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Heridfel

A Pirate's Life for Me

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When Master Lee was told about what had happened to Eldrich, he nodded. "I saw dire omens approaching, but did not know their form. I will come with you to the nexus and aid Sallah in protecting it. The two of you must find him, not just for your sake, or the sake of your father, Sen, but for the sake of all the world."

He frowned as he took in the gravity of his words. "We cannot ask the Freedom League for help. If one of them disappeared, it would be quickly noticed. There is one other who might be able to help you, though. Liam, go to the enrollment cards and find Kevin Malone's number. Tell him to meet us at Ditko Street, and that Master Lee said that all his talents would be needed."

After this is done, they return to Eldrich's home where Sallah awaits. Kevin will show up a few minutes later, looking like he had been running hard to get there.

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When Master Lee was told about what had happened to Eldrich, he nodded. "I saw dire omens approaching, but did not know their form. I will come with you to the nexus and aid Sallah in protecting it. The two of you must find him, not just for your sake, or the sake of your father, Sen, but for the sake of all the world."

He frowned as he took in the gravity of his words. "We cannot ask the Freedom League for help. If one of them disappeared, it would be quickly noticed. There is one other who might be able to help you, though. Liam, go to the enrollment cards and find Kevin Malone's number. Tell him to meet us at Ditko Street, and that Master Lee said that all his talents would be needed."

After this is done, they return to Eldrich's home where Sallah awaits. Kevin will show up a few minutes later, looking like he had been running hard to get there.

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Sen paced impatiently. He felt a deep burning itch to continue his journey. Was his father in Freeport? What had happened? He had so many questions. He could still feel the demon blade at his side. IT was quiet now but he knew that it merely bided its time. He wondered how it felt about their journey.

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Sen paced impatiently. He felt a deep burning itch to continue his journey. Was his father in Freeport? What had happened? He had so many questions. He could still feel the demon blade at his side. IT was quiet now but he knew that it merely bided its time. He wondered how it felt about their journey.

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NightrivalHS.jpg

At first, Nightrival is curious as to why Master Lee requested Kevin's presence. He met the college student a short while ago as Liam Callaghan, instructing him on how to properly channel his inner forces to become an effective fighter. Nightrival was impressed with Kevin's progress, but clearly he is only beginning his journey. But, Master Lee confided in him that Kevin has tremendous potential, so Nightrival decides to give Kevin the opportunity to grow into that role. Nightrival learned not to question the sifu's wisdom; Master Lee has never steered him wrong.

Now, he stands in a spacious, richly-decorated parlour in Adrian Eldrich's house with Sen, Kevin, Master Lee and Sallah. He conceals his awe at Eldrich's gorgeous home, resisting the urge to gawk at the curious antiques that adorn the room. He cannot pinpoint exactly what he feels, like a mix of trepidation and excitement, but the sensation is electrifying. He swears he can smell sulphur and flowers mingling in the air.

He knows nothing of Sallah, but he trusts the stoic guardian. Sen has already earned his respect, as a determined warrior and as a loyal companion. Nightrival is stirred by Kevin's courage to join the group in such short notice. Master Lee, as usual, calms the room as he always does.

"Alright," he announces, crossing his arms, "we're all accounted for. What's the plan?"

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At first, Nightrival is curious as to why Master Lee requested Kevin's presence. He met the college student a short while ago as Liam Callaghan, instructing him on how to properly channel his inner forces to become an effective fighter. Nightrival was impressed with Kevin's progress, but clearly he is only beginning his journey. But, Master Lee confided in him that Kevin has tremendous potential, so Nightrival decides to give Kevin the opportunity to grow into that role. Nightrival learned not to question the sifu's wisdom; Master Lee has never steered him wrong.

Now, he stands in a spacious, richly-decorated parlour in Adrian Eldrich's house with Sen, Kevin, Master Lee and Sallah. He conceals his awe at Eldrich's gorgeous home, resisting the urge to gawk at the curious antiques that adorn the room. He cannot pinpoint exactly what he feels, like a mix of trepidation and excitement, but the sensation is electrifying. He swears he can smell sulphur and flowers mingling in the air.

He knows nothing of Sallah, but he trusts the stoic guardian. Sen has already earned his respect, as a determined warrior and as a loyal companion. Nightrival is stirred by Kevin's courage to join the group in such short notice. Master Lee, as usual, calms the room as he always does.

"Alright," he announces, crossing his arms, "we're all accounted for. What's the plan?"

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Kevin looks around the room at Sallah, Sen, Master Lee, and Liam.

"What's going on? You told me to come here, but not why," Kevin says. Sallah looks over to Master Lee and nods. Master Lee doesn't speak to Kevin, but rather, to Sen and Nightrival.

"Kevin can manipulate chi, the life force within all things. He has done this not knowing what he was doing. Kevin," he says, turning to look at him, "I had hoped to teach you more slowly about what it is you can do. Fate works in strange ways, and these two will need your help in Freeport."

Kevin's mouth is open, and he shuts it when he realizes it. He can almost hear his father say "Shut your mouth; you'll let flies in." Thinking about his father calms him a little. At least he isn't a mutant then. He'd sort of heard of that Eastern philosophy stuff, but didn't know much about it. He's silent as he tries to put all this together.

Master Lee continues, "I know that you have many questions. You have the potential to become very powerful, and even now, you are only scratching the surface of what you can do. You are needed now. The Master Mage, the most powerful magician in this dimension, has been kidnapped to another dimension. Nightrival and Sen are going to search for him. I cannot force you to go with them..."

Kevin has come to his conclusion, and cuts Master Lee off. "I will go. I... I don't know a lot about being a superhero, or who this Master Mage is, but it sounds important." He looks over to Nightrival. "I guess we go to another dimension somehow, and start looking for this guy. Do you know what he looks like, or where he was last seen?"

Sallah speaks up with these questions.

"I can provide you some help with this. Look here," he says. He holds up his staff, and a semi-transparent image appears in front of it. It is of a man, six feet in height with black hair (and a white streak at his forelock). He is dressed simply in a somewhat anachronistic way. The one thing that looks older than the rest of his clothes is the blue cloak which flows around him.

"This is Adrian Eldrich, the Master Mage. He went into Freeport to gather some components for a ritual he was planning three days ago and has not returned. I had the chance to investigate what Freeport is while you were gone. It is at the crossroads of an interdimensional nexus and sits on the ruins of a Serpent People civilization. While extradimensional travelers are not uncommon, the world itself is at the 'age of pirates,' if you will."

Master Lee looks at the three of them, taking a little extra time on Kevin. "Do you have anything that he can wear, so that he will not draw attention?" he asks Sallah. Sallah looks over at Kevin, then back to the illusion of Adrian Eldrich.

"They are of a height, and his clothes are loose-fitting. I will get something for him to wear, then begin the ritual to open the gateway," he says. He starts to walk out of the parlor and up the stairs unless someone stops him.

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Kevin looks around the room at Sallah, Sen, Master Lee, and Liam.

"What's going on? You told me to come here, but not why," Kevin says. Sallah looks over to Master Lee and nods. Master Lee doesn't speak to Kevin, but rather, to Sen and Nightrival.

"Kevin can manipulate chi, the life force within all things. He has done this not knowing what he was doing. Kevin," he says, turning to look at him, "I had hoped to teach you more slowly about what it is you can do. Fate works in strange ways, and these two will need your help in Freeport."

Kevin's mouth is open, and he shuts it when he realizes it. He can almost hear his father say "Shut your mouth; you'll let flies in." Thinking about his father calms him a little. At least he isn't a mutant then. He'd sort of heard of that Eastern philosophy stuff, but didn't know much about it. He's silent as he tries to put all this together.

Master Lee continues, "I know that you have many questions. You have the potential to become very powerful, and even now, you are only scratching the surface of what you can do. You are needed now. The Master Mage, the most powerful magician in this dimension, has been kidnapped to another dimension. Nightrival and Sen are going to search for him. I cannot force you to go with them..."

Kevin has come to his conclusion, and cuts Master Lee off. "I will go. I... I don't know a lot about being a superhero, or who this Master Mage is, but it sounds important." He looks over to Nightrival. "I guess we go to another dimension somehow, and start looking for this guy. Do you know what he looks like, or where he was last seen?"

Sallah speaks up with these questions.

"I can provide you some help with this. Look here," he says. He holds up his staff, and a semi-transparent image appears in front of it. It is of a man, six feet in height with black hair (and a white streak at his forelock). He is dressed simply in a somewhat anachronistic way. The one thing that looks older than the rest of his clothes is the blue cloak which flows around him.

"This is Adrian Eldrich, the Master Mage. He went into Freeport to gather some components for a ritual he was planning three days ago and has not returned. I had the chance to investigate what Freeport is while you were gone. It is at the crossroads of an interdimensional nexus and sits on the ruins of a Serpent People civilization. While extradimensional travelers are not uncommon, the world itself is at the 'age of pirates,' if you will."

Master Lee looks at the three of them, taking a little extra time on Kevin. "Do you have anything that he can wear, so that he will not draw attention?" he asks Sallah. Sallah looks over at Kevin, then back to the illusion of Adrian Eldrich.

"They are of a height, and his clothes are loose-fitting. I will get something for him to wear, then begin the ritual to open the gateway," he says. He starts to walk out of the parlor and up the stairs unless someone stops him.

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Sen listened as Master Lee spoke. He glanced at Kevin as the man spoke. Manipulate Chi? Last Sen had seen him he could only barely fight. He cleared his throat.

"I am ready to go Lee-Sama." Sen added finally. He tried to keep his voice calm.

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Sen listened as Master Lee spoke. He glanced at Kevin as the man spoke. Manipulate Chi? Last Sen had seen him he could only barely fight. He cleared his throat.

"I am ready to go Lee-Sama." Sen added finally. He tried to keep his voice calm.

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"Another dimension? Pirates? Serpent what-now? And Kevin can control chi?" Nightrival pinches the bridge of his nose with two fingers. "This is all gettin' real weird real fast. Does anyone 'ave crib notes so's I can follow along?"

He sighs and shakes his head. "Never mind. I'll try ta keep up. But even if th' fine people o' Freeport are all accustomed to seein' superpeople, should we wear costumes too? Besides th' ones we're wearin'."

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"Another dimension? Pirates? Serpent what-now? And Kevin can control chi?" Nightrival pinches the bridge of his nose with two fingers. "This is all gettin' real weird real fast. Does anyone 'ave crib notes so's I can follow along?"

He sighs and shakes his head. "Never mind. I'll try ta keep up. But even if th' fine people o' Freeport are all accustomed to seein' superpeople, should we wear costumes too? Besides th' ones we're wearin'."

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"The two of you should not occasion notice, if what Sallah told us is true. You may wish to unveil your face, Nightrival, but your clothes and Sen's should both be considered an appropriate style, more so than Kevin's," Master Lee says. Sallah comes back down the stairs, holding a bundle of clothing. Kevin goes up to him and takes it from him. Kevin looks a little disconcerted - while he's used to seeing big guys on the football field, he's usually nearly as big as they are. Sallah looks like a giant in comparison.

He takes a deep breath and says, "Is there someplace I can go change?" Sallah nods and points to a door across the house, which Kevin enters and locks.

Sallah looks back to Nightrival and Sen. Looking at Nightrival, he says, "I am sorry, but I did not get your name. I need a name for you in order for the ritual to work. It need not be your full name, or even your real name, but it should have significance to you."


When Kevin is finished changing, he steps out of the washroom. He walks a little uncertainly towards the group. He's dressed in something very similar to what they saw in the illusion of Eldrich. While his clothes look fairly normal from the waist down, albeit a little archaic, the shirt has ruffles on the front of it, and he has a cloak on with a golden triangular clasp on it. He shifts and pulls at the collar a little.

"I didn't do it up all the way. No offense, but I think I'm a little bigger than the Master Mage. On the other hand, he's the Master Mage, and I didn't even know what I did was chi manipulation or whatever. Are we ready to go? What do I have to do?" he asks.

While he was getting dressed, Sallah had marked a circle on the ground of the parlor, then covered its edge with some sort of powdered metal. He has been chanting quietly, and grows louder once Kevin comes out. Master Lee points to the center of the circle.

"The three of you, enter the circle and hold one another's hands. Do not break the circle!" he says. Kevin gulps and pulls up the cloak so that it doesn't go lower than his waist, and carefully steps into the circle. He lets it down carefully once he is fully inside and looks to Sen and Nightrival.

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"The two of you should not occasion notice, if what Sallah told us is true. You may wish to unveil your face, Nightrival, but your clothes and Sen's should both be considered an appropriate style, more so than Kevin's," Master Lee says. Sallah comes back down the stairs, holding a bundle of clothing. Kevin goes up to him and takes it from him. Kevin looks a little disconcerted - while he's used to seeing big guys on the football field, he's usually nearly as big as they are. Sallah looks like a giant in comparison.

He takes a deep breath and says, "Is there someplace I can go change?" Sallah nods and points to a door across the house, which Kevin enters and locks.

Sallah looks back to Nightrival and Sen. Looking at Nightrival, he says, "I am sorry, but I did not get your name. I need a name for you in order for the ritual to work. It need not be your full name, or even your real name, but it should have significance to you."


When Kevin is finished changing, he steps out of the washroom. He walks a little uncertainly towards the group. He's dressed in something very similar to what they saw in the illusion of Eldrich. While his clothes look fairly normal from the waist down, albeit a little archaic, the shirt has ruffles on the front of it, and he has a cloak on with a golden triangular clasp on it. He shifts and pulls at the collar a little.

"I didn't do it up all the way. No offense, but I think I'm a little bigger than the Master Mage. On the other hand, he's the Master Mage, and I didn't even know what I did was chi manipulation or whatever. Are we ready to go? What do I have to do?" he asks.

While he was getting dressed, Sallah had marked a circle on the ground of the parlor, then covered its edge with some sort of powdered metal. He has been chanting quietly, and grows louder once Kevin comes out. Master Lee points to the center of the circle.

"The three of you, enter the circle and hold one another's hands. Do not break the circle!" he says. Kevin gulps and pulls up the cloak so that it doesn't go lower than his waist, and carefully steps into the circle. He lets it down carefully once he is fully inside and looks to Sen and Nightrival.

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Sen frowned as he looked at the circle. Magic had been a part of his life since he was young but as a distant thing. He had never actively been involved in its operation. What if this magic did not work. Salah was no master mage after all but a mere servant. He would have to entrust his fate to others. Sen suddenly found he had numerous doubts.

Except that when he looked over at Kevin the youth seemed unafraid. Sen felt a spike of shame. This unshaved youth did not hesitate and no warrior of RyoshiKage could either. He nods

"I am ready as well." He turns to Master Lee and bows deeply. "Once again Lee Sama I am in your debt. I extend my thanks as well as my fathers."

He turns back to Kevin and Night Rival and holds his hands out.

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Sen frowned as he looked at the circle. Magic had been a part of his life since he was young but as a distant thing. He had never actively been involved in its operation. What if this magic did not work. Salah was no master mage after all but a mere servant. He would have to entrust his fate to others. Sen suddenly found he had numerous doubts.

Except that when he looked over at Kevin the youth seemed unafraid. Sen felt a spike of shame. This unshaved youth did not hesitate and no warrior of RyoshiKage could either. He nods

"I am ready as well." He turns to Master Lee and bows deeply. "Once again Lee Sama I am in your debt. I extend my thanks as well as my fathers."

He turns back to Kevin and Night Rival and holds his hands out.

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Looking at Nightrival, he says, "I am sorry, but I did not get your name. I need a name for you in order for the ritual to work. It need not be your full name, or even your real name, but it should have significance to you."

"Um, a name?" Nightrival thinks for moment, gazing at the floor. After a few seconds he shoots his head back up. "Connor," he replies.

When Kevin returns and Sen enters the circle, Nightrival joins his two companions. He grabs each of their hands and braces his feet. For all he knows, travelling to another dimension could be a tumultuous ride. Nightrival finally nods to Sallah.

"Ready when y' are."

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Looking at Nightrival, he says, "I am sorry, but I did not get your name. I need a name for you in order for the ritual to work. It need not be your full name, or even your real name, but it should have significance to you."

"Um, a name?" Nightrival thinks for moment, gazing at the floor. After a few seconds he shoots his head back up. "Connor," he replies.

When Kevin returns and Sen enters the circle, Nightrival joins his two companions. He grabs each of their hands and braces his feet. For all he knows, travelling to another dimension could be a tumultuous ride. Nightrival finally nods to Sallah.

"Ready when y' are."

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Master Lee and Sallah seem to fade out along with the rest of Eldrich's sanctum. It's almost like slowly dimming the lights in a room, leaving the surroundings pitch-black. Each of them can still see the others perfectly well, but beneath them, there is only darkness. Kevin grimaces as he looks down.

"Well, I guess this isn't so bad," he says, glancing around. "How long does this take?"

As soon as he says that, the journey grows more difficult. It feels like they are being pulled inside-out, shrinking into themselves or perhaps a center point between the three of them. Even with the unnatural sensations, they all manage to hold onto one another's hands (though what exactly happened to the hands isn't really clear). It only lasts for a couple of seconds, and when their vision clears, they are standing in a circle, holding hands, looking over a vast medieval city by the sea.

Kevin looks a little green around the gills but holds onto his lunch. He says, "I take that back."

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Master Lee and Sallah seem to fade out along with the rest of Eldrich's sanctum. It's almost like slowly dimming the lights in a room, leaving the surroundings pitch-black. Each of them can still see the others perfectly well, but beneath them, there is only darkness. Kevin grimaces as he looks down.

"Well, I guess this isn't so bad," he says, glancing around. "How long does this take?"

As soon as he says that, the journey grows more difficult. It feels like they are being pulled inside-out, shrinking into themselves or perhaps a center point between the three of them. Even with the unnatural sensations, they all manage to hold onto one another's hands (though what exactly happened to the hands isn't really clear). It only lasts for a couple of seconds, and when their vision clears, they are standing in a circle, holding hands, looking over a vast medieval city by the sea.

Kevin looks a little green around the gills but holds onto his lunch. He says, "I take that back."

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Sen endured stoically as the sorcery shredded his body and spirit. HE felt hismelf being twisted around some sort of giant axis as if a whirlpool had been centered over his abdomen.

Then just as suddenly as it begun it stopped. Sen looked around at the new setting with some puzzlement. Was this it?

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Sen endured stoically as the sorcery shredded his body and spirit. HE felt hismelf being twisted around some sort of giant axis as if a whirlpool had been centered over his abdomen.

Then just as suddenly as it begun it stopped. Sen looked around at the new setting with some puzzlement. Was this it?

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NightrivalHS.jpg

Nightrival grinds his teeth as his body is stretched taunt then twisted into knots as they helplessly float, if that's how the sensation can be described, within the inky abyss that has consumed the travellers. It's . . . it's like flyin' . . . but without th' plane . . . and a lot . . . faster.

His hand retains the impression that it's holding something, but Nightrival can only shut his eyes against the unearthly thoughts inexplicably racing in his head. In his mind's eye, local geometry has been folded a billion times over then appears as an elegant abstract shape, like a complex origami.

Just as he lowers his eyelids, though, he hears the din of human voices.

Nightrival opens his eyes and turns his head. Over his shoulder he sees a sprawling city pressed against a vast ocean. The buildings look ancient, like ones Nightrival saw in history books back in school. Plumes of smoke raise from hundreds of chimneys. His ears immediately pick up distant shouts and cries, some in languages he's never heard. Horses and pigs snort and bay along with the revel below. Woodsmoke, salt and sewage dominate the air.

Although the journey was excruciating, he finds himself unaffected by the strain.

"Where . . . this is Freeport? Wow. It's like a Renaissance Fair, but smellier." He suddenly spots Kevin, who's looking ill. Nightrival releases his companion's hands. "Hey, man," he asks Kevin, "ya a'right?"

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Nightrival grinds his teeth as his body is stretched taunt then twisted into knots as they helplessly float, if that's how the sensation can be described, within the inky abyss that has consumed the travellers. It's . . . it's like flyin' . . . but without th' plane . . . and a lot . . . faster.

His hand retains the impression that it's holding something, but Nightrival can only shut his eyes against the unearthly thoughts inexplicably racing in his head. In his mind's eye, local geometry has been folded a billion times over then appears as an elegant abstract shape, like a complex origami.

Just as he lowers his eyelids, though, he hears the din of human voices.

Nightrival opens his eyes and turns his head. Over his shoulder he sees a sprawling city pressed against a vast ocean. The buildings look ancient, like ones Nightrival saw in history books back in school. Plumes of smoke raise from hundreds of chimneys. His ears immediately pick up distant shouts and cries, some in languages he's never heard. Horses and pigs snort and bay along with the revel below. Woodsmoke, salt and sewage dominate the air.

Although the journey was excruciating, he finds himself unaffected by the strain.

"Where . . . this is Freeport? Wow. It's like a Renaissance Fair, but smellier." He suddenly spots Kevin, who's looking ill. Nightrival releases his companion's hands. "Hey, man," he asks Kevin, "ya a'right?"

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Kevin takes a deep breath and immediately wishes that he hadn't. Nightrival's comment about the smell was dead-on. He shakes his head slightly and says, "No, I'm good. I just wasn't expecting that."

He takes a step forward and looks around, taking in the city. "So where to? I'm guessing you guys have a plan to try to find this Master Mage. Actually, before that... I was thinking about what Sallah said, about names. Maybe shouting out my real name might not be a good idea, if there's some way to use magic against me with it. I don't know; I'll think about it," he says.

Two squid-faced creatures, looking a little like Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean, walk by the three men. One of them gestures towards them with a face tentacle, and the other one emits some sort of "snork" sound. The two of them continue on, but the men get the impression that they're still being watched.

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