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    A New World - Part I - The First Sand

    Discussion in 'Archive' started by Admin, Oct 9, 2012.

    A New World
    Part I
    The First Sand

    [HR][/HR]
    "In the event that you find a passage to the Eastern nations and their trade, take what is rightfully ours - the spices and sugars that we are to inherit - for the glory of the gods, and for your nation!"
    - King Ferdinand III, Great King of Uenever​

    [HR][/HR]
    Setting and Plot
    The year is 1557, and a new dawn rises on the great nation of Uenever. Uenever, a rising imperial power in the old continent of Euvor, has recently ended a hundred year war with its neighbors, the Tauloor. After a bloody decade of inquisitions in the name of the Makers, Uenever's political and economical situation stabilized, and their leaders and entrepreneurs looked to the East. The Eastern nations were a mystery even to the best known explorers of the time, but it is from these nations that the most valuable commodities in all of Euvor originate: spices and sugars. Unfortunately, whatever little trade was established with this region of the world has now been blockaded by a great, theocratic empire situated between the West and the East. Unable to trade by land, many vessels were sent to explore new routes to Eastern trade. Many explorers attempted routes to the South, along the great tropical continent of Eden. This course was fraught with peril however, and no ship ever returned from a journey past the cape of Desmond. To the North the road was even less secure: ice, and the creatures associated with it, often trapped vessels in its dead hands. It wasn't until a radical man by the name of Carolus Columbus proposed a Western route. His claim was that the very enemy that blockaded their trade had discovered the truth of the world: it was not flat, it was spherical. So King Ferdinand III and his wife, Queen Elizabeta funded Columbus' journey. Seven weeks at sea, and four deaths later, the four vesseled crew of 107 men of all walks of life came into view of the first sands of the East. Or so they thought... What was waiting for them could only be imagined...

    Tera, a magical world in the midst of a Renaissance. The art of magic and sword-play are still prevalent, but chemistry has led to more advances than the simple health salve or allomancy mixture. Gunpowder has been invented. Cannons and guns dominate the new armies of the world. Tera is essentially Earth 1500's, but with fictitious, real-world inspired continents and nations, technologies, and people, but fantastical creatures, abilities, and what have you. The strange myths of old may apply, such as the belief that Africa (Or Eden on Tera) is inhabited by strange creatures and men ten feet tall. Create what you want - the New World is yours!

    Known locations:
    Euvor - Europe like continent
    Uenever - Represents Spain and Portugal
    Vrens - Represents France and Switzerland
    Kelqen - Represents the British isles
    Everland - Represents the Netherlands and Germany
    Nyorden - Represents the norse countries
    Roos - Represents the Eastern countries of Russia, Poland, Lithuania, and Austria
    Lytania - Represents Italy and Greece
    Urakweh - Represents Turkey (Is the Northern region of the theocratic empire)


    Eden - Africa like continent

    Hinterland - Vast tundra to the North of Euvor

    The Eastern Nations - Represents China, Japan, Korea, and India

    [HR][/HR]
    Objective
    You are a member of Columbus' expedition team, and thus answer to Columbus or his officers directly. The official objective is to make contact with the Eastern empires to establish trade, but it will take time to do this, and until you have a proper base on the beaches of this land you will be vulnerable.
    [HR][/HR]
    Character Creation
    Character sheets must be approved by the GM. Please PM the GM with your character sheet before you post it on the thread. Post approved character sheets on the discussion thread.

    Name:
    Race: Human (Must be human)
    Gender:
    Age:
    Origin: Can be secret
    Objective: Can be secret
    Occupation:
    Public Personality:
    Private Personality:
    Appearance:
    Skills:
    Allomantic Abilities: (Choose none, Lunar (Choose one), or Solar (All))
    Other stuff:
    [HR][/HR]
    Magic (Allomancy)
    Magic in this RPG works much like Allomancy does in the Mistborn trilogy. Metals are consumed and then burned in order to use their effects. Not all people can use allomancy: most are unable to use it, Lunars are confined to one allomantic ability, and Solars have the ability to use all of the allomancy abilities. Here are the elements and what they allow you to do, as well as their rarity.

    Basic Metals:
    Steel - Allows one to push against other metals. This allows the user to push metal objects that weigh less than they do into the air at incredible speeds, using them as weapons. If the user pushes against an object that weighs more than the user, the user will be pushed back.
    Iron - Allows one to pull against other metals. This allows the user to pull metal objects that weigh less than they do to them, and objects that weigh more than they do to pull the user toward said object.
    Tin - Enhances the user's five senses.
    Pewter - Enhances the user's physical strength. Whether it's stronger bones for avoiding fall damage, or stronger skin to avoid being cut. It also allows the user to carry much more than they normally could.
    Bronze - Allows one to detect someone performing allomancy within the immediate area.
    Copper - Allows one to hide themselves and others from Bronze burners, as it silents the slight vibrations resonated by burning metal. It also makes one quieter as they walk and breath, so they are nearly undetectable by ear.
    Zinc - Allows one to inflame the emotions of another, causing them to feel intense rage or anger.
    Brass - Allows one to calm the emotions of another, manipulating their feelings so they are more trusting or willing to do something.

    Higher Metals:
    Temporal Metals:
    Gold - Allows the user to see what they could have possibly become if they had made different choices.
    Electrum (Extremely rare) - Allows the user to see into their future.
    Cadmium (Extremely rare) - Allows the user to pull on the time around them, causing it to slow down.
    Bendalloy (Extremely rare) - Allows the user to pull on the time around them, causing it to speed up.

    Enhanced Metals:
    Aluminum (Rare) - Drains all other metal reserves of a Lunar or Solar. If consumed, they cannot perform allomancy.
    Chromium (Extremely rare) - User drains the metal supply of allomancers around him.
    Nicrosil (Extremely rare) - User causes an allomancer burning metal to burst into flames.

    God Metals (Never found unless GM allows):
    Larasium - When consumed, it allows a Lunar to become a Solar.
    Atium - Burns very quickly. Allows the user to see a few seconds into the future, and helps their minds cope with the situation, allowing them to become essentially invincible. One counter is to also burn Atium, which creates a time-vortex of atium shadows in the past and future. If burned with Electrum, it allows one user to see the shadows of the other user, giving them the upper hand. If burned with a metal called Duralium, the user can see the ultimate effects of their actions and plan accordingly.
    [HR][/HR]
    Rules
    - GM's word is law
    - No controlling separate characters
    - This is story-orientated, you cannot deviate from the plot, and all actions must be narrated for GM or player response. Meaning, you can't win a battle because you decided you could
    - Post character sheets in the discussion thread
    - Read all posts
    - Refer to GM for questions - keep out of character chat in the discussion thread
    - No god-mode
    - Edit before posting - minimum of two paragraphs. Keep the story rolling
    - No killing off characters, that's my job
    - All posting is cyclical - all participating players must post in the same order before a person can post again

    Any new rules will be added by the GM, and you will be notified through the discussion thread if any changes are made.
    [HR][/HR]
    Have fun out there, and remember: this is only the first part in a grand adventure...​
     
  2. losthawken
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    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Approved.
     
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    Jaque de la Sar

    "The voice of the reverend could not be drowned out by the voice of the restless sea about us, and the voices of the Makers were felt more potently than the creaking of the ship boards."
    - Jaque de la Sar
    [HR][/HR]

    August 27th - Five weeks into the journey to the West:

    For weeks the only landscape about us had been the sea, often restless and unnerving, but it was calming as well on occasion. Four men had passed: a blacksmith and his son, one by falling into the sea, the other by attempting to rescue him, a soldier who fell ill of the Dots, and an Lunar who burned Tin. All of these losses were mourned for in services carried out by the reverend. His services were often the only source of hope or joy that these men found in their days among the ships. I myself was aboard the 'Nyarina,' the smallest of the four, but also the fastest. The quarters were cramped, but the company was more favorable than would be on larger ships. Men's feet did not stink of rancid meat, and their clothes were doused in strong perfumes daily. This was the ship that Captain Columbus was quartered, and where he gave his orders. In a way this made one feel much more secure, and was why the more "noble" and less courageous were situated upon it's decks. I had a strong feeling that the overall opinion of me was off - I am more than just a writer and an inventor.

    [HR][/HR]

    "Land-ho!" came the muffled cry of someone atop the mast of the 'Nyarina'.

    The decks were bustling with anticipation, Columbus stood at the front (the sailor terms I never did learn) of the ship with a telescope fastened due West. I could feel the tensions of the crewmen build up inside of the planks of the vessel, and it let out a tremendous moan as the ship was lowered from one wave to the base of the sea's horizon. "Men!" cried our captain, "Signal the other ships! Gather what supplies we need to land ashore! We depart as soon as we are within range! Por la gloria!"

    ...

    We landed ashore just after midday. The sand of these new lands was warm in comparison to the rocky shores of Northern Vrens that I had been accustomed to. Everyone apart of the shore team gathered around a collection of small fire-pits that had been quickly devised by some of the members of the crew, and fires were being built from deadwood near the base of a dense jungle inland. We all talked nervously, or rather anxiously, about what we may find here. Giant men like those in Eden? Were those stories true? Or perhaps things more sinister, like the dragons of old Eastern merchant myths? At any rate, we were eager to investigate this new land, and I was eager to write about all of it. The captain stood on a segment of tree-trunk so that he stood taller than the rest of us. "La gente buena! Good people! Who all is in attendance? State your names, then!"

    "It is aye, cap'n, Geof Balen of Gwendeland!" said one man.

    "And Kilroy of Kelqen!" said another.

    "I am Jacque de la Sar," I said quietly to myself, "Pleasure to be here, your grace..."
     
  4. PolaDora
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    Young Ernest Jemsey.

    Ernest took his first step off the boat and his first breath of new air. His heart swelled with joy and his eyes watered as he gazed ahead at the jungle frontier. Every ounce of his blood beckoned him forth into the unknown, if not just to be away from all this bustle and merry-making. They were all deserving of a celebration to be sure, but Ernest regretted that not much else would happen until the next day. He was eager to go, to start; Even if that just meant hacking lumber to begin building their landing.

    He had traveled on the largest of the four ships, the one populated with a majority of builders and soldiers. The seniors had drafted with ink on large canvas, and debated their own styles of architecture from whatever nook of the world they came from. What survived were several large designs of buildings that would replace the tents, built of whatever wood or stone they could quarry.

    A man to Ernest's right pressed a rifle into his chest. "Here soldier. You'll likely be needing this." Ernest had been momentarily daydreaming, and it took him a moment to perceive a response. He waved off the gesture. "Thank you, but I've got my bow.." he said, gesturing towards two bags of belongings. The man shrugged and left. It wasn't uncommon for soldiers to prefer older, more perfected methods of propelled warfare. Ernest had witnessed men losing their lives when such firearms misfired, or failed to fire at all. Instead of a rifle, Ernest grabbed his lumber axe, and made towards the perimeter of bodies.

    He glanced over and perceived Colombus addressing the men, calling for their names. Ernest continued walking, thinking himself far below the intellects and masters whose names would be recorded this day, written into history. He was just a grunt about to fell some trees or kill some hostile natives. He couldn't ask for more, really. And like the rest, he couldn't seem to keep a smile off his face.


    ----


    Yola Pello


    "Go now with Colombus, grand dreams are at hand. Our deeds will be written upon the first sand. The sea is no more, nor her dreary blue sadness, our feet lay roots into Eastern madness." The bard Yola repeated his chorus before slipping into a quiet verse. He didn't parade the song, instead opting to rest in shade ontop of boxes of his many belongings. As the rest of the men slugged to unload bulks of supplies, Yola could only smile to himself. If you've got a guitar in your hand, people tend to expect less from you.

    Amongst his supplies were machines for chemistry, along with alembics and boilers for medicines or what-have-you. Later that evening he would build his own fire and boil down some components, such as bases and acids to be quickly mixed with whatever elements he could find.

    A sudden rustle disturbed his pile of loot. Then the very boxes quaked beneath him, and a hard bump nearly tipped him off his blanket. A few of the passing men laughed at the scene as a two-foot pig reared around from behind the supplies. Yola subtly kicked it away from him and wore a brief look of disgust. It was his pig, but you wouldn't know it judging from the outward scorn. It wasnt a normal pig however, and several men had noticed that despite still looking like a baby it had the size of an adolescent boar. Its size and girth seemed to multiply by the week.

    As it scampered off, Yola's song died. He took a moment to breathe the salty air, free of the ships mustiness. This place smelled like home, he thought.
     
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    Jaque de la Sar

    "The sand here is warm, and so too is the water, as well as the air and the foliage. In fact, everything here is warm, like the kiss of the sun. Everything except the forboding jungles beyond the pleasant beaches. From there, sneaking in the night, crawls a chilling sense of dread and worry. Within the dark recesses of the trees lies the substance of fear."
    -Jaque de la Sar​

    [HR][/HR]

    The next day was incredibly busy. The hollering of men giving and taking commands was enough to block out the sound of thunder, provided it ever stormed in this apparent paradise. Men were seen coming and going into the jungles, but not too far into them that they became lost among the twists and turns of its dense foliage. They returned with segments of logs of felled jungle trees, whose wood was stronger than that of some Euever stone. Along with the wood, which would be used for building the fort, the largest ship, the 'Carrion', was unloaded by teams of men. The supplies were placed in surpluses about the beach and protected by wooden boards which covered them. Then Columbus instructed that the ship be grounded on the beach upwards from our position, so that it may be dismantled and salvaged for fortifications. This seemed more and more like an occupation than a trade mission.

    I was strong, but my endurance was somewhat of an advisary. So instead of working with the former dock workers, the farmers, the timbermen, the soldiers, and the hunters in unloading and felling and moving and what have you, I followed an officer by the name of Antonello. He was someone I had met while aboard the 'Nyarina'. His posture was tall and well designed, and his manner was strong in conviction. He himself had Lytanian blood within his veins, causing his hair to be black and curled, his skin to be dark, and his eyes to be black. He was a good man for all of the stereotypes assosciated with officers of the royal navy, and deserved more than a mere third officer position. "It's simply good to serve," he'd say in regards to his low status compared to some of the undesierable leaders on the expedition, "and it's good to be out."

    Antonello was initially tasked with rounding up those who were slacking off, resting when others were working, and whipping them back into shape. There were many who needed the authority of someone stronger and better kept than themselves in order to work at effeciant levels. He allowed me to follow him under the excuse that I would be recording the events of today for later reference on the performance of the crew, and the higher officers never suspected a thing.

    Antonello and I had approached a man sitting upon a barrel in the midst of the commotion. "You there!" Antonello had to yell in order to be heard, "Why aren't you working? Come with me, and I'll find you something-" He was cut off by a runner who carried orders from the executive officer, Carlial sez Othello. Antonello was ordered to bring a small party and scout the beaches to the North for signs of better terrain for building. Antonello looked at me, and I must have told him with my eyes that I was willing to go with him. He then moved his gaze onto the face of the bard and said, "I think I've found something you can be of use for. Put that 'box of wood' down, we've got work to do."
     
  6. PolaDora
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    Yola Pello

    Yola was... disgruntled, and nothing about his demeanor betrayed that fact. He deadpanned at Antonello. "I could tell you that my purpose on this expedition was not to lug dead trees with the rest of your brutes." He dropped off his perch atop the barrels, and began retrieving the case for his guitar. "But I am less than inclined to trouble a more informed, higher ranking officer. We know they have better things to do." He reached over a crate and grabbed several rolled cigarettes, folded neatly inside of a large, dried leaf. "Besides, I could use the walk. Please, sir, lead the way..."

    Yola struck a flint off one of the boxes as they moved, and used the blaze to light a cigarette for himself. He gestured out towards Jaque and Antonello, offering them one. "Jaque, was it? The writer? Has he got you roughing it as well? Men like us are of far better use wielding our intellects over some brutish axe." At a safe distance behind them, Yola's pig slowly pursued the trio.


    ---

    Ernest Jemsey

    Ernest had worked since before the sun split the sky. He had felled and skinned as many trees as possible, and the fruits of his labors were laid in a neat pile near the face of the jungle. The sun had long since burned his pale skin, a painful sensation that northerners like him were not accustomed to. Every drop of sweat that fell onto his shoulders stung, and his face felt like it was melting. Perhaps it was time for a dip in the ocean, or maybe just a break.

    He put the blade of his spear into one of the logs, and knotted a sheet around the other end. Draping it backwards and pinning it down, he sat in the relative shade with a dagger and a bit of beach wood. Earlier that day, whilst peering into the damp, dark jungle, Ernest had beheld the face of an animal. It was only for a fleeting moment, but that image had been encapsulated by his mind. He set to the task of recreating its face by whittling into the beach wood, starting with the eyes. Wide, wild and yellow, they were most certainly the eyes of a predator. Ernest hadn't encountered anything like it before, but it was only a matter of time until he saw it again. Thoughts danced in his head of hunting the beast, and other mysterious ones like it. Just what awaited them beyond these trees? Ernest could only hope to be at the frontier of it all.
     
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    Jaque de la Sar

    "The worst of it during those initial days were the nightly howls of the mainland. Terrible sounds ushered forth, presumably from the maws of werewolves and mothmen. At least those horror stories were feral, but one crewmember had presented the idea that they were 'the howls of savage men'. Then nobody slept, nor did anyone travel far from a musket."
    - Jaque de la Sar
    [HR][/HR]

    "Jaque, was it? The writer? Has he got you roughing it as well? Men like us are of far better use wielding our intellects over some brutish axe."

    I didn't respond to Yola's remark. In fact, I disagreed with it somewhat. I came on this expedition to explore the unexplored, and to record what we found in dramatic poetry and ironic prose. Yola struck me as the type of man who would put his neck before his own brother's, given the choice between his life and his own. Then again, I wondered how much more courageous I would be in a situation that called for such chivalry. These thoughts, and some others, rambled through my head as we walked to the edge of the encampment towards the North. Antonello stopped near a small company of men, brawny men of great stature and stench, who had been tasked with felling timber, along with all manner of things in which involved said timber.

    "I've been instructed to create a scouting party," Antonello said to the group, "I'm sure one of you should like to prove your intellectual might for an occasion?"

    Intellectual? I thought. Unless observing a plot of land required great metaphorical and theoretical analysis when not applied to dramatization or poetic rhythm, I was at a loss, and apparently, so was one of the Ax men:

    "First of all, officer," he said with a jab, "Do not take us for mere brutes. Us men of the North may be tough in muscles, but equally tough, if not more, in mind."

    "And what is your name, Roos?" demanded Antonello, his Ueneverian accent playing a facetious tune.

    "Vladimir Velcov, pewter Lunar."

    "Right, Velcov, pewter Lunar, all I need is someone with a bit more brawn than brains to come along. For, let's say, insurance," the sarcasm dripped from his tongue like thick honey.

    "The only one here who shows an interest in actually exploring this damnable place is Ernest, Ernest Jemsey. He sits over there by the crest of the jungle, working the wood into fine art."

    Antonello nodded at Vladimir, appearing glad to be moving on, and strode over to Ernest's side.

    "Jemsey," he said commandingly, "You're coming with us. Up, up, up!"
     
  8. PolaDora
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    Ernest Jemsey.

    Ernest had already noticed Antonello and his small party, being perked to attention by the words "scouting party." He quickly took countenance of his things and began preparing himself; He wanted to be chosen over the others. He quickly splashed water from a gourd over his face and chest, washing off the dirt and sweat from his labors. He then slipped on a sleeveless vest and leather gauntlets afterwards. Before he could rise to garner the attention of the officer, Antonello himself was at Ernest's side. "Jemsey, you're coming with us! Up, up, up!" said the officer. "Yessir." the Nyorden immediately replied, rising with his spear as support. Reflexively he grabbed his bow and quiver, which rested by his log pile, and applied them to his back.

    "Lead the way, sir." said Ernest, giving Antonello firm eye-contact. The handle of his axe brushed his leg, reminding him to not forget it. In his strong grip he pulled it from the log with one hand and slung it into a leather holster on his vest's back. His peripheral noted the slight Jaque de la Sar, and he extended a simple nod of the head and smiled. If they hadn't noticed it, this was Ernest Jemsey being rather giddy. He had assumed that more experienced wild men would be chosen before him, that his eyes would not be the first to see what lied ahead.


    ---


    Yola Pello

    Yola had walked at the fringe of his new "party" since being forcefully recruited, but now he took even more distance. He possessed rather keen senses, and the assault to his nostrils upon approaching that sweaty mass of loggers was a stench only bested by the stale filth of their ship voyage. In his mind he resigned to this silly "duty", whatever it was that Antonello expected of him, and began meandering past them. If he couldn't have peace and be left alone within the camp, perhaps a solitary stroll was a fitting alternative.

    Up ahead along the beach was a grassy outcropping elevated several yards from the sand. His bare feet hastened towards it, eager to escape the scorching crystals beneath them. He stepped around the outgrowth, hiding himself from Antonello who stood fifty or more yards from him now. After climbing on top, he observed that he stood not on an island of grass, but rather a finger that stretched from deeper within the jungle itself. Plants slowly grew in size until becoming the tall trees that blackened all within them.

    Yola stood still a moment, drawing in a breathe while facing the jungle. As if pulled along the floor of grass to him, a robust moist scent met his nostrils and he was drawn towards it. His feet lightly crunched the sun-parched foliage until stopping next to a wildflower. He crouched to observe its properties. Being well versed in herbology and potion-making, his keen eyes discerned that he could use this new flora. As he extracted it, however, his attention was quickly captured by something behind the trees.

    A voice? He had heard a faint voice, but it had not sounded at all human. It was too frail, too ethereal. He cast a quick glance to Antonello and the loggers before approaching the jungle. There! Again he heard it! But his eyes could not capture its physical form, and so closer he crept. Closer, closer, until vanishing into the trees. A ways behind him, his "pet" pig obliviously followed, chomping hungrily on the grass.
     
  9. BritInFrance
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    Ladrón Mentiroso


    Ladrón Mentiroso sat on his trunk, leafing through the large book. He hoped his farrowed brow, and thoughtful expression, would lead others to believe he was finding inspiration within it's pages. In fact, he was watching Antonello carefully, as he walked from one group of men to another. Ever since the blacksmith had his little “accident”, Mentiroso had made it his business to keep a closer eye on all the men. Luckily most of them were The Maker-fearing idiots who would swallow any nonsense as long as it came from a man wearing a clerical collar, but he didn't intend to take any more chances.

    “Reverend?” He looked up, quickly removing his instinctive scowl at having his thoughts interrupted, and replacing it with the caring regard of the “reverend”. It was one of the kitchen boys.

    “Yes, my boy?” Mentiroso said. The boy held out a plate and a mug of ale. “Ah, thank you, my son. The Maker be with you.” Mentiroso made a vague form of a cross with his right hand before taking the plate and the mug. “And do thank Chef, for me,” Mentiroso said, nodding in the direction of the large man by the fire. If he had known all the little extras afforded to a Priest, he would have considered joining the Church for real, a long time ago.

    Of all the men under Columbus' command, Antonello seemed the best judge of character. And therefore, the one to be most careful around. Columbus himself, like most men in his class, was easy to manipulate. Columbus was a pompous ass, full of his own self importance, and a fair bit of rum too, if Mentiroso was not mistaken. Antonello was another being altogether. Clearly intelligent, sure of himself but did not immediately assume that people respected him because of his rank. Yes, it was important to ensure Antonello remained a friend and not a foe.

    He was close enough to hear Antonello speak to a young man, Jemsey-something-or-other.

    "Jemsey, you're coming with us! Up, up, up!" Mentiroso, successfully covered his smirk, by taking a huge swig of ale, as the young man jumped to his feet, as if someone had hit his privates with a hammer.

    "Lead the way, sir," the young fool said. That one would lay down his life for a better, as soon as take a nap. Certainly, he would ensure no harm came to one of The Maker's chosen ones.

    Mentiroso put down his now-empty plate and mug. Picking up his cane, he strolled over to Antonello, trying not to over-emphasise his limp.

    “Mr Antonello, I wonder if I could have a word?” he said. He waited until he had Antonello's full attention.

    “Perhaps it would be beneficial for me to come on your, eh, 'scouting party.'” Mentiroso said. “Always useful to have The Maker on your side, don't you think?” He paused, and looked around him, “And I really could do with stretching my legs.”
     
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    Jaque de la Sar

    "There was something in the jungles... You could smell its presence when you walked near; you could taste it's breath upon the air."
    -Jaque de la Sar​

    [HR][/HR]

    “And I really could do with stretching my legs.”

    "Reverend," Antonello looked the man over, "Fine, but stay out of trouble. We're short on preachers."

    Our troop began it's full march after that: among us were Mentiroso, the Reverend, Jemsey, who had been felling timber since we landed, Pello, the bard with whom we caught up with a few moments into our trek, Antonello, the only officer with - in my opinion - his head on straight, and I. We scouted the meadow in which Pello had discovered prior, but it wasn't large enough for a fort to be built, so we opted to trek farther up the beach. The sand was hot; the mist from the ocean was cool like the kiss of winter. The sun was a mad god of heat, but we were protected by the shade of the nearby jungle. We experienced several hours of hard walking before we started to hear inconsistent moans from each other as our feet began to howl in disdain. I looked over at Antonello - his face was beaded with sweat, but his eyes were keen on the straight-ahead - I didn't say anything, but rather looked around us. The Reverend had taken to walking along the water's edge, the Bard trailed behind with his 'pet', and Jemsey stuck close to us.

    Once the sun began falling from its plateau just after midday, Antonello called for everyone to take a rest in a small clearing tucked away near a cliff face. I sat down upon a fallen tree, which had strange, lavender colored moss growing upon its Northern facing parts, and mushrooms beaded with small textured indentations on their cusps. "We shall take a rest, everyone," said the commander, "Do what you do best, but don't go wondering off. We'll start moving again in half an hour. Clear?" There were some low grunts as everyone dispersed, and Antonello nodded in a sort of dejected way.

    Soon I was relatively alone, so I pulled out my journal from the outside pocket of my haversack. It was a chestnut brown, leather bound journal, about one and a half hands tall by one hand wide. There was a leather lace that coiled around the covers so one could tie it shut. The parchment within was strong, being pressed with softwood for longer fibers. It was one of several I kept in my pack, for recording what was required of me: day's events, findings, important encounters, etc. But also for recording my own desires. I unraveled the lace and cracked open the cover; a smell of tanned leather and crisp pages wafted up into my nose, and I breathed it in heartily. I pulled out a quill, although it was different from the normal quill: this quill did not require dipping into ink. It wrote like any other quill, but the ink rested in a chamber along the length of it, and it poured into the tip of the device so one could write with it. I took to calling them 'stylie'.

    I began by recording the day's date and time, and then by recording what had transpired that day. I made a note of the fact that I had finished a previous journal, and was now starting fresh with a new one. I then took note of the strange new moss and fungus in which I had discovered. Their colors were peculiar to me, and I drew the mushrooms in the margins for clarification for whomever may read it next. After a while I had finished all of my mandatory writing for the first semester of the day, so I closed my eyes and hummed a tune.

    "Oh blueness, how you've changed... From one, to skies and seas. In one you bred the fishes, the other lanterns, yet the Makers dwell within both caverns..."

    "That's a pretty song," came the voice of Antonello - I seized up and dropped my things out of fear, "Relax, it's only me."

    "Well a word of warning would have been kind."

    "So tell me about yourself, Jaque."

    I was taken aback. I didn't generally like people inquiring about my history, especially people like Antonello.

    "I was born in the fief of Sar, in the country of Vrens," I told him, "I was privileged - was sent to schools, learned nothing but how to write. That's all there is to it."

    "You're lying."

    "What?"

    "A privileged man would never hold something so simple as a notebook so dear, let alone go adventuring in lands unknown."

    "And where are you from, Antonello?"

    He did not speak a word until he came to a sudden realization: "It's been well over a half hour and they are all still out..." He turned from where he stood, walked up to a half fallen tree, climbed it, and scouted the area.

    "I can't see a thing through this dense foliage..."

    "Perhaps you should yell for them?" I suggested ironically.

    But he still did...
     
  11. PolaDora
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    Ernest Jemsey.

    Suddenly from within the jungle wall echoed a cry from one of Colombus' men. At first it was inaudible to those around the camp, but the second rang through more clearly, and just as several of them were coming into view. "We need a doctor!" said the hunter in front as he leapt a hedge, his voice elated in a panic. "One of the men has been bitten. Poisoned!"

    Something delayed the rest of the hunters behind him. As their silhouettes gave way to color and dimension, it was clear why. One, appearing injured, favored his left leg and held his right side as another helped him move. The remaining three were behind, shouldering a felled log with something bound around it.

    First came the injured man, who was sat down a few meters from Antonello. The one who assisted him spoke to their captain. "A wild beast came down on us while we hunted for food. Something I've never seen...a freakish thing! The lad--Jemsey, appeared out of nowhere and put his spear to it while it was occupied. Thank God we found you here. The main camp is much too far, we would have lost him." His attention was then drawn to the sound of rustling, as Jemsey and two others escaped the forest mouth.

    The three threw down a long, sturdy log. Lashed to it with bark and rope was a feline-like beast half-again larger than any of the men. It was a sight to behold, and nothing that could be perceived of straight away. Now under the moonlight, even the men who carried it looked at it as if seeing it for the first time. A large wound on its side had shattered its ribs, and the bleeding had been gauzed as to not leave a blood trail to the camp.

    The beast had been mutilated beyond recognition, far before Jemsey's spear had ended its wretched life. Innumerable piercings hooked its flesh and tail. Halfway healed scars etched its sides and forehead depicting foreign symbols. Its fur had been shaven, save a mohawk braided with thorns down its spine.

    "Who could have done this..." said one, and though they aught be tending to their wounded, a sense of sympathy for the beast tranced the hunters for a moment. Jemsey crouched to its side and ran his hand around its neck. A metal cage fashioned like a pair of jaws was fitted over its mouth, secured by two bar piercings that went through its neck and nose. The metal fangs were painted with the same purple poison as its talons.


    Yola Pello

    Yola had fashioned himself a humble fire from dried sea weed and beach wood, and with a small pot he carried had just finished purifying some of the water. As it boiled he treated it to extracts from tiny vials, then began dismembering the wildflower he had found earlier. He placed the pedals into the pot and rose it a little higher from the flame, suspended in the air via a stick he had wedged in his folded legs.

    T'was time for the pipe, and he brought it round to his mouth. This "pipe" was so long and thick that he used it just as often as a walking staff, but this was not where its oddity ended. Elaborate patterning and flute notches towards the top further distinguished it. He closed shut the notches with metal latches attached to the pipe, then filled its end with a tobacco mixture. Just as he lit it and dragged, however, a commotion from the returning men spilled from the trees.

    As he lazily watched them, resigned to remain a spectator, his interest was suddenly piqued when again he heard a frail voice. It was as if this voice resided on a different frequency than the noisy men, and so found his ears even though coming from far away. His eyes danced until they spotted its source. Something like a faerie or sprite lingered nervously behind a tree, peering at the men as they unloaded the dead beast. Then it noticed Yola, and both he and it were startled for a moment. Instead of instantly fleeing as he thought it would, it slowly pointed a boney, ghostly finger. Yola obeyed and looked in its direction, and there he saw a beast that captured his attention. The malicious treatment lended to it bore a striking resemblance to something in his memory, something long ago recorded. When he looked back, the sprite was gone.

    He rose and hastened to Jemsey's side, taking in all of the spectacle. He knew none present here would know what it meant, or even what to think, and so felt compelled to speak. "I wouldn't touch it, were I you. This beast has been cursed to die, undoubtedly by the native men." He surveyed its wounds as if reading text, then pushed a plume of smoke from his mouth. "It will suffer when it sleeps on thorns and piercings. Any kill it makes will be poisoned, and so it will die an agonizing death." Yola looked up to the one who was injured. "I am the only thing close to a doctor. Bring him to my fire."
     
  12. BritInFrance
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    Ladrón Mentiroso (known to others as The Reverand)

    Mentiroso was collecting shells by the waters edge, when the commotion broke out. A wounded man and something bound to a log, were brought out of the jungle by a group of near hysterical men. He observed the scene. He noticed that Pello, the bard was staring off into the jungle. He seemed to be looking at something, but Mentiroso couldn't see anything. The bard then looked over to the men and told them to bring the injured man to his fire.

    Mentiroso established the creature bound to the log was dead, and therefore of no risk to his personal safety, before he wandered over to examine it more carefully. The bard had began working on the injured man.

    “What an abomination!”, Antonello appeared beside him. The creature, some kind of giant cat, was full of metal – some of it piercings, other bits bolted on to its jaws and claws. For sport, some kind of religious ritual or just sadistic pleasure, Mentiroso couldn't tell. But he didn't like it.

    “I think we can assume we are not alone”, he said peering down at the beast. “Quite delicate metal work. Shame we lost our blacksmith, his opinion would have been useful”, he looked over at the wounded man by the fire. “Do you trust the bard?”

    “As much as I do you, Reverend. I've known each of you the same amount of time.”

    “Quite”, Mentiroso looked up. “It's just, he's no more a doctor than I'm a... than I am. What's he going to do sing the man a song?”

    “He seems to know what he's doing, Reverend. But if you think you can do better...”

    “No, thank you sir. I have always found my skills lie elsewhere.”

    “Well, best leave the bard to it, then.”

    “Yes, well it's your funeral”, Mentiroso looked back over at the wounded man. “Well his, at any rate.” Antonello - clearly having lost his sense of humour - left his side to join the bard.

    Mentiroso stood back and said a few words of prayer to the Makers, just loud enough for the others to hear. He stared out into the jungle. If there was one of these beasts out there, there could just as likely be ten. For that matter, he didn't particularly fancy bumping into whatever had mutilated the poor creature. Ar the edge of the jungle some trees moved. There was no wind: there was something there. He almost called out, but instead he watched carefully. There it was again. It was the same area of jungle the bard had been looking in, just before he started playing doctor.

    Mentiroso began walking towards the jungle, trying not to draw attention to himself. A branch moved, and this time Mentiroso caught sight of a creature. It looked just like a... well, his belief in sprites and faeries was as strong as his faith in the Makers. That is to say, non-existent. But whatever it was it definitely wasn't human. A monkey of some kind, no doubt. The creature made eye contact with him and fled. As it disappeared into the jungle something dropped onto the floor.

    Mentiroso weighed up risk to himself over his curiosity. The later won. The creature didn't look capable of torturing a cat, over-sized or otherwise. He moved carefully to the edge of the jungle and peered into the dark undergrowth. He could see no movement. He looked back at the group of men, surrounding the wailing man by the fire. No one seemed to have noticed his absence. He began searching the jungle floor, nervously looking around to ensure the monkey didn't return.

    He had almost given up when he saw something under a bush, several feet away. It appeared to be glowing blue. He checked behind him, again. The men were still concentrating on their writhing companion. He lunged quickly to the bush and grabbed the object, before retreating to the relative safety of the jungle edge. His back to the men by the fire he opened his hand to examine the object. It was as hard as stone, smooth as glass, blue as the sea. He looked closely at it. There were two white lights trapped within, swirling around, moving continuously.

    An ear-piercing scream from the man by the fire, startled some birds from the tree tops and Mentiroso almost dropped the stone. Then silence. The object in his hand pulsated, swelled somehow. It felt as if something had forced its way into the stone. Or had been dragged in. He peered into it. There were now three lights spiraling within.

    “Reverend?”, Mentiroso almost dropped the stone a second time. “Have you found something?”, it was Antonello.

    “Why, yes”, he said, deftly secreting the stone in his pocket and exchanging it for another object. It was not the first time he had used pickpocketing skills on himself, he was pleased he had not lost his touch. He turned to face Antonello. “I found this shell, here. Curious, it should be so far away from the sea. No?”

    Antonello took the shell and looked at it closely. “Not really”, he said, throwing it to the ground. “Come on. It appears your skills are required after all.”

    Mentiroso turned to follow Antonello back towards the group of men, standing heads bowed, hats in hand, around the body of the man. He stopped. He thought he heard something. It was a voice, but somehow intangible, inhuman. He turned back to the jungle and listened again. He thought he could make out a single word, echoing through the trees: “Thief!”

    Mentiroso shrugged and started to walk back towards the huddle of sad and frightened men. He had been called worse.
     

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