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Drake Dynamo
Drake Dynamo
Posts: 486

In the vast fog, far behind the two boats drawing together, shines a small light, almost impossible to notice from a distance. It is a third, much smaller, boat. A rowboat, to be precise. Within, dutifully rowing with a beat of one, two, one, two, one, two, is none other than Jimmy Mariner, the red-haired, eye-patched former pirate, and one-time associate of Gideon Stormstrider. And, taking a small nap in his ear canal is, to Mariner's dismay, the ghost of Mister Mauvais, that ratty old lecher.

How they have kept up with the expedition for so long is just as mysterious as their purpose- only time may tell what they have in store for the passengers of the Inexplicable.


On board the Inexplicable, Antonios Methodios and his daughter have returned to their cabin after breakfast, leaving Emma alone to stroll about the ship. By a zailor's reckoning, it's about 11:30 in the morning. As she makes her way along the deck, she catches sight of the vast pleasure yacht drawing near. As the sounds of raucous festivities grow louder, Emma stands for a moment in contemplation. Finally she nods in affirmation and equivocates, to no one in particular:

"Well, so long as it's not port, I suppose it's dark enough out to drink."
edited by Drake Dynamo on 2/1/2018

Oh no. Another post from that goon who goes on about statistics.

Drake Dynamo -Correspondent, Hesperidean Cider Drinker , Matchmaker, and Paramount Presence
The Antioch - The Coffee God (I do not check this account often)
Mr. Mauvais - A ghostly skullduggerous fellow, chopped up for the time being (Only active during seasonal events)

Guide to becoming a Poet-Laureate
If you need to discuss RP matters, I can typically be found on the IRC in #Argo.
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Posts: 2403

Henchard stood by one of the emptier and quieter railings. But, considering what type of boat this was, neither of those statements were exactly true. He vaguely remembered a time when he would have been chatting with others, exchanging stories and ideas. But before he could pursue those memories, or the thoughts that followed, a voice interrupted.

“Excuse me sir,” the speaker was a rather chubby man dressed in an ill fitting suit. Black ink trickled down from his badly dyed hair, which was clearly suppose to be brown. He smiled nervously.

“You are one of the guests from that ship, yes?” He stumbled on without waiting for an answer. “I have a job for you. There’s a woman, you see. Lovely lady, absolutely perfect. With, ah, one small problem. She refuses to see me, you see.” He swallowed.

“So I was hoping you would pass a note to her.” He fumbled with his pockets and pulled out a small scrap of paper. He held out his arm and it hung between them. “There, ah, will be a reward, of sorts.” Henchard took the paper.

“Excellent! So, she’s down below deck, can’t stand the noise poor dear, room 40C. I’d deliver it myself, but as I said, she won’t see me.” he chuckled nervously. “And make sure you tell her who its from! Only, you know,” he gestured to himself. “Make me sound better.” His hand circled in the air next to him, “Like that singer, you know, the one towards the front? Terrible person, absolutely terrible, but women seem to love him. No taste at all.”

Henchard nodded, not paying attention, and pushed past the man. Near the stairs to the lower decks, a dark haired man in a well fitted suit was singing to the crowds. About weasels, of course. London song writers needed to get some new material. Henchard shook his head and went down.

The room was easy enough to find. Henchard knocked and waited. The door opened a crack, but the corridor’s weak light did not penetrate the darkness inside.

“Who are you?” A voice asked from somewhere within.

Henchard handed over the paper without a word. After a moment’s hesitation, a thin, pale hand snatched it from him.

Henchard briefly wondered how she would read it, but a soft chuckle on the other side of the door put those thoughts to rest.

“The singer? Does that pig really think I’ll drag myself out, all prim and fancy and oh so foolish, for a trick like this?” Henchard could hear the sneer in her voice. A moment passed, and Henchard opened his mouth.

“No.” She said, and Henchard closed it. “No, this has gone on long enough. I’ll be there, and make sure he comes too! Tell your master whatever he wants, but make sure he’s there! It’s time this little charade reached its end.”

The door slammed shut, and Henchard wandered back upstairs. The man saw him coming and rushed over.

“Oh what did she say? She said yes, didn’t she? I knew she would! Beautiful creature, but no taste at all. But no matter, that’s all behind us now.” He started fiddling with his tie, but it was painfully obvious he didn’t know how to tie it.

“And for my payment?” Henchard looked around. The nearby couples were too preoccupied with each other to see anything else.

“Payment? My dear sir, look around you! You’re surrounded by more wine than you could drink in a year! That’s payment, more than enough! And that's not mentioning the ladies.” He looked down at his tie. “Now, is this crooked?”

Henchard’s face darkened, and he stepped closer to the man. The muscles beneath his suit flexed.

No one heard the splash above the music.

A gentleman seeking the liberation of knowledge, with a penchant for violence.
RIP suinicide, stuck in a well. Still has it under control.
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Sara Hysaro
Sara Hysaro
Posts: 4514

Now, what might she do until evening? A yacht zails into view, drawing invitingly close, as if answering Madison's unspoken question. She cocks an eyebrow, unconvinced. That sort of party? At this hour? She watches as her fellow travellers make their way to the other vessel one by one, each eroding more and more of her resolve in staying away.

She could stay aboard the Inexplicable. Cloister herself in her room, dig out one of several books she brought along for entertainment, maybe take a nap. But she knew the others would talk about it for the next several days if she did, fostering regret for passing up the chance to see so many ridiculous sights first-hand. That, and she'd only brought so many - best save them for an emergency. She rests her elbows on the railing, cupping her head in her hands, eyes fixed on the scandalous proceedings, emboldened by their relative isolation. Someone on the other side notices Madison's prying eyes, waving; Madison returns the gesture reflexively, lost in her own thoughts. Their conversational bellows fall on deaf ears.

She'd feel so much more comfortable socializing in a pub filled with adventurers than cavorting in a decadent revel populated with hedonistic toffs and bohemians. An optimist might postulate these are adventurous bohemians, but the vibe is so clearly unlike her normal fare.

Her eyes catch a hint of movement, over on the other side. Was that a splash? Did a drunk tumble over the railing? Well. That's no different at all.

Madison sits up, stretches. No sense in delaying further the inevitable. A strange sound reaches her ears as she crosses - the splash of oars in water? Must be the rescue crew.

* * *

Inside, the party hums with dancing, flirting, and salacious gossip. Lord P_____ did what with an artist and a nun? And where? Oh my. He'll be lucky to be back in London before the Feast ('so won't we!' a reveler cheers). A dark-haired singer belts out some Mahogany Hall craze; his audience flutters, captivated. He catches Madison's curious eye and playfully winks; Madison recoils like a tortoise under the unwanted attention, pushing a lock of hair behind her ear as she looks away.

The darker edges conceal lovers in varying degrees of intoxication and indecency - ravenous eyes, exploring hands, intimate whispers; Madison blushes, embarrassed at their sight, and quickly busies herself with locating the refreshments. Alcohol is just what the doctor ordered to render this revel bearable. Fortunately, the bar is well-stocked with nearly any beverage you could name (and several you could not). Drink in hand, she considers her options, subconsciously gravitating towards the buffet as she travels the path of least resistance. Any familiar faces in view? Well-travelled storytellers? Someone grumbles, reaching past Madison to nab a lemon biscuit. Madison apologizes softly, moving out of the way of hungry carousers.

Somewhere along the edges Madison spies the telltale cushions of a make-shift honey-den. Eager dreamers sigh into their beds, disappearing into unknown worlds. An affable woman oversees the operation, notable by the paper rose tucked into her braided hair. A peaceful moment of relative solitude becomes increasingly attractive a prospect amid the surrounding chaotic air. Stopping her from taking the plunge was an underlying worry it might become literal.

Anything more to gaze upon? Certainly - there's seemingly no end to the wonders this yacht offers. Madison's patience, however, has a very distinct end that has quite reached its limit; she makes her way back to the yacht's deck, cutting through the crowds as politely as she can manage. The revelers part with surprising grace in her wake, almost dancing out of the way - perhaps they are accustomed to even swifter retreats? The cooler air beyond the door offers solace from the cloying atmosphere of the party's heart. A waiter notices Madison's nearly empty glass and tops it off. Much better.

Please do not send SMEN, cat boxes, or Affluent Reporter requests. All other social actions are welcome.

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E. L. had taken to dressing almost as carelessly as most zailors, and was probably mistaken for a crewmember by most revellers, which definitely proved useful for sneaking around the yacht. The party had been going on for some hours when she had mostly finished her work (a little lurking and spying, though there was no one interesting enough on board to make that really worthwhile, and a few unattended trinkets picked up here and there) and wondered whether she should bother trying to enjoy herself a bit.

This just wasn't her crowd. Bohemians at the height of their fashion and their wealthy patrons - the artists would already be on the decline, and their patrons already looking to someone else, a month from now. While her mother, of course, was in her element. Last she saw her, she'd been discussing the details of Rubbery and Mushroom reproduction with a Mycologene poet and her new best friend Squidley. Or trying to, at least - they'd reached a state of inebriation where staying focused on a topic became a real effort even when wurbling wasn't involved. But E. L. did not doubt that they would keep talking forever, if given the chance - they'd been drinking Chartreuse from Godfall; that drink got your tongue wagging like no other. The bar really was exceptionally well-stocked, she conceded - and already mused whether it would be possible to nick a few bottles for dryer times, when she spotted a familiar figure from her own party leaning on the railing.

"Well," E. L. thought, "this girl Madison seems nice enough, and by that faraway look on her face she's not feeling any more at home with this crowd than I am. Now let's see whether she's any fun."

Sidling up to the young woman, she smiled roguishly, and asked: "Bored? Me too. Hey, what's that you're drinking? No matter." Without missing a beat, another passing waiter had already positioned a filled glass in her outstretched hand. "Can't complain about the service, can you? Cheers!" After taking a gulp, she exclaimed, "my ****, that's real grape! And they're handing it out like... now, look here, I've had a thought. You see, this here yacht has all this really exceptional vintage, and I've heard the most terrible rumours about our captain's port, and even if those are exaggerated, we're definitely not stocked as well as these toffs are. I mean, they could probaby lose a crate or two without even noticing! So I thought, how 'bout we think about ourselves a little here, you know, who knows what's ahead anyway, might well be days coming when we'll need some classy lubrication a lot more than these fancy **** ever will, ya know what I'm sayin'?" She finished her glass in another gulp, slightly out of breath. "So what do you say, are you up to some off-the-books procurement of expeditionary supplies, or am I treading on your honour here?"

edited by phryne on 2/6/2018

"Expect little, and little will disappoint you. But day after day, I expect as little as I can, as little as I can bring myself to, and still I find myself disappointed."
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Posts: 1462

Evensong wasn’t meant for parties like this. Oh, she had been to plenty before Dirae Erinyes. Dressed as a waiter, one hand carrying a tray, of glittering glasses as the other hand slips into pockets, purses, dangling jewelry. . .all held their secrets. Dressed as a demure maid, eyes never leaving the floor, an ambush behind the stairs, a snapped neck masked by inspired singers. Evensong looks for familiar faces from the dossiers that crossed her desk, but nobody here is a player or piece that she recognizes. Not on this ship of fools.

Not that Evensong could carry out such orders, not dressed like this. She was not a waiter, a maid, or even a humanoid shaped shadow. No, she was part of the _guests_. A role that she had not grown into, despite the years of marriage. . . even so, this dress, crushed velvet with small diamonds, the skirt showing the phases of the moon. Each moon was parabola-linen, glowing with jungle light. Evensong told herself that she had no clue how she let herself be talked into this – but the memory of the Invisible Hunt, Dirae Erinyes measuring the too soft and heavy material against her, murmuring verses from the Faerie Queene, La Belle Sans Merci. . .Evensong never thought of herself as sentimental, prone to Bohemian romanticism. She had spent too much time sulking around Veilgarden, eavesdropping on impromptu serenades, and ignoring drunken verses thrown at her. But when Dirae Erinyes harsh voice whispered in her ears, she felt herself melt into sodden wax as Dirae Erinyes placed a Russian style tiara of deep purple glim. The same tiara caught her eye in the mirror’s reflection. In that moment, she watch the moon pearls jewelry wane another silver. Evensong wondered if they truly reflected the unseen moon as venom-ruby thrummed at her throat.

A waiter interrupts her reflection, with a tray of smoked fish crisps. Evensong gives stiff thanks and quickly swallows it, a vain offering to her hungry stomach. As the waiter turns around and the other guests remain lost in their gaiety, Evensong palms a lit candle stub from a nearby candelabra. (A luxury that surprised even her – open flames are abhorred on the zee.) She smothers the flame with a quick puff, carefully holding it so a casually glance would see just another hors d’oeuvres and so the wax does not clot on the silk gloves. The hot wax scalds her tongue and sooths her gnawing stomach.

Liking away the last of the wax, Evensong sips the wine, letting it linger on her tongue, tasting for a hint of poison among the mushrooms. Her task is made harder with the thick layer of perfumed fog, even with the strong zee wind blowing down from the deck. Finally, she swallows. Evensong keeps her sips small, to forestall further drunkenness. But this wine is strong stuff, stronger than any Greyfield’s bottle. (This is the same wine that Dirae Erinyes always toasts “We are drinking the falling stars!” Evensong often wanders the origin of that toast, but has never asked. Maybe they drink the falling stars on the surface. They tell many stories about the stars on the surfaces, at least Dirae Erinyes does, especially about the one that fell, and then fell further into love. But surely stars can’t fall in love?)

Thinking of stars and love, Evensong looks across the room, watching Dirae Erinyes hold court among flock of other guests. Their outfit today was at least complimentary colors, a purple-tinted parabola linen suit whose landscapes slid out of mind, a rose patterned mask, and salivating blue gloves. Evensong leaves behind her wallflower corner to join Dirae Erinyes side. She admires how those arsenic green eyes gleam even brighter despite the dim lights. She gives a quick peck, worrying that if she did anything more, she may cast aside her face, letting herself be closer than lip to lip.

“So, there was this Rattus Faber that climbed on the stage” Dirae Erinyes pauses, returning the quick peck and draping a protective arm around Evensong shoulders as they quaff the whole glass. “So, this Rattus Faber has the smallest bloody banjo you had ever seen. . .” None of the flock questions it – Dirae Erinyes reputation proceeds them. Evensong remembers when they first walked into the Foreign Office, scandal and self-destruction still clinging to them from the Court. The snickers of the Face when Dirae Erinyes offered Evensong a sip from their hipflask. Evensong was one of the few that knew enough to question how Dirae Erinyes could drink oceans, how they could drink anything all. More memories, of stained journals hidden away, brought by a surface runner. One of the few secrets that laid heavy on their tongue as Dirae Erinyes read the latest letter from their family. Their family complaining of the most unusual robber, one that only pawed through old letters and papers up in the attic . . .

Memories and diagrams are interrupted in Evensongs mind as another joins the flock. A sandy-haired man in a white suit cautiously approaches, hand outstretched to Evensong, eyes watching Dirae Erinyes. After a minute of throat clearing, Dirae Erinyes stops their story, cracking “A don’t be such an idiot smile,” to him, and releases their arm around Evensong. Evensong does not take the hand, just considers it. “So, talking about little banjos. . .”

“I need a partner an Elder Continent dance called the Butterfly Dance.” Hesitation flees and Evensong takes his hand. He nervously explains the steps but does not listen. Her people created this dance. He ends apologizing that they don’t have the shawls he had seen in his travels. But they would like silly at a proper London party. Evensong keeps her mouth closed, so she doesn’t tell him that they are more than clothes, that they form the wings.

He stands in front of her as they start. The footwork is delicate, like any jig and lilt from the surface. One foot is always off the ground, often both. They hold their arms out in a grand swooping motion. The drums start slow, but speed up, transforming the swoops into frantic fluttering, and spins. Evnesong closes her eyes, feeling the non-existent shawl flutter in her grip, its fabric fanning out. She knows her partner is watching her expectantly, but the start is not a partner dance but the part danced by and for yourself. But of course Londoner’s would turn it into a partner dance – they must make everything romantic.

Then the strings join in and the second phase begins. Her partner puts both feet on the ground and has to stop dancing as he puts his arms out. Evensong is disappointed but remembers that humans are not as strong as her people as she leaps, his arms grip and throw proving further momentum as she soars. Too soon she is caught by plump matron-who does not jump and join in the air like her people do-but instead holds still and laughs about Evensong’s quick feet. Evensong does not care, as long the matron holds out her arms for her to leap and soar again.
edited by Shadowcthuhlu on 2/5/2018

(A quick note on the snuffer dance. The first part is based off the Fancy Shawl Dance or Butterfly Dance, which is a fancy powwow dance (which means it doesn't have religious significance but is used for social powwow dancing and competitions. Video I used for inspiration is here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyYyCnSB6v8 )
edited by Shadowcthuhlu on 2/5/2018

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Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 882

The Everpresent Witness, carrying several wooden mirror-frames under their arm, is the first one to discover the Moulting Eidolon, garlanding their hair with colourful serpents. The Witness proves to be quite well-read, and quickly recognizes the Eidolon as a relative to the Lords, if not one of them. Soon, Amets is introduced to every single member of the wild gathering of Bohemian dream-voyeurs, honey-sippers and sleeping beauties that have dreamt themselves here from a nearby yacht.

They shake hands with the Insatiable Seamstress, who offers lukewarm opinions and occasionally helpful criticisms towards every single part of the Eidolon’s attire, from the boots and all the way up to the hat. As for the serpents, she says nothing, merely smiles. She might be assuming that they’re natural, or ritually important. The Eidolon does not care to dispel that impression.

They shake hands with the Transfixed Artiste, his hands unceasing during your discussion about the flora and fauna of the dreaming world. Some time after this conversation, he hands Amets a page ripped from his sketchbook, filled with detailed portraits of them, from various angles and various moments. He explains that he had spares.

They shake hands with the Covetous Tragedian, who has very peculiar opinions on the Celestial movement and the nature of death. It’s tiring, they confide, to have to preserve one’s mortal life where so very few care about it. Especially on such a tight budget. They cannot even play in their own tragedies: “The only believable death down here,” The Tragedian says, “is a real one.” The Eidolon can only suggest exploring other narratives: Poverty, debts, law-breaking, unreturned love, longing for the impossible.

They shake hands with the Nostalgic Ex-Wastrel, who occasionally wears a stuffed glove and often bemoans her own foolishness. She had a paramour, once, for whom she’d give her life up. Quite literally. The stub on her right hand where a thumb should be was all her doing. A bloody gift to her paramour and a sign of the Ex-Wastrel’s dedication to her. Alas, the paramour did not appreciate the gruesome item and broke off the romance. The Ex-Wastrel, now jaded, wants to be able to experience that all-consuming love again, and has been doing fine without the thumb. She’s learned to play a mean drum.

They shake hands with the Disjointed Card-Counter, who was taught gambling strategies on the Surface, and then imported them to the Neath. Under the current mayor’s rule, he was able to win himself noble titles and several estates. He did more than count cards, but his proficiency at poker made the title stick. People would gather to test their skills against him until they’ve spent their last penny. One of them even gave up the hand of his daughter in marriage. The Card-Counter’s family life is stable as a rock and as respectable as membership in the Parthenaeum (which he does have), but he feels lost in his own shoes. That’s why he’s here, drinking and dreaming away his fortunes.

Eventually, the conversation turns towards the Eidolon’s own history. What strange things they saw, what secret miracles performed, what wonders experienced? Amets, of course, has stories to spare.

Stories of the river where nightmares spawn, where a secret, marvellous flax grows, and images of the beautiful dawns, cheery noons and handsome evenings that flash in the linen woven from it.

Stories of the tree that takes root beside it, ripe with Hesperidean apples which are then made into the infamous Cider, and the snoring serpents that guard it.

Stories of the Fingerkings and their Conjunctions, who have always been and always will be, who cannot change ‘cept by consumption, who have found a strange kinship in wearing stolen flesh.

Stories of one such named the Orts, who trades memories for visions, reason for passion, whose clients are insane, but happy.

Stories of Parabola itself. The trees that are stone, the boulders that are wood. The Hanging Mountains, the monochrome beauty of the Castle of Forests.

By the time the Moulting Eidolon is finished talking, every last bohemian had already mentally agreed to give up a part of their life for the luxuries of the world behind mirrors. Every last bohemian agrees to the deal and makes their promise. Everybody but the Everpresent Witness, who only clutches their mirror-frames tighter.

“This has been a most educational meeting. Alas, I am too well-read. I know what would happen to me were I to accept this deal. Have a marvellous day.”

With that, the Witness stands up and heads out. Nobody stops them, each reveling in the possibilities of their new existence.

Amets leaves next, simply closing their eyes and letting themselves fall down unto a comfortable lounging-bed. When they open their eyes - silver and reflective like a mirror - they see bright colours of the yacht, hear the sounds of music and talking, smell the flagrance of a dozen different perfumes.

They start giggling, then laughing, then snorting. They don’t remember the names of the people they met in that dream. They barely remember who those people were. Yet, here they are. In the Insatiable Seamstress’ body. Their body now, really. The rest, too, are theirs.

They stand up. They have a world to explore, an identity to get comfortable in.

[spoiler]Feel free to use all the bohemians mentioned. They're minor characters at best and I don't intend to do anything beyond this yacht party with them, but they all have meddling-to-good concepts and backstories.[/spoiler]
edited by Vavakx Nonexus on 2/8/2018

Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: Caring is the forefather of sorrow.

Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.

Charlotte and the Caretaker: A family?
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Sara Hysaro
Sara Hysaro
Posts: 4514

Madison glances at her pocket-watch, bored. She had thoroughly wandered the deck looking for entertainment, finding small scraps here and there: a small circle of casual poker players, with which she'd won 50 echoes and lost 40 of them; a sudden bout of fisticuffs, ending with the two men fleeing from a livid matron's brandished cane; a brief interlude with a group of shuffleboard players, until an overly aggressive move resulted in an escalating round of slapstick, and Madison was asked to leave. She was just about ready to call it a day when E.L. approached.

Immediately, Madison finds herself reminded of a childhood friend, mind whirring with a mischievous prank or plan. It would always start with a thought, followed by a slow descent to the heart of the matter. Her old friend took more detours, dancing around the point until the listeners themselves name it; Madison finds herself wondering how they're faring, wherever they might be, before pushing those thoughts away - there are more pressing matters at hand. Soon enough, E.L. voices her proposal - a wine heist?

"Hmm," Madison ponders, momentarily. The yacht certainly wouldn't notice a small disappearance - judging by how freely the wine is flowing she almost suspects this lot has enough to subdue the Royal Navy. By the time anyone might note a discrepancy the Inexplicable would be long gone, both in view and memory. Not too far off, a man empties the contents of his stomach over the railing, chasing down the aftertaste with yet more wine.

The proposition would be compelling sober. After a few? Madison could hardly resist. She grins, only the threat of attracting attention preventing her from offering a firm handshake. "Why not? Count me in."

Please do not send SMEN, cat boxes, or Affluent Reporter requests. All other social actions are welcome.

Are you a Scarlet Saint? Send a message my way to be added to the list.
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The Atumian Sputum
The Atumian Sputum
Posts: 139

In one of the darkened corners of the main partyroom of the yacht, hardly distinguishable amongst the other lustful bohemians of similar intent filling the shadows, the Gruff Young Toff tries desperately to make love.
His white form, ivory coattails fluttering with effort and blond hair messy about his masculine face, obscures some other, slender figure - the legs of the latter, feminine and straight, stretch out between the Gruff Young Toff's own. Unlike the Toff's own legs, and all the legs of the wild young bohemians doing scandalous things about them, they are completely still. For all the world, it looks as if the Gruff Young Toff were indulging in a more sinister, macabre sort of love-making, found more often in the Tomb Colonies than in Veilgarden (though everything is found in Veilgarden, if one knows how to look).
Finally, with a cry of frustration, the Gruff Young Toff breaks away, slicking his messied hair back angrily.
"I say, Rory," he cries, "What the Devil's the matter with you today?! You're still as a board!"
The object of the Gruff Young Toff's efforts is now revealed to be Rory Sketch. Lithe and young, he is, undisputedly, best labelled as "a beauty." Golden locks, styled in an anastole, fall down about an androgynous face, long lashes, dark as the night, fluttering about eyes filled with an icy blue beauty. The elegant, gentle lines of his face combined with the carved fullness of his lips (not to mention the length of the aforementioned eyelashes, naturally drooping and curved away from the eye as if born perfected) come together with the slender body to create an appearance whose gender is decided entirely by the eye of the beholder. He is, as whispers about the room presumptuously declare, "Veilgarden's current beau," though terribly poor for the position, even by an artist's standards - rumor has it he has no boarding of his own, merely couchhopping ("or, rather, bedhopping," - a scandalous smirk on the face of the speaker, blushes on their listeners, tittering giggles all around) about Veilgarden. His current position as the Gruff Young Toff's lover was the only way he was even able to board the ship, the rich young aristocrat territorially latching an arm about the beauty the entire ride thus far, showing him off about the ballroom as the Toff's latest trophy.
The beauty sighs deeply, leaning forward and setting his delicate chin upon his hands.
"I'm in love, darling," he declares.
"Well, of course you are!" the Gruff Young Toff exclaims, "But I'm right here! Attempting to express that very love! Whatever have you to be so damnably mopey about?!"
Rory turns his eyes to the Gruff Young Toff. He reaches forward, setting his own small hands atop the Toff's large ones.
"Not with you, darling. With another. And besides, I simply can't be happy at a party when I'm in love, no matter who it may be for. Parties are a terrible place for love."
A slideshow of emotions plays across the Young Toff's face - bewilderment, then anger, then confusion, then back to anger again. He rips his hands from Rory's and the beauty looks up at him seemingly surprised, eyes wide.
"What the Hell is that supposed to mean?!" the Gruff Young Toff shouts, "With another?!"
"I'm sorry, darling."
"You damnable whore!" the Gruff Young Toff cries.
He swings his arm back for the inevitable strike, found on all his past lovers, before a hand appears on his wrist, clutching it in place. Both sets of eyes, Rory's and the Toff's, turn to look.
"Not so fast, you coward," the Dramatic Romantic hisses, standing tall and heroic, "If you're even think you're going to hit her, you'll have to go through me first."
"Right, then!" the Gruff Young Toff exclaims, and the two launch at each other.
Rory sighs, turning away and setting his head down in his hands once more as violence explodes behind him. His eyes fix on the floorboards where bohemians dance, but his gaze is somewhere else - sad and far off.
"An awful place for love," he mutters, rubbing his eyes, "An awful place for love."
He rises, folding his hands together behind his back. The formal stance, the dancer's poise, the elegance as he slowly walks across the room, deep in thought - gossip continues amongst the eternally gossiping bohemians that watch him continue out onto the deck, wondering wherever he learned the makings of an aristocrat with no money, no patron, no birth of high standing. He claimed to be born of that old mad dandy, Professor Sketch, but this was accepted as merely another tall tale of a bohemian. Whereas the currently famous Sir Thomas Sketch of the Royal Navy could not escape his last name, Rory Sketch could not prove it.
The young beau stopped as he reached the railing, gazing out at the glass surface of the zee. He romanticized about being on some far island, perhaps with the fighting monks, away from all this - from the gossip and the romance and the fine clothes and the love. He daydreamed about the Khanate, the glowing lamps of every color, the mystery, the spies. He recalled the tall tales of pirates, of adventurers, of fortune tellers and legends. He dreamed about the one he loved.
He sighed, leaning forward on the railing and waiting for a story to find him.

Straight outta Dahut.
+6 link
Drake Dynamo
Drake Dynamo
Posts: 486

Finally caught up to the two massive boats, Jimmy Mariner ties his small rowboat to the pleasure yacht, and finds enough loose bolts to shimmy aboard. With the introduction of the Inexplicable's crew to the pleasure yacht, Mariner's shabby coat and pirate garb does not look so out of place amongst the bohemians. In a hurry, Mariner begins to scan the faces of the passengers.

"This is not good Mauvais," Mariner mutters to the ghost in his ear, "we were supposed to make sure this specific thing didn't happen." The ghost merely whispers profanities back to the one-eyed zailor.

Mariner's eye widens as he spots Emma Dynamo moving through the crowd, but rapidly loses sight of her.

"Find her you fool! The Antioch will have both our heads if she finds him!" Mauvais exclaims in Jimmy's ear. Mariner now pushes furiously through the partying bohemians, drawing some ire.

Finally, Mariner sees who he is looking for, standing and chatting with some youth near the rail of the ship. Mariner draws the cloth coated in aether from his pocket, but then it is too late, as Emma's voice rings out across the deck: "DRAKE!?! What are you doing here?"

"...And so then your father bit off the poor Sailor's nose, and someone shot at him! It was quite the time!" Drake Dynamo finishes saying to young Rory Sketch, just as he hears his sister call out to him. He turns to see Emma emerge from the crowd of revelers.

"Emma? My goodness, I didn't expect to see you here! When did you come aboard?" Drake inquires. Emma tilts her head in confusion.

"Just now. I'm on the vessel that just docked, the expedition with Gideon Stormstrider. I thought you were off somewhere with your wife?" Emma responds. Drake nods.

"We were visiting the Shepherd Isles, and this boat docked there, and some strange fellow with one-eye said we might enjoy it on the yacht. Now, Lallinka wanted to head straight home, but said she trusted me to be responsible, and let me come home the long way on this yacht. But Gideon's having an expedition? I had no idea! When did you leave?" Drake explains.

"The 30th." Emma states.

"Well, we were set to return on the 28th! I would have certainly joined you had I known. But, I've been terribly rude! This here is, wouldn't you believe it, Rory Sketch! The son of Professor Sketch! I was just telling him about his father. But you two should talk, I'm going to find Gideon to see if I can join this quest of yours. It sounds terribly fun!" Drake rapidly remarks, before darting off into the crowd. Emma turns to face the young Sketch.

"Well Rory. I once met someone pretending to be you. A long story, that one. Would you like this dance?"

Mariner has extricated himself from the party and now descends stealthy back into his rowboat.

"Alright Mauvais, we need to find a way to separate Drake from the expedition before they get to the Surface. The fate of the Antioch's endeavor depends on it."
edited by Drake Dynamo on 2/9/2018

Oh no. Another post from that goon who goes on about statistics.

Drake Dynamo -Correspondent, Hesperidean Cider Drinker , Matchmaker, and Paramount Presence
The Antioch - The Coffee God (I do not check this account often)
Mr. Mauvais - A ghostly skullduggerous fellow, chopped up for the time being (Only active during seasonal events)

Guide to becoming a Poet-Laureate
If you need to discuss RP matters, I can typically be found on the IRC in #Argo.
+4 link
The Atumian Sputum
The Atumian Sputum
Posts: 139

Rory smiles gently.
"Of course, Ms. Dynamo. And I'm sure you have - I'm not terribly unique. You can find a Rory Sketch, or a close enough version, in any corner of London," he says, and takes her hand.
As the two move forward into the shifting pond of dancers and join in the ritual, Rory fulfills expectation. He is lightweight, graceful - as the singer belts out the last dregs of a fast rhythm, Rory glides with Emma to the cheery tune with a skill and ease that shows his natural hand at dancing by seeming so effortless and real even when the beauty's attitude is clearly melancholy. The song ends and a slow one begins - Emma leads as Rory elegantly follows her lead, moving to the flow of the music as if floating weightlessly down a river. His natural ease and comfortability in the throes of dance combined with his lack of showmanship, preferring to following the lead of his partner and reacting perfectly to their choices, show him as not a consummate dancer, but as a born one. He is without exceptional training or passion for the art, but with a birth-given gift for it.
"Your brother was just telling me about the death of my Papa," his gentle voice, the accent a curious and subtle mix of Dutch and Italian, says, slipping through the notes of the music, "A very thrilling tale. I'm not entirely sure I believe it, no offense to Mr. Dynamo - Papa was never the type of man to die. But your brother. He's very curious. He speaks highly of you, you know. He seems kind. And wealthy. Kind and wealthy. All the kind and wealthy people seem to have facial hair, have you ever noticed that? And all the unkind are clean shaven. It's a good thing I have no money of my own, for I could never grow a beard of any sort."
The soft-spoken ramble, like a continually dripping opiate on the ears, meaningless and gentle, comes to a stop. He pauses, fixing the odd eyes on Emma's own, and kisses her softly on the cheek.
"Some people try to pay for me to kiss them," he says afterwards, "Would you repay the gift with a love story? I'm in such a thirst for stories tonight. I've lived this one too many times before."
He gestures vaguely at the rest of the party as he says this last bit.

Straight outta Dahut.
+4 link
Posts: 237

Gideon strikes a dramatic pose for the conclusion of his speech, spreading his arms wide in front of a small group of more eccentric party-goers. “Anyway, that about wraps up the story of the dastardly Canine Abstraction Society. Never did find that dog, but I learned some valuable lessons.”

They're hanging on his every word. The drooping eyelids, the shuffling feet, the loud insistence that they have to be elsewhere right this second – these are the hallmarks of a throng of rapt listeners.

“There he is, the man of the hour! Come over here, Squidley. You can fill them in on the rest of our tenure as London's finest detectives, driving about in a fine carriage to wherever evil rears its head and punching it right in the nose!”

Squidley flops bonelessly into a folding chair next to Gideon, gurgling like someone choking on a vol-au-vent. “Have you considered a throat lozenge, my Rubbery friend? One would almost think there was a blockage somewhere.”

It is at this very moment that Gideon notices that the noise is not coming from Squidley, but from an elderly gentleman in a pith helmet at the front of the crowd. The inventor snaps out of his grandiose speech in concern. “Are you all right there, sir?”

The man turns red, his eyes bulging. He holds a hand to his throat.

“Is anyone here a doctor? This man is choking!”

A few people nearby – those who were actually paying attention to the speech, possibly due to boredom – look around in alarm. Gideon's voice fails to carry above the sound of the crowd and the vigorous string quartet.

Oh, good grief. Gideon leaps down from the stage – a fearsome drop of almost two feet – and strides up to the choking man, the crowd stepping back to give them some space. Squidley's handicles wave in consternation.

His extensive medical training has prepared him for just such an occasion. He looks the gentleman firmly in the eye and thumps him on the back. With a sudden splutter, a half-chewed vol-au-vent goes flying across the varnished floor. Unbeknownst to Gideon, it will later go on to trip a dancing couple during a particularly ambitious twirl.

After he has regained the power of speech, the elderly gentleman addresses Gideon in the clipped tones of an upper-class officer. “Jolly good show, old chap! Life flashed before my eyes for a moment. Thought I was back in Crimea, run through with a bayonet by Johnny Foreigner!” He offers a hand to shake.

Gideon raises an eyebrow and accepts the handshake, wincing a little at the force applied by the older man. My God! It's like shaking hands with a vice.

“Sir Reginald Burlington-Smythe, at your service. I've not seen you aboard before – you must be with that old cargo ship. I was sure that a ship like that wouldn't accept our invitation, but it's jolly good that you did, eh?”

“Yes, I suppose so,” says Gideon. It's hard to tell with someone who doesn't strictly have hands, but it looks like Squidley is giving him a thumbs-up from his seat. Sir Reginald purloins two glasses of brandy from a nearby table and hands one to Gideon.

“Oh, I don't wish to impose...” says the inventor.

“I insist. It's my party, after all. What's the point if you can't give drinks to whomever you please?”

Gideon takes the proffered glass. Feeling Reginald's eyes on him, he chances a sip and finds it surprisingly pleasant.

“I made sure to get the best brandy shipped down from the Surface. Frightfully expensive, but worth it! I'd skip the port, though. It's like drinking lukewarm p___ – if you'll pardon my French.”

He leads Gideon over to sit at an empty table and plonks his glass down on the surface. It sways gently with the movement of the ship, which Gideon has scarcely noticed after the initial seasickness.

With a grunt, Reginald manoeuvres himself into the opposite chair. “Never get old, my boy. It creeps up on you like a Cossack and bludgeons you until you're a quivering ball of aches and pains. But this is my retirement party, and I'm determined not to let it get the better of me before I'm thoroughly drunk.”

Gideon nods in what he hopes is a reassuring fashion. The man certainly likes the sound of his own voice!

“Quite a send-off you've arranged,” he says, gesturing vaguely at the crowds of Bohemian types.

“There's precious few of us left from the old days, more's the shame,” says Reginald, taking another sip of brandy. “At one point it was just us old duffers sitting around exchanging war stories, but my grandson – honey-mazed wastrel, but a decent lad – was determined to make it into a song and dance. I've decided I like it. Almost makes me feel young again, seeing all this twirling and snogging.”

He pulls a hip-flask from a pocket, refills his empty glass. “Care for another, my valiant saviour?”

Gideon makes reluctant noises, but slides his glass over anyway. “One more couldn't hurt, I suppose.”
edited by JimmyTMalice on 2/15/2018

Gideon Stormstrider, the Episcopalian Esotericist
Jimmy T. Malice, gone.

A Tale of Two Suns - Meeting Your Maker - A Squid in the Polls
+6 link
Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 882

The Insatiable Seamstress is caught unabashedly drinking Strangling Willow at the bar, alone.

"I never took you for the self-indulgent type."
A voice from a neighboring seat. Masculine. Unexpectedly Sober.

A brief silence. A smile that can be interpreted as either wry or melancholy.
"Work has been wearing me down lately. And I figure that, since I'm here, I might as well indulge myself a bit."

"I suppose I can see how the influx of engaged lovers asking for suits and dresses would tire one out."
A few dry coughs. A sip of surface wine.
"I might just know the right thing to cheer you up."

A raised eyebrow is all it takes for the Insatiable Seamstress to be taken to the pitch-black room where lounging aesthetes huddle with sealed boxes filled with a common, sacred substance. She is given one of the boxes by a burly gentleman near the entrance, who closes the door behind her.

With the door closed, the room is dark the way only the darkness behind one's eyelids is.

Somebody unlocks one of the seals.
Opens one of the boxes.
A brilliant flash lights up the room.
Somebody lets out a quiet moan.
Another box flashes open.
The Seamstress, in turn, opens her own package.

If thunder-gods wield lightning spears, the rays of sunlight are arrows.
Within that box hid Apollo's chariot, from which he shoot Icarus is his flight.
Or Ra's solar barque, which he rides through the waking and dreaming worlds every day.
The guardians of these sacred places draw their bows, let loose their arrows of purifying light.

The Insatiable Seamstress is impaled by luminosity.
An effulgent sensation rushes through her body.
The light is a secret electricity in her blood.
Blessed splendour singes, scalds and scourges her skin.
Is this what moths feel when they dive headfirst into blazing fire?

The Seamstress' breathing is heavy and slow.
She is content to just lay on the bombazine-covered floor.
She closes her eyes.
The Sun is there, patiently waiting.
This is the reason the Eidolon is on the expedition.
This light that has now carved itself into their memory.

There is no need to say that the experience was divine.
edited by Vavakx Nonexus on 2/17/2018

Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: Caring is the forefather of sorrow.

Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.

Charlotte and the Caretaker: A family?
+7 link
Drake Dynamo
Drake Dynamo
Posts: 486

Emma nods, and stares off in deep thought for moment before turning her attention again to Rory.

“I’ll give you a story. Perhaps you'll find something meaningful in a tale from this old girl's past."

"Long ago, when I was but a young lass, perhaps around your age, I was in London. It wasn't long after the Fall. In fact, now that I think about it, it was just after the campaign against Hell- which, I might add, I fought in. If only a smidge." Emma chuckles at this.

"Anyway, I met this absolutely darling woman. A bit less that a decade older than I was. Long red hair that fell to her waist. Deep green eyes. And, if you'll allow me to harken back to my days on the zee, a pair of cannons on her like you wouldn't believe, if you catch my wake." Once again, Emma laughs, this time deep and bawdy.

"As it happened, she had a bit of a fancy towards me, as I did towards her. We went on a few outings at first, attended some bohemian revels- probably not unlike the kind I heard your father frequented. And then we were inseparable. We were wild and libertine, running with a fast crowd. Luxurious parties and balls every night. All sorts of exotic pleasures. I was infatuated with her, and the world she was showing me. But, as you can probably guess, it came to end." Emma sighs now.

"After a period of time, perhaps four months or so, she grew tired of me. I had wanted us to make a serious commitment to each other- not marriage, yet, but to recognize what we meant to one another. Perhaps it frightened her- it is not just men who fear commitment. Or perhaps it made her dwell on her age, although she wasn't even 35. While Cider has kept me young, not everyone is that fortunate, and perhaps she wanted to hold onto her youth for as long as possible; indeed, maybe my own relative age made her self-conscious. Whatever the reason, she spurned me, poisoned our friends against me, wouldn't speak to me. I wonder if that made it easier for her- out of sight, out of mind, as they say."

"I, of course, moved on. I've had dalliances here and there since, raised my lost brother's boy as if he were my own, and lost him most tragically at zee. But I've yet to find one I've felt the same way about as that woman those years ago." Emma pauses, wistful.

"When you find someone, Rory, who makes you feel that way, don't let them go. Not without fighting the good fight first." She smiles. "I know you'll find your someone."
edited by Drake Dynamo on 9/19/2018

Oh no. Another post from that goon who goes on about statistics.

Drake Dynamo -Correspondent, Hesperidean Cider Drinker , Matchmaker, and Paramount Presence
The Antioch - The Coffee God (I do not check this account often)
Mr. Mauvais - A ghostly skullduggerous fellow, chopped up for the time being (Only active during seasonal events)

Guide to becoming a Poet-Laureate
If you need to discuss RP matters, I can typically be found on the IRC in #Argo.
+3 link
The Atumian Sputum
The Atumian Sputum
Posts: 139

Rory pauses - the two dance in silence for a moment.
"That is a very good love story, Ms. Dynamo," he finally says, quiet voice a touch hard to hear over the sound of violins, "And as with any good love story, very sad. I find fast loves are very much like horse races - have you ever been to one? I had a good friend once who loved to take me to them. I never very much understood the attraction, but I liked the gaiety it brought about in people, and I made a very good acquaintance of a jockey who used to love to hear my poetry. But I find they are very much like fast loves because while the race is going, they are so passionate, so gay, and all of a sudden they come all skidding to a halt and one person is pronounced the victor. For all that passion and gaiety, everyone else is left sad, except the victor and those who were betting money on them - those people that shunned you, in this case. But there are always more horse races, if you choose to keep attending them. Personally, I feel I've been to too many. I cry far too much to be any good at race-loves."
The model seems lost in thought once more, looking out over Emma's shoulder.
"Though nothing seems to be very fast about the love I feel now, and still I cry. Everything is so slow and melancholy," he mutters.
Once more tears seem to well up in Rory's beautiful eyes. He glances at Emma and lets go of her abruptly.
"You must excuse me, Ms. Dynamo. It was ever so nice meeting you!" he says quickly, already turning away.
The young poet runs off before Emma can say another word, losing himself from her sight in the churning sea of revellers. He floats like this for a moment, head buried in his hands and drifting between dancers, til he emerges on the other end of the ballroom.
As his tears slow, he wipes his eyes. He glances over at the corner of the room in which lounge the honey dreamers, to all the world residing in some other realm entirely, and contemplates losing himself. But this is an awful place to lose oneself.
It is at moments like this that he misses Italy. The summers, the beaches, the blue skies, the marble walls, the palace halls.
He shakes his head - he's written too many poems about that, far too many. In his few short years on Earth, he'd exhausted Italy's potential for poetry. It was either wander beneath the sun, forgetting his past, or go down below, to dive deep into it. And don't all poets live forever in the past? Isn't that where beauties belong? So he'd gone below, son of the sun forsaking one father to find another, forsaking a sky for a cavern, forsaking those sunset parties on the beach with the other youths of Italy, dancing about the campfire to the gentle laps of the waves, for...
He finds himself outside again, gazing at the Neath-stars once more.
He'll never find poetry on a pleasure yacht.
His eyes fall on the Inexplicable, floating in the water just beyond the yacht's railing.
Rory Sketch gathers his things and boards the Inexplicable, seeking sunlight, poetry, and answers to the many issues of love.
edited by The Atumian Sputum on 9/19/2018

Straight outta Dahut.
+5 link
Posts: 237

(Co-written with Drake Dynamo)

After an hour of conversation and brandy with Sir Reginald, Gideon has become rather merry. His cheeks are flushed, and he bursts into raucous laughter at every ribald joke from the older man. Reginald, though inured to the effects of alcohol through his years in the officers’ lounge, is beginning to slur his words.

When Drake Dynamo finds him in the billiards room of the Swallowtail, Gideon has abandoned all propriety. With unsteady hands he draws back the cue to strike a ball on the green velvet surface of the table, squints in concentration, loses his grip on the stick and promptly falls over, smacking his head on the wood-panelled wall.

Reginald watches from an armchair through twin eyeholes in a newspaper - the perfect disguise. “Jolly good shot, my boy!” he guffaws.

“I do say, I’ve never seen that technique before,” Drake remarks, entering the dim room. He lightly extracts a handkerchief from his coat pocket and rather daintily covers his face to avoid inhaling smoke. From the ashtray next to him, it is clear that Reginald has been going through cigars at nearly superhuman speed.

“It’s an experimental technique,” says Gideon, scrambling upright and brushing himself off. “This was merely a test run. Now we need to try it again with some more variables. Can you hold this cue ball one second while I get everything in order?”

While gathering the balls together on the table for another try, smoke curling about as his lanky frame disturbs the air currents, something occurs to him and he frowns deeply. “Say, Emma, you look different. Did you change clothes? There’s something… something I can’t put my finger on.”

Drake nods and approaches the table, setting the cue ball in place. “Well, Gideon, I believe you might be thinking of the wrong Dynamo,” Drake says, very deliberately rubbing his mustache.

Gideon’s brow creases further until the gears click into place in his head. “Why, naturally! How could I forget you? The long-lost Ernest Dynamo, in the flesh! I still remember that time we got mixed up in that Clay Man smuggling ring, you know. By golly, you gave that big Unfinished Man a seeing-to with your old one-two punch!” He mimes a punching motion, coming dangerously close to actually hitting Drake, then grabs a table leg to steady himself. “Did the doctors manage to fix your hand?”

Drake’s eyebrow raises further and further in incredulity throughout this account, to a point once thought humanly impossible. “As much I would love for you to regale me with tales of my younger brother’s exploits, I believe you might know me better as Drake Dynamo,” Drake says drily. “I was actually hoping to speak with you about joining your expedition.”

“Drake, of course, of course! Did Ernest leave, then? Never mind. Take a seat, please,” says Gideon, gesturing to a well-stuffed armchair. “Would you like some brandy? I’m sure Reginald won’t mind sharing. The more the merrier!”

A plaintive honk comes from beneath the billiards table, and Gideon sticks his head underneath. “Don’t worry, Squidley. I think your Rubbery biology might have taken to alcohol a bit too readily, so you’re experiencing the hangover before getting drunk. As long as you have a bit of a lie-down, you should be perfectly fine. Provided it doesn’t turn out to be toxic to your kind.”

Drake takes a step away from the table and, seeing the prone squid, gives him a friendly nod, before taking a seat in the armchair. “I’ll pass on the brandy, but I’d rather like us to discuss the logistics of your expedition. Where are you headed? As much as I love my wife, the married life has turned into quite a drag of late, and I need to take a break, if only to get the old brain working again,” Drake explains, tapping his forehead, and settling into the snug chair.

“Oh, we’re going all sorts of places, as I was just telling Reginald,” says Gideon. The old veteran puts down his newspaper and nods wisely. “They say you can smell the Chelonate before you even see it. Sounds perfectly ghastly, but we won’t be stopping over for long. I have a zubmarine to take us beneath the waves - top secret, you understand, very hush-hush.”

Gideon puts a finger to his lips and shushes everyone before continuing. “After we’ve been to the Gant Pole, we’re off to the Dawn Machine! Hopefully it won’t brainwash us all at once, so the survivors will have a fighting chance. After that, we’re off to the Surface. I have some unfinished business there. I know what you’re thinking - we’re all going to die horribly as soon as we step out into the sunlight - but I’ve thought of that too. I have a plan.”

Drake gets positively giddy as Gideon lists their destinations. “Oh that sounds terribly fun! I do hope you have room aboard for one such as myself. You never know when a Correspondent- and part-time university professor, I might add- will come in handy. I haven’t been to the Surface in ages!” Drake exclaims, practically leaping from his chair. “Oh please let me come, Gideon, please.” Drake’s last sentence has the quality of an excited young urchin.

Gideon beams. “How could I say no to that face? You’re like a little puppy, albeit a less hairy one. Of course you can come! I might have to throw an excess zailor overboard to make room, but it’ll be worth it to bring another man of science along, especially an old friend. You may not want any brandy, but we should make a toast anyway.” He hands Drake an empty glass and clinks it together with his own. “To business!”

“To business!” echoes Reginald from the other side of the room, raising his own glass. Squidley gurgles appreciatively.

“To science!” Drake enthusiastically declares, raising his empty cup.

Retreating from the bulkhead of the billiard room, the ghost of Mister Mauvais returns to the small rowboat where Jimmy Mariner waits, and re-enters his ear. Mariner sighs upon receiving the ghost’s update.

“Well, we’re in a pickle, aren’t we?”
edited by JimmyTMalice on 3/12/2018

Gideon Stormstrider, the Episcopalian Esotericist
Jimmy T. Malice, gone.

A Tale of Two Suns - Meeting Your Maker - A Squid in the Polls
+5 link
Drake Dynamo
Drake Dynamo
Posts: 486

Persephone slips from room to room aboard the vast party yacht until she finds one with a gramophone playing a song to her liking (as all teenagers are wont to do). One of many passersby hands her a glass of wine, which she takes readily. Persephone finds a standing table to lean on, and pauses to take in the music. A voice drifts from the speaker, mid-verse, you took a white orchid, you took a white orchid and turned it-”

Before Persephone can enjoy any more of the music (or a sip of her wine, for that matter), she feels a firm hand grasp her shoulder. She turns to find herself staring into the (rather angry) eyes of her father.

“Oh hello Papa, so lovely to-” Antonios does not let a single word more escape his daughter’s mouth before he has pulled the wine glass from her hand and thrown it on the floor. The shattering glass draws the attention of some nearby, who pause their conversations to watch the unfolding confrontation.

“What do you think you’re doing on a pleasure yacht? Did I tell you that you could come here?” Antonios spits, one hand clenched in a fist. “Do you know what kind of degeneracy goes on in places like this?” Persephone frowns.

“Papa, this is my song, can you please wait until it’s over? I don’t want you to ruin it,” Persephone remarks, rolling her eyes slightly.

“How dare you! How old do you think you are, anyway?” Antonios begins, before looking away from Persephone and shouting, “will someone turn off that d__n music before I take that thing and throw it into the zee!”

The exchange has now gotten the attention of everyone in the room, and the music cuts out with a scratch of the recording. Antonios refocuses his attention on the teenager before him.

“I have given you too much freedom, and entrusted you with too much responsibility. To think you would sneak away to go party when you have a job that you’re supposed to be doing! Do you even know where she is?” Methodios pauses and Persephone, her demeanor now shifted to one of shame, does not answer and merely glances at the floor. He continues, “just as I thought. I’m sending you home.” Now Persephone looks up in shock.

“What, papa, no don’t do that! You need me! You said-” Again, Persephone is cut off by her father.

“I do not need you, and what I said was that I could use your help. I am more than capable of seeing this out without you. And you have shown me that I have been handling you in a manner entirely inappropriate for a 16 year old girl. You are not an employee, or a colleague, you are a child, my child, and I must treat you accordingly,” Antonios declares.

“But papa, how will I get home? I doubt Gideon would want to waste a day of his journey to take me back to London,” Persephone pleads, painfully aware of the many eyes focused on her, judging her.

“You’re right, which is why, before I came in here looking for you, I spoke with the captain of this vessel. I’ve paid him a very generous sum of money to find an empty cabin for you, and keep you confined in it until you get back to London,” Antonios explains, gritting his teeth into a grim smile. Persephone’s face falls.

“But my things aren’t on-board, I’ll have to go fetch them and that will take-” Yet again Persephone is silenced, but this time it is by a raised finger.

“Enough. You have plenty of clothes at home, and whatever is still aboard Gideon’s ship will be returned with me. Consider a shortage of hats the first part of your punishment.”

“The first?”

“Oh yes, when I return home I will inquire about sending you to Abbey Rock. Hopefully, in addition to the skills they’ll teach you, they’ll instill some discipline in you. Now, we’re going to meet the captain.” Persephone’s face loses all color.

With that, Antonios grabs his daughter’s wrist and leads her from the room. Persephone follows, her footfalls lifeless and devastated.


And so, within the hour, Persephone is locked in a cabin aboard the yacht, lying on her back on a rather small bed, staring at the bulkhead above her. She is about to cry, when a sound coming through the floor catches her ear, and a smile creeps across her face:

“You got a reaction didn’t you? You took a white orchid, you took a white orchid and turned it blue.”

Well, at least they’re playing her song.
edited by Drake Dynamo on 3/18/2018

Oh no. Another post from that goon who goes on about statistics.

Drake Dynamo -Correspondent, Hesperidean Cider Drinker , Matchmaker, and Paramount Presence
The Antioch - The Coffee God (I do not check this account often)
Mr. Mauvais - A ghostly skullduggerous fellow, chopped up for the time being (Only active during seasonal events)

Guide to becoming a Poet-Laureate
If you need to discuss RP matters, I can typically be found on the IRC in #Argo.
+5 link
Posts: 1056

co-written with Sara Hysaro and suinicide, and
featuring a special appearance by The Atumian Sputum!

For a few minutes, the two young women have their heads together at their place near the railing. After her extensive sneaking around the beautifully-named Swallowtail, E.L. already has the bare bones of a plan in her mind. Madison nods along, finally suggesting “Don't suppose you know of anyone who might pitch in? An extra set of hands would really make this, I bet.”

“You’re right, we could use an extra hand. And I think I know just the guy,” E.L. muses, looking around for someone she had spotted a few minutes earlier. “There he is.” Dragging Madison behind her over the deck, through a throng of dancers who’ve just come out for some fresh air, she whispers to her: “My mother thinks this one’s soulless. If that’s true, he should be easy enough to convince for joining in.”

Madison eyes him from afar—something in his demeanor does remind her of the various soulless patients her father treated. She nods, “Yeah, I can see what she means.”

“Why, Mr Henchard,” E.L. says when they reach him, just as if she was completely surprised to run into him. “You might be just the man to help us out here.”

“What do you want and how much are you paying,” Henchard says in a flat voice.

“This is not about paying,” E.L. chirrups on, unaware that the last person to say this was thrown overboard, “we’re helping ourselves here, all of us on board the Inexplicable. Let me explain…”


"Which officer was it, again?" Madison whispers, smoothing out her "uniform". The mischief fills her with a nervous energy, eyes bright and alert, suddenly so much more conscious of every unknown sound. A slight smile almost plays on her lips, until she forces herself back into character. Focus.

“The Highrolling Bo'sun, of course,” E.L. whispers back. “From what I’ve heard, no one would be surprised by him gambling away the ship’s whole stock of booze, but let’s not take it too far. A few crates of the good stuff will suit just fine.”

"Right, right," Madison responds, wondering how such a man could maintain his position. Perhaps he is just that good at his job. Or maybe this whole yacht is too drunk to care. Suddenly, she hears a noise, not too far off. Footsteps, perhaps? She reflexively relaxes, letting go of any nervous posture.

“Nervous?” E.L. asks behind her. “That’s fine. Remember, there’s our very scary Gunnery Officer right behind us, and we just want to get this job over with quickly. It’s not a problem if we look uncomfortable.”

"Heh, true." Madison hoists up a crate, the bottles offering a pleasant clinking. She imagines what she'd be thinking now, were this scenario real. What punishments might await the dawdling zailor? Beatings? Lashes? The door opens before she can imagine any other horrors.

"Ah, excellent! We could really use an extra set of hands." Madison directs the perplexed crewmen to the next best pile of crates, careful not to lose grip on her own. "Grab some of those, would you?"

E.L. nods along eagerly, looking over her shoulder every few seconds. “Yeah, we could really use your help. Our Gunnery Officer said he’d come oversee the delivery and you really don’t want to get caught dawdling by him.” She manages to look suitably terrified by the idea. When the Swallowtails zailors’ faces show nothing but confusion, she raises her eyebrows and looks over to her ‘Second Mate’ with big eyes: “Is it possible they don’t know?”

Heavy steps can be heard coming along the corridor now…

"Apparently so," Madison replies, eyebrows raised in ‘surprise’, too. She hurries to explain at the sound of footsteps, eager to get moving before the ‘Gunnery Officer’ arrives. She attempts the proper mix of panic and irritation. "It's the Highrolling Bo'sun. Staked this wine with the Disjointed Card-Counter, of all people. You can imagine how that turned out. Now, can we get a hand?"

One of the Swallowtails crewmen lets out a long-suffering sigh. “Oh no, not again.” Another shakes his head. “I’m telling you, one day we’ll wake up and he’s gambled away the whole damn ship.”

Deliberately heavy, clunky footsteps sound from behind the door. Even through the wood, muffled murmuring can be heard. The ‘Gunnery Officer’ is here.

One zailor, obedience rivaling a Clay Man, picks up one of the crates Madison gestured towards without any additional thought. Another, keen as a knife, scratches under his cap, trying to recall if he had ever seen these two before. The last, curious as a cat, opens the door.

Henchard rushes in with an inarticulate roar, giving the crewman a kick to the shin as he passes. “You two and you and you!” He points in the vague direction of basically everyone in the room. “Grab the d___ wine already!”

The suddenness of Henchard's appearance and his convincing performance gives Madison a genuine start. His volume drowns out the pained hiss of the assailed zailor, holding his shin in regret. The remaining crew rush into action now, grabbing crates without protest. Soon, all hands are occupied with clinking containers and the air is tinged with the haze of apprehension.

Henchard lets out a roar. “Get moving! Up to the deck! If one drop of this is late, I’m cutting your rations again!” At his cue, the group sets out, carrying the soon-to-be-loot away.

E.L., in her role as excited young deckhand, sprints in front of the zailors, crying “Make way! Make way!” without actually waiting for anyone to make way. “Dammit, we need a reason for moving the wine to our ship”, she thinks to herself. And, lo and behold, what does she see up on deck? A young dandy crossing over from the Swallowtail to the Inexplicable, and apparently taking his few belongings with him! A passenger swapping ships? “Gods of the Neath, exactly what we need!”

Waving back to the zailors groaning under their heavy load, she cries “This way! Come on!” and runs after the young man. “Now let’s just hope this lad’s not a complete idiot.”

Rory Sketch turns, looking over his shoulder at a young zailor lass rushing his way. Her eyes seem affixed to him and he raises his brows. He doesn’t recognize her from his days on the yacht, but then, the whole pleasure yacht experience had, at best, always been a phantasmagoria of blurred faces.

“Good afternoon,” he says, turning and offering a friendly smile to the unfamiliar countenance.

“Sir,” E.L. pants with a sketchy salute. “You’re the Disjointed Card-Counter, aren’t you? That famous gambler who’s just won that poker tournament aboard yon splendid vessel there? We’re delivering your wine, sir. Your prize.” All the time, she keeps on winking like a madwoman.

“My prize, delivered so soon? How delightful,” he chirps, looking over the anxious crew behind E.L, “Well, go ahead and take the load of it to the hold, then—you two in the back there—” here he points to two of the heftier zailors with the heaviest loads, “—take what you’re carrying and come with me. I’ve a quick errand to run back on the yacht.”

He nods once more to E.L, smiling, and strolls once again across the boarding rail back over to the Swallowtail, the two zailors following him. He’s just had a splendid idea.

E.L. has no choice but to play along. The dandy is certainly no idiot, and apparently stealing some of their bounty right back. Well, nothing to do about that for now. She waves once more to the remaining carriers. “Follow me, I’ll show you the way to the hold. Not far now!”

Madison wishes she'd had opportunity to inspect this apparent new member of their expedition. Did they know where the Inexplicable was heading? Did they know one of the existing passengers? Alas, character has to be maintained. She looks over the crew; the threat of reduced rations keeping even the shrewd zailor in line, unquestioning and nervous. One of them stops awkwardly due to an itchy nose, and Henchard starts up again. “Move your d__n feet before I—” The zailor lurches into motion before he finds out exactly what Henchard had been threatening.

E.L. keeps bouncing back-and-forth along the line of zailors carrying crates of wine, careful to never stay long enough in one place to be forced to maybe actually lend a hand. Somebody murmurs “scobberlotcher” in her direction but as she’s never heard that word, she doesn’t mind.

In the end, the Inexplicable’s hold is considerably better stocked with drinkables, Henchard has not inflicted any lasting injuries, and E.L. good-naturedly hands out some bottles of Broken Giant among the Swallowtail’s crew members. “Good work, lads! No reason why we shouldn’t share out some of this stuff. Come on, let’s all have a drink together!” She deftly uncorks a bottle with her pocket-knife and proposes a toast: “To the Disjointed Card-Counter! May his luck never run out!”

"Aye!" Madison returns the toast with an amused smile, taking a hearty swig of her own bottle without revealing the joke. The other zailors join in jovially, pleased with the unexpected opportunity to partake in some of the good stuff. As the crew relaxes enough to socialize amongst themselves she takes the opportunity to ask E.L. a question, soft enough not to be overheard by the distracted zailors. "So who was that? Our ‘Disjointed Card-Counter’?"

“Buggered if I know,” shrugs E. L., “but seems a good sport. Glad to have him along.” She offers a bottle to Henchard, too, who just takes it and hides it somewhere beneath his clothes. An odd form of payment, but perhaps this wine is valuable. He ignores the odd looks, but glares at the zailors, daring them to say something. They wisely stay quiet. So does E. L. who only thinks to herself ‘this guy is weird as hell’.

"Expect little, and little will disappoint you. But day after day, I expect as little as I can, as little as I can bring myself to, and still I find myself disappointed."
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The Atumian Sputum
The Atumian Sputum
Posts: 139

The Lovesick Brute is not a self-proclaimed "romantic," as are many of the passengers on the Swallowtail. Nor does he look as the "romantics" do, who are bohemians ranging from the stylishly poor to the opaquely wealthy, bedecked in fine fabric and loose clothes, beautiful faces looking out from under drooping hair. No, he is not a "romantic," as the discount Byrons that populated the Swallowtail claim to be.
But nevertheless, he is in love.
It even says so, just there, in his journal.
"I am in love.
This was no joyous revelation for the Lovesick Brute, as the one he had fallen in love with was none other than Rory Sketch, who seemed to be claimed by the Gruff Young Toff. It was also no great surprise, however, for who wasn't in love with Rory Sketch?
He could take the Gruff Young Toff in a fight, he could, the Lovesick Brute. The Gruff Young Toff was a muscular sporting man, common among the masculine youths of the bourgeoisie who so took after the protagonists of those safari adventure novels, but the Lovesick Brute was bigger. No one stood a match for the Lovesick Brute, not when those meaty fists began to fly.
They did not fly now, however. They had not flown in some time.
Now they merely clenched in frustation, and those eyes that had once menaced many a frightened ring fighter now bore a more melancholy tint, frequently to be found fixed from across the room on the gently cascading hair that decorated Rory Sketch's head.
Love had disabled him, as love has a habit of doing.
The two had even had an opportunity to talk once. Unhappy in the Gruff Young Toff's arms, Rory spent many an evening on the Swallowtail conversing with as many a passenger as he could. He fit in too terribly well with this crowd and so after some time began speaking to the crew, whereupon he met the Lovesick Brute's young sister, who was the reason the Lovesick Brute was on this yacht in the first place. One thing led to another, an introduction was made, and soon Rory was reading the Brute poetry.
"I love you," the Brute blurted out.
And Rory had begun to cry.
Since then, the Lovesick Brute had remained here. In his room. No efforts by his sister succeeded in coaxing him out. He had tried his hand at poetry to express his feelings, remembering the beautiful verses Rory had shared with him.
"He is so pretty.
Damn it.
Damn damn damn damn it.
I am sad.
Like the moon."
So pressed on this state of melancholy.
It is on the fourth day of his seclusion, as the Lovesick Brute sits on his bed and stares at his fists as if seeking an answer from a reliable source to this new and strange problem, that Rory Sketch comes to his room.
A knock on the door. He ignores it, expecting his sister.
"Hello? It is me, Rory Sketch."
The dark eyes flash up to the door, then away. He turns, burying his head into the pillows of his bed.
A silence as the knocker awaits an unfound answer.
"I brought lots of wine."
Three pairs of eyes meet the Lovesick Brute as he answers the door, his large silhouette filling the frame. At the front, the familiar sapphire pools of Rory Sketch. Behind him, the turned eyes of two crew members, both of them carrying large marked crates.
"This is fine wine-" the Brute's eyes turn back to Rory; he feels a pang in his chest, "- and I'd like to share it with you, if you'd let me. I'm going on an adventure, you see, and I've just, well, I've just won all this wine and I've no one to drink it with because.. Oh, I've got no companion for this journey, you see, which means I'm.. All alone. And you seemed very friendly earlier and you were drinking wine. So I was hoping you'd.. Sort of.. Come with me."
By this time, those light sapphires are pointed down at the floor, towards the beaten and scuffed shoes Rory wears, worn down by a combination of too many dances and too little money.
The Lovesick Brute stares in silence til Rory looks back up.
"Oh," the Lovesick Brute says, looking away for a moment to clear his vision of this thing clouding his thoughts, "Yes, I-I love wine."
"That's delightful because I've so much of it and I love wine, too!" Rory chirps, and when the Brute looks back at him the young beauty is beaming, smiling proudly.
The happiness there creates a pulling sensation in the Brute's chest. Normally, when he feels his body pull, it is driving him into a fight. Now, this is different. He says the same thing he said the last time he felt this pull in his chest.
"I love you."
Rory pauses - the beam fades, but he doesn't cry this time, no sadness replaces that smile. He seems to think.
"I don't know whether I love you yet," he says slowly, "But I think I will. I know I could. Will you come with me, then? Because otherwise, I'll never rest til I know."
He smiles again, and the Brute can't help but smile back.
And so, as Rory Sketch strolls once more onto the Inexplicable, he brings with him a protector, one driven by the strongest driving force to protect of all. The sea senses the son of a father, the sun is dormant.
Rory Sketch finds a set of rooms, side by side, and moves into one, the Lovesick Brute residing with his wine in the other.
So begins an adventure.
edited by The Atumian Sputum on 3/25/2018

Straight outta Dahut.
+5 link
Reinol von Lorica
Reinol von Lorica
Posts: 100

Reinol sighs as the familiar buzz of revelry returns to his senses. Laughter, chatter, music. The pitter and patter of dancing feet. The party has been going on for...a few hours? He didn’t know. There had been other things to attend to.

Namely the Mirror System. It took him most of the evening but it was done. Under the guise of the revelries, he managed to position his mirrors in strategic locations around the Inexplicable. Not the hardest of tasks of course but takes time.

Admittedly, most of said time was trying to locate a palace discreet enough to not be immediately noticed by the crew. Which was not an easy task as he had little to no actual information on his fellows. And say what you want but he’d rather overestimate someone than underestimate them.

But the main point was, his job was done. The system was secure and ready to be used. He even took it out for a test run with positive results. So it was with a light heart that he found himself returning to the festivities.

In his wanderings, he managed to encounter a fellow Bohemian or a scholar and this naturally was followed by a lengthy discussion. Though even he grew tired of such things. It was at the lonely little corner did he truly find his comforts.

A tray of a questionable size sat before him, the plates that it bore housing a myriad of foodstuffs. Namely seafood. He took particular pleasure in devouring the grilled squid, stuffed with greens of many kinds, not all native to the Surface or even the boughs of London.

As he finished the last remnants of his third bowl squid-and-clam chowder which he guaranteed was a legitimate meal from the Surface, he pondered his plans. Namely, his lacking of them. Truth be told, other than the Mirror System and his Surface to-do list, there was not much he had in mind for the future at all. Maybe a bit of socialisation to earn a comrade’s trust would be advisable but he couldn't really be bothered. He never was an a sociable creature. Perhaps later. Yes. Later. Once he finished his blueberry and cream pie. And the lemon meringue.

Yes indeed.
edited by Reinol von Lorica on 3/30/2018
edited by Reinol von Lorica on 3/30/2018

+3 link
Tyr Teg
Tyr Teg
Posts: 8

Chapter 2 - Party flavors, party favors

After the eventful and fulfilling breakfast feast Tyr found himself lazing the rest of the day by tending to his weapons, oiling the triggers, dusting the barrels and sharpening the knives. During the breaks – while he was waiting for the oil to dry, he nailed a target to the door to his cabin and the thumping noises made by knives burrowing themselves inches deep into the wood proved to be a wonderful deterring mechanism against visits from random passengers stopping-by for a gossip. He was just calibrating the intricate scope of the Infernal Sharpshooter's Rifle when a sudden beam of lamp-light came through the window of his cabin and shattered on the crystals and lenses of the scope, bathing the cabin in rainbow light.
"Now would you look at that. As always in the Neath – beauty in the most unexpected places."
The hunter kept looking around in wonder, but just as suddenly as the light entered his cabin it disappeared as the ship the lantern belonged to approached Inexplicable's side to exchange greetings and possibly passengers. His curiosity sparked, Tyr decided to check it out.


30 minutes later he was wearing a tie, not his own, his shirt was half-way open and for some reason missing an arm and he was drinking from a glass with an uncertain liquid inside and trying to remember the words for his favorite zailing song.

Whiskey is the life of bat,
Whiskeeeey Johnnyyyyy,
O-whiskey is the life of bat,
Whiskey for my Johnnyyyy-O.

Tyr was sure he wasn't getting the lyrics entirely right, but the tune was easy to hum and popular among zailors and he heard a few voices from different portholes and one apparently half-bent over the railing and attempting to hum in-between retching. It was a very good party. And for some reason – what he had in his cup tasted like a Pinot gris. Wonderful.

Whiskey is the life of bat,
Whiskeeeey Johnnyyyy,
He drinks it out of a Clay-man's hat,
Whiskey for my Johnnyyyy-O.

While slowly stumbling his way along the deck Tyr noticed the two adventurous girls accosting the young Mr. Henchard. For a moment his reasonable, responsible part nudged him to follow them and find out what they were planing but he knew that he was quite beyond the point where reasonable thoughts mattered. He wasn’t yet at a point where he’d blow his cover, and if he were honest with himself – after his adventure in the Elder Continent he wasn’t even sure such a point existed anymore.

Oh well. Let the young ones enjoy their follies. He had more debauchery to commit and no matter how good the party was it wouldn’t last forever. Hearing a timid giggle followed by a deeper moan from a nearby cabin that he thought he thought he recognized as belonging to Mrs. Evensong he knocked on a door and the voice that answered certainly wasn’t Evensong’s but it was female and very inviting.

As the Surface-dwellers say – the night was still young.
AN: The zailing song is based on the shanty Whiskey Johnny. You can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/M_RoX7kOs_I
edited by Tyr_Teg on 4/7/2018

The Polite Peacemaker of Bazaar

Per situlas ad astra!
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