The Unknown: A Game of Fear, Ignorance, and Adventure

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OOC:Can I join?

Bit bad timing, as we're close to starting and Zemalac has had to work extremely hard sorting everything out. Wait till Zemalac comes back and he'll tell you..

The tavern was crowded, patrons jostling for any surface to sit on or to set down their drinks. The barkeep was happy for the business, but the crowd was beginning to make him nervous. This many adventurous men in this confined a space always, without fail, led to a brawl. It was a rule of bartending that he knew well, and this crowd had reached critical mass some time ago.

Ye gods...there were mages in this crowd. The barkeep closed his eyes for a moment and sent off a quick prayer. Mages were the worst to have in a brawl. They'd set everything on fire and then refuse to pay for anything. His only hope now was if half of them decided to leave all of a sudden, and that wasn't likely to happen seeing as they were all here with a purpose.

A sound on the stairs drew his attention. The barkeep tensed. If there wasn't a riot within five minutes he would be the most surprised man in the world.

Tyrone Deslock certainly wasn't going to help matters.

"All right you lot!" he shouted from the stairway. "Shut up and pay attention!" When that didn't work he jumped from the stairs, slamming both feet into the middle of a table, which miraculously failed to collapse. The barkeep winced.

Bit by gradual bit the tavern quieted enough that Deslock could shout down anyone still talking.

"If you're here for the Grand Expedition, pay attention now because I won't be going over this twice!" he shouted. That managed to grab everyone elses undivided attention like the shouted orders hadn't. The tavern turned to watch Deslock, silent except for the whispers and the creaking chairs.

"That's better," the explorer said in a more normal tone of voice. The men sitting at the table he was standing on edged back a little.

"If you're here now, I assume you want to join the Expedition," he continued, raising his voice slightly to be heard over the murmur of affirmatives. "Unfortunately for some of you, not all of you will be going. I'd like to take as many people as possible, if only to stand between me and bullets, but the ship has a weight limit or some such bullshit so all you fat people are going to get left behind." He paced across the table as he talked, laying down a pattern of bootprints in the spilled beer. "I've got a list of names me and a few scribes put together. If you're on the list, you're going. If I don't call your name, go and drown your sorrows elsewhere." He drew a worryingly small piece of paper from his pocket and squinted at it for a moment.

"If I call your name, you can stay," he began. "Mareck Nonovan, Jakob No-Last-Name, Derlan Also-No-Last-Name, Raven Del Cid, Yoiss Fairhidr, Jacien Criver, Garril Rasput, Gris Axthorn, Marneus Calgar, Tiber Lacking-Last-Name, Reeko Jalbrook, Ticky-Unpronounceable-Gnomish-Name the Third, Alexis Moonspear, and Ko'el." He rolled up the paper and stuck it back in his pocket. It took the crowd a moment to realize that he was finished, and then it erupted into pandemonium.

Fortunately for the tavern furniture those adventurers who were going managed to subdue those who weren't in short order and send them packing. Deslock waited for the fight to finish with, if not patience, than at least with resigned acceptance.

Once the last unwanted had been booted out the door and the barkeep had put away his cosh, Deslock resumed speaking. "I've got a few things I'd like to go over before you go and grab your stuff or visit your favorite whorehouse or whatever it is you people do before leaving on long journeys like this."

He paced on the table as he spoke, back and forth through the trails of beer. "First of all, you ought to know that this isn't all of you. A few more people will be joining us either before we set sail tomorrow or when we stop in Tyb for our final batch of supplies." He flicked one of his fingers, as though counting something off a numbered list.

"Also, all you painted elves, know this: I will not tolerate any of your taboo-switching bullshit or any of your little 'jokes.' If you do something that you find amusing but I do not, I will shoot you in the face. It will be hilarious." He glared around the room, and nobody spoke.

"Ice elves!" he roared suddenly, making everyone jump. "I will not be your personal valet! Provide your own damn cooling!"

"And to everyone else, if you give me one reason to leave you behind, I will do so. I don't care if it happens to be in an active volcano, if you piss me off you're being left there."

"And I think that covers everything. Be at the docks tomorrow at nine, because that's when we're leaving. You have until then to gather your belongings and kiss known soil goodbye, because we're going into the absolute, pitch-black unknown."

Deslock stepped down from the table and started packing a pipe with tobacco. The adventurers in the room either returned to their conversations, quieter now, or slipped out with last-minute business in mind. On the morrow the Expedition would leave and life would get a lot more interesting.

Into the Unknown, gentlemen, for better or for worse.


Game Begins:

The game has now begun. At the moment you know nothing about your fellow players, and they know nothing of you. Now that the members of the Expedition are known the factions will start investigating them and sending their agents (you) information and rumors about the other players, but until that happens all they know is what you tell them.

In this very first phase of roleplaying you introduce your characters. Later on you might know more about them than they think you know, but at the moment what's on the surface is what counts.

Welcome to the Unknown.

EDIT: Also, it would be good to note that the rules according to Tyrone Deslock are not necessarily the rules according to the game. Keep that in mind when listening to his rants.

Marneus Calgar stood amongst the band of adventurers, listening to conversations for any signifigant information. He was already using all his self-restraint to keep from going on a bloody rampage due to the large amount of nonhumans. After ascertaining that no useful information could be found, he snuck out the door. Walking over to the stable, he was given view of his warhorse encased in nigh-unimpenetrable armor, much like himself.

Saddling up on his horse Veneratio, he headed off to an inn far enough away to ensure privacy from the other expedition members. Upon arrival, he guided Veneratio into the stables and headed inside. Walking up to the innkeep, he spoke "I am in need of a room for the night." the keep nodded "That will be five gold for the night sir." Handing him the coins, Marneus narrowed his eyes. "I am not to be disturbed for any reason." "Yes sir." the keep replied, handing him his room key. Marneus climbed the stairs, and entered his room, locking the door behind him.

One man had failed to so much as look up at the great Explorer Deslock. An Orc, scraggly in appearance even for an Orc. Thick dreadlocks of hair knotted and wrapped hanging of his pale greenish scalp. A beard, similar in appearance to his filth hair grew long from his face as well. he simply stared into his glass while cinders from his cigar drifted down onto the table.

Despite his lack luster personal hygiene his clothing was in surprising condition. The metal studs on his leather armor were polished to a blinding sheen and the leather itself was well cured and taught. The blades of his axes were in similar conditions, the single edge sharpened to a razors edge. Men sitting near him looked at their drinks and tried to keep their backs to him, a few even placed their hands above their heads. he kept staring at his drink, a deep blood red, the color of life. Placed on the table in front of him was a large metal flask, gleaming even in the dim bar light. It's neck was long and it's base large, holding the appearance more akin to a morning star than anything meant to hold liquid. The very tops of the necks of several more could been seen poking out of the top of his large back pack, just behind the handles of his axes.

He remained quiet and as Deslock left, Garril began to think.

'Well shit, seems like my kind of guy.

I knew I was going to like this Deslock guy from the first time I read about him. As for my other traveling 'companions' they seemed a fair lot. I'll need to keep my eyes on the ones that don't have any last names. No doubt there's some kind of conspiracy between them... I'll keep my eye on them.

It's times like these I remember why I work alone, and drink alone for that matter. Could this bar be any more crowded? I'm down to my last cigar here, the stogy smolders between my teeth, a fraction of it's former roaring pyre. Maybe I can pick up some more later.

Not important now though, I'm in the fire here. I need to watch my back. Whatever it is that happens out here, I can't let myself fail, not so long as I live and breath. I will show them, they will finally respect me and I will get the recognition I deserve.'

The Orc downed his drink and tossed the glass at the bar tender, who ducked out of the way with amusing agility. He then drank the rest of the red liquid swirling in the objects basin and used it to crack the table that Deslock had been standing on messily in half. Grinning to reveal row after row of snaggly white fangs, he left quietly and began to head for the docks.

He roared over his shoulder through hearty laughter, "What a way to start and adventure!"

Derlan sat in the corner, as he did most of the time, no point in conversing with these... savages. The bar was very loud, the many patrons were awaiting to see if they had made it onto the ship. Derlan was nervous, yet confident he had made the cut, he was more then qualified.

"Bunch of savages these people are, no one Derlan wants to be friends with. Uh-uh, no one here to be friends with at all."

Derlan spotted a nice spoon on the table across from him his eyes widened, the man was eating and Derlan had to wait.

"Alright you lot! Shut up and pay attention!" yelled the renowned Tyrone Deslock. The man across from Derlan spun his head in the direction of the voice. Derlan quickly slid from his table and went to the table across from him. He swiped the spoon and slunk back to his table, admiring his find with a look of pure joy on his face.

"Hehe, a very nice spoon indeed. What a lovely find!" Derlan mumbled as he placed the spoon in his pocket.

He listened to Tyrone's speech, it was abrasive, angry and no nonsense. Derlan was waiting for the names to be called out,

"Mareck Nonovan, Jakob No-Last-Name, Derlan Also-No-Last-Name-"

Derlan heard his name, he stopped paying attention, he went back to admiring his spoon.

After the speech was over, the patrons either groaned or cheered, they all went back to their meals to finish up before they were kicked out.

"Hey! Wheres my spoon?!"

Raven was one of the first to arrive at the tavern, seating himself in a corner of the room and ordering a pint, he pulled out a long pipe from within his traveling cloak and began puffing on it contently. This should be interesting! was his first reaction when he saw the room gradually fill up with men, elves, gnomes, dwarves, orcs and other races that came in answer to a call set out by the famed explorer. "It seems this Tyrone Deslock fellow likes to attract a crowd" he muttered to himself between puffs while studying the crowd slowly. "No matter, the more the merrier!" he nodded as if he had fallen asleep. The wait may have been long but the host did not disappoint Raven's expectation. He was everything that Raven had imagined the legendary explorer to be; confident in actions and speech, disciplined in manner and a no-nonsense attitude. It spoke volumes about his character; this was either a man that had nothing to lose and everything to gain or a man that had been recently stung by a fire ant and was in an exceptionally temperamental mood.

Raven let out a low grunt as his name was read out from the list. It appeared that he had made it through the explorer's sorting system, whatever that process entailed, probably involved a set of darts and names on pieces of paper. He took one long puff from his pipe before putting it out and finished his pint. The meeting was over, he had his instructions. Docks, tomorrow, Nine. He got up silently and made his way to the barkeep. "Keep the change" he mumbled tossing a few coins on the counter top. With a final look at the fellow adventures he departed the tavern and turned Eastwards. He pulled a small book and quill from within his traveling cloak and began to write as he walked.

Raven's Journal, 22nd night
Conclusion of Tavern Meeting. 1 day before departure.

It would seem that I have successfully made it onto Tyrone Deslock's expedition. He is an energetic and pragmatic man who displays the qualities of a born leader but sadly, he does radiate the warmth and personality of a wet duck. I might have to re-consider the latter for it would be unfair on my part to judge someone as renowned as Tyrone Deslock as quickly as I did but, as far as first impressions go, I am happy. Maybe it's because I see a bit of his characteristics in myself?. Perhaps!. It cannot be denied that the man is confident and competent and that is to be expected from a man who is leading an expedition onto uncharted lands.

As for my fellow companions, well, that remains to be seen. I have intentionally chosen not to linger in the area, not because I am not curious about them but because in such a setting I may lose my temper faster than I could compose myself, I shudder to recall the last expedition that I undertook where I lost my temper.....Yes, well..I think it's best that I start off on the right foot with everybody this time around. Perhaps tomorrow in a more calming setting I shall be content enough to make the appropriate introductions.

As for accommodation, I am heading to the Wilkinson's Farm, a place I visited once through my previous travels. I have made arrangements for my stay in their guest room for the night. Tomorrow I set sail on the voyage into the unknown. Let's see what the future holds.


Raven had arrived at a low wooden gate. The sign that hung on a nearby post rocked gently on the evening breeze, creaking loudly as it did. The sign read: Wilkinson Farms: Winners of the 83rd Annual Eggplant eating championships. He sighed to himself as he silently made his way past the gate and along the path leading to the main building. This was his overnight halt. "Joyous!" he retorted.

Ko'el sat at the bar, nursing a nice cool drink. Slouched slightly with his cane sitting across his lap. The Bartender came to freshen his drink and said, "Hey old man, didn't you here Deslock said to get out,".

"Oh, I'm in the expedition he called my name, Ko'el, so maybe you shouldn't be so quick to count someone like me out,"

"I'm sure what's, Deslock going to do with and ice elf fossil like you?"

"Oh no I'm not a worker, I'm representing several businesses who want me to estimate the economic value of the Unknown,"

"Well then I guess you'll need a place for the night?"

"Thanks for offering but I already have a room at one of the guild halls." Ko'el finished his drink and began to make his way hobbling slowly down the street.

Alexis waited till the crowd had cleared before noticeably clearing his throat. He was hardly the center of attention even when Tyrone Deslock was not present but for once he did not mind. Alexis was looking forward to this new adventure, a new land awaited them over the horizon, new possibilities. If only they were going about this on an airship. He sighed, half in despair that his drink had run dry and half in contentment of the charged and tense atmosphere that hung inside the tavern. Everyone seemed to be busy with their own thoughts and plans.

His mind quickly diverted to the attention at hand. His fellow companions. Looking around he readily noticed an Orc. That was one thing Alexis knew that he wouldn't miss from his height. The sight of a big green orc was not something a sober dwarf could miss. Besides that, he strained from his chair to peer over the heads of other patrons to see the rest of the expedition members. He noticed a couple of Ice and painted elves and then some humans. Beyond that he could not strain enough to see. "Oh well!" he spoke to no one in particular with a shrug, "Introductions can wait until later, a frothing mug of ale though, is for now and forever" he smiled to himself as he waved a barmaid over. "Another round!" he bellowed.

Gris swaggered happily through the crowd of drunk, smelly people. It occured to him that there was a distinct absence of orcs around. Pity that - his English was terrible. He prefered the glottal stops of his native toungue, as humans didn't really understand them, it made conferring with his associates much easier. No eavesdroppers.

With his sickly green robes sawying around him, he stood at the bar, and yelled haughtily in a gruff accent "Drink man. Serve good alcohol." After three minutes of heated discussion, he finally got across that he wanted an expensive glass of ale, and paid with gold taken from a large money purse.

He sipped his drink absent-mindedly, more interested in eyeing up his future... comrades. He noticed things with a shrewd eye, namely a knight, a thief, an orc and a few other travellers, mainly disputing their choice of beverage with the greasy man behind the bar.

Grimacing with distaste at the number of elves in the tavern, he finished his drink, stood up and strutted over to the door, hiccuping as he went. Upon leaving the bar, he winced at the nipping cold, and stepped back in. He heard his name being called out. He grunted.

So, I've been accepted. I hope I won't have to fight too much. I don't like fighting.

His blade was a long, thin piece, made of the finest steel money can buy, or in this case, bankrupt and take as payment. He wasn't much of a fighter, but he could fence like a master, and his footwork wasn't bad.

Realising it would be a long night, he took a place by the fire, and took out a pipe. Perhaps the strong tobacco would clear the smog of elf scent from his area. He had never tried this local brand, and it burned quickly in the pit of the pipe, but it was good and very sharp on the palette. He continued to analyse the occupants of the bar, with a keen eye born of years of guessing people's thoughts.

Alcohol, alcohol, gambling, money, money, adventure, intercourse and... shoes?

Meanwhile, a single man stood by the bar. On a stool. Just managing to reach his pint on the bar. This man, as it turned out, was Mareck Nonovan, and he had his excuses for his lack of height. If you pointed out his height to him you would soon regret it, as the barman found out two seconds after this description of him.

Mareck put down the glass and demanded another beer.

"Now, look here. I think you're a bit over your head to have another-"

Mareck turned to him "What did you say?"

"Uhh, nothing." but it was too late, as Mareck climbed onto the bar and threw himself at the bartender. He then grabbed his glass, and smashed it, splashing cheap yet strong ale all over the barman, the bar and Mareck's already dirty and stained clothes and beard, as well as his greasy, long, black hair, before shoving it before the man's neck. Following this, it took about two other people to get him off the barman.


He was then restrained and placed back on his seat. "YOU'RE DEAD! I'M TELLING YA, YOU'RE-" It was then that he was told to shut up by Deslock as information about the journey he signed up to go on was sent out by word of mouth to all the travellers in the pub. When he heard the words "Mareck Nonovan" called out, he cheered a little inside, to celebrate his chance for a change in his life.

Yaay... Stop thinking to yourself and carry on listening... He listened to the orders given out, before heading straight back to his drink.

"Dude, why did you do that?" the barman said to Mareck.

"Sorry, sorry. I'm a bit drunk and am feeling a bit violent, as dwarves go usually."

"Oh, you're a dwarf?"

"Yes, thus why I was insulted by the whole short thing."

"Oh, my bad. Sorry for the whole-"

"Nah, it's okay. Ugh, may want another beer."

"The more, the merrier?"

"Yeah, especially if you're going off to risk your life the next day." He glanced round at the rest of this "crew" he was going to be with. He already had suspicions that people might attack him- thus the ale he was drinking, he needed something to drown that thought in. Whether or not one of them would pick him though as a combatant was questionable, but that guy would most definately regret it afterwards. He decided to throw the beer at his face, the dwarvish way of drinking, not caring how little of it gets in your mouth compared to how much gets on your shirt, face and beard.

He went on tip toes on the barstool, dropped the glass on the table, and demanded another one. "It's going to be a long night. Might as well make the most of it."

About five hours later and whilst the barman had his back turned, there was a large thud, as Mareck fell to the floor. About another thirty minutes later, Mareck was up again (Just), heaved himself up onto the stool and then heaved himself up so that he could reach the bar.

"Yeah, I think it's time I got a room..." he threw... some money onto the table, and passed out. Following that, the barman and a couple of other people carried him up to his room, where they left him fully dressed (Even still wearing shoes) on the bed and the bartender dropped the dwarf's change on the bedside table, before leaving him in peace for the rest of the night.

"That's a fine suit you have." The waitress said. It was more a statement of fact than anything but, subtely hidden below the brevity, there were thin tones of careful curiosity. She held herself with a guarded air, which of course suggested she had something to guard. The whole situation spoke of ... opportunity.

"Those are finer legs you have." The waitress seemed surprised, and slightly put off. She really did have fantastic legs though.

Crossing her arms, she next spoke with a somewhat challenging tone "You're awfully spunky, for an Ice Elf."

"And you're beautiful. By the standards of any race." That got a laugh. Good.

"Look, I get hit on all the time by drunk customers -"

"I'm neither drunk nor your customer. Though I could fall under both categories if you'd have a drink with me."

"I don't drink with strange men."

"What about mysterious men? I'm an international man of mystery, in case you're curious."

"Oh really. Any proof?"

The Ice Elf considered this for a moment, not removing his eyes from the young waitress. He was not a young man, (by human standards he was well into his thirties) but there was a vitality and cunning to his face that made him look ... quite handsome. The suit was similarly enchanting, a black tuxedo with various shiny pins covering both lapels. It was an eccentric look, but it attracted the right sort of attention. He couldn't complain.

"My name is Tiber. Just Tiber. If you sit with me a few minutes you'll hear the name called."

"Oh, are you trying to get on Tyrone Deslock's expedition? He's not taking everyone you know."

"He'll call my name."

"That's awful confident of you."

"He'll call my name." Tiber said with slight smile.

"WOW! You really are going with Tyrone aren't you?!" The waitress was suitably excited now seated next to Tiber. Tyrone had come, announced his crew and drifted out of sight once more. Two thirds of the bar had emptied at that point, leaving only him and his crew members. Somewhere in the back of his head Tiber knew he should be scoping them out and trying to get a feel for the environment. Instead, he threw an arm over the smiling waitress's shoulder before replying, "Yes. I am."

The waitress seemed to let this soak in a moment before returning her gaze to Tiber. "So." She said demurely, "What are we drinking?"

"I'll take a martini. Sh-"

"A what? Is that an Ice elf drink? I don't think we serve those."

"... Oh ..." Tiber seemed disappointed, his visage visibly siniking. "Ice water than."

Reeko Jalbrook stood in the corner of the tavern as Tyrone Deslock made his speech. He found the whole thing very funny, but managed to keep his mouth shut.

"Also, all you painted elves, know this: I will not tolerate any of your taboo-switching bullshit or any of your little 'jokes.' If you do something that you find amusing but I do not, I will shoot you in the face. It will be hilarious."

Reeko lost control, he started laughing uncontrollably, "No, geeheehee, no jo- haha. No jokes!" At this point Reeko was doubled over laughing, the whole seriousness of Deslock's tone was quite amusing. He started to pull on the sleeve of a rather large man standing near him, "He, kehehe, He's gonna end up blowing my brains out! Ahaha, can you believe it!" At this point Reeko had fallen on the floor, tears were streaming down his face, "And the Ice Elf bit! Ohohoho, that was fantastic! Oh my, oh my! I hope this, hehehe, I hope he's not always like this! I'll be of no use on the expedition, if I can't stop laughing!"

About ten minutes after Deslock finished his speech Reeko gained control of himself once more. He stood up and brushed himself off, "Right, now that that's finished, time to rest up. But first..." Reeko ran and jumped onto the bar, sliding a bit on the spilled alcohol. Once he gained a firm footing Reeko clapped his hands together loudly, "Excuse me gentlemen, if I may please have your attention!" A man in the crowd responded with a vigorous no, and decided to further exemplify his thoughts on the matter by throwing his tankard at Reeko. A quick duck, however, let Reeko avoid the projectile, "As I was saying, my name is Reeko Jalbrook! As I'm sure you all know, that means I'll be accompanying some of you one the journey to the lost continent!" Reeko stopped and thought for a moment, "I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this, so on that note, rai kleeki va ishtorro!"

Reeko jumped off the bar and took a seat next to a heavy drinking dwarf. He slammed his palm on the bar and shouted, "I'll have fruit juice of some form my good sir!"

"Aye, here ya are, it's a house special, fresh fruits from the Sunset Jungle."

"Many thanks my good man, many thanks."

"Hey Painted Elf, I've gotta a question, that thing you said at the end of your little speech, what does that mean in English."

Reeko grinned wickedly, "It doesn't mean anything, I just like to mess with other's heads!"

Reeko started laughing once more, nearly falling out of his stool. Regaining his composure Reeko sat up in his stool, picked up the tankard of juice and slammed it back. He looked at the dwarf sitting next to him, "And that my good sir, is how you drink!"

A wave moved through the crowded tavern. People grunted and shouted angrily after the peak of it, horrible curses and whatnot. A woman shrieked as the wave passed by her, clutching at her rump while the men around her snickered. The wave abruptly reversed, pushing towards the incident.

"Oh deary, deary! Please, my lass, excuse me! It is so very hard to move about when one is so very small!" The squeaky voice resonated over the lower, mumbling tones of the men and women inhabiting the tavern. "Please, allow me to make it up to you somehow! I could not stand to dishonor you so without compensation!"

The woman blinked, staring downward. "N... no, sir. Tha-... it's quite alright."

"Are you certain?"

"Y-yes. Please, don't let it worry."

"Oh, that's so good then! I was worried for a moment, you see. Back where I'm from a man could be hanged for so much as glancing at a woman wrong, much less bumping into one as I did!" A high-pitched laugh snapped through people's conversation. "But alas, that doesn't apply here, now does it? What's your name, eh?"

"M... Marian."

"Ooh, Marian, quite the nice name there. I once knew a girl named Marian, back in my hometown. Quite the looker, if you catch my drift. She lived in a barn a few miles from my home, always had strange men leaving in the middle of the night. Not that I saw meself, you see, I just heard rumors. Some said she was a tart, but I didn't believe 'em! No woman as beautiful as that could be a tasty desert! Can you believe the nerve of some people?"

The woman blinked. She stepped backward a few feet, followed by the small pocket within the crowd. "Um, no, it's quite surprising."

"I know, isn't it? I can't believe it myself sometimes, even though I've traveled the world for years now!" The voice paused. "My, some of the women around here look less than healthy. Like trollops, almost. You're not a trollop are you?"

The woman gasped, slapping downward into the pocket. The loud smack sent the pocket scrambling backwards, releasing a new streak of curses. "Well now! I'm certain that I've offended you now." The gnome crawled onto the table to look the women in the eyes.

The woman lifted her hand once again to slap him with fury in her eyes. "Who are you, you irritating little ass?!"

The hand slapped against thin air. Drawing her hand back, the woman eyed the little man up and down warily. The gnome laughed, his hands between his back. "Why, Miss, there's no need to be rude. I am Tickyvanillius Leviticus the Third. But you," He swept a deep bow. "... you can call me Ticky."

Jacien Criver sat in particularly rickety chair as he listened to Tyrion Whathisname's speech. He hadn't heard the leader's last name, because of some interesting frippery that had walked by. He grinned when he heard his name called. He looked around for some of the other men,and women he noticed, glad there was going to be a least one person of the female persuasion in the voyage. He stopped for a moment to study her.

"Blast it Jace." He quietly said to himself. "Stop looking at women for a little while and stay professional." He stared longingly at the female figure for a moment longer and then, resumed his study of those who would be going. There were Ice Elves on this expedition, he noticed with a scowl, Jace didn't much care for them, in fact he found them to be quite like Uranium (out of context I'm sorry D:) exposure to them just got worse the longer you were around them.

Once the announcements and the ensuing brawl were finished with; Jace walked quickly out of the tavern. Jace sighed to himself as he walked quickly down the winding alleyways. "Those damn mages, really need to stop flinging their fireballs so willy nilly." Jace muttered, brushing off his charred suitcoat. "This was a perfectly good shirt too. They're lucky one of my knives didn't sprout from their throat." This expedition is going to be a long one.

"I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this, so on that note, rai kleeki va ishtorro!" called out a Painted Elf who stood on a table, and in the crowed, Jakob nodded sagely, or at least as sagely as a Painted elf can. He made his may through the press toward his fellow, and tapped him on the shoulder

"Sun shines on our meeting, brother" he said with a trace of a laugh, "But I must disagree." He leaned across to a man seated nearby and pointed toward a scuffle on the other side of the room. while the man watched the fight, Jakob took the man's drink and turned back to the conversation, with the crowd closing between him and his victim

"That, my friend, is how to drink"

The air was cool in Buron, the night before the Expedition set off. Thieves performed their midnight dances along the rooftops with greater caution than usual, merchants slept uneasy with gold beneath their beds, and the mysterious men flitting through the shadows pulled their cloaks tight against the chill sea breeze.

They came in droves, in secret and in plain sight. They emerged from the backs of carts and the sewers and empty air, bearing orders and weapons and whispers in the dark. They were the messengers, and their presence in such numbers meant that something big was happening in the sleeping city, something important.

Of the messengers three came by magic, four came by sea, five by land and two by air. All brought hissed directives and cautious warnings. Some passed each other in the streets unnoticed, muttering their apologies when they bumped shoulders; some recognized their enemies and fought desperate struggles in the shadows, leaving only an unknown body to sink in the harbor. Their masters would soon realize that their messengers had never made it and send more, and the cycle would continue.

This cool night, where lovers and merchants are staying indoors and thieves sense something wrong in the air...this night belongs to the spies.

Metagame Announcement:

During the rest of today and some time tomorrow you will be receiving messages from your factions. You will hear rumors, warnings, and orders: not all rumors will be true, not all warnings will be helpful, and not all orders will be possible. What you make of the information is up to you.

Tomorrow (real-time) the Expedition's ship will be leaving Buron for Tyb, there to pick of the last of the supplies. Along the way messengers will still be reaching you, adding last minute instructions and maybe giving more information.

If you want to expound upon your character in a bit of narrative, you may do so. Otherwise, there's a messenger at the door.

(By the way: those were all good opening posts. You all introduced your characters and gave them a bit of personality, which was what I meant for you to do. In other words, you don't have to ask if you did well or not, because there wasn't really any way for you to do wrong at this point. Unless you'd come out and told everyone what your faction was, and at that point I'd just throw you at the mercy of the other players.)

Derlan looked up from his spoon, the bar had almost cleared out and was considerably less loud.

"Ok, I am on the ship now, but what time to-... oh no! Derlan! You idiot, you didn't hear what time! Oh, she will be most upset!"

Derlan stood up and franticly walked around the room,

"Does anybody know what time the ship sail tomorrow?! I need to know! Somebody tell me please!"

Derlan collapsed on the floor and began pounding his fist,

"Derlan does not know the time of which the ship will sail! The ship will leave without him, that would be a fail.

He suddenly stood up and burst outside, he ran as fast as he could toward the docks. Once he arrived, he sat down on a dock and sat there,

"I will sit here all night until day fall comes! They will not be able to leave without me!!"

He began laughing hysterically.

"Yes. I understand". Gris looked weary as he stepped out of the emptying tavern, accompanied by a short figure, hooded and cloaked. In orcish they spoke...

His voice hushed to a low whisper, "We have another chance. The ship restocks in Tyb."
The figure shook its head slowly, "It must be you!"

At that, the figure seemed to melt into the blackness. Gris was worried - he had hoped this would be a nice, easy assignment. He took a breath on his pipe, and noticed that it was empty.

"Bluck!" he exclaimed. An old orc proverb, or rather, swear word. However, to an orc they are one and the same thing.

Mareck eventually woke up from the state he was in. He had a throbbing headache, everything was blurred and he couldn't remember how he had gotten into a bed. He also knew that he didn't put himself there, as he never went to bed with all his clothes on. However, he decided to look into this situation and tackle it the same any dwarf would. Getting another drink.

Deciding on what he was to do then, he jumped down (quite literally) from the bed and walked over to the door, managing to trip over every single grain in the floorboards so successfully you would've thought he was a circus clown, a man paid to look like an idiot to hundreds. However, that was something else he didn't like, being called a clown, or at least that was another thing on the list of things dwarves hate being called. The list is actually several pages long and varies from "Short people" to "Extremely short people", "Gnomes", "Elves", "Devils" and "Arthur". No dwarves are old enough to know the reasoning behind all of these things on the list as created by the dwarves of aincient but myths describe the dwarves of old as being able to withstand any type of alcoholic beverage, so they must've been pretty drunk whilst writing it and just didn't realise how seriously dwarves would follow the list is the general theory.

Anyway, he eventually managed to get to the door, and after several minutes of pain and anger, he managed in his extremely drunk even by a dwarf's standards status to open up the puzzle that was the door. It was following that that he managed to climb down the obstacle course that was the stairs and reached the bar, where he climbed onto his stool, stretched up to the bar, and asked for another pint.

"Seriously, you want another one?"

"You have anything wrong with that?"

"Well, you did pass out after the last one."

Mareck paused, his memory starting to refresh.

"Oh, that was what happened." He smiled to himself a little bit.

Why are you smiling? You passed out, that's not a good thing.

Don't ask. It's not worth knowing.

No, I'm curious. Why?

"I said don't ask."

"Don't ask what?"

Mareck turned. "Hmm? Oh, not you, just, some thought in my head. Look, can you just get me another beer please?"

The bartender hesitated. "Well, okay, but one more only. Okay?"

"Yeah, sure." Mareck said, taking the beer proudly, and drinking it with pride. The only difference for dwarves between drinking with pride and drinking normally is that you get most of it in your mouth with pride.

Anyway, carry on with the whole smile thing.

"Look, shut up okay, I was smiling because I was happy to remember what happened, okay?"

Thankfully by this point, the bartender was ignoring him so his conversation with his inner monologue wasn't heard by anyone.

Taking advantage of this short period where he was so drunk that people had actually stopped paying attention to him, he decided to slip outside, hoping for the sea air to sober him up before his meeting.

As soon as he left the pub, the cold, salty wind hit him, and he liked the feeling of it. It helped him regain control of himself, as he went over to an empty bench as far away yet still remain in sight of the tavern as possible, then sat down, as if he was waiting for something to disturb him. Or someone.

Raven's Journal, 23rd morning.
Wilkinson's Farm, Buron.

The morning couldn't have come soon enough, I spent much of the previous night pondering about what today would hold for me. Though my lack of sleep may also be attributed to the piece of granite, that my hosts called a bed. Still, I must say that I brought this on myself, it was I that chose to stay on a farm built and run by dwarves. No matter, these are trivial matters in what otherwise will be a glorious day. I have already prepared all the stuff that I need but I chose not to overburden myself on this leg of the journey.

Tyrone mentioned that the ship will make for Tyb, where it will stop to restock and possibly gain new crew. If the need is pressing, I could get additional supplies from there. Must remember to get some tobacco leaves though, I am running dangerously low on that. So far my mood has been upbeat, I am anticipating this journey but perhaps not for the obvious reasons. Yes, the thrill of adventure is a strong influence but I am actually looking forward to see how the rest of the crew will get along.

The though had crossed my mind that we will be in a confined space with a multitude of people for a significant length of time. Given the presence of ice elves and those scoundrels, the painted elves, combined that with an orc and a couple of gnomes and dwarves..I am expecting comedic if not tragic results. That being said, I am an endangered species on that ship as well. Aside from Deslock, I only spotted one other human, a knight I presume, judging from the fact that he road off on a warhorse. Still, it will be intriguing from my prospective to see how everyone gets along. I probably have to go and brush up on my social skills now. Bugger!

Well, I have about two hours till I am expected at the docks and I intend on spending a good portion of this time in a hot water bath, it could potentially be my last for a very long time.


The gnome sat quietly in the chair nearest the fire, his legs swinging over the lip. He sipped from a mug of... well, he didn't quite know what it was, but it was damn good. The mug was half the size of his head and the drink smelled strongly of blueberries and apples. "I must get the recipe for this wondrous drink from the chef..." He mulled over his drink quietly, nearly ignorant to the world around him.

Ticky sighed and drew deeply from the mug. "I can't believe I'm actually doing this. Money's not nearly as tight as I make it out to be. Not nearly tight enough to send me off on some fool quest to bug-infested jungles, or wherever this Lack-brained idiot drags me off to."

A faint prickle grew in the back of his mind. "Oh, jeez. I really need to stop using that insult..."

Jakob awoke to the dawn and looked around, momentarily puzzled. After a second, he realised he was on the roof of the inn, having climbed up there on the pretext of 'needing moonlight to restore his elven magic'.

He climbed to his feet, stretched slightly, then spun on his heel and dived off the side of the roof, hoping his memory was right. Evidently, it wasn't, as the expected window ledge was several feet to the left, and he missed completely. He did, however, manage to get a handhold on the brickwork that turned his headlong fall into a swing, and then into a crouched landing with what would pass casual inspection as easy grace

"Wow" said someone behind him, and Jakob turned to find the very man who he had yesterday told about the Moon's blessing, "So the Moon-Goddess really blessed you?"

"Oh yes, man-brother, and if you pay her due respect, she will even take pity on you humans" said Jakob, and strolled off toward the docks. Behind him, the man muttered "Must remember to sleep outside next time it's dry..."

A short distance later, the Elf saw a short creature seated ahead of him, and clapped his hands gleefully. Dwarves were so much fun, even when one did not directly upset them.

He approached quickly and sat alongside the dwarf, saying, "Tell me, dwarf-brother, are you too here to join the illustrious Deslock's Grand Expedition?"

I needed to get away. To many shapes in the shadows today. No, I'm not afraid it's just too tempting. I can smell them everywhere but damn if I can do anything about it. I've made to much noise as it is, I'm not even sure if killing foes or just bystanders. I can't afford to waste any time or effort killing people uninvolved here. Whatever it is that is going on around here it's bigger than I thought. There's just too many weasels in the hen house to go stomping them all. Whatever the reasons it must have something to do with my companions, information if being moved like a damned cartel out here. Oh well, time to clean up the mess and get back to work. I know I said I can't waste time killing everyone who looks a bit suspicious, but the truth is I need something to keep me busy while I'm waiting to leave. I think I can save time if I start skipping the clean up.

-Found written on a bloody napkin at a local bar next to an empty and dented potion bottle

Marneus left his room at dawn, paid for a small breakfast, and rode off to the docks. As he made his way there, he contemplated what was the most effective swing for decapitating.

Wanting to arrive as early as possible, he jumped a fence and took a shortcut through the woods. For a lesser man, the woods could hold death by bandit or beast. For a knight like him, few things posed a threat while he was armed and armored. Due to the urgency of the situation, he was forced to skip his daily combat practice. Nothing was stopping him from cutting the limbs off of trees as he rode by though.

Jumping another fence back onto the path, he rode into the docks, stopping just in time to keep from trampling a painted elf sitting on the pier. Though he would not have cared if he had hit the elf.

Tieing Veneratio up to a nearby tree, Marneus drew his sword and started slicing away at imaginary foes.

Tiber washed his face as the waitress stirred in the other room. It was still early, the sun only now cautiously sneaking into the room, but he was fully awake. And uncomfortably warm.

"Tiber?" He heard his name called groggily. He walked into the bedroom and retrieved his coat jacket. "Where ya goin'?" she said with the comfortable stupor of slumber. Tiber buttoned his coat without turning around, "You were lovely Penny, but theres work to be done."

"What kind of work?" Penny asked.

"I can't tell you that."

Tiber was suddenly aware of a knife at his throat. Penny hung about his shoulders, he could feel her warm breath on his ear. In a slow delicate whisper like a snake moving calmly through the sand Penny spoke. "Oh, come now Tiber. We've had some fun, I like you, but if you don't tell me what I want to know I'll bleed the ice from your veins. Now then, have you gotten a mission?"

"You're a spy then?" TIber asked, feeling just a little bit aggravated. This always happened when he picked up women at bars. Really, how many enemy agents in the world diquise themselves as beautifull 19 year old bar matrons? He must have run into every single one at this point! It was ridiculous.

"I ask the questions here Tiber. You're mission?" He could feel beads of sweat joining the drops of water that still hung from his quick bathing. He didn't know if it was from the stress or simply from the unbearable weather. Either way, there was a more pressing issue.

"You want my mission?"

"Yes sweety."

"Check by the window, at the top of the curtain."

Penny sighed deeply like a satisfied cat and began pulling Tiber in the direction of the curtained window, the knife still firmly in place. She didn't notice the drops of water falling from her captive's brow. She didn't hear the metalic pings!

They reached the curtain and Penny stopped. "Grab your mission." She ordered. "Me?" Tiber objected half-heartedly. "if you think I'm giving up my grip so you can sneak off, you've highly underestimated me. Now grab the mission."

Tiber shrugged, as much as he could with a knife at his throat. With a calm movement he reached for the top of the curtain, grabbed the curtain, and forcibly removed the curtain from the wall dropping a rather substantial metal dowel on Penny's head.

Penny collapsed to the ground and Tiber walked with purpose to the other side of the room. Penny stood and raced at the Ice Elf, knife held high. Unfortunately she slipped and stumbled on the spheres of ice Tiber froze as they fell from his face. Falling and sliding across the room, Penny came to a stop face down a few inches in front of Tiber.

He was already holding his flowerpot. It was just a matter of letting it go.

Tiber walked down the stairs to the tavern, his suit was immaculate. He sat himself at the bar and attempted to order an ice-water. The bartender however siezed this moment to harass Tiber about Penny's tardiness and the ruckus from upstairs. Tiber explained clamly that she was sleeping and would likely wake up in few hours. She might also be light headed or confused.

The bartender absorbed this information with cantankerous displeasure. A moment's meditation brought the response "Try to have some self-control next time stud. We're running a bar here. Now what are you drinking?"

As Tiber sipped his ice water he looked around the tavern. It was relatively sparse despite the fact that two hours remained before the ship set sail. There was only him and a gnome in the corner.

"Are you mister 'Ticky Unpronouncable-Gnomish-Last-Name the Thrid'? Not to make assumptions of course but I haven't seen many of your kind here and there was only one gnomish name called." He sat down and sipped his ice water. "I'm Tiber. Just Tiber. You're quite a long way from the church, aren't you?"

"Hey! Knight, who are you uh... swinging at?" Derlan asked as he caught eye of the mans sword, "OOOhhhh!!! What a nice sword you have! Such a very lovely sword!"

Derlan ran over to Marneus and began watching him swipe at the air,

"And your armour! Your armour is so shiny as well!"

The knight stopped and looked at Derlan, a rather confused look on his face. Derlan reached out and felt the sword,

"Oh so shiny and pretty!" Derlan peered into the helmet of the knight, he appeared to be human, "Ugh... excuse me."

He walked back to the pier and sat down, a disappointed look on his face.

Marneus ignored the elf, and continued his practice. However, he could not help but wonder if he could dispose of it unnoticed.

A lunge, parry, and swipe. An imaginary orc fell, missing its head.

He analyzed everyone who passed by the docks, and analyzed them again if they stayed.

A downward slash cleaved a dwarf's head in two.

He brought his blade up, an offered a bow to an imaginary knight. He commenced the duel, parrying and pushing as his blade clashed with that of his phantom opponent. A stab was directed at his left arm, he dodged right and spun his blade to slice off the sword hand. His opponent now open, he lunged forward and ran the knight through.

Sheathing his sword, Marneus sat down for a short break.

"Arghh, what's all this then?" Reeko opened his eyes. He saw a pair blue legs dangling off a bar stool. A quick glance upwards revealed he had fallen asleep under the bar, it also revealed the legs belonged to an Ice Elf who was sipping a glass of ice water.

Ice Elf, eh? Mayhaps time to have a bit of early morning fun at his expense.

Reeko went to work stealthily tying the elves shoes together.

Success! Not the newest trick in the book, but it works.

He sat up, and pulled himself up, using the bar for support. He looked around the room, it was fairly sparse, "Good morning gents! I hope you're all ready for the grand expedition!" He cast a smile at the Ice Elf and left the tavern. Immediately after he left the tavern, Reeko turned around and put his face against a window looking inside the tavern. He whispered to himself, "It's always important to enjoy the benefits of your hard work."

Alexis woke up with a start. After 23 mugs of ale, the dwarf had "fallen asleep" on the fur rug near the fireplace. It was a known fact about dwarves that they held drinking in the highest regard and the capability of one dwarf to hold his drink was of utmost importance. As Alexis woke up groggily he began to realize bit and pieces of the night before.

He vaguely remembered walking to the fireplace to toast some bread or something like that and then he remembered dancing in front of some Ice Elves in a mocking fashion and beyond that he had a vague notion the he collapsed on the ground and that someone used him as a barstool.

"Why those monkey wrenches!" he muttered to himself. "If I get my hands on those feet that match the bootprints on my shirt....I'll....I'll have him used as ballast for the ship" he growled as he made his way to the bar. Ooh!, my head!

"Say good sir!, perchance do you know where everyone from yesterday went?" he asked. The barman looked about, not seeing anyone he resumed his task of cleaning the glasses. "You enormous pachyderm!" Alexis bellowed hopping onto the bar stool. "Down here!"

The barmen suddenly looked down with a start. "Oh!, master Dwarf sir!" he began looking apologetic. "I the people, well a few remain here as we speak" he gestured around some scattered elves. "Others have found other locations I would presume but I am guessing they are preparing to go down to the harbor now" the barkeep picked up another glass to clean

Argrazzak!, the expedition!. How did I forget about that!. Alexis now began remembering everything. He thanked the barkeep and rushed outside. The docks loomed in the distance, with a deep breath of the salty air me proceeded down the path to meet the others.

A few hours before the time of departure burly dockhands began hauling last-minute deliveries of supplies to the ship. They carried out salted meat, fresh water and beer, all in wood barrels with cheap preservative enchantments. There were crates of crossbow bolts, rope, tents, grappling hooks, and anything else that might be of use. The dockhands carried gunpowder in casks overlaid with dry, dry magic, and long flat boxes with tightly-packed machetes somehow managing to rattle inside. It was all there.

They carefully avoided the members of the Expedition already waiting on their way to the dock where the Cepolada lay at anchor. Once there they milled about uncertainly for a little while before simply setting everything on the deck and heading back for more.

After a fairly large pile of crates and barrels had accumulated, Tyrone Deslock appeared. He was walking down the docks arguing with a scribe, while another tried unsuccessfully to hand Deslock his hat.

"What do you mean, they're fakes?" he was demanding of the first scribe.

"I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid the evidence is overwhelming," the scribe responded, in a voice that said he'd already gone over this. "They're knock-offs. Which explains how we got them so cheap."

"What about the maker's mark?" Deslock asked. "You know, that little squiggly thing that they claim is in the shape of Verdan?"

"Forged," the scribe said, "and rather badly at that."

"Damn." Deslock scratched his head, realized he didn't have his hat on and snatched it from the second scribe, who looked relieved at being rid of it. "Can we get our money back, then?"

"The man who sold it to us is no longer where we bought them," the first scribe said, flipping a page on his clipboard. "And according to the Customs Office, he shouldn't have been there in the first place. They were rather interested in what I had to say when I asked them about it."

"Wonderful," Deslock growled. He glared at the beautiful morning, and unfortunately for everyone involved the first thing his eyes found was the pile of crates on the deck of the ship.

He spent the next hour or so alternating between shouting at the dockhands and shouting at the scribes. With some dint of effort and volume he managed to get all the supplies stowed safely below deck while the Expedition members slowly trickled in with various states of hangover.

Once the supplies were stowed, Deslock pulled out a pocket watch and checked the time. "An hour," he muttered. "They've got an hour." He watched the people already at the docks, either ignoring or looking suspiciously at each other.

Or just looking around, as one of them was. "Right on time," Deslock said to himself, and wandered over.

"Jonas Thrace?" he asked.

"Yes?" The man was pale, slightly ill-looking, and missing an arm. Despite that he still stood strong and tall, with the look of eagles about him.

"Explorer Deslock," Deslock said, shaking Jonas' hand. "I understand you'll be accompanying my little Expedition. Good to have you aboard--you came with good references."

Jonas hesitated, then smiled and started to say something, but Deslock was already moving away to shout at a dockhand who'd dropped a final crate.

When he was done shouting, Deslock heard someone clear their throat from behind him. When he turned around he saw a man standing there patiently. He was old, this man, yet seemed to be in very good shape.


"I'm Mark Resdian, Mr. Deslock. You told me a while ago that I was accpeted on your Expedition, yes?"

"Ah, right," Deslock said. "Resdian. I remember you now. I'll be giving a little speech in about an hour--in the meantime, you can stow your stuff on the ship." He turned away before Mark could get a word in edgewise. The old man simply smiled strangely at Deslock's back and picked up his bags.

Since it seemed that as long as he stood on the docks people were going to accost him, Deslock went onto the ship. It was a good ship, the Cepolada, sound and sturdy and utterly waterproof. He wandered among the stacked crates with a checklist, making sure everything was in order.

In the area where they were storing the beer he found a dwarf, stealthily installing a spigot on the hidden side of one of the barrels. When Deslock started peering over his shoulder he looked up.

"Ah...hello?" the dwarf said.

"Who are you and what are you doing on my ship?" Deslock asked.

"Now see, that's a bit of a story, really," the dwarf began, only to be cut off by Deslock.

"I'm Tyrone Deslock," he said, "and if I didn't give you explict instructions saying you could be on the ship, you shouldn't be here and I'll have you thrown in prison."

"Kirk McKellen," the dwarf said, and Deslock frowned. He leafed through his papers until he found the right one, and spent a few seconds examining it.

"All right, you're on the list," Deslock said. "But I'll expect you to share your beer tap with me." He left the dwarf groaning and muttering about the unfairness of it all and went back on deck.

From the deck Deslock could see the entire harbor, laid out around him in a huge crescent. He watched the little people moving about on the docks, struggling with deliveries or organizing cargo, waiting with impatience or simply waiting. From this perspective he could almost appreciate the beauty of the city. It was always the long view that caught his imagination--the sight from the mountaintop, the soaring peaks and vistas, the endless sea of green that was the jungle. You had to get down in the allies and canyons and forests to get to that vantage, but these moments...these made it all worthwhile.

Unfortunately, here in this place people could still reach him. He scowled as a scribe approached and ruined his solitude.

"The final checklist is complete, sir," the scribe said. "We've got everything you asked for safely stowed, with the exception of the supplies you're picking up in Tyb." He paused for a moment, as if unsure whether to bring up the next topic or not. "Do you still want to bring those Verdan munitions, now that you know they're shoddy knock-offs?"

"Yeah, I'll bring 'em," Deslock said. "There's a mechanically inclined dwarf stealing my beer in the hold. I'll put him to work checking over the munitions."

"Er...yes, sir," the scribe said, and scurried off, glad that this was the last day he would be working for Deslock.

And the Explorer watched the people on the docks as the hour of departure drew ever closer.


Jonas Thrace, Mark Resdian, and Kirk McKellen are all players being introduced here. Give them a round of applause and a knife to the back or something along those lines.

I'm giving you all time here to narrate you reaching the docks. Tomorrow the ship will leave, possibly with a band playing on shore, and the Expedition will get underway.

Most of you have received orders, rumors, and other information from your factions by now. I wasn't able to get to everyone today because I was busier than I expected, and it's really late now so I'm thinking that I'll finish them later. Assume that your faction is lazy or the messenger was killed in the night. You'll be contacted either on the ship or in Tyb.

The Expedition leaves tomorrow, gentlemen. Nine o'clock Buron time. Don't be late.

And now that I'm done writing this, I can at long last go to sleep.

Ko'el woke bright and early, he check his pocket watch the time said 7:30. Ko'el gathered his thinks, clothes, papers, cane, and other valuable. He stored them all inside a small trunk and made his way down to the lobby of the guild, he gave the guild master a final goodbye before leaving. As he walked down the street his eyes became drawn to the number of dark alleys. What a great place to get mugged, best to keep in the open, an old elf carrying luggage would surely make a good mark. Ko'el continued all the way until he made it to the dock, he dropped his trunk by the rest of the cargo and made his way up to the deck of the ship.

Derlan looked at all of the people around him, so many different races. He had no luggage to leave and so he slunk onto the boat,

"Ugh, so many people, so many people."

Derlan spotted an ice elf and decided to have a little fun. He snuck up behind him and began rummaging through his pockets, pulling out a coin he secretly celebrated. Sneaking away he began giggling, that was his weakness, the giggling. The ice elf turned around and glared at Derlan, who was gone in a flash, he ran through the ship and jumped off the boat.

Marneus took Veneratio onto the boat, and left him in a makeshift stable in the hold. Getting a cup of water, he headed up to the deck. He walked over to the edge, only for the painted elf from earlier to plummet into the water, splashing water over the knights armor. The magical enhancements blocked the water, and Marneus growled, before spotting something.

Picking up a lifesaver, he tossed it at the elf as it swam away. The elf was trapped, and he watched as an ice elf approached, staring at the now trapped elf.

This trip may not be as terrible as he thought.

Off I go on a winding path
Fearing naught what may come to pass
Dragons I have slain with glee
Trolls be aware I will come for thee

Should you see me on my way
Don't be afraid to come and say
"What have you done on this beautiful day?"
"Are you off to the Glistening Bay?"

Walk I must on this pilgrimage
A lonely path that I must take
Death I shall serve to your door
Fire and ice is your true foe

Leaves are falling all around
You can't flee from my hounds
Hunt you I shall till your found
Six feet under is where your bound

But now its time for me to go
The tide has turned out to shore
My deed is done it's time to go
Away I go! Away I go!

Raven hummed a cheery walking song as he lit his pipe once again and made his way to the Buron harbor. He was in an exceptionally good mood, despite the hard bed and small quarters at the farm, which was distinctly out of character for Raven. He nodded to passers by and returned their smiles and greetings. He even paused to respond with a "..and a very good day to you as well milady!. May the sun shine just as brightly at our next meeting!" followed by a low bow. Those who knew Raven, would have undoubtedly and erroneously postulated that the man was drunk or was flying higher than a kite after experimenting with some new herbs.

Nothing further could be from the truth, in fact Raven was merely reacting to the sea air and the taste of adventure that was growing by the minute and that was enough to instill a renewed zest withing him. An old spark that had long been extinguished after years of travels and city life had finally reignited. If one looked closely enough they could see that the spark was visible through his hazel brown eyes, though no one that had stared at Raven for too long could attest to this fact.

After many greeting were exchanged in over over seven different languages, Raven finally arrived at the waterfront. The ship Cepolada was as big as he imagined it to be and it was bustling with activity. From where he stood, Raven could make out Tyrone having an animated conversation with a couple of scribes. Oh those poor souls! Raven paused to shake his head. Even from a distance he knew that the scribes were squirming with discomfort and frustration with their employer.

"Well hullo!" he exclaimed suddenly, puffing out some tobacco smoke in the process. His eyes fell on the small gathering of people near the ship and a few on the deck. Raven recalled some of them being at the tavern yesterday. He brushed off a speck of dust from his cloak and steadied his traveling bag that was concealed within. With an obvious attempt at clearing his throat he moved in closer. If there was no conversation worth joining at least he could overhear something important.

Mareck woke up at eight o'clock. Or at least he thought it was that. He couldn't really see much in his blurred state, yet alone the hands of his pocketwatch. His head had started to clear up though and soon he was probably going to be sane and sober, two more things on the list of stuff dwarves hate to be called, but he knew that he couldn't go to the bar that day. He had his work to uphold, and this expedition needed him.

After about five minutes he could see enough to get up and sort everything out. He decided to gather up everything that was his including: His clothes, papers, books and his precious hat. This hat was sold to him by someone from The Merchant's Water, after all the time he had spent there in utter boredom. It was meant to be a flying hat, suitable and customised for dwarves to wear whilst travelling the skies. Obviously it turned out to be a fake but by that time the man who sold it had dissapeared and Mareck didn't really care anyway. Remembering this time, he decided to concentrate on the present and stuffed it away in his traveller's bag with the rest of his belongings.

Afterwards, he put his traveller's bag on, put his coat on over that and then left the room, managing to cross the room, open the door and go down the stairs a lot more successfully than last time. It was then that he came up to the bar to hand his key in.

"Is that all you're here for or do you want to drink another five barrels' worth of beer?"

"Nah, don't have the time for that today, need to be off in less than an hour." Mareck said to the, surprisingly polite barman, seeing as only last night Mareck did threaten him with a broken glass. "I'm just here to return my key."

"Very well then."

Mareck dropped the key onto the table before going outside to the docks. Looking about, he could see the very bench he had sat on the night before to clear his thoughts, and he remembered what happened as well...

Mareck went over to the ship known as the Cepolada, as this would be the ship for the expedition. It looked like a fine ship, although he had never known much about quality when it came to ships, despite all his years in The Merchant's Water. He had already noticed some people from the tavern and some people who weren't from the tavern the night before, including a fellow dwarf, lingering round the beer barrels.

Once a dwarf, always a dwarf... Oh well, might as well go up to him. He thought to himself, as he decided to walk up to the dwarf and attempt to hold a conversation with him.

"I didn't know there were any other dwarves here."

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