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Passage To Trinsic (Not finished, please suggest storyline ideas)

Discussion in 'UO White Stag Inn' started by Lochlyn Macduff, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. Passage to Trinsic

    Jonah stepped off the creaky plank of his weather beaten old boat into the heart of Britain, city of bards, and the seat of Lord British’s throne. He took one look around, hearing all sorts of commotion from the west end bank, and smelling the different wares being cooked originating from almost every corner of Britannia mingling with the cool salty sea breeze. Slowly, but confidently, he stepped ashore, lugging his pack over his shoulder, a small spring to his step as he made his way to the Best Hides Of Britain to sell the leather he had just acquired from his most perilous encounter with a sea serpent; one of the ocean’s most feared creatures. Next to a kraken, he could not think of anything more fearsome, and he had slain it with his own two hands. A long grin spread across his face as something invisible but very substantial came between him and his destination. He ran into it head on, his gaze fixed on a show of lethal wares at the northern corner of the bank when he should have been looking where he was headed. He fell on his rear, stunned as a tall robed figure appeared quickly and disappeared just as suddenly as it had shown itself into the multitude of the crowd. Not having seen the stranger’s face beneath it’s cowl, he was confused, and rather surprised that a person could do such a thing in broad daylight around so many people let alone at all. Recovered from this little odd occurrence, Jonah got up and dusted himself off, still feeling a bit peculiar as if eyes were watching his every move. Lugging his pack over his shoulder once more he rounded the archway past the bank to the hide merchants, spreading his offer wide across the counter. “Hello.. I’d like t’sell some leather… hello?” He looked around, seeing nobody in sight. “Odd… a shop with no shopkeeper.” Jonah looked behind the displays of stretched hides thinking that perhaps the merchant was merely joking and was hiding somewhere in his shop to surprise some unwary customer in order to peddle some irresistible deal, for the shop looked as devoid of customers as it was of tradesmen.
    Out of the corner of his eye he saw the same ghostly vision of the man in the robe, his hood drawn far over his face beneath an almost forgettable shade of gray. The second he turned to get a better look, the man was gone once more, leaving Jonah feeling more than a bit uneasy. The door of the shop creaked open quickly then closed with a sharp slam, still no evidence of anyone in the area but a soft breeze from their exit. Or was it their entrance? Not willing to wait and find out which it was, he bolted for the door, hitting another very firm and very invisible obstacle. A low laughter came from just before him as the robed figure stepped out from what seemed to be behind reality, finally coming into clear view for the first time. The stranger was a good foot and a half taller than Jonah, and stared down at him with unseen eyes, as the hood was peeled back, revealing stark white hair in two battle braids, the shocking contrast against the robe’s dull gray forcing him to blink. Jonah’s hand immediately was at the grip of his dagger, the leather of his studded gloves creaking as his fingers constricted tightly against the wrapped grip. The stranger looked down at him with a broad grin, laying his large hand upon the fisherman’s shoulder. “Now, now… no need for that here. Come, let us talk for a moment. I have a proposition for you. If you’ll have me of course?” He looked down with a very convincing stare, bringing forth an irresolute nod from the only half trusting Jonah.
    The stranger walked Jonah to the Salty Dog tavern across the bridge in East Britain, setting him down on the a bench at a table in the corner and taking his place at a seat directly across the from him. “Name’s Kithain. I’m a swordsman… like you I see.” Kithain shot another wispy smirk to the kryss at Jonah’s hip. “Well actually y’see…” Jonah began. “No no… I understand.” The warrior interrupted. “I saw you step off from a fishing boat. Is that your vessel?” Kithain leaned back as he realized he was stooped forward over the table a bit and gestured to a barmaid to order a few ales and some food. “Aye… It’s mine. It was my father’s, but he canna sail anymore bein’ far along in his years as he is.” Jonah laid several gold on the table to pay for his share, but Kithain pushed it back towards him. “Don’t bother, my treat.” he said smoothly, leaning back forward. In response, Jonah leaned back a bit, feeling his personal space invaded by this odd man who was buying him things all of a sudden. “I am in need of your ship to travel to Trinsic...” “But that’s only a half days walk from here… merely an hour on horseback.” Jonah interjected. “I am aware of that, but I have reasons. I fear there are powerful evil forces at work here!” Kithain slammed his fist against the table, not realizing he was being quite so brusque, lowering his voice to a loud whisper. “Anyhow… I have to travel off the beaten path as it were. “ The warrior slugged down his ale just as it was placed on the table, giving the serving girl a hearty slap on the behind. Jonah raised a brow, not used to this kind of raucous behavior as he watched the man tear into his food, ordering another tankard with his mouth full of mutton. Grimacing, the young fisherman nodded slowly. “Aye… so what would be in this for me? Sounds like I’m getting into a fat lot of trouble for nothing. Why should I care about you? Or… whatever it is you‘re into.” Kithain stopped chewing immediately, pointing the half chewed leg of lamb at him as if it were his finger shaking it with every word. “Mew… dum mow mout raggooms?” Kithain said with his mouth still crammed. “What on Sosaria are ye talkin’ about man…raccoons? Make sense!” Jonah exclaimed, noisily scooting back in his chair as his companion finally managed to swallow his food. “Dragoons!” Kithain shouted, drawing the attention of about all three of the pub’s patrons, once again forcing himself to quiet down. “Listen, there’s minions of Blackthorn everywhere, and I can’t afford to be spotted by any one of them. You do know who he is do you not?” Jonah laughed quietly. “Of course, do you think I live beneath a rock?”
    Kithain withheld a sarcastic jibe as he stood up, striding to the door, throwing the robe to the floor as the threads themselves began to vanish into nothing. Motioning to Jonah, he led him the short distance to the more secluded east Britain bank. Opening his bank box, he recovered a long spear, handing it to Jonah who hesitantly took it, feeling the power of it’s magic course through him. Kithain grinned, pulling a large, heavy broadsword from the chest and sliding it into his sheath at his side, the chain and ring links of his armor clicking against the weapon as he walked. Jonah retrieved a new fishing pole from his own box, catching up to the taller man, his strides slightly shorter. They had gone no further than twenty paces from the reach of the town’s guards when they were set upon by a group of four large men. Not as large as the swordsman Kithain mind you, but still bigger than Jonah. “Brigands.“ Kithain muttered under his breath in disgust. “Scum of the world.” The biggest of the quartet took a mighty hack at Kithain, missing his flank by inches, the tall warrior’s sword screaming from it’s place at his hip and flashing angrily through the air towards his opponent. Steel clashed with bronze as the broadsword hit home against the cross guard of the assailant’s long sword. Cries from the other three rang out in a horrible chant of death, freezing Jonah in his tracks, the haft of the spear still clutched tightly in both hands. “Go boy, get to the ship!” Kithain bellowed, fighting off two of the brigands with the skill of a master swordsman, his blade volleying from one to the other, clanging hard against each to ward off his attackers, seeking the opening needed to finish the battle. Hard pressed to find an escape, Kithain knew he had to finish what they had started. Parrying the blow from the first sword, he used the momentum his foe gave him to send his sword careening into the smaller one, slashing him across the chest from collarbone to hip, taking the fight clean out of him as the brigand fell to his knees, gasping. The other outlaw looked to his fallen comrade, then back to the man who felled him. “Go ahead fool… try it.” Kithain looked down to his sword, then back up to his opponent, smiling widely. “That’s okay mister… keep the gold! He sputtered feebly, dropping his cutlass as he dashed into the forest as fast as he could.
    Just as Kithain watched the coward disappear into the brush, he remembered there were four and he had only engaged two. He ran to the ship only to find Jonah getting the rigging ready for a passage to Trinsic and two twitching bodies laying at the gang plank with but mere scratches across their arms. Out of breath, Kithain looked up to the boy in disbelief, not having taken him for a warrior let alone a novice assassin. “Hold up the boom while I tie off the sails, and we’ll be off in five minutes.” Jonah said curtly, tossing the beam of wood suspended from the mast at the warrior. Kithain did as he was told, using his nearly superhuman strength to prop up the heavy cross beam as Jonah deftly whipped rope around several cleats and fillowed out a broad expanse of canvas to create a sail. “Alright… now make yourself useful and raise th’ anchor.” Kithain furrowed his brow and shrugged. “Your ship… as long as we get to where we’re going, you’re the boss.” Jonah smiled to himself, watching the muted waves of the bay lap against the port side of the ships aft cabin. Little did he know it would be the last he would see of the peaceful waters for some time.
    Several hours into the voyage, there was a rustling about the hold, and a skillet fell to the deck with a resounding gong. Both the men looked up from their idle tasks, Kithain carving a small figure out of yew wood, and Jonah reeling his fishing line yet again. The pan laid alone, looking rather suspicious as it then proceeded to sneeze… rather effeminately. Kithain smiled slyly, looking to his traveling companion. Jonah shrugged, bending forward to snatch the pan from the deck, readying it like a war mace. Kithain shook his head. “No no fish boy, look.” He pulled back the tarp to reveal a girlish form, her almost blindingly snow white hair masking her face as she still squatted for cover behind the nonexistent tarp. “Go on… get up. “ The swordsman prodded, nodding his head towards a large cleat on the rail of the boat. The girl drew herself up slowly, proudly tossing her hair with red gauntleted hands of gruesome daemon bone. Jonah watched all this from the prow, still holding his fishing pole in his hand, his brow raised in sheer curiosity as Kithain seemed to manage the occurrence as if it happened once a week.
    “And just who are you a spy? You don’t look like any brigand I’ve ever seen.” The girl smiled, pushing the warrior’s massive shoulder with the gentle ease of a fellow warrior, her appearance deceiving as the strength of her gesture forces him back several steps.
    Jonah stood up from his seat on a crate, a bit surprised by the development. “Just… what do you want, and why did you choose my ship?” “First off, I’m Micah, grandmaster archer and mace fighter to the realm of Britannia. I stowed away on this… vessel.” She looked around, surveying the ship. “ …to offer my services. It look like you boys are off on some sort of dangerous journey, judging by the look of your gear.” She bent over to grab a small red pack that by no small coincidence happened to match her sash, skirt, and skullcap perfectly. Rummaging for a moment, she pulled out a large, ornate bow, carved with the most intricate designs either of them had ever seen, the string made out of what appeared to be spun silver. “Power in the draw of a bowstring.” She smirked, removing an arrow from the quiver in her pack. “Watch and learn boys… it’s all in the wrist.” Grinning, she chose her target, a huge spire in the form of a serpent far off in the distance. The arrow let fly, speeding straight into the ruby eye of the monolith, causing it to shake as though hit by a powerful seismic blast. The water rippled violently, the sound of screams ripping through the trio’s consciousness, forcing all to their knees in agony.
    “Take cover!” Kithain bellowed to be heard over the immensely painful screeching from below the depths of the ocean, balls of searing flame launching from the surface of the water towards the little boat. Micah’s eyes widened as she watched the horizon near the spire, grabbing her best magic crossbow and a quarrel of bolts from her pack, the taut cable of the weapon drawn back at the ready as she notched a bolt in the rest. The water began to churn with a mighty roar, six tentacles rising in unison from the shadow of the deep. “What the bloody hell is that?!” Micah sputtered. “K…k…kraken!” Jonah screamed, unsheathing his kryss finally from it’s place at his hip, the adrenaline melting his former paralysis born of fear. The creature slowly drifted its way to the side of the boat, a terrible screech filling the air again, it’s beak gnashing wildly in a hungry struggle to devour it’s prey. Micah drew the crossbow to bear, firing one bolt after the next, the repeating action of the weapon sending sharpened bits of steel into the flesh of the great beast. The roaring only continued to raise in volume, the ship drifting slowly within reach of the tentacles, each of the crew readying themselves for hand to hand combat. Jonah grabbed a rope and lashed it to a cleat, tying the other end to his belt, quickly grasping the security of his weapon. Kithain opened the small bag at his hip, drawing out several swirly purplish potions, shaking one up violently until the swirls began to coalesce, forming a deadly pressure which screamed to be released. He hurled it overboard, clearing the deck by twenty yards to splash beside the horrible monster, it’s tentacles thrashing as it realized the effect of the small ripple in the water’s surface. A huge tower of sea water rose from the small ripple, the concussive blast making the boat list heavily. The kraken emitted a loud gurgling noise, slowly drifting limply still towards the boat. Jonah readied his blade, using his knowledge of anatomy to guide his thrust straight to the creature’s head, killing it instantly. Micah prodded it with her quarterstaff which seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, the corpse about as lifeless as a rock as it began to sink slowly into the depths from which it came. “I suppose we won’t be tempting fate again?” Kithain asked sardonically. Micah twirled around, sweeping him off his feet by means of her staff to his shins, the large man hitting the hard, unforgiving planks of the deck with the flat of his back. Jonah reserved a slight chuckle, trying to lighten up the atmosphere a bit as his own heart was still racing from the days most recent death defying event.
    After everyone had recovered from the shock of almost being eaten alive, they decided that a rest would do them good. Taking a section of the ship themselves, the two visitors each discovered that the hold and aft cabin were abundantly stocked with pillows, bedrolls, and other finely crafted decorations that looked to have spent some time at the bottom of the ocean. Oddly enough, Micah found an entire merchant’s chest that was filled to capacity with magical baubles and weapons galore, and clothing with patterned runes of enchantment that must have belonged to mages traveling abroad whose ships befell catastrophe by some form of water borne scourge. She picked out a bracelet, ornately designed as was her taste in fashion, slipping it on. Suddenly, she could not see her own body, the power of the bracelet concealing every bit of her from natural sight. She scrambled to remove it, not being accustomed to trying to remove jewelry she could not see. Finally, she found the small clasp, unhooking it carefully to lay the trinket on the lid of the chest. Considering it carefully, she decided the boy would not miss it among so many other pieces of jewelry, many much finer, and more powerful than this she thought. Taking the bracelet to her resting place, she nestled down into the comfortable warmth of the bedroll, pulling the cover up to her chin, closing her eyes.
    The cold winds off the ocean surface pelted Jonah on deck, the oiled jacket he wore shedding any spray from the waves that seemed to be growing as the night wore on. He wrapped himself up in a bedroll as well, leaning up against a water cask at the bow, watching the prow cut through the water as they steadily rode the wind towards Trinsic. He glanced over to his companion who plopped down beside the aft cabin door, his broadsword laying across his knees, bedroll placed behind his lower back against the wall to help him stay alert if a need for his action suddenly arose. Jonah smirked, pulling the leathers over his head to shelter himself from the coming storm. Kithain looked up at the clouds, disgusted, ripping a cloak from his pack to drape over his body as they decided to open up and share their bounty upon the sea and him as well.

    * * *

    Micah stretched her legs in a vain attempt to wake up amidst the sound of waves lapping at the side of the smelly old fishing boat. Slowly, she used her skill of hiding to sneak past Kithain, who had seen fit to station himself just outside her door. Whether or not he saw fit to guard her quarters out of some sense of duty or suspicion , she was not sure, but she knew she needed to get out of there and stretch her legs or she would succumb to the madness of cabin fever. Tiptoeing to the deck rail, she noticed a small ship drifting towards them in the thick morning fog. As the ship inched closer, she could make out a number of figures lying limply on the deck, many of which did not appear to be human. Squinting her eyes as the sun began to cut through the blanket of mist, she caught sight of one or more of the humanoid creatures stirring. Grabbing a gaff hook, she seized the opposite ship’s deck rail, pulling it towards her. Tying the two ships together with a clever knot even a sailor would be proud to call his own, she hopped aboard the tiny vessel. The corpses of many slain creatures littering the deck. Among them, buried beneath several gazers there was a man. Clad in robes dark as the center of the forest in the deepest night, he had an eerie complexion, appearing to be dry and shriveled as if dead for much longer than the creatures around him. Oddly enough she noticed, his hair was the color of flame, starkly contrasting his ebon clothing and pallid skin. Suddenly, the corpse began to mutter strangely, and Micah nearly jumped out of her skin as the color began draining from the nearby monsters, filling the man with the blush of a healthy human being, his muscles forming once more as he regained the strength to rise under his own power. Just as he rose to his knees, Kithain appeared as if out of the air itself, dashing the strange man back to the deck from where he came with a swift blow to the head from the pommel of his broadsword. The man, who by now was easily recognized as a necromancer was crumpled limply against the base of the mast, his eyes rolled into the back of his head. Kithain, shot a glance to Micah, chuckling slightly. “You’re not the only one who knows how to move unseen” the warrior said dryly, chuckling to himself. “Good thing too.. Might have tried to turn you into one of those nasty patchwork skeletons.” Kithain sneered disgustedly. Jonah peered over the rail of his own ship to survey the scene, content to view all the new developments from a distance, his dagger lain on the rail close at hand should he need it at short notice. “C’mere boy, and help me throw this dead weight into the hold. And grab some rope while you’re at it.” Kithain bellowed as he lugged the sorcerer’s deceptively heavy frame towards the hold of Jonah’s ship.
    The wind began to gust fiercely within the hour, tossing the small boat to and fro like a child’s toy. Most everyone but Jonah began to turn green from the experience, wishing they could either put feet on dry ground or at least get close enough to the rail to relieve themselves without getting swept into the tempest outside. Jonah stood on the aft deck, gripping the wheel tight as he could, the salty spray stinging his eyes. The punishment was all too tempting with it’s call to retreat, and he would if not for the fact that if he ignored his duties here, the ship and more importantly he lives of it’s crew would be lost.
    The strange red haired man stirred from his second rest, opening bloodshot eyes to meet three more pairs; curious, suspicious, and full of questions every one. Feeling like a gold piece in a tin can that had been thrown down a steep hill, he rose slowly