Characters in this post
View character profile for: Joseph Lithwick
View character profile for: Jeke Kerron
View character profile for: The Mother
View character profile for: Ponce de Gezzadro
View character profile for: Belmae 'Bel' Ash
Disturbances And The Church part 1
It was at least a sunny day, of that everyone was perhaps happy. Jeke looked onto Joseph, passing the waterskin as he pulled Barrel closer. It was fortunate that they had found work. The Church of the Fair Lady always had a need for mercenaries or bodyguards for hire even as they scolded people like him to be sinful murderers. He never paid any mind. It was the way of things and no one was worse off.
After all, work still needed done.
"The voucher says we can find them by the docks, Joseph. Should be easy," Jeke went, nodding to a squad of paladins that patrolled the road. "You still feeling alright?"
"Mm," Joseph replied with a mouthful of water.
"Hopefully we can find some help for this. Would hate to leave you in desperate measures," Jeke continued. He accepted back the waterskin.
"Why do you care?" Joseph asked.
"I have been in hard places before. Nothing like yours, assuredly. But I hate to see people in the same boat. Speaking of..." Jeke replied, finishing as he noticed the brig. He nodded at the ship to indicate as he guided Barrel around some common folk.
He was about to dismount when a sudden pain lanced through him. Jeke blinked and stopped. He heard Joseph grunt and double over on his horse. Jeke tried to suck breath in but was interrupted by another wave of pain from his chest. He clutched at his chest, feeling scar tissue pulse.
"Im... possible..." He gasped. He knew that wound very well. Isgil, The Wrathful had used a morgul blade to injure him. And while the dark spellcaster was now long gone, his wound persisted upon Jeke's breast. It always flared up on the anniversary of that battle, a crippling gift left as a parting joke.
Jeke reached behind him blindly to the saddlebags. He had a bit of tonic cure-all that helped with the pain. Another wave of pain crashed over him and he doubled over with a pained cry. He summarily fell off of Barrel. The jolt of hitting the ground was lost to him.
Joseph had passed out, hands dropping from his head as he too fell to the ground. People had stopped and gathered around in worry and morbid fascination. The two on the ground were not the only ones who were affected, however; a nearby seamstress clutched at her fingers in an anguished cry. A fisherman fell to the ground clutching at his throat. Meanwhile, a warrior gave a shout of pain and tore a ring off of his finger as paladins stumbled with a look of illness.
As quickly as it began, it ended. Jeke pulled himself up with a deep ache. He sucked breath in as he slowly stood, calming Barrel with a few pats. He looked up and saw the banner of the Church flying atop the main mast of a ship.
"If anything, she would know," Jeke said, patting his pocket. He felt the crinkle of parchment in there as he gathered up Joseph once more. With him slung over the horse, he made way as quickly as his pained existence would allow.
Joseph groaned in pain, he could only see blue, everything he saw was blue. He gasped, "Jeke, did you feel that?" He didn't try sitting up as he spoke, he knew better than that.
"Yeah…" Jeke wheezed in response. "Yeah… I did…"
"Have any idea what it was? I felt that big wave a couple days ago, but that was something else." Joseph coughed loudly, before clearing his throat, "Any idea what the cause of that little outburst we had right now?"
"I don't know… something terrible has happened," he said grimly. "Must have been… I don't know… magical or something." He clutched his chest as he breathed heavily. "You… ugh, doin' alright?"
Joseph cleared his throat before slowly sitting back up, "I'm good now, whatever it was, it's gone. At first I thought it would have been a reflection of that wave we felt, however it didn't feel the same. We should hurry up so we can meet this Mother figure we heard so much about." He looked over to where he saw the storms, "Is it me, or do those storms seem familiar? The blue lightning is a bit unusual."
"I would… have thought that blue- ah, blue lightning was the… the normal color…" Jeke breathed heavily, glancing in the direction. He too saw the umbrella of lightning upon the horizon, a heat lightning show that was impressive yet disturbing to watch.
The shimmering supernatural blueness of the storm-clouded sky abruptly faded as if at the snap of someone's fingers and the weather returned to normalcy. The sailors and stevedores looked around in fear of the unholy weirdness but soon settled down beneath the late afternoon sun that shone once again from the westerly sky. A few minutes later an austere woman in the plain robes of a church sister came down the gangplank and approached Jeke and Joseph on the dock. She looked steadily at the weary warriors then focused on the older of the pair, the famed Weapon Master.
“You are the one known as Jeke Kerron?”
“I am he.”
“The Church of the Fair Lady would value your aid, good sir. We are travelling to Karavoss on a sea route that will take us past the demon-haunted shores of olde Dalen. The captain says Orc pirates are known to lurk on the coast of Haven as well, and we all fear for the Mother's safety on this most treacherous journey.” She handed a coin pouch to Jeke. “We took a collection from our party to pay your wages. Please take what you deem the rightful amount for yourself and your companion's services, and then come aboard and be welcome. There are empty stalls for your horses in the ship's hold.”
Joseph gave a nod to Jeke, "We will make sure the Mother is kept safe." As he got off his horse and began leading it towards the ship, he fell to his knees and vomited. The skeletal ouroboros burned a bright blue color, bright enough for the people to see. However it soon ceased its burning and became a light grey color, "What was that?" He wobbled for a moment and slowly stood up, "It's gone? No, only a part of it is gone…"
The sister eyed the magically glowing brand on Joseph's chest suspiciously but deigned not to ask an explanation. Jeke looked curiously at Joseph. "You good?" He asked, receiving a nod.
“We're ready to weigh anchor,” the Captain said after Joseph and Jeke boarded.
“All are aboard, so let us be off then,” the sister said.
The sails were raised and the ship began out of port and headed across the waves into the open sea, first northward until they were out of sight of the land and as the sinking sun was casting its last rufescent rays, the ship turned south, soon hugging the undulating coast line in the direction of Verden.
The Sorcerer appeared some ways down the coast, a spot where he could barely see the top of the ship’s mast. He had made it in time. The sun was out bright today, but by now it was just about set. Ponce supposed the Church planned to use the cover of night to mask their voyage. Even still, their most persistent group of enemies, that being the Karavossian assassins, were likely being killed and apprehended right about now. Instead, it was him they would have to contend with. He felt sorry for them.
He wasted no time, with but a blink, his arms and legs faded away, and a small sea serpent slithered down the beach into the shore. Coursing under the waves, the snake made its way toward the boat, the water around him abuzz with electricity to ward off any would-be natural predators. Approaching the side of the ship, the serpent found what it was looking for, the anchor, the chains of which fed into a small hole that served as a perfect infiltration point. Slithering up the metallic links, the serpent slipped into the hole and found itself in a small utility room on the lower part of the ship. He felt it begin to move as he settled down and planned out his next steps.
((joint post with myself, Enderslayer, Thaen, and T4HJ3R1U5))