This is intended as the intro scene for Acutus, in which he will meet Pere. I know Chapter IV is for random RP, but I didn't want to confuse the current intro of Fleur by playing two characters in different scenes in the same thread simultaneously. However, I thought it might be feasible to tie this into the Road to Pamplona thread, with Pere on his way to Barcelona to meet Fleur and Fedora. His reasons for traveling by ship rather than portal should become clear. And Xavi, I'm going to try to drop a word or two in Catalan. Please correct (and forgive) my errors of ignorance.
Finally, some peace and quiet. Pere stood on the deck of El Remolí and listened to the gulls. Nothing like a cool breeze, clean air, and a lovely dona waiting below to cleanse the mental palette of his own personal curse. He was beginning to suspect the shrew was somehow growing resistant to his spells. She certainly recognized the effects well enough. And why in Heaven's name did that idiot servant explain the entrance to the regio? It was his one hope for a safe haven in Palma and that foolish moor had ruined it. I'd ward the whole place if I didn't need someone to clean the lab. Maybe enchant the place to keep it clean first. Is that even possible?
The ship sailed on, with Sa Dragonera rising into sight ahead. Once past it they'd have nothing but open seas to Tarragon, then on to Barcelona. He'd been tasked with meeting a new recruit to this odd covenant structure he found himself in. He still wasn't entire certain which covenant he belonged to. He was certain that Farusca had set him up and played him like a lute. But I'll come out ahead in the long run. I always do.
The ship hit a larger swell and a twinge of pain shot through him as he shifted his weight. Damned gout. If it wasn't one knee it was the other. Maybe it was time to head below and dig out one of Shalev's disgusting poultices. Let the girl play nursemaid. That's always nice. As he turned to head below, a loud, sharp noise came from the port side. He sensed as much as saw all the sailors' heads whip around. A sound like that rarely meant good things. Before he could seek out the captain, the entire ship jerked as if they'd hit a reef. Pere was forced to his knees, gasping in pain. He managed to glance up and see the captain, wearing a look no passenger wants to see on a sailor's face...
Within moments, Pere sees what the captain's gaping mouth implies is a rare event. A massive grey shark, it's size at least 25 feet long, had breached the surface of the sea and was now coming into Pere's view. As it twists in the air, its eyes seeming to...scan? the deck of the ship, the stark white of its underbelly leaves no mistaking that this huge creature is a great white shark, the ultimate apex predator of the sea.
But what truly frightens the captain, and what will likely haunt him in his nightmares is the crazy notion that the shark actually turns its head and looks directly into his eyes, staring at him until it crashes back into the sea and disappears under the surface.
(OOC, is there anything on the deck of the ship, about the ship itself, or perhaps Pere's dress that would indicate something different, possibly magical, about them?)
IfFightmaster agrees and Pere has no women on bard, he may have borrowed Roberto's man Johan VanHalen Junior as a ship captain and helmsman. If Sharky is looking for something magical, one possibility is this. Johan, with his mouth agape at the sight of the shark, steers the ship back and up away from the beast. Say, about twenty paces altitude above the water and ten paces back.
Sorry, Pere doesn't travel without women. He also mentioned the presence of his dona in the first post.
Not really, but I have something else in mind...
Pere watched from his knees as the beast dropped back beneath the waves. Once it was gone, he looked around the ship and saw sailors praying, crying, or simply staring. This was going to go south very quickly. Barzin! Your bow! Now! Most of sailors were at least looking his way now, which was a slight improvement. To arms, damn you! Captain! CAPTAIN!!! The awestruck man finally turned as Pere limped his way. Once their eyes locked, the captains worries immediately melted away as calm fell over him.
My goodness, milord. That was quite a large shark.
Yes, it was. Very perceptive of you. Now please tell your men to gather whatever weapons they have in case it comes for us again.
Probably for the best, milord. That shark looked positively irate over us ramming it. Though you'd think it could have avoided us rather easily. It's not as if this is...
Yes, captain, it's a very clumsy shark. Could you please give the order?
Oh yes, of course. Men! Gather arms and prepare to repel...that...shark?
Very good captain. Shaking his head, Pere turned to see Barzin and Teodor on deck, Barzin with his bow at the ready and Teodor holding a harpoon as if it might bite him. As Pere took a step in their direction, the ship jerked again, throwing him painfully to the deck. Oh, this isn't going to end well...
((OOC - I know Acutus is neither clumsy nor homicidal. The ship's hitting (or being hit by) something else. Tell me what it is. ))
As the ship rights itself again, screams of panic rise from the crew as a massive…appendage, or perhaps tail, the width of castle spire emerges from the ocean and crashes onto the deck of the ship. As the braver crew members move to attack the slithering mass, the captain shouts to Pere, “Sir, the shark is coming back!”
As Pere turns to the direction the captain points, he sees the unmistakable tail fin of a shark, but as the creature begins to crest the surface of the sea, he realizes it couldn’t be the same shark. While identical in appearance, this shark is nearly twice the size of the previous. Before he can reconcile the differences in his mind, the shark dives slightly and a brief moment later the ship shutters as the tentacle on the deck seems to writhe in pain.
(so a Kraken was the first thing that came to my mind too…but not knowing how powerful they are, I’ve left it open to being a kraken, or just a generic sea serpent, or perhaps something else…so Fightmaster, which is it?)
(Oh, and Acutus now has his Heartbeast of Outlandish Size and Form of the Phlegmatic Heartbeast active)
(For what it's worth, since the spells mean Acutus attacks must penerate, I'd say a large beastie with little might, so that he can shine and shred it^^. Unless you want otherwise, of course. Say, size +3 and Might 05 at most (assuming he rolled a 6+), this is enough to threaten most ships. Realm is indifferent, in this case)
Pere manages to pull himself up against the mast, trying to find something resembling safety. The tentacle thrashes violently and suddenly releases its hold, flinging at least three sailors into the sea. Poor bastards. Though I suppose they won't have to fret about drowning. He sees Teodor and Barzin begin to make their way across the splintered deck toward him when the ship jolts again, less violently this time. As everyone steadies themselves against it, a horrendous screech breaks from the starboard side.
As everyone turns to look, the source of the sound rises from the water - the horned head of a massive serpent, the water pouring off its sickly green scales. Pere looks back to the captain and see him leisurely contemplating the creature. Looks like a calming spell wasn't my best choice there. The helmsman yanks on the tiller, yelling orders himself in an attempt to get away from the conflict. Teodor finally reaches him, bleeding from at least one cut and shouting obscenities, the serpents gives another scream and darts back into the water. Away from the ship, thankfully. Maybe that shark thing will lead it far enough away for us to reach land. Or at least one will be too busy eating the other to notice us. Or I'll grow wings and fly to Barcelona. Next time I'm taking the damned portal. Plenty of time for women once I'm in the city.
Before there is too much time for relaxation, the boat begins to list again, as the sea to the starboard side begins to churn ferociously, causing large waves to crash into the ship. Before too long, the churning water begins to take a blood red color, and chunks of serpent flesh begin to bob in the water.
As calm slowly returns to the sea, a crewman can be heard screaming, “man overboard” on the port side. At first, all anyone can see is the body, barely breathing, of one of the sailors that had fallen overboard floating almost mystically towards the ship. But as it comes closer, it appears the body is resting on the nose of the massive shark as it seems to push him to the boat.
The sailors scatter from the rail as the shark beast lifts the sailor onto deck. Pere looks to his protectors and notices Teodor giving him a meaningful look. What? It's friendly. It has plenty to eat. No problem here. Teodor simply continues to glare. Oh, alright dammit! But if I get eaten it's on your head.
Pere cautiously approaches the rail as the shark returns to the water and the terrified sailor twitches on the deck. As the magus feared, the shark is still at the surface, looking at him. He raises his hands, tries to look solemn rather than terrified, and says in Catalan Thank you, great protector of the seas. You have saved many lives this day. After a pause, he says Do you understand the speech of men?
The shark continues to look into Pere's eyes, seemingly...considering something. As if finally making a decision, the shark sinks back below the surface. Tense moments lapse as the sailors stare into the calm sea, waiting, fearing that the shark will return.
As the moments slip by, the sailors seem to finally take a deep, relaxing breath, just as a spray of water falls over the ship and the shark, now its smaller size, breaches again. As it reaches the peak of its leap, the shark miraculously transforms into a man that begins hovering* just above the surface of the water.
The man himself is large, perhaps 6 feet in height and with the muscular build of a warrior or laborer. He’s handsome in a rough, masculine way, his head completely bald and in fact hairless all over; easily evidenced due to his stark, unabashed nakedness.**
The man looks to Pere and speaks in a slightly Germanic accented Latin, “I am Acutus Ilfetwis of House Bjornaer, do you understand me?” Even in this less frightening form, the man’s speech and demeanor seems almost as intimidating as a challenge or threat vice a simple statement.***
*Rise of the Feathery Body
** The portrait I intend to use for him is Vin Diesel
*** Essential Virtue [Intimidating]
Pere stands for a bit with his mouth open, caught between fear and shock. He eventually snaps out of it and, after a glance around to make sure everyone else was equally poleaxed (they were), tries to summon his dignity and look impressive. Yes, I do. Salve sodale. I am Pere Vilaro Ferrer of House Jerbiton. Thank you for your assistance. As I said, you have saved many lives today. Battling great serpents is not my strong suit and these sailors weren't much help. He glances around again before continuing. Would you be willing to join me on a deck for a while? And perhaps...cover yourself? I'm concerned the ship will still sink if the men are unable to look away from you floating there.
Acutus smiles, a look that comes across almost predatorily, and nods, “Yes, that would probably be best. And it’s a bit drafty out here,” he finishes with a smile. It’s only then, when the smile seems to cut through his natural intimidation somewhat*, does Pere notice the most striking aspect of Acutus’ appearance. A single large, deep scar runs from just above his left temple to the top of his cheek. Where his eye should be there is just scarred flesh that seems to have grown together over an empty socket.
*Or because his player forgot to mention his Missing Eye
((And since I never described Pere...average height, dark hair with a nearly trimmed beard, and, well, very overweight. He dresses in fine clothes (usually silk), wears several bejeweled rings, and there's always a hint of some perfumed scent about him.))
As Acutus makes his way to the deck, Pere sends Teodor running for a robe (and wine) and asks the captain to get his men focused on the ship rather than the spectacle. Once the bustle begins and Acutus is covered, Pere leads him to the bow for some polite conversation. Well, this was certainly more excitement than I expected on this trip. I've been sailing this sea for over a decade and this is the first actual sea serpent I've encountered. Lots of sightings, of course. Or alleged sightings, to be accurate. It amazes me that men who work the seas their whole lives can't distinguish a whale's back from a beast of legend. I've often wondered if it's ignorance, stupidity, or just boredom. Probably a bit of each. He takes a drink and leans against the railing. But what of you, my courageous friend? Were you hunting this beast or just passing through? After a close look at Acutus's face, he adds And are you quite well? You look a bit green around the gills, if you'll pardon the pun. Did the serpent's taste not agree with you?
Acutus shakes his head as he puts his hand to his mouth for a moment, settling himself. "No, I...well I am not accustomed to riding on top of the sea. It is more calm within its depths. How is it the constant motion doesn't turn your insides into knots?"
"As for the serpent, yes, I had been hunting it for...some time. It is difficult to measure time accurately when I am my other self."