The Spider Cliff Mysteries

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Writing in the dust of dawn!

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Posted by Alice belladora, 5:13am, 5 May, 2009

*A crate falls inexplicably from the sky, in the vicinity of the Tavern, smoking slightly. It has a letter strapped to it, also smoking. It is covered in heavy-duty padlocks and looks like it has had a round with a heavyweight boxing champion*

Dear mr Radek sir,

Enclosed in this crate (if this letter has not been torn to bits) is a small wolverine.
I am not seeking to kill you, but i seek to send something as protection from your would-be assassin. It took me almost three hours to capture it, so i hope you use it wisely. I'm glad you're having a jolly good time, and that your jolly good time is not interrupted by a knife in your back!

Thank you for the preservable food and poetry. My stocks of these, it must be said, were depleted slightly. The parcel took almost half an hour to untie, but at least that means enemies wouldn't have been able to open it!

The captain has spotted your bonfire 50 miles off, so we should be here very soon. Possibly within the hour, or less. You might be able to see us in the distance. He's a good captain, if a little grizzled from his adventures.

He has determined we are going to Darcancia, once we pick you up, if you don't mind. It really is an astonishing place. I'll tell you all about it. I have a shop there that sells mysterious antiques. It is being looked after at the moment by One of the Luthiers of Antiques and devices, both ordinary and magkical. (That being his full title)

Do Have fun, and don't get too rowdy. There are some fellows there you really don't want to cross.

Speaking from unfortunate experience, yet again, Alice~

P.S. I am drawing my eyebrows back with a lilac pencil. Looks rather funky, if i do say so myself, though if you think a bare forehead would be cuter, I'm sure you have better judgement than i in these matters.

P.P.S. Try the harvey wallbanger. I you think the lemon bourbon is good, wait till you try that.
This message was last edited on 5 May 2009.

Posted by Alice belladora, 6:21am, 5 May, 2009

*Sky ship rumbles overhead, 50 feet up, and shudders to a halt. Someone waves from the deck. It starts to rain.*

*Speaking through megaphone*

Hello!? alice speaking! *crackle*

Told you we'd be here soon!

Can you hear me? hello? Mr Radek? hello? I'm assuming you can! I have to shout because this megaphone is about ten years old! I found it in the engine room!
The good captain is out, unfortunately. Possibly for the forseeable future. He was attacked by arnold. I rather feel he deserved it, though. Hawks do not like being poked. I did warn him! Though he might be a little deaf in one ear. Or possibly in both. *hiss*

He was the only one who knew how to land the ship! give me a little while to sort it out. You know, land it without killing anybody. *pop* if only Leticia was here. She would know exactly what to do! Blast this infernal rain!

Have another ale while you wait, on me!

*Crash* oh dear.

Wait, I've got it. *Rope ladder falls out from somewhere*

Ah, splendid! You can climb up now, whenever you want. I'm still trying to revive the captain. Drenching him with water doesn't seem to work.... hmm, I might be able to lower the ship a bit...

*Monumental Crunch*

.... or maybe not.
You can have a look around, maybe have a nice cup of tea. I'll give you a tour, if you like. He's not getting up any time soon. *hisssss* It'll be nice to see you again, and you simply must tell me all about your adventures!
The captain thinks he's heard of you before. Ah? Oh, wait, he's still asleep. Thought he moved.

*thunder rumbles ominously*

This message was last edited on 5 May 2009.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 11:07pm, 5 May, 2009

*Steam hisses through the rain on top of a recently doused bonfire, floating melancholaly through the sky. A lone figure goes over the package, then salutes from the roof.*

Alice! Good to finally see you in person! Ah, well, actually, I can't see anything through this rain, but I can definately recognize your voice! This little package is something. *Someone else dashes through the rain, carrying a tray of beverages* Ah, thank you, Eckstein. I seriously can't have paid you enough. But, I'm going to be going! I live this wolverine to you, may you use it to crush your enemies and destroy customers who take advantage of your hospitality!

*turning his gaze skyward again, the figure pushes a large steel and ceramic contraption up towards the ladder, then slings it (with a sickening crunch) over his back.*

Whaaaaat? I can barely hear you, Alice. Ack! That sounds terrible! Is the captain all right? Are *you* all right?! I'm coming up there, don't you die on my watch! *Sounding more worried then comical, he grabs the rope ladder and manages to hoist himself up, nearly tumbling down several times as the wolverine causes chaos below them. Somehow, he is also carrying two drinks.*

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 11:16pm, 5 May, 2009

*Radek rolls onto the deck, the bent and obviously extremely heavy motorbike crashing to his left.*

Agh... My aching back. And sides. And legs... Well, that being said, for someone who has little to no knowledge of sky ships, you didn't do... Terribly. Ach. Let me catch my breath a minute... Where did you say the captain was? Ooh. Ooooooh. Looks like he's out cold, hmn... *Pushes himself to his feet, then stares blankly, before poking your forehead.*

Hmn. You seem to have regrown your eyebrows in record speed! Although I've got to say, they look... Ah, flatter somehow. Almost two dimensional. But! I kind of like them like that! And it's just good to see you again, alive and well! Uhmn, I even brought us two wallbangers, courtesy of the good Mr. Eckstein. Hmn, the glasses are a little chipped, but they'll do. To our meeting again, madame. *Hands you a glass, smiling widely.*

Please, feel free to give me a tour of this craft- she could certainly use a good engineer... Perhaps we should circle back and find Leticia. Well, if the captain could be bothered, hehe. Ah, you say he knows of me? *A strange expression crosses Radek's face* So I see... Perhaps the captain and I will have to talk later. Hopefully he's only said good things about me! Ahahaha! *The deafening sound of thunder drowns out his laughter*

Anyway... Miss Belladora- No, Alice. It's wonderful to see you again. Please, show me everything about this craft, and tell me about our proposed next destination. I'll be hanging off your every word. Ah, and perhaps well we're there, I can acquire some sort of weapon... I realize that I've been surviving on pure dumb luck, recently. Ahaha! Has anyone ever told you that you cut a dashing figure in a grey steel sky like this one..?

Well, I'm rambling. Lead the way, good madame!

Posted by Alice belladora, 7:11am, 6 May, 2009

Mr Radek! absolutely smashing to see you again, good sir. Hm? you look like you've been in a fight. Several, in fact. And you're covered in scratches and bruises!
Tis' the fate of the adventurer, unfortunately. I'll just drag this moterbike away. You look like you need a nice cup of tea. Have a bandage. Or ten.

Ah, Cheers! *drinks wallbanger, staggers* Well, it certainly has some kick! Just like i remember it, in the days when i used to frequent Taverns and other Ale-houses...

Well, anyway, i think we should take a walk, while the captain is out. *glances at captain*
Come along! *grabs Radek by his left arm and drags him off*

Well, this is the main control room.. um.. thing. Yes. Those gouges in the wall over there were made by arnold. He's in the engine room. Seems to like it, funnily enough.
I flew the last ten miles here. I don't think i did too badly, and i only crashed once!
*Drags him down a flight of stairs*

Your quarters are over there *points*, and mine are just at the end of the hall. The captain's are on the other side, although he hardly sleeps! ...hmm? Oh, yes. I remember. Before he passed out, he told me... "if that little so-and-so you're picking up tries anything funny with me again, i reserve the right to shoot him."

*smiles obliviously* I wonder what that could mean?
Of course, he's rude to everyone, really. He called me a tea drinkin' loon. Must be a grizzled captain thing.

I'll show you the library now, and while we're walking I'll tell you about our destination. You'll love it. ...but that would take too long. Wait, I'll show you this information booklet. *gives Radek enormous wad of shiny paper*

*DARCANCIA* (dar-san-see-ah)


A huge, bustling city, and the world's forefront in skyway travel. You can go just about anywhere, from the islands of doom to the forest realms of unknown origin! you can fly 1st class, 2nd class, 3rd class or by cargo ship. Merchants of ill repute often board these vessels, them being a cheap and quick way to get more or less where you want to be. Although they can sometimes be dangerous, muggings have come down by 10 percent recently! The rich and famous often go 1st class to watch the sunset over the city, which is famous for its beauty. Sunlight bouncing and sparkling off every reflective surface! Darcancia has a lot of glass-domed roofs. Of course, this is not cheap, and only the richest may fly this way. 2nd class is for the discerning traveller. 3rd class is mostly used by Adventurers and extreme tight-wads. It is not recommended you eat anything on 3rd class.


There are several "levels", or sectors to in the city.
The highest is of course the Sky way, among the clouds.
Lower down, there is the main city area, where people live, work, and so on. There are many libraries, a splendid opera house, and a huge cathedral. The buildings are mostly of a classical style, with their famous glass domed roofs. There are also a few astronomy towers, run by the Institute Of Astrology and the skies. Some are very small and privately owned, part of a building where the owner lives. In any case, it is a city of the arts.
There is another, lower level. This is where there are workshops, antique shops, music shops, and so on. It is darker, with narrow streets and dusty windows. A place of professors and bohemians, merchants and muggers.
Even lower down, there is a dark, dirty, oily place. This is where engineers, people who run the place live. There are huge furnaces and machinery everywhere. You can buy objects of very ill repute here, including dragon eggs, the trade of which has been banned for many years. Of course, that never stops anybody, people just become more careful about who they deal with.

*pulls paper away* well, i think that's enough to be getting on with. The library is just down there. You can read up on pirates and other such things, if you feel the need.

I must go and check on the Captain. We're not going anywhere without him at the rudder, unless....
You couldn't fly the ship, could you? *strange look*

*Loud Crash* Oh dear. ....I think we just hit something, or something hit us..

*runs off at high speed, trips over something, and disappears round a corner*

This message was last edited on 7 May 2009.

Posted by Alice belladora, 7:26am, 6 May, 2009

*Voice comes on over some sort of hidden speaker-phone contraption*

Don't worry, it was only the captain falling over. And breaking something. And, um, swearing indiscriminately. He says he wants a word with you in private before we set off!
*Hiss* *Crackle*

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 5:12am, 7 May, 2009

*Gets plastered with bandages, looking very bemused yet happy all the while* Alice, your tender sense of care is enough to make the solitary sad life of adventuring seem bright and new. Or at least my face feel bright and new. I swore that fight with the three armed-merchant vampire would end in my death. Well, he turned out to be quite decent; must have been his good third arm... Er, anyway!

*Downs his wallbanger, then gets pulled down the corridors, although he seems to quite enjoy it* Well, this really is something... You must meet the most interesting people on your adventures, heh. Speaking of your time frequenting houses of good spirits, I do hope there are some in Darcancia? After all, the arts are even better with a pint in you!

*Stares at the control room, then back at Alice* You did great, considering how complex these things are... *Pokes one of the gauges, only for it to snap and spew steam everywhere* Who designs these things? Well, at least you, er and Arnold, are safe. Hope he hasn't been too much trouble...

As for my room, I'll be fine for now... Really, you've traveled for far longer, and more dangerously than myself. But, they do look like good quarters- Ah, so he does remember... *Radek's expression stiffens* Well, we'll talk before we leave, then. Hopefully, he's a firm believer in the ability of people to change... *Sighing, expression then turns into a wide smile*

My good madame, so sorry to worry you with strange comments. I think the captain is just likely being a gentleman and making sure that no riff-raff get on board this fine vessel! If he has any problems at all, I shall naturally leave immediately. Naturally... *fidgets nervously, then frowns* A tea drinking loon? Why, that sonova... I'm gonna- *Coughs, and switches accent back to normal* Er, I mean to say, he probably meant no harm. Yes. Definately a grizzled captain thing, yessirree- *gets wad of paper shoved in his direction*

Incredible... This is the best city I've ever even heard of! Of course, it sounds like it's completely a haven for pirates, criminals, lowlifes, and mimes, but that being said, what can you expect from a metropolis where the rich and powerful get shiny vessels and their own privately armed sky-patrol? Still... It looks like an excellent place to start(re-start? continue?) our adventures! Smuggling, dangerous and exotic goods... Huge astronomy towers! We've got to see everything!

Er, yes. *Gets the paper pulled away, and then reluctantly removes his hand.* You take care of whatever business you have and I suppose I'll stay here with the books. Maybe check on arnold. The poor creature probably misses me!... I would like to sit down and talk with you again, soon. Ah, but that can wait when we're back in the air, can't it?... *equally strange look*

What are you suggesting, Miss Belladora? Why, you must know a gentleman such as myself could hardly fly an airship...? Not that I would be adverse to giving it a try or something... *a quick, almost invisible wink* We'll see what happens, I'm sure the good captain will prove a fine transport. Aaaack! Don't worry, whatever we hit, we seem to be still in the air-

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 5:22am, 7 May, 2009

*There is no response from Radek, or indeed, any sign that he was even there for some time. Suddenly, the sound of the captain yelling can be heard over the communication device, followed by the sound of a crash and a dull thud. The noise stops after five minutes, and then...*

Errrrr. Can you hear me, Alice? I just *cough* got talking with the captain. He's agreed to let me on *cough*. Isn't that excellent? There'r... I mean, there are certain rules he wants me to respect, don't think I could blame him. Haha. *Radek coughs into the speaker phone* Sorry. I seem to have... Er, fallen and landed my face on a wall. Er, floor. Yes, floor. *the ship lurches to life, dust and scrap swaying across the floor as it slowly rises into the sky*

Anyway, we seem to have taken off! I'm going to go to the library for awhile, you had some excellent advice, although I can barely wait to get to Darcancia and start looking around. If you've been there before, ya simply must show me around!... and to be honest, is there a place I could get another drink on board? I'm a little thirsty all of a sudden, hahaha...

Posted by Alice belladora, 10:12am, 7 May, 2009

*Knock on library door*

Excuse me? Mr Radek? i brought you some, um, tea. You said you needed a drink.
If you'd like something a little stronger... I know a briefing with the captain can be a real workout. Oh, dear. You seem to have a black eye. And a purple nose. Here, have a sticky plaster. The captain seems to be in high spirits! he actually seems to be possessed by them. We're going at about 180 miles per hour. He says we should be there by tomorrow. He also says we'll have to stay overnight, because he needs to do some essential repairs. From the damage i inflicted, you know. I need to relay some information to you, by the way.

*sits down on a strategically placed armchair*

Once we get there, i really have to check up on my shop. Mr Chatworth is a dreadfully nice fellow, but a bit slow, if you know what i mean. Last time i left it with him, i discovered several antique clocks and volume one of the histories of the goblin wars had been stolen. Also, if anyone seedy comes up to you and asks about me, the correct response is:

"Alice? Alice who? never heard of her in my life. And i don't even know the meaning of the words "grand theft", or anything else you're saying, for that matter. Now kindly go away."

Also, don't go into the sewers, because those who do, hardly ever come out. Labrinthine place, and you'll get bitten to death by rats. I should know! *ahem*

Don't accept anything from a person calling himself virgil. Please, Do not introduce me to anyone called Perpetua mongoose who claims to know me. I owe her a great sum of money. The opera house is expensive, but if you must go, do not choose to sit in the third row. The seats smell like old cheese. Above all, keep your wits about you. There are hundreds of muggers in the city. Keep your hands over your back pockets at all times. Don't dine in "Ye olde eatery" unless you want poor quality food, watered down ale, and empty pockets. Don't be fooled by the comely bar maid. She served in the army and has a hairy chest, foul mouth, and a temper to match. If you meet her, simply avoid eye contact and pretend to be enormously interested in your fingernails. If she says she wants to see me, tell her "I've never known anyone called alice in my life! the words "theft" "shootout" and "charges for damage on property" are foreign to me. Now, i really must go and visit my dying grandmother."

Well, that's about it! i must go and pack. Wake me up when we're there! simply knock on the door very loudly. If i don't respond, feel free to set off a large bomb outside my door. I'm a heavy sleeper. Ha ha. It's probably best if you didn't talk to the captain right now, by the way. It is said, that once, in high spirits, he tore a man's arm clean off!

See you in the morning, and drink that tea before it gets cold! Ah, One last thing.
If you hear strange crashes in the night, it's just me moving furniture and hunting for socks.

*Trips over, and exits by way of falling through the door*
This message was last edited on 7 May 2009.

Posted by Alice belladora, 12:41pm, 7 May, 2009

*Receding footsteps*

Blast these platform boots! *incomprihensible, violent muttering*


Now, that really is a stupid place to put a wall!


Ah, hello, captain! where are you off to? the library, you say? really? fascinating!
What's that? you want me to.... what? oh, right. Keep an eye out from my room. Got it!


Posted by Sacrificialamber, 7:25pm, 7 May, 2009

*Peers up from a large book - The History of Hexbreaking and Bad Luck Charms * Tea! Ah, and plasters! Alice, you save my hide in more ways then one. I'm sure that we'll be able to hold out in the city overnight, especially if we stay together and avoid the storekeeps... And the zeppelin pilots... And the barmaids... and the opera house... and the people! *Somehow manages to move his armchair closer, gasping in surprise* Is there anyone in this city whom you HAVEN'T caused great amounts of personal and property damage to?!

That being said, the best traveling companions are those with the most spirit of rambunctious chaosness, so I'm sure we'll be fine. And if there is an opera house, we should definitely attend. I've never understood that stuff, but then again, it's the experience that counts, correct? *Suddenly taps the bridge of his nose knowingly- he's wearing a thick pair of blue reading glasses* Anyway, your presence is a secret that only you and I will know! And if someone does recognize you, then I'm sure we'll be able to flee onto the rooftop and dash from place to place to avoid them!

Hmn... This tea does look delicious, so I'll finish it off as soon as you're gone. I'm a bit of an insomniac; I really have never been one to sleep when there's something on my mind... Besides, the image of you having a shoot-out with an armed barmaid is still taking me some time to process. I'll wake you up as soon as we get there, or maybe a bit earlier... It sounds silly, but I do think the view as we arrive should be incredible. Good luck hunting for socks, your flair for stripey, sock-y confectionary never ceases to amaze me!... See you in the morning, miss. *Smiles wistfully as Alice walks off, then sips tea, nearly coughing in surprise as he hears crashing*

Platform boots..?! I always did figure that she seemed remarkably tall... A nice touch, nevertheless. Adorable, really. But, back to work... *Sighing, goes back to the heavy book, apparently not noticing the rest of the conversation, or the man with the dusted, milita-style clothes and the stern eyes.*

"Aaaahem. Skinner, I see you're still awake. I trust you took that little talk we had to heart? If I see you take one step out of line, I won't hesitate to throw you into the boiler... and you should know, I've ripped arms off for less!"

... What will it take to convince people Ah've left those days behind? Ya should know s' good as the rest. Yer brother's a good man, let me shack up in his roof while I waited fer ya to come pick me up... and I appreciate this. We've gotta get Miss Belladora back to her shop, after all. I owe her fer the tea, at least. 'Spose it doesn't really matter, anyhow... Luck would get in mah way anyhow, heh. You've got my word, and I figure ya know as well as anyone I'd rather die than break that, Cap'n.

*The captain stares at Radek for awhile, then lets out a roaring laugh and claps him on the shoulder.* "Good, good! Well then, I won't have to kill you at the slightest provocation! The engine room beckons. Hope you sleep well, Mr. Skinner." *Whistling, the captain walks off. Radek stares blanky for awhile, before putting his glasses in his pocket(to a crunch of glass followed by an 'oops'), and heads down the hallway*

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 7:31pm, 7 May, 2009

.. and have half a mind to just leave. Don't wanna be a disapointment... Can't keep it up forever. *sighs, fishes around in his brown jacket* ..? Oh, oh, damn. Shoulda returned this earlier! *rushes forward, hits an early familiar wall* Double damn! Who builds extra walls in an airship!? *knocks on Alice's door, nervously combs hair*

Er, Alice- Miss Belladora? As it stands, I don't know if you're awake... Uhmn, probably not... I'll... I have some of your socks! I don't want to wake you up or anything(why am I still talking, then!?) so I'll just leave them under the door. I'm sliding them under now! O-kay then! I'll just... Ah, be in the library, or something. Sorry fer - ack, for disturbing you!... The stars are out tonight. *sighs* Probably aren't awake anyhow, but it'd be nice to see some of those observatories, when we get there. *realize's he's still knocking, hits palm against forehead, and walks away*

Back to the library then- it's only a few steps away, and iffn I get buried in a good book, least I won't have time to look like an idiot.

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