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Mutants & Masterminds: Struggles of Iannin - Act I Scene I - Crack of Noon

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Realm of Nay'fen, Third Coil of the Enlightened, Blessed of the Twins, Reign of His Holiness, Tal'may

S'ur, 5th day of Talen

...And like a great wave from the Mire, the Horde advanced, and the once noble Fen passed from the lands of their birth, leaving naught but memories. ~Tugak More, Treatise on the Lost

In the distance the clang of the bells atop the Temple of the Twins announced the midday meal. They called out across the city that it was time to escape the heat of the suns and, for at least a moment, find reprieve.

T'riss' eyes slowly opened, one at a time, and then blinked a couple times as she gradually woke up. A quick glance around the room put her in a familiar room of the Blooming Rose. She sat up slowly, fearing the effects of too much drink, but fortunately she must have exercised some amount of self restraint, as the room didn't spin. The lack of clothing covering her though, did give some clue that last night wasn't a complete waste.

The bells rung again, cuing in the time to T'riss and she rapidly dressed, knowing that if she didn't get out quickly, they'd likely charge her for the day, frequent guest or not.

She stumbled out the door and into the alley that called itself a street down here in the harbor, a couple lazy 'goodbye, see you soons' following her in her wake. T'riss idly brushed her hat before donning it as her eyes adjusted to the harsh light of midday. The searing light having waned in strength, she looked up under her brim and saw someone she hadn't seen in years. There was no mistaking her, it was Tora. She was walking with a Skrofan, or was that behind?

Just as the girls' eyes met, another bell tolled, but this was not lengthy and deep like the one in tribute to the Twins. No, this was the alarming klaxon of a multitude of small bells in rapid succession that took the breath from anyone that had ever served on a water-going vessel...fire.

The first hints of the smokey smell was just now reaching them as the alarms continued to sound, and with the wind coming in off the river, there was only one place it could be coming from.

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The large bells of the Temple didn't draw Tarmon's attention. He had grown used to it over his stay at S'ur that its sound had become not much more than another background noise. He considered paying the Temple a visit and learn something about the belief of the Twins but his thoughts were interrupted by the second bell.

He quickly glanced over to where the noise came from and then he recognised why - there was a fire on board one of the ships.

The huge Ankassim set his body in motion not thinking twice about what to do and searched for a rain barrel which he quickly found. Unfortunately it was empty, the summer months had brought very little rain and only the barrels ground had maybe an inch of water - not nearly enough to make an effective fire-fighting tool.

With a grunt he picked the barrel up and stepped backwards making sure he had enough space, then his mighty wings unfolded and with a few strong flaps he lift off.

His first swoop filled the barrel with water from the nearby river and he hoped his aim wouldn't be entirely off now with the heavier load. Gritting his teeth he made a large swerve to gain a new vector on the ship and then he concentrated on pouring down as much water as possible over the fire.

Click to reveal..
Joani *rolls* 1d20: 3+3: 6 – probably off target by a mile or two

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S'ur was not the first large city Arak had been in, but was the first port city. He hadn't decided for sure if he liked it or not. The smells, particularly the odor of the water, and the fish, combined with the smells of sweat and stink, turned the air in the city into a miasma that rankled Arak's nose. The city had a din to it that was far nosier than what Arak was used to, a far cry from the serene forests and farmlands of his home. The bells started and Arak sighed, rolling his broad shoulders as he craned his neck around looking for the source of the added noise. The second set of bells added further din to the already noisome atmosphere.

Shaking his head Arak turned back to his companion, the young woman who'd insisted that she had a debt to pay. Tora followed him around promising that the debt of her ill advised bet, ill advised for her lack of funds to pay it off, less so for the wager itself, would eventually be paid off. In the meantime she was his travelling companion. "Tora," he began, yelling over the ambient sound of the street to be heard, "what purpose are these bells?"

She didn't answer, and Arak stepped closer before realizing that he petite woman was locked eye to eye with another Muthay woman; one dressed in the clothing of a sailor. Arak was about to interrupt to ask his question again when he caught the smell of smoke. Fires in forest and field were one of the most dangerous threats to the livelihood of his village, and instinct quickly overtook caution. "FIRE!!" he bellowed in his baritone voice. "FIRE!!"

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T'riss yanked off her hat and rubbed her eyes, disbelieving what she was seeing. There was her cousin Tora, fine as you please, strutting down the harbour front. She hadn't seen her in six years - there was a trace of regret at the thought, but only a trace. Once on the open seas, she had decided she'd throw any regrets overboard. And for the most, she had stayed true to that.

She only had time to resettle her broad-brimmed hat, full lips curving into a welcoming smile, when the fire-bells started ringing. A seaman's code, unless you were the one sinking the fucking thing or the risk was to high for your ship, you helped in saving a ship on flame. With a vile curse, T'riss ran forward, giving her cousin a slap on the back and a quick, one-armed hug before she could protest.

"By Thaya's tits and Azath's ball-less cock! It's great to seeya again cousin," T'riss exclaimed, arching a brow at Tora's lack of words, and gave her a little smirk as she gestured down at her fulsome figure dressed in a a tight leggings and a tight bodice. Last time they had met, T'riss had to look up at her, not the other way 'round. "Don'tcha tell me ya don't recognize your cousin T'riss? 'Tis true, Quaress fingered me deep."

But the fire-bells were a clarion call and T'riss didn't dawdle, continuing briskly towards the docks, jerking a thumb at the slender Skrofan standing by Tora's side. "But the Skro-cock is right, the bells mean fire and there's only one keel at dock worth two shits," she called out over her shoulder. "I've gotta join the fire brigade to save the Wake, but let's catch up later, right? Meet me later at the Blooming Rose, anyone in Dockside can point the way."

With a final wave, T'riss turned fully around and broke into a run for the Wulkyn's Wake, the scabbard of her slender blade slapping her leather-clad thigh.

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S’Ur. Tora normally loved this city, but it was different without her family around her. The sounds and smells were familiar, but the isolation wasn’t. Even with all these people around, she was alone. Normally, there’d be others around her, many of them dressed in the loose blouse and full skirts favored by the women of the Zheng family. Today, there were few like that.

The broad, brown back of her companion caught her eye. Arak was a comfort of sorts; Tora wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him, but she knew him. She didn’t feel quite so alone when she was with him. It wasn’t anything more than knowing someone, anyone. She just didn’t like being alone. Being around one companion was not enough, not after a life with the raucous Zheng clan.

It was as if Quaress heard her thoughts, for another member of her family appeared out of the mass of people. Tora could only stare as T’riss Jadzian stepped out of the past and into her life again. Tora was too stunned to say anything before the young woman darted away again.

“T’riss…” Tora managed, the first thing she’d gotten out of her mouth, but her cousin was already gone. “C’mon, Arak!” she said, breaking into a run and gesturing for the Skrofan to follow. “We have to help!” T’riss always got herself in over her head – everyone in the family knew it.

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Arak turned in place for a moment, baffled by the lightening fast turn of events before loping off after Tora. He quickly fell behind, being unaccustomed to crowds of such magnitude and unwilling to push rudely through the throngs while simultaneously concerned about ensuring that his pouches and purse remained on his belt. Tora had warned him about sneak-thieves, pick pockets, and cut-purses. As a result Arak's progress was slow, halting, and frustrating. The tiny muthay woman slipping quickly into obscurity and then disappearing from his view entirely. Resolutely Arak continued to pardon and excuse his way through the street down towards the docks.

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T'riss quickly arrived at the dock, with Tora on her heels to the sight of the Wake nearly engulfed in flames. Flames licked the main mast and the fire had begun to eat through the deck, starting to move into the cargo hold and the quarters.

The girls watched as an Ankassim that was holding a large rain barrel swooped over the ship and through the acrid smoke. The small deluge of water from Tarmon missed its mark, instead falling over the dock that approached the ship and drenching some of the people from the volunteer brigade there that were busy tossing buckets of water. The remainder of the water quickly sifted through the cracks and back into the river.

A large crowd began to form, hampering efforts as they were unwillingly pressed closer to the water as those behind pushed to see what was going on. As the chaos continued to erupt, the sounds of Sen attempting to break up the crowd from behind could be heard.

Those with an eye to the river could see that a few A'fen had arrived and were raising up waves from the river and forcing them against both the Wake and the neighboring vessels, trying to keep the fire from spreading.

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Tarmon cursed his luck and knew why his kind wasn’t made for seafaring. He flew a slow curve keeping the burning ship in his sight. Going for another round with the barrel didn’t seem to be a good idea. It looked as if the ship had already succumbed to the flames. The only viable option now was rescuing those who were captured on board.

The large Ankassim dropped the barrel over the river and slowed his approach down as he landed from the river-side facing part of the vessel, his claws digging deeply into the deck as he brought the full mass of his nearly 800 pound body to a halt. He looked around trying to determine what his next move should be.

“Who needs help? Is anyone trapped?”, his little experience with ships was evident but his dedication to help and saving lives was undisputed.

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Arak stumbled his way through the growing crowd. "Excuse me. Pardon me. Coming through. Excuse me ..." Slowly he made his way shuffling between people and squeezing into gaps as he headed for the water and the ship. The Wake was now nearly entirely engulfed in flames. The deck was aflame and the fire was gnawing at the mast, and would soon have it, the sails, and the rigging alight like a torch.

Arak had completely lost sight of Tora and the strange woman who was apparently a cousin of hers. As he finally popped out to the front of the crowd he saw a ship on the water covered in flames. The A'fen were using some sort of magic to control the waters, attempting to fight the flames and keep them from spreading. Arak knew a rune that might help had the ship been Skrofan built, with magic used to fuse the wood together a the joints, making a whole from the sun of its parts. He feared it was not joined however and his efforts would be wasted saving only a single plank amongst hundreds.

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T'riss was far less discriminating with trying to get through the press of bodies, ruthlessly using her fists and elbows, shoving through any gap she could find or create. If this doesn't start letting up soon, I'm going to draw my blade and start drawing blood!

"Get out of the bloody way, you land-cursed dirt-eaters!" T'riss shouted, bringing her knee up into the crotch of one man who had taken the opportunity for a gratuitous grope. Trying to clear space for the bucket brigade was turning into a losing proposition, the bastards clogging the docks filled more with morbid curiosity and watchful glee than with self-preservation. She couldn't stab them all after all.

But maybe she could raise the danger, in their minds at least. "Gonna try to clear us some space, boys, keep the buckets coming," the shapely fen-blooded Muthay woman growled. Then she began waving her hands above her head, her husky voice rising in a feigned panic.

"Get back, you Kaer-kissing fools! The Wake's hold is full of fine-ground flour! If the flames reach it, the ship is going to explode! Clear out, for the sake of your lives!" For emphasis, she drew her blade and swung it around in the air, though the desire to bring it down and swing through flesh was building.

Click to reveal.. (Deception Check to make people run)

Making a Deception Check, trying to the mob a reason to clear the docks and give people room to work.

Roll: 15 +5 Modifier = +20 +5 to the result for those who are attracted to her.

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Arak nodded to himself after a moment of study, the ship was clearly not Skrofan built. The lines were not right, but more telling was the workmanship, even an apprentice Skrofan was skilled at woodworking, and some of the roughly fitted boards, covered in thick pitch to keep them water tight, clearly showed signs of less skills construction, or repair. Arak knew he couldn't save the ship, not the entire thing at least, but he could try and get to the mainmast and save that.

Arak pushed rudely into the clear and took several quick steps before planting his stave and sending a small trickle of will and energy into the wood. The seven foot staff expanded and launched him into the air in a great leap towards the ship. As he flew through the air he sent another trickle of will and energy into the wood and it transfigured into a long barbed whip that lashed out at one of the spars. He swung around over the fire and landed on the far side of the deck with a heavy thud.

The fire was less intense here, but only just so, and the mast was in danger of catching any moment. Arak whipped out his Elanil knife and quickly set to work carving the rune directly into the wood, infusing it with his mana as he did so. The fires licked at the wood and the splinters and slivers that Arak carved out quickly caught fire at his feet. The heat was nearly unbearable as he carved the rune into place, and then laid his hand over it. Infusing it with the last bit of will, he activated the rune, golden and green light playing over the mast.

Sheathing his knife, Arak took his vine-stave into both hands once more and propelled himself off the deck and away from the flames, a tiny bit of his concentration remaining on the rune, sustaining the magics that protected the mast. Arak landed on the weirs in a tired heap, stumbling as he landed and leaning heavily on his stave, the edges of which were slightly blackened by the fires.

Click to reveal..
Perception check to identify if the Wake is Skrofan built using wood fusing magic Roll: 15 +6 Modifier -2 Circumstance Bonus -15 DC = +4 PASS.

Extra effort to stunt a new effect.

Immunity (Fire damage) [sustained, Affects obects, Activation flaw -2] (3 pp) (stunted off his Xylemic Rune magic array (up to 4 pp)

Toughness vs fire Roll: 20 +5 Modifier -19 DC = +6 PASS.

Toughness vs fire (turn 2) Roll: 14 +5 Modifier -19 DC = 0 PASS.

Toughness vs fire (turn 3) Roll: 16 +5 Modifier -19 DC = +2 PASS.

Toughness vs fire (turn 4) Roll: 1 +5 Modifier -19 DC = -13 FAIL.

Spend my Hero Point

Toughness vs fire (turn 4; redux) Roll: 19 +5 Modifier -19 DC = +5 PASS.

Condition: Fatigued

Hero Points: 0

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Tora's eyes lighted on the form that was vaulting to the ship - hard not to, with half the people around pointing and gasping. Her eyes narrowed as she considered the familiarity of the form, combined with the singular whip-vine-thing. "Oh, Beltok's Balls! Arak!"

Turning, she pushed though the milling crowd, rudely using her elbows when the crowd was slow to let her pass. Most of them were more interested in the burning ship or getting away from it before it 'exploded'. It took several moments to get to his side, the crowd being particularly unwilling to move the closer she got to the 'hero'.

The moment she saw he was more or less alright, she relaxed. Some terrible little part of her lamented that he was alright; her debt would be negated if he died. Tora did her best to ignore that voice as she knelt next to the thin Skrofan. "By Quaress's Tongue... you scared the lights out of me!" She peered at him closely as she panted, hands on knees. "Are you well?"

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The mast..., Tarmon slowly deducted which were the vital parts of the ship and slowly stepped towards it when he saw a brave Skrofan vaulting with his staff on deck landing near the mast. He immediately started carving something into the mast shying away from the flames and increasing heat.

Even Tarmon had to admit that he couldn’t hold out much longer unless the fire would endanger his life, too. He checked the deck one more time for any wounded or incapacitated sailors before he would lift off and get to safety himself.

Click to reveal.. (Perception check)

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Originally Posted By: T'riss
"Get back, you Kaer-kissing fools! The Wake's hold is full of fine-ground flour! If the flames reach it, the ship is going to explode! Clear out, for the sake of your lives!" For emphasis, she drew her blade and swung it around in the air, though the desire to bring it down and swing through flesh was building.


The crowd responded immediately, beginning to push back in panic as the thought of being impaled by flying ship debris sent them fleeing. As word of the impending disaster spread through the crowd soon the mass of people was doing all it could to reach safety. The Sen soldiers that had been trying to herd people from the back quickly began directing traffic. An occasional tattoo would flare along their arms as they nudged people or pulled people to their feet before they could be trampled.

Originally Posted By: Tarmon
Even Tarmon had to admit that he couldn’t hold out much longer unless the fire would endanger his life, too. He checked the deck one more time for any wounded or incapacitated sailors before he would lift off and get to safety himself.


As Tarmon set to launch himself the planking under him creaked and collapsed under the combined stress of his weight and the fire damage, sending him below deck where he landed in a heap on a large heap of grain yet to be offloaded. As he came to all fours, he shook off the cinders of the collapsed deck and spotted another body just on the other side of the pile, half covered in planking and seemingly immobile.

Meanwhile, outside, the bucket brigade continued to drench what they could of the ship, but it was a losing and the flames continued to spread, starting to gain hold in the rigging and quickly took out the sails. The main mast, while protected by the runes so recently engraved, was beginning to tilt towards the dock and the structural integrity of the hull was not likely to hold it much longer.

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Wa'ne had already been heading down to the docks when the bells rang signaling the fire. Knowing that there was only the one ship in port and it was the one that was the object of the trek down to the harbor, Wa'ne immediately began sprinting down to the ship.

As Wa'ne got closer, and began running along the front of the buildings along the water, the approaching crowd of fleeing gawkers threatened to overrun the Ten'ray. Knowing time was critical, Wa'ne sprinted down a short alley, hopping over accumulated trash and dove into the river.

Wa'ne passed a few A'fen retreating from the harbor and they gave quick nods of respect as they passed, but the Nay'fen didn't spare a glance, clutching a large spear to the side and kicking ferociously.

The water around Wulkyn's Wake was a torrent of action as A'fen continued to work to keep the flames from spreading. There was so much turbulence and foam worked into the river water, that even with the Pattern enhanced vision, Wa'ne couldn't make out anything. Knowing it was futile to attempt much from down here, Wa'ne dove down to the bottom and found a rock near one of the pilings. Coiling up, Wa'ne launched and rocketed up and out of the water, landing smoothly on the dock much to the surprise of the bucket brigade.

Wa'ne quickly took stock of the situation as water dripped steadily from the long blonde hair atop the Ten's head.

"Move back." Wa'ne said forcefully and tapped the spear on the dock once. tasmanian_tiger.jpegA large animal seemed to step out from behind the spear and started to growl ferociously at the sailors and dockworkers that formed the brigade, forcing them back slowly.

Turning attention to the fire, Wa'ne concentrated and a rune pattern on the Nay'fen's back lit, starting a reaction that soon had a coil of tattoos illuminated around the Ten's body all the way down to the bare feet planted on the dock.

Seemingly prepared, Wa'ne took a two-step hop and leaped onto the ship. The flames almost seemed to pause for a moment as though confused by the new guest to their party. Then, their decision apparently made, the flames began to gravitate toward the tall elf, releasing their feeding frenzy on the ship. As the fires enclosed, they seemed to hit a barrier and began to form a shell of plasma that writhed against the invisible barrier.

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Originally Posted By: Damon

As Tarmon set to launch himself the planking under him creaked and collapsed under the combined stress of his weight and the fire damage, sending him below deck where he landed in a heap on a large heap of grain yet to be offloaded. As he came to all fours, he shook off the cinders of the collapsed deck and spotted another body just on the other side of the pile, half covered in planking and seemingly immobile.


The large Ankassim didn’t have much time to curse but he could feel his blood slowly boiling with rage from the frustrating situation. But anger wasn’t a good companion now and he forced himself to keep his emotions aside and focus on what needed to be done. He didn’t recognise the body but it was clear that without him the person would be doomed to die in the flames.

”Hold on, I get you out of here.”, Tarmon grunted reaching out to the prone body and removing the planking and drawing the body close to him once it was free. He briefly examined the body before he carefully picked it up and then tried to find a way out of the ships belly...

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Originally Posted By: Tarmon
”Hold on, I get you out of here.”, Tarmon grunted reaching out to the prone body and removing the planking and drawing the body close to him once it was free. He briefly examined the body before he carefully picked it up and then tried to find a way out of the ships belly...


As Tarmon cleared away the debris, a few wine bottles rattled down onto the deck along with the wood. It was an older Thayim man, perhaps Muthay, with a large bushy beard that was obfuscating most of his face. The smell of alcohol was strong as the battle-priest picked him up, but so was the coppery smell of blood and the Ankassim could feel wetness on his hands from the man's back. There was an area of dark red grain where blood had been soaking into the pile.

Having traveled aboard the ship before, it didn't take much looking around before Tarmon spied a ladder up out of the hold, but he knew that the ladder wasn't likely to hold his weight, especially with his would-be victim.

The usual method out of the hold was a lowered hoist, but with the rigging in flames or cinders, that option was out. There was the hole he came through, the cargo hold's door if he could open it somehow from this side, or bust through the hull, nothing else came readily to mind.

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Finally, there was space for the bucket brigade to work, and T'riss joined them, adding her effort to the line. She spared Tora's companion a surprised glance when he leapt aboard the Wake with his writhing staff, her amber eyes widening when she saw the flames begin to dance ineffectually around the mast. She shouted more encouragement to her fellow sailors, but soon after, they all groaned, knowing it was a lost cause. None of them but up much of a protest when the Ten'ray and its summoned beast warned them back.

T'riss joined her cousin next to the Skrofan, flashing him a tired smile and gave him a hard slap on the back. "Good try, lad," she said, rolling her an arm, then the other, starting to ache from the heavy buckets of water, "but like I tol- Chaos take me!"

She remembered that Ankassim on board ship from the Shattered Isles in the West, and the deck had groaned under his every step. Now, weakened by fire... Sure enough, the deck shattered, sending him down into the hold of the dying ship.

"Bloody lizards! Don't they know..." T'riss growled, stalking down the dock. The Wake's hoist was lost, but the block-and-tackled on the dock was still good. "Tora, Tora's friend, come help me, the bastard's a big one!"

The flames began to gravitate towards the Sen'Ten, and T'riss figured that was a point in their favour - the stevedores would probably prefer it if she didn't set the block-and-tackle on fire. She swung the arm out over the Wulkyn's Wake, trying to line up the pulleys with the hole in the deck, then released the catch. She cursed again when the hook crashed into the deck and began wiggling the arm, trying to nudge the hook into the hold.

"Grab hold, damn you!" T'riss shouted in her storm-voice, trying to heard over the crackle of fire and splintering wood, and glaring at the flames coming ever closer to the ropes of the block-and-tackle.

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Time wasn’t on his side and he wasn’t even sure if the Muthay would endure his attempt to escape the flames. At least he tried and if Ankassar was merciful he’d help him safe this Muthay’s life today. The huge Ankassim positioned himself under the hole he made and saw the hook dangling above – maybe if he timed it right he could jump up and grab it and pull himself through... It was a daring plan but he had no better options left.

Click to reveal..

Athletics-Check

Joani *rolls* 1d20: 11+6: 17

Reroll spending HP because Damon is a meany

Joani *rolls* 1d20: 17+6: 23

Tarmon propelled his huge frame through the hole breaking a few planks with his wings and shoulders on his way out and managed to grab the hook which groanded briefly under the unexpected weight. Almost half a ton of Muthay and Ankassim dangled on the hook and Tarmon had lost his orientation. Hopefully someone would see him and pull him to the dock. “I got an injured Sailor here! Someone help us!”, he yelled as loud as he can.

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Tora didn't wait for Arak's answer; as her cousin shouted, she gulped and turned toward the ship. "I'm a Kaer-cursed fool," she whispered. Bending, she crouched, measuring the distance with her eyes. Then she leapt.

The slight girl shouldn't have been able to hop more than three feet, but her leap easily propelled her onto the deck. She spared a single glance at the Nay'fen who seemed to be in control of the flames. Spinning on the ball of her foot, the dancer gracefully headed toward the hold - just as the Ankassim burst from the hold and grabbed T'riss's hook.

"T'riss! Pull!" she shouted, grabbing a rope and wrapping it around the sailor's waist. With a grunt, she tied a loop around the sailor, hoping that taking his weight off the Ankassim would allow the dragon-man to pull himself up. Tora looked into eyes as golden as her own as she said, "Go! I have him!" I think.

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Arak heaved a breath in and lumbered over to the winch, "Quaress' ass, this day is not going to plan." He set his feet and grabbed the winch, rotating it with some difficulty at first. Even with the block and tackle to reduce the work an Ankassim and a Muthay were a load. Slowly he wound the winch rotation by rotation and lifted the pair in by tortuous inch away from the fire scorched deck.

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"Ya can getta looka m'ass later, and mebbe more, later, Skro," T'riss snarled, turning from watching her cousin to give Arak a quick appraisal, before adding her strength to the other bar on the winch. "C'mon, crank it! Show me yer worth a ride!"

The ropes creaked, pulleys clanking as the block-and-tackled took on more and more of the massive ankassim's weight, that muthay's burden almost negligible in comparison. T'riss glared at the flames licking ever closer to the heavy, hempen cables, willing them away.

"Get off the damn ship, Tora - it can take on water before you realize it."

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The winch creaked, and the brass handle threatened to break free. The massive weight and resistance pushed on the pins that held it together as T'riss and Arak wound it round and round. Just when the handle seemed as though it wouldn't crank another notch on the cog, Tarmon managed to get a grip on the decking and relieve some of the weight. This sent the cranking pair nearly to their knees in the sudden relief of resistance, but they soon recovered and continued to assist in hauling up the Ankassim.

As Tora man-handled the bearded Muthay onto the deck, there were astonished calls from the pier, 'Captain!' 'It be Cap!' 'Quick 'elp 'er!' 'But the fire!' The Captain didn't look good, the parts of his face that could be seen through the beard looked bruised and swollen, lacking color and more ashen than alive. She didn't have much more time to examine him as the tell-tale signs of splintering wood began to consume her senses.

"She's gonna go!" Came a gutteral yell from shore, and as everyone's vision darted first to the exclaimer and then back to the ship, they could see that the enchanted mast of ship was now wholly falling, and headed for the dock and consequently, the winch.

Wa'ne had been standing on the ship, slowly gathering the flames when the mast broke free. Now barely visible through the sphere of fire. The ball seemed to leap into the air and out into the water, extinguishing itself in a massive hiss and cloud of hot steam that washed over the ship and quenched what little flames that remained.

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Tarmon didn't pay much attention to the ship and instead focused on the dying Muthay. Spreading his wings he automatically granted himself some space while he spoke with his deep baritone voice, "This man needs some air to breath and Ankassar's good will"

The huge Ankassim reached with one hand for the prone body of the Captain while his other hand rested on his broad chest. Then he spoke in a foreign tongue, <Ankassar, oh greatest of all, please save this man from certain death and grant me the power to heal him with your soothing breath. Ankassar, keeper of truth and justice, if this man was a righteous soul spare him from death>

Click to reveal.. (Activation roll for Healing Winds of Ankassar)
Roll: 18 -10 DC = +8 PASS.

That's a Healing 6 effect btw. Activation roll was successful

Golden light gathered on Tarmon's chest and channeled through his body down his extended arm. The golden light engulfed the Captain briefly and then Tarmon just watched if Ankassar's Healing Winds were able to save this poor soul from death.

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"Watch your filthy mouth woman," Arak spat at the trollop opposite him at the winch. The Akassim hauled itself from the belly of the ship and was doing something over the form of a Muthay, the captain if the bystanders were to be believed. The sound of the mast cracking through the fire weakened wood of the deck snapped Arak's head around, "Uh oh." He didn't bother to waste time with a yelled warning. Instead he kicked out at the lock on the winch, ensuring it wouldn't spin freely back, and then roughly grabbed the Muthay with the dirty mouth and hurled her out of the path of the falling mast, throwing himself clear in her wake.

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"Bloody Hells and Searing Heavens! It's the Cap'n!" T'riss swore.

Focused intently on her cousin and the Captain of the Wulkyn's Wake, the lushly figured sailor almost missed the enchanted mast falling their way, the cracking of wood blending into the crackle of flames. She was about to pull Tora's Skro out of the way when she felt him grab her from behind and throw her clear.

Tucking a shoulder, she turned her short flight into a rolling tumble along the pier and sprung back to her feet, spinning around... to end knocked flat on her back as the Skrofan bumpkin plowed into her.

"Me thanks, but this ain't be the ride I be lookin' fer," the curvaceous woman beneath him groused in a husky voice. Suddenly, Arak flinched, feeling a hand squeeze his buttock as T'riss snapped her teeth close right before his nose. "And you'll find, a filthy mouth can be a fine thing indeed." She tilted her head back, looking for Tora on the splintering ship. "If Tora don't be mindin' to share, o' course."

T'riss wriggled out from under the unworldly Skro, being rather free with her knees and elbows he thought, and clambered back to her feet.

"Clear the Chaos-cursed ship!" T'riss shouted, stripping off her boots and sword-belt with admirable swiftness, and reaching for her blouse, preparing to dive into the river. "I've got ya."

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Tora watched, heart in her throat, as T'riss and Arak disappeared behind the falling mast. She glanced at the captain or whoever it was, assured he was in good hands. The Ankassim seemed to be a healer. Two quick steps took her to the rail; she planted one foot on the wooden banister and leapt over the fallen mast.

She landed in a crouch beyond, stopping because she saw she wasn't needed. In the space that it took for her clothing and hair to settle around her, she'd seen them both, safe. Her shoulders sagged with relief as she stood up, her golden eyes on her cousin and companion. "You two need to do this later," Tora said simply, even as they moved apart. Her cheeks colored with a bit of a blush, despite her bland comment. "I couldn't get the Captain," she added, "though I believe the Ankassim can get him off the ship, too."

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Arak sat up, and scuttled away from T'riss. He glared at Tora and grumbled, "Is fornication the only thing you Muthay women think about?" Standing, he brushed himself off, and looked to the ship, with the flames extinguished the extent of the fire damage could be seen. The deck was a charred ruin, as were the lower spars. The Ankassim was hunched on the deck by a hole of black broken boards that looked like the maw of a sickly crone. "She'll not be sailing again anytime soon," Arak observed.

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Even though the flames had been extinguished Tarmon didn’t feel safe on board of the ship. It could be already sinking without anyone noticing it and when you did it would be too late to get off the ship.

Tarmon carefully picked up the Captain looking for a way to get off the ship. His eyes found the mast which had fallen towards the dock and creating an impromptu bridge which he could balance on.

”Hold on – I try to get us off the ship.”, he explained and moved his hulking body towards the mast, hoping the ship would carry his weight just long enough for him to get to safety.

,,
Click to reveal.. (Athletics Check for Balancing)
Roll: 15 +6 Modifier = +21

Tarmon is trying to get to the dock and get some solid ground under his claws. I provided an Athletics check just in case.

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The golden light seemed to encase the Captain and infuse his pale countenance with some color. His non-existent breathing became more noticeable, but he still looked worse for wear and there was still the wound on his back to investigate.

Tarmon had no problem getting across the mast to the half-destroyed dock and obliterated winch where the others were waiting.

Now that the crowd had dissipated and most of the danger had passed, a group of three tattooed Sen finally made their way to the dock. The evident leader of the three, by quantity of his markings and pervasive tattoos stepped forward. His head was clean-shaven, revealing more tattoos and a couple ridges of scar tissue. He wasn't carrying any weapons, though his demeanor implied that he didn't need any. Unlike most of the Fen in the city, he wasn't even wearing the traditional loincloth and was completely nude, revealing his gender, if only just so.

His eyes quickly snapped about, taking in the situation, "Quidel."

"Yes." Another of the Sen stepped forward.

"Take the Captain to the Temple--"

"No!" Wa'ne yelled, emerging onto shore, clutching a spear.

"Find yourself, Ray." The male Nay'fen warned coolly.

"Apologies, Sen'nov, but this man is touched. Further inspection is needed." Wa'ne responded, the voice lacking the humbleness of the words spoken.

"I see no Chaos within the man." The Nov replied, the ray-like tattoos around his eye flaring briefly. He gestured again, "Take him to the Temple."

"No!" Wa'ne stepped between Quidel and Tarmon, who still held the Muthay. "A moment...please." The pleasantry coming late, as an afterthought.

"A Mark you will earn a moment."

Wa'ne winced, "Thank you, Sen'nov." Wa'ne turned to Tarmon, "If you would slowly turn him to his back..."

Tarmon nodded and slowly rotated the man in his arms, revealing the blood soaked shirt and through the tear in his clothing, an angry wound that showed clear down to the yellowish bone of his spine. All of the Fen's tattoos around their eyes flared as they looked for signs of Chaos.

"See there, in the wound..." Wa'ne pointed out.

The Sen looked at Wa'ne with a look that pointedly said he did not need assistance. "Indeed."

He paused a moment as his mind seemed to be weighing decisions carefully. "Quidel. Take them all to the Temple Hold. Their contact with the situation bears further inspection. Mar, see to the ship."

"Yes, Sen'nov." Came the unified reply.

"But...that's not...I need to..." Wa'ne protested.

"You will see this through Ray."

"Yes Sen'nov." Wa'ne replied, irritated.

Quidel waited, obviously intending to bring up the rear of the group that included most of the crew, Tarmon, Arak and Tora. Before anyone could really decide on what to do, or what was happening, Wa'ne started walking off, heading for the city and the Temple.

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“You were the one rolling around on top of my cousin,” the girl said blandly, though there was an amused twitch to her lips as she spoke.

Then the drama around the Captain caught her attention. A quick double-hop put her on the same side of the mast as all the drama. She’d merely meant to see that the captain was alright. But the Sen’s declaration that the man was infected with Chaos made her realize there were bigger issues at hand. “Wait,” she said, as the tattooed men began to take charge, “what does that mean? For us?”

She’d touched him. Her stomach curled with fear and distaste as she realized that she’d touched someone infected with Chaos. Tora swallowed and looked down at her hands; she’d had to put her arms around him to get the rope on him. She’d practically hugged him. Her fists clenched tight; she felt dirty. She needed to bathe, right now. But she was afraid that asking for that would make the Sen check her for infection, too. Torn between not wanting to know and needing to know, she kept her mouth shut as she fell into step beside T’riss. Upset Zhengs always sought the company of family and she was no different in this manner.

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Arak scowled, "I was saving her life." If he saw the amusment in both of the womens' expressions he didn't show it. He clearly didn't appreciate it.

"Chaos, the dark mark of Kaer." Arak spat onto the street, tugged out a hair from the right side of his head and discarded it over his left shoulder, then turned around in place first clockwise then again anticlockwise, before spitting on the ground once again. He looked ridiculous.

"Would that I had salt, but that should do to ward off the evil, I haven't touched the man, nor any who have." Arak seemed assured that his superstitious ritual would protect him, but the authorities were unimpressed and with a shove he soon found himself walking with the others. "Night clouds," he cursed.

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If the huge Ankassim was worried by the revelation of carrying a Chaos-touched Muthay he didn’t show it. His tunic showed the holy symbol of Ankassar and showed his status as Battle Priest – his faith would surely protect him from any curse caused by Kaer.

He nodded at the authorities and followed Wa’ne while he tried to maintain his calm facade. ”Ankassar will protect us. Be strong in spirit and body and you shall be save.”

The certainty of his voice sounded almost arrogant, as if it was a given fact and unshakeable truth.

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T'riss swaggered at Tora's side, smirking at Arak's antics, but took it no further than that, suppressing a shiver. After all, a potential brush with Chaos, and she was yearning for a scalding bath herself. She had the Captain once, months ago, after a long time on a becalmed sea and a tall bottle of rum, but she couldn't believe he'd willingly truck with Chaos - he was too timid by far.

"I'd be preferin' some strong spirits and strong bodies meself," T'riss muttered to her cousin, in reply to the portentous Priest. She glanced down at as she strapped her swordbelt back on, and tried to answer her question in a low voice, losing most of her affected accent. "As for the us and the Sen, it means they're gonna be asking us a lot of questions. Authorities the world over are all the same - guilt by association. I really should keep better company. Just admit to nothing, and we'll get out of this and share a pint at the Blooming Rose."

The tall, curvaceous woman sounded confident, striding along with a sway to her gait as if the Sen were her escort, but when she had first seen the Sen, she had to stifle a former 'privateer's' need to sneer or pretend to obliviousness at the sight of the authorities. The Sen were a prickly bunch and she didn't fancy spending a night or two in gaol when she could be spending them catching up with her cousin.

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The group fell unusually silent as they made the trek out of the harbor and across the fields outside the walls towards the city proper and the Temple within.

Lazy clumps of summer snow from cottonwoods floated along the cool breeze coming off the river. Mosquitoes, hiding in the shade of trees and tall bushes and bolstered by the humidity, harassed the group, buzzing in their ears and darting for exposed flesh as the would-be lunch passed.

Farmers occasionally looked up from the fields where they worked to watch as the group passed, waving or bowing to the Sen'ten. By the time the group reached halfway to the city, Wa'ne's anger and frustration had waned and the Nay'fen had fallen back with the group, but still remained aloof and stubbornly refused to acknowledge the existence of the others.

Tal gate approached quickly enough, the large stonework looming over them. Carved marble statues laced with lucenite saddled the gate. Wa'ne couldn't help but notice the God of the entrance's namesake carved in exceeding detail to be lounging against the opening but staring down at those who entered with a piercing gaze. Because of the time of day, the gates stood freely open, with naught but two Sen to oversee the proceedings, though Wa'ne knew also that there would be a Ten, concealed from any but the most prying eyes.

After passing the wall, the din of the city grew louder, hawkers crying out wares, the constant hum of animals and people going about their lives and music giving a chaotic underlying rhythm to it all. The group turned right onto Turn's Road, a path opening before them with the escort of Quidel, though Wa'ne's presence didn't hurt either. The public gave wide berth to the Sen'ten, stopping and moving out of respect to the tattooed people before continuing on about their business.

They eventually passed under and through the College's wall via Winter's Gate, named simply for the time of the turn in which it was built.

For nearly all of the group, this would be their first time within the high-walled off section of the city, but there wasn't much to amaze or differentiate itself from the rest. The architecture was the same, if in better repair, the streets paved with the same stones as outside. The only immediate difference was the decrease in clothing and the increase in tattoos. Tattooed nay'fen in loincloths, if anything at all, moved about at errands. The occasional non-Fen passed by, just as naked, which drew glowers from both Quidel and Wa'ne for those that were paying attention.

Quidel directed them more towards the Temple, turning them left when they came to a crossing. The road branched and curved back around towards the Temple and to a rotunda that the group was ushered into. The insides were almost completely empty save a couple tables and a few scattered chairs.

"You will wait here." Quidel stated. He turned around and walked out, turning around at the threshold to touch something above the door. Designs etched into frame of the opening lit up and the opening sealed, a ghostly appearance of stone now filling the way out.

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Tora’s skin was still crawling by the time they reached the rotunda, most of the sights of the city passing right by her. She’d been here before after all; she was a Zheng, not a hayseed to gawk around. She was well-used to the reactions of the various peoples of the city. She was far more worried that she might be tainted by Chaos. She kept her arms folded but managed to not neurotically rub at her skin.

When they were left alone, the Muthay glanced around the room before selecting the chair with a sigh. Her eyes glimmered in the light of the room as she cleared her throat. “I can’t just sit here,” she said, pulling her psaltery case off her back. Taking out the stringed instrument, she went through the motions of tuning it – not that the superb dark-wood device needed tuned often. It was still a comforting gesture. Softly, she began to play, keeping it soft enough so that the others could talk, if they wished.

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T'riss strutted along, apparently at ease, despite the company of the Sen'ten, unabashedly taking a look at all the bare flesh being offered. Despite being familiar with the state of Sen'ten dress - or undress - she hadn't really considered what she would find in the Sen'ten College, else she might have found a way to be taken in custody on some frivolous charge some time ago.

She'd been with the Cap'n for several months and if the taint of Chaos was forced upon him, she'd be willing to find the pharging bastard and fill him, her, or it full of holes. On the hand, if the Cap'n had sought of Chaos himself, then she rather toss him to the leviathans. The seas were fickle enough, only the rankest of idiots added Chaos to the mix.

In the rotunda, T'riss dropped into a chair, leaning back on two of the legs, then propped her feet on the table with a pair of thumps, crossing her legs at the ankles. As Quidel turned to leave, T'riss glanced at him over a shoulder and waved a pair of fingers in the air. "D'ya think ye ken git us som'ting ta dtink, at least?"

Quidel left without even acknowledging her, spirit rock filling the archway. T'riss snorted, blowing a strand of rich red hair from her face, then began fanning herself with her hat. With deceptively lazy, golden eyes, the languorous seawoman studied her cousin and her Skrofan companion.

"So, Cuz, what brings you out to S'Ur without the Company, and with a Skro farmboy no less?" Full lips curved a trifle with amusement. "Though I understand, I'm sure. Nights get cold, and lonely, on the Long Road."

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Before Arak could do more than start to sputter an indignant denial, Tora was saying, “He’s not warming my bed. I… owe him money.” T’riss winced in understanding.

“Which I don’t care about,” Arak insisted, fed up with the Zheng family in general and these two women in particular.

“But Father does,” Tora said simply, trying not to feel the sting of pride quite so badly. “He told me to pay Arak back or I can’t be on the Long Road.” Exile from the family was a harsh punishment, the harshest available. There were people who had left willingly, but to be forced to leave was something else. “So here I am.” Getting infested by Chaos.

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Arak walked along quietly, there was little to be said, and no reason to say it until somebody was willing to listen. He hadn't touched the man, hadn't even gotten near him. If Kear had taken the sailor he could have him, but Arak was free of the taint of Chaos. He followed however because resisting would only make things worse.

Unlike the others he was a hayseed, and he did gawk at the sights, so much so that despite himself he relaxed some as they made their way through the city. When they passed through Winter's Gate however that changed abruptly and drastically. Arak was glad for his dark skin, he didn't blush like the light skins, because if he could have he'd have turned red as a fall harvest beet. Dozens, hundreds even, of nude or nearly so Fen strutted about like children without modesty. Arak cast his eyes down and avoided looking, he suddenly felt very much like he wanted to go far far away from this bizarre and perverted place.

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The towering Ankassar had kept to himself as they were escorted to their new destination. He watched the smaller folk with a mixture of curiousity and estrangement. He respected the other cultures but somehow no matter how open-minded he tried to be he always came to the same conclusion:

There was an obvious reason the Ankassar were the chosen race...

While his fellow ‘prisoners’ lamented about their situation and possible exposure to chaostaint Tarmon had to suppress a chuckle. He had done nothing wrong, he had broken no law and he certainly wasn’t in league with any chaotic powers. The silly superstitious behaviour of the Skrofan only added to his general prejudice.

”Patience. I am sure this incident will be swiftly solved... unless one of you is responsible for the fire onboard that ship? Now would be the right time to confess, then we have enough time to formulate a strategy.”, his eyes wandered from one to the other trying not to judge them but something about his posture and presence made him appear very much like a judge... and the executioner in one person.

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