Sep 22, 2020 12:23 PM
A skyship descends on Hekírekum
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The aethership known as the Covenant sails through the skies between worlds, propelled by the magic of her captain and crew. They are exploring the edges of the known aetheric web, following uncharted currents in search of new horizons. 

Most of the time, with a competent navigator—which they have—this is not a particularly risky endeavour in its own right. The risks of exploration are largely in the form of hostile or otherwise dangerous natives, with the occasional astral beast floating between the stars to catch unwary travellers. 

Occasionally, however, even the finest navigator can fall afoul of unexpected changes in the flow of the current. 

The ship lurches. There is a sickening jolt. 

And a whirling vortex springs up out of nowhere to envelop them, ship, sails and all. It's far too late to turn about or make any attempt to control the ship's trajectory within the wormhole; all they can do is ride it out and try to hold the ship together. 

After a second that seems to last a lifetime, the vortex spits them out. 

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... in an unknown sky, falling very rapidly to the ground. 

It’s a lovely sky, though they might not be in the best position to appreciate that.

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Not. Good. 

There'll be time to figure out what went wrong later. Jacob focuses his energy on holding the ship together, trusting that his crew are doing the same. Casimir can handle— 

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—finding a safe landing point. 

"There's a lake, haul to starboard!" 

Focus, focus, this ship is their life, his magic can and will protect it. The winds around the ship lift and guide it in the direction of the lake, even as Jacob turns the wheel in the right direction. 

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The Covenant crashes into the lake with a massive splash that drenches most of the crew, as well as anyone standing on the shoreline. 

The timbers creak ominously, complaining about the sudden impact, but they hold. Just.

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There’s a woman- blue skinned, dark haired, wearing the incongruous combination of long sleeves, short pants, and a scarf- standing on the shore; she appears mysteriously dry. She also seems to be accompanied by a small retinue; they aren’t similarly lucky.

It’s an exquisitely pretty lake, once the waves settle, with water dozens of feet deep and clear as ice, delicate koi fluttering about, and gorgeous lily pads dotting the surface. Exquisitely pretty place, too- it looks like it has multiple suns, but there’s just enough cloud cover to make it merely bright, rather than piercing.

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"Ow." Linden uncurls painfully from the navigator's chair. "Sorry about that, Captain," he says groggily. "It came up from nowhere." He speaks at a normal volume, despite being half the ship away from the captain; Jacob can hear him anyway through his bond with the ship. 

"...where the hell are we?" 

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"I haven't the foggiest." The ship carries Jacob's reply back to Linden as if they were standing next to each other.

A moment later, his next words are projected to the whole crew in the same way. "Whatever that was, it was far too quick for any of us to react, and it didn't act like anything I've heard of before. Do any of you know what happened, or recognise this place?" 

There is a chorus of negatives. 

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"Looks like we've got natives," Casimir reports from the crow's nest. The Covenant obligingly echoes this to everyone at a thought from Jacob. "Should I go say hi?" 

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"Not alone." Casimir is the obvious choice: he's their usual spokesman, in places where it's too dangerous for Jacob to leave the ship himself. But, like Jacob, he's far weaker magically when away from the Covenant. It's not safe to send him by himself when they don't know what's out there. 

"Does anyone else feel like exploring?" 

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"I'll go." 

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"So will I." 

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(One native in particular, observing this sequence of events- in spite of the fact that she remains on the shore, and in spite of the fact that she wouldn’t, naturally, be at the right angle to see anything on the ship- delicately flicks out a wand and a staff from the air itself; that air then seems to whisper ‘shwoto fwopo shwosho wutu’ul, shwoto fwopo shwosho wutu’ul...’ in a nearly-silent chorus. This is audible upon the ship as well, for those paying attention. A stray cloud migrates, with not unnatural rapidity, and moves in front of both suns.)

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Kirill happens to be looking in the right direction. "Fuck. Native mages." 

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Casimir half-slides, half-hovers down the mast to land next to Kirill. "Sounds like we definitely want to talk to them, then. I'll fly us out there once Su-Jin's ready." 

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This, too, is watched by the unnervingly silent and still woman- who is very busy having an entirely internal panic attack and manually calming it down, not that anyone could tell- and her less still, less silent, less unnerving retinue.

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Su-Jin emerges from belowdecks with a bag slung over her shoulder. "Ready." 

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"Great. Here we go—"

The wind swirls around Casimir, Su-Jin, and Kirill, lifting the three of them into the air and carrying them over the lake. Rather than flying directly towards the natives, Casimir aims a little to the left so they'll land somewhere nearby. 

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They manage to make it over to the shore unimpeded, if still creepily started at! 

And then... don’t quite seem to be capable of landing.

Aforementioned creepy-starer doesn’t seem to be doing any obvious magic, but they nevertheless find that the air isn’t giving them up quite yet- like a strong force is counteracting the pull of gravity, and a weaker wind is pushing against any attempts to move otherwise.

The blue-skinned woman makes an impatient, elaborate gesture in the general direction of one of the gold-skinned women.

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Said gold-skinned woman blinks, and takes several steps forward.

”Who are you,” she begins eununciating, projecting loudly, clearly, and with only a mild accent. “And why are you here?”

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Casimir lets the other mage have control of the winds rather than start a dominance battle. Kirill might get antsy if they're stuck like this for too long, though. 

"My name is Casimir; I speak for the crew of the Covenant." He's decent at projecting his voice, and makes sure to speak slowly and clearly. "Our ship fell through an anomaly and we crashed here. We mean you no harm." 

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The blue woman doesn’t seem particularly impressed by this set of assertions. She pulls out a bamboo rod, and moves it in an elaborate series of twirls; the air seems whisper once more, this time too indistinctly to be transcribed.

 

Nothing visibly happens.

 

She then proceeds to make several elaborate hand gestures, while the gold woman watches.

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“Well,” translates the gold woman, “you’ve landed on the territory of Our Lady Arizvam, Royal Shachihoko Mage- who I am interpreting for- on the hekyeiyekui. Where are you from?”

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"I apologise for trespassing on your lands, milady, but we really didn't have much choice." Now he's aware that the gold woman is a translator, Casimir makes sure he's primarily addressing Arizvam.

"As for where we come from, that's...a complicated question. We're sailors, all from different planets, but the last port we left was New Tumul, on Volaris. I don't know if you'd have heard of it; are you in contact with many other planets?"

Are you in contact with any other planets, he means, but that would be seen as rude if the answer is yes. He's never heard of a planet of rainbow-skinned people, but it's a big universe. 

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Gesticulation occurs.

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(Alongside ‘patient, invisible, inaudible spying from the shadows’, which is one of Tasha’s favorite hobbies. Arizvam really ought to call her more often; this is more than interesting enough to make up for having to waste a ritual sacrifice on teleportation.)

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