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amethyst_rta in roadtoamber

Kitezh Shadow Path - To a Painted Shadow

A group of intrepid explorers follows a very nebulous lead to a Shadow that was Painted from the imagination of Queen Amethyst of Kitezh.

Starring: Wulf, Sol, Ruby, Ithunn, Amethyst


With everyone meeting in Amber, it was pretty easy to get on the ship provided by Uncle Gerard, and have it set sail out of Amber, and off to where shadow shifting skills will come into play. At the moment, the ship is nearing the point where the children and grandchildren of Oberon can use their powers for ... well, for shifting. Whether for good or ill remains to be seen. Amy is up on the deck, her trump deck in its waterproof Marlene-made case attached at her wrist so it doesn't go flying off anywhere. The weather here is clear, just a bit chilly, and the sun is starting to think about setting. (For sake of convenience, we can assume that Gerard is with the ship's captain.)

Keeping a weather eye on the horizon, Wulf can be found assisting the crew with the job of holding the rigging in place and the cargo netting where it's supposed to be. In other words, fiddling with ropes at the moment, to no purpose and keeping out of the way of general traffic. The man's deep-set eyes are far and away, along with the set of his jaw and features. His great labrys has been stowed, for the blades of it can catch on guy-lines and such and cut them by accident a thing that would be foolish. Nearby, a length of hemp is untying itself all on its own, the frayed ends knotting slowly into fixings; a self-made cat'o'nine-tails, quite literally. The cold, unsurprisingly, bothers him not a jot.

Sol is, as her want, perched high enough to watch the whole ship and the horizon. Steam occasionally wafts from her as the wind shifts directions. Bare feet sway from where they dangle and her hair dances and streams around her like a silken banner.

Seems the whole lot from Kitezh is untroubled by the cold: Ithunn sits on a barrel out of the way, watching the waves go by,her blue wool cloak fluttering in the wind.

Ruby has tried to shadow the Prince during the voyage. A badly concealed attempt to observe his doings. There's been times when she's orbited the Captain or just happened to stalk around the quarterdeck. Loitering and refraining from assuming an actual duty. Occasionally troubling part of the crew with some mumbled-mouthed question...sometimes just being a pest and interfering with yammering observations that don't require an answer or even acknowledgement. "...Cause then...They'd be loike...Uuuugh." she wriggles her fingers at a member of the crew that's trying to do their job and focusing on their work.

Amy has a cloak and might still seem a bit cold. Because she's the only one who gets impacted by the darn cold, alas. And without Viktor to keep her warm, awww! "Alright, we're almost to the first phase, going to start shadow shifting right about -- " She pauses, for the count of maybe 10, and then her concentration is obvious, as the sky slowly darkens, from blue to darker blue to flat out dark, and then hitting magenta. The water slowly turns a dull brown and in the distance there are fins visible.

"Now," Amy says.

Wulf's eyes lift to settle on the princess and queen, on the count. As the distant call of the waves shifts, he looks up at the darkening sky, along it to the horizon again, humming softly under his breath, as if making up a ditty on the spot, attention on the fins, but unbothered by them for the time being. He says nothing, seems calm, though the unwinding self-making cat'o'nine just tied itself in the wrong way and must undo.

Ruby is about to go into the history of narrow channel sloops when Amy's voice cuts through and heralds the beginnings of a transit. Ruby rubs underneath her nose furiously and stalks on over to where Amy is situated. She lopes on over with a cautious gait. Giving the Queen some personal space of a few paces. Her lips press tightly together, which ruin the whole non-plussed attitude she'd been trying to wear like a mask. A glance to what surrounds the ship and she's lowering her chin towards her chest, head hanging a bit forward and eyeing Amethyst as she concentrates. There's a bit of a subconscious echoing as the tall woman mimics Amy's respiration.

Ithunn too hums under her breath as the shifting begins. She winks at Wulf.

It's not a hell ride, by any means. Amy nods to one of the sailors, and he brings out a painting, so that she can watch it. And as they continue to go, she looks from the landscape to the real surroundings and back. The sky gradually goes from magenta to purple to blue again, and then it starts to show hints of green. A storm piles on the horizon, the fins in the water close in and then slide out into the distance. A large tentacle lifts up, taller than the tallest mast, before it is suddenly off in the distance, as the ship continues to move. The water eases to tan, then to orange, puce and even a startling shade of lime green, before it ends up electric blue.

Sol brandishes a finger at that tenticle, waggling a finger like it belonged to a child attempting to reach into the cookiejar. As the sea resumes a more natural color she settles back onto her perch, more relaxed but wary all the same.

Wulf is perhaps a bit startled by the wink in his direction, or it might just be the tentacle that's larger than any tree he's ever seen. Either way, the rope just collapses down, inanimate once again as his eyes travel swiftly away from the be'suckered and the blue-apron'd and cloaked, to the water, noting the change in the colour and stumbling on the tune he'd been humming. Lips move, his face frowns in verbal consternation and there's a snort. Sometimes, putting 'puce, lime green and electric blue water into an epic eda in your own mind, is next to impossible.

Ithunn takes a startled step backwards at the site of the tentacle, her hand going to sword ilt as the thing has already gone by. She draws a breath and keeps singing to herself.

Ruby twitches at the added wrinkle what she assumes would be a normal shadow transit. The appearance of the artwork has her tilting her head and she's just begging to ask. It dawns on her what may be happening, coupled with some memories and past conversations. Her lips are pulling back from her teeth in a sour expression. "Ay-mah..." She leans back and rasps. Somehow, this is more worrying than the Bog-awful big tentacle that emerged. She hisses again, "Ay-mah...you doo'n it." She reaches a tentative hand but refrains from laying hands upon her. Fingers doing a slow spider-crawl in the air. There's an urge to add her own imaginary brushstrokes, and she put to a mental thighlock on it.

And as the water hits that electric blue, the sky becomes hazy green. The fins in the water seem to expand, getting larger, even as there are more of them. The large tentacle in the distance is still there, waving about lazily. The sun is high in the sky, bright and warm, the temperature all around becoming comfortable and then a little bit too warm. Uncomfortable perhaps, but not extremely so. The sailor up in the crow's nest calls out, "Land Ho! Off to starboard, I make it 15 degrees, Cap'n." The land visible is brown at the shoreline, standing out clearly against the ridiculous blue of the water and the green of the sky. "I think it's high noon here," Amy says, blinking at the bright light. "Make for land, but beware the rocks." And as they move towards the chocolate brown land, the rocky craggy harbour slowly comes into view.

Sol watches ruby with gentle amusement. She then moves to scamper down.

Amy looks over at Ruby. "What's up, Ruby? Yeah, this is fun, isn't it?"

Wulf grabs a yard-arm pole along with the sailors. He'll be busy assisting this, using his longer reach to push off rocks as they draw closer to the shallows and wherever they weigh anchor, he'll help with getting the dinghys and landing boats ready. The temperature is a concern only for as long as it takes a light rhime of frost to dust his skin and hair, encrust his beard and clothing. Aah, blessed cool.

Ithunn ventures over toward Ruby and Amy. "Is something wrong? Or is this the way it should go?"

Ruby eyes Amy with aprehension. "Tha's yours roight? We sailed intah your paintin." She clasps her hands together so they can occupy one another, fingers threading in and out until she can make a fleshy cog of knuckles. She moves forward to squint and try to pick up extra details in the painting and then peekabooing past the edge of the canvas. Peering past the jibs and decking to the landmass they approach, she tries not to let her worry vocalize into a whine. She turns to Ithunn, "This rare. Dunno any femmes tha can doo 'this'."

"Sort of, Ruby. I painted the landscape, and we've found the shadow that matches it," Amy says. "Ithunn, this is - the picture with the nasty harbour, and here we are." The rocks are in fact nasty. Big. Craggy. Everywhere. And ... moving. "This will definitely take sailors of great salt," Amy says, somewhat bemusedly.

"The rocks...uh...are moving? Is that normal?" Ithunn asks, glancing from the landscape to the real thing and back and forth. "Not sure how to sail around moving rocks."

Wulf eyes the clashing rocks, peering at the crew and back to the rocks, silently. The deck, the ship, the crew, back to the shore -- his mouth opens, shuts again, then he's simply ready. Neither captain, nor admiral, nor naught but one of kite blood, he'll at least be a pair of strong arms! The humming though, resumes. Clashing rocks is easy, where technicolour ocean is not.

Ruby blinks and moves over towards the rail, hands gripping it until it feels like she's going to make an imprint. "Bog's barnacles b..." She nearly goes over the side, leaning out as she does, legs making a Y shape for stability as she tries to game out if there's a pattern to the rocks. "I need somethin tah dangle from an a bloody thick pike."

Sol reaches to grab Ruby, tiny as she is she doesn't have any difficulty helping the larger woman balance, "Perhaps I may be of some assistance?"

The rocks continue to move, the pattern there for a bit, but then it changes, like a dance in three parts. "I don't know - never been here before," Amy admits. "This is a scouting mission to see what is here. "I think though that the harbour beyond the rocks would be a great place to anchor. Do you think we can get there? I actually - don't know much about sailing," she admits, a little ruefully.

"You could move the rocks?" Ithunn asks. "Or ask Wulf if he can move them? He has a knack for such things."

It's going to be one of those days. A lot of strange things are going to have to be accepted or obstinately blocked. Ruby's flummoxed by Sol's ability to keep her from getting way wet and salty. She snags at a long boathook and brandishes it menacingly at some of the obstacles. "Don't drop me...Don't wanna get ten-tickled", she calls over the lip of the wooden rail. Her intentions are try and see if she can physically move the erratic nasty things. "Shame bow wasn't re-in-forced some'ow! We could trample through!"

Sol tilts her head, "They seem to move on their own. If we wait, perhaps there will be an opening?" she frowns, "Strange that the rocks should move." head tilting to the side a bit. Good thing Ruby hasn't noticed it's not SOL, but her shadow made tangible that grasps Ruby, Sol herself braced against the railing.

Wait, what? "Njord's beard!" Wulf exclaims, exhaling low and slow as he's quasi volunteered. Wide-eyes look at Ithunn, then at the dancing of the rocks in their clash and waltz. He sucks breath in, looking up at the sky, at the sea, at the rocks, at the gods and potent women, queens and extremely-large sailors of ebon skin all. "Was not prepared," not for this, certainly not for this! He looks down at the hull, mutters words to himself and swallows heavy. "Could try. Would be like Ice-cutting, in reverse."

Amy tilts her head, and then she chuckles. "If you are willing to try, Wulf, that sounds like a good idea to me. If you would like time to prepare, I expect we can take time." She's watching the rocks as well, so is anyone noticing where that tentacle has gotten to? The big one that was slowly closing in from the other side of the boat? Yeah, it's getting closer, and the fins are jumping, trying to get on the boat. Big sharp teeth those sharks have, but they can't fly, not quite.

"Well, at least you have experience with ...uh..rocks...things..." Ithunn stumbles in her reply to Wulf. "Or ideas what to do? In any case...we'd better think of something soon--we're going to be in trouble and soon."

Tentacle and sharks! It's never just one thing, is it? Nope! But that's the way the cookie crumbles. Nodding to the queen, Wulf inhales deep, muttering under his breath and moves to the prow of the ship, leaning over with his legs braced on the inner bow of the sprit itself. Ice forms around his ankles and against the wood, to help anchor him in place as he leans forward -- this, so that he has the best unobstructed view that he can manage, of the rocks, without the ship in the way. He hums under his breath continually though; first Raido, the rune of Travel, appears in the air, made out of multicoloured ice-crystals and snowflakes, whirling in the air a moment before it's snatched away. Then Isa, the rune of ice. Nauthiz, the rune of Need. Pertho, the rune of plenty, drifting in the air. His hands spread out to the water, lifting up slowly above his head and drawing inward to his person, then with a great crescendo of kitezha spat to the sea, the sky, the water and the blood of Jotunheim, he thrusts his hands outward violently toward the rocks.

Ice blossoms from the bases of the two closest, a creaking, cracking sound and the nearest one does not stop, but... with fierce concentration in the eye of the Wulf upon the prow of the ship, both hands outstretched to it, it... dances in a wibble off aways, the waves in its wake, cracking into chunks and drifting here and there, pulled by its slowed and skewed passage.

"Watch out!!" Ithunn yells, half a second before a grey, slimey tentacle comes roaring out of the water and sweeping over the deck of the ship. Ithunn has managed to duck just in time so that the suckers sweep just over her head, whistling in the air. The Thane yanks out her sword, ready to hack at the squid-attacker.

Ruby tries to press herself up against the hull as Wulf invokes his strange magics. She prods with her hook at anything that looks like it'll come within range of the hull or sneak past. It is a good thing she isn't looking closely at what's got a hold of her or she'd be tentacle bait for sure.

The first tentacle is followed by a second, as the giant squid thing tries to catch the ship, in a role reversal that seems to happen often enough in shadow. Amy squeaks a bit, and pulls her sword, moving to help Ithunn. Meanwhile, the ship's sailors move the ship forward into the opening created by Wulf, the rocks grinding and almost moaning as they come to a stop in their dance, fighting to continue the movement. Another tentacle follows, slapping onto the ship deck, and trying to pull the ship backwards.

Sol grunts and tries to reel Ruby back up, grunting and struggling as she brings the woman laborously up, straining and quaking with girlish grunts.

Wulf's face is the very picture of concentration. As the ship slides past, twisting and turning to the mad dance of promontaries, that strongly resemble meatgrinding teeth for the land beyond it (a fact which bodes rather interestingly, but suitably kite!), he maintains his hold on the two closest, only long enough that ttheir crash and resumption won't sunder the boat in twain with thier return. Hands point out, spread, toward the next pair, sweat on his brow and cheeks bulged out with held breath. The same freeze-wibble of motion occurs and yes, this takes all his effort. No shark nor tentacle please! He isn't into hentai.

Rushing forward, Ithunn hacks toward the tentacle...now tentacles. "Another sword...or more men...or shift us out of here!" she yells to Amy, ducking as another tentacle comes swinging over her head.

Ruby raises her head past the rail as she's hauled like a stubborn anchor. The boathook follows and arcs overhead to sink deep into the deck for purchase. Staring past Sol's head and shoulders, she sees the wet slapping appendages flop and shrieks. "We all gonna die!" But, thankfully not by those rocks with Wulf's efforts. One thing at a time. With Sol's assistance, she is brought all the way onto the deck proper.

Sol drops Ruby on the deck and then stands on the railing, she sniffs, "Damned beast!" she shakes her hair out of her face with a shake of her head and her hands burst into flames and she flings a scyth-shaped blade of fire forwards any that gets too near the ship. Correction...nearish to the ship. Those that are TRUELY too near she hits not with fire but with a burst of air, her other hand slicing causing a distortion in the air...course this causes flames (temporarily) to snuff from her opposite hand for some reason. She's not afraid, she looks ANGRY! Hazel eyes now looking like twin embers, "Let **GO** of my Queen's SHIP!"

Amy has a sword, and she brings it to bear. it's actually got a dragon on the hilt, and is quite a nice looking sword. and it slices into that tentacle as well, getting the suckered thing off the ship. The three or four tentacles in the air are given pause by Sol's heated rejoinder. Ruby might find a tentacle darting in and swooping her way, as the ship lurches forward, through the first set of rocks. The squidopus seems to still be following, but there is a very loud roar of anguish as the rocks behind the ship start moving again. And two of the tentacles vanish. Two down to rocks, three down to Sol, one on the ship being sliced at by Ithunn, one aimed at Ruby, and one being sliced at by Amy. And Wulf still concentrating, while the ship slowly lurches through the opening he's making.

Better hope the squidopus doesn't jump.

Wulf doesn't even glance back at the sounds of terror and tentacle. If he does, BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN and that would be officially Not Good. Spotting a spot where the water churns less close, he throws both arms out to the side, as if holding a great door wide -- the rocks he currently has, with their frentic dance disrupted an their mantle of ice, /scream/ as the frost creaks and cracks on their surface. The sea clashes with displacement of that water for that moment, sucking the hull of the ship down; the aim being when that force-spawned thrust comes back, the resulting swell at their hull should push them through faster! That's the theory anyway, but when does ANYTHING ever go to plan?
5rTHere's a tentacle piece on the deck now, and Ithunn is hacking at it. Repeatedly, muttering under her breath. "We could burn it?" she says breathlessly to Amy. "If I had fire and Sol wasn't busy...." She hacks some more.

Ruby cowers underneath Sol's upright form as the smaller woman balances on the railing. There's nothing for it but to roll away when the fire and wind is conjured and hurled at the sea creature. The whoosh and heat and feeling of air being swept overhead is palpable. A shadow falls across her and she does the very worst thing by stopping instead of carrying on with her horrible Shatner-roll. A wet meaty slap and while she tries to tumbleweed back the way she came...A leg is sandwiched between the tentacle and the deck. Whap. "Fffff!" On her back, she raises up her other foot until her knee is almost chucking her chin, and kicks downwards at the tentacle like a maniac. Fear and anger wrestling with each other, the winner getting to be the one driving her bare heel.

Sol blinks. Gets a nostril full of dead quid tenticle. There's a breathless curse in an ancient dialect and again pulls herself half up on the rail and leans forward, one hand holding the railing the other sweeping rosegold curls out of the way as she's abruptly, and violently, ill. Well, that's what image that's not in any of the murals and tapestries of Sol-her ass up on a rail spilling out her insides.

As Wulf's attempt goes forward, so too does the ship. She dips forward slowly to a horrendous angle, and then swooshes forward with a cracking sound. From below there is a yelp of "We're taking on water!" And then the sailors are all over the place, moving to get the ship to safety if possible. The rocks though - with that last push of Wulf's are now all behind them. As is the squidopus. And the tentacles that are there start to heave and smash in a frenzied fashion. Because they are no longer attached to anything. The rocks whoomp back to their chomping, chomping, and now they are gorging on tentacles and vomit, at the very least, the gnashing and grinding sounding even more like teeth. The ship is taking on water, but the sailors have it covered at the moment. it's sitting in calm waters in the harbour. Except of course for the sharks.

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June 2016

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