Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Journey to the Centre of Arcanum - CYOA

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by ironyuri, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    15,731
    Location:
    Jersey for now
    Why the fuck has this not been updated, good sirs!
     
    ^ Top  
  2. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    15,731
    Location:
    Jersey for now
    UPDATE!
     
    ^ Top  
  3. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    15,731
    Location:
    Jersey for now
    Why has he done this to us?
    Has he even been online?
     
    ^ Top  
  4. Gondolin Arcane

    Gondolin
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    3,985
    Location:
    In the Playground, reading LPs
    Is it something we did? Have we been too negative? Complained too loudly about the lack of romances? Come back, Dr. Yuri!
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Monty Arcane

    Monty
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,582
    Location:
    Grognardia
    You have failed us for the last time ironyuri.

    [​IMG]
     
    ^ Top  
  6. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    15,731
    Location:
    Jersey for now
    He did this on purpose.
     
    ^ Top  
  7. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    11,399
    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
  8. Erebus Arcane

    Erebus
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    3,759
    Calm down, people. Good things come to those who wait without bitching all the freaking time.
     
    ^ Top  
  9. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    My apologies for having disappeared everybro, I've been trying to get back on top of work and had some real life things to sort out, coupled with a blockage vis a vis actually writing this part (I feel it's very dialogue heavy and I was trying to find a way to resolve that.)

    I will be putting up the update in two parts, voting will take place in the second part.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  10. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,714
    :yeah:

    Bump this shit to the next page, bros. I want to see this glorious two-part epic without having to go to a different page.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  11. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    This is (not) completely unrelated to our present tale, but if anyone is ever interested, I recommend this good shit:





     
    ^ Top  
  12. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Prologue, Part V.i.
    [​IMG]

    Thick black smoke spews from the smokestack of the steam ship as it cuts its way through the undulating waves of the Eastern Sea. The wind is poor, and the sails do little to propel the ship onwards. Beneath the hot and copper sky the ship chugs idly towards its destination, dark clouds gather to the northeast on the horizon, perhaps over the Isle of Despair.

    You’ve been aboard ship a full night and day now, and have done little to pass the time but take meals with the rest of the party at the Captain’s table, and clean and service your pistol. Its performance on the train was admirable, but it became gunked up during the fight with the half-ogre bandit chief. You quickly came to the decision to acquaint yourself with its operation manual should its use be necessary in the future.
    You haven’t been able to shake off the feelings of shame and disgust that you might owe something to Maug. Your father always told you a debt owed is best repaid, and in this instance, you might wash the stain away by finding some way to silence the guttersnipe. If you make it back, you’d rather the papers didn’t print some cockamamie story about that bastard saving his superior officer from the jaws of death. You think it much more fitting that they hear the truth, that through a cunning ambush, you managed to bring the bandits to heel and avert disaster for the expedition.

    Time passes tediously aboard ship, the Eastern Sea stretching out in all directions, your destination nearer only in the mind’s eye. It is late afternoon, and you stand at the prow of the ship, gazing out to the sea. You muse quietly to yourself, ‘Water, water, every where, and all the boards did shrink. Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink.’ You still cannot truly fathom the reasons for this expedition, what Brockenlid hopes to achieve, or what, if anything, he expects to find. This afternoon, the 25th of the month, and now some five days since you left Tarant, you decide it is high time you got to know a little more about the Professor, and indeed, much more about this expedition. Until now you’ve been propelled by the fool’s bet you placed at the Wellington, and your sense of pride, but the dawning realisation of the gravity of this undertaking stirs within you a sense of dread.

    You’ve heard tales of the beasts found on the Isle of Despair, half-man half-spider abominations, great gorilla-like beasts, wild women driven mad with lust and starvation, rabid prisoners turned cannibal, and the souls of the restless dead. If you are to make land at the volcanic islet to its south, who is to say you won’t meet such monstrosities there? The thought chills you. You sneeze nervously, then snort a pinch of snuff to clear your head. You resolve to seek the Professor out after dinner this evening. It seems prudent to you that you should, furthermore, divulge your knowledge of the rival Caladonian expedition. Gaining Brockenlid’s trust may well be to your advantage.


    *****

    Around eight o’ the clock, you retire with the Professor to his cabin below deck. He courteously accepted your request for a moment of his time, and now, the two of you are seated in high backed armchairs. The swell of the sea has become more tumultuous and a light rain is heard above deck.

    “Now, my dear Lieutenant-Colonel, you said that you desired to speak with me. What please you, sir?”

    ‘Brockenlid, I demand to know more of this expedition. More about this fool idea of fissures in the earth and great caverns leading to its centre! Would not the dwarves have found such a passage in their delving, sir? It seems a damn fool thing to me, and I’d like to know what I’ve got myself in for. You’ve kept this well under your hat these past days, but if I’m to oversee our protection and provisioning, I’d know a great deal more.’

    “Well, well, Herr Kleinmann. I expected such questions much sooner, indeed, and, I might say with a good deal more courtesy. But you are entirely correct! You must understand, sir, that I do not obfuscate the details of the expedition by choice, but simply because I do not myself know what it is we shall find. My researches in the Mysterium Orbis, and in my many years of work, have pointed only to this island as the gateway to the core of our world. Those who authored the text either did not explore too deeply, or if indeed they dispatched an expedition, did not see its return. Their knowledge seems to be the result only of a preparatory exploration of the volcanic rock which is our destination. They found, so it was written, a fissure into the earth and within a vast system of caverns, wherein there lay evidence of habitation, animal or otherwise, they could not say. Further, they were able to piece together, with the help of the Mage scholars of Tulla, fragments of myth and hearsay, which, originating among the peoples of Kree and the elvish inhabitants of the Morbihan during the Age of Legends, indicated some magickal connection between those peoples and the islet.” Brockenlid takes a sip of brandy, and giving you an intent look, continues, “There is even some evidence, though the vast majority of such knowledge is now lost to us, that there may once have been a seafaring civilisation which existed upon an island in the Eastern Sea. Their name has been lost, but those myths that come to us of the time before Vendigroth, and even before the time of Nasrudin, speak of a civilisation far older. Who, or what they were, we cannot know. So, there you have it, Herr Kleinmann, what I expect to find, is a fissure in the earth, a gaping hole in the Volcanic rock leading to a system of underground caverns. What I desire to find is this so-called passage to the centre of the world, and all of the grand scientific possibilities which such a thing presents.”

    You speak for an hour or more, during which the Professor recounts some astonishingly boring episodes of his younger life, and how it was he came to acquire the Mysterium Orbis before its theft. Finally he explains at length, his hypothesis of the hollow earth. He suggests that the world is made up of a series of concentric spheres, between each of which there is a distinct atmosphere. He believes each sphere, like the surface of Arcanum, rotates at a determined speed, that there would be seasons beneath ground, much like those above. The very centre of the world, he believes to be solid.

    As the hour draws late and the wind begins to pick up, causing the ship to lurch unevenly, you clear your throat and decide it is time.
    ‘Professor, prior to our departure from Ashbury I received a telegram from my Uncle, who holds a sit on the Industrial Council. You may know of him, Gottfried Kleinmann Sr., an eminently respectable and esteemed gnome in our fine city.’ You pause, allowing Brockenlid to give an expression of interest and awe. Satisfied, you go on, ‘He was able to, through the intelligencers to whom he has access, ascertain the means by which your book was stolen. It would seem, Brockenlid, that the Caladonians employed a mage to acquire your book. On the 23rd, when I received the telegram at Ashbury, it was noted that a ship was preparing to depart Caladon carrying a scientific team to an unknown destination. One must inevitably surmise that an expedition, perhaps with the support of King Farad himself, is as we speak, making their way to the very same island as we.’

    Brockenlid’s face falls noticeably, the first time you’ve seen him display an image of anything short of jovial. “That is most dire news, sir. Most dire, but not unexpected. When the Mysterium was stolen, I envisaged such an outcome. Doubtless it’s that curmudgeon Vickers who has put this into motion. Professor Edmund Euler is an old rival of mine, you see.” He pauses, looking for a hint of recognition, “When I first published my hypothesis that the core of the world was not in fact, solid rock, but a finite substrate, which surrounds concentric shells between which lie habitable environments, he derided my work as preposterous. He, himself, proposed that within the core is a star providing light and heat to a vest system of underground continental shelves. He must have received word of my plans for this expedition, and, as one would expect of him, has set out through unscrupulous means to discredit me!” He is lost in thought for a moment, his head resting on his entwined fingers, “Thank you for informing me of this, Lieutenant-Colonel. I do not believe we will be able now, to divert their expedition, but with the time we have in hand we may be able to achieve the goal of finding the passage into the earth before they make land. I shall call a meeting of the expedition tomorrow evening, as it is, we should make land the day after tomorrow. Good evening, sir.”

    You leave the Professor’s cabin, going above deck for fresh air before you turn in for the evening.


    ******
    Surveying the deck, you find some of the crew playing at cards and sharing halves of rum. You sneer distastefully and move towards the prow where you might find some repose. Alas, it is not to be. Standing by the prow of the ship, gazing into the darkness through a bronze looking-glass is the detestable Maug. You are about to turn to go back below deck when you are struck by the whim that you might be best served acquainting yourself with the enemy, especially if you might make use of him for your own ends. You take a few steps toward the half-orc Lieutenant, click your heels and come to a rigid halt, arms at your side.

    ‘Attention on deck, Second Lieutenant!’

    Maug, with what looks like a passing smirk, turns, gives a half-hearted salute, which you return with all regimental discipline, and greets you, “Good evening, Lieutenant-Colonel, sir. Have you a latrine needs digging?” He grins.

    ‘I’ll have no smart-talk from you, sir! You shall pay close attention to the etiquette of addressing your superior officer, sir, or by the gods I’ll have you strung up!’

    “As it please ye, Lieutenant-Colonel, sir.” He salutes once more, this time in the correct fashion. Looking pleased with yourself, you address him.

    ‘They tell me you were recommended for this mission by the Lord General himself, Maug. The word in the political circles is you’ve caught the eye of the man’s wife. What should we make of that, eh? What gutter did they drag a rogue like you out of anyway?’
    Maug gives you a piercing look, but his grin doesn’t fade. His canines are slightly sharper and more elongated than those of the average human, a feature of his half-orc background which gives him a devilish air. “Well, if ye must know, Lieutenant-Colonel sir, I was raised by me ma’am in the Boil, at least, when it was still called The Boil. That was before they tore it down and turned the Bentley into that shiny, preener's hotel. Was me da ran it back then, at least so me mother tells me, she gave me his name and said I should wear it with pride. Filthiest whore in the old Boil she was, so who can say if she really knew it was him fer sure?” He gives a throaty laugh, which renders the tale all the more distasteful to you. You’d have some words for him, were it not for the oncoming bout of apoplexy. Making an effort to recover, and still red-faced with shock and anger, you are unable to manage a response.

    “Was me mother encouraged me into the army, you see, sir. Said if all I had to look forward to was a life of killing and thieving, I might as well get regular pay and a clean uniform for it. Sure it paid off for you, when I took down that half-ogre, eh?” He laughs again.

    ‘Outrageous! Bloody outrageous! I’ll have you shot! How dare you speak to me li—how dare you suggest...?! I want you on deck at dawn, churl! A duel of pistols: I demand satisfaction, sir!”

    “Satisfaction is it, Lieutenant-Colonel? I can promise you the same satisfaction that bandit chief got if that’s what ye be wanting. If ye thinks better of it, we might just say it was getting on and ye’d had a bit to drink. Best be gettin’ to yer bed, sir.”

    ‘To the hells with you! Jumped up, insolent cur! You wouldn’t be worth the bloody bullet! I came, sir, to inform you that we face a rival expedition which at this very moment speeds from Caladon, sir! I am your commanding officer and you’d best remember that. You are to report any sightings of ships to me personally, and as for this evening’s insubordinate behaviour I might well have you confined to ship when we land, sir!’

    You storm off, enraged by Maug’s candour, and even further disgraced by your own foolishness. Returning to your cabin, you find sleep only after some hours of tossing and turning, punctuated by bouts of nausea.

    Your meeting with Professor Brockenlid was informative. While the scientific theories outlined by Brockenlid as regards his conception of the centre of the world are beyond your understanding, it seems that he hopes to discover an inhabited inner crust as well as a totally alien environment. Further, having chosen to inform the Professor of the rival expedition being mounted from Caladon you have earned his trust. He will be more likely to defer to your judgement (within reason) in future.

    Your encounter with 2nd Lieutenant Simeon Maug was abysmal. Unable to find any common ground with the man, your formal introduction to his background very nearly led to blows being exchanged (at least as far as you see it, it’s hard to believe Maug was ever worried about that outcome). You have informed Maug of the possibility of a rival threat to the expedition, however, given nature of your relationship to him, you were unable to gain his trust. He remains at best indifferent to you, and at worst, plans to see you dead before you can do him the same honour (this you cannot know for sure).

    *****

    As the morning of the 26th breaks, you seem no nearer to your destination than before. Still the sea stretches out in all directions, with no land in sight. Dawn brings with it a great din on deck, angry shouts in coarse tones belonging undoubtedly to the crew pierce your uneasy sleep. You wake, wash and dress, and go above deck to investigate. Surely the ship cannot have been boarded by pirates, for that would be luck of the worst sort. Death might, however, bring relief from your embarrassment at last night’s exchange with the 2nd Lieutenant.


    Continued, Part V.ii.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 9
    ^ Top  
  13. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    7,825
    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Wonderful. It seems our Kleinmann is even more full of hot air than we feared - well, that is good lesson for the future. It's a pity we weren't able to speak to the probably more pliable Langfield, but at least we have got some information about the expedition. If Brockenlid's theories are true, it could indeed be very interesting.

    One advantage I can see out of our fumbling with Maug is that we might allow him to lower his guard, and think of us as a pompous buffoon that could not have the brains or brawn to actually put him in trouble.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  14. Monty Arcane

    Monty
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,582
    Location:
    Grognardia
    Excellent writing, well worth the wait.

    Yes, chatting to Maug wasn't my first choice either but in the long run it may prove useful. He's certainly more overtly antagonistic than I expected, I thought we may have a longer period of fake cooperation and superficial military-style interaction (while both planning to kill the other). Perhaps we'll have to find him a dangerous assignment sooner rather than later.
     
    ^ Top  
  15. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    15,731
    Location:
    Jersey for now
    Such a good fucking read.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    7,396
    Location:
    NZ
    :salute:
     
    ^ Top  
  17. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    I wasn't originally going to give him such a bad outcome for talking to Maug, but I figured that as far as our character goes I've made it fairly clear that he won't have a half orc officer. Eventhough Kleinmann and Maug are basically two sides of the same coin (as far as drinking, whoring, gambling, killing goes), the divide between them is one which probably can't bridged. I imagine one might improve their relations if they had some mediation (the Professor) who could keep them civil. Part of why I wrote it up that way is because this is an expedition with no real chain of military command, a survival of the fittest scenario, so Maug need not obey orders in the same way he would at home, and Kleinmann has no real recourse to force him to do so.

    Anyway, I've got the first half or so of the next part ready (I felt there was serious drag in the writing because so much of it at the moment is dialogue heavy and I didn't want to write in another action set piece which would basically have been pirates, since that would have been much the same as the train scenario), which I'll continue working on today, to see if it can be ready by the end of. The next part should have two votes again, and hopefully, will get us to the island where I can actually start fleshing things out.

    I was trying to do some very vague research on "hollow earth" theories, and other uses of the idea in "geospeculative" (hah!) fiction. So, what I've tried to setup is a mixture of Edmond Halley's theory (the concentric spheres) vs. de Camp & Ley/Euler on the internal star. I was also looking at Syme's hollow poles idea, which is interesting:

    Halley:
    [​IMG]

    Syme:
    [​IMG]

    I haven't decided yet what the actual structure will be. I also tried to tie in some Thule Society / lost civilisation ideas which you'll notice the Professor brings up. So at the moment, there are a few options for what can be/will be "down there", none of which mutually exclude the others. Depending on how long the narrative lasts, that should determine what we can do. I'd also say now that, if Kleinmann gets into any life threatening situations (which he should) and dies (as a result of overwhelming odds, which I would try to telegraph), we can probably continue as another member of the expedition, or roll up another character (perhaps someone sent from the mainland to investigate the fate of the party if it comes to that) which would allow us to continue the story.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  18. Arpad Educated

    Arpad
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    248
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Thanks, Bro. I grabbed the images in that post from the publicdomainreview site, because I couldn't find them elsewhere. I'm worried that looking too much into other things will derail the setting out of "Arcanum", it's unfortunate that Troika never released any solid information on how they planned to do the proposed "Journey to the Centre of Arcanum" sequel.

    I've got the James Mason film version of "Voyage au centre de la terre" sitting to watch (also the other 50s Verne adaptations: Niven in Around the World & Charlton Heston in "Vingt mille lieues sous la mer"), I'm going todo a bit more reading asI go on with the story though. I think the most important aspects of the setting to preserve are magick vs. technology, the nature of the world itself, some of the creatures and the racial politics.

    There are some wonderful illustrations from Verne's novels that I've found quite useful for setting a mood, which I'll be using throughout as well.

    Ps. Here's a soundtrack for the updates at this time:



     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  20. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    7,396
    Location:
    NZ
    Looks like Maug has realised he doesn't have to take our shit any more. He may even be planning to eventually off us, as this rudeness shows he does not see us as a threat to his military advancement (or alternatively he may just not give a shit and plans to leave the army after he gets wealthy/famous from the expedition).
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    The raccoon shit is gold. GOTY.
     
    ^ Top  
  22. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Sorry bro, I might have to disappoint. I will say, though, that Vendigroth is my favourite area in Arcanum. I just cleaned it out again last night on my gunslinger run and made Droch's Warbringer. I really love the atmosphere of Vendigroth, especially the Captain-Nemo esque newspaper articles about the submarine they launched that ended up on the Isle of Despair. Some of the best done quests in Arcanum seem to be the ones that are easily bypassed (the Iron Clan, Vendigroth).
     
    ^ Top  
  23. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    15,731
    Location:
    Jersey for now
    It's what made the game so fucking good.
     
    ^ Top  
  24. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    7,825
    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    We are the raccoons.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  
  25. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Prologue, Part V.ii. (Final).

    As the morning of the 26th breaks, you seem no nearer to your destination than before. Still the sea stretches out in all directions, with no land in sight. Dawn brings with it a great din on deck, angry shouts in coarse tones belonging undoubtedly to the crew pierce your uneasy sleep. You wake, wash and dress, and go above deck to investigate. Surely the ship cannot have been boarded by pirates, for that would be luck of the worst sort. Death might bring relief from your embarrassment at last night’s exchange with the 2nd Lieutenant.

    Arriving on deck, you find some of the crew huddled together, the captain above them on the quarter deck, beside whom stands a fair-haired woman looking most dreadfully dishevelled. “Alright now, lads! Back to your posts! I’ll escort the stowaway below and see what the officers want done with ‘er! Keep your noses out of it, now!”
    He gives the woman a push, directing her down the stairs. He spots you and beckons you over. “Here, Lieutenant Colonel, we found this one stowed away in the cargo hold. She had a camera and a few personal items with her; they’ve been locked away in my cabin for safekeeping. Might be best you take her to the Professor and set about finding out what she’s here for.”

    The woman gives you a scandalised look as the captain places her in your custody.
    “Unhand me you cretin! I’ll not be manhandled and dragged below deck for gods know what! I demand to see Professor Brockenlid this insant, sir!”

    With no ready alternatives, you decide it best you take her to Brockenlid immediately. It is far too early in the morning to have her shrill cries further shaking your jangled nerves. Reaching the Professor’s cabin, you are welcomed in, while the Professor himself shows great interest in the new arrival.

    “Take a seat both of you, please. And who might you be, madam? For what purpose have you stowed yourself away on this ship? It was chartered privately by myself, surely you are here mistakenly... or perhaps you are acquainted with a certain Professor Euler... would that be the case, madam?”
    She smooths out her windswept hair and plucks at her skirts, restoring order to her appearance. She launches into an high velocity explanation of how exactly she came to be aboard the ship, “Professor Brockenlid, sir, it is a pleasure to meet you! Cochrane, Bonnie Cochane. Of the Tarantian! I was given this assignment by the editor himself you see, Professor. I’m here to cover your expedition, our readers need to know exactly what you discover and you know what they say about the early bird! It’s a long story, Professor... well, not that long really, you see I bribed one of the dockhands at Ashbury to sneak me aboard ship in one of the supply crates and I’ve been down there for the last two nights, and, oh gods it has been absolutely dreadful! The damp and the cold have been positively disastrous for my hair, sir! I was also becoming quite worried that my camera might be damaged, and then where would we be? Now, if you might ask the Captain to provide me a cabin, I can start working on the story, that’ll keep your expedition the talk of Tarant! Do please give me something as far away from all of these men as possible, though Professor! The ones that found me in the hold couldn’t keep their hands to themselves, the cads! Might I get a photo of you on deck with the team later this afternoon, sir? Oh that would look very good on the front page.” Finally she pauses for breath and before she can open her mouth again, the Professor holds up a finger to indicate silence.

    “Dear girl, we cannot have you along with us! This expedition might become incredibly dangerous, we’ve no idea what awaits us—”

    “Nonsense, Professor! Surely you’ve seen my travel columns in the Tarantian? Six Months in the Grey Wastes, Five Weeks in a Balloon! Last year, I took an assignment photographing the wrecked pirate vessels of the southern coast! I’m no fading violet, Professor, I’ll have you know. I may be a woman, but I can pull my bloody weight! Excuse the language.”
    “Well, my girl... I suppose I have no reason to turn you down. You are here now, after all, and we can’t very well dump you at sea and send you on your way. I’ll arrange a cabin for you. I do believe, however, that it is imperative you return to the mainland with the Captain after we have made land. I won’t have you endangering yourself, or the safety of the expedition for the front page of the late edition, madam.”

    *****

    By mid-afternoon, the requisite arrangements have been made for Miss Cochrane, who is given the cabin which had been used by Mr. Langfield, for his part, Langfield has to make do with a smaller cabin off the galley. While he grumbles, he acknowledges that the remainder of the journey is now a formality.

    Miss Cochrane joins the team for dinner at the Captain’s table that evening, during which she regales the group with tales of her exploits, photographing pirate wrecks off Razor’s Pointe. She claims even to have discovered the wreck of the Gypsy Shadow, once owned by Edward Teach, but lost some years past in storms off the Morbihan coast. Her beauty and charm seem to win over not only the Professors, Brockenlid and An’ar but soothe the sulking expression of Langfield as well. Maug, for his part, appears unmoved; though his gaze does seem to follow the sway of her hips when, to highlight the climaxes of her tales, she stands and gesticulates to drive the point home. All in all, she brings a pleasant, freer air to the as yet formal and academic discussions of the past night’s dinners.

    With a few glasses of claret down you, and your bulging nose a beetroot red, even you discover your primal urge to put one up the appealing young thing. You do remind yourself to be weary of her, however, the Tarantian is oft the source of the most slanderous and vile exposés on the supposed doings of the city’s élite. You recall that one of your second cousins, a promising young politician angling for the Industrial Council, was caught in one such honeytrap. How anyone could possibly have believed the absolutely preposterous lies that were printed about allowing himself to be whipped by a half-orc, while he fornicated with livestock in the back room of Madam Lil’s you’ll never know. It has always seemed to you a distasteful sign of the times that the liberalised print media is given free rein to print such slanders.

    By the end of the evening, Miss Cochrane has convinced Brockenlid, who has had more than one snifter of brandy it must be said, to allow her to accompany the expedition into the depths. The only objection to this prospect is raised by Maug himself, who attempts to remind the Professor that adding another to the party will stretch the capacity of the small military contingent charged with the safe passage of the expedition rather thin. While you harbour your own objections, you withhold them, the half-orc can make a fool of himself if he wishes. For all you care, he can be saddled with her, which will let you get on with your own affairs undisturbed.

    *****
    [​IMG]
    As dawn breaks on the 27th, the fourth day since the ship set off from Ashbury, land is sighted. Rising out of the eastern sea is the mysterious black isle, surrounded by shoals of sharp rock which have been the end of many an unweary Captain. The steamship slows, and the Captain turns the wheel hard to port. Alongside the rest of the team, you are standing on the quarterdeck, watching as the island looms ever closer.

    A great black spike juts into the air, a volcanic peak which marks the islet out against the seemingly endless sea. The Captain deftly navigates the rocky inlets, finding a small rocky bay on the windward side of the island, he brings the ship in as close to the island as he might without running aground.

    [​IMG]

    The expedition and its supplies are loaded into the landing craft, and you set off for the island. The Professor stands at the prow of the small boat, holding a carbon copy map of the island to the light as he tries to pinpoint the bay on the map. The landing is rough. There is no beach, rather a collection of lagoons and rock pools inside a tiny cove over looms a dark rocky outcrop, with an unsteady rock face leading up the volcanic mountain. The ship will remain anchored off-shore until the Professor has signalled them to indicate he has found the entrance into the earth that he seeks. You prepare to disembark the boat, you hope that Kerlin’s good fortune smiles upon you.
    [​IMG]

    DO YOU:
    A) Join the Professor, as well as his colleague An’ar who plan to hike up the rockface so that they might find the entrance to the caverns which will grant you passage further into the earth. You would be accompanied by Pte. Henderson, an average soldier but competent.

    B)Send Maug with the Professor. You will remain here to set up camp. Langfield will remain behind to off-load the scientific equipment for the expedition, while Pte. Jenks prepares a fire and builds a small shelter for the evening.

    WHO WILL TAKE CHARGE OF MS. COCHRANE?:
    1.You will personally take charge of Miss Cochrane’s care. Having the journalist at hand to document the great deeds you shall no doubt accomplish will only benefit your reputation at home. Her presence would, of course, make it rather difficult for you to arrange any accidents for other members of the party, without the possibility of her acquiring evidence.

    2.You place her in the care of 2nd Lieutenant Maug. She will surely be a burden for the poor dolt, which will allow you to get on with things without his interference. This, of course, will present difficulties later if you wish to discredit him, or theoretically, see the end of the man.

    3.She can look after herself. Allow her to do as she pleases. The woman is an inquiring sort, certainly, but you think it better entirely to wash your hands of her. In this case, you will have no control over where she will be, or what she will see. Obviously, she will be more than likely to choose to be where the action is. This may present you with more clear opportunities for subterfuge.


    YOUR INVENTORY CONSISTS OF:
    A 23" (minute race) Officer's sword bayonet.
    A Fassbender F96 early development model semi-automatic pistol, 9 rounds.
    3 stripper clips of 9 rounds apiece, 27 rounds in total.
    A heavy suede officer's jacket.
    A pair of officer's brass strap leather gaiters.
    An heirloom pith helmet, emblazoned with the Kleinmann crest.
    One flask of Dr. Scott's Miraculous Energizing Tonic (full, 3 uses).
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)