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Upstarts Unbound [IC]

Psychodurus Eques

Sinister Syngnathid
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Location
To and Fro
The midday sun glared over the island of Ironport. The heat was particularly bad today, with neither breeze nor cloud-shade to give respite from it’s blister. Fitting the weather be without mercy, for the focus of today’s events would receive none from their captors.

A gnome, a human, and a half-elf occupied one corner of the auction platform. Through various unfortunate misadventures, they had all come into the possession of Master Robillart, an undeservingly pompous and self-important merchant, even by slaver standards. The three were bound to a thick wooden post by leashes. They weren’t bound in any other way; it wasn’t like they had anywhere to go, what with the island’s burly, steel-clad soldiers on every corner.

They’d been light on the beatings, but the three had still endured their share of dehumanizing actions, what with being paraded naked before a crowd of prurient onlookers as potential buyers swiped their paws all over them, fingers pulling at their lips to inspect their teeth.

These three were an afterthought, though. Most of the crowd seeking spectacle was over on the other side of the wharf, watching executions. Four-Finger Jack, first mate to one of the more notorious pirates in the Eight Archipelagos, along with several other prominent ne’er-do-wells, was to be hanged until the neck until dead. The governor was making a speech, and though his words were unclear at this range, the raucous cries of response from the audience rang out like a bell.

Most buyers were ignoring them as well, in favor of the more exotic specimens nearby. Nearest to them was a huge, crocodile-mawed lizardfolk. She was bound in heavy shackles and a muzzle, two mercenaries with pikes flanking her in case she got rowdy. She didn’t bother struggling, however, and seemed to have an oddly chipper gleam in her eye. A drow man stands besides her, tall and proud, hard muscles and even harder eyes. His slate skin covered in old wounds from torments far worse than anything these petty slavers could muster. He stood unwavering, looking out to the horizon. After him stood a woman with skin like polished brass and silver in a braid that reached to her knees. Though her body was slender and soft, her eyes held a smoldering fire that might have made even the stoic drow back down.

Robillart swaggered forward, fat belly, matted beard, and broad, half-toothed grin. He heaved heavy breaths as he brought forth the last of his merchandise to be displayed: an androgynous, pale blue figure with blank eyes. It stumbles, falling to its knees.

“Behold! A servant specializing in versatility! If you crave a strong back or a silken hand, this can serve as either!” He gives the figure a kick. “Creature! Show them your talents!”

It stands, and it’s form flows from one shape to the next: a brawny orc male, a comely halfling woman, and an elf with exaggerated features of both sexes. The doppelganger remains in this for a moment, before shifting into a grotesque and gnarled hag. The crowd gasps and Robillart yanks at its leash, shoving it towards two of his enforces who beat it until it changes back to the shape it started in.

The metallic-skinned woman curses at him. He briefly moves to strike her, but maintains his composure, clearly feeling he has to be able to control the situation with more than force.

From across the wharf, the roaring cheers get even louder as the first pirate has a noose placed over their head.
 
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Motoharu

Super-Earth
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Kirina was absolutely terrified and humiliated. All she wanted was to go on adventures on the high seas, and on her very first voyage she ended up captured by Slavers. In retrospect, she should have realized that her fare was too cheap to be legitimate. Her biggest fear had always been to be locked in a cage with no escape; she’d rather be dead than let that happen.

But she wasn’t about to lose hope. Her parents always said, with some good friends and a little bit of luck, you could get out of any situation. First she needed to make friends. With her hands doing her best to cover her private parts, she walked towards the human and half-elf, and spoke in a low voice, to make sure the crowd wouldn't hear her. “I’m Kirina, a traveler from the mainland. And I intended to keep traveling, not end up a slave, or at least die trying. Are you two with me?” Despite her fear and small stature, the way Kirina looked up at them, with her fiery red eyes, brimmed with confidence.
 

Salix

Planetoid
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Inwardly, Vani seethed. How dare they! How dare they make me a common slave!

Outwardly, she tried her best to blend in, letting her long brown hair hang over her face, careful to cover her slightly-pointed ears as she stumbled through the crowd, trying her best to dodge the grabbing hands. It wasn't hard to pretend to be afraid. The fear bubbled, just below the surface, but cold rage superseded it.

Focusing on revenge, slow, cruel revenge that her enemies would never see coming, was easier than acknowledging her fear. As a performer in her half-sister's court at the Society of Bespoke Services, Vanilarae von Oberlie knew intimately how slaves were often treated. Stripped of her name and title, Vani Ashworth had no desire to become one, especially not if any of the purchasers recognized her. It took all her self control to not break the wrists of the sloths groping her as she was paraded here along with all the other unfortunate souls. There was no way such foolishness would end well. But maybe, maybe there could be some sort of distraction...

Vani scanned the crowd from the auction platform, as well as she could still veiled shyly beneath her hair. She was a willowy half-elf of average height, with pale skin and long, wavy brown tresses. She had a dancer's body, soft and lean, hiding wiry muscles. Standing naked before the crowd, she was naturally lightly haired, a simple patch on her lower abdomen, likely a result of her elven heritage. She conveniently covered her size C breasts, which looked larger on her slender frame, as she tugged at her collar. In part, she was testing for how to remove it. She was also wondering how well the leash would work as a whip-like weapon, if there was a chance for escape.

She looked down in surprise at the blue-haired gnome as she introduced herself in a hushed whisper. Reflexively, she tried to call on her magic to answer secretly, but remembered she was without even the most basic of resources like her copper wire ring. There was a determination in the gnome's bright eyes that told Vani this might be the type of ally she needed to get out of this both alive and free. "I'm Vani, an entertainer in the wrong place at the wrong time." She raised her head for a moment, letting her hair fall away from her face. Icy blue eyes cold and hard as she nodded. "I'm with you I'd rather see us alive and free, and them dead, but anything is better than being owned by them." She practically spat the last word out, glaring at Robillart before remembering her act, returning to the shy woman hiding behind her hair. "Have you seen any ways out that aren't suicide?" Vani asked quietly out the side of her mouth, doing her best to look around herself.
 

Sepulchritude

Psychotrope
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Location
GMT-5
In many ways, the dark-skinned native was exactly the reverse of the gnome. Not just the height, though even at what looked like the cusp of adulthood, she was easily the tallest of the three. But she had also been responding with indignation and bravado for as long as they had been thrown together. She'd caught the bulk of the beatings for it, but even then, she'd kept insulting the guards and threatening what would happen when her family showed up, until they were obliged to lay off the lash for fear of ruining her for sale. If she had been older, or more solidly built, they probably would have continued until they silenced her and just sold her for labor, but a lithe teenage island girl fetches a good price from a certain sort of colonial, and the more pristine she seems, the better. Vani would know, well enough.

Even now, tied up on what amounted to a fencepost in the middle of an open courtyard, she had retained that spunk. The other two looked tamer than they meant to, in contrast with the one who'd actually slapped a potential buyer. She had a swollen and bloody lip from that one, but it would heal. It had gotten her hands lashed together behind her back, though, and several members of the crowd had gotten much more forward, seeing that she couldn't so much as cover herself. If she had any sense, she'd have withdrawn after that, surely, but she'd stayed tall and proud, and she seemed to genuinely enjoy coming up with creative new curses to level at anyone who looked like he might be thinking about buying her. She was doing exactly that—something about this one being made to eat a stew of his own foot—when Kirina interrupted. It seemed to come as a surprise, too, because the girl fumbled a response for the first several seconds.

"Yeah, I— Wha— Uh, hold on, hold on. Kirina?" She looked at the gnome like she was waiting for a response, but apparently looking up at the sound of her own name was enough. "Detri. Tama's the captain of the Flydia's Dart. And I want you to put that 'die trying' right out of your head, understand? We just need to wait for the right opportunity, and seize it when it comes. Nobody's gonna die."

The encouragement came in a confident tone, punctuated by the occasional sharp nod. The girl's eyes shone with reckless excitement despite their risky position, and that only became more intense when she turned to Vani and dropped her voice a little. "—who doesn't have it coming." She grinned.
 

Motoharu

Super-Earth
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Kirina gave a sly smile back towards them. “Looks like I met some brave companions. My thinking is these events never go smoothly, and the three of us are not the most valuable goods to them. They think we are three weak women and underestimate us. Let’s wait and see if some chaos breaks out and head to the docks while the guards focus on the more valuable slaves. We slip towards the nearest ship that is small enough to sail with only a few people, maybe meet up with any other slaves that escaped, and kill anyone standing in our way. The important part is all three of us stick together. What do you think? I’m all ears if you have any better ideas?”

As she said this, she held her leash begin her back and started scratching it against the wooden poll to weaken it, in preparation of their escape. She also looked around to see if she could spot a guard that looked particularly dumb or lazy, with a weapon she was proficient in, like a scimitar, that she might be able to steel in the heat of the moment.
 
OP
Psychodurus Eques

Psychodurus Eques

Sinister Syngnathid
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Location
To and Fro
One of the town guards assigned to the auction noticed Kirina's budding escape attempt, and began to move towards her when the thunder of cannonfire pierced through the throng's hollering. A tower near the gallows exploded and a brief hush fell over the docks before erupting into screams again, now of sheer terror. A score of ships were closing on the island, fighting a clear winning battle against the island's naval patrols.

The governor's armored watchmen quickly hustled away to defend against the pirate threat, and most of the mercenary guards began making for nearby ships, leaving the auction mostly unguarded. The lizardfolk flexes and shatters her bonds, and immediately cuts down three of the remaining mercenaries, leaving their bodies ripe for looting. With a deft lash of her tail, she cuts the three captives' leashes with her sawlike spines, then runs of to cause more havoc as the crowd of onlookers scatters in panic.

Robillart stumbles around the platform yelling futile commands. "Stop! Your master commands it! Stay where you are!"
 

Salix

Planetoid
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
As chaos broke out around them, Vani tensed, her hand gripping the collar as her fingers frantically scrabbled at the lock. "No better ideas, and no better time," she admitted between clenched teeth as she fumbled with the restraint. She stumbled a step as the leash suddenly went slack, slapping against her bare skin.

Vani's demeanor changed in a heartbeat, and she looked up with a fierce grin, not questioning her good fortune. Their good fortune.

"To the nearest ship then, and pity those who get in our way."

She sprung into action then, dodging through the chaos, focusing on the fallen mercenaries. She crouched down by the bodies, ignoring the blood beginning to pool as she searched them for useful weapons. She also looked at the clothes they wore, hoping to see a cloak or something else that she could use to better blend into the crowd.
 

Sepulchritude

Psychotrope
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Location
GMT-5
Detri was actually a little too stunned by the lizard-woman's display of strength to respond to her freedom immediately. But after an awestruck moment spent watching the receding fighter, the realization they were free again lit her up with excitement. Well, less free in her particular case, but still.

"Yes! Yes! I told you it would come! Give me a minute!" And then she dropped to the ground, close to the stake to avoid being stepped on, while she twisted herself through the loop of her arms, to bring them around front. She took a few potshots at passing ankles, too, while she was down there. Just on principle. Once she'd got her wrists tied in front of her so she could even see the knot, she rolled her eyes and scrambled over toward the fallen mercenaries. That spike on the top of his helmet looked stupid, but it was just what she needed to loosen the embarrassment of a tie they'd her in. She was loose in seconds, and had him stripped of his sword belt and whip in only a handful more. She tried, initially, to pull his loose pants over his boots, but the ankle stitching was too small for that.

"Eh. They'd be too long anyway," the girl decided, and pulled out the shortsword to (awkwardly) cut through the pants at the knee. Slipped right off, then, and made serviceable, albeit baggy, shorts on her. She didn't bother with a shirt. That would have taken much longer. "Hey! Uhh, Kirina! That one's a bit shorter, might have a blade your size." She pointed out one of Robillart's men, who had frequently been sent to deliver meals. It looked like the lizard-woman may actually have trampled him, and it wasn't completely clear he was dead yet.
 

Motoharu

Super-Earth
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
“Well, that was faster than I expected!” Kirina exclaimed. Kirina looked at the man Detroit spoke about, and ran over. Searching him, she found a scimitar that was perfect for her fighting style. She briefly examined the clothing, but between his larger size and the trampling he took, little seemed salvageable. She was able to cut of a portion of his bloodied cloak, and tie it around her neck, for the bare minimum of modesty.

Kirina yells at her new companions, “let’s press on together!” She starts marching towards The docks. She looks to see if there are any other prisoners close to the route she is taking that could be potential allies. She will not go out of her way to help them, but if they are close by and not too, outnumbered, she will try to get a surprise attack on any guards, hoping they can join forces.
 

Sepulchritude

Psychotrope
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Location
GMT-5
Detri, on the other hand, kept alert for any opportunity to cut ropes, pry open cages, and otherwise add to the chaos filling the streets. She fell behind by a little bit several times, but her long strides and the occasional dash across a merchant's cart—and in one case, a merchant's donkey's back—kept her near enough to follow the splash of bright blue and the uncommonly pale streak chasing after it.
 

Salix

Planetoid
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Vani's fingers fumbled a little as she pulled a dagger from the sheath of the mercenary she knelt by, quickly positioning it so she could saw her hands free from their bindings. As soon as she was loose, she snatched up a dagger, looking around to fend off any sudden attackers. There were none. Most of the people around her were busy running, and those that weren't seemed distracted by the chaos. She saw the two women trapped with her break free and arm themselves, and couldn't help but grin. It was... surprisingly refreshing to be away from the frail, insipid courtiers that haunted the Society's halls.

She followed Detri's lead, stripping clothes off the mercenary as quickly as possible. She ended up with an oversized shirt belted around her waist by a swords belt holding a sheathed rapier, and a pair of just-slightly-too large boots hitting her just above the knee.

She heard Kirina's rallying call and nodded towards the gnome, gesturing for her and Detri to go ahead. She clutched the dagger she had freed herself with in her hand, moving quickly to cut the leashes of the drow, the silver-haired woman, and the changling if they had not already been cut. "The docks," she hissed to them. "Do not take the same route."

Let them add to the chaos, she thought, as her gaze hardened. Robillart still stumbled around the platform, and for a moment she almost gave into the urge to sink a crossbow bolt in the fat bastard's neck. But then the chaos around her, and her own strong sense of self-preservation kicked in, and Vani turned away, darting down the steps after Karina and Detri.

Vani glanced around, gauging the quickest way through the crowd on the way to the docks, hoping to find the best way to catch the other two. No matter what, she had no future on these islands. The Society would see to that. Her only hope was off it. The docks were as good a destination as any, and those two seemed more than capable. Perhaps a few of the others would make it. Some brawn would be useful on the high seas.

As soon as she was in a hidden enough place, Vani sunk into the shadows, avoiding detection as much as possible as she headed towards freedom.
 
OP
Psychodurus Eques

Psychodurus Eques

Sinister Syngnathid
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Location
To and Fro
Detri managed to free quite a few slaves, but the real chaos-causer would be the horses, camels, and even a giraffe that she cut loose from their posts, which were now running amok through the island's streets. One cage she knocked open had a blue and teal lizard in it that scurried along in her wake. It seemed she had made a friend.

The changeling had already slipped free, but the other two were unsuccessfully trying to cut away at their cords with a shard of pottery. When Vani freed them, they both thanked her and went on their way.



A the docks, many of the ships had already left, trying to escape the pirates while they were still focused on attacking the island.

There were two ships left, however. One, whose crew of big orcs and bugbears seemed utterly unconcerned with the ongoing attacks and riots. They were carrying all sorts of crates and barrels onto the ship; it appeared the lizardfolk from before was helping them load this cargo. A black flag with a white foot on it flew from the mast, and along the side was painted "Undertoe" in large, slightly sloppy letters.

Next to it was a sloop with a bright red draconic figurehead, an intricately carved beard sprawling down from a maw studded with gleaming metal spikes. This ship appeared to have been abandoned, and some of the escaped slaves were gathered aboard desperately trying to figure out how to sail.


Robillart had managed to make his way down here, still bruised and wheezing, but having recovered enough to walk straight. He was flanked by a cadre of four huge men wielding massive studded cudgels. They were keeping their distance from the goblinoid sailors, but appeared on the lookout for any stragglers to subdue and pondering whether or not they could safely take the sloop.



Well. Up to y'all at this point. I'm guessing at least one of you will want to start a fight.
 

Sepulchritude

Psychotrope
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Location
GMT-5
Detri didn't even slow down. There was no reason to bother the goblinoids with a free ship right there, and moreover this was her moment. She could feel the ocean calling for her to come home. Her blood sang in her veins. She didn't even approach the gangplank, just sheathed her stolen sword and raced for the mooring line. Those poor dummies hadn't even untied it yet, and it was something to climb toward deck. She leaps out into the water holding the loose end, then moments later

...

Bubbles came up. Hm.
 
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Motoharu

Super-Earth
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Kirina followed Detri towards the sloop. Kirina was a big believer that the best revenge was a life well lived, and she wasn’t about to risk her freedom on a needless fight. She attempted to dodge anyone in her way, climb on to the deck of the sloop, close behind Detri.
 
OP
Psychodurus Eques

Psychodurus Eques

Sinister Syngnathid
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Location
To and Fro
Robillart and his men seemed to have caught the intention of the goblinoid sailors, and her now engaged in an altercation. They would be easily to slip past unnoticed. Not that they were in a position to do anything, being caught up in self-defense at the moment.

As Detri surfaced from the drink, the tiny lizard was resting cheerfully on her head. A rope ladder was thrown down over the side for her to grab onto, and a blue-tinged hand reached down to help her on deck: the changeling from the before. It looked like the drow and aasimar had made it aboard as well.

From the much taller ship nearby, a hulking figure peered down at the motley collection of escapees. He gave a hearty, wheezing laugh at Detri's valiant attempt. Massive tusks and mottled green skin, this was surely a troll. A huge mane and forked-beard of lichen encompassed his head, atop which perched a huge tricorn hat with numerous feathers, medallions, and other decorations jingled and flapping in the wind. From his shoulders hung a cloak of numerous captain's coats, many tattered and darkened with old bloodstains. Between the forks of his plaited beard, his thick neck was visible, a human skull implanted at the base of his throat. He flung two grappling hooks down to the sloop, and once they were secured, let several barrels slide down along them to the sloop's deck.

He called down to one of the escapees, a heavy-set, older man with many scars and elaborate tattoos. He hadn't been an auction lot, by his dress, he was a native indentured servant. He stood at the helm, and appeared to be the impromptu captain of this new crew.

He gave a cry and the tether was cut, the plank drawn in, and the sails were readied. They made their way out of the harbor, keeping a wide berth from pirate vessels still engaged in combat. In some time, the goblin warship followed in their wake.

As they set off, the barrels were opened and provisions of food were passed around, as well as water and wineskins.
 

Motoharu

Super-Earth
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Kirina helped Detri get her bearings after getting pulled on deck. She grabbed a water skin and took a drink, but she passed on the food and wine for now. She offered Detri water, and made sure she was fine. After confirming her state, Kirina left Detri for now.

Kirina immediately set to work, making sure all the lines were secure and that no one was doing anything that would slow down the ship. Kirina was really only an amateur when it came to sailing, but her years of study at least made her more capable at sailing than the average escaped slave. Double-checking the hectic escape work could save them if they were being pursued.

Finally she went up to the impromptu captain. She stood upstaight and confidently, despite her size and tattered cape. “Kirina, reporting for duty,” she said in a confident, formal voice. “I have 5 years of experience sailing on merchant vessels, and am at your service to assist as needed,” the years of experience was a lie, but she was confident her skill was up to her bluff. “I checked the lines and retied some as needed. Let me know if you have any orders.”
 
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