Role-Play Ether Sails

Discussion in 'Role-Playing' started by Isa, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    The engineer mimicked Mad’s grin, picking up the cup of rum and cradling it gently in her hands. ‘Dancing a jig, to wring out the bells on her bracelet,’ she said softly, as if in fascination, ‘but nobody could hear it, because of the cannons she fired at you.’

    Dawn stared at Salafield for a moment, as if she was trying to figure out if he was joking or not. Soon enough however, her eyes widened and she beamed, as if delighted by his admittance. She was unable to copy his wicked grin, but she didn’t mind. The thought of him dancing was as amusing as imagining Mad ducking away from a cannonball. She didn’t know if it was true, but she knew that her imagination wouldn’t prevent it from making it so.

    She sipped the cup, peered at it, then sipped again, this time with some comfort.

    No spikes this time.

    She looked up once Mad mentioned Cobble’s complaints about her, let alone her existence being known to Lord Albion.

    Dawn resisted a sigh. How troublesome.

    Sunset dancing against the walls. A mask that was never meant for her. Clementine that she wished to sink her teeth into. Limbs that were broken and wrong, because they were meant that way. A touch that burned when it grazed.

    She blinked.

    'Builders, yes. They had no hands to make the houses, so they had to wear balloons.'

    There were spikes in the rum again.

    So she took another swig with a contemplative frown.

    ‘Edit Tagline,’ she said, saying Edwin’s name wrong with a broad grin. She poured more drink into the cup and took another sip.

    Better, yes.

    ‘What’s a surface hunter?’ she said, staring at the two inquisitively.
     
  2. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    Salafield downed what remained in his own glass before accepting the bottle and refilling the crystal with an almost clear, brown liquid. It was a dangerous one, slightly sweet and smooth as could be. He had to be careful or he could easily lose himself in the bottle. Mad's assessment of his profession was annoyingly accurate. He preferred to avoid his fellow hunters because he couldn't stand the lot of them. Some swore up and down they lived for the thrill, only to die days later. It wasn't a thrill seeker's job, no matter what anyone claimed. They died the fastest.

    "Ain't no 'were' about it," he corrected Mad simply as he sipped slowly at the rum. His eyes were fixed on Dawn, however. "Still am a surface hunter, can't just stop doin' what I'm best at, can I? Just can't do it with a busted ship's all." He wasn't sure how she had acquired the bottle from him, but since it was Dawn he wasn't sure of a lot of things.

    Deciding not to question her earlier words, while also ignoring her delight at his ability to dance, he chose to deal with the easiest thing she had said. "A surface hunter's someone goes down to the surface, on purpose. We hunt the beasts that have reclaimed the world below for pelts and any number of rare toxins, spikes and talons that can be used for medicine. Highly dangerous work, ain't many willing to do it. Money's good, though."

    He fell silent a moment, his eyes falling to the cup in his hand. The liquid was swirled around the crystal absently before he spoke again, softly.

    "I kill 'em, sure. Nasty bastards deserve to die, ain't a one would spare a human for nothing. E'erything down there wants us dead. Even so, some of 'em ain't all that ugly. It's a weird world, down there. Almost prefer it."
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  3. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    Mad snagged the bottle and refilled his glass before holding it out to Dawn.

    "Small fortune if you know the right spots. I spend more money on ether silk to replace damaged webbing after a fight than I do anything else. Only thing that comes close is when I have to buy new combat harnesses lined with the stuff. Damn shame nobody can figure out how to tame a silkweaver so we can harvest the stuff cheaply. Granted finding a physician that knows how to treat their poison is impossible." He shuddered at an old memory. "Your a braver man than I to go down their Salafield. One week on the surface training for fleet was too long for me. I'd rather take on a whole fleet or face a mistmaw naked than go back to that place." he gestured over his head.

    "Besides if you want beauty nothing compares to the stars if you can get above the mist. Shame we can't get away even at night with taking off our goggles. Beautiful as the night skies are I can't help but think they'd be more amazing without this damn filter over our eyes. And contrary to what some believe I haven't risked my sanity by going out in the mist without them."
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  4. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    In spite of Dawn's curiosity, the image of anyone prowling the surface for beasts made her start to pick at the dry flecks on her lips anxiously, pinching them softly with a thumbnail and index finger. She eventually realised the futility of her habit and resorted to another sip of her drink, peering at the liquid as if it was a crystal ball. She carefully took the bottle from Mad and gently filled the glass more, but tilted her head.

    No. Last number of spikes. No coldness on the tongue. Only fire that illuminates nothing.

    She offered it back, the smile not quite meeting her eyes.

    Eventually, they wandered back down to the glass, playfully swirling the contents inside.

    'The sky. The stars...' she murmured softly.

    Like a million souls, dancing to the love and wonder of endless dreams.

    Her expression warmed, as if she was daydreaming, enjoying a summer sun on her face.

    Or the flurry of cards, scattered by the universe's kindest gamblers.

    'The winds protect them, so that we aren't spoilt by them.'
     
  5. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    "Easier to kill 'em," Salafield murmured softly as he took the bottle again. Mistweavers were particularly nasty creatures, even among the surface monsters. "Wouldn't try'n tame one for all the gold in the world. Hate spiders, small or big." The remark about his bravery did bring a bit of smug satisfaction to the hunter, but he hid it behind his glass. The warmth of the rum was spreading further. Dawn would probably get to see him dance yet.

    "Dat's where the two differ, Cap. Ain't need no goggles on the surface. Without us humans mucking it up, life came back strong down there. Not just the beasts. Sky's nice, but I don't much care for blue. All that green, makes you feel even smaller than this vast thing. Can't touch it anymore than you could a cloud. Clouds yield, though. The surface? Don't. Gotta respect something like that, makes you feel powerless. Look'it, rum making me philosophical."
     
  6. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    "Good company and good drink brings out the best in people," Mad muttered as he took another sip. The bottle hadn't been small but they'd already gotten through half of it. "He pointed at the softly glowing core crystal in the center of the room beside them. It was different from the ones fleet had and he'd be damned if he knew how it had survived this long without being knocked out of the sky. "Dawn can probably tell you more about Hunter's heart than me but that's the ship's secret. See how the crystal's smooth and round? No flat facets or peaks like most? Mark of a first generation crystal. She'll give you more power than even the two cores of a dreadnaught and barely feel the strain. Makes combat dives and fast climbs a bit tricky since she can throw enough power to the lift crystals to rip them from their morings but it also means few things in the mist can outrun us and we can spend months outside the ether currents. Felt like I'd swindled the old merchant I bought her off of when cobble told me but it makes her a damn fine shift for a privateer."
     
  7. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Dawn's nose wrinkled slightly, but it was unclear whether it was because of the remarks by her crewmates or if it was something else entirely. Whichever it was, the engineer seemed to have a lapse that left a bad taste in her mouth. She sat her glass down and stood, nearly losing her footing on the wooden floorboards.

    She grinned.

    'Is that what you are, Mad-Man? A privateer?' she asked, gently blinking into lucidity.
     
  8. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    "I'm a Former fleet captain with a broken sword making a modest living as a merchant." Mad raised his glass with a grin. "But I hear tale that some crazy bastard flying a ship that looks an awful lot like mine has been attacking merchants all around spire Aurora and giving them headaches." He gestured to the two of them.

    "Truthfully though I'm still loyal to Spire Albion despite what those fools in the Admiralty think. I do what the Spirearch needs of me. He pays me fairly for my work and in exchange for my efforts and the efforts of my crew we get clemency from any crimes we've been charged with."
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  9. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Dawn offered a wan smile in response, drawing faint circles on the floor with her smallest finger. Impatience was starting to dance in her shoulders and calf muscles. Her foot gently tapped the floor without any specific rhythm. Her mind stumbled with unfocused thoughts.

    Yes, she supposed, people did destroy ships and snuff out lifesongs.

    She recalled, vaguely, a face drawing from night's shadow and seizing parchment from her bloody hands, murmuring in a voice drunk on contempt and smoke, This is just the way of the world. She vaguely recalled Salafield's statement when they were on dry land: Men die easier than beasts, after all.

    Perhaps there was no difference between piracy and the hunt, except for the prey.

    Or maybe it was all bluster and too many spikes.

    The engineer prised herself from her seat and warmed her expression, taking an emphatic bow to the two men.

    'My,' she said, 'but what big teeth you both have!'

    With a laugh, she turned to tend to the engine, her ear cocked in case they wanted to converse, but the goggles were on and her fingers were tweaking various loose ends on the engine. Her approach was careful, even intimate, softly coercing wire tendrils and brass from the fragile glass that brought them to life. Tucking them gently and evenly into a corner, she sealed them with temporary metal bonds against the edge of the coverlets.

    'There,' she murmured tenderly, 'now we can see your eyes.'
     
  10. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    Salafield fell quiet and allowed the other two to converse without him. His earlier reflections about the surface combined with the warmth of the rum had left the hunter deeply introspective. If anyone had known him well, they would know he was a hard man to know. Everyone already knew that, though. He had always been rough around the edges, honest and a man not all that interested in other humans. Henry would say he was everything he appeared to be and everything he didn't, equally. The cat was fond of riddles, and couldn't really be trusted.

    He admired the heart of the ship as he slowly brought the glass to his lips, the glow reflected warmly in his eyes. The fierceness of his expression softened, but the glow of the engine gave him and almost otherworldly appearance. What would he do if he came to like the company of others?

    "Could 'sk her," he said, offering Mad a sharp grin as Dawn spoke again, her usual strangeness strong as ever. "Doubt I'd 'derstand, though. Ain't much I get, ya know? My own ship, she probably gave it up 'cause I ain't no good. With that," he gestured at the crystal with his half empty glass. The hunter fixed Dawn with a devious gaze after another moment. "Big teeth... 'll da better ta eat ya with. Best be careful, little bird."
     
  11. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    Mad raised his glass as a rapid tapping echoed through the room from the communication tube and he bolted upright dropping the cover and tapping back.
    "Status Rook."
    "Got a smuggler sir. Flying low, one of the new men was on watch duty till his arm mended and spotted her. she's a good enough grey I nearly missed her under us. Orders?"

    Mad glanced at Dawn and Salafield with a grin and closed the tube.
    "It's not our mission but smugglers usually mean an easy bounty if you surprise them. Ready to have your first aerial battle?"
     
  12. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Dawn flashed a grin at Salafield’s remark, attempting to match in in wickedness before glancing back at the crystals, her fingers working the wires as if they were tresses of hair, rather than the veins that powered the entire ship.

    She didn’t respond immediately to Mad’s question. Her skin took on a slight pallor as she felt her stomach drop. The back of her throat hitched, but the engineer kept her mouth clamped shut. She took a moment, chewing the inside of her cheek before glancing up at the men and giving a slight nod.

    ‘Under my watch, this ship won’t fall,’ she said lucidly, her tone flat and focused. Soon enough, she turned back to the crystals once more.
     
  13. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    The hunter watched the engineer curiously, her attempt to match his wickedness a fascinating spectacle. He found the eccentric girl strangely endearing. Or maybe it was just the rum. At Mad's question, his hand fell to the hilt of his curved blade and he turned the wicked grin on his captain. "Aye," he said fiercely, "yur orders, cap. Ya want 'em scared, dead, or both? Curious ta see how men fight a 'unter."
     
  14. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    Mad grinned as the other two with him answered and tapped at his harness.
    "Hold us steady above her Mister Rook and pass the word to the men. Reel the webs in and prepare to board, with a bit of luck we can get the boarding party in the air and chutes deployed before they notice us." He turned away from the communications tube

    "Strap in to a harness and then lower the power to the lift crystal and activate our shroud please Dawn." His grin became feral and predatory as he headed towards the door. Even eager as he was the steady click click as he moved his anchor lines from one point to the next barely slowed him

    "Salafield your with me. quartermaster should be handing out Gauntlets on the main deck. We do this right the won't even get a shot at Hunter."
     
  15. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    The lack of an answer pleased Salafield as he moved to follow his new captain. He was a man that loved the open-ended and any choice left to him was a good one. The truth was Salafield bore no ill will towards any man, smuggler or otherwise, but he was a relatively twisted man on occasion. A killer by nature and trade, he could only express himself so many ways. With no monsters to hunt, these smugglers would have to be the stand-ins. A part of him did pity them, but remorse was a rare emotion for him.

    He offered Dawn a final glance, his grin as sharp as ever, before continuing after Mad. If he was ever actually remorseful, strange as it might have seemed to any normal person, it was actually when he had to kill the creatures of the surface. He had nearly spilled his secret during their drinking session. The words he had used were true enough, but the comment seemed to have been largely ignored. How was he supposed to admit in a world like theirs that he preferred the monster infested surface to the human infested sky?

    Henry appeared at his side as they moved, a knowing glint in his glowing eyes. Alcohol was poison to humans. Pour it in and the truth came out. He knew his human well. How much could this killer stand of his fellow species? And how long could he hide the truth? Human watching was one of his favorite past times.

    Battle was good. It would probably sober Salafield up enough to keep things safer.