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You are Noel Tiberius di Hazaran, ranked seventh in the Organization, and at the moment you're faced with an uncertain future. Well, you think of it as 'at the moment' in spite of the fact that your future hasn't been certain since before your father was assassinated and you were thrown out onto the streets... from a window. With a spear shoved in your guts.

But today, the threat is from within.

“I've been recalled to Lavinia,” you inform Laura, the renegade warrior formerly ranked number two in the Organization. “So with Lord Byron's approval, I'd like to leave Alysheba here while I travel north to the port.”

“Alysheba?” Laura asks quizzically.

“My horse,” you explain.

“You have a horse?” she presses, seemingly as amused as she is confused. “I can hardly get one to stand still whenever I'm nearby, and you've actually got one you can ride? How strange.”

“Hazari,” you lie simply. Far easier than explaining to her that your half-awakening probably means you don't come across as quite so unnatural to a sensitive animal like a horse. And if you're being honest you're not actually sure how true that conjecture actually is.

“I see no problems,” Lord Byron shrugs, already walking away. “I'll give you a few minutes of privacy to speak about that other thing.”

“Are you sure about this?” Laura asks you as soon as Byron is far enough away.

You shake your head. “No. But I'm sure that I have no choice.”

“So you do intend to go to Lavinia?”

“I do,” you nod.

“Then you should know what I have learned about Zoe,” Laura sighs, leaning against wine barrel. “As you may have guessed, the warrior that the Organization keeps closest to their own operational area is an exceptional case. The Tenth may not be a single-digit, but that does not mean she is weak.”

“Is she stronger than the first-ranked warrior?” you ask.

Laura shrugs. “In absolute terms no. But she might be able to beat her anyway. It's strange.”

“Strange in what way?”

“Strange in that her abilities are peculiar,” Laura explains. “My understanding is that the Tenth tends to have the most outlandish ability of all current warriors.”
>1/2
>>
>>3088877
"Do you know what her ability does?"

Laura shakes her head. "I do not, though I do know that her discipline is immense and her loyalty to the Organization is beyond question. I also suspect that her senses are among the best of the current living warriors."

"And her personality, beyond being way too serious?"

Laura ponders the question for a moment. "Stern, but not unfair. I believe her interactions with you will be the best way of estimating the Organization's attitudes towards you."

"If she acts friendly or helpful towards you, you will be fine. If she refuses to speak, then you may be in trouble."

>Thank Laura for her time and move on towards the coast.
>Ask Laura if she's had any sense of your mother's presence.
>Stay for the evening to rest, and to coordinate if possible. You want to have a plan in case things go poorly with the Organization.
>Other?
>>
>>3088885
>>Thank Laura for her time and move on towards the coast.
>>
>>3088885
>Stay for the evening to rest, and to coordinate if possible. You want to have a plan in case things go poorly with the Organization
>>
>>3088885
>Thank Laura for her time and move on towards the coast.
>>
>>3088885
>Thank Laura for her time and move on towards the coast.
>>
>>3088885
Thank her and go.
>>
>>3088885
>>Thank Laura for her time and move on towards the coast.
>>
>>3088885
>Stay for the evening to rest, and to coordinate if possible. You want to have a plan in case things go poorly with the Organization.
>>
>10

On one hand, it’s only natural they kept those at home, on the other, dealing with anti-claymore unit is never going to be comfortable
>>
>>3088877
>Ask Laura if she's had any sense of your mother's presence.
>Stay for the evening to rest, and to coordinate if possible. You want to have a plan in case things go poorly with the Organization.

What? No link to the new thread in the previous one?
>>
>>3088885
>>Ask Laura if she's had any sense of your mother's presence.
>>Stay for the evening to rest, and to coordinate if possible. You want to have a plan in case things go poorly with the Organization.
>>
>>3088885
So what are some outlandish abilities?
>Yoki manip
>Read mind
>Extremely powerful but with very severe drawback (like coma for months or something)
>>
>>3090299
Generally, as Noel would be aware in character, most yoki-related abilities are meant to enhance the senses, attacking power, or regeneration. The more "exotic" abilities are forms of manipulation or synchronization that do not do one of those three things. So Laura is basically saying that while Zoe definitely has solid combat and sensory abilities, she almost certainly has some kind of rare or even unique capability.
>>
>>3088885
>Thank Laura for her time and move on towards the coast.
>>
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>>3088885
“Thanks,” you bow politely to Laura. “I think that I should be moving on as soon as possible. I hope you understand.”

“I do,” Laura sighs, though she seems fairly understanding of your situation. “The less we interact, the less you may have to lie about or cover up for later.”

You weren't going to say that outright, but that was certainly on your mind. Particularly given that part of what you might want to talk to her about is your mother... knowledge of whom you most certainly wouldn't want to share with the Organization's higher-ups.

So you exchange pleasantries with Laura one final time and head out. It's easy enough to find a trading caravan that will run all the way to the coast where you can almost certainly find a fare to Lavinia. And from there... you'll have to figure that out later.

But in the closer future, you'll need to make a decision between three possible ports. The closest of those three is Zedan, which is in the middle of Karluk's northern coastline. It's also the smallest of the three main ports, which means that it may not have the same frequency of traffic or even necessarily the faster clipper-type ships. So any time you might have saved in getting there quickly would be lost if you weren't lucky enough.

There's also Oran, which is a larger port almost due north of Acerrae. It's a slightly longer trip by foot but you're more likely to get a faster, albeit more expensive, clipper. The other option is the city of Tain, which is significantly further east to begin with than Oran with many of the same characteristics. It's a large port with heavy traffic that consists at least in part of clipper ships.

The difference between the two, aside from distance from Lavinia, is their local laws. Oran is a much more open port in terms of its traffic and regulations, and its ships do business all across the northern coast. Tain on the other hand is also home to several prominent distilleries, and with that comes increased regulation and oversight.

Either option could work out to your advantage, depending on what sort of experience you're looking for: no questions asked, or no risks taken.

>Oran. Fast ships and looser regulations, but it's the furthest from Lavinia.
>Zedan. Less walking and a cheaper passage, but it may be a slower ship.
>Tain. Fast ships and a short cruise are ideal, and the tighter regulations are an appeal.
>>
>>3090596
>>Tain. Fast ships and a short cruise are ideal, and the tighter regulations are an appeal.
>>
>>3090596
>Oran. Fast ships and looser regulations, but it's the furthest from Lavinia.
>>
>>3090596
>Tain
>>
>>3090596
>>Tain. Fast ships and a short cruise are ideal, and the tighter regulations are an appeal.
>>
>>3090596
You head straight for the port city of Tain, cutting across the breadth of Karluk to do so. The rolling foothills and deep-cut streambeds of the area around Acerrae give way to lower hills, cut with even deeper valleys as the fast-running streams join into slower, murkier rivers. Vegetation is mostly shrubby, a far sight from the forests of the south, and few things are in bloom that you can see. For three days you get the feeling that this land might well stretch forever in all directions, a steppe with no edges to it.

But on the fourth day the wide steppe begins to slope away from the distant mountains of the spine of the world, and on the fifth day a briny scent on the air announces your arrival at the edge of the sea. Yet another vista which seems to stretch out forever until it meets the gentle curve of the horizon.

The city of Tain doesn't impress you, at least not at first. Most of the buildings on the edge of town are made from plastered mud bricks, which while efficient and simple don't exactly speak to the wealth of a great port city. But along the main approach the buildings are faced in cut stone, probably from quarries upriver or else nearby. Here you even see some trees, although they seem to have been planted deliberately, and the evidence of extensive hydrological engineering.

Much of that it seems runs below your feet, at least judging by the iron circles located here and there along the streets for access.

You can hear quite a bit of chatter on the dry inland breeze, warm for now. Topics range from tariff measures to old ladies complaining about their joints. Nothing seems amiss, and even if it did... not today. Today you have a specific goal.

At a large building right on the water, you gently push your way through a crowd of men to reach a low wooden counter behind which sits a man in what appears to be a uniform of some kind.

“I need passage to Lavinia, as quickly as possible,” you tell him.

“As quick as possible you say?” he repeats. “Then that'll be a clipper you want, lucky you we have one leaving in a few hours.”

“How much?”

The man quickly works out a figure, reading over the ship's manifest and considering the amount of space left. “This is what it should cost. All things considered I think it's a good deal.”

That figure... it's almost enough to make you consider running to Lavinia on foot instead, considering the food requirements they're assuming and the cost to take a bunk. It won't leave you enough to return to Tain the same way. It may not even be enough for a ship passage at all.

Damn.

>You could probably stow away easily enough. Not like you really have any needs to fill while aboard.
>You've got a strong arm and a keen eye, surely they've got a job you can do to defray part of the cost.
>You don't need food or a bunk, so try and convince them to let you pay your fare by weight instead.
>Pay the quoted price and work things out with the Organization when you reach Lavinia.
>>
>>3092257
>You've got a strong arm and a keen eye, surely they've got a job you can do to defray part of the cost.
>>
>>3092257
>>You've got a strong arm and a keen eye, surely they've got a job you can do to defray part of the cost.

When women complain about their joints in a port city that's bad news. When the air pressure changes people with arthritis suffer, the air pressure changing is usually a sign of a storm.
>>
>>3092257
>>You don't need food or a bunk, so try and convince them to let you pay your fare by weight instead.
>>
>>3092257
>You've got a strong arm and a keen eye, surely they've got a job you can do to defray part of the cost.
>>
>>3092257
>>You've got a strong arm and a keen eye, surely they've got a job you can do to defray part of the cost.
>>
>>3092257
>Pay the quoted price and work things out with the Organization when you reach Lavinia.
Don't forget to get the documents confirming the expenses.
>>
>3d10, best of three for the pitch
>>
Rolled 8, 2, 5 = 15 (3d10)

>>3093659
>>
Rolled 8, 5, 7 = 20 (3d10)

>>3093659
>>
Rolled 3, 5, 7 = 15 (3d10)

>>3093659
>>
>>3093659
“I'm much stronger than I look,” you point out, “and I've got a keen eye. Is there any arrangement we can reach to lower that cost by working?”

“Tell you what,” the man behind the counter replies, with an almost mocking tone that you're not sure you like, “if you can load a hundred tons of coal by yourself, then I'll consider something.”

Only a hundred tons?

“You have a deal,” you nod. “Where do I have to go?”

The man stares at you awkwardly for a few seconds. “Ship's at the end of the dock, you want 'Hornet'. Report to the boatswain.”

You follow the man's instructions, eventually identifying a man with a short grey beard standing on the dock near a ship named Hornet, who's directing crews of men with ropes that are in the process of loading numerous crates of... well, whatever's in those crates. They're not particularly well labeled.

“I was told to find the bosun,” you greet the man. “About a job.”

“We could always use more hands,” the man admits. “What 'job' are you talking about?”

“Something about a hundred tons of coal?” you ask.

He stares at you. “So... you plan to do that by yourself?”

“Yes,” you inform him. “Where do I go?”

“Aboard ship,” the boatswain tells you. “The foremost winch is where we're trying to load the coal, but it was a last minute addition to our load. So we don't have the men to spare right now.”

“Can you give me a man or two to tie and untie the loads?” you ask.

The boatswain nods. “Sure, should be a few men there now just barely making do.”

You head over to Hornet's bow, where you find six men talking about their task. They fall silent as you approach.

“I'm going aboard,” you inform them. “Get the first load of coal ready.”

“Seven people's not much better than what we've got,” one man observes.

“You haven't seen me work yet,” you tell the man before heading up a narrow wooden gangplank and hopping down onto the deck.

You spy the free end of the line, and give it a tentative tug. Seems it's ready to go... you'll just need to pull on the line until the crate is over the gunwales, then pull a second line which should be attached to the side of the crate to pull it over onto the deck.

>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 9, 3, 4 = 16 (3d10)

>>3093687
>>
Rolled 2, 7, 1 = 10 (3d10)

>>3093687
>>
Rolled 8, 1, 2 = 11 (3d10)

>>3093687
>>
Rolled 9, 6, 10 = 25 (3d10)

>>3093687
>>
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>>3093697
motherfucking clutch m8.
>>
Rolled 2, 4, 4 = 10 (3d10)

>>3093687
>inb4 we drop it all in the river
>>
Rolled 7, 4, 8 = 19 (3d10)

>>3093687
>>
>>3093698
is everything a dc of 20 nowadays?
>>
>>3093701
unless Queen otherwise states, it's best to assume it's a DC of 20 with the current dice system we're rolling with.
>>
>planning to run a longer session tomorrow at 10am PST
I want to get myself back towards a schedule, work my way out of the funk I've been in the last several weeks.
>>
>>3093697
Probably whistling Fire Maringo too.
https://youtu.be/CesWfB6pawY
>>
>starting in a few minutes
>>
>>3093687
You take to the task like a natural... these loads can't be much more than a half ton each, and releasing a little bit of your yōki to your muscles makes it easier to manage. You do however have to brace yourself against the capstain though, since despite being able to lift half a ton without complaint you don't weigh enough to keep that weight off the ground.

One of the sailors stares at your unusual arrangement in shock as he rides the load down to the deck.

“Well, what're you waiting for?” you challenge him. “Get it unhooked so we can lift the next one! Time is money!”

That's something you heard one of the retainers in your childhood home bark at a servant once, and you can see the logic behind such a statement though it seems only applicable in situations such as this one where it's obviously true.

One at a time you haul up the loads, working as quickly as you can. What promised to be two hundred loads you eventually work down to a more manageable number by challenging the dock workers to load a full ton at a time. This requires significantly more yōki from you, just enough to make your muscles start to bulge unnaturally and frighten one of the deckhands when he spots you over the gunwale.

He didn't seem to reassured when you told him to just keep it up.

It takes about an hour to load the cargo, at which point a small crowd of officials from the shipping company and crew track you down with a variety of amazed looks on their faces. You can tell that they never anticipated that level of strength from you, and now look on you with a sense of wonder... and of fear.

“I kept my end of the bargain,” you observe calmly, stretching your limbs to make sure that they've returned to exactly their former proportions. No matter how many times you do that without difficulty, it always feels like you need to double check.

“So you have,” the man who set you the task admits. “So you have. There's a small cabin aboard waiting for you, I believe? If that's fine with the Captain?”

The Captain, identifiable by his hat, begins to speak. He's cut off however by the arrival of someone you thought you felt from afar.

“So, a warrior's pulling this kind of duty?” the voice greets you in a growl. “Who are you and why are you here?”

Looking up, you see a woman with short-cropped hair and all the characteristic features of a fellow warrior, whose sword bears a green hilt. She also notices your hilt as well, and her gaze narrows.

>Noel, Seven. I was working to cut the cost to get back to Lavinia, following my orders.
>Why don't you introduce yourself first? I have seniority, and you were quite rude just now.
>Let's start over, shall we? Noel, I've been ordered back to Lavinia. And you are?
>Other?
>>
>>3098821
>>Noel, Seven. I was working to cut the cost to get back to Lavinia, following my orders.
>>
>>3098821
>>Let's start over, shall we? Noel, I've been ordered back to Lavinia. And you are?
>>
>>3098821
>Noel, #7. Trying to get to Lavinia on time.
>>
>>3098821
>Let's start over, shall we? Noel, I've been ordered back to Lavinia. And you are?
>>
>>3098821
>Let's start over, shall we? Noel, I've been ordered back to Lavinia. And you are?
>>
>>3098821
>Noel, Seven. I was working to cut the cost to get back to Lavinia, following my orders.
>other: And as for that remark of "a warrior pulling that kind of duty", know this. "A little kindness to the locals can go a long way. Helping someone out with a broken cart could later down the line help you by hiding you and covering you against the Inquisition."
>>
>>3098821
>>3098878
supporting the “a little kindness can go a long way” remark. I’m sure by now this claymore girl has heard of the Inquisition down south
>>
>>3098821
>>3098878
I'm in with this
>>
>>3098878
>>3098821
supporting this as well
>>
>>3098821
You take a deep sigh to clear your thoughts. “Sorry, let's start over. I'm Noel, and I'm on my way to Lavinia. Orders from the Council.”

“Who might you be?”

After a moment she replies. “Justina, ranked fourteenth.”

“A pleasure to meet you,” you reply calmly, offering your hand. After a moment, Justina accepts the gesture. “A little kindness goes a long way sometimes, right?”

“Strange,” she replies with a slight frown. “Most polite warriors I've met were either weaklings or psychopaths.”

“I think you'll find I'm neither.”

Justina nods. “I'm starting to see that.”

“Good to know,” you sigh. “So, you came here when you sensed my yōki earlier?”

“I did,” she nods. “Despite feeling like a warrior, it pays to be vigilant.”

“Fair point,” you agree. Justina seems a little too straight to the point than you'd normally prefer, but at least any trace of antagonism is gone now. “So now that you have me here, anything you want to... ask me? Or anything?”

“I would ask why you have been recalled to Lavinia,” she admits.

You consider your response for a moment. “I have not been told, but what I anticipate is that they will be curious about my encounters with this 'Inquisition' in the south.”

Justina's eyes narrow slightly in a frown. “The Inquisition you say? I have only heard rumors.”

>Explain in fairly simple terms what you were dealing with down south.
>Explain in a little more detail, including your assessment of the risk.
>Take her aside for some privacy and give her the full details.
>Other?
>>
>>3098948
>Explain in a little more detail, including your assessment of the risk.
>>
>>3098948
>>Explain in a little more detail, including your assessment of the risk.
>>
>>3098948
>>Explain in a little more detail, including your assessment of the risk.
>>
>>3098948
>Explain in a little more detail, including your assessment of the risk.
>>
>>3098948
>Explain in a little more detail, including your assessment of the risk.
>>
>>3098948
>Explain in fairly simple terms what you were dealing with down south.
A general idea is nice to have. No need to overload the girl.
>Other: "The Inquisition shot first. Literally."
>>
>>3098948
>Explain in a little more detail, including your assessment of the risk.
>>
>>3098948
“They started shooting first,” you explain simply. “With one of our handlers. They also tried to kill me a few times, and there was some clear evidence that they were monitoring our communications network. So I reported that up the chain as best I could and tried to get away as cleanly as possible.”

“And did it work?” she asks you thoughtfully.

You shake your head. “I kept my client alive, didn't kill anyone, and didn't get killed. But the Inquisition still has a foothold in the south.”

“Well, it's not like anyone could reasonably expect you to remove the Inquisition as a problem,” Justina shakes her head. “It takes an organization to counter the machinations of an organization.”

“The best I could do was get the word out to our fellow warriors,” you admit with a sigh. “Getting shot may not be much of a problem for me, but for some of our lower-ranked offensive types... maybe not as easy to walk it off.”

“Thank you for that,” Justina nods once. “Well then, I will keep vigilant then.”

“Good to hear,” you smile. “If it saves one warrior from being wounded or killed when they could have survived otherwise then getting shot becomes worth it.”

Justina looks at you calmly, something between what you would call 'approvingly' and 'appraisingly'. You're not sure which she's leaning towards.

“I wish you well.”

“And the same to you,” you reply with a courteous bow.

“So that is two single-digits I can tolerate so far,” Justina says, turning away. “Glad I came over.”

“And who was the other?” you ask.

“Helen.”

Helen... the rather brusque warrior you met while trying to sort out Laura's situation? Interesting, so these two know each other. Good to keep in the back of your mind.

>Say something about it.
>Thank Justina for her visit and be on your way.
>Other?
>>
>>3099058
>Say something about it.
>>
>>3099058
>Say something about it.
>>
>>3099058
>Say something about it.
>>
>>3099058
>>Thank Justina for her visit and be on your way.
>>
>>3099058
>Say something about it.
>other: "If you see Helen, tell her I said 'hello'"
Make it brief and impressionable. then
>Thank Justina for her visit and be on your way.
>>
>>3099090
>>3099058
supporting
>>
>>3099058
“Tell her I said hello, would you?” you ask at Justina's back. She pauses as she's stepping back over the gunwale and glances back over her shoulder at you.

“You know her?” she asks you.

You shake your head. “We've met, but I wouldn't say I know her well at all.”

“I'll do that next I see her,” Justina agrees, turning away and leaping back down to the docks.

And then she's gone.

Having dealt with that unexpected meeting, you move on to find your cabin downstairs. Your cabin is small, built up against the hull near the stern. There are two tiny portholes over your bed and over the small hutch at the foot of that bed, with clean linens, a duvet, and a small desk with a chair. Light is provided by a small oil lantern against the wall over the head of your bed. It's all simply carved out of stained hardwood, and the whitewash on the walls helps the room feel just a little bit lighter inside.

You could comfortably live in such a space almost indefinitely.

>Explore the ship a little more thoroughly, figure out where everything that may be important is.
>Head to the galley, get a little food, then settle down in your quarters to rest.
>Stay abovedeck, keep your eyes open for any possible threats or risks until nightfall.
>Other?
>>
>going back to my flat just now, will check back in in about a half hour or so
>>
>>3099106
>Head to the galley, get a little food, then settle down in your quarters to rest.
>>
>>3099106
>Explore the ship a little more thoroughly, figure out where everything that may be important is.
This is not like the Longboats, so we'll need to familiarize ourselves with it. Once we finish exploring
>Stay abovedeck, keep your eyes open for any possible threats or risks until nightfall.
>>
>>3099106
>Explore the ship a little more thoroughly, figure out where everything that may be important is.

And now for 10 years of ship time
>>
>>3099106
>>Explore the ship a little more thoroughly, figure out where everything that may be important is.
>>
>>3099106
>Explore the ship a little more thoroughly, figure out where everything that may be important is.
>>
>>3099106
>Explore the ship a little more thoroughly, figure out where everything that may be important is.
>>
>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 4, 1, 6 = 11 (3d10)

>>3099199
>>
Rolled 1, 9, 10 = 20 (3d10)

>>3099199
>>
Rolled 7, 8, 1 = 16 (3d10)

>>3099199
>>
Rolled 6, 3, 3 = 12 (3d10)

>>3099199
pk dice dew the voo dew that you dew
>>
Rolled 5, 4, 1 = 10 (3d10)

>>3099199
>>
>>3099199
You take a brief walk around the ship, a self-guided tour of sorts to locate all the important details. Your cabin is located on the main deck, aft of the mizzen mast which runs straight through the deck near its foremost end. The ceilings here are fairly high for a ship, and a skylight in the middle allows what sunlight remains to fall onto a wooden table with benches on all four sides and brass rails set into the top surface: the better to prevent dishes from sliding off you realize.

On this level you can also find the captain's quarters, the sick bay, and several quarters for rated officers and the officers' cook. It's cramped by normal standards, but perfectly serviceable. It also beets the tween deck which lies sandwiched between the main deck and the hold. It seems that rather than make the main deck smaller or higher, or compromise on hold space, instead the decision was made during the Hornet's design to compromise by raising the deck of the tween decks so that a grown man would have to stoop slightly most places to walk.

Just fore of the main mast you can see down into the main hold, as well as the orlop deck where all the cables and sails are stored.

By now there are other passengers aboard, as well as crew. You've counted about thirty passengers and twenty crew, though you're certain there must be more of the latter.

And on the main deck, there are two important structures fore of the cabins: one being the 'forward house' which provides a dry workspace, and the forecastle which houses senior deckhands and has a small workshop for repairing lines and ropes.

It's a fine ship, maybe two hundred feet at the waterline, and by her lines seems like she'll make good speed.

“Satisfied?” the Captain interrupts you with a chuckly. “She'll be your home for a few days yet.”

“Any indication of the kind of weather we should expect?” you ask.

“Nothing this old girl can't handle,” the Captain assures you. “Some indication of a storm tonight though. So less you've got your sea legs already may be best to have a light dinner.”

“We... rarely eat anyway,” you shrug. “And I've made a long passage in a longship at sea. This time I'll even be out of the weather. Practically a luxury.”

The Captain chuckles warmly. “Aye, that it will seem... maybe you can tell some of the other passengers as much though? Seems a few aren't too thrilled with their accommodation. Folk seem to keep forgetting we're a working ship.”

>Let me know if anything arises where you need a strong arm. I'll be resting in my cabin.
>What time is dinner? I'd like to try and work up an appetite before then.
>I'll be in my cabin after showing off earlier... it may keep the other passengers and crew at ease.
>Other?
>>
>>3099263
>I'll be in my cabin after showing off earlier... it may keep the other passengers and crew at ease.
>>
>>3099263
>>I'll be in my cabin after showing off earlier... it may keep the other passengers and crew at ease.
>>
>>3099263
>>Let me know if anything arises where you need a strong arm. I'll be resting in my cabin.
>>
>>3099263
>I'll be in my cabin after showing off earlier... it may keep the other passengers and crew at ease.
>other: can you let me know what time is dinner? Hauling 100 tons of cargo can work up an appetite even for me.
>>
>3d10, best of three
>>
Rolled 7, 10, 8 = 25 (3d10)

>>3099340
>>
Rolled 9, 3, 5 = 17 (3d10)

>>3099340
>>
Rolled 3, 4, 7 = 14 (3d10)

>>3099340
>>
Rolled 5, 8, 4 = 17 (3d10)

>>3099340
>>
File: 098576486y54654.gif (1.81 MB, 360x186)
1.81 MB
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>>3099350
>>
>>3099340
It's well after dark that the officers sit for dinner around the table in the aft cabins, which you hear from your own cabin. You leave your sword in the small room, propped up next to the bunk, and seat yourself at the table as well. Plates and saucers slide slightly around on the wood as the whole ship moves around you like a living thing, and every so often there's a shudder as you catch a particularly large wave.

The food is fair enough, stewed vegetables and seasoned meat over rice of which you graciously accept about a teacup worth and eat slowly. There are some confused gazes at your tiny meal, though nobody bothers to ask.

The conversation is fairly businesslike, confirming the shipping manifests and passing on requests for supplies and tools that will be needed at some point in the near future. New ropes will need to be picked up at some point, provisions will need to be refreshed, there's need for polishing compound for the brasswork. That sort of thing.

“So what can you tell us about the Organization?” one of the officers, you think the ships surgeon, inquires. “All we ever hear are rumors, and we run this trip about twice a month.”

>The Organization serves an important role in our world, and does so effectively first and foremost.
>The Organization has its own intricacies and rules quite different from everyone else.
>The Organization is rightly feared in many places. It does a dangerous and dirty job with few scruples.
>Other?
>>
>>3099426
>>The Organization has its own intricacies and rules quite different from everyone else.
>>
>>3099426
>The Organization has its own intricacies and rules quite different from everyone else.


>>
>>3099426
>>The Organization has its own intricacies and rules quite different from everyone else.
>>
>>3099426
>>The Organization has its own intricacies and rules quite different from everyone else.
>>
>>3099426

>other: If I were to describe the organization it's...akin to an "army". We claymores are its soldiers, our handlers our scouts, and our messengers the logistics supply line. We have smiths and tailors that supply our swords and armor, and Organization leaders as our generals. We fight a never-ending war. A war that unfortunately is generations long and old that I know not how it started.
>>
>>3099426
>The Organization has its own intricacies and rules quite different from everyone else.
>>
what if they are a trap and report back to the org?

With all the coal the Organization burns... they will pay a pretty big toll.
>>
>>3099490
Um, they're the only shipping company that trades with Lavinia that Noel knows as far as she knows. This translates into being the only supply line/link that connects the island to the rest of the continent. if we piss them off or damage relations, that's doom for the Org because the neighboring nations can easily break Lavinia by erecting a blockade to starve the inhabitants of the island of resources.
>>
>>3099426
“The Organization is old enough to have developed its own intricacies,” you sigh, carefully restricting how far your little meal can slide from side to side. “We warriors fight the battles and nothing more, the Organization creates us, trains us, provides the funding and the tools. No one of us warriors knows the full extent of our own patrons' network.”

“Our rules work differently because the world in which we live and work only bears a superficial resemblance to the one everyone else lives in.”

“That sounds so...” the surgeon struggles to come up with the right word. “Sad, I guess.”

“It can be a lonely path,” you admit, “but we warriors share a common cause and a shared experience. While there are a few I would not trust to shine my boots there are also a handful to whom I would entrust my life without a single thought.”

“And the one you met in port...”

“May prove to be one of the latter,” you shrug. “But today was the first time I had seen her. That sort of meeting happens from time to time. But it is still better than traveling through a region and finding a different warrior there from the one you remember.”

“I... see,” the surgeon replies awkwardly. “That sounds like a hard life.”

“It's the only one we have,” you shake your head. “Anyway, thanks for the meal. I'll be in my cabin if you need a strong arm.”

You head back to your cabin, check the portholes once to ensure they're locked down tight, and lie down on the bunk to take a nap.
>3d10, third roll
>>
Rolled 1, 8, 5 = 14 (3d10)

>>3099521
i volunteer the bad one
>>
Rolled 9, 5, 7 = 21 (3d10)

>>3099521
>>
Rolled 5, 10, 4 = 19 (3d10)

>>3099521
>>
>>3099521
You awaken to quite a bit of shouting and chaos as a man ducks into your cabin.

“We have a problem!” he shouts. “Sea anchor got washed over, chain's lodged in the gunwale!”

You leap from your bunk and find that the hallway outside is damp with briny water, and the entire deck seems to have been stuck slightly askew... apparently the anchor has caught on something and is dragging.

With a burst of speed you sprint across the deck to the forecastle, and slide across the deck to a stop. You quickly spot the chain, and the spot where it's stuck in the gunwale, and let the yōki run through your fists.

Shouting may not make the blow land any harder, but you sure feel good doing it. The punch snaps the chain and shatters the wood behind it and the whole ship lurches back to the opposite side, so suddenly it throws you backwards into the wall.

But the ship's problem has been solved.

One of the sailors stares at you in shock, as the whole deck continues to be lashed by the storm.

“With... your fist?” he asks over the howling wind.

You nod. “I'm going back to bed.”
>>
>>3099586
And there I stop to unwind for the evening. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll do a pair of updates tomorrow night.

See you then, and hope you had a good time!
>>
>>3099586
man Noel sure is a badass, acting that fast right after getting out of bed
>>3099589
night queen
>>
>>3099606
For a Claymore, the difference in brain chemistry and physiological demands means that 'sleep' takes on a little more resemblance to meditation or biofeedback. They also need less of it in general, same as food.

So for Noel to spring into action really isn't that unusual. They kind of have to be able to do that.
>>
>>3099586
You awaken from your light sleep shortly after dawn. It's difficult to tell what time it is outside, with the portholes shut and the sky fighting with the sea to see which can be more gray and cheerless. You accept a biscuit and a small cup of strong tea for a breakfast, and find yourself genuinely full.

Then you head out to the main deck to see what's going on.

Hornet's speed has dropped for the time being as only a few of her sails are out, partly due to the high seas and partly due to the work being undertaken to repair the section of gunwale that you punched off. Some sea water washes up onto the deck through that hole even while a team of carpenters hammers the replacement wood into place.

“You did a number on this, miss,” one of the men shouts over the howling wind and the crashing waves. “But I'm mighty grateful you got there when you did.”

“Sure, no problem,” you shrug off the gratitude. “I just didn't wanna swim the rest of the way.”

“Neither did I!” the man jokes in response.

You continue walking towards the bow of the ship, looking past the bowsprit towards the horizon. You can still see coast in the distance to the right, but nothing ahead just yet. Seems it will take a while longer to get to Lavinia.

It's a whole lot of nothing going on right now. Most of the crew are busy, and most of the passengers are too sick or otherwise miserable to be worth interacting with.

>Try and find some work to be done aboard ship, help the crew out a little.
>Head belowdecks, get a sense of who else is on this ship and why they're heading to Lavinia.
>You're positive some kind of training is possible on a rolling ship.
>Other?
>>
>>3102156
>>You're positive some kind of training is possible on a rolling ship.
>>
>>3102156
>You're positive some kind of training is possible on a rolling ship.
>>
>>3102156
>Try and find some work to be done aboard ship, help the crew out a little.
>other: "Know any sea shanties to sing to?"
>>
>>3102174
>help the crew
>>3102174
i like the shanties idea.
>>
>Head belowdecks, get a sense of who else is on this ship and why they're heading to Lavinia.
>>3102174
>>3102187
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20n3N1uhztc
>>
>>3102174
>>3102187
Love the idea, but what kind of shanties would a princess from roman mongolia know
>>
>>3102156
>Find some work to do so you can help out.
>>
>>3102192
It's more of the princess asking the crew what kind of songs they sing.
>>
>>3102190
>>3102192
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx8hrhBZJ98
Play both of these at the same time.
>>
>>3102174
>>3102156
lol, in with this
>>
>>3102156
>You're positive some kind of training is possible on a rolling ship.
>>
>>3102174
supporting big time
>>
>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 2, 8, 5 = 15 (3d10)

>>3104067
>>
Rolled 5, 9, 3 = 17 (3d10)

>>3104067
>>
Rolled 4, 5, 3 = 12 (3d10)

>>3104067
>>
Rolled 6, 9, 8 = 23 (3d10)

>>3104067
>>
File: 675265275465.gif (2.91 MB, 430x257)
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2.91 MB GIF
>>3104085
C L U T C H
>>
>>3104067
You search around for a task to busy yourself with, but being totally unfamiliar with ships and their upkeep or management you really find yourself at a loss. The damage from last night's storm has been seen to, and the task of managing the sails is best left to someone who can actually name them all. So instead you settle down near to the spot where the sailors are working hard to repair the damage to the side of the Hornet and settle on a way to pass the time.

Almost without thinking, you begin to sing.

It's almost entirely tuneless, and isn't even really a song. Instead it's an old practice known in Hazaran as the 'long song' style. If you had to describe it simply and bluntly you'd say that it's an exercise in making every single syllable last as long and ideally as interesting as humanly possible. But therein lies the inherent skill and beauty to it: in order to make the song sound like anything the singer has to make extensive use of widely varied techniques of vocal control, wildly varying their vibrato and tone according to a specific pattern or plan before moving on to the next syllable. It also makes heavy use of the throat-singing and tonal techniques common to a lot of the old tribal ways of performance from before the time of the King.

You're finished in just ten syllables, an old chant from the folk religion that predates the introduction of the Twin Goddesses to Hazaran and which has stubbornly persisted in certain corners of the foothills and mountains. But the entire performance takes somewhere between five and ten minutes, you'd guess.

“What was that?” one of the deckhands asks, glancing up from his work.

“An old mantra, from my homeland,” you explain. “The words are om tare tuttare ture svaha, in the old tongue.”

“That was how many words?” the man exclaims, practically dropping his mallet in surprise.

“Five,” you clarify. “It means liberation from fear and delusion.”

“Well, it was pretty,” another sailor comments. “Makes you kinda see how some folk cling to the old ways like that.”

>I could sing another if you like.
>I'd love to have something useful to do.
>Teach me a song that you'd normally sing.
>Other?
>>
>>3104175

>I could sing another if you like.
>>
>>3104175
>I could sing another if you like.
>>
>>3104175
>I could sing another if you'd like.

Hazari cultural victory
>>
>>3104175
>other: So what do your songs sound like?
>other: when the sailor starts to sing, try and harmonize with him with your own style of singing.
>>
>>3104175
>Teach me a song that you'd normally sing.
>>
>>3104175
>>Teach me a song that you'd normally sing.
>>
>>3104175
>>Teach me a song that you'd normally sing.
>>
>>3104175
>Teach me a song that you'd normally sing.
>>
>>3104175
>I could sing another if you like.
>>
>>3104175
>Teach me a song that you'd normally sing.
>>
>>3104175
“Sing for me,” you muse playfully, leaping to the upper deck of the forecastle. “One of the songs that you sailors would normally be singing, liven the place up a bit.”

The sailors exchange a series of glances. “Well we... don't really have any... 'nice' songs.”

The speaking sailor seems a little hesitant about it, since presumably the songs that leap to mind are all what your father would call “rather low class”.

As it turns out, the song the sailor had in mind is a limerick... and for all that entails. Each of the sailors takes a turn, with the chorus between each

That was a cute little rhyme
Sing us another one do-oo~

Then the next in turn would take over the singing with a raunchy, ridiculous verse to try and put the previous to shame. Most of them are too crass to be repeated. But eventually the singing comes around to you atop the the forecastle, and you take a pause. All eyes are on you, expecting you to exceed or at least match their tunes.

That was a cute little rhyme
Sing us another one do-oo~

You consider it carefully. You're not really ready to go full raunchy just yet... you do have some pride after all. While you don't disapprove, it hardly befits a Princess.

So you settle for a halfway.

“The limerick packs laughs anatomical,
Into space that is quite economical,
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean...
… and the clean ones so seldom are comical.”

There's a relieved laugh among the sailors as they return to their work. They clearly didn't expect you to play along.

The day passes after that fairly quietly, and eventually the sun begins to go down again. Or at least it does so behind the clouds. You're not really sure what the next day will hold.

>Head to sleep, keep mostly to yourself for the rest of the journey.
>Remain vigilant and engaged with the crew... who knows when you may need to act again.
>Get in a little bit of practice as soon as the weather starts to calm down again.
>Other?
>>
>>3106667
>Get in a little bit of practice as soon as the weather starts to calm down again.
>>
>>3106667
>>Get in a little bit of practice as soon as the weather starts to calm down again.
>>
>>3106667
>Get in a little bit of practice as soon as the weather starts to calm down again.
>>
>>3106667
>>Get in a little bit of practice as soon as the weather starts to calm down again.
>>
>>3106667
>Get in a little bit of practice as soon as the weather starts to calm down again.
>>
>>3106667
>Get in a little bit of practice as soon as the weather starts to calm down again
>>
>>3106667
>3d10, best of three
>>
Rolled 10, 9, 6 = 25 (3d10)

>>3108254
>>
Rolled 4, 8, 4 = 16 (3d10)

>>3108254
>>
Rolled 7, 9, 8 = 24 (3d10)

>>3108254
>>
Rolled 4, 9, 3 = 16 (3d10)

>>3108254
>>
>>3108258
So I wonder what kind of breakthrough Noel will learn in her practice. How to kick?
>>
>>3108254
You spend the next day out on deck, having gone through the night without any real problems. Even some of the other passengers seem to have started feeling better than they had been during the storm. The sun is still hidden behind thick clouds and the ship is still rolling around like a misbehaving pony taking offense to a saddle, which gives you an idea.

For several hours you do nothing but practice movements from the monks' book, but with a particular emphasis on your footwork and balance. The ship beneath your feet moves somewhat awkwardly, always changing ever so slightly from minute to minute depending on the weather. And after a while you start to release a little bit of yōki, mindful of the movements of the Hornet, and are surprised at what happens next.

With every passing hour it feels more and more like you can predict the way that the ship is going to roll, and how the wind is going to blow. Not by all that much, never more than a second and in fact it feels like much less than that. But it's definitely there.

What is it that you're actually sensing?

You bring your yōki back down to its resting state, and the sensation ends.

“Interesting,” you mutter to yourself. Unless you're mistaken...

You walk back to the stern, where the Captain stands behind the large wooden wheel that connects to the rudder shaft. “I may cause a bit of a fuss up by the bow in a few seconds. Just a warning.”

“Thanks for that,” he nods. “You should be fine, most of the crew are busy and the passengers have gone below.”

“Thanks,” you nod, heading forward and climbing the stairs to the top of the forecastle where you release your yōki once more.

The sensation returns, and when you increase your yōki to just about enough to start expanding your muscles the sensation deepens, as though your skin has painlessly expanded outward by several inches, allowing you to feel what you would feel were that actually the case.

You've gained the ability to extend your physical senses by releasing your yōki, giving you a limited ability to predict when things are going to make contact with you.

>Get some rest before you make landfall tomorrow morning.
>Continue to try and refine this new sensory ability, figure out how you're doing it.
>Other?
>>
>>3108379
>>Continue to try and refine this new sensory ability, figure out how you're doing it.
>Continue to try and refine this new sensory ability, figure out how you're doing it.
>>
>>3108379
>>Continue to try and refine this new sensory ability, figure out how you're doing it.
>>
>>3108379
>Continue to try and refine this new sensory ability, figure out how you're doing it.
>>
>>3108390
Man shit's getting weird noel might need sleep after all.

>Tag team him with the Monk. Going in one at a time hasn't worked so far, why would it suddenly start working now?
>>
>>3108390
Wow two quests at once
>>
>>3108379
>Continue to try and refine this new sensory ability, figure out how you're doing it.
>>
>>3108379
>>Continue to try and refine this new sensory ability, figure out how you're doing it.
>>
>>3108379
>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 10, 4, 5 = 19 (3d10)

>>3108616
>>
Rolled 2, 1, 3 = 6 (3d10)

>>3108616
>>
Rolled 1, 4, 1 = 6 (3d10)

>>3108616
>>
Rolled 5, 5, 4 = 14 (3d10)

>>3108616
>>
>>3108616
Until well after dark, you practice this newfound technique. While you manage to get a vague idea of how useful it will be, it proves impossible to extend its range. It will only ever give you a slight advantage in terms of dodging, but especially against large yōma your lighter weight and ability to accelerate more quickly may give you a decisive edge in some situations.

You even get another few hours of sleep before the Hornet arrives in port, the city of Aquileia. Much of it rests on a narrow spit of land that juts out into the harbor, separating it from the port on the far side which mainly serves the shipbuilding guild. On the far point is a tower, at the top of which burns a mighty bonfire. The city itself runs right up to the waterfront, most buildings standing around three stories high made from plaster over some sort of material that's difficult to identify from here.

But most striking are the number of ships.

It puts the last port into perspective. There are easily dozens of ships of all sizes and types, with many of them being clippers like the Hornet. A smaller boat meets the Hornet and leads the much larger ship over towards a berth at the end of a long pier.

At the end of that pier you see a crowd of people, one of which stands out. Her dark cloak is familiar, as is her massive sword.

Also, the yōki is a dead giveaway.

You eventually step down the gangplank to face Zoe directly.

“I see you came to meet me,” you observe calmly, waiting for a response from her.

She stares at you, her gaze even and expression obviously calculated.

“Of course,” she replies. “This way.”

>Try to strike up a polite conversation?
>Keep it professional.
>Say as little as possible.
>Other?
>>
>>3108889
>>Try to strike up a polite conversation?
>>
>>3108889
>>>Try to strike up a polite conversation?
>>
>>3108889
>Try to strike up a polite conversation?
>>
>>3108889
>>Try to strike up a polite conversation?
>>
>>3108889
>>Try to strike up a polite conversation?
>>
>>3108889
>Keep it professional.
Zoe might be the type that appreciates those who also take their job seriously.
>>
>>3108889
other: if you're going to talk a conversation, keep it to professional topics like confirming the rumors Zoe may have heard. Show that you're on pointe with your situational awareness on current events and how the org fares. If Zoe is the paragon of an Org ass kisser, then try to appeal to her sense of duty and loyalty.
>>
>>3108889
>hey you want in on my secret plan to bring down the organization?
>>
>>3108995
Anon, that's just asking for death.
>>
>>3108889
>Say as little as possible.
>>
>>3108889
>Try to strike up a polite conversation?
>>
>>3108889
>3d10, best of four
Noel is a social butterfly... if butterflies could carry massive swords and use demonic energy as a power source to augment their own physical abilities.
>>
Rolled 10, 4, 2 = 16 (3d10)

>>3110300
>>
Rolled 10, 4, 1 = 15 (3d10)

>>3110300
>>
Rolled 5, 3, 3 = 11 (3d10)

>>3110300
>>
Rolled 7, 6, 1 = 14 (3d10)

>>3110300
>>
>>3110300
“So this is Lavinia,” you muse as Zoe leads you into the city. “I barely remember anything about it... I was brought here in the dark.”

Zoe remains silent.

“So do you see any of our fellow warriors often?” you ask, trying to start up a pleasant conversation.

Zoe still remains silent.

“... you okay?”

Zoe stops.

Then she turns to you when you finally stop as well, and looks you straight in the eyes. “You seem like a decent person.”

You look at her in mild confusion, not really understanding the incongruous statement there. “Thank you, I think?”

“Please do not take this the wrong way,” she tells you quietly, with that same stern look. “But this is not a place for polite conversations. Please do not repeat this mistake in the presence of the Organization's council.”

You consider this point for a few seconds before responding in turn. “Thank you for the warning then, Zoe. You... seem like a decent person yourself.”

There's a slight movement at the corner of her mouth that looks like the faintest hint of a smile. “Perhaps. Please, follow me.”

Zoe leads you through the city to a large building against a thick stone wall, which seems to consist of a natural hill that's been built up. You vaguely remember something like this from when you were first taken into the Organization: there is an entrance at the lowest level at the foot of the hill, leading to a substantial series of labyrinths and tunnels deep inside the hollowed-out landform. Those are where the 'scientists' of the Organization do their work, and the wide areas above that are where trainees live and train for their first few years.

In fact, you see several young girls all with blonde hair and silver eyes carrying heavy blades in this wide area, some walking to or from some task or other while others are obviously sparring. A few turn their eyes towards you and Zoe as you pass with some degree of recognition.

Further up the hill is a large curtain wall built against the rocky slope, within which are several smaller buildings and one large keep.

Zoe leads you into that keep.
>1/2
>>
>>3110424
When you step inside the first thing that happens is that a group of guards take your sword. There's no argument, because there is obviously no room for argument. The almost pointlessly small pieces of metal that pass for armor are also removed from your uniform... but it seems that this is merely business as usual rather than a specific response to you. After all, the Council knows that your specialty technique basically abandons the sword altogether.

Eventually Zoe, who is still armed, leads you up two flights of stairs and into a narrow hallway that seems to only lead to one room, which may well be the only room on this entire floor.

“Inside,” she nods towards the door.

>Lead the way in, project an image of quiet confidence.
>Make a flashier entrance. You want to project an image of strength.
>Ask Zoe to lead. Were it your choice you wouldn't even be here.
>Other?
>>
>>3110449
>>Lead the way in, project an image of quiet confidence.
>>
>>3110449
>Ask Zoe to lead. Were it your choice you wouldn't even be here.
>>
>>3110449
>Walk in-step and in-line with Zoe. You and her are both Warriors, Rank is pointless in the Org despite what the labels imply.
>>
>>3110449
>>Lead the way in, project an image of quiet confidence.
>>
>>3110449
>>3110460
I did that one.
>>
>>3110449
>Lead the way in, project an image of quiet confidence.
>>
>>3110460
>>3110449
supporting
>>
>>3110449
>>3110460
I'm good with this.



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