Monsters And Misfits Chapter 1: Tides and Turbulence

coolpool2

Savage AF
The Original Gangster
#1
The Beginning​

There once existed a perfect world.
A world without conflict. A world without hunger. A world without pain. A world without evil.
For it was a world of nothing.
The world was a tiny planet, not much bigger than a house.
On that small planet lived a girl. The Architect.
The girl knew nothing but the small world she called home.
The perfect world, where nothing could go wrong, because there was nothing to cause it to.
Time had no meaning in such a world. For as long as she could remember the world was all she knew.
There was no way to track the flow of time. The empty void beyond her world was static and unchanging.
The Architect was the master of her world. She understood everything that existed in her world, except for herself. She could shape the world’s laws any way she willed it to. She created all of the world’s laws, down to the smallest fragments of it.
Yet, she often found herself wondering why she was on her world. Wondering what her purpose was.
But the girl could not find an answer. All that existed was the world, herself, and the endless void.
She once tried venturing far from her world. Searching for some meaning in the void, but she only found emptiness. Time after time again she returned to her perfect unchanging world.
The girl started to give up hope in finding meaning, and tried to accept her home for what it was. A place where she would never be hurt. A place where she could live peacefully in solitude.
But the girl grew lonely. Her world was so small.
In her own image, she created another being. It sat there in the world devoid of life.
The Architect tried over and over again to create companionship for herself to no avail. With every attempt she would create a lifeless form, then turn it back into dust after seeing her failure.
With every failure the world grew a little larger. Optimistically hoping she would succeed, planning out a place for her new companion to stay before the inevitable failure.
Inspiration struck the girl. She created nine empty vessels, and from herself took a minuscule fragment of her soul. The fragment was split into nine pieces, one for each vessel.
The nine figured stirred to life. Each one staring at the world around them.
The girl was overjoyed. She created sound so that they could communicate, teaching each one of her creations like a doting mother.
Together they lived on the small world in the void. The perfect world without pain or conflict.
The girl was no longer lonely. Even if her creations bickered from time to time she enjoyed teaching them and raising them.
Even so, there was a part of the girl that had hoped her creations could help her find the meaning of her life, help her figure out why she was the Architect of the world and where she came from.
The architect was content.
Only after she was not alone, did she realize the sort of power she wielded. The girl did not want to waste her power any longer.
She told her creations about her grand design. She would make the world much larger, big enough to support a variety of life.
Life free to choose its own path.
The Architect was the master of the world. It could be said that the girl and the world were inseparable, one could not exist without the other.
For this reason she knew that this was the end of her perfect world.
Her grand design would bring about much pain and suffering. For if free will exists so will conflict.
The Architect meticulously shaped every corner of the world. Her imagination was limitless, and her power unending.
She created billions of lesser vessels. Her final preparations complete.
The girl gazed at each of her nine original creations, there was a solemn look in her eyes. It was quickly replaced with a smile, one filled with hope. As a small piece of her soul left her being and split infinitesimally seeking to fill the vessels, the seed of all life.
She watched her new creations sprout. They were lesser beings. Some were weak and did not survive. Some were cruel and preyed on others. Some sacrificed themselves for the sake of others.
The girl loved all her creations. From the most honorable to the most wicked. She saw beauty within all of them. More than anyone else, she loved the world. She loved life.
She guided her creations, but never directly controlled their fate. She would never take away their will.
One day a war broke out between the architect’s lesser creations. One of her original creations came to her side and questioned what they should do. Questioned if it was a mistake to create new life, new suffering.
The girl’s eyes stayed fixated, watching the battle. She had caused the bloodshed, so she had no right to look away. As conflict went on and on, her answer was always the same.​

“Wait, and Hope”​

~=~-~=~
The ship rocks back and forth gently with the waves. The smell of sea water in the air as the waves splash against the hull. The sun paints the sky orange as it sat above the horizon. It’s a quiet evening, nothing but the sound of the waves and footsteps on the deck. The merchant boat and ferry ship, The Horace sails towards its destination. Ralith is a quiet place, an island far from the mainlands. It is a strange place. For almost a century anyone is allowed to come, regardless or race, class, or even criminal record, so long as they cause no trouble. The perfect place to retire to a quiet life, or lay low. It had originally been a merfolk and human settlement, but over the years new settlers made the place more diverse. Ralith is a fishing town, it doesn’t see much traffic in and out from foreign islands, so it can be hard to find a ferry to take there.

Under the deck the lanterns sway gently as they illuminate the mess deck of the large merchant vessel. The passengers and some of the crew laze about, some trying to enjoy a meal. Tables and chairs sit on the well kept wooden floor, laid about in a neat fashion. Behind a counter sat the crew member in charge of the meals, handing out food to whoever wanted some. All of the passengers gathered there that evening, the meal was part of the trip’s expenses, most people wouldn’t waste it, even if it wasn’t the best. A ship guard leans against the wall idly, his eyes moving around, occasionally eyeing up the passengers. Piracy was a growing problem these days, but good help was expensive and hard to find. A few deck hands popped in and out occasionally, but most didn’t stay around too long.

An old looking merman sat around a table in the center of the room. Slowly chewing on some food while looking lost in thought. Off to the side a pair of passengers sat across from each other at their table. One wearing a hooded cloak, concealing their head with their back turned to the others, chatting with a not hooded cloaked cheerful looking man. Sitting in the corner reading a book is a women who at a glance could only be described as exotic. Wearing intricate robes, what looked like curly horns peeked out of her robe’s hood. She seemed either oblivious or uncaring to the other people around the room. Five other passengers are in the room, each one a stranger. But little did they know, that this is the beginning of an adventure.
 
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Elliot

Confirmed Robot
Member
#2
Finding a series of ships and a series of stops to take them all the way from the Gilded City to Ralith had taken a lot of time and money, and had been exceptionally boring and uneventful, except for where Six could create their own entertainment. The further from the capital they'd traveled, the less outwardly-interesting the people had become... until now, that is.

The ferry to Ralith is full of unusual sorts almost without exception. The slew of new people to observe and the fact that the journey is nearly over have conspired to bring Six into high spirits. They embody the form of a woman they'd seen a few trips back, with warm, brown skin, joyful eyes, and a wild head of dark curls. In their flamboyant finery, they move with a carefree confidence that reflects the fact that they no longer have to watch their every step. Sauntering into the mess hall, Six spots the merman sitting all alone -- the perfect mark for a conversation -- and pulls up a chair directly across from him. There are many people here they are interested in, and they keep their eyes and ears alert for all of them, but one has to start somewhere.

After their food arrives, and they've taken a good look at the old man, Six broaches conversation. "Hey there, old fellow," they say easily, inclining their head. "This is a homecoming, right? You should be happy. But it looks like something's bothering you, eh? What's the matter?"
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#3
Lord Azureoth, the Awoken puffed himself up in his cabin and beamed at the polished brass mirror he'd brought along with him*. Yes, the crown was definitely doing the trick. He had little doubt that all manner of people would be awestruck by the grandiose nature of his appearance, the cluttered excess of shiny gemstones a clear indication of his status and ability. It never occurred to him they'd think he looked like an absolute ti- oh gods, he was going to be sick again.

Now, an important thing to note here is that while becoming a lich had improved many of Azureoth's physical senses, he'd lost all ability to taste or smell, or to digest food of any kind. Which meant that he had no idea if he had already started smelling like a rotting corpse yet or not - (admittedly, it did seem his skin was drooping a bit more than usual lately) - and so he had decided to try and prolong the decaying process as long as possible while in such crowded company.

Obviously, a little minor spellwork was enough to take care of any stench whenever he remembered to deal with it, but it was best to have redundancies, just in case. One didn't make it very far as an arcane researcher without making a habit of failsafes, and redundant safety measures in general.

This was why he had been occasionally sneaking out to get seawater to drink at nights. (Filtered and boiled, of course.) Just a little swallow here and there. Just enough to salt his innards... and then throw up later, when he got seasick.

'Lord' Azureoth threw off his silly crown and flung it onto the hammock, before rushing out of the cabin and sprinting his way up the steps to the top deck. He made it all the way to the railing this time before he doubled over and retched, again and again, grasping the wooden rail hard enough to undoubtedly cause irreversible damage to the stagnant tissue layers in his fingertips. The sunlight flashed blindingly bright off of the smooth, shiny bald spat atop his head, as little deposits of foul liquid splashed one after the other from his mouth into the sea.

Tragic, really. His stomach wasn't even supposed to work anymore, just like the rest of the fleshy tissues in his body. It was arcane energy that animated his body, not muscle. Of all the people who'd ever experienced undeath throughout history, it was quite possible that Azureoth was the only one who could actually feel seasick enough to induce vomiting.

*(Being undead, he no longer had a reflection on silver. A platinum mirror would have been ideal, of course, but that sort of wealth wasn't accessible to just any fresh-minted Undead Lord.)
 
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Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#4
Thus far, Gilgaloth had found his ferry trip to Ralith entirely without merit. He had hopped aboard it a mere few days after manifesting onto the Material Plane, having taken the time in between to ensure that his disguise was effective; it had been over a century since he had last been inspiring, except in the terror-inducing sense common to the infernal military. That left the problem of how to tackle those aboard in the hopes of gaining converts. There was nothing in the way of a united sense of purpose to the Horace's passengers; they didn't seem to have common hopes or dreams to pervert. They were misfits or, his empty stomach turned at the thought, monsters. Lesser beings that he would never have had to consort with as Saint-King.

One evening in particular, the devil found himself upon the deck leaning over the bow, while most of the other passengers enjoyed - rather, tolerated - the mediocre meals being offered below. He took soft breaths of the briny air and luxuriated in the cool breeze (a sensation quite unfamiliar to Hell, in general) while looking out at the sunset, racking his brain for ideas on how to begin. Monsters and misfits... Yes, that was it. Those who felt that they didn't belong, who wanted to change the world and to be accepted for who they were: they were the most vulnerable to rhetoric of inclusiveness and loving oneself for oneself. A broad, beaming smile touched Isonzo's bearded face as he stood up straight, and any who were to look at him would have seen blazing light catch on the halo which hovered above his head. Perhaps they would even have wondered what beautiful event had brought such joy to a man so clearly destined for heroism.

His excitement was interrupted by the sound of running on the deck, followed shortly by feeble heaving, and Gilgaloth turned. But, of course - it was the short, pathetic-looking man who seemed more concerned with his gaudy crown and posture than personal hygiene or devising a way to manage seasickness. The man certainly had a disorder of some sort, whether social or developmental, and for that reason alone (well, that and the unavoidable stench of being near him), Gilgaloth strongly considered not paying him any mind. Then again... he would make for as good a proof of concept as could be, even if he was otherwise useless, as well as a difficult test of the devil's ability to feign compassion and sympathy despite experiencing enough war for multiple lifetimes.

With that in mind, he walked over to the still-retching man and promptly clapped him near the top of his back - nearly hard enough to send him over the railing, purely by accident. What kind of fragile sack of bones was he? "Ah- sorry about that, sir!" He apologized earnestly, looking down at him - very, very down - with concern and sunlight both warming his golden eyes while he proceeded to rub between Azureoth's shoulders, slowly easing the nausea. "Didn't mean to tip you over, just to help with the seasickness. I take it you're not very much of a sailor; only been aboard a ship a couple of times, myself." He added, as his nose took note of an incongruity between the man's seemingly-lacking hygiene and complete lack of a scent save for that he was spewing into the waves below. A... spellcaster of some fashion or another, if by no means a successful one. "It's nice to meet you; the name's Isonzo! Don't, uh, feel obligated to give me yours just yet, though."
 

coolpool2

Savage AF
The Original Gangster
#5
~Six~ @Elliot

Up close Six gets a good look at the old merman. There are a few wrinkles on his blue skin not covered by the scales here and there. The long fins on his head look like they’ve seen better days, looking a bit weathered from time. His light blue eyes look a little tired, but there’s plenty of wisdom to be found in them. As Six grabs his attention he look surprised for a moment, but not unwelcoming. He smiles at the seemingly wealthy young lady in front of him and chuckles. “Excuse me miss, nothing’s the matter. It’s just, when you get to my age you have a lot to think about.” He says, letting out a quiet chuckle to himself. “But you are correct, I am returning home and quite happy I must say. The moment I get off this boat I will never be happier, for I will get to see my soft bed again.” The old man smiles playfully at the lady, his words confident and full of energy.

He eyes the lady and her attire and asked, “If I may be so bold, what brings a fine lady such as yourself to our little backwater?” A little grin grew on his face, curious as to her answer.
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#6
"Gah! Wen ver aralai- ahhh!" The little man immediately launched into the incantation for a simple, basic flight spell as he felt himself suddenly pitch forward against the railing. For the space of a brief, few syllables, his voice rang out deep and clear. Ethereal light spilled blue from his eyes and mouth, and each word came out in a melody of perfect, resonant pitch and tone. The wind changed course to whip around him, billowing the two men's clothes to and fro for a half-moment, and briefly slackening the sails...

...and then, as suddenly as it had started, every one of those effects immediately ceased as the larger man seized hold of his robe and pulled him back on deck, and the unfinished incantation turned into a mere, high-pitched squeal. He flailed his arms about for a brief moment as Isonzo steadied him, and then angrily threw off the other man's arm, (or tried to), and turned to face him.

"Unhand me, you brute! Harumph!" He drew himself indignantly up to his full height, to look the other man in the... well, in the chest, really, so he had to crane his neck back quite a bit to make eye contact. "I'll have you know my name is Azu- I mean Lord Azureoth, and I am the most powerful wizard you have ever met or even laid eyes upon! So what do you think of that, eh!?"

His nasal whine faltered off towards the end, as a particularly big pitch of the hull caused him to stumble backwards, windmilling his arms a couple of times before grasping the rail again to steady himself. He'd considered taking an airship for this reason, but admittedly, heights made him rather nervous ever since one of his fellow students, back in the university, had hung him from the flagpost by his drawers late at night. In trying to extradite himself he'd torn them, and ended up with a broken ankle from the resulting fall.

Come to think of it, that student had looked a lot like this Isonzo.

He righted himself and struggled to keep on trying to stare the man down, reminding himself that things were different now. He was an all-powerful arcane being, now, and would not be intimidated by... um, ordinary people, anymore...

Right?
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#7
Though the sudden display of magical power (or, at least, magical proficiency) caught him somewhat offguard, Gilgaloth didn't take the callous and confrontational action of setting a hand on his sword. Indeed, he was somewhat pleased to have had his suspicions about the man confirmed, and smiled all the more broadly (even more genuinely; the effort was already beginning to feel like less of a waste of time). He released the man - "Lord" Azureoth's, apparently - shoulder after an unsuccessful attempt to shake off its firm grip, figuring it better to politely assent to the request of a man who was, quite quickly, making his insecurities painfully and pitiably obvious.

It was difficult, incredibly so, to force himself neither to laugh nor scoff when Azureoth made the extremely dubious claim that he was the most powerful wizard that Gilgaloth had ever met or laid eyes on. Though Nethanel had been a sorceress, she stood in an entirely different league from this mess - as did many of her contemporaries, and thus Vishkeos' allies and enemies. Since dying, he had witnessed powers beyond the imagining of the wizard, unleashed during battles in which millions of souls were brushed aside like embers before an ocean to become the stuff that the hells were made of. Compared to such displays of power, this paltry and anxious man was a joke - if, perhaps, a killing one.

Instead, Gilgaloth smiled a touch more broadly, not betraying just how amusing he found the declaration. "What I think, Azureoth - excuse me, Lord Azureoth, what are you the lord of exactly? - is that if what you said is true, I'm extremely impressed. And, well, if we're going for flashy introductions then I've gotta come up with something to match!" His sonorous voice carried far better over the wood and water, and he merely cleared his throat in preparation as the deck lurched beneath him, standing almost perfectly still with the poise of a skillful and well-trained warrior. "Make that the mighty warrior Isonzo Adellon, wandering hero and righteous protector of the innocent! Lover of- wait, no, that definitely gives the wrong impression... beloved by all!" He reached up to set a hand on his chin, gently stroking his blonde beard, seemingly satisfied.

"I suppose that wasn't an amazing introduction, but it'll do. I'll have more time to practice in the future, but I think that says what I'm about; helping people feel better and keeping them safe!" His eyes flicked down to meet Azureoth's directly. Though it was cloaked in the handsome and glamorous appearance of Isonzo Adellon and softened by his ever-present grin, Gilgaloth's gilded gaze carried a supernatural weight and pressure that the lich couldn't have hoped to expect - one which would have frozen his blood or caught his breath if he had, at that point, required either. "So, what about you, Lord Azureoth? Why are you going to Ralith, and - aside from incredible magical powers - what do you stand for?"
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#8
The self-titled 'Lord' Azureoth puffed himself up, finally regaining some semblance of balance on his feet. "Hah!" He declared smugly, folding his arms. "Mock me all you want, but I'll rule these lands soon enough!" He stuck up his chin proudly, reveling in his own accomplishment. "I'm going to gather minions, me. Once they see what incredible power I possess, they'll be scrambling over each other to serve the great Lord Azureoth!"

It was clear he'd been out of touch with humanity for quite some time... though not quite enough that he wasn't preparing for the apparent would-be-hero standing there to attack him. Nothing fancy, just a simple concussive blast to throw him overboard should he step forward too suddenly. Truth was he didn't have the stomach for mild sea travel - let alone cold-blooded murder - but he'd be dying for a chance to gloat at someone, if he hadn't already (quite literally) done so.
 

Dunsparce

Well-Known Member
Member
#9
Jeff the janitor had finally fulfilled all his duties on the ship for the day. He entered his quarters and jumped right in to bed so fast that he didn't notice that another bed was leaned up against the wall. As soon as he got as comfortable as he could get, he felt something slimey cover his mouth. A tentacle had wrapped itself around his face. If he screamed, it was so muffled that no one would think anything of it. Jeff's mind was flooded with thoughts trying to figure out what was happening to him and trying to find an escape. Did some kind of sea monster get in his room? He attempts to jump back out of bed, but his bed sheets became incredibly tight. He's exhausted from a day of work, but he's not sure he'd be able to free himself even at full strength. All he can do is strugle as his bed reshapes into a huge carnivorous mouth.

As Jeff is driven mad by terror, the last coherent thought to enter his mind is "Why won't it just snap my neck?" This nameless evil seems to prefer eating its prey while it is still very much alive. The creature that took the form of a bed swallowed Jeff whole, and reshaped itself in the form of a young woman. A woman named Saya.

Saya moved the other bed back in its proper place. She knelt at the door and stuck her hand in the opening at the floor. A pseudopod with an eye on the end grew out of her hand and went under the gap. When she was confident she would not be seen exiting the room, she left.

Having sated her hunger, Saya decides to go to the top of the ship. She thinks it would be best to establish some kind of alibi for when people realize that a crime was committed, and she'd like to get some practice talking to people, plus she doesn't have much of a reason to go to the mess hall since she can't eat the food. Saya approaches two men on the deck who appear to be introducing themselves to eachother. She invites herself into the converstion.

"Hi guys! I don't think we've met!"

Saya looks at Azureoth and Gilgaloth with unblinking eyes and a vacant smile. Her face looks almost like it was painted on.

"I'm Saya, the human!" She says, failing to realize that humans rarely introduce themselves by declaring themselves as such.
 
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coolpool2

Savage AF
The Original Gangster
#10
~Azureoth~ ~Gilgaloth~ ~Saya~ @Easy @Tirin @Dunsparce

Their conversation is interrupted by a boisterous laughter. A very large orc man walks towards the passengers, his loud footsteps echo against the deck. A man the passengers have all seen before walks up to them, Captain Zack. His muscular body and face carry quite a few scars. The first impression he gives off makes him seem more like the captain of a pirate ship than a successful trader. “Rule the lands? Gather minions? Maybe ya should get some sea legs and stop putting on light shows first lad!” He laughs in a way that’s both mocking and friendly, staring Azureoth in the eyes. “Take it from someone who’s traveled ‘cross the seas, the world’s a dangerous place. I’d say it gets more dangerous every year. Just being strong ain’t cutting it anymore. Or maybe it never did in the first place. These days danger comes from anywhere and anytime. The folks at Ralith, fools the lot of em to try and be so welcoming.” The large orc’s expression turns a bit grimmer for a moment as he adjusts his captain’s hat before smiling again.

“Why, I’d bet good money that a certain pretty lady traveling with us could crush your skull with ‘er bare hands if she wanted too. Imagine my surprise when I saw that my humble vessel would have such a hero for a passenger.” He chuckles to himself, pacing along the deck as he speaks. “And I’m sure you recall that we did weapon checks when everyone boarded. You wouldn’t believe what that one small girl was carrying with her. A screwball bat with jagged nails jammed into the end, dyed dark with blood. Sent shivers down one of my men’s spine when he saw her with it.” He stops for a moment and clicks his tongue. “A sailor scared of a little lass, I swear the world’s fallen into chaos. In this world, physical strength or some powers alone won’t get you far. Ya need guts. Experience. Ya can tell the type of people whose bad sides ya don’t want to get on with one look, ya can see it in their eyes.” His eyes move to Gilgaloth for a moment, “They’ve all seen some shit.” He bursts into laughter again and grabs a stool on the deck before taking a seat. “Well, that’s just some words of wisdom from an old sea dog, make of it what ya will.”

“Although I hafta admit, this group of passengers is certainly the strangest bunch I’ve ferried in a while.” His eyes stare at the three of them, lingering on each one for a moment. “Cause no trouble, if ya only take away one thing from me make it that. Trust me, you’ll live longer.” He smirks and stares at the distant waves.
 
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Elliot

Confirmed Robot
Member
#11
@coolpool2

He's certainly got an interesting shape. The weathered look on his skin, the scales along his body, those warm and tired eyes... Six can imagine what the old merman might have looked like in times past. There's an unexpected energy in his words though, and he seems quite cheerful now that they've spoken to him. "Is that what you call a bold question?" they ask, a playful look in their eyes to match the old man's. "Ralith, a backwater? You're uncharitable, good man. Heroes were made here in days past, if not born." They glance around the room again, taking a look at the curious person reading a book. "But I'm not here for anything special. Just to visit my uncle. We may have made it big in the city but we don't forget our roots, eh? I'm Ilya, by the way; it's my pleasure to meet you, Mister...?"

All lies, of course, but Six tells them with a practiced ease. Not dishonesty so much as telling, or embodying, a new story.
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#12
"Oh, my apologies - I didn't mean to offend somebody I've only just met! That said - quite frankly, Lord Azureoth, I think that you're going to have trouble gathering minions. People don't like to be called stuff like that, and you're going to have a hell of a lot of competition in the form of yours truly." Gilgaloth flashed his winningest smile at the feeble-looking man before him as he internally rolled his eyes. "But, hey, maybe that incredible power thing will work out... or we could leverage the best of both." Instead of reaching for his sword or diving to down the wizard (and, the more he thought about it, the more certain he became that he could prevent the would-be dark lord from casting by simply choking the life from him), Isonzo's hand extended to approximately chest level for the shorter man to offer a handshake. "Partnership has its own rewards, and magical power or no - there are things that each of us can do that the other can't. I won't be your minion, Lord Azureoth, but how does ally sound?"

The devil, awash in memories of being revered as a living Saint-King, balked at the thought of partnering with such a pathetic individual - but access to magic presented an incredible opportunity for him, even if it was attached to a self-absorbed fool, and he doubted that anything other than agreeing to be subservient (ha!) to "Lord Azureoth" would suffice in grabbing his attention. Indeed, even this offer may not be good enough.

He turned his head (though didn't drop his hand) as they were interrupted by a young woman who, amusingly enough, stood near Azureoth's height. That, at least, was what Gilgaloth thought as first before taking note of the strange way she introduced herself - and then got a look at her face, with its unblinking eyes and near-total lack of expression. She, or it, whatever it was, certainly wasn't human. But, then, that meant it was another monster to manipulate. His eyes narrowed just a fraction, almost imperceptibly, but Gilgaloth remained smiling. "Hello, Saya, my name is Isonzo Adellon. I'm a hero and warrior; what has you aboard the ferry to Ralith? It's a little out of the way for most, I should think. And this is - well, I suppose he could use a little more practice making grand introductions, so I'll let him go ahead. Don't want to steal the man's thunder!" He finished with a glance over to Azureoth, though the biting sarcasm of the words themselves was masked by a strikingly warm, genuine tone.

His gaze fell next on Captain Zack as the orc approached, and he couldn't help but chuckle at the joke made at Azureoth's expense - though gave the lich a look of apology and sympathy. "You're right. Strength certainly isn't the only measure of your ability to survive, captain. Cunning and experience go much further, I've found. Glad that you can recognize a man with no short supply of either as well as I can. I might seem young, but we aasimar retain our good looks for a damn long time." He gave an entirely sincere nod of respect and appreciation, though he found it quite amusing that Zack had no idea just how much of both qualities Gilgaloth possessed. It was a shame that he was born an orc, or he might have made something more of himself than a ferryman. "What's that you said about a hero, though? Because I'd love to test my strength against hers. Not so keen on meeting the freaky little girl, but... sometimes that's just how it is. Do you think that pretty lady's in the messdeck?"
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#13
Azureoth was caught off-guard by the sudden offer of partnership, and despite his lingering (ingrained) suspicions and reservations, was in the process of hesitantly reaching out a hand to clasp with his new acquaintance when suddenly...

"Why hello there, young lady!" He puffed himself up again and even more, immediately distracted by the new arrival on the scene. "Would you like to be my minion?" If he noted anything at all unusual about her mannerisms or appearance, (and he didn't), then he most certainly didn't show it. Truth be told, he was actually somewhat caught off-guard by having a pretty lady appear to start showing such genuine interest in him out of nowhere. As this made him increasingly nervous with every millisecond that passed, he was quite noticeably relieved, if annoyed, when the orc showed up to lecture him out of nowhere.

"Oh, yes!?" He rounded on the brute, voice raised higher in both pitch and volume than before. "And with all your experience, captain, can you tell me how to reconcile the Inmarozi Paradox with Procuspu's Third Principle, hmmm?" His arms waved furiously about, as though he was the sort of man who had a hard time talking without them. One almost expected his face would flush purple and a vein would start throbbing in his forehead, with how worked up he was getting... although neither of those things happened at all.

"Can you tell me the primary flaw in Exaldin's Theorem, or how a Sureneffi Incantation can be adapted for extraplanar alterations, or how to use that for temporal manipulation? No! Of course you can't!" He was outright shouting now, and rather inadvisably so given the nature of the things he was referring to. "There's not a mage at the University that could tell you that! You know why!? Because I found it all out myself! How's that for experience!?" He spat the last of it, so to speak - but one might notice a distinct lack of actual spittle to have been expelled by the enunciation, if one had been paying close enough attention to that detail.

All this off his chest, he finally seemed to calm down a little, and his expression turned swiftly from rage into scorn. "Bat with nails!" He sneered. "Crushing skulls! I could crush this whole ship to smithereens in a mere instant, if I wanted to. Don't forget it! Simpletons!" He turned made straight for his chambers again, stomping rather heavily for a man of his size, and curiously unaffected by the rocking of the deck.
 
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coolpool2

Savage AF
The Original Gangster
#14
~Six~

“Everyone calls me Beat. You’re free to do the same. I’m just an old bard, seeing what life has to teach me.” He smiles and pauses for a moment, relaxing with the gentle rocking of the ship. “My apologies, I didn’t think you were from Ralith as well. It’s true, Ralith was the cradle of the rebellion over a century ago, I was there when it happened mind you. But it’s always been a quiet place, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m sure you don’t want to hear an old man like me drone on, but it has a been a pleasure speaking with you Miss Ilya. But one last thing, if I may ask who is your uncle? I’m sure I’ve crossed paths with him at some point.” The old merman sits lazily in his seat, listening to the small talk from the couple a few tables over.


~Azureoth~ ~Gilgaloth~ ~Saya~

Captain Zack walks in front of Azureoth with an unwavering stare. The orc man stands tall, his menacing aura comes to life as his playfulness disappears. “You’re a bigger fool than I thought.” His voice is powerful, without a hint of fear in it. It would be enough to make an ordinary person shiver as he glares into Azureoth’s eyes. “Aye, I know not of your paradoxes and principles. I know not of ya theorems or incantations. I didn’t go to some fancy university or prestigious school.” There’s a fearsome growl in his voice, one of a person without fear of death. “But what I do know, is that if you destroy my ship, even if you kill me. You will be hunted down for a very very long time. Actions have consequences, even a child knows that.” With those words spoken, he walks aside, back to the other passengers with his back turned, the seriousness fading from his eyes.

His attention turns back to Gilgaloth. “Aye, I believe the lot of the other passengers are in the mess deck. She was wearing these exotic looking robes. Although I’d mind your words around her, the humble type, doesn’t fancy being called a hero.” He chuckles for a moment, then continues. “Not sure if ya could convince her to go a round, but who knows. Just try not to make a mess. As for the other girl, she doesn’t seem like a bad sort, just got a glare that’ll make a baby shut up.”
 

Dunsparce

Well-Known Member
Member
#15
Saya looks at Gilgaloth, who flinched slightly upon looking at her, betraying some modicum of suspicion. However, Saya only understands the most superficial trappings of facial expression, and would never notice it or attribute any meaning to it.
The devil asks Saya why she boarded the ferry to Ralith, a question she was hoping to avoid. If anything, Saya was more interested in the boat ride than the destination. Saya roams the world randomly searching for sustenance and amusement. She doesn't have any higher purpose to be going to Ralith besides an arbitrary whim. Luckily, Gilgaloth changes the subject before she's required to come up with a sufficient excuse, allowing Azureoth to introduce himself.

("... Minion?") Saya ponders to herself. Seeing the beginnings of rot on the Lich's face, she wasn't interested in forming any kind of long term relationship, as she could not see herself ever devouring the man. However, she has second thoughts as he proceeds to brag about his magical ability. Where most would disregard Azureoth's rant as mere sophistry, the naive Saya is inclined to believe he knows a great deal. She thinks there may be some exploitative advantage in siding with him, or at least it would make for an amusing adventure.

Captain Zack berates Azureoth, and then returns to talk with Gilgaloth. The two seem engrossed in conversation, so Saya decides to approach the Lich once more.

"I've decided to be your minion!" Saya continues to smile absentmindedly. She looks in the direction of Azureoth, but appears to be looking in the distance, as if he's invisible and she's looking at something behind him.
"By the way, what was your name again?"
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#16
Gilgaloth sighed internally as Azureoth's attention was diverted by the "woman", and he found himself shocked by the sheer degree of obliviousness that the man exhibited. Not only did the wizard appear to think that she was a woman to begin with, but he started to very rapidly become flustered - as though the vacancy of the creature's expression was something to be attracted to, rather than disturbed by (or, at least, concerned about). Well... a man who had, no doubt, been involuntarily celibate for the entirety of his life would take what he could get, the devil supposed. More accurately, would struggle not to stammer and make even more of a fool of himself than default. The situation was only made more volatile as the Captain's mocking brought the wizard to a boiling point, and Gilgaloth took that opportunity to voice an unimpressed sigh that, no doubt, Azureoth would be too preoccupied to notice. While waiting for him to shut up, however, the devil took note of a few minor inconsistences: namely, how the flow of Azureoth's blood didn't change despite his rapidly-heating mood, and the overall dryness of a man that one would expect to be unfortunately moist.

The cold, forceful manner in which the now-similarly salty sailor shut down the man's enraged ranting, no doubt, was only going to make the circumstances worse and "Lord Azureoth" more likely to show just how petty and unlordly a man he was. Despite that, Gilgaloth put him out of mind and plastered a smile back onto his face (if a more reserved one) as the captain approached, and even did him the courtesy of listening to what he had to say of the heroine - the possibility of proving himself against her in public would be a valuable one, and he could learn even from a loss. "Thank you, captain, I sincerely appreciate the information - and I'll be speaking with her soon. Won't throw things around either, if I can help it. But," his voice softened slightly while he set a firm, though not threatening, hand on the orc's shoulder, "I think that it would be best if you avoid antagonizing that man. Where he might be lacking brains, he surely has magical brawn - and as captain, it's your job to keep us passengers safe and get us where we're going, no? I don't mean to tell you how best to do your work, but I certainly believe it's worth thinking on. Of course, I'll do what I can to ensure he doesn't do anything too stupid." He added with an encouraging wink before removing his hand and following after Azureoth.

He had to rein in his jaw to keep it from dropping when he heard the strange girl say that she had decided to be Azureoth's minion, though he supposed that it meant well for the health of the passengers in general. Gilgaloth then took a moment to force a broad smile onto his handsome face as he walked the last few steps to engage the two in conversation. "Well - congratulations on your first minion, Lord Azureoth. I hope that you'll take the time to consider the offer that I made you more fully; for what it's worth, I can appreciate your thaumaturgical prowess even though I can't replicate it. It was nice meeting you and, er, Miss Saya... but I really must see about that alleged hero. It's not every day one has the chance to meet somebody famous, let alone two such distinguished individuals!" He let the compliment hang for but a moment before giving a slight nod in farewell and striding belowdecks to the mess, in the hopes of getting to the woman prior to her retiring to her cabin for the night.
 

Elliot

Confirmed Robot
Member
#17
"You were there?" they ask, raising an eyebrow and smiling a little. "I'm sure you've written plenty of stories worth listening to, Beat." An interesting name for an interesting bard; Six wonders if his singing voice is half-decent, and decides they might try it out for themself later. "Oh, I'm sure you have," they say vaguely, with a shrug. It's a small place compared to the city, but not so small he'd know everyone on a first-name basis. "He's called Emmanuel." Six pauses to wait for a spark of recognition, and then smiles a melancholy smile as they stand up to return their empty dishes. "Though perhaps you didn't know him by name; bit of a private sort; not at all like me. In any case, Beat, I'm sure we'll cross paths again and perhaps I'll introduce you."

They turn away, bringing their dishes to the kitchen, and catch sight of a man coming in who looks as though he's stepped out of a children's book of heroes, or perhaps a history of legendary knights. Curious, that. Ordinary, Six would be more interested in him -- what a thing to pretend to be -- but they'd already had their eye on the woman with the horns, and so that's the next place their path takes them.

"Excuse me, Madame!" they say brightly, bowing with a flourish and placing a hand on her table. "What's that you're reading? I have to say, I'm very interested."
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
#18
Pandering to the lich's ego was a smart move in general, but Isonzo's sigh of boredom did not go unnoticed as one might have expected. Self-absorbed fool though he was, the Awakening process had made Azureoth's physical senses far sharper than they had ever been in life. He recognized immediately that these simpletons had not the slightest idea of the magnitude of the accomplishments he was referring to, and the significance of having solved these dilemmas that had confounded the world's most senior archmagi for centuries.

Well, no matter. After a moment of sudden, dreadful realization when it occurred to him - with the stupid orc being determined to get his last insults and threats in against his clear intellectual superior - that he had left his Arcane Rod of Power behind in his cabin, Azureoth used the moments after the captain ultimately walked away to collect his own thoughts and calm his quivering. Time to show the brute what happened to those who threatened Lord Azureoth! It would mean teleporting the rest of the way to Ralith, and teleportion magic had always given him terrible vertigo when he was young and breathing... but then, his first time on a ship wasn't exactly any more comfortable in that regard, anyway. Right, then.

Fire, or lightning? Perhaps a shaped force-effect made to literally crumple the vessel in an arcane fist, as if it were a thing of parchment? He knew the relevant magic well enough, in theory he should have no trouble doing any or all of those things... of course he'd known them in life as well, but always seemed to have trouble focusing the magic properly under pressure. But now that he was a lich, thing would be different in that regard, right?

Right?

Fortunately for his own mental stability, Azureoth was saved from such a treacherous train of thought at the last moment, by the arrival of his first official minion. The announcement was so unexpected, under the circumstances, that it was all he could do to turn and stare at her with bafflement for the space of a second. What, already? Well, he couldn't very well destroy a ship that had his number one minion on it. Could it be she was an apprentice mage of some kind? No, it wasn't that... something was off about the girl, sure enough. He hadn't noticed before, with all the distraction, but now that he had time to stop and think... undead? Illusory? No, not quite. He could see the pulse throbbing in her neck well enough, and the detail of her form was remarkably fine and completely natural in every way that her motor control was not.

He waved off the angel-kin brute vaguely as the man came by again. Still trying to ingratiate himself with an archwizard of such obvious talent as his own, apparently. "Well... Saya, is it?" He answered her slowly, and seemed to finally reach some conclusion.

"I'm Lord Azureoth, the Awoken, the most accomplished wizard this world has seen in over a hundred years. Serve me well, and you will not regret it." He turned and continued on down the stairs to his cabin, motioning her to follow, and turned his head to watch her do so. Right. Azureoth had never been a graceful man himself, but that wasn't quite how ordinary people walked. Close, compared to her facial expressions, but not quite right. He stopped before the door of his cabin and turned to face her, folding his arms.

"But if you're looking for someone to break a curse for you, then I suggest you try a temple instead" he warned her, suddenly stern and serious. "My knowledge of the arcane arts is vast and varied, but I can not give you your old body back."
 

coolpool2

Savage AF
The Original Gangster
#19
~Azureoth~

Captain Zack looks at the pair with surprise, then smiles and chuckles. “Looks like I was wrong, congratulations on getting ya first mate! I know when I’m when wrong, so apologies for thinking that you couldn’t do it. Good luck in finding more” The large orc walks off to the captain quarters with a grin on his face, leaving the two alone.

~Six~ ~Gilgaloth~

“Well now, I’d be happy to meet him.” Beat says his goodbyes then heads off to his cabin, looking just about ready to retire for the night. The merman gives the large aasimar a friendly nod and smile as he passes by him, humming a merry tune to himself as he leaves the mess deck.

The lady sitting across from Six looks up from her book as Six draws her attention. Up close Six gets a better look at her. Her most distinguishing feature is the curly horns protruding from the side of her head. Similar to the horns of a large ram, and pierced with rings and earrings. She wears what look like expensive and intricately designed robes, most likely foreign. She brushes aside her silky white hair as her soft gray-green eyes seem to size up the lady across from her. A lot of her body is adorned in basic jewelry, nothing too expensive, and there’s a small hint of face paint or what look like tribal markings on her face. She looks young, but someone more familiar with her race would know that her kind live many centuries, and that she’s a half human. But not many would be familiar with them, not unless they traveled to the far ends of the mountains on the mainland.

The horned lady speaks with a slow soft tone and gives a gentle smile, “Hello there.” She shows Six the cover of her book, The Magical Universe in a Nutshell by Phlox Walter. “It’s a draft of a new book a friend of mine is writing. She said she wanted the opinion of someone… magically uninclined. Which is why I’m reading through it for her.” She goes back to the page she was reading, her eyes occasionally looking back up at the person across from her.

As Gilgaloth walks into the mess deck he sees two women talking in the corner, and two humans idly chatting away. The small, bored looking, human girl’s head turns to the noise of feet on floorboards before turning back to her companion. If he is listening carefully, Gilgaloth might hear her mumble, “An aasimar? Didn’t think there were any left.”
 

Dunsparce

Well-Known Member
Member
#20
Saya's grin disappears for a moment, giving her a neutral expression. The implication that she was not in her original body was unexpected. However, she thinks it may be better to allow him to continue believing what he's concluded about her. Saya's goal, after all, is to develop a personality to call her own. Inventing a fake history for herself will no doubt contribute to this goal. Not to mention, the lich may be less inclined to take her on as his minion if he were aware of what she truly is.

Saya looks to the side and smiles, attempting to imitate the expression of bashfulness. "That's okay, Lord Azureoth! I've gotten used to this body, in fact, I kind of like it! I'm actually really strong in this form! Stronger than I look!"

Saya thinks it's a good idea to establish what kind of powers she has, letting her new master know just how she can be useful. Saya's physical strength is surpassed by few mortal creatures. She neglects to mention her other powers. She thinks it's amusing to keep people guessing about her.

"Hey, why don't I show you how strong I am?" Saya changes the subject before Azureoth has a chance to ask more about her origin. She'll need time to come up with a story.

"I think I heard Isonzo Adellon and the captain talking about some strong people down in the Mess Deck! Maybe I can arm wrestle them or something!"
 
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