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    Shore Leave!

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    Longpig
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by Longpig on 30/11/14, 11:41 am

    "Well alright then..." Hettie arched an eyebrow quizzically at Den, then helped herself to some pancakes.
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    elanya
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by elanya on 30/11/14, 11:50 am

    Denise grinned again, then looked over at her uncle. "I bet you have all kinds of good stories though - where you been at? You ain't been home for months!"
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by Curtana on 30/11/14, 01:29 pm

    "I guess I might have some good stories," Serge-Yves said with a modest shrug. "I spent the last eight months exploring the new world, so... that's pretty neat."
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by elanya on 30/11/14, 01:35 pm

    "No way!" For someone who had never been much out of her neighborhood before the last year, the idea was so completely foreign and exciting that he may as well have said he'd been on some other plane, or in space. "Okay - that is...way cooler than my thing," she admitted grudgingly. "You have to tell me *everything*!" She settled back down at the table to listen, eyes wide.
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by Curtana on 30/11/14, 04:47 pm

    "Well, there were three ships on the expedition - The Sable, The Genereux, and us, The Ophelia. We went up along the Empress archipelago -the islands in the south there, you know? - and along as far as the mainland, and then back. It's a strange place, Den, really different than here. I didn't see any big cities, but lots of little villages and towns. Everyone gets around in little boats when they need to go to another island - and there are so many islands there!"

    He thought for a moment about what stories Denise might like to hear - and that would be appropriate to share with her. "There was one island - they called it Apatam, the people who live there. They're short folks, about maybe four feet tall on average, but stocky, strong. They kept their distance when we came up to the harbour, as close in as we could get anyway. So we figured they're shy, or scared maybe. Turns out we were partly right. They were scared, but not of us."

    He sipped his coffee, pausing for dramatic effect. "We sent a rowboat out with six of our crew, heading for the shore - wanting to see if we could trade, or talk to them, or at the least get some fresh water. As we were watching them row away, we saw this wake following them - something big, thirty feet long at least. It came up out of the water and tried to capsize that boat - almost managed it too, except that Lucie was able to keep them upright. If they'd fallen in, they would've been swallowed up whole for sure. It was some kinda huge slug-thing, greyish-green and slimy, with teeth like a lamprey, that I guess had taken up living near their island, and had the locals scared senseless. We fired our cannons at it, hit it with at least a couple shots, and I guess then it decided we were more trouble than it was worth, 'cause it sank back under the water and disappeared."

    "As it turned out, the folks on that island were so grateful it was gone, they loaded us down not just with the food and water we were hoping for, but a bunch of things they see as valuables: fancy seashells, tortoiseshell, woven cloth, pearls, shark's teeth..." He rose and went to his duffle bag, digging into it, and pulled out a piece of carved wood about six inches long, shaped like a man (very obviously a man) wearing some kind of hat or headdress that was made out of ivory. "This was what I ended up with - plus these," he added, drawing out a small bag that sounded as if it had some small marbles in it. He tipped the bag open over the table and a handful of irregular small pearls, some pink, some a greyish-purple, some pure black, fell out.
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by elanya on 30/11/14, 05:07 pm

    "Woah..." Denise looked up at her uncle with awe, and then picked up one of the pearls, trying to imagine where it came from, or seeing - and fighting - giant sea monsters. Her world felt a lot smaller suddenly. Still - she suddenly found herself a lot more curious about what might have been in that box she's shifted the night before. "That's just - wow... Are all the folks over there like that? Friendly-like, I mean. An like - how do you even talk to 'em? Did you bring back lot of other cool stuff?"
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by Curtana on 30/11/14, 05:43 pm

    "Me personally? A few other little things, as souvenirs, but I didn't have a lot of room." He retrieved a few copper discs pierced with holes, explaining that on some other islands they used those as money, and also pulled out a finely-woven piece of blue fabric. "I was hopin' you might have some ideas what to do with this, Hettie," he said to his sister, passing it to her so she could look at it more closely.

    "As for the people there... it varies, like people everywhere I guess. Some are more friendly than others, but nobody tried to kill us or nothing. There's different sorts of people from island to island - some are those short folks I mentioned, some people who look like us, except their skin's darker'n most folks here - not like shadar-kai dark, but more brown or brownish-red. There's stories about some creatures who live in the water, but are human-like - like merfolk, I guess you'd call 'em - but other than a few glimpses of things in the water that didn't look like fish or dolphins or anything I could put a name to, I can't say if that's true or not. We didn't deal with 'em if they're there."

    "And for talkin' to folk, well, that's why there's a sorc on each ship, someone who can do the right spells to let people talk who don't know the same language," he added, sitting down to resume drinking his coffee.
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by elanya on 30/11/14, 07:46 pm

    "Man..."  Denise picked up one of the copper discs, spinning it in the table.  "That's so cool!  I wish I could see somethin' like that... 'Cept I don't really wanna leave everyone here, I guess."
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by Curtana on 30/11/14, 07:50 pm

    "You could join up," Serge-Yves said with a grin. "Keep it in mind if you ever need to get out of town quick, huh?" he teased.

    "Now... what was your story? You can't tell me how gross it is and then not tell me all the details," he said. "I'm done eating, so it's safe."
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by elanya on 30/11/14, 08:14 pm

    "Oh well... I dunno if it is as cool as that though!" Denise eyed her aunt, who seemed to be finishing the last of her stack, and deemed that it was probably safe. Hettie had a pretty string stomach anyway, really, she wouldn't mind...

    "So like - last night, Ander has me go help with a job, movin' ...some stuff.... through the tunnels right? It was jus' me 'n Enver, and it was kinda heavy ya know? So - we had ta go through some of the *old* tunnels, under the river like!" Denise grinned, because maybe it wasn't a giant sea slug, but it was still pretty neat. "But, like, he wanted to stop an' take a break. So we were just sittin' there, right - when we heard somethin' coming *towards* us. An, like, Enver's been tellin' me all these other stories 'bout stuff he's seen, or probably that he heard about an is tellin' me he seen, anyway. But like - anything what's comin' towards you down there ain't gonna be good, ya know?"

    "So - we get up, and he pulls his knife, or whatever - and then there comes out of the tunnels this big 'ol rat! Only - it's like *real* big. Like a big dog - about like so." Denise holds up her hands to demonstrate, not consciously exaggerating, or at least not much.

    "An - this is the gross part, okay? It's like - it's already dead! Like a zombie. It's all rotted an' like.. bloated, and there are inside parts on the outside, and it's green in bits what shouldn;t be green, and one of it's eyes are gone.... Anyway, it's real gross, and it's comin' right at us so, like - I just remember all this stuff I learned with Syrez an all, and I kick its rotted little feet out from un'er it, bam! An it falls over, all squirmin' like. Enver stabbed it, I guess, but it was still just tryin' to get up, all makin' this real creepy sound. So like, I just stomped on it real hard, and it stopped all that. It smelled so rank though! And we got out of there right quick after that."
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by Longpig on 02/12/14, 02:23 pm

    "'Magine there's all manner of things down there... Lucky it weren't worse!" Hettie said, fingering the blue cloth appreciatively.
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by elanya on 02/12/14, 02:28 pm

    "Aw!" That was not quite the reaction Denise have been hoping for. "I totally coulda' taken somethin' worse. It was pretty easy, really..."
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by Longpig on 02/12/14, 02:34 pm

    "'Course you could..." Hettie said with a wink. "What you really gotta worry 'bout 'round here is people, anyhow."
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by Curtana on 02/12/14, 02:35 pm

    "It sounds creepy," Serge-Yves said appreciatively. "I know if it was me, I'd've run screaming in the other direction, most likely. You did real good, Denise."
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by elanya on 02/12/14, 02:38 pm

    Denise beamed at her uncle, though she suspected he might be downplaying his own bravery a little bit. She stuck out her tongue at her aunt. "Oh yeah? What about creepy little elf things?"
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by Longpig on 02/12/14, 02:41 pm

    "Ha! Well, ya got me there. Though regular folk coulda sabotaged the boiler too... just wouldn't've been so weird about it."
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    Re: Shore Leave!

    Post by Curtana on 02/12/14, 02:56 pm

    "Creepy little... elf things?"

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