They Got a Message Out
Many Imythessian religions speak of a paradise beyond the veil of the material plane. The picture they paint is nice, by all means: sunny skies, vibrant colors, smiling faces. Something untainted by the hands of the world's sapient species. But if you venture a relatively short distance beyond the west coast of Imythess, you can get pretty damn close to paradise right here. No dying or plane-hopping necessary.
At least that's what the locals say. They'll eagerly tell you that kind of thing even if you didn't ask. "We go to Astendan to be free" is like a motto for the expatriates in particular.
Free or not, Astendan is a world unto itself, you can sure tell. The easternmost islands have no view of the mainland. Whenever you gaze out at that immaculate cyan water, watching the sun cast golden specks over the waves lapping at the docks, listening to the flags whip in the warm breeze and the tavern chatter and the birds calling around you, maybe you understand these kinds of sentiments. Maybe you have yet to be convinced.
You're not going to be told what you've been up to. No one can presume to understand what's going through your mind. Regardless of where you are in the area, there's one thing that you definitely know about.
It's a story, actually. Astendans love stories. "Did you hear about--?" That sort of thing. Sure beats chatting about the weather, especially since the weather doesn't much change. Almost everyone has heard this story, and it's fresh as you can get. It's the rumor about the "Kill the King" message.
Let's back up a second. A couple days ago (that's how fast word travels through these tiny islands at times), the harbormaster of the small town of Lilimo received a message from a purple-backed swallow. The little bird's harness was fashioned from reeds and the canister had burn marks on it. Inside the message canister was a scrap of paper that said the following:
FREE THE CREW OF THE GILDED ROC
HE FOUND NALYME'S LAST BOOK
Now everyone knows about the distress call. In fact, the habormaster duplicated the message and sent it by swallow to every nearby town on every nearby island. Hell, it hit a lot of the so-called major towns beyond the sector too. Within a matter of days, "Kill the King" became the little oddity uttered from every tipsy dockhand's lips from here to Orosil. It was the most interesting thing that had happened in this small sector of Astendan for weeks.
There's one problem. Everyone thinks it's a trap.
You're not actually required to respond to an Astendan distress call, you know. Especially one like this. Vague words, coordinates to an uninhabited island, and the implication that violence is going to be necessary? Any local would say that whoever runs after messages like that is a fool.
Of course, there's the book that it mentions, possibly as an incentive with all of this in mind. But any locals you might ask about the book are even more likely to balk at that. They'd tell you that old tome probably doesn't even exist -- and if it does, it's been lost for nearly a century.
So why did you decide to answer the message? And how did you get here?
Pyramid Island is a triangle of bright green cutting up from the sea. It's a beautiful day -- that almost goes without saying -- and the sky is marred with only a few streaks of clouds. There's a hot breeze coming in, but it doesn't put much more than ripples into the crystal-clear waters around your approach to the island. If you were to bend over whatever vessel you're on (or look down if you're swimming), you'd be able to see clear to the sandy bottoms where the foundations of old stone ruins are drowned in the white sand. You can see fish swimming around down there, plus some urchins and stars crawling about too.
On the island itself, you can see thick tropical forests along everything but the shore. Stone ruins spill out across every angle of the tiny island, tipped over on their foundations and broken to pieces.
Oh, and you're not actually the first one here, by the way. As you make your way to shore, you notice a towering man-o'-war ship looming in the distance. Those cannons lined along several decks look like they could rip up most anything. Have you ever seen a Cascadian airship? The hull design looks like it was copied off that distant nation's flying navy and then converted into a sailing vessel. Even if you've never been to Cascadia, it still strikes you as a bit of an unusual design.
There's also the matter of your welcoming party at shore. Pyramid Island is indeed inhabited, as it turns out. You spot movement in the treeline. Multiple pairs of eyes watching you for a few seconds and then darting off into the undergrowth. But that's just in the background. Right in front of you, standing on the mixture of beach and ruins, is a pair of people giving you big smiles.
"It's not a trap!" the girl shouts at you as she rushes to help you get on shore -- pulling your rowboat aground or what have you. This young woman looks like she's in her late teens or early twenties. Looks human, although you can't help but notice the vaguely wing-shaped limbs coming out of her back. They're a bit deformed. The feathers didn't grow in right. She's sun-tanned and has chestnut brown hair. Her grin widens. "I hope you're not disappointed. If a fight was what you came here for, we can use all the help we can get."
"More on the way, looks like!" the other man calls over as he looks through his spyglass in a different direction. From this distance, all you can tell is that he's an orc with dark grey skin. He's got the posh accent of a Tarasian noble.
After shouting in the affirmative back to him, the girl extends a hand to you. "I'm Ella, and the man over there is Andres. We came from that warship moored over yonder." She gestures with her chin in the general direction of the monstrous Cascadian sailing ship you noticed earlier. "Don't worry about the people passing by in the forest. I'm sure they're happy you're here. They just can't afford to let their 'King' find out something's amiss, so they can't come and greet us."
If you're going to help, you're going to need to know about this so-called King. That fact is easy for Ella to predict. "I'll give you a quick run-down of what's going on," she says.
You're here and you know roughly what's going on now. What do you do?
Round 1 wrote:Welcome to Break the Waves! You have no idea how excited I am to bring this offering to you guys.
Event Rules - Must read
Discussion - Keeping up with posts in this topic is essential to understanding what's going on.
Information - I will tell you in Discussion whenever I update this
First Round Activity - Write Yourself In
It's your job in this round to figure out how your character got here. Be creative! If you're stuck, use information in the post as cues to help you. Talk to fellow players and coordinate origins if you want. That means that, if you want, you can RP as though you have already met certain people so you can catch a lift with them.
(What's a Scene?)
We're going to be covering a lot of time and a lot of plot, so the story needs to zoom in and out periodically. A "scene" is when the story is zoomed in and we're RPing it out. The scale of this adventure means that RPing in one continuous string would make the event take forever. It also means we won't have to RP the boring parts. You're welcome to treat timeskips between scenes however you'd like.
Deadline for This Round
If you've signed up, you have until Tuesday, February 27 at 5:00pm Mountain Time to make one post in this topic. This deadline is non-negotiable; extensions are not available. You are responsible for calculating your own time zone differences. The ST has that evening, night, and early morning to finish her post.