A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default The Black Omen Awaits [IC]

    You are currently on your way to Indos. The nearest city, it has a sizable merchant population, and more importantly, airships! You're currently about three days out from the city, and are running into some small amounts of traffic.

    The time is close to sunset. You should probably find camp before too long.
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    Leila squinted at the horizon, her freckles wrinkling in response.
    As she stared at the horizon, she considered the chain of events that had brought her here.
    Her life had been simple, but there was always going to be more. Her shining eyes, matching the sunset before her, had marked her as something more. And when her inhuman blood had manifested powers, she'd snatched the first adventure she could get. The people with her were a collection of fishers, entertainers, sailors, and her fellow rancher, Grilka. She'd heard vague stories of Grilka helping out Octly, but on her own farm Leila hadn't the time to check out the competition. She could hardly steal the moments it took to spend time with Octly's children, showing them her slingshot and not letting them ride Fado's horse.
    She'd mostly heard of the two entertainers from the kids, but she'd never seen a show. She was ready to be impressed, she'd heard good things about the illusionist.
    As far as the triton fisherwoman, she'd only heard of her because she was a triton. She knew little of what they knew of her. In a world with giant-kin, dragons, and a mass of darkness floating above the town, the girl with the glowing eyes who wrestled goats wouldn't be that notable.
    Nonetheless, she was born for adventure. She was sure of it.
    "It's been a good day of travel. Now if anyone has any particular preference of which dirt pile to sleep on, it's time to speak up."
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Andi stretched her arms as she kept pace with the rest of the group, grinning in anticipation every so often.

    This wasn't her first time leaving town on an adventure, but the first time was a blur of grief and misplaced anger, and she hadn't savored the start of it. It'd been right after her grandfather died, when she'd decided that some humans passing through town must have done something to him, and she'd chased after them to the nearest port town. She'd found them, eventually, after losing herself at sea for a while.

    In the end, she'd found herself again at sea, too. A new lightness, like even though he'd passed he'd never really be gone, not so long as she remembered and tried to live by the example he'd taught her... And a sweetheart in a distant harbor, who she still blushed to think of, didn't hurt.

    She'd eventually gone back home to let her family know she was okay, and the months somehow collected into a couple years of still living in Octly, worrying about how to try again with her crush. Then Vauthag found that really interesting chest, with the mysterious artifacts inside... and that was her chance to accomplish something amazing, to impress everyone who hears about them, and return to that harbor a hero.

    Thankfully, she wasn't the only one interested in giving this a shot. A whole group of other (mostly) younger folks from town signed up for their own reasons. And since Octly wasn't that a big town, she recognized all of them in passing - especially the entertainers

    "Well, I don't know about you guys, but I could use some cover. Like, a good clump of trees, in case it rains."

    Because that was one thing about life at sea. Sure, the days got hot under the sun, especially in those windless days, but nights were in the cabin - no getting wet from wave or rain while you slept. Maybe they should've borrowed a tent for the trip to Indos.
    Last edited by Perficio; 2018-07-31 at 04:00 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Nix whistled while they walked. As the little guy in the group, he'd had to bug them to slow down a bit unless someone wanted to carry him. Sadly nobody had taken him up on the offer. But alas, Nix would persevere through the hardship.

    I will take the most comfortable patch of dirt we can find of course! Nix cried, somewhat over dramatically. Sadly, while he could manipulate sight and sound, taste and touch were still beyond his reach.

    He glanced at the others surreptitiously, before quietly conjuring the image of a large realistic looking yet inanimate spider (but not so large as to be suspect) to appear on Andi's back, wondering if someone else would see it. If they did, he giggled thinking about how he'd respond.

    And here went Nix's bad habit of practical jokes on people he barely knew. It usually got him into trouble, but he just couldn't resist the urge sometimes.

    But yes, trees would be nice.

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    Last edited by CosmicOccurence; 2018-07-31 at 08:47 AM.
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    Grilka marched out in front of the group and set a quick pace, one that she knew in the back of her mind was far too quick to be sustainable but in her excitement she pressed on anyway. At least until she would look back and notice that she was leaving her fellows behind again. She alternated between a huge grin and a slightly annoyed look as she waited for them to catch up during her frequent stops, simultaneously relived they were moderating her pace and annoyed that they didn’t want to just sprint all the way to the big city like she did.

    Grilka had a little experience outside of Ocity, having ranged out into the woods on her own and spent a fair share of time following the herd around to protect it from wildlife, but this was the first time she’d really left home. Her family went to Indos at least once a year but they had never taken Grilka, rightly assuming that they would have to drag her kicking and screaming back home if they ever did. But at least that meant that she was given a solid set of directions from her family even if they amounted mostly to “stay on the road, none of the shortcuts are worth it”.

    As the group started to discuss camping arrangements Grilka paused to look at the sun setting in the sky and wondered where the day had gone. She wasn’t nearly ready to stop, but knew that stumbling around in the dark was a terrible idea even if she could convince the others to go along with it. She put her hands on her hips and scanned around for a place to camp, glancing to the fisherwoman that was traveling with her and nodding to her suggestion to find some cover. The cold didn’t bother Grilka but that didn’t mean she wanted to get all wet.

    ”I’d probably recommend a soft pile of leaves or some grass over a pile of dirt.” she said as scanned around, oblivious to Nix’s antics for the moment, she pointed to the nearest patch of trees she could see that wasn’t behind them, unwilling to backtrack even a short way. ”How about over there?”

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    "That should do fine."
    In truth Leila wasn't worried about where to sleep. The ground would do fine, and she'd slept on tougher, out with the goats.
    She laid down her pack on the ground indicated by Grilka and stretched her back.
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    Default Re: The Black Omen Awaits [IC]

    You clear a little debris away-sticks and stones, mostly-and get a good patch of dirt to sleep on. You lay out your bedrolls, if you have them, and settle in for the night just as the sun dips below the horizon.

    Soon enough, you're all sound asleep (excepting anyone who's keeping watch, of course-probably not needed, since the roads are pretty safe, but a little caution never hurts).

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    Is anyone on watch just past midnight, or are you all sleeping?
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  8. - Top - End - #8
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    A little out of practice, Bri nonetheless sound found herself getting back into the rhythm of walking the wide, open road. The day had been pleasant and there were a handful of other travellers on the road to Indos. Speaking of travellers... While she certainly knew none of her companions well - and some not at all - Bri was glad of the company. Mostly. Much as she tried to push past it, she found herself giving Nix sidelong glances on multiple occasions. He seemed irksome, with his whistling. Bombastic, perhaps? She spent a few moments wondering if she was using that word correctly before deciding she'd just stick with it.

    The others appeared enthusiastic and she hoped they could retain that as time passed. The goliath, Grilka, powered ahead and Bri found herself hiding a smile when the woman stopped to look back at the group with a slightly vexed expression. Andi struck her as eager and apparently restless - though Bri could concede she might be projecting her own emotions onto the triton. Lastly, Leila. Leila came across as determined. Not scowl-and-gruff determined but persistent and certain. Bri imagined they could be considered an odd group but, frankly, who the hell cared?

    With the sun low on the horizon, the others began suggesting setting up camp. At Leila's indication of a likely spot, Bri grinned. "I usually make do with loose gravel. This really is luxurious." Having no objection to the spot with the trees, though, she followed the group and settled down. With bedroll prepared, Bri pulled out her lute. She tuned it briefly and then, with a small smile, started singing softly as she strummed. She sang gentle, comforting songs for a while, the effect hopefully serving to ease the aches of a day's travel and coax the group into a restful slumber.

    As she noted others begin to drift off, she carefully ended her song, packed her lute away and lay back.

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    With some appreciation for the lute, having herself learned the horn during many a boring day watching the goats and therefore a love of music, Leila laid down.
    Under the stars, she felt safe. She nodded off to sleep, not concerned enough to keep a watch.
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    Andi is awake and active, if somewhat tired, when she hears the rumble of a cart passing near. In the near distance is a tired-looking horse, guided by a tired-looking man, dragging along an old cart with a squeaky wheel.

    The man barely notices Andi, not even making any salutations or anything till he's nearly on top of the triton. "Oh! Hello-I'd love to chat, but no time!" he says as the cart goes by.

    The cart hits a bump, some fifteen feet past your camp. And out from it falls a bottle of some sort-made of glass tough enough to not shatter and a thick, viscous red liquid inside.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Andi yawned and stretched at the sound and sight of the cart, and watched as it approached. It seemed kind of... late, for a single guy on a wagon to be traveling around. The rest of her watch was quiet and without incident, and she wondered as the cart approached, do land merchants usually travel at night? But there was nobody to ask, with the others asleep, so she just nodded at his very brief greeting and let him go without conversation.

    At least, until something bounced out of the cart. "Uh..." She hopped to her feet and squinted at it. It seemed like some kind of bottled liquid, like the sort of thing a merchant would be carry to sell. She bit at her lip, looking up the road. If she just hadn't seen him go by, it'd be finders-keepers... But he just went by.

    She sighed at her own conscience, and moved closer to the road to call up after him. "Hey, you dropped something! Stop so I can get this back to you."

    A compromise. Either he stopped long enough to return it, or this bottle of whatever it is gains a new owner. And she'll just say sorry to anyone she woke up, and settle back down for the rest of the night.
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    Andi, fisherwoman/sailor Triton Fighter/Warlock(celestial) - in The Black Omen Awaits (OOC / IC )

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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    The man looks back, and blanches at seeing the bottle.

    "Oh, thank you, thank you!" he calls back as he stops his horse, getting off the cart and running back. "My employer would've killed me for losing this! I don't have time to properly thank you, but my name is Earnest McHanley. If you ever need help, just find me, and I'll pay back the favor, okay?" He quickly takes the bottle back and stows it carefully in the cart. He calls back one more time, saying "Thank you!" as he travels on down the road.

    The rest of the watch is uneventful, and come morning, after a satisfying, if not the tastiest, breakfast, you're ready to set off again.

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    Chit-chat amongst yourselves and roleplay to your hearts' contents. Once you're ready to move on to Indos, let me know.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
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    As the others woke up and started getting themselves ready to eat and move, Andi started in on her own breakfast. Once they were all eating, she told them about this brief encounter she had in the night:

    "So there was this... 'Earnest Mackanly', I don't remember the name exactly. A rushed-looking merchant, who drove by before the sun was even lighting up. He dropped some stuff, so of course I helped him out with it, and he thanked me before going on. And, this is the important part, he implied he could offer a little more thanks, if I meet up with him in Indos? Which, I think we should do," Andi mused as she bit into a strip of jerky, and waved her hand at the various dried trail rations that constitute the rest of her food. "We'll want to buy some food, stuff that doesn't spoil, you know? So we don't have to worry about it when we go exploring the Omen. What do you think, should we check into him before going for an airship?"
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  14. - Top - End - #14
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    "Any help is good," Leila agreed with Andi.
    Leila awoke somewhat early, not notably so, and stretched. She got her bedroll back into her pack before lifting herself up.
    "Well, back at it."
    After a moment,
    "Hey, Bri. How did you learn the Lute?"
    Last edited by Xihirli; 2018-08-01 at 01:35 PM.
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    To say that Bri woke with the others would be generous. She was awake, certainly, but it had been an arduous process for her. After putting away her lute and settling her belongings the night before, any kind of restful sleep had eluded her for several hours. Mentally, she added "adjust to hellish hour of the morning" to her list of things to do. Realistically, she knew that her family rose even earlier and there was little excuse for her but... No, there was no justifiable "but". Propping herself up enough to eat some of the food she'd brought with her, she listened to Andi inform them about her encounter. Still somewhat groggy, she stayed quiet - there'd be time to discuss more both later and when they reached Indos after all.

    Hearing her name, she looked over at Leila. "With immense pain for those listening." She smiled a little and sat up some more. "Necessity, in all honesty. Singing can get you pretty far and, while I feel my own dulcet tones could have taken me across the world, alas there are those who favour instrumental accompaniment." She shook her head in mock disbelief. "Hard to credit, but there it is. Once I knew that, well, I'm hardly going to disappoint a crowd - unappreciative though they may be. I stuck with it and was able to pick some bits and pieces up from other musicians I met on the road." She frowned dramatically. "Well, not literally the road, you never know what odd bunch of people you might come across..." She broke into a grin, her mood significantly better having done a little entertaining.

    "Do you play?" She asked in return.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    "The horn," Leila answered, producing hers.
    "Mostly I just play the day away when I have to watch the goats."
    She looked at the horn like she was thinking about playing a few notes, but instead put it away.
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    Grilka slept soundly and was slow to awaken until she was reminded that she was on her way to Indos and then much more exciting places. She ate heartily from the food she brought with her, assuming she would easily be able to stock up once they hit town. She scratched her head as Andi brought up rations, the Goliath hadn't given the fact that there would be no food on the Omen any thought.

    "I like both of those ideas. The last thing I want to do is go hungry!" she said to Andi, giving Bri and Leila a glance as they discussed music. Music was something Grilka much preferred to leave to others. She liked listening well enough but her singing voice left much to be desired.
    Last edited by mrtowne; 2018-08-01 at 04:40 PM.

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    Yes, going hungry must be awfully easy for you big folk, Nix groaned as he rolled out of bed, unable to ignore the sounds of conversation. He might've snuck a few drinks in during his half of the watch, and for a gnome a few drinks could add up quick. His head was throbbing, but he'd experienced worse.

    I swear I could eat for a week on what you all call a midmorning snack, he attempted a weak smile to show that he was joking, but it probably turned out more like a grimace. Honestly, I wouldn't be opposed to a few days in Indos before we charter our airship. I don't know about you all, but I've never been to a city before. Kind of excited about it to be honest. I mean Octly is all well and good, but nothing ever happens there.

    At least ... not until recently.
    He glanced over the group, remembering that their group really consisted of two entertainers, two farmers, and a fisherwoman (fisherfish? Something to consider when fully in charge of my brain). He doubted any of them had seen the top half of a barn, let along an actual city. Nix's stomach started to get weasles as he thought about it, his expectations were up and so were his nerves.
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    Just a reminder, tell me when you're ready to move on.

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    Bri glanced at the instrument as Leila produced it and nodded. "No real affinity for that," she said as she began to pack up her things. "Though I'll admit it would really add to the challenge of playing to accompany myself." Tying some straps tight, she looked back at the taller woman. "So, goats, eh? 'Fraid I don't really know your family. Do you have a large herd?"

    Overhearing Nix, she frowned briefly. "Perhaps you could eat for a week on it, but whatever would you feed your ego?" She called out, keeping her voice mild.

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    "Me and Pa do pretty well, for just the two of us," Leila thought back, for the first time considering that Fado might have to hire another hand. For just a moment, she missed the saddle, the routine thrill of driving the goats.
    "The Butterfield Ranch supplies Octly with a decent chunk of its cheese and butter, but our goats aren't very good for eating, since we don't slaughter them at their prime. Any goat meat we get is from the old tough ones, and we end up eating that ourselves."
    Leila had at this point gotten caught up talking and had forgotten the specific question. She looked down at her hands, rough and marked with the leftovers of horn-induced wounds.
    "Goats can be mean or gentle. You have to be prepared for either one."
    She looked up again when she heard the ribbing of the gnome.
    "Don't like his shows?"
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    Nix grinned. Where there's a will there's a way, he said. One's ego can never be too large. Feeding it is of the utmost importance.

    He continued packing his stuff as he prepared for the day's journey.
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    With the group in agreement, Andi nodded and ate the rest of her breakfast while the others chatted.

    It looked for a few minutes like there might be an entertaining argument budding, but between Bri's careful mildness and Nix's laidback response, maybe not. Probably for the best. While they all know each other in passing, they don't exactly have a captain or leader of the group to keep everybody in line if things get tense. It'll probably be better if they just respect each other not to pick fights.

    "Hey, feeding my body's pretty important," she chimed in, flexing an arm to demonstrate. "How else are we going to carry all these treasures we're going to find? And, 'til then, if we pass a river or lake when we want to break... I'm spearfishing for something fresher to eat. "
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    Default Re: The Black Omen Awaits [IC]

    Packing away her things and standing up before strapping her pack on, Grilka stood by while the others chatted. She didn't want to be rude, but she was still eager to go and from the look of things she was going to be just as hasty today as yesterday. Listening to Leila talk about goats, a subject Grilka was a bit more comfortable with, she chuckled and said "For a second there I thought you said your goats aren't good AT eating not good FOR eating. Eating is practically what goats are best at!" she said, very amused by her own simple mistake.

    She giggled to herself a little and then looked over at Andi with a slight frown and a furrowed brow. "I wouldn't want to wait too long, even if some fresh fish sounds really good. But you're pretty good at fishing right? You wouldn't need a lot of time to catch a little dinner, huh?" she asked and then tapped her foot as she thought. "Anyone know if there is a river or creek or something ahead? Getting far enough to camp by one would probably be best."

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Black Omen Awaits [IC]

    Pulling some straps taut, Bri stood. "I've heard his shows are quite an experience. Of course, falling down a flight of stairs is also an experience," she added with a brief chuckle. "Who knows, maybe with repeated knocks over the head, I'll come to appreciate such an alternative style." She clapped Leila on the arm and gave the woman a sly wink.

    "You're making goats sound a lot like people, you know. Which doesn't bode well for the elderly we may encounter..." Putting on her pack, Bri looked down the road before glancing over at Andi. "Stick with whatever Nix is feeding his ego," she said, pointing a thumb in the gnome's direction. "Seems like that'll keep growing muscle for you. Though, if he's any indication, it'll need plenty of use."

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    CosmicOccurence's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Black Omen Awaits [IC]

    Nix grinned, taking great pleasure from how much his fellow entertainer was bothered by him. It was a compliment in some ways. My ego is only as large as my audiences dearest Bri. Perhaps you ego would be bigger too if you managed to pull some more people in.

    But there's no need for all this competition surely? If we'll be travelling together I don't want there to be any bad blood between us. So how can I extend an olive branch? I wouldn't want jealousy to get in the way of teamwork after all.


    At the mention of fish, Nix perked up. He wandered over to Andi without waiting for a response, half because he loved fish and half because he hoped it would get under Bri's skin more. I will never complain about fish, Andi. It is nature's bounty and one of the most delicious things on this side of the mountains. I was curious about your eating of fish though, but I've never had the opportunity to ask one of your kind. Personally I abstain from rabbit and the like ... it feels too much like eating a friend. Obviously this is not the case for you however.
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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Black Omen Awaits [IC]

    Leila laughed along with Grilka and stopped, puzzled, at the elderly jest before getting it.
    ”Oh.”
    Leila left the entertainers to figure out their dispute. She was getting along fine with her fellow herder, though she imagined that was less of a competitive scene.
    One thing she was certain of was that the Goliath was better at wrestling unruly goats to the ground.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Black Omen Awaits [IC]

    "You think this is competitive?" Bri asked with a raised eyebrow. "That's positively quaint! No, no, my dear Nix, you'll know when I start becoming competitive and trust me, it'll be more than just comparing the sizes of our audiences..." She favoured the gnome with a vulpine grin before turning to Grilka and Andi.

    "Some fish would be delightful. Can't say I've ever taken great note but I imagine there should be a suitable spot along the way." Hoisting her pack a little, she gestured down the road. "Speaking of which, I believe my antics have delayed us long enough. Shall we?"

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    JNAProductions's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Black Omen Awaits [IC]

    A while longer of travel, some decent enough rations, and around three o' clock, you're arriving at Indos. The city is bustling and busy, full of life and vigor.

    There's a long stretch of "city" space, where the city has expanded beyond the walls that you travel through before reaching the gates. They stand open, with a friendly-looking guard and a surly-looking guard at the entrance. The friendly guard smiles and waves to you as you head in, offering a few words. "Enjoy the city-but don't cause trouble."

    In the city proper, it's a little less busy-more people are inside than are in the outer parts.

    What will you do?

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    You don't know exactly where the airport would be, but you can get directions without too much difficulty. (Like, we're talking a DC 3 Persuasion check you can take 10 on.) If you want to do something besides just head for the skies, let me know.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Black Omen Awaits [IC]

    You ask for some directions, and grab some food on the way. You make sure to buy cheaply-you want to be able to afford an airship journey-but before nightfall, you've set off. The captain, a stout gnomish woman, informs you that you'll arrive sometime early in the morning, and that you'll probably be best off getting some rest.




    Come morning, you awake to a vast shadow cast on you. The Omen is before you.

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    Everyone, make a Perception check. You need to find a door! :P
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