LTTM: An Unconventional Garden
ooc: This is part of the Lost To Time and Memory PRP arc. It is being made public for people to read along, and cheer on the adventurer's as they face peril and sassy octopi. There will be other PRP's in the arc if one is interested and should reach out to Alarissa.
Nov. 28, 2020, 6 p.m.
Outside Arx - Mourning Isles near Maelstrom - A sheltered cove
Comments and Log
Maelstrom is the name of the main island within the Mourning Isles and not just the name of it's main city and that impenetrable fortress with it's lighthouse of Mangata holding a flame aloft. Through research, Sorrel has managed to stumble across the notations from an Oronessa Tidesbane. Time spent with scholars and navigators, consulting maps both in Maelstrom proper and the city, she managed to track down the supposed cove that seems to be in the right area. It helps that the area was being selected as where to set the Templar fortress.
With a supposed location, the Princess gathered to her side Brother Porter, Mistress Galatea, Lady Azova and Dame Bree. Warnings given of sharks, kelp and agressive octopi, it's bound to be interesting...
It was a few days sailing to get there, navigating past Grimhem's point, then around the slope. Dolphin's came and fish caught, the wind was strong and no sign of blood water or danger. All in all the journey went well and as night fell, the ship made shore at the temporary docks erected by the fledgeling village and they spent the night getting rest.
But morning has come. The sun has risen and the water promises to be cold. Fishing boats are at the ready and some citizens of the Isles have been spared from clearing rocks and building foundations to assist the group in their exploration. Rolling out forth from the tents - there are no buildings built yet but they've still handful of months to get something up that will withstand Maelstrom winters and the sea - the table is set with hearty fare, coffee and clear skies for the days task.
"We've had reasonably nice weather thus far, haven't we, Sir Porter? Dame Bree?" Sorrel says in a cheerful manner as she puts down her empty coffee mug in a bright and enthusiastic manner. "And Lady Azova, I'm quite hopeful that this plant that we're going to find will be very interesting for healing. I hope that you find it easy working with Apothecary Galatea."
"I think we should keep the aggressive octopi stories quiet." Azova decides, in the midst of consuming breakfast and imbibing as much coffee as she can stand. "You know how people write those extremely salacious stories. I'm telling you, they'l.... excellent weather, Your Highness!
Galatea looks mildly unhappy in the damp and cold that attends the region, wearing a fur cloak that is assuredly too big for her, hiding her basically all the way up to the chin. It gives a certain graceless plodding quality to her gait as she emerges from her lodgings. "I have decided I dislike adventuring," she tells no one in particular, even though their adventure basically hasn't even started yet. The southern woman is clearly not built for northeastern climes. 'Nice weather,' indeed. Nonetheless, she's got a positively enormous backpack on, and seems ready to go traipsing into who-knows-where.
"The weather has been fair so far," Porter agrees as he drinks from his coffee mug. He seems to be in good spirits, which tracks. Because how often is Porter ever in a mood that anyone would necessarily describe as poor? Not that often. Not unless something crazy has happened! And so far, so good. He finishes up what he's drinking and puts the mug down and away. "So, what next?" he wonders, glancing around to the others that are gathered. Salacious octopus stories? He clears his throat. "Don't give anyone any ideas, Azova."
"What do you think they'll say about the octopi?" Bree's wide eyes look to Azova in amused curiosity, a look she decides to share with Porter for reasons, and she settles next to him at the table. To Sorrel's question, and the general agreement that the weather is, indeed, nice, she nods, "I like it. Almost perfect for swimming," she determines, another glance at her fellow Solace Knight. She helps herself to some coffee, and lifts the cup to her lips for a long sip. "And yes, what next?" This is asked of Sorrel, who is the defacto leader of this adventure, clearly.
The boats at the shoreline bob to and fro, two of them for this adventure. The cove itself doesn't harbor the kelp, but everyone's been assured that there is a steep drop off. One of the people who have been residing here as they've been preparing comes up to the group, having checked in and put supplies in the boats. He has a pot in his hand, a clay one and puts it on the table. "You're going to need this." He offers. Though really, there's no explanation as to what's in the jar. Someone will have to take that initiative.
Azova checks Alchemy at easy. Azova is marginally successful.
"It takes some getting used to." Azova agrees good naturedly with Galatea, despite appearing relatively comfortable with the current set up. "This is actually far more comfortable than day two on a battlefield!" That's her, trying to be encouraging before she flashes an innocent smile at Porter and then turns towards Bree. "Tentacles." One word, that's all she says, before a hand reaches for that clay pot before PORTER has a chance to try and sprinkle it on his food or something. "Not a condiment." She doesnt' actually know that yet, but she's guessing. And then sniffing and looking. "Fat? This is just fat. So maybe you can eat it, Sir Porter." She holds it out for Galatea next, just in case. "But it's also to smear all over ourselves so that we don't get too cold in the water." More fodder for the salacious octupus series coming out, no doubt.
When Bree settles in next to him at the table, Porter stretches his arm out along the back of her chair. A hand traces her shoulder idly and he plucks something off of his plate and pops it into his mouth. The jar turns up and he looks at Azova meaningfully. As if he expects her to just know what he's going to say next. "I'll taste it-" and he reaches forward, planning to pluck it off the table "You don't know that for sure." Or does she? "Thanks, I'll put it on my toast." NO. "That's probably more reasonable," he agrees. Of the smearing fat all over themselves.
Galatea makes a faintly unpleasant mutter, mustering up the necessary will to brave what is, to everyone else, a pleasant enough day. She deposits her pack on the ground with a quiet thud the mment the pot is produced. "And what is 'this,' exactly?" She's nothing if not practical, immediately going to investigate the thing. However, Azova beats her to the punch. She stands nearby with an assessing eye, patiently waiting her turn. In the end, she takes it from Azova and peers at it intently. "...Yes, I suppose it is. Interesting." She closes it and sets it back on the table. "We're rowing out to some nearby lagoon or something, I presume? Or is there some less populated stretch of coastline we're hiking to?"
"I think we head out!" Sorrel says brightly to Bree, grinning cheerfully. She looks curiously at the man who brings the clay pot with the stuff in it, quirking a brow curiously, but calling out, "Thank you!" even without the explanation. She motions the group towards the boats. "Hmm. Maybe Porter and Azova in one boat, and I'll take Bree and Galatea in the other?" A pause. "Unless someone would like to be re-arranged for the purpose of smearing fat on one another. Otherwise, we can just save that for our fictionalized account of the story." With the salacious octopuses.
The Butterfly Knight doesn't reach for the pot, or try to speculate on the contents. She knows little about such things, anyhow. She laughs when Porter /almost/ volunteers to give it a taste test, but doesn't try to discourage him. When Bree is separated from Porter in the boats, she casts him a glance and a quickly murmured, "Be safe," which she follows with an even quicker peck to his cheek. Then she's slurping more coffee quickly, leaning over the table to get every last drop as she lowers it to the tabletop. She's standing then, dusting off her hands. "What supplies are we taking?" she asks with a upnod to Sorrel. The talk of Porter eating the fat or smearing it on anyone is left with a a grin, and she's ready to charge forward!
"Boats ready when you are, we'll row you out. Someone thinks it's just out past the mouth of the cove. It's fairly steep there. Can't see anything. We haven't run into any octopi yet. There was a few sharks but they haven't come close. We'll keep another boat at the ready just in case you need anything. And a fire going and hot drinks. You don't want to wait too long though to get going. Tides and all." And then the mans heading off to get to work himself, taking a cup of coffee with himself. "happy deep diving!" he calls out.
Galatea checks int and investigation at normal. Galatea is successful.
Azova checks intellect and investigation at normal. Azova marginally fails.
Porter checks intellect and sailing at normal. Porter is successful.
Bree checks intellect and investigation at normal. Bree is marginally successful.
Sorrel checks intellect and investigation at normal. Sorrel fails.
Did someone say get into the boats? Because Porter can get into the boats. Not only will he get into one of the boats, but he's also going to take the paddles or whatever else is needed to get them going (I just play a sailor on a MU*) and get going. Once the going is officially going that is. He gives Bree a quick peck on the cheek when she tells him to be safe. He does not offer to cover anyone in fat, you're welcome.
"Happy deep diving." Azova does make a face at that, but dutifully heads towards the boats when directed. "Thank you!" is added over her shoulder, and without any further curiosity she is ready to go. She will peer over the side of the boat the whole time of course, no doubt looking for any signs of infamous octopi and sharks.
Galatea is one of a few people who pitch in to assmble a diving bell. It's not exactly the most luxurious-looking item in the world, given that it's assembled from whatever parts were ready to hand, but with a little help from the locals it proves to be a functional piece of equipment. "Well. There's one question to settle before we set out," she says, admiring their collective handiwork. "Which is who among us is going to be brave enough to use this thing? I'm terrible at all things athletic, I should say up front."
Sorrel honestly doesn't look entirely thrilled at the idea of deep diving. But that was part of the adventure, wasn't it? She looks to Galatea and shrugs slightly. "We have three knights. One of us ought to have the athletic prowess to handle this, with the other two on standby if there's an issue. I mean, I expect you to be more of an analyst than a get-dunked-in-the-sea person," she admits.
Galatea holds up a finger towards Sorrel. "I am, however, the most /expendable/ person here, which is always worth considering when you push someone into the great unknown. If I become shark fodder, that's valuable information!" She sounds very serious, but hopefully she's joking.
"No one is expendable," Sorrel replies simply but seriously.
With the combined knowledge of Galatea, Porter, and Bree, apparently a diving bell is in order. The Knight moves to help in the crafting of such, using the materials scattered around the village to craft the thing. She looks to Galatea who seems to also know what she's doing, and her question draws the attention, "I can handle it if needed." She volunteers herself quite readily, eyeing the bell. And when Galatea offers herself as tribute to some expendable force, she's quick to join in chorus with Sorrel, "No one."
"I can go down," Porter says with a shrug and glance into the water. After they've crafted this bell! "I've been known to swim a time or two in my professional career sailing and such."
Azova isn't going to repeat anyone else, but clearly she is going to look aghast at the idea of sacrificing anyone. "I think we will all be fine." she adds to the conversation, sounding confident whether she feels it or not. "So, whoever is going first - grease up. Maybe it's pig fat and you'll smell like bacon when you're done." The pot is held out, with a cheerful smile.
Galatea is having a bit of fun at everyone's expense, perhaps. "It would be my honor to give my life for the cause," she drawls good-naturedly. "Who knows, maybe I'll even swim a little. Anyway, someone needs to mak sure the air tube is situated correctly, so I'll focus on that for the time being." She eyes the pot. "And maybe avoid the grease, to start."
"I can't think of anything I'd like less than smelling like bacon," Sorrel admits as she sighs heavily and moves to take the grease. "Maybe it'll help ward off the octopuses. Maybe they'll bite less this way. I hope."
"Give me the jar. I'll grease myself up. I like food," Porter holds his hand out for the jar from Azova. He didn't get this big not eating things, so smelling a little bit like breakfast isn't going to affect him anyway. "I promise not to eat it."
Bree leans over to Porter, 'whispering' to him, "Why are we lathering up in fat?" But he's gesturing for the jar, and she steps to let him do the work, fingers twitching like maybe she would help, but she waits her turn. "Are you sure you wish to avoid this, Mistress Galatea?" she asks as she watches Sorrel first, and Porter second.
Galatea lets out a melodramatic sigh. "Oh, very well, I'll dive," she says at last, after that gentle goading from Bree. "Just maybe not first."
Porter checks command and sailing at normal. Porter is marginally successful.
Between Galatea, Bree and Porter, the rudimentary diving bell will supposedly work and hold, and if the kelp is fairly deep, will buy them time under the water. It's large, but will fit in one boat to bring it out. Big enough it seems, that it'll fit all five heads in. But time is of the essence, and there's folks waiting to ferry everyone out. So sorrel greases up where skin is or will be exposed, porter as well. The smell isnt' too bad and soon enough those two and anyone else who is going in the water, are slippery like a proverbial pig. There's a few cheers of encouragement from the people in the camp and they are headed for the boat and ready to go.
Galatea is all greased up, wearing a borrowed set of peasant's clothes -- presumably easier to clean than whatever Setarcan finery she's been wearing up to this point. Men's clothes, actually, since she's so tall and there were no other sets to hand. She sits in the boat, totally at the mercy of more experienced skippers, as the cove looms closer.
"Will you get my back?" Porter asks Bree when he has the jar of grease, but he doesn't seem to actually be serious. He doesn't torment his partner in crime that badly. Once it's all over and they're in the boat, he manages to get the vessel past the cove mouth and over the waves. There's a bit of a struggle over one of the crests, but he manages it deftly enough and there they are! "Nothing to it!" he announces cheerfully, even if he's a bit wet from ocean spray. Which is rolling off of his skin because he's covered in grease.
"I swear this stuff smells like bacon," Sorrel complains, shifting slightly as they set off and Porter guides them to their destination. "Porter, you better not be licking anyone!"
Azova greases up, readies to dive right in. Words she never thought to write about herself, but here we are. Not that she hasn't been swimming in the sea before. But, she is usually the stay in the boat kind of person. Or, really hot day so swim in not frigid waters person. Not sail out to a cove where there might be kelp and octopi. "I vote that we never discuss the matter of how greasy we are outside of this small group." she notes, looking between everyone since they all look a bit ridiculous honestly. "So how does this work exactly. We jump in, the bell is lowered over us, and then we... sink down?" Pardon her cackle at Sorrel. Ahahahaha.
"Sure," Bree laughs when Porter asks, and she looks like she's totally going to! But he isn't really tormenting her that way, so she lets him finish up himself before taking her turn to become a greasy mess. She keeps poking at a spot on her arm to feel the slick grossness with some amused delight. "This is a first. Agreed, Lady Azova. Not a word," she laughs, and then she's heading out on the boats, her blue eyes watching Porter as he takes command and gets them out from the shore of the village. There's an open admiration in the way she looks at him, and then out to the water, and then back at him. "Nothing to it," she repeats, and then adds, "Hopefully we'll all be saying that by the end." She glances over the boat's edge at the water, knowing that soon they'll be deep beneath the surface. Somewhere in there, too, she might have chimed in, "He can lick me if he wants." But it is lost over the spray of the ocean.
Sorrel checks perception at easy. Sorrel marginally fails.
"I'm using this moment in whatever drinking game we play next," Porter announces as he gets the boat into position, despite Azova and Bree's claims that they never bring this up outside of this group. So never take Porter with you anywhere that there's going to be shots. Fair warning. "I"m not licking anyone, I swear!" he calls to Sorrel. When the question comes about the diving bell, he gestures at it. "Someone jumps in, we rest the frame on the water but hold the leather up and then put some rocks into the pockets on the corners to force it down and sink. Air fills up the inside! Easy," he says like someone who maybe knows how this works.
Azova checks perception at easy. Azova is successful.
Sorrel checks perception and investigation at easy. Sorrel is successful.
Galatea checks perception and investigation at easy. Galatea is successful.
Azova checks perception and investigation at easy. Azova is successful.
Porter checks perception and survival at easy. Porter is successful.
Bree checks perception and investigation at normal. Botch! Bree is simply outclassed. This is monumentally beyond them and the result is ruinous.
Bree checks perception at easy. Bree is marginally successful.
It's so dark. The water is nicer looking, if the waves a little daunting. But Porter, ever a Kennex, has the skills to get them out and the softer blue turns to the less forgiving darker colors that are indicative of that steep drop they were warned about and that was written in Oronessa's journal. Some sailors listen to porter and following his instructions - one even jumps in and starts to load rocks into the corners so that eventually, just under the surface of the water, gently bobbing and attached to the boat via rope. A lot of rope. No ones going to drift off at least.
IT's time to jump in, the sailors offering rocks into pockets to help sink people easier. In the distance, not too far, most everyone notices something in the water. That is except Bree who is looking up at the sky. Where a lone little cloud has drifted by. It looks like an otter. Wait, no. A toad. Wait no. unicorn. Probably a uni- nope. Who knows what it looks like. But it's sure pretty.
Galatea finds herself peering out at some darker shapes bobbing in the water. "Hmmmn." She squints visibly. "Jellyfish, if I'm not mistaken? And judging by the time, and the way the tide will probably behave...I'd say we've only got about half an hour before they all drift more or less exactly where we're going."
"No not jellyfish," Bree protests Galatea's assessment of the cloud (because she's totally looking at the cloud, right?) "A turtle maybe? Or... a bear!" Because they look the same, right? She wades at the surface, so easily distracted by the beauty of the sky from the water that she's not paying attention at all to what she /should/ be paying attention to. She's got a hand on the bell, though, so she's not completely useless in the moment.
Peering off and into the water, Porter's face scrunches up. "Yeah, you don't want them to touch you either. They're not the good kind." Which perhaps suggests that there is a good kind! Somewhere. But not here where they are apparently. He glances over to see Bree inspecting the clouds and leans over, giving her shoulder a playful push and a lopsided smile as he glances up. "In the water. Jellyfish."
"Alright. Well, here goes nothing," Sorrel says as she mutters a bit, trying to figure out how to get out of the boat in a manner that does not rock it. "Let's see if we can find this stuff." And then, with a splash, she's in the water. "Y'know, it's a bit nippy today."
"Oh, fantastic." That's Azova's sarcasm voice if nobody has ever heard it before. Which, likely, all except Galatea have. And so she's sure to flash a wry smile the woman's way - don't want her thinking she's a moron. "Can't say the idea of a bear is much better." is noted, before she splashes into the water. Better get moving!
Bree checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Bree is successful.
Sorrel checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Sorrel is successful.
Azova checks perception and investigation at normal. Azova is marginally successful.
Porter checks strength and athletics at normal. Porter is marginally successful.
Azova follows the stronger swimmers down, though she stays close enough that she can tap them to get their attention and gesture the way of the yellow glint that indicates where the kelp is. It's pretty deep, and it looks like the light will be even worse when they get there. But, it IS there, and they can make it with the air pocket in the bell.
The water is cold, despite the grease that covers them. It's a slap in the face that take a moment or two to adjust to. But once everyone has, more rocks are put into the quasi diving bell and it starts to sink. And with it, they can hang on and sink with it. Big gulps of air bring them down, down, down. Salt water offends eyes at first when they open them and those who have never been in the sea are met with the shock of just how salty the water is. They'll need hot drinks afterward, but it's spring giving way to summer and so the water is not too offensive so close to the shore.
Everyone keeps eyes open, careful in the water and observant. But there's no sharks as they perhaps feared. Just a seemingly endless sinking deep and the ambient light dims enough that it's like a candle at night. But Azova is the first to see and as they get closer, there's the kelp, leaves drifting with the currents. Thick yellow leaves, bulbs in clusters here and there. The journal wasn't wrong. There's golden kelp here.
Looking quite excited that they have gotten this far, Sorrel motions towards the group and then towards the kelp. It's there! It's golden! Maybe they can go take it. She shifts to see if she can harvest some, with a knife if necessary.
Bree manages to draw her attention back to the task at hand, the clouds overhead drifting from her mind so that she can dive beneath the surface. She takes the rocks, she places them in pockets, but she also uses the force of her arms to send herself deeper and deeper still, her eyes using what little light reaches the deeper recesses of the water to spy the prized kelp. She even reaches out to touch, to run her fingers along one silky strand in amazement. When the pressure at her lungs begins to increase to a point of discomfort, she pops into the bell, gasping at air to prepare for the next slide under.
Porter isn't exactly here to be the searcher of things. He gets a solid hold on their air bubble and exerting his physical strength, he kicks off and tries to take on the bulk of pulling their air under water with them (with the help of the many rocks). He pops in and out of the air bell as needed, taking air but also occasionally touching ocean stuff.
Bree checks perception and survival at normal. Bree is marginally successful.
Azova checks perception and investigation at normal. Azova is marginally successful.
Sorrel checks perception and survival at normal. Sorrel is marginally successful.
Porter checks perception and survival at normal. Porter is successful.
Once satisifed that everyone knows where she pointed, Azova pops into the bell for some of that sweet air - before heading back in to make a beeline for that kelp. She too will try to harvest as much as possible. Including from the root to see if it can be replanted in friendlier waters.
Popping back into the water from the bell, Porter spots something! He starts pointing. What could it be?? It's an octopus. A little red octopus, all by itself. He waves at it in the water. He definitely doesn't try to arm wrestle it under water or anything. But it's there and he's quite impressed with it. Porter is an easy man to please.
The diving bell comes in handy, gasps of air taken that they would likely be unable to make it up to the surface in time unless they were trained divers. Porters knowledge and Galatea and bree's doing them great favor and making this an ordeal and adventure that's far easier than it sounds like Oronessa had. Thus far, still no sharks. Just... well... Octopi. There's... a lot of octopi actually.
Careful not to startle octopuses, Sorrel pauses to breathe, then swims over towards the plants to cut them so that the bulbs float to the surface where they can be gathered. She's cautious not to cut too far down so that the kelp can keep growing.
The octopus near Porter is getting fairly close. But he's minding his own business and hopefully the octopus is minding his. However if the creature tries to steal any rocks from the air bell, Porter will be forced to wrestle it's many tentacle arms for dominance. Don't put him in this position, octopus. Lets be buds.
Galatea isn't used to underwater activities, but she's about as good an apothecary as you're like to find--she harvests kelp with a little bit of initial awkwardness, but is quickly getting the hang of it. Much like others in the company, she tries to harvest the kelp whole, digging it out by the roots. You never know what part will have the most medicinal value until proper study is conducted. She is blissfully unaware of impending octo-doom.
Beneath the water, Porter is waving, and Bree looks first at him, and then to the thing he's waving at. Her eyes narrow, but through the shimmering water it is harder for her to see - at least at first, until it is close enough for her fellow knight to touch. Her mouth opens, bubbles being sent to the surface as she tries to speak to Porter, because of course she'd be the first beneath the water to try to speak. That's not useful, and she makes a gesture for him to watch behind.
Azova is cheerfully oblivious to the octopi, which is probably fortunate for the moment. Aside from those few rooted pieces of kelp she is otherwise careful of what and where she cuts. She also doesn't take too long, swimming towards the bell again to get another breath of air. And hopefully no octopi friends. Those are all Porter's.
The strands are hard to cut. Knives in greased hands underwater are hard to manage. But Sorrel and Galatea do, Azova able to harvest roots and little bulbs from the kelp go floating up to the surface, their bouyant interiors making them like little mini diving bells.
By porter, that octopus drifts by, little man - or woman - just chilling, totally oblivious to the godsworn there. Porter sees the moment that the thing notices him though. it startles, a litte puff of black ink coming out from the creature as it startle and flee's. Makes it difficult for the man to see.
One bulb looses from the strand that Sorrel is working on and bumps into an octopus who much like the others in the area are... just lazing about. In groups. Clustered in little groups and holding onto each other. She can see too the moment when the octopus's in her cluster notice her. And then she's glomped onto. It's sudden, there's octopus arms all over her arms, and they're exploring. Suckers attaching then letting go and there's suddenly three of them on her. The same soon enough for Bree, Azova, Galatea. Everyone but Porter has at least three octopi on their limbs. There's more coming their way too.
Azova checks perception and alchemy at hard. Botch! Azova is simply outclassed. This is monumentally beyond them and the result is ruinous.
Porter checks perception and survival at hard. Porter is successful.
Bree checks perception and survival at hard. Bree fails.
Azova checks composure and empathy at normal. Azova is successful.
Sorrel checks perception and survival at hard. Sorrel is marginally successful.
Bree checks composure and survival at normal. Bree is successful.
Sorrel checks composure and survival at normal. Sorrel is marginally successful.
Galatea checks perception and alchemy at hard. Galatea is successful.
Porter's expression under water says it all, 'this escalated quickly'. He gets away from the ink and starts peeling octopi off of Bree first, in theory so that she can swim off and begin peeling them off of other people faster.
Galatea looks remarkably unconcerned about the octopi. If anything, she looks exasperated. In a 'how inconvenient' sort of way, not a 'we're all going to die' sort of way. She looks around, left and right, holding up empty palms, in a 'everybody chill' sort of gesture, but goodness, it's hard to communicate underwater.
Welp, this is how all those creepy salacious ocptopi stories begin. But, for whatever reason - Azova is not panicking at all. In fact, she actually smiles at all of her new friends and remains calm as she begins removing rocks from her pockets to help her towards the survace. Where, she hopes, the little buggers will disengage on their lonesome so go hug on each other again like good little hippie octopi.
Sorrel makes an effort to keep the octopus tentacles away from her face, moving to the diving bell so that she can take a breath and try to discourage her new clingers from being so enthusiastic about loving on her. She takes a deep breath, and then she heads back to the kelp, still wearing octopuses, to harvest a few more.
Bree begins to succumb to octopi - and they are adorable, aren't they? With all of their tentacles? Oh no... they're attaching to her limbs! She doesn't panic, she keeps her cool quite well, actually, and tries to start peeling them off of her - with the help of Porter, who is gentle or rough, but she's not about to get sucked under by the octopi!
Azova departs for the surface and most of those one her, once she gets closer, just pop off her and drift back down once they are a fair distance from the kelp. And they swim, oh do they swim back for the kelp. Sorrel's visitors remain on he, exploring arms and shoulders and she can feel a beak or two give an experimental nibble but no true bite. harvesting commences with little further disruption except sometimes an octopu departs, and another one comes out to give affection. Or what passes for affection. The number of them has picked up as they come out to explore. The same for Galatea, her's sticking to her like jewelry, and arms drifting in the water and going with the flow. A piece of kelp that's loose, is snatched up another one of them and arms tuck the kelp in toward what assumes if where the beak is and eats. If by the messy bits of kelp that emerge are any indication. Someone's having a snack.
The octopi on bree, removed by porter, go without a hassle, though they then turn their attention to porter, some to the diving bell, some are a little harder to peel off bree, like they just want to stay and one around her wrist hangs on tight.
Porter keeps trying to diligently remove octopi from Bree despite the fact that they are now attaching to him. He tries! But when it seems like they're about done harvesting kelp, he'll return to the air bell so that they can start going back up again.
When a sufficient quantity of kelp has been harvested, Sorrel attempts to gently disengage her squishy little friends, encouraging them back to their kelp. Those that won't go? She figures they can swim back when she surfaces. And when she does surface, she works to collect the harvest into the boats so they can retreat before the jellyfish drift their way.
Galatea likewise has had about all the octopus she can handle. She doesn't do well with animals at the best of times, and even if they're friendly, she is thoroughly grossed out. She tries her best to wriggle and shake free and vamoose back towards the water's surface, kelp captured in the container srapped to her waist. Whenever she breaks the surface, she breathes loudly. A lot.
Bree tries to return the favor, reaching to remove the octopi from Porter, but they are persistent little suckers (ha). She points a finger upward, and spins in watch to make certain everyone is with them before she nods that they should head up. She begins to swim, bringing the bell with, and some octopi, too!
Azova is there already, with her own catch in hand and devoide of jelly fish and only faint marks that will fade within the hour. All of them when they surface and the octopi have retreated back to their haven, are littered with small red marks from the suckers that will fade. The sailors in the boats are ready to help them, blankets ready to cover people up, nets to throw the kelp into and secure to the side of the ships. Hands offeres to help people over the sides and the air is cold upon the skin than the water is. It'll take a few moments for bodies to adjust. There's one lone companion, the little red octopi settled on the net and hitching a ride with that belp, arms seeking and squeezing in till he disappears into the netted bundle. The diving bell hauled back on, they have a moment to rest and perfect timing as the jellyfish start to drift in.
Long drifting strands, colorful tops, much like the octopi they drift along with the current and are a sight to behold.
Galatea is extremely happy to be out of the water and is exceedingly miserable all the way back. If it weren't for the help of the local sailors, well, she'd probably be outright hypothermic. Instead, she's just sullenly quiet, bundled in as many layers as a human can reasonably be bundled in. She does seem satisfied to have succeeded in their watery quest, at least.
Once they're back onto the boat, Porter doesn't object to any blankets but he seems perfectly happy with his current temperature. Salt water is raked out of his hair and he prods at a spot on his arm where there was a sucker. "That was great!" he announces to everyone in the boat. It seems like he really enjoyed himself. But then again, he's one of those cold weather/water people.
Galatea summons up all her enthusiasm, really honestly trying her best not to be a spoilsort. "It was quite an adventure," she agrees with Porter. She looks like she wants to die a little.
"We did it! The kelp was right where the literature said it might be," Sorrel says with a lot of cheer for someone who is cold and wet and has a few octopus bites. "Now we'll just need you guys to see if you can brew it into the healing potion that it's meant to create."
When Bree pops to the surface, she sucks in air, and hoists herself back into the boat. The bell is brought up (assuming they don't want to leave it behind) and she flicks her hair off her shoulder, water droplets spraying out at her companions. "That was great," she agrees with Porter's assessment, straightening and making her way to him to slip still greased arms about his waist. She gives a very sea-water-enhanced squeeze, and then turns to Sorrel asking, "Did you get everything you needed?" she smiles brightly at their success, looking to Galatea and Azova, "They're better for the next part, no doubt."
Galatea finds her optimism restored with mention of 'the next part.' "I brought almost an entire alchemy lab carefully packed away on board the caravel," she tells Bree cheerfully, already looking forward to mashing and boiling plant bits, evidently. "If this thing can cure cancer or something, you'll know in no time at all. No one's better with decoctions than me!"
Porter checks command and sailing at normal. Porter is successful.
The sailors in the boat start to head for the shore when everyone is on and everyone seems fine. An extra blanket offered to Galatea and a skin of something alcoholic offered up as well. Rum from the smell of it. With Porters guidance, they navigate back through the mouth of the cove and to the shoreline where their catch will be hauled in and warm blankets, fires and hot drinks await.
Galatea drinks rum. So much rum.
Once back to the village, Galatea is a woman on a mission. That giant backpack before is full of devices for distillation, calcination, explode-if-ication, and really, everything an alchemist could possibly want, from alembic on down. A liberal application of silver sees a local run out of his shed, which is now the site of medieval mad science. The first thing: Reducing the kelp to a ground-up paste, which can then be added to some other substances she's brought along, most of them common ingredients for making medicinal ointments, salves, and tinctures. Basically, she wants to see if the kelp, rumored to have medical properties, can take the place of any other known medicinal herbs and whether it has greater efficacy.
Once she's aboard, Porter leans into Bree's sea-water-enhanced squeeze, seemingly undeterred by that or the grease on her arms. When it comes time to get the boat back to the shoreline, Porter offers some advice to the sailors to assist. Very reasonable advice! He doesn't have any advice to offer on the kelp, other than reassuring Azova that he doesn't plan on consuming it when no one is looking. He will however find the warm drinks for himself and Bree.
"It said something about distilling," Sorrel notes to Galatea with great interest, not that she knows the first thing about alchemy or any of that. "Did you find out anything yet? Is it awesome? Is it?" She practically bounces. She is not helpful.
Galatea checks alchemy at normal. Galatea is marginally successful.
Galatea checks intelligence and alchemy at normal. Galatea is marginally successful.
Galatea checks mana and alchemy at normal. Galatea is successful.
Porter and Bree seem to know their limits, and short of Porter offering to eat the kelp, the pair of them hang back and share in some drinks. She leans against the bigger man, her head moving to rest against his arm, a contented smile at her lips as she watches those more intellectually minded work through the mystery of the kelp. "The last time we went swimming," she begins to recall, but then with a glance up into his bearded face, decides not to finish the thought. "You were great out there on the boat."
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