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Episode: Foreign Powers

Posted by Story on 12/28/18
It is a beautiful spring afternoon; the sun glints off the river, and the docks are as busy and full of trade as ever. With such crowds along the waterfront, word spreads quickly of the strange ship that makes its way up the river. It bears no resemblance to the Eurusi and Cardian vessels that occasionally ply their trade in the Compact; this one clearly hails from a far different land, and flies a sail seemingly made of metal -- yet metal that flexes in the wind just as cloth would.

As it comes alongside the docks, before anyone can even emplace a ramp or ladder, a woman with jet-black hair comes to the railing; she looks down at the crowds below, and then suddenly climbs up onto the railing. Springing up on one foot, she leaps /impossibly/ high, soaring up into the sky as though she might simply fly away. But instead, she soon plummets downwards. The crowd below scatters, giving space for her inevitable grisly landing.

Yet it's not grisly; she lands in a perfect crouch, unharmed, one leg and both arms outstretched. She quickly rises, surveying the crowd assembled. Then she begins to speak, making a proclamation about the Words of the Undying Emperor; though she does not shout, her voice carries clearly across the docks, and all can hear every word over the surprised murmuring.

When she finishes, she does not await a reaction. She simply turns once more, taking hold of a rope that's been lowered from the deck of the ship, and quickly scales back aboard.

Though the crew continue to move about on deck, no one else makes any sign of disembarking; the rope is pulled up after the woman boards. And then ship merely sits there, as though it, too, awaits word.