Tales of Glory and Valour: the Seafarers Main RP Topic

The Summer Armada Lies in Ruins. Too many politicians with too many conflicting agendas have turned the Empire to a stagnant ruin. Without the meditating hand of the King. The Armada is doomed to fall into a collection of warring Island states.

Several prominent factions include the Hearthtemple, the order of Priests worshiping the god of fire. The supreme god of the Summer Armada.

The Fleets, 5 factions that sprang up from the broken Armada’s naval battle groups. They are Seadrakes, the Western Fleet, The Firehearts, the northern fleet, the Order of the Just, the eastern fleet, the Homeguard, the Central fleet, and Finally the secretive and little seen Southguard, the southern fleet that operates primarily outside of Armada controlled waters. Charged with their duty of keeping the horrors of the south a secret from the Armada as a whole by the last King.

Smaller factions exist as well, including those venerating the Minor gods, Such as the Sea God. Or those who ply the waters in trade. It is a dangerous time to sail the seas. And if things don’t soon improve, the People of the Southern Isles very way of life will be at risk.

One man Understands this and will do anything to stop it. He wishes to return the King to his throne, and usher in a New Renaissance for the Armada. Especially now that the Legion has risen again to the North. This task will not be an easy undertaking, but it will be necessary. Even with his incredible influence and power it will not be an easy endeavor, and he’ll need an excellent crew.

Emberhold, Jewel of the south Capital of the Summer Armada, and pride of many. The once most beautiful city in the world, with its sapphire Canals, and sweeping views of the open waters beyond, situated a good distance away from the other islands, to ensure excellent line of sight in any direction. Although once just a small keep and attendant village the mass of humanity swiftly took over the entire island. The Keep Swelled to become a Palace, with high walls and carefully calculated room to allow those in the city to shelter within, although not comfortably. The Village grew into a great city, the envy of the world, with many green spaces perfectly preserved in parks, and theatres that made some castles seem insignificant by comparison. However, decades without proper leadership had clearly taken its toll, only the Naval Port of the Homeguard, and the Grandiose Hearthtemple seemed untouched. Elsewhere what were once grand avenues, now contained more potholes than road. The Canals seemed stained a murky brown, and we’re clogged with debris, and the occasional corpse. The entire city seemed like a Sick and Dying entity. Any who had seen it’s glory days would surely be remiss to look on it now. For one reason or another, none of this stopped you from coming.

You are Privateers working for the different Dukes and Duchesses of the Southern Isles. Each of you received a letter, asking you to come listen to a job offer that’d pay in more than simple wealth.

The letter reads thus.

“Crew Required.
Great or little renown
Experience: necessary
Conditions: Hazardous
Pay: 1.5x standard, plus bonus
Location: The Drunken Mule Inn, parlour #3
Time: noon
Don’t be late, lunch provided”

The Drunken Mule is a decrepit old ruin of a building, the only thing of wonder about it is how it’s still standing. Sitting almost crammed into a Gap between one wall of the Hearthtemple, and a Business offering Insurance for Seafaring vessels, it seems to skulk in the shade of the two grander buildings. Inside is no better, stałe old drunks that look like they haven’t moved in a week, and smell the same. They all seem to have been nursing the same mug of ale for quite some time.

If one looked closely, they’d swear there was a coat of dust on even the patrons. Although given their level of grooming, any witness would be forgiven for not noticing.

The Barkeep is a miserable old sod, who glares at the door every time it opens. As if to challenge anyone who might wish to bring business or prosperity to his establishment.

In short, it was a dump, and was probably a dump in its glory days. That’s what they say about it anyway.

Beside the door is a pile of crumpled up letters, the only thing about the place that looks new in any way. The door swings open with a light push, almost disturbing the thick dust carpet that coats the floor.

The Bartender has a look of barely disguised shock to see so many people enter his establishment at once, or at all for that matter. He claps his hands together, almost missing due to unfamiliarity with the gesture. The sound startles some semblance of life into the Patrons. His voice is raspy as if he hadn’t spoken in some time. Although harsh there are undertones of a much warmer tone in there, in his eye is the barest glint of the smile the lines on his face suggest used to he common.
“Well now, what can I do for you fine folk?”
(@Ghid @MakutaOisli @Winger @N01InParticular @Atobe_Brick )

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The name Gorov was one of power and the evil it caused unchecked. Power is ultimately neutral, but left without a counter balance and the scales will tip. An untold number of hardened souls cried out from every creak in the woodwork, begging for the monstrous hands of that city to reach out and choke out the seed of corruption that now walked through the door of The Drunken Mule.

And yet, even though this ruin was the likely end product of the Gorov’s misdeeds, Dolphus would not have entered without the knowledge of four complete strangers in the same fix as him. He hadn’t really looked at them at all outside of generally observing them approaching the building from behind him. Power had to be maintained, and so Dolphus entered the building first.

The smell was almost overpowering. The air acted almost like a solid object, the very motion of Dolphus walking in kicking up a clout beneath his feet. He was forced to lock his jaw and clutch his cane - he was finding it more of a comfort to lean on in recent days - to prevent him from breaking into a coughing fit.

Dolphus waited until the party appeared to have all entered the building before leaning the cane on his hip and retrieving the letter.

As he reached across his body to obtain it, Dolphus got a very good look at one of the patrons. Some level of pity and disgust darted through his mind; it was like the poor man had died in his drink, and the shopkeep was too petty to have him removed, lest he lose a visible patron. The layer of dust was especially peculiar, practically confirming his thoughts were it not for the mild movement of the guest, but Dolphus knew he would be infinitely better off if he asked less questions and kept what he noticed to himself.

Dexterously, Dolphus unfolded the letter, holding it content-side-upwards towards the barkeep between his middle and forefinger. The wax seal recalled the pile of letters by the door to his mind, and Dolphus had to freeze the joints of his arm to prematurely stop a shiver working up his spine.

Eyes uncaring. Exude confidence. Keep your back tall. This is how a Gorov controls the room.

“I wish to speak to the mariner.”

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Mako. An odd sort of person, he stood typically stands out from the crowd,with his armor colorful,instead of the standard grey or red.
His sinuses exploded at the amount of dust, followed by an immense amount of sneezing and eyes watering.

“Parlour three, please.”

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As Dolphus’ gaze lingered, the Drunk slowly but surely turned to meet the gaze. Staring back at the Gorov with a look of mild interest. He briefly nodded and went back to his drink as Dolphus’ shifted his attention.

The effect of such a simple statement was quite pronounced. Everyone currently seated at the only occupied booth moved with such a swiftness, one could have sworn they’d always been standing. Hands drifted down to weapons.

All traces of warmth vanish from the Bartenders face. “if you wish to hire a Sailor, I’d try the docks. If however, you wish to talk to he who claims that as his name. You would do well to not mention his name again here. He is unwelcome here, as is his name.”

The bartender spoke with a sudden crispness. Then all of the sudden it was gone, and the Barkeep was just a tired old man again. He frowned with sudden confusion. The patrons had a similar look of confusion to find themselves standing, and began to shuffle back into their seats.

“Sorry lad, must have missed that, bad ears and all. You here about the letter then?” He looks down at his hands and flexes them in a sort of longing way. As if he’d forgotten what it was like to have a proper grip strength.

The Barkeep visibly brightens “Absolutely!” He points over his left shoulder at the only Hallway off the main room. “Second door on the left down the hallway, if you reach the stairs you’ve gone too far!” His face splits into a genuine smile for a moment, before his previous dourness starts to creep back in.

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“Thank you.” Mako said, with a warm smile.

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Every feather on Dolphus’ alien arm was standing on its end. The vicious efficiency with which the patrons had moved, along with the strangely improper grammar taking careful note to repeatedly mention the phrase His Name, was enough to put Dolphus into a fright - and the return to such a visibly incapable state being such a heavy contrast didn’t help either.

No matter how guilty by association or complacency with the affairs of his father, Dolphus was not a Gorov of the sinister breed. He instantly swiped the hand back towards his body, crumpling the letter as he did so.

The pile.

Clutching his cane, Dolphus swiftly walked past the barkeep and the tables and down that eerie hallway, outpacing the rest of the group with ease. Don’t look back, he thought. Don’t even think about that place, or this city, or even being alive.

His feet skidded to a stop in front of the second door on the left. Staring at it with wild eyes, he unconsciously reached under his cape to smooth the feathers back down before giving three soft knocks on the woodwork.

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“Are you alright?” Mako asked,never have seen a Gorov.

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Rook Andreas had been nonchalantly leaning against a wall, with his arms behind is back, completely silent. His presence, however was hard to ignore; his piercing eyes scanned the room, making eye contact with each patron at least once.

His stench billowed off of his body and settled like smoke, adding to the already rank air of the bar. He glanced at the brat— He had only known him for less than a minute and even then he knew the kid was a brat— trying to parse any discomfort. Maybe he’ll retch. Now wouldn’t that be funny?

Andreas flashes a sickly-sweet smile.

“Much obliged, my friend.”

He raises his arm up in some kind of salute, revealing a wicked blade where his hand should have been, and then stalks off to find parlor 3.

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As he nears the Parlor, soft but audible footsteps begin to sound on the other side. For a moment a draught of hot air begins to billow from the gap at the bottom of the door. A strong presence on the other side brushes their minds briefly, although with disinterest.

For Mako this presence felt as if he were sitting too close to a Blazing fire, but entirely in his mind.

The brass handle glows slightly as if warmed, and the door creaks open. An Older woman with close cropped Gray hair, looks out at them searchingly, assessing the danger. Her face, though lined with Age, displayed a hardness not unlike one might expect from a statue. She steps back as if it were a practiced Drill. “you may enter, my master will see you now”

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Mako walked in, his bare feet feeling the ground beneath him.
“Hello.” He greets the older women. Did she just read my mind? He soon thought of the ocean. I hope we get to sea soon…

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Dolphus could feel his throat tighten. Who just took a look inside?

…Wait, what does that even mean?? Is this something involving magic? Because of all the things Dolphus was certain of, he was doubly certain he hated magic.

Why is everyone here someone who might kill me?

Not having learned the first time, Dolphus bowed slightly and entered with an air of gravity and importance, lifting his cane over the base of the doorway. There may have been some kind of lip in the structure, or there may have not, but it was the symbol it carried that mattered.

Alright. No more mariner. Just inquire about the letter. He looked around with an air of disinterest, trying not to let whatever surroundings existed make him break character.

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The Parlor, looks like the typical type you’d find in any Inn, and unlike the rest of the building appears to be in good shape. The carpet is soft and still holds it’s original hue. The windows are covered in rich silk drapes, through which a gentle breeze flutters. To the side sits a table with a Buffet lunch set out. Nothing too special, but wholesome fare. The main Table in the center of the room is thick Oak, seated at the head is a Man. He wears illustrious robes and on his head is an Intricate metal headdress. The latter covering his face from view behind a tinkling Mesh of Metal flames.

He spreads his arms wide at the seats around the table. The stern woman seems to glide an inch off the floor to a position behind him. Although her levitation is not the kind typically associated with Mages. Her body rises and falls with drafts of hot air, as if she were borne aloft by invisible wings. The man looks over them all, Headdress tinkling softly. 'Please friends! Sit!"

He smiles at each of them in turn, “You’ll have to forgive my Guard’s… Caution I’m afraid, she sensed something caused a defensive response in the Patron Guard. She needed to determine…” He paused for a moment to choose his words “…Intent. Rest assured, she only skimmed the surface, your thoughts are your own still”

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What.

Dolphus blinked twice at his surroundings. The stagnant air from the rest of the building had gone, the odor of delicious food filling his nostrils and the pleasant breeze softly warming the room. There were a large number of thought s echoing through his mind at that moment - how was there a breeze through multiple windows if this room was surrounded on all sides - but the mask had to be maintained at all costs.

Their host was not so open, either, having his face almost perfectly obscured behind a sheet of tinkling metal. How in the world such a character and such an array of goods managed to get past the suspicious eye and hard countenance of the barkeep was beyond him. But, then again, there was a lot that was beyond him just now.

Dolphus eyed the closest chair. He hadn’t taken much time to assess the rest of his party or their visible intent outside of slightly observing Mako, but he was hoping they would show visible mistrust in the awkwardness of this scenario before-

A vicious glare was sent towards the old woman. How rude, presumptuous, um… Other words that displayed how miffed Dolphus was by this intrusion. So flustered was he by this occurrence that the mention of the Patron Guard went directly over his head.

With a stern eye, Dolphus pushed one of the seats from the table with his cane and descended into it. Please don’t let me be the only unfriendly one here or I’m going to have to change my act.

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Now, Markl, you gorgeous, sly dog, you. Don’t play your hand, Markl. Not too soon, anyways. No telling what these others are capable of.

Markl had taken the letter as a sign from the gods, or something. But as with all such … miracles of faith, he’d also taken the letter with a nice dollop of wariness. He had a good reputation, he hoped. But a good reputation in his line or work - or his previous line of work, right? - was not necessarily a “good” thing to have, practically.

He had hung back as the child - the less handsome one, anyways, hm, Markl? - and the masked figure had interacted with the barkeep. The child seems confident. Someone has to have taught him. He allowed the others to proceed ahead before following, pausing to direct a beaming smile of gratitude at the establishment’s jaded proprietor. The man was excused. He probably just needed a vacation and some better lighting.

Watching the child lead the way was interesting. He exuded confidence. But maybe this was still all an act, a trap. The Gorov’s couldn’t’ve found out what he’d done, not yet, but you never knew. He doubted it, though. A child actor? This ridiculous array of individuals? Only a job of hired hands from wherever could procure this.

The probe at his mind made his nauseous, briefly, but he was feeling forgiving. He arranged his features from behind the group, straightened his coat, his gloves, collar, his hair, his face - a slight smile in the mouth, impassive eyes - and then entered the room, leaning very slightly on his club … er, cane. He beamed even harder at the bodyguard than he had at the barkeeper.

He took a step to the right of the group immediately upon entering the room. This could … could still be a … a trap was that food?

Well, in that case.

Nico stood forward, a casual, long-legged gait, to the end of the table, and leaned forward to bow, and then extend his hand to the figure.

“Nico Markl. I am most obliged. All is forgiven.” He used his heel to pull the chair next to the figure out at an angle only marginally less rakish than his smile.

He sat.

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Mako, one who was not to question, sat down. But not on the chairs of course. He sat on the carpet, as chairs made him feel exposed and helpless.

Oh, its one of those people. His eyes rolled inside his skull as he readjusted his mask. At least, if you could call bandages a mask. He could tell by the way he walked and talked. Another pompous idiot who gives himself too much credit.

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Alexis was running late. Like most nights She swore she had remembered something but as soon as she awoke and went to write it down it was gone again, of course, that wasn’t the reason for her tardiness today. As Alexis prepared for her journey one of her fellow crewmates from the Twilight decided to visit her and it took her quite a bit of persuasion to convince him that they could catch up with each other next week, this was a lie of course.

Alexis found her standing inside the rundown tavern only slightly disturbed by the condition of the place, This was the place she would begin to get her answers. Alexis glanced down at the letter the stranger had given her. “Where’s Parlor three?” She asked turning to the barkeep.

@Winterstorm345

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The Barkeep looks up, “Another one? Down the hall, second door on the left, should be about 4 in there already”

The barkeep wanders over to the Patrons sitting at their usual table, and in a low whisper says “You know this little Gamble of Tharwin’s may actually work”

“Ah yes, I remember you, you were one of our students once.” He nods in Nico’s direction “I am High Priest Tharwin, of the Hearthtemple.” Tharwin leans back slightly, “If I may, what caused you to give up your pursuit of becoming a Caelin?”

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Alexis gave a nod in thanks and headed down the hallway, she chose to ignore the barkeep’s comment to the patrons for now. As her fist hovered above the door ready to deliver a knock she thought about The circumstances that had convinced her to join this expedition. What did the stranger offer the others? It had to be something just as important as what she was seeking. Alexis sighed and delivered three short taps to the frame of the door. Clearly, The award most would seek would be money; she did not doubt at least one of the four would be in it for the opportunity to live a life of luxury.

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Nico froze halfway down to his seat, his mouth tightening, his muscles going tense. He smiled a tight-lipped smile, and the briefest bolt of anger flashed through his eyes … But only for a moment. After a second, the same mask of languid geniality slid back over his features. He shrugged, very slightly.

“It just wasn’t for me, I suppose.” He met the other’s eyes, raised his eyebrows, as if in a challenge. “Though I am impressed that the High Priest would remember a lowly apprentice from so many years gone by.”

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Inside the room, the bodyguard stiffens, the air around her seems to shimmer like a hot summers day. Small wisps of smoke seem to trail upwards from her hair and shoulders. She promptly marches over to the door, opening it formally and stepping back, admitting Alexis inside. “The Final one from this group sir” she says in her rather clipped tone.

The High Priest chuckles softly from behind his Metal Veil. “I meant no offense” he says lightly, “as for your second point, yes, I make it my business to remember all who have trained in my time” He then spreads his hands wide, “I also make it my business to learn what I can about people I personally invite for a mission.”

The High Priest notices Alexis, “Oh good, the fifth one, now we can begin in earnest, feel free to grab food at any time, I’m about to explain why you are all here.” (@N01InParticular)

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