Open Chronicles Shipwrecked at Cerak

A roleplay open for anyone to join


The Werewolf
Character Biography

He awoke to the sound of crashing breakers and the cries of circling gulls. Waves lapped the black sands and washed across him. He lay sprawled, bleary-eyed, lungs waterlogged. He tried to push himself up as the memories came racing back.

Keres, the Eye, and that damned half-giant.

Roul hacked and wheezed, trying to stand, stumbling to his knees. Black sand stretched all around him, giving way to craggy peaks and greenery inland.

Where were they? They'd been leaving Amol-Kalit by boat with the pieces of the Eye, bound for Alliria. A storm rolled in, blew them somewhere. And it only got worse. He tried to remember as he scrambled to his feet.

Something about hitting a shoal, then they were all in the water, tossed about in tower-tall waves. Roul recalled the nightmare. He got to his feet, shaky, barely any strength left in his limbs.

"Keres?" he croaked, "Iren?"

Above him, he looked to see the circling gulls joined by crows. He stumbled toward where they milled, eyes widening as he came upon a jagged boulder jutting from the sands. Two poles rose from the top of rock. Lashed between them was a man, or what had once been a man. They had flayed the skin from his back and stretched it across the poles like a fucking tanning hide. Crows alighted on the corpse, pecking out what juicy bits might still remain. They'd long since gotten to the eyeballs and tongue.

Roul leaned over, gripping his knees, and vomited out sea water and bile.

Above, the gray skies occluded the sun and a light drizzle began to pour.
She could have done something with that storm, only if they had not shackled her to keep from using her magic. Iskra had lost count of how many times she thought she would not make it. Never before had she felt her mortality than the moments she swam to surface, getting one breath in before another swell crashed upon her, sinking her back into the deep body of water. Debris and bodies all around her, but her vision darkened pretty quickly after that.

A crow had been pecking at her exposed abdomen, a wound made fresh as her lifeless body gave no heat, and otherwise would have been considered a corpse. However, she stirred, coughing. Sea water dampened her dried lips, and an overwhelming sense came over her. Iskra used whatever morsel of strength she had left in her to turn her head, choking out the streams of liquid that drowned her lungs. Life, there is life in me. She would thank whatever gods had blessed her later, when she was more lucid.

The storm... the ocean... and now, still, Iskra believed she could die still. Without her magic, she had no force to change the course of her own fate, to give herself that edge mages were blessed with.

It was no illusion of her making that made her open those golden green eyes, sullen from the ordeal in the waters, but she was not alone. One of them rasped out some names, and somewhere in her fading consciousness, Iskra recognised them all.

Accept me, and take me to the eternal slumber, she thought before she lost all sense of the present.
He never liked the sea.
Now he fucking hated it.
The thing that came out of the water was ponderously slow. Heavier than it had ever been and once or twice it's arm sloosed off and plopped back into the salty water.
Reconstitution was difficult and it hurt. Mukbar, or what was currently left of him was in a bad state by the time he cleared the waves and hit the wet sand.
There he lay, gasping and wheezing as the dark sand drained the excess water from his earthen body.
"Awww, -cough- beansh!"
Roul | Iskra | Mukbar

The adventure for the Eye had been rather eventful. He lost count of the amount of times they faced certain death, managed to just avoid it and then faced it again. In the end the Eye had been less of an Eye and more of... an allegory of the friends made along the way.

The shard was burning a hole in his pocket and Iren wasn't entirely sure if it had any value left to it. Damn cultists and their desire to shatter any and all possible artifacts.

Regardless... the storm had been an issue that left Iren feeling powerless. Give him a battlefield or a dark alleyway and he was an apex predator. Put him on a rickety flimsy wooden boat with a storm loose around them and he became nothing more than a plaything for nature.

At the very least Iren couldn't drown.

He hadn't breathed in air in a long time. Not much worse for wear he had dusted himself off and disappeared inland to find something to eat. That was why he was conspicuously not there while some poor sodden fool got himself tortured and ripped apart before being put on the beach as a demonstration.

Iren was studying the corpse from behind when Roul called out for him.

The answer died on his tongue when he heard the sound of retching. Eyebrows rose up at that. "I hope you are not wasting all your precious fluids, Wolf." He murmured absently while pinking away some stray blood from the corner of his mouth.

This corpse had been stale sadly. Not much substance to be found, but Iren made do.

"The nearest fresh water source is several miles inward and there are far too many morons with spears between us and that."
"Hngh," puked Roul in reply to the familiar voice.

He smeared the back of a hand across his mouth and beard, then straightened. He felt like he could barely stand.

"You're right," he rasped, studying the pale man.

Why. He wondered. Always the pale folk around him.

Glancing around, somewhat more alert, he spotted two bodies - one amid the wreckage, the other pecked at by crows.

"I'll check the woman, you check the other," he pointed at the bodies, then stumbled forward.

Waving his hands, he chased off the crows pecking at the woman. He recognized her as the Kaliti, what was she called again?

"Iskra," he could see her eyelids fluttering. Still alive, good. He shook her gently, "Iskra, wake. Stand."
Oh, Iren was sure Roul would 'check the woman'.


They were so odd when it came to things like that. He wondered if he had been like that before his transformation. It was such a long time ago he could hardly remember when air had filled his lungs and offered anything other than annoying dust.

He already pulled his knife from his sheath. If the body was recently drowned he could probably find some substance-

"Ah, Nicomo." As he pulled him onto his back. He seemed rather worse for wear. "It must be frustrating to constantly be dragged down into the pits of eternal sleep... only to be rudely yanked back into the living world over... and over again."

Iren murmured quietly as he sat down near the corpse of his companion.

Gently he slid the pommel of his knife in the hand of the sword artisan. It was not a sword, of course, but it was the best he could do currently.

"Fret not. I will sit by you until you wake up again. To wake up without friends or allies... all alone with bird drag dripping off your shoulder... is there a worse thing?"
The facial features of a man that had seen better moments in life, not lost in the sea for hours or days, peered down at her as her delirium petered out and consciousness began to remain. She stared up at him a moment before a violent surge of salted water came up. Iskra spat it in his direction, unable to help the trajectory until a will of strength allowed her to roll over and cough up more of the sea water.

It let her throat dry and raw, choked on the many times she thought she had drowned. Iskra still did not feel right, as if she were not out of the clear despite being out of the sea. "Get me... out of..." Her hand came to tap on the cuffs around her wrists, the very things that were hindering her best talents of surviving this long.

She wasn't going to die here with brigands and warmongers on foreign lands.
Calloused hands gripped the chains and tugged fruitlessly.

Roul grimaced.

“I can’t.”

He didn’t have the key.

Squinting at the horizon, he thought he saw the shape of buildings some miles away, and some jagged spires which loomed over them - slightly obscured by clouds.

He pointed.

“Looks like some sort of settlement down that way, we should have a better view from that rise. They should have the tools to get these off you.”

Roul turned and shouted back at Iren, hoarsely.

“She’s alive. And I think I see a harbor town some miles away. We should head to it.”

But where the hell was Keres? His stomach churned as he feared the worst.
The earth moved, Mukbar moved. Now that there was noise to summon him. Standing was okay, until he had to move and then he felt the excess water weigh him down. He would take hours to dry out again to his normal consistency.
Shambling over to the general area of the others he kept his body tight in case any more of him decided to surrender to gravity and fall off.
Thankfully he was able to stay relatively intact for now.
He'd slipped his bindings on the boat. But the folk around him were all manner of beat up or chained.
He stopped some feet away from Iren.
"Wash he yur friend?"
The wind picked up, howled over the waves and black sand of the beach.
Mukbar had been very quiet the whole messy journey so far but he liked to think that he earned less animosity that way. It also meant he was still as good as a stranger to the others.

Iren Brightmane
If Nicomo could have ever managed at least a single prayer through chaos of his mind, perhaps whatever God or heathen's name he swore to would have taken mercy upon his tortured existence and allowed him a final rest. Alas, he isn't so fortunate.​
The color slowly returns to Nicomo's face, and the parched Iren may hear the slow but steady beating of his heart. The thumping cadence picks up and Nico's chest finally rises as he draws his first breath in this new life.​
Suddenly, he rolls onto his side and erupts into a coughing, choking fit. The water that settled in his dead lungs comes up. The last image he recalls is that of dark water. Drowning! That's right, Nicomo is a poor swimmer. He shouldn't have let himself be among the first to get cast overboard.​
"Bollocks!" He rasps. He's unaware of Iren's presence. "Oh, beauty. Sweet, sweet land."​
In one hand, he tightly clutches his friend's knife. Sand in the other. After taking a moment to gather his broken self, Nicomo postures upright on his knees and looks around to find Iren by his side.​
"Good friend, you made it!" The weight of Iren's knife draws Nico's attention back down. He smiles, then offers it back. "Did you need this? I don't."​
When Iren takes it back, Nico erupts into chatter.​
"Of all the ways to die, drowning has been the worst. Yes... Quite awful. Hmm..." He unsteadily rises to his feet with his companion. "What do you reckon the chances are that precious cargo washed ashore?"​
He makes a drinking gesture but stops as something causes a sudden panic in him.​
"My sword!" The broken garbage that Nicomo had carried with him for quite some time is long gone in the ocean's depths. "Where- hnnng... Ohhh, nooo... I need a sword. A sword, Iren! I have to find a sword!"​
Nicomo runs inland crying out over and over for a sword.​
Mukbar's appearance caused some surprise from Iren. Fangs flashed as he first assumed the creature was some sort of scavenger intent on eating Nicomo's corpse. He wasn't sure how his companion's resurrection worked, but Iren assumed that being ripped apart with sharp teeth and half-digesting in an animal gut would probably make it rather difficult to come back to this plane again.

"Friend?" His head tilted curiously. "I suppose. In as much one such as I can have friends." It was difficult to maintain long-standing friendly relationships with anyone who was basically a walking blood bag.

But Nicomo was a class apart.

He was about to say more to Mukbar, but that was exactly the moment that Nicomo decided to revive himself right next to him. Iren smiled and gave him some space to properly get back into the living practice.

"Yes, thank you." Accepting the knife and putting it back where it belonged. It was the bloodletting knife he often used for careful incisions. "Oh, I very much doubt that even a single barrel of-" And there Nicomo went again, chasing after the possibility of a sword.

Iren shook his head with bemusement and got back up to his feet.

"Nico is alive too." Said back to Roul, but that was probably unnecessary. The mad man had been running so loudly. He eyed the settlement in the distance after Roul pointed it out. Back when he initially woke up he had skirted around it.

One vampire, tired, starving, exhausting? It would have been a massacre.

"We should be careful. We have no idea who rules it or what they might want." It was always best to negotiate from a position of power... and they were all out of that.

He started to walk in the general direction Nico had run off to.

Someone ought to keep an eye on him before he slaughtered the entire settlement guard in search of a good sword.
More water came up as Roul spoke to the others. She felt awful, still unable to take in their surroundings. Perhaps she should have died out there, lost in the tumultuous swells that devastated their ship.

Whatever deity decided to give her a new chance of living decided to bless her. Iskra took a minute before lifting herself, slowly shrugging her cold and damp jacket over herself. The salt water that clung to her jacket weighed heavily against her wound, irritating the fresh injury. Blood flowed gently as it was not a deep wound, yet she pressed a hand to apply necessary pressure to it regardless.

"Well then," she winced through her teeth as she sat up properly, looking about the shore and those that washed up on the beach. "We should get moving. This beach could have eyes on us."

The sooner they got to the town, perhaps the quicker these shackles keeping her magic at bay could come off. Only then will Iskra feel like herself. It was a daunting feeling to be without the very thing that gave her a better life.
Too tired to do much else, Roul watched blankly as the mad swordsman came back to life and then sprinted off in the direction of the town. He shook his head, looked at Iren as the other spoke to him, and nodded.

"Agreed," he croaked. Roul turned back to Iskra. The Kaliti woman held a hand to an injury of some sort, blood seeping from between her fingers. Roul frowned, he missed that, he was slipping.

"Your wound," Roul approached her, hands going to the hem of his shirt, "It's still many miles to that town. Here."

In one motion, Roul peeled his soaked shirt from his body, exposing a hairy chest that rippled with muscle. He quickly tore his shirt into several long strips.

"Tie it around the wound. Not the best, but we'll find a healer when we get to town." He glanced at her irons, "And a smith."

With that, the survivors set off for the town. In moments, they crested the small rocky outcropping on the beach and could see the bay laid out before them. In the distance, they could see the town was no small harbor village but a sprawling city - not on the scale of Alliria, but still far larger than expected. It was clear the city had not been laid out to any design, but rather sprung up over time, haphazard, with no clear unifying structure. The spires looming in the cliffs above were that of a mighty fortress. And the bay itself was filled with all manner of ships, a sea of masts like a forest in winter.

Roul felt his blood run cold. He knew where they'd wrecked.


* * *

Several hours later, they arrived at the outskirts of Cerak, close to the harbor. Roul frowned as he saw a huge crowd gathered near a raised platform. The crowd was filled with every manner of person imaginable, from Savanna orcs and humans to Nagai and even a minotaur.

"What's going on over there?"
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Elide | Iren Brightmane | Iskra | Keres | Nicomo | Mukbar | Roul
Autolycus emerged from his office - a generous term for the musty, sea-breeze bitten archive he had been placed in charge of, but one he applied nonetheless in service of his ego. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes as he made his way over to the auction platform and climbed the creaking steps.​
A crowd of frothing degenerates had already taken form. Dregs of all kinds, dumped from the docksides of civilization and washed up here on the shores of the Black Bay, Cerak at'Thul. What attracted them to the slave trade was beyond and beneath Autolycus' ken. Even animating the dead, a foul and misbegotten art, seemed a better idea. There were no shortage of corpses in this cursed world, and the dead never tired.​
But the wardens of this place had the old blood he needed, so if they wanted him to run these filthy auctions, he'd do it. Why not? There was harder, worse work.​
The crowd chattered loudly as he walked the platform. "Quiet, shut up, quiet," Autolycus rattled off at the crowd with mechanical enthusiasm. His opening routine for the past few days. He got to his podium and his stool and made himself comfortable. A pair of small, round spectacles found their way to his nose. Autolycus did not need them, but they conferred the aura of distinct learnedness necessary to facilitate these affairs.​
He opened the thick ledger with a creak. "Our first lot," Autolycus shouted pointedly at them, and that got them all to finally settle down. He continued in a more polite tone, if edged with condescension. "Approaching the platform now..."​
A pair of grim-faced black wardens escorted the unfortunate prisoner-slave up the stairs. A small dark-haired human woman, hands bound, clearly worse for wear. For all the value these people put on chattel, they never took good care of it. The mousy slave woman appeared familiar to Autolycus' eye, but he reasoned that all humans looked the same to him.​
His finger traced along the lines of the ledger. "Karen." He said, as the ink was smudged. "Human woman, aged approximately twenty. Possessed of fair countenance, slight build, and modest sorcerous ability..."​
He trailed off, red eyes scanning the restless crowd.​
"Bidding begins at three hundred gold pieces or equivalent."​
The shouting started again, a cacophony of screeching flesh peddlers. Autolycus frowned. It was hard to discern the disparate offers...​
Iron shackles clinked as the rough hands of her captors hoisted her onto the auction platform. She fought against them, a futile struggle against the inevitability of her situation, but they were too strong, too practiced in their trade.

Her black hair clung to her pale face and shoulders like seaweed, plastered against her damp skin by the salty residue of the ocean she'd been dragged from. Dark clothes clung to her slender frame. She stood there, a defiant figure amidst the depravity of the slave auction, her gaze sharp despite the weariness that weighed heavy upon her, determined not to cry over this shit-show of a situation she'd found herself in.

The sight of the motley assortment of degenerates and slavers sent a shudder rippling down her spine, their leering gazes stripping away whatever semblance of dignity remained in this degrading spectacle. Where are they? ..Is he alive? Her mind raced, the thought of Roul lying lifeless in the black sand threatened to overwhelm her, but she refused to succumb to hopelessness in front of these vultures.

The auctioneer's voice pierced through the din of the crowd, announcing her as 'Karen'. She scoffed inwardly at the error, like they gave a fuck what her name was. "I'll curse every one of these bastards who tries to buy me!" she called over the crowd, kicking out at the face of a man who got too close to the platform, causing further disorder just to spite the prick who'd called her Karen.
The shipwreck had been no surprise to Elide. Talk of glimpses of the wooden ship, a fragile speck amongst the churning sea seen only illuminated when lightning struck, had long since grown to be old news. Boring. It was a maze of islands scattered throughout a notoriously dangerous ocean. Far worse than an occasional shipwreck happened here.

Still, Elide lurked in the shadows, watching over the town as it stirred and excitement for their latest batch of slaves grew. Had it not been an order for Elide to monitor and discipline- some stupid fucking order for whatever she had done to irritate that horrible bitch Misandra today- she would likely have found herself lurking anyway.

The shadows whispered. Survivors of the wrecked ship had made the rather unfortunate trip to Cerak. Unfortunate for them as their fate would fare no better here than it would had they decided to sink to the bottom of the ocean with their ship. She was curious to know why.

They also whispered of an another body, washing up several miles further for whatever reason. But when the shadows spoke of her, there was something more pressing than when they mentioned the other survivors. The woman hadn't put up much of a fight when she had been captured, but some of the guards seemed quite perturbed by her presence when they had returned. Interesting. Her shadows stirred with excitement upon seeing her in the flesh, seeming to enjoy watching her attempt to thrash about in order to free herself from her shackles.

Elide listened to the auctioneer ramble for a bit before it seemed everyone wanted a piece of the young sorceress.

Oh and that curse! Elide fought whatever expression might portray pleasure upon hearing such audacious claims from the young woman.

She stepped from the shadows, pulling down her hood. There was no need to shout when she was Elide. She was a warden. And she was, for all it was worth, a princess to these horrid people.

"Fifteen-hundred." A voice like ice- sharp, cold, and ancient- cut through the crowd leaving a sense of unease that lingered long after her words had faded. Her people knew that her word was final.
"Maybe we should have left her as a leopard."

Tomas looked across at his friend indignantly, three deep, freshly stitched wounds running down the side of his face. At least Pytr had the decency to duck his head in shame at the thoughtless comment. He didn't, however, have the decency to shut his bloody mouth about his plan.

"All I'm saying is, that a leopard is easier to sell. Even if it's just to a hunter who wants a pretty new coat. A skinny girl doesn't look like much to anyone. Ain't no-one going to buy her for a servant that's for sure."

"That skinny girl killed Alaric. And Niamh," Tomas spat. "Skinwalkers are rare and far pricier. We should at least get payment for what we've lost," not that he really cared about losing Alaric. Mercs were a copper a dozen around these parts and he had owed the big brute two whole silvers after their last game of cards. Niamh was more of a loss; free enchanters were harder to find in a shithole like Cerak. They would need at least half of what they could make from selling the Skinwalker to tempt an Enchanter from their current employment.

Both hunters turned to look at the girl in question. Two unnerving green eyes stared right back unblinking. Despite the shackles that bound her magic around her wrists, Tomas could had sworn he could see the leopard staring right at him. He muttered a low curse under his breath and downed the rest of his drink.

"Make her look somewhat presentable. She'll be up in the next lot," and with that he left his friend to it to check the other prizes they were set to auction that day.
Mukbar was at the back of the ragged band.
The dead one, who for some reason did not seem to acknowledge him, was obsessed with finding a sword.
Mukbar had a sword, he wasn't needing it and would have gifted it but the man just didn't look at him, the whole trip.
It was a nice sword too, a bejeweled one he stole from the camel riders before they found the eye.
Since the weird sword man did not seem to want it he ondered if he might use it to get a room, or food or both. Surely both. He could tell the jewels were real at least and the gold was real if only plating.
It was a genuine piece of good fortune.

This pack moved and kept moving. Mukbar was slower than most at the best of times but he managed to not loose them.
"Uh, looksh like shlavery to me."
People were in chains, being dragged to and fro.
"Yup, definitely shlavery!"

The swing-jawed Nicomo absently watches the auction proceed with the fascination of a curious child, but the brands on his skin and lengthy scars on his back scream that what he sees is a nasty affair.​
Be quiet, broken flesh. The guards have swords.​
He circles the crowd of degenerates, blending right in. His steps carry him to the platform, where he’s shoulder-to-shoulder with screaming bidders.​
To the nearest of several armed thugs separating the crowd from the platform he says politely, “That there,” he points at the sword hung at the guard’s waist then wrings his hands together anxiously, “where might I find one of those?”​
The man’s face sourly twists up. He spits a phlegmy glob in the mud by Nicomo’s feet.​
Perhaps clearing his mouth of muck so he could give his answer. None came.​
Nico clears his throat and says louder so his voice isn’t as drowned out by the crowd, “Good fellow, I ask again, where might I find a sword?”​
“Fifteen hundred.”​
Nicomo doesn’t even notice the crowd fall quiet.​
A SWORD, MAN!” Spittle flies from his lips and he throws his arms up in outrage, “I ASKED FOR A FUCKING SWORD! YOU STUPID CUNT! FUCK!”​

With that revelation still making itself known in her thoughts, it made each footfall closer to the wretched shithole heavier. She did not wish to march towards it, but even as she slowly made her way there, hand pressed against the shirt she was given to keep her blood from spilling too fast. No longer dazed, Iskra was feeling the cuts and pecked out chunks at her side scream in pain, but all she would offer outwardly was hisses through gritted teeth.

They had made it to the outskirts, and the dread set in ever present.

Trade between Cerak and the Empire was well known; slaves being the most traded between the two ports. As a child, she had been close to being sold to being on one of those ships.

"Well, not much we can do to help the poor souls." She fell into the side of a wall, steeling herself as she lifted her jacket to see the wound that had been ailing her. "I'm going to find a healer."

If she can even bring herself to leave the solidity of the wall.
Elide | Iren Brightmane | Iskra | Keres | Nicomo | Mukbar | Roul

Everyone got quiet all of a sudden. They usually did when Elide was around, even when she wasn't throwing out numbers like that. Autolycus rubbed his brow with one hand and quickly scratched the winning bid into the ledger. Nobody outbids the house.​
"Very well. For fifteen-hundred..."​
A SWORD, MAN!” Someone was in an insane screaming rage, “I ASKED FOR A FUCKING SWORD! YOU STUPID CUNT! FUCK!”​
Why did that pleading sound familiar? The crowd began a low grumble of annoyance, either impatient for the next lot or for Nicomo to be quiet.​
Autolycus could feel a deep and apoplectic anger rising. His features tensed, brow furrowed... But then he relaxed. Closed his eyes, inhaled, exhaled. And so it was that the fury passed right through him. Each day was a struggle, but he remembered his mantras and kept his patience.​
He looked over to the guard captain lingering near the stairs of the platform and gestured at Nicomo with a genteel open hand. "Go kill that man."​
In a few moments several swords would come loose from their scabbards. Just what the madman ordered.​
A disheveled, raven haired woman in shackles stood upon the wooden timbers of the scaffold.


In disbelief, Roul saw Iskra turn away, saying something about a healer, her own needs first. Did she not recognize Keres? Suddenly, Nicomo caused a commotion, screaming for a sword. Upon the lumber dais, the auctioneer spoke again and Roul recognized him as well - Autolycus, the Elf from the Gulf of Ryt. How could he do this, after everything they'd been through to get off the continent and onto that Allirian ship? After the voyage they'd shared, Roul had started to care for them all.

What a blind fool he'd been, of course they'd betray each other at the drop of a coin.

Still, he wouldn't let them cut Nicomo down, nor would he let them sell Keres like some animal at auction.

Weariness fled from the Cortosi warrior, replaced by a torrent of rage and adrenaline. His vision tunneled and his nostrils flared. Scents came to him, but one came strongest above all others as emotions churned.

The reek of violence.

"Wait," Roul snarled, he turned a shoulder and tried to push his way through the crowd. When the bodies began to contract, Roul started to shove them aside. An overly zealous complaint from an overconfident gnome earned the small fellow a knee to the stomach.

The crowd started to part before Roul's violence as he continued throwing elbows and knees into body parts until he emerged at the base of the platform.

"Wait," he called again. "Stop this," he roared, spittle flying from his lips as he kept exhaustion at bay solely through pure anger.

"You know him." He growled at Autolycus. "You know us all. Call off your guards. Release her. Release Keres, now."