Quest SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Ships 4-7 have escaped the clutches of the beast, yet what dangers await them in Sahova...

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An undead citadel created before the cataclysm, Sahova is devoted to all kinds of magical research. The living may visit the island, if they are willing to obey its rules. [Lore]

SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Postby Mirage on November 11th, 2012, 12:27 am

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47th of Fall, 512 AV

The order was called, the lanterns lit, and ships 4-7 made haste to flee the clutches of the Lagool. Feelings were mixed over the final decision, yet the Captain's orders were supreme. Thus they left their brother's in arms behind, letting their fates rest in the hands of Lhex and Dira...

Over the next 2 days of travel the storms would slowly ease, yet an unease silence filled the remaining ships. Deck hands and knights alike felt the impending danger, and none knew what to expect when they arrived in Sahova. There would be no signs that their brethren had survived that encounter with the beast as they traveled, and it seemed all assumed they had died in the name of their mission.

50th of Fall, 512 AV

On this day the storms grew silent, only the sound of distant thunder would break the silence over the eerily calm sea. In the distance the island had come into view, a menacing presence that gave off a feeling of chilled death. The men were uneasy, their resolve shaken from the events that had just unfolded. Their numbers were cut in half, their mission seemed all the more impossible, and many had lost close friends and family to the beast.

"What was the point of coming when we lose so many before even landing on the petching island?" Many whispered this, questioned the mission and wondered if they were simply walking to their own doom, "Few ever return from this island alive, and yet we are sailing right to it!"

This talk grew among the deckhands, and even a few knights whispered such words among themselves. It was clear that this mission was far more dangerous than any of them could ever have expected, yet... Yet still they could not turn back now.

It seemed like an endless eternity passed before, finally, the remaining 4 ships docked in the harbors of Sahova. The first thing one would notice would be the unatural silence that filled this place, reminiscent of the nickname gifted to it by those who came here far too often. Port Silence... Though something was strange. The docks were empty. No cylindrical communicator golems moved about the wooden planks. In fact nothing stirred at all. In the distance the great Citadel could be seen wedged within the open mouth of a long extinct volcano. From it came a feeling that raised the hairs on the back of the neck. As if one were being watched, like some great beast peered down from its place upon the hill.

Slowly the men would begin to finish docking preparations, laying down ramps and beginning to unboard one by one. Suddenly from one of the warehouses a man would appear. A nuit it seemed, one that stood tall and walked with confidence. Behind him trailed a single golem, humanoid in appearance with glowing red eyes. The nuit would walk to about midway between the warehouse and the docks, raising a hand in greeting, though his blank expression did not change, "Good day to you envoys of Syliras. I am Farke, Sahova's official representative. We have been expecting you. Please tell me, what is your buisness here?"

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SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Postby Kreig Messer on November 11th, 2012, 1:56 am

Kreig didn’t quite understand what had went on the past few days, but realized well enough they were in a difficult situation. He was on the fourth ship when the creature attack, fast asleep as he was still weary from the wounds he had received nearly two weeks before. Battle wounds from an epic struggle and an exhausted body meant he was to be confined quite a while in the ships sickbay, something he found dreadfully boring during the times he was awake, he had few conversations with the doctor and knew nothing of anyone else who came to visit the doctor.

When he was told of the incident he had muttered a silent prayer to Dira, at the same time feeling useless due to his wounds ‘I would have been useless anyway I suppose’ Indeed, the brawler was only good for fighting, or so he told himself. He knew nothing ships nor would have his fists had been much use against the creature that destroyed half the ships that were a part of the large fleet sent to the island. At times he could hear the ship’s doctor lament the deaths that had occurred during the conflict. Kreig simply wondered about two people, he knew the ship were that ‘Vantha’ was on was safe and sound. But the fates of those who fought the beast, particularly that of the Blue Akalak whom he had brawled with, he knew nothing. It was an anxious feeling for the Brawler, he was confined to a bed, on a ship for a very first time and was positively useless when everyone needed help.

To top it all off they were at an Island were those defiant of death roamed freely, those abominations that upset that natural balance of life and death….. He knew nothing of the island they lived on and quite frankly wished to know little, He didn’t even know why they came here in the first place. What was it that the Zeltivans and the knights wanted from this Gods forsaked rock? If anything it should be his business considering he was to be ‘squired’ as a knight, but had not bothered asking during the entire boat ride for reasons that were obvious.
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SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Postby Hadrian on November 11th, 2012, 2:03 am

Hadrian had spent the days as calmly as possible after the attack from the deep. His prayers to Laviku had been manifold, though he could not practice his normal rites from a ship as he could on the shore. Here he did much as he had done on the long journey from Avanthal back to Zeltiva, dropping his thoughts into the sea as if it were the vast collection of his memory, a physical chavena. Laviku had never answered with words, but Hadrian worshiped anyway. He was no Svefra or Charoda, Konti or other born into a link with the god of the sea.

His affinity had been proven when his initiation into reimancy had produced Water. Makutsi did not answer either, but he was not one of her Chaktawe. It no longer mattered to him whether they responded. He gave thanks anyway and, even if he had been attacked, he had also survived. Thanks be to Laviku.

Trente's son seemed to spend a good deal of time in his orbit, perhaps impressed by the strength of his defense against the watery beast. Hadrian didn't mind. Those thoughts of his not meditating upon the possibilities of Sohova and his responsibilities in Zeltiva returned back to the young, amnesiac orphan he had sequestered in Sunberth to take back to the Farson Home when all of this was over. If he survived; there was always that.

But he was on deck and prepared for anything as soon as they were moving into Port Silence. He didn't recognize the shape, but he knew the soul skulking within it. They had met before.

"Hello, Master Farke," he said. "It is a pleasure to see you again." His smile was faint, but not insincere. He would leave the explanations to someone else, though; he was not the designated leader here. But he was certain he would later be questioned. After all, Farke had been there for his interview with Zarik Mashaen, when Hadrian had agreed to keep an eye on things beyond Sahova for him.

Hadrian's contacts in Sahova :
Just for easy access in case it's needed.

Mashaen & Farke: True Wisdom is Born of Epic Fail
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SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Postby Trente on November 11th, 2012, 2:53 am

Trente had felt nothing but relief in their escape. He had not questions that that ocean beast had unraveled the ships by their tethers, and sunken each armor weighed Syliran knight and mage to Laviku's depths. Still, he could not rest easy with further thoughts of the creature, and the sensation of impending doom.

"Death." Trente had answered Hadrian one day when asked what he thought they could expect in Sahova. Trente hadn't mean it as auspiciously as those around seemed to take it.

The boy cried in the nights approaching the shores, but Trente did not stop him. He remembered when he was a child, unable to cry at night for fear the Svefra pirates might find him and dispose of him once and for all. No, he would let the child cry as he willed.

Once landed Trente took his place beside Hadrian, and allowed the child to stand beside them both reveling at the dead but not gone man before him, the first Matalis had ever seen.

Trente was openly surprised when Hadrian hailed the Nuit through the lingering silence. Trente remained silent, though, accepting that there were many secrets his employer had no reason to share with him. If anything the familiarity eased Trente's nerves. Perhaps Trente was better suited for the place than some, he lived a large portion of his life with death haunting his bones, and now thought sensitive to it's presence he couldn't boast a particular fear of Dira's embrace. He, unlike most men, knew exactly what awaited him beyond death's veil. At least for a time.
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SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Postby Eridanus on November 12th, 2012, 4:08 pm

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The captain had ordered for the ships to leave for the undead citadel. While his soul tore at him for leaving behind his comrades, he knew that he could not do anything. Sacrifices and casualties were common in battle and war, and for all he knew this was a war for the peace of Syliras. With a heavy heart, they sped on, leaving their comrades to their fate, and the burdened ethaefal spent the rest of the journey deep in prayer to his gods. Wysar for the conviction and discipline to carry on the mission without fear. Yahal for having faith in doing the right thing, and so shall he be the sword of the light in this dark isle. Myri for granting him the courage to win his personal battles of doubt and nervousness within himself, and - should the need arise - to be victorious on the battleground. Priskil to let the seed of hope flare within himself, to warm him with light and to grant this light to the rest of his depressed comrades on the ship. And Leth, the wild beast of the moon, the father who had forgotten about him. If Leth was watching, he prayed for guidance from the moon god over his wayward son. These were dark times, and there was no one else to rely on but himself, his allies, and the gods whom he pledged his allegiance to. It was comforting to caress the various marks throughout his body that signified his divine connection with the heavens, and he could feel his gods' resounding support in him, urging him onwards and to not falter.

Let me have the right words upon my lips, the right thoughts in my mind, and the right moves to my actions. Let me save everyone, so that everyone can return home safe and happy, he prayed fervently. He was usually not so emotional, and he rarely showed this side of him to anyone else other than Nira'lia. Yet, he was not particularly well-balanced right now. His konti companion had been on Imass' ship, and a part of him died when they had to leave the ships being attacked by the monstrous sea beasts.

Lhex, Dira, Laviku, Avalis, Rak'keli, I don't know you, but some of you may know Nira'lia. Please save her and not let her come to harm. Return her to me safely and I will be ever grateful.

Outside he was stoic, firm and secure. Confident in his ability, confident in his leadership, for that was what was required to secure morale and to inspire. Alone, he was weak, insecure, vulnerable. Nothing but a baby holding on to his connection with the gods that were his mentors and parents, clinging onto them for personal support such that he might be strong.

The diplomatic mission had been in talks throughout the next few days, and it was decided that he should be the first responder. It was a method of which they could elevate the status of the Knights, for it was rightful protocol to have messengers talk to messenger before the boss talked to the other boss. Thus, he would be their representative until they could arrange a proper meeting with whoever was in charge, and only then would the captain deign to speak. He was also chosen because of his connection to Sahova, though Eridanus only mentioned it in passing.

Oh, and a connection that he had. He fell upon the undead isle, being saved by a eccentric wizard from drowning and had spent one hell of a time there. He shook his head, dispelling any thoughts he had about it. It was over, and there was no point dwelling upon it. In any case, his time there should serve as a helpful piece of memory, even at the least as a navigational aid since the immortal wizards rarely changed.

"Mister Farke," The scholar bowed courteously, as per protocol when representing a formal mission, his words stiffly formal and regal. "We are of the Syliran Knights, and come on behalf of Grandmaster Loren Dyres of Syliras. Our ambassador envoy wishes to engage in diplomatic negotiation with-" Eridanus racked his brains for whoever led the citadel, since it had been centuries since he was here after all. "Archwizard Mashaen. Kindly begin any protocols you may have to respond to our humble request."

Connection with Sahova :
No completed threads as of yet, but as mentioned in the background, Eri lived in Sahova since his fall on Mizahar for quite a number of years before he left due to a certain incident. I'm assuming that he knows basic info that anyone would know by living on Sahova for a sizable number of years.
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SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Postby Paragon on November 12th, 2012, 8:27 pm

Farke's smile twisted, a shape that even the keenest scholar of body language would find difficult to read. He was like that, the Nuit. An air of the enigmatic came from his being, keeping those he came across on tenterhooks. It was a useful mechanism in life - and death. He turned momentarily to look at the golem. It was hard enough to hold back a spiteful laugh. Mortals always were fools. Always.

When Hadrian spoke, Farke turned to him and made the most meagre of bows. "As it is a joy to see you again too," he said reservedly. Hadrian was one of the better of the lot. He hid his surprise at seeing the man here. He was a quick learner when it came to the mysteries.

When the one they had seemingly deemed their spokesman stepped forward, Farke watched carefully, listening to his introduction. The Knights. Sahova knew. They had known for a little while now. Concealing another smile, he knew they had Rayage to thank for that. It was evident to all what the Knights sought. A relic from their gallivant across the ocean. Well... they would see what happened when one came to the very doorstep of death, with an army at one's back.

"The Archwizard is a busy... man," he said, words slickly considered. His dark eyes watched the mortal party before them, and the ships they had come with. He knew their journey had not been a smooth passage. "And he will not come down to the Port to meet you. I do not know which protocols you speak of."

He turned again to the golem, knowing there were other weapons nearby, hidden from the view of this Syliran contingent.

"I cannot simply allow all of you into the Citadel. It is clear that only a prestigious few of you have graced our shores before." His fingers curled, dead nails scratching against dead skin. Beneath those nails were the tiniest of blades, a little pocket of warfare hidden about his person. He would not need to use them today though. These people were a mockery. He also wondered why Hadrian had been caught up with them. Humans were so prone to act as sheep. "Pray, tell. What are these negotiations related to?"
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SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Postby Hadrian on November 13th, 2012, 7:11 am

Hadrian bridled at anyone speaking on his behalf. Though Loren Dyres knew him personally, they had not had a chance to speak privately on this journey. He considered it a shame, but hoped to interest him in a contract to provide magecrafted items as he had before, those things that he could do better than Devandil Nightshade, who had taken the position that might have kept Hadrian in Syliras and made a stronger bond between him and the Order.

But he lived and worked in Zeltiva, and unlike many of the people present, he was here because he had been pushed to be here. He was here because he was curious. The Knights of Syliras had given him leaves from the Windoak to use as reagents for things he crafted in their name and their employ, and he had some suspicious that might be confirmed here.

But Eridanus' idea of diplomacy made him cringe inwardly. They ought to have entrusted the position in him.

"You know what they want, Master Farke," he said with a smile. "I, on the other hand, merely wish to study it." He was neither a warrior nor a thief, and he wished he had Leth's grace and could speak directly to the Nuit's mind. Sahovan politics had seemed unstable when he was here, yet another reason he had not stayed. Tieh would have made him her apprentice, he knew, but Legacy was not his focus and he did not want to lose his life if the undying rose up in rebellion against the Archwizard.

No, Hadrian was a scholar, and also a dealer in information. He had reported back to Loren Dyres about things he had seen and done in Ravok, and he had agreed to help Zarik Mashaen and Master Farke himself keep tabs on the mainland and any signs that Drainira was at work there. He ought at least have an audience to discuss the patterns he had observed and let the better informed minds seek the thread of her malice.

Lord Maria ought to have sent him alone, or with Trente to guard his back with steel. Even now, he wished he could secure passage for himself, for Trente and Matilis, and let the others negotiate on behalf of Syliras. It was not that he hated the city of his birth, but none had asked his opinion on matters and so he had kept that entirely to himself.
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SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Postby Trente on November 13th, 2012, 9:45 am

Trente gave a wide inward smile. Hadrian was to free them from bondage to the Syliran meat heads with swords and spells. He was born Syliran and understood the pride in the Windoak, understood that these men could no think clearly while the Windoak was involved. They felt a sense of entitlement, and if there was anything Trente had learned since fleeing Syliras in his youth was that nothing could be owned. There were no rightful owners in the world, only those that possessed and those that seek to pilfer.

Hadrian spoke to free them from the Syliras flag, and the obligations that stood with it, and Trente was honor bound in his own way to oblige.

He spoke. "Not all of us hail under the flag of Syliras, official representative of Sahova. Few of us shed flags to seek knowledge over power, such as esteemed Professor Aelius and myself.

You understand the cravings of curiosity, and its presidency over superfluous social practices such as camaraderie in the name of elitist goals. So please recognize my independent request to be regarded separate from this man, his fleet, and their protocols.
"

A brief motion indicated Eridanus.

He found it stifling at times trying to speak beneath his training, to funnel his precise concepts into the minds of laymen taught by mothers who spoke some language born of dirt and disease rather than true common, seeded in the eras of royal nations and vast riches as should be spoken. When speaking to a man undoubtedly aged beyond him, as Farke had, he could shed this fear, and this sensation seemed utter freedom, even as he felt the already feeble ties to the Syliran knights standing near him severing away in more confusion than spite. Even those that could not grasp his entire statement understood his meaning. Words had consequences, but these words brought a simple pleasure to utter, whatever consequence they may harbor within.

"I seek permission for shelter from the elements and ignorance, in the bastion of the Citadel proper."
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SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Postby Eridanus on November 16th, 2012, 3:57 pm

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The scholar's eyes narrowed as he recognized the two Zeltivan men clearly and loudly announced their disassociation with the Knights. It was not exactly an outright declaration of betrayal, but it was one, nonetheless. The artifact belonged to Syliras, and it was the Knights who provided the strength of numbers and comradeship to the Zeltivans when they opened this venture for cooperation to them. Now this was how they pay the Sylirans back. Eridanus bristled internally at this, though he did not show it, carefully keeping his face as blank as he could as he calmed his mind down with quick meditative techniques.

"If the Zeltivans wish to dissociate themselves with us, they have every right to do so," He remarked in a measured tone, carefully weighted for neutrality, though a highly observant man would be able to detect the coldness and terseness of his voice. He did not finish the sentence, but left it trailing with the nonverbal cues that said: but if they choose to do so, they hereby sever their alliance and comradeship with us. It also meant that they would be viewed as neutral parties with the possibility of hostilities, especially if they sought to work against the Knights' objective of retrieving the artifact Dyres spoke of. Eridanus was no Knight sympathizer, but he was highly professional and since he had been hired by the Knights to pursue this quest, he would stick by his professionalism and his employers.

Returning his attention to Farke, he weighed several options, but decided to choose the one that most represented the Knight's values, morals and wishes. "An artifact belonging to Syliras is likely to be found in your citadel, Mister Farke. There may be forces at work against us, and they may lie, cheat or murder their way to deny what is our birthright. However, that artifact is crucial for continued peace and stability throughout the region, and only be returning it to us can we prevent catastrophe should it land in the wrong hands. As representative of Grandmaster Loren Dyres and the city of Syliras, we wish to extend peaceful negotiations in acquiring our artifact and we assure you that we are willing to recompense Sahova appropriately in order to secure continued peace and stability for everyone."

It was likely that the Knights would wish to pursue their negotiations in a truthful and peaceful manner, which was the main reason behind him disclosing the truth of their mission. They had already arrived at the gates of their objectives, there was no longer any need to hide the main purpose of their expedition. They were here as diplomats and negotiators, and damn right would they diplomacy and negotiate their way to their artifact.
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SRQ: Landing on the Isle of Sahova (Syliras/Zeltiva;Paragon)

Postby Paragon on November 16th, 2012, 4:52 pm

Farke watched the mortals, with eyes that had seen so much. Peace times, and strife times. He had witnessed it all, the chaos and the rise and fall of Mizahar's great city nations. This was a... droplet of water among an ocean of change.

"Did you not always wants to study everything?" he asked Hadrian rhetorically. And then turned to the other man who spoke. A man who seemed to carry himself with that queer sense of human dignity. Just who was he really? Nothing, Farke supposed. "Shelter from the elements... I see."

Finally, the spokesperson took his turn. Farke eyed him as before. He seemed different to the others. Scratching his hand, he supposed he knew what it was that divided him from the other men. He looked... surprised by his fellow companion's statements. Was it the Knights that pulled the strings on his loyalty?

"Birthright? How amusing. I wonder how it came to be that a Syliran artefact now rests within our hallowed halls. But I must make clear that the Knights of Sylir do not hold dominion on this damned isle. And nor do you. On what authority do you suppose you can enter the citadel? Only the Gods could grant you passage now."

He turned vaguely, eyes scanning the stone walls. There were golems hidden from sight, ready to spring. He wondered if they would try force against him. They would be dead before they even managed to touch his dying body.

He turned back and obviously muffled a laugh. "You are not the first to arrive here, I must say. And these... people. They claim a Gods authority. They claim this artefact is there birthright too. How stupid you all look now." A blade poked from beneath a nail, concealed. "How foolish of you all to come here so unprepared."

Suddenly, a bang went up from behind him, emanating from the wall area. For a moment - only a moment - Farke lost his decorum. There was a wisp of smoke, invisible to the untrained eye. And the faintest smell of burning too. He struggled to hide his frown. What was that?

He turned back to the men, composing himself. There was a very evident tension in the air. A standoff. Dark clouds brewed on the horizon, and driftwood rolled up onto the shore, catching in the shingle.

Here they stood - betwixt life and death itself...
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