Winter 12 – Day 2 of 6 on the train.
The train left Cherage promptly at 7:30 am, but not before a few new passengers arrived:
Luc and Ottavia. A stuttering tiefling man and a sternly beautiful elf woman adorned with geometric tattoos (marking her an oracle of the Clergy). Both dressed in high fashion, and conversed with each other in a strange sign-language that no one in the party had ever encountered.
The day’s train ride was mostly uneventful until 4:51 pm, when the locomotive crossed over into the Malice Lands, stopping at a hilltop fort on the border. A boisterous band started up as numerous soldiers departed the train, likely to lift their spirits—in this chaotic region, even negative emotions can create frightening magical effects if left unchecked. Malia made the rounds through each of the cars, reminding passengers to please refrain from practicing magical talents or activating enchanted devices, as they could cause unforeseen mishaps.
Not long after crossing, it was time for the “safari,” which consisted of gathering interested individuals on the roof of the caboose and arming them with rifles to shoot at passing monsters.
Bree, Boone, Cardiff, Damata (with his daughter Dabo) were present at the event, along with Malia, four train guards, and most of the party—Calius (Talon) stayed behind in Joliet’s (Kida’s) room to watch over her luggage.
Only about a half-hour could be spared before the train arrived, but in that time Simon Beckman III (Templeton) proved himself the most capable shooter of the group, while Dabo shot quite well for a girl her age. All the ruckus woke up the hobo from the night before, who had apparently stowed away on the train. This stirred up an argument between Malia and Brug (Qiyet) later about the woman’s qualifications to run the security of the train.A small incident occurred at the end though, with a fractal-legged spider making a prodigious leap onto the side of the train car. Damata cried out in shock and dropped his rifle off the side; Brug stepped in to make short work of the monster before it could harm anyone.
Orithea was a city filled with curved architecture and wondrous sunsets, the light seeming to bend and shift colors in a way that was possible nowhere else in the world… but the party had no time to sightsee.
Qiyet and Kida decided to investigate Elanor and her mysterious veiled accomplice, hoping to discover whether she was simply a slaver or if she had Ob connections as well. Staying out of her sight was easy enough, but the two constables almost missed the fact that they weren’t the only ones tailing her! The hobo was spotted as Elanor emerged from a shady potion shop in the Night Market, having purchased a few concoctions with mind-controlling properties. Before he could step into the street and intercept the pair, Qiyet dashed out from hiding, weapons drawn.
The skirmish sent citizens running in every direction, Elanor included. Taking the veiled figure by the hand, she barked, “Come ”/characters/isobel" class=“wiki-content-link”>Isobel! We’re leaving." Kida followed her for a time, hoping to gain more information, but she only fled back to the rail enclave, to the safety of her hotel room. Qiyet was left to fend for herself against a surprisingly strong and agile opponent: after a few rounds of trading blows, it was clear that he had no formal combat training, just immense physical ability. More unsettling was how each wound she inflicted on him started to seal up in seconds, not unlike a troll’s regenerative powers.
Switching to more diplomatic tactics, the hobo was seen to be eager to cease hostilities. He claimed he had no quarrel with the half-orc, he merely “hated to watch people in cages.” Inquiries from that point failed to get the man to admit just what was so odd about him, though it did show him to be a surprisingly unworldly individual, lacking basic knowledge of geography and other topics.
They parted peacefully—it was doubtful that the hobo was an Obscurati member, but he was certainly odd.
Beckman and Oscar headed to the Effervescent Cup, the fanciest drinking establishment in the enclave. Much like the night before, they saw most of the train’s POI’s there, including Bree, Boone, Verzubak, Luc & Ottavia. Templeton focused their investigation on the newcomers, engaging Luc in talk of his work as an arcanoscientist and travels. Ottavia never attempted to truly join the conversation, but consistently exchanged stern looks with her compatriot while signing him messages with both hands.
While Calius (Talon) ingratiated himself with Bree (though it seemed like she was pressing just as much information out of him), Hugo excused himself to the restroom, correctly assuming that a casting of the comprehend languages ritual would allow him to interpret the hand gestures. He then telepathically relayed each exchange to Templeton through his handy command circlet. Ottavia’s messages were mostly warnings to Luc about how foolish it was to get so chummy with total strangers, along with the admonition: “You’ve lived a sheltered life, Luc Jierre.”
The appearance of a member of the Jierre family was too suspicious to ignore, so Templeton followed the pair after they left the bar, sending Hugo to fetch the others. Leaping across rooftops, the warlord kept up with his quarry all the way to the docks, benefiting from Ottavia’s complete deafness in lieu of stealth training. A conveniently-timed collapse of boxes barred his path, but his boarding boots provided an easy method to find a detour.
From a high vantage point, he could see their carriage turn onto a narrow peninsula, heading toward the city’s lighthouse. He sent off another message to his party, and approached this unusual destination.
At exactly 10:14 pm, something strange happened. All the seawater in a wide radius around the lighthouse blazed with fire for a brief moment, while fires all around the city (mostly streetlamps) extinguished themselves and became soaked with water… saltwater, as Hugo observed. Had the fire and seawater swapped places somehow?
The night’s revelations ended with observing who left the lighthouse after the incident: Luc and Ottavia were expected of course, but Bree exited also, as well as a man that the constables had never seen before (they obtained his address, hoping to run his records once back in Flint).