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 Aftermath of Tidewater Battle - Who Rules Port Town? [All PCs]

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PostSubject: Aftermath of Tidewater Battle - Who Rules Port Town? [All PCs]   Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:21 am

Storyteller Note: The following story takes place after the events of Tidewater Battle and the release of Port Town from Admiral Ferra's grip. Some are vague in terms of timeline to allow the player(s) involved to write in as they wish.

In most cities the first building erected is a place of meeting, a hall of power where judgments can take place, contracts signed, and laws enacted. In large cities, these places often become the great palaces and castles of kings and rulers.

In Port Town, that place, like many others, had been utterly destroyed by the floods of Tidewater Battle.

Now, mere days in the aftermath of the defeat of Admiral Ferra, a makeshift amphitheater had been created on the hillside of the High Homes. One of the few places left where damage was not so great to prevent construction, the merchant lords and guildmasters had spared no expense, wasted no time in the creation of this place. It was to be the selection chamber for the new ruler of Port Town and each had a stake in the game.

After a great amount of bickering, it had been decided that Berek the Indomitable, a priest of war and an Iron dwarf from the mainland, would preside. Despite having fought at the side of the Great Maw Creegan, Berek's true allegiance was to the city and to his great red god.

"Of course, it is obvious, we should be focused not on a single leader, but instead a council, a formalized council that can operate with the best interest of the city at heart." The calm voice of the Shipper's Guildmaster rang out in the midst of a hundred side conversations. Even after his tenuous alliance with the Saviors as the group from Salvana's Oasis was being called, the Shipper's Guild wanted little to do with them in charge.

"We would never get anything accomplished," Tyrant's bold voice rang out.

"And what would you propose? One of them?" Albaeri Mellikho's sneering tone cut through the ruckus. A small coalition had built behind her rallying cry. "Without them, none of this would have happened in the first place. Ferra hated them. Focused her hatred on us to get to them! They should be executed!"

A few gasps at the Slaver's words, but not many. By now the same arguments had been cast and recast a dozen times. More than half the guildmasters and leaders of the town were behind the Saviors. A few scattered here and there called for a council. Fewer still stood with the Slaver Guildmaster in defiance of any alliance with the Oasis.

Tension hung heavy in the air as the first of the Saviors stepped forward to speak.




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PostSubject: Re: Aftermath of Tidewater Battle - Who Rules Port Town? [All PCs]   Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:42 pm

Agrykos looked around at his companions briefly, knowing that it would be he who stood first but allowing the opportunity for another to speak none-the-less. A few glances back at him, obviously wondering why he hadn’t stood up yet was all he needed to spur him on to his response. He did not clear his throat. He did not use any of his theatrical magic tricks as he began in his rich, lilting baritone. Instead, he let his reputation and the actions of the week silence the crowd.

“I have remained quiet as you argued amongst yourselves. I have remained quiet as you bickered and flung conflicting ideas like darts meant for the eyes of your opposition. Now I grow tired. And I grow impatient. Therefore, I will tell you where I stand....”

“Who are you that “where you stand” matters in the governing of Port Town? This is not your home, demon!”

The voice of interruption belonged to Albaeri Mellikho. Her finery exposed her voluptuous body but concealed the cruelty of her role in the city. Tilting his head, Agrykos smirked and let the flames flicker in his eyes as he responded in an even voice.

“You pose an interesting point and an interesting question, Madam Mellikho. To your point, Ferra’s intent was to summon an evil god. If you think her “truce” with your city was anything more than a method of syphoning off resources and providing a city worth of safety between herself and my group, then you are delusion or a moron. In this case, I doubt you are either. You are afraid. You are afraid of me. Which brings me to your question. This answer is very relevant. I am Agrykos, former officer of the Black Company. I was known as the Voice of War and I can see on the faces of several here that you finally realize that inkling of recognition and fear you have held since my arrival. Who I am now, however, is what should concern you. I am the man… demon… man/demon... that brought in four people, raised an army on foreign soil, and destroyed an enemy that was within two weeks of reducing your fair city to rubble for her own purposes while you sat there and hoped she didn’t notice you. I am also....”

The same poisoned-honey voice interrupted again, “An outsider! A villain! You dare to….”

“Silence,” was Agrykos’ simple reply but it carried with it the weight of implied suffering and tinted with magic. The woman’s mouth snapped shut and she began to tremble.

“I know who you are, Albaeri Mellikho. Unfortunately for you, I know what you are, as well. Those here may not want to call you out; allowing you to stand as an equal in their ranks but I don’t rely on your wares or fear your wrath.”

A gesture and the woman’s slight trembling increased exponentially, sending her to her knees. She found herself lost and chained within a realm of mist with nothing but the voice of the tiefling to keep her company as he described the horrors she would suffer. While she receded into her own mind, Agrykos continued to speak to the crowd.

“I cannot stand slavers. I really cannot stand slavers who think that they are fit to threaten me and mine while flaunting the nature of their business. I am not here to clean your city of its vermin but this one. Well, I hate her.”

Another gesture and the slaver’s body began turning to stone, slowly hardening until she became a statue, the terror drawn permanently across her once pretty face.

“I suppose I will cut this short. Ish. I am not your friend. I am not your fellow citizen and you are not my concern. I am not here to run your city. I don’t even intend to stay in your city. My home is Salvana’s Oasis and my loyalty is to my Queen. I am also the chosen ambassador of Salvana’s Oasis and I will make whatever compacts with Port Town as are necessary to ensure the safety and success of my home. Your city has twice chosen to try to subjugate mine. It has failed once and the army hired to try again has fled. If you try again, I will come back. Not as a savior. Not as an ambassador. Not even as a conqueror. I will lay waste to Port Town and leave its remnants to the natives while the survivors scatter in the hopes of survival, arriving at my gates and pleading for safety. The other option is you choose your leader wisely. You choose someone that sees Salvana’s Oasis as a sister city and an ally against dangers that will inevitably arise. You will choose someone who grants you the safety of the Radiant Accords so that the mainland continues to give a shit about your existence instead of turning to the Oasis and leaving you to shrivel as your resources from the mainland are diverted entirely. Choose wisely. For now, however, I grant you a final boon.”

Turning to face his friends, he inclined his head to the barbarian lord.

“Creegan, are your tribes ready to make the voyage to their new home?”

The massive barbarian stood, grinned and replied simply after he cracked his neck loud enough to echo throughout the amphitheater, “They are, General Agrykos. They look forward to exploring this new situation.”

Agrykos couldn’t help but smirk at the unexpected title but nodded his appreciation.

“Give them the order. We leave in the morning. May we have no reason for them to return.”

Without waiting for a response from anyone present, Agrykos hopped off the stage awkwardly, his body still recovering from his death, all of them, and shambled out of the amphitheater to allow them to make their decision. His exit was only halted as he stopped briefly to pat the statue on the head before continuing out.
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PostSubject: Re: Aftermath of Tidewater Battle - Who Rules Port Town? [All PCs]   Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:12 pm

All three feet or so of the gnome leaped up onto a podium which had only just sprang into existence. His long blonde hair, elegantly braided, hung in the air just a moment too long to be the result of physics alone. He smoothed out his fine emerald cloak with his hands, then looked up, green eyes alight with passion.

“Friends! Hear me!” he embellished his call with noiseless iridescent fireworks.

“Hear me, for I speak to you with the full authority of the Jeweled Cities and of your idyllic neighbor, Salvana’s Oasis.”

The fireworks morphed in midair into a breathtaking collage of the five jeweled cities as well as the Oasis.

“My associate,” he gestured toward the tiefling, “speaks with venom, but at times there's a worthwhile element to what he says.”

Pause for dramatic effect.

“But I will tell you now, lest your hopes rise too high, that I will reject any call for me to take the helm of this ship. If you haven't yet taken stock of her, do so. You'll see a scuttled wreck, courtesy of the late Admiral Ferra.”

A violent storm and a ship tossed about at sea, failing its fight to stay afloat replaced the previous dreamy cityscapes.

“I will not waste my time with the heap of flotsam and jetsam that is Port Town, nor would I waste the abundant resources possessed by signatories of the Radiant Accords here.”

He hesitated, soaking in the looks of disdain from the crowd. Was that betrayal he saw in a few faces? Probably.

He turned to descend from his conjured podium, and let a single word escape his lips.

“But …”

The word was allowed to echo through the hall, helped in no small part to the gnome’s mastery of the arcane.

“I could be persuaded,” he turned again to face his audience, “to oversee the magnificent gem of the Tidewater, the one place that everyone, and I mean everyone, who comes to Merata simply must see with their own eyes to believe …”

He let the confusion hang for just a moment short of being uncomfortable.

“That's right, folks. You know. You've seen it, haven't you? You've seen the majestic pair of obsidian lions, proudly standing over one hundred feet high? The silent sentinels guarding the city and eyeing the approach of every vessel into the bay.”

An image of a city took shape, though much of it was blurred, save for two massive lions rampant, their forepaws forming an arch across the harbor’s entrance, tall ships passing in the waters between them.

“Yes, the Lion’s Arch. Thousands will make the journey just to lay their eyes upon it, so that one day, they might tell their children, ‘Yes, I saw it for myself, and it was beautiful.’”

“And what else? What’s that in the heart of the city? A marketplace! Look! Why, it’s filled to the brim with travelers from all of Rh’tea, eager to secure a treasure, a trinket, a piece of Merata for themselves. Can you see the coin of every denomination flowing like a river across the market?”

A bustling marketplace where the individuals moved too quickly to be identified took shape. It seemed to fit perfectly within a model of a city that could be Port Town, but somehow wasn’t.

“This place, this capital of Merata, is truly a sight to behold. The seat of power of this wondrous emerald isle. And, working hand in hand with her inland sister who sits as the Gateway to Qezcahal, the two shall stand tall, one supporting the other, a pair of mighty lions, poised to stand the test of time.”

The illusions vanished abruptly.

“Friends, I've no interest in taking a leadership role in the struggling settlement that was Port Town. None at all.”

“But if you deem me worthy to oversee the magnificent capital of Merata, the City of the Lion’s Arch, then I suspect that together, we shall reshape the world’s very notion of this impossibly wondrous land, as we forge ahead and add this place -- this Emerald -- to the ranks of the Jeweled Cities!”
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PostSubject: Re: Aftermath of Tidewater Battle - Who Rules Port Town? [All PCs]   Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:38 pm

Silence followed the grand performance. The hush fell over the assembled with equal parts awe and terror. Half the room stared at the brightly colored images floating in the air, lost in the potential of the future. The other half could not tear their gaze from the stone figure locked in mid-scream.

One merchant lord glanced Creegan’s way and held his gaze just a moment too long. The Great Maw flexed sending the man squeaking backward over his own robes in a heavy crash.

Guildmaster of the Lords of Qezcahal, the respected Tyrant, spoke up once more. “Now is the time to decide, friends and citizens. Now…” the grizzled warrior fell silent and all eyes followed his gaze.

A posse of pirates shoved their way forward from back of the crowd. In their midst, a strikingly handsome woman strode like a queen. Heavy-set and thick of frame, the cut of her jib drew all eyes. Heaving bosoms threatened to spill from a low cut bodice straining at the seams with wire of silver, platinum, and gold. Her every inch jingled, clinked, and glistened with the wealth of a small kingdom on full display.

A pirate stepped forward, a young boy of perhaps ten puffed out his chest and bellowed in a high voice.

“Witness the arrival of once Captain Azreyla the Esteemed, First of Her Name, called the Goldenvoice, Kraken-Rider, and Beauty of the Western Sea.” The boy paused to suck in another breath and Azreyla tilted her chin skyward. “Self-proclaimed Admiral of the Unwanted, and the Savior of the Beaten and Downtrodden, Azreyla comes with gifts.”

Two pirates dropped a chest unceremoniously to the unfinished wooden floor. Gems, coin, and various items of platinum and clanked and scattered all about. Those with good eyes took careful note that the weight of the treasure cracked the floor.

The pirate queen threw back a silver cloak revealing a wicked platinum gauntlet beset with diamonds on her left hand. She gripped the strange artifact in a tight fist and spoke.

“Albaeri Mellikho was a fool whore who sold children and women like wheat and grain. Admiral Ferra Aquillon was a grand idiot whose sole claim to fame is having found a fast route to suicide.” She heaved her magnificent breasts up in the direction of the gnome Doake, her eyes on Agrykos and Creegan.

“I am no one’s fool, nor idiot, though I’ve bedded enough men and women in port to certainly earn the title Whore. These two and their ilk,” she gestured broadly and bared her too-white teeth, “and their battered friend.” She smirked at Tyrant’s broken body.

“They are the future.”

A soft murmur echoed through the crowd, all eyes on her or her gold.

“The Unwanted are mine, now. They follow me. And I seized more than half of Ferra’s ships – those that survived unscathed that is,” she muttered behind her hand with a theatrical air. “I seized them and they’re mine, I dare you to challenge the claim.”

Her warm eyes fell dead and cold, then she grinned with joy.

“I joke, of course. They’re ours! And so should the future be. This tiny little beast speaks well and has the backing of powerful force. He and his stood firm against our enemies in the time of need and we should rally to their cause.”

She planted one boot on the chest and with one clean, strong gesture, kicked it sideways. Coin spilled, and spilled, and spilled to the floor beyond any possible limits of the container. On it went for what seemed an age until the magical container emptied a veritable hoard.

“The collected wealth of the Unwanted and that stolen from the Crushing Wave. Yours. Ours. Belonging to this city!” One woman fainted, a man choked on is wine, and more than one person had their hand stomped by a pirate for reaching too fast.

“Why, you ask? You didn’t, but I’ll tell you.” She winked at Doake and stepped onto the pile of coin with the sure footing only a life at sea can bring.

“In far off lands I know of places that rule by fear, by proxy, by power, and by king. In some lands, not so different from ours, they rule by committee.” She bent double and came up with a silver coin.

“I think we can take a cue from these places. Let Port…” she stopped, flashed a grin at Doake, and continued. “Let Tidewater stand tall as the Capitol of Merata, Jewel of the Island, and Doorway to the Jungle. Let her Twin Lions guard against calamity and her Patrician rule firm!”

She waited, but none spoke, curious to see where she’d lead.

“A Patrician, or whatever you want to call it. A ruler duly elected by a Body, a Council whose members we shall choose this very day. A Patrician who can be overthrown if his rule turns despotic. A Patrician who must answer to Council, but one who rules firm.”

Tyrant’s deep voice broke the strange reverie the Goldenvoice had produced. “And I assume you want on this council.”

One pirate started towards the old mercenary, but Azreyla’s spiked fist backhanded him to the floor. She flicked the blood from her gauntlet, the smile never faltering.

“Of course, Lord Tyrant, I most certainly would. And in return, not only do I offer this treasure to rebuild Tidewater into the Glory it shall become, but I offer the allegiance of the Unwanted to the city. I offer half the ships I own…”

“…that you stole from Ferra. Who stole them from us.” The merchant who spoke up backed down at her wicked glare.

“Half the ships. I own. Offered to the Patrician himself in order to facilitate the budding mercantile interests of this city.”

“What do you demand for all this offering?” Tyrant spoke calmly. He seemed entirely unfazed by her daunting presence.

“Why, only the right to what should be mine for such gifts. You will have a Patrician and a ruling council, chosen by us all. And one of the seats on that council will be the Grand Admiral of Tidewater. And that seat shall be mine.”

Azreyla allowed her words to sink in, the idea to take hold. She nudged a pile of coins with the tip of her boot and stood her grand facing Doake, Agrykos, Tyrant, and the lot.

“What say you?”



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PostSubject: Re: Aftermath of Tidewater Battle - Who Rules Port Town? [All PCs]   Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:54 pm

Agrykos smirked and nodded in appreciation to the pirate queen. "I do challenge some of your claim but I am willing to negotiate in private. For the moment, I offer a trade."

The warlock removes the flamboyant purple hat he recently acquired.

"I offer this magnificent hat as a gesture of good faith. And for a hug."
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