|Session 24: A Close Call|
|Real World Date||January 31st, 2015|
|Game Date||May 30 - Jun 12, Year 0|
|NPCs||The Nightingale Bandit|
Session 23: Ally of Anarchy
Session 25: Transit Troubles
Emilie is taken aback. "I... er... n-no! What?"
"Really!" Isaac insists. "You brought him up last time we talked, and I think things were... unresolved? So pretend I'm him. Punch me, rant at me... it might help provide... well, not closure, but it might help, is what I'm thinking."
Emilie looks at him like he's passionately imitating a monkey. "You have a weird way of bringing stuff up."
"I was thinking about ways to make you all happier," Isaac says, smiling. "...Which led me to thinking to our last conversation, which led me to that idea. Sorry, shouldn't have just sprung the last part of that chain of thought on you without context."
"Um... that's okay."
"I thought it might help, but I think I'm just intruding. I should go."
Emilie turns and gestures for Isaac to stop. "No, that's okay, don't worry about it. I don't really know that I'm carrying anything around about my dad. He wasn't a bad person. He was just dumb." She shrugs. "And you can get into trouble when you're dumb and there's a revolution brewing."
"I see..." He sincerely seems to. "After we revive you, would you want to revive him?"
Emilie freezes. "Actually, that never really occurred to me. The first thing I was told when I was brought back was that my parents weren't coming back with me. I guess I just took that as an ultimate statement." She paces. "But it's too late anyway. They're at the bottom of the ocean. They've been there for months. It's whatever. They'd just die again anyway someday, and then I'd have to grieve again."
"Buried at sea?" Isaac asks, raising an eyebrow. "That's the custom?"
She gives him a sideways glance. "Custom? For secret government executions? Yeah, I guess it's a custom. Sure."
"Sorry, I was just wondering how you knew. In any case, that's a no," Isaac shrugs. "Makes sense. I'm sorry to hear about your family, Emilie... it's monstrous what's happened to you."
"Yeah. It was. Um, why are we talking about it?"
Isaac raises his palms in front of his belly, as if to acknowledge the boundaries of the warrior's space. "I'll leave off on it. We're not a replacement, but I'm sure all of us here think of you as family."
"I'm glad. I feel that way too."
Isaac turns to go. "Anyway, sorry again, for barging in on your thoughts. Have a good night, Emilie."
The Nightingale Bandit swaggers up onto the deck and leans theatrically on the railing on the other side of the ship. Isaac rolls his eyes at him. He rolls his eyes back. Bigger.
"Isaac," Emilie calls out. "I'm sorry that I'm hard to work with. I know I've got... stuff."
Isaac shakes his head. "I've got stuff, too. We all do. You're learning, that's what's important."
"Okay. Thanks. Sleep well." She turns back to the shotgun.
"Whatever," Isaac says dismissively. "Soon, right? Promise."
Across the deck, the bandit mimes a very exaggerated, solemn "Promise."
Emilie finally acknowledges him. "Can I help you?"
The Nightingale Bandit pretends to just notice Emilie. "Oh, hello there! Good evening for a stroll, don't you think?"
Emilie looks from side to side, confirming that there is indeed no stroll anywhere to be had.
"I'm just about to start up another breeze. You know, smoother sailing and all... Can't have us all tire out from rowing." The young man climbs up into crow's nest and starts whistling a jaunty tune.
Isaac hasn't left yet. He is likewise focused on the odd fellow. Emilie sneaks up to him and whispers, "Oh, gods he creeps me out. But there's something really beautiful about his confidence." Isaac raises an eyebrow. "You know. In an irritating sort of way."
The wind starts blowing deliberately toward The Nightingale Bandit, carrying the conversation within his earshot.
"He is certainly something alright," the artificer replies. "I do like confidence."
Emilie goes back once more to examining the shotgun. "Oh, hey, Isaac," she says. "This part here, that's what you squeeze on your crossbow to fire it, right?"
"Yep, the trigger," he nods.
Within a few minutes, Emilie is able to fire one of the shots into the ocean. She smirks, satisfied. She shows Isaac what she did, and gives the gun to him along with the remaining buckshot. "Maybe you can figure out how these missiles are made," she says.
Isaac accepts the gift. "Excellent... between this and the pistol (from Jake, Session 22), might have a decent shot (heh) at learning something... thank you!"
"Hey, your success is my success." She smiles.
The Nightingale Bandit watches all of this transpire with curious, impressed silence.
A dead dolphin carcass floats up from where Emilie shot the gun, bullet holes covering its body.
After over a week at sea, just before dawn, Emilie spots a ship on the horizon, despite the party’s efforts to avoid trading routes. It appears to be a formidable war galleon. It doesn’t show any interest in The Nightingale Bandit’s ship, but Emilie consults the captain just to be sure. The bandit shrugs off the news of the other ship and returns to his cabin. Emilie doesn’t notice any change in the galleon’s course, but as soon as Namfoodle wakes up, his scry detection rings out, alerting him that the other ship is observing their crew. As the light of day develops, Emilie sees that the galleon isn’t continuing on its way. She goes back down to get the bandit again, but he is asleep. She wakes the party, alarmed, but Namfoodle urges her to be quiet. He tells her that the ship is watching the heroes, but that they may not be able to monitor below the deck. Just then, The Nightingale Bandit is heard going topside. Emilie and Namfoodle follow him above deck to try to subtly warn him of the impending danger.
The Nightingale Bandit seems to understand the incoming threat, but stays cool. He tosses some strange looking oranges to Emilie and asks her to help him hoist a flag of surrender. A cannonball causes the water by their ship to erupt. As the flag goes up, the bandit gives Emilie an uncharacteristically serious look that says “trust me.”
He convinces the crew of the decidedly royal ship from Enderland’s government that he has brought the party to them in exchange for a full pardon. Emilie and Namfoodle get the rest of the party to play along, but when the galleon draws closer to the ship, the bandit tosses his orange at it and a humongous explosion tears through the galleon. Not oranges.
Emilie has given oranges to Kal and Isaac as well, and now that the spheres' true significance is clear, the pair lobs their own payloads into the government vessel. Vic casts obscuring mist as the smaller boat is boarded by soldiers, and the bandit whistles up an invisible shield to protect his boat from the explosions. The whistling becomes impossibly loud, and the bandit looks as though he may faint.
Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the party manages to dispatch their assailants with hardly any complications. They are even able to take a hostage! Looks like sometimes it pays to blindly trust lying scoundrels. Go figure.
The bandit uses his music to speed the ship away from the capsizing galleon. After the battle, his uncanny whistling falls away, and, nose bleeding, he retires to his bed, where he collapses. The Party has questions, but they will have to wait. And they do, for several days, during which the strawberry-blonde miscreant doesn’t come out of his room again. It doesn’t makes sense for the bandit to have sacrificed so much and risked his health just for the party’s benefit. He could have walked away with a full pardon and no obligations to anyone. Why didn’t he?
After some time, pleasant music lilts into the party’s ear hole places. The party comes topside, still without the bandit’s company, to find a flock of sirens (of both genders, for maximum efficacy) sunbathing on their perch. The heroes are not so easily fooled, though, and Namfoodle summons tentacles to harass the sirens so that the party may be on their way. I saw a porn once that w--wait, I've already made that joke. However, the siren song becomes horrendously loud in response, and the music turns sour. Our heroes are sonically assaulted as the saccharine sirens swim aside the sailboat! Let’s hope they can overcome their predators without the bandit’s help this time…