ST After Falling Darkness makes his escape aboard his phantom airship of dust and shadows the Circle has their own problems to see to. Corve has a little chat with the former Captain of the Green Cloud while Carmine patches up the wounded and then patches up the Captain. Armed with the warnings of the Deathknight, what they learned on Brume and the Captain's confessions, the Circle proceeds cautiously to the South and Chiaroscuro.
ST With Myrrh at the helm and the rest of the circle doing what they can to help out, it takes a full eight days to reach to great port city of the South.
Xar'Rex keeps everyone well-fed, except perhaps the prisoners, who only get leftovers and slightly stinky fish.
Myrrh spends most of the trip with a grin on his face and his goggles on. He seems to be enjoying himself even given the impending dragon monster doom that looms ahead of them.
Xar'Rex "Myrrh. You fly now. Can you land?"
Corve steps onto the bridge, having got all his things ready. "I heard we're about to land," he says, walking up behind Myrrh and leaning on the back of the pilot's chair. "Having fun?"
Myrrh "Oh definitely. Although she's handling a little slow due to the holes and the deckfires...we should probably fix that when we hit land."
Myrrh "Maybe do a little goosing of the engines while we're at it..."
Xar'Rex "Need some things to patch the holes. It fell into the ocean, it's gone."
ST The process of landing itself is fairly simple. Myrrh will just take the Green Cloud up to one of the towering glass spires and the crews on the air piers will lash the ship in with vitreous cables, then the unloading can begin. After customs, of course.
Corve nods slowly and scratches his head softly. "Yes, we should. Glad you're happy with your new toy," he says, as they land.
ST That, at least, is the proper and legal way to do things.
Xar'Rex looks over at Chiaroscuro with curiosity. He had heard of the Glass City, but had not yet been there. He folds his wings tightly against his back, and fastens a long cloak around his shoulders...so that he looks like a hunchbacked freak instead of a winged freak.
Myrrh glances at Corve as he eases the ship towards the glass towers. "So do you think you can talk us out of being arrested for hijacking and piracy?"
Corve gets a few cloaks from the ship's crew and passes them to the other two Solars. "Keep your gear hidden," he says, looking at Myrrh. "I doubt the Tri-Khan wants an island dropped on his kingdom. He'll be receptive to our plight. Besides, they're criminals, and the Tri-Khan will understand that." Hopefully.
Xar'Rex "We did not hijack. They tried to kill us. Is different."
Myrrh starts wrapping his rifle in the cloaks and nods. "Let's hope they see it our way Xar."
Corve nods in assent and nods. "Come on, lets get this over with, the sooner we come out, the less they'll think we're evil pirates. Keep your... peculiarities as subtle as possible."
ST Docking is accomplished easily and the Circle steps onto the brilliantly shining glass air pier where a man in standard dress for a Chiaroscuran customs official is waiting.
Customs Man "Welcome to the Sparkling City of the South. Papers for the ship, crew and passengers?"
Myrrh "Erm...about that. Corve?"
Corve looks at the customs officer and smiles, pulling out his Brume Law Enforcement identification. "I have the papers, but we should talk about that. We're not the official crew, due to the fact that the official crew was allied with a cult that threatens Creation as a whole. I'd like to speak to the head customs officer, if you don't mind." He holds the identification up as long as the man needs, and then puts it away. "I'm sure that I can clear up any questions he or she may have."
Customs Man flips through the identification papers and looks back at Corve. "Yes, so where is the original crew? I'm afraid I'll have to detain you all until this can be sorted out."
Xar'Rex grumbles a little, and wonders if the cell will be made out of glass like the other buildings. Pretty buildings.
Corve nods slowly. "I understand. The crew has been put in a make-shift prisoner's hull inside the ship. Some are dead, others are badly wounded, but we've treated their wounds as best as possible. We also ran into someone very particular during the flight. We got here as fast as we could afterwards."
Customs Man "The actual Captain?"
Myrrh "He's in there was well. He was under the cults command the whole time!"
Corve smiles. "Held prisoner. He's alive, but pretty hurt. He threatened me with a sword to my throat. He also gave much information about the general nature of the Cult. You do know what Cult we're speaking of, yes?"
Customs Man "Yes, I'm aware of the present situation. But you've still committed piracy and hijacking, as well as possible murder and kidnapping. So I can't just let you go about your way."
Customs Man "If we suspended the law every time some city exploded, well, there'd be no laws would there?"
Xar'Rex "Is not piracy, we were attacked. We defended us, then flew here to let you know."
Corve shrugs slightly. "Oh, I understand, however I'm not sure whether we were still in Burmish air-space when this happened. Aside from the fact that it was clearly self defense, as they were attempting to take it to An-Teng and were threatening me." Had we not defended ourselves, we would be dead or enslaved. Had we not highjacked, we would have crashed and died."
Myrrh "Well and to keep an island from falling onto you and crushing the city."
Customs Man "Yes, well, we'll sort it all out, never fear. Now, please follow the guards and I'll see about getting word to the proper authorities."
Corve forces himself not to roll his eyes and nods, nodding to the rest. It's best to do as they say for now. If things get too caught up, something else will have to be done.
Xar'Rex shrugs a little, and follows the guards
ST The nice burly guards with their friendly, sparkling swords of unbreakable green glass herd the Circle along, down the tower and into a series of two rooms: one for Carmine and one for the males. As Xar hoped, their cells are indeed made of glass. The front wall of the square little rooms is made of transparent glass nearly three inches thick, the rest of the walls are brightly colored glazed bricks, the glaze is more glass.
ST The guards also ask the Circle to surrender their arms and armor to be held in the office just down the hall, as a formality. They're very polite about it. The pretty female guard even smiles as she asks the men to turn over their weapons, as if it's just a silly little thing she almost forgot.
Corve removes his weapons one at a time. First the machete, then his revolvers, and finally Judging Thunder, handing it directly to the guard. "You take good care of it, hmm, sweets?" He smiles.
Xar'Rex watches Corve hand over his weapons, and eyes the guards. "We will get them back?"
Pretty Guard "Of course, Dragon-King. Once all this has been cleared up and you're free to go, I'll return your weapons myself."
Corve grins wider. "Extremely generous of you, Officer..?"
Myrrh sighs as he hands over his massive rifle...which he is suddenly unsure they'd be able to carry. "Er...sorry about that. It's a little...uh, heavy."
Xar'Rex reluctantly removes his arms and armor and hands them to the guards. They are quite heavy, and Xar is now quite naked. Except for the cloak.
Carmine is very relutant to give over Eminence, but she does.
Pretty Guard passes the un-attuned hunks of heavy metal over to some of her burly assistant guards. "Officer Bright Sands. Now, if Assessor Corve will come with me, I'll take him to see the Arbiter."
Corve nods slowly. "Lead the way, Officer Sands," he says, smiling. "I'll see all of you in a little bit," he says.
Myrrh "And what are we supposed to do?"
Pretty Guard closes the glass door behind her and Corve before any answer can be given. The thick material shuts off all sounds, leaving the men in silence.
Pretty Guard Carmine too, is now securely locked inside her glass-fronted prison cell, able to see the men perfectly, but unable to speak with them.
Myrrh sighs and sits on the bunk in the cell. "Soo...how's the world treating you Xar?"
Xar'Rex idly starts tracing patterns in the crystalline wall behind them. Soon it becomes apparent that the entire story of their almost-capture and subsequent overpowering of the crew is being turned into a pictoral arc. "World put me in pretty cell."
Carmine sits down in her cell. Then stands. then sits. then stands. then paces.
ST It takes a few hours, but Corve returns escorted by Officer Bright Sands and is placed into his cell again. Officer Bright Sands then informs Carmine of the outcome of the hearing, as Corve does for the men.
Myrrh "Alright Corve, what's the verdict?"
Carmine does not look happy at Officer Bright Sands, but manages to smile a little "Thank you."
Corve shakes his head and sits down, running a hand through his hair. "They're going to interrogat the prisoners and see their side of the story. I wish there was a way to prove that what happened happened in Burmish air-space. That would get us a transfer back to the islands and I could talk to Muriel.
Myrrh "Oh that'll go well...We don't exactly have alot going for us on that end.."
Carmine looks confused and distressed at the officer.
ST Officer Bright Sands reassures Carmine that they're not being punished, this is just a precaution. Then she leaves.
Xar'Rex "They will lie. Can these ones tell when they lie?"
Carmine looks at the departing officer in distress and annoyance, and then starts to pace again.
Corve sighs softly and then scratches his head. "I think we'll be fine. I'm pretty sure they'll be able to tell lies from truth. Perhaps not as well as I can, but through some process, they will. We'll be fine," he murmurs again.
Myrrh "Yes but I don't think we want this kind of delay. Mummy boy could be telling his masters about us any moment now."
Corve licks his lips. "I think the Arbiter believed me. He just wants to make sure. His position is a dangerous one, since if he makes the wrong decision it could have repercussions with his job and reputation."
Xar'Rex spends a long time on the "we all sit in our cells" picture.
ST The first day passes slowly, with the only interruptions in the routine being that twice during the day, guards arrive with food for the prisoners. The food is fair, but portions are small and only bad beer is provided to drink. It's better then some prison food, but certainly not in-quality. Xar finds a beetle in his soup.
Xar'Rex chews thoughtfully on the beetle, and finds it tastier than the rest of the soup.
ST Two more days pass in similar ways. Two meals a day. No contact with Carmine. For poor Carmine, she might as well be in solitary confinement. She can see her Circlemates, but can't speak to them or hear them..or hear anyone but the guards that give her food.
Corve practices some sort of improvised sign language with Carmine, but he's not very good at it.
Xar'Rex actually DOES know some sign language, but Carmine likely doesn't.
Myrrh "You know Xar maybe you could poke a little hole so we can talk to her? Just a little one..."
Xar'Rex idly teaches everyone else in the room how to do it, though.
Xar'Rex "I think they would be mad. Maybe not let us out."
Myrrh "Well you could cover it back up again."
Xar'Rex "Well. I could get out and come back. But that is a lot, just to talk."
ST Another two days passes.
Xar'Rex "I am hungry."
Corve sighs and leans his head back against the wall. When the guards finally come, he speaks to them and asks one of them if they could summon Officer Sands.
Xar'Rex lights the floor on fire out of boredom.
ST The guards have already brought breakfast. They'll be back in several hours with dinner. The floor, being made of glass-glazed brick, doesn't hold fire very well.
Myrrh spends most of his time staring out the walls looking at the sky. "This was not what I had in mind when I think of heroics..."
ST But with Xar's magic, the flames dance happy across the glassed bricks of the men's cell
Xar'Rex "When do we go?"
Corve holds up a hand for Xar. "I called Sands. I'll try to figure something out."
Bright Sands eventually returns, with dinner. She opens a small, formerly concealed, speaking-hole in Carmine's cell, and in the men's while she stands in the hallway. "You'll be glad to know the captain and crew of the Green Cloud have been arrested for piracy, we have records of former illegality on their parts."
Bright Sands "But the Arbiter does feel that two deaths and the...manner in which the Captain was questioned, merit some punishment before you are set free."
Bright Sands "Seeing as you are from Brume, corporal punishment, the usual recourse in this matter, will not be administered. You are to be fined heavily and asked to leave Chiaroscuro within two days and not return for at least one year."
Xar'Rex "Should have gone to An Teng." he mutters.
Corve nods slowly. Two days is enough to figure some things out. "I understand, officer Sands. What will the fine be, do you know yet?"
Bright Sands "Half of your liquid capital."
Xar'Rex blinks. "For self defense?"
Bright Sands "If that amount is deemed insufficient, we will have to make alternate arrangements for payment of the fine. Perhaps labor or some of your possessions."
Bright Sands "For two deaths, piracy, hijacking, attracting the attention of a malevolent entity to our city, payment of your legal fees, assorted other things."
Bright Sands "The Arbiter believes you could have put down the crewmen without hurting them."
Corve sighs. "Considering that the deaths were in self defense, as was the piracy, and we didn't attract the attention fo the malevolent entity to your city, I think that's a bit steep."
Xar'Rex "We did not hijack! We came here, not where we were not supposed to go!"
Corve sighs again, and scratches his head. "The Arbiter didn't have a sword to his throat," he murmurs gently.
Bright Sands "Well, half the fine is to Corve personally because Chiaroscuro has fairly strict torture laws."
Xar'Rex shoots Corve a dirty look
Myrrh winces at the penalties. "This isn't off to a great start..." and shoots Corve a dirty look.
Carmine sighs exasperatedly. She wants to be out, but she knows she has no money.
Corve grimaces, and then nods. "Well, I'll be sure to consider that next time I'm trying to save Creation from an insane group of demon-ghosts who are trying to bring forth a Great Shadow Serpent.
Xar'Rex grunts. "Humans."
Bright Sands "The Captain has been released, since Chiaroscuran law doesn't allow us to inflict any punishment on him for his crimes, that we have concrete proof of, in excess of three maimed limbs and considerable mental trauma."
Bright Sands "Regardless, if you'll pay the fine to me then I'll see to your release."
Bright Sands "But there is one last thing. I'm going to have to wait to return your weapons until you actually leave the city. I'm transferring them to the Southern Gate, you can find them there.
Corve rolls his eyes and forces himself not to bash his fist into the glass wall. "Right. So because he attempted to kidnap us, he gets set free." They shouldn't have landed in Chairoscuro.
Xar'Rex "No, because you punished him already."
Bright Sands "The Dragon-King is quite correct. You have already administered more then what our laws allow."
Bright Sands "Some of your fine is going to him in recompense."
Xar'Rex idly imagines Chiaroscuro in flames.
Corve doesn't say anything to that. *That* money he's getting back.
Xar'Rex "What do we do if we are attacked in your city? Wait until we are dead, or can we fight back?"
Myrrh "Well alright then. If you would get me my bags I can get this all sorted out."
Corve nods. "That's a good question, Officer Sands. If someone attacks us here, are we allowed to save our own lives or will you just fine them for murder?"
Bright Sands "You can defend yourselves, of course. But any further extremely excessive force will result in another hearing. And since you are already on your way to exile, the punishment will be very harsh."
Bright Sands "But, be assured, we will take your situation into account and be fairly liberal with our definitions of extremely excessive force."
Carmine "Can we get out now? /Please/?"
Xar'Rex "If we ..what is the word...subdue..the cult people, what will your law do?"
Bright Sands shrugs to Xar "Whatever is warranted."
Bright Sands "Now, please follow me"
Corve rolls his eyes. He makes a mental note to forget liking Chiaroscuro next time something threatens Creation as he follows.
Bright Sands releases the cell doors and escorts Myrrh to his bags. Once the fine is paid, Officer Bright Sands sends you out of the building and into the city with a reminder that you must be out of the city by Southern Gate within 2 days.
Xar'Rex stretches and looks around the city. "I don't like this Chia."
Corve shakes his head slowly. "Me neither."
Myrrh "Well look at it this way, we won't be here for very long."
Xar'Rex "How do we get back? Well. You. No ship."
Carmine shakes her head, still exceedingly tense.
Corve shakes his head. "We'll figure some way."
Xar'Rex holds up a handful of glass brick wall shavings. "These are pretty though."
Myrrh "Yes, very...I tell you what why don't Xar and I try and make some money while you and carmine try and find us some leads? We can't sleep in the streets..."
Corve nods a little. "Good idea."
Carmine walks off with Corve. "I am not going in a cell again."
Xar'Rex "I know the perfect place."
Xar'Rex heads off in exactly the wrong direction.
Corve shakes his head, his grimace all too pervasive. "Neither am I," he says carefully. "I think it's time we started functioning in less conventional ways."
ST The shop that Xar finds is well cleaned, has a nice sign out front "Protections and Talismans", with symbols for luck, safety and beauty carved on the shop's door. Inside there's a young man with straw-colored hair and bright, sparkling teeth.
Shop Keep "What can I do for you, sirs?"
Xar'Rex looks to Myrrh.
Myrrh "We'd like to inquire if you maybe were interested in buying some high quality talismans! You see we're trying to get a bit of money together for a trip."
Shop Keep looks to consider. "Well, normally I buy only from my normal suppliers, to keep them happy. You understand I wouldn't be able to offer you full price."
Myrrh "Very understandable..."
Xar'Rex "These are ex-otic. From far South."
Shop Keep "And I'd need to see some finished work, first. A test sample, or a few. And, while exotic may be good in food and cloth it isn't so good in talismans. People trust what they know best. So strangers' work..."
Shop Keep shakes his head. "Most sellers won't touch your work, I'm afraid."
Myrrh "Indeed! You've never seen them of such quality!" Shows him one of the new strips.
Shop Keep looks over the fragment provided by Myrrh and, for a moment, scrunches his eyes. "One moment," he murmurs, walking to the back of the locale and calling his assistant.
Shop KeepsAssistant picks at it with a disdainful looking eye.
Shop KeepsAssistant comes out from the back "Yes, Boss?"
Xar'Rex "It is good. We sell in Brume, they buy them a lot."
Shop Keep shows her the fragment. "They're here to sell some of their merchandise," he says, raising an eyebrow at her. "Take a look at it, will you?"
Shop KeepsAssistant nods, with a helpful smile at the pair. "Sure thing."
Shop KeepsAssistant leans over to study them, and the smile fades slightly as she does
Shop Keep tsks his tongue softly as he watches over his assistant's shoulder, tapping his chin with a few fingers. "How exotic did you say this was?"
Xar'Rex "From far South?"
Xar'Rex "This one protects from fire."
Myrrh "And that one is a sure fire fertility charm!"
Shop Keep looks at his assistant and tilts his head, pursing his lips. "Doesn't Maldar sell fire-retardant clothing?"
Xar'Rex "Yes, but you can protect whole home. Put one over each door."
Myrrh "Hah! Show the woman Xar."
Xar'Rex obligingly lights the floor beneath the assistant on fire, proving that she does not catch fire herself!
Shop Keep looks at them and raises a brow. "You're burning my floor!" he screams. "ARE YOU INSANE?!"
Xar'Rex "You are not on fire, see?"
Xar'Rex banishes the flame.
Shop Keep "BUT MY FLOOR IS!"
Shop Keep kneels down and scrapes the floor, looking at the burn. "By the dragons..." he says.
Shop Keep shakes his head. "How am I going to fix this?!"
Shop KeepsAssistant shakes her head too.
Myrrh "We know all about fixing things mam!"
Xar'Rex looks over at Myrrh for help
Myrrh "And anyway you have to forgive Xar, he doesn't speak low realm very well."
Shop KeepsAssistant takes several calming breaths.
Xar'Rex "You are not on fire?" he says apologetically.
Xar'Rex "You put those on doors, your floor not either."
Shop Keep looks at them as if his head will explode. "Y-y-you SCORCHED MY FLOOR!"
Myrrh "Sir that'll come right out if you'd just..."
Shop KeepsAssistant puts a calming hand on her boss' shoulder
Xar'Rex "No, that one is for walk on water."
Shop Keep What is you PROBLEM? How can this POSSIBLY be a successful pitch for ANY product ANYWHERE?"
Xar'Rex "This one is breathe water." he points to a similar one
Shop Keep seems to be having trouble breathing.
Myrrh "...but they work!...are you alright Sir? maybe you should get some fresh air?"
Xar'Rex "You want to try breathe water charm?"
Myrrh "Yes if you'd just draw a bath i'm sure we could show you how it and the water walker works..."
Xar'Rex smiles, which is not really a reassuring look on a dragon king.
Shop Keep's Assistant "I think YOU should get some fresh air. Before I go and get the guards."
Xar'Rex "I can make you stone floor?"
Shop Keep nods and points at his assistant, assenting.
Myrrh "I think we should go Xar..." Gathers the talismans from their counter.
Shop Keep's Assistant "But what about the floor?" she asks from the doorway.
Shop Keep looks at them with hatred in his eyes. "Yes, how do you plan on paying for my scorched floor?"
Myrrh "Er...uh..why don't you keep the fire charm as payment! With our compliments?
Shop Keep "You... you..." He starts to hyperventilate again, holding his chest.
Xar'Rex "Maybe decorative square there?"
Myrrh "A rug maybe? Or we could play in chits..."
Shop Keep looks at his assistant, disbelief in his eyes.
Shop Keep's Assistant "I'll go and get the guards." she says with a nod.
Shop Keep nods at his assistant vehemently.
Xar'Rex "No guards, we just here to help! Sell good charms!"
Shop Keep's Assistant walks out
Shop Keep "You scorched MY FLOOR!"
Xar'Rex "I fix floor!"
Xar'Rex "Don't like glass box."
Myrrh "Er...that won't be nessecary..this should about cover it!" Tosses the fertility charm and some chits on the counter and grabs Xar by the arm and mutters "Come on!"
Xar'Rex is dragged out
Shop Keep screams after them. "SHOP WRECKERS! CON MEN!"