a monkey back up the rope. Ren frowned as he realized what was going on. "So...I suppose that means I will go alone to try and get any information I can and maybe I'll get lucky enough to recruit some crew members that aren't as afraid as our last few." Ren pulled on his cloak and turned to go towards town. "I hate this part of the job."

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