Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Mint on Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:06 pm

Spell research, spell research, spell research, answer Trump call, spell research...
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:54 pm

After the speech Winnow will let any that want go in on shore for a last time. That will get rid of any of the unsure ones, and give everyone a chance to buy or bring aboard whatever they wish. Then they will sail with the tide.

They will work up to windward a safe distance from the shore, then he will start searching-shifting, looking first for the Estcarpi homeland to see what he discovers. He is trying to see if he thinks their homeland lies in this shadow or a connected one - is it easily found?

If it is, he will reunite them with their home but ask for volunters to keep sailing with him. That should make for a happy crew, and he will be able to find his way back.

If it proves unlikely or too difficult for a couple of days effort, he will then start looking for the Crimson Unicorn, places that worship it, places that know of it, and add in any personages that Mint is willing to show him with Trump to build a picture of a place with all these things, that he will seek.

He will trust to Mint to try to contact others, and keep him informed about such things. Winnow is enjoying the feel of a live deck underfoot, the rush of the water past the hull, the wind in the rigging, and turning the crew into a well-trained team.

He will conduct some fighting practice when it is convenient, to ensure everyone that can swing a sword or a boarding pike is as ready as possible. He will only join in as an instructor, or if any of them seem unruly or insubordinate. A ship captain must by nature remain above things.
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Mint on Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:02 pm

Spell research, spell research, spell research, Try to Trump Julian, spell research, spell research, spell research, test the Trump of Amber to see if it has grown stronger, spell research, spell research, spell research...
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Mint on Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:11 pm

Spell research, spell research, spell research, Try to Trump Julian, spell research, spell research, spell research, test the Trump of Amber to see if it has grown stronger, spell research, spell research, spell research...
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  David on Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:30 pm

The Estcarpi describe their homeland, and the constellations with which they are familiar. Unfortunately, what they describe includes an extremely rocky coastline, with one jagged peninsula sticking out, haven and redoubt of an aggressive people whose ships remain a danger to all who encounter them. The land is called Alizon, and its warrior known as the Hounds of Alizon for their hunting hounds, the wolflike helms they don and their banner -- a black hound dripping red blood from its fangs on a field of blue.

Within a day or so, Winnow manages to recreate the constellations described. Some seem familiar to him from Amber, others resemble those of his own home while Mint recognizes a couple from Iv. The moon changes color as well, become rather gold rather than silver.

Half a day later, the come across what looks like a razor-sharp fang of rock rising out of the sea, at least fifty feet high and in the waves they can see other sharp protrusions immediately under the waves. No doubt those extend further out -- especially since a large ship looks jammed into the rocks, as if bitten there. It is a galleon, with a shielded cover over the main deck, its prow clearly a ram in the form a hound's head. Much of the ship's surface is covered with sheets of metal while slits for archers dot the sides. It looks sleek. Fast. Deadly.

And dead. Most of the oars are shattered. The entire galleon lies off-center, gouges visible through the hull. Remnants of men are on the rock itself, being picked at by what looks like a cross between a crab and a scorpion. Some look to have been in rags. A few have chain mail and leather. Careful examination via spyglass will show a few helms, all resembling a snarling hound.

The Estcarpi confirm this is a warship of Alizon. Yet they claim to have never seen this feature in the seas before.

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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Mint on Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:48 pm

Mint brings her spell research to a reasonable stopping point and emerges to see what all the commotion is about.

"Winnow, I'm not an expert on ships, but does it seem a bit odd to you that a presumably competent crew would get caught like that? How do you think it happened?"
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:47 am

[Is this a galleon, which is a large ungainly sailing ship in the Spanish style? Or a galley, with rowers?]

"I believe it is the Sea Fang, that is reported disappeared in Golden Circle waters so recently, along with the change in the dance of the Merwives. Presumably it appeared here at a inopportune moment, for these fellows. "

Winnow will get a sense of how the Estcarpi view these Alizon - uneasy neutrals.? Respected political hostiles? Horrible evil scum whose throats need cutting?

Still, the traditions of the sea are strong, and shipwrecked sailors must first be given a chance at rescue, even if they are later to be hanged for piracy. He will pilot the ship carefully around the fang at a safe distance and see if there are any survivors, perhaps sheltering inside the wreck. He will periodically hail the wreck in his powerful voice.

If there is any hostility, any arrows or taunts, they will sail away.

If there are no survivors, they will continue onward.

If there are any survivors, Winnow will order the boats hoisted out and the seamen rescued, keeping the Celeste safe at all costs. Winnow's men will bring their handy weapons and any of the Hounds who resist or who will not give up theirs, can be killed or left to die. Once aboard, they will be watched by armed guards. He will hear the story of what happened to them.

In any case, he will consult Franclen as to how to get to Estcarp from here, and continue in that direction.

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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  David on Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:32 am

[OOC - more of a galley, or maybe a modified tryrene.]

Takes no time at all to learn the Estcarpi pretty much loathe Alizon and all its people, whom they call pirates and slavers. People generally prefer to die rather than face capture by the Hounds. No survivors cling anywhere near the wreck, which is slowly taking more damage as waves batter it.

But Franclen remains puzzled. He think he knows their location, yet this rock formation is new. Estcarp, in theory, should be northeast of this location. He recommends a more circuitous route, however, lest the Celeste sail too close to Alizon. Pointing to the wrecked vessel, he says there's a small fleet of those things. They prowl the seas like sharks, in search of loot.
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Mint on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:39 pm

Mint gets a good laugh at this. "Seriously? You think that We should be afraid of pirates? That's funny. It's the other way around you charming boy."

"I'm back to my researches. I have had no luck with the cards. I will try again before I dive back into the project."

Mint returns to her cabin, tries Julian's trump, checks for interference on her Trump of Amber city, and then resumes spell research.
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  David on Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:38 pm

The interference with Amber City has gotten worse. Sorcery seems unaffected.
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:32 am

Winnow smiles a sharklike smile at Mint's words. "Quite so. The Lady Mintabilia and I could quite easily bring one of those ships and crew to ruin. However," he changes to a more lofty tone, "prudence is a virtue. We will stand well out from land. Rare is the galley that can operate on the blue water like a stout sailing vessel. If you see anything unusual, call me on deck directly." He directs Franclen to navigate them as he deems correct to avoid the reavers.

He will go below with Mint for a few moments, to be sociable, and show his interest in if not his comprehension of her progress. "While a good fight is always welcome, without the Trumps to provide us a route of escape, and shifting somewhat impaired, I hesitate to risk our means of transportation. Forgive me if I tread on your toes, but it might be prudent to have some kind of spell handy that would damage or sink an enemy ship, if shadow manipulation not suffice. I wish we had some guns...a good honest broadside of roundshot would answer a galley quite nicely, having thin hulls and being packed with rowers. But then the crew would have to be trained...even were I able to cause the guns aboard, it does not seem practical in a short time. If it comes to it, we rely on your spells and our fighting ability."
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Mint on Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:51 am

"Unfortunately I have no spells designed directly for combat nor any means to hold a spell ready save concentration. As far as combat goes I have replenished my supply of arrows and even with the shifting of the decks I believe that I can account for one enemy per shot. if we face a force that can deflect arrows magically or that will persist after sixty deaths than we shall simply have to approach."

"That said I quite suspect that anything that could counter the Shadow Manipulation of a true scion of the Blood such as yourself would shred my spells like a knife taken to well cooked chicken. In the event that we encounter one of such Power then we improvise."

"If the Trumps are any guide we have gotten even further from Amber. Spell research takes ages, but I truly have little else of use that I can do right now."
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  David on Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:58 am

Franclen approaches Winnow and Mint. "Sir, ma'am," he begins, "we're passing a small chain of islands called the Fingers. Most are hardly bigger than houses, but most have trees and small wildlife. Well, some mockers have come aboard -- they're grey and white birds that reproduce voices they hear. You might want to hear what they're saying."
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Mint on Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:02 pm

"Lets."

Mint will come above decks and silently listen to the bids. She has no intention of letting these creatures hear her voice.
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  David on Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:56 pm

Up on deck, a few birds have lit upon a bit of railing, while a few others are among the rigging. They aren't large at all, maybe half again the size of a woodpecker, with white crests and black beaks.

One Umberite is looking at a bird and saying "Hello." The bird replies in an exact copy of his voice, saying "Hello" right back.

Two others gaze at Franclen, Winnow and Mint. One says "Are the barrels full?" and answers itself in another voice "One more to go." It repeats this several times in an oddly clipped accent. Franclen whispers first in Winnow's ear then Mint's that this is the speech of someone from Alizon.

But then the second bird speaks up, in the same accent but a different voice. "The Hounds have new prey! This red unicorn will fall to our claws, its throat will feel our fangs and our tongues shall lap its blood!" Then it eerily reproduces the sound of many men cheering.

Just then yet another bird up the rigging says "Bring me wine and a cabin boy!"
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:50 pm

Winnow whispers, "Mister Franclen, stand well out from the islands for now. Tack upwind, keep the weather gauge. Minimize your shouted commands, pass the word in whispers. Keep a sharp watch in the tops."

To Mint, in her ear, "Can you rig a line for your bow? I'd hate to waste arrows. Then kill these things, once we've heard all they have to say."

[a light line or string to keep the arrow being lost when it is fired over water, usually used for birding or fishing]

The unusually silent ship will keep well clear of the islands, in bare sight of them from the mastheads if possible. Hopefully the birds will easily be killed, driven off or will fly away so as not to bear intelligence to the enemy.

Once the birds are gone, he will ask Mint whether she would like to clean out a pirate's nest, or sail on. "In fact, rapacious as they are, they do seem to be declared enemies of the Red Unicorn, which may well mean they are the enemy of our enemies."
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  David on Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:55 pm

The birds pretty much leave of their own accord before long. Another does arrive after the others do, singing an amazing filthy song about a swimming princess and a horny dolphin, then likewise flies away.
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Mint on Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:39 pm

"I will answer your question with a question, cousin. How close do you think we have sailed to the lands of the Crimson Unicorn? I would not waste our time upon the foes of some mere copy. If you believe that these pirates have true knowledge then I will gladly sup with them or slaughter them whichever road leads to enlightenment. As to the people of the Crimson Unicorn, while they concern me, I do not yet count them as foes. For all of their sneakiness and the inconveniences of dealing with them, we as yet lack a casus belli."
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:26 pm

"The evidence is entirely anecdotal. If these Hounds say they will soon be attacking the Crimson Unicorn, as opposed to the Crimson Griffin or Crimson Wyvern or somesuch, I take it as evidence of proximity; the Amber analogue we just left was close in some respects, to wit the Castle, but their heraldic beast was altered. But it seems these Hounds have found a Crimson Unicorn."

"We know, or strongly suspect, that those of the Crimson Unicorn are on this side of whatever distortion separates us from Amber. We know they themselves are an analogue of the True Amber and they have the Powers of Trump and magick, and presumably at least a broken version of Pattern. These facts alone make them the greatest potential threat to the True Kingdom since Patternfall. That they have not until recently interfered - directly - with Amber could be happenstance or it could be that their plans are only now comnig to fruition."

"But the rearrangement of the Merewives Dance and the relocation of the Sea Fang speak of great power, perhaps theirs, perhaps under their influence. When it comes to my own personal safety I am quite liberal. When it comes to the safety of Amber, I am utterly reactionary. Better that a thousand innocent shadow kingdoms die by mistake than one guilty one escape resounding justice. Or extermination."

Winnow pounds one armored fist into another for emphasis. He has grown passionate at this point, perhaps darker and more so than Mint has ever seen, him, briefly revealing either an unusual mood, or an unusual revelation of deeply-buried feelings. He becomes aware of this exhibition and visibly masters himself.

In a more dispassionate tone, he continues, "In any case, more information is warranted. I suppose if we find out this Red Menace - " he raises an eyebrow in ironic humor " - is truly inimical, then we can sic the Red Hounds on them, to harry and discomfit them while we gather our own strengths. So let us sail directly for the land of this Unicorn Sibling and beard it in its den, so to speak."

If Mint does not object, he will issue commands to set all plain sail and call for a good stiff blow, the kind all sailors love, that will press the sails to boards and set the sheets to singing, that will heel the ship to the scuppers yet not cause following swells, so that the Celeste races like a dolphin along the placid surface. Keeping something of this weather, he will then begin shifting toward the construct he has built in his mind, of Crimson Unicorns and their minions.

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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  David on Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:53 pm

After a time, the clouds shift radically in shape, then in color--white to gray to blue to green and back to gray once more. For a time, the ship seems surrounded by sea creatures just beneath the surface. They resemble serpents but are several time the length of Celeste. In more time, they begin to shrink, sprout fins and then tentacles which then fade. At last they become a school of dolphins with double dorsal fins. Eventually they fade away.

To the east, land appears and changes shape. Cities do not so much appear as rise, then mutate into a dozen forms--towers that rise then shrink, go from slender to thick, topped with domes that change in shape and color. Forests along the shore appear, at first green then ruby red. Such lands fade away.

But before them appears a small fleet, perhaps seven vessels, each bearing a distinct resemblance at this angle to the tryreens of Alizon. Sleek. Armored. Powered by oars. A single triangular sail, but in this case of red cloth. Dimly, one can hear drums. The drummers of the oarsmen, keeping time. Given the winds, none aboard the Celeste can make out their flags.

Further out, barely within sight, several ships seem to be the tryreens' target. Their sails are white.
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:28 pm

Before Winnow makes any decisive moves, he wil consult with Mint. Fortunately, sea battles develop slowly, at least until engagement, as the distances or maneuver are generally much greater than on land.

He will give orders to work up to windward so as to keep the weather gage [remaining upwind at sea is rather like remaining uphill on land, it confers freedom of maneuver and timing]. Hopefully he can also make out their flags, eventually.

The target ships are deep-sea sailing vessels like Celeste? Or galleys like the Hounds' triremes? Does it seems they will be chased down and brought to battle by the Hounds?
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  David on Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:42 pm

The target ships are deep sea sailing vessels like Celeste. At this distance they seem similar if not identical to any one of dozens of large merchant vessels Winnow has seen before now. However, he can spot only five, against seven of the semi-Alizon ships.
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Mint on Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:37 pm

When the vessels are first spotted, Mint consults with Winnow and then starts casting To Breach the Veil. After an hour she will again be available with that spell held ready to cast.

(OOC: Let me know when we reach the one hour point from first encounter. Until then Mint is busy.)
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:16 pm

[Consult consult time bubble]

"Do you have an opinion on a course of action? It appears the Hounds believe they can chase these ships down, though unless we are becalmed I fail to see how it could be done. The wind is tireless, while rowers are not. And I can influence the winds. Thus I believe it falls much of a muchness on us as the to the outcome of this encounter. We can bring victory to whomever we choose. And while the Hounds are doubless bloodthirsty rapacious despicable folk, nothing is beyond the pale for the enemies of Amber. And since we do not really know whether these others ARE in fact Amber's enemies...I propose we sail up to hail the seagoing ships and see what can be learned from them. If we then decide they shall die, then so be it; we shall cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war."

Winnow laughs at his own heavy wit, and grips the rail with both hands, eager for action. He leaves distinct finger-marks on the heavy oak as he stares across the waves.

Unless Mint objects, he will call out orders to bring his will into being, that is, to sail around the galleys to within hailing distance of the sailing ships. He will influence the winds to help, and if necessary, for the winds to hinder the Hounds' galleys.
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

Post  Mint on Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:29 pm

"Sounds fine to me. If you delay the engagement by an hour through wind manipulation then I can have a spell ready to transport onto the ship of our choice. That should shatter their defences quite nicely"
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Re: Because Because Because Because Because...!!! (Mint & Winnow)

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