It appears that the spate of piracy on the seas near Vesper has not gone entirely unnoticed by the powers that be in Vesper. While both Vesper and Dogwood lack navies of any real size, the merchant coalitions that operate out of the former do have armed vessles and those have taken to escorting ships in and out of the harbor and generally keeping an eye out for trouble.
About an hour ago, a pirate ship got bold. There was a terrific gun battle eight miles south of Vesper near a little fishing village called Ryan’s Bar. The pirates caught the worst of it from two gunboats and ran their vessle aground on a deserted little spit of beach. The crew scattered.
There’s been a lot of fighting over the course of the last hour. Both the Justicars and the Armsmen have been chasing down and rounding up small groups of Horune. The ship, though, that’s been relatively untouched so far. It looks as all other Horune ships do (and all Horune ships look exactly the same for reasons few understand). Which is to say that it looks something like the rear end of a whale if one were to catch it while diving. The bottom of it is more traditionally hull shaped though and at the moment it’s listing in the surf, most thoroughly stuck where it was run aground. By all appearances nobody is home.
When one says ‘giant’, one means ‘almost twice as tall as a tall man — or thereabouts’. The beast is also female (she has a pouch after all) and saddled. A human male stands next to her, leaning on a long staff and chewing on… what appears to be a sprig of some kind, a herb certainly. The man stares out at the Horune vessel, a frown on his face, head tilted to one side…and then the other.
“Anyone know where the crew got to?” he asks, in an obvious Australian accent. “I mean, after they all went and… you know. Got shot and cut up by Justicars and frisky Dogwood troops.”
Dalia goes wherever she can be of use and since the Fennod Preacher has been in Vesper of late it doesn’t take her long to hear news of the attack and work her way down there. She doesn’t know whether she’ll be helping rescue survivors, or save or defend the village, or hunt down pirates but she’s sure there will be something that needs doing.
While she’d rather avoid fighting, if it’s necesarry Dalia will do so. It’s an odd profession for one of her race perhaps, but it’s hers nonetheless. The greyskinned alien hurries along the beach with her constant companion Krunch at her side, heading towards a large strange looking animal the likes of which she’s never seen. It takes her a long moment to notice anyone else.News of pirates – and rumoured to be Horune ones, at that – was certainly sufficient inducement for Wraith to see whom she might be able to round up from her local contacts (short though the list is), with a view to heading out as fast as possible. The opportunity to punish some pirates, learn more about their operations, *and* maybe even rescue some victims (or at least avert new ones being created on-land) is far too good to pass up. Consequently, she tried to locate Slaine at Gran’s, had a look for Valeska, and attempted to radio Maddy. Ideally, someone might Shift them all down to Ryan’s Bar: if not, she’s quite willing to cloak herself psychically and sprint.
Either way… a supersized kangaroo is *not* what she’d expected to see. It looks dimly familiar: she’s seen pictures of similar things, she thinks, but she’s certainly never seen one in person. And never smelled one, either. “Horune are slavers,” she calls out as she drops her mental cloak of concealment (from herself and any companions she arrived with). “Some might be hiding aboard the vessel, still, to guard their cargo. Others will be scattering, in hope of evading capture. Maybe being picked up by other vessels. Their social structure is… unclear to me, but they certainly collaborate on some efforts.”
Slaine has had another busy day. It seems like there’s no rest for the wicked … not that Slaine is… wicked that is. She’s just a trouble magnet.
News of the pirate attack and Wraith trying to find her had the small redhead scrambling. She’s called in some favours and got anyone who needs it, a lift down to Ryan’s Bar. Not as quick as shifting, but it’s not bad.
“What the heck is that…” she says as they approach the Ooroo, it’s not something that she’s seen pictures of. “Do we know what the Justicars are doing?” She might be a little wary of crossing the Vesper law enforcement at the moment.
Tits is coming! The giant robot, double the size of even the kangaroo, stomps onto the beach but no one even knows its there until Wraith drops her cloak. And then the music BOOMS out – ‘A Pirate’s Life for Me’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A19q7rysLs) The heavy feet compacting the sand beneath it…and sinking a bit as it does so. The psychedelically painted war machine halts and, after a couple of dull thuds of wrench on metal, the cockpit opens to reveal a curious Maddy. “How does that thing even float?” she asks no one and everyone about the Horune vessel. Then she realises no one can probably hear her over the song so she reaches behind her to flick it off…for now. Though her query is not important when there is a giant animal to gawp at…and he came with a giant kangaroo!
“Hey!” she calls down in Clancy’s direction. “Why do you need a saddle when you can ride in the pouch?” An important question to be sure but already forgotten when she spots the alien who gave her the jacket she still proudly wears. “Hey! Remember me?! Rose, have you met Ear-Eye?” Rose is apparently her name for Wraith. But now there’s another redhead so this new one will have to be…Strawbs. “Rose…you promised pirates!”It’s a good question how it floats. Somehow. It also submerges which is an even nastier trick. These ships can be found all across the seas from the eastern seaboard to Japan.
It’s not often that they’re run aground though.
The deck of the ship is scorched with weapons fire and there look to be a coupld of holes in the hull, now well above the water line. The crew has long since scattered though. Some of them are still hiding out and being ridden down by the authorities.
Still, Dalia may well be right. A ship this large has sixty or so crew plus cargo and/or slaves. There may be hostiles hiding on there. Or there may be people in need of rescue.
In any case no one answers Maddy’s serenade. Not yet at least.
That is the exclamation the man gives when the Titan-bot comes into view. The Ooroo on the other hand… barely looks. She’s either very not-impressed, or very well trained. More than her rider at least.
Mounting up into the saddle, Drover turns the beast and ‘HOPS’ over toward the newcomers, covering quite some distance in a single bound. Ooroo and rider land in a spray of sand a number of yards away, at which point he jumps off the creature’s back and jogs the way over.
He has forgotten his staff.
“First things first,” says he while looking for… Maddy. “I don’ ride in ‘er bloody pouch ’cause I’m not a bloody joey. That, and… I keep my things in there. Second…” and he spots Dalia. “Blimey, a Fennod. A real live Fennod… I’m Clancy. Clancy Drover.” He waves a hand in greeting, then glances around the group and smirks in Slaine’s direction.
“‘That’ is an Ooroo, and ‘er name is Apanie. Are we really plannin’ on boarding a Horune ship? Sounds like fun! Do we get dibs on the cargo? I’m callin’ dibs on any perishables. Flora etc.”
After seeing the giant Kangaroo Dalia seems relieved by Maddy’s sudden startling appearance. She does recognize her and nods and smiles at Maddy and Wraith boh. The Fennod is amused that she finds the large animal so unnerving when she knows people often find her the same. She tips her hat at Clancy and smiles a bit brighter. “Hello.”
Dalia turns towards the ship and considers. Now is one of those times when it might be considered a forgivable offense to use her psychic powers. Just to see if anyone is still in the ship. She is concerned about victims more than pirates but it wouldn’t do to let them drown or something either. They deserve to be caught and brought to justice. If death is the sentence then, so be it. There are enough people gathered here though that it’s probably safe enough to go look and the Fennod is also curious. She has never seen one of these ships before. That also means she can avoid her mental abilities. “Shall we take a look?”Wraith pauses to offer Maddy a look of mild disbelief, before raising a hand in greeting to both Clancy and Dalia. And perhaps also to Krunch and Apanie. “I should be able to run across and see if anyone’s lying in wait to give us a nasty reception,” the taller of the two redheads in the vicinity offers. “Oh. I’m Catriona. Or ‘Wraith’, as you might be about to see. Though Maddy’s decided I should be Rose.” The Titan jockey receives an amused grin. “But if it doesn’t look like anyone’s got anything lined up to blow people away if they get too close, I can signal you to come over?”
“Holy crap…” Slaine jumps as Tits appears and blasts the area. She really hadn’t been expecting that. “Turn it down. What are ye tryin’ to do? Wake the dead?”
Turning as Clancy addresses her “An Ooroo?” the redhead, now affectionately known as Strawbs, frowns at the strange sounding man and then shrugs, nodding politely to the creature instead. “Nice to meet ye, Apanie and Clancy. I’m Slaine.” Hey, at least he didn’t call her ‘Blue’.
“I think we are, Clancy. Planning on boarding it…” she glances around at the others, nodding to Dalia “We should take a look.” And then a nod to Wraith “Sounds good to me. I’ll provide cover as needed.”
“I’m Maddy!” the blonde helpfully points out in there is some confusion as to the Maddy that Wraith referred to. “Nice to meet you, Joey” she grins down at Clancy. “You talk funny” she adds without any malice before a finger wave to the kangaroo. “Hey, ‘Appiness.” Maddy offers Slaine a confused look from up on high. “Slain? You look fine to me.” A gasp as she wonders if her music /did/ wake the dead – thankfully it is staying off for now. “I can cover you, Rose.” The rail gun arm rises to aim at the ship. “Don’t be too long.” The cockpit closes as she prepares for action.Nothing appears on the deck, fortunately. Wraith takes a deep breath, then – without first cloaking herself, so that her companions know what to look for when she’s in this form – does *something*. Black lines jag across her visible surface, cutting across armour, clothing, and hair as well as her skin. Then she seems to fracture, puffing out slightly and dissolving into shadow. The result is a Catriona-shaped figure of mobile darkness, perhaps a hand-span taller and wider than before, through whom the background can faintly be seen.
She vanishes into the ship. It’s a maze of improvised barriers and deckwork but being able to phase through walls does make moving about it much easier. There’s the sound of quiet sobbing coming somewhere from deep within the hold… and the sound of clattering metal on metal coming from somewhere further up. The ship is most definitely not empty…
As the others are about to find out. Something throws the hatch open and clambers out. Something… that looks like a shark, if someone had given a shark four spindly legs toward its back and a pair of hands. And a nasty temper. Two of the damn robotic things emerge and open fire at the group on the beach spraying them with glassed sand from energy blasts. They don’t seem to be the most accurate things in the world, now do they?
Luckily there’s only two…
At the same time, the Australian holds up a hand into which appears… a boomerang. He did not have it up his sleeve; it merely… appeared. “Not yet, ya eager bastards!” he snaps at… something. Two somethings — and not the shark-bots. It looks like he is talking to himself. What he holds in his hand is — for the magically-inclined — a relic. An artefact. Running toward the surf he throws the boomerang at one of the ‘bots right before diving beneath the water.
One hopes he has the means of not-drowning. Somehow.
Krunch runs over and hides behind a piece of driftwood. He knows the drill. Dalia ducks and rolls her cowboy hat goes flying off but the Fennod comes up and dives into the water too. It’s much harder to get shot beneath the waves and she needs to get close enough to those things to be able to stop them.
She doesn’t have time to stop and watch the magic and regrets it. She loves to see magic at work. Right now though it’s time to do actual work. People need saving! She has to help.Inside the ship, Wraith has rather less notion of what’s going on than anyone else – but she launches herself upwards, climbing through tiers of the vessel to get towards the sounds of combat, drawing her (still insubstantial) blades in readiness for tearing into any Horune she might find manning weaponry or directing combat.
Slaine just sighs at the jokes on her names. She’s heard them all before. She’s not really listening though, green eyes focussed on the deck of that ship as Wraith heads off. It’s the first time she’s seen the womans abilities and she’s impressed.
As the two Sharks appear and Clancy starts moving, she doesn’t.
Rather, her eyes begin to glow and blue bands of energy begin to stream and wrap around her hands and then up her arms. Muttering, what must sound like unintelligible words to the others, she starts to gather those strands in her fists … twisting the ribbons that spread out along the ground, over the water to the ship.
As the strands touch the ship, Slaines incantation completes and she tugs //hard// with both hands.
The deck of the ship groans and shudders, as the deck beneath the Sharkbots feet (fins?) buckles and warps, hopefully putting the creatures off balance.
Casting over water takes a lot of energy though – it’s not everyone that can do that… exhausted Half Pint drops to a knee in the sand. She’s going to need some time to recover.
“Ooh! Fish!” exclaims Maddy excitedly at the robotic shark appearance. “And they’ve got guns.” Parts of the beach start exploding around her. “And they’re shooting at us!!” A pause before, “Oh, right, that’s a bad thing. Oops. Forgot.” She taps her comm earpiece. “Mad One to Rose Red. Engaging shark robots” Maddy states seriously before suddenly laughing. “How cool is this. Sharks with frickin’ laser beams!”
Tongue poking out of the side of her mouth, Maddy lines up one of the wobbling sharks (thanks, Slaine) and BOOM goes the rail gun. The beam slicing through the metallic body and severing it in two…three…before the thing explodes and rains down hot metal into the ocean. “Scratch one, Robo-fish! Are you okay, Strawbs? Joey, make sure Strawbs is okay!”The other robot fish stumbles as Slaine’s magic literally buckles the deck plating beneath it. Wraith can hear that as it sends an almighty reverberating //chunk// through the ship and makes the whole thing feel rather like a lego must when a child has stepped on it.
And then the damn thing gets hit by a boomerang that takes its head off. It totters left, then right, pitches over the railing and falls into the water with a splash – narrowly missing landing on Clancy himself…
Which does leave the ship… almost empty. As Wraith climbs she passes through a catwalk that is over a set of cages. There are other people in here. Mostly they look like sailors but there’s a fair number of folks dressed in crude dinosaur skins, hides and leathers. Tribesmen from the swamp to the south. There must be twenty or so packed in rather tightly with the cargo which is spilling out of the crates in the form of stolen weapons, valuables and a lot of ‘medicinal’ herbs far, far away.
With no guards it’s safe to let the captives out. Someone probably should do that. And then there’s all this loot laying around which… someone will have to take the burden of disposing. Or returning. Either way.
Someone called dibs on it, didn’t they?
That was Clancy, exclaiming as the shark-bot’s head splashed into the water right beside him. He is above-water now… quite literally above water. The man, having swum out to the Horune ship, has donned a wooden amulet of some description: mistletoe, to be precise, and is now… floating up the side of the boat.
One alighting upon the ship, he removes the amulet and goes running after Wraith. “Only the two ‘bots? Aw, and ‘ere I was thinkin’ we’d be in fer a scrap — ooh, hel-LOO….Come ta papa, luvlies…” The herbalist immediately stops complaining about the lack of a fist-fight when he runs into the cargo-hold and finds the ‘medicinal’ herbs there. “Oh, you can tickle me up the crotch with an emu feather — they’ve got a Cobra Plant. A bloody Cobra Plant. Don’t go near it! It’s like the… vampire o’ flora. Oh, you are be-yewtiful…”
Maddy pouts as there are no more sharks to blast…and where were the pirates. An affectionate pat for her Tits before she is back on the comms. “Mad One to Red Rose. All clear. As clear as a virgin’s pregnancy test. Joey’s come on out there to help you do whatever it is you’re doing. And Ear-Eye will help too. I’m just going to mosie on around here for a bit and see what I can see. I’ll be back.” With that the giant titan turns to patrol the beach and make sure the looters are undisturbed. The music starts up once more (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE).
Dalia surfaces near Clancy and reaches for the side of the boat with one hand, taking a moment to pat her eye-fins free of water before one turns in his direction. Relieved to see he’s alright she climbs up after him.
The Preacher quickly moves to the cages seeking to reassure the captives. Her voice is soft and tone is calming and reassuring. One eyefin turns in Clancy’s direction and boggles. What did he just say?? “Um.” It does sound interesting and she’s probably going to want a few of those herbs too but people first. “We need to let them out then we can figure out the… the..” She’s still distracted by the feather thing. Oh god. Now she’s picturing it. “People. Help.”Emerging to stand amidst the wreckage of the two boots, Wraith allows herself to rematerialise – shrinking, black lines reappearing then fading, before she slightly shakes her head. “Thank you, Mad One,” she sends back, a smile clearly audible in her voice… before she looks to the other two. “I’ve not seen any sign of the crew themselves. *Looks* like they bailed out and left those things on guard. I’ll scout the rest of the ship, just in case of surprise. Can you two see if you can find ab oat, or something, to get the captives ashore?”
Clancy turns away from the ‘loot’, and nods his head to Wraith. “No worries, luv,” he tells her, watching Dalia go to help the captives. “Between what they’ve got stashed here — and what I have with me — I can treat some of the injuries. The rest… we’ll see ’em safe to the nearest town.”
He scowls after that.
“Bloody slavers…” Glancing over at some of the plants, he scowls even more. “Looks like they let that Cobra Plant feed on a couple of ’em. Nothin’ fatal. Fancy stuffin’ all of this ‘ere in the same container!”
He stops talking after that and goes back inside the cargo-hold, muttering to himself. These Horune pirates — slavers — have crossed more than a few lines with this ‘haul’ of theirs. Slavery is common enough, but no less horrible for it.
“Nice work,” he says over his shoulder to Wraith and Dalia. He’ll catch up with Slaine and the ‘Mad One’ back on shore. After he finds his Ooroo. And has a smoke.
But first there are wounded to attend to.
Dalia isn’t happy about slavers either. She finds the practice abhorrent but she won’t ever offer insult to someone even one deserving of it. What she will do is nod at Clancy, her grey skinned face flushing a bit orange and set about helping the captives and looking round for a raft or lifeboat of some kind. There must be something like that on this ship. Surely they didn’t take them all. If their ship had merely crashed they’dve wanted to remove their captives and loot too, the Fennod is sure.
The Preacher finds the cages easy to open, from the outside. She can’t heal physical wounds but can heal mental trauma and help the captives to be calm and orderly. Most of them she asks permission before attempting this but anyone being unruly or threatening is likely to find themselves sitting stunned and quietly all of a sudden. Loathe as she is to use her powers especially without asking sometimes the needs of the whole must come first.“I can assist with healing.” Catriona’s voice, when she’s in full-on ‘Wraith’ mode, is as unsettling and ethereal as her visible form – something only exacerbated by being transmitted via her equally-insubstantial radio. “Though people can be a bit wary of me, for some reason. I’m not finding any Horune in here. Either of you good with computers? I think I’ve found a control room. I’ll pause up here to see if I can download their charts, or their itinerary, or cargo manifest. Grab something while we can. Unless someone down there needs urgent medical assistance.”
Clancy is over in the corner of the ‘hold, near Dalia, avidly chewing on… a piece of oak-bark. As a result, his skin turns into a hardened, bark-like armoured state — just perfect for picking up a young Cobra Vine. The fronds immediately attack him, striking like serpent heads at his forearms… but while they manage to stick, they don’t draw blood.
He pauses on his way out (to get the plant far away from the captives), and turns to look in Wraith’s direction. “Computers? Nah, luv. Not me. That was pretty deadly work there, with the whole ghosting thing — oh. That means ‘awesome’. An’ you should chat with the Fennod here. Swap stories! You hang ’round Vesper much? Might bump into me ‘n the gang there sometime.” He glances at Dalia, still grinning.
“Both o’ ya. Lemme just get this… bastard of a vine out of ‘ere… Bloody gorgeous thing isn’t it?”
He disappears outside onto the main deck, and reappears a couple of minutes later — sans the blood-sucking vine.
“Computers? Afraid not.” Dalia knows a little bit about tech but as far as computers go, beyond knowing what they are she doesn’t have any idea. “Don’t worry. She is a good healer, I have worked with her before.” The Fennod knows her own appearance can be distressing and is thankful that Clancy looks relatively normal to most of the victims. That combined with her experience at soothing frightened and angry people should go a long way towards getting everyone taken care of and off the ship.
“I believe the pirates have all fled.” She’s relieved…but also angry, though the Fennod hides it well. Anger is not a positive emotion. She’ll have to go out, be certain that the authorities catch them all. Justice demands it.
When she turns to check Clancy, Dalia gasps, just intime to see the plant attack. She didn’t see the man eat the herb and has no idea what happened to his skin but is glad he seems okay, again. “It’s uh..” She doesn’t lie but she also doesn’t tend to speak negatively. So even if she’s thinking ‘the most horrifying fucking plant i’ve seen in recent memory’ “..some kind of plant.” Is what Dalia actually says. “Krunch and I are currently staying in Vesper, we met Wraith there.” The Preacher pauses in front of some crates. “I don’t think these liferafts even go to this ship, I believe they are stolen..but they should serve.” The Fennod frowns. “How many other ships have they raided. These look like htey’re from Dogwood.”“Horune pirates have been raiding Dogwood shipping, on the route between Dogwood and Dinosaur Swamp,” drifts over the radio in Wraith’s current creepy whisper. “All right. I’ll see… no, actually, I won’t. Just in case I trigger security measures of some sort. Let’s get everyone off the ship, first. And whatever we can salvage of the cargo. *Then* I can play with the computers and grab what I can. I don’t want to activate more defences, or have anything blow up, when anyone else is aboard. I’ll come down to join you in the cargo hold.”
A few moments later, Wraith drops through the ceiling, landing on the floor (seemingly able to choose what is ‘solid’ to her, in some fashion), before reforming into her (somewhat) less unsettling appearance. “I can treat anyone who needs urgent care now. Then run over and check up on Slaine and Maddy, to be sure that end is clear. Then we transfer everyone and everything we can, before I try to salvage the computer files?”
“That sounds like a plan.” He glances from Wraith to Dalia and back again, frowning. “It’ll be ‘ard enough just gettin’ ’em there — to shore that is. Okay, Horune have gotta have some kind of longboats on this tub. We can try moving these poor folk that way.”
He looks back at Dalia after that and bobs his eyebrows up and down. “Yeah… Vesper’s a better place fer a Clever Man like me — uh, that means ‘shaman’. Gonna set meself up with a herbarium maybe…”
He lets out a breath.
“Less talkin’, more doin’. I’m gonna get a longboat ready fer tranport to the shore.”
“Sounds good to me.” Dalia smiles at Wraith. She nods at Clancy. An herbarium..that sounds interesting indeed. Vesper is such a fascinating city. The Fennod is enjoying her stay and the people she’s been meeting quite a bit more than she’d expected to.
Right now however, there is work to do. She eyes the captives. “I think the ones bitten by that plant need the most help, and those three are sick, most of them are weakened and hungry but that will have to wait til we get them ashore. You, you four.” She gestures to some of the men from the swamp and sets about having them help get the lifeboats set up. They’re big and still relatively hale.Catriona points to the crates that Dalia found, to try to help direct Clancy’s search for ‘longboats’ that way. “Inflatable life-rafts,” she tries to explain for the Aussie. “Get them outside before we set them up. I can’t phase much more than myself straight through the hull, and they won’t be easy to manhandle in here once they’re full-size. You two work on that, and I’ll make sure everyone in here can at least get as far as the rafts. And… I’m glad you’re both here. Thank you. This wouldn’t have been too easy, solo. To put it mildly.”
With a bit of help from Wraith, Clancy finds the life-rafts and disappears for a while, sorting them out. The others can hear him occasionally swearing — at something or someone — and whistling to himself. The whistling, at least, keeps his mind off the state of the (former) captives.
The prisoners who had been fed upon by the Cobra Vine show wide marks on their bodies — about the size of a snake’s head — where the vines had latched on with their sticky fronds, and pierced the skin with tiny needles. The victims are pale, bleeding (a little), and weak.
There are others with untreated injuries — broken limbs, sprains, bruises and lacerations — likely from being beaten. At least a few of them had fought back (judging by the bruising on their hands). Others are suffering from malnutrition. When they speak to Wraith and Dalia, it is not in English, but the gratitude on their faces is easy to discern.
Some of them are quite young.
Outside, Clancy whistles again, and waits for Apanie, his Ooroo, to reappear on the shoreline. Then he sets about getting folks into the boats to take them to the beach.
Dalia doesn’t need to know the language to speak with people. In situations like this gestures can say a lot and her psychic powers are a great help communicating with those willing. With Catriona and Clancy, and the few still strong enough to try helping, they should be able to manage to get everyone to shore. By then hopefully Maddy or Slaine will have found more help or the authorities returned. “I am glad to see you and happy I was able to arrive in time to help. These people..” The Fennod grimaces. She’s going to be days helping heal the minds of some of them she suspects. “A grave unjustice was done here.” Fortunately there was help at hand. Pirates. Dalia shakes her head. It is not the worst thing she’s ever seen but it is pretty bad. “Thank you Caatriona, this world needs more like you.” One eye fin turns in the direction of the whistling and then Fennod smiles. “Him too. A blessing upon you both.”Given the circumstances, Catriona is willing to demonstrate another way in which she diverges from human(oid) norms, readily lifting and carrying people and objects without any apparent difficulty even when they’re at least as big as she is. Inwardly, she’s waging a private war to avoid being caught looking at any of her wounded burdens as if they’re tasty prey…. But she does manage a smile for Dalia. “If you’re interested, either of you, in helping out further in future, then I might be able to give you the chance to do so. That’s part of the reason I’m so keen to get back in there and see if I can salvage information. We *know* there are Horune slavers operating in these waters, and they’ve hit at least four Dogwood ships we know of. Clearly, at least one Horune ship’s also been landing raiding parties in the Swamp, too.”
“That can’t be allowed…” says Clancy as he moves past his two companions to help other captives reach the life-rafts. He smiles at Dalia gratefully — being told he’s a blessing is a rare thing, well, it is rarer than his being called a bastard — and he appreciates the compliment.
When he returns for the next former captive, he pauses. To Wraith he says, “Sounds like a bit of fun, lookin’ into stuff like that. Can’t resist me a bit of fun — plus, I wanna know how they got their mitts on some of these herbs. I mean… a few of these plants are rare as hell. Yup. I’m definitely opening a herbarium back in Vesper… or maybe in between.”
He snorts, and shrugs his shoulders. “Either o’ you two make it into the swamps much? Love the swamps. The magic in the air is… mmm. Potent.”
“Yes. I would indeed like to do something about this. If there are still pirates out there then I can be counted on to help stop them.” Dalia’s answer would surprise most who know anything about Fennodi. They avoid violence. At nearly all costs, and if they simply must fight they do so only to disable and get away. Whatever the reason, Dalia seems different in this respect. “Krunch and I have travelled through there a few times. It’s an amazing place.”
The Preacher seems practiced at carrying on several conversations at once, while helping support or even half carry the wounded outside, offering a reassuring touch or smile, radiating calm and a quiet strength. Her job isn’t just a job, it’s her duty, her calling, and she’s been doing it for a long time.Wraith is evidently more than a little impressed by Dalia’s capacity to reassure the Swamp tribesmen, and quite willing accepts a near-mute role with regard to them – acting primarily as beast of burden, for the time being. “I’ve not yet made it as far South as the Swamps. I’m still exploring the area around Vesper. And trying to investigate this particular… problem. But if you” – she looks to Dalia – “could find out where they were taken from, and how, I’d be grateful. And I’m keen to have a look through the loot that *isn’t* from the Swamp, to see what ships it might be from.”
“Sounds like we still ‘ave a bit of a mystery ahead of us,” remarks Clancy to both Wraith and Dalia, hands on his hips and giving a nod of his head. “Love those.”
The man gives an ailing prisoner something for the pain, and then helps him to the life-rafts. “Alroight,” says he as he sticks his head in where his new friends are treating people. “I’m gonna float ashore an’ get the first bunch of folks settled. When we get back to Vesper after all this — drink’re on me, ‘kay? Cheers, me luvlies.”
With that, he grins boyishly at his companions and disappears again, humming one of the tunes played by Maddy’s ‘Tits’ from earlier.
A Horune Pirate Ship has run aground and people need saving
December 15, 2409