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New Arrival


New Arrival

Post by Finner on

OOC: Though this is intended for certain people to join up with, anyone who wants to post a reaction to a giant blimp showing up over Marn, go ahead.

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"Well, there it is. That must be Marn.", Finner muttered to himself as he spotted the city off in the distance. They'd be there in a little under an hour but this was the first he bothered to say anything to anyone. Normally he'd have someone up here with him, his assistant, Ramas. However he wasn't in the cockpit now...he was in bed.

A couple days ago when Finner wasn't going in any particular direction, he'd been adjusting their course while the young man worked on one of his pistols. Finner had been interested in improving on the traditional gnomish designs and make a more reliable pistol. While he didn't have time Ramas rather enjoyed the challenge. He was working in the back and, well, Finner still didn't know exactly what went wrong but he heard a loud explosion from the rear of the Lathander. The gnome rushed to the hold/workshop to find the young human lad laying badly burned and bloodied on the deck. Finner managed to put him back together enough to keep him alive, but he wasn't sure how long Ramas would live. That's why he changed course to Marn, to get help.

Ramas was in bed in the living quarters behind the cockpit and was rarely awake. Yet Finner felt the need to speak, to talk to someone as if he were there. It kept his mind off the near loss of his assistant. As he got closer to the city Finner pulled out the spyglass that he kept near the controls and looked off at the city in the distance.

"Oh my, it looks like they have all their guns pointed at me. Why am I not surprised. Still, someone there might be able to help. I need to go on.".

It seemed the Marnians were directing him towards a particular part of the city, where all the smokestacks were. Typical behavior for a human city that didn't like outsiders, which is what he heard of Marn. Still, it didn't matter. he knew deep down Ramas needed help and the liklihood he would survive until they reached the next nearest city. He did as the Marnians asked...

Post by Sir Karsimir on

Wide open fields presented themselves all around the city, making gentle mockery of the serving guide. Following the curve of the river, and keeping a wary distance from the edge of the shanty town, good form objected to the use of weapons within clear view of the asylum. Besides, two people pummeling each other with wooden swords might be extended a rather forceful invitation to come inside with the 'other' inmates.

So passing the obstruction of the water tower, one clear space presented itself as perfect for training in. That vast area which was so perfect to train in had other uses as well.

Such as landing a blimp on short notice.

So far Railtus had begun training Julen in a variety of spear thrusts. Simple familiarity with the balance and weight of the weapon. Even the simple fact that a spear can cut as well as pierce. Often forgotten was the fact that spear blades neared the size of short swords. Half pikes were nasty weapons. Hence why they were chosen.

Still, the strange contraption overhead placed a definite halt on the session. Some effort was made to ignore it and train further.

Then it got closer.

So much that idea.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

Post by Julen on

Having finally found an acceptable stretch of land, Julen resisted the urge to plant some sort of flag in it like a triumphant explorer. Instead, he focused on Railtus’s lessons, attempting to mimic each thrust as it was demonstrated. Initially, the spear seemed overly long and unwieldy in his grip. Julen felt sure that he was more likely to jab an innocent bystander with the blunt end than to actually puncture an opponent. But it did allow him to remain a nice distance from whatever he was trying to kill, and Julen appreciated that. So each time Railtus corrected his stance, or repositioned his hands along the pole, Julen tried it again. And again. And again...

Julen was already wet with sweat beneath his arming coat by the time he caught his first glimpse of the thing coming toward them. At first, it was just a black dot in the corner of his vision, which he did his best to ignore. But as it drew closer, the immense size of it became apparent. And a strange humming, like the angriest swarm of bees Julen had ever heard, filled the air.

No longer able to concentrate on his lessons, Julen pushed a handful of unruly curls out of the way as he stared skyward. What the hell was that thing? Thinking back, he tried to remember the tales his mother had told him, filled with so many fantastical creatures. There was only one thing that huge, and that loud, which could also fly -- and realizing it filled Julen with a mixture of awe and dread.

“It’s a dragon,” he shouted to Railtus. “A fat...slow...ugly...dragon.”

And still, the beast drew closer, casting a dark shadow over the ground beneath it. Frowning, Julen shook his head. “I thought they were supposed to be giant winged lizards. This one looks more like a huge floating pig.”

Post by Finner on

"All right all right, could ya point those things elsewhere. I'm going over there dang it!", rung out the surprisingly strong voice of the little gnome. Though he'd recieved poor receptions in the past he'd never gotten the defense network of an entire city directed in his direction before. Seriously, hadn't these Marnians seen a simple cargo dirigible before? It wasn't like the Lathander was some sort of warship though Finner had heard tales of vehicles like this mounting cannons.

One of the few positive things Marn had going for it as opposed to some of the other cities he'd been in that weren't used to gnomish vehicles was the fact that there were several wide open fields and abandoned lots in which to land. It seemed he was being led towards one in particular near what looked to be an old water tower. Humans probably wanted the big gnomish thing away from their precious city so that it didn't blow up or something. Ignorant humans.

Though it was tricky to manuver the Lathander for a landing all by himself he managed to slowly lower the blimp into a position where he could land and began to fire off the anchors and such, sending several steel spikes towards the ground. When all was said and done, the gondola was still about a couple feet off the ground but securely anchored. Also when all was said and done several armed men in leather and plate armor had surrounded the Lathander.

Once she was secure, Finner grabbed up some things, including some money, and headed for the nearest door. One of his pistols was in a holster at his side though Finner probably didn't realize it. The gnome had barely made it down the steps when he had a couple pikes pointed at him.

"Relax gentleman, I mean no harm.", Finner stated in the calmest tone he could muster.

"We are the City Guard. Who are ye and what are ye doing in Marn?" asked the armed man that seemed to be in charge given the fact he was on horseback.

"Names Finner. I'm a trader of mechanical things. I'm mainly here to look for someone to heal my assistant. He was badly injured a couple days ago. Suppose while I'm here I'll trade some of these goods. Also have some things you guards might be interested in." , the diminutive gnome replied.

The guards looked amongst themselves and eventually the pikes were returned to the men's shoulders though one still had his eye firmly on Finner's pistol. The one in charge spoke again.

"Good luck on finding ye a healer. Be on notice that your...vehicle is subject to search whenever the Gaurd or the Battlemages wish it. Ye should also know that if ye are found to be using or harboring any one that is using magic without permission ye are subject to serious penalties up to and including death."

OK, this was a new one to Finner. Well, not totally new, but fairly new. Truth was there was an element of magic even to the Lathander but you'd be hard pressed to find a gnome who'd admit it.

"No problem. And I assume you'll be charging me an exorbitant fee to park here.", Finner replied.

"Ye catch on quick little one.", the guard responded.

Finner sighed and pulled one of the pouches off his hip and tossed it towards the gaurd who promptly snatched it from the air. By his count it contained 250 Bishani. That should be enough to get the guards to leave him be for a bit.

"Will that do good sir?" Finner asked in the most polite tone he could muster.

"That'll do fine little one. Now ye run along and look for your healer and don't do anything stupid." , the guard replied as he gestured for his men to leave. After watching them move off for a couple minutes Finner started to look around to get his bearings. It was only then that he spotted the two people that had been training in the field. Looked like a knight and his squire by the looks of them. Finner bowed to the gentlemen, a human custom he'd picked up when dealing with higher stationed people, and said,

"Would either of you know where I might find a reputable healer?"

Post by Sir Karsimir on

Many folk would have questions. Starting with the nature of the whatever-the-hell it was, how all this had gotten here, who the gnome was and how the hell that thing could fly. Sensible folk would just accept the fact that it flies. Still, when confronted by this thing, most people would have lots of questions.

Railtus had only two.

"Who is hurt? Where are they?"

Realising that his counter questions alone did not present the solution he knew to the situation, Railtus saw fit to speak further. "Yes, I can heal. Lead the way." Point made. Hopefully something could be done.

Observing the thing, Railtus was very glad that it was no dragon. Sure, vanquishing a dragon was thought to be a staple knightly quest, but not one Railtus had intended on just yet. Fighting dragons and infernal horrors did not frighten him, but he held no illusions about the levels of danger involved.

More importantly, someone was hurt, and any curiosity from Railtus could wait. And was damn well going to.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

Post by Julen on

Awestruck, Julen watched the beast approach. When it was nearly overhead, several tendrils shot from its bloated body, anchoring themselves in the ground. Then, apparently aided by these appendages, it began to descend. Every nerve in Julen’s body fought to run. However, the only motion he made was to tighten his grip on the training spear. He doubted that its tape-wrapped end could inflict much damage, but maybe he could distract the monster, buying Railtus a chance to strike.

And then the city guard showed up. For the first time since his arrival in Marn, Julen actually felt glad to see their familiar uniforms. They could handle this. Of course, he and Railtus would still help, but the arrival of reinforcements definitely raised the odds of a favorable outcome.

As the guards clustered around the beast, something fantastical happened. A door opened in the bottom part of its body, and stairs were lowered to the ground, down which a gnome soon descended. Gnomes rarely took up farming, so Julen hadn’t ever met one before. But he’d seen a few since coming to Marn, and this one looked fairly typical –- about half the height of a normal man, with greasy black hair pulled back in a ponytail, and soot smears forming permanent shadows on his face. His only unusual aspect was that he seemed quite nonchalant about having stepped from the belly of...of whatever the hell that thing was. By now, Julen had no idea if he was looking at a living creature, an impossible machine, or some unholy combination of the two.

Riveted in place by his curiosity, Julen couldn’t take his eyes from the scene unfolding before him. The gnome and the guard leader appeared to be talking, although the hum still emanating from the machine drowned out their words. Then the gnome tossed the leader something, probably a payment or bribe of some sort, and the guards moved off. Since it now seemed that neither he nor Railtus would be required to fight the thing, Julen prepared to resume his training. But then the gnome spoke twelve magic words. He asked if they could help him find a healer.

Just as Julen knew that he would, Railtus volunteered. And there only seemed to be one place such a mission was likely to take them -- straight inside that infernal thing. Fear dragged a chill claw down the length of Julen’s spine. But a chance like this would come only once in his life, and by the gods, he wasn’t going to stand around outside while Railtus discovered what wonders lay beyond.

After all, he told himself, think of Rosemary. She’ll be so disappointed if I can't tell her more than this. Hastily gathering up the training weapons, Julen prepared to follow Railtus wherever the gnome told them to go.

Post by Finner on

When the knightly looking person stepped forward Finner looked a tad surprised at first then a greatful look came across his face. It appeared there was at least one good person in Marn.

"Its my apprentice, Ramas. He's only and I should have been watching him more closely. He was working in the workshop and something exploded. I got him put back together all right but I fix machines better then I do people. He's in our living quarters, come on aboard."

Finner saw the reaction to all of this on the face of the squire a mix of awe and fear on the man's face. He definitely hadn't seen a blimp before. Finner looked at him and spoke in a calming voice as he gestured the two towards the Lathander.

"Its alright good man. She won't bite. That's my ship, the Lathander. Instead of the sea she sails the sky. Its rather hard to explain but, well, come on, I'll answer anything you want to know about her while your friend looks at Ramas."

With that Finner turned and walked up the stairs into the Lathander and led them through the rear cargo hold and the workshop and then into the living quarters and to the bed where Ramas was resting.

Post by Sir Karsimir on

Typical for him, Railtus had seen where the door was and so had no hesitations about entering the strange airborne body.

Having never been on a blimp before, Railtus had no idea where to begin searching for the living quarters. With some effort, and a little more guidance, he found them. Or what he assumed was living quarters, since he was sent towards someone in need of healing, and the charred mess with split flesh threatening to leak crimson from wall to wall seemed like a good guess of someone in need of healing.

Or someone beyond help.

Still, Railtus held as little hesitation approaching the ruined heap of living flesh as he did when entering the blimp. Smelling scorched flesh did not bother him, nor did the sight of blood and clear breaks in the form of the human body. After all, Railtus had seen equally severe injuries in his life, although on people he was fighting at the time.

What bothered him, was what he could recognise in the victim.

First of all, he was no gnome. Taller, slimmer. No trace of a beard. Instead, was the face of youth. Perhaps pock-marked, although acne or reaction to the damage was unknown. What was known was that this was a boy, barely more than a child.

At home, barely less than those sometimes thrown on the battlefield. Levies showed little regard for age, boys barely larger than this would be drafted to fight in wars serving no higher cause than a nobleman's selfishness.

Casting aside his shield, Railtus placed his hands over the wounded boy, noting a purple fluid oozing out of various cracks in the blasted shell once known as skin. By sight the skin looked like leather. White blotches marked the flame-darkened skin. Worst of all, blood daubed the edges of his mouth.

Burns were on the inside.

First things first was to work on the chest. No effort was made to fight down the weight in his heart, for Railtus knew how his power worked.

Please. Ydren. Help me save this child.

Though it was not Ydren's answer, voice was given to his desperation, his sincerity.

His compassion.

A shudder ran through the near-corpse as ragged breaths began, drawing air deeply, with a difficulty not seen before which had the grace to announce far greater success than had just been. Railtus felt his fingers run hollow and cold, stinging ache travelling through them.

More.

Blackened skin remained dark, but lines of cracked crimson dried into trails of pink scar tissue. Mottled patches announced themselves. A dreadful sight, most dreadful for the knowledge that this was an improvement of what had been before.

Purple, sticky gel seeped wickedly from the skin, mocking the ruined pores forced to release them. The skin smoothed ever so slightly. Breath ran short as Railtus felt his own chest go painfully hot.

Not done.

Blood trickled from the nose and lips. Smoothly. Cleanly. Brighter than before. Trails of white and dark gunge shot through in the liquid as it purged itself from the lungs of the child, who began turning to better extract the treachery of his own body.

Flinch.

The boy flinched, registering pain gone before, screwing his face and holding rigid. In awe, terror, or plain weakness of his recent ordeal. A grimace caught on his face, twisting. Horror flooded his unconscious face as his dreams understood the pain his body was in from far away. Less than truly experienced, but declaring itself on his awareness. As if his pain existed on two different levels, the pain he was in and the pain that he should be in.

Now spikes of pain flowed through Railtus, announcing an ever greater heat in his chest. At once hot, and cold, bearing the chill of emptiness with a deep sting.

No! I will not leave him to die!

Deeper inside, the Angelsworn felt a tug on his spirit. Brilliant light clouded his vision. A strange force ran through him. In the absense of words or pictures, a cost was apparant.

Do it.

Light and essence stopped flowing there and then. Railtus sank to the ground.

The boy, young Ramas, raised his head and opened his eyes.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

Post by Julen on

The gnome’s reference to the thing as a “ship” rather than a “mount” or “pet” seemed to indicate that it was a machine instead of a living creature. And that went a long way toward putting Julen’s mind at ease. As unreliable and capricious as gnomish technology could be, he’d still choose stepping onto an airship over entering a carriage strapped to the belly of some immense beast. But the rest of the gnome’s hurried explanation left him with more questions than answers. The only sizeable boats Julen had ever seen were the flat, sturdy barges that occasionally traveled down the Ofriyu Mar River. To imagine this craft having anything in common with them strained credulity.

However, someone was hurt, and it seemed wrong to distract the gnome with queries until that was taken care of, despite his invitation to ask. So Julen kept silent as he followed Railtus into the airship.

Unburdened by an armload of wooden weapons, and driven by the urgency that always seemed to overcome him when someone was in need, Railtus soon pulled ahead of Julen. But Julen hurried after him as best he could. Finally, unable to keep up any other way, Julen left the training gear in a pile on the airship floor, and continued on without it.

Although, when Julen reached the living quarters, he almost wished he hadn’t. The air reeked with the bitter smell of charred flesh. And the blackened, bloodied body lying on the bed...Julen couldn’t believe that it was actually still alive. Clamping his hand over his mouth, Julen fought to swallow the cry of pity and horror that threatened to escape him. And also fought to keep his lunch down.

Before, Julen had only watched Railtus heal minor things -- the scratches left by Phelan’s rings, the blister on the prostitute’s lip. Those acts had seemed to cost him nearly nothing. But now, as Railtus placed his hands on the body before him, Julen could see him struggle. His mouth was set in a grimace of determination, and his breath came in shorter, faster bursts. Watching the cracked skin begin to heal, Julen could only imagine the effort being expended. Desperately, he wished he could do something to help his friend.

Ydren. If my prayers matter to you at all, then please. Please give him the strength to do this.

And then, as if a trade had taken place, the boy opened his eyes while Railtus collapsed.

“Railtus!” Julen shouted. Rushing forward, he dropped to his knees beside the fallen warrior. Fear threatened to crush his heart like an icy vice. Julen had no doubts that if a grave risk had been required to save the boy, Railtus would have taken it. Julen only hoped that the price for such a risk had not been too high. “Railtus? Are you alright?”

Post by Finner on

When Finner saw the knight he figured he'd take a look at Ramas and help get him to a hospital, especially after what the guard had said about magic being illegal around here. When he saw the knight person putting his hands over Ramas and his wounds began to slowly heal, Finners eyes went wide the way most people's did when they saw the Lathander for the first time. It was only then that Finner noticed the symbol around the knight's neck.

"May Ydren's light aid him.", Finner muttered as he recalled where he'd seen the symbol before. This guy must be one of them angelsworn or whatever they were called and was performing one of his miracles. As Ramas slowly got better Finner bowed his head in reverence as the knight worked. It quickly became evident that the knight was suffering as Ramas was healing. He would never ask anyone to give their life for him nor anyone else but apparantly this man would do it anyway.

When the man, whos name he quickly found out was Raitilus dropped to the deck as Ramas came to, Finner quickly ran to Ratilus's side as did the squire. He reached for his neck to feel for a pulse and breathed a sigh of relief. He looked to the squire and said,

"Easy lad, he's alive, but weak. Help me get him over to my bed." Finner glanced over to a bed under a portal on the other side of the ship. It would end up being a tad short for Raitilus, but it was the best he could do without digging out the cots in the back.

Post by Sir Karsimir on

Next he knew, Railtus was depending upon supporting hands to hold him upright. No easy task, for in the weight of his armour he was over two-hunded pounds. A loud voice reached him as if from a far distance, although no words made themselves clear. A memory hinted that the voice may have been Julen's, but a distant memory if it was.

Voices. Movements. Shifts in the light. That was the extent of his awareness. Stiff gamberson muted most of the grip, dulling his touch as much as anything else.

Slowly, although far less surely, clarity creeped back into the Angelsworn. Sight, and sound, and feeling, returned. Deep pain stung inside his chest, a chest which felt hollow as if his heart had bled dry and empty. Numbness choked his thoughts like his head was packed with wool. Concentration was a far away thing. A dream amid the dreamlessness.

Radiant eyes snapped open, shining brightly in the whites much like the strange bulbs gnomes knew so well. An expression both wild and frantic crossed his face, dread worry marked clear.

Then given voice.

"The boy!?" Railtus demanded. That was his one fear. No fear of an unknown cost. No fear for where he was. No fear for what happened to him.

Fear that he failed to save the child.

A wet, tearing cough came from the mass of now-mottled and charred flesh. Railtus could not yet hear it.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

Post by Julen on

Briefly, Julen wondered if he should try removing Railtus’s armor. But such an undertaking seemed likely to cause more discomfort than it had the potential to alleviate. Better to just follow the gnome’s suggestion and get Railtus into bed. It wasn’t easy, but with the gnome’s help, Julen managed to get Railtus back on his feet, although it was only their continued support which kept him upright.

“He’s going to be alright,” Julen assured, in response to Railtus’s frantic question about the boy. Of course, he had no way of knowing if that was actually true. But the boy’s condition certainly appeared to have improved, and for the moment, that would have to be good enough. “Right now, I’m worried about you.”

Moving in a strange lopsided dance, with Julen supporting Railtus’s shoulders from one side, while the gnome supported his waist from the other, they guided Railtus over to the gnome’s bed, and eased him down into it. There was no room for Railtus to lie flat without his legs sticking off the end. But by arranging the pillows, Julen managed to prop him up in what he hoped was a comfortable enough sitting position.

“Try to keep still,” Julen ordered, knowing full well that with Railtus, that was like ordering a dog not to scratch at fleas. “Can I get you anything?”

Post by Finner on

Once they had managed to get Railtus to the bed and his squire was getting him settled into the obviously too small bed, Finner went over to check on Ramas. His breathing was far less laboured then it had been a few minutes ago and his pulse seemed to be normal. His burns were still there, but improving. After a moment he fluttered his eyes and came to for the first time in days. Ramas leaned up slightly and Finner put his hand on him and eased him back down.

"Easy lad, don't push it."

"What...what happened?" Ramas said.

"There was an accident. You were hurt pretty bad. I took the Lathander to the nearest city to find a healer and, well, that man over there brought you back." the gnome's finger indicating Railtus on the bed on the other side of the room.

"Thank....thank you...both of you." Ramas managed to get the words out before he settled back into the bed.

Finner nooded as he walked back towards Railtus, a greatful smile on his face.

"You have my gratitude as well m'lord. I was hoping to find a healer that could make him comfortable and I found all that and more in you. You can rest here and regain your strength for as long as you need and if theres anything I can do for either of you please, ask. I got some leftover stew and some tea on the stove and probably one more loaf of bread around here somewhere."

Post by Sir Karsimir on

Sensation came back painfully to Railtus, overwhelming his nerves with a flood of experience. Experience no greater than that usually offered by the world, but his fragile state was left vulnerable to even moderate awareness.

Words.

More words.

Now aware that the young assistant would survive, Railtus had no reason to stretch his mind further by trying to take in what was just said. All he knew was cold inside and burning pain with every breath.

Unannounced, the fog lifted. A radiant shining fog, like the whitest of clouds, dispersing from his mind all at once as if in answer to some distant command. With so much suspect about the entire experience, no questions were answered.

No questions were asked.

Perfectly steady, Railtus rose to his feet. "Keep his skin cool and make sure he has plenty of water. I have done all I can for now, but I will make sure to heal him further." This was addressing the gnome, without breaking his flow of speech, Railtus snapped his head up. "Julen. See to it."

For all the courtesy and meticulous manners, for all the respect shown, all the gentle compassion, one thing stood clearly.

That had just been an order.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

Post by Julen on

When Railtus started to rise, Julen’s first instinct was to take hold of his shoulders and shove him back down onto the bed. But a moment’s observation told him that this was not the feeble attempt of a man who really should be resting. Miraculously, Railtus seemed to have regained his full strength. Relieved by Railtus’s quick recovery, Julen stepped away from the bed, allowing the warrior to get to his feet.

There were a dozen things Julen wanted to ask regarding what had just happened. However, before he could shape a single question, Railtus was already giving instructions about caring for the boy. The curtness of his order startled Julen a little. Except for telling him to shut up during the confrontation with Phelan, Railtus rarely stated his commands quite so bluntly. But maybe Railtus was just eager to focus Julen’s care-giving on someone other than himself. And, now that his friend appeared alright, Julen certainly didn’t mind tending to the needs of another.

“I’m Julen,” Julen introduced, offering his hand for the gnome to shake. Since he was about to ask for something, it only seemed polite to at least introduce himself first. “I’ll need some clean rags. And cool water, if you have any. If not, then I’ll need a bucket, so I can go draw some from the river.”




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