Anima: Beyond Malaz

Dawn of Twilight's Edge

A siren, and a giant blue werewolf? Why do the cool things always kill us?

• Day 154, in the realm of Lord Jeremiah of Twilight’s Edge.
• They prepare for the battle. As the first turn happens the clock changes to 1, and then a wedge of darkness and light moved to the first of the twelve pillars, resulting in the matter inside being destroyed by the power of energy. The others are unhappy. Ryn fired a White Wood Arrow at the surprised Grrzutt, hurting him through his spined and important fur. Fynn charges Melodee, noting the temperature changing, but she dodges, Emack throws up a shield to protect everyone, which stops Melodee’s counter attack of hers so his shield takes the hit, then Fynn’s second attack hits her to take away her action. Melodee then looks unhappy, tells Grrzutt that they will maintain the usual strategy of her fighting the fighters and Grrzutt fighting the mages (yes, I want the calamari, bird, elven one), and then Melodee using her Spiritual Loop, seen by Emack and Elspeth, to charge zeon and go invisible, except that Ryn could still see her, and Jack could hear where she was going. Jack asks his Mage friends whether the Clock or the pillars are important (Elspeth and Emack say they are working on it) and then Jack puts himself in the way between Grrzutt and Emack. Grrzutt charges forward Jack, the claws swinging through Emack’s shield, and hurting Jack solidly, sending Jack flying into the back wall of the death cone, but he Zen’s the acrobatics in order to not die, but then the corrupting power of light and darkness seeing a group of people in a strange world, in strange clothes, gathered around a table rolling dice with serious faces, then Jack ceases to exist. Grrzutt then keeps charging towards Emack, who almost stops the attack, but it results in the claws still making their way through and tearing Emack into tiny bloody pieces. Then Grrzutt makes his way over to Elspeth, bites through her light shield, carves into her stomach and tears out a great chunk as Grrzutt throws Elspeth towards the cone of death where she lies unconscious. Until Jafar fires off a Recover to put Elspeth back up to full health and no all action penalty and back up. Then Bo’sun attacked Grrzutt three times and carved a great heavy amount of damage out of him, with Fatigue on the last of it. Then the clock strikes two, and Elspeth can feel the death aura inching towards her. Applejack moves to the far side of the arena from the death wall, and begins charging her breath weapon. Fynn moves to help defend Applejack. Melodee then drops an Acid Cloud over Fynn and Applejack, harming them slightly from it, blocking of their sight and everything around them. Elspeth fires a laser at Grrzutt, cooking through some of his armor. Then Grrzutt attacks Bo’sun three times, hurts him once, blocked the second time, then he gets a solid bite in to throw Bo’sun into the dissolving void but didn’t die. Jafar charged Zeon. Ryn fired an arrow towards Melodee’s face, but she dodges it, noting the accuracy of the shot, and declaring that Ryn does count as a combat class. Then the clock goes further another hour. Melodee fires a volley of ice spines to carve solidly into Ryn, hurting her respectably. Ryn just eyes Melodee and waits. Grrzutt then goes to attack Jafar three times. In each instance Jafar’s armor soaks it up, but he is thrown around the arena, taking damage in each instance from the juggling, taking some hits and then thrown into the suffering aura to take a much larger amount of damage. Jafar then picks himself up off the floor, and begins trying to limp out from the area of harm. Fynn and Applejack stepped out of fog, to find Grrzutt right in front of them, so Fynn stepped in the way. Then Bo’sun was consumed in the aura of pain and destruction. Then the clock struck 4, expanding to go further and harm Jafar more. Then Ryn fired an arrow to harm Melodee, cutting her body with the arrow and preventing her from acting and only being able to charge zeon. Elspeth fired a beam of light at Grrzutt to strike him again in the eye, but not enough gun. Grrzutt then charges Fynn, battering him aside with one claw, tearing open his ribs, battering him into Elspeth’s shield so that she wasn’t harmed. Then Grrzutt comboed against Applejack to batter her into the ceiling, bite into her, and throw her into the destruction aura for massive damage that destroys her, triggering Fynn’s Fragment of Love to negate the crippling penalties he had suffered. Then the massive clock ticked forwards to 5 pm. Melodee fired another volley of ice at Ryn, which was able to hurt her for a good deal of damage. Then Fynn charged Grrzutt, cutting him repeatedly with his blades. Then Grrzutt hit him once more, cutting him down and throwing him into Elspeth, but the shield stops it. Then Grrzutt charges closer again, killing both Elspeth and Jafar in a hail of claws and teeth that destroyed them savagely. Then, as the clock struck 6 pm, Ryn stood alone before Melodee and Grrzutt stare down Ryn. A volley of ice was deflected from her armor, and she stood tall, until Grrzutt charged down on her and crushed her horribly.
• All of the pirates found themselves back on the deck of The Wicked Wench, battered, bruised, cut, and terribly unhappy. They comment on being quite unhappy, Emack says they should get back to business regarding that whole munitions harvesting thing. Jack comments that yet another member of the crew has tried to kill him now. Then Millenium comes over with Cynthia to try and figure out what exactly happened to them. They explain that another Fragment tried to break them. Millenium offers them some hot beverages. Jack makes sure they aren’t too hot. Then they all drink their beverages, which restores all their health and Zeon, and also cleans their clothes, which makes Elspeth very happy. Then they once again begin trying to contemplate all of the different other missions that they should do. Then they decide that they should do all the different things necessary for it. Jack figures they should attempt to use the same approach as Jek did in order to snag them, having Ryn fire one of the super crossbows so that Jack can just walk through in order to try and take everything before returning. They then begin trying to figure out all of the elaborate portal trips that they would need to do in order to make it into the base with limited attacks and damage so as to steal everything that they need. Jack wants to know if these portals will actually work, so Ryn asks Millenium, who says that it could very well work, as she had known another person that did a great deal of research on such techniques in order to travel via portals with numerous people dieing for what they learned. When Ryn wants to know exactly whether or not it will actually work, Millenium says yes, which should be more then enough. Ryn asks if Millenium could help them with that, but she says that she would give them a prize if they do it on their own. Ryn informs them, so they intend to try and get everything off by themselves in order to make things work. Then they began preparing in order to do everything that they need to for prior to this incredibly elaborate, and also more than a little inefficient approach. It will be exciting to say the least.
• Jack wants to train with Dave, Fynn wants to begin learning how to become a dragon, recording it all within the Book of Cain, Bo’sun goes into town in order to try and gather up some supplies to help assist with the mending of the ship. Emack and Elspeth then begin trying to work on their Warren control. All of the training has gone much better then they expected, learning at an incredibly rapidly approach in order to get all of the lessons that were done, including Fynn being able to become a dragon much faster then he expected to be able to. Elspeth also looked for some more help from Deckard Cain, but instead got to hear the great tales of Deckard Cain and Kazrith fighting against the Dragon God in order to repel his attacks over and over again, in the most noble approach of images that served as a massive distraction and chaos. Elspeth figured they wouldn’t be getting help from Deckard this time. Emack on the other hand went through an incredibly elaborate process of various portal, within portal, using birds to go through them, close portals, summoning up new ones, and then also trying to open the portal through a building, which opened successfully, but when closed did take a thin slice out of the building so that the building then rolled into itself for support and slightly fallen. Having spent a massive amount of Zeon, Emack figured he should actually rest and enjoy some recovery then. He continued to think on how best to abuse and manipulate these portals. The beverage from Millenium has greatly accelerated their rate of knowledge gain (temporal domination for the win).
• Upon returning to The Black Pearl’s crow’s nest, Ryn traded Sparkly the jewel embedded amulet that she had purchased some time ago. Sparkly held it, and the amulet vanished immediately to provide Ryn with her reward satchel. Neither of the two women understood how it arrived so soon, but Sparkly happily gave the satchel to Ryn. From within she pulled out a beautiful greatbow made of exquisite and pure white wood; the White Bow of Oolan, a legendary weapon from Boletaria. Ryn thanked Sparkly, and then offered to trade Sparkly her final item, hoping she might be able to get another treasure much sooner then expected. Sparkly said that she couldn’t know whether or not the new present would show up as quickly again. This time the crystal goblet vanished, and Ryn was provided with another satchel, this one containing a Reality Fragment in the shape of a tattered, old leather glove. When Ryn pulled it out, she was immediately knocked unconscious.
• From within the Fragment Ryn was shown a torrent of old emotion and thoughts from the person who this Fragment was spawned from. It began with a man known as Karl Masterson, young, handsome, muscled, and merciless, lead a group of monstrous beings on a hunt for a monster. Then this man betrayed those that had followed him. Next he was seen, now bearing the name of Eric Von Darkmoor, who manipulated the fates and gods to steal the powers of the gods in order to destroy Lord Jeremiah of Twilight’s Edge, Grrzutt, and Melodee, in the world where first they lived. Next Masterson was reborn as a decrepit old man, a thief that was as hideous and disfigured in appearance as was his soul. This version called himself Uncle Dodger, and would rape, steal, and slaughter anyone he could with a rotten and grim smile. Uncle Dodger then returned in the world where Jek originated from, wielding robots and flying missile death, before being turned into a small dancing robot toy that then fell in a grand assault.
• Ryn awoke feeling a massive headache. She went to find Emack, who was working with the Mage Dreglings of The Black Pearl (not very effectively) to try and get them to successfully generate portals. She tried to talk to him, but he was in the middle of thought so held out a tentacle to tell her to wait a few damn minutes. Instead, Ryn just put the Fragment of a Glove into Emack’s tentacles. This knocked him out immediately as well, forcing him to see the vision, and making him completely lose his train of thoughts. When Ryn demanded to know what it did, Emack told her it could increase stealth, deception, dirty fighting tactics, transform into an incredibly potent rapier, or massively increase its power further based on the mental instability of its wielder. This made Ryn and Emack then figure either Elspeth (due to her Fragment of a Broken Mind), or Jack (based on his personality) should get it. Emack also offered to take it, but Ryn figured she would give it to Jack. She found him aboard the ship, and gave him the Frament, explaining its power and saying he was getting it due to his mental instability. Jack then went to bother many of the crew members (waking up Elspeth, dealing with Fynn and Applejack while naked dragon training) to ask them if they think he is insane on a scale of 1-Glove. He got some interesting answers, assumed that either he was insane (possible), or his entire crew is completely quite mad (much more likely to his mind). Then, with that decision he activated the Fragment of a Glove based on mental instability. This rocked his mind, and inside it afterwards he found the figure of Uncle Dodger, greeting this new “puppy” that he can talk to, and that the two of them should have some fun. Not truly realizing what a monster Uncle Dodger was, Jack accepts the invitation that the two of them should go find some women, since it has been a while for Dodger. They leave the ship, go to a brothel, and sneak into a back wall, finding a lone prostitute in a lower level. Dodger then begins making sure they have the ‘fun’ that he wants. It isn’t long before Jack wonders what Dodger is actually wanting, as it has gone very violent after Jack had been satisfied. Then Dodger summons the rapier out of the glove, preparing to kill the unconscious and beaten woman. Jack, surprisingly, manages to stop him using his circular logic, with Dodger expressing his displeasure at Jack’s interference, and figuring that it would be about time only one of them remained. Jack struggled against his own body, and then appeared inside his own mind, staring down Uncle Dodger, that converted to his true form of Karl Masterson, drawing the terrible, legendary bastard sword from his shoulders. Masterson gave Jack a taste of the ‘perfect’ world that he would create one using the pirates to bring him the fragments. It was a world where enslavement, domination, and crushed spirits were all that the common men and women could expect, being repressed beneath the sole god that would stand upon them. Masterson would make himself that god, and all form of debauchery that he could desire would be within his invincible grasp. Jack said that that was a terrible idea. Masterson responded by carving into Jack’s mind-self’s chest, nearly killing him in a single blow. Jack didn’t like that, and so ran backwards 300 feet. Masterson prepared for a second attack, his feat rising off the ground, sword held before him, and then flying through the air to impale Jack upon his blade. “He can move 300 feet in one round, that’s absurd,” muttered Jack as he fell to the ground, the world beginning to grow dark. Masterson stood over him, preparing to bring his bastard sword down upon Jack, to steal his body and manipulate his crew into his own desires. Jack, knowing he only had one chance left, decided to throw the fragments that were needed in order to try and stop him. He began by ringing The Fragment of Absurdity, which vaporized Masterson’s sword and transformed him into the small metal and furry robot. Jack then brought out The Hope Stone, since he felt that Masterson’s world and existence were far too bleak, and could use some hope. The small robot then prepared to strangle Jack, who threw the Fragment of a Button onto the robot, in hopes of making it fight the Reaper. Then Masterson fuzzy bot kept coming however, asking if that was all Jack had. Then The Fragment of a Fool mask lept from Jack’s face to engulf Masterson’s face, blinding him and causing the small furry figure to flail. “No, I still had something to put you back at the start of your journey, before you could be such a self-righteous bastard.” Then, Jack’s vision went dark.
• The pirates turn in for the night, so as to deal with their next batch of objectives on the coming day.
• Day 155
• Upon waking up the next day, all of them have a few tasks which they need to take care of. Elspeth heads out into the city with a collection of pirates to gather additional food and general supplies for when they are returning to sea. Ryn tries to convince Sparkly to go into town shopping again, but Sparkly says there are no more items that can be bought that would make her be able to find trading items. Ryn asks Millenium if she knows where any items that Sparkly would like are, but Millenium says its no fun, or challenge, if she simply tells Ryn how to get them. Ryn accepts this logic and waits for the “munitions looting mission briefing”. Fynn continues practicing in his new dragon form off above the water, flying, dancing, juggling and throwing rocks, and sending large balls of electricity flying high into the air as the sun gleams off of his amethyst scales. Emack, having got the finalized ideas of his portal plan set for him and Elspeth, decides that its time he outlined it to the Captain.
• Heading onto the deck of The Wicked Wench, Emack saw that a guard captain had come and was talking to Jafar. Emack came over to investigate, and Jafar had the guard captain inform Emack of what he had just been told. Apparently, Sir Admiral Captain Jack Sparrow, Prelate of the Order of Knowledge, had broken into a brothel, raped and beaten a prostitute there near to death, and was found unconscious this morning tangled up in his own limbs. They currently have him locked up in one of their cells, but none of their doctors have been able to awaken him. Both Emack and Jafar had the guard captain lead them to where Jack was being held.
• Having reached the jail cell, Emack asked to be allowed in to examine the doctor. Jafar gave the guard captain permission to let Emack in. With a detailed examination Emack could tell there was no physical reason for Jack to be in the state that he was. He therefore worried that perhaps the Fragment of a Glove, with its powers based on insanity, had simply fractured the captain’s mind and sent him spiraling down into this coma. Going through Jack’s pockets, Emack pulled out The Fragment of Hope, and rested the glowing stone upon Jack’s forehead in hopes that it could do something to alleviate the captain’s state.
• Jack roused himself from within the darkness of his slumber. He then jumped as he saw Karl Masterson, in his true and glorious form, hovering mere inches in front of him. Masterson, sounding pained, exhausted, and as furious as he could muster, could not understand how a wretched, pathetic, and insignificant man such as Jack could hope to kill him. Masterson had survived dozens of worlds, murdered gods, tormented countless civilizations, and never once been so properly defeated. He refused to believe that his perfect world could be beaten by some worthless, gutless, pirate. Jack said that Masterson lost because his perfect world sucked terribly, and no one would want to live in it. Then, a deep and commanding voice that made Jack’s blood run cold informed him that Masterson’s time for conversation was over. From the corner of his eyes, Jack could see the outline of a massive extended barrel magnum come into view. The trigger was pulled, the cylinder cycled, and with a loud bang Masterson was shattered into countless crystalline shards, to fade into the ether. Then, rising before Jack, was the tattered cloaked, sack covered face, and gun toting form of The Reaper. The Reaper informed Jack that it assisted simply because Masterson had been trying to evade the proper control of death for far too long. The Reaper was also incredibly tempted to kill Jack right now, but decided not to based on the fact that far too many other facets of himself still lived, including “The Valentine”, that had directly opposed it in the past. The Reaper promised it would one day kill all of them, and give the proper gift of peace back to all the world. It told Jack that when he was ready to receive that gift to simply use the Fragment of a Button, and The Reaper would happily give that gift to him. Then, The Reaper vanished. One final apparition appeared to speak with Jack, but she appeared behind him and Jack found himself unable to turn and face her. The voice was the same as had first come from The Fragment of Hope, those long days ago. She thanked Jack for all the hard work that he and his crew had put in, saying that they had all greatly gone beyond her original expectations for being able to make her dream of a new, better, world. But, she said that it was not time for him to leave back to his crew as they seem to need him. The woman from the Fragment of Hope kissed Jack gently upon his forehead, and then allowed Jack to awaken.
• Right in front of Jack’s face when he woke up was Emack. Remembering the kiss on his forehead, Jack threw up his hands in defense, let out a great shout, and demanded to know what was going on. Emack said that he had done a medicine check and put the Fragment of Hope of Jack’s forehead. Jack asked if that was all, which Emack confirmed, and Jack thanked the gods. Then those gathered explained why Jack was locked up, Jack explained that it wasn’t him that did those horrible deeds, but the other man inside his head that has now been killed, although not really through his actions, and that he should be safe to go now. Jafar assured the guard captain that he would personally take responsibility for Jack, and the guard captain allowed it. Jack then let himself out of the manacles simply by standing up, and then they all headed back to The Wicked Wench.
• Aboard The Wicked Wench, Jack, Emack, Jafar, Fynn, Applejack, Ryn, and Elspeth all gathered to discuss the plan for how they would assault the base and loot the munitions that Fynn needed. Emack even had a poorly drawn picture for them to all use as reference. In it, it depicted The Black Pearl opening its portal to Ruse, traveling through, and then appearing just out of site of the fortress. From there Emack, Jack, Fynn, Ryn, and Elspeth would all hop in the jolly boat and row into a portal to Ruse that The Black Pearl would open for them, and then close behind them. They would row towards the fortress, then Emack would open a portal to Denul (because he doesn’t really trust Mockra), and they would all go through in order to travel the last bit of distance on foot. Emack would then open the exit portal, hopefully in the bowels of the keep, so that he, Jack, and Fynn can go through and gather up all the munitions they need. Fynn would then head above ground, turn into a dragon, and use his breath weapon to signal the Pearl that they were on their way back. Emack would then open the portal back to Denul, with Ryn and Elspeth to use ranged attacks through it to dissuade any persuers, then back through Denul, get back in the jolly boat, head back into Ruse through Emack’s first portal, and then hope that The Pearl opens up the portal on her end again so that they can return, leave, and celebrate. They all liked the sounds of this mission, until Emack informed Jack that they would need to wait inside the fortress for one hour, since all his zeon would be consumed in transporting that many people through the warrens. There was much discussion on the best ways to avoid this, until Jack decided that what they would do is only Jack and Emack would go into the warrens, while Fynn and Applejack would turn into dragons to provide a distraction, with Elspeth and Ryn riding Fynn in order to provide additional ranged combat support. When asked about how they would signal the ship, Jack and Emack simply said they would think of something. They then made their way onto The Black Pearl, open the portal to Ruse, and headed off.
• The ship appeared with what they hoped was their intended destination. Emack and Jack then turned the Fragment of a Wheel into a jolly boat, and sailed through the new Ruse portal The Pearl opened for them. Those on deck began to count, as they weren’t supposed to leave until they would arrive at the fortress just before Emack and Jack.
• Inside Ruse, Emack opened his portal to Denul, he and Jack made it through, they turned the Fragment of a Wheel into its wooden horse, and began riding towards the fortress.
• With their count reached, Applejack transformed and set off, while Fynn ran off the ship to stand on the water and transform into his large draconic self. Using his Ki to stay atop the water, Fynn allowed Elspeth and Ryn to board onto his back. Elspeth was so excited (all of her personalities) at the prospect of riding a dragon, that she visibly bounced up and down. Applejack was visibly displeased at seeing another woman so ecstatic about riding her mate. Ryn did a much better job at hiding her incredible joy at getting to ride a dragon. Then, their armada set off.
• Making their way through Denul, the wooden horse came up short as a massive draconic hand crashed down in front of it. “Who is there,” rumbled a colossal voice from nearby. Emack and Jack, both quite terrified, kicked the horse to try and go around the claw, until another massive limb picked them up. They were pulled into sight of the giant face of an ancient dragon, its scale that of many mountains. Raised up as they were they could see that the creature was pinned with massive metal spikes, and that its blood still flowed rich and heavily. Wherever its blood touched, new life sprang up in all forms. “Why do you disturb me,” growled the dragon. Emack simply explained that they were riding through, had no intention of interrupting it, apologized, and said they would just be on their way if it would allow them to. The dragon sighed deeply, commenting that they are passing this close to it in its own realm by accident, and then said that it would allow them to go, setting them down. When the dragon mentioned “its realm” Jack introduced himself and inquired as the dragon’s name. The dragon said its name was Denul, source of this warren. Jack then asked Emack about the whole “Is it really smart to ride away from a near god-dragon that is the source of all your power without offering to do something for it” thing. Emack thanked the dragon for all the powers and skills that it has allowed it to do, and that perhaps if at a time when they weren’t so busy he might come back to talk with the dragon in the future. They then rode of very rapidly, the great pinned dragon slowly receding behind them. “Well, that was terrifying,” muttered Jack. “I wonder how far behind schedule we are now. Hopefully things haven’t gotten too out of hand.”
• The dragon armada and the two riders were coming in close over the Malazan Fortress. They could see a large number of ballistae and trebuchets being redied, although there seemed to be too few men to man them properly. Fynn just planned on flying close enough to make them take a few pot-shots, but not so close that he should really be in any danger. Then Ryn noticed that 7 figures were standing alone on the balustrade, all wearing long robes, all too tall, and with too many joints on their hands and limbs. Ryn informed the others of this as the siege weapons were being aimed. After thinking on it, Elspeth realized what she thought they were, and terror gripped her. Then, a chorus of voiced echoed out impossibly loud from the fortress; “Bleed!” Torrents of mystical energies spiraled out towards Fynn, but the mighty dragon redirected some of it aside with his Sleight of Hand, yet merely touching the energies dissolved his claws somewhat. Then the rest of the energies raked his flank, tearing away scales, and leaving thick bleeding welts across his hide. “Turn around and run,” shouted Elsepth, “Those are Forkrul Assail!” Not prepared to deal with such a powerful magical assault, Fynn happily agreed, the siege weapons falling short as the dragons began to fly away. “What is a Forkrul Assail?” asked Ryn as they retreated. Elspeth explained that the Forkrul Assail were an ancient race obsessed with delivering their personal form of justice to the world, which usually resulted in crusades where they tried to extinct the other species. They have access to Akhrast Korvalain, an Elder Warren of terrible power that grants their voices the power to manipulate or destroy all that hear their words. Then Ryn asked how they were going to alert the Captain that there were Assail in the fort, not Malazans. The others simply hoped that Jack and Emack could handle themselves.
• Opening another portal, Jack and Emack found themselves facing the store room they had wanted to find in the Malazan fortress, stacked with over 100 crates. There were also 10 soldiers, dressed in garb not normally wielded by Malazans. The guards demanded to know what these intruders though they were doing, Jack said they were liberating important items, and the 10 men charged them. All swords that fell upon Emack were turned aside by his barrier of invulnerability (which Emack was happy to see that it still works). Jack on the other hand dueled all at once with his golden Rune Sword, easily blocking their attacks and then disarming 5 at once. He told them to surrender, but instead they simply leaned down and grabbed their swords again. Sighing, Jack hamstrung cut all 10 of the men they were fighting, in order to disable them. He also hamstrung himself in the process, until Emack healed him when all the guards were down. They then began grabbing a few crates. They brought 3 crates through the portal, and opened to glance inside them. They had 55 sharpers in one crate, 18 crackers in another, and 49 melters in the third. Jack and Emack then both remembered that Fynn had wanted some big watermelon shaped ones called cussers. From above a commanding voice echoed down through the brick and mortar “All soldiers gather in the courtyard.” “I don’t like the sound of that,” muttered Emack. Jack on the other hand closed his eyes and held his hands out to the side, slowly turning on the spot. Then, he stopped and focused his gaze on one crate, which had two crates stacked on top of it. “That is the crate we want.” There was no doubt in Jack’s voice. They were gently moving the other two crates off of the one they wanted, when the voice from above echoed out again, louder this time “All soldiers gather in the couryard.” With Emack and Jack having reached the bottom crate, they opened it to find 12 cussers. The two agreed that this should serve as enough, carried the last crate through the portal, and then the two of them decided they needed to try and figure out a way to make the signal. Emack pulled a cracker out of the crate they had, looked at all the other crates, the threw the cracker and ran out through the portal. Jack also ran and jumped through the portal, which Emack then closed. Inside Denul all was peaceful. “So, do you think that signal was big enough?” asked Jack. Emack’s reply was casual “Hopefully?”
• “So, think they survived the Forkrul Assail,” mused Elspeth as she stared backwards to watch the rapidly disappearing Malazan Fortress. As if in answer to her question, her vision was filled with a blinding light as the fortress vanished. A few moments later a concussive wave of force blasted the dragons and the riders, showering them in dust, bits of stone and mortar pelting the thick dragon’s hides, and Elspeth being knocked from her perch. Tumbling through the air, towards open sea below, she screamed out “I can’t see, help!” Luckily for her, Applejack swooped down and caught her in strong talons, carrying the blinded wizard up to set her on Fynn’s back. The amethyst scaled dragon turned his head around, to see that there was now an inlet where the fortress peninsula had been but a few heartbeats before, and no trace of the fortress remained. “They destroyed the entire fortress and made an inlet, and I missed it,” lamented Fynn in his deeper draconic voice, soaring back towards The Black Pearl.
• It was a few minutes after Fynn, Elsepth, Ryn, and Jack returned to the ship that it opened the portal to Ruse, and from within emerged Emack and Jack, with their Fragment dingy laden with 4 munitions crates. They boarded the ship, looked behind them to see a thin wisp of black smoke curling into the air, and commented that it appeared they had made a good enough signal when they left, also wondering why the others were all dusty and bedraggled. Ryn then explained to them that they had changed the geography of the coast, and Fynn asked how many more crates were down there that caused such a tremendous explosion. When informed therer may have been around 100 or more, Fynn cringed a little at the though of the lost munitions. Then Elspeth, who could now make out vague shapes, informed them about the Forkrul Assail that had been in the fortress, not Malazans. Emack commented that if the explosion was as large as they said, then they had also succeeded in killing such monsters, so they should reward themselves by heading back into port and enjoying a well-earned rest. They all agreed, and sailed back towards the port through Ruse.
• Day 156
• Aboard The Falling Dragon once more, Jack noticed that Mr. Bo’sun had still been AWOL since his trip into the city to gather supplies. When Jack walked through the door into his room, all that he found was a note:
Dear Capt’n (‘n everyone else dat matters (yeh know who yeh ar’),

If ye be readin’ dis, den it means I have dis’peared. Please do not see dis as an act o’ tree-son or cowardice. I know dat, over deh past copol a weeks yeh been noticin’ some changes in me and I been noticin’ some in da way dat yeh tret me. I t’ink dat it would be safest for everyone if I distance myself from da crew for da time being. I have built me self a small boat and am out teh sea where I won’t be a risk to nobody. I have left yeh all mah magik t’ings ‘cept mah axe. When yeh are ready to build yer new world, seek me out and I shall give it to yeh, even if it means mah own deth, for even in exile I swear to serve mah capt’n until our end. I hope dis sign of, what you call “good fait,’” will help ye forgive what I am becoming and may yet become, and dat ye will always remember me as dah muscle man wit’ dah codpiece and not dah mad man wit’ de axe. Strong winds my friends.




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