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1 [Task] Princess on Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:16 am

Ritz

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Beginning:
Task Name: Princess
Tier: 1
NPC or PC: PC
Location: Abfall
Crew, Team, or Personal: Personal
Description: The princess arrives in Abfall and meets the Vice Admiral for the first time. After a brief introduction and discussing the situation at hand, they get their first taste of the enemy who is after the princess' life in the form of malevolent creatures who stowed away on the same ship the princess arrived in.
Enemy Details: 10 T1 Goblins
Boss: No

Leila began to wonder if it was a bad idea for her to answer the summons to Abfall. For starters it was optional. Any officer in the vicinity of the island could have responded. It didn't have to be a Vice Admiral. But curiosity got the bets of her as she was wondering about the current state of the war there. To be honest they probably didn't expect a Vice Admiral to respond to the summons either so they both just betrayed each other's expectations. The problem was inserting herself into the war would cause quite a bit of shuffle in the chain of command. So instead they delegated her to everything else that didn't have anything directly to do with the fighting. That was the compromise they reached.

Today her mission was bodyguard duty. A princess who had ties with the old Vinsmoke family agreed serve as a mediator between the World Government and the local settlers in Abfall in preparation for their assimilation into the government once the Marines had won the war. In her mind, they were counting their eggs before they hatched. But she supposed showing a bit of confidence in times like these wasn't entirely a bad idea. Even in the unfortunate event that the Marines lost, it was still worth building rapport with the locals in the hope that they aren't completely swayed to the side of the Revolutionaries.

The princess was due to arrive a little past noon and the Vice Admiral was already standing by the docks ready to receive her. She was accompanied by a small company of troops who were told nothing other than the fact that they would be escorting a VIP arriving in Abfall. Revolutionaries had a pretty good information network so it was best that need-to-know details weren't circulated around so much among the lower ranks. They could certainly still do their job just fine only knowing they were protecting someone important. So her purpose and identity need not be shared.

As she watched the seas, her eyes perked up as a lone vessel appeared in the horizon sporting the flags of the World Government. It seemed their esteemed guest had finally arrived. There were no other escort ships accompanying the vessel because the higher ups determined it was best not to draw too much attention. As the ship drew closer however, the Vice Admiral could not help but notice the signs of a battle on board the boat. It was slight, but there was some visible minor damage on the deck and a few small holes on the sails. No government ship would set sail without patching up things like that so the damage almost certainly occurred on this very trip. Something was up and she stayed on guard as the boat finally docked.


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3 Re: [Task] Princess on Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:51 pm

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Despite her worries, the ship managed to dock safe and sound. The crew on board looked nervous but were otherwise all smiles. As they lowered the wooden bridge to prepare to disembark, the first one the Vice Admiral saw waiting to step out was an old man of around 50 dressed in a clean black suit. In terms of identifying features, he had  a single glass monocle over his left eye, white-graying hair tied in a neat ponytail, and an equally neatly trimmed mustache. Going by the report of escorts accompanying the princess, this must be her butler and personal bodyguard Sir Rufus. He had an imposing presence hardened by experience and gave off the impression of a man who has lived a life full of challenges and overcome them all. When he walked over and greeted Leila however, his gentle tone of voice and warm smile his impression changed to that of a kind grandfather meeting his grandchildren after not seeing them for the longest time.

"Vice Admiral! So nice of you to come meet us!"

He walked over and hugged Leila, though he had to bend down a bit has he was over a foot taller than she was. She was not bothered by this. In fact she welcomed it. Such a friendly greeting took off some of the edge and anxiety from this important mission and in all honesty she was glad the man wasn't such a stiff old fellow. If her father were still alive somewhere out there, he was probably around this age.

"Yes, it's nice to meet you too! I was a bit anxious for a moment there since your ship didn't look like it was in tiptop shape and so I wondered if you ran into any trouble."

The old man looked slightly impressed at her realization but that didn't change his rather positive attitude.

"Good eye Vice Admiral! Certainly the journey was far from perfect. But we're all here safe and sound. That's what's important. We were expecting a bit of trouble actually so we were somewhat prepared to deal with it."

"And the princess?"

"Of course she was the safest of us all. She should be joining us soon."

No sooner had the old man spoken this line when the lady in question appeared from the deck and made her way down from the ship to the docks as well, escorted by two burly sailors. When she finally stood before the Vice Admiral, she curtsied politely and looked up at her. Normally this would be rare and unusual because Leila was somewhat short so someone looking up at her would be tiny. But this time it was only natural. After all Princess Lulu Montague was of the Dwarf race.

While they weren't particularly whispering, anyone beyond 20 meters of the Vice Admiral and the VIP guests wouldn't be able to hear what exactly they were talking about as the docks themselves were particularly busy with noises and such all around.


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5 Re: [Task] Princess on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:12 am

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The Vice Admiral bowed down in response to the Princess' greeting. It wasn't obvious but this little Dwarf girl was just a couple of years younger than Leila. Well that was just one of the quirks of Dwarfs. With their naturally small statures and youthful appearances, it was almost impossible to pin down their ages accurately at a glance. Unlike the other sailors who had hints of nervousness mixed in with their expressions, Princess Lulu had quite the genuine smile, with the same confidence as her trusted butler. Leila doubted she was kept unaware of the trouble on her ship. The Marine officer could only guess that it was something she was used to. That in itself was rather sad.

"Welcome to Abfall Princess Lulu! Or perhaps I should say welcome back to Abfall."

She smiled at her own joke and the princess did as well.

"I was just a baby the last time I was here Vice Admiral. I hardly remember anything. But the atmosphere is rather familiar. I can only hope I can truly be of help to you since you are giving me this opportunity."

She was as kind as the reports say. Despite the trouble surrounding her and the dangers she braved to get here, she was far more concerned about the duty she came to do. Leila figured she ought to do them a kindness and volunteer to ease their worries herself. Even if they weren't anxious about it, at the very least some other members of their crew were. Of course the big question was what exactly attacked them.

"I'm sure you will. But before we get to that business, please do allow me to do something for you and your crew. I understand the journey here wasn't all smooth sailing. We are well aware you are being targeted and my job is to ensure your safety. The same extends to everyone in your group. I would appreciate it if you would let me do that job."

At this point Sir Rufus decided to takeover the discussion as he probably felt that Leila was not planning on backing down from this. If the Marines were going to do them an extra service for free, there was no reason not to decline.

"And we appreciate your due diligence Vice Admiral. Of course we are willing to cooperate. As you know from the reports, our dear princess is being targeted by the infamous Sea Witch. I wouldn't call her a pirate, but certainly she has brought grief to several Nobles already. Princess Lulu in particular has it bad. The Witch seems to be taking this opportunity to strike at her while she is away from home."

"That's terrible."

"On our way here we discovered that a group of her goblins managed to get on board and they attacked us while we were out at sea. Luckily we didn't lose anyone. But we weren't able to finish them all off either. Right now, they are somewhere below deck. We've locked the only entrance leading there and trapped them inside. Certainly we wish that they are eliminated before we set out on our trip back home."

"That shouldn't be a problem! You can count on me!"

The Vice Admiral proceeded to board the ship, accompanied by a few of the Marine volunteers. They were guided to the locked door leading down to the ship's interior. It was oddly quiet. Goblins were rowdy creatures that wouldn't be too happy about being trapped anywhere. She was expecting the to be banging and making noise behind that door. She gestured to one of the sailors to get ready to open it up. They might have a fight on their hands soon.


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7 Re: [Task] Princess on Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:27 am

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As the nervous sailor cautiously unlocked and opened the door, Leila and her group found themselves greeted by a loud piercing howl coming from within. The 'scream' was such that most of the people nearby had to stop and cover their ears as the noise was quite disorienting. The Vice Admiral herself found this unpleasant but stood her ground as she was mostly expecting something like this to happen. This was the first time she had heard such a loud and cooperative 'scream' though and she figured this must have to do with said goblins working for the Sea Witch. She raised and trained them well. Taking advantage of the confusion and momentary disorientation of Marines and sailors, ten goblins rushed out from the unlocked door, swinging their axes and swords at the nearest people they can find. Unfortunately for about half of them, that person was the White Feather.

The coordination and team work was impressive for a bunch of goblins. They were moving at tier 2 speeds and attacking with tier 1 strength. Your average Marine grunts would have gotten serious injuries from the ambush and possibly even killed. Leila was there to make sure no such thing happened, either because she would deal with the threat herself, or the fact that the special team of Marines she arranged for this mission were far from your ordinary grunts. The 5 goblins that targeted the Vice Admiral would find her easily catching their weapons barehanded, with 2 on her left and 3 on her right. She would then slam them hard down on the deck before they can manage to let go of their weapons, knocking them out cold and most likely breaking more than a few bones. She then turned around to see how the rest were faring with the goblins that ignored her and rushed the few Marine troops instead.

The 5 goblins were coming in at the Marine troops at the same tier 2 speeds and swinging their weapons with tier 1 strengths. Before any of them could get close enough to hit them though, the front line troops already had their rifles at the ready and opened fire and the tiny team of monsters, riddling them with bullets. They were about to prepare a second volley of shots when Leila raised her hand signaling that it was no longer necessary as the goblins were all dead. At that point, the Vice Admiral used her Haki to determine if there were any other hostile presences hiding below deck but quickly determined that there were none. Rather, the closest thing to 'hostile' presences left on the ship were the 5 that she only knocked out herself.

"I believe that's all of them Sir Rufus."

"Splendidly done Vice Admiral!"

The old butler clapped in appreciation. He was smiling and certainly looked genuinely pleased. But it was hard for Leila to imagine how someone with his level of skill could not have just dealt with the goblins himself and chose to confine them instead. In the first place, after personally seeing the viciousness that the goblins displayed, she was very much curious how they even managed to trap them there. It definitely felt like that would have taken far more effort than just defeating them outright. There was surely something they weren't telling her and she was eager to find out what.

Haki Used:
Sixth Sense - 15


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9 Re: [Task] Princess on Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:12 am

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While the old butler was clapping, the sailors on the ship all began to make their way down to the docks at a fast pace, confusing the nearby Marines. Leila looked to Sir Rufus for an explanation but all he could do was frown, motioning that they had to go as well. Following the old man, she signaled the rest of the Marines to move out as well.

"What's going on?"

Leila questioned the man as they walked briskly out of the docks and further inland. Judging from the direction they were headed, they would probably end up near one of the abandoned cities on this side of the island.

"This is not the first time we've been hounded by the the servants of the Sea Witch."

"That's not hard to believe. I don't know the specifics, but she wouldn't have come up in the report if her threat to the princess wasn't significant."

The princess was being carried in a palanquin up ahead by her personal guards and a man who looked to be their captain was leading the way.

"The witch always leaves a trap when she sends her minions after the lady. When the entire group is defeated, dead or knocked out, a spell activates on one of them, marking the man who delivered the finishing blow. Setting them up as a target to be pursued until they died."

Leila was surprised at the old man's words. Basically what he was trying to say was that they just used her troops as scapegoats to save the princess' life. Assuming what he said was true, one of them was now marked by the witch.

"I know what you are going to say. That was underhanded of us and we should have warned you beforehand. But we could not risk anyone close to the princess to be marked. If we explained to you beforehand, there was no guarantee you would volunteer and allow yourselves to get marked."

Leila sighed. As much as she wanted to refute the old man's reasoning, there was no denying his worries weren't unfounded. Benevolence and self-sacrifice was a trait that had become increasingly rare among the ranks of the Marines. She was one of the few who would have volunteered, but it would be just as much because she was curious about being cursed as it would be an act of kindness. The important thing now though was figuring out who exactly got cursed.

"I can't say I agree with your actions but what's done is done and I understand where you're coming from. All of the men here today are more than willing to give their all to protect the princess so there's nothing to worry about. But you do need to tell us how exactly we can tell who has been marked by the witch."

The old butler nodded.

"It takes a while for the mark to appear. It's a large black spot that shows up on the palm of your dominant hand. When we get to our next destination, you should have all of your men check their hands. It's possible that more than one person got cursed."

Witches and curses. This mission was turning out almost exactly like she figured. She half wished that she would be one of those who ended up getting marked. That would give her a reason to settle the score with the witch.

[Exit]


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