[Taocow PBEM] Book 3 - Chapter III

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Thu May 27 22:12:43 BST 2010

> > [GM]
> > A mixture of relief and sadness are felt by the travelers as
> > they gaze at where the portal to the underwater base was.
> > Carlos, Ted, Koba, Lyle, Alex, Raven and Owen are alive,
> > once again narrowly avoiding death... or worse, but one of
> > their company is gone.  They are cold, wet and exhausted
> > in mind and body.
> >
> > Within moments three members of the crew fly through
> > the elevator door, along with Louissa, Talas's lover.  At first
> > she is happy, but when she's the absence of her beloved,
> > she breaks down.
> > [/GM]
> >
> > [Louissa]
> > "No!"  Louissa says quietly, then louder, "NO!  You have to go
> > back for him.  You can't abandon him!"  She breaks down into
> > sobs and one of the crew comforts her.
> > [/Louissa]

> > [GM]
> > The other two crew members approach and salute.
> >
> > "Looks like you had a bad time of it." one of them, a tall man
> > in damaged armor says.  "We had a bad time.  Apparently, our
> > good doctor turned out to be a traitor, and it nearly cost us.  We've
> > got ourselves some prisoners, Kittanni by the looks of 'em.  Nasty
> > Splugorth minions.  The Captain wants you to know we're under
> > way now, and she's expecting a full report from Sir Lyle, but she
> > says to get washed up and get some rest."
> > [/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex asks, "Is there anyway that you can send a diver out to
> see if you can find him? I am just so tired of having had to leave all
> my comrades behind."
> [/Alex]

One of the crewmen nods in agreement.  "Aye, ma'am, that we


Sometime later as the submarine slips away from the base, one of
the crew comes to visit the party.

"We looked," he says sadly, "aye, that we looked.  The base is
a dangerous place, mind you, but we searched as best we could
and find nothing.  Bits o' the brain things ye talked about, but no
sign of your companion, save this."

He leaves them Talas's kitana, broken a few inches above the hilt.
"A fine bit o' work, if I say so.  He must o' been one kind of warrior.
and it grieves me not ta bring back a body for ye to bury."


> > [GM]
> > For the most part the sub stays below the surface, hoping to
> > avoid the pirates and other undesirables that plague these
> > dangerous waters between Atlantis and the Old World.  There
> > are a few close calls, and one rather nasty sea battle with
> > a Kittani submarine bent on sinking the ship.
> >
> > It is a full eleven days before it is announced over the intercom
> > that land has been sighted.  The submarine surfaces in short order
> > to reveal a green and verdant coast, clearly tropical, but the forest
> > removed leaving mile after mile of farmland.  As the submarine
> > approaches the coast, it can clearly be seen that this is a land
> > divided into manors, with small villages centered on a large manor
> > house.
> > [/GM]

> [Alex]
> The red headed scout will have spend a few days getting all of her gear
> ready for the field. As well, she would have tried talking to this
> dagger a bit although warning it that she does not glory in battle.
> [/Alex]


> > [GM]
> > ...
> >
> > And with that the company sets foot on Africa, admittedly
> > a very tame little corner of it.  The transport drops them off
> > at a small but well-kept hotel.  Inside, it's a surprise to see
> > that it isn't an inn, there is no commons per se, but rather
> > a lounge and restaurant.  At the front desk a very smartly
> > dressed concierge looking like he stepped out of one of the
> > ancient pre-Rifts movies says in a crisp, English accent.
> >
> > "Ah yes, company of seven.  Your rooms await."  He snaps
> > his fingers and three busboys appear to help the company
> > with their belongings.  In short order they find themselves
> > in a suite of rooms on the third floor, brightly lit with very
> > comfortable looking beds.  The concierge appears behind
> > them.  "The restaurant usually serves dinner at six.  That
> > is about an hour from now.  If you would care to freshen up,
> > or if you like, I can bring dinner to you."
> > [/GM]

> [Carlos]
> Carlos mutters "Uhh, you can bring it to my room." He feels
> a little off-center from the group's last adventures, even after
> the ride across the ocean.
> [/Carlos[

> [Koba]
> The long trip across the sea was the longest time Koba Had been
> without seeing the sun or sky. Upon arriving on the shore, Koba was
> astounded to see what looks like a verdant countryside. Near constant
> invasions and raids of his home town by violent and evil groups of
> bandits and creatures from the rifts left the people of his hometown
> huddled together for safety in squalor and poverty like a school of
> fish surrounded by sharks. The rare picture of the world before the
> rifts he has seen bears a remarkable similarity to this farmland.
> With the submarine's claustrophobic corridors now behind him Koba
> enjoys the fresh air on the ride to the hotel. Once he has dropped off
> his  belongings in the room, he changes into his set of civilian clothes
> and heads down to he restaurant to have a warm meal in relative peace
> (with his pistol in his waistband of course). Picking an empty table,
> he will try to find something not too unfamiliar to his palate.
> [/Koba]

> [Ted]
> Ted seeks Owen out for some healing and then lets the Mind
> Mage get his rest.
> [/Ted]

> [Owen]
> Owen will take the opportunity to rest for an hour, and will join those
> who wish to eat at the restaurant, taking his pistol with him.
> [/Owen]

> [Ted]
> Ted then goes to the restaurant unarmed.
> [Ted]

> [Alex]
> Alex will not be real comfortable with the hotel. She is in many ways
> more used to barracks and the like than any fancy hotel. At home, she
> was in a small homestead with the rest of her family.
> [/Alex]

Raven does not join the company for dinner, and Sir Lyle announces
that he's off to dine with the crew.  Louissa, still clearly distraught
by the loss of Talas, does not accompany them either.

The food is actually quite good, the menu having some familiar items,
but dominated by dishes made out of lamb and fish.  Still the food
is enjoyable and the setting a welcome relief from the cramped
galley of the submarine or eating outdoors.  Alex may find this most
uncomfortable of all.

The rest of the customers seem, if not to be upper crust, then at least
to be reasonably well to do.  The women have modest jewelry, the
men dressed in somewhat odd finery involving kilts.  A few people
look at them curiously, but for the most part no one pays them any
peculiar attention.

The meal passes uneventfully, a real change of pace from the
normally manic lives the adventurers have.  In fact, the evening goes
by peacefully as well, unlike the bloodshed of their last stay in an
inn.  New Argyll seems a relatively prosperous, law-abiding place,
though overheard talk suggests that the inland regions are somewhat
more dangerous, and that to the north the Phoenix Empire has begun
to make its presence outside of the Mediterranean known.  Still,
in the tranquility of Port Mackenzie, these rumors of strange empires
far away seem to occupy little more than idle banter.

On the next morning, while the company enjoys a light breakfast,
Osiris, pushed in a wheelchair by a young, comely nurse and looking
a little healthier, if still pretty banged up joins them.  "I hear they've
found passage for you, heading out to New Camelot.  I'm trying to talk
the doctors into letting me go.  But you know doctors."

As Osiris and the rest of the company chat, Owen and Alex get
strange, distant expressions across their faces.  Someone behind them
shouts "Oh my god!  Everyone duck!"

Quite suddenly there's a bright flash and an explosion that literally knocks
people out of their chairs.  It's impossible to tell what's happening, as the
room is filled with smoke, dust and debris, and the air feels superheated
to the point where it feels like its burning lungs.  It's quickly followed
by another blast, more distant, but the building itself seems to shake much
more and above the explosion can be heard, or rather felt, the subsonic
moaning of a damaged structure.

Whatever the attack, everyone in the company realizes a good portion
of their equipment is upstairs in their room, which they're going to have
to get to fast, if at all.

Mass panic is now spreading as people scream, running madly back and
forth.  Sirens can be heard in the distance, and then another explosion...
and then another... and then another...  Still they can see nothing through
the smoke and dust, but it sure sounds like an attack.

Aaron Clausen
mightymartianca at gmail.com

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