Chronicle 1

The Enigma II sailed through the parting clouds towards an unusually round island.  As the wind died down, a jolly roger with the markings of a bandana’d skull, crossed shotguns and a sword fell from its flying position to rest on the mast.  On the deck laid a man in a white trenchcoat lying on a barcalounger with the white hood of his coat covering his face.

Demin watched the blond haired girl walk into town and was suddenly ripped from a daydream.  A medium sized boat had come into the harbor and pulled right into a pier without stopping.  Needless to say, the loud crash caused everyone in the dock to look toward the boat that narrowly missed destroying a pier.

Despite a loud crash and a jolting stop, the man on deck continued to lay there, not moving a muscle or responding to the physical stimuli.

With a few quick steps, Demin walked over to the new arrival and looked down onto the deck where he saw the man in white.  Before he could ask the man what in the world he was doing, the green flash of a parrot flew up to his face.  This parrot was carrying a card with a skull and crossbones wearing a white bandana.  As the parrot dropped the card into the giant’s hand, it flew back to the man on deck.

Meijin was sleeping soundly on the deck of his ship when his parrot landed on his head and started to peck at his face.  Trivalu jolted awake and as his eyes adjusted to his surroundings, he was shocked to see a giant looking over him.  The resulting double take put the Triviamaster on the deck with a loud slam.

With a raised eyebrow, Demin asked the strange man, “Where’s the rest of your crew?”
Standing up and brushing himself off, Meijin replied, “What crew?  I run this ship, thank you very much.”
“You?  Only you?”
“You got it, big guy.”
“But this is such a large ship!”
“I have a parrot.”
“THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS!”

Hopping over the side of The Enigma II with a rope, Meijin began to tie her to the broken dock.  “Has your dock always been this beaten up?”
“THAT WAS YOUR FAULT!”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”  As he said this, his parrot flew up and plopped two golden coins in the giant’s hand.
Seeing the compensation for this damage, Demin calmed down.  “So, you’re with that white bandana guy, right?”
“Maybe. Depends on if I’ll accept or not.”
“If you want, you can stay at one of the inns on the island.”
“No thanks, I think I’ll sleep on my ship.”
“If you need any supplies, you can pick them up in the next few days.”
“Thanks for the tip, big guy.”

Demin was amused with this man’s casual behavior.  “What do you know about the man who gave you this card?”
Hopping back onto his ship, Trivalu answered with an increasing smile, “Absolutely nothing, that’s why I came.  I like the intrigue of a new mystery, a puzzle with few clues.”

Getting back to logistics, Demin asked, “I’ll need a name if you’re to dock here.”
“Just call me “Triviamaster”.”
As he said this, Meijin laid back down and went right back to sleep.

***

Meijin was awoken from his slumber by the gentle aroma of food.  He suddenly realized that he was hungry from a whole day of sailing and sleeping.  Trivalu went below deck to gather his weapons and headed into town.  Looking back over his shoulder, he told his parrot to guard the ship.

The Triviamaster followed the sounds and smells to a bar with a sign over the door that proclaimed “Drunken Roger.”  He slipped into the bar and did a once over on the scene.  On the stage was a strange merman who was soulfully playing a loud rock ballad.  The bar was occupied by a golden haired girl, a man who was talking to himself, a loud man with a lizard on his shoulder, a mysterious figure in a black raincoat and a woman with a large sack of beli on the bar.  Each of the different characters was being served by a large man who Meijin could have sworn was the same guy who was at the dock that morning.  At the door leading to the alley, he saw a woman with her hair in pigtails looking rather confused.

Sitting down at the dark end of the bar, Trivalu set down two gold coins.  The bartender came over and asked what he wanted.  “I’d like a plate of food, a mug of something alcoholic and information.”

“Well, those coins will get you the first two, I’ll need a little more for information,” replied Jackson as he turned around to fix a plate of food.  When he turned around with the food and drink, there was another gold coin on the bar.  “What do you want to know?” asked Jackson.
“First of all, I’d like to know anything you know about a man in a white bandana.”
“All I know is that he’s helping me make a profit tonight.  Nearly everyone in here is looking for him.”
At the mention of this, Meijin took a look around again, quickly memorizing the faces around him.  The Triviamaster asked his second question, “All right, that’s good.  Is there anything that I should know about this island?”

“Well, despite the big celebration that’s coming up, nothing much.  The inns are around the perimeter of the island, with supply stores near them.  At the center of the island is the Forbidden Mountain.”
With the mention of the word “forbidden,” Meijin’s attention perked up.
“What do you mean, forbidden?” he inquired.

“Not much is known about the mountain, but a few people went up it and didn’t come back, so the island’s chamber of commerce has deemed it “forbidden” to keep from having any liability if anyone else were to disappear.”
Meijin got up and flicked another gold coin at Jackson.  “Thanks for the food for thought,” he said as he walked out of the bar.

Once outside, Trivalu followed the sound of a hammer striking an anvil as he headed toward the blacksmith.  He made a quick stop at the blacksmith to pick up some shot to fill his empty shotgun shells with.  Squatting behind a large crate in a quiet alley, he loaded the shot into the shells and put them in place on his belt.  Circling around the base of the mountain, he found a trail with a large locked gate in front of it.  One quick slash of his sword and the gate was now open.  The precision of the cut of his sword caused the gate to look like it was still locked.

Meijin snuck inside the gate and closed it.  Glancing upward at the peak of the Forbidden Mountain, he started up the trail to the peak.

***

A shiver ran down Meijin’s spine as he realized that he was being followed.  Doing a quick look behind him, he saw that no one was there.  Thoughts began to rush through his head.
Did someone notice that the gate is open?
Are there Marines on this island?
Would I be able to fight with my guns at this altitude without killing the innocent?
Trivalu continued walking along the spiraling trail as he began to get ready for whatever may be ahead.  First, he removed his white trench coat and turned it inside out to make it a black trench coat.  Since the sun had set, black would be his ally in the darkness.  Taking one of his shotguns out of its holster on his back, the Triviamaster loaded a shell into the barrel and cocked the weapon.

The trail evened out a little and he turned around and started walking backwards, to see if he could see his pursuer while still gaining ground.  A twig snapped, and Meijin spun around to the source of the sound.  Through his sunglasses, he saw a bush rustle and become still once again.  Approaching the bush with caution, he held the shotgun in his right hand while he removed a throwing knife from the sheath on his leg with his left hand.

There!  Behind me!
He spun around as he heard a light chuckle from the man with the lizard he had seen at the bar.  The forked tongue of the lizard caught the light of the moon as it flicked in and out of its mouth.
“I don’t know who you are, or what you want, but I’ll have you know that this is the 7 series shotgun from Wessolt and I only miss at this close range only when I’m scaring someone,” said Meijin as he leveled the weapon at the man.

***

[The other character gave a short monologue on how Meijin wouldn’t be able to defeat him, even if he tried, then asked Meijin what he was doing on the mountain].

Lowering his shotgun just slightly, Meijin responded, “Where are my manners?  My name is Meijin “Triviamaster” Trivalu.  You may use any combination of those names.  As for what I’m doing on this mountain, I should be asking you the same question.  You see, I am an adventurer of sorts, wherever there is a mystery to be solved, I’ll be there.  Whenever something is “Forbidden,” I need to know why.  When there’s nothing known, I must know.”

(Insert wavy “flashback sequence beginning” effect)
Meijin’s father lies on his deathbed as his son hovers over him.  Pulling Meijin closer, his father whispers his final words, “I wasn’t able to figure out some of the mysteries of this world, so in my place I would like you to do this one thing for me: Become the smartest man in the world.  Travel the globe and use the journal and sketchbook to document things which no man has ever seen.”
(Insert wavy “flashback sequence ending” effect)

The glint of the moon off of Trivalu’s sunglasses changed as he became much more serious.
“As for the White Bandana Pirate, as you have called him, I know very little.  Therefore, to satisfy my curiosity, I have accepted his request to see me on this island.  Judging from the fact that you were at the “Drunken Roger” when I came in and the information I received from the bartender, you too know little about this White Bandana Pirate.”

Not quite fully trusting the stranger and his now hidden lizard, the Triviamaster raised his shotgun again, steadying it with his left forearm.  “Now I’ve been polite and answered your question; despite the fact, mind you, that I asked you first.  Now, what is your name, what is your reason for being on the “Forbidden” mountain and how do you know about this White Bandana Pirate?”

***

[Meijin was rendered incapacitated by the other character, but was let go and asked if he could be joined on his trek up the mountain].

Re-holstering his shotgun on his back, Meijin squinted in careful contemplation of his situation.  He had been hurt in the past by people who he had called his nakama.  In this situation, the speed of Yin and the assistance of the lizard gave the upper hand to Meijin’s opponent.  Trivalu decided to apply the adage of keeping his friends close and his enemies closer, at least until he could learn more.

“I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have a partner on this exploration expedition.  The buddy system has been proven to be a safe and effective way to ward off any trouble,” mentioned the Triviamaster as he continued up the spiraling trail.  “And to be clear, everyone at that bar, with perhaps the exception of the bartender was quite suspicious.  Why didn’t you follow after that figure in the black raincoat?  Either way, we’re here now and that’s that.”

Walking side by side up the mountain, Meijin began a polite conversation, hoping to engage Yin in some meaningful small talk.  “I’m sure that we’ve all got our stories about the White Bandana, and I’d like to hear yours.  But first, let me tell you how I came to this island in the first place.”

With a steady pace, Trivalu began his anecdote, “On the island of Pandoria in the seas of West Blue, I was on a quest for information regarding a legend of a box of infinite wisdom and knowledge.  To make a long story short, there was a group of people who were dedicated to protecting their island.  Needless to say, I had to battle my way through a large number of them before I got any useful information.  Deep within a cave underneath the island, I expected to find the box I was looking for, but instead I found nothing.  The people of the island were protecting absolutely nothing but the myth of the island.”

Stopping at a switchback, Meijin continued, “Instead, I found the White Bandana.  He stood in the center of the large room in a beam of light that came from a hole in the ceiling.  At that point, he explained that he had been watching me since I had arrived on the island and was interested in my abilities.  I was astounded that he had followed me that entire time since my senses are usually very keen.  With a flick of his wrist, his card flew over to me and I grabbed it and quickly skimmed its contents.  Being Captain Random at the time, I let him know that I was flattered, but I had my own goals.  As I turned to leave, I took one last look behind me, but the White Bandana was already gone.”

“After my crew mutinied, I pulled out the card again and decided to find out what the White Bandana pirate wanted.  That’s why I came to this island in the first place.  The alure of a forbidden mountain seemed like something that would pass the time until I found him.”  Finished with his story, the Triviamaster continued on the trail.

***

[The two travelling companions reach the peak where a note on a piece of white fabric is tied to a stake. The note informs Meijin that he should gather the other characters. Yin asks if they should confront the White Bandana pirate or gather the others].

Turning his head toward Yin, Meijin simply replied, “There is no need to confront this man.”  The note left at the top of the mountain revealed many pieces to the White Bandana’s intentions.  Not only that, but he noticed a few holes on the flat peak.  This mountain must be a mine.  There probably isn’t anything here but the shell of this mountain, thought Trivalu as he took in the view of the full island.  “There are two of us together already, now we just need to find the other seven,” said the Triviamaster as he smiled.

Yin asked how they were supposed to find these other seven.  To this, Meijin replied, “Simple, my friend.  First off, we need to check the “Drunken Roger.”  The bartender said that most of the people in there were looking for the White Bandana.  Even if he didn’t realize it, that bartender was very helpful.”

While the two hiked back down the mountain, another question was posed by Yin.  He asked how they were supposed to know which seven people to look for.  “You said that I looked suspicious at the bar, right?  Well, we just need to find seven others who are just as suspicious, and I have an idea how.”  Meijin grabbed the bottom of his now white trench coat and tore a strip of cloth to make a makeshift bandana.  “Judging from my encounter with the White Bandana, I don’t think any of us got a good look at him.  If my intuitions are right, the others will be looking for someone in a white bandana,” he said as he tied the white cloth around his head, placing his standard black bandana into one of his pockets.

Trivalu held a fist upward at the moon and calculated how long until sunrise.  “The note said that we need to meet at the north beach tomorrow night, which is approximately 17 hours away.  I suggest we finish tonight off at an inn and search for our nakama tomorrow.”  Passing back through the “unlocked” gate, the two strangers headed to an inn.

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