Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

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Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  David on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:54 pm

Leaving Uberwald behind, the Celeste begins the long journey to Rebma. After all, Uberwald is the furthest of all the Golden Circle from the Eternal City.

First port of call--Havenuz, a renowned port city amid an archipelago. Easy to spot from miles off, due to the huge statue carved from the narrow rock emerging from the island's tip. The Colossus of Havenus is a wonder of the Golden Circle and as it happens (due to the city's lack of natural resources, save for the harbor) a welcome sign to any merchant carrying spices. Line mana root.

Dozens and dozens and dozens of ships lie at anchor, flying about half as many flags. One in particular captures Winnow's attention--a sleek vessel named Josette's Heart, its banner a white skull and a crimson unicorn.
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:43 am

Winnow will conduct the ship into the harbor. He will anchor in the roads among like ships, and tell the crew they may now have shore leave by watches, those who missed it last time to have first day. This will leave half the crew on board at any one time. He will direct Franclen to begin rousting out the cargo on deck with the other half, and Winnow will go in directly to what appears to be the trading district. He will have put away his sailor's slops and reverted to his sarong around his waist as his sole garment. If it happens to be particularly cold, he can bring a cloak. He will bring the ship's log. If there is a port official to be dealt with he will leave it to Franclen.

He's been here before, as he hit all the Golden Circle main ports when Gerard took him around after he first arrived in Amber, so he at least has a notion of the layout and how business is done. He will seek the best local brokerage and trading house and make himself known, completely openly but not condescendingly, as a scion of the Royal House of Amber. He will not seek out official Amberite or Rebman officials yet.

When he is shown to someone in the business of sufficient status - he won't deal with flunkies - he will introduce himself.

"I am Winnow, of Captain of Amber, nephew of the King. I have just returned from a strenuous voyage in Shadow. I would like some assistance from your esteemed house of trade, for you and yours to be my agents - which you may charge customary fees."

"The ship I now captain in the King's name, the Celeste, rides at anchor in your harbor. I salvaged her according to all laws of the sea in a far shadow where the Merewives had flung her, killing all males aboard and leaving the one female to despair. Her body and the account of her self-murder, written in her own hand, are here." He taps the book.

"It appears they were Rebman, and I will soon return to find her family. I would like you to take a look at this log, and find me any information on who they were and where they reside, precisely where the Celeste was home-ported, and so on. Do it discreetly. It is wounding to a family to learn of death by roundabout sources, and I wish to convey the news, and the woman's body, home myself." He hands over the book.

"Then there is the matter of the cargo - mana root. The master should have it available for inspection directly; if you would arrange for a buyer at the going rates, arrange for transportation, handle all the paperwork and taxation - in short, full service - I sould be obliged. If you cannot locate me about town, deal with my sailing master, Franclen. I have other business that may take my time."
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  David on Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:13 am

The Harbormaster as it turns out has a brother who's a merchant and more than happy to be of assistance. Another resource to which he directs Winnow is the local equivalent of the Navigator's Guild. There, he pretty quickly finds out Celeste may have been owned by Rebmans but was chartered out of the city-state of Manhatt, not far from here, which has a Rebman colony.
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:52 pm

Winnow will work on selling the cargo to get gold, and giving his men well-earned shore leave.
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  David on Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:54 pm

Selling the cargo proves easy enough. In fact, the next day or two proves easy-going for all.

But then Franclen approaches Winnow. "Remember Boren? That guy who didn't make it back to ship by this morning? Well, the locals just told me he's dead. Murdered. Went on a bit of a pub crawl, evidently. Got into a fight with a pirate, who slit his throat. You're supposed to identify the body and sign some kind of official paper."
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:51 am

"A pirate? A known pirate? Why would they let an identified pirate run around free, here?" He lets the questions hang, not expecting Franclen to be able to answer. "All right, let me go sort it out."

Winnow goes where Franclen tells him the officials or inquiry is waiting, and will also tell Franclen to make sure Boren's body is recovered. He will be buried at sea. Also direct Franclen to send a reliable hand to obtain a Book of the Unicorn, if they don't already have one, so the burial can be performed with all due ceremony. And it's always good luck to have a Book aboard.

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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  David on Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:09 pm

The local constabulary await Winnow at the gaol, and explain the "pirate" is in fact a member of the crew of Josette's Heart (whose namesake and whose captain Winnow met previously). At least in this port he's considered a privateer. Ichobod, the Chief Constable, frankly is surprised. They've never had any kind of real trouble with Captain Medraut's crew!

He notes the privateer in question claims to remember nothing. Given the symptoms of hangover and his general condition, Constable Ichobod tends to believe that. Some people stumbled across the two in an alley beside a bar, well inside the shadow of the buildings. Boren's throat was cut, deep and neat. The privateer, named Oscar, held a bloody dagger in hand. Patrons recalled the two being among many who got very, very drunk and started arguing over a game of cards. No one could recall when they left.

Someone from the Josette's Heart has asked to view Boren's body. A rather beautiful young lady, he notes, with the most amazing eyes. Gold! But they're hold off for now. Wanted Winnow's opinion. Perhaps he'd like to be present?
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:44 am

To the good Constable: "Absolutely I would like to be present and meet the young lady associated with the privateer. But I would like to interview this Oscar first, in your presence of course, before one f his shipmates has a chance to communicate with him. It does seem odd that a man so drunk that he can't remember what he did somehow carves a nice neat smile under Boren's chin. I'd have been more likely to believe it were his guts messily spilled. It smells of a frame, sir."

If the Constable will allow Winnow to interview Oscar first, he will, for the first time since being taught by Gerard, seek mental contact and domination, by eyes and touch. He will try to access memories of the event, or at least establish that his memory has been blanked.
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  David on Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:34 pm

Oscar looks a fairly tough sailor, in his thirties maybe with leathered skin and not a few tattoos. Right now he stinks, not only of beer but vomit. When the door opens, he looks up blearily from a meager bed with same kind of pained attempt at focusing Winnow has seen in many a hungover man before now.

"What?" He says, wincing at the sound of his own voice.

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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:32 am

To the Constable before the interview, he will say, "Please do not be alarmed or interfere with my methods. I will not harm the man permanently."

Once in the cell, with no ceremony, introduction or warning, Winnow will seize the man by shoulder and chin. His huge hands almost circle the man's head, so this should be easy. He will force eye contact and attempt to dominate his will, searching his memory for the events surrounding the death.
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  David on Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:27 pm

Simply grabbing someone's mind is tricky, especially if they prove likely to resist. Naturally enough Oscar panics upon this huge man grabbing him by the head. Winnow can feel the man's mind resisting, almost instinctively, and realizes if he pushes too hard Oscar can easily suffer permanent brain damage. How carefully he proceeds gives a clearer idea of how long the process takes.

Certainly he can succeed, whereupon he'll get a variety of very jumbled images and sounds as well as other sensations. He senses a image of a man with green skin (clearly a Rebman) and knows the man's name to be Captain Medraut. A beautiful woman with dark hair and golden eyes named Josette, the Captain's equal. A sorceress? Lots of images of the ship, a good-sized vessel well designed for speed and combat. Most pirate (or privateer) ships have little real organization. Not this one. While not military, it remains clean and well-ordered. Oscar doesn't mind this too much because the pay is good, the Captain successful and the crew stays healthy.

About last night, it began as a regular bit of shore leave/pub crawl. Grog and mead and ale. Flirting with pretty girls. Getting into arguments with different people about what sport is best, whose accent is silliest, which crew could take the others, the like. Oscar likes to play darts and got into a long game. His drinking didn't really help, but all the players were drinking so that made things fair. Everyone argued over one bulls-eye, thinking maybe somebody had cheated by not drinking as much as the rest. Well, not technically cheating but still cheating if you know what I mean. Everyone one agreed. Some kind of a fight broke out, among able-bodied men not really able to coordinate all that well by then. One of those involved is Boren. Just as drunk as the rest. Not the much at the end seems very clear. Everything blurred, moving in ways that only happen when you're gotten very pissed, every voice and sound changing in pitch and distance. The tavern owner started grabbing various sailors and tossing them into the alley, one by one. Oscar landed on Boren, who half-heartedly complained, calling Oscar a bunch of slurred names before slumping over again.

Oscar felt the insult deeply. Struggled to find a suitable rejoiner but the words coming out of his mouth were something about marzipan. He tried pulling out his dagger. But couldn't find it. Kept moving in his belt for some reason. Every time his hand reached for the handle, the damn thing moved a few inches to the side! Even the effort though made Oscar dizzy. He fell down. Saw a few people staring at him. Some laughed. One was staggering. Look familiar. Oh yeah--he played darts. Another looked...strange. Why? Something about his face, which lay mostly in shadow anyway. But part of his face reflected moonlight. Weird. Maybe a mask? Was there a party? A tiny mask, though. Barely covered his face. Just a little bit around one eye. What the hell kind of mask is that? Thing's barely the size of a large coin!

Next thing Oscar recalled was a bunch of gorillas in uniform forcing him into a piercing, horrible, blinding light that almost blinded him. While he tried (unsuccessfully) to keep from throwing up they eventually brought him into a cool place with something soft. Took a couple of hours to realize it was a cell and the hideous, evil light was the sun.
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:03 pm

So. Someone framed the man. It wasn't his fault. Someone with some kind of eyepiece, probably a man. The only reason that makes sense is to involve Amber. Perhaps to involve me. More proof of someone inimicable to us, but this is Golden Circle territory, and I am sure laws were broken,in case an inquiry comes down later.

Winnow will proceed carefully enough not to turn the man into a vegetable. Not because he cares, but because of his word to the constable. If someone tries to interrupt them by force he will extend the armor to cover both men, creating an impenetrable shield.

If that happens (if someone did try to interfere), after he is done he will retract the armor to release the man, then only enough to see out his eye slits, then deal with the situation. He will maneuver his Trump deck so that he can extract a Trump when he needs to, INSIDE the cover of the armor.

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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  David on Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:08 pm

When Winnow releases him, Oscar seems very confused and sits down, shaking his head and not a little nervous.

"You finished?" asks the Constable.
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:46 pm

"Yes, my good man. He is not at fault. I have examined his mind. Someone influenced, even forced him to commit the crime. In my own name, Winnow of Amber, and in the name of King Random the First, please pass my request for leniency. I believe he is only guilty of bad company."

"Do you know of someone who wear an eyepiece - what is it called, that covers one eye? An eyeglass? No, something else...in any case, like spectacles but covers one eye, this is the sorcerer who has caused this murder."

Once the constable gives any information he might have, Winnow will take his leave, heading for the privateer. On the way he will find some secluded spot and Trump Gerard to give a report of everything that has happened since he left Amber.


Last edited by Winnow on Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  David on Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:32 am

Gerard listens, nodding and following along. "I'll need to get back with you about this. What are your immediate plans?"
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:39 am

"I thought to see this Captain Medraut, for his man's sake, and Josette's name has been mentioned to me as one of those connected with the Crimson Unicorns. Perhaps he will know something of the man with the one-eye-glass. Hoa, have you heard anything of that? Or of Uncle Julian's fate?"

"I also still hope to return the young woman's body to her Rebman family and lay that debt to rest."
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  David on Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:08 pm

Gerard says "No word of Julian yet. Sounds like you're talking about a monocle. We've come across a few of those, including the man who held Fergus captive. Odds are, those monocles function like a spying eye for someone. As far as we can tell, Josette and this fellow in Uberwald named Fernand appear to be siblings. There's another sister, Isobel, who's missing and assumed dead. Her eyes are evidently purple and gold, or were. Fergus is making some inquiries back at Nexus with Kelson and Aiden."
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  Winnow on Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:34 pm

"All very well, but are these Crimson Unicorn people our enemies? Our competitors? Has the King issued any policies or directives? Investigation is no more my forte than yours, forgive my impertinence. I would have clear guidance, if you have some."
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Re: Celeste-ial Navigation (Winnow)

Post  David on Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:24 pm

Gerard chuckles for a moment in sympathy. "Good point. Fact is, we don't know if they're friends or rivals. Probably each one will be themselves is my guess. This Josette person has a bit of a wild streak, and from what you say someone's trying to frame her. My advice--go tell her that and make your own judgment about her. Random wants to find out more, but doesn't regard these Crimson Unicorn people as enemies. Not yet, anyway. Just meet the woman. Listen to what she has to say. Then tell us what you think. Do what you think right. The fact is, I trust you as do the King and Queen. Who knows? Maybe you'll even make all the difference because you're not trying to be some kind of courtier or spy!"
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