Explorers of Ariqua. Rated R
Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:40 PM
"Yes, my apologies as well for my part in this, whatever it may be," added the Professor. "Perhaps you can be of some assistance to us. We've just spent the past seven years..." Eru looked at him. "... seven to twenty-four years exploring a pyramid in the jungle and we're looking for transportation back to Delmi. You look like you're going on a trip. Would you be able to steer us in the right direction?"
Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:16 PM
She turned and indicated towards the quarter where in the distance one could see plumes of smoke from the factories and ore-processing plants rising into the sky. She adjusted her point to the natural habour. "Once there, look for the Sandesina Shipping Agency offices by the water. They have the emblem above the door. Red and blue squares with two swords crossed behind a shield. For a reasonable fee they'll sell you a ticket to Delmi." Elizabeth explained. "I'd show you myself." She began as she slung her backpack back across her shoulders. "But we're about to leave on a misson. There is a group of slavers bothering the local Zapiyans-and any Niobian who leaves town-so the Arlessa has put a bounty on their heads. Me and my group are off to eliminate them and collect said bounty." She regarded the pait with interest. "If you know the area well and are willing to help there's a cut of that bounty available." Elizabeth was normally good judge of character, and like Nick, she felt these two might have something to offer her Expedition.
Edited by Mikoto, 06 March 2013 - 08:17 PM.
Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:52 PM
Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:18 PM
"That pyramid was likely built by the Ariqun many, many years ago when they lived in them. And then that one was abandoned." He said. "There is a story I remember, it happened a very long time ago, a ship wrecked off the coast and its inhabitants were taken in by a Zapiyan tribe who had taken over the ruins around the pyramid. They interbred, becoming poets and philosophers."
"Oh, how interesting." Aveline said. Being a lycan, the young girl could have spent the last twenty-four years in a pyramid and still look as she did. "What do you know about the Ariqun?" She asked Demiriz.
"They are arrogant and close-minded." Demiriz said, his face reflecting his extreme dislike of the large, horned beasts. "They attempt to convert any race of people they encounter to their Quanar religion, and when that fails, they get violent and attempt to exterminate them. We Zapiyans, if we do not have the strength to kill them outright, will pretend to be interested until they appear to be ready to attack, and then we simply disappear to a safer place to live. It is how we survive. And why we who live in the jungle live in the trees. The Ariqun cannot get to us up there."
"Oh, yuck." Aveline said, making a face. "Why can't they just let everyone worship, or not, as it suits them?"
"Probably because they think their religion is the only one and any other is blasphemy." Tevyn put in. He had mostly been listening, and studying Arlene while they waited. He wasn't sure if the old professor would be up to another jungle jaunt, but the young girl probably was. However, he didn't say anything, because the old guy could be stronger than he looked.
"Precisely." Demiriz said. "They believe that their way is the only way and if others refuse to follow it, then they must be eliminated. I sincerely hope that they do not encounter Niobia. It would get very ugly."
Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:29 PM
Frowning, Eru looked at Arjhay. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Probably. Those slavers may have been responsible for the disappearances of Reknoz and Senood and the others. The Elders may have been wrong about them forming a trekabout pact. I knew something didn't seem right about that." Arjhay opened his mouth to speak, but Eru turned to Elizabeth and said, "We'll go with you. We've been away from Delmi for twenty four years, so another couple of weeks won't matter. Those slavers may have some of our friends."
Arjhay nodded. "She took the words right out of my mouth," he said. "Or put the words right into my mouth. Sometimes it's hard to be sure which. In any case, we would be delighted to accompany you and share what knowledge and experience we have acquired."
Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:16 PM
Time Stamp: 15:45
With Eru and Arjhay agreeing to join them on this mission, Elizabeth and her team of Explorers headed out into the jungle. The hours passed with Nick taking point using his criminal expertise to check the most likely places the slavers would hide out or use as a camp while they did their slave grabbing. Even now they were working their way along the coastline in hopes of finding their quarry...
Elizabeth was following Nick who was in the lead, occasionally hacking away at anything that impeded his passage along the game trail that loosely followed the coastline. She'd personally prefer that they walk along the beach only a few metres away but if they did find the slavers they might be spotted coming and lose the element of surprise. According to Nick it was very likely that the slavers had a ship berthed somewhere on the coast as a convenient method to store and transport the slaves. Therefore if they could find the ship, kill all the slavers aboard and sail it away it would leave any raiding parties without the means to continue their business. It was the best plan to go on so here they were, tracing their way along the coast looking for secluded coves where a ship could be hidden. Elizabeth adjusted the weight of her pack across her shoulders and took a sip of water as they paused for a breather. It was likely they'd have to camp overnight for there was a lot of coastline to search.
Nick called for a breather after a while of leading the group along the coastline. It had been a few hours of difficult travel and he was a little out of breath from hacking the odd obstacle out of the way. They'd been following a game trail for the most part and it had cut down on the hacking with a machete that jungle travel normally required. He drank from his flask and looked around. Everything seemed normal in the jungle surrounding them so he looked over at Aveline. "How are you holding up?" He asked her.
Arlene was glad when Nick called for a short break and unslung her backpack, setting it down next to a fallen log while she sat on said fallen log. She was used to jungle travel as she often made forays outside of Niobia in search of the unique ingredients for her drugs, medicines and venoms that could be found or extracted from the local flora and fauna. She even had a garden around the back of her house where she grew plants native to her homeland of Rivisia although she kept them strictly in a greenhouse to prevent them from spreading or pollinating any native plants as she had no idea what effect introducing foreign species could have on the local plant life. Arlene sipped from her own flask of water and stayed alert, listening to the familiar sounds of the jungle.
Edited by Mikoto, 08 March 2013 - 08:20 PM.
Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:59 PM
She took sips from her water flask a few times as they trekked, then she stood with him as he called a halt so they could rest. She smiled up at him when he asked if she was all right. "I'm fine." She said. "I come from sturdy stock." She hadn't told him just how sturdy her great-great-grandfather was before he became human again. From the story passed down from the generations, he'd been turned vampire against his will and when the chance to be turned back presented itself he had jumped on it. If he hadn't, she probably wouldn't exist now, so she was grateful that he had.
Demiriz was happy to let Nick lead this expedition and he stayed near the rear of the group to watch for trouble there. He kept his eye on the old professor as they walked, hoping that he would be up to the journey, but he seemed to be holding up well. He didn't know what to think about him, though he hadn't had much contact with anyone other than other Zapiyans. Still, he had never met anyone so strange. He seemed to have a lot of knowledge of the pyramid tribe, and the tribes in general though and perhaps he could be of use to them. As it was, they might now be on a rescue mission.
When Nick called a halt, he found himself next to Elizabeth as she adjusted her pack and took a drink of water. "Are you all right?" He asked her. She was so small, but she carried herself well, even with the weight of a pack. "We will need to search for a campsite soon." He didn't think she would want to trek back to Niobia just to head out again in the morning, that would be inefficient.
As much as he would have liked to have found the slavers today, Tevyn had known that they wouldn't get that lucky. He had walked with Arlene and she seemed to be holding up well, possibly even better than Kylen had. When she sat on a fallen log once Nick called a rest he sat next to her and took a drink from his flask before regarding her. "You're doing well out here." He told her. "Looks like we'll be making camp soon. Hopefully we'll find their ship soon."
Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:40 PM
But that wasn't what intrigued her the most. At some point when introductions had been made throughout the group, their names struck a memory from Jhandra's past. Well, not her own past but that of her family on her father's side. Although he was a plantation owner on Kukui now, one of the Salaran islands, her father was an Elviri originally from Delmi. The same place that the Professor and Eru were from. That wasn't so unusual, though, as Elizabeth was also from Delmi. What fascinated Jhandra was stories her father had told her of his grandmother, Makaela, and his great-grandmother, Tialyn. Both had been dragon rider guardians, partnering and riding the huge flying creatures that helped keep most of the world these days safe. She had heard stories involving people similar to the Professor and a female lycan named Eru.
It coudn't be, though, Jhandra thought. That was at least two hundred years ago. Perhaps they were descendants of those others.
The gray-skinned Salaran Elviri drank a long swallow of water then headed over to where the older man and young woman were taking their rest under the thick foliage of the jungle. "Excuse me," she said, "we haven't had a chance to talk much after meeting but I have a strange question for you." Jhandra hesitated. "My family...my father's family, actually, is from Delmi. Did either of you...well, did you have family there, back when the dragon riders were established? See, my father's grandmother, her name was Makaela, told him stories--and he told me--of her mother, Tialyn, who rode a dragon and of her father who ended up heading his own guardian unit."
Jhandra went on to say how she'd heard stories, from both her father and when she visited Delmi, of a dragon rider named Eru and a Professor Arjhay who contributed greatly to all the missions.
"Were they perhaps relatives of yours?" she asked.
Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:10 AM
Damien smiled slightly. He sensed Eru was a were, like himself, possibly wolf. She was sort of cute to look at, too--he found her clumsiness somewhat endearing after the initial worry had passed that she'd either hurt or kill herself or someone else. She seemed familiar with and capable in the jungle. He smiled when she briefly glanced over at him.
Spotting Rylan nearby, Damien nodded. "Seems we'll be spending the night in the great outdoors," he commented matter-of-factly. It wouldn't be the first time, nor the last. "Thanks to these damn slavers we're now chasing. And soon the jungle will be crawling with hunters."
Damien hadn't been thrilled with the Arlessa putting out a bounty on the slavers; but at least their group had a head start.
Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:58 PM
Nick had also ditched his backpack and had taken to idly leaning against a tree trunk whilst talking to Aveline. He'd had little doubt that she was handling the trek well but it didn't hurt to ask. He rather liked that she came from 'sturdy stock' and smiled when he gave that answer. "Good to know." He said with a slightly hint of mischief in his voice. When he overheard Elizabeth telling Demiriz she'd have him look for a good place to camp once they set off he incliend his head toward her and told her it would be no problem. "She's right. We have about an hour of travel time left. Still, if I find a good place to camp we'll stop there and then. In a place like this its important to find a good spot to settle for the night." Because Nick was a sailor and had spent most of his life at sea, he didn't percieve that anything was wrong.
Arlene couldn't help but give a pleased grin when Tevyn sat down next to her on the fallen log. "I was always the little adventurer in our family." She said with an amused chuckle. "Forever climbing trees, getting into scrapes, having fun. That continued in university as I joined the dual wielding blade sports team." It was unfortunate that her brother had been the one contacted for the job with Voyager for she was the more suitable one. Stil, it had only been one excursion and the problem was corrected now. "In this case though, I often make trips into the jungle to collect the herbs or ingredients for my medications or toxins. Though those trips never last for more than a few hours...." Arlene trailed off suddenly and looked around sharply. "Do you hear that?" She asked seriously. "The jungle has gone completely quiet. No birds, insects or anything." Her hands dropped to the handles of her twin blades.
Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:51 PM
Aveline got a mischievous look on her face when Nick told her it was good to know she came from sturdy stock, and then said Elizabeth was ready to find a good camping spot. "Well, maybe I'll tell you about it when we've settled for the night." She said. "There's an interesting story about my great-great grandfather." Then she noticed that Elizabeth and Damien were both alert and looking around, and Arlene was reaching for her knives, and she noticed the quiet. "Something's wrong." She told Nick, "It's gone quiet out there." She then reached for her gun that she kept in her belt.
"Well, one does need to have an adventuring spirit to trek in the jungle." Tevyn said, pleased to hear that Arlene had that spirit. Just as he was going to ask her about herself, she glanced around warily and reached for her knives when the jungle went quiet. He listened to the quiet as well and reached for his bow and stood, noticing that Demiriz had disappeared up a tree to have a look around. "You're right, something's wrong." He said.
Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:35 PM
He rose to his feet, swinging his cross bow around front and making sure his sword was handy. "Elizabeth! Were-creatures approaching!" he called out. "Don't know what but they are definitely shapechangers."
Depending on what was coming, he would fight as human, humanoid tiger, or full tiger...but Damien couldn't make that determination yet.
Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 09 March 2013 - 07:45 PM.
Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:19 PM
"Were they perhaps relatives of yours?" she asked.
"Well, Good Heavens!" replied the Professor. "A great grandchild of our own beloved Tialyn and little Makaela. What a small world this big world is. No, my dear, not relatives. We knew both of your ancestors very well, and I could tell you some stories about them, believe me. It would take a while to explain, but myself and my comely bodyguard have a tendency to persist. In biological terms. As individuals, I mean."
With a gasp of surprise, Eru put her hand to her mouth. "You're related to Tialyn and Makaela? Tialyn was a such a dear friend of mine and Makaela was like a little sister-- Wait!" A fraction of a second before Damien shouted his warning, Eru sensed it too and leaped to her feet. "Lycans!"
Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:36 PM
Tevyn blinked when Eru and Damien both warned of Lycans and then Demiriz announced large snakes bearing down on them in the trees. He grumbled irritably and pulled a silver-tipped arrow from his quiver even as he looked up in the trees, trying to see where the snakes were at.
"Oh crap, Lycans...snakes?" Aveline quickly unloaded her gun and pulled some special silver-tipped ones out of her pocket and quickly reloaded. She then watched the trees warily, even as she could hear the rustling now, and she saw Demiriz shooting into another tree. "I hate feral Lycans... and snakes."
Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:15 PM
As his hand dipped in to a pocket solely for silver coated bullets and went through the familiar motions of loading his pistol he wondered if they'd actually fire. The bullets (he only had 6) were all purchased around 4 years ago when somebody warned him that were-creatures were a possibility. He'd never actually fired them.
He couldn't afford to miss so he kept his cool and waited for a clean shot.
Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:00 PM
She'd never heard of that. Soon Elizabeth heard the slithering and looked up into the trees. She spotted one slithering along a broad branch towards her. It was the size of the average Hume male and built much like a snake. It did have some Hume features in the form of very narrow shoulders and stubby arms and legs. The claws on each stubby, stunted finger and toe didn't look too long but she didn't want to be sliced by one nevertheless. It was the fangs and the brightly coloured scales that concerned Elizabeth for that meant that they were venomous. She raised her rifle and got the weresnake in her sights and fired once. Her aim was good as the bullet tore through it's head and the body dropped to the ground. But more were coming. She could hear them all around her.
Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:26 PM
Tevyn knew that he would have to make every shot count since he didn't have an endless supply of silver-tipped arrows. When he saw the first of the misshapen reptiles, which looked more like huge, deformed, brightly-colored lizards, he aimed for it and let the arrow fly, watching as that one crumpled to the ground. But there were still a whole lot of them approaching, so he readied his bow again and listened to the rustling growing louder.
"Snakes...lizards...lizard-human weres..." Aveline said as she shot the first one that poked its head out of a tree. "What'll they think of next?" She wasn't exactly terrified of snakes, but they weren't exactly her favorite animal either. That went to puppies and kittens, something she couldn't allow herself to have right now, as she knew she could never take care of one the way it should be. But as soon as she could get a life on land...well, she'd have to find out if Nick liked dogs and cats too, before deciding to get any.
Posted 10 March 2013 - 06:09 PM
When one of the weresnakes tried to drop on her from a branch, Jhandra only had time to raise her hand and give rise to the small psionic flame that she could generate from her palm. She held it to the snake creatures face while she ducked out of the way, then whirled and swung her sword. The weresnake's head rolled off into the foliage of the jungle and the body thudded to the ground. She turned to continue fighting.
Posted 10 March 2013 - 06:46 PM
Posted 10 March 2013 - 07:20 PM
The treetops began to rustle ominously and Eru started to pull off her shirt, but a rough tube of solid muscle curled around her before she had time. She immediately transformed into her Werewolf self, bursting her clothes apart and breaking the ribs and spine of the monstrous Lycan snake. "There goes my best worsted shirt!" she growled, grabbing another giant snake and smashing him against a tree.
Edited by RJDiogenes, 11 March 2013 - 07:36 PM.
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