Duty Session 333: A Distant Voyage
A new year has begun, and the way has been opened. Only the bravest of souls seems willing to risk the long journey that may bring them to other lands, beyond.
Stormy seas beacon. Leviathans lurk in the depths. The unknown expanses of the ocean call to those with an adventurous heart. But will they survive to find out what lies beyond the edge of Yamato?
OOC: This +duty requires a minimum of a week of travel. Please plan accordingly around time-sensitive events.
Rec. Party: 5+
World Rewards: Access to the 'Land of Dragons'.
Some Landers who remain behind, sob as they wave off their loved ones. With so much unknown, there is a very real chance that they might never see them again. The Adventurers seem less worried, protected by the veil of their immortality. It is testament to the bravery of all those onboard, however, that they head off into the unknown seas, hoping to find something beyond where Leviathans tread.
Uta has just finished helping the last Lander pack a crate in the cargo area, and now she's emerged above deck. She looks towards the port, observing people's hustle and bustle, as the last preparations for sailing off are put in place.
"...There's something /wrong/ with all this, but I can't put my finger on it."
"Ah, nothin's wrong. We'll be fiiiiiiiine," Tenix insists as she wanders up toward Uta, dropping a sack of something onto the deck near them both. Grain? Who knows. Its supplies though! "I can slip a few extra coins to the good crew of this fine ship if needed. If it helps, anyway. It can get scary waaaay out there, I hear."
Giganpor was watching and assuring people that they would make sure the Landers get back safely, perhaps even more prosperous than they were and they would come back for families. It was not an easy thing to reassure people of. After boarding the ship, he looks over at Uta, "Something wrong? Well, we are about to go for the end of the map and keep on going or something like that?" He's in his armor and with his pole axe just in case.
Setsuna had caused issues, as he does. The only way that he could possibly have ever considered coming along is if his responsibilities came with him. So yes on top of the necromancer standing out in the sun, which Setsuna has to wonder if it is always this bright, there is a skeleton knight roaming the deck. A cerberus puppy chewing on Setsuna's leg, a slime on his shoulder like a parrot, and in the bowel of the ship is a sea sick dire wolf. The poor thing doesn't do well on the ocean.
And then she goes back to panicking.
Frantic looks are cast left and right, and she rushes to the opposite side of the deck, grabs the railing, and stares off into the ocean. "OH, NO!", she exclaims, and starts to hyperventilate.
"I can't be on a ship! I mean, the ship is fine, the problem is all the WATER around it!" She flicks her menu open, and materializes a squishy red ball, which she begins to squeeze, strangle, stretch and knead.
Too late. This is when the ship sets sail, leaving Uta no choice but be stranded on board.
She turns to Giganpor, in an even more intense shock. "The end of the map?!" Color begins to drain from her face, and she has to steady herself. With an unsteady gait, she moves to sit down on a bench, and the amount of abuse that stress ball is taking now qualifies as 'staggering' for two different reasons.
It takes a few breathing exercises, but in the end her voice steadies. "It's fine, it's fine... focus on positive thoughts... positive thoughts... let's see... there. At least there's Setsuna back at the lab, taking care of the slimes while you are away-"
Three guesses as to what she sees right now.
* * *
There is a chill breeze off of the ocean, causing even the most hearty of sailors to bundle in their jackets to ward off the cold. Away from the safety of land, even the most hardened of souls can't help but feel some semblance of fear.
As they reach deeper water, there is a -thunk- of sound as if the ship had struck something beneath the waves. Then, there is a scraping sound as the ship seems almost dragged to a halt, the sudden lurching feeling pulling at the pit of their stomachs.
That is when a group of sea monsters begin to make their way aboard. They are a variety of unusual colors, with tendril-like legs that grasp along the sides of the ship as they haul themselves upwards. Giant, bulging eyes peer out from the tangle of tendrils, seeming particularly hideous to behold.
"Oh, yeah, this isn't a warehouse," Pause, headtilt, Tenix seems confused, "Why did you think it is? ... Are you okay?" A panicking Uta, a calm Gigan, Setsuna, hmm. "Ah well, off we go, off the edge of the map! ahahahaha! WHOO!"
Oh no. They're being attacked. Monsters! Fishy things! "Friday's fish day! Fried? Baked? Sushi? WHO'S HUNGRY!" then the 'phoenix' starts hurling fire at the boarding monsters. "We don't want any of the make-up you're selling, thanks!"
Shaking his head, Giganpor hefts his poleaxe and begins to hack, stab, and bludgeon sea monsters to death. The whirling overgrown piece of metal is mighty, after all. And it's obvious that Giganpor plans on cutting down as many as he can.
He calls back towards Tenix, "We don't have the bread to spare probably, so baked works!"
Setsuna notices the distraught Uta and approaches the poor woman, " Hey it's going to be fine. You see it's only seven days there and seven days back. The slimes will be fine we can have Kauchemar go and feed them, or I can get Robert. " He pats her on her back and gently rubs trying to soothe her and calm her. "Sides who know what slimes are on the other side. Komodo slimes?" It is a distraction that she hopes she takes. Then another distraction rears it's head the moment the voyage starts. Sea monsters, so Setsuna stands up and uses this as a teaching moment letting the cerberus try to handle it. Sadly even three heads breathing fire isn't quite enough.
As the monsters approach, Uta snaps to attention and flicks her menu open; she navigates until her caduceus-shaped staff materializes in her hand. "Water. Why does it always have to be /water/?!", she growls. She points the gem at the monsters, and chants an ominous tone. The stone glows dark, and tendrils shoot out to envelope the attackers.
Chopped by Giganpor's weapon, cooked by Tenix's fire, and... we don't mention Uta's darkness because, in this metaphor, the seafood would end up burnt, and nobody wants that. As for Setsuna... hey, he tried. That's appreciated!
The party may be able to deal with the largest group of monsters that assault them, but the fighting is not over. Throughout the rest of the journey, small groups of sea-monsters continually attack the ship, making it feel like there is no time for rest with danger looming.
Soon, a more pressing danger begins to reveal itself as dark clouds form on the horizon. There is no way to avoid the storm that forms on the open sea. The waves send the ship rocking erratically, barely kept on course by the capable captain and crew.
Lightning arcs out of the sky, winds gust against them, the churning of the sea threatening to send the unwary overboard into the water. It is up to the Adventurers to support the crew, offering them protection, repairing damaged parts of the ship, or at least, holding on for dear life so they do not get swept into the murky, storm-swept seas.
Seems the firebird is delighting in sending their flames out at the sea monsters. "Ha. Look at'em run! See ya boooooys!" giggle. She's a little intense sometimes isn't she? Eh. Whatever. They're gone. Those rumbling clouds on the horizon though? Problematic. "Oh. Oh! I can help with this, lemme see.." sheilds! Shields for the ship. WHen the storm hits Tenix will be running about, trying to block waves, and bolts, with well timed shields here and there. She's pretty good at it!
Setsuna watches the dark clouds form on the horizon and winces a bit as he does his best to raise a shield of magical energy over the boat. Tt was a complicated manuever as he had to ensure to shield the pieces of the shield while not hindering any of the ships functionality. Also today Setsuna learned that the cerberus puppy doesn't like lightning as it tries it's best to hide under Uta. It was a troublesome experience to say the least.
Giganpor meanwhile is looking at the storm and then at the others, "Storm incoming!"
Saying that, he keeps to the furs and hacking and tries to shield himself as best as he can, but air magic isn't his thing at all!
"Puppy!" She forgets she's in the middle of a battle, and begins petting and trying to cheer up the puppy. "Don't worry, little one! Ow. I'll take care of -ow- you! What is troubling -ow- you? Is it the -ow- lightning?"
Lightning, thunder, flashes in the sky, howling winds, and monsters! The battle is long and harsh, but the Adventurers eventually overcome the menace.
The weather calms down again, a rainbow visible among the dissipating clouds, but in the aftermath of the monster attacks and the storm, the ship seems to be in a dire situation. Much of the ship is showing signs of damage from the storm. While the crew has survived, so far, many have sustained a variety of injuries, making it harder to perform their duties onboard.
Almost everyone, Lander and Adventurer alike, seems to have taken at least minor cuts and scrapes. However, there are a few who have more serious injuries. Head trauma, broken bones, serious lacerations, all the sort of things that could be very bad for a group of people who are isolated at sea.
It's important to make sure that as many are tended to as possible, offering some kind of physical or magical remedy, or at least some method to reduce the pain and prevent infection from setting in. They are still a long way from any kind of help if things were to go wrong.
Unfortunately for Giganpor, he's taken a few hits himself. While he's not at risk of infection, he is however trying his best to help out as his shield shines with light. Some hits to the head look to have caused him to get the spells wrong, so he just settles down to wait for the disorienting effect to go away.
The storm was rough, but they got through it. Yay! There's a lot of hurt folk though? Hum. Well, fire is light, right? She has healing spells! Tenix can cauterize those wounds! ... Why are people giving her a terrified look? "What? I wanna help!" People politely declined, which eventually lead to the bird snorting and wandering off to a lonely bit of railing to grumble.
That's when she notices, eventually, that -nothing- is going on. It is so suddenly just .. very boring. "... Huh.. are we supposed to be moving?"
The guy who has a minor in darkness, as he looks at those around him needing healing. " I am much better after this part." Setsuna says as he scratches his head but maybe he can help if he really tries. With a momentary attempt he gives some of the injured some herbs to help. Then the poor lander turns over and puke, which Setsuna tilts his head at. " I guess that was not the right herb. "
But it's never enough -- there are too many of them, and even with triage and by working the whole day and even pulling an all-nighter, all she manages is getting barely enough people back on their feet to keep the ship running before collapsing, exhausted.
A few days into the journey, and the winds seem to have quieted around them. The quiet may seem like a good thing, a reprieve from the monster attacks and ominous weather that has made the passage across the ocean a daunting task, thus far.
However, without the winds blowing onwards, they are all but stuck. This is not one of those fancy ships that the Fourland Dukedom has been creating, which utilize steam to propel them. The sails depend on the winds.
Not only that, but after the previous night, reading the stars for navigation, the captain has held a worried expression. The storm had blown them off course. Adventurer magic may just be the thing that is needed to get them moving again, driving the winds in the right direction. That is, if they can determine what direction is the right one.
The days of silence are what has Giganpor perhaps staring a bit. He's also terrible at divination, and literally is just pointing one way to guess. That's about all he can do. He doesn't have the air element, and it's kinda sucky that so far he's only had one fight out of this. Sea voyages are apparently not his thing!
Well hum. If the sails need air, Tenix is going to march right over there, behind them, and provide them some dumb air! She may not be able to throw fire -directly- at the sails, but hey, exploding a fireball a bit behind them counts, right? .. RIGHT. "Heads up!" FIREBALL. KABOOM. Sails filled. Huzzah!
Setsuna takes a deep breath as he tries his best to summon up some wind to help with the sails. Sadly his spell is barely a gentle breeze and the sails don't move. " I suppose i finally have proof I am not just made of hot air. " Perhaps it is just the voyage getting to him. He just couldn't focus much more.
Eventually, the winds return, allowing Adventurers to recover their mana and get a bit of rest. The problem is that the crew has begun to whisper in concern. They have been traveling for many days and there is no sign of land. Not only that, but food supplies were damaged in the storm, meaning that they are running dangerously low.
Luckily, the ocean can provide, if people know what to look for. There are fish which can be dredged up from the sea, or other ocean animals which can be hunted for their meat. There are atolls and shallower areas of sea nearby where plants or shellfish might be able to be gathered.
Those sort of resources, plus the hands of a few capable cooks, might just silence some of the concerns. That is, if they are able to find anything to supplement their meager stores of food.
Huh. Well. That's not fun. Supplies are running out? If she knew this was going to happen Tenix could have bought more supplies for the trip! Bah. Too late now. She decides to head below decks to try her hand at stretching out the meals in the kitchen. She can cook, right! It just requires fire. .. Fireball. .. ahahahahaha! The cooks look terrified. No one come down there. For a little while. Don't mind the smoke. It won't burn down the ship. hopefully. "Sorry! SORRY! I thought I could manage it! Ack! Stop with the broom!"
Despite having some extra spears on hand in his inventory, Giganpor is proving why he smiths and doesn't do much hunting. Like seriously, he's missing. Badly. And repeatedly. He looks annoyed by it.
Grumbling a little, he tries to figure out if a net would work better maybe? His other concern is that he's out of his league quite a bit here it seems.
Setsuna looks into the water and takes a deep breath. " I guess I am going hunting. " Without hesitation he leaps off the boat and does his best to hunt for food. Fish, he gets a lot of fish, so it seems that if nothing else they will have plenty of fish to eat. Setsuna would eventually return to the ship with the bounty of his hunt.
More days pass without any sign of land in sight. It almost seems as if the ocean will go on forever. Could they be so far off-course that all that lies ahead of them is more waves?
For the Adventurers, things may not feel quite so dire. If they were to get lost, they would always respawn. At least, it should work, even this far from their root cities... right? However, for the Landers, if they do not find someplace to land and re-supply, this may very well be their last voyage.
Morale is running dangerously low. There are hushed whispers among the crew which suggest that they may just be ready to turn against the captain. Something needs to be done to help distract them, or lift their spirits. The best options being a good song, a good story, or some good booze.
Poor Tenix has been pummeled by a broom, chased out of the galley by the cooks. So when she comes above decks to see everyone sorta moping about, she figures, sure, she could try to do something about it. Sing? She's a bird, she can sing right? ... No. No she cannot. So she slumps over the rail, "If the captain doesn't turn around I'll be stunned."
Giganpor, meanwhile, remembers what he did so long ago for a certain kobold in a Still Water Pirate camp. Goes below deck. No one's quite sure what he did, but there's supposedly a brief explosion of smoke that has a hatch open before he comes back up with a pair of kegs. And a soot covered face, "Good booze for all! Have at it!" He sets the kegs down before moving up to where he can be ready in case the crew does turn on the captain.
She's still fast asleep.
Giganpor's booze and Setsuna's game are enough to placate the crew /for now/, but the lack of singing means that the truce will be unstable and ready to tip at the first snag. Let's hope this holds, or else...
The ship continues to sail onward, even as some among the crew may begin to doubt that there is anything to find. However, one night, a cry from the crow's nest rouses everyone. In the distance, there is a light which can be seen. A light that becons them across the midnight seas.
As dawn approaches, it brings with it the sight of an unfamiliar land on the horizon. The coastline is unfamiliar, even to the most experienced of sailors. This is well beyond the edge of any map of Yamato. As they approach the shore, there is a feeling of relief and wonder from the crew.
They have made the long voyage across the unknown seas and have found themselves, at last, in the Land of Dragons.
Turns out the phoenix fell asleep on that railing. It wasn't very comfortable. Thankfully the call of Land Ho rings out before she gets sore about it. "I AM STUNNED!" or something. She'll throw a gracious tip at the captain later. for now? NEW LANDS! NEW MONSTERS! NEW CURRENCIES. ... AUGH!
Setsuna looks at the land and sits back as he watches the land grow ever closer. Thereis a howl of excitement from below decks followed by the puppytrying to howl to. Setsuna can't wait to just relax, before he puts his hand to his ear, "What do you mean? I just got here. What seriously? It will takeseven moredays. Oh you have... " There is a groan of frustration as he goes to tell the captain he will be only departing long enough to help resupply and then he would be going back.