[RP Episode] Chasing Lightning


The Xia Empire had its coast plagued by domestic pirates since its people took to the sea as a faster means of transportation. In the past few decades however, along with traders, pirates too have ventured ever westwards in to uncharted seas in search of fortune. In time, these daring souls would bring home what was referred to as ‘‘black powder’’, which was not only easily flammable, but could be dangerously explosive.

The authorities of the empire did not pay much attention to the spread of this substance at first. Initially it was used in beautiful displays of fireworks, and its potential in the mining industry were swiftly realised. That is, until some domestic monks attempted to recreate it, and ended up not only blowing themselves up, but consequently burned down their temple. The authorities quickly began cracking down on all black powder imports, and allowed it for use to licensed individuals only. But it was already too late…

The imperial navy began paying more attention to piracy, and began hunting pirates on the high seas as well to halt illegal black powder imports. On one occasion, one such pirate ship was armed with what could only be described as black powder weaponry, which had a much greater effect on ships at close range than anything seen before.

In reaction to this event, the authorities decided to find the source of this black powder substance, and set out a team of adventurers to find the origin and possibly procure the plans for this black powder weapon that had given pirates a new edge over the seas.

They were each given a compass, and a map of the known world to aid them in their search. Knowing the seas were bound to be swarming with pirates these days, they decided to take the land route north. They paid for a ride along with one of the many caravans that head that way, and set off towards the uncharted lands to the west, which were only briefly explored in ancient times.



It was barely noon at Nigardheim but the King and Queen was already in deep with yet another council meeting
the council members of the old dwarf tribes were stating facts about how their income from the mines and smiths had gone up and the reasons why, however the elves council members were complaining that thanks to relocated resources for their studies in Runes and other magical items. They had stop some of their major studies for the time being for which to them were unacceptable. The human council members said a recent trade influx had raised the treasury rather well, but also with reports of new goods clearly not made in Nigardheim and they couldn’t say where they came from but the goods itself were really nice.

The king and queen nodded, the king fairly bored but it was his duty, he rose up from his throne
"It’s good to hear that everything is going well beside the funding issue, for which we will look into but other matters needed the funding." the king said to the council members
" And for theses new goods, bring me samples and try harder to find out where they are coming from, i do not care if you have to talk with traders about how a trader sold them it from another trader, i want a source." he added before sitting down again waving his hand for a refill of his mug


The trade caravan that the Niirai elves took north made frequent stops in towns and trade posts along the route, where goods exchanged hand frequently, passing on to another trader and his own caravan to the next stop, and so forth. They kept on hopping from caravan to caravan, and lucky for them, they weren’t exactly sent on this expedition with a shortage of coin.

It took them weeks in the hot desert sun and many stops before they reached the Jida river, and yet more days have passed before they came upon the crater of Khatiya, and finally the ancient city of Akhaliqia was in view. Still a shadow of its former self, but that did not hinder its people from keeping it the trade hub of the region. The importance of its geographical location could not be ignored. Once there, they poked around a bit and asked the more prominent merchants there if they knew anything about this ‘‘black powder’’. They received some suspicious looks, but with a pretty penny, they swiftly got the information they needed and went on their way, ‘‘to the west’’. Sadly, and to their own advantage, corruption such as this was widespread in Akhaliqia, the few guards that the ‘‘authorities’’ have around do not care to stop it, only being there to maintain peace.

Along their journey so far, they have made sure to blend in with the merchants, and have procured some native-looking garments with sandy colours as well as bought some goods of their own with which to trade, effectively becoming active members of the caravans they were travelling with, and earning some of their money back. Naturally, they weren’t as cunning as their fellow caravaneers, and did not know how to banter well for their goods just yet. They did however take great care in accessorising themselves and their new clothes, after all, blending in with these poor sand-striders does not mean they have to look the part themselves. Call it a cultural weakness.

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The shifting sands eventually gave way to a sea of grass as their path slowly curved from north to west. They continued along the shore line, and walked above a long stretch of sea side cliffs where they rested and bore witness to a spectacular sunset. They continued on their path until they came up to a wide river mouth where the caravan collectively payed the local ferry men to carry them across upon their rafts. Once ferried over, it was not long until they began encountering even more of these natives, and even some elves, and dwarves.

The elves here however, were not of their kind, but they naturally made them curious about them and their people. The Niirai elves were more petite, with somewhat narrowed eyes, and an easily distinguishable far eastern accent. Something either very rare if not totally unseen in these parts.

The caravan made it to yet another city, their host explained to them that the natives call it ‘‘Nigardheim’’, and that it is a prominent trade port to sea as well. There were around 30 people along their caravan, including merchants, aids, slaves, and guards. The Niirai expedition counted only 4 among them, two males and two females, paired to appear as couples.

They were Ly-Ren and Cao-Zee, who have acquired themselves an admirable collection of their native Xia porcelain pots to banter with and for, and then there were Rhae-Ming and Liu-Huang, who decided not to risk things, and went for spices, which they knew were in high demand everywhere they made a stop at this far.

They wedged themselves in to the crowd of people along with their caravan which were slowly moving towards the gate of the city, it was somewhere at noon, and the influx and outflow of people at this time was a hassle to deal with as much as for them, as for the guards at the gates.


The guards started to guide the new wave of traders and merchants in the direction of the market yelling " CARTS AND WAGONS TO LEFT AND HORSE AND PEOPLE RIGHT TRY AND FORM A DECENT LINE"
and so the flow tried to form the lines as best as they could, the The Niirai expedition followed the flow not giving much choice giving they were on the wagon, the wagon made it way forward down to the trade center, not far from port, lots of yelling were heard from traders " FRESH BREAD! only 2 Silver Vanirs" " GET YOUR WEAPONS HERE, SHORT OR LONG WE GOT IT" " FRESH ART SUPPLIES RIGHT FROM THE MAKER" the whole place was bustling with people Humans,elfs and Dwarfs

the wagon stooped not far from the center but closer to the port, where the The Niirai expedition where told it is here the ride ends
" If needed i will stay here for three days before i move on again" the rider growled abit, tired from the trip


The Niirai disembarked from the cart with some difficulty, having been sat down for so long, it was a slow transition from being in pain from standing upright, to it feeling incredibly good. They all stretched their arms out with a long sigh, their oriental jewellery dangling casually from their arms and wrists as they did so, creating a bit of a twinkling noise before they put them back down and relaxed.

They began turning each in their own direction, some of them squinting while they looked about as their eyes adjusted to the light from resting on the cart before, and soon noticed exactly what they were looking for. It was on one of the docked ships in port, on several in fact, they stuck out from the woodwork like a black sore thumb. The ships were armed with thick bulky canons.

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They grouped up and decided to go on a little sight seeing trip to check out these foreign weapons. They took to it slowly, casually walking along the piers as they inconspicuously checked out not only the ships with guns, but every ship next to them, to avoid suspicion. Or so they pretended to. From the pier’s point of view, it looked like these ships had canons of different sizes as well, but they couldn’t really make out much anything else. The piers were bustling with people, mostly sea men loading or unloading cargo or passengers, so they were far from the only fools standing about looking like they were lost or had too much time. As they approached one of these ships armed with canons, the Niirai noticed the boarding plank was quite well guarded, as was the ship itself. The guards at the boarding plank tensioned as they saw 4 unknowns approach, and one of the elves tightened his grip on his sword he had been holding through his belt as they passed. No incident, this time.

They continued their path down the pier, and noticed that the lot of these ships were similarly heavily guarded. Looking upon the hoisted flags proudly dangling from the main sails of these ships, the band of ever-so-sneaky elves realised that these must be the property of the royal navy. In the next moment, these ever-not-so-sneaky elves realised that they were all alone on the pier now, and that this part of the pier was the one used and reserved for state navy vessels only. They stopped in place almost simultaneously, and turned around awkwardly as the many armed men around them inspected the lot of them with a suspicious look in their eye. They must not have noticed when they crossed in to the ‘‘military personnel only’’ area of the docks…


a hand full of guards around ten started to rush over the clinks and clats of their armor could be heard as they were running,


were yelled from the group in a langue the elf’s didn’t understand, they had in fact just willy nilly walked right into the royal side of port
the guards made their way over to the group with raised weapons. They pointed their weapons at the group and asked " State your business here or face the law!" still talking in a strange langue however it was clear as day that theses people were the royal guards and were not joking around


The Niirai raised their arms in response, unarmed, their weapons still at their belts. They had no idea what these people were saying, they assumed it was the native language, but what did they have to loose by trying to communicate in common. Or at least, what they considered ‘‘common’’ from what they have learned along their long journey.

Ly-Ren stepped forward with some uncomfort, her arms still raised, and said ‘‘We being in the lost?’’ with an unsure tone, lowered head, and an innocent look in her eyes.


The guards looked at the group abit baffled, when they slowly understood it, the elfs were not from here they werent even Nigardian at all, while common was normal enough not everyone spoke it. The leader of the group raised his hand and tried to mutter in common " moment "
he then turned around " i figure none of you guys speak common right?" he said to his men, they all agreed to his statement.
He then waved his hands over to a smaller group of about five people, looking like captains from their outfits
one of them started to walk over

a female.
She started to talk with the guards man
" By the nine realms whats going on?" she said " Well you see ma’am none of us speak common and these elfs are not from here and have waddled in here most likely by mistake but we have no clue, can you help us?" the guards man replied back. She nodded and walked into the middle of the two groups
"My name Alva, Captain in the royal Nigardheim navy and you lot has walked into a the royal navy port."
" State your name and reason of being here and where the hel you lot are from" she said looking at what they were wearing


‘‘We in traid.’’ Ly-Ren replied with more confidence than before while her companions stood there like statues, ‘‘We com far. From Xia.’’ she explained, with ‘‘Xia’’ being the only word she pronounced correctly, and in a way that would take these people at least 3 tries to get right.


Alva placed her hand on her face " This is gonna be a long day"
" Okay so your lost traders,if you go that way" she pointed over to the other end " you will enter the trade centee" she stopped before saying the last of the word.
" wait wait do you lot carry any goods due most of the navy and the local guards are looking for some unknown traders" she replied back


‘‘Eeeerm…’’ Ly-Ren hesitated, ‘‘Wat kind?’’ she asked as she tilted her head weebly and blinked twice.


“Show me your trade goods it’s an order” she said
"Guards if they wont show em, take them to jail and then we will see what they got, they are trespassing" she said back to the guards man


‘‘Wat!? No! We sho, we sho!’’ she panicked, but didn’t move. Now waiting for her guards to let them pass.


" Alright then, now that was not so hard" she said moving her hands for the guards to make some room
" Now would you please show me your wares miss"


Ly-Ren and her companions lowered their arms slowly and huddled up to briefly discuss what was going on, they all nodded and carefully proceeded past the captain and off of the dock, heading towards the market again.


The Captain and a few guards men followed the elf’s while following them they were giving a few looks, due it was slightly odd to see an captain walking behind a few simple traders. However with the escort people did make plenty of room for the group to move forward


The elves followed their instructions fairly clearly, they were to show the captain their wares, and only they themselves knew where they were. Them leading this little party through the port seemed only sensible, so the Niirai didn’t understand why they were getting odd looks. Actually, they thought that people here would do well to adapt to the sight of elves leading bands of armed troops around as body guards instead of guards dragging elves along in chains.

It didn’t take them very long to reach their cart of wares. It was parked with the rest of the caravan that had occupied a wider ally way between buildings near the market and used the overhangs of roofs to their advantage as cover from the elements. There were multiple caravaneers there still setting up their tents and moving their goods to and from the market, some of which have brought customers ‘‘to the back’’ to check out more of their wares. Ly-Ren strode up to their cart, grabbed the sheet covering the whole thing, and abruptly yanked it out of the way to reveal its contents. It was full of Xia porcelain pots, spices, some jewellery, a few antiques, rice and tea, and waited for the captain’s reaction.


Alva took out her pipe and loaded it and lit it up, as she started to look at the wares, from these strange elfs
the smoke from the pipe was bitter yet sweet in the air
"These and those, are they from your homeland or some you picked up on your way here?" she asked holding holder some porcelain and some of the jeweler, one of the guards had his eyes on the antiques looking really interested in them


‘‘Home, yes.’’ she nodded in confirmation.


She looked at the traders
"If thats the case, i have some one you need to meet and were bringing all of these wares with us, not only are they gonna fetch a good set of coins, but im find of a hefty finders fee" she said
" pack your stuff up and be ready to move, if you need we can fetch you a small cart" she added, smiling while letting smoke out