Blood Rites

Kaeleer => Dhemlan => Topic started by: Ekain Petite on May 29, 18, 05:24:47 AM

Title: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on May 29, 18, 05:24:47 AM
There were pros and cons to being such a well-known creature within Dhemlan and around its vast ocean. One such pro being that if one played their cards right (much as Ekain was generally wont to do with his usually personable demeanor), you ended up having contacts and even friends that spanned the Territory at an impressive array of levels. There was very little he couldn't manage to snag or glean by way of putting in a word with a friend of a friend or some other similar connection. Some things required a little greasing of the wheels still, some marks or a favor promised, things he found to ultimately be trivial and things he had no problem doling out.

On the other hand, a con of that same variety was that you acquired just as many enemies as you did friends and on just as many levels. Ekain didn't mind, not in the least, because it was both part of the job and really just a hell of a lot more exciting that way. Pissing people off was something he could do effortlessly if he so desired, and the list of important people he'd pissed off over so many years was lengthy. It inhibited movement within certain areas without extensive planning and workarounds, but that was also fine because he could play that game too.

However, this precise con was why it was not the Gray-jeweled Warlord personally that approached the doors of the Elizondo estate and instead a younger Warlord (a hundred years old at most) who wore the Summer Sky, dressed plainly enough to pass as a courier and bearing a letter in hand. The man wasn't actually a courier of course, but rather a member of the Valiant's crew - entirely wet behind the ears still and so new that he could roam the streets freely without being even remotely recognized or acknowledged.

Which made him perfect to be Ekain's errand runner for the day, especially within this particular part of the city and especially after the fucking disaster that had transpired in Scelt Town only a couple weeks prior. With Ekain having managed to grab the attention and renewed ire of the Territory Court's guards, he wasn't presently in the position to go roaming anywhere near Amdarh where he knew Naraii held an office at the Territory Seat, nor could he really waltz right up to the gates of her family's home without likely putting her out if anyone found out he was there.

So, the charming little runner it was! He'd been given explicit instructions to not stop, not pass go, not collect two-hundred marks head right there and not leave until the note reached the witch's hands personally. It was succinct in nature because one of the last things Ekain was, was pedantic in either verbal or written word.


I'd like to call in that favor. If you're up for something more exciting than paperwork just follow the tadpole.

As per his instructions, the Warlord with the unfortunate moniker would remain until she'd read it (the message soon after combusting in a small flash of harmless, gray-hued witchfire; so dramatic) and was to escort her back where Ekain was waiting at one of the more pirate-friendly piers. If Naraii was unable to leave at that time, the man was tasked with finding out when she was able to do so and then was to return at that time to make the same trip. If she declined entirely then he would merely depart, although the First Mate had been banking pretty readily on the woman's curiosity and restless nature to win out over any skepticism, so it wasn't a large concern.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on May 29, 18, 10:01:43 AM
It would've been misleading to characterize Naraii's life of late as boring. She was a busy woman these days, and could even say that the work she was doing was both meaningful and interesting. While, yes, technically she'd caved in and signed a contract with the Territory court, she'd insisted on going no higher than the third circle, and her position was almost ceremonial. It was the only way she could conjure to both get Headrix off of her back, and allow herself some freedom of movement to do things more worthwhile than filling out paperwork. (Yes, the Court did far more than just shuffle papers about and yes, Naraii understood that bureaucracy was a necessary evil. She just remained unconvinced that her being a part of it was necessary at all.)

Still, even the special projects with which Naraii had occupied herself were not now what one would call thrilling. Investigations sounded like exciting things, but in reality they turned out to be alot of monotonous legwork, necessary but mostly dull. So when a runner brought Naraii a note inviting her to do something scandalous (Headrix would have a stroke if he knew she was heading out to see a known pirate after the drama her last adventure with the Valiant had caused), Naraii didn't have to consider it long before deciding to go. She told herself that she didn't have much choice, really. Ekain Petite had saved her life when he'd pulled her out of the sea during the skirmish between the Bravado and the Valiant, and if the man needed a favor, Naraii couldn't think of much that would make her refuse now.

So it was that she let the Summer Sky runner (whose name and personality Naraii would have a bead on by the time they arrived) lead her to the coast, and to one of the less reputable piers where her one-time savior waited.

"Well, well," she chirped, as she approached, smiling bright as the sun. "If it isn't the most dashing First Mate on Dhemlan's seas," she teased. "Good to see you, Lord Petite."

Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on May 29, 18, 11:59:08 AM
The runner (whose name Naraii would learn to be Ivan, and his disposition wholly befitting of someone his age and status - cheerful, chatty, overly-eager, and a touch nervous that he'd been entrusted to such a delicate task by the First Mate himself) was both careful and prompt once the darker-jeweled witch had agreed to come along with him. This particular city had been where the young Warlord was born and raised, so it was with a practiced ease that he navigated the streets and sought out the paths within it that would not only get them to the coast the quickest, but also would draw the least amount of attention upon himself and his charge.  It had been made clear to him that discretion was of the utmost importance and that Ekain would be highly displeased if such a thing were to be lost.

Thankfully, it had not and Ivan was able to breathe easier upon finally reaching the docks where his superior officer was waiting. There was a hint of trepidation in his posture as he glanced between Ekain and Naraii, but when the former cracked a smile and clapped him on the shoulder in silent approval as he walked by, the younger man found himself relaxed once more, standing to attention intently while the other two interacted.

"The most dashing First Mate," the pirate repeated with a sharp smile as he closed the distance between himself and the witch, not hesitating to draw her into a hug of greeting should she allow the gesture. "Should add that to my list of accomplishments."

"I think we can dispense with the formalities, hm? Or have you turned all work and no play since the last time we crossed paths?" he joked, turning to about face and start walking further down the pier, Ivan trailing behind them. Strangely, a cursory glance would reveal that the Valiant didn't appear to be anywhere in sight, and yet he continued casually towards where any other assortment of vessels would be docked.

"You look well. I'd apologize for dragging you away on such abrupt notice, but that'd require a sense of actually being sorry that I don't have. Besides, I think you'll enjoy what I have in mind."
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on May 31, 18, 09:39:51 AM
Naraii would've opted for a friendly handshake, had she been left to her own devices. Ekain's choice of a hug surprised her, but not so much that it threw her off her stride. She certainly didn't mind, because she rarely found it an unpleasant thing to be warmly squeezed against the chest or side of a man who kept himself fit and strong. So she hugged him back, and grinned up at him when he released her and they began to walk side by side.

"You ought to know better than that," she said, in regards to the possibility of her being all work. The world had been trying to force her into the role of a "respectable" courtier for almost two hundred years now, to no avail. Headrix and Teoda had come the closest, as she did now technically have a title and an office. Only technically, though. Her lapse in familiarity had less to do with her becoming more straight-laced and more to do with Ekain's Jewels. As a Gray Jeweled Warlord, he was free to dismiss Protocol as he saw fit. Naraii had expected him to do so, given their past, but for her to make that assumption would have been careless and dangerous. Maybe not as dangerous as making the same assumptions with, say, a Warlord Prince... but with that kind of power at hand, Protocol was one place where Naraii tended to err on the side of caution.

But it was all a very thoughtless exchange, really. She started with formality and he dismissed the need for it, and life went on. For her, it was just another day parlaying with people who wielded the power of gods as though it was little more than fancy jewelry.

"I mean, not for not trying. But you'll know the day they succeed in tying me to a desk, because it'll be the day I return to the deep," she insisted, with a smirk. His compliment and his anti-apology both won another grin from her, and she laughed softly at his pitch.

"I'm happy enough that you thought to send for me; you don't have to butter me up with platitudes and intrigue. What is it you've got in mind?" she asked him. She noticed the absence of his ship, but also knew it could be right in front of her and she'd never know it, if he meant it to be hidden. She let her gaze sweep over the pier around them once anyway, just to see who and what was about before she turned to face him.

"You already know I'm up for it," she pointed out, resolutely.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on May 31, 18, 11:02:31 AM
Ekain had a way about him, a certain air of friendliness that most seemed to find at odds with what he did for a living as well as how deeply he sat in the Abyss. People tended to give him a wide berth most of the time, but if he found a person likable enough then it was a gap that he liked to try and bridge in some manner or another. Whether it was like this instance, with a hug and the casual dismissal of Protocol (because honestly he'd sooner drown himself than ever willingly join the ranks of a court or some other organization where it was required) or some other laid-back kind of action, the Warlord tended to err on the side of trying to keep his allies at ease around him when possible.

People would always be cautious around him, he never expected anything less, but the only ones who ever really needed to be scared were his enemies.

As it stood, Naraii was no such thing and as such there was more of a casualty to his gait and his posture while they walked, approaching not the Valiant at the end of the dock, but instead a far smaller ship, bigger than a skiff but no larger than a sloop or a ketch, able to be maneuvered by few hands and some Craft. There was a man waiting by the vessel and Ekain exchanged a few words, a handshake, and a small stack of marks before gesturing for Ivan and Naraii to proceed on-board first.

It seemed a highly unusual thing, but this was both quicker and more subtle than taking the Valiant, so he'd simply had Rayen keep the other ship close enough for him to reach via a psychic thread, but far enough out to not garner any substantial suspicions for the moment. Ivan went about undoing the rope that kept the small boat attached to the dock and lugging up the anchor before tossing it onto its place on the deck while Ekain wandered to the helm, nudging the vessel forward with a shove of his own Craft before letting the wind do the rest while he steered.

"A few months back there was a pirate who passed away, Bitter Maria, and she left behind a veritable trove of the things she'd hoarded and won throughout her life, among those things was a map which led to a pearl, the Sun of the Sea. That's what we're after, except the problem is there's somethin' weird about it. I had it right in my hand, but when I vanished it away? Couldn't call it back in, it wasn't there. Came in a chest which had a warning inside of it, but someone else has the chest," his face contorted into the faintest sneer before he pushed it aside, instead summoning in a scrap of paper with said inscription written down on it and handing it over to Naraii.

"I have this, and we're gonna head back to where the map came from, where Bitter Maria lived to talk to my contact there and see if she has any other information about it. I wanna figure out where the hell it vanished to and then get there hopefully before the other ship that's after it. If not? Well, not hard to catch up and make up for lost ground if need be.

I remembered you talked about how you and Headrix tracked down bounties for a while, so I figured it'd be a useful thing to have on-hand, even though I don't technically have much to track off of at the moment. And more hands on deck is never a bad thing besides."
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on May 31, 18, 03:40:30 PM
Naraii arched a brow at the waiting boat, and though she shot Ekain an amused look (I guess we're going then?) when it became clear he was intent on setting off right away, she didn't hesitate to climb on board. They cast off and Naraii lingered near Ekain, listening to him explain the situation while she watched Ivan tend to masts. Her gaze shifted up towards the pirate at her side when he talked about being unable to re-conjure some pearl he'd vanished. Honestly, Naraii would have put money on Ekain just having some kind of issue with his Craft, at first, because she'd never heard of something being vanished and then... not being vanished, of its own volition. She kept that thought to herself, however, and took the piece of paper he managed to successfully conjure for her. She read it silently, eyes narrowing curiously at the words.


"Huh," she said, with all due eloquence. She handed him back the note, and tilted her head to eye him with a visibly skeptical expression. "This is all about a pearl?" she asked him. "I mean, don't get me wrong," she said, that doubtful look breaking in favor of a well-humored grin. "I'm on board to help for whatever. This is already more interesting than my day was gonna be otherwise. And I've heard legends about Bitter Maria, and the chance to go see her place is enough to make it a good time for me, really. But... I mean.. isn't this a little below your pay grade, Ekain?"
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on May 31, 18, 04:28:24 PM
The look Naraii cast him didn't fall beneath his notice, but all Ekain offered in return was that infamous smirk and a wink that spoke volumes more than anything he could've possibly bothered to put into words. It might've been presumptuous to most to simply waltz right up to some unfamiliar little boat and assume that a witch who one had interacted with all of, what... twice maybe... was going to just up and follow without question. But the Warlord tended to know his audience in more situations than not and after the last week's disastrous expedition, he needed something to go right, something to push the negatives and the complications out of his mind even if only for one, impromptu afternoon of seafaring.

Really it was win-win in his mind, with both of them getting something out of the little venture when all was said and done.

"Yeah, I know, it sounds ridiculous and I didn't believe it myself at first," he started when he caught the incredulous look his companion shot him, but took a few seconds to further prove the claim by conjuring in and vanishing a couple objects to showcase that it wasn't any kind of defect on his end; many flaws he might've had, but his psychic cabinet wasn't one of them.

At her actual questions the pirate only shook his head at first, nudging the wheel a little towards the starboard side before he looked at her sideways. "Nah, it's not just about the pearl, but even that in its own right is interestin'. Think about it... the fact that there's something that exists that holds some kinda mystical property that even the likes of the Blood can't contain? That's practically unheard of, Naraii - it's beyond illusion Craft or Black Widow Craft, it defies even someone who could wear the Black. It feels like something else, something more.

It's connected to something, it's gotta be. It came from somewhere and if that's only part of it? Gotta imagine what other kinda things could be out there where it came from. And to be the ones to discover it? To be the people to solve that mystery and bring it to light back home? That would make them legendary, it'd make a whole ship's crew and anyone who helped practically eternal in name and glory. And that is worth a hell of a lot more than even the marks from fencing that damn pearl would rake in, which is already pretty hefty in its own right, I'm sure,"
he concluded with a broad grin, determination blazing behind his eyes as he let the words fill the space between them, even Ivan looking up from what he was doing to allow a slightly starstruck expression to befall him.

Now, that wasn't to say it was his whole motivation on the matter, as there was still the whole fiasco with the Scimitar and the fact that he had far too much pride to concede defeat and to let Grian have the damn thing just because she thought she was so fucking clever. But that fell into the realm of more personal matters that he'd brush off as irrelevant, mostly because he'd have denied it had anyone asked anyway. (Not unlike other things.)
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on Jun 01, 18, 11:31:05 PM
Naraii looked back at the parchment in her hands, a doubtful expression lingering on her face. She shook her head slightly.

"I dunno. I'm hesitant to assume anything's beyond a Widow's Craft," she said. A Black Jewel seemed like an even more unfathomable well of power to the witch, but she quieted when Ekain didn't stop. He went on about how special the pearl was likely to be, and what it'd likely mean for those who found its origin and brought it back. Watching him talk about it successfully banished the skepticism from her bearing, and she was smiling coyly at him by the time he finished, as though she knew something he didn't. But most women had a smile like that, didn't they? Probably didn't mean much. She passed the bit of paper back to him, though she rolled the words over in her mind for a moment more.

"Alright. So we find your answers," she said, as though the matter was resolved, just that simply. "What's that bit about nightmare's wrath, any idea? Almost feels like more than just a poem, doesn't it?" She glanced aside, towards the water, and considered how long it'd been since she'd been on a small vessel like this. Too long, she decided, with a crooked smile rising.

"Rayen wasn't interested in digging into this with you?" she asked, with a glance back to the errant First Mate. "Hard to believe, if you gave her the same spiel you just gave me," she teased, with a brightening grin.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on Jun 02, 18, 03:45:54 AM
"Oh, trust me," he began with a derisive huff. "I discovered just how beyond a Black Widow's Craft that damn thing was. Caused plenty of trouble in that regard." If nothing else, that had at least procured him some satisfaction on the matter. Would it have been a different story had Grian actually gotten away with the pearl? Potentially, though he hardly knew enough about Hourglass Craft to even try and assume what steps would've come after that. But that was all a hypothetical now anyway.

"That's the part I was wonderin' about too. The rest of it sounds pretty cut and dry, but that bit sounds a little more up in the air. Rings a very ominous bell, just a matter of trying to recall why exactly. 'Knows her place below the deep' definitely implies that it must belong in the water, so maybe there's something - or someone, someplace maybe - attached to it that nightmare's wrath is meant to be a double meaning for." A couple things came to mind specifically, but he wasn't entirely sure and idly began to mentally sift through what lore and knowledge he had stored away to see if anything jogged his memory.

Naraii asked about Rayen and an unusually sheepish sort of look crossed his features for a few beats before the pirate ultimately cleared his throat a couple times, obviously hesitating to answer the inquiry right off the bat. "Raye's... well... she's around, the Valiant's not far off from us, close enough that we can reach 'em if need be. But the captain's not quite the happiest with me at the moment. I got a bit... overzealous...? Last time we were out 'n' about chasing this thing.

There's no shortage of interest, don't get me wrong - I definitely gave her the same speech,"
he paused, grinning sideways at the witch before turning his gaze back ahead of him. "But I figured this little venture didn't need to take up the time of the whole crew since I'm hopin' it's just a there and back sort of thing; then we'll end up figuring out our course of action once I get the info I'm hopin' to find."

There was a lull of silence then, not necessarily unpleasant or awkward, but simply a few moments wherein Ekain quietly allowed the moment to wash over him - the lull of the small vessel as the water churned beneath it, the wind blowing around them, the sound of the assorted birds overhead... It really was a damned magnificent thing and he always wondered how some people were just not remotely interested in any kind of sailing, it seemed insane to him.

"How 'bout you? How's the uh... fiasco 'bout those Glacians going? Any headway there?" The encounter with the Bravado wasn't one he'd forget anytime soon, but as he wasn't a member of any court by any means the aftermath was something the pirate hadn't actually been privy to. As such, he hadn't really thought to ask about it within any of his networks until Naraii's presence served to remind him that it existed.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on Jun 02, 18, 01:22:55 PM
Naraii arched a brow once more at Ekain's comment about Widows, a silent Oh really? that she didn't bother to press aloud. Instead, she considered his words on the parchment's riddle, also feeling like there was more to it than met the eye.

"You know, tracking would be a pretty simple thing if we could get ahold of the chest," she pointed out, uncertain if the "someone else" who had it was someone just out of reach, or someone unwilling to share. Part of her knew he would've considered that already, but she was curious about how'd he'd come to be searching for this thing on his own, and hoped he'd explain a little more of whatever had happened.

He went on to admit he was a little at odds with Rayen at the moment, but his grin neatly erased any real worry that the news might've summoned. She nodded at his explanation, and when Ekain went quiet for a few minutes, Naraii did the same.

His inquiry about the Glacians interrupted her thoughts a moment later and she grimaced, shaking her head.

"A whole lot of nothing," she grumbled, clearly unhappy with the progression there. "Some of the people involved are apparently pretty high up in the Navy, so everyone's worried about having an iron-clad case to present before anyone's actually called out. But in the meantime it means we aren't getting any answers from anyone, 'cause no one's feeling any pressure yet. We've not been allowed to do anything but take the long route, going through the courts one at a time and questioning people who may or may not have seen anything. That's a nightmare.

"Caelestis keeps promising me we'll get there, that the process is slow but it works. I dunno. Most days I have my doubts. If it was up to me I'd put the servicemen in question in a room with a Black Widow and be done with it. We'd have our answers. And then the people who set up that blasphemy inside Dhemlan's borders could be rounded up onto their precious Bravado and scuttled in the middle of the ocean. Even going back to the sea's probably too kind a fate for them, if you ask me."

Naraii fell quiet, ruminating on the matter unhappily, but something tugged at a corner of her mind while she did so.

"You know," she said, her tone much more hesitant, as though trying to recall something as she was speaking. "The ocean's called the deep. Below the deep would almost have to be something even further down." She turned her head, looked up at Ekain, her expression skeptical but interested. "Did you ever hear the old myths about the bagua caverns?"
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on Jun 02, 18, 02:37:30 PM
"Yeah, don't remind me. I'm kickin' myself for not takin' that damn thing in the first place," Ekain answered with a wince, looking clearly annoyed about how that had all panned out. He hadn't been thinking... well... he had, but not about anything remotely resembling the chest at the time. Not until afterwards when he'd woken up on the damned floor.

It still burned him to think about and he had to quickly shake his head of it before it got the better of him. "Another ship has it, so getting it isn't an option. The Scimitar is who we were chasin' down for it, then it led to this whole... ordeal in Scelt Town - ring a bell? The guard was pretty pissed, I'm sure they weren't too happy to report back after that." That escape brought an amused smile to his face, even if nothing else about that damnable day did.

He'd spent too much time of the past week dwelling on what had happened with the Weather Witch, and all it did was roil his emotions to dangerous levels. There was definitely still the matter of getting her back for poisoning him, but he wasn't wholly sure what he'd have done if he saw her again at the moment. The more defiant part of him insisted he'd kill her where she stood, turn her precious little ship into sawdust, but he had yet to quell the niggling little voice at the edges of his mind which spoke otherwise. Clearly he was just too sober and needed to get exorbitantly intoxicated so he could properly figure out his revenge.

The shift to discussing the matter of the Glacians was a highly welcome distraction, needless to say.

"Black Widows rifling 'round people's minds seems pretty iron-clad to me, not many who could tamper with that kinda evidence without being a Black Widow themselves. Why won't they let you just go about it that way?" It seemed the most direct path to a solution in his mind, though he was hardly a courtier or a naval officer so he imagined it had more to do with some boring rule or protocol than anything else. "Worst case, we could always just take care of it for you," he half-joked with another slow grin. Ignoring the fact that a bunch of pirates taking care of anything would be both costly and certainly not ideal to the machinations of a court and its ruling Queen, but who cared about those things anyhow?

"The bagua caverns?" he repeated, his own expression taking on some skepticism now as he glanced back at her for a couple moments. "I've heard of 'em, yeah. Not for a long time, at least a few centuries ago. Wrote it off as an old wives' tale for the most part, never really bothered to try and see if they existed or not, we usually had other things to chase after. But... all things considered? It would make a weird kind of sense."

Ivan had been attentive but silent for most of the trip, but as he was the one operating the masts he touched upon a brief thread with Ekain and pointed out their destination slowly approaching off in the distance, allowing the other Warlord to shift the course of the small vessel accordingly. "I think it's worth looking into. I know a few older sailors, they'd know more about where they could hypothetically be found."
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on Jun 03, 18, 12:32:15 PM
While Naraii watched Ekain with obvious interest in his story, she shook her head and looked perplexed at his mention of the Scimitar and the incident in Scelt town.

"Nah, I hadn't heard," she said, lips curving in restrained mirth. "I don't hang out at the palace any more than I have to, so I miss stuff. I'm not everybody's favorite person there, for some unknown reason." Which was horse shit, of course. It was the fact that she was so quick to consort with pirates that had so many of Amdarh's courtiers upset with her, though from all appearances Naraii didn't seem to mind at all. 

She snorted with no small amount of derision at Ekain's support of using Black Widows to resolve the mystery around the Glacians, though. She shook her head, obviously still frustrated over the matter.

"Because it's an insult," she said, her tone on the last word stressing as though quoting someone else. "I mean, I get it, I do," she said, with a sigh. "Letting someone rummage around in your head is a big fuckin' deal. it's invasive and it's uncomfortable and if I was in their shoes, someone would probably have to get the Queen to order me to allow it, too. I'd never let anyone do it otherwise, I don't think, and I don't even have stuff to hide. Nobody deserves that kind of invasion except the people responsible for collaring those Glacians. But we won't know for sure who those people are unless someone gives us something to start with, and they've all closed ranks. 'The Dhemlanese Navy is a distinguished and revered organization. It's an institution'," she quoted, with annoyance.

Though she glanced at him when he teased about taking care of it for her, she pursed her lips and shook her head again.

"Don't think I haven't been tempted to go about it in unofficial ways," she admitted, soberly. "But forcing that on someone... that feels like crossing a line. If I was sure the person involved was the right one and it was just a matter of getting proof... maybe. But like I said, right now, there's no way to be sure who to even start with. And we go around mind-raping people cause it's just easier, we wind up no better than the slavers that started this."

The topic shifted to the mythical caverns she'd mentioned, and she seemed surprised to hear that he knew of them.

"Really?" she asked, now more perplexed than before. "I was just gonna say, you know, what if there are some places where some kind of formations underground have created caves under the ocean floor. I was pretty sure the baguas were something someone made up. I've only ever heard about it third-hand, by reading about it some journals my mother wrote when she was young. She had a thing with this pirate, once, apparently," she said, finding it easier to not name-drop when she'd had a thing with the very same pirate herself, many years later.

"He told my mother about them. Claimed to have seen them. I remember she described them as being a good bit east of Amdarh, but it's been a while since I've read about it. I do remember the entrance was under water, in the middle of the open sea. I dunno how he found it. You'd almost need a Queen on the ship to sense the land as we went along, I'd think." Her gaze had wandered to the distance as she'd recounted what she knew, but now it returned, and she laughed a little at herself.

"But that's crazy. What are the odds that that's what the riddle's talking about?"
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on Jun 03, 18, 04:57:07 PM
"Right, of course. Unknown reason," the pirate repeated, eyes glittering with mischief and a knowing, sideways smile overtaking him once again. Court life just really didn't seem to suit Naraii, in his opinion, and his take on it was that she would've been far more geared to the life of a pirate or some such vocation, but clearly the witch had her reasons for joining and remaining. So while he was more than delighted to partially play a role of bad influence and drag her around on impromptu excursions, he was fairly sure that was about the extent of his influence there.

"Well, now y'know the gossip from the source instead of whatever grossly botched version the guard have all been tossing around. My escape was glamorous and they'll always lament the day they almost caught me." That was bullshit as he still painfully recalled practically stumbling out the window of the tavern and the burn from the power bolt that had no business actually striking him to begin with. But all of that was Grian's god damned fault and none of his own, obviously. Fucking Black Widows.

"Right, so just allowin' a buncha slavers and the like to keep running rampant and preserving their dignity and titles within the Queen's Navy for the sake of the institution is a much better idea," Ekain drawled with no shortage of sarcasm on the matter. "If nobody's got anything to hide like they say, then it shouldn't be any kind of insult to anybody. I'm not sayin' I'd want some Widow sifting around my brain, shit's unpleasant." The memory of having done such to Camila barely a week ago flashed through his head (granted even the most basically-trained Black Widow would've done it a hell of a lot more carefully and painlessly than he had), but it had served a purpose and more importantly it got the job done.

"But you gotta do what you gotta do, pissing people off is inevitable, but if it gets shit done then who cares?" A shrug of one shoulder, his stare not leaving the sight of the island they were finally encroaching upon. "If it were me I'd start with the crew of the Bravado, seems like the most obvious lead there. But like you said, doubtful the Queen's gonna give you that kind of permission anyway, so that's moot I guess." He was undoubtedly simplifying the matter far beyond what it actually was, ignoring all kinds of etiquette and official nuances that came with running such a lofty and tangled investigation on behalf of the whole Territory, but that was yet another reason he'd have never partaken in courts. Shit was convoluted and no less shady than the life of a pirate, it seemed.

The difference being, to him, was that at least privateers were honest in their dishonesty. Courts and politicians and "noble" institutions like the Navy? Not so much.

"Yeah really," he resumed with a laugh. "I've been doin' this a long-ass time and I've heard far more unbelievable things than underwater caves. Just a matter of picking out which ones are worth listenin' to. Mostly washed up sailors that I'd heard spoutin' out anything about the caverns though. You know, the half-drunk first thing in the morning types, well past their glory and their prime but'll regale just about anyone who'll listen. Most of it's bullshit as half of 'em are senile by that point in their lives, but even some of the most outlandish myths and legends have some truth to 'em, or so people say."

Between Ekain and Ivan, they managed to rig the vessel up snugly with rope and Craft alike after finally reaching their destination. The Gray-jeweled Warlord gave his best, half-assed attempt (as if that wasn't an oxymoron) at something resembling manners when he held his arm out to steady Naraii upon her exit of the boat after he'd hopped out and onto the rocky patch of land. The actual residence itself was still a small walk away from where they'd docked, but he recalled it distinctly and was easy to lead the way.

The witch called it crazy and that gleam passed through his gaze another time. "C'mon, everyone needs a little bit of crazy in their life, otherwise shit's just boring. I think it might be just crazy enough to warrant lookin' into."
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on Jun 04, 18, 07:21:52 PM
Naraii returned Ekain's sideways smile at his challenge to her 'unknown reason' comment. That mischief in his expression was a damn tempting thing, even if she knew it likely led to waters deeper than what she was prepared to handle. He told her about his "glamorous" escape and she laughed merrily, arms folding behind her back while she turned her attention towards the bow.

"Duly noted. I'll be sure and remind them of the right of it, should I encounter anyone who's confused about how things went."

He went on to rant a little about how little sense it made to leave the guilty parties untouched rather than being invasive with the investigation, and Naraii had no argument to make. That was her view already. It was the Queen and her court who wouldn't listen to reason, and Naraii had already gone against that particular grain enough to muddy her name at court. Who knew how far she could stretch Teoda's patience just because she was Tib's ally and Headrix's sister? Not being part of the court wouldn't bother Naraii in the slightest, but getting booted in disgrace wasn't an end she could stomach.

If it gets shit done, who cares? Ekain insisted, drawing a glance from the witch, her smile tempered down to something distant and thoughtful. People cared. She cared. Not as much as other people thought she should, admittedly, but there were still lines Naraii was reluctant to cross. She was still thinking about it when he suggested starting with the Bravado crew, and she turned her eyes towards the bow again while she shrugged.

"The crew was interrogated. They were just following orders, as far as we can tell. If it was just the captain, or even the ship's officers who'd set it up, we'd be done by now. Whoever masterminded that nonsense is somewhere higher up in the chain, but we've no way to know where. We could systematically go through every officer in the line, but... that's where you start running into people who quote things about dignity and institutions." She sighed, frustrated all over again by the rehashing of it. The reality of things was far less than ideal, especially in light of the fact that a man who made his living stealing from others seemed more intent on finding answers than the Queen's Navy did.

She was happy enough to leave the matter behind when the topic shifted to the mythical caverns she'd read about. Ekain spoke of hearing tales from washed up sailors, and nodded at the idea of having to pick the wheat from the chaff.

"No one tells a tall tale like an old sailor," she observed with a grin. He suggested the matter was crazy enough to investigate and she laughed again. "Well, you know I'm in. Maybe Bitter Maria's stuff will give us a clue about where to start looking." Ekain tried to help Naraii out of the boat but she gave him a look that said it was unnecessary and a little insulting, both. She was agile as he was, and hopped out with sure foot and limber stride.

"If Maria's dead, who's watching her stuff? And why would they still be here?" she asked, realizing how creepy that seemed.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on Jun 05, 18, 05:27:59 AM
"Excellent. That's the kinda attitude that ensures we'll keep gettin' along juuust fine." That and the fact that he generally just found her to be an interesting sort despite their limited interactions and her affiliations with the Territory Court. Most courtiers made him want to gouge his eyes out; naval officers too (he couldn't stand to be anywhere near his older cousin anymore, obnoxious twit that he'd become ever since enlisting), but on some level they served some kind of purpose in the end, he supposed. Mostly being sources of his entertainment for all the grief he liked to cause them, but that was besides the point.

Naraii explained that they'd already apparently sought out the Bravado's crew and came up empty-handed, but he nodded his head in understanding. It hadn't been a matter he'd kept up with, so he'd been fairly unaware of the facts she explained about it. She definitely seemed frustrated, and rightfully so, but it was hardly as if he had anything useful to offer on the matter aside from anything he'd already suggested; and while he surely wasn't averse to taking up a job that involved roughing up a bunch of Navy prats, she didn't seem nearly as amused by the notion.

"Hourglass Coven can't help out at all? In a way that doesn't involve mind-raping, anyway. Scry somethin', make some kinda web to try and suss out anything? Or is that another politically questionable thing that breaks the precious notions of integrity and institutions too?" His experiences were admittedly limited mostly to Weather Witches in any kind of functional, professional capacity, but given what he'd seen some pretty crafty ones do, it sounded like something that could be within the realm of more official types of that caste. Hell, it was possible they'd already tried that and he was simply being redundant, but it was conversation if nothing else.

The look Naraii shot him when he'd offered his arm was met with an effusive, amused laugh and the pirate holding his hands up in front of him in a defensive manner before he simply about-turned. He held no false delusions that she wasn't just as capable and sturdy as he was - no harm, no foul. "Her granddaughter's been the one keepin' an eye on all of her stuff for the most part. It's pretty damn secluded and warded as it is, no Wind access, bit of a hike. I dunno if she stays there or anything, but it's not my business either way."

Sparing a last glance around their starting point, Ekain jerked his chin in the direction they'd be heading towards and shook his head when Ivan looked ready to follow them. "Someone's gotta watch the boat, kiddo. Let me know if anything or anyone unusual pops up." The other Warlord looked a little crestfallen, but did as he was told and reclaimed a seat within the vessel while the First Mate promptly proceeded onward, assuming Naraii would be close behind.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on Jun 06, 18, 03:50:51 PM
"Until it is your business," Naraii countered, shooting Ekain a sideways grin. She watched him inform Ivan that he had to stay behind, and Naraii tossed the younger fellow a sympathetic wave and then turned to head up the beach with Ekain. Her boots had seen far worse than sea water, and she paid them no mind while they made their way from the shallows to the strand that seemed deserted in all directions. The witch paused once they were on dry sand and used a wisp of Craft to wick the moisture out of her boots and breeches for comfort's sake, and then turned around once to give the entirety of the visible coast a once-over.

"These islands always give me the creeps, just a little bit," she admitted, with a guilty little grin. "The mainland's so crowded and busy, it feels like all the people here have been swallowed up by something. It's hard to imagine that there's just never been the same kind of crowds here. I dunno why some developer hasn't built landing webs out here and tried to build up these places. As land-hungry as they are at home, it seems like someone would've tried by now."

She turned to follow him without hesitation when he started walking, though, clearly not bothered enough by said 'creeps' to want to stay behind in the boat. If she seemed a little extra alert, a little quick to keep her head on a swivel.. well.. that was just smart in a new place, right?

"How do you know Maria's granddaughter?"
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on Jun 08, 18, 02:11:57 PM
"That's what makes 'em so appealing in the first place," Ekain reasoned, returning her look with a much more devil-may-care smile befalling him. "The mystery, not knowin' what you're gonna find when you come out to explore 'em." Granted, there was no question that such things made them equally dangerous as they did intriguing, but really that was half the point. If seafaring was a safe, peaceful endeavor to take up one-hundred percent of the time, well... that just would've entirely defeated the purpose, in his mind.

"Probably what keeps a lotta those developers from botherin' with 'em though. Not everyone's brave enough to push past the 'creeps' they give off, regardless of how much profit might come from it. There's no shortage of superstitions and myths that float around, too much risk versus not enough reward for most mainland folks, I'd guess. Though these are a walk in the park compared to the likes of, say... Devil's Teeth," he concluded with a shrug, pointedly ignoring the chill that loomed at the mention of that location. Nobody in their right mind went out that way, regardless of reputation or courage, and anyone who had reportedly never came back.

Reaching the tree line, Ekain pushed much of the overgrowth out of the way with a pulse of Craft here and there, essentially allowing the pair of them a relatively clear path to walk even as it all snapped back into place behind them. "Met Maria herself a couple times, personally. Crazy as a damn fox, that one," he explained as a precursor to Naraii's actual question.

"Granddaughter's a friend of an old contact of mine, so when Maria died it was brought to my attention pretty quickly, and obviously I had to go and meet her only remaining kin for myself. We got along pretty swimmingly, as you can probably imagine." Another grin and a wink to go along with it, while the implication went unspoken there definitely wasn't a doubt as to just how swimmingly such an introduction had gone where he was involved.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on Jun 14, 18, 09:43:09 AM
Naraii grinned at Ekain's thoughts on the creepiness of the islands, and how that made them more alluring, rather than less. She let her eyes sweep over the treeline and shore while they walked, though she detected little more than the expected flora and fauna nearby. Ekain mentioned the cursed islands, though, and the smile slowly bled off of Naraii's face. A chill ran down her spine and dread washed through her, though she wasn't entirely sure why. It was true, those particular islands had an intimidating reputation, but Naraii had come through her visit there unscathed, had she not? Ekain spoke of the Devil's Teeth as though he knew enough to compare them to the present locale, and Naraii nearly asked him about it. She looked over at him to do so, but ultimately decided to let the topic drop.

They were reaching the treeline then anyway, and Ekain's casual wrangling of the local vegetation was amusing enough to distract her, though not nearly as interesting as the revelation that he'd known Bitter Maria.

"You knew her?" she chirped, clearly intrigued by the news. "I heard she kept an entirely female crew for the last few decades that she sailed because she hated men so much by then. Any truth to it?" Of course, there was no shortage of strange stories and tall tales about Maria and the rest of Dhemlan's infamous privateers. "I also heard she had an evil eye so strong that she caused a Navy frigate to surrender just by glaring at it from the bow." She was grinning again by then, enjoying what had to have been nonsense around the old pirate. Her stories would only grow larger and more bombastic now that she'd passed. It was the way of things.

The notion of Ekain "getting along with" Maria's granddaughter surprised Naraii not at all, and she laughed quietly at his inference.

"She gonna be happy to see us, or should I expect to have to dodge kitchenware when we get close?"
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on Jun 16, 18, 05:43:16 AM
"Knew is probably a stronger word than I'd venture to use, but met and chatted with a few times without her being wholly-inclined to throw me out of the door of whatever pub we were occupying is accurate enough," he started with a small grin. For as charming and personable as he liked to come across, there were still those that held very little interest in the more social aspect of things that he liked to indulge in while at port. Out on the ocean was a whole different matter as that was generally work, and rival crews just didn't mix well where work was concerned, but Ekain had only intermittently been forced to combine such grievances into both arenas.

"First one's true last I was privy to, literally not a soul in Kaeleer that hated men more than she did by the time she kicked the bucket." He laughed, bringing a hand up to rub absently along his chin and the line of his jaw while he considered the few encounters he'd had with the deceased pirate. "The second one not so much, though its's prolly not a huge exaggeration, all things considered." Truth be told, the Valiant had perhaps encountered that other ship only a couple of times as they tended to find themselves sailing around vastly different domains, but he imagined had they ever gotten seriously entangled in a skirmish it would've been a sight to behold.

"Dodge kitchenware?" There was something dramatic and theatrical about the way he scoffed in (very faux, very overstated) offense and spun around on a foot to regard the witch for a moment or two, eyes wide and mouth agape like he'd never heard something more absurd in all his centuries of living. "Women adore me, I have no idea what you're tryna imply with such nonsense, Naraii." A certain Black Widow who would not be named didn't count; she was a traitorous wench.

Not that that was entirely true, of course, and the smirk that upturned one side of his mouth bespoke as much. Anyone who knew him even remotely well knew that most of his dalliances erred on the side of frivolous, so the probability of him pissing off at least a handful or two of women over the years wasn't exactly low, but he wasn't malicious, at least. It was just happenstance and came with the territory of his rakish behavior. "But in this instance, nah, there shouldn't be any need to put your fancy footwork to such strenuous use," he added, addressing her question finally with some modicum of seriousness. "We parted on delightful terms."

Though the First Mate imagined she might not be the most pleased regarding the notion that the pearl had been lost (relocated? did it really count as lost if it vanished of its own, unnatural accord?), but he could very easily handwave that and blame it on literally any other party in question. If she could at least point them in some sort of conclusive direction that'd be an insurmountable level of help.

The path eventually thinned out and cleared entirely the farther along the pair of them trekked, with a rickety-looking, but moderately-sized abode coming into their field of vision after a time, causing the pirate to gesture with a satisfied smile. "And there she is."

A distinct lack of... well... any kind of psychic presence should've been Ekain's first clue the closer they got to the place, and even as they approached his smile was slowly starting to wane, shifting into neutrality and then a small frown as he reached out with his Sapphire to give a cursory sweep of the building. "What the hell..." None of the previous security measures and meticulous webs seemed to be intact any longer and it was with more than mild annoyance that he marched right up to the door unimpeded and pushed it open, revealing the inside of the building to be empty.

Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on Jun 17, 18, 10:29:02 AM
Ekain's overly-dramatic reaction to the kitchenware comment won another string of little laughs from the witch, who shook her head and kept moving as they spoke.

"You're right, you're right," she conceded, lifting her hands in surrender. "Dunno what I was thinking..." It was good to hear Ekain and Maria's kin had parted on good terms, as it was probably going to be hard enough to find what they were after without having to navigate a scorned woman in the process. The levity of the moment was challenged when the pair arrived at the residence they sought only to find it empty. Naraii followed behind Ekain, eyes and senses sweeping carefully over the place while the Warlord cursed.

"Look," she said, pointing out a few places where moved furniture had dug scratches into the floorboards and knicked small dents into the door frame. "Someone was in a hurry. And understaffed," she processed aloud, eyes narrowing thoughtfully. Blood, with their access to Craft, rarely had to deal with the annoyance of lugging furniture about by hand. The only reason she could think of for not emptying the place by Jewel strength instead of manually was to conserve one's power. Or perhaps it'd already been depleted, before the job was finished. They'd have to be in a pretty big hurry to drag all that stuff out by hand rather than just waiting for their Jewels to replenish, though, in her mind. She was quiet for a beat, looking for other possible explanations.

"Did Maria have a large family?" she asked, looking curiously to Ekain. "Or just her daughter and granddaughter?" But Ekain might not hear the question entirely, because it was about then that he'd sense a ping from Ivan, something that would have been a psychic thread, if it hadn't been abruptly and unnaturally cut off. Attempts to reach the other Warlord psychically would fail. Ekain's particular adeptness with such threads would allow him to still locate Ivan's mind, but understand that it was unconscious and unable to accept a thread at the moment.

Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on Jun 23, 18, 02:57:50 AM
Any mirth had subsequently bled out of the Warlord the instant the door had swung open and revealed the residence to be devoid of... well... everything. Initially, however, he didn't necessarily surmise anything to be wrong; it was an annoyance and a vast inconvenience in terms of the strides he was hoping to make with additional clues or information, but at first observation it was easy enough for Ekain to assume that Maria's granddaughter had simply packed up the rest of her kin's things and moved on elsewhere. That wouldn't be too much of a problem, surely, he could simply just figure out where she ran off to and meet up with her there.

... Except between a closer, secondary inspection and Naraii pointing out the unusual nature of the scratches and nicks across the floor and on some of the door frames, his irritation shifted into a mix of dread and a lowly-roiling anger. If this hadn't been some kind of voluntary move or the witch had been in a hurry for some other reason... well... that changed things in a manner of which the pirate wasn't keen on having to deal with. This entire fiasco with that blasted pearl had been one damn thing after the next, and the list of fuckery only seemed to be growing.

His current companion's question didn't quite register at first as the psychic prod from Ivan reached him first... for the whole, scant few seconds it actually lasted before cutting out suspiciously abruptly. "What?" he (unintentionally) snapped, his focus shifting away from trying to reach out mentally to the other Warlord and back towards Naraii.

Though even after he asked her to repeat herself, he didn't wait long for an answer. "Something's not right. Ivan's in trouble. We've either been fucking followed or someone was here waiting," he growled, snapping up his usual array of sight, aural and defensive shields around both himself and the witch before practically bolting back the way they came, the air around him seeming to have acquired a faint chill to it despite the warmth and climate of their location.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on Jul 09, 18, 10:25:29 AM
Naraii got quiet when Ekain got tense, and she frowned at his snappish response to her query. There wasn't time to question it, though, as he revealed Ivan was in trouble and took off through the door. Naraii ran after him without hesitating, senses sweeping the world around them as she went.

Back at the beach, the scene was an unimpressive one. Ivan was nowhere to be seen, despite the fact that Ekain's ship had been unmoored and was currently being moved out into the surf by a lone sailor, one unfamiliar to both Ekain and Naraii. The beach strand showed proof that several someones had been present recently, and that parade of impressions in the sand also suggested Ivan (or someone) had been dragged away rather than leaving on his own two feet.

"What the hell...?" Naraii breathed, trying to make sense of what she was seeing. "There was no one here!" she insisted, narrowing her eyes at the retreating boat. It was too far out to reach without some swimming, and the witch was torn about her priorities. Ivan was absolutely important, but the boat was their only way off the island, as far as she knew.

"Just... uhh... how strong is that invisible arm of yours, huh?" she asked Ekain, almost joking about the prospect of him reaching for the ship with telekinesis alone. She shifted her gaze to the sand, and then to the treeline to which the trail led. "Looks like three or four people, plus Ivan," she said. "Think he's still with us?" she asked, uncertain as to what kind of communication Ekain had gotten from the missing warlord.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on Jul 21, 18, 11:36:39 AM
Ekain was not amused.

The sight laid out in front of them when they reached the shoreline was as bewildering as it was infuriating. He'd been certain there was nobody following them, and as there was no other boat around with footprints only leading away rather than indicating some sort of arrival it had to mean someone was already on the island. Which, additionally didn't make any sense as he'd been told nobody else inhabited the area, though he supposed Bitter Maria's information could've been outdated.

Frustration roiled underneath his skin for not the first time within the past week and the chill that had started permeating the air before found itself a little more prominent around the pirate as he deliberated. It was tempting to merely blast at the boat with a power bolt to knock whoever was manning it into the water, but the depth of his jewels made that a difficult task without risking the integrity of the small vessel itself. "They're likely all working together. The ones who dragged off Ivan would know where the boat is going and potentially had their own method of getting here to begin with."

At Naraii's question regarding the other Warlord, his eyes narrowed in concentration as he reached out to tap into the younger man's mind, where he got the same indicator as before. "He's still alive, just unconscious. Rayen knows we're here and isn't too far off with the ship. She'll head closer this way when we don't pass by like I told her we would, then I can get a hold of her." Thankfully his Gray had a rather impressive range for the Blood's method of psychic communication and a thread to the ship wouldn't be hard to manage.

Ekain's sentiments on the matter and the dangerous look he was shooting at the tree line was a rather solid confirmation of the decision he'd made in terms of priorities. Losing the boat would cost him, but the Valiant's coffers had the funds to pay the owner back to replace it. A member of his crew getting back alive was far more important and invaluable to the First Mate, he was never the type to leave any of his companions behind. "Let's go," was all he had on the matter before taking off back into the overgrowth and following the small array of footprints.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on Jul 22, 18, 04:42:54 PM
Naraii didn't wait to be told twice. The look Ekain shot the treeline ought to have been enough to inform her of his intention, but when he shot off like a bolt he still caught her a little off guard. She took off after him, though he beat her to the edge of the vegetation.

"They weren't worried about covering their tracks," she called to him, while they ran. "Which probably means either they don't know we're here or they don't care if we find them. We should watch for--EKAIN!"

But by the time Naraii was near enough to sense the latent Craft that covered the path before them, Ekain was already three steps into it. She shouted for him just as the jungle around them seemed to explode on both sides. Thick green leaves, shards of tropical trees, bits of rock and dirt and root all flew at high speeds through the air, while hostile Craft attempted to lock down on anything occupying the path. Naraii shrieked, startled, and lifted her arms while summoning entirely unnecessary shields. Only afterwards did she realize Ekain still had her shielded, and she relaxed again. The moment went from terrifying to laughable in the blink of an eye, and she straightened up quickly and started after Ekain again.

"Hell yeah!!" she whooped, likely a bit merrier about the matter than the focused Warlord was. Emboldened some by the practical reminder of how much sheer strength traveled with them, she laughed as she ran to catch up. "I forgot what a good time you can--whoah," Naraii said, her thought interrupted by the sight before her when she caught up with Ekain. Before them, the barely-there path they'd been following sharpened up, and a stone gateway  ( to emerge from the land itself to stand guard over it. More impressive - and probably what had given the Warlord pause (even if it didn't last long) was the sense of Craft which lingered about it in heavy, intricately-woven layers. A sense of foreboding radiated from the place, a clear indication that whomever was responsible for its presence was not interested in visitors.

"Path leads inside," Naraii pointed out, her tone more sober now. With eyes narrowed, she inspected the structure with mundane and Craft senses alike, and gave a low whistle at the complexity of the weavings upon it. "I dunno what this is, but it ain't neighborly, that's for sure," she murmured.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Ekain Petite on Aug 12, 18, 06:45:17 AM
"-- EKAIN!"

Anything before the shriek of his name hadn't remotely registered within the pirate's thought processes while they ran. His focus was singular both in his growing agitation and confusion about the situation, his demeanor drifting further and further away from the easygoing and normally jovial vagrant and substantially more towards the dark, prowling predator that so many of the Blood were known for being. There was a short list of things that Ekain Petite didn't fuck around with and the wellbeing and safety of his crew was right up at the top, always having been oddly contrasting with how utterly fickle so many others of his kind could be. (Nobody aboard the Valiant, of course, as loyalty was a trait that Rayen practically required, but other crews were notorious for turning on their own if the situation or payout suited them.)

Everything seemed to shift into slow motion shortly after Naraii yelled, between Ekain finally slowing down from his dogged pace to see what she was even saying, and the world around them suddenly seeming to implode. So intent upon his chase the First Mate hadn't been scanning around for any latent Craft, only keeping just enough up and humming around them in the form of his shields, but it was quickly apparent that the witch had been far more cautious in her pursuit. It was even more suddenly obvious that it was a damned good thing he hadn't forgone the shields themselves, lest they'd have ended up absolutely obliterated by the debris and hostile Craft that erupted around them.

Despite the spontaneous combustion slowing his run down to more of a jog, it wasn't enough to make him stop entirely and Ekain pressed on right up until Naraii caught up to him. His attention lent a bit more fastidiously to his surroundings after the mishap from moments before, the pirate did in fact stop at the strange-looking structure and frowned at it in observation. The Craft was far more intricate than anything he personally had experience with and felt much more ominous than even that of a Black Widow's typical fare, which in and of itself was more than enough of a sign  that it was meant to keep trespassers out. Unfortunately for whoever had set the encompassing Craft up in the first place, Ekain didn't actually care in this instance.

"How unlucky for them, neither am I," he stated darkly. Giving the woven layers of Craft another once over before doubling up on their shields and then moving resolutely to march beyond the stone structure and its impeding barriers.
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Naraii Elizondo on Aug 29, 18, 09:40:38 AM
"Ekain, uh..." Naraii said, her tone hesitant when the warlord stalked forward. Her eyes and senses passed over the rest of the facade, and she remained unconvinced about the wisdom of disregarding the security that felt like it permeated the place. Ekain didn't stop, though, and despite how unwise it seemed, Naraii grit her teeth and jogged along after him, unwilling to make him face whatever was coming alone.

Besides, his shields probably moved with him.

The pair of them hadn't fully entered the shadow of the open archway before the residents of the strange place made a more forthright statement about their displeasure. Braided shields slammed down before them, sealing off the inner doorway with such force that it felt like it ought to have rustled the foliage on the ground. More visibly, a number of Blood and Landen males and females poured into the clearing beyond the doorway, moving with a speed and certainty that spoke of an impressive amount of practice or familiarity. They were dressed in the revealing style of the islanders of the area, in sarongs and trunks and creative twists and drapes of thin, lightweight fabrics. At the moment, they were also dressed in sober-looking frowns, every pair of bright eyes focused on the newcomers. Most of them held curved bows in their hands, arrows nocked and aimed at the doorway.

"You are not welcome here." Someone said, their tone hard and unyielding. The voice seemed to come from the assembled guards, though no one person was easy to identify as the speaker. It was not the voice of a young person, though it was female in timbre. "Leave now and keep your life."
Title: Re: palm tree escape
Post by: Rayen Sandoval on Nov 07, 18, 04:28:16 PM
A short errand, my ass. Rayen thought with mild irritation as she checked the time piece that was bolted to the desk in her Captain’s quarters. Ekain had been gar far too long for what he had assured Raye would be a short errand. His choice of words grated on her everlasting nerves as the clock ticked on and still there was no sign of Ekain. If the piece wasn’t an heirloom from her uncle’s time running the Valiant she would have considered silencing it’s constant tick-tock.

Why she let Ekain wander off without her was another question entirely, and she didn’t want to bother analyzing the answer.

“Keep the Valiant at a distance.” She huffed under her breath and startled the ship’s cat who had curled up on the plush chair across the desk from where Rayen sat anxiously. The cat glared at her accusingly for disturbing its peace before dropping to the floor with a heavy thud before slinking off. The beast enjoyed its quiet time in the Captain’s quarters and often presented Rayen with a half dead, or sometimes decapitated mouse, as a hostess gift when he would visit. Given the look he had just given her she was wary of where that mouse might end up next as he was none too pleased with the Captain.

She had to remind herself that she was annoyed with Ekain. Such annoyance was often short lived but given that he had scurried off on his own mission she decided it would last at least two days longer than usual. Perhaps she could force him to grovel for forgiveness.

The mental image of that groveling did bring a large smile to Rayen’s face.

Never the less, even if she was annoyed she would protect Ekain at all costs. He was one of her nearest and dearest friends since they were children. He’d personally ensured her freedom on three separate occasions and that earned a certain level of loyalty from the witch. She checked the clock again and decided she would grant him another two hours at maximum before she reached out to assure herself he was still alive and whole.

Or at least partially whole. It was a pirate’s prerogative to lose a limb from time to time, or an eye in one-eye Javi’s case. Peg-leg Pablo always claimed that he’d lost his leg to a shark attack though no one seemed to be able to corroborate his story, yet he’d stuck by it for the near century he had served on the Valiant so Rayen was willing to accept it with a grain of salt. Eight-finger Enric was another case all together for Rayen had been involved in the battle where he’d lost his two smallest fingers on his dominant hand. They’d gone into the sea before anyone could reclaim them for the Healer to stitch back on.

The sea was a cruel mistress at time and a pirate’s ship had the most interesting tales, after all.