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  2. "--love to. I'm sure the crew would enjoy a song or two tonight," smiled Wren, eyes sparkling at her mistress. "Wonderful," Althea said, "I look forward to it. Now, shall we greet Lara?" Trailing Silken Wren behind her, Althea marched to the port railing, the wind whipping her hair and gown out behind her. She cut, as always, a dramatic figure, though she was about to be temporarily upstaged. At first, there was only a dark shadow moving towards the Tempest under the water. It reminded Althea of the dolphins that had played offshore near her home in the West, though this shadow wasn't shaped like any sea creature. Althea gazed down pensively, almost wistfully. Even after traveling with Lara for so long, it was still a wonder to see the Water-aspect in her element. Although Althea knew that her own power was much greater than Lara's, the Shining One still sometimes envied her bodyguard's harmony with water. Althea became aware that Shay was staring uneasily at the shadow, loosening the sword at her belt. Several crew waited with growing tension, looking to their Captain to give an order. "Captain," Althea said quietly, soothingly, "this is our final party member. She is no threat, though please, clear some deck space." The armored Exalt gently cleared everyone from a large semicircular space by the port railing, a motherly smile on her commanding face. Standing at the edge by the railing herself, she kept one eye on the crew while facing the shadow. "Lara," she called out, voice ringing across the ship, "you may come aboard now." The crew exchanged glances and murmured to itself. Althea waited, making sure to keep everyone in place. With a noise like a fishing net being dragged free from the waves, a figure in dark armor dashed up out of the water, gleaming and shedding rivulets as she sailed through the air. With a single, hollow thud, she landed crouching on the deck, sending the whole vessel rolling sharply to port. Ignoring the captain, crew, and crazy motion of the ship, the figure in superheavy black jade armor went to kneel before Althea. The golden woman put her hand on the Terrestrial's shoulder, smiling. "Welcome, Lara. Any trouble?" The dark one spoke with a surprisingly sweet voice. "None, Mistress." "Good," Althea replied, turning to Shay. "Lara, this is Captain Shay."
  3. The wind caught the sails and billowed them to life as the Tempest began to pull for open sea, and a flash of red hair caught the corner of Shay's eye as Jade Blossom strolled onto the deck, obviously rumpled. Rolling in the hold again. The thought was a sour one, a flagrant violation of ship's orders, but Jade had been violating ship's orders from the first day of Shay's command and was simply too good at her job to dispense with. Still... Whatever rebuke Shay might have been tempted to give was cut off by a shout from the forward lookout. "Something in the water, off the port side! Close!"
  4. This is the best thing in life, Shay thought, standing on the deck in a wide stance, rocking her body with the roll of her boat. A mug of rum gathered heat in her hand; it was best with way, with all the spices warmed and thick in the alcohol. The Freedom's Tempest was light and agile, and she bucked easily at the fall and swell of the sea. Like a hot-blooded horse, she was not an easy ride. Shay would have it no other way. Casting off had been routine, and now they were heading toward the mouth of the bay. The Tempest gathered speed as the wind and wave coaxed her to greater speeds. Without fanfare, the ship slipped out to the open sea. If only all my problems were so easily solved, Shay sighed, turning to look at her new passengers. They were going to be trouble. Despite her fears, Shay found herself smiling after a moment. At least it would be fun.
  5. After the fracas, Thousand Whispers was glad to be moving. She took up her position in the retinue towards the rear, busying herself with silent contemplation. The scene they'd left behind was barely a morsel for her Solars, but she contented herself with the knowledge that there would be more to come. It was an auspicious enough start. Poring over the catalog file that was her mind as they walked, she barely noticed the ship in the distance, now not-so-distant, her feet scurrying forward to meet it, unbidden. The boat was a bit smaller than she'd been lead to believe; less a galleon than a mere schooner, but for now, it would do the job and then some. She was in an uncharacteristically good mood. Things were going her way, having already easily overcome the quibbling difficulties that threaten to block their path. Again she insisted on bringing up the rear, setting her sandaled feet to the gangplank only after the last of Althea's radiant entourage have passed. It was then, as she was boarding, that something caught the corner of her eye. A flash, a whisper, and then nothing. By the time she turned her head, it had vanished. She murmured a curse and continued aboard, wondering, herself, where her accommodations would take her. The battle had left her in no state to continue with company, and she looked forward to relieving herself of her burdens presently. Still, resting on meekness, even timorousness, at the moment, she kept her mouth closed until ease with the new arrivals settled over Shay's crew and the land began to disappear from sight.
  6. Anaris made her way on the ship amongst Althea's followers, slipping out of their midst to walk the edges of her new home unobserved. She paused at the far railing of the ship, her gaze pulled towards the Blessed Isle. I can do this. I was made to do this. She sighed. If this all works, I might even be able to forgive myself someday. After all, two miracles are just as likely as one. She turned her attention back to present and the people around her, taking in Shay's crew and just how easily they were dealing with so many...of her kind around.
  7. In answer to the Shining One's question, Althea quirked a half-smile. "Just a moment, Captain," she replied, laughter in her honeyed voice. Still beholding Shay's face, she nodded back over her shoulder, towards the docks. Shay frowned, unsure as to what Althea meant, until her eyes lit on two unknown young women standing rather close to the Tempest's gangplank. Before the Captain could so much as remark on their surprising proximity, Althea called to them. "Silken Wren, Ceili, Tiger Warriors," she smiled, voice at once pleased and commanding. "Come, we have passage." The golden-armored woman stepped out to meet her companions, ushering them aboard in an almost motherly way. Between one breath and the next, the scene changed. Where a moment before the two women had been standing alone, now they were surrounded by fifteen female warriors covered head to toe in green-grey-brown mottled breastplates and leggings. Althea, Thousand Whispers, Anaris, and the two young women were utterly unsurprised by their sudden appearance; the Tempest's crew, on the other hand, was dumbstruck. Althea led the two women aboard, and the warriors followed up the gangplank. Though overshadowed by their mistress, the young women were themselves remarkable. The one called Wren was dark-haired, pale-skinned, and fine of feature. She carried herself with a playful fluidity, making each step a joyful dance. The skirts of several layered, richly-colored robes brushed aside as she walked, and her green eyes smiled above a translucent veil which revealed only the contour of her face. On her back were three instrument cases in matching red-brown leather. At Althea's other flank came Ceili. Her steps were sure and solid, her figure sturdy. She was of similar coloring as Althea, though she wore her hair cropped short and spiked outward. Her clothing appeared supremely functional, durable, and comfortable. She easily hefted a large black suitcase that tinkled faintly as she walked. "Captain, please have a crewmember show these ladies to their berths," Althea said, indicating all seventeen new arrivals. Then, having delivered her charges into the Captain's hands, she strode to the ship's railing to observe the sea. "Our last companion," she informed Shay, still scanning the horizon, "will meet us once we clear the bay."
  8. My baby. Shay didn't stop to gaze at the ship with puppy dog eyes, but her heart did. The second her foot hit the deck, her power over this vessel was apparent. She was the Master of this small boat, the Queen of her domain. It was smaller than the other Solars had expected, almost a yacht. But it wasn't built for cargo; that much was apparent when the sea heaved and the ship danced over the swell like a desert-bred horse, all grace and speed. The crew was a variety of people from a variety of places, dressed in working clothes, most of them skimpy to prevent overheating. They gazed wide-eyed at the multiple Solars before them, though clearly their astonished gaze was not for their Captain. "Jade!" Shay roared, glancing around for her Master of Sails. "Jade, get your ass above decks! We're leaving." Shay glanced at the waiting crew and nodded. "As soon as we can get out of here, that is." The hot sun beat down on her, and the pirate peeled of the heavy coat, revealing that she wore her cravat over nothing save a strip of cloth that barely preserved modesty. Perversely, she left the cravat on, even without the coat. Turning, she handed it to the girl who served as cabin boy. "Take that to my cabin." The girl nodded and scurried off and Shay shouted after her, "And bring me rum!" With the necessities seen to, Shay turned to her new passengers. "How long do you need to get your people and stuff aboard?"
  9. *eyes the group* *sweatdrops* And here's me looking embarassed. Ah, well. Dawn, over to you when you're ready....
  10. It would not be entirely accurate to say, as some of the stories did later, that the entire town bowed and trembled, or stared in wide-eyed wonder, or fled in quavering terror before the blazing golden power of the Shining Ones who strode from the Rutting Boar to the docks wrapped in the glorious fire of the Sun. There were surely a handful of hardy souls on the edges of the town who managed not to discover what the blazing light at the heart of Majec's Passage was until a few hours after the Children of the Sun had departed. To Althea and Anaris, of course, the reverence and awe and terror were simply their expected due (whether welcome or not). To Shay, whose burning halo of gold illuminated the streets around her and even the low-hanging grey clouds as though she were the Sun itself, the experience was a great deal more alien... and perversely, felt entirely more natural than she was entirely comfortable with. Even Emerald seemed subdued, somehow more formally respectful of her than he had been even when her displays of power had set her shining aboard ship before. Then again, she'd never bee surrounded by two other Solars before. They curved down the low-cut road to the docks themselves, the sea reflecting the Sun's kiss back at the three of them brilliantly, and then the high stone walls dropped away and there she was. The Freedom's Tempest rolled softly in the stiff breeze off the water, her bound sails seeming to swell on the wind at the instant Shay's light fell across her vessel.
  11. Having given you all four days to move yourselves down the docks, I'm going to go ahead and do it for you. Dawn, feel free to pipe in with more detail about the ship.
  12. Althea shifted out of her combat stance. The deadly promise of her art fell away as quickly as it had blossomed, but, as the mountain after the tempest, her rock-solid surety remained. Had the others not been preoccupied with the scene and their impending flight, in her expression they might have caught a faint gleam of fervor. "Yes. We begin now." The last one to exit the room, Althea paused briefly in the doorway to glance over her shoulder one last time at the crowd within. "As should you." And then, leaving an afterimage of gold, she was gone.
  13. Anaris nods her assent as she steps out from the shadows and makes her way out of the stench of blood, violence, and death. Her footsteps are light and quick and barely conceal her desire to be quit of the place. "Let us be gone."
  14. A slow, confident grin spread across Thousand Whispers' face, having finally been summoned away from her triumphant, post-battle dancing from atop her stool. With a grin, she hopped off, doing a pirouette in the air as she landed. "I agree wholeheartedly, Captain. Oh Exalted Beacons?", she turned her attention to the other Solars in her retinue. "Shall we?"
  15. Shay makes no move to stop the Watchmen; she seems to have spent her anger on the first unfortunate fellow. Now, she launched a kick at the departing ass of one of the men with a savage grin. "Now, then," she said, turning to the others. "We need to be getting ta my ship. The Watch will surely return, and they'll be angry as a kicked bee hive. Get your people there; we'll work this out once we're safe at sea."
  16. The hideous ringing sound of steel crumpling was punctuated by a cry of shocked pain that cut off in a wet gurgle as Swift Waters flew backward like a broken doll, smashing through a table and cruching into the heavy slats of the wall with enough force to send spliters dancing through the air as he slid to the floor in a shattered heap. The six surviving Watchmen looked from the blazing demon who'd just laid out two of their fellows to the gold-armored amazon who'd just destroyed the Lieutenant in a single blow, and their courage broke like brittle twigs. They flung their weapons to the floor and ran for the doorway as though all the demons of Malfeas were hard at their heels. Quote: Swift Waters takes 16 dice of bashing damage for 8 health levels of damage, dropping him to Incapacitated.The remaining Watchmen fail their Valor checks in spectacular fashion. Anyone who wants to take potshots after them is welcome to, but organized resistance has ceased.
  17. Althea sat calmly at the table while the others made their attacks, sizing up the situation. The chaos flowed around her like rapids around a boulder; she didn't even flinch when a Watchman's spear whistled by her head and sent several strands of dark, silken hair floating to the floor. It was only when the Lieutenant threw himself at the table that she acted. Faster than anyone would have expected, Althea took a twisting, backwards dive off her stool. Her armor glinted in the dim light, obscured and revealed by turns as her translucent gown swirled around her. She landed with one hand on the floor, the jewel on her arm winking refracted golden light. The Lieutenant barely had time to perceive an attack before Althea's heavy golden boot crushed into his chest. Originally Posted By: Dice and Stuff Althea Thunderclap Rushes (Speed 3 to next action) the Lieutenant with a kick. Althea rolls 19 dice with 13 successes [2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 0, 1, 7, 0]. Owie. + 2 stunt successes [10]Status: 16 Personal Essence, 26 peripheral Dodge DV: 8 Parry DV (hands): 7 Parry DV (feet): 5 Willpower: 7
  18. "MYYY RUUUUUUMMMMMMMMM!" The unholy shriek carried over the din of the bar as a golden glow suffused the room, lighting it. Shay became a terrible creature as she regarded the trencher handle in her hand, while rum soaked through her sleeve. Her green eyes seemed to crackle with power and rage as she looked up, and they seemed to pierce the body of the offending watchman as they fell on him. The unfortunate watchman who had a split second to make peace with his gods; then Shay's sword was in her hand, and it was slamming into his chest. "YOU. SPLIT. MY. RUM!" the green-eyed, golden demon screamed at him as he was driven to the floor, her blow almost shredding the tissues of his body. Shay was dragged downward by the body on her sword, leaving her open for an attack. Another guardsman took advantage, raising his sword for a blow on her. It left him unprotected when she came up without warning, driving the pommel of her sword into his throat, crushing it. Choking, he fell, already dying but not not quite aware of his fate. Originally Posted By: Dice and stuffShay draws her sword. Shay rolls 16 dice to Stabby-stabby #1! 10 successes [2,8,7,2,9, 9,10,6,1,9, 4,10,4,5,7, 2] + 0 stunt successes [5] Shay rolls 10 dice to Stabby-stabby #2! 4 successes [1,2,7,4,9, 8,2,3,8,3] + 1 stunt success [7] Status: 15 Personal essence, 21 peripheral essence Dodge DV - 5, Parry DV - 3 Willpower - 6 Fate: Watchmen F and K are now one with the great cycle of being
  19. [Tick 1/Tick 2] The blazing mixture of flame and grain alcohol exploded across the Lieutenant's face and hands, flame gleaming the whole length of his daikalbar as he staggered back against the wall, and when he pushed himself back up with his eyes nearly glowing with rage his hair and face were black with burns, obviously wounded but more than ready to shed the offender's blood. The tall guardsman beside him wasn't nearly so fortunate; caught in the wide splash of the firewand's shot, he crumpled to the ground in a sizzling heap. Patrons bolted for the walls, desperate to clear the area around the combatants, and the smoking barrel of Thousand Whisper's plasma tongue repeater gleamed with residual heat. Emerald Mountain's sword came free of its sheath with a swift, lethal blow that shattered the spear of one of Shay's attacks and laid the man on the floor in a spray of blood and broken armor. He had no need of a battle-cry: the brutal power of weapon and the strength behind it were announcement enough. In the savage efficency of his attack, hardly anyone noticed the watchman whose sword was aiming for Shay's side dropping to the floor with a pair of daggers in his throat. Quote: Thousand Whispers'attack deals 7 dice of damage after Swift Water's soak, for a total of 3 lethal health levels of damage, and 4 health levels of lethal damage to Watchman B, who is now out of the fight.Emerald Mountain kills Watchman G with his chopping sword, and Shade kills Watchman J with a flurry of thrown daggers.
  20. [Tick 1] Thousand Whispers' smile was like light glinting off a swinging blade as she wheeled around in her seat and shot up to her feet, one hand flinging her half-full flagon into the air as the other darted to liberate the bulge on her hip. With a laugh, a squinted eye, and her tongue poking out of the corner of her mouth, she drew up on the little god's bastard, the corner of her mouth turning up just slightly, and with a hiss and a clap of thunder, the firewand in her hand blasted forth an arrow-thin gout of...well, it wasn't fire. Originally Posted By: Dice!Thousand Whispers makes a DEX+Archery roll with her firewand and uses Generalized Ammunition Technique (1 mote) to supplement. She rolls 1, 3, 4, 5, 5, 7, 9, 0, 0,7 for a total of seven successes. Fate: Her single stunt die awards her a mote of essence and two more successes. Personal: 7/12 Peripheral: 29/33 (4 commited) Willpower: 5/6 No damage Dodge DV: 4 until next action, Parry DV: 3 until next actions.
  21. [Tick 0] "You miscreant!" The roar of Swift Waters' voice rolled off the walls with enough force to rattle the bottles behind the bar. "Guards, seize her!" Eight of the eleven watchmen rushed the bar, their mix of hammers, short swords and spears clearing the area between the Lieutenant and the bar in an instant, and several of the spearmen took a jab at Shay to drive her back against the bar. They weren't nearly quick enough; a deft sidestep carried her easily out of the way and let the blades of the spears jab furrows across the bar. One them, unfortunately for him, shattered Shay's glass and sent the contents splashing out over the bar. Quote: Shade mades a Dex+Stealth roll (six successes) to conceal himself and takes a Guard action.Watchmen D through K each make an attack against Shay. All miss. Watchmen D, E, F and G are armed with spears, Watchmen H and I with hammers, and Watchmen J and K with short swords. H, I, J and K form the first rank and more or less enclose her against the bar, with D-G making attacks over their shoulders with the long spears.
  22. Originally Posted By: The Asshat"Captain Shay!" The Lieutenant's voice rolled off the walls like the pounding of the surf, and he brandished the long jade polearm in his hands is a swift twirl the glittered dim light from the half a dozen blades at each end of the daikalbar. "You will lay down your weapons and surrender yourself to the Watch on charges of piracy, consorting with Anathema and disrupting the peace!" Shay turned and leaned against the bar, her mug in one hand - not her sword hand. As he displayed his weapon, Shay sighed and rolled her eyes. And as he started to list her crimes, Shay lifted a hand, made a hand-puppet and began to flap the mouth in a rough approximation of the Lieutenant's own flapping jaw. When he was done speaking, the hand kept moving; Shay pitched her voice into the highest saprano she could manage and warbled out, "My name is Lieutenant Swift Waters-down-my-leg, and I'm stttooooopid."
  23. Anaris sighed at the intrusion of the god-born, caught between the reluctance for what would probably come and her pleasure at the end of the conversation. She took to the shadows of the room, preferably unoccupied ones, and took up residence there to watch the unfolding drama. She ran her fingertips over her bracers, putting her mind through the patterns of violence and death. Quote: Anaris rolls for stealth (5 suxx: 10, 3, 8, 1, 9, 9, 1) and spends 7 motes on Instruction in Self Form Charm (6 activation, 1 to mute the anima banner). Anaris' Status: Personal Essence 9, Peripheral Essence 29, Willpower 6, no damage, Dodge DV 7 and Parry DV 7, move on tick 7.

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