Quest The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

In which our band of travelers arrives

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

Postby Liminal on March 11th, 2013, 9:38 pm

Spring 1, 513 AV

The voyage had, as Charm Wright had promised, been an easy one, at least in physical terms. The sea was smooth, the wind constant, the navigational hazards nearly nonexistent. The sailors were aloof and somber, but they didn't seem to be worried about the task of getting to Darva.

They saw the island in the distance long before they arrived. Darva was the largest island in Mizahar, larger even than Konti or Akvatar, and it seemed to be composed entirely of black, jagged rocks, overlaid with a thick layer of vegetation, and topped off with an ominous foggy cloud that hovered endlessly over the highest peaks.

It was not a sight that inspired a lot of confidence. It looked like the kind of place that could swallow you whole, even without taking its fearsome reputation into account.

As the ship neared the entrance to Mystery Inlet, the only place on the island from which one could go ashore, Captain Wright called her band of adventurers into the "stateroom." Really, given the boat's provenance, it was more of a retrofitted storage room, but it had a table in the center and lanterns all about it.

When everyone had arrived, the Captain cleared her throat. "All right, folks. It's time to talk about what we're going to actually do once we go ashore. I've never seen the interior of the island, of course, but I have a couple of tantalizing clues."
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The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

Postby Thohorn Riverbed on March 12th, 2013, 10:43 pm

1st of Spring, 513 AV


Stateroom.

That’s what she had called it when she told everyone individually. Thohorn, youthful energy restored now that the boat had reached its destination, was the first in behind the Wright woman when she called everyone to gather. What greeted him was a grimy room with splintered floorboards half fuzzy with mold. Everything about the place seemed dirty, sticky, and the most of the wood was worn enough to have almost a fur to it. Riverbed was certain that there was a name for that fiber but it escaped him entirely.

What was nice was the warmth, a room thickly laden with lanterns and light. Although the fires warmed his chilled, stiff body he found that the clearer sight of the dilapidation was wholly unwelcome. For some reason he thought that only a boat made of the metal of the gods—silly, for certainly no such metal beast could float—would be enough to take on the gargantuan task before them. He stood around the table, the place empty of either stools or chairs for the sake of physical space.

With his coat thick around him he felt more confident now, the boat still and the world that much more reliable for it. Gone was the sinking feeling that the world might fall out from under him. He smiled a bit at the woman’s energy, the glint of excitement in her eyes and tone being more than contagious. She had a clue? Somehow Thohorn had hoped for more than that. How could he, though? No one had returned and with it was lost any hope of knowing ahead of time what surprise might lay in store for them.

“Would we be silly for hoping that beasts and crazed men are all that stood before us?” The question was a silly one, his own strained and reaching attempt to draw a laugh or chuckle from the people that had filed in behind him and Wright. None knew what they were in for. All knew that simple monsters such as those would not be why people had never returned from this most unholy of places.

Only the gods know, he thought. What a convenience it would be to simply summon one of them and ask! If only it were that easy. Part of him marveled at how simple it really was, once you removed the difficult of getting a god’s attention at all, let alone enough of their respect to answer what would—to them, certainly—seem to be a silly and petty question. Darva was likely just another place, another chunk of soil and rock that stood out over the water.

His eyes never left Charm even as he spoke, arms crossed for warmth more than attitude. Out of all of them, perhaps out of everyone, she was the foremost expert on Darva.

If anything brought them home, alive, it would be her words, wisdom, and knowledge. Thohorn decided that he’d be damn sure to pay attention.
Last edited by Thohorn Riverbed on March 12th, 2013, 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

Postby Iskessah on March 12th, 2013, 11:29 pm

A large snake slithered lazily into the room behind the human male. Iskessah didn't bother to tell them apart; one tended to be as good as any other for recreational purposes, and they didn't have much use beyond that. It had taken her a few days on the ship to be in the mood for that sort of thing again, but once away from that vile city's influence, her illness had cleared up as if it had never been, and having nothing much else to do on the small ship, she fell into old habits.

She had spent the previous night in the bed of some other human male; not this one, he smelled different. Her bedmate had left early that morning though, something about why was there a snake in his bed and he had to go sail the ship. She'd been too sleepy to really pay attention, and anyway it wasn't that important.

As some of the others began to file in, she spend half a chime to rearrange her bones and organs into her Dhani form. It would be slightly easier for her to speak the human tongue this way. Not as easy as it would be in human form, but she had spent too many years in that blind, senseless shape. Now that her true self had been "revealed" to the entire crew, she had no wish to handicap herself without a particularly good reason.

She coiled herself into a pile in one corner of the crowded room, making no apologies for taking up an unnecessary amount of space by refusing to be a tall thin twig like everyone else. She kept silent for the moment, partially because she was still groggy, but mostly because she had no better ideas than any of them, and would have no opinion until a few more voices had been heard.
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The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

Postby Besnik on March 13th, 2013, 9:53 pm

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Besnik

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Besnik was only the third person to arrive when they’d been asked by Charm, something surprising to the canine who was usually too care free to arrive somewhere on time. He’d spent the last couple of weeks talking to other members of the expedition, getting a feel of the personalities of each and attempting to see who he best wanted to stick around; who he’d trust most if it came down to it. The Kelvic wasn’t an ocean animal. He could swim, enjoyed it in fact, but had an affinity for the land. There was nothing better to him than running through a forest, registering present and past happenings with all senses and taking pleasure in the simple activity. Even so he hadn’t minded their relatively short voyage. His powerful nose was used to the salty mist that hung around them, a dampened smell with stale wisps of growing moss he wasn’t sure the human members of the crew would be able to sense. He looked forward to being able to breath in and sense an animal’s trail, or freshly growing vegetation, once again.

He stepped into the room, nodding to Thohorn with a smile as he did so. The majority of the journey had been spent socialising or listening in on others’ conversations for the Kelvic, learning his fellow travellers’ names being his top priority. The poor quality of their surroundings, the rotting bits of wood and lack of formal seating, was barely noticed by Besnik. He’d stayed in far worse conditions, even sleeping on the damp forest ground when situation called for it, and it was life surrounding him over the surroundings that he bothered to take in. He moved to stand by the table, curious about what would happen next. They’d be exploring a new land, somewhere no records held and no survivors had ever returned from. Excitement of a pup discovering first snow fall bubbled inside him, displayed as a radiant grin. His eyes were bright, full of his characteristic kindness, and showed how much he looked forward to stepping on land. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew the date as the first of Spring. He’d perhaps make a deal of it if he’d been raised in such a way, but the day marking his fourth year alive was simply that. He’d never fussed over the day of his birth, yet somehow arriving on said day made him more eager to explore.

Besnik noticed the woman, a Dhani he believed he’d heard some of the crew say, in one corner, yet made no move to greet her each than a simple dip of his head. Not being unfriendly, rather conscious that she seemed to not be keen on him, he’d kept his distance since she’d snapped at him their first day of travelling. He turned his attention to Charm as others filed in, eyebrows raising as she mentioned a clue. Had he been in his other form, the one he’d refrained form using their journey, his tail would be up and wagging and ears forward. The canine missed the feel of land beneath four paws and the open expression his dhole form provided. It was tiring communicating in a human way, having to explain away a lot of actions that were too animalistic to fit into normal society. The Kelvic remained silent as others spoke, less out of manners and more out of a desire to hear all the information he could. He waited to hear Charm’s next words, head cocked to one side as an obvious animal behaviour.

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||Besnik|| ||4 years|| ||Kelvic|| ||Bondmate - Valo||
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The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

Postby Lucas Arias on March 18th, 2013, 10:34 am

„Bah“, Lucas muttered as he followed his fellow adventurers into the ‚stateroom’ and looked at them. Of course Charm Wright hadn’t listened to any of his suggestions and insisted on making the trip to the mysterious island of Darva in a tiny boat and hire a couple of less than capable men and women. The former squire, bartender, fortune teller and chosen of Kelwyn was grouped with animals in human form, idiots and inexperienced children that thought that this was all going to be a huge, funny game.

Of course he had conveniently forgotten that he was hardly more than a child himself, at only eighteen years of age and short enough that people occasionally took him for fifteen.

„Bah“, he made as he looked at Besnik who had entered the room in front of him. The Kelvic looked as if he would be the first to die. He wasn’t particularly impressed with Thohorn either. Even though the man looked like he at least knew where the pointy end of a sword went, his question had been stupid and superfluous on top of it. „Yes, we would be silly“, the redhead replied. „Or rather you, not me. I’ve never considered that possibility. Charm would hardly have gone on this expedition if all this island had to offer were a few crazy people.“

He looked at the third adventurer in the room – the Dhani. His eyes widened briefly, but then he shrugged his shoulders and positioned himself a little closer to her. She looked like one of the monsters they might encounter on the island, but on the other hand she looked like she was the best fighter of them, probably even better than him, and thus staying closer to her would be a very good idea.

„So … what kind of clues do you have?“ he asked and looked at Charm.
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The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

Postby Cadicus on March 19th, 2013, 5:56 pm

Cadicus had travelled by boat many, many times since his fall. He had travelled in general often, wandering from city to city, never quite finding home, never quite finding something that would satisfy his empty heart (save for that one person he could not think about, not too often, lest he jump off the side of the boat and swim back to Zeltiva). And despite his impressive history of naval travel, this monotonous fifteen day trip to the deathly isle of Darva had been one of the worst trips he had taken. The waves were choppy, the weather grey and overcast as the winter melted away. And so it was that Cadicus met the sight of Darva, with its grey overcast skies and its dark, ominous rocky shores, with something akin to glee.

This was what he needed. Not just to get off this petched boat, but to feel the thrill of death again. Zeltiva had been stayed, and Cypress had swallowed near everything about him in that city. And despite breaking his promise once more, the escape to Darva had been something he had savoured. The thrill of death reminded him he was alive. The scent of Dira and the unknown in the air fulfilled any lust he might have felt for Cypress, or need he may have felt for his once-patron goddess. The island was ominous. He felt an itch under his skin, within his ribcage, and anyone who looked at the Forsaken as they drew near to the island would have seen a deathly grin resting on his face. The Ethaefal was all aquiver.

He would have dove from the side of the boat, armour and scimitar and Sodalis leaping into the water, if the call from Charm had not sounded. The rest of the tired travellers traipsed into the stateroom (the glorified storageroom), and with one last glance at the island, Cadicus reluctantly followed. Watching the ridiculous Thohorn, as darned cheerful as ever, engage with Charm, Cadicus leant against the wall, his bone-white horns gleaming in the candlelight, staying silent. He rolled his eyes at Thohorn, even if no one saw the act of sarcasm. He had nothing to say just yet. The boy he had met back in Zeltiva, Lucas Arias, spoke with such assured confidence and arrogance that Cadicus had to say something.

"Clues or not, I'm sure that whatever lays for us in wait is something to be dealt with by the men. Experience counts, of course," and his hand strayed to his scimitar by his waist, a smirk on his lips. Cadicus had little experience with the scimitar, perhaps just enough proficiency to hack at something, but that didn't matter just yet. Amongst the rest of the adventurers, he needed only a certain attitude to make them think he had the experience he claimed.

OOCI know my writing here is terrible. I'm pretty sick. I don't think any of this makes sense. Oh well.
In a moment we’ll pass across the world’s threshold
into a region—name it as you please:
wilderness, death, disavowal of language,
or maybe simpler: the silence of love…


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The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

Postby Ayatah on March 19th, 2013, 9:46 pm

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Sailing was not something Ayatah was use to, and nor was it something she appreciated. The sea had been smooth -- too smooth. The boat glided across the still water like a leaf floating in the middle of a calm lake. But the gentle rocking and constant movement appeared to have played havoc with Ayatah’s stomach. And as such, she had spent the majority of the journey bent-double over the rails, spewing into the sea.

She had felt even worse in the tiny room their Captain had called the ‘stateroom’ (Ayatah had rather grumpily called it the ‘cupboard’ in her own mind). The cold sea breeze made her stomach twist and gurgle, but the stuffy warmth from the tiny quarters made her feel claustrophobic. Either way, when the jagged island of Darva appeared in the murky horizon, Ayayath was pleased.

Until, of course, she realised why they were there.

Her unease increased further when Captain Wright called the fellows into the dreaded stateroom. Ayatah hung back, casting a final look towards the approaching island before hovering by the door. She glanced briefly at her comrades; she had not socialised with them much during the journey, due to her inability to stomach anything more than light snacks and equally light conversation. A Dhani! Now that set Ayatah a new sickness: the old enemy of her people. But this snake-woman was different to the Dhani of the jungle…. Probably just as vile, though…

She listened silently to conversation, not knowing enough to particularly comment or add anything to what was being said. Darva was a mystery to her, but an exciting one. As a Myrian, she had been bought up amongst blood and blades, so combat was not new to her. But still, her lack of knowledge about this island was something that made her… nervous. That, and the idea they’d have to return by ship to Zeltiva.

”Don’t underestimate crazy things.” She muttered casually, hands resting on the wooden blades of the double-bladed daggers at her hips, ”there’s a reason this place is completely unexplored, after all.” In fact, even her jungle home of Taloba was largely unexplored by outsiders. And in that case, her fellow Myrians were why.


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The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

Postby Miles on March 23rd, 2013, 10:28 pm

MIles was beyond curious. Such secrets held on Darva, such knowledge that had been buried in the souls of the departed, moreover such experiences etched on the ground, held within the shadows of the land. He ached to speak with the shadows of the island, to stare into the mirror of history, to unfurl Darva's secrets. He dare not utter the language before his companions- it was a secret he kept to himself alone for now. Clad in his finest traveling linen (that amounted to a commoner's garb even so) he strode after the bulk of the group, taking care to note Besnik's presence alongside the rest.

It was good to see that the Kelvic was friendly with the group, it was a lever he might be able to apply pressure to in the future. Who did he know? Who did he meet? Information was collected in watching the subtleties between he and those he interacted with: a shared gaze, a comfortable smile, and so on. His eyes recorded all before he began to interact himself.

He did not speak Besnik's name, however a smile was offered to the Kelvic of the warmest variety after MIles entered the "stateroom" as asked. The word "clues" peaked his interest, though he did not bite as others did. Obviously Charm would speak such things to the group, the question was not "what clues", rather the question was how much would she reveal to a rabble she hardly knew and, more importantly, from where did her information come? In a place where only death kept counsel, where did information leak? Surely "dead men tell no tales" was a valid statement, that is unless Akajia's hand touched events more than he previously considered. Again the Goddess appealed to him- since his experience it was near impossible not to note her presence in all things- and perhaps this more than anything previous. Silence flowed from the youthful vagabond as others spoke their thoughts aloud. Miles filed away their words, nodding as on the verge of speaking himself.

Darva's secrets called to him and again he suppressed the urge to meet it's shadows. Instead, he ran his eyes over his other companions. "I suggest we learn a bit about each other, and form ranks based on our abilities. That is, after the clues. No matter what we face, if we do it in ignorance, we might as well kill ourselves before the night comes." The voice was dispassionate and serious, perhaps it didn't belong to the young thief at all. Miles made no indication he was going to speak, and it was gone as quick as it came. He listened in silence thereafter.
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The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

Postby Liminal on March 26th, 2013, 1:08 am

The Captain waited until everyone was present, and then held out a piece of paper for all to see.

It was a map of Darva; that much was clear. The outline of the island was there, the instantly recognizable shape that some had compared to a whale. However, unlike every other map anyone had drawn of Darva, this one had details and notations on the inside of the island, away from the coast.

None of the words were readable, so that was a bit disappointing. The characters were odd, jagged scratches that bore no resemblance to any alphabet any of the travelers might have seen before. However, there were two words that were significantly larger than the others -- one placed on the peak of the island's largest mountain, and one on the shoreline south of Mystery Inlet.

"Before you ask, I can't read it either," Charm said. "I made every inquiry possible, and I haven't been able to find anyone else who can either. But I found this in the papers of my sister, Kenabelle Wright, and it seems apparent that someone has been here before."

She paused to let that sink in.

"At any rate, the cartographer has made it clear that there are two locations on the island that are more important, or noteworthy, or something along those lines, than the others. My plan is to divide into two groups and see if we can scope both of them out. We may not know what we're preparing for, but at least we know where to look."

She scanned the group with experienced eyes.

"Besnik, Miles, Ayatah - you'll come with me to the mountain. Thohorn, Lucas, Iskessah -- you'll explore that spot closer to the shore."
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The Island of Lost Souls (Darva Quest)

Postby Iskessah on March 31st, 2013, 2:43 pm

Iskessah expected to chafe at being given orders, but she was pleasantly surprised that Charm's plan agreed with her own preferences. Certainly a beach was likely to be warmer than the top of a mountain. She slithered up to the table to get a closer look at the map.

"It would be ussseful to have a copy of thisss map when we sssplit up. If you do not have a copy on hand, then sssomeone ought to quickly create one. A poor copy would be better than nothing. Even if we can't read it, we may come acrosssss ssssome of the markingsss." In truth, Iskessah thought that maybe, given enough time, she might be able to decode the strange scratchings, especially if they found clues along the way.

Now that they had arrived at the island, and now that exploring this mystery was a reality, Iskessah found herself more interested that she had expected to be. She hadn't realized before leaving Ravok how much she enjoyed seeking information and discovering secrets, putting all the pieces of a puzzle together until she knew the full story. What she hadn't liked was having to report to someone who held her life in his hands. But exploring this island with Charm and a bunch of misfits was as different from Ravokian intrigue as she could get.

She tried imagining all the things that could go wrong, and what other preparations and precautions they could take. "It might be a good idea to try to meet back here at a ssscertain time. That way, if one group runsss into trouble, it might be posssible to plan a ressscue. Or it would give usss an opportunity to exsschange information."

She spoke to Charm when she made her suggestions, largely ignoring the rest of the party. In her eyes, Charm was obviously the leader, the rest reduced to peon status by virtue of their gender. (She had been used to dealing with the inferior races long enough that she was, on occasion, willing to accept the leadership of their females.) She wasn't sure what to make of Ayatah, but since her body-language was not exactly friendly, Iskessah was not inclined to offer her any measure of respect.
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