Dec 07, 2021 1:51 AM
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It pays to be alert while traveling the Dreaming Sea. As one of the largest intrusions of wyld-stuff into Creation proper, the sea is the primary source of this region's wealth and dangers, delivering valuable resources and malicious fae in equal measure. Storms that build out in the depths can travel for miles inland and leave the terrain twisted into new shapes in their wake. It's never just rain that falls. But still, it's much faster to cross the sea than travel overland around it. And Eridani is Dragonblood, a scion of Prasad, a Prince of the Earth. Exalted. She can deal with any problems that arise on the voyage.

The Empire of Prasad has made quite a tidy living off these sorts of voyages, after all. They've got the most Dragonblooded, they're the closest to perfection. Prasadi trade routes have built their own and other kingdoms around the shores of the Dreaming Sea into powerhouses. As part of those relationships, Prasad takes an interest whenever one of their neighbors is having problems. Which is why Eridani is on a ship at this moment. She's leading a delegation to the Anzati Principalities, a group of city-states on the eastern shore. They've sent word of an invasion by a nearby kingdom, while the bulk of their forces is tied up dealing with incursions from the northern forest tribes. So here she is, to sort truth from fiction, deal with the problem if she can and if not, get some actually useful information about what's going on. The Principalities are a good trading partner by and large, but sometimes their internal disunity makes international relationships... complicated.

The trip has been quiet so far, in these beginning stages. Only to be expected, she's barely left Prasad's boundaries.

Still. She'd feel better if something would actually happen. A fog like this presages... something. Eridani paces back and forth on the deck of the ship, peering over the sides, waiting for the first shoe to drop.

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The fog has no idea what she's talking about. Nope. No siree. Perfectly innocent fog here, slashed through with bands of a sickly iridescence, strange shapes and unseen worlds moving in the corner of your eyes - as is totally normal for fog. 

Really. 

There probably shouldn't be anything actually floating in the water, though, not this far from shore, not in these calm seas. Stuff floating in the water out here usually means something terrible happened to someone somewhere. 

Such as, for instance, the woman floating face up on the gentle waves, drifting toward the ship as she slips through the fog's grasping hands. Her dark purple hair spreads in a halo around her, and her eyes are closed, her body totally limp.

She's also stark naked and covered in strange shimmering tattoos, like someone decided injecting moonsilver under your skin isn't colorful enough. 

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...That's not something you see every day.

She should let the body drift past. Or shoot it, or set fire to it, or something.

 

Eridani grabs a rope and calls a pair of crewmembers over to pull her back and dives into the water to retrieve the woman.

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The woman remains totally limp as Eridani pulls her out of the water. She's breathing normally, and her skin feels normal, given the circumstances, and her hair behaves like hair should when lifted from the water. 

She doesn't utter even a small sigh as she's manhandled, her sleeping expression almost sad, and her eyes are flicking rapidly around under their lids.

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Asleep, maybe? Wyld-touched for certain. She can make a more thorough inspection once she's gotten them both hauled back aboard. And had a length of canvas brought, for modesty.

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She doesn't react to the hauling, but...

Asleep doesn't seem wrong. 

Or, perhaps it's more accurate to say she's Dreaming.

On a closer look, she has something of the dazed, slack expression people under fey spells can get, woven in through the melancholy. Though being actually asleep is rare; the enchanted are usually more daydreamers or sleepwalkers than this limpness. 

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Hrmm... Taken by the Sea... tricky. Very tricky. Lots of things to consider, ways to awaken people with the least risk and damage...

Eridani pokes the woman's cheek.

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She doesn't react, except for what might be an attempt at a twitch towards the poke. 

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She is aware, then. A hopeful sign!

"Hello?" she says, putting her mouth close to the woman's ear.

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Her eyes remain closed, her expression that same distant melancholy, but - her head turns (or arguably flops) a little bit towards Eridani.

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...She's really pretty. And, y'know, if this was storybook thing, Eridani would be the hero who rescued the drowning damsel and woke her with true love's first kiss.

Fae stuff is like storybook things a lot of times.

Eridani leans in to peck the woman's lips quickly before she can think better of the idea.

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Her eyes snap open and she gasps.

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She jerks back with a startled "Eep!"

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She goes perfectly still, gaze darting around briefly before focusing on Eridani.

"Where am I?" she asks, then coughs as her voice cracks. 

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"Southeast Creation. The Dreaming Sea. Near Prasad. Uh, the ship is named Seraph...? Do you want some water?"

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"...Fresh water, with nothing else in it." 

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She gestures at one of the crew, who gets a cup of water.

"Can you sit up?"

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"Hope so." She very gingerly sits up - and succeeds.

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She passes her the cup of water.

"Here you go."

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Slow sips, with a decent sized pause after the first.

Then: "...I haven't heard of the Dreaming Sea. Or Prasad."

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"You must not be from around here, then."

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"I've lived in the east, most of my life."

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"...How far east?"

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"Near the source of the Maruto River - one of the tributaries of the Yellow River, so..." Frown, and think, then: "About five thousand miles from the Earth Pole."

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"That's about how far we are now. Maybe... a thousand, thousand and a half miles here to there in a straight line."

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"Oh."

"... How big are Prasad and the Dreaming Sea?"

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