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SoE Testing Night

The Society of Explorers tests an applicant before they can join the vaunted institution known for adventure, risk, and occasionally sliding down icy slopes in pursuit of a particularly rare bird some noble wants, treasure lost since the Reckoning, or because it's really quite fun. If this one's for the birds, it certainly won't be easy. Interested applicants need to contact Delilah prior to the run date to have a manageable group size, if a group indeed will show up. Low to mid risk factor, largely environmental, or if you have "creative solutions" that involve pointy objects and high degrees of technical difficulty on a grade sufficient to make a mountain goat queasy.


Nov. 11, 2019, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By


GM'd By



Colette Erik Lisebet Ciaran Rhue Malcolm



Outside Arx - Crownlands near Ashford Keep - Murdain Island

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Ciaran checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.

Colette checked charm + seduction at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.

Ciaran checked intellect + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.

Erik has rolled 1 100-sided dice: 41

All aboard to sail over the Bay of Thrax, south towards Ashford lands! Murdain Island, admittedly, isn't a grand example of a huge archipelago or even comparable to any of the Lycene isles. It would be a pleasure cruise if not March, snowflakes whipping off the bow and a savage wind snapping at the canvas sails with a certain grim vengeance. Overcast skies threaten to cloud over, but patches of sunlight peer through here and there, watery as it gets. Staying abovedeck means braving very red cheeks, chapped lips, the occasional angry gull shouting at them.
The island comes into sight after a good hour or two of skillful sailing at Ciaran's hands, thanks in no small part to a competent knowledge of waters. A map, on the other hand, is tacked down by Delilah as she gazes at the shores. Shores that are precipitously steep, and ringed in tiny rocky islets and tall flower-pot stacks home to... it looks like a cloud of angry black specks. Coming up closer is sure to reveal more of their shapes: birds. So many birds. The closer the group draws to the island, the more evident it is who lives here. Diving birds, seabirds, great soaring creatures safe from predators unless they have ropes, ladders, or the incongruous ability to lob rocks a good four miles from shore at minimum. A few Explorers brought along to haul gear make ready, distributing rope, checking on bags of chalk and more of pitons and such jingly gear that makes a nice sound.
"Isn't it lovely?" the First Seeker exclaims. "Murdain! Population zero, except for us. If you wonder whether I am mad, this is one of the only known nesting sites for the marbled and the white gyrfalcons in the Crownlands. Extremely valuable birds, if you can get your hands on one young enough to train them. I'm told they are unrivaled for hawking, even next to peregrine falcons. Here, my friends, we are setting out to see if we can find any. One of our patrons at the Society is paying very well indeed to ensure the eggs and chicks aren't being disturbed. 'Tis breeding season, too."

Colette is a quiet one. She is bundled up and watching the seas as they approach. Her eyes scan the coast line for what? Danger? A landing spot? Anything likely. She is one to watch and listen. For now she keeps to herself while Delilah explains what they are doing here. She listens, but watches the coast. Finally she chimes in with that horribly thick oathlands accent, "So we are taking eggs? Or leaving eggs and taking birds?"

Ciaran sounds almost full of admiration as he regards the island from his place near the tiller. "What a miserable little rock." Despite the fact that he walks with a cane, he retains his sea legs, and moves about the boat with perhaps more dexterity than he shows on land. He scratches at his chin, which is partially concealed by a heavy scarf. He raises his voice a bit to be more easily overheard by all those present. "Get your kit together. We'll be getting as close as we can, but I should warn it'll be precarious to disembark."

The boat they're standing on is an old schooner, something retired out of the foremost ranks of the Farshaw merchant-marine in this era of caravels and cogs. It's an agile old boat, though, and it winds its way through extruding spires of rock into a small half-moon bay at the foot of the main island. "Watch the reefs on the port side," he warns the others, before calling out to whoever's closest to it: "Weigh anchor!"

"Temporary population - er, erm -- however many we are." Malcolm mutters into the scarf wound many times around his head, lower face hidden, but his cheeks are ruddy and wind-chapped. "Only here on account of needin the fresh air an' the walk. S'good exercise. Was getting squishy around the middle otherwise." Malcolm does move off to check on the gear that's been brought along, checking it all against a longer inventory list and -- bump. He wobbles on his land-lubber legs and catches his balance. "Oof."

Lisebet flashes a grina t her big brother! Who knew he'd be here? And sailing the boat no less. She has been honestly staying mostly warm, and out of the way. Though she at least does not get sea sick, having been on enough Farshaw boats in her time to take care of that. She comes out, keeping herself abreast of the situation, pausing to stare at those cliffs with a murmured something or other under her breath. "Well, I guess this is where I find out if I sink or swim," is her comment. The petite duchess also takes a good look at her gear, whatever it is she's got, some of the items she doesn't even know what they are! Maybe they'll be useful? "Precarious to disembark, so we can all get drenched, and then climb up into the wind. Adorable," she teases. "I am not sure about that - are we scouting only or hoping to bring something back with us?"

"Ideally, you can help me check to see the nests have not been disturbed in the rookery. In all fairness, we have the advantage that the gyrfalcons are the only white birds of that size other than seagulls. Gulls rather lack the pointy bits," Lilah adds merrily in response to Colette. "Make sure we still have gyrfalcons up there, doing happy raptor things. Leave any chicks or eggs alone. The mated pairs will have no fear of dropping on you to attack and defend the nests. Keep the birds as they are, unless you see any abandoned. Duke Aiden Rubino will pay you handsomely, I guarantee, for letting him nurse it back to health." A quick glance to her husband, Malcolm, brings a stifled sound of laughter. With Ciaran bringing the boat to harbour, it's soon evident by the waves crashing into the steep cliffside this is not bound to be much fun to traverse.
The forbidding cliffs are unusual, running with water where the surf peels back. Many of the stones are hexagonal and geometric columns, sawed off rather sharply. Natural, but rare enough. A stretch of foaming water reaches the smallest of shingle beaches, probably large enough for a cart to be hauled up. She gestures with a slender hand. "This, my friends, is where we disembark. From here to there. We've a boat to manage -- though you're free to assail what you wish."

Ciaran is all pleasant smiles for his sister, but he has a fairly prosaic question for Delilah. "Boats like this have landing craft. Are we to make use of that, or is it part of the exercise to go without?"

"You think I want to explain to the Mercies or Physicians why all of you have hypothermia?" Delilah shakes her head. "Be my guests to use it. You're the ones free to lead this part!"

Rhue stands aboard the schooner, careful to stay out of the way of the experienced crew but eager to help if asked to lend a hand. The hood of her cloak is tugged low over her head in an attempt to protect against the harsh winds. There's an air of excitement about her as she keeps her eyes glued to the island ahead. She shoulders her backpack and whatever gear she has stowed safely away inside. Delilah's remark gains a grin of amusement. "I think I'd much prefer use of the landing craft to a chilly swim," she muses aloud.

Erik's wrapped in several layers against the weather, but seems to be bearing a bright expression - especially after some time spent on a boat, even if it isn't the grandest of vessels. The rhythm of rocking in the waters just seems to invigorate the Grimhall. A pack is already secured over his shoulders and around his abdomen, bound atop a thick woolen cloak. He shifts into motion at the call to weigh anchor, getting the securing weight dropped over bow and calling back "Anchor's set!", any preamble of title left behind in the city for the moment in exchange for work that needs to be done in the more sparse crew. With a broad grin, he offers "I will be happy to see to the landing craft." then wonders back to Delilah, "And back on the topic of the gyrflacons, do you have any notes concerning when the last census was done on what their numbers /should/ be, and when that was taken, First Seeker?"

Rhue checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.

Colette quietly makes her way in to one of the smaller boats. She has her leathers, her throwing knives, and a satchel in case she should need to carry anything. She waits in the boat for a more suitable captain to take over the sailing.

Ciaran strides over towards the landing boat, the clunking of his boots accentuated by the plunk of his cane. He gestures towards it. "For all I know, the goal was to simulate a shipwreck. Been in one of those. I don't recommend it."

He then calls over to Erik. "Good work," he tells the man. "As the acting captain, I'll say that the landing boat's all yours."

He then takes a moment to consider their supplies. "Right," he says. "We need to divide our kit. Bows and arrows...fuel...rations...climbing gear...winter necessaries, tents..." And on the spot, he starts calling out who should carry what, and deciding what should be left behind.

Lilah isn't in a rush to be off into a landing craft until everyone else is in, along with the gear, the extra Explorers, and Malcolm. Her cloak is wrapped around her, but left open. A precaution, perhaps. No staying on the boat for her. "Your landing camp is not bound to be one. We will see to taking care of the landing craft and pulling it up, so you don't need to worry about that." Erik's question regarding gyrfalcons is answered once everyone is setting into the craft. "Two years ago, the last count of the birds said about fourteen breeding pairs, six adolescents, and somewhere between forty-five and fifty eggs or hatchlings. Female gyrfalcons tend to have a sizeable clutch, and the estimation had to be made. You don't want to get too close. Or you cannot. They have nests in the worst places." She is a Scholar and it shows. Any surprise?

Ciaran checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 52 higher.

Erik dips a nod in affirmation to Ciaran, gathering up a load to-go to load in the dinghy Colette's occupied. He ambles over with the acquired kit, hopping inside with a grin to the younger woman, all the while whistling a tune and loosening the rigging on the smaller boat to prepare it to disembark. Once he appears set to go, he looks back to the deck proper, toward the rest of the team. There's a firm nod in affirmation of Delilah's answer, seeming to commit the words to memory with the same eager voracity for detail as the fellow Scholar.

Erik checked stamina + sailing at difficulty 20, rolling 62 higher. Erik rolled a critical!

"It sounds like the height of adventure, but not the enjoyable kind," Rhue remarks in answer to Ciaran's mention of shipwrecks. She makes her way onto the landing boat, agreeablly cooperating with the dividing up of gear, shifting items around as directed. Even so, she continues searching the island with a steady gaze. Finally it seems she finds something of note and points out a gap in the rock face, drier than the rest and seemingly protected from the worst of the waves. "Look there! That gap might be our best bet. See it tucked behind the rocky outcropping? It may be a little easier to navigate on our climb."

Ciaran finishes allocating the gear. What becomes evident is that the thing he's loading up on the most is climbing gear. Rope for everyone, and pitons aplenty. It doesn't look like he's optimistic about the chances of finding either handholds or a hiking trail on this windy rock they're headed for. Once it's all doled out, he gets into the boat after Erik, the transition from deck to deck a little more precariousfor him than it is for everyone else. "Mind the reefs," is his very straightforward advice to Erik. "It was a reef, back then," he advises Rhue. "I'd say it wasn't my fault, but I'd been up for three days straight. Things happen when a man doesn't sleep."

As Ciaran starts to call out orders, Malcolm moves to take up what he's been directed to carry, testing the heft of the back prior to swinging it onto his shoulder. Once settled, he prepares to fall into line - tailing the other would-be Explorers in the landing craft, humming a little off-key wordless tune to himself. Offering Delilah a brief, crooked smile. "Birds. Coulda been /dogs./"

Delilah mutters, "Dogs, on an island like this? ... be ... and eat rocks."

Colette looks to the others in the boat. "When we get close. I can free climb up and set the gear for the less strong climbers."

Lisebet gets to the landing boat as well, settling there, along with the others. She isn't at the moment putting in a lot of words, but she's settling in, and glancing over at the shore, the cliffs, and looking to see what she might see. Curiously, she makes her way along, her gaze going to each as they speak, curiously. A smile as she hears all the very definitely talented people with their suggestions.

"Water dogs," Malcolm mutters back unhelpfully. Either to himself or - er - or to himself. Anything further is muffled as he ducks his chin and chuckles into his scarf.

Erik minds the reefs on the trip with the rest of the team, rowing steadily without tiring, and maneuvering the craft like he'd spent his whole life in it. The boat manages to be navigated in one piece (even with the occasional, unavoidable jostle against rocks woven through) onto a relatively easy beaching, that hardly even gets all of their boots wet.

Colette checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 19 higher.

"I think those are seals," Lisebet tells Malcolm, also unhelpfully.

Lisebet checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 8 higher.

Ciaran is a crippled man with a cane. He stares up at the cliff, fully cognizant of the fact that he's going to have a really bad time. "I may need some assistance," he confesses, testing one of the ropes.

Ciaran checked willpower + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.

Lisebet checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 27 higher.

Erik checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 9 lower.

Rhue checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.

Malcolm checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.

Ciaran is immensely stubborn. He looks like he's prepared to try and make the ascent with arm strength alone. What's more--it's evident that he doesn't have a lot of strength in his arms. What he does have is a familiarity with the underlying process, and enormously stubborn streak that just out and refuses to let him quit. He makes his attempt, and if he succeeds, he's surely sweat-soaked when he reaches the top, a dangerous thing to be in winter cold.

Colette checked strength + brawl at difficulty 20, rolling 45 higher.

Lisebet eyes the situation, and wrinkles her nose. "I don't think I can help anyone," she murmurs, apology to Ciaran. Then again, given her five foot nothing stature, most folks here would likely bowl her right over were she to try. She doesn't use a particularly common method, but she is reasonably fit, and so she starts her way up, utilizing skills learned in dancing of all things. A tiptoe here, a do si do there - and oh good gods, that is a spectacular view! A twist, half turn, and several little shimmies her husband would probably not want anyone else to see, and her brother probably is really not watching, and Lisebet makes her way up to the top, crouching down once up there, or even flattening so she doesn't go over the edge.

Erik's arms are apparently like jelly from the row ashore - while he might've made the first stretch of the climb, it didn't take long for what should've been a sure handhold to come slipping loose, and overcorrection leads to even more of a mess! Some sort of feces was apparently the cause, and with his hand over his features it falls into his face. There's -definite- cursing in some hastily muttered string that does not sound eloquent, and his rope gets caught in the process. He almost falls away to what wouldn't have been a clean landing at all, if not for the timely assistance of Colette, "Gods, I owe you one!", he offers up to the woman with a broad grin upon a now-grimy countenance.

Colette notices their ferryman slipping. She is a quick and perceptive little thing. She quickly closes the distance and reaches out grabbing a hold of Erik's arm. "No falling please." She says super dryly. Her face that usual grumpy look she carries with her every where. She uses a strength that most would not assume she has to pull Erik back to solid footing. "I will follow you up no?" Despite that monotone and look of cold detachment, she seems keen to help the man.

When it comes to leading the way up... Delilah is one of the last. She and the Explorers wait until everyone is out, and then it's two packs to her being carried up once everyone starts climbing or walking. She sets them above the surf, whilst the aides in the much oil-proofed, tall boots worry about hauling up the boat. For them, the landing craft merely means wrestling it another ten feet forward at best until the prow is shoved and secured on barnacle-strewn rocks. Oars are hoisted, left straight up and down against the cliff. "You're all doing splendidly!" she calls out as encouragement, starting an assembly line of sorts to get the gear to the top. Though not missing Erik's near-fall, her widened eyes are the only response there. "Thank you, Lady Colette. Once we have you all topside, we can ferry up the climbing gear you haven't used yet. Oh, look, a firestarter!" A beaming grin to Malcolm, even as she waves at them. See, they have their own squad of one cheering First Seeker.

Colette checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.

Rhue watches Lisebet scale the rock face with apparent ease, clearly impressed by the woman's nimble movements. Having targeted this path as a solid choice since their ride over on the boat, she seems ready to follow the other woman up the same way. Despite an unwise glance down in the middle of her climb - egads, that's a far drop! - she manages to make it to the top without incident and turns to cast a glance over the group. "Everyone in one piece?" She can't help it, it's the healer's intuition coming out.

Malcolm's eyebrows quirk upward, considerately, and he'll do his duty as -- "Troublemaker," he clarifies. Then, goes back to helping in the transport of gear while Delilah cheers the others on.

Ciaran lets out an inelegantly, unlordly grunt towards Delilah, leaning on his cane like it's a walking staff. In fact, he probably should have packed a proper walking staff. But maybe he's just attached to this smaller, dinkier instrument. "You seem to be doing well," he wheezes towards Lisebet, trying to sound casual and failing quite spectacularly. "That would seem to be everyone."

Murdain's rocky landscape favours birds. So many, many birds. Avians of all sorts come here, from the slender kittiwakes to the diving birds feasting on the abundant fish offshore. They are everywhere, taking up most of the flat space. Mind you, the flat space amounts to little more than a breadbox in size. They perch on the cliffs, hidden in nooks and crannies. The noise, as the party of would-be Explorers ascends, becomes more than the lashing waves and groaning water passing through narrow gullies. It turns into honking, croaking, cheeping, chirping, caterwauling: a whole chorus of bird life. Getting through the initial switchback puts them par with the lowest cliffs, free to pick out a trail where not a single deer has ever left a track. The crest of the high hill looms above them, forbidding, a razor back of stone with laughably little vegetation.
And the birds, they shuffle around, flying past, flapping. Snow and patches of ice exist in the shadows, treacherous footing for anyone not particularly prepared to deal with it. Scrub and bushes are splattered here, there, and everywhere to cover what could be a path or a dangerous slide to be dumped into the sea.
Now to find a white bird in a wave of cobalt, grey, brown, black, and bluish-steel feathers...

Lisebet checked wits + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher.

Erik checked intellect + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.

Lisebet smiles to Rhue, nodding her head. "Good climbing," she offers to the other woman. Ciaran gets a worried look, and Lisebet automatically goes over to give him a hand. "Thank you," she says to her big brother. Everyone's bigger though, she's very petite. "I am really glad you made it up. I was trying to figure out if I could tie a rope here and let it down for you." Is she even serious?

Lisebet now turns to look around, studying the noisy, oh-so-noisy honking birds and the possibilities. "I don't think we can follow the ridge - I think we'll all fall all over the place. But if we do go - Maybe that way?" She points to a line through the scrub and brush, suggesting a passable route. "It's steep and looks like it was tracked by an intoxicated - something or other with the way it goes all over." There's a bend too she can't see around, but it will maybe get them that far at least? "I think maybe that way might get us higher?"

Colette checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.

While he needs a moment to recuperate from his assisted hoisting over the lip of the cliff, once the group begins to search for the birds Erik begins making what might sound awkward, effecting a high pitched, staccato screeching noise, waiting a few breaths, and repeating. If he gets any strange looks for it he explains "Cry supposedly of an injured gyrfalcon chick. Someone please keep an eye out in case it draws the appropriate attention." And back he goes, ambling in a circle and loosing lilting -SKREeEeeEEeEEE-'s every ten count

Ciaran gives a grateful nod towards his sister Lisebet, too fatigued to give any kind of snarky reply about the likelihood of her managing to haul him up. He scratches at his chin, turning narrowed, assessing eyes across the miserable, frigid atoll. "Let's see," he murmurs. "If I wanted to get a full survey of this place..." He trails off, mumbling. His leg may be bad but his eyes are uncommonly keen, and he is a tactician by inclination and experience. He surveys the ground ahead like someone preparing to send out scouts, looking for any likely routes to the bird nests.

Ciaran checked perception + war at difficulty 20, rolling 44 higher.

Rhue checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.

It takes a few more minutes for Lilah to be hoisted up the ropes with their additional gear. Said gear is going to be distributed and packed further along. Whilst the others get the lay of the land, such as it is uptilted, nasty, and cruel in its spite to throw anything without wings off of it. The duchess of Graypeak ties a bright pink ribbon around one of the backpacks and then calls out to Malcolm, "This one is yours! It has the extra picks, so be careful. Does anyone else want climbing picks and chalk or the like?"

"Pink ribbons. You do me a great honor, lady-wife, gifting me with the color of Ribbons - ya know?" Malcolm is so terribly unbothered by the pink ribbon that's flapping relentlessly in the cold wind, and the Shepherd Duke is very cheerfully serious about keeping those extra picks safe. The safest. "Got it. Ain't goin noweheres, Delilah. Also, mind, neither am I unless you're of a mind to go waltzing on the edge of a cliff."

Ciaran just stands still for a few moments, the sound of some kind of whooshing, whirring movement very briefly audible underneath the ambient noise of wind and ocean. "Careful, everyone," he calls out, not moving so much as an inch. He looks down at his staff, which has been yanked out of his grasp. "There's been poachers on the island! Someone's gone and rigged the whole place up with traps. Make sure you don't clomp your boot down into a set of iron jaws!" He tries to yank his cane free of some kind of snare trap with brute force. It likely doesn't go so hot.

Eith people no longer falling, Colette peers around and gets a bit distracted and slinks off in to the sparse bushes. Hoping ot sneak up on some birds. But one pissed off Seagull squaks at her.

Ciaran checked strength + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 9 lower.

As a habitual frequenter of the forest, Rhue is fairly well-versed in recognizing certain animal behaviors. Although the windswept rocky outcroppings of the island cliffs differ quite a bit from the forested region she's so used to, the Wainryte lass turns her attention to hunting for the bird's most likely nesting spot. "Aha, up there!" She gestures eagerly to a place far up, exposed on the rock. The nesting site itself is easy to see, but getting there... that'll be the challenge, of course.

Colette checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 20, rolling 3 lower.

Erik checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 43 higher.

A length of rope and leather snaps around in the bush like a deranged serpent. Metal twangs and jangles as something pinned down to the hard stone resists Ciaran pulling it free. One very alarmed baby bird puts its wings in the air and hollers for its mother or father, whatever that blue-feathered thing is. Another set of nesting parents start the cacophony around Ciaran. A bird whizzes by overhead, bigger than the others, a sooty-winged thing with a wingspan two feet long and some. An angry shearwater, if anyone knows seabirds.

Lisebet checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.

Colette checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.

Rhue checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.

Erik checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 20, rolling 7 higher.

Ciaran checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.

Colette checked perception + brawl at difficulty 20, rolling 46 higher.

Ciaran manages to observe his peril with the calmest of voices. "Well, that's great," he murmurs, as he totally loses his balance, and goes rolling like a sack of especially oblong potatoes down the slope to a lower level of the island. A small cloud of hard-packed dust kicks up behind him as he vanishes behind a scraggly bush.

As if unwilling to break the audible character of his escapades so far, Erik continues carefully plucking his way through the rocky environ, watching step and dodging avian assloaded artillery. He straightens after a moment, seemingly spotting something. Erik looses a whistle, before another -SKREeEeeEEeEEE-, and raises a hand up, flagging the rest of the party and pointing up toward a snowy bird perched atop an outcropping roughly ten feet up from his position. STARING down at him like it might want to eat his face. Or stuff a claw in it just to shut him up.

Someone might be able to make the climb, but that ten feet might be impossible if his previous showing to get up here was any indication. Over his shoulder he calls back to the party in as level a voice as he can manage, "Think we have one here."

Lisebet startles at the birds flapping by, dropping terrible things down at the intruders. "Delilah, can I get some of that chalk?" she asks, a bit late, but still. She did hear the question, she was just a tad distracted. That asked, she ducks down and sidesteps quickly, noting there's a jaw trap there, just like - Wait, where did he go? "Ciaran?!" she calls out, loudly. "Don't fall too far, flop sideways so you can stop your fall!" She can hope it helps, anyway. PlOOOp. There goes bird droppings, and Lisebet side steps, with an "Ew!"

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Delilah before departing.

Rhue checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.

Colette isn't very good at spotting very particular birds. All birds kinda look the same to her. She is totally a bird racist. BUT she is good at spotting and taking care of traps. Especially after noticing Ciaran fall victim to one. She approaches the snare trap and finds a safe angle and start using her knowledge of traps and weak points tobeat the hell out of it until it comes loose and retrieves Ciaran's cane. "The birds 'ave learned 'ow to make traps. That is terrifying no?" She says turning back to the crowd before she starts lookng for the cane's missing owner.

Did someone say traps? It's still in the forefront of Rhue's mind as the birds are disturbed and begin their raucous protests. The shadow of a displeased bird overhead has her reacting swiftly, ducking low and sneaking noiselessly further along the path to escape any dive-bombing that might be incoming. "Be careful! Traps are all along the path that leads to the-" Her words are instantly cut off. She gives a cry of alarm as Ciaran goes rolling and swiftly begins navigating her way down toward him.

Lisebet checked charm + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 20 higher.

Lisebet checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher.

Lisebet checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.

Colette follows Rhue to the fallen companion, in case assistance is needed.

Erik checked composure + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 43 higher.

First up: Ciaran's collapse down the scrub-covered slopes that would make a mountaineer cringe and leave a Redrain mildly perplexed. The sounds of a body hitting rock are unpleasant. Handholds for him are not going to be easy to find, especially as a mean old trap *ate* his cane. It remains at a crooked angle. The bush has another victim. Howling birds in fear are all over, the colony nearest to his path disturbed sufficiently to honk or take to the wing. Most of these birds are smaller than cats, but they make a racket on par with a mob. Wings and feathers are everywhere. Trying to safely claw a path through that is hardly easy, not at all. That, then, leaves a hazardous route for Rhue and Colette to attempt to manage -- however, a convenient rope is probably just the thing. One of the explorers in earnest carting about such a long length of hemp comes scrabbling up as fast as he dares behind the healer; Colette's much harder to see. "Here! Use this!" Helpful, him.
Lilah can offer chalk, however, not much more than the prayers of the gods. Mangata might be speaking her opinions on sky and sea here. She handily tosses Lisebet a satchel full of the powder, swiveling back to look oddly at Erik for a moment. "Are you trying to be its mother?" A helpful inquiry, honestly.

Meanwhile, the suspiciously capable gyrfalcon lurks on its patch of snowy rock that sticks out like a thumb. It's a pinnacle requiring adept climbing to reach up there. Erik's shenanigans or the downfall of that sailor have hardly caused it to ruffle a feather. It makes another ridiculously animated series of sounds.

Ciaran comes to a stop wedged in between an outlying bolder and the sheer cliff wall. He quickly decides that the best thing to do in this situation is, in fact, absolutely nothing. He remains still, bruised and battered and bleeding from a scrape on his forehead, but thankfully not...any more crippled for life than he already is. He laces his fingers together, staying put right smooshed where he is. "Not dead," he hollers up reassuringly.

Colette has rolled 5 20-sided dice: 7, 10, 12, 12, 16

Erik checked strength + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.

Colette reaches in her bag and pulls out her last thing of rope. She secures it before tossing the other end down to Ciaran. "I am going to come down and 'elp you get back up."

Erik has rolled 5 20-sided dice: 8, 11, 13, 16, 18

Ciaran has rolled 5 20-sided dice: 3, 11, 15, 18, 19

Ciaran has rolled 1 100-sided dice: 31

Delilah has rolled 1 100-sided dice: 55

Ciaran looks up towards Colette with a long-suffering expression. "Perhaps," he says at last, "I should not be part of any of the Society's first-wave advance scouting parties, in future."

Erik nods slowly in Lilah's direction, while fishing inside his cloak to pull loose a piece of jerky. He breaks the stick of dried meat in half, saying "I am going to try to take it food and get a count of clutchmates.", he answers, then turns and makes another godsawful noise. -SKAAAA..CHIIIiiiEEEKA- A deep`breath, then -CHaaaCHAAA, KACHAA- And the Grimhall is up and away, jerky in his mouth and chewing. Say nothing else for the Scholar would-be Explorer, he's at least trying to be thorough on this attempt. And he manages to make it up the cliff face without breaking his neck!

To be fair, it's a treacherously steep island. It's one that clearly has been trap-laden, which proves a certain activity of robbing nests or birds. The gyrfalcons are a hot commodity -- literally, they have those gorgeous feathers and flashing eyes. A much less splendid gull lands on a rock and yells at Erik. It's not the same one that yelled at Colette. This one watches them with beady orange eyes. Blink-blink. Dinner?

As she hears her brother hollar that he's not dead, Lisebet gives a Whew! She promptly heads for a gyrfalcon or well, not quite. She gets the chalk so she can use a bit on her hands, to make sure her grip doesn't slip. Now then, let's see, first she's going to have to get up there, and so she starts climbing up, managing that activity fairly well. A branch creaks and she wobbles, but she doesn't fall. Is she going after the bossy pants show off Erik is chasing? Not at all. But it's the same tree! The leathers she's wearing, with layers for warmth, are also protective against things like tree bark. So up she climbs. Which is one step. And as she gets up there - aha! "There are two," she breathes, calling down softly. Course now she's got to charm the ... erm, pinions off that bird, so it doesn't think she's dangerous. Right? Right. As she starts to get up there, Lisebet waves one hand and then the other, trying to act like a bird. It's probably really funny to watch, if anyone can see the young lady, pretending she's a falcon, only she actually is pretty good at it. She must have been watching Ryhalt's messenger bird.

Colette works her way down to Ciaran, quite carefully, cane in hand. "Leave the scouting to me.. Then I shall be leaving the smart things to you my lord."

Delilah is overheard praising Erik.

"Glad to hear it," Rhue calls to Ciaran, grinning faintly upon hearing his reassurance. She follows Colette's lead, careful to watch her footing as she makes it down the slope toward Ciaran. Once there, she adopts her business-like healer attitude, eyeing his injuries and rummaging in her pouch. "You'll have some nasty bruises from that, no doubt. Let's patch up that cut. Most importantly-" She looks to Colette, then back to Ciaran who seems to have been snapped up in a snare-trap as he fell. "Seems the poachers caught the wrong prey, hm?" She gets to work, moving deftly to tend to wounds, ease hurts, and - that trap of course is a priority!

Ciaran manages to sit up slightly, which causes a few pebbles and bits of rock dust to spray off to either side. He pats at his coat, now a somewhat wounded garment. "I'd joke, but." He holds up a hand towards Colette. "Thank you."

Rhue checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.

Colette nods to Ciaran, "No thanking is being required. I would 'ate to see you 'urt any worse Lord Farshaw." FINALLY a tiny little smile is cracked. But only if you are fast enough to have caught it.

Ciaran lets Colette do what's necessary to get him set to climb back up -- or rappel back down. "It would not be the first time," he croaks out stoically, looking much recovered already. "It sounds as if I rather made a mess of things. Or rather, the traps made a mess of things. I suppose someone had to find them, but I would rather have found them slightly less violently."

Efforts to help Ciaran and guide him slowly up the steep, miserable slope of the isle are slowly underway. Ropes wait for when Rhue completes her medical care, while the yappy gull hops around her and eagerly tries to get in her way. Is that a shiny? It needs to investigate. Another yelling bird overhead adds to the sulfuric smell by so, so many droppings. It is not a fun battlefield to be on, such as the Explorers ever get to.
But then... there are Erik and Lisebet dealing with that mated pair. The excited, eager gyrfalcon is suspicious of the song being sung, and neither is jerky designated 'mouse-like meal' to its honed senses. But the Grimhall dance that might make Valdemar sink into the waves with shame or joy is enough to open that magnificent alabaster wingspan dappled in gold. The white body lifts and drops with a hop, stooped low as its head stretches out. A ruff of feathers perks up, the massive, deadly talons scraping on the ground beyond its snowy nest where, behold, one particularly fussy, ridiculously fuzzy hatchling of at least a few weeks old is loud enough to open that beak and shout.
Daaaad. Dinner time?
Meanwhile, Lisebet in her surrender to flapping about conjures not a sound from the bigger of the pair: mom. Mom is less white, more flecked in ashes of the fallen sunset. Ember-gold and brown bedeck her wings. She stares with a large eye at this ritual. Wings flap. Wait, there's her partner stalking off to the end of the platform and her baby shouting for dinner. What's a startled bird to do? PREEN.

Colette checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher. Colette rolled a critical!

Lisebet continues to do her interpretive arm - erm wing waving. Totally not dangerous. Just some strange bird here, Mom. Honest. When Erik gets up there to provide distraction, Lisebet spies an opportunity! Her flappy flappy turns into a carefully orchestrated and reasonably swift pounce, using her leather cloak to help corral the bird, and hopefully not get too badly hurt as she contains it, and slides down. "There's a baby up there," she calls. That one too, we can't leave it." And here's hoping that her snatch and grab distracts Papa enough to give Erik his chance.

Alas, some of those pesky birds are rather persistent. As the interfering gull continually gets in the way, Rhue grits her teeth and tries her utmost to focus intently upon the healing at hand. When it becomes too much, she reaches for a nearby rock and heaves it at the gull with well-placed aim. The rock is not lobbed with quite enough force to maim - she's not heartless after all - but it serves just the purpose she had hoped by driving the pesky bird away. She's able to finish patching Ciaran up, a faint grin offered. "You were our first line of defense. I'm just sorry it was in the form of those nasty traps."

Oh. Those things do seem terribly bigger up close, don't they? Yes, not getting on the receiving ends of those talons would be very nice, thank you very much. But two can play at this game! Erik begins bobbing his head in turn, hands clasping his cloak and fanning it out wide in patterns loosely mimicking the spread wingspan of the gyrpapa. He's not really doing anything but making a bird wonder who the real birdbrain is at this point, but the Thraxian Scholar is at least continuing to be a decent distraction to dear old dad. With the fluttering from Lisebet's direction causing a momentary pause in the exchange, Erik takes the opportunity to pull loose a leather sack (burlap just wouldn't do with meat-shredders like these, would they) on his next flutter, then dives forward to bring it around the majestic avian, who's no doubt about to be /very/ indignant if this works.

After getting Ciaran back up out of where he fell from, Colette leaves him with the capable doctor Rhue. Lisebet says there is a baby left up there. And Colette gets visibly excited. She almost even squees super loud. Anyone who knows Colette, knows she is one of the most ungiddy people. But the mention of a baby bird sheds light on the fact that she does in fact love cute things. She just hides it. The little Laurent lady bounds up the rock wall to get to the bird. Quite quickly too. She reaches it and peeks in the nest, and the loud little thing flappy flaps it's little wings and an explosion of feathers ensues. But that doesn't stop Colette from grabbing the babe and gently putting it in her satchel so she can climb back down. With it peeping loudly the whole way.

Gyrpapa is indeed chasing around Erik, following him at rather close proximity until Colette sets off the gyrchick making that reciprocal feed-me-it's-dark-in-here cry over and over. Feathers, feathers everywhere from one side. Gyrpapa might have something to say in that sack. Something like "Help, help, I'm being oppressed!"

Or a loud shrill noise with claws and savage fluttering madness. The sack really does move in impressive ways. It'll be no doubt easier to get this all sorted out back on the boat. Where a bunch of angry falcons are flailing around in a wooden box on the sea. That way Ciaran can tell them he'll back that ship up unless everyone starts behaving.

Colette holds her satchel with baby bird in it close. A huge smile plastered across her face. One of the rarest sights in all of Arvum.

Erik beams as well, though it's probably detracted by some of the fecal filth that got -in his eyes- and on his face earlier. Some things take forever to really get out, don't they? He might even be doing a bit of a happy dance, or that could just be the murderous throes of rage going on inside Birdad's comfy new leather sack-castle. Either way, at least the going down should be easier than the going up even if there's a trio of very vocally dissatisfied customers along for the ride now.

Lisebet gets GyrMama into a sack possibly cloak included, and then there's an even scarier trip back to the boat. Once there, finally she can relax, and settle down. "That was an adventure," she says with a smile. Her own expression is perhaps nearly as happy as Colette's.

Erik is overheard praising Delilah.

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