Wings of Fury 2

Wings of Fury 2
RE: Wings of Fury 2
“Good.” Terzi, having just finished packing her things, flourishes her shortstaff under Caulind’s chin, “If I catch you getting into people’s brains without their permission, I’ll get into your brain. And I won’t be using Third Song.”

She spins it away from him and back to her side, picking up the white hatchling, transferring it into a sling she’d fashioned for herself while packing, keeping it safe close to her chest.

“Kindly avoid touching my mind with your song, as well. Third Song... has its therapeutic uses, I realize, but I wish for my emotions to remain my own.”

She’d part from Caulind, not giving him much chance to reply.
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“Hm?”

Terzi had been staring off into the distance when Rozenn approached. She took the note and read it.

“Oh, child, I never meant to give you the idea that I don’t like you. Your attitude was just... I’ve seen many young travelers get in over their heads with blind optimism... If I was rude, it was not my intention.”

She sighed.

“You need not ‘be my shield’, but... I am headed to the university to research leads to more dragons. If you could be, instead, a ‘shield’ to the- no, no, I need to be more clear. If you can help care for and [i]hide[\i] this hatchling with yours while I do so, I’d most appreciate it.”

Terzi held up a hand.

“Do not view yourself as a shield. Shields can be broken and mended with physical material. You are a person, it takes much more to mend those. Don’t be like Sir Henri, is all I ask. Know that you are more than your honor, your glory, or your heroism.”
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Brom decides to carry Jackie the green dragon in a chest-sling.

Yup, he has that already somehow. He's a veteran father after all.

He goes to Avag, "Safety in numbers, and all that, yeah? I want to come along, in your mountain journey."
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
"Indeed, it has been quite an adventure--I shall look forward to seeing you again! While I may not know where I shall end up, I know where I may find correspondence--we may make our plans that way," he smiled, having provided his mailing address earlier, he gave Grok a small update as well in regards to Cassecour, as that was where he was headed next. As he spoke, Sir Henri made his way back from the fortress, and rode off on his way. "It seems Sir Henri has made his peace, I'm afraid I must depart as well; May you have the wind at your backs and Gods' favor guarding you, 'til next we meet!" And with that he gave the donkey a nudge, and set off down the road.
~◕ w◕~
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Caulind blinked, tensing up as the shortstaff suddenly came up at him, caught off guard by the prior lack of aggression to suddenly this. Ears going flat slowly as she talked and stilling, and remaining down even when the staff vanished.

He didn't say anything back, seemingly focusing on emotionally dealing with that interaction as his face remained black, although he did move a hand up to his throat, resting his fingers against his adam's apple until a lithe tension seemed to more fully ease off, before spiking again. Looking behind, he turned and croached to detach the silver dragon from his tail, picking them up again in both arms.

"Maybe I should make a sling too...I should check. You seem to be gathering a few of us to travel together. Was that question suggestive of an invitation or was it merely curiousity?" Asking Avag as he faced the goblin proper again.
"Don't get me started on Henchmen."
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Rozenn's approval puts a proud smile on Grokzurl's face. "Doesn't it?" he asks, administering further chin scratches. "I figured they might as well get a proper name, even if it isn't a dragon's name." 

"Anyway, you said you were traveling with a group? I was hoping a few of us might stick together!" He decides not to mention that he isn't very experienced traveling alone, much less with a creature depending on him. It'll be helpful to see how everyone handles their new companions. "I wouldn't mind the company for a while, if you all have room. I'll probably go my own way if you lot decide to stay in Chunadie, but till then we might as well keep the dragons in each other's company. Especially with so many being split up so soon."
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Rozenn grimaced. She'd been trying to remain polite with Terzi, but this was getting old fast.

"I don't appreciate the condescension. I'm not a child. >:/ I can hardly be that much younger than you. You don't look a day over 35! I'm twenty-four years old! I've been trained in the knightly arts, in diplomacy, in courtly graces, in Aldenardier and Chunadier literature, I know OODLES about the history of Alma, and I wrote my thesis on the approaches Aldenard might take to deescalate the domination of the Lassyli Penninsula by the Shu! I've visited the markets of the Shu Empire, fought the Red Sails and the Black Flags at the same time, and seen my life under threat more times than you can count on your fingers and toes!

I believe in people, and I believe in myself. I even believe in people who talk down to me and constantly tell me I'm a fool for doing what I think is right! If that makes me 'blind', then so be it! I would rather live blind and believing in something than only being able to see the flaws in everyone else."

She huffed as she passed that note off. Before Terzi could respond, she had another.

"The offer still stands, though. If you're looking for someone to help you protect the dragon under your protection, I will do all I can. I would advise you to give them a name, though. It helps. They're people. :/"

--

In a happier time, to Grokzurl:

"Yes!! I love it. :D And I'm planning on trying to. I'm going to stick with Avag until Chunadie, and then perhaps travel with Terzi. I really don't think she likes me much, though - she always seems... upset? I don't know. But yes! I'd love to travel with you :) I can teach you some sign, if you'd like, and introduce you to some knightly styles of combat if you're interested. Either way: Welcome aboard!"
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
"That sounds great!" Grok is beaming. Thank goodness so many people are so friendly. 

Regarding Terzi, his brow furrows. "I'm not so sure," he muses. "She seems a bit...set-in-her-ways, but I think she means well. I doubt she'd agree to travel with you if she disliked you that much, so I guess just give it a shot?"
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Terzi read the letter, then read the other. She let out a deep sigh.

“I did not mean to imply you are a child. I have watched young, well-learned adventurers charge blindly into adventure and glory. When you came to the challenge of raising a child, you were certainly undaunted, but now I see you’re giving things more thought. I will try to have more respect, except when you speak of yourself as a ‘shield’ or a ‘sword.’ You seem a good person. I would like to know you value yourself more than as an item to assist others.”

She waved the second letter.

“Speaking of assistance... I won’t turn you down on traveling together. But I’m not fond of naming the child. Why should I give them something restrictive that would attempt to define their identity? If you insist I shall think on something suitably generic that they may shed the moment they are capable of complex thought.”
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Rozenn writes quickly, as if a deadline swiftly approaches!

To Grok:

[I suppose you're right. I'll try to keep that in mind. It's just hard when she speaks so... callously. :( But I'll do my best. I look forward to traveling with you!]

Rozenn sighs, nods, and writes a note for Terzi.

[I'll try to take that to heart. Please know I'm not planning on throwing away my life. I think that we approach the world very differently, but I'll do my best to respect your perspective.

As for the name... Well enough. I suppose that's reasonable. But... A child should have a name, even if it's one they can change. It helps us form our identities as much as it supplies one for us - it gives us something we are, but also helps us figure out what we aren't. But if you think it's not right, I'll trust your judgment.

Thank you for discussing this with me. I look forward to traveling with you - genuinely.]
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Terzi gave a polite nod after reading the note.

“And I as well. I’m going to finish packing my bags, I’m almost ready. I’ll need to fashion a sling for the Child so they can’t get their self into trouble.”
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
And so the group departed down the mountain, with Sir Henri, Guy, and Zaya having already departed ahead of them. Over the days of marching, the mountains gave way to rolling hills, and the rolling hills gave way to a fertile river valley. Along the way, the dragons seemed fascinating by the landscapes, and absolutely detested any sort of confinement or restraint. Hiding them while traveling inside the cities would be difficult.

After a few days of travel, the group finally reached the outskirts of Marray with the sun high in the sky, and convened in a secluded wood outside of town to form their plans. Now was the time figure out groups, say goodbyes, and depart from one another's company.
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Grokzurl is peering out from the edge of the forest, eyes scanning what he can see of Marray. The outside of the city seems quiet enough. Hopefully it won't be too difficult to stay out of sight. 

He quickly makes his way back to his companions. He first asks Terzi for a reminder of where they're headed next. "The place we're going is in the capital, right? I don't imagine it'll be easy to sneak dragons in and out of there without raising a few eyebrows. I think I'll stick with you till we reach the city, but from there I might take off, keep on traveling. How likely do you think it is you'll find the kind of dragon you're looking for?"
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
“If the University archives are old enough... Likely that I’ll at least find a clue.”

Terzi drew her motley cloak a little tighter as the dragon on her shoulder nipped at a passing insect.

“The assistance I am hoping for is that you and Rozenn can watch my dragon and establish a camp nearby for us to meet back up at. Once I have some clues for us to chase, we can go out own ways, or continue to travel in a small group, whatever we feel is wisest.”
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Avag peered out at Marray. "Keeping them hidden is gonna be a pain. I don't think this little one is going to let me hide them under my cloak!" he said. "From here, it's pretty much downriver to my house. We definitely shouldn't take the dragons through any gates - I'm happy to camp out here and keep watch on the dragons if other people go in, but after that we should probably split up." He seemed a little downcast at the group having to finally disband.

He turned to Holek. "You're still up for coming with me to my family's house? I'm gonna warn you, my plan is mostly just to footslog it all the way there, since that's the easiest way to keep other people from seeing us. Might take a while, though! If you're alright going into the settlements along the way for supplies, I'll stay out in the woods and keep an eye on Pepper while we wait for you."
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Holek nods furiously, while cradling Pepper like a large cat. He shifts the dragon onto his shoulder, as they settle with their paws on his shoulder, and puts on the puppet. "Do not worry, my blood is raider blood, a bit of walk will cause me no problems. Thinking about all the treasures of cooking will keep me motivated, along with the safety of Pepper!" He paused for a bit to pet Pepper's snout again, using the puppet's arms. "And its okay, I can go pick up supplies! I have no problems with talking about matters of sustenance. And I fully trust you with protecting all who stays behind in wait."
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Rozenn signs to Avag! They're simple signs, easy to keep up with - something that he could understand while still feeling more personal than a note.

[This isn't the end of things - our friendship will guide us back to one another, Avag. You are a most honorable and decent man, and I know in my heart that our paths will cross once more. If you need any help, simply reach out - I imagine you short ones are going to have particular trouble keeping your dragons hidden! Still, you seem resourceful, so I have no doubt you'll be fine in the end.]

Then she writes a quick note to Grok and Terzi:

"It's probably not SUPER likely, considering how specific we're getting: an adult dragon who is both a good person AND willing to raise a bunch of eggs that aren't theirs. Still, we'll do our best, as is our duty. Worst case scenario, I think we can set a good example to the dragons ourselves: we can help people along the way, fight off the forces of evil, and stick our noses where they don't belong for the common good. We'll make it work! :D"
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
"Oh yeah, no, I know this isn't gonna be the end of things! For one thing, I'm telling the kid about all their siblings, so hopefully they all get to come and visit!" said Avag to Rozenn, nodding. "I'm just gonna miss this big group. Not many people get to share an experience like this! And like I said, if you ever need a hand, I'm happy to lend one. That's what friends are for, right?"

With that, he turned to Caulind. "Were you going to stick with us back to my family's place, or are you splitting off now we're in Chunadie? I don't think we ever finished that chat. You're welcome to join us if you like! But I won't be offended if you've got your own places to be."
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Terzi sighed at the end of Rozenn’s note.

“I’m not averse to helping people, but I vote we avoid the forces of evil, that can be the job of some upstart hero who isn’t looking after children.”
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Caulind was staring at Marray quietly, still holding his little responsibility in the wrapped up clothing he'd first been seen in, his explorer's clothing having been repurposed somewhat whilst he wore a more martial set of clothing. A fine mesh chain shirt, gauntlets and bracers covering the upper limbs. It was a bit more exerting to travel in but they weren't pushing at a particularly harsh pace.

"Hmm?" After a little delay at being addressed, perking slightly as active mode kicked in. "I may split off. Thank you for the invitation but, I feel I may just get underfoot. I have my own... Well, a home I can retreat to for a while, once I figure how to hide this one on a boat. The offer is very nice to be directly given though, thank you Avag..." He then held up the silver dragon, looking at her for a bit. "This is Silivrenêl by the way, for when you're telling your own about their siblings. It means crystal star, roughly. My elvish is a little rough, especially for when it comes to crafting names, I hope I've gotten it right."
"Don't get me started on Henchmen."
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
Rozenn smiles at Caulind and Avag, choosing to pretend she'd simply not heard Terzi's protests against heroism! She hands Avag one more note.

"Right! Just know it goes both ways - I can tell you're a brave man, but remember you don't need to bear your burden alone.

Also, if you'd be so kind, please let Caulind, Holek and Brom know the offer goes to them as well! I'd sign it to all of them, but I don't think Caulind understands sign *or* my writing, so without mindlinking again it would mean leaving him out. :P

Thank you again, Avag. I look forward to hearing stories about your exploits next time we meet!"
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
And so the ten dragon guardians, with heavy hearts, said goodbye to one another and ventured off into the world. Some traveled in groups, some went alone, and it was unclear if all ten of them would ever be in the same place again.

One thing was clear: their adventure alongside Sir Henri had changed their lives far more than they'd anticipated. What they'd do with their new responsibility would have long-lasting repercussions not just for Chunadie or Alma, but for the entire branch.

SpoilerShow
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RE: Wings of Fury 2
[Posting this here for posterity]

Name: N'Darr Stringstorm (Merchant name is Johnny Longfellow for his less dodgy enterprises in civilized ports)
Species: Yarr matey (Human)

Song: Third Song - The Song of Emotion and Being

Age: 27

Origin: N'Darr hails from the island of Gamtreeny. Specifically its main port city of Godsfavour.

Home: Gamtreeny was founded by the original settlers of what would later be its capital city of Godsfavour, named such in gratitude for surviving the unprecedented storm that had obliterated a Taagan naval flotilla a few centuries ago. Ever since then its been a port of call of just about everyone shit out of luck in the Sea of Galliel, a place of refuge and desperate last chances before one pulled the pin and jumped at whatever last desperate opportunity presented itself to them. As such it more or less collected virtually everyone imaginable over the centuries and its somewhat dodgy reputation despite being a civilized port of call in the Sea of Galliel. Thus it has gained it a reputation of being a Grey market where the upright world interacts with the seedy underbelly of the seas, a gobetween place for merchants, fences, thieves, assassins, privateers, naval admirals, nobles and yes, even the occasional pirate if they behave. An open secret to anyone who knows about the place and something of which its confident and cocksure natives are frustratingly proud about. Gamtreeny is ruled by a council of guilds and extracts 'tax' from the various illegal settlements and winter quarters that constantly pop up across the island, so long as your due was paid, no one gave a shit why your crew was settling in on the far side of the island for. An inefficient and ineffectual government, law is very much a mercenary's game and residents have long since learned to play an efficient game of competitive bidding to buy this or that mercenary company's garrison to police the capital city to keep local gangs in check, with the mercenary bands unfamiliarity with Godsfavour's socio-political ecosystem guaranteeing a degree of capriciousness on the part of the mercs, but also guaranteeing brutal suppression of the gangs they had no reason to fear. Located in the Sea of Galliel, it was mostly safe from the worst of piratical raider and the wrath of the three great naval powers, but not always.

Appearance: Tall and rakishly thin, a man of wiry muscle and sunburnt skin, his sharp featured face framed by long dark hair. He possesses piercing, ice blue eyes that seem wildly out of place on him, an aquiline nose that has been broken and set in place again too many times to count, a long scar running from his chin up to behind his left ear giving a dangerous edge to his perpetual, cocksure grin. A man of expensive tastes hampered by the unfortunately frugal reality of being a ship captain and pirate hunter, he tends towards flashy outfits made from hardspun, tough material that'd never be acceptable in high society but damn does it look good mid-ship battle and more than once it made an otherwise lethal saber slash a mere shallow cut. He even wears a damn eyepatch, albeit, its centre is made of considerably thinner material allowing him to see through it to a limited extent as he has two perfectly functioning eyes. He'd just be damned if he was going to be seen fighting without it.

Personality: N'Darr Stringstorm could never refuse a challenge and that has always been his problem and, quite literally, the only reason he got into the pirate hunting business to begin with. Proud, confident, defiant and ever hungry for greater glory, about the only thing one could really rely on him for was keeping his word, which he always did with an almost religious fervor. Fully believing it was what really set him apart from the scum he more than happily washes from the face of the ocean. Albeit scum he has, on more than one occasion worked for or with, depending on the job, the pay and wether he was free that month or not. His reputation being what it is, he could be relied upon to fulfill his side of any given contract if it were possible.

Biography: N'Darr Stringstorm was a dime a dozen story if ever there was one in Godsfavour. A street urchin who made his way up in life with oddjobs, the occasional burst of criminality and, eventually, as a  deckhand on passing ships. A devotee of the Third Song, N'Darr was a popular bard and performer amongst the various crews of passing ships and patrons of the watering holes of Godsfavour, equal parts skilled in various instruments as well as illusions. This soon translated to him being more than capable of putting on miniature stageplays starring just himself and whatever props a tavern could spare. Of course being one man shows, these were often short affairs of bawdy character and crude humour which more than suited his clientele's tastes. And when it didn't, well, he had to learn how to fight somewhere, what better place to start at the ripe old age of 16 when he mocked a particularly piratical captain's farcical history and promptly got the absolute shitkicking of his life delivered to him?

Had that been all there was to it, he would have taken his beating like a man and moved on, but oh no. Said captain, a one 'Jumping Jos'en', made the mistake of spitting on the beaten youth and telling him he could never hope to half the legend Jumpin Jos'en was.

So of course N'Darr took that personally.

Taking his savings and begin applying himself not only to the Third Song but learning the trade of seafaring more seriously beyond his own experiences as a deckhand. N'Darr Stringstorm begin learning the art of cannon and blade from all and sundry who'd deign to teach him. Many of whom would gladly do so for, quite literally, the price of a song hyping up their own reputations. It wasn't long before N'Darr started getting into more fights, sometimes over something as stupid as drink and coin, and sometimes very deliberately when he didn't quite like the cut of someone's jib. He learned fast and learned hard, learning how to mix in his own talents of the third song for misdirection and illusion to assist him in his battles, growing more prideful with every victory and more willful with every time he had to drag himself, spitting from the mud of defeat.

It took some time, four years to be exact but who's counting, but eventually, by hook or by crook, he had his first ship, a light sloop by the name of the Fern Farer, apparently it had once belonged to a druid but it'd be lost by the end of N'Darr's first successful hunt. N'Darr and his erstwhile crew of close friends boarded the ship of Jumping Jos'en, an audacious act given it was a week at sea, at night, and N'Darr himself had nearly killed himself disguising the ship as simple heathaze on the horizon when on approach for days on end. They had taken the pirates by surprise, dispatching the night crew and promptly taking both captain and Quartermaster captive, before the sleeping pirates below deck had time to put their boots on, N'Darr's mastery of the Third Song, pushing his allies to greater heights of daring and slowing the response and efficacy of the pirates.

By week's end, N'Darr had claimed the ship as a prize and the pirate Captain and his crew had been delivered into the hands of the Onaran republic. And as he and his crew celebrated the gold bounty and the new ship, N'Darr found he liked the taste of glory and gold, the infamy and challenge of bushwhacking the bandit lords of the high seas, and singing the songs of victory over rum and sherry. Spending the next seven years of his life surpassing Jos'en's legend with his own, carving a bloody swath through the various pirates and privateers of the open seas.

What more could he want?

Important Skills: N'Darr can play almost any instrument you put in front of him but he prefers the fiddle and flute, fitting for a bard. But more importantly, N'Darr has extensive skills in navigation, logistics, ship maintenance, carpentry and basic blacksmithing. All skills useful when you run a ship small enough to demand all hands attend to its needs, including the captain's. A skilled swordsman, N'Darr prefers fighting with a saber in one hand and a dagger in the other, preferring to catch and disarm his opponents and the advantages of parrying the dagger gives him.

A skilled negotiator and charmer, he could talk his way out of most situations. He just chooses not to. Preferring instead the path of aggressive confidence in all things, an approach that has gotten him into a lot of trouble but more often than not, resulted in him getting deals and concessions he otherwise would never have gotten had he not been as forceful a personality.

Needless to say, Stringstorm is a very strong swimmer, as it pays to be when you're a sailor, and greatly enjoys excursions beneath the waves whenever they stop by new places. Thoroughly believing you could tell the character and omens of an island by studying the sea life near its coast with your own eyes. A superstition he picked up some time ago but he could not tell you when or where.


Important People: Greencandle - For as long as he knew her, Greencandle only ever went by her moniker. A dour human woman, it was her logistical know-how that guaranteed the success of his first pirate hunt, so he convinced her to stay on as their ship's quartermaster. A fantastic bookkeeper and her stern glare unnerves any of the more unruly deckhand who think they can pull a fast one on her. N'Darr has tried his damndest to include her in the crew's various revelries and try to get her to smile for once in her damn life. He hasn't succeeded, however. - First Song wielder.

Doken 'Doc' Doxtrikt - A remarkably skilled Goblin surgeon, Doken was originally a literal butcher before fate threw him into the hands of N'Darr's crew when he failed to pay his extortionate protection fee to a local gang one too many times. Possessing absolutely no formal education and most certainly no talent with the Second Song whatsoever, he is, nevertheless, disturbingly talented at keeping the crew patched together. The less asked about why this is the easier time everyone has sleeping at night. He also pulls double shift as the ship's barber.

Perchee 'Penny Pincher' Fassletoff - A Fourth Song User and the Crew's top marksman. Perchee was part of N'Darr's original crew and his oldest friend, it was his dead eye aim, even in the dead of night that had saved N'Darr's life from an avenging Jos'en who had gotten loss of his bonds when N'Darr had been distracted. Its his judgement the crew trusts when it comes to when and where to fire the first volley of cannonade when it comes time for battle. He has a bad gambling problem and more than once N'Darr has had to bail him out of debtor's prison when they stay ashore too long.

N'Darr is fond of all of his crew, but over the years those three have stuck around the longest, the rest often coming and going.

Inventory: 'The Stormstrider' - The first prize ship N'Darr ever won and a physical embodiment of the challenge he poses to all that crosses his path. A boast that not only will he beat you, he'll take your stuff too. His pride and joy, the ship, originally belonging to Jumping Jos'en, has been heavily modified over the years, lovingly cared for and improved, it is a low profile, extremely fast and maneuverable vessel. What it lacks in overall broadside fire power it makes up for with hull integrity. With thick iron bands bolted to critical junctures to prevent hull collapse when heavily damaged while leaving most of the remaining wood of the ship exposed. A worthwhile compromise between speed and strength allowing the Stormstrider to survive engagements it really shouldn't, and come out on top time and time again.

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