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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Gyrfalcon

Bard
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Everything posted by Gyrfalcon

  1. Good game, everyone - I enjoyed the chance to play and write little snippets of a character.
  2. Michael helped pull Adam out from under the werewolf and gave him the best medicine he could think of for something like this - he took him back to his kitchen and kept pouring him rum until the shakes wore off. A few weeks later, the battered and half-crewed Fat Slug pulled into harbor, and Michael was one of the first off the ship. He left without a backward glance, having made his promises to come back to visit Adam when he had established his new inn. He carried his wordly possessions in a backpack, and his pouch was fat with his wages, 'liberated' as they were while First Mate (styling himself now Captain) Matthews snored in a drunken stupor. In the weeks and months that passed, Michael worked his way northward, finally reaching the colonies, where he saw his younger brother for the first time in a decade. After a good scuffle, they made up, and Michael worked as a carpenter through the winter until the ships began to travel once more between the colonies and England. Taking passage, not without a great deal of trepidation, Michael returned to his native country and made peace with his parents, paid off his creditors, and unburdened himself to his priest. Michael stowed away on the next ship leaving for the colonies, one step ahead of the police, who wanted to arrest and place the obviously disturbed man in the asylum. He returned to the Colonies and took up carpentry once more, and lived a long and healthy life, never setting foot aboard a ship again. He made the long trip to visit Michael a few times, admiring his fine inn, enjoying the excellent fare, and complimenting him on his good taste in settling down with his lovely wife. He still shuddered every time he heard wolves howling in the distance, even into his old age.
  3. (From the night before) Michael shook his head. "You know I was planning to leave the ship before this last voyage? I had everything ready, but joined the Captain for a final game of cards the night before the ship was going to depart. I drank far too much and gambled away everything, and in the end the Captain had my indenture. Now, he's dead, and with the ship in the state it is, if we manage to make port, no one will notice if I just walk off with the rest of you. I think I might visit your inn, Adam, if only to taste your cooking once again! But for myself, I think I'll head back north... by wagon... and make some amends. I left home in a poor way, and I'd like the chance to apologize." In the morning, the ship was abuzz with rumors. Someone claimed to have shot the beast and lived to tell the tale of it. A search party with lanterns, pistols and cutlasses had followed the blood trail, but were frustrated when it ended abruptly at a solid bulkhead. Michael was called to inspect the bulkhead, as one of the crewmen with the best knowledge of the ship, given his constant work repairing and maintaining it. Running his hands over the wood, he frowned in concentration. "I can't explain it. This ship has a few cubbies that are out of the way or hard to get to, but its not like there are secret passages or hidden doorways, there's simply not enough room aboard for that sort of thing!" "What's on the other side of this bulkhead, then?" one of the men behind his said, looking around, his hands flexing on an ax. Michael thought for a moment, mentally picturing their location. "On the other side would be one of the holds where we store food, but there are people in and out of there all day long." Privately, he wondered who might still harbor the demon within them. Young Carey, or the hapless Davey? Or one of the other crew perhaps. The slaves were all securely chained in the holds, and all accounted for in the morning, so it left only the remaining crew to choose from. (OOC: Voting for Davey Jones / Tanuchan)
  4. Following the quiet night, Michael had stayed busy either in his cabin and workshop, or out and around, making repairs and tryinng to act like all was well and normal. The fact that he took a party of four with him into the holds, armed to the teeth gave away that he, like everyone else, was extremely nervous for the growling they had heard the night before. So busy was he, he only found out after the fact that the Lieutenant had been murdered in his bunk, leaving the ship leaderless once again. They sailed onward only out of desperate inertia, knowing at this point that it would take as long to turn around and return to the African coast as it would take to reach their destination. It was a dispirited man who sat in the kitchen with Adam Peters, staring into his tankard of grog. "I think that if this wolf spirit doesn't kill us itself, we'll do the job for it. Between fools stealing skiffs and rowing away in the middle of the ocean to this spate of murders, normal men have killed as many as that monster has!"
  5. Updated my post with a vote. I had been expecting a second round of posts with the sailors, and had been holding off for that.
  6. Michael had never been a particularly religious man, but these days he had found a new appreciation for his parent's faith. He had been busy most of the morning making simple wooden crosses for all those who wanted them - which was a good half of the ship. The sailors hoped that the symbol of faith would turn away the wolf demon that beset them. So it was a rare thing that Michael was on deck when the mutiny started. He was nearly knocked over the side of the ship when a group of mercenaries barged past him, faces grim and hands on the hilts of their cutlasses. Pulling himself back upright, Michael stared incredulously at the men. "Where the hell do you think you'll go in that?" he asked, staring at them. "We're days out to sea, and one good storm will kill you all!" One of the men paused long enough to spit on the deck at his Michael's feet. "Don't try to stop us. We'll take our chances with drowning, but any place is better than this cursed ship." Equiano and his men were gathering nearby now, but no one was quite ready to start fighting just yet, probably because if this came to open fighting, half the ship's crew would die and then who'd man the ship? Michael swallowed nervously and held out his hands in a placating gesture. "Look, we're all worried about the demon that stalks us, and that's a fact. But putting out to sea in a skiff, this far from shore? That's just asking to die slowly. If we stick together, work together, we might be able to all get to port." edit: OOC:Vote for Carey / Mynx
  7. Michael locked himself in his cabin and workplace, shivering despite the heat of the night. The quiet murder of Tiny and the separate mob attack on Paqs pointed to a crew on the edge of a frenzied bloodbath. the Lieutenant had allowed the grog rations to continue to those who didn't have them to prevent the crew, already on edge, from rioting. Now the ship simmered with sullen fear and anger, and every man the Lieutenant trusted with weapons in hand was patrolling the ship from stem to stern. That didn't include Michael. He had been trusted before, but he had a strong suspicion that Paqs had said something to the Lieutenant after he had been fished out of the ocean. he had seen the way that Swanson had stared at him later, eyes filled with calculated malice. The carpenter looked around his cabin slowly, and then began to assemble items. If he shaped this piece of wood here, and used this metal strip.... It would be crude and inefficient, but if anyone thought to break down his door in the middle of the night, they'd get a bolt in the gut, that, Michael promised himself, was a fact.
  8. With the Captain’s death, Lieutenant Swanson had taken command of the ship. Michael considered it his good fortune that he hadn’t been part of the work detail that had to collect the Captain (with a broom, to hear one of the white-faced men say later, clutching his grog like a lifeline and looking like he was wishing for the barrel it came from as well). Looking at the wall in front of him, he didn’t consider his duty that much better. “Go down into the hold. One of the slaves used his blood to paint some jibberish all around his cage, and its disturbing the others. Get rid of it.” The Lieutenant had ordered with irritation. Tiny and Equiano had both taken a crack at getting these… things off the walls and floor, but their every attempt had failed. Now it was Michael’s turn, and he had to admit, just looking at the twisted runes covering damn near every inch of the floor and wall of the cage were giving him the shivers. Tiny had already moved the other occupants of this cell to other places in the hold, and it was easy to mark them out, their skin almost gray in the dim light of the hold, and covered in a thick layer of sweat. Tiny insisted they weren’t sick, and the rest of the slaves were doing their best to care for them. Michael looked at the tools in his hand. Scrubbing the work with lye soap hadn’t done a thing. He had tried steel wool next, scarring and scuffing the wood, but somehow as soon as he finished and stepped back, those terrible runes were there, on top of the scratches like they were just burned there. Now Walters had a brazier lit and an iron bar heating in the fire. Once the end was glowing cherry-red, he gingerly took the iron out of the fire and started to char the wood. An hour later, he stepped back, rubbing his sweat-streaming forehead with one arm, and looked over the section he just completed. The iron dropped from his slack hand and he whispered a prayer to the Son, the Father and the Holy Ghost. Branded into the wood over the swiping lines of charring were the same runes, as clear as ever. Half an hour later, it was Michael’s turn to sit in the mess, holding onto his mug of grog and babbling in near terror as he related what was down in the hold. In the back of his mind, he wondered who would have killed the Captain in such a way? He ruled out the common crew – they were too young, too small. The cook might have the anger, but not the strength. Equiano had the strength, but didn’t benefit from doing so. The Lieutenant though… Michael knew of the tales of his shore-side escapades. He had the means, and the motive. With the Captain dead, who stood to inherit command of the ship and the Captain’s share of the profits? Voting for Lieutenant Swanson/The Death of Rats
  9. Michael hummed to himself as he measured the railing near the big hatch down into the holds, enjoying the fresh sea breeze and the hot sunlight on his back and shoulders. He knew that later it would be miserably hot, and considered his good fortune that unlike their cargo, he wasn't forced to stay in the cramped confines of the hold, packed together as tightly as possible to squeeze in just one more slave. He straightened and stretched, his back cramped from his busy measurements. The railing here needed to be replaced, and he needed to get the sizes just right. Captain York was particular that his ship, despite its name and trade, remain in good condition, at least where the crew worked and lived. The cargo was another question, there it simply had to be solid and secure. This particular railing was broken and jagged where one of the men now down below had gotten unruly when the deck hands were trying to force him down the hatch. He had made a break for the railing, only to meet Equiano or one of his enforcers. Having his head smashed through a railing had stopped both that man in particular and any thoughts of anyone else resisting. Wiping his forehead with his forearm, Michael turned towards the hatch down to the first deck, where the ship's small carpenter's workshop had its place near the bow. Once he had the wood shaped, he could knock out the broken pieces and fix the railing. A few coats of oil to protect against the weather and the regular afternoon rainstorms around here, a few weeks of the sun baking the wood and no one would know the railing had ever needed to be fixed. Squinting into the sun, he gave Kipling and Carey a friendly wave, and stepped carefully to avoid Lieutenant Swanson and his daily path. Absently, he noted the faint marks of the Lieutenant's path, one taken with precise regularity every time the man called the hour and rang the bells. Later, Michael knew he'd have to go down into the holds. He didn't like it down there. He wasn't particularly abusive to their cargo, not like some of the others, but no one has a good word to say about the man who checks that the bars and chains are still fastened securely to the wood and fixes them when they're coming loose. Tiny wasn't really much better - he was nearly as closed-mouthed as their cargo, and didn't provide a whole lot of comfort against the cold glare of all those eyes shining out of dark faces in dark cages.
  10. Michael Walters had never meant to serve on a slave ship, but like many things in his life, it simply had worked out that way. He had boarded the departing Fat Slug one step ahead of his creditors a few years ago, and signed on as an assistant ship's carpenter. Everything had worked out for a while, and Michael had built up his funds to make a new start of things, perhaps to take passage to one of the northern colonies or back to England. Invited to a friendly game of cards in port, Michael ended up losing it all... and several months wages besides. Now owing several month's wages to Captain York, Walters is basically an indentured servant aboard the Fat Slug, and has sworn to himself to stay away from the card games this time.
  11. A great short story, Aardvark. I liked it a lot, though I though the sci-fi element of the assassin phasing out was unexpected, given the few hints that were in place before that, though the comment about the rifle being a 'primative weapon' was a decent clue. Either way, I liked reading this a lot.
  12. *laughs* This is great, thank you for sharing it Whiskey. 'for munching and crunching into our hearts'
  13. Daryl grins as he scampers through the garden of garden gnomes, dodging and weaving between Pennite legs and sliding into 'safety' behind the rickety bench of dangerous tools Wyvern set up. Glancing around furtively, Daryl opened up Gyr's Bag of Holding that the werefox had 'borrowed' and started pulling out statues and setting them in various spots around the garden. Grinning to himself, Daryl trotted away leaving the garden even more crowded... now it has an infestation of Garden Foxes.
  14. Xander catches the flask the satyr tosses him with a raised eyebrow before giving the black-furred satyr a short bow of thanks as he hooks the flask to his belt after a brief inspection, meaning to take the time to check it out more carefully in a few minutes. He raised an eyebrow at the baggy cargo pants, nothing like what he's used to wearing, even looser then the travel clothes he's already wearing. On the other hand, as the lady gnome opens pocket after pocket, he did have to admire the sheer number of places he could stash things. If he didn't mind weighing his legs down, he could probably fit most of his backpack into one of those sets of pants with no problem. Master Fordforton then announced the next challenge... or rather, the enchanted scroll announced the challenge, though the gnomes seemed well prepared for it, with one of their companions possibly turned into a mermaid of sorts. Xander frowned and looked at his companions - Guerrero already sitting back against a tree and blowing into the pipes, and Nabeshin stepping towards the water. Touching Nabeshin's shoulder to pause him, Xander looked at Fordforton. "Master Fordforton, are we allowed to provide aid before or during the challenge to our companion from above?"
  15. Gyrfalcon grins as he wraps Sweet in a hug "Already said something earlier, and I know you don't want to hear the song again, so instead I will wish you a happy birthday, my dear, and a calm and happy day for you."
  16. *looks* Looks like the dictionary I pulled it from (without definition, so had to go look for it) was wrong. ;P Too bad, I liked that one. Time for a retcon... Word Length - 12 desirability n. - The state or quality of being desirable; desirableness. And to keep things moving... Word Length - 14 deconstruction –noun a philosophical and critical movement, starting in the 1960s and esp. applied to the study of literature, that questions all traditional assumptions about the ability of language to represent reality and emphasizes that a text has no stable reference or identification because words essentially only refer to other words and therefore a reader must approach a text by eliminating any metaphysical or ethnocentric assumptions through an active role of defining meaning, sometimes by a reliance on new word construction, etymology, puns, and other word play.
  17. A word of horror for our coffee drinkers is: Decaffinate to extract caffeine from: to decaffeinate coffee.
  18. With many thanks to Mardrax and Sweet, here's a rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer... for the Pen. Daryl the Shiny Werefox Daryl, the shiny werefox had a very blinking nose. And if you'd ever see him, you would even say it glows. All of the other Pennites used to laugh and call him names They never let poor Daryl join in any Pennite games. Then one foggy Christmas Eve Gyrfalcon came to say: "Daryl with your fur so bright, won't you light our way tonight?" "Then all the Pennites loved him as they shouted out with glee, Daryl the shiny werefox, you'll go down in history!"
  19. Xander blinked in surprise at Guerrero's spirited charge towards the red-furred satyr, and listened to the rising roar of the crowd as the masked man actually shoulders the Satyr along in his charge, while the quiet monk below him... Nabeshin was his name? Swung back on one arm, bringing a pair of sticks chained together from mouth to hand and swinging at the off-balance satyr. The young mage frowned for a moment as he considered the growing fight around the bed from him, but there was little he could do from his current position and he wanted to avoid bloodshed in what was supposed to be a non-lethal struggle. Shrugging his shoulders, he set himself a bit more firmly and kept climbing, keeping an eye on his two companions in this struggle in case they might need his help. OOC: Two move actions to attempt to keep climbing up the tree. Satyr Ascent Round 4, Climb Checks #1 and #2 (1d20=6, 1d20=9) Doesn't look like he manages to move at all... guess he should focus more on his own climbing!
  20. *laughs* The only reason she's still alive is that breathing is handled below a conscious level... otherwise, she'd have forgotten how to. As Finnius said, this takes the cake. I do like the bagel as the 'sesame donuts with extra caffine' though. Or the new war in Alaska rasing coffee prices... because you know Alaska is the primary exporter of decaffinated coffee beans.
  21. Thanks all. Appy - Web.de is probably a decent site for a free mail account, but I also know that they're a lot like Hotmail was - one of the primary sites being used for spam for one reason or another. Until they step up security or redo their registration process to make it more difficult for the spambots being used for this sort of thing to register, it's going to end up hosting a lot of outgoing spam. =\ On the other hand, it does sound like a good service to use for an e-mail account for sites where you are not sure if they will sell your e-mail address or not.
  22. 15 letter word starting with 'C' cannibalization 2. to remove parts, equipment, assets, employees, etc., from (an item, product, or business) in order to use them in another: to cannibalize old airplanes for replacement parts.
  23. Xander pressed himself against the plastic panel as the Satyr whipped by, the end of one rope slapping against Xander's upper back and drawing a startled hiss from within his hood. "Oh calm down, you weren't even harmed." he chided, glancing back over his shoulder and chuckling softly as the Satyr struggles to his feet on the ground. Shaking his head, he tightened his grip on his ropes and begins hauling himself upward, confident that the other Satyr would find someone else to play with for now. OOC: Making two climb checks... dice, don't fail me now! Satyr Ascent Round 3, Climb Checks #1 and 2 (1d20=11, 1d20=14) Good dice. *pats them*
  24. The half-elf walks into the news room and stands before the podium, clearing his throat and waiting for a moment before speaking. "Because of the continued inundation of spam accounts attempting to post their advertisements on these boards, we are attempting to cut down on the number of accounts that are made and must be verified by the Elders as spam accounts or as legitimate accounts. To do so, several domains are no longer valid ones to register with. These domains are: gawab.com web.de mail.ru cashette.com as well as any e-mail address that begins with 'login' as the start of the e-mail address. We apologize if this is a inconvenience to anyone with a legitimate interest in this site, and ask that you please use one of the free e-mail providers such as Yahoo, MSN or G-mail if you are using one of the above hosts to register with us."
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