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Revidia's (and Leon's) number 1 fan

An End to Passivity

The island was alight with action as the student's plan was put into motion. Kaleo wouldn’t sit back and let children fight his battles, even if the student’s ‘neutral’ allegiances put them in a unique position to bring change. Warriors extinguished their fires, gathered their weapons, and steeled themselves for the challenges ahead. They were to sail out and fight the pirates to present themselves as Virang’s allies when the Tarlonese turned their cannons. There would be enough plausible deniability to avoid future conflicts.

Kaleo said his goodbyes to his family. To Tiare and Leilani, there was an assurance that he would be back. To Kanani, the message was the same but both knew the result didn’t entirely rest in his hands. To Tamatoa, the king gave him wishes of fortune and health. The prince would be sailing out too and it would be the first big battle the boy had seen.

With that, Kaleo picked up his large, ivory hook and wrapped the woven rope around his arm. He took great care to ensure the rope held firm but didn’t constrict. The weapon was now part of himself, little more than an extension of his hand.

He rose to speak to his warriors. In Moatu Suva, elevating oneself on podiums and stages to communicate status was looked down upon. Nobles, even kings, were to stand on an equal level with their people and earn the consideration they drew. Kaleo had no trouble with this, his unusual height put him a head above most.

"Warriors of Moatu Suva! Those who call themselves friend and brother to these islands! Hear me!" No head in the encampment was turned away. "We sail out to push these pirates from our land and bring peace once more to our home. Too long have we sat here and waited for our moment, we will not let it pass us by. We sail to support Virang, but you know what you fight for, you know who you fight for. Sail out with them in your hearts and spare not our might for those who would stop us." A responding cheer cried and the warriors picked up their pace.

Abdel sat by the fire sparing few glances at what was happening around him. The pink-haired girl had gone along with the other students leaving him to the hostile locals. Alone and vulnerable to the whims of these people who readied for war left the boy with one question: What was to become of him? Prince Tamatoa approached the same campfire and crouched in front of the Virang swabbie. He smiled with something of an amused expression, but Abdel knew there was some plasticity to it given their previous exchange.

"Looks like we’ll be sailing out to fight for Virang after all." Tamatoa gave no apology to the boy, but spoke like ‘all’s well that ends well’. "As far as I see it, that gives you a choice. You can either sail out with us and rejoin the fight or you can stay here until it's all over. Up to you." He gave a shrug, truthfully the answer didn’t matter much to the prince.

Abdel looked dumbfounded. Less than an hour ago that same prince was trying to force him back into the battle by spearpoint and now he was just given the choice like it was nothing? He didn’t believe the prince's nonchalance. What this a choice or was he being toyed with?

Tamatoa was watching the boy think and think and not voice any answer. "It is your choice whether to join this fight and rejoin your countrymen. I won’t force you to risk your life further, no one else here will either."

For a moment, Abdel let his thoughts wander as his gaze fell into the campfire. The heat flared as the wood cracked and fell away to the flames. Tamatoa wasn’t being entirely honest, but he couldn’t tell where that dishonesty lay. Maybe it was time to consider the question itself, if it was a trick then let the consequences be damned.


"No, I think I’ll stay if I can."

Tamatoa clapped both hands against his knees and stood. "Then you may stay."

"We’re putting out the campfires to avoid the risk of it catching on the grass. We’ll leave this one though, so keep an eye on it." The prince walked off without an answer or a second word.

Abdel sunk back into thought. There would likely be consequences if his captain or anyone else on the Altın Oğul heard about the answer he gave. He chose to stay on shore while his countrymen spilt blood on the seas. But he had seen what was happening out there, mages fought while people like him tried their best not to die. All he could ever be out there was a plaything for those who could bend the world to their will. He was sick of it, sick of feeling helpless to them. Maybe it was the same thing here, but at least his life would remain.

He looked up from the fire only to see the smile of a young native girl inches from his face. "Hi!" said Tiare.

A haka took place in front of the ships ready on the water. Voices cried in call for war as hands provided percussion against bodies willingly consigned to the risks of battle. It was a rallying cry to the warriors of Moatu Suva and their hearts beat at an equal pace. A mind unready for battle could give in to its stresses and falter; it almost always caused troubles for brothers-in-arms. The warriors would suffer no such mistake.

Queen Kanani and Princess Leilani sat a few steps from the shore on dry, sizeable rocks that provided ample view of the departing wakas. Kanani spared a glance back to the camp where she could see Tiare chasing around the Virangish boy Tamatoa brought in. Perhaps she should be worried, the sailor boy was almost twice the girl’s size after all. But Tiare had just begun to develop her magical abilities and had the most potential out of her three kids; the boy posed no real threat by comparison. Perhaps she should need to intervene and save the boy at some point from her hellraiser of a daughter, she tittered at the thought.

Her daughter’s eyes toward the water spoke of worry and not for her family alone. It was not a pleasant night, but it wouldn’t be the last the princess would see. Among the better things, life was also full of turmoil, turns, and trouble. She did her daughter no favours by sheltering her from the reality of war. Leilani had been distant and contemplative most of the night, but that only increased since she wandered off and spoke with the Eeaiko girl. Another person to care about only increased worry when blood stained the air and water.

"I can see when matters play at your mind. You have the words but often lack the moments where you feel you can speak." Kanani set a supporting hand on her daughter's lap. "It’s just us now. Speak your mind."

It took Leilani a moment. "She isn’t a bad person, you know..."

"I know. And you kept it from her all the same."

"I shouldn’t have..."

"Yes, you should have." The queen pointed out to the boats growing more distant by the second. "They sail out to defend what they hold dear and you did the same. Not all battles are fought with muscle and weapons, not all battles require blood, you’ll learn this in time.’

’You didn’t do it because you resent the girl, I know your heart goes with her. You did it because you had something worth protecting. Keep that purpose in mind."

"... If you had something more to protect, would you do that to me?"

Kanani wrapped her daughter in a hug and pat her head. "Of that my daughter, you have nothing to worry about."

Leilani paused. "Why did I have to choose though? I didn’t want to do that."

"It was a decision with no good outcomes. With any luck, the girl will leave here without a lifelong burden on her shoulders."

Leilani didn’t respond.

"When conflict is brought upon you, it can be easy to ask questions. Why has this this happened? Why would they do this? But you need to remember that it is a person behind those actions, one presented with an ugly choice just like you were. Remember that girl and remember that. Because when you cease to see a person behind the actions taken against you, it sets only the stage for cruelty."

There are those with ideals and those who don't have the luxury

Cawuio-Zast sat atop his gunpowder barrel with a grin. How long had this battle gone on? In reality, it was likely ten minutes that had gone by. But the pace of his heart made it seem an hour. A couple of cannonballs had come dangerously close to his head. He should have known that Anthal and Enoxii, the two Yasoi on defence, would spare no effort to keep him alive. But that hardly mattered. All that did was leave it to chance and Zast was the world's best gambler. He would never lose, he would never die.

Then, in the quiet between fire, Zast heard a horn blaring across the waters. It was difficult to see what exactly was approaching among the smoke and moving ships so he pulled out a comically large spyglass fit for an Ogauraq to get a closer look. Native ships were approaching the scene of battle and he couldn’t tell whether they sailed to fight the Virangish or his side. He was giddy with excitement.

He looked up and saw that someone else had also taken notice.

Kaleo stood at the lead boat with a hand braced against the mast. The smaller ship cut swiftly through the waters and was closing the gap to join the fight. The white water splashing of the threshers could present some problem but he had faith in the men of the ship. Any child of Moatu Suva was born to the seas, they need only worry if their wakas got sunk. The fleet of smaller ships assumed a spread formation to avoid oncoming fire.

Suddenly, something above caught the attention of his crew. The king looked up to see a man flying high. It was a powerful mage that they had drawn the attention of, no doubt of that, and that mage was approaching at rapid speeds.

"Brace for impact!"

Anthal Sr., the captain of the Blue Adam, dropped upon the king’s boat with incredible speed and force. The man was a bullet set to pierce through the king’s ship. The Yasoi pirate swung around to stomp down on the deck but meet the king’s massive hook first. Immense kinetic energy poured from Anthal’s momentum into the strike but he looked shocked as he sensed some of that energy being drained away unnaturally. Kaleo’s hook was sapping the force out of the attack.

But too little, too late. Anthal smiled as a shockwave exploded around them. Immediately the king’s waka snapped in half while ten other nearby ships also flipped over into the water. All of the men, including the king, dropped into the sea while Anthal remained floating a little above the surface to survey the environment.

The captain was just about invincible. There wasn’t a single fighter on these ships that could stand toe-to-toe with him. As far as he saw it, they were like any other Yanii dogs playing at the basics of magic. They couldn’t hold a candle to the flame of his proficiency and power. But their cannons still posed a threat to his ship, it was his best option to take them out here before any of them got into range.

The wakas in the distance were staggered and unsure how to respond to the captain’s opening assault. Some floundered, some came in to save those who had fallen in the water, and others turned aside to sail around and continue toward the fight. He would deal with th-


From one of the shattered halves of the king’s ship, a large arm emerged from the water and gripped its side. King Kaleo pulled himself up onto the remains of his waka and stood firm. He and his men were lucky that the blast also spooked away the threshers; they were safe from becoming fish food. His head followed the Yasoi captain as he floated circles around him over the water. He unfurled the hook’s rope from around his arm.

"Don’t do anything you’re going to regret." Anthal called across to the lone king. The man Anthal saw in front of him was somewhat more impressive than the warriors he called company. Still, he couldn’t have been much higher than 7.5 RAS. The king would sign his death warrant by fighting now.

Anthal turned away to see that many wakas were starting to get past and drew the risk of joining the fight. He drew kinetic energy around him, from stay cannon fire, from the warriors swimming away, from the thresher’s erotic frenzy, then launched himself toward the new frontrunners of Moatu Suva.

Suddenly, an acute pressure caught his ankle as he stopped immediately. The hook had been thrown and drained his kinetic energy with the contact. The rope was pulled taut by the king and Antal was yanked back into the fight toward the waters. Despite the immense force, there was no kinetic energy employed by the king. It was all muscle.

Anthal Sr. crashed into the other half of the king’s waka and used the kinetic he had left over to guard him from the impact. It went from a lethal blow to light bruising at best.

Kaleo unlatched the hook from the captain's ankle and he pulled it back to himself. He took a fighting stance and raised his weapon like a one-handed club. Anthal stood in turn. The two leaders were little more than fifty metres from each other, divided by a small stretch of water.

"You could have avoided all this. All you had to do was sit this out and your island would be free. Don’t think I’m unaware of the hold the Virangish have over you. The seas belong to no one, I thought your people over anyone would understand that."

Kaleo grimaced, the blow he had taken from Anthal’s first impact left his breathing short. "I do understand it. If it was any other day in another place, then I would agree. But this would only be the start of our troubles if you won here. So you ask me to choose between my family and some distant ideal."

"Then you’re a coward." Anthal Sr. spat into the sea. "You could have both."

"Not always."

Anthal drew his cutlass. If it was doubtful that he would be able to get away from the king while he was alive, then so be it, the king would die.

You're Going Where?

Location: Brazen Head Beach, Ersand-Enise | Interacts with: Kaureerah @Force and Fury

"Hoory aup, saunfeesh!" Kaureerah's head popped out of the water, long blue-black hair clinging to her near-naked form, eyelashes batting. "Yoo heve been eeten by te shaurk foor tymes. Waun moore foor te secred naumber." Then, with the sort of grace a human - much less a non-mariner like Leon - never could've managed, she dipped down beneath the waters. He had ten seconds to make a break for it.

Leon, who had clearly bitten off more than he could chew trying to outswim an Eeaiko, was trying to hide his shortness of breath. One could say he was like a fish out of water here but it was very much the complete opposite. "Four? I think it was three by my count." He chuckled, the obvious lie was obvious. Then he snapped out of it as she dived, she was already getting ready to catch him and he had wasted precious seconds. Leon took a big breath and did his best to escape the hunter. It was doubtful but he might be able to impress her with a getaway this time.

There was a tug on his feet from the 'shark' and that was that. Both surfaced.

"Deed yoo knoow thet te saunfeesh hes no sweem bledder?" Kaureerah chirped. "Soo eet maust keep sweemeng oor eet weell seenk. treading water, she flipped her hair over a shoulder and reached back to undo and tighten the drawstrings of her bra. "Hauwever," she continued, "because eet es soo poorly baulenced, eet auften fleeps over end ees pooshed too te soorfece auf te oceen where eet jaust flaups eraund emlessly." She nodded sadly, still fiddling with the strings. Perhaps it was the webbed fingers. "They caumpensete by leyeng three haundred meellioon eggs et e tyme." Kaureerah chirped, but her face turned frustrated. "Looks lyke e waurdroobe maulfoonction," she teased.

"Are you calling me a sunfish?" Leon joked. "Because I certainly hope you aren't expecting me to lay that many eggs." Seeing her struggle with her bra he reached back to tie it for her. As much as he enjoyed a well-timed wardrobe malfunction, there were people back on the beach. Finishing the knot, he held her by the hips similar to that of a male lead dancer. It was interesting because if anything she was supporting his weight and not the other way around. "At least I can be handy in other ways, even if I'm not the best swimmer." He winked.

She simply leaned forward and gave him a small kiss. The beach was not all that busy yet and she had kind of wanted to do a little something, but maybe it was good that Leon was a gentleman. Maybe it made him mean a little bit more. "Your hands are very... talented," the eeaiko admitted with a cheeky smile.

It had been morning and was now trending towards noon. They began to make their way back, holding hands for part of the journey, until she could feel her feet touch sand. Leon's already had and he was essentially pulling her Why do men have to be taller? she wondered inwardly.

Without meaning to, her eyes scanned the beach. It was a habit built from years of living in the shallows. There were no Lek-i-koom - sandbar threshers- here. She shook her head both to clear it and reassure Leon when he noticed and shot her a quizzical look. "Oold haubeet," she remarked. "baut Eye doon't sense eny threshers, forr whaut eet's woorth." She winked to make it playful and squeezed his hand.

Leon eased up knowing that her caution was built on habit rather than a genuine threat being present. Scouting for threshers was something he never even had to consider. It showed the difference between their upbringings but made sense when he thought about it. "Really?" He said with a raised eyebrow and a mischievous look in his eyes. "Because I think you're forgetting about the sunthresher." In a swift movement, he pulled her hand and dropped to the beach such that she landed on top of him. Dressed in nothing but tight-fitting shorts, he would have to deal with the sand that caked his back. That didn't distract him from the moment, his hands reached down and gave her butt a squeeze in a cheeky simulation of a thresher attack.

But the topic of threshers brought the mission to the forefront of his mind, in the fun of the date it hadn't crossed his mind to tell her yet. His smile grew less playful but more fond. "Speaking of, I have a beast like that of my own to contend with coming up, the White Thresher. I think your swimming lessons might come in handy." He brought one hand up, rose, and kissed her forehead before falling back to the sand. "Try not to get too lonely without me, okay?"

Kaureerah was midway through turning to face Leon, about to straddle him, when he dropped the bomb. She blinked, sitting astride him, toes in the sand. She shook her head, covering worry with playful dismissal. "Eye theenk Eye sauw thet waun," she admitted. "Eye ended aup tekeeng enauther." She was wringing her hair out now, regarding him with an unreadable expression. "We coold've ended aup toogether eef saumwaun deedn't aulweys woork aun saunfeesh tyme." She rolled her eyes and sunk forward until she was lying on his chest, the top of her head nuzzling up against his cheek. Momentarily, she craned her neck to kiss his chin.

"You what?" Leon played off with a chuckle, cautious not to ruin the moment but the shock was evident in his voice. Quite simply, Kaureerah taking a mission caught him off guard. With all the perception he had of the girl, there was nothing that led him to expect that she would risk her life for something as inconsequential as a school mission. What reason did she have to fight? "If this is the joke about the missing cat mission, Tku already told me that one." There was denial in his voice as if trying to believe it was a joke when he could guess differently. He caressed her back gently, trying not to let his poorly hidden confusion disturb her.

"Wee eeaiko eet cets, Leaun." She stroked his chest absently with one of her hands as she said it.

He paused. Even if she delivered it in a joking manner, it was all but confirmation that Kaureerah was going on a mission, a real mission like the Lorenthine Queen. It only now set in for him the meaning of that and he would be unable to affect the outcome of any of it. What kept him all the more unsettled was that he couldn't tell why. Why would she risk her life for something like this? But it wasn't his place to demand an answer, she was a woman free to choose as she wished and if that was what her heart desired then what place did he have to stop her?

"I'm starting to really hate sunfish time about now..." He spoke longingly and wrapped his arms around her. Perhaps wishes of safety and good luck should have come to mind, but none did. Instead, he held a little tighter. For now at least, he just wanted her close to him.

Kaureerah lay on top of Leon and closed her eyes, feeling the warm sun on her eyelids, a bit of it coming through, making them purplish from the inside. She could hear the apprehension in Leon's voice - feel it in his arms and shoulders. "Baut Eye'm okey weeth eet," she replied, both firmly and tenderly, and she was. "Eet's aur tyme," she murmured into his chest, "Saun end feesh, yoo knauw?" She opened her eyes momentarily to smile at him. "Mekes these moments thet mauch better..." She let her head back down, closed her eyes, and breathed. He breathed too, their chests resting against each other. For a moment, she held him a little tighter as well.

Death on the Seas

Event: Castaway | Location: On the Water

Pirates on the Blue Adam scurried to load a second volley for the Virangish sea dogs. Cawuio-Zast stood atop his gunpowder barrel laughing as cannonballs fell out of his jacket into the palms of the deckhands. The ship had taken the lesser portion of damage in its exchange with the Altın Oğul and confidence was booming. The oncoming volley had been suitably deflected by Anthal and Enoxi who shared a look and smile, and the stray shots that passed through the defence were already being repaired below. Despite the chaos and high adrenaline, they were all in high spirits, all except Sanette and the captain.

Zast had noticed the two had been talking for some time and the subject matter seemed far from pleasant given the concern on the woman's face. What got her so caught up? It was obvious that she was a tethered, Zast had heard those people have some kind of greater perception capability but hell if he knew what that meant or what exactly she had perceived that the others hadn't.

The captain finished the short word with his tethered daughter and joined the crew loading the cannons. He spoke his plan plain and clearly, and the more Zast heard the more his toothy grin grew.

Ren could only just see the visage of the green little rodent creature he portalled in with on the other ship. The traitorous mutt must have swam to that ship the second they landed in the water because he was already going about his business with the pirates. It was hard to see but it almost seemed like the Cazenax turned to smile at Ren directly. Did it just wink at him or was he seeing things?

Ren stood on top of the deck of the ship, hair being blown in the wind. Even with his presence, the situation was far from ideal. He snapped his fingers to Mountain Goat, and produced a spyglass from his companion's pouch with the use of the gift, to get a better look at that disturbing little swamp creature. It was hard to make out if it was a wink or not, but there was a feeling about him that suggested unease. What was he playing at? He sheathed the spyglass and turned to the Captain and First Mate.

"These rats are up to something. Hold the next volley and brace for impact." he spoke, stopping himself from snapping his fingers at them. Even if their lives were in his hands, they weren't his slaves. It'd become instinctual on his part to command other humans as one does pets, but his mind was oddly clear. Filled with purpose and the mission to rise beyond the cowardice of the others who'd come here. If he was the only one that respected the job, then he'd get it done. He didn't need the others.

And as clear as his mind was, perhaps due to that nagging in the back of his mind, he heard it. The Captain and the First Mate as well as others braced themselves with their magic, binders and were already prepared to do the brunt of the work. Yet, the cannons of the Blue Adam felt.. painfully ordinary as if there was no magic. Then, a colossal crack of thunder was heard from the other side of the water and he had next to no time to react.

Perhaps a lesser man might have seen their life flash before their eyes. Dreams of love, compassion, friends and family surrounding them, reliving their best memories. He was not a lesser man, for he'd not resigned himself to death. He looked onward and his eyes went wide with surprise as an extremely fast hurtling ball of steel came straight for him. The entire might of his gift was immediately put into action to place the ball into stasis, but this had been ramped by several mages. He could not simply crush their efforts as individuals, as the spinning ball began to cut through his gift. Again, he tried, and again, he failed. Fractions of a section passed and he saw it gain closer and closer. Sheer determination wasn't enough.

The veins on his head began to pop in exertion as he cursed to himself, but he took no notice of it. His pride was wounded as he was forced to redirect the ball before he became pulp. The cannonball curved and hit a deckhand to the side of him, leaving a hole inside of the young man. A sailor and son of Virang was practically bisected before the attack skidded across the water as if it were a rock skipped by a child, for such was the kinetic force behind it. He'd redirected a lethal focused attack, and he felt nothing but shame and anger. These... worms had managed to mount a suitable offence, and he'd been forced to respect their efforts.

Or did he feel something? A young soul who he'd sworn to protect had suffered as a result of his inability.. nay, they'd suffered because the churls of the enemy had mounted a sneak attack. That was the reason, surely. The spray of his blood mist and whatever was coating the cannonball bounced against the kinetic repulsive barrier he'd erected for himself, remaining suspended midair before falling to the ground, but some of the remnants sizzled against the deck of the ship, mixed with the young man's blood. A grisly sight, but not one that he spared his eyes on longer than necessary.

There was moisture on his skin. Had he begun to fear?

'Am I sweating from these... filthy creatures?'

He dabbed it with his fingers and sniffed, only to find that it was the same smell that surrounded them, the ocean. A smile took his face. Of course these vermin couldn't threaten him. He laughed to himself softly as he looked through the spyglass and found his target, Enoxi. Of course, he didn't know her name, but he saw her smile in 'triumph' and he would bring her back to reality.

"Captain, first mate, give the order to fire." he spoke, with a certain coldness to his tone, and a snap of his fingers at the order. He began to draw again, all the way. If they wanted to focus everything on him, he would accept this challenge. The volley from the Altın Oğul fired at full force, with a notably exceptional cannonball headed straight for that girl who had smirked smugly in her 'victory'

The pirate ship rocked significantly before the Virangish cannons even fired, leading many on either side toward confusion. Those daring enough to spare a glance to the ocean saw that the threshers had stopped their orgy and begun a coordinated assault on the Blue Adam's hull. One of the smaller threshers was even so worked up that it was ramming its head continuously against it to the point blood filled the water. One could only guess what had caused this natural phenomenon, perhaps threshers were offended by blue flags as bulls were to red capes. Only those who knew Raffie or remembered her graceful mounted entrance would be able to guess the truth.

But also, those who knew threshers or the powerful draw of an orgy could tell this boon wouldn't last long. Pressing the sudden advantage, the Virangish fired at the turmoiled pirates.

The cannonballs soared at incredible speed toward the Blue Adam. Enoxi, the girl in Ren's crosshairs, seemed to be focused on keeping the ship safe and ignorant of the maliciously aimed shot. Ren could blink and imagine it taking the pirate girl's head. But instead of that, Anthal was there holding her by the time the Virang noble opened his eyes once. The shot had been suspended in the air due to the Yasoi man's efforts and harmlessly dropped to the depths below, blessing a thresher with blunt force trauma.

Ren looked across with his spyglass to see that the two had turned to face each other and looked longingly into each other's eyes. It looked like they were going to kiss, there was a battle with lives on the line and it looked like they were going to kiss. Fucking disgusting.

But the assault wasn't fruitless, in Anthal's single-minded efforts to save the girl, a good portion of the Blue Adam had been blown away marking the loss of their advantage. It was anyone's game now.

From atop his gunpowder barrel, Cawuio-Zast looked upon the disgraceful display that had cost the pirates buoyancy. It wasn't that he feared, no, it was that he hated to be disadvantaged for such stupid reasons. "Now is not the time to develop a heart Anthal." He lectured calmly with hands clasped behind his back. "Daddy dearest's boat won't be able to stay up if you do that too often." His grin was poorly hidden by the faux sternness. Zast was trying to get a rise of the Yasoi for no reason in particular...

And it worked. ”Quiet yourself, rat." Anthal snapped back. He gave Enoxi a quick peck and a wink before letting her go and returning to Zast. ”Even for excrement I hold you in low regard. So I certainly don't want to hear what comes out of your mouth.” To accentuate the point, he shoved a finger into Zast's chest and forced the Cazenax to step back.

Zast smirked and simply pointed toward the Virangish ship as if to say 'there's a battle going on, remember.'

Anthal looked around for his father to give the orders, only to find he had disappeared. Where had he gone? It was no matter, he could be a captain in his own right. He called out the orders to prepare another round and hold for an opportune moment.

Ren paced around the deck of the ship, frustrated at the lack of progress that was being made in terms of the pirate ship. The threshers had done a number to their stability, and he was grateful that Raffie had done what she could. She knew her place in the world, and he was grateful that at least one person he was sent with. As for the rest of the cowards that had fled, he spared not a single thought more for them as he continued to do his duty, as the inheritor of the will of the strongest thaumaturge. And the beginning of his legend would start here.

"Prepare the next volley, now. We've got them on the ropes." he spoke, a quiet rage about his tone of voice as again, he looked through the spyglass. The captain was nowhere to be found, and as the swamp goblin disputed with the knife-ears, he felt a smug satisfaction. Chaos was an opportunity for victory, and right now, the Virangish were united in their cause. He wouldn't have to use more than necessary. He wouldn't. The cannonball that he had to deflect would be the last time he'd need to exert himself. They weren't worthy of his higher talents.

Anthal and Enoxi looked at Ren and Ren looked back at them. Working together, they roughly matched the noble's kinetic capabilities and all together they had come to realize the situation. If the opposing side's kinetic mages died, then the battle was won. But if they were to focus their energies entirely on survival, then their ship would be vulnerable to assault. Their choices were between victory and defeat, life or death. To only think of self-preservation was to concede the battle.

Then, an annoying thought came to Ren’s mind. The lovebirds on the other side of the ship, who'd decided that a volley was the right time for a tryst. Were they... mocking him? As if they could be distracted by such matters because HE was the opposition? Did they have no semblance of respect? He let out a deeply bothered exhale for the first time tonight, and a sadistic smile took his visage. The thought that he hadn't experienced such an emotion and it bothered him because of that never occurred to him as even a remote possibility. It was pure arrogance that drove his imagination for the punishment that he would bring upon them. So absorbed in his thoughts was he that he began to speak them aloud.

"You vermin rolled the dice of that goddess you love and lost the bet. And what is a lovebird without another to sing them a song?" he muttered under his breath, as the battle continued to rage. He would be the victor. He would decide their fate, and not even their crippled mockery of divinity would save them.

A Night of Splendor

Event: White Thresher: Central Alliance | Location: Zengali

The Parade

After curing the soldiers with Lyre, they look toward him like a miracle worker. It wasn’t exactly incorrect, his did use a divine artifact to heal the sick with ease. Now surrounded by men and women singing his name when they had previously cosigned themselves to death, he started to feel truly blessed. But it was important in success to receive it with humility and grace…

Who was he kidding?

Leon had twenty minutes to learn a thirty-minute dance routine in the parade. That was forty seconds per minute of dance. While there were repetitions in the choreography that eased the task, it would be a death sentence to any amateur performer. But he was no amateur and made a frequent habit of improvising his moves during shows. This was no different really.

It was fortunate that he knew a few things about dancing in Mezegol. He had been here only a few times before but enough to pick up trends in their style. Plentiful energy and natural percussion through actions like stomping made most Constantian dances seem languid by comparison. Was it enough to learn the dance properly? Hell no! But he could fill in the blanks such that he didn't flop like a fish out of water.

Besides, there was a great benefit to the lesson being so brief, he had an excuse. Leon didn't care for blending in with the crowd, doing the same moves as everyone else, he needed to stand out. If losing to the White Thresher was the norm then why would he ever wish to present himself as that? He would bring change and that needed to be reflected in all things, even in dance. The young ones who wished for variation and difference could look upon him with admiration. As for the old ones who stuck to tradition, well... he just wasn't given enough time to learn the dance. It couldn't be helped.

Even the vuvuzelas, a dreaded instrument for the tone deaf and those who wish to be deaf, was no hindrance to the Sun King's spirit. If anything, this was the perfect time for them. Although the underlying drums were well played, the music was secondary. The blaring hell-horns were used for one reason and one reason alone, building the energy. Leon had no complaints. The night was electric with the spirit of Zengali.

And so, Leon danced the traditional dance down the parade street and made it his own. But he was not done.

"Fantasia Serenade" The pausing of light emanated from Leon and began to spread across the parade. Red with a fractionate delay then orange with a slightly longer one. After a few seconds yellow with a fractionate delay then green a little longer. Then repeated for blue and purple before cycling back to red and orange. The effect given was that of mono-coloured clones trailing slightly behind the marchers. Not trailing too far behind that it would disturb the people behind and disrupt the march. Not too many colours at once such that the marchers could still perceive themselves.

Then came the trails of light. Streaks of all colours flashed across the sky and weaved through the crowds.

Luminescence truly is a wonderful school.

Leon's moment arrived toward the latter end of the march; the drums finished with a decisive thwack! Those new to these parades may have thought it concluded; that assumption didn't last long as the percussion began again with a quiet rumbling to herald in a grand display. Leon hadn't even told Raimy the full extent of the plan. In some respects, it would be a surprise to all. He placed the Sun King mask onto his face within the obscurity of the warriors. His smile beamed with anticipation.

From the crowd's perspective, there was a flash of pale light across the sky as a gigantic White Thresher was depicted floating overhead. The drums picked up more as the crowd admired the display, some were excited by the spectacle and some stood fearful the beast's image. The colourful flares that danced among the crowd swirled around a central point before coalescing into a single figure flying up above the march. The Sun King bathed in radiant, golden light rose to meet the White Thresher while the flares, which now resembled a group of Zengali warriors with spears raised, followed right behind his charge. A formidable ray of sunlight emitted from the Sun King's prop spear to pierce the mighty beast and, in its defeat, it exploded into a prismatic bloom that bathed the audience in the glow. Leon stayed a while longer in the air and admired the crowd admiring him, there was no greater happiness than this.

It wasn't just for show though. To present himself slaying the White Thresher in the parade was nothing short of a declaration. The beast that caused these people so much tragedy would fall tomorrow and the Sun King would be the one to bring about that change. If they looked for a hero to save them from their troubles, then let them bear witness.

And as the thresher erupted, so too did the drums. The parade would march on and Leon flew back down to join them.

The Market

The warriors of the parade celebrated a performance well done in the market. The paint and oil made it an unwise decision to dress back up. They remained with chests bare in spite of the daylight which had retreated well below the horizon. The colder night air had little room to chill them however, the heat of the dance soundly remained in their bodies far past its conclusion. Even Raimy, who had been as mild-mannered and soft-spoken as it comes, had been swept up in the electric night.

But then he looked away somewhere. Then again in the same spot. And again a bit later.

The noble's shifting gaze caught Leon's attention. It looked familiar to him but it only lasted a moment, so he didn't mention it. When it happened again, he had a better look at what was happening. Leon knew it well, the longing stare of a man in love, or perhaps just a crush. A subtle smile took his face. When Raimy's looked a third time, Leon suddenly shifted and their heads were practically next to each other. The performer followed his friend's line of sight... and saw Alberta.

Aha! Like a puzzle piece shifting into place, Leon finally felt like he understood the man. Sure, Raimy had gone to the encampment to help suffering people and stop the risk of his people suffering at the hands of the plague. But a far greater purpose had driven him to those tents, love. He almost certainly was head over heels in love with this woman and used his healing abilities to try and impress her. It was the objective truth.

It reminded him of a popular Torragonese novel titled 'A Soldier's Peace'. In the book, a young woman joins the war effort as a medic in the hopes that she would keep the boy she liked, who was conscripted, alive. The story had some heart-breaking highs and lows that made for a beautiful romance. It then proceeded into 150 pages of smut, which didn't bother Leon in the slightest.

One can't escape the eyes of Ipte behind a medic's tent, Raimy Leon thought, a direct quote from the book. Nice try.

"Aaaah, a Revidian flower has caught your eye. They do bloom nicely this time of year." He looked to Raimy with a knowing smile, a hint of mischief in his eyes. "It would be a shame to let her sail out to the White Threser without a dance, no? She does seem rather busy, but I'll see what I can do about that if you like?"

Surrounded by the music of the festival and the common bond between him and the other warriors, even Raimy found himself swept away with the mood. He thought his glances were hidden in the chaos. But no, the one who he had invited into the parade caught him staring.

The other warriors couldn't understand Leon. Though they understood Revidian, and all started to laugh. They said a few word, throwing little jabs at Raimy before leaving Raimy with Leon.

He pinched the bridge of his nose, "I have no idea just what you are talking about." Underneath his hand was a small grin.

Leon looked about and saw that their conversation was now private. "I think you have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about." The performer winked. "So, do you want me to put in a good word or no?"

"No," his voice stressed, "I rather not put any stress on her right now." Raimy seemed to be contemplating his reasoning at the moment.

How cute it was that Raimy cared for the woman's health, even if it was an obvious excuse to save his own nerves. "I've played at a lot of small villages Raimy and for every young couple sharing a dance there is a small collection of older ladies snickering a plan well executed. Some call them meddlesome women, but I consider them among Ipte's strongest soldiers." He grinned back at the noble. "What I'm saying Raimy is that a romantic night can appreciate a helping hand and she could use a break." He pointed at Alberta and got the noble to look away to her.

When Raimy looked back, the performer was already gone and well on his way over. "Trust me," Leon called back "I know what I'm doing."

Raimy found himself reminded of his old caretaker from how Leon spoke so positively of those pesky women. He found them unnecessary, surely Ipte would find him when the time came. "And I'm saying Ipte has little presence with both of us while that thresher lives," he looked up to see him already going over. He lifted a hand to reach out but was caught off by the newly placed rose. And like that Leon was out of reach.

He could have stopped him, he really could've.

Alberta had been going around with a small cart collecting provisions for the encampment. It was clear she was struggling to adjust to using a single arm given her recent disability. She was stopped by Amani Juma's food stand and had already collected up on the basics, meat, vegetables, and fufu. But she purchased several doughnuts as treats for soldiers who were on death's door earlier today, a rapid recovery was worthy of reward. Struggling with the final bag, she turned to place it in the cart only to find the 'Sun King' Leon Solaire leaning against it.

"Someone has a secret admirer." He said with a smile and a playful tone that told her the secret wouldn't last long. He got up and helped her with the bag. "I'll give you three guesses. And no, it isn't me."

Alberta held the bag in place for a few moments, registering what was just said to her. Instead she shifted gears, handing him the bag to put in the cart, "It's good to see you Leon, thank you once again for what you did for my men." she put her arm over her heart and gave genuine thanks.

Leon bowed his head politely and tucked the bag in nicely on top. It was only then that Alberta got to the nonsense that he started with, "What?"

"I said you have a secret admirer. Aren't you interested to find out who?"

Alberta pulled out coin purse, "Not really but continue," and preceded to count out her dues to Amani.

A secret admirer was an inherently intriguing matter. How could she have little interest in something like that? Perhaps he hadn't done a good enough job enticing her. "What if I said he was a prince?"

She mouthed 'thank you' to Amani before setting aside her purse to look a the gossiping performer, "Then I would ask what a prince sees in a one armed Revidian soldier," as she gestured with her only arm.

"Who am I to say the beauty he sees? I saw a man in admiration, he's a good man and I don't question his authenticity." Leon leaned back against the cart and sighed nonchalantly. "We have an abundance of one-legged women in Ersand'Enise and they seem to find their fair share of admirers just fine. I don't see why you should be any different."

Alberta raised a skeptical brow at first but then relented. The one-legged girl in her town did end up marrying a noble somehow so maybe their was some hope. "I'll give you that Leon, some men do have odd tastes," she more or less referenced people's infatuation with him in general, "But which one of my men could have grown so fond to be an admirer?"

"Well he isn't one of you men," Leon explained yet he thought with a streak of deviousness that he didn't dare speak. "Raimy Dume, son of the Marquis if I'm not mistaken."

She blinked. Alberta was genuinely surprised, "Raimy?" Her tone was slightly higher pitch than normal. She put her hand up to her chin and frowned, "Are you sure? Is this just a game for a new song you are making?" she asked with hesitation. This was new to her, never even considering this before.

The pitch change didn't escape Leon's notice, he struck gold. "Oh, I will be making a song about it." Despite the honesty of the statement, he still shoot the military woman a cheeky grin. "But honest feelings make the best songs. It's no game, I assure you." Leon's unabashed nature was very peculiar to the Revidian woman. No 2nd meaning or plan that she could see. Just saying things so flatly, it was surprisingly refreshing. The idea played in her head and it was... pleasant.

Leon clapped his hands together joyfully. "So what do you say? A dance or two with a prince?"

"I might be amendable for one dance," she allowed. Alberta still seemed reserved about the whole situation then looked to her cart, "I'll search for him after I deliver the food to my men."

"Hmmm, let's try for two. And I'll deliver the food myself on the second one." It was clear now that he was just seeing what he could get away with. "It's going to be a big day tomorrow, we will need you in top shape. So instead of exhausting yourself with this, see where the night takes you and leave nothing unsaid." The performer got a little carried away with the last part. It was delivered with joyful encouragement, but one might have got the impression that the words held a deeper meaning to him, a barely noticeable tinge of his own regrets.

He caught himself and corrected back to nonchalance. "Let's be honest, you could use the break anyway."

Alberta looked at the 'Sun King' unamused at his final bit of antics. But she found Raimy amongst the crowd, her eyes softened as Alberta saw him holding a rose for her. Maybe she was being too harsh on the young man? She looked at the excuse she tried to pull and sighed, "Take the food their right away and I'll see to a second dance," looking back at Leon for a moment then back at Raimy. Her voice stayed steady but it was easy to tell that she wanted to dance now.

"I wanted to play the first song..." Leon said longingly. He thought about what he could say, but Alberta's requests were reasonable and he had nothing more to angle. She wanted to dance, it was obvious in her body language. She should choose the tune she wishes for it. "But I will do as your heart desires... It isn't every day you get a world-class performer as an errand boy."

"Then find someone that you can play with," she said with now her own playfulness, walking away to Raimy. "Remember, the food needs to be hot Leon."

Leon clutched his chest in feigned heartbreak as she denied his offer. "You break my heart, signora." But a smile at the end told her there was no hard feelings.

Raimy saw Alberta approaching him and he stepped towards her. An awkward smile came to his face as he offered her the rose. Alberta held the rose as they talked, smiles on both their faces, melting away the hardened soldier and burdened noble. Just 2 people with a mild interest in each other having been stoked by the hand of Ipte tonight.

Alberta placed the rose in her hair and took Raimy by the hand. The dance was slow at the start, neither have danced with a partner missing an arm. It was clumsy but soon they got the rhythm, bounding with each other in almost a frolic. It was an unabashed time for the both of them as a mix of laughs and giggles could be heard from them having a night somehow to themselves during the festival. Just two people letting Ipte move them before before Eshiran called them tomorrow.

Leon didn't leave right away. For a time he leaned against the cart and simply watched the two's budding feelings bloom into a sweet spring flower. Simple and sweet like a daisy, just as it should be. One could point out that Leon had set up the single heir of Zengali with a Revidian woman. One could see it as a calculated action to slowly bring the city into the nation's influence. But he would have done the same if Alberta was Perrench, right? Only Leon would truly know the answer to such a question. Maybe it lay somewhere in between that and authenticity. Either way, if there was to be another 150 pages to this story, it wasn't going to happen with him around. He had food to deliver and it had better be hot.

"Your captain, she's a cruel mistress I'll tell you that." The performer joked to a receptive soldier while handing out food. "She's got me running around doing chores and I don't want to know what happen if I can't get them done." The soldiers nodded in feigned commiseration, it was all in good fun.

The House among the Trees

When the music of the festival became a distant thought and the quiet began to speak, Leon took the time to think, for it was rare to gain such an opportunity. He had increasingly been stretched thin as of late, to and fro and to once more. Time for quiet and time for friends was something to be fought for as opposed to something he could just have. So when the situation presented itself to take that time, he did.

Ersand'Enise, whom many other students called home, couldn't provide him a moment for his thoughts. He did not consider the city of mages as a home, it was and had always been a battleground for him. Perhaps the only stationary place where he found true peace was that apple orchard from so many years ago. He hadn’t been back there since his grandmother passed, but maybe that could be considered home. He thought of Kaureerah. Could he take her to that orchard someday? Would he ever find the time? He hoped she was safe.

He sat beneath a peach tree plucking the strings of his lute absentmindedly as the fireflies danced to the disjointed tune. Every chord and every melodic progression scrapped before they had even begun. This wasn't to say that any of it sounded bad. It was quite nice for the short moments they lasted, and yet they were discarded all the same as if the performer sought perfection in tune that no mere chord could satisfy. But he had written plenty of music before, in fact, most of his work had been improvisation played out into completed works. What feelings had he hoped to capture in a song that made perfectly fine notes subject to flippant disregard?

Gone Fishing

Location: Ersand-Enise

Since the revolution, Leon had seen much of Pete. They got along well when Pete was a scagbiist, but very little of that love remained when he transformed. The truth of the matter was that the two had nothing in common. But Leon was drawn to spend some time with him lately. The performer discovered that Pete had a hobby of fishing every second Victendes, so he invited himself to join.

Pete’s favourite spot lay a two-hour walk outside of the city walls. Leon had offered to fly them both there to save time, but the Cazenax declined. He liked the walk, he liked the peace, and he liked the sun. Leon was inclined to agree. They walked in near silence and exchanged a few words.

A calm wind shook the reads around a small secluded pond. The two sat at the water's edge and cast their lines in and waited. The sun passing slowly above was the only indication of a passing day. Their words were shared with no one but themselves.

“Say, Pete. I’m sure you’ve figured out by now. But you weren’t always a Cazenax. Before you got transformed and woke up in that place, you were a scagbiist.”

“Yeah, I gathered that pretty quick. Not ya average story of coming to be I suppose. Why’d ya ask?”

“Well, when I made that decision I couldn’t exactly ask you what you wanted. I can’t speak scagbiist” Leon chuckled. “I wondered what would make you happiest. You certainly seemed happier with me before.”

“You sayin’ I got a choice now?”

“It would take some time. But yes, I could turn you back if you wanted.”

There was a pause as Pete pondered the question, he didn’t think long.

“Scagbiists eat people, right? They seem to find Yasoi tastiest as well I heard. I’ll make it easy for ya. I don’t exactly want somethin’ like that hangin’ over my head. I got a Yasoi friend, name’s Pepsii, I don’t want to think about eatin’ the guy ya know.”

“But back then, when you were a scagbiist, you probably would have chosen to stay the same, no?”

Pete raised an eyebrow. “You really overthink these kinds of things, don’t ya kid?”

Because you weren’t the one who made the choice.

“No, I guess I wouldn’t’ve.”

Silence followed. Not an awkward silence or one born of animosity, just letting the quiet speak.

About an hour later, Pete got a hefty bite on his fishing rod. The two worked together to fetch up a massive fish. Leon argued that they should share the catch considering they both put in the work. But Pete argued that it was his rod so he should keep the fish. Leon relented.

On the walk back, Leon offered to help carry their one big catch. Pete declined, it was his fish so he was taking it home. The two laughed, then Pete cast a suspicious eye on him and they laughed again. It was a good day and the last time fate would see them meet.


As the Cazenax finished scurrying up the side of the Blue Adam, he flopped onto the deck with the grace of a man stumbling on a couple of wines and gasped for air. He looked upward only to find his stubby snout graced with the kiss of a flintlock.

"Fancy seein’ your mug here, you greasy little nutsack." Zast looked up to see a blonde pretty-boy pointing the gun. With such a well-maintained hairdo and billowy shirt amid a fight, the Cazenax thought the man had a higher chance of trying to take him to bed than actually shooting him. But that wasn't exclusive to this one, it was the same thing for most Yasoi playing pirates. "Remember me?"

Around the ship, all the other pirates seem occupied with the present battle and while a few paid the exchange a passing glance, it was a one-on-one. Zast stood up straight to his impressive height less than half that of the blonde and watched the flintlock get clutched just a little tighter. Zast squinted trying to see if the Yasoi's face would spark any bells in the recesses of his booze-addled memories.

"Anthal!" Zast smiled dubiously in the vague memory he screwed him over a few years back. "I barely recognized ya there. Boy, how you’ve grow-"

”We’re the same age.” Anthal interrupted as he levelled the gun further into the goblin’s forehead. "I never got the chance to get you back for taking my money and leaving me for dead. So, you have the coin to cover my payback?”

Zast chuckled awkwardly. Didn’t seem like there was much getting around of this one. "Well I can’t say I have it on me. But if you ask a certain bartender in Belzagg, I’m sure he’ll give you a couple‘a almonds under the table if you ask nicely." He grinned, at least he could go out on a classy note.

"Hold it, Junior." The captain, who Zast knew to be John Adam, had finally paid the exchange some mind and saved him from a bullet to the head. "Leave this one to me."

Anthal, with some hesitation, released the flintlock and stepped back looking annoyed. Zast smiled at him, trying to get a rise out of the Yasoi but it was to no success.

Anthal'alan'tormiiyei, or John Adam as recognized by Zast, was an upgraded blueprint of his son. With age and experience lining his features, he exuded confidence and even smiled down his nose at the Cazenax. It was a strangely positive reception given the circumstances Although Zast supposed the main difference there was he hadn’t rinsed this man of every cent like his son.

"Cazenax, I can see you dress like us, you steal like us, do you consider yourself a pirate?" His voice carried an air of high purpose and morals, Zast loved those kinds of people. "I believe that these waters, like any other seas, belong to no one but those who can take it. Perhaps you see the world as I do?"

"Cawuio-Zast." He introduced himself and took a cigar out of his coat pocket and lit it as if it had never seen water. "We’re in the same trade, Mr Adam. The seas, no, nothing on this earth can be owned by a person. The world should belong to the free and that’s that."

The captain didn’t respond to ‘Mr Adam’ too kindly but overlooked it. He knelt to get eye level with the Cazenax but was looking down at him. "Then we are allies in this fight. Across the waters, the Virangish seek to steal from the wreck while hiding behind a false sense of legality." He spat on the ground. "At least we’ll be the honest ones on the seas."

"Help us and we’ll share the loot. Deal?"


Zast received a blue scarf from the captain so that the crew would recognise him as an ally. He wrapped the scarf around his head as a bandana.

Sanette, a young tethered woman, called the captain over with a sense of urgency. A look of worry painted her, but Zast couldn’t stay to listen in.

It was time to get to work on the ship.

"I’m here as a representative of Ersand’Enise!" Zast announced. "The school is giving you all their full support and as such I have a present here, courtesy of High Zeno Silvestri." The Cazenax placed his jacket on the deck, then swiped it up to reveal an entire gunpowder barrel and a stack of cannonballs. This fight would not end under Zast’s watch.

The captain heard this announcement and shot the little green charlatan a wry smile. Sure, this Cawuio-Zast figure was a liar. But that didn’t matter right now. He could spout mistruths until the sun broke. He was useful as long as he believed in the cause and supplied munitions toward it.

A Sinking Ship

Raffie @Emeth & Ren @Suicharte

Raffie’s attempts to bring caution to the Virangish ship by name-dropping Ren caused a bit of hesitation among some of the sailors. But when the first volley of cannon fire hit the Altın Oğul it rocked with the sounds of shattered wood. It was a powerful and unforgiving hit that saw a couple of sailors falling off the side only to be devoured by threshers. The name Ren Baykara had caused some hesitation, but they didn’t hesitate after that. The pirates weren’t going to stop at that name and if they were to stop, then there wouldn’t be a ship left for the famed Virang noble to board.

Once he was on board, Ren’s warning to the pirates also fell on deaf ears. Across the way, he could see the scoundrels loading up for a second volley. The engagement had not been kind to the Virangish flagship and a couple of kinetic mages on the other side of the conflict had seen the Blue Adam taking far less damage. The backup and coordination from the other pirate ships had seen the Virangish fleet no longer having the numbers advantage. To make things worse, all on board the Altın Oğul could feel a slow and steady decline. The ship was sinking after the first volley, but this didn’t mean a concluded battle yet.

"Binders! Get below deck and get us floating again." Metin Çelik, Captain of the Altın Oğul, barked orders while making his way toward the students. After such an unfavourable exchange, some sailors paid the captain some glances expecting the order for a disengagement. The binders were effective but not world-class by any means, they would need time to repair the hull and get the water out. This would be time they wouldn’t have if they were to suffer another volley from the Blue Adam. But no order of retreat came, instead they were called to prepare another volley. The first and second mates carried out the orders.

Even with a lack of experience in naval warfare, Raffie could see that this conflict was going to get ugly. Scanning the waters, she could see that most of the other students had gotten out of the way and were heading toward the shore of Pelolia. Looking back toward Ren, it didn’t seem as though he had taken any notice of this.

"What the hell are you doing!?" Balik reprimanded a young sailor while holding him by the collar. The swabbie seemed pale and stumbled over himself, he was too inexperienced to be useful in a fight like this and it showed. Balik sighed and pointed toward Raffie. "Tend to the pink one and stay out of the way."

It may have been anyone’s first inclination to take a girl like Raffie to safety. But with such a magnificent display, she had shown herself capable beyond what first impressions would dictate. The swabbie approached and gave her a salute (where one was not required). "Anything you need, ma'am?" The boy looked only a little older than her but was generally unimpressive. He likely wasn’t a mage and this was likely his first time seeing any conflict at all. Even Raffie could deduce that he was at the bottom of the totem pole on this ship.

"Ren Baykara." The captain shook the noble’s hand. "Seems Vashdal has brought us favour in this fight. I was a guest at your plantations in Palapar a couple of years back. If you are even half as impressive of a mage as you are in your work, I couldn’t imagine someone I would want more at our backs. Shall we send these pyrate dogs to the depths?"

Ren didn’t need abundant knowledge of naval conflicts to know the situation. He only needed to know people and the captain told the exact direction of this fight. Honest eyes betrayed the lies he wished to tell Ren and himself.

The captain had spoken in a way that Ren knew intimately well. It was the final burst of pride in a man gave before he submitted to the leash. A moment where the mind could see a situation for what it is and recognise inevitable defeat, but the heart could simply not allow it.

The difference, of course, is that this man was a brave son of Virang and would never see a collar. Instead, a loss to simple pirates would result in the disgrace of a well-distinguished military career. But they made for similar looks indeed. Ren could deduce that the captain had foreseen a losing battle before the noble's arrival and doubted their chances still with Ren present. What a disappointing lack of faith.


Maura @Ti, Mahal @Fallenreaper, Kaureerah @Force and Fury, Tku @dragonpiece, & Marz @Th3King0fChaos

The cannons still roared in the distance as a second volley fired. The sounds echoed over the water as they reached the islands of Pelolia to the west. While some of the cannonballs strayed dangerously close before harmlessly splashing into the water, the students of Ersand’Enise were safe for the time being. At least from the battle they had landed in.

Now that the other pirate ships had caught up with the Blue Adam, it had become an all-out war a short distance from the wreck. Maura’s calls for Zast to negotiate the pirate’s withdrawal had fallen on deaf ears. Whether or not the Cazenax had even communicated such a message was a guessing game. The ships of the Royal Asper Salvage Co. had certainly shown no sign of retreat either. In the absence of diplomacy, the conflict had blossomed and it looked as though it was going to get worse before it got better. Much worse.

Those more focused on the waters would notice that the Nikanese and Tarlonese ships were ready some distance away. They didn’t draw closer to the conflict but maintained their distance. They hovered like vultures waiting to pick at the bones left behind.

The students were not alone on the island. Along the shoreline, wakas lay on the beach, each big enough to hold roughly 20 people. Ship upon ship built with sturdy wood, twin sails unfurled, and the odd cannon mounted awkwardly to a vessel not designed to accommodate one. This did not appear to be a league of fishing ships. It was a naval force big enough to dwarf any other in the current conflict and only a few meters push away from the water. And yet they sat there, unattended and passive, apathetic to the nearby turmoil.

The sounds of not-so-distant conversation whisked their way through the sparse jungle line and the flicker of firelight could just be seen peering out between the gaps.

Mahal had taken the initiative and was the first to go further in from the shore. However, it was only a moment into the endeavour that she noticed she was being watched. A young girl wearing clothing native to the region was peeking out at her from behind a tree. The two locked eyes for only a second before the girl took off running toward the campfires beyond.

Whether Mahal decided to follow the girl, remain where she was, or go back to the group, it didn’t take long before a fighting force came back from the same direction to confront her. They drove her back to the shore where they found the rest of the students.

A young man stood at the head of the Moata Suva warriors. He was handsome and likely only a few years older than most of the students. Although he carried himself like a practised warrior, there was an equal display of a boy puffing out his chest to appear more formidable, unlike the older warriors at his call. They looked surprised to see a group so young in front of them.

"You don’t strike me as pirates. Who are you and what are you doing here?" While the group of warriors didn’t look hostile, they were prepared for a fight if one were to break out.

The students of Ersand’Enise were able to communicate their position in the conflict and diffuse the situation. At the end of their explanation, the warriors were more disarmed and open to negotiation.

"Students of Ersand’Enise…" The young man considered the situation. "My name is Tamatoa, Prince of Moatu Suva." He made a far friendlier introduction than before. "My father has made camp not too far from here. If you have interest in the wreck, I would ask that some of you join us first and share words with him." It was a friendly invite, although no one got the impression they were being given the option to decline.

The prince was an unseasoned diplomat and wasn’t able to hide a frown when he spotted Kaureerah. "I will have to insist that the Eeaiko comes with us as well." He spoke with a notably less friendly tone.

Before leaving, he gestured toward the Maura’s crates and the beginnings of the submarine with a curious look. "Whatever you’ve got building here, it doesn’t look good. I would ask that you put it together behind the treeline. Otherwise, it could cause problems for both of us if someone out there were to spot it."

Warriors wait by Firelight

Prince Tamatoa and his entourage lead the students through to the camp he mentioned. With some cultural variations, most could recognise this as a military encampment. Most of them were warriors, some looked to be workers who maintained the camp such as cooks, and a sparse number of women and children looked to be neither.

Much like the boats though, the people seem battle-ready in everything but action. At present, they were sitting on the ground around the numerous bonfires and eating dinner. Some told jokes to each other, some focused on their meal, and only a few of the younger warriors seemed to be anticipating a conflict with some excitement. The cannon fire exchange between the pirates and Virangish ships could still be heard from here, even over the commotion. One could only conclude that they were waiting on something else before they acted, they weren’t expecting it soon but were ready for it, whatever it may be.

At the head of the camp, King Kaleo III was not hard to miss. He and his family were only slightly elevated from the rest of the camp by a short wooden stage, but his mountainous form had him a head above most others. He seemed to be in a good mood, talking among the other decorated warriors at his fire. Next to him sat Queen Kanani, who didn’t look to be a warrior but kept up in equal parts with her husband in conversation. Beside her sat Princess Leilani who seemed to shy away from it all. And finally, the young girl whom Mahal had seen earlier was Princess Tiare. She sat on the other side of her father but carried a level of excitement that could see her shoot away again at any second.

Walking through the camp, Kaureerah would pick up on a few glances going her way. Could they be looks of suspicion? Hostility? It was difficult to tell. But it didn’t make her feel welcome, even if the group was being given the courtesy of a prince’s escort.


The running of this mission has been handed over to me from Force. I would like to address two things:

1 I have approximately zero knowledge of maritime history or combat. The initial post had a lot of detailed and considered descriptions of ship combat. I will not be able to do this.

2 This is my first time running a mission. While I have Foodie more or less advising me on things, I am the captain of this ship and it may not be the smoothest ride as a result.

For the above reasons, I ask for some degree of patience and leeway as I may make mistakes. Let's have fun with this mission and see it to a good conclusion!

Danger is Magnificently Close

Event: Castaway | Location: Waters near Mehameha

Cawuio-Zast caught the flash of a blue pirate flag before plunging into the seas. Blue Adam. Below the water's surface, he felt the shakes of cannon fire let loose and was taken by an odd calm despite the circumstances. What might appear strange to others, he felt at home in the midst of conflict on the seas.

Without any discussion with the rest of the team, the Cazenax began swimming toward the lead pirate ship. Coming back up, he took a big whiff of the gunpowder smoke on the water. If Zast were an educated man, he may have been able to put his feelings into words like so: Today, like any other day, is the crucible in which I risk my life to dance with Lady Eshiran. Not out of respect, but because it is a necessity of life. Knowing that my continuous survival is justification enough for my existence and the rewards that come from risk will be pleasurable beyond what gold can provide. But a wide toothy grin would have to suffice for now.

The Cazenax were a desert people, not many found the need to learn swimming before that need found them. How many elders would see a Cazenax find the water and drown? Seven thousand? Eight thousand? Nine thousand? Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine? Well if they got around to seeing Cawuio-Zast, they would see a Cazenax swim for the first time. For he was that one in ten thousand Cazenax daring enough to take to the seas, he was that Cazenax brave (and stupid) enough to continuously risk his life on the open ocean with the humans. These measly waves meant nothing to him, all that mattered was the payout when he survived and won.

The reward offered in this mission could set a person up for life if they played their cards right. So what could he achieve if he blew it all in a week? That was a matter for when he alone emerged the victor in this conflict (along with those who picked the winning side like him).

“Make sure they withdraw!” Maura shouted after the Cazenax. He had reached the ship and begun climbing by this point. In reply, he looked back with a smile and a thumbs up. But the Cazenax's smile was anything but kind or comforting in appearance. It could be taken as either reassuring or anything but.

Danger is a Distant Horizon

Event: White Thresher: Central Alliance | Location: Zengali

“It would be important for us to make a positive impression with the authorities here, especially when it comes to discussions with the Sovereign Pact-aligned members. We have a mutual goal in mind, so it is a good opportunity to work together. Though, there is potential for things to come apart quickly if we don’t account for the human factor,” she remarked, referring to people with their own agendas who might attempt to derail things.

Leon listened to Ayla's plan as he noticed a shadow flickering over him from above. He looked up, shielding his eyes from the sun above, and watched Ayla’s Froabas soaring above. He thought of his Harlequin Kite, Luminosa, and how her collection had been put on hold because of the mission. He had only come to realise recently how much he missed her.

Ayla flashed Leon a playful smile. “That is when we need your smooth talking to help us out.”

As she finished her talk and addressed Leon directly, he brought his focus back down to the rest of the group and smiled back at the girl. Even if he was a little distracted, he had been listening. He gave a playfully exaggerated bow in response. "I would be happy to oblige. I'm sure I could win us a few friends before the festival starts. And even more after it's done." He joked.

His eyes wandered off "I could be of use at the encampment, so I'll start there." His curiosity was caught by a young Mezegol nobleman going in between tents.

Leon stuck around for a following discussion and sharing of skills, then made his way over to the tents. He inspected the lyre as he approached to be sure it was tuned up and ready for playing. The grace of Ipte-Zept's Lyre had healing properties, but he would like to think that the music itself also helped. Somewhere along the way, he was sure to draw the young nobleman's attention too.

"I'm guessing we're all meeting up at the festive later? Do we meet back here or somewhere else?"

Leon pivoted on his heel while walking away to answer and keep his pace backwards in a half-waltz. "I, for one, intend to enjoy the festival to the fullest." He called with a smile. "We fight tomorrow, so why not enjoy today? But you can find me if you need me, I don't exactly blend into a crowd." And with that, he spun back around again and was off.

Leon had spent a good half hour playing delicate, calming songs with the Lyre of Ipte-Zept around the encampment. As he played, he left a trail of soldiers suddenly cured of their diseases and on the gradual path to recovery. It didn't outright cure wounds, but it seemed to help on that front as well.

He had made his way toward the tent where the noble was. Raimy was his name, or at least from what he had heard, and he seemed dedicated to healing the sick and wounded. It was a noble goal that was ironically ignored by many nobles. Why would this young man risk his health for people that weren't even his own?

Concluding another song, Leon thought it would be best to take a break. What fortune that the soldier Raimy was healing had suddenly stopped coughing and was miraculously recovered. It would give the two boys a seat on the now-empty medical stretcher.

"It’s a strange sight to see a noble in a medical tent." Leon remarked, offering Raimy to sit with him. "I don't know why you are so dedicated, but I assume it has something to do with forbidden love." He continued with a feigned knowing smile.

The green slough slicked off their wounds. Clear liquid dripped from their skin that only to congeal with the slough into a mass on the bedding and floor. It quivered for a few moments, ever pulsating at times, only to then lose all structure. Slipping back to just green murky water. Whatever the disease was, it was dispelled by the lyre but it was no ordinary disease, anyone could see that.

Upon second inspection, Leon decided it was perhaps best they both stand. His lip was turned up somewhat by the disgusting byproduct of the disease. He was no medical expert, but he was certain the human body didn't produce that.

Raimy looked at the man who played his song and watched him do what he had struggled with for the last week.

Whatever face he had watching, either awe or jealousy, faded to small relief. "Wouldn't it be stranger for a binder to not to be working in the medical tent?" Raimy answered back, “And who might you be?” giving some pause to inspect the lyre that had just been used.

When Raimy addressed him, Leon took a little offence that the noble didn't know him already. But he hid it well and looked forward to it on second thought. It was rare for the performer to talk to someone without the weight of reputation influencing the exchange. Seeing that Raimy was looking at the lyre, Leon handed it to him for a closer look. "And yet, so many noble binders keep themselves absent from places like this. Don't get me wrong, I respect you for your efforts, but you have piqued my curiosity."

"My name is Leon Solaire, I'm somewhat of a famed performer but you can call me friend." He went to shake his hand.

The noble took the item in with much care, quickly inspecting and seeing much beauty in it. If he was less sane, he would poster it to be the Lyre of Ipte-Zept but there was no way this random man could have it. He handed it back with no fuss. “Well that may be true for most with noble blood though I'm sure even they would be here to increase the odds just a little before tomorrow.”

There was judgement from Raimy, the man spurring him on to call him friend wasn't much appreciated. Still, “A friend in rough waters is the best friend you can have,” Raimy shook Leon's hand with a smile.

Leon took back the lyre and held it to his side; he needed a break from playing. Some may think playing is effortless, but it is a trick on the performer's end to make it look so.

"So it's worry that brought you down here then? Concern that we may not have enough people?" He questioned, trying to get a read on his company. "I wouldn't worry. Tomorrow will be a success, I will guarantee it." The performer expressed with sheer confidence that came off oddly comforting and egotistical in equal parts, especially to someone who didn't know him. "But I would like to continue healing regardless. It's the right thing to do; that and I would hate to see your generosity be rewarded with an outbreak."

“The White Thresher is a beast like any other," Raimy packed up his unused bandages and started to clear the stench with the gift. He knew his healing was no equal for Leon's in this case.

Raimy shook his head in disbelief, “I thank you for your confidence my friend, truly," Raimy slapped a hand onto Leon's shoulder, “But's let's keep ourself realistic. The beast has been cornered more than once in the past and yet it still draws water. Might you be the difference Leon?"

"If this beast has haunted your people until today, then tomorrow will be the day that changes." Leon laid a hand on the boys shoulder in turn. "I would like to think myself to be one who makes difference, but even then I won't be alone in this endeavor. I would like to consider that extra assurance of our success." With that he started preparing the lyre for another song.

Raimy made his way to exit the tent, "I thank you for healing them, find me at the festival when you have a chance. Perhaps you can even perform, Sun King." Raimy repeated the whispers he heard from the injured.

Leon waved goodbye back to Raimy. "Yes, I wasn't going to say anything, but it's best you clean up before the festival starts." He laughed light-heartedly gesturing toward the noble's dirtied clothes. "I'll be sure to catch up with you then and treat your people to the best performance I can give. You have a beautiful city, I would like to make a name for myself for when I return in more fortunate times." He gave a wink as he saw Raimy out the door.

Leon gave a bow to the audience of sick and injured. "And I would like to see all your lovely faces at the festival as well," he called. "So let's try to recover as best we can." He resumed playing.

Later on, he inquired the nurses about the strange disease caught by the sailors. He found out that the infirm had all been in the turmoiling in the water during the White Thresher’s attack. He couldn’t get more out of the nurses and he didn’t search further as to details that would be lost on him. Leon was not the most educated in medical studies after all. But one message was clear, the waters carried danger around the White Thresher. He would be sure to tell the others when he saw them next, Central Alliance and Sovereign Pact alike.

Revidian Summons

Event: Act Six Missions

Leon was out in the mercantile district having an outfit tailored. He had been awfully busy as of late. The trials and revolution had raised his profile even higher in Ersand’Enise; it seemed there was never the time in the day to deal with it all. It was a welcome return to form that the performer hadn’t experienced since he had left the city of mages. Places to be, people to see, Leon lived for it.

Even the Yasoi refugee crisis had seen the performer in higher demand. After all, who would perform at the charity galas? He loved those things, even enough to get entirely new outfits tailored for them. You always needed to look your best to play the game of charitable nobles right.

A level of cunning was employed when dealing with the rich and charitable. Sure, you could get up on stage and preach the virtues of helping the downtrodden and sick. That would get a few extra pennies in the bucket. But whisper in a noble’s ear that Signore Annusatore di Culo just donated twice what they did, and they will bend over backwards to prove themselves more virtuous. Leon couldn’t sell the idea of helping the refugees because most truthfully didn’t care. But they do like the idea that ‘Saviour of the Yasoi’ would be inscribed on their tombs if they gave the most. The game was to have them leave the event having given far more than they intended; it was incredibly fun and he was good at it too.

Everything was going right for Leon Solaire. Almost.

Lately he had noticed a nagging feeling that something was missing. It was easy enough to hide those thoughts behind conversation and crowds. But in the quieter moments, like getting measured up for a new costume, it bugged him. It would surely go away if he kept focusing on the path ahead, right? It brought him untold happiness before; he just needed to remember that and carry on.

“Leon Solaire! Leon Solaaaiiiree!” A voice came from the entrance of the store, followed by the sounds of someone hurriedly approaching the performer. Hearing the voice, Leon’s face lit up with a smile as he turned toward the entrance. Only to be disappointed at seeing a human girl. He felt silly for giving that much of a reaction, her Revidian accent wasn’t even close to who he thought it was. He focused on maintaining the smile as she reached him.

Leon recognized her face. During the revolution, she was one of the Revidian students he convinced to join the fight and she told him her name after the fact. It was Arianna… Or Aria. It was one of those two at least. Ariadne? No, definitely not that. He raised his arms almost without prompt as the tailor went to measure his upper chest. “Ari, it's good to see you again. Even if you did get me at an awkward moment. I… don’t mean to be rude, but I hope it's important.”

The girl didn’t seem to mind the improvised nickname given to her. “Oh, it is, Leon. Have a look.” Ari hurriedly placed a notice in Leon’s hand to which the performer quickly looked it over. It contained the details of a colossal, raging, white thresher. One that had claimed many lives out at sea and one that would likely continue until stopped.

“... you weren’t kidding,” Leon said. “I’m glad you let me know. We ought to get ourselves signed up then.”

There was a look of embarrassment on Ari’s face that told Leon she wasn’t going. It was clear she had given him the notice expecting him to do that service in her place. After all, it was a dangerous mission, it's not as though just any student could sign up for it. It was a matter of who was brave enough to accept, and he wasn't about to disappoint.

“Or… I’ll make sure to remember who told me about the mission when we come back successful. It wouldn't be a party without them.” Leon continued, trying to cheer her up.

“I’m sure you’ll do Revidia proud,” Ari remarked with enthusiasm.

Leon tried not to wince at the Revidia comment and he let out a nervous chuckle. “Yeah, something like that,” he responded, trying to tone down the nationalist tone as much as possible; he didn't like it, and his tailor was Belzaggic.

Leon was looking forward to a few months of diplomacy and performance in peace. But the Sun King was to be more than just a pretty face and that required accolades. At least it helped him to know that he was doing the right thing. The beast needed to be stopped one way or another before it could take more lives. If they could all work together, it surely wouldn’t be difficult…


Event: Act Six Missions

Maura - expendable

Tku - expendable

Mahal - expendable

Cawiuo-Zast looked up to listen to the conversation. That idiot Silvestri couldn’t even recognise him in his devious disguise as Coze-Zast. The fool, the fool of fools, he didn’t catch his blunders and now the Cazenax was already in phase two of plotting the High Zeno’s downfall. It was additionally fortunate that the job also paid well.

He returned to assessing his team.

Mahal - expendable

Marz - expendable

Kaureerah - gets one free pass, then expendable

Ren - Zast could see that the Viraangish man had his cousin on a leash. One of those two isn't making it back from the mission

Raffie - has potential

Fiske - has potential

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