From the writings of Moe'uhane, T'skrang Illusionist, 6th Circle, Messenger Rank 6
Icarus had approached me about helping him to track down the pirate Ke'shof again. He seemed to have a much straighter state of thought, and said we would be heading west of Sosanopa. I agreed and met him, Norg, and Reyis to head to Sosanopa. We did some leg work to try and find out if anyone had caught sight of her. Reyis found some valuable information from a Syrtis captain, the river west of Sosanopa had started to show the life of Namegivers, thus information flowed along the river again. In addition we tried to hire passage up the Serpent. We found a captain by the name of Bartol, a human with a ship. He had fallen on hard times, as his natural sailing abilities were not those of the t'skrang. We took what information and began to head up river to explore the new settlements.
Indeed we encountered a number of Namegivers plying the river for fish, reeds, and clay. They say life always finds a way, and that way will always flow with the great serpent. Each person had heard little of Ke'shof, or the Nixu niall, but directed us up the river to the next set of people. We came across a number of small burgeoning villages. The first was a recently opened kaer that consisted primarily of elves, humans, and dwarves. They had heard of Ke'shof and pointed to small tributary where her ship may be moored in a small lagoon. We thanked them and continued further to another recently emerged settlement of hearty Trolls and Orks. They had seen a number of t'skrang scouting the shores not much further up the river. Finally we came across a small homestead, they hadn't heard of Ke'shof, but one of the dwarves, Old Durney had seen a group of raiders off in the distance while fishing. We thanked everyone for their information and assessed what we knew. Icarus felt that the river would be the best bet, so we headed to the lagoon we had been advised of.
Bartol demonstrated why he was loosing business to the t'skrang, being scared of the river he did not want to navigate up an unknown tributary. So we went ashore and walked the remainder of the way. We came to a small waterfall behind a series of rock pillars with rope bridges crossing between them. We could see the remnants of a camp atop one of the pillars, I started up towards it over the surprisingly dark and deep water. A pair of bolt headed newts shot from the water snapping at me, luckily I was just high enough for them to miss. However, Icarus was a bit overzealous because of our quest. He leapt into the air and fell upon one of the kharefya . . . right in the middle of the lagoon . . . knowing nothing of the beasts. He quickly learned that like many amphibians, they secreted a paralytic slime that coated the water. Reyis tried to help increase Icarus's combat effectiveness to get him out of trouble. I move above them and let loose magic. The beasts were not of sufficient intelligence to comprehend the dangers around them, so the Phantom Fireball didn't even phase them. Norg tried to gingerly jump across the narrowest part of the tributary. It ended about how you would expect a troll in head to troll crystal attempting to do anything gingerly would. Luckily he regained his balance and made it to solid enough land to take a swing at one of the beasts. Making doubly sure his footing was solid, he studied the beasts movements and turned with a force that seemed to channel the earth beneath his feet. The beast turned at exactly the wrong time and Norg's fist passed straight through. The other kharefya latched onto Icarus, and the struggling pair began to sink beneath the surface of the water. Icarus attempted to dislodge Icarus with little effect. Apparently even the spirits of felines do not like to get wet. Since the mind of this thing was so weak, I unleashed a true bolt of ephereal upon it. The beast jerked in pain, but did not loose Icarus from it's grasp. With more sturdy footing, Norg leapt into the air and crashed down upon the beast, a flying elbow breaking it's back. Norg surfaced quickly, and we could see Icarus struggling to maintain his buoyancy. Norg quickly grabbed him and swam ashore. While we rested, I examined the abandoned camp. Most interestingly, we found that the beasts had kernels of true water under their tongue. It seems they naturally refine the substance. This could be a lucrative opportunity. Based upon the remnants of supper choices, it was obvious atleast one t'skrang had sheltered here, but it had been a number of weeks ago.
We made our way back to Bartol, and towards the next destination, where the t'skrang had been spotted scouting the shores. We set ashore again, and began investigating the area. Reyis noticed some tracks and we began to stalk our prey. I wrapped us in a cloak of illusion to give us the opportunity of surprise. This proved to be a fortuitous choice. We came across a small crew of T'skrang, while they noticed my comrades, they failed to perceive my presence. I decided it was time to test the power of the shadows I had seen Azurea put to such good use. As I listened to Icarus parlay with the captain of the small crew, I began to weave threads to the result of my newest studies. The pirates had weapons trained upon our group, and negotiations were going quite poorly, tipped further by the mention of Ke'shof. It seems these were some sort of Ishkarat bounty hunters looking for her, labelling her a traitor. Icarus attempted a diplomatic resolution, but they were determined to place him in shackles. Swords came out at this point, the precise moment I tied the last thread to my shadowy new friend. The pirates took swings at Icarus, and were promptly distracted by the giant shadowy black dragon that swooped down from amongst the light of the midday sun. This caused the hidden scout to run for the river, and the archer to fall back. Arrows flying wide of the great illusory beast. Steel and tongue clashed, one of the larger pirates laid into Icarus as well and roared at Norg. He seemed rather disoriented by the amount of things overwhelming his senses. Sensing a shift in the tide of battle, the captain directed her crew to incapacitate Icarus and deal with the rest of us. She noticed me at this point and spouted some nonsense my way. Turning on Reyis, as his spirits had torn into her lieutenant previously. The large t'skrang then continued to push and bash at Norg, knocking him down. Fluffy gathered the attention of the captain, allowing Reyis to knock her down from behind. Control of the dragon took some practice, but it's flailing form on the field provided the worry and distraction that we needed. The captain and the archer decided to try and subdue Norg next, hoping the rest of us would be easily pickings. Sword and arrow clashed against the crystal shell, with the large one again knocking Norg back, this time into the water. The captain called for a retreat. The archer and the scout were quick to vanish. Fluffy took advantage of the distracted raider lieutenant, and tore into his sides. With a comfort coming into me I spat demoralizing insults at the fleeing captain, and commanded the dragon to swat her, only staggering her thanks to the balance a tail provides. Norg finally gained enough focus channel his rage into the strike at the captain, and that rage was made manifest with a shot that knocked her jaw off as her head snapped around. The remaining raider reconsidered his own rage and fled as well. We revived Icarus and rested again. We examined the captain and gathered a house marking earring, and the obsidian dagger marking her part of the house. In addition there was a journal, this was the journal of the late Captain Favali Tiken Ishkarat. It appeared to be a scouting journal, assessing the strengths and value of the various encampments and settlements along the river. This was obviously going to be used for expansion and bakshevas. Luckily it also indicated some likely locations to find Ke'shof, and it looked like they had been on their way to the one location that didn't match with our own investigation.
We made our way there just in time to see Ke'shof finish the last of a set of thorned toads, with her collapsing to her knees and her crew face down around her. Icarus went to her and offered to help her up. She was taken a back at first, not understanding who he was or why he was there. He formally introduced himself and reminded her of their last encounter. She struggled to understand why Icarus was there after such a short chance encounter. He returned her signet and her hat, and explained that the vibrance of her soul sung to him and he could do nothing but hunt her down as the eel stalks the minnow, although I'm paraphrasing a bit. He needed to ask her for a drink to learn more about her and he detailed it's importance. He explained his adventures to learn the t'skrang language, the encounters with the River King, and the bounty hunters on her trail. He presented the obsidian dagger to her, and then asked her to return to Throal for a drink. She was tempted to simply take the dagger and sneak back into her society, shirking the label of traitor. But she was labelled a traitor because of her explorer's spirit and sense of adventure. Returning to her niall would stifle those traits, while before her stood a human looking to swell them. We tended to the crew that was still alive and met up with Bartol and made our way back to Throal. Bartol seemed less enthused with Ke'shof's critique on his skills that he was with my own. But it did encourage him to make excellent time back to Sosanopa.
Last edited by Xzandrate
on Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.