Xar'Rex flies around the ship.
Corve drinks Creation's version of a martini.
Storyteller The Green Cloud, the airship that Myrrh got the Circle passage on, left Brume late in the afternoon. The captain, a rake-thin man with numerous scars, half a missing nose and half the normal compliment of eyes, promised his passengers that the ship would make port in Chiaroscuro within a few days and that there would be no unforseen problems on this route. Cloud Pirates generally kept to the outskirts of established shipping lanes.
Storyteller And so the Circle made itself comfortable on the Green Cloud while waiting to arrive in the South so they could continue their investigation of the Black Viper Cult and its nasty, malicious threats.
Myrrh sits with Corve, staring out the window with that half awake contented look of his.
Xar'Rex glides idly in large circles around the airship, looking not unlike a monstrous sort of crow.
Corve sighs a little, and then shakes his head. "I still can't make sense of some of this information. I don't know if it's going to be as easy as it first seemed," he murmurs absently, perhaps in Myrrh's direction, perhaps simply to himself, or the Unconquered Sun.
Myrrh continues to stare out into the open sky. "Well I'm sure things will get easier when we're on the ground. People that crazy tend to stand out." Glances at the report infront of him with vauge disinterest. "Although i will admit we don't have much to go on."
Corve nods slowly and then rolls his shoulders back. "I'm going to the deck for some air, you coming?" He stands up and pulls Judging Thunder out. He keeps it in a holster that covers most of the weapon, so as to not attract much attention. His coat is enough, he doesn't need to be seen with a large golden rifle.
Myrrh nods and gets up, all of his gear but his amulet stowed away in the hold. Certainly don't want to fire the Revolution on board..."We can see if Xar has found anything interesting."
Corve nods with a grumpy grunt and begins making his way to the nearest exit towards the deck.
Storyteller The crew goes about their duties, only glancing vaguely at their passengers. Apparently they aren't too interested in your presence, though one or two seem a bit irritated when you get in their way, but that's to be expected. They have been talking a bit about Corve's funny clothes and the giant dragon-thing flying paces with the ship. But that's to be expected as well.
Storyteller And if they do their talking in quiet voices when they think you aren't looking..well, you're Solar Exalted and not trying to hide it. That, too, is to be expected.
Xar'Rex abruptly does a flip that ends with him aiming straight down, and dives at breakneck speed towards the water. There is a crystalline spray of water as he siezes the creature that had been basking just beneath the surface of the water, and he rises again into the air, trailing frantically wriggling tentacles.
Corve walks outside and leans over the side, just in time to see Xar rising with a squid in his claws. He smirks, waving to the Dragon King. "Catch something, did you?!"
Xar'Rex lands on the edge of the airship, holding up the squid, whose tentacles are much longer than he is tall. He shakes himself from head to toe, and fluffs his crest feathers proudly. "Dinner!"
Corve chuckles and walks towards the dragon, nodding. "Seems like it!" He keeps a good distance away, just in case the thing tries to ink him or something.
Xar'Rex holds it over the edge and squishes it til it stops flailing
Storyteller The squid, dying fairly rapidly, doesn't try to ink anyone. It just twitches and dies and goes smoosh. About that time, Carmine decides to come on deck as well.
Myrrh breathes in deeply. "Ah, nothing like being up in the air! Spot any land?"
Xar'Rex "No land, no. Just a ship." he waves off in the direction he spotted it.
Storyteller Carmine looks around, then quickly returns back below looking a bit greenish.
Myrrh "I guess the height disagrees with her..."
Myrrh "Well that's good, we don't need any trouble when we'll have more than enough when we hit the ground."
Corve shrugs and chuckles a little. "What kind of ship was it, Xar?" Pirates *have* been known to cross into legal ship travel.
Xar'Rex "Little one. Fast, it looked. But not going fast. Wings like this." he demonstrates
Corve raises a brow. "Hmm. Myrrh, you know anything like that?"
Xar'Rex "Maybe this ship is the kind to carry a message?"
Corve shrugs. "Perhaps."
Xar'Rex "I can go ask them?"
Corve shakes his head. "No, best to leave them be unless they try something illegal."
Xar'Rex "How do you know?"
Myrrh "Hmmm...how big did you say Xar?" Shields his eyes with his hand and peers off in the direction Xar pointed.
Xar'Rex holds his hands thiiiis far apart. "It was this big, but I was far away."
Corve looks at Myrrh. "Is it Brumish?" He tilts his head and looks at the distance, not really trying to see the ship.
Xar'Rex "Maybe half this size, when it is close." he gestures to the ship they're on.
Myrrh "Hm. Small scout. Just a messenger probably. No wars on so it can't be a raider."
Xar'Rex "It seems to follow us. It has been there, just so far away, for all the time."
Corve narrows his eyes.
Myrrh "Hm. Well maybe keep an eye on it just in case."
Corve leans on the deck's rail and shakes his head. "Yeah, lets. I don't want any surprises in the middle of the flight. Last thing we need is someone plummeting to the water."
Myrrh "Especialy that someone being us."
Corve nods a little and then reaches inside his coat for a cigarette, lighting it and blowing the smoke into the high-altitude air. "Just in case, if something does happen..." he says. "Xar, be on the look out if we get into trouble... you're the only one that can catch one of us if we fall."
Xar'Rex shrugs, "You take this." he gives the squid to Myrrh, who he happens to be closest to. "I fly more, then. If you fall, fall together, so it is easy to catch you."
Myrrh takes the dead squid with a bit of hesitation. "Er, thanks...I'll keep that in mind."
Corve blinks. "Heh. Alright, we'll try." Chuckling softly, he continues to smoke, looking down at the sea below them.
Xar'Rex shakes out his wings and dives back into the sky, trailing little droplets of water.
Storyteller The rest of the day passes without incident. It's late at night when all the passengers, even Xar'Rex, have returned to the ship to find their bunks and get some rest for the next day's pointless staring at the ocean and fishing.
Corve drops on his bunk in his underclothes, his pants, shirt, and coat hanging from the edge of the bunk. Judging Thunder is resting at the edge of the bed, ready for him to take it.
Xar'Rex returns to the ship and climbs into the highest bunk. He turns around three times, shoving the covers into a sort of circle around him. He yawns widely, and curls up into a ball, covering his face with his wings. "Other ship was boring. I sleep now."
Myrrh goes to sleep a bit later than the others, spending most of his time poking around the ship. He climbs into his bunk with a yawn, setting his amulet to the side so he doesn't wake up with a large welt.
Xar'Rex lifts the edge of his wing ever so slightly, peering out from beneath it with one half-closed eye
Xar'Rex sniffs, and tenses slightly, then suddenly leaps out of bed, cupping his wings to allow him to glide over those who are carrying Corve and interpose himself between them and the door and lands, wreathed in a halo of flame. "You should not do that. Ship will burn, fall out of sky. You will be sad."
Storyteller The rest of the circle, minus Corve, drags themselves to wakefulness when Xar makes his display. They find themselves surrounded by the airship's off-duty crew and several strangers. All of the crewmen and strangers are armed and ready for trouble. Two of the men have taken Corve from his bunk and are carrying the still-sleeping Assessor towards the rear cargo holds.
Myrrh is startled awake with Xar's warning, he jostles in bed a moment before getting up, looking for a handy weapon. "What?! What's going on?"
Carmine opens her eyes and rolls off the bed. "What's happening?" she notes the armed men, and glances around for Eminance
Captain holds his sword's sharp edge to Corve's throat. "Now don't be getting all excited. We're just doing a bit of cargo shifting and you've all been demoted to the rear hold for the rest of our trip. To An-Teng."
Myrrh "An-Teng?! But we need to head to-" Stops as the captain threatens Corve.
Captain "Well, we decided that *we* need to head to An-Teng. And I'm sure you'll find nice, happy lives there."
Corve opens his eyes suddenly and almost moves too much... he stops as soon as he feels the cold metal against his throat. "Ah. Crap," is his only statement at the moment. "I just want to say that you're threatening an officer of the Brumish police department... and that's a felony."
Myrrh "Don't worry Corve, we'll...think of something?"
Captain "Well, seeing as you're not going back to Brume, I don't think you reporting us will be much of a problem."
Xar'Rex wakes the spirit within himself and grins, exposing a fine array of fangs. "We are not cargo." he gestures, and the sword the captain is holding twists in his grip, bending with a screech to point directly at his throat. And it stays there.
Carmine chooses this moment to reach for Eminence
Captain curses and tries to turn the bent blade back to point at Corve
Corve grins a little. "I see," he says calmly... and then spins. It's almost like he's a tornado. His legs kick-out and his arms rip from their position, as he spins wildly, tossing a kick one of the guys grabbing his legs.
Carmine smiles and her hand closes around Eminence's hilt. Then there is simply a blur of red hair and dusky skin in the cabin, a sunlight blade twisting in the shadows. 5 men fly backwards from the whirlwind, hitting the cabin walls with a descisive thunk
Myrrh grabs the sheet off his bunk and whips it at captains sword, wraping it around his sword arm he yanks on it to try and pull him closer as he moves to kick him.
Captain deflects part of Myrrh's kick with his pretzel of a sword, but takes the rest of the booted foot in his chest and stumbles back. "Get 'em boys!!" he yells to the...five of his men that aren't already slumped against the deck
Corve grins as his companions come to action. As soon as the sword and the Captain are out of his general way, the Assessor grabs onto the arms that hold him by the arm-pits and grips tight, pulling his legs to bending position and then shoving like a pile-driver straight at the man holding him by the legs. He steps on the man's chest and kicks up with his heel at the chin, using the momentum to push himself back
Corve * against whoever's holding him by the shoulders. "Don't kill the Captain!" he yells. he wants to ask him a few questions when he's done kicking ass.
Captain The man holding Corve's feet lets got fast enough that the kick misses, but Corve is still able to put down the man that was holding his upper body. Now with that man sprawled on the deck, Corve's free to join the fight against the remaining four men and the Captain.
Storyteller One of the four men remaining, a stranger to the Circle, turns and begins running way from the battle, yelling in some strange, incomprehensible dialect of Flametongue. Even Xar can't make sense of him without trying and there's not much time to spend wondering what the coward is screaming.
Xar'Rex grabs the man who just let go of Corve by the scruff of the neck and hurls him, marginally on fire, at the running man.
Storyteller The first man's neck snaps in the clawed, flaming grasp of the Dragon King as he's hurled, a flaming human missile, at the fleeing man. That man falls, hammered to the floor by the burning body and does not move, even when his own clothes start to smolder.
Xar'Rex "He talks funny." Xar sniffs.
Storyteller Seeing this, the remaining two men quickly surrender, begging on their knees for mercy.
Storyteller The Captain, having a bit more pride, doesn't fall to his knees and beg, but he does drop his sword-pretzel and lower his hands, glowering scornfully at his crewmen.
Corve gets up slowly, rolling his shoulders back and looking at the Captain. "Guess I'll be able to make that report after all, huh?" With his foot, he steps on the sword and scoots it towards him, picking it up.
Myrrh "Now I think it's time to talk about our destination..."
Xar'Rex stalks over to the fallen funny-talker, and puts out the fire by smothering the remaining flames with the dead man.
Captain glowers silently at the Circle
Corve nods slowly and grins at the Captain, twirling the sword. "... also, we'll be having a lengthy talk, you and I, later, about attacking an officer of the law, hmm?" He says this in his underclothes.
Carmine "... I should probably help that man." she looks at the smoldering man with a concern that seems odd after her movements in the battle before. She starts to make sure the smoldering man is fine
Captain Though he's suffered a few burns and a bad blow to the head from falling, the man with the strange accent is alive and will probably stay that way unless something ELSE happens to him.
Myrrh "Now, why were you so all fired to stow us all as cargo and head for An-Teng?"
Captain "I was only doin' what I was gettin' paid to do. That's all I know and all I'm sayin'."
Corve grabs the sheets Myrrh had used to get the sword away from the man and then moves behind the Captain, grabbing his hands and tying them tight and professionally. "Yeah, well, you're going to be saying a lot more by the time I get through with you," the assessor says. He doesn't sound happy. In fact, he sounds like for once he's going to enjoy beating the crap out of a defenseless jackass.
Myrrh "Hm. Alright, well if you don't want to talk I guess you're all Corve's."
Xar'Rex "I can help?" Xar says hopefully
Myrrh "Try not to let them bleed all over the place, that doesn't come out of wood."
Corve looks down at his clothes and clears his throat, looking at Myrrh. "Can you get me my pants and shirt, buddy?"
Captain closes his mouth and looks stoic. Though admittedly, he's not doing a good job of it, faced with three Solars and that giant dragon-thing.
Myrrh "What? I thought you looked very intimidating." Chuckles and tosses Corve his clothes.
Xar'Rex "I like how you pretend to still sleep when they carry you. Good plan, get them better that way."
Corve makes sarcastic mocking gestures with his face as he catches his clothes with one hand and violently shoves the Captain towards Xar. "Hold'im, please."
Corve blinks. "Errr... naw. That was the wine, Xar."
Xar'Rex catches the man and belatedly extinguishes himself.
Corve coughs as he puts his clothes on and then looks at the sword. "Ugh," he says, rolling his eyes. "No finesse," he murmurs, and tosses Myrrh the sword, handle pointing to his friend. "Put this somewhere safe."
Myrrh catches the sword and examines it. "Nice work Xar! How did you do that anyway?"
Xar'Rex picks up one of the fallen swords, and bends it into a moebius strip. "It is the spirit within." he explains modestly.
Corve sighs and walks back to his bunk, putting on his shoes and coat, and then arming himself. His sixshots, machete, and Judging Thunder slipped over his shoulder and onto his back on its usual, much more exposed holster. "Alright, as soon as everyone's dressed, we're going to take a stroll to the bridge and have a chat with the rest of the crew. I want to make sure they understand we're not going to An-Teng." He
Corve * smiles, looking at the Captain as he makes sure his sixshots and rifle are all loaded and ready.
Xar'Rex "Someone is still steering, yes?"
Captain grunts. "Of course someone is steering."
Myrrh "Good, then they won't mind hearing about our course change."
Xar'Rex "What is in An Teng?"
Carmine unconcernedly walks over to the bed, and ties her four silk ribbons around herself.
Corve nods. "Lets go."
Carmine puts her sword on her back.
Xar'Rex "I like your ribbons. They are pretty." he informs Carmine as he tucks the Captain under his arm, and follows the others up on deck.
Carmine smiles "Thank you."
Myrrh slips his amulet on and follows the others.
Corve makes his way towards the bridge determinedly, pulling out Judging Thunder from his back as soon as they get near the right hallways.
Falling BlacknessOn The Horizon? stands in the deckhouse, a short, slender man wrapped in black strips of linen, like a walking mummy. Scale-patterned tattoos cover his hands and face, the only exposed parts of his body. At either hip rests a long, wavy blade like an oversized kris. The blades shimmer in the night, whispering lies and hissing like snakes. One of the man's eyes is covered by a Soulsteel patch and a thin circle of the metal ties back his blond hair.
Carmine smiles at the man. He looked like he would be interesting to fight. "So you are the one who wished to delay us?"
Corve stops at the door of the deck, moving just inside to let the others file in. "Well hello there," he murmurs, grinning slightly, Judging Thunder wavering betwee pointing at the floor or the man.
Myrrh looks up at the strange man. "You know I think he's a new arrival. I would have noticed someone wrapped in linen..."
Xar'Rex "You like An-Teng more than Chia-ro-scuro, Man-With-Corrupted-Steel? Why?"
Falling Blackness "I can not allow you to go South, Solars. Nor, since I doubt you would accept another destination forever, can I allow you to leave here alive."
Corve grins. "Really now? Why's that? You got something against a nice, hot vacation?"
Carmine grins too. Maybe he would last longer than the others.
Falling Blackness "Don't act the fool, Solar. I know as well as you that you're trying to mess up the plans me, my masters and my slaves have been setting in place. And I'm not going to let you do that." The man's accent slips into a recognizable variation on that of a Brumian sky-captain.
Carmine "You really think you can stop us?"
Corve snickers softly. "I'll stop acting the fool when you get some depth-perception."
Xar'Rex sets the Captain down in a nice out-of-the-way corner, using the moebius sword to pin him conveniently to the wall.
Carmine smiles "Good. I've yet to fight someone who can challenge me."
Xar'Rex "Why do you do this, these plans? It is not good."
Corve smirks. "Because, Xar. People like him can only see one side of things."
Falling Blackness "Well, can't really be telling you all about that, my good Dragon-freak. It defeats the purpose."
Myrrh "Well it was worth a shot Xar..."
Falling Blackness "I'm Falling Blackness on the Horizon, in case you want to beg at my feet for mercy."
Myrrh "I don't know, that's a bit much to get out in time to beg for mercy..."
Myrrh "Maybe just Falling Blackness?"
Carmine "I am Glorious Carmine Elegance. You should know that name before you die." she says in reply.
Corve grins. "And I'm Assessing Inspector Corve of the Brumeish Police and Law Enforcement Plutocratic Division of the Floating Island Nation of Brume. I think I got you both beat."
Xar'Rex "Not a freak." he sulks.
Falling Blackness "This wasn't a contest for who has the longest name. Just letting you know how to plead properly. I hate it when people can't plead for mercy the right way."
Corve takes a step forward and tilts his head, apparently serious. "And when YOU plead for mercy, I want you to use my full title."
Carmine "How does one plead for mercy anyway? I've only seen it twice..."
Falling Blackness "I'll keep that in mind if I have a sudden attack of weakness and forget how to hold my swords or something like that."
Xar'Rex "Why you come for all of us, just you? Is bad, what, idea? odds?"
Corve snickers. "Tends to happen when you're outnumbered, outwitted, and outstyled," he says, giving the man a bright smile.
Falling Blackness "I've never claimed to be stylish, so I'll surrender that one. And outnumbered, certainly. You might even have better jokes then I do. But I think I'll be alright despite all that."
Corve looks over at his group, then the man. "We're also all prettier than you."
Falling Blackness "The dragon isn't."
Myrrh "Not covered in bandages either!"
Corve snorts. "Sure he is. Look at that plumage! He's got more beauty in a feather than you do in your entire husk of a corpse."
Xar'Rex bursts into flames and glares at the cloth-covered man.
Falling Blackness "Are you done stalling for time before I have to destroy you all?"
Corve swings Judging Thunder a little and pulls back a handle, and a loud *ka-click* can be heard as he slowly raises his eyes to look at, what he supposes is an Abyssal. "We're not stalling. We're engaging in small talk. What? You're too evil to be sociable?"
Falling Blackness "I've been told that before."
Corve snorts. "Sounds like an excuse to me."
Carmine "So, why arn't we attacking him anyway." Carmine is starting to look a little bored witht he banter
Xar'Rex "Errr." He looks at Carmine.
Corve shrugs. "Good question." And with that, the assessor lifts his eyes to the Abyssal and smiles. "Here's your answer." And from his hip, where his rifle resides, two bullets wizz out with barely a soft *ffpt* against the air... straight at Falling Blackness' chest.