A Pirate's (Un)Life for me! (Rovana)

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
Re: A Pirate's (Un)Life for me! (Rovana)

Lake Battle

Rovana slammed her hilt dramatically down on her ship's floor, and as that happened, a rolling crackle of horizontal lightning lanced across and hit about six of the fallen pirates. The energy was enough to rip the zombies apart. Meanwhile, the others continued to land harshly against the deck, ripping their undead flesh as they landed, but rising up thanks to necrotic energies still keeping them together.

Pulling their swords and axes, Ingrid, Blasa, Alaric and the other sailors rushed against these zombies, engaging them in a frantic melee that ranged across the mid deck. Beyond this pitched battle, Jowai was standing against the enemy captain and the other fallen that were around him. She could see the half-orc bellowing as he swung his sword, lightning energy crackling around him, arcing down his sword and across his body. First with one stroke he decapitated a zombie pirate in front of him, its body pitching sideways into the sea. Then he stabbed the next one in front of him, it continued to raise its axe even while impaled on the great sword. But then the sword glowed white hot, and an electric snap jolted through the creature, leaving it smoking.

The enemy captain lurched back and then jetted a gout of water out of its mouth - a blast powerful enough to push whoever it struck overboard. Fortunately, Jowai ducked the attack. But as he did more of the zombies rushed at him, tackling him to the ground. The undead captain then leaped up over his men and the fighting warrior and held the anchor up in the air, pointing it in Rovana's direction.

Over on the rock, the mad mage seemed to be willing to go onto the boat with Damia and Neku, but at the last moment suddenly tore away from them and with a shout unleashed a lightning bolt into the enemy ship, killing one of the last deep one arcanists.

Enemy captain calls Rovana out. Luck is with the Red Dawn today, and the ship's lightning ability recharges again!
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83
Re: A Pirate's (Un)Life for me! (Rovana)


Rovana The Red Dawns captain
Lake Battle


"Aye, I'll take yer challenge!" Rovana shouted, still grinning. The enemy captain had jumped over Jowai, which ment a lightning-shot at his enormous chest would just be about the right height for the zombies standing above Jowai as well..

Rovana rushed backwards, blade lifted, to the other side of the ship, trusting the undead short of the captain to be mindless enough to let herself line up their captain and them, blade still lifted, before she shouted: "Stay down Jowai! By the by, captain deadface, ye're sure ye want to keep pointin' that big metal rod at someone who commands the red lightning?" She questioned with a constant smirk, slamming her outstretched blade against the height of the ships interior wall(or lacking that, a cabin-wall), unleashing its lightning on at the captain and past him, into the group of zombies surrounding Jowai, commenting.: "Alright, now you can get up!" Before focusing on the enemy captain, grinning and rushing to grip the nearest lose rope, twirling it around her arm, before climbing atop the reiling. "Come on weakling, are you the best Dagon has to offer? I planned to flee after getting the mage, but if ye all die so fast we'll be taking yer ship for me own. Admiral Rovana!.. on second thought, .. I can do better. Heck, least of me crew can do better. Think we'll just sink it. Send a message, aye?" She smirked, hoping to taunt and keep the enemy captain busied whilest using her mobility to avoid retaliation.. if he spit water again she could hopefully let herself be pushed away, only to hold onto the rope. If he did pursue her, she could hopefully climb/swing away on the rope and out of reach. She was not about to fight such a large, monstrous creature.. well, unless it looked as if her lightning actually managed to shake it up.

Move +Dash to get back and them climb upwards with a rope after unleashing another lightning blast, at 5-6 ft height in hopes of missing someone on the ground entirely, for... dayumn, neat roll, even a made reflex safe should feel that one: Roll(10d6)+0:
5,6,6,1,6,5,1,6,3,5,+0
Total:44

However, climb check for rope acrobatics: Roll(1d20)+4:
4,+4
Total:8
So she might struggle with the further evasion.
 
Last edited:

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
Re: A Pirate's (Un)Life for me! (Rovana)

Battle on the Red Dawn

The undead pirate captain twisted aside, the red lightning scorching its shoulder to a blackened, putrid crisp, before barreling on to strike down two more of the creatures atop Jowai, who then pushed his way up and to his feet, striking a surviving zombie repeatedly with the pommel of his blade, while white lightning whirled around him and smote the creature down. The zombie near him stabbed downward into the meat of Jowai's thigh, but this seemed only to enrage the half orc more than limit his fighting capability.

The greater undead holding the anchor focused on Rovana's taunts and stomped across the melee to observe the pirate captain nimbly using her legs to push and swing herself up along the rigging of the ship, intending to keep out of his reach. Unfortunately, her route was taking her straight into the slashing interplay of swords between Blasa and one of the fallen ones. Unable to switch her course unless she let go of the rope, Rovana was forced back to the deck, and this allowed the zombie captain to close with her.

He was slow moving, but inexorable, and now there were many enemies and allies around her. However, she could see that her lightning had hurt him, and in fact had chipped his coral armor somewhat, exposing putrid raw flesh. He was preparing a great swing with his anchor, but by the time he began his wind up, Rovana was prepared to make another move again.

Acrobatics fail puts Rovana into the melee, assume allies and enemies occupy squares near her. The zombie captain barrels through, (and takes several attacks of opportunity on the way, with two sailors each getting decent stabs in on it. It's undead nature keeps it focused on getting to Rovana because of the taunting, but easy perception tells you that this captain is actually not in a good way.

For the first time all fight, your lightning doesn't recharge (rolled a 3).

Nearby you have Blasa, Ingrid and two redshirt sailors (henceforth known simply as redshirts) fighting within 10 ft of you. They are able and willing to respond to this fight if Rovana needs them, though each of them has a slightly injured zombie crew fighting them. The enemy captain and you are both near the central main mast in the middle of the ship.
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83
Re: A Pirate's (Un)Life for me! (Rovana)


Rovana The Red Dawns captain
Lake Battle


"Tzk." Rovana hissed at Blasa fighting in her way.. clearly her lack of proper prior pirating was to blame here.

"Well then." She looked at the enemy captain, looking left and right.. battle was waging on deck.. on ship, her ship. The undead was towering over her.. powerful, to the point where being hit by that anchor she could most certainly not stomach more than one of.

Just gotta make sure I don't get hit twice then. She chuckled, inwardly, her blade lifted with a mixture of recently aquired noble poise and long trained rogueish ferocity. "Come, face the Reaver!" She shouted, rushing forward, but rather than trying a head on attack, turning her blade upside down as she spun around, attempting to drive it into the undead captains exposed and already wounded shoulder with all of her might.

.. omg. I kid you not:
Roll(1d20)+7:
20,+7
Total:27

And that was a sneak-critical.:
Roll(2d8)+0:
6,5,+0
Total:11
Roll(4d6)+0:
2,6,4,6,+0
Total:18

So, adding +4 ability modifier, a total of 33 Damage.. I feel like the dices want to make up for the Lady Wachter encounter now. ^^
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
Battle on the Red Dawn

Rovana held her blade in a dramatic pose, standing before the undead monstrosity that appeared to have managed to close her into a melee. The brute nature of the threat that it posed was impossible to ignore. Hatred of life gleaned in its dark pupils, and eldritch energies were keeping its rotting, drowned muscles upright. The sight was fear inducing on a mystic level, but Captain Rovana of the Red Dawn was immune to such things when her booted feet still touched the deck of her ship. This creature might be physically strong, but like most controlled undead, it didn't have the wit to deal with a fast acting acrobatic fighter like her. He was simply out of his league, and in the frenzied height of combat, the Reaver was about to prove it.

With a battle cry, she shouted, her blade flashing, smelling of the brine of the sea, its dormant magic simmering beneath the surface, hinting to Rovana that there was more to unlock within it. Her feet pivoted, lithe muscles trained on the sea and in tavern brawls cording together and springing like a panther, nimbly to the side as the vicious anchor swung. No point in parrying that weight, she just needed to dodge and let the overswing provide an opening. It did so, and the pirate captain spun, her cape swirling in the grey morning, a vivid splash of color standing out from the melee.

She leapt upward, her blade twirling and reversing itself in her hand and coming down hard and directly on the open wound in the zombie captains shoulder. The blade sunk in, and the rival commander, while not howling as a mortal would, for pain was beyond it, instead let out a spew of brackish sea water and necromantic energy from its mouth, The anchor dropped from its grasp, and stumbling to the side, the creature seemed to try to escape towards the side of the boat. This was no good however, as the energy poured out of it at too rapid a rate, Rovana's blow having felled it by piercing its bloated dead heart as well as part of its spine. Crashing down to the surface of the boat, the creature swiftly began to disassemble, aeons of rot catching up with it, as the foe decomposed. The rest of its unliiving crew immediately began to weaken, with energy seeping out of them too and opening them each to attacks of opportunity. In an instant, the battle had shifted irrevocably in the livings' favor.

The zombies were quickly pushed back. Those who were able to, flung themselves overboard, as if the sea itself were a valid escape for them, and perhaps it was. The enemy ship, also formed of energies that had been tied to the captain, was now sinking back under the waves. There were living spellcasters on board, the deep ones, but they too returned to the sea, though only one made it safely, as the mad mage blasted the second to last remaining caster with a bolt of fire that incinerated it upon impaact.

"Well struck," Alaric said, who had noted the champions' strike against the enemy captain. "And we appear to have our quarry too."

As he said this, Neku and Damia were finally able to escort the mad mage onto the ship, now that there were no more enemies to fight. They stood the wizard before Rovana, who eyed her and the crew suspiciously, and when the glint of recognition did dawn he simply said. "I see you have started to use the ship's potential."
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83

Rovana The Red Dawns captain
Lake Battle


Rovana quickly recovered from the shock of her own sucess in the face of this terrible creature. If anyone had asked her honestly before, her plan would have been hit and run, with a lot of running, ideally, .. after all that -thing- could carry an anchor which, Just for the sake of it, Rovana would try to pull up and, she suspected with near certainty, fail to lift with both hands and teeth.

But of course, brute strength alone didn't matter. Not if you had a nimbler blade stuck deep in your chest. Rovana smirked slightly, as she watched the necrotic energies fading from the creatures, moving to sheathe her blade, if only to hide the slight shaking of her hand. "Huh? Oh ye.. yes of course I was.. !" She cleared her throat, a handwave making sure her cloak fluttered more dramatically as a genuine smile spread on her lips. "I mean. Harr. What did ye doubt? I may nay know how to handle the monsters of these lands, but only fools don't fear a pirate on the seas." She nodded to Alaric, before looking over to the mage being retrieved, quickly regaining her cheeky confidence now, leaning up against her ships wall.

"Seems ye lost the bet, I finished first." She winked at Neku and looked over to the mage, strongly fighting the urge to say 'I see you still haven't used a baths potential'. He still might be a bit .. fightey, after all and she wanted none of what she saw him giving to the drowned casters. Instead, and more thoughtfully than she knew of herself she mused:

"Have I? Feels more like we get along better slowly. If you wanna talk about potential we ought to talk about my sword. I got you a priest that'll uncurse you. Even if that doesn't restore your memory, should fix your magic up so you can go searching for your own stuff. All I require is you coming to meet him with me, without exploding me, me crew, these folks..." She waved her hand in Alerics general direction. "and my bethrothed. And of course the chest. Me treasure. Now, any sane person would bury it at some hidden spot, perhaps draw a nice map of it, but seeing yer magical inclinations ye can propably magic it up somewhere? I'm sure neither of us wants to travel with the other more than necessary." She raised a hand. "No worry, I'm not the kind of person to betray yer and steal it just for the sake of it. Unless I'm certain you wont retaliate. "

Then finally she nodded to the sailors. "Let's get ready to sail on to yonder shore, I'll not have any wreckage or cliffs scratch up me ship."
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
Battle on the Lake: Conclusion

The anchor was, indeed, too heavy to lift for her small frame, though she wagered with a bit of effort she could push or pull it across the deck. Certainly, her foe's strength had not been something to question. But her blade had run him through nonetheless, distorting the vile necromantic energies that had enervated his undead sinews. Rovana might not have known it, just then, but her performance and that confrontation had made a positive impression on those around, not the least for having routed the other undead, whose own energies appeared to be centered around their leader.

"Your ship's capability is impressive, but I find your bravery in the face of a monstrosity moreso," Alaric insisted with sincerity, not rising to Rovana's ploy at bravada. He sheathed his own blade and settled his red cloak behind him. Gathering behind the captain, the remaining crew watched as Neku and Damia helped the mad mage onto the ship. He was more disheveled that he'd been when they'd last met, but his eyes were sharp and calculating.

"Your blade? Pah. Adventurers and their focus on weapons. You stand upon a far greater... hnnh..." He held his hand to his head, as if in pain. Then blinking a few times, he seemed frustrated, and his lips curled into a snarl.

"Blast this curse. So you've found a priest capable of undoing it? I wonder who, in this shadowed land, you might have found."

He grunted and turned to the rocky island, waving his hands in the air, causing the wind to ripple as if in a heat wave. Out of the hazy motion appeared before them a slender tower built of crystalline material , slightly amethyst in color. An intricate doorway at the base of the tower opened, and upon a floating disc of humming blue energy was the chest from Lady Wachter's room.

"You might as well have your prize in hand. Treachery at this point will not avail you - and I grow tired of the seemingly endless fight. Take me to your healer, corsair." The mad mage stood on the deck near the railing where he had come aboard, not budging from the spot as the ship came about and headed to the southern shore of the lake, which by this point was blurring the lines of reality, shifting between fresh and salt water - as though two different realms were merging and they now drifted upon the borders of the supernatural confluence.

Reaching the shore, Aleric, Damia, Neku, and Jowai all gathered close to Rovana and waited for her decision about how to proceed. Without her nearby, there was doubt that the ship would remain floating, due to its magical ties to her amulet, and even if it did, it was unlikely that she would wish it to remain relatively unguarded when she was not upon it. The mage would travel with Rovana to Krezk, but who else among the crew would she choose to accompany her? And what would she have done with those who did not follow her?

 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83

Rovana The Red Dawns captain
Lake Battle, aftermath


"Ehehe.." Rovana grinned, -almost- finding herself emberassedly blushing at the pretty nobleman praising her.. of course she was no dainty maiden, so instead she insisted on her over the top bravery, .: "Fighting as captain, upon me ship with me crew, there be no death to fear." albeit adding, with genuinity: "I've faced worse fates and got time to question meself with knees shaking afterwards." Her knees -were- shaking a bit, with the adrenaline rush running out, though she hid it moderatly well.

"Not that I dislike me ship, mage, but I can't quite bash my foes over the head with it now can I. As for whom I found.. I don't trust 'im, but then again, I don't trust you either." She shrugged. "Huh. Who put the tower there.. Right.." She scratched the back of her head at the display of magic with ease. "Right, if you promise not to burn anything in your sleep ye can rest under deck, no betraying you from anyone here I promise ye."

Rovana watched the blurring at the shore hesitantly, playing with her medallion and looking over to Aleric. "Let's all head to Krezk, but .. hrmnn.. they didn't like four people joining, they might like a company of all of us less." Rovana mused, her eyes wandering over to the chest.. she'd reward herself with that later after laying the remains of the Dilisnya to rest.
"Let's all head to Krezk. We'll make them let us in, one way or the other. Perhaps you know a secret noble-handshake. But we'll lead these men into a battle that might be their last, the code demands we have them feast and rest first, if possible." Rovana decided that for all of them, it was safest to travel together in the end.

"Yes. That will do.
Tell your men we'll head to Krezk and to get a beauty nap in later. We'll not wait the dawn. Our.. strongest warrior is more of a night owl. Plus! Those creatures wont expect us setting sail after midnight.
Primarly because it's madness."
She grinned, letting Aleric gather his men, before saluting her ship in goodbye, as if it was a part of the crew. While she felt more comfortable on board, having a treasure chest to carry along with them made up for it, as she made way back to the gates of Krezk, depending on the time of day taking it easy enough, or pushing a little, so they made it back in the evening, whilest humming a tune that perhaps the two with her that had been pirates longer recognized.

Finally, once, if, she came close to the gates of Krezk without trouble, she'd .. actually lean over to Aleric and ask: "Alright, those are. very.. strict guards. Not keen on letting anyone in without a good reason. I got them wavering, but must have missed me mark by a little... perhaps ye can help me.. translate into proper noble talk, I'd like to tell them something among the lines of: Avast ye bloody fools, we're back on a mission from yer head-papist, plus these men are weary fighting undead that now wont be pillaging yer booty and raping yer women so how about you barnacle-breeders let us pass with nay troubles?" She grinned a little, not that she -couldn't- try to express this differently, she was just curious if there was a different wording.. a tone she had missed.. or if the guards simple were hard to .. convince.
 
Last edited:

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
The boat was put to anchor and the crew all came ashore. The treasure chest was kept in Rovana's hands, unless she wanted to entrust it to one or more of her own crew. Jowai and Neku both hummed along to the tune, but not being from the same waters as the Brechtan lass, they were unfamiliar with the dirges she sang. Still, they seemed to enjoy the musicality of the march, as did some of the sailors of Danigau, as well as Damia, who as a Vistana was inclined towards music to accompany the winding mist filled roads. Along the journey, the mage kept to himself and spoke little.

As they neared the gates of Krezk. Aleric bent an ear to Rovana and listened to her tale of strict guards and her request of him.

"Tried your hand at rattling them, did you?" Aleric asked.

"I can make the attempt and smooth over those rough, nautical edges in your message."

They approached the gates to see the spread of fog thick across the edges of the palisade, and above on the ramparts, two cloaked figures stood watch with their head covered by their dark hoods, and their bodies slightly stooped.

"Hail, good guardsmen. Be not alarmed by our numbers, we mean no offense. We are here on business from your head priest. We have --"

"Yes. Yes. Yes! Come for the master, yes! You enter, enter, yes!" Croaked the nearest cloaked figure, and the gates creaked open a moment after.. There was little doubt from his voice that this man was not the same as the guard who had greeted Rovana the first time, and certainly there was something off about his speech and mannerism. Aleric looked back at Rovana with an arched eyebrow, then with a nod to his own men, he placed a wary hand on the pommel of his sword, though he didn't draw it. All who had heard the greeting were a little tense. The mad mage was muttering to himself, which didn't ease anyone's worries.

The gates opened fully and mist billowed out of it, showing a path in the fog lined with half a dozen crouching cloaked figures as it wound through the town, up the switchbacks of the mountainside towards the abbey.

"He shall meet you in the abbey's courtyard. Yes, the courtyard! Bring with you what you have promised! Captain!" The 'guardsman' declared, and then the six figures made to scamper off ahead, unless Rovana did something to keep them nearby. Around the corner of the gatehouse, four slumped Krezkan guardsman were piled against the masonry, apparently knocked out.

 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83

Captain Rovana
Gates of Krezk-> Krezk Abbey


"Actually, I did my dues smoothtalking them, I can express myself quite pristinely.. it's just more effort." Rovana admitted, unashamedly.. "And I seem to be needing to hone my skills further." She added as well, slightly ashamedly for this, as well as being a little exhausted. The way here had been troublesome. On the one hand, there was the innate urge to keep the treasure-chest to herself. On the other.. well, it was still a heavy chest. At least it would be lighter soon, after having the Abbot bury Leo Dilisnyas remains and taking the gem within it. Well, that was what she thought, at least.

Rovana was distracted from her musings at the change of attitude in the guards, raising her brows. All she could offer Aleric was a shrug here.
"Right, ye know what?" Rovana mused, to Aleric, and her companions in general. "Let's not. Just.. a general not. Never been a fan of priests in the first place and this lot can be someone elses problem. We have enough to deal with right now." She decided, giving the cloaked figures and their scampering an expression like she'd bitten on sour lemons. though she made her way...

"New plan. We get the mage fixed up, fetch a friend of mine and get ready to leave. I'd love to stay and feast and drink as the next of ye after a battle, but best case, they'll blame the guards on us. Actually.. " Rovana looked to the sky.. if the day had grown old enough to make her believe Ludmilla would be awake, she'd derail to fetch her, knocking on the wooden door, keeping greetings and introductions brief, with perhaps a note of them being able to talk later.

"Fair warning." She mused, as she made her way up to the courtyard. "I'm going to pay this abbot to fix the mage.. and since no one is too seriously injured and we .. hopefully.. can gather provisions on our own, I'd rather keep the second stone he wants for ourselfs. I can deal with being cursed. .. but.." She hesitated, a part of her suspicious of just what the abbot might want those gems for, though, she quickly chose to excuse her reasoning differently: "Better be cursed but have some treasure to keep, Aye? Anyway. Not quite sure how that'll go. Might be wanting to make a speedy withdrawal." She grinned, subtly slipping one of the gems she had taken into a hidden poket, for now.

With that noted and perhaps a nod at everyone but the mage to stand back, she stepped into the Courtyard, putting down the chest, resting one foot on it, looking about if the abbot wasn't there. "First things first, let's get his curse broken so me part is fulfilled." She demanded, presenting the first gem to the abbot and as soon as it was handed over, opening up the chest she had brought, finally. She had provided the mage with what he asked for, the deal was done. Now, she was curious to see what she'd been chasing after for .. quite a while. In her mind, she had sacrificed her life to gain the ship, and sacrificed... likely some other things, as luckily hazy her memory was about this, to gain the gem to her blade. If she was the spirit of the Last Dilisnya clinging to a drowned girl, or an impossible survivor with dellusions of nobility, the Regalia of the captain she once had spouted about overconfidently, she had now earned. It felt oddly Cathartic doing this now, with her debts paid.. Well, except an entirely different payment she had planned for Dagon.
 
Last edited:

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
Jowai nodded sagely to Rovana's advice to simply... not engage with whoever these cloaked figures were.

"Aye," the half-orc grumbled. "There's a whole lotta weird in the way those ones talk and move - and that's coming from someone who sails with THAT guy."

He jerked a thumb over his shoulder to Neku, whose dark eyes glittered as if the stars themselves were in them. The mystic pirate smiled eerily back at the orc.

Aleric's men, being of the same upbringing as a typical guardsman - loyal servants of law and order on the high seas - were certainly shaken by the site of the knocked out guards, but following their own captain's example, they marched along with hands at the ready to draw their weapons. None of the normal residents of Krezk appeared to be out of doors, despite it still being mid-afternoon. Perhaps something had occurred prior to Rovana's arrival that had driven them all back inside and ceded the streets to the men from the Abbey. Unfortunately, it still seemed to be too early for Ludmilla to be roused, according to what she knew of the legends behind vampirism - which all seemed to be vague about how active the creatures could be during the hours surrounding dusk and dawn.

Her comments about keeping the stone received no response from the members of her crew. Either they accepted the captain's choice or they had no strong reason to argue it. The party climbed the mountainside road up to the fortified Abbey of Saint Markovia, which was built right out of the rocks of the cliff face, having an "L" shape, with two wings, a north and east block that were connected by a fifteen foot high curtain wall. The windows of the north wing were made of a leaded glass that allowed light in but denied any ability to actually peer inside through it. The east wing looked far more decrepit, with broken shutters and smashed glass. All told, the road ascended upwards more than 400 feet from the terraces of Krezk below. At the top of the mountain, the air had grown cold enough that Rovana could see her breath steaming out from her mouth.

The gravel road at the top of the peak passed between two small stone outbuildings, out of which from either side stretched a five foot high wall of jumbled stones held together crudely with mortar. Iron gates normally blocked the road between the outbuildings, but they were open now, and creaking in the wind on rusty hinges. A belfry extends upward from the roof of the north wing, and the bell within tolls as Rovana stepped through the gates. Grey smoke rose up from the abbey's chimney as well.

To their immediate right was a graveyard, with three rows of gravestones that curved around the edge of the cliffside, amid a few snow-covered pine trees. Further beyond this, to the east, were four garden plots, beyond a small, simple wooden garden gate. Between these areas was the abbey entrance: a pair of ten foot tall wooden doors reinforced with bands of steel, which are open when the pirates approach and through them Rovana can see a gathering of cloaked figures in the courtyard beyond. As she passed through the entrance, she noted a copper plaque that was set to the right of the doors, bearing the name "Abbey of Saint Markovia" and a subscript "May her light cure all illness."

Perhaps once this place had been a stronghold against the darkness that claimed dominion over the land, but its founder was long dead, and her legacy appeared to be only a shadow of what it might have been.


"Welcome, Captain." a melodious voice in sharp contrast with the dreariness of the setting called out across the courtyard. The young, handsome Abbot walked across the courtyard slowly and gracefully, as the cloaked hunched figures beside him gathered together and swayed and fidgeted unsettlingly.

"I had prayed for your success, and I am so very pleased to see you have made it back unscathed. You have brought many new faces with you. Among them I suppose is your beleagured magus?"

The mage stepped forward. "I've heard word of you, Abbot. Some say that you do the Devil's bidding - that you consort with the darklord. That you aid his spies, his crows..."

To this the Abbot held up a smooth, white hand and silently bid the mage to stop speaking, to surprising effect - for the dirty mage stopped his sputtering.

"And I have heard of you this past year, mage of Mount Baratok. Casting spells at shadows and seeing servants of darkness everywhere - leaving no room for innocents. You are fortunate to have the good Captain bring you to me. For what I am - all that I am - is a healer of that which ails all souls. I believe I can bring you redemption, and uncloud your mind. That is..."

The beautiful azure eyes shifted to Rovana.

"Assuming you are willing to give me what I have asked for?" He held out his hand, and though he seemed a kindly young man, there was an intensity in his gaze at this moment that seemed to positively radiate with a burning need. The pirate captain was filled with the sense that to not place a diamond earring into his palm would be a foolish notion.

Fortunately for Rovana, such had always been her intention, and she gave the Abbot the stone, after which all tension in the air disappeared as if it never were. The young man closed his eyes and smiled beatifically, murmuring a whisper of thanks and clutching the stone close to his chest. He then raised his other hand and placed it on the forehead of the mage. An intense holy light emerged, and surrounded the mage, and as the nimbus of holy energy ebbed away slowly, the mage's visage changed.

No longer unkempt, it seemed as if years of aging were dropping away, and leaving the mage as much calmer and more erudite in appearance, though still aged.


Once the transformation was done, the mage took a step back, blinked, and then took in a deep breath.

"Much clearer now... my thanks for that." He nodded to Rovana.

"My name is Mordenkainen. And if you want to escape this realm, you need to complete your bond to your ship."
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83

Captain Rovana
Gates of Krezk-> Krezk Abbey


"I've seen a whole lot of weird recently, enough to get picky about were to poke me fingers in. That said.." She looked at the afternoon sky thoughtfully. She had little doubt Ludmilla could leave and catch up with them on her own if they left Krezk early, but she didn't like the overall situation here.

When they approached the abbey, she mused something about this looking more like a fortress than a church, but otherwise ascended silently, opposed to the rest of her travel so far. If she hadn't been .. cautious about priests before, this would have sealed the deal.

Rovana remained silent at the brief confrontation of mage and abbot. She certainly didn't like the cloaks, and had never liked the abbot, then again he -did- help Neku so if he helped the abbot too, she was willing to live and let live, despite the intense demand in who she was quite certain was not a mortal man, be he angel or devil. She shielded her face from the holy glowey nimbus.. On second thought, it felt rather wise to leave this place with Ludmilla. She was quite confident her beloved could handle any cloak or ghoul getting in the way, but the abbot seemed to hold some intimidating holy power.. Not that the name of Mordenkainen ment much to her. There was no famous pirate of that name after all.

She stopped fidgeting with her chest, partially annoyed at the interruption of that, but also curious on what the man had said. And she had an image to maintain! Or was it establish? "I can see Strahd messed yer up something good, and.. I've been doing a few things I feel regretful about meself in this dreary land, so I'll be doing us both a favour and forget about the old you.
That said, dear magus, I nay be escaping. I've plundered these lands for treasure as suited me and indeed, I do see fit to set sail and findless dreary shores... and to that end, quite curious what you mean."
She reached out, touching her pendant. "It's a wonderful ship. All I could ask for and more, frankly, that just be it though, I had it unleash lightning and sail with but my will alone, what more is there to complete?
Well, it nay matters. I'm up to doing whatever."
She shrugged, not opposed to binding with her ship, certainly not a ship like this one.
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
Abbey of Saint Markovia - Courtyard

A biting gust of winter wind wisped through the drafty stone masonry of the Abbey, chilling the pirate and her followers who were not dressed for altitude. The people in the cloaks that so disconcerted the corsair were shrinking back to the edge of the courtyard and conversing with one another in hushed whispers.

Mordenkainen stood with his arms crossed, his gaze somber and deep.

"It is not part of my typical nature to be as emotionally driven as you have seen me. The curse imposed upon me was designed to turn me into a bitter and vengeful shadow of myself . The decision I regret was taking on Strahd whilst believing him to be a typical vampire. He is more than that - and this realm is more than just an alternate plane of existence."

He looked at Rovana and then at her followers and seemed to come to a conclusion.

"Most of you come from different worlds - I can tell by your garb, your accents, your varied mannerisms and the like. This land of Barovia, beyond the mists, is not on any map from the world that you hail from. It does not exist on Oerth, my native plane, nor other worlds that I have ventured to, such as Toril and Krynn. This dark world is an anomaly - a plane whose exact purpose is hard to discern, but can be assumed to be steeped in the very essence of evil - or negative energies. For lack of a better term, it is a Demiplane of Dread. And you cannot escape it just by physically setting sail from Barovia."

He turned to the Abbot. "I suspect you are aware of this as well."

The Abbot smiled sadly, but looked down at the diamond earring in his hand, murmuring, "Mortals who are drawn here are put to the test. Redemption is the only way back to the light. Now, I am afraid I must part ways with you here, and we are likely to not see one another again. You are welcome to rest here if you wish, but I must be left alone to my contemplation and work. The villagers in Krezk will be restless - there are many here who argue that you are in an alliance with foul vampires - and while they will not dare to assault the Abbey, you may wish to leave before they organize and block your way out of the town gates. Captain Rovana - this earring you have brought me - it has a pair of course. I only require the one for my purposes, but should you come across the other one, know that it is somewhat more than an ordinary diamond. Do not be in haste to spend it."

The Abbot then turned and motioned to the cloaked figures, who filed into the North Wiing's entrance, holding the doorway open for the Abbot to pass through into the flickering firelight which lit the inner hall beyond.

Once he was gone, Mordenkainen turned back to Rovanna.

"He is wrong about at least one thing. Redemption is not the only way out of here. Your ship and your amulet are each a piece of a set of eight. Eight ships. Eight amulets. The amulets interlock with each other, and when the set is complete, the full power of your ship can be realised, and the holder of all pieces of eight can command the ship to escape even the bonds of the Demiplane of Dread. And make no mistake, you are trapped here by the Demiplane. If it suits you to sail in waters suffused with evil sentience, then so be it, but for myself and those who follow you dreaming of home and family, it seems a goal worth looking into."
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83

Captain Rovana
Krezk Abbey


Rovana pulled her cloak tighter around herself, again grateful for the vampiress gift.. stylish and warming! She looked over to Mordenkainen. "I think I know what you mean." That was calming, in a way. Rovana had heard tales of vampires. Undead, sure, slaves to their hunger, sure, Rovana held no dellusions that a blood-starved Ludmilla would be quite a lot less civilized. But, even not meeting any other vampires but Strahd and his servants in person, Rovana was quite certain that this pure.. abyss of evil that was Strahds being could come from vampirism alone.
"I consider meself a good judge of character. Usually, when I face someone there is something that can manipulate them. Fear, hope, pride, anger, whatever have ye, even other vampires. But Strahd.. Strahd was like a dark hole. N.. not that I'm afraid of anything, but I'm happy never dealing with that one again. I've met with remorseless murderers and Banshees and demon worhisppers and even tax collectors, but he got them all beat, so I'm inclined to believe you."

Rovana grinned briefly. "This place is a learning experience. I want people to fear me as a ruthless pirate captain, but more the .. romantic fear, the fear that keeps fat nobles and merchants up at night after an encounter with me and me dashing crew, whilest their pretty sons and daughters are kept up for entirely different reasons. Even those closest to Strahd are there only out of a sick mixture of dread, admiration and more often than not, perverse lust." She shook her head. "'scuse me ranting, fine with the latter two really."

She looked to the abbot. "Well, much as I dislike this place, I'm not letting any of your gods redeem me. Nor have I ever sought 'the light'. I can navigate by the stars a lot better anyway. Even if I trusted you. I am not in league with foul vampires but whatever you did to help our entry will not help with peoples suspicions...
But thanks for offering me refuge.
Everyone, no plundering anything in the abbey, if you hadn't come to that conclusion by yerself. Find a comfortable place to rest as best as you can.. We'll depart on sundown."


Rovana addressed her crew and Aleric after nodding to the abbot, then grinned at Mordenkainens words.
"Good. Was hoping that. All these religious types trying to save yer soul and nonsense. I gave my soul to sea and flag, I'm not about to take it back." She smirked slightly, touching her amulet. "A piece of eight eh? When I put on the amulet proper I sensed it. Other ships. I have a feeling, not all of these amulets are open for simple finding." She smirked. "Good.
.. hold on, for yourself? I figured you could just.. I don't know, magic your way out? You did come in here on your own account, did you not?"
She mused.
"Also, that'd mean all of these amulets are strewn about here? .. that can't be it, the seer would have told me.. and there's not enough water to go around..This place is a lot larger than just Barovia, ain't it?" Rovana pondered.

"Sailing seas of sentient evil.. Well, whatever it takes for me to become the pirate I was ment to be." She smirked to herself. She would be content, sailing forever, with Ludmilla by her side and expressions of awe on the faces of all that saw her ship even from a distance.. or would expressions of dread do?
"But aye, seeking the necklaces for me ships sake serves me just as well, and whoever sails with me until that end and wishes to leave, it only be just by the code I bring them home." She nodded and smiled.

"You all should rest up, at least a little." Rovana mused, waiting for her crew to more or less disperse, but addressing the no longer mad archmage again, while examining her treasure-chest and opening it, if that was easily done. "I don't know if you want to rest too and while your help would be welcome, this is a matter for pirates, not mages. Heading to deal with something called Dagon. According to the old seer I got all I need with whats in the chest... but I skipped the learning about my enemy part, but I'll be damned if I try and sneak up to the centre of Strahds dark power just for some scrolls. You don't happen to know anything about the creature? Father of Krakens.. drowns people to turn them into half fish-half man servants... I apparently made a pact with it in the past, to defy .. the darkness of the land... but don't even remember what it looks like. Me bet is on a big tentacled monstrosity, but might as well be a more humanoid thing like Strahd.
Can't be as bad as Strahd as it's still weakened right now, but any advice would be welcomed."


She mused on. "I'll try to complete my blade, hope that's something even a magic-amateur can do and then I'm coming for it, for one because it'll try and consume my soul in three days, for two for payback. No one betrays me and gets away with it.
Speaking of settling old debts, you ought to revisit that village you first arrived at. If you recall, there's a boy turned vampire by Strahd locked up by the priest there, I personally don't care if you kill or try to save him, but he walked with you, he was part of your crew, he's your responsibility."
She nodded. She had already decided to take the remains of Leo Dilisnya, presumambly in the chest, somewhere else after seeing these odd cloaked figures. Perhaps a proper sea-burial would do. "Would you mind coming along a while? I doubt you'd want to be put to rest in the soil of Strahd, blessed or not." She mused to the chest. Ever since her time as a ghost she was quite a lot more sensitive about ensuring people would find their final rest.. and the disturbing of the same. Briefly she felt bad for the ghostly procession Strahd commanded, those poor, trapped souls.. but she had her hands full freeing the souls that Dagon tried to steal.
"Mage, another question if you don't grow tired yet. What motivated you to strike at Strahd? You don't seem a religious man. Did you find his evil unacceptable? You see, I don't quite know who I even am. An old, cursed spirit with dellusions of piracy, or a cursed pirate with dellusions of being a noble spirit. Part of me desires redemption and heroism, albeit not the kind of redemption an abbot can offer, while another doesn't mind being cursed." She chuckled. "..you saw me with Ludmilla, no reason hiding it. I am hers and even if I'd help others be free of things like Strahd and Dagon, I'd spit in the face of any trying to free me from her dark, gentle grasp... I guess it's just normal to question ones way.. ahem.. Don't tell me crew." She nodded, having gotten a little carried away as she had fantasized briefly about Ludmillas strong, yet gentle embrace.
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
Mordenkainen narrowed his eyes as the Abbot moved away into the Abbey.

"I doubt that one has an interest in saving your soul," the mage said in response to Rovana's denial of wanting anything to do with gods and redemption and the like. He then waited while the rest of Rovana's crew settled against the walls of the courtyard and broke out rations as they all rested on the captain's sayso. Blasa kept to the men of Danigau, as did Ingrid, but Aleric moved over to Damia, Neku and Jowai soon after and bade them to break bread with the other sailors. Aside from them, the mage and Rovana continued to be occupied in conversation near the Lady Wachter's chest.

"I did come to the Demiplane of Dread on purpose - specifically in tracking down the person who once held all pieces of eight. It was by coincidence that I arrived at Barovia however. And while I DID have a method to leave here, it was contained in my spellbook, which I lost in my battle with Strahd, along with my staff. A part of me does wish very strongly to go in search of those, now that my mind is clear. As a cursed man, I did not recall that they were missing, but I recognize their loss now. Tracking them down will take me back to the village where that priest and his boy are. I can resolve that issue with him relatively quickly."

The mage did not offer an emotional signal that would suggest he felt sorry for the boy or the priest father. He didn't seem that perturbed by Rovana's rebuking him either, choosing instead to continue on with an explanation to the pirate's questions.

"Yes, there are realms beyond just Barovia. I have met native travelers who come from nearby realms... Borca, Falknovia, Nova Vassa... these are names that I have heard, but have not been to. You will no doubt get your wish to sail the seas here and make a name for yourself. I suppose whether you wish to make a home for yourself here or not is up to you. But that presumes you will make it past this so-called Dagon. There are many demons of the Abyss, and according to the Demonomicron of Iggwilv, Dagon is one of the oldest of them. That the true Dagon would be here, rather than in the Abyss, is a mystery to me. But if something is known as the Father of Krakens, I think you could be confident in it being a rather large creature - not man sized."

He settled down and pulled his robes tight over his body as the wind picked up once more.

"Mmm... Why did I attack Strahd? It wasn't because he was evil per se... it was because he was an evil that had gained too much power. There was a balance that needed to be maintained... and I am usually capable of doing that. But not here, apparently."

He stroked his mustache and goatee as Rovana explained her own confused state of being.

"Apologies, but I'm afraid I don't have any advice for you, nor do I condemn the company you keep. I have allied with and fought against people of many different extremes in my day. If you are comfortable with the presence of a vampire, then more power to you."
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83

Captain Rovana
Krezk Abbey


"You did mention a book and a staff, yes, but this un-cursing was easier than trying to find your things. Chances are Strahd kept something of it as a trophy, he got whole rooms for such things to collect dust in... The abbot is strange but he does his thing well so...
Anyway. Best of luck. If you see an Ireena and Vita still alive and not vampire-brided or something .. heh, wish 'em good luck from me or something, then get away from 'em, unless you got a better plan for a round two against the vampire. Heh. I guess you'll entrust me with your search for the other pieces then?"
She grinned slightly, still playing with her medallion a little. Nothing to complain from her there!

"Yeah. Don't tell the men, but I'm not sure how optimistic I feel about killing something that's even half of what Strahd got going. Then again. I got my ship, I got me crew.. I intend to give the creature a scar to remember me by, if nothing else." She nodded.

"Maintaining a balance? I think I get it but huh.. never heard that as a reason. I heard a variety of reasons from 'because the law!' to 'I want this jewelry' for people to fight, but never something so.. intangible.
This place seems to accumulate evil yes. But it's not my worry and business, or if it is, I'll have done my fair share and more if I make it through surviving Dagon."
She mused, then nodded to the mage once more. "Perhaps we'll meet again. I should see if there's anyone to question me."

And that, she did, unless the mage had anything more to offer before he departed Also, she needed someone to lockpick the chest, it seemed. Damia could do it, propably. She also shrugged apologetically at the current predicament if anyone stared at her "A search for other ships, interesting, ain't it? Don't worry, I don't fancy myself an admiral. I got the most beautiful ship already. But it seems we shall be sailing dreary waters some time longer. You perhaps have a chance of leaving early if you ask the mage to take you, but through duty or desire we're all bound to face Dagon, the demon that threatens our homelands shores."
 
Last edited:

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
"I will look for my book and my staff - and only if I cannot find those will I travel in search of the other amulets. If that is the case, it may be I will cross your path at another time. Then again, I may not. It's not anyone's place to say. As for your chances against this Dagon creature - if it were the true Dagon, you wouldn't stand a chance. But I suspect that there are some pieces of the puzzle that will remain a mystery to you until your confrontation. Perhaps that was what was on those scrolls you say aren't worthwhile. Knowledge is power, young lady - but when in haste, you must make do."

He searched around in his robes and found a piece of bread he had scavenged from somewhere. He smelled it, wrinkled his nose for a moment, then shrugged and began to wolf it down.

"I've tried to explain the cosmic need for balance to so many people so many times, it makes my head ache - so I won't bother. The short version is that too much of anything, even goodness, leads to an imbalance that weakens life. It is not a popular position, but it is a factually correct one - but say... before you head off and we part, did you not wish me to look at your blade?"

He stood and motioned down to the saber and the chest that Rovana sat upon.

As he did this, Damia, Neku and Aleric drew near. Muttering an incantation, Mordenkainen held his hand aloft, and there came a tap - tap - TAP sound, dull as if someone were knocking upon the chest. Then the locked container sprang open. Peering inside, Rovana would see a pile of bones and a skull belonging to someone long dead. Within the skull was a gleaming green glow, and upon further inspection, Rovana would notice that a green gem the size of her thumb print, was resting within the cranium of what may well be Leo Dilisnya.

"Ah. Now this tells a greater tale..." Mordenkainen mused. "May I?"

He offered his hand out to see if Rovana would allow him to touch the stone. If she did, he muttered another short incantation.

"An identify spell - to learn the lore of an object whose origins lie in the arcane... Hmmm.... this... this is an Eye of Dagon. Not THE eye, but one of thousands - a crystalized remnant of the Demon Lord's being. It is much like a fossil, but it has power. Perhaps used... hrm... hard to tell without some concrete records or evidence, but it presents several possibilities. What you may face with your "Dagon" is a shadow, or a vestige, of an Avatar of Dagon. Some powerful demon lords have powers that are the equivalent of a god's ability to replicate a weaker, independent version of itself outside of the Abyss. These avatars are worshipped and summoned by Nameless Cults and terrible sorcery - and when they appear in a world, they can sunder it to its foundation if left unchecked. But they are not invincible, and can be killed. Most times, when such occurs, the remaining esseence of the Avatar travels to the Astral Plane, and solidifies as a floating island for all eternity... but if an evil avatar's essence were to be consumed by this Demiplane of Dread - it could explain how a dead Dagon could exist here and a living Dagon still exist in the oceans of the Abyss."

He regarded the stone, and then the hilt of Rovana's sword.

"There is a place for it. A nook, there, in the hilt. This blade was meant for this stone. A conjoining of the two may increase the blade's power - and its connection - to the vestige of Dagon."

 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83

Captain Rovana
Krezk Abbey


"I'll be trying to kill Dagon and improvise from there." Rovana answered with a sly grin. "Well, by your reasoning, too much of life could be bad too. Then again, being dead is no fun so.. good luck with your balancing. I'll stick to pirating.. - oh yes, my blade.. been struggling with unlocking the damned chest, I had men to get things open for me, quite eagerly so.." She reminisced. "But I don't want to damage whats inside with such methods..
Magical unlocking? Where's the fun in that..."


Rovana did let the mage touch the stone.. though with a slightly cautious-jealous look natural to her profession. "So.. I err.. got half of that, what you're saying is that the real Dagon likely wont care if I stab this version, which is good for me.. If he has thousands he wont miss an eye or two.. I'll still make sure to avoid that for a while I guess.
But what'd happen to all that power of Dagons if I cut down the avatar, if all that energy stays trapped here? I mean, if ye cut into a barrel, grog spills everywhere... little choice I have but to try either way."
She picked the gem, twisting and turning it, holding it close to the blade, gripping it tightly. "Makes one wonder who made the blade with an eye of dagons in mind. Was it ment for a champion of dagons? Was it a weapon made against him? Did some strange god of piracy and the sea hear my plea after all and just knew of this thing lying around? .. Perhaps some things are more fun not knowing. Oh well.
Increase it's connrection hmn? Then this might be farewell. None of you wonder if I space out or even fall over when I do this. Though if I try to wander off feel free to knock me out, Neku.
.. second thought. Perhaps it's better if Jowai does it.. err.."
She looked from the shadow-eyed warrior to the orcblood, hesitating, clearing her throat. "On .. third thought, it propably be.. bad luck, yes. .. to strike your captain, even if she behaves weirdly. Aleric, you're not a pirate. Best you do it. IF it's strictly necessary. Here goes nothing." She nodded, carefully inserting the gem into the hilt of her blade, while mumbling. "The seas be ours and by the powers, where we will, we'll roam. ... hmn, going fine.."
 
Last edited:

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
Somewhere Else

In the moment that Rovana had touched the stone to the blade hilt, there was a crackle of energy, and an enervating jolt that had engulfed her. Reason and consciousness left her, and she could only hope that Jowair, Neku or Aleric were there to catch her if she were to fall over.

The pirate regained her perception, floating upon a plank of driftwoord in a vast, black ocean. The skies here were a dark sickly purple, and in the skies there were flying things... large humanoid shaped vultures with terrible shrieking. They flew close, but did not appear to see her, instead engaging in seemingly random fights with one another, clawing and tearing at each other's flesh.

Peering down at herself, Rovana noted a ghostly quality to her being - she was semi-transparent, able to see the sloshing waves beneath her. In her hand, held with an icy deathgrip, was her sword and the Eye of Dagon gleaming in the hilt. All around her, she could see no sign of shore.

Then, holding the blade, Rovana began to sense that somehow, without language, the blade, or eye, was communicating with her. The blade had more powers that it could grant to its owner - Rovana - if she accepted an attunement with it. It would be an attunement that only would be broken by mutual consent, if she accepted. The Blade believed that it could give Rovana movement in this dream realm of open sea.
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83

Captain Rovana
--------------------


"Fine..." She sighed. She had just tried to be optimistic there. Though this vision was kind of different from the other ones, with Dagon invading the world around her, this time.. could it be the other way around? This certainly didn't seem like Barovia, though, looking at the birds, it didn't seem less hostile, certainly.

"Seems risky." She mused, at the blades communication attempts. But then, what were her better options? "But if you wanted to mess me up, you could have abandoned me anytime. Plus, I said it back then, I'll say it again. I don't care about salvation, I want the seas. That's my seas, no kneeling to anyone or anything, Demon or otherwise. If you want to show me the way then buckle up me hearty." She mused, accepting the blades attunement, with hesitation, but whole heartedly. She hadn't invested this much to be scared of her blade, now that she knew it was powered by demon-eye-gems.