Adventures of Caelereth

Archives => Jovloff's Gold => Topic started by: Yurie Yileen on January 20, 2009, 07:14:21 PM

Title: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on January 20, 2009, 07:14:21 PM
   Captain Fjorwek was relaxing in his rather spacious quarters; and, as he surveyed the ornately furnished cabin, he reflected on his good fortune.  The ship under his command, The Southern Arrow, was by far the nicest he had ever been aboard.  She was fast, responsive, and looked like a dream-come-true.  He smiled to himself as he pictured her sleek lines in his mind’s eye.  If she weren’t the fastest ship on the sea, then she was pretty damned close!
   And it was her speed, of course, that had led to her being chosen for Jorn Ranskjun’s latest adventure.  Not that Captain Fjorwek minded.  He was going to be paid handsomely for a run-of-the-mill voyage down to Queen’s Harbour, carrying the present cargo of ice-wine, brandy, and a small group of passengers.
   Taking a sip from his glass of ice-brandy, he remembered how insistent Jorn had been, “Speed is of the utmost importance, Captain Fjorwek!”  the elderly merchant had said with vigour.  Jorn had also explained a few things regarding how the captain should treat his passengers.  “Well, at least they won’t get bored!”  Fjorwek thought to himself with some amusement.  They were supposed to arrive early next morning, and then The Southern Arrow could set sail.
   Captain Fjorwek smiled again, this time more broadly.  Perhaps it was the effects of the brandy; but it was more than likely the knowledge that soon he would be doing what he loved best!
   Ans so, with the promise of a fresh journey lingering in his mind, the captain entered his sleeping quarters.  "I should get a good rest tonight," he thought to himself, as he sat down on the edge of his bed, "all the provisions are aboard, the cargo's loaded, and the crew are well-disciplined.  Aye, I’ve got a good feeling about this one!”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on January 21, 2009, 06:54:28 AM
Fu the wind wizard was in trouble. He was running way too fast for his little lungs; he didn’t know where he was running to; and the thump-thump-thumping of several pairs of boots on the cobblestones behind him got louder and louder – as did the shouts of the ruffians whose legs stuck in those boots. And those weren’t friendly things that they shouted at their little quarry, oh no! It didn’t help that Fu could hardly see where his feet hit the street, as the night was dark and the houses poorly lit. Neither did it help that Fu carried his staff with him, as well as his knapsack with all his few possessions.

Crooked walls, shadowy doors and the blurred outlines of people rushed past the wizard’s eyes as he dashed and frantically looked left and right for a chance to wrongfoot his pursuers and make his escape. There was a gap between two houses – an alleyway. Fu turned sharp to the right, and almost slipped in a puddle. It hadn’t rained for three days! Why did people always have to ditch their dirty dishwater exactly where Fu was going to step? Unless, of course, this wasn’t dishwater. One time, in some other city, some stupid old hag had poured the contents of her chamber pot right on Fu’s head – and instead of apologizing, she … But there was no time to think about that now. Into the alleyway, through it, and then left into the next street. No better here – the brutes were still behind him. Drunk they were, but not drunk enough to be slower than short-legged Fu. Oh, he really had no idea where he was now. The splendid port city of Ciosa was nothing but a baffling maze to him.

Fu had only just arrived in the town, looking for lodgings. It had been a long day. In the morning, a kind peasant woman had given him a ride on her cart, but as she had stopped at a nearby village, Fu had had to walk the last few strals to Ciosa. Weary and hungy, he leaned heavily on his staff as he shoved his little legs through the darkening streets, searching for an inn that looked as if the cockroaches in the bedrooms wouldn’t be all that big. The little wind wizard must have struck a pathetic figure, with his shuffling gait, his sweatiing, moonlike face, and his dusty clothes - and neither did he have his wits about him when life decided to thrust a challenge at him.

“And where d’yer think yer’re paddling to, ship’s boy? Why, you handle that staff as if yer’d be rowing a four-master. What, boys?” It was a hoarse, inebriate voice – and judging by the laboured laughter of the “boys”, they weren’t on their first drink of the night either. Fu decided to ignore the lout and to simply march on. No use getting into a fight now. But the voice wasn’t prepared to be ignored: “Ahoy, yer dirty miserable gnome, I’s talking to yer! Yer wanna be a sailor when yer grow up?” Fine then, thought Fu. He barely turned around, but responded in the most snobbish voice he could manage. “Surely, if it served to get me out of the range of the venerable gentleman’s stinking perspiration, I should sail anywhere in the world, if it were the last thing I did – just to enjoy the clean air with my final breath.”

After this, everything happened very quickly. The venerable gentleman and his associates might not have understood every word of Fu’s reply, but they appreciated his meaning well enough. Crying out with indignation and savage delight, they threw themselves at Fu. The wind wizard quickly turned around and shoved them into disorder with a violent, chaotic gust of wind that he somehow managed to summon. The startled gang of drunken sailors tumbled over one another and came to kneel or sit on the ground. There was a moment of stillness, during which six pairs of eyes stared at Fu. The wizard stared back. Later, Fu would berate himself: “Why did I not put on my most authoritative voice and yell something like: Be gone, vermin, before I turn thee into warg cheese! Or wait, maybe not warg cheese – ship-rats would have been better; they would have hated that. But then, if I’ve already called them vermin, why turn them into anything in the first place? What could be worse than vermin? No, this wouldn’t have been very convincing. Maybe …” But however long Fu deliberated afterwards, he couldn’t avoid the acknowledgement of the simple fact that he didn’t yell anything.

Facing the six men with their square jaw bones and their missing teeth and their upper arms as thick as Fu’s thighs, all the little wizard could think of was his urgent desire to get away from them as quickly as possible. But maybe it was the tattoo that really made the difference. One of the men had a tattoo of a mermaid on his arm. It was very beautiful, and Fu would remember it long afterwards. The spellblower was struck dumb and witless, so he made what was maybe his biggest mistake of the night. He turned and ran.

At least he had some advantage on the gang, as they struggled to their feet and ran after him, hurling insults all the while. There was no time to concentrate on another magic trick. Along the cobbled street, through the puddle and into the alleyway (at least his pursuers could only run through that one by one, thus loosing some speed) and out again into the next street. Fu sprinted and noticed that the road sloped slightly downwards. I must be heading down toward the harbour, he thought. And so he was: after a curve, he saw the water. Fu ran on, his pursuers less than twenty ped behind him. He reached the quay. Where next?

To the right, there was a disorderly pile of empty tubs, crates and boxes, lying about all higgledy-piggledy. For all their maritime rudeness, these Ciosans evidently didn’t know how to keep their harbour tidy. Fu dived headlong behind one of the boxes, loosing his staff in the process, and grazing his hands as he landed. He crawled deeper into the disorderly heap, and tried to calm his breath, at the same time listening for what his pursuers might do. Their running boots reached the quay, and clunked about for a few blinks in apparent confusion. The sailors hadn’t seen where Fu had gone. Thank Grothar for that kink in the road that must have hidden Fu from their eyes at the crucial moment! Fu heard their voices: “Where is the little gnome? Careful, he might do one of his tricks again. Rugfur, yer three look there, we go here.”

Fu was still out of breath, and what was worse, he now had time to be afraid. Should he try to make himself invisible as the wind and gingerly sneak back to the road? But the wizard didn’t quite trust his abilities while his lungs were still hurting from the run. Instead, he carefully crawled on, until he came to the end of the pile. One step further, and he would fall into the water! About six peds from him, he saw the dark outline of a ship moored in the harbour. Maybe he should have followed the sailor's advice and rowed somewhere, far away from Ciosa? Anyway, now it was too late to make an escape. He heard the footsteps of several men around the pile that was now his uneasy refuge. “Hey, here's that staff of his! Now he can’t enchant us anymore. I bet he is behind one of them tubs! Come here, boys!”

These intoxicated imbeciles had a poor grasp of magic, but they were now all over the heap of boxes. Fu had got his breath back, but even if he managed to make himself invisible, he’d surely be hit by one of the empty boxes and tubs that the sailors were now lifting and throwing about in an effort to find him. It would be a mere matter of blinks before they would be successful. There was only one way out. Fu, now master of his breath again, swiftly grabbed one of the corbie feathers from where they stuck in his hat, inhaled and focused his mind on the wind that permeated every part of his body. There is one advantage to being small and skinny, thought Fu, as he stepped out from the quay into the air.

There was a soft breeze coming from the sea, and the air smelled pleasantly of salt and fish. Nonetheless, the time it took Fu to make his next twenty steps felt as long as the whole day’s walking. Treading on wind was a bit like walking through water; progress was slow, and you had to be careful and deliberate. And if one of the boxes that the sailors were tossing about in an attempt to find Fu had hit him, he would inevitably have lost concentration and splashed into the water.

But most people only see what they expect to see. The sailors were busy peeking inside empty tubs and turning over half-broken boxes, while Fu slowly stepped downwards, closer to the water, slowly and carefully as if on an invisible slippery staircase - until he judged his head to be below the angle of vision of his tormentors. From there, the wizard gingerly made his way around the hull of the ship until it completely covered him from the view of anyone who may look for him from the quay. Pleased with his manoeuvre so far, Fu then turned and walked up again, and soon reached the ship’s railing. Peeking over it, he satisfied himself that nobody was around. Then he walked up another eight invisible steps, sat down on the railing, and slid onto the deck.

But he had no time to rest. Immediately he heard voices from somewhere in the dark. “Ahoy, yer canal rats. Stop thrashing about. What are yer looking for in those boxes anyhow? Lost yer rat friends?” There were people on the ship! And they had got aroused by the din that Fu’s pursuers had made in their quest to find him and wring his neck. The wizard judged that the one who had called stood no ten peds away from him, just around the corner of the ship’s superstructure. Fu looked around in panic. There was a dark hole on the deck. A hatch! Without listening to how the seamanlike conversation developed, Fu sneaked towards the hatch, felt with his feet, found the steps of a ladder, and climbed down into the darkness. As soon as he felt ground, he let himself down and crawled, hoping to find cover. He couldn’t see anything in what appeared to be complete darkness, but evidently it was his destiny to hide among boxes this evening – as his groping hands confirmed, this place was full of wooden containers of all shapes. At least, Fu reflected, he seemed to be undetected and alone - apart from his own wheezing breath and faint voices drifting in from outside, the room was completely slient.

After a while of fearful waiting, Fu heard a clear, female voice: “Hey, which flatfish has left the hatch open? Do yer all want us to fall to our deaths?” An ungentle thud, and the faint square of less complete blackness in the sky of Fu’s new hiding place disappeared. There was no way he was going to climb up there again anytime soon. Surely it was best to wait a few hours, until everyone would be asleep and wouldn't notice a little wind wizard making his final escape.

So Fu sat in the dark, his back resting against what he assumed to be a large wooden chest, licked his chafed hands, and contemplated that this long day had decided to turn out a little bit too exciting for his taste. Nonetheless, it could have been worse: although he had lost his staff, he had saved most of his skin. Now, there was nothing to do but wait, and listen to the silence. Sleepily, Fu touched the brass locket that hung around his neck, and that contained a lock of hair from his daughter. He hoped that she’d had a better evening than he. As his eyes struggled to keep open, Fu noticed that a faint light was coming from a round opening in the wall opposite him. Sailors had some sort of strange name for their windows, didn’t they? Was it Baneg’s Eye? Or something else? The wizard felt it impossible to settle the question, as he drowsed off into an uneasy sleep.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: KaskaChee on January 22, 2009, 07:17:35 AM
Strange noisy-breath man had quietened down before Kaska ventured out.  The rag-wrapped Rat Brownie released her albino rat which she had been holding still for almost half an hour, waiting for the intruder to leave.  He hadn’t.  He’d just fallen asleep instead.  She strode over to him to check this theory, whilst her mount wandered off, no doubt following whatever scent had grabbed his attention.  No doubt his sensitive nose would lead them to the choicest morsels.  The Brownie had known there would be good pickings on one of these huge boats and this one stocked with more food than her old Clan would have seen in a year.  The appetite of these upper-world creatures never ceased to amaze her, and their bounty was….confusing too.  But those were larger questions, now was not the time.

The day had been going well even before noisy-breath’s entrance.  Kaska had seen the supplies which got loaded onto these giant boats before, and so had finally decided to test the theory out.  Her little red-brown eyes had watched the path of the smaller boats as they struggled back and forth across the water.  The men eventually paused, huddling around something smelling strongly of cooked flesh and taverns.  Kaska drew the white rat away from the tantalising smells, settled onto his back and drove him towards the edge of the jetty.  One scuttling run and a leap and they were aboard the smaller boat, hiding themselves under a scrap of thick, heavy material. 

The men returned soon, reeking of the meat they had consumed, and began loading the boat with more boxes.  After a sticky moment when one of them was nearly laid on top of them, the two stowaways managed to slip through a crack in one of the crates and hide inside.  The rat quickly settled down in the dark, enclosed space.  Suddenly the whole world lurched as they were lifted up onto the main boat.  The rat squealed and cringed into the corner, and even Kaska’s stomach seemed to be left behind, making her want to spill her meagre breakfast.  A few minutes later and the lurching began again, this time to the steady rhythm of a man’s footsteps.  This time she was sick.  She felt better after that.

But as soon as she had left enough time after the men finally seemed to have left and ventured out, the sound of lighter footsteps and heavy, panicky breathing had driven her back into the crate.  And the rather ripe smell of her ex-meal.  The male-smelling human sat down against a wooden chest with only his leather-booted feet visible from Kaska’s hiding place. She listened to the rustle of hand against cloth and the pattern of his breath as it settled.  She waited, impatient but not willing to show herself.  A stamping foot or the business end of a boot were all too often her reward for getting spotted.  So the Brownie had sat down to wait him out, silently cursing the intruder, or at least his boots, with her most irritated stare.

But, finally, noisy-breath slept.  As she crept closer to his sleeping form she caught the nuances of his distinctive smell - pipe smoke and a little of human sweat, although considerably less than most.  Curiosity drew her even further in, until she was near enough to touch.  It was unusual for her to get a chance to actually look at a human face so close up.  Her eyes ran over the huge features, which were large and saggy to her Brownie eyes.   Then they spotted something else, something around his neck.  It was almost as large as her head, and a crescent of light caught the metal along one side.

The Brownie paused, considering her move for a moment, but the pull of so much metal was luring her in.  Something like that had to be worth a good amount, didn’t it?  One tiny foot, wrapped in a casing of thin and extremely dirty leather, slipped its way up into the crook of the sleeping man’s arm, pushing down gently at first and then slowly, slowly getting heavier as the Brownie lent more on it.  Ever-so carefully Kaska reached upwards, little hands clinging onto his clothes with her hands to pull herself up to the next foothold…

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on January 22, 2009, 09:06:26 AM
Six cats with the faces of mermaids ran after Fu. He crawled and squeezed his body into a small wooden box to hide, but the cats plonked a lid on the box, shut it tight, and threw the whole thing with Fu inside into the sea. The cats must have jumped themselves, for now they sat on top of the box and rocked to and fro, to and fro, riding the waves. One shouted jovially: “Ahoy, yer flatfish! Where are yer sailing to?” Fu heard the wood creak under the cats’ weight, heard the water lap at the wood, and heard the cats’ tails splash around in the water. Then, all of a sudden, the cats had become ship-rats, and began to crawl into Fu’s tiny box through little holes. Their mermaid faces glowed in the dark – pale they were, and beautiful, and round like silverbards. The creatures proceeded to scramble all over Fu's contorted body. One rat-mermaid tugged at his right arm. That tickled –  it was almost pleasant, but it tickled so! Fu made a quick movement, lifting his elbow, trying to shake off the rat, and

… awoke. With a twitch that unconsciously went through his whole body, Fu opened his eyes and saw nothing. The space before him was black, blacker even than it had been inside that little box. The palms of his hands hurt, and he noticed a sharp pain on the left side of his neck. And someone, something was  tugging at his right arm. A rat?! Was he still dreaming? Instinctively, the wizard’s muscles tensed and gave his arm and shoulder another jerk. "Off ye be, wee beast!", Fu croaked in his native Darian peasant dialect, and with a voice he didn't recognize, while he struggled to remember where he was, and why he was waking up here in rat-infested darkness.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on January 23, 2009, 04:29:18 PM
Mallorix woke up in an uncomfortable bunk.
*Where am I?*
Mallorix looked around, and saw empty bunks, and a small window. He looked out, and he saw the sea.
*A boat?*
Then he remembered the events of the previous day.

"So, will you take the job?"
Mallorix was standing on the quay, talking to a sailor in front of a huge ship.
"Where are we going?" Inquired Mallorix.
The rough sailor said:
"We're going to Queen's Harbour."
Mallorix was excited at the possibility of going to such an exotic place. He was curious about who hired the ship to go there, and why. It could have been just a merchant who wanted to bring his wares to Queen's Harbour, but maybe the ship would be carrying passengers, who could be adventurers!
As those thoughts raced through Mallorix's head, he imagined what sort of adventure the people who possibly may or may not be on the ship would be on. Going after pirate treasure, perhaps?
Mallorix asked the sailor :
"Who hired this ship to go to Queen's Harbour, and why?"
The rough seafaring man laughed.
"Don't you know? Jorn  Ranskjun, the famous merchant, hired this ship to bring some of his friends to Queen's Harbour."
So that was it. Some merchant and his friends. Well, Mallorix decided that a voyage would still be some sort of adventure, so he said:
"All right, I'll take the job!"
In a few moments, he was carrying goods, tying ropes, repairing the ship, and getting yelled at by an overseer.
"Work faster, you lazy rats!"
Suddenly, the overseer started threatening to go to the Captain and ask for permission to whip them. Mallorix thought:
*This is a pretty bad start for an adventure*
After a long day loading crates and doing whatever work he had to, Mallorix fell asleep on his narrow, hard, and uncomfortable bunk.
Mallorix was soon back to loading crates onto the ship. He went into one of the cargo holds with a rather large crate, and put it on the ground.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: KaskaChee on January 23, 2009, 08:42:29 PM
Kaska’s dark-skinned arm slipped down her form and removed the long-bladed dagger from her side.  Holding the nailsbreath blade in her hand she stretched out towards the glint of metal, streeetched….but it was still just out of her reach.  Digging the long nails of her other hand further into the thick grey cloth of the man’s cloak, the ripe-smelling creature prepared to clamber further up where she would be able to cut the leather thong that held the metal treasure.  Suddenly the body beneath her shuddered.  The Brownie froze completely, blade held high.   She watched the gigantic face as his eyes opened, blinked.  Another, larger shudder coursed through her body as he shook his arm.  This time the jerk was too violent, and her tiny hand was ripped from the cloak, taking a little bit of the fluff with her.

The ball of Brownie and red rags was thrown to the storeroom floor, rolled, and immediately righted itself, dagger still held in its right hand.  It let out a high-pitched scream of a whistle, a short, sharp noise that could have been mistaken for a mouse in pain.  The pure white rat scuttled to its side, baring two long yellow teeth and giving long defensive hiss.

But that was not the end to the surprises.  There was a quick crescendo of footsteps from above, and before Kaska could get her legs into order and scuttle away, the hatch was thrust open.  A cold salty breath of air whistled into the storeroom, revealing another male-smelling silhouette holding a crate.  The Brownie let out a small growl, leapt onto the rat’s back and the pair scrabbled behind one of the other crates, the white coat of the mount flashing in the light from the hatch.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on January 24, 2009, 09:45:52 AM
With a soft pluck, the little tug of weight suddenly left Fu’s arm. The wizard heard a tiny muffled bump, followed by soft but oddly frantic shuffling not far from him. The rat – I must’ve shaken it off, and it’s been a-fallin’. In a reflex of fright and defence, Fu pulled his legs towards his body. The sudden tensing of his thigh muscles yanked his senses into place: Fu was now awake, and noticed that he could see the outlines of tubs, crates and chest in the faint light that drifted through the porthole. The wizard promptly looked down, trying to locate the rat he thought had attacked him. But before he could make anything out, a shrill squeal reached his ears from the floor on his right. An old memory – a squeaking field mouse in the claws of a barn cat – shot through the wind wizard’s mind, and he shuddered a little from a current of sorrow and sympathy that suddenly flowed up from somewhere beneath his heart. Despite his shock, a part of him hoped that the rat wasn’t hurt. Then he saw what had uttered the cry.

That ain’t no rat! In one blink, Fu took in the peculiar appearance of the thing that had disturbed his sleep. The creature was about half a fore high and stood on two legs, holding its head high and looking up at him, obviously in a state of alert tension. It was too skinny for a rat, and Fu could see no tail. Instead, he noticed an oddly round head, which seemed somehow too large for the rest of the body. In fact, this being looked more like a tiny human, albeit a deformed one, than an animal. And it seemed to hold a needle in its paw! It was hard to see its eyes in the darkness, but they appeared to sit where they would in a human face.

The startled wizard had no time to take in the implications of this thought, for at that moment the little biped was joined by, of all things, a rat! Not as big a rat as some Fu had seen, but unmistakably a rat. Compared to the muffled colours that dominated the storeroom, the animal seemed to positively glow in the dark. And in contrast to the earlier squeal that had aroused Fu’s sympathy, the rat gave out what seemed to the wizard to be a menacing hiss.

Frightened, Fu jolted to his feet, hoping to bring his head out of the jumping range of this fierce pair, and blurted out a sentence: “Who be ye?”  But before he could consider the absurdity of speaking Tharian (and a peasant variation at that) to this squeaking and hissing pair, the wizard heard the sound of wood bashing on wood from above him, and noticed the room becoming a lighter shade of dark. He quickly turned his head and saw that the hatch had been opened, and that a human head had appeared in it. Immediately the little wizard ducked down behind the crate he had leaned on to sleep. Had he been seen? How long had he slept? By the light, or the lack of it, Fu could tell that it was still night-time. Oh, I can’t let meself be found – them’ll be thinkin’ Fu’s a thief! While his mind was frantically trying to decide what to do next, the corners of the wizard’s eyes spotted the rat, now glowing almost white in the light from the hatch, scampering away behind another crate – and the little fellow (for that’s how Fu now thought of the biped creature), with his needle still in his hand, rode on the rat’s back!

Once again, amazement was cut short by fear. Where to now? To get further away from what Fu had to assume was a sailor going about his business, there was only one way: the way the little rat-rider had taken. The wizard tried to squeeze his body as quietly as possible into the gap between two crates.

But this hiding place was not good enough. If the sailor had seen or heard something, he – Or she? The woman who had complained about the open hatch before Fu had fallen asleep? – would surely investigate, and this time Fu would not be able to wind-walk his way into safety. The wizard would have to do what had got him out of trouble a few times in his life before. Once again, Fu needed to calm his breath. Oddly, he found it always more difficult to concentrate on the wind’s property of invisibility when it was dark around him – maybe because darkness somehow seems more substantial than daylight. But as his breath became regular and seemed to flow through every part of his body, the wizard felt that his powers would yet give him a chance of another escape. It was a peculiar experience not to be able to see your own hands, or your clothes. If it had been daylight, Fu (or, indeed, a perceptive observer) might have seen a very faint outline of his coat and boots – but among the grey hues of the ship’s storeroom, Fu was now invisible to his own and most other non-magical creatures’ eyes. Casting the spell had taken the wizard about the time it takes to have a good pee – or, as Fu reflected, about the time it may take a sailor to step down a ladder into a ship’s storeroom.

Carefully retaining the focus of his concentration, Fu listened for what the intruder would do. And where was the rat-rider? As he once again huddled into a narrow space, the wizard noticed an unpleasantly pungent smell – must be that rat, me reckons. Come to think of it, the little rider was about the right size for a Brownie. Fu had never seen a member of the little folk, but he had heard of their capacity for certain kinds of magic. But didn't Brownies live among flower meadows and under leafy trees, singing joyful songs and riding on little birds? Before Fu had quite finished this thought, however, a jolt of alarm shook his little body, and it was all he could do to keep his concentration from collapsing – if it had collapsed, the spell would have been broken and Fu would have been visible again in an instant. The knapsack! Fu's sack with almost all his possessions was still lying in the dark somewhere by the chest. From where he sat, the wizard couldn't see it, but he remembered very well the precious things that were inside: his juggling balls, his pipe, and the flute his father had given him. Could he risk crawling out of his hiding place to get his belongings? But what if he'd make a sound that betrayed his presence? And in any case, it was impossible to extend the spell to an object once Fu had started, so the knapsack would remain visible even if he managed to snatch it. Making up his mind, for the moment, to wait, the wizard relaxed into his awkward crouching posture as best as he could, and listened into the darkness. Where was that sailor now?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on January 25, 2009, 05:36:04 PM
Mallorix thought he heard a noise, but it was too faint. There was a white flash that sped right by his eyes into the darkness of the other side of the cargo hold.
*Oh, it's just a rat*
Mallorix went out of the cargo hold, and soon was met by a sailor with a crate twice the size of the other one. The sailor shoved the crate into his hands, and went to the quay to take another.
*Right, back into the dark, rat infested cargo hold it is.*
When he went back into the hold, he noticed a small knapsack that wasn't there before. He heard strange noises coming from the crates, but there was nothing there!
*Oh, just perfect. A cargo hold that's infested with rats and ghosts. I think getting a job on this boat was a very bad idea.*
Mallorix was then called to tie ropes and repair some small scratches. A rough sailor stood next to him, and they were being scrutinized by a woman with a rather nasty looking whip.
Mallorix only managed to whisper a few words to the large man.
"Ghosts in the hold."
The man asked:
"What? Which one?"
Mallorix replied:
"I don't know which one."
Their whispering was finally heard by the woman, who said
"Get back to work, before I go and tell the Captain that you were slacking off. Maybe I'll get to finally lash you."
Mallorix worked twice as fast while he was watched by that woman.
*I really shouldn't have taken this job.*

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Malavon Despana on January 28, 2009, 01:52:50 PM
Midnight and Malavon was the first of the group to arrive , not that he especially looking forward for the long it was about to undertake but he just wanted it to end as quickly as possible .
The taught of having to mingle around strangers in a foreign land was "killing" him , he had to trust these people to watch his back , and Mal was not a trusting person , but he had given his word to Jorn and that was his bond , when he commits himself to a job , either he return with he was hired for or don´t come back at all ...

The ship was indeed a beautiful one , lets us hope the captain is in the same league when it comes to competence ...,  looking around he waited to his so called allies to arrive , maybe they had more things to pack , Malavon himself only had his trusted sword "Zaroc" and a dozen throwing knifes , it was enough ...
Now he found a couple of boxes and leaning against them , he closed his eyes to rest , sure he had a comfy bed at the inn , but he always preferred the outdoors and since he was supposed to be here , best to sleep here .   

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on January 29, 2009, 02:03:14 AM
Ranksjun had offered servants to transport their things to the ship. However Ylva always liked to handle her own business, so the woman had insisted on leaving the party in the early hours of the morning to get her stuff.

Now outside the inn was a bored looking servant, who stood yawning, as he waited to escort the adventuress back to the party. Inside her room Ylva had quickly changed out of her fancy robes and into her travel clothes. The cream tunic still had dim reddish blood stains on it, but Ylva couldn't really recollect where these marks came from.

As the murmillion packed, there was a knock at the door and the innkeeper came storming in. The wiry man scratched the few hairs left on his head and peered curiously at the scene, “You going somewhere!?”

Ylva just nodded, not telling him where she was going, and not appearing to be paying much attention to him. The innkeeper was befuddled by her sudden departure, he always knew Miss Rasmussan was a bit unusual, being foreign and all, but leaving with no warning was just plain bad manners, “Shall I write up your bill for these past months?” Even a horde of savage orcs couldn't stop this man from demanding rent.

Ylva nodded, “Contact my patients. Tell them find new doctor. Only taking blade-axe and healer's satchel, so you store this bag. I collect it when get back.”

The innkeeper sighed and agreed, it was best just to agree with her and not argue. He was tempted to ask about how the fancy party had gone, what had happened there, and why on earth his tenant was now leaving in the middle of the night. However he didn't ask. “Yes, Miss Rasmussan, I will do so, may your travels be....uneventful....” He closed the door after him.

“Doubt it....
The healer muttered in murmilion. Nothing was left in the room but the storage bag and a pouch containing the money Ylva owed the innkeeper. It was strange how she could just abandon these things for a story, just a story of treasure and pirates. But perhaps that was a story worth seeking. The healer offered a quick prayer to Mari and closed the door behind her.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: KaskaChee on January 30, 2009, 04:11:43 AM
Kaska leant against the rough wooden surface of the crate, her little heart bu-dumming with the thrill of discovery.  A long, corse splinter of wood was sticking out beside her.  With one deft slice of the sharp knife the Brownie took it off and held it in her calloused hand, snapping it once, twice, three times.  The feeling of the wood breaking in her hands was satisfying and helped release some of the tension coursing through her.  But really she wasn't concentrating on the motions of her hands, straining her ears instead to hear the slightest movement in the dark cellar.  The footsteps had come back for a moment and the man had shouted something she hadn't quite heard at her retreating back.  But then they had gone again.  Now there was nothing more than the man's breath.  No gasp of astonishment, no running feet or accusing voices.  What was going on?

Eventually she couldn't stay in her corner any longer.  The Brownie crept noiselessly around the side of the huge wooden box, and poked her head see nothing., that wasn't right.  She could still hear the man, still smell him.   For one moment she considered venturing out and seeing if she could touch him too, but the mere thought sent her scrabbling back against the wall behind her.  What was this magic!  And how was he using it, a little man like him?!  Hearing the noise of her panic, she froze, suddenly, and then slowly made herself comfortable in the shadow of the box.  Her redish eyes were fixed on the spot were she could smell he was still sitting, waiting for him to move or reappear.

But he had made himself disappear!  Or else he was doing something to deceive her eyes and make them tell her he wasn't there.  In Kaska's mind magic was something given to one by the spirits, or by some higher force at least.  Was he some kind of God?  Could he give her the power too?  Or a magical creature that only looked human when it wanted to.  Kaska would have to find out. There was more to this little man than she had first thought, much much more.  The Brownie stared at the place where he was, wondering if she should approach him.  She hesitated.  It was too strange, too dangerous to try and talk when she couldn't see him.  Could he smell how he wanted to as well?  But no, probably not or her wouldn't be smelling of anything now.  Kaska watched him, waiting patiently for him to reappear.  However, the exhaustion from her packed day was starting to tell, and she settled herself more comfotably against the wall.  The slow rhythmic sound of his breathing began to tell on her, and her eyes slowly drooped until she was fast asleep.  A while later the white rat came back from whatever exploration he had been enjoying, and settled down across her body, warming it with his own.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on January 30, 2009, 08:35:37 AM
Fu listened to the footsteps of a sailor in the dark, and flinched when he heard a heavy smash. What was that? Something had been dropped. There were more footsteps, followed by sounds as if the sailor went back up the ladder. Now the storeroom was still. But Fu didn’t dare to get up and look about. He hadn’t heard the hatch being closed.

Sure enough, here was the creaking of the ladder again. The thud of whatever the intruder had been carrying was even louder this time, and reverberated through the dark. But there was no sign of the sailor returning to the ladder. Instead, the footsteps came closer to where Fu was sitting, breathing quietly to maintain his control over the wind ounía and remain invisible. The footsteps stopped for a few blinks – ooh, them’ve been discoverin’ my sack – then, slowly, came even closer. With some trepidation, the crouching Fu carefully turned his head to look up: a shadow stood towering over him. The wizard felt as if the sailor’s eyes pierced his invisible but nonetheless substantial body. As he now saw, this was a man; a man with huge hands, as Fu couldn’t help notice. They’ll soon be havin’ Fu by that scruff of his neck!  But the sailor didn’t stoop down to grab the invisible wizard, didn’t shake him and ask him what his business was, didn’t drag him up the ladder by the hair, and didn’t throw him into the sea for the waves to drown him and the fish to gorge on him. Neither did he raise his huge hand for the knockout blow. Instead, he turned around, trotted back to the ladder, climbed up and out, closed the hatch, and was gone. 

Silence, except for the sound of Fu’s breathing. This ship sure was busy! Why were they carrying things down here in the middle of the night? Were they preparing for a journey? The ship wasn’t going to set sail in utter darkness, was it? Or was morning approaching? Fu couldn’t see the porthole from where he was cowering, but still the storeroom was dark. The silence was eerie now; the night had lost direction, and time had stopped. It was time to get out of this precarious refuge.

But for the moment, Fu didn’t dare to move. Neither did he dare to release his control and terminate the spell, in case the sailor came back. Had the man with the big hands taken the knapsack? Fu hadn’t heard anything to suggest that he had, but couldn’t be sure, whether, in his panic, he would have noticed.

So the wizard sat for a while, worrying. Then he noticed a movement out of the corner of his eye. Of course, the rat rider! The little fellow had sat down with his back supported by a crate, his body orientated as if he was looking directly at where Fu was sat. For a blink, Fu thought that the fellow could see him! A brownie warlock, maybe, who could sense a living being’s cár’áll? But there are other ways to detect a man, Fu reflected, as he noticed the pungent rat smell once again.

Fu watched the little figure for a while, as both sat in the dark, and eventually felt tempted to say something. But he only knew Tharian, and this fellow had so far only whistled, hissed, and grunted, communicating with his little rat. Well, that’s pretty much what I’ve done all night, thought Fu, except I’ve also huffed and puffed and wheezed quite a bit.

There was another shadow by the fellow now. The rat! This was extraordinary. Fu had made the experience that animals usually hid from him when he was invisible, confused and disconcerted by his mysterious presence. This rat, however, happily snuggled up to its rider. The wizard felt almost sad to leave them there. Forsooth, thought Fu, mentally assuming Ximaxian formality, it has been a remarkable privilege to make thy acquaintance. Yet prithee, do forgive your humble servant, for he must be gone before Foiros begins his wanderings. Fare thee well!

As Fu got up, he did so with the utmost care, partly not to disturb the sleeping pair, partly not to arouse whatever else lived on this ship. (The ship that never sleeps, thought Fu.) Still invisible, he felt his way through the maze of crates. There was his knapsack. With groping hands, Fu felt inside – pipe, juggling balls, flute: everything was there. The sailor hadn’t seen it in the dark. Relieved, the spellblower shouldered his possession, tiptoed on towards the ladder, found it, and started to make his way up. Soon he would be on land again. It was high time. Fu yearned for a table to sit down at. His stomach was empty and his throat was dry.

Carefully, Fu lifted the hatch a few nailsbreaths high. A warm wind touched the tired skin on his face. But if he had expected to be able to see better than in the dark storeroom, the wizard was disappointed. A fog had settled down on the harbour, and Fu’s eyes couldn’t see further than three peds! Were there voices in the darkness? Fearing to be spotted, Fu carefully lowered the hatch again, and, still perched on the ladder, thought about how he would actually escape. He would probably have to wind-walk back to the quay, but in order to do that, he would have to give up the hiding spell. Maintaining two spells simultaneously was well beyond the powers of the little spellblower. So what, actually, would he do?

And at that moment – plop! – Fu felt the spell glide off him, and he stood there on the ladder in the dark in all his miserable little visibility. The problem was that the wizard now had time to think about what would happen if he messed up his escape. And with that, his magic failed him. Fu was scared, but tried to be brave: Not to worry, old Fu, it’s happened before. Ye’ll be havin’ to make do without, then.   

With careful resolve, Fu lifted the hatch again, only slightly at first, peeked and listened, then lifted it further until it was perpendicular to the deck – don’t be lettin’ it slam down, Fu! – and stepped up onto the ladder’s highest rung. The he heard the footsteps and a suspicious male voice: “Who’s there?” As quickly as he could, Fu stepped down a rung, pulled the hatch over his head, crouched down at the same time, and just managed to close the hatch. In doing so, however, his hands lost the support that holding the trapdoor had provided. The wizard’s body lost balance, and his right hand only just about managed to grab the ladder and safe himself from falling. During this manoeuvre, Fu heavily banged the back of his head against the hatch above. At exactly the same moment, a heavy boot stepped onto the hatch. Someone was standing almost directly on Fu’s head! And this head was now throbbing.

As silently as he could, Fu climbed down the ladder. The hatch remained closed – the wearer of the boot hadn’t noticed anything. But the wizard felt dizzy. His hand went to his pounding skull. There appeared to be no blood, but this had been a grave bang. Hardly knowing what he was doing, Fu went down on all fours. Away from that hatch, he thought. The wizard crawled to what seemed to him to be the furthest corner of the room, and slumped behind a row of fat tubs. The knapsack was still strapped to his back, but the wizard didn't notice. Bitter bile came up through his throat. Fu didn’t have the power to control his body, and released the meagre contents of his stomach right where he sat. He hoped he hadn’t made a lot of noise, but that was almost the last thing he could think. Weakened from the events of the day, from lack of food and water, and from a severe blow to his head, the spellblower lost consciousness.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on January 31, 2009, 03:26:00 AM
Mallorix was sent to load a few crates into the cargo hold. By then, the rumors had spread and none of the sailors dared to go into "The Haunted Hold."
The sailors found out which hold it was because a sailor saw a ghostly form floating up the ladder before he slammed the trapdoor shut.
Mallorix took one of the crates on the deck, and went down into the cargo hold, as he was curious and wanted to know why the ghost was on the ship.
When he opened the hatch, a foul smell suddenly hit his nose. He continued down, and put down the crate.
Mallorix decided to find the source of the smell, even if it was nothing.
He looked around, and saw a silhouette in the far corner. Someone was hiding there!
Was it a ghost?
*It has the knapsack strapped to its back!*
Mallorix decided, whatever the risk, to approach the hiding person.
He discovered a small man who has just lost the contents of his stomach. The man was sleeping, and he looked malnourished.
Mallorix decided that somehow this person could become invisible.
Suddenly, being on the ship was a lot more interesting then it was before.
He decided that the only thing that was safe to do was leave food and water.
Mallorix had saved a small bit of food from his meager breakfast, and he also carried an extra canteen of water.
He left them on a crate next to the small man, and left.
He loaded a few more crates into the hold, and then told the sailors:
"The hold is full, and I met no ghosts."
One of the sailors said:
"Well, we're not going into the damp cargo holds any more. All of the cargo has been loaded by this shift. All the work left is on the deck."
Mallorix started working again, thinking about the small man.
Why was he here?
How did he hide himself!?
Mallorix decided to keep his discovery a secret, for now.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on February 02, 2009, 08:30:35 PM
   Captain Fjorwek stood on the quarterdeck of the Southern Arrow, his legs slightly apart and his hands clasped behind his back.  “They should be here soon,” he thought to himself as he gazed across at the quay.  The early morning fog had rolled back a little, leaving behind wispy strands of mist hanging in the air.  The captain had sent a small cutter to pick up his expected passengers, though he himself had stayed on board the main ship.
   “Ah, good morning!” he said heartily to a rather rotund, bald man.
   “Good morning, sir,” Doctor Jorek replied, lifting his hand to his forehead as he did so.  “Have our guests arrived yet?”
   “No, not yet, doctor; though I expect them any moment now.”  The captain returned his gaze to the quay, a slightly impatient look hanging on his clean-shaven face.
   “Good morning, doctor,” a new, huskier voice said, “Why, that red really suits you, though I’m not sure your jacket goes with it.”
   “Ah, thank you, lieutenant!  The blood doesn’t show so much on a red shirt!  But what do you mean about my jacket?  There’s not a colour that goes as well with red as this green!”
   The captain turned his attention back to the doctor and his garish clothing.  “Hmm, it is rather bright, though, doctor.”
   “Good morning, sir!”  Lieutenant Ustaskjan said with a sharp salute.
   “Good morning, lieutenant.  I trust you’re ready to receive our guests?”
   “Yes, sir; you can leave them to me to take care of, sir!”
   “Erm, I thought I would be working with some of them, too?”  Doctor Jorek said a little sheepishly.  The captain chuckled slightly.  “But of course, doctor!  I didn’t forget you.  I’m sure that they have much to learn from one as qualified as yourself.  But look!  I think I see them now!”  The captain pointed to a small group of people that had just exited from a horse-drawn carriage.  “Yes,” he said with satisfaction, “that must be them; I’d recognise that carriage anywhere!”
   Captain Fjorwek was quite right.  The horse and carriage that Jorn Ranskjun had provided to escort his guests had arrived at the quay, and the adventure-bound individuals were being ushered aboard the cutter.
   “Ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding,” the ship’s bell rang out clearly in the warm, morning air.
   “Ah!  Precisely on time!  Look, here they come!” the captain said joyfully as he watched the cutter skim across the harbour towards his ship.

   First Mate Udghrin groaned slightly when she heard the eighth bell; it was time to get up!  Still, wasting no time, she rolled out of her cramped bunk and began yelling at the men around her to shift their lazy backsides.
   Soon, she was hard at work, supervising her watch as they busied about their various tasks.  Most of them were good men, and hard-working, too.  There would always be a few rotten apples, though; trouble-makers, idlers, or maybe even rebellious types.  They all had to be kept in line, and it was Udghrin's job to do just that.  She’d already singled out a few potential problem hands.  One of them was fresh meat, a ‘lubber that had somehow found his way onto her watch.  Sure, he was strong enough, but he had a lot to learn.  He’d already started spreading some nonsense about the ship being haunted.  Yes, he had the look of trouble about him, alright.
   Just then, she noticed the man in question.  He looked a little lost, like he didn’t know what he ought to be doing.
   “You there!”  she shouted to him.  “G’t down that ‘old there ‘n mek sure the cargo’s packed proper!”  She pointed to the cargo hold that was supposedly haunted.  “Then when yer’ve finished with that, come ‘n see me fer somethink more ter do!  I won't 'av no skivin' on my watch!”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on February 04, 2009, 03:57:32 AM
Mallorix came out of the cargo hold, after being yelled at by that nasty looking woman. He went back to her, as she yelled something that sounded like:
"Go into that hold and pack the cargo in a nice pretty stack. Come back to me so I can yell at you in some strange sailor dialect and tell you to do something. I don't want anyone slacking off on my watch!"
Finally, he was finished. Mallorix thought:
*I probably won't understand a thing*
Mallorix went to her and said:
"Well, I'm here. What are you going to tell me to do now?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on February 04, 2009, 05:25:02 AM
Fionn hopped off the cart that had brought her to the docks, her working eye wide and glittering with excitement. She’d been down to the docks before, but the constant forest of masts prevented her from seeing anything much of the sea. Now was little different, but she knew soon she’d be beyond the harbour and out in the proper actual sea.

She’d woken early, unable to sleep with speculation about the adventure ahead, and it had occurred to her (in the way that such things occur when you’re staying in a strange house, awake in the early hours of the morning and listening to silence) that there would be animals living in the sea. Everyone knows, fish grow to fit the pools they live in. The sea is supposed to be absolutely huge, so how big will the fish be?

Rummaging in her pockets had yielded nothing appropriate for making an anti-being-eaten-by-giant-fish talisman, but an enquiry before setting off in the morning had unearthed a long slither of gnacker shell, which she was now industriously chipping at with her knife. It already had the sinuous, flowing shape she wanted, and she was halfway through the details when the cart stopped.

Hopping down, she looked around, wondering if she was the first arrival – the others had, after all, been talking about packing luggage and making provisions for animals, something which Fionn had no need for – everything she owned that didn’t fit in her pockets was stowed in a small bag, with plenty of room to spare.

Looking around, it appeared a couple of people had arrived. Fionn flashed an excited grin at them, and continued with her carving, wriggling her toes in the morning air.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on February 04, 2009, 09:35:41 AM
It was only the sound of ringing in Ylva's ears that awoke her from her short short slumber during  the carriage journey.

 After the doctor had left the inn in the early hours of the morning, she'd been escorted back to the party by Jorn's servant. Sleep never appeared as Ylva lay awake for the rest of the night, the comfy bed only making her feel more out of place. Her brain felt fuzzy from lack of sleep, the ringing bell sound clearing it a bit. Still not having been able to track down a comb, her hair seemed determined to stage its daily morning rebellion and seek independence from Ylva's scalp.

Her eyes opened, and worn out looking big hazel eyes peered out at the world. Her nose smelt through the murky fog, the strange concoction of rotting seaweed and salt, that all old harbours seem to smell of. Her own thoughts cast her mind back into the realm of memories....of a different harbour...The last time, the only time, you were on a boat, you were arriving in Strata,  you hardly even spoke the language. Now two years later and you are leaving yet again....always moving, dancing and chasing after the dreamer as she just hints at her plans for you....perhaps you are going mad...look at're listening to voices inside you're head....

Ylva shook her head as if to rid herself of those thoughts, deciding that perhaps her lack of sleep had been very unwise. The petite woman ambled off the carriage with her stuff, spotting her fellow healer-in-arms Fionn. Ylva smiled back and nodded towards her, as she shuffled stuff around in her medical kit, checking that everything was accounted for. Strange metalic implements clanged against several large sticky jar of strange substances. Bags of petals and leaves lay squashed at the bottom. The roll of bandages had now unrolled and entwined itself with the silkel thread. Her long fingers became busy trying to untangle the mess, a rather sly but warm smile reached her lips as her strange voice called out amongst the foggy air towards the small fellow healer, “Ready to set sail?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Malavon Despana on February 04, 2009, 03:06:39 PM
It was morning , but Malavon stayed awoke great part of the night , was he excited about the jorney ?

Not one bit , for him kill a mage or getting paid to chase after children stories was the same , he never made false assumptions about himself , he was a killer , a sword for hire , sure he had a conscience that kept him from being a total assassin , but nevertheless he still was what he was ...
Emerald eyes looked around , men were carrying boxes into the ship , the time was drawing near , and the taught of having to voyage with this people , to trust them was sickening to Mal , he just didn´t like people ...

As a carriage arrived he saw the first two of his voyage companions , the little green creature and an older woman , shaking his head , he taught to himself " I wonder what use these two have ? Of course there must something more than meets the eye", taking Zaroc out , the dark sword gave gave strange glows as the morning sun hit her , passing a finger on the blade , Malavon watched sadly as a drop of blood hit the ground , "It seems were destined to fight again , you didn´t stayed cleaned for very long old friend ...".

Putting back his sword into the hilt , Malavon walked slowly towards the two women and approaching them he said " Good morning , it seems we are the first to arrive no ? "
Truth be told , Malavon was the first to arrive , after all he spent the night next to the boat , so the aspect he presented was far from , how to say , good ...

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Koka Bentarm on February 04, 2009, 09:53:03 PM
Koka clambered out of the carriage that Jorn had graciously provided. Her belongings were gathered in the knapsack on her shoulder - with some arrows from Jorn's armoury added. Her bow she carried habitually in her left hand, while her right hand grabbed the strings of the knapsack. The elbow throbbed a little bit, but she assumed that it had to do with the fog that was retreating, so it should be fine soon enough.

What was not fine was the sight of all the ships gathered in the harbour here, one bigger than the other, and she just knew that they were going to board the biggest one. She had slept tolerably well, and she had stuck to one brandy last night so she did not have her usual morning headache, which was probably just as well. If she had to add a throbbing head to her throbbing arm and throw that at the sight of the ships, she would not be able to actually board the damned thing. On the other hand though, if she had had enough brandy that she was still drunk, it might have helped her fluttering nerves. She decided then and there that she did *not* like ships.

She joined the others who were already waiting at the quay for the moment they could actuall get on board. She was just in time to hear one of the women in the party ask the small mullog girl if she was ready to set sail. Koka almost grumbled that she most certainly was not, but decided at the last moment that since the question was not directed at her, she shouldn't answer it. Instead, she looked over the companions that had arrived already. The prickly-tempered man that she didn't like was there, as well as the mullog and the foreign-looking woman with her fancy necklace (though she didn't appear to be wearing it now). The latter had quite a head full of hair that seemed to have a will of its own. Setting her bow down next to her foot, she took her knapsack and rummaged in it for a moment. Her hand emerged holding an ivory comb, a two-sided one. One side had large pins, to get the worst tangles out of hair (or a beard), the other side's pins were quite a lot more elegant and served for the finer work, the finishing touches - in her case, usually the braiding.

However, she did not take the comb out for herself, since she had meticulously checked the small braids in her hair and they still seemed to be fine. Rather, she extened the comb towards the foreign woman. With her typical bluntness, she said: "Here, use this. You look like you could use it." It was not maliciously meant, on the contrary, but it came out rather more insultingly than she meant. The wink that she added to her words might or might not help to soften the words.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on February 05, 2009, 02:59:06 AM
“Ready to set sail?”

Fionn looked up from her carving, smiled widely and nodded at Ylva. As the woman rummaged in her bag, Fionn caught the familiar scents of various medicines, and found herself wondering for the first time just how dangerous this could be. Quite apart from giant sea monsters and faraway lands, this was a bunch of people who’d never met, and who were definitely not all as agreeable as you might hope.  Her point was underlined by the approach of a moody-looking man she recognised from last night.

"Good morning, it seems we are the first to arrive no?"

The amulet was finished. She held it up to the early morning light, and tested the point against her thumb. It was a fishhook, shaped like a great angular sea serpent, serrated fins forming the perfect edge for catching and holding a fish. With a practiced movement she looped a piece of twine around it, and set it in the palm of her hand.

“Yeah, I guess. Sorry, mister, I didn’t catch your name last night. I’m Fionn.”  

She flashed him a sharp-toothed grin, before taking off her headscarf (the yellow one, with the silver ‘broidery round the edges)  and used it to polish the amulet.

The dwarf (Koka? maybe.)had arrived when she looked up, and was talking to Ylva, offering a comb (what an effort people put into hair! We’re well out of that.).

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on February 06, 2009, 12:39:08 PM
She'd never slept better in her life. ...Alright, that was an exaggeration, but exaggeration was Rhia's middle name. After her orgy with the wine, her brain was more than ready to shut down once on the pillow -Ah, and a soft, sumptuous pillow it was.

Yet, in the morning, how could she feel so completely and utterly different from last night? Her illness was very serious, and she almost thought she would die from it- throbbing, aching head, infinitely thirsty mouth and throat, fast pulse, and sweaty hands. And worse- when she'd gotten up to get dressed, she found that the light hurt her eyes, stabbed them as if cruel knives. This, she believed, meant that she was going blind, only to realize that her sight was staying the same and not decreasing. Even standing made her stomach roil and pitch, just like the sea she grew up by. Even now Rhia realized that the second half of the night, she did not sleep as deeply as the first. What on earth was this strange and terrible illness? In a second she knew that it must have been that last piece of beef she had wolfed down. Of course! It was so obvious. So... Obviously the lesson was, Never eat beef from this part of the country.

She gathered her bags and stepped out of the carriage that had taken her to the quay, and her increasingly bad mood lightened a little. It was warm, (after all, it was the month of the Burning Heavens). The clearing fog hinted at a whitish blue sky beyond, and though the air was a bit damp, it was clearly drying up, which cheered up Rhia even more. The last thing she wanted was for her panpipes and lute to warp. She began to heave her bags up, only to realize that Hoof was not there to carry the load for her. They dropped heavily to the ground.

Hoof. She'd left him in Uncle Jorn's stables. On her way out, she'd taken a look back at the brown donkey. Dirt brown, and might as well be worth it. But nonetheless, in all the songs that had partings in them, the parting parties always had tender farewells. Rhia had figured that she could do no worse, and, her expression softening, had walked back over to him. Kneeling, she scratched behind his ear. "Goodbye, Hoof. Only time will tell if I'll live to see y-" Her soft, dramatic farewell was jerked to a halt by a sudden, incredibly painful pain in the hand on Hoof's ear. She knew that pain. It came from a certain ungrateful miserable (expletives) worthless pelt of dirt that I never should have bought. Now that was definitely not the way goodbyes went in all the old ballads. When would life get it right for once and go along with what the ballads said?

Rhia was weak from labor for the traveling R'unorian performing group the previous year, but she had only one bag to carry, so she found little difficulty carrying it. Besides, she was traveling light for this journey: a few pairs of riding breeches and tunics, one kirtle, waterskins, and her instruments, as well as a few other bare necessities (you know- comb, hair trappings, underclothes, et cetera et cetera et cetera). The rest of her belongings were left at Uncle Jorn's estate, where he would store them until her return (her magnificent, glory-stuffed return, must never ever forget that).

So she lugged -ahem, took, for surely Rhia never lugged- her bundle onto the wharf, where she spotted several others from the night before. She arrived in time to see the bushy-bearded dwarf offer the rather weary-looking woman a comb -Odd, a male dwarf noticing a female's hair condition- though she could not hear what was being said. Approaching the two was Sir Despana. All three looked rather bleary. (Perhaps they too had eaten some of the beef last night.)

The ships in the harbor were a familiar sight. They and the salty air finally hit Rhia, bringing with it memories of home- performing the panpipes for Father, playing Baveras' Will with Seli as a child. Composing songs by the fickle, mercurial sea. Not all were pleasant, though. Not all, indeed. Some brought dark thoughts of Mother.

Ack! Why did Mother always have to come up in her thoughts? Didn't she invade her life enough in R'unor? To an onlooker, Rhia's grey eyes might have seemed to churn angrily, not unlike the frothy sea. What with the curious beef illness, and angry thoughts of her Mother, Rhia's head felt about ready to split open. Angry. Anger. Frustration. She had never been particularly good at recognizing and dealing with her emotions, but she distinguished this one easily enough. She didn't want her adventure, possibly the only adventure that might occur in her life, to start out this way. Humming a few bars of a song, itching to take her panpipes out of her bag, Rhia tried to make her feelings dissipate. Grey eyes, framed by thick lashes, momentarily closed against the harsh morning sun that peered through the fog.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on February 07, 2009, 03:56:28 AM
The small healer's beaming grin answered to Ylva's query perfectly. The hobbit creature seemed to be looking forward to this adventure, more than the murmillion anyway, whose apprehension and worries still rumbled around in her stomach. Another one of the group made their way towards them, Ylva spotted him sheathing a rather sharp looking short sword made out of black iron, nice sword, seems to fit the man who likes to sculk in corners...Jorn said his name was...Malavon? "Good morning, it seems we are the first to arrive no?"
Ylva just nodded, his somewhat friendly greeting had put the woman a bit off balance, she'd been expecting a more mystic and enigmatic introduction from the man. Fionn was introducing herself to the man, as Ylva spotted the dwarf from last night, Koka?...Jorn called the dwarf that, making his way towards them.

 The dwarf seemed to be looking through his bags for something. Ylva had finished separating the silkel thread and bandages. As they were being placed neatly back inside her satchel, a comb suddenly came floating into Ylva's line of sight. Her big eyes looked up to see that it was being offered to her by the dwarf, Koka. "Here, use this. You look like you could use it."

Ylva's eyes examined the comb for a moment, as if it was going to jump out the dwarf's hand and attack her in the face. But it just seemed like a normal comb, a rather beautiful ivory comb, but still just a comb all the same. Strange for him to be carrying such a pretty comb...The murmillion took the comb out the dwarf's hand, “Erm....Thank you. Koka, is it? I'm Ylva.”

Ylva's brow frowned in frustration as she managed to pull out all the tangles and knots, and suppress her hair's resistance enough to get it to go back into a neat bun. Or as close to a neat bun as Ylva could manage, before she passed the comb back to the dwarf. Another of the guests from last night arrived, this time the young girl, who Jorn had referred to as Rhia, Strange, seems like only yesterday I was her age....though I never had hair as pretty as that...she looks in need of a hangover cure...don't want her being sick on the deck....

The murmillion pulled herself up onto her feet. Due her height being precisely 1 Ped, 1 Fore, 2 Palmspans and 4 Nailsbreadths, this didn't make her look very imposing. She turned towards the young woman, “Bad head ache?” she suggested while raising one of her eyebrows at her in curiousity.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Hylphán on February 07, 2009, 04:39:31 PM
Hylphán had thoroughly enjoyed the night in a "real" bed.  He had not slept that comfortably in a long while.  Even so, it may have been the unfamiliarity of luxurious accommodations that woke him early the next morning, just before daybreak.  He was not surprised to find a servant outside his door inquiring if he would like a hot bath and some breakfast.
     After reveling in a hot bath and getting dressed,he was escorted by the servant to a small (by Jorn's standards) dining room where he broke his fast with some eggs, several steaming hot, very spicy sausages, and  a selection of fresh fruits - several of which he tucked in the bag at his side for later.
     Hylphán went back to his room, where all his belongings had been delivered the night before, and unpacked and inventoried everything - including the two quivers of fine arrows he had aquired from Jorn's armory.  The clothing he had asked for had been folded up neatly on the table in the corner, and he packed them in his bag, deciding to dress in his seafaring clothing for the trip.  Everything he deemed unnecessary for this trip he packed in a separate bag and left on the bed.  He knew the servants would store the items for him.
     Eventually everyone else had been roused, bathed and fed, as the mood struck them, and they were ready to board the coach for the harbor.  Hylphán got a different view of the others this morning.  The older woman was definitely having a bad hair day, and the younger one was obviously regretting last night's repast.  The dwarf seemed to get a little skittish after arriving at the harbor,not surprisingly.  He knew many dwarves were hesitant about sea voyages, something about not being able to feel the earth firmly beneath their feet made them nervous.  Malavon had been on the pier when the coach arrived, waiting for the rest, or so it seemed.
     Hylphán was ready to get to sea again, even though he had just arrived by boat the day before.  There was nothing like the smell of fresh salt spray in your face and the wind in your hair!  And this time he would be a passenger, something he was unaccustomed to.  It would give him time to do a few carvings on the trip.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Royce Brodlyn Kristoph on February 08, 2009, 12:02:52 AM
As the carriage rumbled along, provided by Ranskjun, Royce's head kept nodding forward slowly, then with a quick jerk that brought him out of his nap, making him sit up straight and glancing about to see if the other guests had noticed.  This had happened a few times in the relatively short trip from Ranskjun's house to the harbour.

Royce had gotten next to no sleep the night before.  By the time he had transferred Manowar, Dani and the hound Jayupp from the stables at the inn to Ranskjun's stables, it had started to get very late late.  Then, worse, he had tried to leave, wanting to get some sleep in the big house, but every time he tried, Jayupp would start to howl, forcing him to calm the animal.  He dared not just walk away, for he knew his companions on this quest would appreciate the howling as much as the innkeeper did.  And the gods knew how long he was going to be stuck with them.  Best not to start off on the wrong foot.

So, Royce's night had been spent curled up in a pile of straw in the stables, which might not have been so bad, as he had spent many a night in worse places.  However, it seemed as though the hound had known that Royce had planned to leave him, and kept licking Royce's face with his long slobbery tongue every time the man started to slumber.

Still, and Royce shuddered at the memory, that was not the worst part of the night.  In the wee hours of the morning, Royce had a visitor.  At first he had assumed the hound had woken someone, but no, that was not it at all.  Through the stable doors, carrying a large bottle of brandy, was Arnanra, the woman from last night.  Together they shared a drink, just to keep off the night chill, then another, and another.  Then, with each sip, Royce noticed a very strange thing.  Arnanra began to shapeshift, becoming more and more attractive.  She was a witch, it would seem, and she bewitched him, muddling his mind and making him do horrible things, as for one thing led to another and....

The carriage came to a stop and Royce hurriedly climbed out and rushed to the wharf.  Dropping to his knees, he threw his head out over the water, and emptied his stomach.  The smell of stale alcohol only made him retch more.  This was not how he had envisioned starting the trip.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on February 11, 2009, 04:42:41 AM
Before the moody-looking man could reply, a few more people turned up, the latter of which left the cart at a commendable pace, managing to reach the quayside just in time to enrich the waters.

Fionn sighed, and stood up, rummaging in pockets, giving Ylva a good-naturedly resigned look, and muttering, half to herself, “and so it begins…“  scurrying across, she stepped quietly up to the man, who she remembered from last night as Royce, and offered him a flask of water to wash his mouth out, having to stand on tiptoe to get the bottle within his line of sight. She also absent-mindedly caught a hold of the back of his shirt, as she’d seen people follow their lost lunches off balconies, down steps, even off bridges, and didn’t greatly fancy fishing a man who looked to be three times her size and weight out of the sea.

“You look terrible, in my professional opinion. Here, have some water and I hope to the Ancestors you don’t get seasick, ‘cos I’m all out of nausea remedies.”  

She half turned back to the others, and rolled her eyes at Ylva with a mischievous grin.
“I don’t s’pose you’ve got anything on hand, Miss Ylva?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on February 11, 2009, 01:09:44 PM
Ylva hadn't noticed as one of the fellow passengers had gone running towards the side of harbour to deposit the rest of last night's meal. Her ears vaguely heard something in the background,  “Ancestors you don’t get seasick, ‘cos I’m all out of nausea remedies.”

“I don’t s’pose you’ve got anything on hand, Miss Ylva?”

“Hmm?” Came the sound from the woman's mouth, as her head whipped round like lightning to see Fionn grinning mischievously at her. Next to the small one, was Royce, oh, look its the more-dangerous-brownies guy....and he appears to be emptying his entire stomach contents into the ocean.....

“Oh.” Was all the only word that accompanied the intake of this new information into Ylva's brain.....some bloody healer I am, not noticing that....... Ylva quickly scrambled through her pack, tossing things out the way, including the following; a strange pair of metal pliers, a glass jar of moth's wings, a rather sad looking squashed bunch of leaves, a ragged old notebook with blood stains on it, and a small wooden box which actually contained a living Drape-Silk spider that Ylva had affectionately named Hildegarde, after her mother.

Waterstar? no that's a laxative, Nightshade, no, Crimson rose?, ah Dreamer's Breath, that'd help, but how am I going to brew tea out here? Deer Tree, no. Falserock......hmm...ah Ginger....

Ylva knelt down next to Fionn as she held up a small rumpled bag of crystallized ginger and a strange blackened lump in her long bony fingers, before placing them on the ground in front of her, “Falserock, to stop pain in stomach. Ginger, to stop seasickness.”

This was the first time Ylva had got the chance to take a good look at Fionn in daylight. She didn't seem to be a hobbit, though Ylva still wasn't sure what she was. The female appeared to be bald under her headscarf, and had dark scarring across one side of her face. Curious, but now is not the time to ask about it. Ylva glanced over at the puking figure, “Best let him get rid of it before trip.”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: KaskaChee on February 11, 2009, 10:22:36 PM
The rays of daylight slowly became strong enough to pierce the depths of the cargo hold, and roused the yellow-white rat from its untroubled sleep.  The animal's delicate pink nose twitched, once, twice, its whiskers trembling as if they were touched by the lightest of breezes.  Devil-Red eyes opened suddenly, and it stretched, moving gently off its still-sleeping mistress and stepping silently away in search of a tasty morcel or two.

Kaska woke with a jolt, the kind of jolt you get when you didn't really want to fall asleep in the first place and as soon as you wake enough to realise you were asleep, the shock spurs your mind into full consciousness.  The ugly little Brownie jumped immediately up, searching for the danger her body had already begun reacting to, and then cramp seared through her left foot.  Letting out a tiny little cry she hopped up and down on the right one, mumbling a hissing stream of curses towards her foraging mount and shaking her left foot vigorously to encourage the blood back into it.  As the pain gradually died, she turned her attention back to the room, the memories of last night rushing back to her.

Where was the noisy-breathed God-Man?  Kaska froze, regretting the tiny noises she had been making.  Had they woken him?  But no...they were barely louder than the creak of the boat beneath them and the slapping of the waves on the sides.  The movement had surely given her a really restful feeling, as she would never normally sleep as deep as she had.  The rocking was..well, comforting in some ways.  But this was no time to get side-tracked.  Where was he? And what was that horrible smell?  It was...pungent, acidic, with food-like overtones.  It reminded her of toilets at the back of taverns which were so dirty even she would avoid them, or the occasional heap of particularly revolting waste she would find in the sewers. The Brownie moved quietly around the side of the large crate, poking her head out briefly before pulling back.  When she spotted his still form, she let out a breath of relief and stepped fully into the increasingly-light area between the boxes.

That was where the smell was coming from - the inert human.  She moved closer, investigating.  Well, at least she could now tell what that smell was - human vomit.  It smelt different to Brownie vomit in her opinion, or at least different to her own.  Possibly it was their diet, based on bread and milk products.  Strange.  He seemed to have thrown up and then fallen into it.   God-Man was ill!  Really badly ill.  He needed help, and she really didn't have a lot of herbs and healing things to help him.  She would have to go find some, as quickly as possible.  Perhaps there would be supplies in the crates?  It seemed unlikely, as she hadn't smelt anything other than food and drink, and medicines would be too precious to leave down here, wouldn't they?  These humans could be weird.  But she should trust her nose, and that meant searching elsewhere.

Kaska quickly began to look for a way out of the room, something other than the heavy, immovable hatch.  The light streaming in to the little room gave reminded her to look upwards.  The window! Maybe she would be able to force it open in some way, perhaps the glass was loose in its frame.  She looked at the distance between the top of the crate and the indent around the frame.  It was too far for her to jump, not without the serious possibility of missing and breaking several of her precious limbs.  Her sharp eyes quickly picked out the lightest source of rope in the room....the thick black hair growing out of the God-man's head.

The little Brownie scampered back to where she had inadvertently fallen asleep and picked up the dagger and pack which had been left there, taking them back beside the unconscious man.  One oversized hand began rooting in the bottom of the bag, removing a small, flattened stone and a worn piece of leather.  Picking up the blade, she sharpened the already-lethal blade for a few minutes, before replacing the tools.  She stepped carefully and silently up to the black-haired human, manouevering herself so that she could easily reach the lock of hair above his left ear which was protruding from his green felt hat.  Kaska pulled the lock straight outwards, not tugging, but holding it tightly for the next step.  The dagger flashed out and cut the whole lock as close to the roots as she could.  Black hairs toppled into her fingers and she snatched them up.

The Rat Brownie settled herself down beside another crate and laid the shining black lengths on the floor nearby.  Her delicate, dexterous hands picked up the strands one by one and quickly wove and twisted them together so they gradually turned from separate pieces into one long rope.  Well, not that long, because the God-Man didn't have very long hair, but long enough to help her reach the window.  Talking the long black rope and tucking the dagger into a strip of cloth around her hips, she clambered up onto the box which was nearest to the glass.  The Brownie tied one end of the hair string tightly to the handle of the dagger, aimed carefully at a point just under the window, and threw the spike-like weapon as hard as she could into the splintering wood.

She shinnied up the rope and pulled herself onto the ledge she was aiming for.  Another hissing curse announced her discovery that the window was well fitted and its glass immovable.  But, what was this?  There were moving shapes on the harbour bank, people, big people.  Kaska couldn't really see much through the poor quality glass with its bumps and deformations, but she could pick out the figures as blurs of colour.   One of them rushed from a larger, squarer blur, a sort of brownish hue, towards the blue mass of the water.  Was he vomiting?  Kaska thought so.  After a few moments another vertical blur approached him, handing something over?  She thought so.  Her redish eyes flickered from the distorted scene to the God-Man, and then back again.  Was that a cure?  A remedy?  It was worth investigation at least.  If she could get out of this room.

A sudden squeaking from down at the corner of the room drew her gaze - her white mount had found another less tame rat.  Of course!  The tunnels!  There must be rats all over this rich boat, making tunnels just the right size for her to creep through.  Quickly she gathered up her belongings and clambered down onto the floor again.  But then she paused.  What would the God-Man do if he woke up and was still ill?  He could panic, or try and go out to search for help, and if she didn't give him the help then he wouldn't agree to show her how he did the magic.  How could she let him know that she was on the case?  Kaska took up her dagger once more, and began to scratch deep into the wooden floor.  She made three of the sacred runes that the Brownie Shaman used to record really important things, the ones which the spirits could read too.

(I/Me/Kaska) (fetch/find/gather/collect) (healing vegetation)

If he couldn't read them, then the god or spirit that gave him those powers would be able to tell him what they meant.  She paused, and after a second's thought scrawled a crude drawing below them with a little stick figure of her holding some herbs.  Ok, so the herbs were a little too big in proportion to make them recognisable as plants, but it was the best she could really do scratching into the wood.  She'd done it as close to his head as possible, without actually being in the vomit. 

Hoping that God-Man would be pleased with her efforts, she picked up everything and scurried into the tunnel, whistling for her rat to follow her.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on February 12, 2009, 08:41:28 AM
"Bad headache?"

Seli? Seli! Rhia's eyes unshuttered, flying open. THe woman standing before her was not, as she had hoped, her sister, but rather the woman who had been approached with a comb. And yet, the wry but kind voice was so similar, so soft like her sister's!...

First thoughts of Mother, then Father's favorite song, now Seli. Why, it's a whole family reunion inside my head. ...Don't they know that I have a hard enough time keeping track of what goes on in there already?

Rhia faced the woman and tried to smile. "Yes." Now she discovered a new difficulty. It seemed that her tongue was no longer willing to do as she wanted and had broken into open rebellion. It was heavy and thick in her mouth and tripped her up even as she spoke that simple word. "The beef really got to me. By the way, I'm Rhia..." She trailed off and watched as the woman rushed, fiddling with items in her bag, to a man - the man who had been concerned about his animals (Baveras, but I've got to find something else to call him than these annoying little description names)- with his head over the dock's edge. By his side was the small, child-like creature -Alright, really really have to quit this habit. It's getting very annoying-, who had called the woman over. Sounds carried unpleasantly and clearly over the air, leaving no doubt as to what was going on between the man, his stomach, and the sea.

The woman who had spoken momentarily to Rhia called out orders for something... plantish-sounding. She caught the word "waterstar" but no more. Waterstar... The flower of Baveras. She wondered what part it played in their conversation, then sent up a brief prayer to Baveras at the thought of the goddess.

Rhia studied the woman. She had accepted the dwarf's comb and had now reined her dark hair into an unforgiving bun. She looked more professional now -Rhia rather suspected that she had an official job of some sort- but Rhia thought, as she watched her intently, that she rather liked her better when her hair was down. Well, perhaps a compromise. A braid, or half-ponytail, perhaps? ...Rhia decided to bring it at a time when the woman was less busy.

Now she noticed that although they were tired, the woman's caramel-brown, hazel eyes were also kind. The shadows underneath them and the dark, thick eyebrows above only magnified them and made their color even more lovely. If first appearances were anything to go by, Rhia was already quite fond of the woman... even though she didn't even know her name yet!

Rhia's head throbbed again, and she grimaced. Where was Jorn, wasn't he going to see them off? What were they waiting for?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Malavon Despana on February 12, 2009, 12:13:50 PM
As the rest of the group started to arrive , Malavon patience was growing thin , not only they took their sweet time to arrive but some of them were still feeling the hangover from the night before , namely Royce and Rhia , was he supposed to trust these people , someone that didn´t have the professionalism to appear at least sober ?

Seeing as the older woman that Jorn called Ylva offering them something for their aches , Malavon narrowing his eyes taught to himself "Now I get it , an healer , well we will be needing those , and look it seems the hobbit Fionn is also one , for they sake , they best be curing them with potions and not with magic , I have seen clerics use it before and maybe these one can too i´d hate to see burn before the trip begins ..."

Now this something Malavon didn´t ask before , what if mages were in the group ?
Of course Jorn knew how Malavon became known for , but nonetheless .. observing the group , nothing in them made him think otherwise , but just to be sure he promised himself to look more carefully the healer ...
Approaching Ylva , he asked "Maybe I can help , I have seen many times how the healers work , too many times ...", his voice was colder than he expected but he already said before he could retract himself ...

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Valyssa on February 12, 2009, 06:33:38 PM
It was not uncommon for the mercenary to be up before daybreak, yet somehow the comforts of an actual bed had kept her there much longer than customary. Evidently Jorn had sent a carriage to take Jen to the docks, a luxury the warrioress was not frequently afforded. There had been much she had intended to do in these early hours but with the vehicles arrival she was now stressed for time, even with being well rested. Luckily the Remusian had gone to bed prematurely after putting Gorgoth to respite in the stables and setting out her equipment in an orderly fashion on the floor.

Just as she had done for near two decades the Swiftsword set about arming herself. Beginning with her feet she laced on leather boots, snapping each clasp of her armor as she worked from tiny feet to her petite waistline. It was not distinct from any other day she had spent in the garrison; minus the fact Injera had already nurtured its radiance. Like clockwork Jenlyn strapped the remaining pieces of her armaments over the nor’sidian jerkin taking a few blinks to tighten and check each clasp with expertise. Although it was an extraordinary lavishness the Remusian even paused a few moments to brush her lengthy locks with the recently acquired comb.

With a resolute admonishment she nonchalantly gathered the saddlebags, containing the remainder of her gear from the headboard. A whimsical smiled splayed over her supple lips as stormy gray eyes wandered over the comfortable bed she had slept in. Jenlyn could not recall a time such generous quarters could be called her own, nor was she disillusioned into thinking they would be hers again in the near future. A memory best held for a sweltering night in the drizzling rain whilst sitting under the moon awaiting the coming of her enemies. With the image stowed away in her mind Jen slung the bags over an armored shoulder, marching towards the door and the first leg of the journey. 

The little trip in the carriage left Jen to contemplate the identical issues that had plagued her dreams the night previous. Who was to be respected enough to make decisions? Although the elderly man had spiked her angst with his words of doubt, they were not ones to be ignored either. He had made valid points and were not ideas she did not share with him, she had led men before and carried similar doubts about those under her command. Was he to be looked at for leadership? Jorn seemed to view him in such a light.

What of Koka? The diminutive man seemed well versed in the ways of the hunt. Such skills were invaluable in many ways, he could find quarry when needed, even food. It never hurts to know the number and direction of your adversary with the skill to kill them at range. Were his words only quotations of knowledge or earned under the harshness of reality? Jenlyn pondered the dwarf for a few moments more and reconciled that firsthand observations would be needed. But if the man were all that she perceived he would be a precious asset in the survival of the team as a whole.

Casually Jen peered out the window of the carriage the memory of the cold man with hollow eyes and bitter temper prancing about on the edges of her mind. Could or should he be trusted? Just because a man would kill on a moments notice, did not make him of value. Gingerly a calloused hand slid to respite upon the warsword on her hip, caressing the length of the hilt lovingly. Sometimes a killer was simply that, a soul without purpose murdering indiscriminately and at their leisure. Decidedly, he was to be watched, restrained or dispatched if necessary. Preferably, his bloodlust fell only on those deemed as foes, but there was no way to say that with assurance at this point.

The sight of Ciosa’s docks in the early morning was astonishing to say the least. They were a bustle of activity that would overwhelm the mind with their complexities. Near a hundred ships of a plethora of sizes, shapes and lands of origin, a veritable trading ground of the unusual and exotic.

Surprisingly the carriage came to a stop and a voice rang out from above declaring their arrival. The Remusian remembered a few others from the night prior but had drawn very little of their value to this journey. This morning and the coming days would be her chance to ascertain the importance of each to the expedition. Jorn might be arrogant, brash and a wee-bit self-centered but he had gained his worldly riches on a sharp mind. With that thought in hand Jenlyn stepped out of the vehicle and strode towards the gathering, all seemed to be awaiting the escort from port. Wandering eyes began to survey the magnificence of the ship in the distance but more acutely they studied those already gathered. Such a menagerie of people, it was difficult for the Swiftsword to consider the worth of some of them.

Standing near the edge of the dock Jenlyn cast them a smile and a light giggle before bowing graciously towards the crowd. The entire throng was enough to make Jen's snickers genuine and quite impossible to control. Even after rising to face them all, a petite hand lifted, stifling a wave of earnest merriment. The mercenaries pallid cheeks turning a robust hue of karikrimson.    

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on February 12, 2009, 07:57:18 PM
   Able Seaman Aimen watched with interest as the small group of passengers assembled on the quay.  It wasn’t a long journey over to them from the Southern Arrow, but it gave him enough time to observe one man, obviously a ‘lubber, spewing the contents of his guts into the harbour waters.  “Not a very good offering to make to Baveras before a sea-voyage,” he thought to himself darkly.
   Soon, the small cutter had moored up alongside the quay wall, and Able Seaman Aimem had clambered ashore.  Then, with a smile and a friendly voice, he addressed the small group.
   “Good morning!  I believe you’re travelling on behalf of Jorn Ranskjun aboard the Southern Arrow?  I’m Able Seaman Aimen, and I’ve been charged with escorting you over to meet Captain Fjorwek.  Please, gather your belongings and follow me.”
   Once everybody had got aboard, Aimen gave the order for departure, and the cutter was soon skimming across the harbour, propelled by six, skilled oarsmen.
   “Ah, here we are!”  Aimen said happily when the cutter pulled up alongside the magnificent Southern Arrow.  “Please, leave your luggage here; the men will bring it aboard presently.”  He then signalled that the first of the group should stand, and offered his assistance to help them climb the boarding ladder onto the main deck.  Once all the members of the group had boarded, he started organising the rowers to haul the luggage up after them.

   First Mate Udghrin pulled her shoulders back slightly, and lifted her head so that she could peer down her nose at this ignorant ‘lubber.
   “You took yer time, didn’t yer?  Yer lazy ‘lubber!  I ‘ope yer picks yer feet up, else I’ll ‘ave yer in irons afore the watch is out!  Now, go ‘nd ‘elp them other ‘lubbers with their luggage.”  She pointed to the group of passengers that had just clambered on board.  “Go on!  Don’ just stand there a-gawkin’ at ‘em!”

   Captain Fjorwek, Doctor Jorek, and Lieutenant Ustaskjan stood on the quarterdeck, watching the rapid approach of the cutter.  Once the small group of passengers had all arrived safely, and their luggage had been brought on deck, the captain gave the order to set sail.  Then, with both the doctor and lieutenant following close behind, he strode over to the rather bemused group of new arrivals.
   “Ah!  Good morning!” he said heartily.  “Welcome aboard!  I’m Captain Fjorwek, this is Doctor Jorek, and this is Lieutenant Ustaskjan!”  The doctor bowed deeply when his name was mentioned, and then doffed his hat.  Well, he would have doffed his hat, if he’d been wearing one; instead, he just made the motions.  The lieutenant snapped to attention, and saluted.  “I wonder, have you broken your fast yet?” the captain continued.  “We’d be more than happy to have you join us at my table!  We have much to discuss!  Come, follow me.  One of the men will bring your things, don’t worry.  You!” the captain pointed at Mallorix, “Bring that luggage to my table!  Yes, that’s right.  Now, would everybody follow me, please?  It’s right this way.”  The captain turned sharply, and started walking towards his quarters.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on February 13, 2009, 01:04:28 AM
Mallorix was sent to pick up the luggage of the passengers, with a very threatening remark from the woman in charge of the watch. He decided to act as servile as possible while he was on board the ship.
Mallorix said:
"Um, yes, right away ma'am. I'll do it very very quickly, yes, very quickly."
With those words he ran off and went to the small boat thing that he didn't have a name for that he went to the pier with. He jumped in, and rowed as quickly as possible to the pier. By then, Mallorix was extremely tired and he stopped for a moment to catch his breath on the pier. Then he quickly loaded the heavy luggage one by one on the small boat thing  and tried to row as quickly as possible back to the ship. Mallorix pulled at the oars, but the boat barley moved. He was sure if there was another person there it would be easier, but then he looked and saw how frighteningly close to the water the edge of the boat was. Mallorix suddenly started rowing three times faster, as it appeared the boat would sink if he stayed in it for too long. When he approached the huge ship, he called for someone to lift the boat out of the water. However, the boat was probably too heavy to lift, even with whatever devices they had on board. Mallorix climbed up the rigging, careful not to look down, and helped use the thing to lift the small boat. He unloaded the luggage, and carried it to the deck. Mallorix asked the seafaring woman:
"Do I put this in the hold, or do I bring it somewhere else ma'am?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Royce Brodlyn Kristoph on February 13, 2009, 12:48:23 PM
His stomach contents emptied, Royce spit a few times, trying to rid his mouth of the rancid flavours assailing him.  He felt a slight tugging on the back of his shirt, and noticed the diminutive bald girl from last nights supper.  He couldn't really tell what race she was, but it did not matter.  At the assertion that he looked terrible, Royce chuckled good naturedly, and took the water proffered.  He rinsed his mouth and spit the water into the sea.

He was aware of the other woman approaching as the two conversed briefly about remedies.  So, they were both healers.  That was good to know.  On a quest like this, they were bound to need the talents of these two.

"No, thank you, er Ladies?  But, this isn't the first time brandy has turned from lover to witch.   I prefer to suffer through it, in the vain hope that I'll remember this in the future and pass on it.  Save your tonics until we really need them."  He smiled at both healers.  He would have preferred to chat a moment, get to know them, but they were interrupted by a seaman calling them to.

"It appears our ride is here."  Royce then joined everyone else as they left the dock and were carried over to the Southern Arrow.  He was by far, no master of ship design, but he was impressed with the vessel.  What impressed him more so, was the greeting they got by the ships officers.  It appeared that the crew here, and its Captain, were well disciplined.  He obediently followed the Captain, after the invitation for breakfast.  Not that he planned on eating.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on February 14, 2009, 04:26:48 AM
Fu was still lying slumped against the wall in the cargo hold. Neither the sun-rays that now fell through the porthole on the opposite wall and suffused the room with a soft yellow light, nor the hustle and bustle on deck just a few ped above his head, woke the wizard’s exhausted body and drained spirit. While he slept …

… he was allowed to dance with Bronya. His daughter was small and one year old, just as she had been when he had last seen her, but she was standing upright and confidently on her little legs, without timidity or swaying. The little girl grabbed both of Fu’s hands with both of hers, greedy for the dance, and led him into a swirl of leaping legs, gracefully gesturing arms, and boisterous laughter. Round and round they went, submitting to the music that sang in their ears, dancing over soft grass, around kindly old trees, while they carefully and joyfully avoided stepping on any of the flowers whose red and blue and yellow faces looked up at the dancers, sharing their delight. The music was calm and powerful like waves rolling onto a sandy beach on a soft summer morning, and it was deep like a clear mountain lake whose bottom you could not see. The musician was another Fu, who sat on a stone, legs idly and comfortably crossed, and merrily blew into his flute, playing tunes more beautiful than an awake Fu ever could. The melody swooshed in strong, gentle waves and made the green grass sway, and made the tall trees bend, and it took the dancing pair up with its notes and bore them high into the air, above the tree tops, up into a the land of clouds.

Bronya laughed and sang and skipped about, effortlessly stepping on thin air. Fu’s heart leaped with joy at seeing his daughter happy. They danced around a friendly dense cloud, and found that behind it yet another Fu was waving to them. This one pointed at a round shape that floated next to him in the sky. It was a porthole. Fu and Bronya stuck their heads together to look through it, and they saw a wide landscape. Within it, a small figure was walking along a lonesome road, dragging his feet and hanging his head, visibly weary. The grass by the roadside towered over this wanderer – he was not much bigger than a rat. But the wanderer, also was Fu! He looked about him. Where was Bronya? He had lost her in the sky between the clouds! He tried to call out to her, but out of his throat came only a shrill pathetic squeak, as of a mouse in the claws of a cat. Wanderer-Fu began to cry. He had lost his daughter. Was the other Fu still with her? Would she be afraid, all alone among the clouds? When would he see her again?

Beside the road, on a tree trunk, another porthole opened. Wanderer-Fu looked through this one also: and saw (again!) himself, sitting at a desk illuminated by candlelight. Desk-Fu had abnormally large hands, and in his right he held a quill, writing something on a parchment. He appeared to have written three letters, but there were like no letters Fu had ever seen before. He could not understand their meaning. Fu stopped to rub his strained eyes. When he removed his fingers and looked at the parchment, he saw that a small porthole had appeared right below the third letters. Looking through it, he saw a sleeping Fu, slumped against a wall in the dark cargo hold of a ship. Desk-Fu shouted: "Fu, wake up, the ship is about to set sail! You must wake up and get back on land, Fu!” But Fu didn’t hear...

… and slept on and on and on, groaning in response to his feverish dreams.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on February 17, 2009, 04:49:26 AM
Fionn found her attention flickering from one thing to another, trying to take in the new people and surroundings. The air smelt of salt and fish and seaweed, among other things, but also slightly clearer and sharper than it had from the shore. The boat moved weirdly under her feet. The water looked completely different from what it was used to – darker but still blueish, and ruffled by constant, rhythmic movement.

She smiled and bowed politely to the captain, doctor (another one? Brilliant, this could be a real education), and the other members of he crew, before following them, along with the rest of the adventurers. Surrounded by the small crowd and dwarfed by them all, she turned her silvered gaze on them in turn, trying to remember names.

Royce looked peaky, but he’d be fine by lunch time. She just hoped they weren’t offering very greasy or pungent food for breakfast here or there’d be a mess… fish lay eggs, so do sailors eat them for breakfast? Urgh, I don’t know about Royce, I think I’d be ill if that’s what’s on offer.
no wait, we’ve treated seafarers before, they eat land food whenever they can get it. Don’t be stupid, Fionn. Who’d eat fish eggs!

Ylva was clearly experienced as a healer, and Fionn was keen to learn from her, as well as glad of the company of someone who seemed to have a decent stock of medicines – at her last check, Fionn had a few scraps of bandage, some ice plant that might or might not be going off, a fever reducer of dubious quality, and an assortment of dried mushrooms she really didn’t think were suitable for any of the assembled adventurers. Having no money made it hard to be a good doctor.

The moody looking man was an enigma wrapped in a pickle, and she wasn’t quite sure what to make of him, if anything at all. He had offered to help, which counted for a lot, but I was fairly sure Ylva and I could manage to look after one hung-over man by ourselves.

A slim-built man, no wait, he said he was an elf, though I can’t remember his name… the girl who looks not much older than myself (though all humans look a bit older when you view them from underneath), umm, Rhia? Something like that. The dwarf, very hairy and very neat – exactly my opposite. Dunno his name, though I’m sure I heard it, did it start with a K? the soldier lady, with pink armour. I really wasn’t paying much attention last night, was i? can’t remember many names.

She heard a noise from beneath her feet, a little like creaking wood, which wood make sense. It was just her over-exited imagination that sought out a human voice.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on February 17, 2009, 02:35:30 PM
"Maybe I can help , I have seen many times how the healers work , too many times ..." Ylva glanced over at Fionn, wondering what she thought of this offer of help. Ylva herself was a bit uneasy about the man. The murmillion was about to tell him that his help would not be needed, but was suddenly distracted by the sound of a stifled but distinctive giggle, Ylva looked round and raised her eyebrows at Jenlyn in bewilderment towards her attitude, she vaguely remembered the girl from the night before but now was beginning to feel that this girl was very different from her. I've never had the time or inclination to giggle....

The man called Royce finally seemed able to communicate, "No, thank you, er Ladies? But, this isn't the first time brandy has turned from lover to witch. I prefer to suffer through it, in the vain hope that I'll remember this in the future and pass on it. Save your tonics until we really need them." Ylva just nodded and gathered all her things back together, smiling slightly at Royce's choice of words, From lover to witch...hmm....he's had a worldly experience of life.....
Ylva turned back towards Malavon and shrugged, “Help or healers needed no more.” Unless he feels like carrying my stuff for me....that'd help my spine...

The woman followed the others, not enjoying the short unsteady trip on the small boat, her feet weren't made for such an unstable and wavering element, Ylva had always preferred the earth and mountains to be under her feet. Yet here I am stuck on a boat, what was Mari thinking? Her tired eyes scanned the group she was now stuck with, strange how we're all now stuck on this boat, the dreamer has plans for all of us it seems, her sight passed over the young girl named Rhia, when I was her age...I was still at home, I hadn't even started cleric training...yet here she is, someone with no obvious combat training or magic, on this boat...

The small cutter got closer to the Southern Arrow, which towered over the small vessel. Ylva managed to pull herself aboard, clunking sounds to be heard from her pack. Damnation, one of the ormelin jars must have broken again....the woman sighed and checked her bag, a long line of cursing in strange mumbo jumbo could be heard, as Ylva saw that yet again her pack was soaked. A rather damp spider peered up at her and tried to leap about within the pack. The healer was too busy struggling to get the spider back in its wooden box, to hear much of the speech being made by the captain of the ship.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Koka Bentarm on February 18, 2009, 09:36:41 PM
Koka smiled - a tad wanly - at the words of the captain, once she had managed to struggle on board from the small cutter. She felt as if she was on some wild beast, and already at the port she could feel the depths of the water pulling down. She couldn't help but notice that they were essentially riding a waterbubble (with some wood around it) and she was pretty sure that the sea was constantly trying to win back the space it had lost. It was not a comforting thought.

She had, in fact, already broken her fast, and she did not feel as though she could break another. She paled visibly - or what would have been visible if not for her beard - at the mere thought, but she did not think it would be polite to refuse. She could probably get away with sitting at the table without eating, so long as she was being social.

She followed the captain on unsteady legs, where normally (i.e., with solid floor under her feet) she would not have faltered. Once in the captain's quarters, she chose a seat pretty close to the exit. The food that was laid out for them was turning her stomach; she just hoped that she would not make a fool of herself in front of her companions. At the very least, she hoped she could make it outside and to the ship's side if worse came to worst.

Her first hope proved vain. No sooner was everybody seated then Koka felt how the ship lurched and cast off. If she had thought that the movements of the ship earlier were bad, she had been badly mistaken. Pressing one hand to her stomach and another to her mouth, she muttered "You'll excuse me" to whoever sat nearest her, and ran back outside on her stout legs. Lucky for her, her second hope did not prove as vain as the first. Emptying the content of her stomach over the ship's side, she cursed the day - well, yesterday - when she'd said yes to the venture. She could forsee very little enjoyment in the coming journey.

When her breakfast was lying in the sea, she found a bucket of water on the deck - salty water, she discovered when she dipped a finger in it - and carefully cleaned her face and beared with it. The scrubbing she was doing made her cheeks turn a rosy red colour. The water stung a little cut she had on one of her stubby fingers, but she ignored the pain. When she was satisfied that nothing was left, and that she could hopefully stand being in the same room as food without more coming out for a little while, she returned.

"Sorry about that." she said, as she took her seat again, ignoring the queasy feeling in her stomach.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on February 21, 2009, 11:56:50 AM
Heart winging in anticipation, Rhia followed the others on board the ship. The dull thud of her feet on the boarding ladder was comfortingly familiar, as was the floor of the ship. She glanced about her and saw that the ruddy-cheeks of the dwarf were now tinged with an unpleasant, apprehensive green that fairly shouted, "We'll be expecting a visit from the inhabitants of the stomach district any moment now, can't imagine what's keeping them." Rhia felt lucky; she hadn't thrown up yet this morning, though her own belly felt rather tumultuous and rather rebellious on the whole. She grimaced, hating the thick, smacking feel in her mouth. That'd be the last time she ever sampled that type of beef!

The group was greeted enthusiastically by a... Hmm... tall, sunny-haired, blue-eyed, and generally good-looking... Rhia shook herself and listened to his words as she surveyed the two others with him. There was a manly-looking woman, also tall, but burlier, woman with black hair. There was only one way in Rhia's mind to describe her apperance: one tough b- one tough lady. The other was, well, less tough-looking and generally physically the first man's opposite in that he was quite short and pudgy. And had no hair. His pate gleamed with sweat from the muggy air. Despite herself, Rhia wondered what his own particular use in the company would be. She rather sympathized with him. She'd been catching speculating glances directed at her all morning, not to mention the previous night, although Sir Despana had been the only one to directly question her purpose. (And by now she was more than a little sore about it, though the speculating glancers did have good reason to wonder.) Yes, she thought, she and the bald little man were probably two of a kind.

Then she heard the tall man address him as "Doctor Jorek" and all her kindly resolutions concerning 'two of a kind' disintegrated on the spot. She was still fuming at having discovered that another person was potentially useful when the ...tall, handsome... Ahem! first man, Captain Fjorwek, invited them his quarters for a breakfast. At this point Rhia's mind and stomach began warring with each other. The mind recognized that she was, in spite of whatever the stomach said, hungry. On the other side we have the belly, in which you'd think there was a hyperactive squirrel, for all the leaping and tumbling that went on inside it.

Rhia went -hah! 'Went' is too vague a word, it was more like 'tottered'- with the rest of the group to the captain's quarters, and stood by the table. Wait to seat yourself until the host seats himself, Rhi... At length the conflicting body parts seemed to come to an agreement- without the consent of the person herself. Rhia promptly buckled over and spewed a few watery contents onto the floor. With the stomach problem relieved a bit, her stomach now allowed her to feel properly hungry. She straightened herself. A few silent moments. "The beef really got to me," she offered finally.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on February 24, 2009, 07:44:54 PM
   Captain Fjorwek gestured for his guests to be seated at his table, which was laden with various kinds of fruit and bread.  As he scanned the assembled faces, he noticed more than one of them looked a little green around the gills.  Then, as if on queue, the lady he assumed to be Rhia promptly spewed some watery muck onto the floor.  Almost instantly, a young-looking boy fetched a mop and a bucket of water, cleaning the offensive mess away.
   "Thank you, Aiden," the captain said to the boy.  Then, turning to Rhia he said, "Please, have some bread, it might help calm your stomach."
   The next to go was the dwarf.  "Well, at least he made it outside," the captain thought to himslef.  It was quite normal for those unaccustomed to sea travel to feel a little nauseous at the beginning.  Captain Fjorwek just hoped that they would get over it soon.  He didn't even like to consider what would happen, if and when they hit rough conditions.
  When the dwarf had returned to his seat, Captain Fjorwek offered his opinion to the group.  "I would ask the doctor here to give you some kind of herbal remedy to help, but I fear that it would only be a temporary solution.  In my experience, it's best to get on with things, and trust that your body will grow accustomed to the motions of the ship.  Of course, if anybody gets particularly bad, then I'm sure Jorek will be more than willing to help."  The doctor merely beamed a grin around the table, and nodded his head in assent.
   "Now," the captain continued, "I plan on splitting you into two groups during the daytime.  The warriors among you will be under the care of Lieutenant Ustaskjan, and the healers wil be working with Doctor Jorek.  And those that don't fit into either category," the captain was looking direcly at Rhia, "can move between the two."
   "Permission to speak, sir."
   "Yes, lieutenant, permission granted.  Though, you know, you don't have to ask me every time."
   "Yes, I know, sir.  But I wouldn't feel right if I didn't."
   "Very well; maybe one day you'll grow tired of it."
   "I advise those who will be working with me not to eat much," the lieutenant said, her lips twisted slightly into what might have passed for a smile.  "I find that rigorous training is best carried out on an empty stomach.  It seems as though at least two of our company shouldn't have any problems with that!"
   "I also advise my group not to eat too much," the doctor added, without any further explanation.
   "Very well," the captain said.  "In that case, I need only say a few more things, and we can conclude our breakfast.
   "Firstly, I'd like to point out that this ship, indeed, any ship, runs according to discipline.  If I, or Lieutenant Ustaskjan, or Doctor Jorek, gives you an order, then it must be carried out immediately, and without question.  I understand that you're my guests, of course; but rules are rules.
   "Secondly, you will take your meals here, and at the end of the day we will meet here to relax, chat, and generally unwind.  I hear that you play music, Rhia?"  The captain turned his attention once again to the lady he assumed to be Rhia.  Jorn Ranskjun had given him specific instructions regarding her.  "I'd very much like to play with you, though I must confess, my own ability is somewhat limited.
   "And finally, if any of my crew give you, how to say, unwanted attention, and I'm referring mainly to the ladies among you, then please inform me at once!  I won't stand for any leching on board the Arrow!
   "Now..." the captain started his sentence, but trailed off as something occured to him.
    "Where in blazes is your luggage?  Aiden!  Go and find that lazy 'lubber I instructed to bring the baggage here!"
   "Yes, sir!"  the cabin-boy said smartly, before leaving the cabin with a purposeful stride.

   First Mate Udghrin looked at Mallorix as though he'd grown a second head.
   "What's this?" she demanded.  "Where did yer get all this stuff from?"  Then, shaking her head, she said, "you'd better 'urry up 'n get them bags into the cap'n's cabin, boy!  Why, 'e'l flay thee alive!"
   Just then, Aiden the cabin-boy arrived.
   "The captain wants to know why our guests' luggage hasn't been delivered yet.  I think you'd better get a move on, mate!  Here, I'll help you!"
   Udghrin nodded her agreement, and ushered the pair away from her.  Aiden hurried over to where the guests' bags had been placed, and picked up a few pieces.
   "Here, you grab the rest, and follow me!" he said to Mallorix earnestly.  Then, when he saw that Mallorix had picked up some bags, he quickly made his way back over to the captain's cabin.  "Just keep your mouth shut," Aiden advised Mallorix as they went.  "And don't make excuses!  Just say that you're sorry and that it won't happen again!  Hopefully, he won't be too harsh infront of company!"  Then, with a look that seemed to express some kind of pity, Aiden entered the cabin again, and announced Mallorix's arrival.
   "And about bloody time, too!" the captain roared, rising to his feet.  "Where have you been, lad?  Did I not give you a clear enough instruction?  When I want something done, I want it done now; not next week!  By thunder, I should have your hide for your insolence!"  Captain Fjorwek's face had turned red with anger, his fists were clenched, and his eyes blazed.  Then, he marched over to Mallorix, and roughly grabbed his head, peering into both ears.  "Doctor!" he continued, "Is it possible for a man to grow carroots in his ears?  Or maybe to have a pompion for a brain?"
   "No sir, I believe not; though stranger things have been known."
   "Indeed!" the captain snapped as he marched back to his place at the table.  He was visibly calmer now, and his voice had lowered.  "Well, it's not for me to say what should be done with you, lad; it was our guests you inconvenienced, not I.  So I leave it to them to decide what should be done with you.  Fionn," the captain knew the name, for he had been informed of who would be sailing with him, but he didn't know who its owner was.  "What say you?  Should we clap this man in irons?  Or throw him overboard for a morning swim?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on February 25, 2009, 03:39:19 AM
Fionn started when her name was called by the enraged captain, but composed herself quickly and looked the man up and down, or rather up and further up, as he was considerably taller than her.

She bit her lip in thought, and dug her hands into her pockets, trying to work out how to be diplomatic. She’d never really understood the human emphasis on punishment for it’s own sake – whilst she could see that the captain needed to keep order on his ship, it seemed a waste to spend time and effort humiliating this lad, who she guessed probably already felt pretty sorry.

Finally, she said, “Smile. I think he’d have a nice smile. I don’t think it’s entirely necessary for him to get all wet or… iron-y. I have to admit I’m not entirely sure what’s meant by “clap him in irons.”

She displayed her own, pointed teeth to the young sailor, and threw a similarly pointed look at the captain. Then her common sense kicked in, and she wondered if maybe she should have been a bit more respectful. Ah well, she was small, surely she could find places to hide on such a big boat.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Malavon Despana on February 25, 2009, 11:39:21 AM
Malavon followed silently the group towards the dinning room , not that he was going to eat , but its was better to play along for now , to be a part of them , what a pain this was causing him , most of them were no warriors , still feeling the effects of the night before , they seemed something that the cat coughed out .

He heard as the captain spoke , most of it was rubbish but there was something that flared Malavon eyes , a phrase he caught " Firstly, I'd like to point out that this ship, indeed, any ship, runs according to discipline.  If I, or Lieutenant Ustaskjan, or Doctor Jorek, gives you an order, then it must be carried out immediately, and without question.  I understand that you're my guests, of course; but rules are rules." , now one thing was to answer to the captain but another was was to three , before Malavon could say anything , the captain started to yell towards a man that was late , as least it was as Mal understand , bringing the group´s belonging , the man itself didn´t mean much to Malavon , but the way the captain spoke to him , made Malavon wild and unruled blood boil , he just didn´t like the arrogance of the captain , because he was the captain didn´t give him the right to treat people like that ...

After Fionn finished talking , Malavon nodded in agreement and said something very unusual in him , word to defend someone " I have to agree with him captain , the word captain was full of irony , just because he is at your service , doesn´t give you the right to treat him like that .."
Looking around , he realized how weak and caring for another made Malavon feel and added before someone could realize that beneath such cold demeanor there a was a kind heart " unless we could all do it " he said with a cold smile , one that he didn´t felt at all .   

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on February 25, 2009, 07:17:00 PM
   Captain Fjorwek first of all smiled, and then chuckled softly when Fionn gave her answer.
   “Iron-y,” he repeated to himself in amusement.  "Honestly, Fionn, I hope that you never do learn what it means to be clapped in irons!"
   The next man to speak clearly showed his ignorance of maritime matters with his rather naïve words.  Captain Fjorwek regarded the man for a moment, forming an initial impression of him as he did so.  Clearly he was no stranger to combat, but he seemed to have an air of arrogance about him.  He was, in the captain’s opinion, the kind of man that looked out only for himself, and was either unwilling, or incapable, of working in a team.
   “Ah,” the captain began, “I see you are unused to the ways on board a sailing vessel, sir.  I wager that this journey shall be an educational experience for you.  Suffice to say, when at sea, discipline and the ability to follow orders all too often mean the difference between life and death; even more so than on dry-land.  But, you are new to the life, and you are a guest aboard my ship.  So, taking into consideration Fionn’s words as well, I shall submit to your kindness, and allow the boy the benefit of the doubt.”  Captain Fjorwek then turned back to Mallorix, and his voice turned stern again.
   “It seems that Baveras smiles on you today, boy.  But mark my words, I’ll have an eye on you from now on.  Anymore mistakes like that, and even Grothar Himself won’t be able to save you!  Go on, then; get back to work!”
   Now fully composed, the captain turned his attention back to his assembled guests.  “Well then, now that your luggage has arrived safely, I believe we can get on with the day’s work.  I’ll leave you in the capable hands of the doctor and lieutenant here.  Rhia and Hylphan, you may choose which group you join.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have duties to attend to.”
   Captain Fjorwek then stood, and bowed slightly to the group.  Before striding out of the cabin, however, he approached Rhia and leant close to her ear.  Then, in a whisper that only she could hear, he said, “take my advice, and stay with the doctor.”
   “Royce, Malavon, Koka, Jenlyn!”  Lieutenant Ustaskjan had stood and was calling the names.  “You’re the lucky ones!  You’ll be training with me!  First things first, let’s get onto the main deck and warm-up!”
   “Ylva and Fionn,” the doctor said softly after the warriors’ had left.  “I’ve been told that you’re both fellow healers.  I hope to learn much from you over the coming days!  But first, tell me, what are your areas of expertise?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on February 26, 2009, 01:25:01 AM
The spider had been finally wrestled back into the box and stuffed back into Ylva's bag. The woman sighed, Maybe I should just retire....go live in a small cave'd be easier... The captain of the ship led them to his quarters, Ylva plonked herself down at a seat near the door and sighed. She heard a quiet mutter coming next to her, "You'll excuse me"

Before Ylva could answer back, the dwarf was out the door and looking for a place to empty his stomach contents. The healer recognised the faint sounds of seasickness coming from outside. The dwarf appeared a while later, his cheeks bright red, Ylva just nodded as the dwarf offered a small apology to the group. Its going to one of those days... Her ears heard the same familiar sound again...only much closer...her head spun round to see Rhia standing next to a small puddle of watery sick. "The beef really got to me,"

Ylva raised a sceptical eyebrow at the young woman, That's no beef.... A yawn passed her lips, her eyes were tired, no sleep made her grumpy, her eyes quietly closed, slowly slumping down in her seat... sleep called for her. Her ears only took in a bit of conversation....something about luggage and carrots in ears.... it was only with the recognisable voice of Fionn that Ylva's conscious resurfaced........
Hmm? What's going on? You're just rest for a bit and suddenly people are talking of iron...what does clap in irons mean? You can't clap with irons....Idiotic language....

The healer's eyes closed and Mari welcomed her again.....

“Ylva and Fionn,” Ylva's eyes snapped opened, “I’ve been told that you’re both fellow healers. I hope to learn much from you over the coming days! But first, tell me, what are your areas of expertise?”

Ylva cringed a bit, this was the sort of question which forced her to tell the truth. Murmillions weren't popular people, people heard the rumours of scary rituals and cults, they never want to find out that the rumours are true....oh well here goes.....this is when the pitchfork is sharpened.....

“I trained in Dagans as cleric and healer, then worked in Lhindal as medic for Santerran army....” The murmillion looked at her companions to see if this would mean anything for them, and then shrugged before slumping back down in her chair again.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Royce Brodlyn Kristoph on February 26, 2009, 02:29:12 AM
Royce sat silent, absently chewing on a piece of plain bread, hoping it would settle his stomach.  He watched with detachment the exchange between the captain and the healer he now knew as Fionn.  Discipline was important, he knew that, and he supposed even more so on a small ship, far from the safety of land.  The fact that one of their group was arguing against it, the same man Royce had a problem with last night, only confirmed his worries about this group.  Perhaps time aboard this ship, forced to strictly follow orders was exactly what this group needed.

He pushed himself back from the table and stood.  "So, it seems this will not be the pleasure cruise I had hoped for.  I must speak to Jorn about this upon my return."  He failed to add, If we return.  "I do hope that you do not expect to turn us all into sailors in a few weeks.  I'm a little old to be learning a new trade."  His eyes sparkled mischievously.   

Ii also suggest that this morning, you take it a bit easier on us than in the coming days.  That is, unless you want your deck to get a fetid bath.  I dear say, not all of us are feeling our best today.  Again, something I will need to bring up with Jorn when I get back.  Next time, don't serve the good stuff before a sea voyage."

With a quick nod of his head to the captain, Royce turned and made his way back onto the deck.  He watched as the harbour slowly moved further and further from them.  He stood for a moment, hands on hips and watched the land fade further into the background.

It had begun.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on February 27, 2009, 02:38:11 AM
Mallorix was very confused. First, the woman didn't know what to do with the luggage that she said for him to bring. Then, the captain yelled at him. It seems that he had told him to bring the luggage to his table, but Mallorix didn't hear. He didn't even know where the captain's quarters were! In the end, he was saved by someone who looked sort of like a little girl, but different. He was free to go anywhere now, until someone gave him orders.
The first thing he did was thank the girl, who the captain called "Fionn". He walked by her and whispered:
"Thank you."
Then Mallorix apologised to the captain.
"I'm sorry, captain sir. I did not hear your instructions well. I will try to not repeat this mistake again."
He then left the room and walked to the hatch of the cargo hold where the man was hidden. He decided to tell the man that the ship had left. He looked around to make sure nobody was watching him, and then he opened the hatch, and descended down into the dark hold. He went over to the corner where the man was sleeping, and he saw that he had neither eaten the food that Mallorix left, nor drank the water. Mallorix decided to shake the man awake and offer him the food.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on February 27, 2009, 04:36:05 AM
Fionn silently thanked the moody ma- Malavon! That was it! –silently thanked Malavon for his charitable, if arrogant and slightly disturbing, words to the captain, which made her feel a bit less exposed. Nonetheless, she was still reminding herself to breathe when the sailor (who did, it turned out, have a nice smile), whispered a rushed thank you, causing her to grin childishly, an expression that didn’t quite leave her face as the doctor addressed Ylva and herself.

Ylva’s reply contained only a few words that meant anything much to Fionn, the foremost of those being “army”. Had she seen battles? The oldest stories had battles in, concerning the Great ones, and they didn’t sound nice. But surely a doctor could learn a lot from a place with such a ready supply of injuries?

But I’ve had a lot less experience than that, and a lot less training: mopping up after brawls and pulling teeth barely counts as a specialism.

“Nothing as fancy as that as far as I’m concerned, sir. Street doctoring, mainly, for the kinds of people who’re too desperate or too embarrassed to care that their doctor is half their height and can’t see them if they stand in the wrong place.”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on February 27, 2009, 12:23:56 PM
Captain Fjorwek dealt with Rhia's untimely upset quite smoothly, having the -cabin boy?- clean it up. And the way he gave her that bit of suave advice! "Please, have some bread, it might help calm your stomach." So romantic! Was that the fervor of attraction smoldering behind those inscrutable eyes?

Fjorwek gave her another glance of what Rhia -and Rhia, mind you- interpreted to be interest. "Those that don't fit into either category can move between the two."

The captain stood smartly and addressed the group once more. "Firstly, I'd like to point out that this ship, indeed, any ship, runs according to discipline..." Rhia's attention wandered. Yes, yes... I'm the boss, you have to obey me, no questions asked... His second point captured her interest more, however.
"Secondly, you will take your meals here, and at the end of the day we will meet here to relax, chat, and generally unwind." He turned his blue sky eyes on Rhia. "I hear that you play music, Rhia? I'd very much like to play with you, though I must confess, my own ability is somewhat limited."

Rhia felt nothing short of elation- to be playing music with him!
"And finally, if any of my crew give you, how to say, unwanted attention, and I'm referring mainly to the ladies among you, then please inform me at once!  I won't stand for any leching on board the Arrow," he said firmly. This stern statment only raised him in Rhia's already exaggerated regard for him.

Fjorwek and a few of the others engaged in a conversation that had a hostile undertone to it on the part of the captain and Malavon. Rhia, however, was oblivous to what the others were saying, concentrating on what piece she should play with the captain. What were they saying? Something about irons and clapping? The first thing that came to mind about irons was rusting, and the only clapping Rhia wanted to hear was that of her audiences. But at length the captain directed them into two groups- the "warriors" and the "healers".

Rhia was startled out of her reveries by a whisper in her ear. To her delighted surprise, it was the captain. "Take my advice, and stay with the doctor." He strode briskly out of the cabin, leaving her staring at his receding back. Stay with the doctor? Easy enough, as the fighting group was going to the main deck with the lieutenant, and the doctor was staying right where he was.

"So," began the doctor as the others left. "Ylva and Fionn. I’ve been told that you’re both fellow healers. I hope to learn much from you over the coming days. But first, what are your areas of expertise?"

Expertise? Fionn and Ylva made intelligent answers while Rhia stood there, wordless. What could she possibly say? Luckily for her, the doctor had only named the hazel-eyed lady and the child-like one, so she technically didn't have to answer. That was good, because technically, she wasn't going to say anything unless absolutely necessary.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Hylphán on February 27, 2009, 04:19:59 PM
Hylphán nodded slightly to the captain when he indicated that Hylphán was free to choose which group he joined.  "I appreciate that Captain, but as I have not been very active lately I believe I will join Lieutenant Ustaskjan's group - that is if no one objects."  Looking squarely at the lieutenant, with a slight grin forming, he said "I could use a good workout."  Still looking at the lieutenant, he pulled off his cloak, laid it on his baggage, and  asked "Shall we?" as he slightly bowed and indicated the door with his outstretched hand.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on February 28, 2009, 04:59:42 AM
Fu felt his body and head roll to and fro. A warm hand was holding his shoulder and jiggled him about. The back of his head felt as if it had been blown up to the size of a baneg's, and all out of proportion, too. It hurt terribly. The wizard had only partly woken up, and found it hard to think anything clearly -- as if a dense fog had descended on his mind.  “What? Be letting a tired man be sleeping, hear ye? What?”, he mumbled, more than a tad morosely. “’Tis surely not be demanding too much …” – and at this point, just enough of the fog lifted for Fu to come to a realization. He was not in an inn, and this was not an impatient innkeeper shaking him.

The wizard opened his eyes and turned his head, and looked into a sunburned face and round blue eyes. Instinctively shocked at being woken up by a stranger, Fu pulled his hands to a place near his shoulders and tried to push himself up. But his left hand slipped on something wet, and the wizard’s head bumped onto the floor again. There was a heavy weight on his back, too. Was this man holding him down? Fu wriggled about to turn his body sideways. Oh, his throbbing head didn’t enjoy the commotion at all. But at least Fu could see both of the man’s hands now. Big hands, they were. A memory wanted to pierce the mind-fog, but it didn’t make it through. The room behind the stranger was dimly lit, and seemed to be stuffed with caskets, tubs and crates. Fu blinked befuddledly, and tried to say in his politest voice – although it came out as a miserable croak that was hardly louder than a whisper: “Prithee, master, I should be profoundly indebted to you indeed if, um ...” Words failed the wizard. Had the other even been able to hear, let alone understand his sentence? It was difficult to direct his tongue, which felt dry and rough like a piece of leather after a sandstorm. ("How do I know what a piece of leather feels like after a sandstorm?", wondered Fu.) There was an awful taste in his mouth, too. Gathering his strength, Fu tried to speak up when he put his concern more simply: ”Please, where be I?”

As he waited for a reply, Fu tried to lift himself into an upright position once again, and realized why his back felt so heavy. His knapsack was strapped to it! He had never reached an inn last night, had he?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 01, 2009, 01:53:45 AM
   Lieutenant Ustaskjan breathed in deeply as she emerged onto the upper-deck, filling her lungs with the invigorating sea-air.  The sails were in full-bloom, and the Southern Arrow was romping away at a fair rate of knots.  The deep blue sea parted before her, sending a herd of white stallions galloping along her bows.  The fog had all but gone, and Injera’s golden face was framed by a brilliant sky.  “Why, it’s a beautiful day to be alive,” the lieutenant thought to herself, as she watched the crew go about their business in a navy-like fashion.  Their discipline and attention to detail filled the militarised woman’s heart with joy.
   Then she turned her attention to the small group that she had been instructed to work with, and her heart began to sink.  Two of them looked like something the cat had dragged in, and the unmistakeable smell of liquor on their breath didn’t do much to draw any pity from her.  A hang-over was, undoubtedly, a self-inflicted injury; as was sunburn, and all the various, vile sexual diseases that sailors seemed to be so fond of catching.  Three of them carried bows, which would be useless in a strong wind, and the fourth looked like he’d rather be skulking around dark alleyways, sticking knives in peoples’ backs, than engaging in an honest, face-to-face fight!  Still, she had no doubt that they were all talented in their own ways, and she very much wanted to see what they could do.
   “Right, good morning, men!” she barked.  “We don’t mean to turn you into sailors, so there’s no need to worry on that score!  But we don’t want you idling, either, so let’s get to work!”  The lieutenant pointed down the boat.  She knew that a complete circuit of the upper-deck was about two dash, and to her mind, there was no better way to get warmed up than a brisk run.  “We’ll do thirteen laps of the deck.  After the first one, stop here,” she stamped on the spot where they were now assembled, “drop, and give me thirteen push-ups.  Then carry on running.  After the second lap, stop here again, and give me twelve.  And so on; I think you get the idea!  Let’s see who can do it fastest!”  She didn’t wait to see their reactions; instead, she sprinted off along the deck.

   “A cleric; oh, dear!  How unfortunate.  Whatever you do, don’t tell the captain!  If there’s one thing worse than a woman, it’s a cleric!  It’s just a good thing that you don’t have red hair!  My, my, now that would be awful!”  Doctor Jorek lifted his hands into the air before him, and twiddled his fingers around in a slightly absurd manner.  “Oh!  But I must sound terribly rude!  I don’t mean that women are awful!  No, no, no; not at all!  But sailors’ are an incurably superstitious folk, you see.  Red-heads, clerics, and women are all considered unlucky to have on-board.  Unless they’re naked, of course.  The women, I mean.  Yes, I’m sure that if you were naked, then the men wouldn’t mind at all!  Having said that, the captain does seem to have got used to having the fairer sex aboard.”  The doctor glanced around the room somewhat slyly, then lowered his voice to a whisper, “if you can call the lieutenant ‘fair’, that is!  I’ve no doubt that she’s got your unfortunate companions punching each other in the head by now, or pulling nails out of the planking with their teeth; she seems to enjoy that kind of thing.  Maybe we’ll get to work on some of them later?”  A quick rubbing of the hands ensued as the doctor apparently thought of something appealing.  “I wonder if she’ll have them using the live blades today?  I’m sure that’d provide us with some excellent training on how to deal with flesh wounds!  But you must have had plenty of experience of that already, Ylva?  The army, indeed!  How wonderful!  And Fionn!  I’m so happy to meet such a noble-minded practitioner!  I can’t admire your attitude enough!  You see, we could all do with your humility!”
   Doctor Jorek smiled broadly, and looked up at his third guest.  “Ah, Rhia, I think you made the right choice!  As long as you’re not afraid of blood, of course!  I do hope that you can learn something useful during your time with us.  Maybe we should begin by relocating to the sick-bay?  I’ve a few malingerers in there at the moment, as well as some genuine cases, of course.  Oh!  And you’ll get to meet Lady Shiana!  How delightful!  Come along!  I’m sure you can hardly wait!”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Royce Brodlyn Kristoph on March 01, 2009, 02:12:56 AM
Royce watched as land disappeared, all the while listening to the lieutenant begin barking orders at them.  He was used to taking orders, but the rest of them?  A grin crossed his face at the thought of them trying to adjust to disciplined life.  It would be good for them.  It would teach them something.  It would-

What!?!  Royce spun about, a look of disbelief covering his weathered features.  Running and push ups?  This wasn't what he expected.  What, did she think they were raw recruits in need of some type of training camp?  They were on a boat!  He expected to do... boaty things.  Hoist a sail... rig the mizzens... something.  But running and push ups?

"Whoa whoa, lady!  I'm too old..."
his voice trailed off as she started her run.  Swearing, he began to chase her, trying to yell out for her to stop. "Hey!  Hey!!"  Dammit.

Three quarters around the ship, the lieutenant was outdistancing him by a good deal, and his knee was beginning to ache.  As well, his breath was becoming laboured, threatening to send him to the rail in another round of heaving.  Discouraged, he stopped and panted. 

The one advantage of a round boat; she'd be back this way again.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Hylphán on March 01, 2009, 02:59:24 PM
     Hylphán quickly and naturally fell into a fast ground eating pace that, he knew from experience, he could keep up for at least half the morning before requiring a rest stop.  As the deck slid by beneath his feet, he thought about how nice it was to have a brisk, cool, breeze this morning.  He knew the rest would appreciate the cooling effect as the training session wore on.  To him the salt laden wind in his face was a welcome, familiar friend.  It meant that the ship was doing what it was built for - what he had in his blood - sailing fast and true.  The destination didn't matter to a ship like the Arrow, or a sailor like Hylphán.  The passage itself was the reason for existence.  He  could feel the shivering of the deck, as the wind strained against the sails, sending vibrations down through the masts and the taut lines of the rigging.  The ship felt alive beneath his feet.
     As he followed the lieutenant, slightly behind and a half step to the left, he watched as the crew worked around them.  This bunch knew their jobs well, and were disciplined in their work.  After watching them for a few laps, he knew that the lieutenant had each on a very rigid schedule of duties, and a very tight timetable.  She definitely ran a tight ship, with a seasoned crew - except for that one man this morning... he must be very new at the job.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on March 02, 2009, 03:18:33 AM
Mallorix looked at the small man after he had asked a few questions. He asked them as if he didn't know what had happened the previous day. Mallorix told him:
"You're on the Southern Arrow. It just left the docks, and I came here to check on you. You should eat."
Mallorix held out the bread and cheese that he had saved, along with a canteen of water.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on March 02, 2009, 07:52:34 AM
His throbbing head and general confusion made it hard for Fu to concentrate on what the stranger was saying. His voice reached the wizard’s ears as if through the noise of a waterfall. And the substance of what he said at first didn’t make sense to Fu, either. I be on an arrow?”  he thought. “What is that supposed to be meaning? Be this some metaphor?”

“You should eat.”  Now, that was true! But even more than in the bread and cheese – which the stranger, impressively, both held in his huge left hand – Fu was interested in the water bottle that the man offered with his right. Fu sat up completely, wriggled out of his rucksack, grabbed the canteen, and drank greedily, so that the spilling water made little shiny lines running down his dusty chin. ”I thank you,” the wizard managed to say, his voice somewhat restored. He also managed a smile, and looked his benefactor in the eye.

Fu would think about this moment often and for a long time afterwards, for it was now that his mind-fog cleared, so that he became aware of many sensations all at once, all of them vying for the wizard’s attention. There was a strange thumping noise from above – like severe hail on the wooden roof of a cottage. A beam of light as if from a small, round window in the opposite wall. The putrid smell of sick, and the evidence of its source on his own hand (the one that held the water bottle). Finally, Fu noticed that his body was softly rocking from side to side. Just as if I was on a boat, he thought. And then the su dropped.

The wizard’s eyes widened, his nostrils began to quiver, and his hand dropped the water bottle. “Forgive!”, he managed to say, while the water spilled and his thoughts ran wild. The ruffians, the walk on the wind, the cargo hold, the rat rider and his rat, the sailor – with big hands, it’s the very same man! – the hatch, the knock, the darkness! Fu looked at the sailor, who didn’t seem unfriendly. ”Please, I must be getting on land. I be here by error, I can explain, I was being running … I beseech ye, I …” While desperately trying to think of the best way to put his case to the sailor, Fu tried to get up. He attempted to use his right hand (the one not damp with half-dried vomit) to push himself off the ground, but felt a sharp pain in his middle finger and pulled it back up. “Ouch!”  Distractedly, the wizard looked down. He had incurred a splinter – the wood was rough and full of scrapes and scuffs around where his hand had just been. In fact, these scruffs were arranged in what seemed to be an oddly methodical manner. But this was not the time to explore splinters and wooden floors. Still quite weak, and not really feeling like getting up anyway, Fu decided to merely look up at the stranger again and say simply: ”My name be Fu Luft. And I be thinking I be owing ye an explanation. But I beseech ye, I be having no business here. Will ye be letting me off the ship?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Malavon Despana on March 03, 2009, 03:40:55 PM
What a day this was starting to be to Mal , first he had to sail to some forgotten place with a group of people that he didn´t like , since most of them were , in Malavon opinion righteous goody doers , next he learned he had to answer to three people the captain , the lieutenant and even to a doctor , oh his hands were starting to twitch with irritation and now the lieutenant started to bark orders , something about running laps and push ups .
Before he could say anything , the woman started to run followed by Royce and the half elf Hylphán , not waiting to be the last , Mal run after them not giving a second look to the dwarf , although a humorous smile appeared on his face as he imagined the dwarf running with his short legs of him .

Deliberately staying behind the two older mans , Mal observed them , while Hylphán seemed to keep up , Royce forces started to disappear , stopping , Malavon passed by him picking up the pace , after all he probably was the quickest of them all , not only he had elf blood but his train made him extremely agile and  quick , catching up with Hylphán he looked as the woman was in front of him , too bad she couldn´t hear him , the curses mouth was speaking were so vile that even a pirate would blush , something concerning her mother and a sea turtle ....   

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on March 05, 2009, 12:37:05 AM
Mallorix saw the man trying to get up after greedily taking the water, and then hastily dropping it. The man fell, and he told Mallorix that his name was Fu Luft. He asked to be let off the ship. Mallorix replied to his question.
"Well, you see, the ship has already left the harbour. You can't get off, unless you can swim very far. Can you?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 05, 2009, 07:44:32 PM
  Lieutenant Ustaskjan was drawing near to the completion of her second lap, when she noticed one of the men trying to get her attention.  He seemed a little out-of-breath, and he didn't look too happy.
   "What's wrong?" she asked simply when she got close to him.  "Not tired already, are you?"

   Meanwhile, the doctor had led his group to the stern of the ship, and into the sick-bay.  It was a fairly cramped room, but clean and orderly, none-the-less.  A curious aroma hung heavy in the air; the result of a mixture of odours.  Soft groans could be heard coming from some of the bunks, and the incoherent ramblings of a lost soul formed a kind of morbid background music.
   "Ah!" the doctor said when he caught sight of a younger man, who was busy attending to a sickly-sailor.  "Young Jameson!  Say 'hello' to our guests; Rhia, Ylva, and Fionn."  The young man looked up from his work, and greeted the three ladies in turn.
   "And how's our patient today?"
   Jameson moved closer to the doctor, and shook his head slightly; his face a picture of gloom.
   "I'm afraid it's got worse, sir," he said softly.  "I think it must be coming off; and right soon, too."  A tortured moan came from the nearby bunk, as if its unhappy occupant could hear what was being said.
   "Excellet!" Doctor Jorek exclaimed, clapping his hands together.  "At least it's progress, of a sort.  We can have it off in next to no time!  Have you told Mr Sonis, yet?"
   "Yes, sir; I was telling him my opinion on the matter just as you walked in."
   "I trust you were sensitive about it?" the doctor enquired.
   "Of course, sir.  Like you always say, it don't do no good making it sound worse than it is."
   "That's absolutely right," the doctor said with a smile.  "You see ladies, the loss of a leg is quite an unfortunate thing, and the patient's peace of mind has to be of the utmost importance.  Why, you should never say to him, with saw in hand, 'right my old chap, off it comes!  'tis only a leg, and afterall, you've always got another!'  No, no, no!  That would never do.  You should show some sensitivity; a little tact.  And, if you don't have the means to put him to sleep, you should never bring the tools out until the very last second.  A calm patient is much easier to work with.  But, rules of cleanliness apply on board a ship just as much as anywhere else; let's scrub-up!"
   Doctor Jorek indicated a bucket of water which was close-by; a bar of soap lay next to it.  Then, after thoroughly cleansing his hands and arms, he waited for the others to follow his lead.  Once they had, he asked his three guests a question.
   "Now, then, ladies.  For an amputation such as this, on a healthy male of about thirty years; what would you use to put him to sleep, or dull the pain?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on March 06, 2009, 05:09:41 AM
“The ship be moving? Oh, Grothar blow me home! Swim? Why, yes, I can swim. I better be going at once, before it be too late! Thank ye, master.” And with this, Fu finally got up. In the process, his hat fell off, and came to land on the floor behind him. This the wizard didn’t notice, but he did start rubbing the gunk that still stuck to his left hand off at his trouser leg. As soon as he stood, though, Fu felt what he had learned to recognize as the heaviness of the earth ounía gaining influence over his body. A weightiness and dullness seemed to pull his body downwards. The wizard felt the urge to close his eyes, and, his head heavily pulsating, seemed to loose control of his limbs. He was close to fainting.

Making a staggering step, Fu slipped on the water bottle he had dropped earlier, which in consequence skidded across the floor, as far as a few brownie steps are long. Fu himself toppled forwards, and just managed to halt his fall by holding on to a tall barrel. There he leaned, and took a few blinks, until he felt the blood returning to his head.  “I must be swimming,”  mumbled the knackered wizard. And then added, in a louder voice, to the sailor:  “Be ye the captain, master? Where be the ship going?”

While Fu was steadying himself, and waiting for an answer, he heard the noise from above again: like hail on a wooden roof – or maybe like quick footsteps?  “What be that noise, do ye know? What be happening?”  he asked. It occurred to Fu that he had little idea of how big this ship was. How many people would be up there? And would they just let him swim on land without questioning? Still, Fu was too eager to leave to worry too much about this, and while he was asking his questions, made a motion to step past the sailor, in the direction of the ladder which would lead him outside. In his befuddled state, however, he didn’t notice that his rucksack was still lying on the floor, or that his green hat was lying beside it. As the light from the porthole fell on the wizard’s face, his drained state of mind and body would be obvious to any but the most careless observer. There was also something strange about his hairstyle: a strain of hair was clearly missing above his left ear, where the mud rat brownie had appropriated the resources offered by Fu’s sleeping body.


The water bottle, after skidding across the floor, had come to rest so that its opening end pointed directly at Kaska’s “fetch/find/gather/collect”-rune, leaving the other runes and the carved picture visible (all of which Fu, of course, had failed to recognize as the rat rider’s work). The water that had spilled from the bottle had formed a puddle, which had just stopped short of touching the rat brownie’s carvings, so that the patch of damp it left behind looked rather like a lake, with the carvings forming one part of its shore.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Royce Brodlyn Kristoph on March 08, 2009, 03:08:49 AM
Royce stood at the rail, staring out to sea, awaiting the arrival of the lieutenant. The smell of the sea, the spray on his face, was something he was not too familiar with.  When she had done the first circuit of the ship and had gotten closer to him, he stepped away from the rail, forcing her to notice him.  He stood, arms crossed across his chest.

She addressed him as she got closer. 

"Well, I'm no longer a young man, there girl.  But, more than that, I have a knee that will not handle the stress of running aboard a vessel that keeps pitching in the waves.  I would do better on dry land.  I would hope that in any given situation, a good mind, and experience will result in a situation where we do not have to run so far.  If you insist, I can do the push ups.  My arms are very strong."  Years of smithing had given him an above average chest and arm endurance.

He waved a hand to the ship's rigging. "I'll gladly do other chores to earn my keep aboard your ship.  I'll learn how to hoist the sails, or do any carpentry work you need done, but I will not, can not, spend my days running in circles on this boat."  His voice was firm on this.  If she wanted to, she could have the captain turn this ship around and head back to port.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on March 08, 2009, 04:58:55 AM
Mallorix shook his head at the weak man walking about.
"Look, this ship is going to Queen's Harbour. I don't know what the Captain, or his lieutenant, or even the first mate will do to you. Either you'll be thrown overboard, or you'll be clapped in irons. I don't know if I should help you, but you seem like you won't do any harm. Just keep quiet and hide here. Maybe they won't find you."
Mallorix left the bread and cheese and walked back to the ladder leading to the hatch.
"Goodbye, Fu. I hope you can hide well."
He then opened the hatch a crack, looked around, and climbed out. He walked to his quarters, so he could rest.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 08, 2009, 06:47:56 PM
   First mate Udghrin watched as Mallorix furtively climbed out of the “haunted” cargo-hold.  He was hiding something, that was for sure; making up nonsensical stories to keep the other sailors from sticking their noses in.  “Looks like I’ll ‘av ‘im after all!” she thought to herself with glee.  Once Mallorix had disappeared from view, she made her way over to the hatch.  Then, she started to climb down the ladder, into the gloomy hold below.

   The lieutenant felt like laughing when she heard Royce’s reply.  He had the idea that she meant to have them run around the boat all day!  Still, she didn’t let any sign of her mirth show as she made her brief reply.
   “Point taken; there’s no point making an injury worse.”
   Then she looked back along the deck, and saw that the dwarf was rapidly approaching them.  Standing with arms spread wide, the lieutenant made it clear that she wanted him to stop.
   “One of your company has a damaged knee.  Since you can’t leave him behind, you’ll have to carry him!  And in return, he’ll do your push-ups for you!  Understood?”
   Not wanting to let Royce have an opportunity to complain, the lieutenant stepped in close to him.  Using her legs and hips to break his balance, she toppled him over and into her arms.  It was then easy enough for her to heave him onto the dwarf’s ample shoulders.
   “Right!  Let’s go, go, go!!!” she bawled, as she spied the other two men coming to lap them.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on March 08, 2009, 09:23:55 PM
Fionn couldn’t help but grin at the doctor’s words, but felt herself pale as she considered the prospect of an amputation. Keeping her face carefully blank, and taking a deep breath, she forced herself to forget the other man, and concentrate on getting clean.

"Now, then, ladies.  For an amputation such as this, on a healthy male of about thirty years; what would you use to put him to sleep, or dull the pain?"

A glimpse of tear streaming eyes clamped tightly shut, the skin of the eyelids already deathly grey, intruded on Fionns mind, but she pushed it away. This was an opportunity to learn to do it right. She couldn’t, however, entirely keep a trace of nerves from her voice as she answered quietly “everything you possibly can, without killing him. In his case I’d say atleast three miyu, probably four, but the bigger problem, if I remember correctly, is blood loss.”  

Her good eye was round as she looked at the doctor, eager to learn exactly what to do, to find in his face the confidence she wished she could feel.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Koka Bentarm on March 08, 2009, 11:43:50 PM
Koka watched Malavon set off at a neck-breaking speed, especially on this lurching ship. She shook her head at the strangeness of humans. What could possibly be the point of running around a ship? This was also not going to help her stomach to settle, though the fact that she had emptied it seemed to make her feel slightly better.

She followed the taller folk, but at a pace that she knew she could keep up. She was built for endurance anyway, not for speed. However, as she went she wondered how in TrumBarrol's name she was going to do the pushups? Surely the lieutenant could not mean to put her through the agony of having to stretch her arm, and worse have her whole weight leaning on it? She figured she should probably say something about that before she got to the part where she had to do the push-ups.

However, before she could do as she had decided, the lieutenant stopped her, said something about an injured knee, and deftly tricked Royce and dumped him on her shoulder. She hooked her good arm around his legs to steady him, and set off again. "Hold on to my right arm, though I'd appreciate it if you could spare the elbow. You're not the only one with an injury." she said through gritted teeth, adjusting her pace to take into account the added weight, as well as trying to stay upright during the motions of the ship. One and the other conspired to make her quite a lot slower than the other two that were running around the ship, but she doggedly went on as fast as she could without dropping her companion.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: KaskaChee on March 09, 2009, 10:14:06 PM
This place was truly a marvellous creation of ingenuity.  Really.  Not only was it richly stocked, but covered in tiny little brownie-sized passages and tunnels, made by the industrious rats.  They were good tasty ones too with black shiny coats and large teeth.  Now, if she could herd them up and pen them, and put this big boat on proper land rather than on the sea, wouldn’t it just make an amazing home for thousands of her kin?  These beautiful rats would make excellent food, and pretty good mounts too.  Amazing!

Defending herself against these pests had not been too hard so far – she knew that as long as she didn’t try to invade any nests then they would normally back down pretty quickly from her unfamiliar form.  The small pieces of cloth she was wearing helped, as the dye made her smell slightly of human, at least enough for them to be wary when she screamed at them and brandished her heavy wooden spear.  Her white mount followed her, sniffing happily at the new smells and guarding her back.

At first the pair were simply wandering around randomly, exploring the ship and looking out for signs of the party she had seen at the dock.  Soon, however, Kaska began to hear noises from above, feet-like noises.  They were too loud and too many to be accidental really, and not regular enough to be part of the sea-noise she was already getting used to.  The little Brownie headed upwards, towards the sound and the fresh air, trying to remember where she had been.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 09, 2009, 11:43:17 PM
   “Perfectly correct!”  Doctor Jorek exclaimed when he heard Fionn’s response to his question.  “We should thank Nehtor for the marvellous miyu bean!  And, fortunately, we have a good supply of them here.  We also have some trinity, which serves a similar purpose.  Of course, such plentiful supplies are not always to hand.  Some surgeons have little better than stingo, or other strong drinks, to steady the patient’s nerves.  Some have even less; little more than a piece of wood for the unfortunate man to bite down on.
   “In such situations, it’s of even more importance to try to keep your patient calm.  But, of course, that’s a lot easier said than done.  If the man you’re working on is still conscious, you’ll usually need at least half a dozen good, strong men to hold the poor fellow down!”  The doctor paused momentarily as he collected his thoughts.
   “And how right you are about blood loss, Fionn,” he continued, “Which is why we should never attempt an amputation above the knee!  This is the reason that we need to act swiftly on a mortified limb; if the rot progresses too far, it’s almost impossible to save the victim’s life.  Oh, and we should always apply a good, tight tourniquet before we start sawing.”
   The doctor turned to see how his mate was progressing with the preparation.
   “He’s already asleep, sir,” the boy said gently, as if frightened that he would wake the unconscious Mr Sonis.
   “Very good, Jameson, very good.  Now, ladies, perhaps you would care to see just what the problem is?”
   Doctor Jorek proceeded to lift the sheet that had been covering Mr Sonis’s legs.  Almost immediately, the fetid stench of dead flesh bloomed from the man’s blackened left leg.
   “Now, as you can see,” the doctor continued, pointing to the afflicted flesh, “Gangrene has set-in, and, if left untreated, would almost certainly prove fatal.  And, as you can see, Jameson here is already busy applying the tourniquet.  Very soon, we’ll be able to begin.”
   The doctor now turned to a small table that stood beside the bunk.  A piece of sail cloth was draped over it, hiding what lay beneath.
   “Here are a few tools for the job,” the doctor said, removing the sail cloth with a slight flourish, revealing a variety of wicked-looking implements.  “As you can see, we have knives and a saw.  The knives can be used for a slightly more involved amputation.  But, to keep things simple, I think today we should use the saw.”  The doctor reached over and picked up the saw.  It was shaped like a miniature bow, with a blade of sharp teeth where the string would be.  A wooden handle protruded from its rear end, and the metal at the front had been fashioned to allow a firm grip.  Doctor Jorek held it firmly, using both his hands.
   “I would very much like to watch one of you perform the amputation,” the doctor said, addressing the three women.  “I will guide and help you, of course, if you aren’t used to such work.  So, who would like to give it a go?”
   The doctor's face was calm and kind.  The uncertainty in Fionn's voice had led him to the conclusion that she wasn't feeling too confident about herself, and he wanted to help her feel as much at ease as possible.  He had probably felt the same way when he had first performed an amputation, though it was so long ago that he could hardly remember.  Working on board a ship, such procedures were all too common.  He could remember Jameson's first experience with surgery, though.  The poor lad had been literally bathed in sweat, and his hands had been shaking so much that the doctor had had to give him a shot of brandy just to calm him down!  Still, life was like that at sea; in at the deep-end!

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Royce Brodlyn Kristoph on March 10, 2009, 02:24:01 AM
Royce stood, awaiting the lieutenant's reply.  She looked a tough as nails type of soldier, and for a brief moment, a tinge of regret touched him.  He could imagine if it were the other way round, and she had come to him, whining about an injury when he was trying to train a group of soldiers.  How would he react?  What would he think?

She had listened to him, and it appeared that perhaps she was going to find something else for him to do.  She turned her back to him, after agreeing that it would do no good to make the injury worse.  Suddenly, Royce had a wash of shame crash over him.

It crossed his mind to just shut his mouth and resume his run, knee be damned, but before he could do anything, she startled him by reaching down without any warning and scooping him up in her arms.  Then, she rather unceremoniously deposited him on the shoulders of the dwarf.

What had just happened?  Royce was completely flabbergasted, to the point where he was unable to react for a moment, as the  diminutive bearded dwarf carried him along at a steady, if not lumbering pace.  At first, outrage filled him.  How could she?  Where did she get the gall to come off thinking she could do that to him?  Then shame, as he could just imagine what the others were going to think when they saw him being carried like a sack of neeps around the ship.

Suddenly, he began to laugh.  Not a chuckle.  Not a snicker.  A big belly laugh erupted from him that came up from deep inside.  What would they think, indeed!  He could well imagine the ridiculous sight this must pose to them.  He then relaxed, allowing the dwarf an easier grip on him, mindful of the sore elbow that the dwarf had mentioned.

"Very well, my friend, I shall let you carry me.  But, only on the condition that when we do the push ups, you rest on my back and I'll do my half of the workout carrying both our weights."  He was not afraid of that.  Bulging shoulders stood as testament to years of swinging a forge hammer. "No sense in making your injury worse as well."

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on March 10, 2009, 06:29:01 PM
The familiar smell of sick rooms floated in the air, Ylva didn't mind the sight of blood or the sounds of pain that came from the patients. They seemed normal. Which was worrying in itself. Her hands seemed to wash themselves as her mind drifted off. Strange....they never taught me how to actually interact with patients, heal them, yes, but people skills weren't exactly part of the lessons in that grim place. The woman listened as both the Doctor asked them a question. You could answer this isn't Dagans...this isn't a competition.... Fionn spoke, giving a answer which showed a considerable sharp mind. Very good point on blood loss...I didn't remember that....How old is she?...Hmm....she must be experienced surely....Ylva watched the other healer closely. Though the ugly sight itself seems to be affecting her....she'll grow used to it....people grow used to everything if it just becomes a daily occurance.....

Doctor Jorek proceeded to show them the wound itself, Ylva had seen injuries like it before, normally there were about three strong soldiers holding the man down as her and another doctor tried to frantically hack the dead flesh off. That had been so long ago. Obviously the doctors in Santharia had more careful methods. The Santerran army wasn't known for it's medicine and Lhindal was no exception. The stench of rotting brought back old memories of that place, nasty ones but ones which would help her now.

“I would very much like to watch one of you perform the amputation, I will guide and help you, of course, if you aren’t used to such work. So, who would like to give it a go?”

Fionn could do it, no doubt of it, but will she volunteer? Rhia...perhaps with more training...

“I'll do it....” The murmillion stepped forwards towards the sleeping man and reached out to grasp one of the knives lying on the nearby table. It felt strange to be holding such a implement again. The leg had been washed, ready for surgery. All that was needed was a first incision. Just a cut. Her hand wavered, the edge of the blade just a few grains from the skin. It's been such a long time, will I remember?...the smell of lime trees...that was what was missing...that sharp lime smell brought comfort to on this ship there is only the smells of illness and rot....of salt and the, no comfort to be found in them.... “But." Her brown eyes looked up, flitting from Doctor Jorek to Fionn, then a quick glance at Rhia to see how she was doing. "I'm a bit hazy.....” Admit it, afterall this time, you're still scared...terrified...that never goes away...

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on March 12, 2009, 10:20:40 AM
Acrobats swung and flew through the air inside Rhia's stomach. Well, they didn't really fly through the air. Close enough though. Succinctly, she was nervous. And why? She didn't know any of the answers to the good doctor's questions. A good enough reason! she justified to herself, though in truth it didn't make her feel any better. And it certainly didn't help when Doctor Jolly -er, Doctor Jorek; she kept getting his name bungled inside her head, though 'Doctor Jolly' seemed an apt enough name for him- towed them off to the sick bay, showed them a sickly man, and queried as to how to lop of his leg correctly. Hah, 'lop off his leg.' Those three would probably crucify me if they heard me using that broad term. Her heartbeat thudded apprehensively, quickening as they stepped inside the sick ward, and for lack of distraction picked up her thought where it had left off. Ha, yes, three to one, I'm outnumbered... But they're friendly anyway, so it doesn't really matter... A quick comforting touch to the scabbard at her belt confirmed that her R'unorian dagger was still keeping her company, nonetheless. As if I'm usually that suspicious of others! Nerves, nerves, nerves. Just like a performance... Anyway, the best place to be when you're in a sick ward is probably outnumbered by surgeons... Especially if you happen to not be one. Rhia smiled thinly at this thought. She wasn't usually wry, if this could even pass for wry, but now they were standing before a man who Jolly –Jorek!- as he conversed with him, identified as Jameson. Nearby, lying in a bunk, was a young sailor who had the fear of the world ending written on his face. And indeed, Rhia could only sympathize with him- Baveras, in one of her many temperaments, had decided to cruelly relieve him of one of his most important appendages. This thought, of course, sprouted a new idea for a song in Rhia's head, but she was kept firmly in the present by another panic-creating question of Doctor J. (Rhia had found a compromise for her little -extremely, extremely little, compared to the crisis this poor sailor was going through- problem with the good doctor's name.)

The doctor washed his hands and gestured for the other three to do the same, then threw out another paralyzing query. “Now, then, ladies.  For an amputation such as this, on a healthy male of about thirty years; what would you use to put him to sleep, or dull the pain?”

Rhia was forced to stand there again, probably slack jawed, and let Fionn –Aha! At least now Rhia had a name, if not a species- or Ylva answer the question. The troubadour’s best guess as to Doctor J.’s question was something along the lines of ‘Clonk him on the head with a huge hammer?’ Out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw Ylva give her an appraising glance. Rhia quickly flushed. Yes, well, I’m a troubadour, what would you have expected, that I would be as utterly remarkable as the rest of you? Even as the sour thoughts passed through her mind, clinging to every possible crag in the cliffs of her brain, she knew that the other woman –every single member of the party, for that matter- had good reason to doubt her. Yet she swiftly pushed these thoughts out of her mind, unwilling to even speculate on them. Such was her vanity!...

Ylva stepped closer to the man on the bunk, took up a knife, (at which Rhia’s complexion promptly paled) and proceeded, as if in a daze –which Rhia, quite frankly, could identify with- to begin cutting into the sailor’s flesh. The girl’s complexion positively whitened at this, and a fresh wave of revulsion shuddered through her. ”You’ll excuse me,” she mumbled as she bolted out of the sick bay.

It was cooler outside on the deck, a somewhat respite from the slightly warmer air of the sick ward. Rhia looked at the deck floor, the sky, the sea, anywhere but in the sick bay. As it turned out, unsurprisingly, this proved easy enough to do, but her thoughts were more difficult to contain. They kept lingering on the moment that the blade touched the skin. She bit her lip tightly as she felt herself nearing the edge of the emotional cliff- she did not want to cry in front of these people. Despite all her attempts to distinctly not think about it, she knew –knew that in one way or another, all the others were useful. Why had she even signed up for this, convinced Uncle Jorn to let her go? It was ridiculous! A singer whose only military skill was the R’unarian dagger (in close range fighting, at that!) and who couldn’t even tie a bandage, on a ship with all these… useful people? How did it work out in the stories? And yet Rhia knew that her confidence would return- not rightly, for this momentary reasoning was indeed correct, but eventually her vanity would once more let her believe that she could somehow be of some use, some help. She took another shuddering breath. Perhaps I should have stayed at home and become a Baveras’ Will like Seli. Ha. She knew that she could never be a Baveras’ Will, much as she loved Baveras. She was merely entertaining the thought to feel sorry for herself… Silently she watched the runners pound past her in single file. A few of the men were trying to catch up and talk to the lieutenant who was leading them. A small smile glowed hesitantly in Rhia’s face. Some men never stopped trying when there were women around!

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 12, 2009, 07:04:20 PM
   Doctor Jorek watched as Ylva picked up one of the curved blades; clearly she knew what she was doing.  Then, she hesitated, the blade almost touching the patient's skin.
   "Ah, don't worry," the docor said reassuringly, "I'm sure it'll come back to you soon enough."  Tracing a line around the man's leg with his index finger, Doctor Jorek indicated where the incisions were to be made.  "Take it down to the bone, using two, conical cuts; then I'll suture the arteries.  The cuts need to be angled slightly, like so." The doctor used his fingers to show Ylva the angle of cut required.  "Once we've done that, then you can get to work on the bone itself."  The doctor picked up a curved needle and thread.  "I believe we're ready to begin.  Just remember; speed and accuracy!"
   Almost as soon as Ylva had started on the first incision, Rhia made a shap exit, obviously sickened by the sight.  Doctor Jorek looked up, and ordered his assistant, Jameson, to go and comfort her.  As the boy hurried out of the room, the doctor turned his attention back to the operation.

   Jameson hurried over to the pale-faced girl, Rhia.  She looked decidedly unstable, as though she were about to faint.
   "Exuse me, miss," he said as he approached her.  "Are you feeling alright?  You look a little unwell.  I know it affects some people like that; the blood 'n all.  Maybe you'd like a cup of cha'ah?"
   "Ah, Jameson!"  The captain's voice boomed close-by.  "I hope you're looking after our guests!"
   Jameson touched his forehead in a mark of respect, and then replied, "Aye, sir!"
   The captain's gaze fell on Rhia, and a look of concern came to his eyes.  "But Rhia, you look profoundly unwell!  What has the doctor been doing to you?"
   "Please, sir," Jameson said, "Lady Rhia is feeling a little faint.  Perhaps the blood don't suit her.  I thought she might like a rest and a nice cup of cha'ah."
   "Of course the blood doesn't suit her, boy!  Why, whoever heard of a lady that could stand such a thing!"  Turning to Rhia, he continued.  "In truth, I didn't think the doctor would subject you to such an ordeal.  You must forgive me!  Now, come; you can rest in my quarters for a while.  Jameson!  Run ahead and put the kettle on; we'll join you presently!"
   "Aye, aye, sir!" the young lad said, before running aft.
   "Now, perhaps you'll allow me to assist you?" the captain said to Rhia, offering his hand for support.  "I'd hate for you to collapse on the way!"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on March 13, 2009, 05:53:43 AM
Fu listened in puzzlement as the sailor with the large hands told him to hide on the ship. Queen’s Harbour? What was that? Some small fishing town he’d never heard of? A self-important fishing town, judging by the name! ”I prithee, where be Queen’s Harbour? How long will the journey be taking? Longer than a day?” The sailor didn’t hear Fu out, but instead climbed up the ladder, opened the hatch a bit  - a ray of light fell into the dusky room; there was a human voice in the distance, a man was laughing, and a seabird cried  - wriggled through it, closed it again, and was gone. And all was still. Except for a soft creaking in the wood, to the rhythm of the ship's heaving motion: its slow and powerful and regular swing. Fu’s body swayed like a lonely blade of reed.

”What should I be doing?” he mumbled to himself. He walked over to the porthole and looked outside: there was no land in sight, only water as far as his eyes could see. "The land may be on the other side, may it not? I be wishing this sailor would be a-staying and explaining. He wasn’t even telling me his name. He be advising to hide, so this journey can’t be long. Maybe Fu will be on land tonight!" And this time, he might be lucky and come to a place where he won’t have to run and squeeze into corners behind boxes and barrels! 

So Fu decided to follow the sailor’s advice. He took the piece of bread and the cheese from the crate where his benefactor had left them, bit a piece off each and started to chew. Too nervous to sit down, he walked about. This storage chamber was massive! Who would be carrying so many wares on a ship that was only going for a short journey? But ah, maybe the ship would stop at several ports, and Queen’s Harbour was only the next stop! He'd simply slip on land wherever this boat would next cast the anchor. For the first time today, Fu smiled, satisfied with his reasoning. My sense be coming back to life! Though my head be thumping still as if there be a dwarf mine inside. Or a rat rider mine, hee-hee! Where be that wee fellow gone, anyways?

Fu’s gaze fell on the puddle of water and the flat canteen that lay in it, unperturbed by the ship’s sway. These scratches in the wood just by the puddle’s edge were very peculiar indeed. Three looked like symbols of some sort. And fourth: that was a stick man, who appeared to be under attack from large, oval shapes with pointy stick growing out of them. But before he could ponder the implications of this thought, another sight made Fu startle. There still be my knapsack and hat! I was going to be swimming without them. Thanks be to the sailor who wasn’t being letting me! Maybe my sense be not that awake after all?

Now that he’d eaten, Fu felt a smoke would really help to steady his nerves. So he squatted down next to his rucksack, opened it, and found his beloved pipe, his pouch of pipe moss, and his flint and iron. Sitting down on a low crate, he stuffed bits of moss into the head of the pipe and stroke the flint against the metal, producing a spark that lit the moss. Ah, the spark of life: but without wind, you could not be smouldering, little fire ounia. You be earth trying at being wind, but you be not wind. As he took in the first gulp of smoke, Fu felt his body relax, and the pain in his head slowly recede into the background of his thoughts. Unfortunately for our little wind wizard, this moment of respite - the first, really, since his hazardous encounter with the Ciosan ruffians - was not destined to last long.

The hatch opened again! Fu recognized the noise by now. The sailor be coming back? Now I be ready, and not so befuddled, and I be going and asking him questions. I must be finding out how long I will be here. So Fu got up and walked towards the hatch to greet his benefactor. He decided to address him a bit more formally this time, in the slightly over-wrought idiom the wizard had picked up from his teachers. ”I thank thee! Thou hast bestowed great kindness bringing me food and drink. May I take the liberty of aski…" This be not the same sailor! This be a woman!  She had already seen him. Standing at the bottom of the ladder, she looked at him with an odd mixture of shock and triumph.

For a blink, Fu hesitated. Inwardly, he listened to the little hiss the pipe-smoke made in his throat. No, that didn’t sound right. He knew himself that much. There was no spell in him at this moment. Any attempt at magic would fizzle away like a spark that didn’t strike the pipe-moss. Maybe politeness was the best defence?

”I do beg thy forgiveness. I thought it was thy colleague, who no doubt hath sent you down here. I arrived here on a string of unfortunate crates, erm, circumstances, and …" Fu had made a slight but polite bow as he spoke. The woman’s eyes, however, did not reflect acknowledgement of courtesy. Looking into these eyes – barely visible in the cargo hold’s gloom, yet expressive with a fierce resolve that Fu, unfortunately for him, more often experienced through the deeds of others than in his own soul – caused him to lose the thread of the apologetic speech he had planned to make. Gathering courage nonetheless, the wizard stretched out his hand for a greeting (the palm still scaly from landing roughly on Ciosa's quay last night) and said with a hopeful smile: ”I am glad to make thy acquaintance. My name be Fu Luft."

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 13, 2009, 05:58:19 PM
   Lieutenant Ustaskjan watched with approval as the dwarf powered ahead; maybe this motley crew could work as a team, afterall?  Picking the pace back up, she continued on her own run, observing the other two men closely.
   Hylphan seemed to be at home on board a ship, he didn't stumble, and his confidence showed clearly in his stride.  Malavon on the other hand, though exceptionally fast, didn't seem to have his sea-legs; not yet, anyway.
   Royce was busy doing his push-ups, with the dwarf on his back!  Not to be outdone, the lieutenant blasted her share out with one of her favourite variations; powering her hands off the deck and clapping on each lift.  Soon, her blood was pumping, and she felt ready for a fight.
   It wasn't exactly clear who won the race, though it had certainly been Malavon or Hylphan.  When Koka and Royce eventually finished, the lieutenant addressed the whole group again.
   "Very good, men; I hope we're all warmed up now!"
   Then, indicating a small portion of the deck, she issued her next order.
   "I want us to do some sparring; empty hands at first.  You can do anything except bite, eye-gouge or strike the neck!  The winner will be the first to land a knock-out,  or to force a submission.  To indicate your submission, you must shout, 'yield!'
   "We'll spar at the same time.  Koka and Royce over here; Hylphan and Malavon over there!  Remember, no weapons except your own bodies!  Knock-out or submission to win!  Let's go!"
   The lieutenant stood to the side, her hands akimbo, as she prepared to judge the matches.  Meanwhile, a couple of idlers had drawn near to the cramped arena.
   "I betz ye five sans the lit'le fella winz," one said to the other.
   "Alright," his friend replied.  "You've got a bet!"  'n what about the other two?"
   The first man cast a critical look at Hylphan and Malavon, and rubbed his stubbly chin.
   "That one!" he said, pointing at Hylphan.  "'e's got the look o' a sailor 'bout 'im, 'e 'as!"
   Then, after a brief shake of the hands, the two men watched events unfold.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Royce Brodlyn Kristoph on March 14, 2009, 01:27:20 AM
Royce listened to the lieutenant, and he sighed audibly.  This woman was going to have them half dead long before they got to where they were going.  Sparring?  And he and the dwarf had been set up against one another.  Again, just great.  Slight height difference?  At least it was in his favour. 

He followed the dwarf to where they were ordered to and the two people faced each other and assumed a defencive stance each.   Well, better get some ground rules out of the way first.  "Look, we don't want to kill each other, or cripple one another, so I will agree not to try and ruin your bad arm if you agree not to break my bad leg.  Agreed?"    Royce was relieved when the dwarf nodded curtly.  Ok, good.  At least the two of them wouldn't be useless when they reached shore again. 

They began circling each other, like two dogs about to fight over a bone.  Royce was sure Koka was snarling under that beard, though he could not see it.  It just felt like the dwarf was snarling.  He too, then, assumed a look of determination.  At least he had the reach advantage.  He would have to use that.

Not wanting to hurt Koka, Royce figured it would be best just to knock him down and then subdue him.  They circled further, each making a few feints in order to discover the weakness in the other.  Of course, Royce found his straight off.  The dwarf was considerably less agile on the wounded arm side.  He had promised not to injure the arm, not that he would not exploit that weakness.  With that in mind, he feinted to the good arm side, then abruptly changed the agle of his attack, and hit the dwarf with all his force upon Koka's right shoulder.

It was if Royce were trying to knock over a tree stump, or a large barrel full of wine.  He slammed all his weight into the diminutive dwarf, but Koka was a solid mass.  There was no give there at all, and Royce was momentarily stunned.  It was enough time for him to feel the dwarf's fist catch him in the gut, and the wind was knocked forcefully from him.

Royce jumped back to protect himself and to catch his breath.  When he had enough air to speak, he grinned at the dwarf.  "Solid little bugger you are."  He was sure Koka's eyes were sparkling.

He then had to jump out of the way, as Koka lunged at him, but with Royce's long arms, he was able to keep out of the way.  It did, however, open up a small opening in the dwarf's defences, which Royce took advantage of.  He threw himself at Koka, who was now no longer facing him full on, and was more turned sideways, his crippled arm closest to Royce.  Royce wrapped his arms around the dwarfs thick barrel chest, and pulled Koka backwards on top of him.  He struggled to hold on tight to the dwarf, his arms squeezing tighter.  He was amazed at how powerful Koka's chest was.  The muscles were bulging, they were... not muscles?  They were....


Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on March 14, 2009, 11:51:43 AM
Rhia took her eyes away from the ocean, where they were decidedly lodged in an attempt of distraction. A man -Jameson, wasn't it?- was hastening out of the sick bay to her side. The doctor sent him? He began to worriedly ask after her health; the grey-eyed girl smiled feebly.

"Maybe you'd like a cup of cha'ah?" he asked with worry in his face. Before Rhia could answer, the captain was standing there, tall and brave and concerned.

"Rhia, you look profoundly unwell! What has the doctor been doing to you?"

At this Jameson protested rather fussily, saying something about fainting and blood and cha'ah- cha'ah? How did that match up with the first two?

The captain looked at the other man, his golden eyebrows raised. "Of course the blood doesn't suit her, boy! Why, whoever heard of a lady that could stand such a thing!" He snapped his fingers at a new thought. "Jameson! Run ahead and put the kettle on- we'll join you presently!"

Fjorwek beamed down at Rhia and gave her his arm as Jameson scampered off. "Now, perhaps you'll allow me to assist you- I'd hate for you to collapse on the way."

Rhia gave him a sweet smile, accepting his proffered -strong- arm. "I thank you, Captain, both for your generosity and your kindness. I am sure that you are accustomed to more robustness, but you have been exceedingly patient with me, and I am grateful to you for that."

A shudder wrenched through the slight girl. Were those the screams of the sailor fated to have one leg less, or was it merely her sickened brain trying to fit things into the situation? The fighters had finished their run and were now sparring- The animal man -Royce!- and the friendly dwarf, Malavon and the weathered elf. Royce was crunching his partner to his chest -Rhia didn't know the proper technical term for it- and looked like he was winning, though the girl was no judge of these types of physical contests. After a moment of further inspection, she noticed that the man had a look of extreme discomfort displayed on his face like an ill-fitting tapestry. Rhia shrugged mentally. If it was important she would probably be told about it. And who knew, it was probably something that she already knew.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Malavon Despana on March 14, 2009, 05:08:08 PM
The race was over , and as Mal predicted the Hylphan and him were the only ones to complete it , the dwarf and Royce were no match , one with a bad leg and the other with an arm , is this half of our fighting force? What was Jorn thinking ?.
Malavon heard the lieutenant separate the four in two groups , sparring she said ...
not that Malavon didn´t enjoy a test of skill , but she said that was a fight with bare knuckles , Malavon instantly caressed his left hand , his ever remind of the hate he have of mages , his left hand that was little more than charcoal now , hopping that she didn´t start to hurt now , Malavon took his cloak out , not bothering to took his gloves since he did want to conceal his weakness and narrowing his eyes towards his opponent , Malavon said to the lieutenant " I am not here to entartain you , much less with bare fist , I am a warrior not bar brawler , if you want to see how people make fools of themselves , use the cripples" , Malavon pointed the other two , Koka and Royce ,that were already fighting , grabbing each other , is this fighting .

He then noticed something that he didn´t before , Hylphan finished the race the same time that he , maybe he had something hidden , after all he did seem more a sailor than a fighter ,smiling Malavon said " But maybe Ill entertain you this time , are you ready old man ?"  Malavon said moving quickly towards Hylphan trowing a punch . 

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Hylphán on March 14, 2009, 10:27:45 PM
"Are you ready old man?"  Malavon said, moving quickly towards Hylphan and throwing a punch.
     Hylphán leaned slightly to one side, watching the other's hand pass inches from his head.  As if in slow  motion, Hylphán reached out to lightly grasp Malavon's arm, just above the wrist, giving it a twist.  Malavon's body, following through on the punch, seemed to twist itself into a knot and he landed on his back on the deck.  Hylphán had to give the man credit though, at the moment of impact Malavon continued the roll and was back on his feet in a flash.  The man did know how to take a fall correctly, as most men would have landed with a splat, looking like a bug, squashed underfoot.
     It seems Hylphán's Doimo brawling techniques were unknown to Malavon.  The man was quick enough though, and may learn a thing or two from this sparring match.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Koka Bentarm on March 15, 2009, 05:18:47 AM
Being seated on the back of someone doing pushups was, to be frank, a novel experience for Koka. She had just started deciding that she could get used to it - though the experience was not likely to be repeated - the lieutenant split them up in pairs and ordered them to fight. Barehanded. Really, what *was* it with these humans and their pointless tasks?

However, keeping in mind that she had promised to obey the lieutenant's orders (however pointless they were), and that the exercise was keeping her mind off the rocking of the ship, she quickly got into place to fight Royce. They started circling each other, with Koka doing her best not to start giggling about the sheer stupidity of what they were doing. In a dwarvish society, it would be unthinkable to fight each other in this way. After having agreed that neither would try to worsen the injury of the other - A sensible suggestions - they started actually fighting.

Royce was the first to move, lunging at her left side but changing to the right before she had time to react. Rather than wasting time trying to block the attack with her bad arm, she planted her feet firmly on the planks to meet his charge. She almost started laughing again at his futile attempt to knock her over, but instead she quickly swung her left fist in a horizontal arch that ended in Royce's guts. Despite the pointlessness of the exercise, she was starting to enjoy herself when Royce had caught his breath and accused her of being a 'solid little bugger'. So he still hadn't figured it out - unless 'bugger' was also used for women in Tharian. She was pretty sure, though, that it was not.

Her next lunge brought her a little out of balance - she blamed a particular powerful lurch of the ship, which made her swing wide of her target and almost bowled her over in a way that Royce had been unable to do. She had to put her right foot forward to keep from falling, and therefore turned her injured arm towards Royce, who didn't seem at all affected by the lurch. In this position she was not able to stop the man from wrapping his arms around her chest, and not having entirely recovered her balance, she was dragged on top of her opponent.

From Royce's surprised exclamation she surmised that he now knew her actual gender. In his surprise he had loosened his grip just a little, and Koka took advantage of that. With more force than elegance, she wriggled out of his embrace. He probably shouldn't have dragged her on top of him - now that she was free, she had the advantage, his reach was no longer the better. With her solid weight which he had found impossible to push over, she somehow managed to struggle onto his chest. With her left hand she restrained one of his arms, the other she kept down with her right knee - though she was careful not to push too hard, as she could imagine a knee pushing down on your biceps, even devoloped biceps such as Royce had, would hurt pretty badly.

Her right arm, useless to restrain Royce's arm, she used to lean with the elbow on the deck of the ship - which cost her a grimace of pain - while she placed her forearm across his neck. With her on top of his chest the way she was, and restraining him like that, she figured there was no way for him to get back up. From this close, she suddenly noticed two small scars under Royce's eye. She also saw he was missing a front tooth, something she had seen earlier but hadn't yet thought about. She found herself wondering suddenly where he'd lost it. If they were going to be companions, maybe she should know about these things? But then, probably the story of his knee was more interesting than the one of his tooth.

She grinned at her opponent. 'You know, you shouldn't let surprises loosen your grip on someone - even chest-related surprises. But don't tell anyone, I like the look on people's faces when they find out about it - in their own time.' She winked at him. Then, for the lieutenant's benefit, she spoke up in a clear voice. 'Do you yield?' She was pretty sure that he would. There was nowhere he could go - or at least, she hoped there wasn't, or the fight wasn't over yet. The sooner he said yes, the better - very soon now her right leg was going to start trembling from the effort of not pressing down too hard, and while that wasn't going to stop her from maintaining this position until she'd won, it would not bode too well for Royce's upper arm.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Royce Brodlyn Kristoph on March 15, 2009, 02:03:38 PM
From the moment that Royce's hands had cupped... the truth, it was a blur that found his arms pinned to the deck of the ship.  With leverage, he might have been able to move the dwarf off him, but his, or her, knee and elbow were keeping Royce's arm glued to the deck.  When Koka called out to yield, Royce nodded.  "Yield!"

Her weight relaxed, and blood began to flow once more to Royce's arms.  He looked at the dwarf closely.  He knew it was impolite, but he had to say something, careful to keep his voice low enough that only he, she!, could hear.  "I really didn't know you were a woman.  What's with the beard?  A sick twisted mage put a spell on you or something?"

Once he spoke, he knew how insensitive that must have sounded.  Of course it had to be something like that.  The poor little dwarf must have been teased about that incessantly, for who knew how long.  Of course she would want it kept secret.  "I won't tell anyone, not to worry."  It was amazing at how prettier Arnanra became when compared to a woman with a beard, he thought wryly, remembering his tryst last night with the large hulking woman.

He then grinned good naturedly.    "Good fight, though I warn you; that trick might not work against some crazed pirate."  He chuckled and winked.  Then the grin faded.  He hoped she didn't think he was flirting with her.  He gulped.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on March 17, 2009, 07:51:11 AM
Ylva listened to the man's words and nodded with one sharp movement of her head. I should know this... Her eyes turned back towards the patient, but Ylva didn't look at the man's face. Her fingers clenched the knife and gently made a first incision. Her senses seemed more alive than ever, the moisture on her forehead, the deep rumbling sounds of the ship as it battled with the ocean. The stank smell of the room. The spirally patterns on the wooden panel walls that surrounded them. The knife kept cutting, a slightly angled cut, like the doctor had reminded her, precious blood escaping. Her mind tried to remain steady, but other thoughts crept into her mind. Her brain battled to push them away. Was that footsteps I heard leaving the room? Concentrate! Speed and accuracy. Angled and conical...Lime trees...Her knife hit bone with a slight clunk sound.

Ylva pulled away slightly, the knife in her hand felt slippery, the memories of Lhindal drifted around her mind. Her own thoughts snapped fiercely at her. Concentrate, there is still another cut to do! He's losing blood, you're wasting time! Got to stay cold and calm....Ylva looked down at the leg, she felt no sickness, no caring for this man. It's just a leg, carry on, it's just a leg. Feeling strangley reassured by this thought, Ylva again found her grip, the knife tightly curled amongst her fingers. Another cut was made. More blood poured out, perhaps too much blood and time had been lost. The thought that she had failed made Ylva's stomach queasy.

“I've finished the cuts.” The woman's voice sounded steady. It lied for her.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 17, 2009, 06:38:28 PM
   The lieutenant watched with amazement as Royce actually pulled the dwarf on top of him.  Was he deliberately trying to lose this fight?  Or had he mastered some mystical, unorthodox style?  Surely it would have been in his best interests to keep the dwarf at a distance?  A few powerful kicks would have done the job, especially considering the height of the little man's head!
   Turning her attention to the other match, the lieutenant felt a sense of relief as she watched Hylphan expertly throw Malavon to the deck.  She was equally impressed by the latter's dextrous recovery.  Surely this would be the more interesting of the two fights.
   "Yield!"  Royce's cry came loud and clear.  Obviously he wasn't a master of some rare fighting style, afterall!
   "Very good, Koka!" the lieutenant bawled.  Seeing that Hylphan and Malavon were still fighting, she decided that Royce and Koka should have a rematch.  "Koka and Royce to fight again!  This time, no grappling allowed!  Punches, kicks, elbows, knees, head-butts, and any other kind of strike you care to think of; all are acceptable!  But no wrestling, choking, or strangling!  To win by knock-down or knock-out; no submission!"
   "Ah, thank you, Jameson," Captain Fjorwek said when he saw that the kettle was already on the stove.  "You can return to your duties with the doctor, now."
   "Aye, aye, sir!"  the young lad said, before promptly leaving.
   "Please, have a seat," the captain said with a smile, motioning for Rhia to rest on a small, inviting armchair.  "I trust you'll be feeling better once you've had some hot cha.  I must confess, I find it to be the best medicine for any malady that afflicts me."
   As the water was heating, Captain Fjorwek fetched a small wooden tray, and placed it carefully onto the table that lay between himself and Rhia.  He then produced two fine, porcelain cups, and a beautiful, petite pot.  Holding the pot up to the light, he smiled more broadly.
   "Carved from a single piece of marble," he said with pride.  "It's so thin, and the craftsmanship so exquisite, that one can almost see through it!  Here, take a look."  The captain passed the small, translucent piece of pottery to Rhia.
   "It's one of the things that makes working for Jorn Ranskjun so delightful," he continued, as he placed a small wooden chest next to the tray.  "One tends to encounter some of the rarest, and most exceptional items of beauty that this world has to offer."
   The kettle started to whistle softly.  Taking it from the stove, the captain poured some boiling water into the pot and over the cups.  Then, after placing the kettle back onto a cooler portion of the stove, he tipped the waste water onto the tray.  The water drained away, due to the tray's ingenious design.
   "Take this cha, for example," the captain said as he opened the small chest.  "A finer example of efer-cha I've yet to find!"
   Using a wooden scoop, he proceded to fill the pot half-full with some of the reddish-brown leaves.  The hot water was then poured over the leaves, which were left to soak for a while.
   "But tell me," the captain said as he turned his full attention to Rhia.  "How is it that you've come to be involved with...ah...such colourful characters?"

   "Well done," the doctor said to Ylva, as he started working on the bloody wound with his needle and thread.  "This part is essential, and as you can see, a little tricky."  His blood-soaked hands were deftly stitching the end of a severed artery.  "Of course, if we had sawn through in one go, then a cauterising iron would be more suitable for this job.  And if one isn't available, then any small piece of metal will suffice; a dagger, for example."  He didn't look up from his work as he spoke; his concentration on the task at hand was intense.  Then, after finishing the last stitch, he straightened up and used a jug of clean water to quickly wash some of the blood away from the wound.
   "Here, Fionn, come and take a look.  Can you see how the incisions are angled?  Now we need to cut the bone straight through, and then we can sew the flaps of skin together to cover it."  The doctor paused for a moment before adding, "It's a little similar to making a pie!  Now, Ylva, quickly; cut the bone!"  Doctor Jorek handed the saw to Ylva, and then turned back to Fionn.  "Maybe you can do the next one?  Unfortunately, this kind of procedure is all too common on board a ship.  Why, men are forever falling off the rigging, or getting crushed by things!"
   Smiling, he turned back to the operation, and was horrified at what he saw!
   "No, no, no!" he cried, grabbing Ylva's hands, causing her to stop.  "It needs to be further up the bone!  Why, we'll never be able to pull the skin over it like this!"  Taking control of the situation, Doctor Jorek withdrew the saw from the bone.  "Nevermind, we'll just start again.  Here, look, this is where we should cut!"  With surprising speed and force, Doctor Jorek started hacking through the bone, this time slightly further up the leg.  When he had finished, the remaining bone was recessed inside a cone of flesh.  Reaching up, the doctor wiped his brow, which was covered in beads of sweat.
   "Excellent!  Now, Fionn, could you wash the wound?  Make sure that you wash away any fragments of bone; then you can sew the skin together.
   As Fionn set to work cleaning the leg, Doctor Jorek turned to Ylva.
   "Not to worry about the mistake!  You did a fine job on the incisions!  I'm sure that next time you'll do it perfectly!"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on March 18, 2009, 02:23:08 AM
As soon as she saw the blade go in Fionn, felt herself reorganize herself around the patient. It was always like this; she could be as scared and alone as whichever desperate case she was working with, but when the metal hit the meat, something in her clicked, and she stopped thinking about all the things that could go wrong and instead thought about what the problem was right now. It was like her field of vision narrowed, but became much clearer. In the back of her mind somewhere, the last amputation she’d tried was still playing itself out, gruesome and harrowing, but for now she could put that aside, drawing from it what she needed but ignoring the pain and fear that would get in her way.

She looked into the face of the man, creased and waxy looking despite his unconsciousness. Then her gaze flicked back to the cuts Ylva was making. She was beginning to see where she’d gone wrong – it had been too rushed, too close to the tear, she had tried to save too much of the leg at the expense of neatness. Now she knew better. When the doctor suggested she did the next one, she barely flinched, and was able to nod with at least a semblance of confidence. This faltered as the exclamation of "No, no, no!" split the concentrated quiet of the small room. A blur of hands and glinting blades, and the doctor stepped back.

"Excellent!  Now, Fionn, could you wash the wound?  Make sure that you wash away any fragments of bone; then you can sew the skin together.”

Fionn nodded again, and quickly started cleaning the worst of the blood away, so she could see clearly. The smell of it forced its way up her nose, and she wondered for the hundredth time why blood smelled of the taste of iron. With careful, quick hands she removed all fragments of bone and loose tissue, gave the work a cursory glance, and then put her hand out for needle and thread. Mullogs were renowned, where they were known at all, for their dexterity, and she prided herself on living up to that. This, she knew she could do. She smiled, briefly, before frowning in concentration as she continued stitching.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on March 18, 2009, 09:45:58 PM
Mallorix slipped silently into his quarters, and was about to go to sleep. He peeked outside to see if the first mate had seen him, and he caught a glimpse of her climbing down into the hold. He knew that that ment trouble. In an effort to clear his name, he rushed to the hold and climbed down. He said:
"Wait! I can explain. You see, there were strange noises when I thought the hold was haunted. I went to investigate further, and I found him. I left to search for you, but you climbed in. He was invisible the fist time, and he appeared now! I was scared. Please don't lock me up, or " *Mallorix shudders* " throw me overboard. I swear I was going right away to tell you!"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Malavon Despana on March 19, 2009, 03:34:18 PM
What the ... , was the only thing Mal could think when he was suddenly airborne, if he was humorous about these things , he would say this was as close as he got to fly ...

Rolling as he hit the floor , Mal nimbly stood up , and with hate on his emerald eyes , he evilly reached for his sword , not finding it of course , since the lieutenant instructed that this was a bare fist fight, fuming with fury and hate , Mal rushed forward towards his opponent , now this when his wild nature could be his doom , rushing against an man that was superior in hand to hand combat was suicidal to say the least , but Malavon never thinks , he just acts ...   

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Hylphán on March 19, 2009, 04:25:18 PM
Hylphán had seen and heard enough from Malavon to have an idea of how he would react next, and so was expecting the man to rush him.  Hylphán stood, as if at ease, as Malavon quickly closed the distance between them.  Malavon reached for him, but Hylphán, grabbing a sleeve and the front of Malavon's shirt, rolled backwards on the deck.  Planting a boot in Malavon's middle, he pulled the man down after him, and with a quick shove from his booted foot, Hylphán threw Malavon over his head and onto the deck.  This time the man was so surprised that he landed flat on his back with a thud.  Hylphán quickly rolled over, stood, and offered a hand to the dazed and confused Malavon.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 19, 2009, 07:46:03 PM
"Aha!  A stow-away!" the first mate thought to herself, half in surprise, and half in glee.  "Oh, how the plot thickens!" her mind continued, as the shadowy figure inadvertently confirmed Mallorix's guilt.
   After delivering a rather confused account of how he had come to be in the cargo hold, the man extended a hand in greeting.  Deciding that it would be wisest to lure him into a false sense of security, First Mate Udghrin shook the proffered hand, and kept a firm hold of it as she spoke.
   "Fu Luft, is it?  Tell me, mate, for me mind's forgetful; what's the name of yer friend?  The one oo's bin bringing ye food?"
   It had been Mallorix, of course, but the first mate wanted to make absolutely certain.  The punishment for harbouring a stow-away was severe, and even though she hadn't taken a liking to the new hand, she didn't want an innocent man to suffer.
   Before Fu could respond, however, the mate in question clambered down the ladder, and openly admitted his part in the villainy!  Of course, he tried to make excuses for his behaviour; spinning lies about how he'd been looking for the first mate, when she'd seen him with her own eyes heading to his bunk.  "Oh, aye!  'n what makes ye think I'd be 'anging aroun' yer louse-infested bunk!" she thought to herself, as she bit her tongue to stop it lashing out at the daft lump right there and then.
   "Invisible, eh?" was all she said as a way of response.  There was no need to endanger herself; and so, with as much warmth as she could muster, she said, "Not to worry, lad!  Why, lets all of us go up on deck and forget about it!  I'm sure master Fu here could do with a bit o' fresh air.  Come on; after thee!"
   She indicated that the two men should climb the ladder after her; she didn't want to let them out of her sight!  Once they were back in the open, she planned on calling for some of the ship's marines to come and arrest these two scoundrels!

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on March 20, 2009, 04:44:28 AM
The pounding in Fu’s head had got worse. As the lady sailor replied to him, he took deep a draw from his pipe, which helped somewhat to dull the pain. When he had recovered sufficiently to scrutinize his discoverer, he percieved with some relief that her face had softened, and that she turned out to be rather friendlier than first appearance had suggested. Her question for his benefactor’s name, however, left Fu at a loss – nobody seemed to introduce themselves by name around here! At least, neither of the two visitors to his hiding place had done so. Actually, I was having three visitors - but the wee rat rider wasn't being observing formal procedures for courtly introductions either!

Before the wizard could answer, however, the very man appeared: his benefactor with the huge hands! And he seemed to have guessed that Fu had been hiding from him with a spell. It may be good to be revealing that I am a mage. This may be making an impression on these sailor-folk.

But this was not the only conclusion to be drawn from the male sailor’s speech. The gentle reader will have deduced from his earlier actions that Fu, although a gifted wizard and learned man, was not the cleverest fellow in Santharia when it came to behaving wisely in a tricky situation and an unfamiliar place. Nonetheless, his life in the Ximaxian Academy had told him a thing or two about social hierarchies. And his benefactor, judging by the rapidity, agitation, and apologetic tone of his speech, was most definitely inferior in rank to that woman. In fact, he seemed to be distinctly afraid of her. In the little blink of respite between two waves of pain rushing through his skull, Fu became aware that his earlier admission of mutual acquaintance may have put his benefactor into a rather inconvenient position. So he decided to make up for it.

”Your colleague doth speak the truth, ma’am. It is just what he told me – that he wanted to fetch a colleague to see what could be done about my unfortunate and – I repeat – unintended presence here. Of course …”  – the pain forced Fu to pause and tightly screw up his eyes before he could go on – ”… I shall betake myself wherever it shall be least inconvenient for thee.” While he had spoken thus, the wizard’s limbs had instinctively responded to the friendly but commanding body language of the female sailor, and he had walked towards the ladder and stepped on the lowest rung.

”Then with thy gentle leave, I …” The pain forced another pause, and caused Fu to forget that he had wanted to say ‘… I shall explain how I come to be here’ . So while he resumed his upward climb, he continued instead: “I prithee tell me, will we be in the harbour tonight?”

Believing that the answer would surely be given when they were all on deck, away from the cargo hold’s gloom, Fu pulled himself up and out of the hatch. The sun shone on his battered head, and the wind rushed through his hair, and blew the smoke of his pipe into a chaotic swirl. The lady had been right – how good it was to smell fresh air again!

But the pain in Fu’s head did not abate, and as he stepped into the light, the little wizard was the epitome of dereliction. The physical signs of his recent unpleasant adventures were exposed to Injera and all the world. There were scabs on his palms; his clothes were ruffled and dirty, and there was a yellowish stain of sick on his left trouser leg, where Fu had wiped off his hand. Wet patches on his shirt were testimony to the water that had run down his chin when he had drunk eagerly from the male sailor’s bottle. His hair was ruffled, and unbeknownst to Fu, a few strains above the left ear were missing, thus exposing the naked skin of the skull. Crumbs of bread and cheese were hanging in the stubble on his chin, and there were deep dark rings under his hollow eyes. An Avennorian may also have noted, with disapproval, Fu's brown skin, the heritage from his Eyelain grandfather - a quality that had more than once caused the wizard to be regarded as of low social status, and his claims to be a mage and scribe to be disbelieved.

As he attempted to stand up straight to fully feel the cool wind in his face, Fu swayed from his weakness and the boat’s wavy motion. I be hoping this head of mine be getting better soon, he thought as he looked toward the hatch, awaiting his two new acquaintances. He was glad that the time of hiding behind boxes appeared to be over.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Koka Bentarm on March 20, 2009, 06:14:10 AM
Koka chuckled at Royce's question. "You don't know much about dwarves, do you? Haven't you heard the stories about the women in dwarf societies? There is a reason for that, as you can see. It's quite normal, and I'm rather proud of my beard, although back home most women shave it off. I used to as well, but when I started travelling in these upper lands, away from the caves... I dunno, it seemed like too much of a hassle. Plus, like I said, I like people's surprise when they find out."

This was her answer while she got up and stretched out her hand to pull Royce back to his feet. She might be shorter than him, but she was strong - as she had demonstrated by carrying him around the boat. She grinned at his comment about pirates, totally oblivious to any flirting, intended or otherwise. "You never know with pirates though!"

The lieutenant ordered them to fight again, no submission. Now this was going entirely too far! There was only so much ridiculousness she was willing to put up with, and the woman had just about crossed it with her order. Koka had already proven in the first fight that Royce wasn't able to knock her over, and she was too short to do that to him, so all that was left was for either of them to knock the other out, and then all sense of working together would have flown out the window - or the boat, as the case may be - and where would that leave them? It didn't matter that they were following orders, if Royce knocked her unconscious she knew she would not easily trust him later on in their quest, and quite likely in the opposite scenario the same would be true (though she really couldn't see herself knocking Royce unconscious if she wasn't allowed to drag him down to her own level).

Before she could speak up, though, two things happened at once. One was that Hylpha, or whatever his name was, beat Malavon in their fight, the latter of which sprawled on his back. Koka couldn't help the small smile of satisfaction, though she managed to hide it behind her beard. There was no reason why she didn't like this man, but the fact was that she didn't, so she was kind of glad that Hylpha had beaten him.

The other thing, and somewhat more distracting from what she'd wanted to say to the lieutenant, was the fact that close to them, the hatch to the hold opened, and out stepped a man who so obviously didn't belong on a boat that she could only blink. He was a rather sorry sight, too. She was suddenly very interested in what might have happened to make him crawl out of the bowels of a ship thus bedraggled. However, he didn't seem to notice the five of them standing close by, as he breathed deeply in and out a couple of times. When she saw him swaying she wanted to go over and steady him, but something stopped her - some sense of expectancy, possibly. She glanced over to see what the others - and more importantly, the lieutenant - were doing.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on March 20, 2009, 12:32:41 PM
Rhia sank slowly into the small armchair that the captain had gestured her to, watching him move about the room with confident strides before sitting in a seat opposite her. He set down a little wood tray on the table in between their chairs, and the girl watched as he set out a teapot and two cups, then lifting up the teapot into the light in admiration.

He held it up for Rhia to see with the light of gratification and pride in his sunny blue eyes. "Carved from a single piece of marble! It's so thin, and the craftsmanship so exquisite, that one can almost see through it!" Fjorwek put the highly regarded article into her small hands and watched her investigate it as he chattered on conversationally.

The teapot -cha'ahpot?- was indeed a beautiful piece of work. The cool marble was a pale blue color, blurrily laced with a darker shade of blue, like somewhat-condensed streams of fog. It felt cool and smooth to Rhia's pale fingers, and to her cheek as well as she momentarily held it to her cheekbone, then holding it up in the general direction of the window as Fjorwek had done. It was true! The teapot was so thin that the blue shade was lit up, especially as the sunlight entered its interior. Rhia made a small sound of delight, and the captain smiled. "It's one of the things that makes working for Jorn Ranskjun so delightful. One tends to encounter some of the rarest, and most exceptional items of beauty that this world has to offer."

Rhia set the teapot back down onto the tray and watched vacantly as the tall man proceeded to actually make the cha'ah. He was quick with it. He must enjoy the drink quite a lot, to be this practiced and swift, she realized, not really thinking about it. Her thoughts were still moving murkily, as if half frozen. Then the memory of the blade cutting into the sailor's flesh... through his skin... eventually coming to a halt at the bone... At least, that was how she imagined it. She had only stayed until the moment the knife actually entered the leg. The captain's voice brought her back to the present. Without realizing it, Rhia had clenched her hands together until the skin on her knuckles shone white. Feeling sick, she couldn't stop herself from comparing that white to what the white of the sailor's bone must have looked like. Her face was probably white too... white as a bone? Oh, she felt sick! But she couldn't throw up- there was practically nothing left in her stomach. Vaguely, she prayed to Baveras to keep away the dry heaves that could pump her stomach. Not here, not now!

Rhia dragged her eyes to Fjorwek, who was now seated across from her, and prayed that he had not noticed her little dizzy spell.

He smiled engagingly. "Tell me, how is it that you've come to be involved with... ah... such colorful characters?"

Colorful characters? That was how Malavon had worded it too. Rhia's thoughts were moving quicker now, and they turned rather bitter. Are all men, then, the same? She hoped not. There were only so many places in the world for brash men like Despana. Besides, she knew this for the untruth it was. Was her father not an example proving its falseness?

The girl considered the captain. Did she truly want to lay out the truth before him, sitting there for him to commend or condemn her? After all, how long had she known him? Only for the morning. After a few moments of frenzied thinking she came to a conclusion. I'm sorry, Captain, she said silently. Perhaps after we come to know each other more closely I will feel comfortable tellling you.

Finally, in reply to his inquiry, she smiled playfully. And stalled. "What makes them so colorful and not I?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on March 21, 2009, 08:41:30 AM
At first mallorix was relieved by the words of the first mate. He started to climb back up the ladder, but he stopped. Mallorix thought:
*Wait! She hasn't been this forgiving before. All the time she was yelling insults and punishing me. This must be a trick! She is trying to trick me because she thinks I am stupid. She will not get away with this!*
Mallorix jumped off the ladder, and stepped in front of the fist mate. He said:
"Don't try to trick me. You were never this forgiving. Spit out your plan, or I won't go up there! Anyway, I told you that I didn't know he was there until now. I was going to rest, and think of a way to tell it to you or the captain. Why don't you trust me?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 23, 2009, 11:59:53 PM
   Doctor Jorek watched with admiration as Fionn dextrously stitched the wound.  In no time at all, she’d finished the task, and the operation was complete.
   “Excellent work, Fionn!” the doctor enthused happily.  “Why, you have such nimble fingers!  What a fine job we’ve done!”
   “Aye, sir, ‘tis looking much better now,” Jameson said as he approached the small group of surgeons.
   “Ah, Jameson, you’re back.  But where’s Rhia?”
   “She’s taking cha with the captain; he seems to think it’ll help her feel better.”
   “It’ll make him feel better too, I shouldn’t wonder,” the doctor said with a slight smile.  “Still, he’s quite right.  Nothing like a nice hot cup of cha to revive the spirits.  Which reminds me, could you make a cup for Mr Sonis here?  Oh, and do get rid of this before he wakes up!”  The doctor pointed to the now separated lower leg.  “It looks quite bizarre, does it not?” he continued, “I mean, there’s nothing much unusual about a man without a leg; but a leg without a man always looks out of place.  Really, Jameson, throw the thing overboard; there’s a good man!”
   After Jameson had left, carrying out the doctor’s orders, a curiously high voice cried out, “Bow before us, peasants!  Bow quickly; before we have your heads off!”
   Somewhat startled, Doctor Jorek swivelled around to face the direction from which the voice had come.
   “Oh, quickly,” he said to Ylva and Fionn.  “You’d better bow!  He gets quite upset if you don’t!”  The doctor then bowed several times in rapid succession.
   “That’s more like it!  Now tell us, why are we still in these things?”
   The speaker was a large, burly looking sailor, who had at least a week’s worth of stubble on his face.  He was looking at the ropes that held his arms and legs to his bunk.
   “Ah, the Santhran demands it, your highness.  It’s for your safety.”
   “Well, we don’t like it, does we?  We shall be having words with him when next he comes!”
   Doctor Jorek leaned in closer to Ylva and Fionn, then, in a hushed voice, he started to explain what was going on.
   “Poor man; he was taken by pirates and held to ransom.  Since we got him back, he thinks he’s Lady Shiana, and has a vehement dislike of pointy vegetables.  Baveras only knows what they did to him!”
   The doctor shot a sidelong glance at the deranged man, who was still spouting nonsense in an absurd imitation of a woman's voice.
   “To be honest, I don’t really know what to do with him.  I heal the body; I know precious little about curing the mind.  Still, the Santhran, erm, the captain, insists that he stay here; he tends to disturb the other men.
   “But come on, let’s get some fresh air; I think we’ve earned it!”
   The doctor made his way out of the sick bay, bowing to ‘Lady Shiana' all the way.
   “Ah, now that feels better!” he exclaimed when he got back onto the upper deck.  “Breathe deeply, ladies!  This fresh air will flush out the bad that we’ve been subjected to in the sick bay.  Why, I’d hate for either of you to catch that poor fellow’s madness!
   “But what’s going on over there?”  The doctor was pointing at a small group of people gathered about the lieutenant.  “Let’s go and find out!  It looks as though that wretched creature could do with some medical attention!”

      The first-mate felt her anger return when Mallorix confronted her.  Almost immediately, any sign of kindness dropped from her face, replaced instead by an ugly scowl.
   "How dare ye!" she bawled at the poor man.  "Why, ter aid a stow-away 'tis bad enough!  But ter challenge an officer!"  Her words seemed to get stuck in her throat as a tide of raw fury erupted.  Then, in the blink of an eye, she whipped a metal whistle from out of her pocket, and blew on it with full force.  The shrill, ear-piercing blast leapt out of the hold, and travelled across the deck.  Pointing a stubby finger at Mallorix, the first-mate let him know what little choice he had.
   "Now get back on deck, ya miserable wretch!  Else the lieutenant's men'll come down 'ere 'n drag yer up by yer filthy 'air!"
   Meanwhile, four of the ship's marines had gathered by the open hatch; responding to the first-mate's whistle.  One of them grabbed the pitiful-looking Fu Luft, dashed the pipe from out of his hand, and twisted his arms behind his back.  Another one then tied the bedraggled magician's hands together with a piece of sharp twine.
   "You there!" another shouted, as he peered into the gloom.  "Come up now, or face the consequences!"
   First-mate Udghrin flashed Mallorix an evil grin.  "Better get movin' lad; else ye'll be 'aving a taste o' the cat!"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 24, 2009, 06:11:06 PM
   When Rhia smiled, Captain Fjorwek started to have mixed feelings about her.  At first, he'd felt nothing more than a kind of parental care.  Here she was, a young lady, barely more than a girl, embarking on an undoubtedly perilous adventure.  It was only natural that he should want to look after her as best he could; especially since Jorn Ranskjun had given him specific instructions to do as much.  But now, as they sat together, alone, the captain had the chance to appreciate her youthful beauty in more detail.  Perhaps it was the way that her playful smile complemented those misty, grey eyes?  Or perhaps it was the sound of her voice; delicate, yet full of life?  Hoping that he hadn't been staring, and that she wasn't some kind of a mind reader, the captain turned his attention back to the tea-pot.
   "Perhaps I used the wrong word," he said as he idly stirred the leaves.  "I didn't mean to say that you're not interesting; I'm sure that you are!  But, when I chose the word 'colourful', I was, in truth, thinking of another, perhaps less polite term."  Satisfied that the cha had brewed enough, the captain poured Rhia a cup.  The steaming hot liquid caught the sun as it fell, and radiated a warm, amber glow.  "You see, Rhia," he continued as he poured a cup for himself, "I've worked for Jorn a long time, and known him even longer.  And, in my experience, he can sometimes be a little rash.  Of course, in his line of work he must be; money can't be made without risk."  The captain paused to take a sniff of the efer-cha.  The spicy, cinna aroma penetrated his senses, and tantalised his taste buds.  Taking a sip, he let the cha wash over his entire palette, delighting in its invigorating flavour.
   "But I worry that his rashness might have led you into danger.  Your companions seem to be of a rough sort, and I wonder what kind of a venture Jorn has sent you on."
   Captain Fjorwek finished his cha, and poured both Rhia and himself a fresh cup.  Already he could feel his mind waking up.  It felt like the fresh sea breeze had somehow entered his body, and was blowing away his mental cobwebs.  His body seemed to be enlivened a little, also, and he sat up a little straighter in his chair.
   "But enough of such gloomy talk!  Jorn told me that you're a very talented musician.  Can you play the harp, at all?  I only ask, because I feel it has such a beautiful clarity to its tones; the queen of instruments, if you will.  For myself, I can only play the flute and fiddle; but I can sing a little, too.  Some of the men say that I sound like a drunken hollup frog, which I take as a compliment!  I'm sure that you must have an exceptional voice; more like an Injoh bird than a frog!"
   The captain seemed to be enthused with the warmth and energy of the cha, but realised that he'd been speaking too much.  Sitting back in his chair again, he let himself fall silent, taking another sip of cha as he waited for Rhia's response.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on March 25, 2009, 06:00:01 AM
Fionn beamed at Doctor Jorek’s praise, then stopped herself as she thought how Ylva might feel. Instead she switched her smile to something quieter and more deprecating, and muttered to the older human; “thanks for doing the hard bit, I was terrified he’d pick me, I just know it would have gone horribly wrong.” It was true; now she had the benefit of hindsight Fionn was sure that the sheer weight of nerves would have made her useless in such a delicate procedure.

She was jolted out of her anxious reverie by a tremulous voice, and turned to face the recumbent form of a man the doctor soon explained to be, in a way, the Lady Shiana. Fionn had never heard of any such lady, so for all she knew the man might be telling the truth, so she bowed humbly, murmuring “milady” in her most subservient tones. His eyes made her feel lonely, so she was glad to leave the sick bay, whilst also slightly hating herself for being glad to leave.

Following the doctor out into the sunlight and salt air of the deck, Fionn again found her attention torn between the many different small dramas and new sights around her. After watching the lazy flight of a seabird, and the way a sailor lifted a heavy-looking crate without breaking conversation with another, she eventually focused on the wretched figure who seemed to have recently emerged from the subterranean regions of the boat, or possibly from the depths of the sea itself – he looked at the end of his stamina.

The doctor motioned them over to the others, the “fighter” group, but Fionn found her attention still tied to the lonely, utterly out-of-place figure on the deck. They were tying his hands, now, and shouting.  

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on March 26, 2009, 04:15:08 AM
"Not to worry about the mistake! You did a fine job on the incisions! I'm sure that next time you'll do it perfectly!"

Ylva didn't really hear him but her head nodded anyway. Her forehead furrowed into a frown, a scowling mask. I made a mistake, a fine job, good incisions! Bah! It means nothing, I made a mistake, one mistake means everything in this business, the fool is me, stupid, stupid incompetent healer...pah...should have taken more time, left more skin, tried to be too careful and ended up forgetting the basics! Arg, some healer....Ylva sighed quietly. A small light sound that somehow expressed stronger feelings of fury and frustration at herself.  No healer stands here, just a foolish woman wielding a saw.

 “Thanks for doing the hard bit, I was terrified he’d pick me, I just know it would have gone horribly wrong.” Fionn seemed to be trying to cheer her up. Ylva tried to smile but it was only the ghost of one. Damn, can't be jealous of her even if I wanted to, damn Fionn, too nice to hate. Ylva managed a shrug, hoping that it suggested that she didn't care. The woman washed her hands of blood while listening in on Doctor Jorek's conversations.

“It’ll make him feel better too, I shouldn’t wonder,” Ylva raised a eyebrow at the Doctor, she was honestly rather confused about what this comment meant. Cha can be argued to possess some good natural healing properties, he must be referring to that.

The leg was taken out of her sight. With the reminder of her mistake gone, the murmillion felt a bit calmer, a bit more like herself. Her attention was drawn to the peculiar bulky sailor who was tied down with ropes and speaking in a rather strange womanly voice. He's dreaming the wrong dream, it's like Mari gave him someone else's dream. Ylva bowed deeply, “Your Ladyship.” 

“To be honest, I don’t really know what to do with him. I heal the body; I know precious little about curing the mind. Still, the Santhran, erm, the captain, insists that he stay here; he tends to disturb the other men."

Ylva looked at the man, her head tilted to one side, Is his mind totally lost, or just already passed on? What happened to make Mari do this? The Sermons that the woman had read during her childhood and younger years had spoken of the mind and of visions, of possession and of dreams. The art of visions and dreams was something that the cults trusted in, yet even they would not be able to explain this.

“But come on, let’s get some fresh air; I think we’ve earned it!” Ylva suddenly didn't really feel like fresh air, her curiosity had been captured. The healer reluctantly left the living enigma of Lady Shiana, determined to go back and visit again.

Her eyes hurt slightly as they became used to daylight again. Climbing the stairs, Ylva glanced across the deck. Four of her group had been fighting, Ylva smiled wryly. Without even thinking about it, her hand went down to her blade-axe, its cool touch reassuring her. I wonder if I could beat any of them...ha...unlikely...not many experienced fighters could be beaten by a small skinny woman....not that half-elf for sure....he seems to be very skilled at wrestling....

Her ears caught the sharp sound of a whistle. Her head snapped round, yet nothing that dire it seemed was happening. Some of the sailors seemed to be binding a man in ropes, the man was unknown to her. Her mind gave an assessment.
Human, early twenties, poor quality clothing so lacks money, lacking in any sort of weapon, a fighter would carry their weapon with them constantly, besides, is too weak looking, looks queasy, pale in skin colour, he's close to fainting. Fools, he's too weak to run yet they tie him in ropes!

Suddenly her feet had started walking of their own accord, taking her closer towards the scene. Her hair was already starting to unravel from its tight knot. Stray hairs escaped, giving her a strange halo around her heart shaped face. The murmillion was grumpy, lacking sleep and had just made a stupid mistake for the first time in years. It was a bad day. This treatment of a sick person was the final straw.

The woman storming towards the sailors was only 1 Ped, 1 Fore, 2 Palmspans and 4 Nailsbreadths in height, the top of her head only reached up to most of these guys' shoulders. Yet their was something rather worrying about the look on her face. It was surprisingly calm looking. Too calm to fit with the voice that went with it.

"This person." Her finger shot out and pointed at the crumpled figure of what one guessed must be human. "Is ill. You will untie his hands and hand him over to Doctor Jorek."

Ylva neatly folded her arms,

"Who is in charge here?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Malavon Despana on March 26, 2009, 10:47:03 AM
"Thud" , the sound Malavon made as he landed on his back and the curses he said was all the sound he could do , yet again he was bested by this man , Hylphan , never he saw someone doing this to him , so the rush of anger that was overwhelming was visible .

Watching as Hylphan offered a hand , Malavon eyes flickered dangerously , did this man think him as weak ?
with a rude wave of his hand , Malavon completely refused the man friendly offer and got up on his own .
But there was something that was bothering Mal, what kind of skill was this ?
He had heard that some men were more skilled with his hands than with weapons , but this was something else , speaking coldly and slow , Mal asked Hylphan " It seems you have bested me , not that this was fair , I am a fighter not a brawler , in that you are best ...What matter of trickery you used against me , I never saw someone trowing another person like that ..."

While he waited for Hylphan answer , he noticed as a strange men was taken  away ,  , this one Mal didn´t notice before , a complete wreck of a man , dirty and seemed almost sick , I wonder where he came from ?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on March 27, 2009, 11:16:21 AM
Mallorix was now scared. He quickly climbed up the ladder into the open, and he saw the marines surrounding him. This would be the end, he was sure. Only death or disgrace awaited him. He stood there and hung his head in shame.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 28, 2009, 12:04:09 AM
   When the first-mate blew her whistle, lieutenant Ustaskjan responded immediately, striding over to see what was happening.
   "Very good, men!" she said in appreciation of her marines swift work.  "Now, who do we have here?"  She looked Fu up and down, and came to the rather rapid conclusion that he was of almost no threat or consequence.
   Just then, another woman approached.  She was small, and seemingly harmless, but her voice was full of threat as she demanded to know who was in charge.
   "That would be me," the lieutenant replied.  "Until the captain gets here, anyway."
   Another man was emerging from the cargo hold now, followed by the first-mate.  The large man stood next to Fu, and hung his head in defeat.  Within a few blinks, the marines had tied his hands behind his back, too.
   "Doctor!" the lieutenant barked.  "What's your opinion of this man?"
   Doctor Jorek walked over to Fu, and proceeded to carry out a few basic tests to determine his state of health.  First of all, he peered into Fu's eyes very closely, and then he asked him to stick out his tongue and say, "ah".  A brief prodding of the body, and a swift pricking with a needle followed.  Then, the doctor asked Fu a few, basic questions; "What's your name?  What o'clock is it?" and "Can you make a simple sentence?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on March 28, 2009, 01:47:12 PM
Fjorwek was apparently slightly disturbed by Rhia’s playful accusation, though she had only meant it as a light teasing. He avoided her gaze –which, if he had looked, was filled with smiles, not accusations– and swirled the leaves inside the teapot, which she was now mentally calling the ‘cha-pot’. “Perhaps I used the wrong word…” He paused reflectively, staring at the cup. He had been watching her a bit much. Is there something in my hair? wondered Rhia, instinctively putting a hand to her thick brown braid. “I didn’t mean to say that you’re not interesting," the captain continued. "I’m sure that you are. But when I chose the word colorful, I was, in truth, thinking of another, perhaps less polite term.”

He described, in effect, that he was rather worried about what she had gotten herself into. "I worry that his rashness might have led you into danger." He frowned unconsciously, creases appearing on his forehead. Rhia thought it was rather cute, charming, but she forcedly brought her attention back to what he was talking about. "...I wonder what kind of a venture Jorn has sent you on." Rhia wasn't quite sure how to react. Concur, or disagree protectively?

Fjorwek took a sip of his drink. His face seemed to clear a little bit, his blue-sky eyes dissolved from a stormy blue to a lighter shade. "Enough of such gloomy talk! Jorn told me that you're a very talented musician." The man's pleasant face became eager and he leaned forward slightly. "Can you play the harp, at all? I only ask because I feel it has such a beautiful clarity to its tones.. the queen of instruments, if you will. Myself, I can only play the flute and fiddle, but I can sing a little, too. Some of the men say that I sound like a drunken hollup frog, which I take as a compliment! I'm sure that you must have an exceptional voice; more like an Injoh bird than a frog!"

Rhia laughed, a throaty little chuckle that tumbled through the air. "I'm sure you're better than you are letting on, Captain. Better than me, at any rate," she winked. "It never fails to amaze me that tavernkeepers actually pay me to croak out–"

A shrill whistling penetrated the cabin, effectively cutting the girl off. She gave Fjorwek a confused –or alarmed, depending on the observer's interpretation– look and murmured an 'excuse me' before hurrying out to the deck. She found the rest of the group from last night gathered on deck, along with the manly-looking lieutenant, the doctor, and another woman.

...And one very bedraggled man. Although he was almost certainly older than she was, Rhia almost at once felt a concerned, almost motherly sympathy for him. Perhaps it was the height. The little man was one of the few shorter than the short of limb Rhia. Then again, it could have been the way his hair was all messy, in need of a good brushing, his eyes ringed and shadowed from obvious poor sleeping, and the food crumbs decorating his stubbled chin. But that same stubble served as a reminder to the tender-hearted girl that he was no child... though Doctor Jorek did not seem to remember this, judging from the way he was inspecting the little fellow. Asking simple questions that any child would know. "What is your name?... What time is it?.." Still, who was she to question the doctor? For all she knew it was a medical procedure of some kind.

Oh yes. Doctor Jorek. If he saw her now, or the woman Ylva, or the creature Fionn, they would all despise her for her weakness, her soft nerves during the operation. Rhia's heart gave a painful squeeze– wonderful. Those lovely lovely memories surfacing all over again. Yes, she would stay quiet, and stay in the background. She backed up until she was leaning against a wall, a surface, something, where a shadows fell across her body, hiding her somewhat from the scene.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on March 28, 2009, 08:24:36 PM
Down in the cargo hold, Fu’s benefactor and the lady sailor appeared to have continued the conversation, leaving Fu, who had gone up through the hatch, standing outside on his own. He looked around. Had he thought “on his own”? By Grothar, that wasn’t the case at all! In fact, there were plenty of people standing around, as he now noticed. This ship was much bigger than Fu had imagined, and it appeared to sport a numerous crew. And a colourful bunch it appeared to be! As usual in the wizard’s experience, most of the people around him were considerably taller than he - a few, however, were positive giants, not only by Fu’s, but also by general Avennorian standards. The exception was a small fellow with a curiously profuse beard, who was barely half the size of some of the others, and considerably shorter than Fu.

Before the wizard had time to reflect upon this, a sharp, high-pitched noise came from down the hatch. Immediately four sailors came running in Fu’s direction. Maybe now I may be getting the chance to be explaining the unfortunate circumstances that were bringing me here, thought the wizard, as he tentatively stretched out a hand in an attempt to greet one of the men. The sailor took it, and in a movement too quick for Fu to comprehend, twisted the wizard's arm and brought it behind his back. The other sailors, who had now closed in, knocked the pipe out of his mouth, and proceeded to tie his hands behind his back.

This was unexpected! Fu tried to remain calm. ”Please ye, masters, this be a misunderstanding. Your colleague down there has just told me to be going up here. Please be giving me the chance to explain.” The sailors, however, didn’t appear to hear him at all. Fu felt the string cut into his wrists. The pain was sudden and searing, and temporarily he was able to forget about his headache. His voice became more agitated: ”Please, masters! I be no thief! Please ye be listening to an unfortunate man!”

Whatever he said, it was to no avail. Fu wanted to shout, but his voice declined to obey his mind, and nothing but a faint croak came from his throat. His knees began to shake, a black wall appeared before his eyes, and he would surely have fallen if it hadn’t been for the firm grip that his captors kept on his arms, holding his enfeebled body up.

As the fainting spell passed and Fu was able to open his eyes again, he became aware that even more people had come on deck. A woman, who seemed to be in command of the sailors, was speaking rudely to Fu, as if he was some kind of hunting booty. In addition, three figures had emerged from somewhere: one woman, one man, and one … child? The wizard’s attention was captured by the small, roundish face of this third creature, who was even smaller than the bearded fellow he had spied earlier. It had greyish skin, a big scarred patch across its face, and was walking barefoot. And it had what seemed to Fu to be a mischievous look, just like … just like … By Grothar! That was an imp! Unusually, this imp wore a disguise in the form of a yellow headscarf, but the imp’s impness was unmistakable.

He had seen imps at Ximax. They were sexless beings created by magic. Only powerful sages were capable of bringing them to life and ascertaining mastery over them, but some of Fu’s teachers had done so and kept imps as servants. The presence of an imp was a sure sign that its master wasn’t far, as imps were unable to survive for long if not kept alive by a powerful mage’s carall. So there was a sage on board! Maybe this be my chance! Finally I be finding a body who will be listening, unlike those sailor folk.  But which one was the mage? Of the two figures who had walked up next to the imp, the woman looked the wiser to him - but she was carrying a heavy metal axe, which a sage would not do.

Maybe it was the male member of the trio, after all. In response to a request of the rude lady, which Fu did not quite understand, this man now came walking up to him. Out of his eyes shone what seemed like genuine interest, so Fu was opening his mouth to address him, but instead of listening, the man commanded Fu to stick his tongue out, and then proceeded to paw Fu’s body, and finally stuck a needle into him! Were these people torturers?

But then his new tormentor looked Fu in the eye and asked him what seemed to Fu to be the first sensible question he had heard since setting foot on this wretched ship.
"What's your name?”
”Oh, thank ye for asking! My name be Fu Luft! I be unconsolable that I be unable to be offering ye my hand for the shaking, but …”
”What o'clock is it?"
”What, please ye? The clock? Why, I be thinking it be early morning and … But please ye be listening, I …
"Can you make a simple sentence?"
This really enraged the wizard. Were these people all possessed by demons? ”I be wanting to be saying a simple sentence ever since I was having the misfortune of being discovered to be explaining why I be on this wretched…”
”What is your father’s name?”

At this, Fu had enough. Obviously, his interrogator was not interested in listening to him at all. Where, oh where was the sage – the one who owned the imp and who would surely be at least listening to what Fu had to say? Spurned on by the pain in his wrists, Fu’s mind was racing. Maybe the sage was not on deck yet? Why, he only had to ask the imp!

The wizard knew that you had to address imps harshly, as they were mischievous and troublesome creatures that only served those whom they feared. To be sure, the bound and captive Fu was not much of a threat, but maybe he could inspire the fear of its master in the imp’s mind. So Fu looked the little creature in the eye and tried his best to declare in a strict manner:

”Imp! I be knowing who ye are! Where be thy master? I am a mage! Answer me, hear ye!”

The wizard’s voice, though, was frail, and his tone turned out desperate rather than authoritative. Still, he hoped that his speech would have the desired effect on the imp, and that he would be able to meet a sensible person on board this ship at long last. It was certainly high time!

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on March 29, 2009, 10:34:34 PM
Everyone was looking at the desperate figure now, and the attention seemed only to increase his distress. His frustration was palpable, and Fionn, anxious not to crowd round like so many of the sailors were, hung back and gazed wide eyed at his tired, panicked eyes. He had an unfamiliar accent, and was speaking so quickly and nervously, in his dry, cracked voice, that she could barely make out a word he said, so she watched his face instead. Unconsciously her pale fingers twined around the new talisman, her thumb testing the clean new edge on its hooked point.

”Imp! I be knowing who ye are! Where be thy master? I am a mage! Answer me, hear ye!”

Fionn physically jumped. He had turned and spoken directly to her. For a long moment she froze, whilst trying to make sense of his words. “Where be thy master?” “Imp?”.
A half-heard story came to mind, of magical humans who could make Eru do their bidding. He sounded like he had the fear of the ancestors on him, either way.

Making her mind up, the mullog scurried forward, ducking past sailors and the others until she was directly in front of the man, and grinned broadly at him, displaying a bright set of unnervingly sharp teeth.

“Don’t panic, mister. Deep breath, right? Done this before, um, kinda.”  

She raised her voice so the others could hear. “I think everyone would like to know what’s going on, mmm? Me too. I can be a nosy bugger if I want, though it’s hard to believe, I know. So, by your leave, of course, mr. Captain sir, I’d be inclined to simply ask people, and you never know, maybe we won’t even need to tie them up and throw them overboard?”

she scanned the people around her, looking for scared faces who just might do as she asked. “You – with the pretty smile – although you appear to have lost it, what a shame – d’you know anything bout all this?”  

Still without letting her grin fade, and despite the vague terror that was marching up and down behind the bright words, Fionn moved closer to the bedraggled man, and again lowered her voice so only he would hear her. “call me imp again, mister, and there will be problems. My name’s Fionn, I’m a Mullog if it means anything to you. Pleased to meet you, I think.”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on March 31, 2009, 06:56:04 PM
   Listening to Rhia's delicate laughter, and engaging with her playful personality was, in Captain Fjorwek's opinion, a very pleasant distraction from his usual duties.  Perhaps he'd been mistaken in the past?  Maybe women were just as welcome on board a sailing ship as they were on dry land?
   Just then, a shrill, piercing blast disrupted the cosy scene inside the captain's cabin.  "Damnation!" Captain Fjorwek thought to himself in irritation, "Can a man have no peace?"
   He watched as Rhia jumped up, and hurried out on deck.  As her long, luxuriant hair disappeared from view, the captain realised that his line of thinking, just moments ago, had been completely in error.  It was rare indeed for trouble to break out on the Southern Arrow.  The crew were well looked after, and extremely well disciplined.  The captain's long held superstitious beliefs came tumbling back into his mind.  What had he been thinking!  To allow not just one, but a good half-dozen of women on board!  His liberal attitude, and blatant disregard for tradition, had no doubt offended Baveras.  It was well known amongst sailors that, like all females, she could be unforgivingly jealous; perhaps this blast of a whistle signalled the beginning of her wrath?
   It was with such dark thoughts that Captain Fjorwek marched over to the scene of the disturbance.  Two men stood next to each other, bound and secured by the ship's ruthlessly efficient marines.  One of them he recognised immediately; the new hand from the morning.  The other one was a new face; the captain had never seen him before.  It was unlikely that such a scrawny specimen would have been hired to work on board a merchant ship, and Captain Fjorwek quickly came to the opinion that he must be a stowaway.  It had happened before.  There was always some poor fool who would try to escape their life of misery by sailing to new lands; their presence on board a ship was almost as inevitable as the rats that shared their gloomy quarters.
   "Now, Fionn," the captain said when the tiny woman had finished her speech, "there's no need to scare Mr Luft here.  Nobody shall be going overboard!  But you're quite right, I think we should have an explanation of what has occurred.
   "First-Mate Udghrin, I trust it was you who blew the whistle?  Explain yourself!"
   The first-mate straightened her back, and adopted a suitably respectful demeanour as she began to explain her version of events.
   "Please, sir, this ruffian here," she indicated the giant Mallorix, "has been harbouring a stowaway of unknown origin and intention."  A careful listener would have noticed that the first-mate's pronunciation sounded strained and unnatural as she tried, very carefully, to correctly pronounce her words.
   "By his own admission, he has fed said stowaway, and neglected to inform the proper authorities.  He also tried to cover up his crime by spreading rumours of a ghost haunting this cargo hold.  He refused to obey a direct order from myself, and caused me to fear for my life by accosting me when out of sight of the crew.  It was for this reason that I called for the marines to assist me."
   Satisfied that she had said enough, the first-mate fell into a respectful silence.  The captain then turned his attention to Fu and Mallorix.
   "Well, men, you've heard the charges brought against you, by a respected member of my crew; but let it never be said that Captain Fjorwek is an unjust man!  Account for yourselves!  What's your version of events?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on April 01, 2009, 11:13:04 AM
This was a very unusual imp. The imps Fu had seen wouldn’t have spoken like that – they would never have thought of addressing several people at once. Also, imps didn’t have fangs like this fellow had. Finally, as Fu now noticed, the creature that spoke to him had five fingers on each hand. Normal imps (if there was such a thing) only had four!

Fu wasn’t sure what he was facing. He was beginning to think that he had lost his mind. (And we may conclude that he wasn’t entirely mistaken in this respect, at least.) Looking at … Fionn? … the, the … mullog? … (no, it didn’t mean anything to Fu), who now stood quite close to him, the wizard decided that he was at the end of his tricks. This mullog had spoken rather friendly to him, considering the circumstances, and his speech had made more sense than anything else on this ship so far. Fu wished he could extend his hand in a friendly gesture, but all that was in his power was to stammer: ”Prithee forgive me, master. I, … I was mistaken. My name be Fu Luft, and I be a …” ...human, Fu wanted to say, but noticed the ridiculousness of it just in time to stop himself.

Before he could think of something else to say instead, the captain came, with his air of authority and calm – which allowed even the shackled Fu to relax his raging mind. For a short while, everyone’s eyes and ears were on the captain, and then on First Mate Udghrin giving her report. Fu listened with dismay, as it became clear to him that his benefactor was the lowliest of the lowly sailors, and that he was in serious trouble for helping Fu.

His headache wasn’t gone, and he felt his knees shake, but Fu summoned what self-control he possessed, and tried to put on his finest accent as he spoke:

”Captain, Sir, thou art justified in expecting an explanation. I prithee let it please thee to allow me to begin by saying that the sailor who stands here accused alongside me bears no guilt, no guilt whatsoever. The guilt …”
Fu had to pause for a few blinks, close his eyes, and take a long breath, in order to regain his composure despite the pain. What had the mullog-man  said? Breathe deeply? He was wise, for it was in his breath that Fu’s power lay; or so he believed. He opened his eyes:

”The guilt be mine.” Ooh, better correct that slip into peasant dialect:... is  mine. Although I never intended any harm. Last night – oh unfortunate night! – I was pursued in Ciosa’s harbour by a gang of ruffians. They had taken objection to something I had said, and they were rather eager to do Grothar-only-knows-what to me. I fled, and not knowing the city, in confusion reached the quay. There was water on one side, mortal danger on the other. So I saw no other way of escape than to hide here, on this ship. I never thought I would still be on it when it set sail. I … my head is injured, I received a knock, and I must have fallen asleep. And when I awoke, the ship had left Ciosa. I had only just arrived there; I had no intention to leave, and I ... Forgive me, I feel rather weak.”

Fu paused again, unsure how he should explain the rest. Why was his mind in such a muddle? It was as if a spell lay on him. But there was something he had to add, even if he wasn’t able to sustain sophisticated speech any longer:

”But I prithee, don’t be punishing the sailor. I be sure he be wanting to tell ye masters all about me. At first, I be hiding, ye see, masters. He may have believed I be a ghost. But I be … But I was unwell, you see, so he found me and helped me first before doing anything else. Please ye, I be willing … I am willing to pay for any damage I have done. For my passage. Please ye, masters, erm, … captain! Just please ye be letting me out at the next harbour. Will we be in Queen’s Harbour tonight?”

Fu looked at the captain with hopeful eyes. It was a new experience for him to be an outlaw, and it was as perplexing as it was unpleasant. And if he could have chosen at this moment, he would have elected not to have a head rather than bear with this pain for one blink longer.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on April 03, 2009, 08:23:23 AM
Then Mallorix stepped up. His thoughts were racing, but he was glad the captain had given him a chance to explain himself. He started speaking hesitantly, watching the face of the captain.
"Sir, I found this man on the hold early this morning. He was asleep. He looked like he was sick, and there was a foul stench about him. I left food and water, and later I came back to check on him. He was awake, and he introduced himself to me."
Mallorix paused for a few seconds, and then continued.
"This was after you had dismissed me from your cabin."
Mallorix's eyes darted around, making sure that no sailors had moved any closer.
"I decided that he would be in worse shape than he is now if I had reported him. I left for my cabin to decide whether to give him some more food and water and wait, or report him immediately. Unfortunately," Mallorix glared at the first mate."The first mate had spotted me. I had told her in the hold a shortened version of what I am saying now. I explained that he wasn't there the first time I was in that hold, but his rucksack was. I would have seen him if he was hiding, since I was arranging the crates. I therefore assumed that he must have been invisible. I spread the stories about a haunted hold at first because that is what I believed, but later to stop him from being found in this state."
Mallorix stopped to catch his breath.
"That is my view of the truth."
He looked at Fu, and saw that he was in a bad condition, but he looked better than he did when he was in the hold. Maybe the sunlight and the fresh air were doing some good for him.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Hylphán on April 03, 2009, 04:56:09 PM
Hylphán was about to answer Malavon, when a shrill whistle pierced the air.  As a small crowd gathered about two figures, Hylphán slowly sauntered over to see what was going on.  He listened intently as the story unfolded, and knew the dilemma the Captain faced.  Stowaways were usually dealt with harshly but Hylphán also knew, as did the Captain, that the waterfront district could be a very dangerous place to be in the early hours of the morning - especially for one who was definitely not a sailor.  He was curious to see what the Captain's response would be.  As for the dejected figure of the new sailor, he knew the Captain would have to make an example of him, but how - that was the question.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on April 04, 2009, 12:20:34 AM
   Captain Fjorwek stood quite still, his face emotionless, as he listened to the two men account for themselves.  As he listened, he noticed a number of inconsistencies and, in his opinion, deliberate lies.
   When the large sailor had finished speaking, the captain allowed a brief pause, before expressing his doubts.
   "Master Luft," he began, "Do you truly expect me to believe that you gained access to this boat from the quay?  Why, the Arrow lay at anchor a considerable distance from it!  It seems much more likely to me that you planned to stow-away, and hid among the cargo as it was loaded on board, which explains why you were found in a cargo-hold!
   "And you claim that you were hiding, despite this hand's firm belief that he would have spotted you, had you actually been doing so!  Do you expect me to believe that you were invisible?"  The captain's tone grew incredulous.  "Do you take me for a fool; or a child, perhaps?  To believe such nonsense!
   "And you!"  The captain turned to Mallorix now.  "You are not required to think!  If a stranger is found aboard, his presence must be reported at once!"  The captain paused briefly, and when he next spoke, his voice had lowered a little.  "And even though I admire your compassion, and understand that you are new, it can not be denied that you have transgressed."
   Captain Fjorwek glanced over at the doctor.
   "Doctor, I believe you have examined this man?  What say you?  Is he of sound body and mind?"
   "It is my belief," Doctor Jorek began, "that Mr Luft here is both bedraggled and befuddled.  Quite possibly he has recently sustained an injury to the head, or perhaps he has caught poor Mr. Roach's madness."  A few of the assembled idlers shuffled their feet uncomfortably, and muttered under their breath at the mention of their insane shipmate.  "I'm beginning to think that maladies of the mind are just as infectious as those of the body."
   "Very well," said the captain.  "And what remedy do you recommend?"
   "In short, captain; food, water, and rest."  Doctor Jorek rubbed his chin momentarily, then added, "And perhaps, once he's a little stronger, a good bleeding."
   "You there," the captain said, addressing an idler close at hand.  "Fetch two plates of hardtack and two mugs of water."
   "Aye, aye, sir," the man said, before scurrying off to the galley.
   "That will suffice for food and water.  As for rest, well, you'll be getting plenty of that."  The captain pushed his shoulders back a little further, and his face adopted a suitably stern look as he passed his judgment.
   "You will both be clapped in irons for a period undetermined!  It should give you time to reflect on your wrongdoing.  Marines!  Take them away!"
   Almost as soon as the captain had pronounced judgment, the marines dragged Mallorix and Fu towards the centre of the upper deck.  Here, set into the wood, were several heavy iron rings.  Before long, the marines had shackled both Fu’s and Mallorix’s ankles in thick chains, which were attached to the rings.  Their hands were freed briefly, but only to allow for them to be shackled again, this time in front of their bodies, and in sturdy chains.  In effect, the two men were chained-up next to each other, like a pair of dogs.
   The man who had been sent to fetch the food and water had returned, and placed the plates of hardtack and mugs of water next to the two unfortunate men.
  "Here mates," he said in a whisper, "make the most of it.  You won't be getting anything more 'till you're released.  Not even water!"  The man lifted his gaze to the brilliant blue sky, and shook his head.  "'tis a shame for ye it's to be such a fine day.  There's no shelter here, see?  Still, at least ye didn't get the lash!"  The man then furtively glanced over his shoulder to where the captain and the others were still standing.  "Good luck!" he said, before hurrying back to the assembled group.
   "Sir," Lieutenant Ustaskjan said stepping forwards slightly.  "Did you notice how dirty that man looked?  And since he's been lurking in the hold with the rats, I believe he needs a good cleansing!"
   "I agree," Doctor Jorek said.  "I'd hate for us all to get the itch!"  A murmur of general agreement echoed around the small group of idlers.  A few of them unconsciously started to scratch at different parts of their body.  Even the captain had a quick scratch of his head.
   "Very good, lieutenant; you're quite right.  You there," the captain pointed to another idler.  "Fetch some water and give those scruffs a good dousing!"
   "Aye, aye, sir!" the man said, his voice brimming with glee.
   "Now, I believe the matter is in hand, and we can all return to our duties!"
   As the captain's words died on the brisk breeze, the ship's bell rang out four times: ding-ding, ding-ding...

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on April 08, 2009, 12:31:42 PM
“You will both be clapped in irons for a period undetermined!” Fjorwek declared coldly to the hired hand and the disheveled little man.  “It should give you time to reflect on your wrongdoing.  Marines, take them away!”

Rhia could not help but stare at the captain.  He had seemed so… gentle and concerned during their tea break.  And now, only to erupt into fury a moment later.  Why… couldn’t… she believe that this was the same man that she had been, well, almost flirting with a moment ago?  His blue eyes were blazing as he convicted the two men and condemned them to tough, tasteless hardtack and water.  Rhia’s unrealistically motherly sympathy caused her to side internally with the little man.  A surge of compassion cascaded through her, dashing up against her seams and edges, threatening to spill out through the cracks.  Her initial attraction to the captain was overwhelmed by this overflow, her reason and logic hurled against the flow of emotion.  Never very strong to begin with, they could not help being rushed along with the forceful tide.  She did not realize that Fjorwek had to instill order on the ship, but nor would she have cared had she comprehended this.  Rhia was subject to her own engulfing emotions.  The girl watched with eyes that were filled with horror, as the two men were chained to the upper deck and given scanty food.  This, this finally was a scene from the old tales.  It looked like Rhia’s expectations about an adventure were finally turning true.  The tragic imprisonment of two innocents… But were they innocents?  If the ballads had their way, they were…  She was still dripping from her shower of emotional compassion- later her reason would return to her, like a mischievous dog coming back to its owner after running away, and Rhia might be able to think through everything less emotionally.

“Sir…”   The lieutenant, Ustaskjan, stepped up to the Fjorwek.  “Did you notice how dirty the man looked?  Since he’s been lurking in the hold with rats, I think he needs a good cleansing.”

The doctor concurred, sending a ripple of an uneasy need for itching through the sailors on deck. 

“You’re quite right, Lieutenant!” agreed the captain with an scratch of his hand on his gloriously curly golden hair.  “You there, fetch some water and give those scruffs a good dousing.”  He smiled at Jorn’s guests in a grand finale to the little affair.  “Now, I believe, the matter is in hand.  We can all return to our duties.”

A bell clanged, releasing four strong notes, like little birds, that dove through the air and sliced the captain’s words that hovered around his handsome face.  Already, though, the peals were gone, and the air hummed with the memory of the brassy notes.  What does that signify? questioned Rhia to herself.  Food?  Emergency?  She, like many others, looked to Fjorwek for an explanation.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on April 09, 2009, 06:01:22 PM
   Once the last tones of the ship's bell had faded away, Captain Fjorwek turned back towards his cabin.  Then he noticed Rhia, standing not too far away, a puzzled look on her face.  The captain sighed inwardly; he'd truly hoped that she wouldn't have to witness any scenes like that.  Life on board a ship was almost impossible for a land lubber to understand, and, no doubt to a sensitive young lady like herself, the captain now appeared to be an ogre!
   "You seem troubled, Rhia," he said with a warm smile, "Maybe my judgment seems harsh to you?"
   Captain Fjorwek deliberately didn't try to defend himself; instead, he fell silent, allowing Rhia some space in which to express her feelings.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on April 10, 2009, 02:11:28 AM
Ylva just stood there, her big eyes watching the events unfold. Her emotions were subsiding, clarity was coming back.

So...Fionn is a mullog, whatever that is, must look it ships even have room for books?...And the peculiar Mister Luft thinks he can become invisible...

"....perhaps he has caught poor Mr. Roach's madness. I'm beginning to think that maladies of the mind are just as infectious as those of the body."

Surely Mari won't us curse us all...oh dear...I haven't been to Sermons in over ten years.... and forgot to bring Sermons book...oh she'll be angry about that...could carve a few glyphs into this boat....that might keep her at bay....just so that she doesn't choose to infect us all with maladies of the mind....

"....once he's a little stronger, a good bleeding."

What's bleeding? Some strange Santharian method....perhaps he's wrong about infectious minds as well....I mean, I spent time with Lady Roach, and I feel fine...don't I? Hmm....checking your own mind for madness isn't very easy...I'll ask Fionn to check for me later....

Ylva didn't notice the ringing bell, as she peered up the stairs, if she stood on her tiptoes she could just about that's what being clapped in irons means...

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on April 10, 2009, 03:28:12 AM
Fionn backed sheepishly into the crowd as the captain spoke, but made sure to keep her eyes fixed on the strange man who had called her “Imp”. She watched wide eyed from behind the legs of a sailor as he tried to explain himself. ”Prithee forgive me, master. I, … I was mistaken. My name be Fu Luft, and I be a …”

A what? What race could such a strange man be? He looked human enough, but he was very very different from the others round here. He told his story, rushing and stuttering and phrasing things in ways Fionn didn’t understand. Not much of a storyteller, though that doesn’t mean he hasn’t any stories.

The-man-with-a-nice-smile still seemed to be having trouble in keeping hold of it, though Fionn understood more of what he said.

As the captain gave his orders, Fionn reached into one of her pockets, and started rummaging around, apparently paying little attention to her surroundings, though her ears were still wide open. She found what she was looking for, and began, with customary deftness, to untie her necklace and add a new pendant, next to the “protect me from really enormous fishes” talisman.

This was a much older charm, and one of the few that she hadn’t made. Her grandfather had given it to her when she announced she would be leaving the Galumbé. She finished attaching it, and briefly held the talisman close to her face, smelling the smell of very old peat and cold water. It was small, smoothed by time. She’d been told it was as old as the whole family, and made from a piece of the Yotha that protected the whole village. It was shaped like a figure, with long legs and a tiny head, a man-shaped golem of pale grey stone.

 Fionn put the necklace back on, as she watched the two prisoners doused in water. She avoided looking at the captain, instead looking for Ylva, or anyone she felt she vaguely knew. The “protect me from outsiders” talisman was a small, reassuring weight.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Koka Bentarm on April 10, 2009, 05:21:12 AM
Koka stood watching the proceedings with her arms folded in front of her chest, and a disapproving frown on her face. The captain was boss on his own ship, no doubt about it, and she was not about to challenge him. But how was this conducive to... well, anything, really? Chaining two men to the deck, and then humiliating them by having them doused with a couple of buckets filled with salty water? She understood the need for them to be punished, if only because they had disrupted the normal course of events, but like this? Honestly, if he'd wanted to punish them, he could at least have made them useful, make them do something necessary but abhorred by all sailors, like... well, she was no sailor herself, but she was sure there were chores that the two could be doing by way of punishment.

Koka suddenly noticed the small - what had it called itself, mullog? - the mullog standing around with a somewhat forlorn look on her face. The dwarfess felt suddenly sure that it was a woman, despite it being not too obvious at first glance. Perhaps it stemmed from a similarity to her own situation, or maybe she was just wrong, but for some reason her mind connected the mullog with the female gender. The dwarf reached out with her good left arm and patted the little woman on her shoulder, trying to reassure her that things would be alright. They always turned out alright, somehow, though not always in the way people imagined them.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on April 11, 2009, 05:15:32 AM
As strong arms dragged Fu away, a seabird was crying overhead. Was it bemoaning the wizard's destiny? Or was it laughing, taunting him, saying: “Where are yer tricks now, yer land-rat, yer macanti, yer wimp?”

Fu did not protest at the captain’s judgement. Something in him wanted to explain: I be able to be walking on wind, I be able to hide from ordinary eyes, don’t be chiding yonder benefactor of mine!”  But he didn’t explain it. Maybe it was because he had a sense that nobody would believe him, or maybe because he felt that if someone did, this would make things even worse. In any case, in his current state Fu would not have been able to prove his magical abilities, and much less be able use them to deliver himself from captivity.

The seabird cried again, more distant this time. Its voice told of the wide open land that was the sky, of the high winds that carry a bird across its many paths, and of sweet, unattainable freedom. Oh, what Fu would have given to be a bird right now: a stormcrow that would dance in the fiercest gusts Grothar could throw at it. ”Be flying to Bronya, dear bird, to my daughter Bronya. Ye must be finding her, and be telling her that I be delayed. Her father be held up, but he be coming. I be coming for her, be telling her that. Please ye! Be letting her know Fu be thinking of her!” 

Could seabirds read little pathetic wizards’ thoughts?

Fu felt a large heavy stone pressing on his heart, and then a slow-moving fountain of water moved up inside him, up through his chest and into his throat, filling his mouth, and then his eyes, until tears began to roll and stream over his cheeks. He didn’t notice the sympathetic, indifferent, disapproving or shocked faces of the strangers around him; he hardly felt how the ropes around his wrists were being replaced by irons: Fu had given up, silently wept as he bore his fate, and thought only how his goal of finding the money to buy a better life for his daughter was now further from his grasp then ever.

The kind words of a sailor, who gave him and his benefactor – now his fellow sufferer – dry biscuit and water, brought Fu back to the reality of what they both were facing, and he began to be ashamed of himself. What was he doing, snivelling at his misfortune? It was his own fault, after all. And not only had he brought calamity upon himself, but also upon another, upon an innocent man who had been kind enough to help him!

Fu turned his head and looked at the young captive sailor:

”I be sorry, truly sorry. Ye were being kind to me, but me was being a fool, and I be having brought this upon ye. Forgive me, please ye, forgive me! It be my mistake. What I have been telling the captain be true: I was being running away from ruffians. Little was I being thinking I be sailing away on a ship. Forgive me, please ye! I be hoping the captain be seeing sense soon and free ye! Um, I still be ignorant of ye name ... What be ye name, please ye?”

At this moment, several large buckets of salt water were emptied over the two captives’ heads, wetting a good deal of Fu’s scant hardtack supply in the process!

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on April 11, 2009, 09:51:18 AM
Fjorwek turned and saw Rhia watching him, waiting for an explanation for the bell.  Perhaps he thought she was waiting for him to explain something else, for his face grew heavier.  He approached her with his hands clasped gravely behind his back and gave her a tired smile, stirring embers in the girl's heart fire.  "You seem troubled, Rhia.  Maybe my judgment seems harsh to you?"

Despite her almost overwhelming sympathy for the two imprisoned men, and -more weightily- despite herself, Rhia felt herself drawn to him again.  She shifted her weight a little bit, wet her lips, looked at Fjorwek's shoes, at the air past his shoulder, toyed with the silver ring in her long and narrow nose.  The slightly altered stance brought the shackled prisoners directly into her view- at the moment a salty sailor was dutifully dumping a bucket of water over the heads of the two.  Rhia's accentuated eyebrows drew together in that alarmed, concerned way that eyebrows do when their owner is sympathetically upset.  She drew her grey orbs back to Fjorwek's face.  What does he want me to say?  It had always been hard for her to separate her emotions from her thoughts, and seeing the prisoners so humiliated brought back the rush of compassionate emotion.

She looked at the captain with eyes that spoke of the mist of the sea, her unsmiling face to his warm one.  She cleared her throat, several times.  "One must- do what has to be done, but I..."  Rhia's long, thin brown-black eyelashes curtained her grey spheres for a moment or two.  "I cannot say, sir," she concluded at length, in a low, almost monotone voice, a soft voice that -she hoped- would leave him puzzled.  Always one for the dramatic departure, she lingered for a few moments, staring with her head tilted slightly downward, and then turned quietly away.  A few steps brought her to a secluded corner, where she crossed her arms on the rail of the ship and rested her head on them, the skirt of her brown serge traveling dress fluttering a little in the slight wind.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on April 11, 2009, 10:13:29 PM
Someone touched Fionn’s shoulder, and she spun round, looking up and stepping back – except the person behind her wasn’t much taller than herself. She flicked her gaze down, smiling sheepishly at the dwarf.
“It’s Koka, isn’t it? I hope you’re feeling better… this is all a bit weird, huh?”

Fionn’s round grey eye scanned the dwarf’s features. She remembered thinking last night (was that only a night ago?) that he might be elderly, from the way he moved. But the face in front of her was nothing if not… healthy, youthful, even. Not a grey hair, not a wrinkle, and eyes clearer and brighter than Fionn’s own.

The closeness of the sick bay, followed by the unnerving wrongness of the way the two men had been treated, had left Fionn feeling stuffy and sticky. Without thinking, she pulled off her headscarf and used it to wipe the sweat from her brow. The breeze was refreshing, so she left it off, stuffing it in her pocket. As she did so, she realised that she might look a bit odd to Koka, who had so much hair and apparently spent some effort in keeping it tidy, to see a completely bald girl. The incongruity of the contrast made her smile, despite herself.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on April 12, 2009, 11:05:10 AM
Mallorix was defeated. His argument failed, and even worse, he had brought down punishment upon Fu, who he had wanted to protect. He was dragged along by burly marines, punishing him for his actions. Mallorix was thrust into irons, and the locks clicked. He was trapped here, destined to die at sea, or at least be injured greatly.
The blue sky seemed so clear overhead....
In a few moments, Mallorix was splashed with cold, salty water that got into all of his cuts from working on board. Luckily, his hardtack and water were saved by his tunic, which had been caught on one of the irons and miraculously covered the food and water.
Suddenly, Fu spoke.
”I be sorry, truly sorry. Ye were being kind to me, but me was being a fool, and I be having brought this upon ye. Forgive me, please ye, forgive me! It be my mistake. What I have been telling the captain be true: I was being running away from ruffians. Little was I being thinking I be sailing away on a ship. Forgive me, please ye! I be hoping the captain be seeing sense soon and free ye! Um, I still be ignorant of ye name ... What be ye name, please ye?”
Mallorix looked up and said slowly:
"Mallorix Volinkov."

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Koka Bentarm on April 12, 2009, 05:49:52 PM
Koka smiled behind her beard, the little slip of a thing had remembered how she'd fled out of the cabin earlier. "Yes, I'm feeling better, thank you, if still a little queasy. The exercise seems to have done me good. But I'm sorry, I don't seem to remember your name?" While she asked this, the mullog surprised her by untying her headscarf, revealing a very bald head underneath. She was curious - was it a natural thing or did she shave it? - but the dwarfess was just a little too tactful to ask it straight away. Instead, she answered the other question Fionn had asked.

"Yes, passing strange. But then, this is the first time I'm on a boat quite this big, so I don't know much of how things go on here. And besides, many things here above ground are so much different from my home. I see so many things that would never have been allowed to happen back in the caves. I imagine it must be the same to you, your people must have some different customs than these tallfolk?"

Koka enjoyed talking to this small girl, who was perhaps not that much shorter, but who sideways would fit into Koka two times - though she seemed more like a young woman than a girl, really. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that she was one of the only people that Koka didn't have to look up to, or maybe it was because she was just generally a nice person. Whatever the cause, she soon found herself not even thinking about the bald head, which became just part of the whole impression, rather than something that stuck out like a sore thumb.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on April 13, 2009, 01:54:55 AM
The salt water ran down Fu’s face and stung his eyes. Through the drip-drip-drip of the drops falling from his chin onto the planks below, Fu heard the voice of his fellow prisoner. And a distinctly succinct fellow prisoner it was! Had he forgiven him? Fu couldn’t tell, but nonetheless felt the comforting warmth that almost any conversation brings to those who are lonesome and distraught.

Being a prisoner, indeed an outlaw, was a new experience for Fu, and one that he had expected as little as he had desired it. Despite his headache and the discomfort of his position, the wizard found himself reflecting how quickly his status had changed: only yesterday, he had been a poor but reasonably respectable scribe, as well as a capable mage – but today, he was a taunted outlaw accused of lying, and his wizardry had forsaken him. Like the wind, our lives be insubstantial. What we think we be, it be only an illusion, and be easily blown away by a breeze as soft and short-lived as the breath with which the captain pronounced my punishment. O Grothar! Be that what you be telling me by putting me here, into these irons, which in contrast to my illusions be very substantial indeed?

In his young but eventful life, Fu had seen too much poverty to believe that crime was merely the result of villainy or corruption of the soul. He had seen people steal, rob, commit treachery, and lash out at others for many reasons: out of hunger, desperation, envy, lust for revenge, love, and even out of boredom. However, the wizard had always supposed that becoming an outlaw would involve a definite decision to cross some sort of line. At one point, Fu had thought, an outlaw has surely said to himself: I know what I intend to do is wrong, or at least it is against the laws of the land, but anyway I am going to do it – because I have no choice, or because I am angry, or because I hate, or because I don’t have a better idea, or ...

But as Fu let the adventures of this morning and the past night pass through his mind, he was unable to find the point at which he had committed himself to being a criminal. When did I step over the line? Was it when I talked back at the ruffians in Ciosa? When I ran away? Or was it when I hid on the ship? When I fell asleep? Or was it only when I be speaking to the captain, and be failing to convince him of my innocence? Which action be the one that made me an outlaw, despised in the eyes of the world?

The wizard did not find an answer to his questions. And the reason was not his headache, although that certainly showed no signs of abating. Fu suspected that humans did not have the answers, or if they did, that these would be as illusory as the one he himself would have given only yesterday, if he had thought the questions would concern somebody else, rather than him.

In any case, Fu decided that brooding over his destiny and its causes was probably an unhealthy thing to do, while he had little chance to reach any but the gloomiest conclusions. So he spat out a bit of salt water that had entered his mouth through his nose, and addressed his neighbour, who had likewise been soaked:

”I be pleased to meet ye, Mallorix! Forgive an ignorant fella for the asking, but ye be new to this ship, if I not be mistaken? Have ye been a sailor for long?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on April 13, 2009, 04:38:26 AM
“…But I'm sorry, I don't seem to remember your name?"

The mullog murmured “Fionn”, her smile fading as she wondered absently if there was some more effective cure for seasickness that she’d overlooked… She abandoned the thought as Koka continued…

“…many things here above ground are so much different from my home. I see so many things that would never have been allowed to happen back in the caves. I imagine it must be the same to you, your people must have some different customs than these tallfolk?"

That’d be putting it lightly. Fionn laughed at the thought of how different her life was to that of “her people” back home.

“Uh, yeah, fairly different – every time I think I’m beginning to understand, there’s something new and even harder to understand! But I guess things are bound to be different out here – I’ve never been on the sea before – it’s huge!”  she spread her arms wide, for emphasis. She’d never been on a body of water that she couldn’t see the shores of.

“Everything seems bigger outside of the Galumbé – oh, uh, that’s where I come from.”  She explained this in an offhand manner, not expecting the dwarf to have heard of the place – nobody ever had.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on April 14, 2009, 02:38:23 AM
   After giving a few words in response to Captain Fjorwek’s question, Rhia made a forlorn departure to the nearest rail.  The captain watched her dress flutter in the crisp sea-breeze, and once again, sighed to himself.  How could a lady - no, a girl - as young and inexperienced as she, begin to understand the harsh realities of life at sea?  She was no doubt saddened to see the two men punished so.
   Captain Fjorwek walked over to the rail and stood next to her.
   “You are quite right,” he said, “one must do what needs to be done.  But do not think that I do it with a glad heart.”  He paused momentarily, considering how best to proceed.
   “You see, Rhia, a ship is a most precarious place to be.  We are entirely at the mercy of the elements, and we are continually surrounded by the deep, unforgiving sea.  As such, discipline is of the highest priority.  It has been wisely said that if one gives a grain, then one must lose a fore.  And if this is true on land, how much more so it is at sea!  If I were to be seen forgiving miscreants, why, the whole ship would be awash in villainy before you could say…”
   The captain’s words were cut short by a terrible scream.  One of the sailors working in the rigging had lost his footing, and was plummeting towards his destiny.  It was quite clear to the captain, and all those who cared to look, that the unfortunate man was going to land in the sea.
   “Man overboard!  Heeeave tooo!!!” the captain bellowed, his words booming around the ship as the doomed sailor made contact with the water.  Then, without even properly excusing himself from Rhia, Captain Fjorwek rushed to the aft of the ship.  Lieutenant Ustaskjan had done likewise, and they both stared with horror as the man thrashed about in the waves.
   “Throw me a barrel!” the captain ordered as he threw his hat and jacket onto the deck.  Then, before the lieutenant could object, he launched himself from the back of the Southern Arrow, and into the sea.
   “Damn!” the lieutenant spat, as she watched the captain disappear into the waves.  Then she picked up one of the barrels that stood close by.  It had been painted white, and served the purpose of helping unfortunate men stay afloat when they went overboard.  With a mighty effort, the lieutenant hurled the barrel as far as she could, hoping that the captain would be able to find it amongst the waves.

   Captain Fjorwek felt the sudden shock of being in cold water hit him like a slap in the face, but he wasn’t in the slightest bit concerned.  As soon as he touched the water, he started to power his way forwards, keeping his head up so that he could keep an eye on where he was going.  The waves weren’t too bad, and he had fixed the sailor’s position in his mind before diving.
   As he swam over a wave, Captain Fjorwek saw the sailor.  He wasn’t too far away, but he seemed to be struggling.  “At least he’s still conscious!” the captain thought to himself with relief.  “But how much longer can he stay afloat?”  Just as he thought this, the man’s head slipped underwater, and the captain lost sight of him for a sickening moment.  When the head resurfaced, Captain Fjorwek was almost on top of him.
   “Don’t worry!  I’m here to help you!” he shouted, but the only response was a wild stare from a pair of glassy, unfocussed eyes.  Then, the sailor's head slipped under the surface again.  Captain Fjorwek dived, and swam underneath the now unconscious man.  Realising that the situation was dire, the captain wasted no time in grabbing him, and powering his way back to the white barrel, which was bravely bobbing up and down in the vast blue sea.

   “Jameson!”  Doctor Jorek roared when he saw the sailor go overboard, but he received no response.  “Damn it!  He must be in the sick bay!”  The doctor glanced around.  “Fionn!  Ylva!  Quickly, come with me!”  He didn’t wait for a reply.  Instead, he marched over to one of the ship’s small lifeboats, and ordered it to be launched.
   When they were in the boat, and on the sea, the doctor felt better.  Three sailors were rowing the small vessel with all their might, and it seemed as though they would soon be at the barrel, where the captain was already waiting.
   “It looks like he’s lost consciousness!” the doctor exclaimed as they got closer.  “How awful!  But tell me, have either of you dealt with a drowning man before?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on April 14, 2009, 06:36:26 PM
   After watching the captain successfuly get the sailor to the barrel, Lieutenant Ustaskjan returned her attention to her own duties.  The Arrow had come to a halt now, and she rocked steadily to and fro.  This relative stability gave the lieutenant an idea.  She had noticed earlier that three of her charge carried bows, and even though she didn't think much of that particular weapon, she decided that a brief archery contest would be a good idea.  Royce was injured, and Koka had been sick earlier, so it probably wasn't the best idea to work them too hard.  Archery would make a nice change of pace for them.  The only problem was that Malavon didn't seem to carry a bow.  Still, he probably wanted a chance to get revenge on Hylphan, so she would give them a different task.
   Turning to one of the ship's marines, she ordered him to section off the aft portion of the larboard side of the ship, and to fetch two archery targets.  Then she asked another marine to fetch two practice cutlasses.  Finally, she addressed her small group.
   "Well done, Hylphan and Koka!  I admire your skill, Hylphan, but I wonder if your swordplay is as good.  I also wonder how skilled Royce and Koka are with a bow.  As such, we shall have two new matches."
   One of the marines approached the lieutenant, and handed her two cutlasses.
   "These," she said, "are the favoured weapon for honest sailors and pirates alike.  They may seem a little short, but at sea, bigger is not always better!"  Her gaze fell to below Royce's waist.  "Take that ungainly thing that's dangling between your legs, for example.  It's far too long to be of any use to a sailor!  Hylphan and Malavon, you shall spar with these.  The edges have been blunted, so you won't be able to kill each other with them!  Any powerful cut to the torso, head, neck, legs, or sword arm will be considered a win.  Thrusts and glancing blows are of no value.  There is to be no time limit, and you shall spar over there."  The lieutenant pointed to a clear section of the deck not too far away.  She then handed the practice weapons to the two men.  "Fjordrim there will be the judge."  She indicated a marine, who was standing close by.
   In the meantime, some of the other marines had been setting up an archery range.  They had sectioned off a portion of the deck, so that no unsuspecting sailor could inadvertantly wander into the path of an arrow.  It stretched from the centre of the ship to the aft rail; a distance of about fifty peds.  At each end, there had been placed a target.  Lieutenant Ustaskjan gestured that Royce and Koka should take a look at the target closest to them, which had been secured on the aft rail.
   "This is your target," she said, "and as you can see, it resembles a man."  The target was a square, which had been turned forty-five degrees to resemble a diamond.  It was approximately as large as a human torso.  One black circle, about the size of a heart, had been painted in the centre.  "You shall have thirty blinks to fire as many arrows as posible.  When I say 'hold!' you will cease firing.  All those arrows that land in the white section will score one point, those that hit the black heart shall score two."
   The lieutenant pointed to the other target, which stood about fifty peds away.  "First you shall fire at that target, retrieve your arrows, and count your score.  After you have both done so, you will shoot back in this direction, at this target here.  Because of this, you will need to consider the wind direction very carefully.  Do I make myself clear?"
   Nearby, Fjordrim watched as Hylphan and Malavon approached him.
   "Right, men," he said gruffly, "let's get started!"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on April 20, 2009, 11:21:18 AM
Mallorix hung his head and said:
"I have not. Leave me be, I wish to rest."
Mallorix took a sip of water and a bite of hardtack and closed his eyes. Sleep came upon him.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on April 24, 2009, 01:20:26 AM
Fionn didn’t hear Koka’s reply, as a sudden cacophony erupted on the ship. For a second she froze, trying to work out what had happened, until she heard a shout;

“Fionn!  Ylva!  Quickly, come with me!”

Scampering over to the lifeboat, Fionn twigged what must have happened – someone had fallen overboard. As the boat hit the water she glimpsed a figure among the waves, but they were a lot bigger than they’d seemed from above. They were like great, heavy-headed animals with loud growling voices, and they pawed insistently at the boat. Fionn hung onto the sides and tried not to think about enormous fishes. Not far ahead she could see the drenched figure of the captain, clutching a limp, doll-like man whose grey, waxy face glittered with seawater in sunlight.

“It looks like he’s lost consciousness! How awful!  But tell me, have either of you dealt with a drowning man before?”

Fionn shook her head. She’d seen people who’d fallen in before, in the marshes – it was inevitable in such a watery place that sometimes accidents happened, but unless there was mud or a big kaimun, usually they were fine. They were wrapped up warm and told not to be so foolish next time. Somehow, she didn’t think that treatment would be particularly effective this time round.  

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on April 26, 2009, 01:34:17 AM
Mallorix the young sailor was obviously dejected and tired; he fell asleep almost instantaneously. Fu felt sorry for him – but there was nothing the wizard could do apart from granting his fellow prisoner’s request and not bother him any longer. Instead, Fu wriggled his chained limbs into as comfortable a position as possible, and turned his attention to the hardtack and water that had been given to him. Some of the biscuit had been spoiled by the seawater Fu had been doused with on doctor’s orders, but he helped himself to the rest. The food and drink made him feel a little better, so that he was able to forget about his headache and look around.

There was plenty of commotion on the ship! The wizard watched with interest how the crew responded to the fall of an unfortunate sailor into the sea. The captain was quickest to act and showed himself a brave man by jumping overboard. Then the doctor called out and entered into a dinghy, followed by the woman with the axe and the imp that wasn’t an imp. Whatever they were, these sailors were not heartless or disregarding of human life. This thought stirred Fu’s befuddled mind with a little breeze of hope.

As the dinghy was lowered out of Fu’s range of vision, his gaze fell on the chains around his wrists. Fu had seen young novice wind magi who were able to make objects like this temporarily disappear. They would have been capable of freeing themselves of those chains one by one. He himself, though, had not specialized in that particular feat. In any case, what good would it have done to free himself now? There wouldn’t have been much chance of escape, even if he had been able to shed his chains.

Still, now that he had eaten and nothing to do, and as the attention of the crew was grabbed by the rescue operation, it tickled Fu to try whether he may be able to summon his magical skills again. Was there a small object around that he could play with?

There was. A piece of hardtack protruded from underneath the sleeping Mallorix’s tunic. Fu concentrated his mind. The secret was to be mindful that wind moves through us all the time when we breathe. The wind oúnia are always in motion within us and around us, and all one had to do to create a little wind was to breathe beyond one’s body. The rests was practice, and just as with playing a flute, you became more dexterous the more often you did it. So Fu pursed his lips and directed a little jet of air at the hardtack. But all that happened was that the tunic fluttered a bit.

Fu tried again. He breathed in and breathed out, and felt the sea wind ruffle his hair and tickle his nose. He had always liked being outside and away from buildings and trees the broke the wind’s path. What better place to be for a wind wizard than shackled to the top deck of a ship, alone with his element! Fu chuckled at the thought. Then he pursed his lips again, and as he exhaled, he felt himself at one with the wind that ruled the sky and moved the sea. A delicate jet of air flowed towards Mallorix’s piece of hardtack, and as it reached it, broadened into a little carpet that squeezed itself underneath the biscuit and slowly, carefully, lifted it up into the air. It worked!

Fu did not allow himself to rejoice at his success, but rather decided to use the time for a bit of practice. He let the biscuit float towards him, and then describe a little circle around his feet. Next, he turned it upside down. He imagined how it would feel to be a biscuit, and to be manipulated and spun around in this way. Be biscuits prone to sea sickness, I be wondering?  Fu chuckled. At that moment, a big wave hit the ship, so that it rocked and shoved the seated wizard slightly off balance. He lost his concentration, the biscuit fell down and hit one of his shackles, so that the biscuit cracked into two pieces. Oh dear!

Fu glanced at Mallorix. The young sailor appeared to be sleeping still, but what would he be thinking to awake and find Fu playing with his precious food! Quickly, the wizard exhaled again and levitated the larger piece of biscuit back to the place just next to the fold in Mallorix’s tunic where it had come from. Now to the second piece. If he did well, Fu could make it land right next to the other one, and he hoped that this would put him beyond suspicion. The wizard concentrated his mind, and ...

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on April 26, 2009, 11:27:16 AM
Mallorix woke with a start.
The ship had been rocked by a large wave, and he was awoken.
Mallorix saw a commotion on deck, but whatever had happened had happened.  He saw a dinghy close to the ship with a man limply stretched on it.
Groggily, Mallorix thought:
*Maybe he fell overboard?*
He suddenly felt cold, and he noticed that his clothes were drying. He remembered salt water being poured over him, bout his tunic protected his biscuit.
His biscuit!
Mallorix looked down and saw his biscuit broken unevenly in half, with the smaller piece floating towards the larger one.
He remembered the other man in chains, Fu. The strange small man who appeared in the cargo hold. It must be him, despite the fact that it was surely impossible. Magic was the stuff of stories, of Ximax. Only the greatest legends could do magic. A commoner like Fu doing magic was simply impossible.
He lifted his head and stared at Fu.
"I don't know what you are doing and how," Mallorix said sternly, "But I know you broke my biscuit!"
He looked at his chains, and remembered his knife.
*The knife! How could I have forgotten I had hidden it under my tunic? It could be my ticket out of these chains if only I could reach it and pick the lock......*
Mallorix then knew that such a thing was impossible to do. Even if he had managed to pick the lock, where would he go? The consequences would be more severe, and he was sure death would follow his steps if he decided to go in that direction. There had to be another way.
Mallorix thought about the travelers on board, and how one of them, the litlle girl, had saved him.
What was her name?
No, it was Fionn.
She could help him, yes she could.
Mallorix began to devise a plan to gain the travelers' sympathy, one by one.......

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on April 27, 2009, 08:27:15 AM
Ylva sat on the bottom step of the stairs that led up to the upper decks, her arms curled around her knees, her eyes stared blankly at the knots in the wooden board beneath her feet, her eyebrows frowned as her mind was deep in thought, reliving the talk of last night.

…….”Unfortunately, the man had lost his senses, and only babbled incoherent nonsense about cities of the dead, ghosts in the night, shadowy shingar and…and…”
   “Giant bats with the bodies of snakes and the head of the Santhran Himself, I believe, sir….”

“Fionn!  Ylva!  Quickly, come with me!” Ylva managed to resurface from her thoughts. The murmillion gawped as the Doctor and the mullog quickly scarpered past her towards the boats. The woman still wasn’t sure what was happening, but her legs seemed to jump up of their own accord and follow them.

The sea was harsh and Ylva gripped the side of the boat, disliking the unsteady to and fro of the waves. In the water she could see the Captain bobbing up and down, a man in his arms, whose skin was a colour normally was reserved for dead fish.
   “It looks like he’s lost consciousness! How awful!  But tell me, have either of you dealt with a drowning man before?”

The fact was Ylva hadn’t dealt with drowning that much, in fact what she had learnt about it had been from a book in the first place. Mountains normally didn’t hold many places where people could drown.

However if her memories were correct then there was no time to answer the Doctor’s question. Here it was time that mattered most, minutes wasted made the difference. He needed to be out of the water, and back on dry land as quickly as possible to be able to help the heartbeat properly resuscitate. Sadly there is no dry land…Ylva reached over the side of the boat, “Captain!” She snapped. “Here! Quickly!” The boat got closer to the two men as the captain swam closer to them. Ylva managed to grab a slippery wet arm. With the help of two of the sailors, who were much stronger than she ever could be, she carefully pulled the man into the vessel; there he lay on his back at the bottom of the boat like a fish freshly fished from the sea.

What did the book say? The heart beats slower and the airways will fill with water of sea, causing damage from the salt. Unconscious is not desired, the mind being a delicate thing, if the patient does not regain consciousness quickly, he might forever be trapped in a deep sleep…..mouth to mouth resuscitation is an unorthodox but reliable method....
Her face frowned, knowing that precious time was dripping away as she wavered. Might as well try.... The healer kneeled closer to the man, gently moving his head backwards to make the airways clearer. Ylva took a big breath and, cupping her hands against the man's mouth, breathed into him.

Nothing happened.

Ylva cursed violently in her own tongue and pressed her ear against his mouth, his breathe seemed to be struggling, his heartbeat dying inside him. Sighed, took another deep breathe and tried again. Suddenly there was a spluttering sound, the man's lung restarted, the surprise causing the small healer to leap backwards, rocking the little boat. The man coughed violently. Ylva just grinned madly to herself. Huh, It actually worked...

Her grin fell from her face, as the man sank back into sleep, fainting, back into Mari’s warm embrace. No, no, no, no...The healer slapped his face and shook his shoulders, trying to keep him awake. “Damn, he is sinking…We should get him back to the ship, do what we can for him but...." She wavered and then shook her head and said, "...if Mari wants to take him, she will.” Ylva sighed, looking to the others for their response.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on April 27, 2009, 12:09:18 PM
Rhia felt the pricklings of another’s presence, saw a broad, strong shoulder out of the corner of her eye. Her head drew up quickly from her arms. To her irritation, it was Fjorwek standing next to her. What did he think he was doing, ruining her dramatic exit? A layer of annoyance dusted the cogs and wheels of her mind. If only he had any sense, he would have wanted to go after her but be afraid to approach her, give a hefty sigh, and go on with business as usual but with a heavy heart. She grumbled a bit mentally. Can’t expect a man to know how to act with women these days. Should have known he hadn’t any sense when it came to females. Grumble, grumble. Her mental grousing almost made her miss his next words.

His face was serious, heavy with lines, but Rhia didn’t let her gaze rest on his countenance for more than a second or two before letting it drop to stare at the railing. He spoke in a low, grave voice that, despite how strongly she had felt for the two imprisoned men, sent a little fingernail to niggle at the back of her neck and send shivering feelings across her shoulders. “You are quite right; one must do what needs to be done. But do not think that I do it with a glad heart.” He let his words fall, like heavy droplets, into Rhia’s brain before continuing weightily. “You see, Rhia, a ship is a most precarious place to be. We are entirely at the mercy of the elements, and we are continually surrounded by the deep, unforgiving sea. As such, discipline is of the highest priority. It has been wisely said that if one gives a grain, then one must lose a fore. And if this is true on land, how much more so it is at sea! If I were to be seen forgiving miscreants, why, the whole ship would be awash in villainy before you could say-”

Rhia was startled by a loud, piercing scream that seemed to shake the air. Both she and the captain whipped their heads around and beheld, to her horror, an unlucky sailor taking a plunging route that, unfortunately, led straight to the sea.

It all happened very fast.

Before she had time to blind, Fjorwek was hollering that famous phrase straight out of the sea tales- “Man overboard! Heeeaaave to!” The resonance of his words competed with the loud splashing sound of the sailor being suddenly introduced to the water. Then he was a streak of brown and white and gold as he whipped past Rhia and dove from the stern of the ship. The lieutenant was lobbing a white barrel into the pitching waves. All that the little songstress, frozen to where she stood, could glimpse was two bodies among the sea’s tumbling, turbulent tresses. Tumbling turbulent tresses… The captain was making powerful, lunging strokes to the barrel, barely hanging onto the now unconscious sailor, from where he was pulled back onto the boat.

It was all Rhia could do to keep from being slack jawed. Fjorwek had barely hesitated to go after that sailor. How did-? Why could-? She was just amazed at his heroism, such a contrast, it looked like to her, to the Fjorwek of five minutes ago, when he had those two men clunked in irons. That captain had seemed to be stony and unfeeling. But I guess he was not so stony and unfeeling; he did try to explain it to me… Rhia clutched at the rail. So much had happened, and this only the first day at sea!

Suddenly she thought of the prisoners. They were merely watching the proceedings with blank, dejected eyes. She felt sore, as if she had been bumping into sharp objects for several hours, and she felt for the two of them. Quickly, she made up her mind and crossed the ship’s wooden floor to where they sat shackled. Her grey eyes, enlarged by distress, passed over their sorry countenances. Rhia knelt beside them, worrying at the tip over braid hanging over her shoulder. “Oh- I-” In a sudden moment of brilliance she realized that she really had nothing to say to them. Let’s see. ‘Oh gee, what a pity you’re all shackled up like this.’ ‘You look terrible. Are you all right?’ She gave a small, wry internal smile. Yes, that would be tactful all right. Finally she bit her lip and addressed the two of them, tugging at her braid fretfully. “Ah, I wish I ‘ad some bread or sommat fahr yeh.” A frustrated pause, filled with things that she wanted to say. “Is- there anythin’ I can do?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on April 29, 2009, 03:14:18 AM
Sure enough, Mallorix had to wake up just the moment Fu was trying – ever so gently and quietly – to get the piece of biscuit back to where it had come from. And the young sailor was quick to react, too:

"I don't know what you are doing and how, but I know you broke my biscuit!"

With a start, Fu lost his concentration once again, and the piece of biscuit fell onto the wooden deck. Happily, it just avoided a little puddle of salt water that was left from the earlier dousing of the captives. Quickly, Fu took the piece of biscuit between two fingers, reached out with his shackled hands, as close to Mallorix as he could, and put the biscuit down.

”I be sorry! It was being an accident. Here, be having it back.”

If I was versed in earth magic, master, I’d be putting it back together for ye. Fu decided that he had to be more careful; he had got himself into enough trouble as things stood – it was no use bringing the wrath of his benefactor onto him, too.

As the wizard was contemplating taking a more circumspect attitude, he saw a lady approaching the place of Mallorix’s and his own enchainment. He hadn’t noticed her before. To Fu, who had to look up at the walking figure from his crouched and uncomfortable position, she appeared to be the embodiment of effortless grace. She was small – smaller even than himself, Fu reckoned – and slim; and she walked with the confidence of those who feel at home within themselves. She be like the wind so gentle and wilful. As she knelt down next to the prisoners, Fu noticed her nose ring, as well as a pendant in the shape of a turtle. Instinctively, Fu’s hand went to his own, much simpler, pendant. Aye, it still be there. Although he had lost his staff, hat, pipe, rucksack and freedom, he had retained his most treasured possession: the locket containing a strand of his daughter’s hair.

The lady spoke kindly, and in an unfamiliar accent. A vague memory hovered through the back of Fu’s mind; had a fellow student at Ximax spoken in a similar way? Might this lady be from Nybelmar, or somewhere thereabouts? In any case, Fu immediately liked her voice: like the wind caressing the strings of a harp.

But what did she do on this ship among the rough-and-ready sailor folk? Maybe she was the wife of one of the higher ranks?

”Miss, thanks be to ye for the asking! Prithee be telling an unfortunate man: how long be ye thinking this journey will be in the taking?”

On her approach, the lady’s shadow had briefly fallen on Fu. Now that she was kneeling, the wizard felt the full force of the hot sun on his hatless and hapless head. This gave Fu another thought: if this lady had contact with the ship’s officers, a cunning line of questioning would maybe allow him to find out how long the captain intended to let his prisoners languish.

”And … forgive me if the asking be impertinent, but … what be yer occupation on this here ship?”

This had probably not been the most subtle approach to the matter... Feeling a drop of sweat forming on his brow, Fu awkwardly bent his neck and lifted his shackled hands to wipe it off. The movement made his chains rattle most miserably, like those of a melancholic ghost.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on April 29, 2009, 08:07:37 AM
Mallorix just grunted a reply to Fu.

"Yes, well don't ever try to mess with my biscuit again!"

With those words, he picked up the smaller piece, ate it, took a sip of water, and put down the mug and the remaining piece under his tunic, just in case he was doused again. In a few moments, he dozed off, still thinking about a plan in his sleep in the form of an odd dream.

Mallorix was in a room, and he was surrounded by fair travelers with full purses. They were dancing around him, saying:
"Win our Sympathy!"

Then, Fu appeared, chained to a rock. He said:
"I have power, yes I do!"

The fair travelers suddenly turned into identical maidens, kissing Fu.

"Oh, you poor thing!"

Mallorix woke to see a lady, akin to the ones in his dream, standing in front of them. He quickly remembered his plan and his dream. He whispered loudly enough for only Fu to hear.

"Fu, act more miserable. The more she and the others pity us, the better our chances of escape."

Then he let out a long groan and said loudly,

"You could get us some more food! This won't last us long. Please, kind lady. We will starve here! It is also going to be miserable when it rains."

He paused to sigh.

"We might die of the cold and the rain."

He then collapsed, falling once more into sleep. Clearly his condition was almost as bad as he had described it. It was a bit exaggerated, but what else can one do to earn sympathy?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on April 30, 2009, 02:35:39 AM
A stertorous breath escaped the bloodless lips of the half-drowned man. Fionn was amazed – Ylva had forced the man to breathe simply by pushing her own breath into him, shoving the water from his lungs. She must remember to ask more about the method when they had a spare moment.

Now her attention was directed more towards the face of this half-drowned man. His consciousness was transient, his expression vacant and unfocused in a way that rung warning bells in Fionn’s head. She glanced quickly back towards the boat, looked up to the point of the mast, from which he’d fallen. It was a long way, and water hit hard when the drop was long. She looked at Ylva, nodded half to herself, then slipped past to get a good, close look at his face. Propping him upright and holding his head steady, she gave a cursory check for external wounds. She didn’t find anything obvious, but didn’t expect to. He’d probably bruise horribly later, but for now the shock kept him the colur of fog.

“Open your eyes, for me, could you…” he seemed to hear despite everything, or maybe it was just coincidence that he managed to look Fionn in the eye, or not, as it were.

“His pupils are massive, I don’t think he can focus” she murmured over her shoulder, without turning. As she held him upright, he started to cough and splutter, dribbling salt water down his front. He was starting to feel very heavy. Fionn motioned for one of the sailors standing anxiously over the man to kneel down and hold him up. She turned to talk to the others, ignoring the continued coughing for the moment.

“He must‘ve hit his head pretty hard, that’s why he’s not coming round properly, I think. It’s not so serious as it looks, um, I think.” Carefully, she began to run her fingers over his limbs and ribs, checking for breaks.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on April 30, 2009, 07:09:24 PM
   Doctor Jorek watched as Ylva and Fionn tried to bring the sailor back to consciousness.  Ylva very nearly managed it, but gave up too quickly.  Fionn, on the other hand, had got the wrong idea completely.  Realising that the man's life was still in the balance, the doctor asked Fionn to lie him back down on the floor of the boat.
   Once this had been done, he knelt next to the prone body, and tilted the man's head back slightly.  Then he pinched the sailor's nose, and breathed directly into his mouth.  Slowly, the man's chest began to rise.
   "You see, Ylva," the doctor said as the chest sank, "you had the right idea, but gave up too soon!  We have to breathe for him, until he can do so himself."  The doctor paused as he once again breathed into the man's mouth.  "We need to keep doing this at a natural pace.  Not rushed, but not too slow, either."  Again, the doctor breathed into the man's lungs.  "And he needs to stay lying down," the doctor glanced at Fionn as he said this.  "For a day at least!  I've had men recover at first, only to die a day or two later."
   The life boat had reached the gigantic Southern Arrow by now, and a group of curious sailors had gathered by the rail.  Oblivious to his audience, Doctor Jorek continued the process of helping the sailor to breathe.  Soon, a spluttering sound came from the man, and his eyes opened.  The doctor watched carefully, and was glad to see that the man was now breathing by himself.  His face had started to return to a more natural colour as well, losing its bluish tinge.  After asking a few questions, and learning that his name was Jepprek, the doctor gave orders for him to be carried aboard the Arrow and taken immediately to the sick bay.
   "I think we should join him there," he said to Ylva and Fionn once Jepprek had been carried aboard.  "Come along, I don't want to leave young Jameson alone for too long!"

    Captain Fjorwek had remained unusually quiet as the life boat had sped back to the Southern Arrow.  He watched in silence as the doctor and his helpers worked on Jepprek.  A careful observer would have noticed the look of concentration on his face, a clear sign that his mind was busy.  It was another calamity, and one that might still prove to be fatal.  The doubts that he had had before came creeping back into his thoughts.  Maybe he had angered Baveras?  Perhaps this voyage was doomed to end in tragedy?  A stow-away; a man overboard; what would be next?  What could he do?  They were well on their way now, they had to see it through, regardless.  With this realisation, Captain Fjorwek snapped back into his usual frame of mind, and cast the melancholy thoughts out like a captured rat!
   "Right you are, doctor!" he said briskly.  "Keep an eye on Jepprek, and let me know if there are any developments.  He is to rest for a day, and then you are to report to me with his progress!"
   Once the doctor, Ylva, and Fionn had boarded, the captain followed.  When he got back onto the quarter-deck, he orderd that the ship be set to sail again, and then returned to his cabin to get changed; his drenched clothing was clinging uncomfortably to his body.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on May 01, 2009, 07:47:28 AM
Rhia pretended not to notice as the tall prisoner, obviously unaware of his rudeness, leaned over and whispered in the ear of the short, polite man shackled to him. He then emitted a low, strung-out moaning noise, sounding rather like a cow, to Rhia’s ear. “You could get us some more food! This won’t last us long. Please, kind lady- we will starve here! It is also going to be miserable when it rains.” Now a heavy, theatrical sigh. “We might die of the cold and rain!” He collapsed onto the ship’s floor and appeared to lose himself to sleep, almost immediately. Either his condition was direr than she had thought, or she was witnessing some high-class acting. But no matter. Rhia’s sea-filled gaze focused once more on the tiny little prisoner still awake.

Rhia let a small smile slip. The sun, to her back right, painted the canvas of her heart-shaped face eerily, illuminating half of it and letting the other part blur in grey shadow. The little man’s humble, rolling accent appealed to her. She was beginning to like him, and her features showed it subtly, unconsciously. “Aye, I’ll get ye more food as soon as I’m able.” Her grey eyes darted to where Fjorwek and the others were clustered. “Per’aps tonight, after th’ ev’nin’ meal ‘as been eaten. And maybe some blankets.” It did not cross her mind, eager as she was to help these bedraggled prisoners who she had deemed to herself wrongly convicted, that any blankets she brought to them could not be concealed and would be confiscated in the morning, as soon as one of the crew discovered them. But her mind whirred on, delighted that things seemed to be going so swimmingly along like something straight out of a ballad, and she happily made plans to aid the two men. Bother that socially-handicapped captain who didn’t know that he was supposed to act despairingly over Rhia, like a real hero from a bard’s tale! She would show him. Never mind the fact that this was not a bard’s tale, and that the iron that confined these two men was real iron, and not words spun out of the air to make the story more vivid!

Her head full of her plans, Rhia began to stand up again and move away, but recalled that the shorter man had asked her the length of the journey and her occupation on the ship. She bent down low to him, nearly crouching, her thick braid abruptly swinging over her right shoulder and almost hitting him in the face. “I dunn’e truly know how long th’ voyage will take." She decided to ignore the inquiry as to her place on the ship. So her ill-fittingness was detected even by those who hadn't seent he sick bay spectacle. Well, as much as she was beginning to like the little man, she wasn't  going to let him have the satisfaction of confirming his thoughts. She whipped her head around once more to look at the crowd by the unconscious sailor rescued from the seas, who was now being attended by the Ylva woman, Dr. Jorek, and the little creature- Fionn, she had said her name was. The motion of her head caused her braid to actually hit the imprisoned man in the face, making her embarrassment to augment. Feeling her hair collide with something soft, Rhia turned her head back to him, mumbling, “Ah, sorry, sorry…” She scrambled to her feet and quickly added distance between herself and the prisoners. She had probably been talking to them for too long. She supposed that it would be best to go join the throng around the sailor and doctors.

But she felt tired, although she had not been one of those running laps. Just tired of all the sudden calamities that seemed to be springing up like prairie dogs, yipping and clamoring for attention. Rhia’s usually limitless social skills were exhausted; she wanted to be alone, rejuvenate in peace. She cast her eyes around the ship, searching for a secluded corner to doze calmly in. Her feelings of longing for seclusion were genuine this time, not a façade constructed to cause turmoil in the captain’s feelings. Suddenly she spotted the stairs leading to below the ship. Almost sighing in relief, she very nearly ran down them. Who knew, perhaps she would explore a little.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on May 09, 2009, 11:44:31 PM
Mallorix appeared to be suffering from a form of Sleep-Ill – a disease, Fu knew, that often befell people who spent long hours on guard duty at night, making them suffer from uncontrolled fits of dosing off during the day. In one of his waking bouts, Mallorix suggested that Fu make his miserable state known to the people on the ship. I rather be doubting that I can look more dejected than I be looking now, the wizard thought. Although, generally speaking, we all be well advised never to be thinking that things can’t be getting worse.

In any case, Mallorix’s entreaties to the lady seemed wise and forward-thinking from the point of view of someone who doesn’t know how long he will languish in the open air – and they received a most welcome response. Looking kindly on the shackled Fu, the lady promised to bring more food, albeit only at night. She be wanting to be keeping it a secret, as it be seeming! But why did she claim not to know how long the journey would take? Why, indeed, did nobody on this wretched ship answer this most simple of questions?

Fu was bewildered for a moment, and closed his eyes to think, so that, when he felt the lady’s hair bash into his face, he assumed the cause to be either the wind or an unconscious movement of his own. Yet it was the lady who mumbled an apology. After which, she rather abruptly got up and left without another word. As he watched her walking off, it seemed to Fu that she had forgotten about the prisoners already. Was she really intending to help them? Or were they just a diversion for her? She never answered Fu's question about her role on the ship, either. What a peculiar bunch of characters this ship bore!

The lady was out of Fu’s sight now, and there was a blink of stillness. The wizard listened to the wind, and to the sleeping Mallorix’s breath. There be so much you can do with your breath that most people not be dreaming about – but of no avail it be when ye be friendless and alone, and ye cannot hold those ye be loving.

Fu thought of his daughter, how he had once sat on the floor with her, in her mother Sillis’ little room. They had played with one of Fu’s juggling balls. Fu had created a little wind that rolled the ball in Bronya’s direction, and Bronya had pushed it back towards Fu with her hands. Every time the ball came to her, the little girl’s eyes widened, her arms twitched, and she let out a little laugh when it came to a stop just in front of her lap. Then her brow furrowed in keen concentration as her eyes re-focused on the ball, and as she pushed the ball back to Fu with both hands, keenly following its progress across the floor toward where her father was sat. Then Fu had blown the ball back to her, and the cycle had begun anew. They had done this over and over, longer than it takes to smoke two pipes, or three even – and neither father nor daughter had tired of it. It was as if the ball be moving us, not we the ball.

They had only stopped when Sillis had come back with the bread she had bought, using the coins Fu had brought her that afternoon. The wizard had wondered, for the rest of the evening, if he would ever be able to obtain enough money to be able to get Bronya into Ximax, so that she could study magic herself. Under the current circumstances, reflected Fu, this prospect appeared less likely than ever.

Like a soap bubble poked with a finger, Fu’s reverie popped out of existence as the heavy boots of an older sailor approached the prisoners. He had a ragged white beard and a sunburnt face and neck, and the lines around his eyes seemed to suggest that he had just woken up. Maybe he be one of the night-watchmen, Fu thought. The sailor placed himself just in front of the two convicts, took a pipe out of a pocket, stuffed it with slow, deliberate movements, lit it, and began to puff, exhaling little rings of smoke that broke up immediately in the sea wind. All the while, he was looking pensively at Fu, but without saying so much as a word. Fu, on his part, did not dare to say anything, but couldn’t help regarding the old man’s pipe with envious yearning. I be wondering whether he’d be kind enough to be letting me have a few puffs.

Eventually, the sailor seemed to come to some sort of decision. He firmly stamped his foot on the ground near the sleeping Mallorix’s head, presumably to wake him up, and addressed him in a growling, guttural voice:

”So that’s yer ghost, eh? Looks just like an ordinary land-rat to me. What were you really up to down there? Yer two are smuggling something, yer sneaky krakens? Go on, yer can tell an old bonehead fish!”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on May 14, 2009, 09:32:27 AM
Mallorix woke when a boot was stomped near his face. He immediately looked up and saw a grisly older sailor staring at him. The sailor said gruffly:

”So that’s yer ghost, eh? Looks just like an ordinary land-rat to me. What were you really up to down there? Yer two are smuggling something, yer sneaky krakens? Go on, yer can tell an old bonehead fish!”

Mallorix replied:

"No, we're not smuggling anything! I saw his form in the dark, then he was not there. A strange knapsack appeared! I didn't know what I was seeing! I went down again to investigate and all I found was this man."

Mallorix dejectedly said to Fu:

"Look Fu, you know more than I do about how you got here. Be kind and explain to this sailor that there is nothing we are smuggling."

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Malavon Despana on May 17, 2009, 12:34:45 PM
Much has happened , after the embarrassing by the hands of Hylphan , Malavon was eager for revenge , and chance has brought what he needed , a sword contest , now the old man had bested him before , but Mal was sure that his skill with the sword were top notch in this ship , feeling the weight of the duel sword the woman gave to him , a wicked smile filled Mal lips , yes revenge was near...

Turning to Hylphan , he said with cold and emotionless voice " Well , it seems they want us to gave a good show old man , lets us not disappoint them ...  

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on May 17, 2009, 06:29:27 PM
   Once back in the sick bay, Doctor Jorek let out a loud sigh.
   “It seems we’re going to be kept busy on this journey,” he said with a smile.  “That’s the trouble with sailors; they’re always injuring themselves in some horrific way.”
   The doctor then spied Jameson, who was busy attending to one of the bed-ridden men.
   “Ah, Jameson, has Mr Sonis awoken yet?”
   “Not yet, sir, but I expect him to soon enough.”
   Before the doctor could say anymore on the subject, he was confronted by a very anxious looking sailor.
   “Excuse me, doctor, but I’ve got to get back to work!  The cap’n’ll ‘av me balls if I don’t!”
   “Don’t be so silly, Jepprek!” the doctor said as he barred the man’s exit.  “You’ve just come back from the dead, man!  Well, almost, anyway.  And I have very specific instructions from the captain that you are to remain here and rest; for a day at least!”
   The bewildered Jepprek merely stood still, his arms hanging limply by his side, and his mouth gaping wide open, as though he wanted to say something but had forgotten how.
   “Well, get back to your bunk!  And close your mouth; you look like some kind of a monstrous fish with it open like that!”
   There was a brief moment of silence, and then Jepprek nodded his understanding, and reluctantly sat back down on his bunk.
   “Now, where are my helpers?” the doctor continued, mostly to himself.  Glancing around the room, he saw that Ylva and Fionn had been accosted by the delusional Mr Roach, who was undoubtedly disturbing them with his gibberish.
   “Now, now, your ladyship,” Doctor Jorek said as he approached the small group.  “You mustn’t be talking too much to our guests; you know how it tires you.”
   ‘Lady Shiana’ let out an exasperated “hunph!” and looked at the doctor with an expression that would have looked more at home on the face of a sulking girl.
   “You never let me have company!  What is a lady supposed to do all day?  Why can’t they stay?  You want to stay, don’t you?”  Mr Roach looked pleadingly at Ylva and Fionn.  “I can tell you all about my travels!  I’ve been to some remarkable places, you know.”
   “Well, if they’d like to stay and talk with you, then that’s fine with me.  But they are very busy, you know.”  The doctor tilted his head slightly to the side, and cast Ylva and Fionn an enquiring look.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on May 17, 2009, 09:07:53 PM
Fu hadn’t quite managed to cease directing his longing attention at the sailor’s pipe smoke, when Mallorix addressed him: "Look Fu, you know more than I do about how you got here. Be kind and explain to this sailor that there is nothing we are smuggling."

The sailor fixed Fu with a beady eye. The befuddled wizard stammered:

”Me, erm, I, be most surprised at this suspicion of yours, master, I …”

"Aaach!" interrupted the sailor impatiently.

”Them stowaways isn’t what them once was, you know! When I was young, them was always entertaining, because them always had a good tale to tell. Not like you dull flatfishes! You’s such poor liars! When I was sailing under capt’n Rednose – may Queprur have received his ghost with kindness! – we always used to look forward to discovering the stowaway.

There was one on most journeys. We knew he was there, but we wouldn’t let it on straightaway. We’d wait a while and let the rats nibble at him a bit – you know, just to give him some time to think through whatever story he’d tell when he'd be discovered.  Just so that we could enjoy how he was trying to talk his way out of the situation. The better crafted his web of fibs was, the more joy we'd have in tearing it apart!

Eh, stowaway, what is you looking at?”

Throughout the sailor’s speech, Fu’s eyes had got bigger and bigger, as he had been gaping at the pipe which the sailor had, nonchalantly, held in his left hand while ranting at the two captives.

”Master, please ye be forgiving me for the asking, but may I ever so possibly be having a puff or three from that pipe of yours?”

”Sure as shipwreck you can”, said the sailor. ”Here, just take it.” And with that, he took the pipe between the thumb and first finger of his hand and held it out to Fu – just far enough that Fu wouldn’t be able to reach it. Fu knew that sailor knew that his arms couldn’t reach that far, and the sailor knew that Fu knew that. The old man smiled and winked at Mallorix, enjoying his joke.

While the sailor was looking at Mallorix, something happened to his pipe. First, it wriggled a bit between his fingers. Then it released itself from their grip, and gently soared upwards into the air above. The sailor, meanwhile, had noticed that something unexpected was happening. With mouth agape and eyes widened in surprise, he stared at his pipe -- which was now floating just in front of his nose. For a moment, it dithered and wobbled on the spot like a drunken hummingbird - then, slowly and carefully, it jiggled its way through the air toward Fu’s eager hands. The wizard reached out, put it in his mouth, and took a good puff.

”I be exquisitely grateful indeed, kind master.”

The sailor swallowed, made a step back, swallowed again. Then he made another step, swallowed, and retreated a step. Finally he swallowed, somewhat regained his composure, and made a step back. Then another. Now he was able to speak.

”Why, either I is Lady Shiana, or you is a leprechaun, a kobold, an evil ship domovidge, or worse. I warn you, I do. We have ways of dealing with your sort.”

Fu was still puffing on the sailor’s pipe, thinking he probably won’t get another chance anytime soon. In any case, he didn’t know what to say. The sailor turned his attention to Mallorix:

”And what do you know about all that, eh?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on May 20, 2009, 12:57:21 AM
   Captain Fjorwek took one last look at himself in the full length mirror that adorned his wardrobe door, and smiled in satisfaction.  He had rinsed his face with some fresh water, dried the rest of his body, and completely changed his dress.  He was now wearing a fine white shirt, which billowed out from his body, and a pair of tight, whale skin pants.  After straightening his tricorn hat, the captain made his way back onto the quarter deck.
   The sun was getting stronger now, blazing happily in a clear, blue sky.  The crew were at their respective stations, and everything seemed to be going smoothly for a change.  Captain Fjorwek clasped his hands behind his back, and took a deep breath of fresh air.  It felt good to be alive on such a fine day, and the rapid progress that the Arrow was making made the captain's dark thoughts of earlier blow away like wisps of morning mist.
   Turning his head from side to side, the captain scanned the deck to make sure that his guests were being taken care of.  Nearby, the lieutenant seemed to be involved in an archery contest with the dwarf and one of the men, whilst a marine oversaw a sparring match between two of the others.  One of the men fighting had caught the captain's eye earlier, he was obviously a sailor, and much more at home here than his companions.  It was an odd group that Jorn had assembled, for sure, but there was undoubtedly some kind of a method to his madness.  The rest of the group weren't present, they were probably in the sick bay with the doctor.
   "Perhaps I ought to go and check on her...them," the captain corrected his thoughts unconsciously.  "Afterall, the doctor can be a little eccentric at times."
   With his usual deciciveness, Captain Fjorwek started to head towards the sick bay, determined to make sure that the ladies were being looked after properly.  Well, that's what he told himself, though the truth was that he only really meant to check on one of them.
   Regardless of his motivations, however, he never actually made it to the sick bay.
   "Ship sighted!" the cry came, bringing the captain's mind back to duty.  "Three points off o' larboard!"
   "Which sail?" the captain shouted back to the lookout, who was perched high above the deck.
   "No sail, sir!  She's too small!"
   This enigmatic response caused the captain to pull his small sighting scope out, and to fix it on the point indicated by the sharp-sighted lookout.  At first, there was only a vast expanse of blue to be seen.  Soon, however, the scope alighted on a distant, vague shape.  It was indeed a small boat.  As the captain gazed at it, he became aware that there were at least two figures onboard.
   "How curious," he thought to himself as he lowered the scope.  "What would such a thing be doing so far out at sea?"
   "Any other sails sighted?" the captain bellowed.
   "None to report, sir!" came the reply.
   Captain Fjorwek rubbed his chin as he consdered the implications of this new event.  Most likely the small boat was the only survivor of some kind of a disaster.  Maybe a larger ship had been sunk, but there were no dangerous reefs or rocks to strike out here.  Of course, the two unfortunate occupants of the mystery boat might have been the victims of a mutiny.  Then again, maybe pirates had attacked them?  Still, whatever the cause, the result was the same, and the captain had only one response open to him.
   "Helmsman!  Set a new course, three points to larboard!  We're to help those poor wretches!"
   "Aye, aye, sir!  Three points to larboard!"
   The Southern Arrow turned gracefully as she was taken onto her new course, and Captain Fjorwek's mind turned with her.  First stowaways, and now this.  The captain felt a slight sense of discomfort again; perhaps Baveras had another unpleasant surprise in store for him?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on May 21, 2009, 10:32:37 AM
Mallorix was relieved that the old sailor had turned his attention to Fu. He was worried that the sailor would tell outrageous lies about his activities, and get him thrown into the water as shark bait. The young sailor quickly located his knife and started fiddling with the lock on his chains, concealing his work with his back. Mallorix listened to the conversation the sailor was having with Fu.

The small man, shackled to a post along with Mallorix, stammered a few words to the sailor.

”Me, erm, I, be most surprised at this suspicion of yours, master, I …”

The sailor interrupted with a loud, impudent cry and started rambling on about how stowaways used to be.

”Them stowaways isn’t what them once was, you know! When I was young, them was always entertaining, because them always had a good tale to tell. Not like you dull flatfishes! You’s such poor liars! When I was sailing under capt’n Rednose – may Queprur have received his ghost with kindness! – we always used to look forward to discovering the stowaway...... "

Mallorix had finally managed to loosen the lock, so he hid his knife.

"There was one on most journeys. We knew he was there, but we wouldn’t let it on straightaway. We’d wait a while and let the rats nibble at him a bit – you know, just to give him some time to think through whatever story he’d tell when he'd be discovered.  Just so that we could enjoy how he was trying to talk his way out of the situation. The better crafted his web of fibs was, the more joy we'd have in tearing it apart! ......."

The young man shuddered at the old sailor's words. He was certain all this rambling would lead to him being punished more severely.

"Eh, stowaway, what is you looking at?”

Mallorix turned towards Fu and saw him staring at the pipe. Evidently, the sailor had , too. Fu boldly asked for the pipe, and the sailor mockingly said yes. He held it out, but just out of Fu's reach. The old sailor winked at Mallorix, enjoying the annoyance he was causing to Fu.

Just then, Mallorix saw the pipe squirming and wiggling, as if trying to pull itself out of the sailor's hand. It pulled loose and swayed around as if it was confused. It hovered in front of the old man's nose for a few moments before flying into Fu's hand.
Fu thanked the man.

”I be exquisitely grateful indeed, kind master.”

The sailor immediately started backing up, shuddering and making signs against evil. He swallowed and retreated a bit further. He seemed to compose himself, and finally the sailor took a few careful steps toward the two chained men. He saw no ill effects from this, and he fully regained his courage and walked up to the stowaway.

”Why, either I is Lady Shiana, or you is a leprechaun, a kobold, an evil ship domovidge, or worse. I warn you, I do. We have ways of dealing with your sort.”

Fu took no notice of the man and happily continued smoking the stolen pipe. The sailor saw that he would get no answer, so he turned his attention to Mallorix.

”And what do you know about all that, eh?”

Mallorix jumped at the force of the question. He quickly calmed down and told the sailor a few words.

"I have no idea."

The younger sailor turned his back to the older one, and loosened the lock  on his chains a little more. He hoped that he could avoid being hurt or punished by the older, wiser, and definitely superior man. He hid the knife, and  said to the man:

"Look, if I knew what was going on, I would have told someone already to get out of these chains. Please, don't tell the captain that I was doing something that would get him angry."

He sat and closed his eyes, pretending to fall asleep.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on May 23, 2009, 01:53:29 AM
The doctor’s brisk correction shook the tentative confidence Fionn had been relying on, and she docilely stepped back, watching dumbly as he was taken aboard and hurried to the sick bay, trying to take in everything that was happening so she could learn something. The thought kept occurring to her that she made nearly as much of her meagre income from selling talismans and telling stories as she did from doctoring.  

As they followed the half-drowned man back to the sick bay, Fionn realised how tired she was. The familiar fatigue crept in behind her eyes, prompting her to count the hours since she’d eaten.  She’d done alright recently, but guessed that the unnerving strangeness of these new surroundings and inexplicable people had worn her out quicker than usual.  She put a hand in her satchel, and felt the little paper bag that one of Ranskjun’s servants had been kind enough to make for her. Her stomach rumbled. She looked to the doctor, talking with Jepprek, who was wearing the perpetual expression of someone too used to hard work to understand that rest was a blessing.

“Well, get back to your bunk!  And close your mouth; you look like some kind of a monstrous fish with it open like that!”

The idea made Fionn catch hold of her new gnacker shell amulet with a wry smile, only to drop it hurriedly again as an eerie voice from behind made her turn. It was the man who called himself Lady Shiana, obviously wanting someone to talk to amid all this confusion. His, or possibly her, tired looking eyes sought out Fionn and Ylva with a strange mixture of childlike earnestness and something darker, though nonetheless haunting. Fionn grinned friendlily, not really understanding what was said, and looked over at Ylva, wondering what she thought of this sad strange illness. The doctor had noticed the Lady’s attempt o hijack his helpers, and came over. The short conversation between them seemed to be well worn, having the feel of one of those arguments that is repeated and brooded over again and again, neither side gaining anything other than temporary victory.  Finally, apparently in an effort to introduce some sanity to the debate, the doctor turned the decision over to Ylva and Fionn;

“Well, if they’d like to stay and talk with you, then that’s fine with me.  But they are very busy, you know.”

The mullog looked over at Ylva, her stomach rumbling insistently. Shouts and stamping feet from on deck suggested yet more excitement, and Fionn knew her body and its illness well enough to draw a line, before she got too tired.

“sir, if you don’t need me right now, I’d very much like to talk to some of your patients, such as Lady Shiana” she gestured politely to the man, “and get some idea of how you treat those conditions I’ve not come across. I won’t disturb anyone who doesn’t want to be bothered, but I really think I could learn a lot here. Would that be alright?”  

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on May 23, 2009, 11:10:36 AM
Ylva suppressed a yawn, as the odd trio made their way back into the sick bay. Jorek’s words floated over her as her own thoughts dwelled on the past events of the day…..Obviously resuscitation can’t be learned from a book, but experience. Next time I will be more thorough….

“…. always injuring themselves in some horrific way.”
….Where’s Rhia? Not here, wonder where that girl has scampered off to...

   “Well, get back to your bunk!  And close your mouth; you look like some kind of a monstrous fish with it open like that!...”

At some point, I should talk to Doctor Jorek about this bleeding treatment…

Ylva’s wonderings came to a halt, as the body of Mr Roach and the mind of Lady Shiana tried to accost them with small talk. Ylva gazed at the man with the female mind, offering a quick prayer to Mari to make sure that they weren’t all suddenly affected. It was strange, normally Ylva didn’t feel much for her patients. But this one was different, he scared her, and yet invited her pity. Stop it, stop being so stupid, his mind is lost, what can you do about it, nothing…..and that is what scares you isn’t it? You’re powerless to stop illnesses of the mind….   

“You want to stay, don’t you?”  Out of the face of man, with a stubbly chin and hair peeking out of his nostrils, you could almost see the womanly pleading eyes of the lady hidden within. “I can tell you all about my travels!  I’ve been to some remarkable places, you know.”

Jorek didn’t seem to appreciate the intrigue of Mr Roach’s case. “Well, if they’d like to stay and talk with you, then that’s fine with me.  But they are very busy, you know.” 

Fionn’s reply gave Ylva a bit more hope, that the mullog was at least more interested, than the ship’s doctor was. It’d be interesting to see what Fionn really thought about this illness, another opinion would be helpful.

 Ylva smiled at the ‘Lady’ in question, “I’d be happy to talk to Lady Shiana a bit more, perhaps ask her a few questions about her life, her family. I’d be very interested. Perhaps Lady Shiana could start with where she was born?”

Her hand dug into her bag and managed to find her old journal from her clerical training, it hadn’t been used in five or so years, but would be of use now. It contained a few odd notes on glyths and Mari, passages from the Sermons and the Book of Dreams. Ylva read in Tharian, a quick passage,

“Misunderstood, loathed,
Mari's hand touches us all.
Cursed, blessed her gifts…......there now, shall we begin Lady Shiana?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on May 23, 2009, 08:38:44 PM
Fu watched with trepidation as the old sailor’s face spoke eloquently of the humiliation, anger and fear that were rising in his body. His pipe had been taken from him by he-knew-not-what, and when he addressed a young shackled tenderfoot – who in all probability couldn’t tell his bowsprit from his main gaff topsail! – the impertinent deck-scrubber just turned around and began to snore like a drunken ship’s rat!

There be a storm inside that old man, Fu thought. It’ll be wanting to be coming out, but he won’t be daring letting it yet. But when it does, it’ll be a hurricane, and something will be breaking. If it be not my head, it be Mallorix’s. What be he doing, anyway. Being asleep again? I be thinking he be needing a doctor! But first ye better be doing something about that hurricane, Fu!

Fu took the pipe and held it out to the old sailor.

”This be a wonderful pipe, kind sir. Please ye be taking it back. I be no domovidge. But I be thinking I was seeing one last night.”

Fu thought of his encounter with the little rat rider. That had been less than half a day ago – yet how different the world was now, without the comforting closeness of land, without prospect of escape and freedom and scribe work and making some money to give to Bronya and Sillis.

”Be there any on this ship, ye be thinking? Domovidges?”

The sailor didn’t seem sure what to make of Fu’s reply, and he did not seem certain whether it was wise to take the pipe. The prisoner was still shackled, after all – but who knew what else he had up his ragged, dirty sleeve?

”Please ye, don’t be worrying about the pipe. It be just the same pipe as it was being before ye kindly were offering it to me. Please ye tell me, be ship domovidges riders of rats?”

The sailor looked at Fu sharply. Then his arm shot out and with lightning speed, and his hand tore the pipe out of Fu’s grasp. Having won back his possession, the sailor inspected it carefully. The pipe was still smoking, as if it had no care in the world, and didn’t mind who its owner was, as long as it got stuffed regularly and could feel the soft smouldering of pipeweed inside its bowels.

The sailor uttered a satisfied grunt. The success of his manoeuvre gave him back some of his self-confidence.

”Domovidges that ride on rats? You’re bonkers, mate, that’s what you are. I’ll go and speak to the First Mate now, and she’ll make sure you’re kept under watch. Best to chuck you into the waves, the lot of you, if it was up to me.”

And with that, the sailor turned around, disguising the shakiness of his knees with an arrogant swagger, and called out:

”First Mate Udghrin! First Mate Udghrin! Them stowaways is not what them seems! First Mate, I have an incident to report!”

Nobody seemed to heed the sailor’s call at first – Udghrin was nowhere to be seen. So the old man swaggered off in search of her.

Ooh, thought Fu. This be more trouble yet again. I be wishing at least I was being the only one afflicted. His gaze fell on Mallorix, who apparently was sleeping again – and through all the racket the sailor had made, too!

”Mallorix?”, Fu whispered cautiously.

”Mallorix? Be ye ill? Shall I be calling for that doctor? He be a quack, for sure, but I be thinking ye be better off with his attention than with the attention of those sailor folk?”

Fu looked anxiously at Mallorix. Had he heard him?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Hylphán on May 24, 2009, 10:27:02 AM
Seeing that the crew had everything under control, Hylphán turned back to Malavon and accepted the offered cutless.  He could see the look in Malavon's eyes, the look of a confident fighter. 
     Well sir, let us see what you have.  Hylphán held his weapon with an ease of  one with much experience with the cutlass.  Just a warning sir, I grew up with this type of weapon, on board a ship, so I may have a slight advantage over you.  I hope that doesn't make this a mismatched contest.
     Hylphán smiled slightly as he watched the other man's facial expression and body stance.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on May 26, 2009, 06:34:41 PM
   "Very well," Doctor Jorek said with a shrug when he heard Fionn and Ylva's reply.  "If you need any help, then don't hesitate to call."  He then turned away and went to check on the still uncoscious amputee.
   Mr Roach stuck his tongue out when the doctor's back was turned, in a childish display of insolence.  Then, when Ylva asked him a question, his face positively lit up, and a spark came to his eyes.
   "Well, let me see," he began in his bizarrely falsetto voice.  "I don't rightly remember where I was born, but then, one never does.  Of course, I was raised surrounded by wealth and the most delightful of things.  But my childhood was mostly a dull affair.  Things got much more interesting once I went to sea.  Of course, papa was horrified by the prospect, but I went ahead regardless.  I've always loved the sea, you see.  The thought of adventure, and of unknown lands, that's what I love, I think."  He paused momentarily, and looked forlornly at the rough ropes that bound his arms to the bunk.  "Though I never thought that it would end like this!  Why, how I rue the day that I chose to sail with such savage company!"
   Mr Roach then lifted his head again, and smiled at Ylva and Fionn, before politely asking, "But what of you?  How did you come to be here?  Are you friends of the Captain?"

   First Mate Udghrin had watched with satisfaction as the errant Mallorix and his newly discovered partner in crime had been shackled to the deck.  It was their misfortune, she thought to herself, that the day promised to be clear.  Still, they only had themselves to blame.
   Once the affair was over, she went back to her usual duties, supervising her watch.  It was a short time later that she came across one of the ship's guests, lurking at the foot of some stairs.
   "G'd mornin', miss," she said as a way of greeting, noticing as she did so just how out of place this young lady looked.  "I 'ope yer 'aven't got lost?  Or maybe the sun be too strong up on deck?  It might be better if yer find a place ter get some rest, yer look awful tired, if yer don't mind me saying so."
   "First-Mate Udghrin!  First-Mate Udghrin!  I 'av an incident ter report!"  The words, spoken in a deep, coarse voice, had come from an old sea-dog, who had just hurried over to the two women, making his obedience as he approached.
   "What is it, Olsen?" the first-mate asked.
   "Them two stow-aways ain't wat 'em seems!" the man said, his eyes glowing with glee.  "I was just a-passing 'em by on deck, when the scrawny one said something ter me.  I ignored 'im at first, as was proper, but then something strange 'appened; something that made me blood run cold!"
   The first-mate regarded Olsen cooly; he was a known trouble maker, and had a habit of making up stories about the other men.
   "I 'ope this isn't gonna be another one of yer stories, Olsen!" she snapped.  "I'm sure the lady 'ere don't wanna be 'earing it!  Because I know I don't!"
   "But first-mate!"  Olsen pleaded.  "This ain't no story!  I know I's a-lied ter ye afore, but this be different!  That little fella ain't right!  'e ain't natural!"
   The first-mate cast a critical eye over the man before her.  He certainly seemed to be telling the truth.
   "Okay, Olsen, tell me what happened.  But be warned, if I find out yer be lying ter me, I'll mek sure yer 'av a taste o' the cap'n's daughter, so I will!"
   Olsen physically flinched at the first-mate's fierce words, but he didn't hold back with what he had to say.
   "Well," he continued, in a more subdued tone.  "I don't know 'ow 'e did it, but 'e made me pipe fly!  I mean, it jumped out o' me 'ands, and flew into 'is mouth!"
   "And you expect me to believe that?"  the first-mate said, her voice only just concealing a tempest of rage.  "So why do I see it in your hand now?"
   "Well, I got it back agen; but not afore 'e 'ad a few puffs on it, like!  I know it sounds crazy, but I'm tellin' ye the truth, ma'am!  Jus' keep an eye on 'em, that's all."
   First Mate Udghrin fell silent as she considered what to do next.  More than likely this was another one of Olsen's stories; but she couldn't say for sure.  Udghrin was as superstitious as any sailor, and the thought of flying pipes didn't sit easily with her.  As ridiculous as it seemed, there might be some truth in it, and now it was her responsibility.  If something happened later, and it was discovered that she had known of the little man's unusual ways, then it could be her neck on the block!
   "Okay, Olsen," she said at last.  "I'll report it to the captain, and we'll see what he thinks.  But like I said, if this is a lie, 'n ye makes me look like a fool, then I'll be 'aving me revenge right enough!  Come on, let's go 'n find the Captain."
   Almost as an afterthought, the first-mate turned back to Rhia, whom she had all but forgotten about.
   "Will ye join us, miss?  I could ask the Captain to give ye somewhere to rest, if yer like?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on May 27, 2009, 01:26:47 AM
In the eye of every storm
Lies a seed of our soul
Eroded into small, smooth form
Cast out by waters of the heart...

Flaming pitworms, that song was going nowhere. A whiff of the salty sea air pervaded Rhia's lungs. Shaking her head at herself in self-disgust, she gave a quick movement of her eyebrows at the song in question, a sort of raising-and-lowering-very-quickly, I-don't-know-what-to-think-of-you,-poem motion of the eyebrows. One observing her would describe it as two thin, expressive brown streaks shooting up into her forehead farther and faster than one would think possible, before descending, just as rapidly, into their normal place. A gesture sort of like shrugging, except less visible.

Footsteps jarred Rhia's revery of reflection on the little eyebrow gesture, breaking through her little mental fence from the outside world. A voice accompanied the footsteps and slid in through the wreckage the footsteps had made of her barrier, but Rhia still had some mental defense left and did not hear the beginning of what it was saying. She blankly looked at the floor. Her gaze was drawn offcoarse a little by two spick-and-span black boots, and then -strangely enough, for weren't those men's boots?- bare legs -women's legs!- bare -Flaming pitworms, that's enough hair for a man's leg!- up until... (Oh, this is just naus- weird.) the... leather skirt (Leather skirt! Everyone knows that you can't wear shorter skirts with hairy legs!). Rhia shaded her eyes with her hand. The person was standing against the sun and stood in front of a magnificent flaming ball of brightness. Well, she still couldn't see the face, but judging from the skimpy shirt... (Don't look... Don't look... Gross... Doesn't matter if she has hair in her cleavage too... Does not matter... Oh, gross!) The little troubadour looked down again suddenly, as if pained by some awful, excruciating sight. Somehow whatever she had seen must have broken down all the remnants of her barrier, for she was hearing the voice of the woman standing near her.

"...Place ter get some rest, yer look awful tired, if yer don't mind me saying so."

Rhia's eyes shot up again, startled, remembered too late the frightening sight, and darted down again, all in a strange whiz that would have had an observer thinking that she had some nervous illness. What disturbed her so when the person spoke was that it was not the voice of a woman, but the low voice of a man. Well, if she did not say something soon, her silence would be considered rude. However, her mind was concerned with being disgusted and shocked and could not think up something original to say. Fortunately, Rhia had layers upon layers of things to say when she couldn't think of things to say. (What a sentence... Don't you hate politics?)

Before she could so much as utter an, "Oh, aye, thankee," an old sailor had hustled up to the man-... woman-... hairy person and rasped out, "First-Mate Udghrin!  First-Mate Udghrin!  I 'av an incident ter report!" Apparently he was all in an uproar because the little prisoner (Rhia's favorite) had somehow finagled the pipe away from him without so much as moving a muscle. The man-voiced woman -who Rhia was astonished to find out was the first mate, for flaming pitworms!- seemed disinclined to belief the old seadog, but nonetheless agreed to pay a visit to the captain -Gah, that socially ignorant pitworm!- for his advice. Rhia was all set to say ta-ta, and the two others seemed to be setting off in the direction of the captain's cabin, but the first mate (It's much easier calling her that than 'man-voiced woman,' or 'hairy person') suddenly stopped short and barked out, "Will ye join us, miss?  I could ask the Captain to give ye somewhere to rest, if yer like."

At this point between Fjorwek -never found out his first name, have I!- and Rhia, what was she supposed to do? Either leave him alone to pine, or pop up now and then snubbing him so that he could feel even more rejected and piny. The second option, Rhia thought decisively. Just have to remember not to go to pieces the moment you see his sweet blue eyes and his sunny golden hair and his strong, strong arms. ...Oy, now! I don't go to pieces whenever I see his eyes and hair and arms! Whatever gave you... me... whoever... that idea!

"Aye, I'll, um, come along with you. Just to ask for a place to sleep, yeh understand." Rhia nodded to back herself up -To back herself up? Flaming pitworms, was she acting funny today!

[OOC: Yurie, I know the hairy bit wasn't in the description of the first mate, but I thought that since she's an NPC I could take a little bit of creative license, or however you spell it. If you don't like it, I can change it!]

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on May 27, 2009, 10:38:00 PM
Fionn grinned at Ylva as the doctor turned his back, though it looked like she hadn’t seen – she was too busy finding a notebook whilst The Lady launched into what seemed to be a long suppressed monologue on her life. She (or he?) certainly had a lot to say – it was fascinating, as well as quite confusing, to hear things from his (her?) point of view, how his mind had, rather than trying to chase fragments and repair irreparable tears, seemed to have simply used the things it could still rely on to build new memories. That’s what it seemed like, anyway. It was quite hard to figure anything much out when the lady this man was supposed to think he was (what? I don’t know, just keep going, there as to be an end to this sentence soon…) was someone whom Fionn knew very little about.

Unbidden she remembered the strange man who had called her “imp”, with his claims to magic and the fear in his throat. What would happen if someone’s Eru got lost? It might well be something like this, like dying before your body is finished with you. Only this man was still alive – it was like two people were living in the same body, and neither of them entirely existed on their own…  Fionn blinked. This was too much like philosophy, she couldn’t work it out.  

"But what of you?  How did you come to be here?  Are you friends of the Captain?"

Fionn returned his polite smile, with added teeth but only half the eye contact. “Not personally, no, m’lady. Strange as it sounds, we’re on a quest… actually, saying that out loud it sounds worse than strange..”  she smirked, not really knowing how to explain, or if she should at all – the doctor had, after  all, said that this man’s condition was due to Jovloff’s depredations. She looked again at Ylva in the hope that she’d know something more helpful to say.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on May 29, 2009, 11:01:11 AM
Mallorix was relieved when the sailor had been fooled by his trick. When the older man turned away, the young sailor made a lound grunt and settled down, now facing Fu and the old sailor. He opened his eyes slightly, and narrowed them into slits, seeing only the two figures on the deck.

The sailor seemed furious, fuming and glaring, as if just one more remark from the two shackled men would make him lash out. He stared at the pipe which Fu had taken.

Mallorix's vision blurred, and he saw only a smear of skin shaped color reaching out with something at the end. As the young man's vision cleared, he saw that it was Fu offering back the pipe which had floated into his hands. A moment later, Fu spoke.

”This be a wonderful pipe, kind sir. Please ye be taking it back. I be no domovidge. But I be thinking I was seeing one last night.”

The small stowaway paused, thinking about something. Perhaps of his relatives, or what he said, or their fate. Mallorix decided that nothing good would come out of all this. After some thought, Fu spoke again.

”Be there any on this ship, ye be thinking? Domovidges?”

The prisoner was evidently thinking of Domovidges.The young man had no idea what such creatures were, so he chose to study the sailor. The old man was evidently unsure of what to do, hesitating. Mallorix thought that in that situation, a little more thinking wouldn't hurt. After all, Fu may be even more powerful than he led the two sailors to believe. He was like one of the merchants at the market in the next village. Right when you think that you've figured out all the tricks he (Or she. There were some women who preferred to sell the goods they made without the aid of their husbands. Other times there were female merchants. These instances were rare, though.) put in the sale so that you have to pay more, they use one that you haven't seen before! It was quite like home. The silent thinking was interrupted by Fu, who asked another question.

”Please ye, don’t be worrying about the pipe. It be just the same pipe as it was being before ye kindly were offering it to me. Please ye tell me, be ship domovidges riders of rats?”

The sailor made up his mind and grabbed the pipe. He thoroughly inspected it, after which he told Fu:

”Domovidges that ride on rats? You’re bonkers, mate, that’s what you are. I’ll go and speak to the First Mate now, and she’ll make sure you’re kept under watch. Best to chuck you into the waves, the lot of you, if it was up to me.”

He called for her, but there was no answer.

”First Mate Udghrin! First Mate Udghrin! Them stowaways is not what them seems! First Mate, I have an incident to report!”

The old man swaggered off to search for her, but Mallorix caught a break in the swagger and saw the sailor's knees shaking as if Fu was a creature of evil.

Fu seemed as if he could not bear the silence form Mallorix, so he whispered:


”Mallorix? Be ye ill? Shall I be calling for that doctor? He be a quack, for sure, but I be thinking ye be better off with his attention than with the attention of those sailor folk?”

Mallorix opened his eyes and gave a brief response.

"I'm fine. I observed you while I was "asleep". I'm tired though. Could you ask the next person for some food?"

Mallorix nodded off, his vision going black and his breathing deepening.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on June 02, 2009, 06:26:19 PM
   Lieutenant Ustaskjan watched as the dwarf took his position, seemingly rooting into the deck like a tree.  At the lieutenant's command, the stocky figure started firing, one arrow after another.  His pace was steady, and his aim accurate.  However, with the movement of the boat, not all of his arrows were hitting the 'heart'; some were falling into the white area around it.
   Then, suddenly, it happened.  On the order of the captain, the helmsman changed the course of the boat, causing it to pitch over to larboard.  The unexpected movement upset the dwarf's stable position, causing him to release an arrow which veered completely off course.  The wayward arrow hurtled along recklessly, before comng to an abrupt stop in the backside of an unfortunate sailor!
   With a mighty howl, the poor man bolted upright, as though standing to attention.
   "Me Scumble!" he cried.  "Me Scumble!  Sumert's bit me Scumble Glass!"
   Within no time at all, a small group of onlookers had gathered, and were pointing at the protruding arrow shaft with undisguised mirth.
   "Yer'v bin shot up the jacksy!" one of the men was saying with glee.  Another was clapping his hands and almost dancing with joy.
   "Oh, aye!  Oh, aye!  That's a classic, that is!"
   "It's not bloody funny!" the stricken sailor roared, his eyes full of anger.  "Get the doctor!  It's bloody agony!"
   After wiping tears of laughter from his eyes, one of the other men agreed.
   "Alrigh', Batesy, keep yer 'air on!  Come on, let's get yer ter the sick bay!"

   The whole incident hadn't detracted at all from the archery contest.  Almost as soon as it had happened, the lieutenant ordered the dwarf to cease firing; his time was up.
   "Let's go and count your score," she said calmly, without mentioning the terrible accident that had just occured.  An arrow in the backside was undoubtedly a great way to ruin a man's day, but it would unlikely prove fatal.

   "A quest!"  Mr Roach said enthusiastically.  "Why, it sounds like something from a story book!  What kind of a quest?  Will you save a damsel in distress?  Or slay a terrible monster, perhaps?  Oh, do tell!  I love to hear of adventure!"
   It was at about this moment that another sorry sight came stumbling into the sick bay.  Two men were almost carrying a third, who was moaning in pain and hardly able to walk.
   "What's wrong with him?" the doctor asked when he saw them.
   "Please, sir, it's his backside."  One of the escorts said, trying to conceal his mirth.  "'e's bin shot with an arrow."
   The doctor shook his head and tutted.  "No doubt the lieutenant's doing," he said as he turned the man around to have a look.  "Well, lie him down on the bunk there; face down if you please!"
   The two men carefully placed their shipmate onto a bunk, and then stepped away slightly.
   "Well?" the doctor said to them.  "Don't you have duties to attend to?"
   "Oh, aye, sir," the two men said, disappointed that they wouldn't be able to stay and watch what would happen.  Then, after making their obedience to the doctor, they scurried away.
   "Ylva!  Fionn!" the doctor called, glancing over to the two women.  "Could you spare me a moment?  I'm curious to know what you make of this."

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on June 04, 2009, 06:30:16 PM
   As the first mate approached Captain Fjorwek, she suddenly felt rather silly.  The captain was standing on the quarter deck, his eyes clapped to his sighting scope, and his attention obviously on something important.  How was she going to justify disturbing him with such a ridiculous story!  Still, Olsen and the young lady were still with her, so she had to go through with it.
   "Sir, Olsen here has an incident to report," she said as confidently as she could.
   Captain Fjorwek lowered his scope, and turned to the small group that had approached him.  Apparently, he hadn't heard what the first mate had said, for he handed her the scope and pointed out to sea.
   "Tell me," he said, "what do you make of that?"
   With a vague sense of curiosity, the first mate raised the scope and scanned the area where the captain had indicated.  Soon, she spied a small boat, bobbing up and down on the vast, blue sea.  There appeared to be two figures aboard, though it was difficult to make out much detail.
   "I, er, I'm not sure, sir," she said hesitantly.  "Maybe they're survivors of a shipwreck?" she ventured.
   "Aye, or of a mutiny," the captain added.
   "Ah, Rhia!"  The captain's voice sounded pleasantly surprised when he noticed the first mate's companion.  "I must apologise for my rather abrupt departure earlier; though I'm sure that you understand.
   "Here, have a look yourself."  Captain Fjorwek took the small scope from the first mate, and handed it to Rhia.  "If you scan the sea just over there," the captain pointed to where the small boat drifted helplessly, "then you should be able to see what we're heading for."
   "Now, what was it you have to report, Olsen?"
   Clearly, the captain had heard the first mate's announcement, and Olsen stepped forwards a little sheepishly.
   "Er, well, sir; them stowaways ain't what them seems."  He paused momentarilly, hoping that the captain would somehow understand his meaning, and that he wouldn't have to relate the details, but Captain Fjorwek merely raised an eyebrow, indicating that Olsen should continue.
   "What I mean, sir, is that the little one ain't right.  'e, er," again there was a brief pause, followed by a hurried tangle of words.  "'e-med-me-pipe-a-go-a-flyin', sir!  'n that ain't right!"
   Olsen stuck his chin out proudly, as if daring the captan to challenge his words; the first mate shuffled her feet uncomfortably, and the captain merely rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
   "He made your pipe go flying?" he said at last, slowly and clearly.
   "Aye, sir!  That's right!"  Olsen said, happy that his meaning had been understood.
   "Well, if that's true, then it is most unusual.  Perhaps he is a magician of sorts?"  The captain's question was directed more to himself than anybody else, but the first mate saw fit to give an answer, anyway.
   "Aye, sir, it could be.  Or it could be that Olsen here is!"
   "Of course, I've heard of such men before," the captain continued, disregarding the first mate's response.  "But if that were the case, and he could indeed make things fly, then why wouldn't he have used his powers to leave my ship?"
   In truth, Captain Fjorwek was intrigued by the news.  He had, like most men, heard of people with unusual abilities; those that could make things move of their own accord, or disappear from view.  Indeed, he had often witnessed such acts in port taverns, though these feats always turned out to be nothing more than cheap tricks based on deception and sleight of hand.  But flying pipes?  Caused by a man in irons?  This was really too tempting!  Maybe today, Kari Fjorwek was going to meet a real magician for a change?
   "I believe we should get to the bottom of this!" he said, his eyes brightening.  "Come along, let's go and see what Mr Luft has to say on the matter!"
   The captain indicated that the first mate, Olsen and Rhia should accompany him to where the miserable pair of stow aways were chained.  When they got close to them, it was apparent that Mallorix had fallen asleep, but Fu was still awake.
   The first mate kicked out at the sleeping Mallorix, striking him in the leg.
   "Right, you 'oribble pair!" she said, slipping back into her more natural manner of speech.  "The cap'n wants a word with ye!  'n it's best yer tells 'im the truth, unless yer wants ter tek a swim!"
   "It's been brought to my attention," the captain began, "that Mr Luft here possesses, how to say?, a unique skill; namely, the ability to make things move of their own accord.  Pipes, for example.  Is this true?"
   Captain Fjorwek let his face and voice remain emotionless, giving no clue as to his real feelings or opinion on the matter.  Meanwhile, the first mate scowled, her expression resembling that of a vicious dog on a leash, just waiting for a chance to be let loose.  Olsen hung around in the background, afraid to get too close to the strange little man; his fingers were moving nervously, and his eyes were fixed on Fu.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on June 06, 2009, 03:29:26 AM
...And there was Captain Fjorwek, looking earnest as usual as he peered through some helpful contraption. His whole body language stated that he was completely absorbed in whatever he was doing, so absorbed that he ignored the first mate. Abruptly he turned his gaze on the burly woman, handing her the little device. "Tell me, what do you make of that?"

The first mate shrugged her brawny shoulders.  "I, er- I'm not sure, sir. Maybe they're survivors of a shipwreck?" she ventured cautiously.

"Aye," the captain agreed vaguely, his sunny eyes picking over the distant sight. "Or of a mutiny."

Suddenly Rhia was soaring in a blue sky, rising and ascending in the air, and at the same time was engulfed by sou'cald waters. Something hazy rose foggily in her mind, something about not going to pieces? That was silly. Whoever had given that notion to her was clearly not thinking. How could she go to pieces when she had all this wonderful, fluffy blue sky to fly in? With a kind of a jolt, Rhia heard her name being spoken, and blushed as she saw that the captain had focused his intense blue eyes on her. "Ah, Rhia! I must apologise for my rather abrupt departure earlier; though I'm sure that you understand..." He broke off, distracted by the scene he was staring at through the device. Abruptly, (and probably with a bit of forgetful surprise)  Fjorwek realized that Rhia, and the other two, for that matter, were still there. He passed the device on to her and continued to squint at the horizon. "Here, have a look yourself."

Mm-hmm. 'I'm sure you understand?' After her bit of acting when he took the prisoners, and even her dramatic exit, the man was still going to take her for granted? The man never learned! And what was his trivial reason for rushing away so rudely? For something petty, a mere- Oh wait, hold on a second now... There was that sailor fellow, took a dive from the mast or crow's nest or summat, he did, and he saved him from almost certain death... Well, alright, then, I guess that lets him off the hook. But he needs to start learning sometime!

And so, mentally relenting as such, Rhia accepted the small contraption from Fjorwek and obligingly looked through it in the general direction the others had been pointing it in. She had a bit of a hard time, however. All she could find, really, was the sea. If she pointed it up rather she found the horizon, where the sky met the water, and there was the first mate's face... oh my, really up close... quite too close... Over-corrected the direction, there... Wait, was that hair above the first mate's upper lip? And on the chin? Not a lot, just a few tiny hairs, but a woman's got to be careful... Maybe later tonight she'd appreciate the earnest advice of another woman... If that doesn't work out, I could always round up Ylva, Fionn, and all the other women onboard she could find and set up an intervention... Would Lady Shiana count? Well, he... hum... she... er... the person might like to be included, and if he... she... Lady Shiana hasn't shaved for quite a while, so much the better, we'll use him as an example... Thank Baveras that Rhia herself hadn't any visible facial- Hey there, was that what the captain and first mate were going on about? She didn't see anything remarkable about it; just a boat and a few blurry figures. Ah well. There was no accounting for taste. And maybe they could see more than she could; she'd always been slightly short-sighted, although too vain to admit it.

With an indifferent air Rhia stuck out her hand holding the device, meaning for the captain to take it, and continued to stare out into the water. After several moments' wait, she glanced back at him, annoyed that he hadn't grabbed it yet, and found herself looking at empty air. The first mate and sailor were gone, too. She pivoted around, finding herself slightly peeved that they hadn't alerted her of their leaving. Sighing, she crossed the distance between them and stood a few paces behind the old sailor to observe.

 "It's been brought to my attention that Mr. Luft here possesses, how to say?... A unique skill,"  Fjorwek shot at the shorter prisoner with a stiff gleam in his blue eye, "namely, the ability to make things move of their own accord- pipes, for example. Is this true?"

Rhia scrutinized the small man. A short little fella like himself, have the power to move things without touching them? What are we, stupid? I could have more power like that in myself, and I don't even know anyone who can use that kind of power, whatever power it is!

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on June 07, 2009, 09:15:44 PM
"I'm fine. I observed you while I was asleep. I'm tired though. Could you ask the next person for some food?" spoke Mallorix, rolling his eyes as he said the word “asleep” – and promptly nodded off once again. Or was he just pretending? Old Fu can’t be making neither storms nor breezes of this fellow!

In fact, nothing on this ship made sense. Apart from the humans, there was a rat rider, an imp that insisted on being called a mullog, and that bearded fellow that looked, on reflection, like a dwarf, but couldn’t be one, as dwarves would rather be buried alive than set foot upon the bobbing and weaving deck of a ship. Fu didn’t know much about dwarves, but that much he had learned at Ximax, where all sorts of peculiar personages turned up to try their hand at magic.

But the humans were peculiar, too. Not all of them seemed to be sailors. There was the quack with his small entourage of axe-carrying woman and mullog, and there were tall, armed folk whom Fu supposed to be guards of some sort. The wizard stretched his neck. From where he sat shackled, it was difficult to take a good look at them, but they seemed to be engaged in some sort of mock fight. And yet, if those were guards, why had they done nothing to apprehend him, when he was being revealed as a stowaway? Why had they let the sailors do all the work?

Now the little bearded fellow seemed to be holding a crossbow and taking aim. Fu didn’t see the shot, but the next blink he heard a heart-wrenching cry:

”Me scumble! Sumert’s hit me scumble?”

What, by Grothar, was a scumble? Some sort of animal? I be hoping it not be the little rat rider or his mount?

There was much commotion out of Fu’s range of sight, and plenty of sailorly laughing and jeering. Either no serious harm had been done, or the harm had befallen someone who couldn’t reckon on the sailor’s pity. Such as old Fu, for the example. I be afraid I must conclude I be as little regarded as worthy of sympathy as that poor fellow and his scumble, whatever it be.

While he reflected, Fu felt how the sun shone ever more mercilessly upon his hapless and hatless head. Being of dark complexion, Fu didn’t suffer sunburn easily – but he was not immune to sunstroke. Fu tried not to panic about the prospects of his health, and instead to concentrate on the pleasantly giddy feeling in his belly that still lingered from the few puffs of pipesmoke he had taken the liberty to inhale.

Talking of which: there was that old pipe-smoking sailor again, who didn’t believe in rat-riding ship domovidges. But this time, he was accompanied by the First Mate (who had tricked Fu out of the cargo hold), the captain (who had spoken Fu’s and Mallorix’s judgement), and the friendly mysterious lady who had offered her help to the prisoners earlier.

The First Mate, true to character, kicked the sleeping Mallorix.

”Please ye not be doing that. I be thinking young Mallorix here be suffering from Sleep-Ill", Fu intervened. Or rather, he tried to intervene. Nobody listened to him. Instead, the First Mate went on to threaten to throw both prisoners overboard, and snarled a lot. The captain behaved more calmly – and, as a consequence, seemed more dangerous to Fu. These two be like the treacherous winds on a mountain top. On one side it be calm, and the unwary wanderer be feeling safe. But as soon as he be stepping around a rock to the other side, the mighty gust be coming that be blowing him over the cliff.

The captain asked:

"It's been brought to my attention that Mr Luft here possesses - how to say? - a unique skill; namely, the ability to make things move of their own accord.  Pipes, for example.  Is this true?"

Sure, this was trouble. Sure, if Fu was savvy and crafty, he would keep his powers secret and use them to surprising effect when it served his advantage. Alternatively, he might have chosen to exaggerate his powers, trying to bluff his way out of trouble. But that’s not how Fu thought about his skill. When it came to magic, Fu just couldn’t resist a good contemplative conversation. Or a bit of smart talk, depending on your perspective.

  ”Nay, captain. This be merely as it be looking to the eyes of your venerable old sailor over there. It be the wind  who was moving that pipe of his. I was just helping a bit.

  This be no unique skill, oh captain: anyone can be doing it. Anyone who be aware that we be moving air through ourselves every blink of our lives. Be exhaling, oh captain, and ye be moving wind. Be inhaling, and it be the same. If ye be knowing this, ye can be blowing this ship of yours to the harbour, even on a day when Grothar be resting and no breeze be blowing and the sails of all the other ships be slack as empty sackpipes."

The seated, shackled Fu looked up at the captain, squinting his eyes to avoid being blinded by the sun. He risked a little sideways glance at the lady, too, but didn’t dare to look for longer. She might want to keep their earlier conversation a secret. Besides, and despite his weisenheimish speech, Fu was a shy little wind wizard, after all.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Koka Bentarm on June 08, 2009, 12:08:44 AM
Koka listened to the explanations of the lieutenant, and nodded her understanding. That was clear enough, and at least she could see the point of an archery contest. As she was the first to go, she took up her composite bow. Her feet were rooted to the deck, parallel to the target, her torso slightly turned to face it. With the bow in her left hand, she drew out her first arrow from the quiver, nocked it, and drew back the string with her injured right arm. Her left arm outstretched, her right hand drawn up almost to her cheek, all that she could see at the moment was her bow, the point of the arrow, and the target. Nothing at all of the activity on the deck broke into her concentration. With careful aim, she released the arrow.

Immediately after, without pausing to see where it landed, she drew another arrow, and another. She was on a good pace, and she knew it. But then, for some reason, just as she released another arrow, the ship tilted and swung to the side, leaving the arrow to fly a quite different course than she had intended. It landed in some sailor's bum, causing general laughter and mocking. Koka blushed a scarlet red behind her beard, and was ready to run to the sailor's aid, when the lieutenant quite calmly told her that it was the end of her turn and that they would count her score. The dwarfess looked from Ustaskjan to the sailor, but as he seemed to be getting help from his fellows, she decided to take her cue from the lieutenant, though not without some uneasy feelings. She reminded herself to go apologise to the sailor later.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on June 08, 2009, 08:07:28 PM
Mallorix had just passed into a deeper stage of sleep when he was kicked awake. He looked up to see a few figures standing with the sun to their backs. The Captain, That nasty despicable woman who happened to be the first mate, and that kind lady who offered to help the two. The first mate threatened to throw them overboard with a ferocity only seen in very dangerous wild animals. The Captain was calmer, but he seemed interested in Fu. He finally asked the poor man a question.

"It's been brought to my attention that Mr Luft here possesses - how to say? - a unique skill; namely, the ability to make things move of their own accord.  Pipes, for example.  Is this true?"

The captain seemed curious about Fu's tricks; mainly, the flying pipe. Why go through all this trouble just to find out how the pipe flies! It's flying, that's unnatural, someone did it, using wires or something. But then the young man recalled the cargo hold, and how Fu's bag was there, but he was not. Maybe it would be nice to know how this man does his tricks.

Fu spouted out the most boring explanation ever. It was short, true, but it compared to that man in the village who spoke while mumbling and taught unlucky children history.
 ”Nay, captain. This be merely as it be looking to the eyes of your venerable old sailor over there. It be the wind  who was moving that pipe of his. I was just helping a bit."

What a dull phrase! He could have at least said 'I moved it with the help of the wind' or "The wind helped me' or 'I helped the wind move it' or even 'I used the wind to move it'.

  "This be no unique skill, oh captain: anyone can be doing it. Anyone who be aware that we be moving air through ourselves every blink of our lives. Be exhaling, oh captain, and ye be moving wind. Be inhaling, and it be the same. If ye be knowing this, ye can be blowing this ship of yours to the harbour, even on a day when Grothar be resting and no breeze be blowing and the sails of all the other ships be slack as empty sackpipes."

Now there he said something that caught Mallorix's attention. The words "Anyone can be doing it" were just lucrative and appealing. If anyone could learn to use the wind, then he could! The young sailor remembered stories of Ximax, the Wizards' City. He knew it existed, but he thought that the  Magi were just a myth. This, it seems, is incredibly wrong. What a large world there is outside one's home town.

Mallorix decided to keep quiet and wait for the captain's reaction.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on June 09, 2009, 05:43:23 PM
   Captain Fjorwek couldn't help but smile at Fu's words.  The idea that he, or anyone else for that matter, could somehow blow a ship along on a windless day, was ludricous.

   "I wonder what kind of a fool you take me for, Mr Luft,"  the captain replied.  "We can have no more influence over the wind than we do over the sun or the rain."

   The small man hadn't denied Olsen's claims, and this, Captain Fjorwek thought to himself, was interesting.  He had always been fascinated by magic tricks, and took great delight in trying to work out how they were performed.  It seemed to him that Fu could at least provide some kind of entertainment.

   "But I cannot deny that your words intrigue me!"  The captain reached into one of his pockets, and produced a pipe of his own.  This he held aloft in an outstretched hand.  "Perhaps you would be so kind as to prove your claims, Mr Luft?"

   The captain smiled slightly as he issued his challenge to Fu; his eyes bright with curiosity.  The first-mate still had a scowl on her face, and for his part, Olsen had taken a step backwards, making a strange protective sign over his heart.  "Don' ye be temptin' 'im!" he whispered to himself in fear.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on June 11, 2009, 05:47:00 AM
The captain held out his pipe to Fu. It stuck in the air like a taunt. Did the captain think that Fu was some sort of small village market performer, who just let things fly about for any old Tom, Dick and Frodo's cheap amusement? Well, actually, Fu had  performed on village markets, and occasionally, Tom, Dick and Frodo had  been amused. The secret of a good village market performance was to come up with something unexpected. Fu closed his eyes. His head was still aching, and the heat didn’t help – but his breath was steady, his mind calm. The wizard could feel the wind ounia in his lungs crackling with mischievous intent.

Fu opened his eyes and looked at the captain. He wore a stylish uniform with a formidable hat. The hat had three points: one on the right, one on the left, and one on top; its silhouette formed a triangle with curved sides. It was an interesting shape, and Fu could almost feel the sea wind caressing it, tearing at it, probing with tentative gusts the strength of its grip on the captain’s head. The sea wind, decided Fu, could do with a little help.

Fu inhaled and focused his mind. The ounia were tingling in every part of his body, shivering with the desire to move about. The wizard formed a perfect “O” with his mouth, and slowly let some of the wind that had gathered inside him flow out into the space between himself and the captain. A gentle breeze began to stir. Ever so slightly, Fu’s hair fluttered – and so did the sleeve on the outstretched arm with which the captain was still holding the pipe. There was a curious tension in the air; or did Fu only imagine it? He was about to risk annoying the captain – the person on whose benevolence his freedom and wellbeing depended. But then, reflected Fu, there was no guarantee that the captain would be merciful, no matter what Fu did. So there was no reason for procrastination, was there?

Most people don’t think about their diaphragm very often. This is despite the fact that we depend on its activity almost every blink of our lives, just as we depend on our beating heart. For each and every one of our breaths we have to thank the humble diaphragm, whether we acknowledge it or not. Despite the general indifference about this industrious muscle, some occupations predispose people to respect the service that their diaphragms provide for them. Among these occupations are: singing, the playing of wind instruments, and the breath-inspired wind wizardry that Fu had made his profession.

As he had done a thousand times before, Fu tensed his diaphragm with a sudden, sharp effort, and forcefully pushed the wind out of his lungs, directing it at the underside of the captain’s hat. The gust hit the tricorn just where it met the stern forehead. A sailor’s hat, of course, is designed to stay on its owner’s head even when Grothar is in belligerent mood and blows gales at the ships that have commended themselves to his fickle mercy. The gust that hit the tricorn, though, was not an ordinary one. Controlled by Fu’s concentrated will, a bold band of wind ounia danced underneath the tricorn’s rim, teasing it with upward movement, pushing the stiff fabric until it slowly overcame the resistance of its tight fit against the captain’s skull. The hat began to fidget and wobble. At first its upward movement was very slow and gradual; as if the hat hesitated whether it should remain on its present perch, or overcome its inertia and fly free. When, after a couple of blinks full of suspense, the hat finally made up its mind, the effect was sudden and surprising: the hat gave a sudden jerk, released itself and with a soft rushing noise swiftly soared up, up, up – several peds into the air above the deck.

For a moment, the hat hung in the sky like one of those birds of prey that can hover almost motionless on the same spot, scanning the ground for the movements that betray their victims. Fu looked up at the result of his work and was rather pleased with himself. It was always satisfying to see a tricky spell well cast! But what to do now? Fu would have liked to gently put the hat back where it had come from - just out of courtesy, you understand! -  but his telekinetic skill was not sufficient to direct an object as large and as intricately shaped as a captain’s tricorn so accurately that it would just snuggle back onto its owners skull. What was more, Fu had rather exhausted himself. This morning, he had already let a biscuit, a pipe and a hat fly about - and this with a headache and a rather uncomfortable uncertainty regarding his future looming on his mind. Now that he stopped to think, he started worrying about the consequences of his action. How would the captain take his little demonstration?

So Fu just let go. In the hollow space inside the hat, the wind ounia were released from Fu’s control, ceased their wild dance and merged back into the sea wind. They swished and swerved and did as they pleased, or as Grothar told them. With nothing left for support but ordinary air, the tricorn spinned around a few times, beginning to slowly drift downwards, until a gust – an ordinary gust this time – grabbed it and took it on a steep downward curve, delivering it just within the grasping range of the mysterious lady who had talked so kindly to Fu and Mallorix. Would she catch the hat, or would it fall onto the dusty deck?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on June 11, 2009, 05:30:32 PM
   At first, nothing very much appeared to be happening; the rather fine pipe that the captain held in his outstretched hand, remained in his outstretched hand.  But then, ah!, did it just move?  A faint wriggle, perhaps?  Alas, no; it remained as motionless as an exceedingly idle man who had just settled into a comfortable chair!

   Captain Fjorwek reluctantly changed his focus of attention from the pipe to Fu.  Of course, this might all be a part of the trick.  Most of the 'magicians' that the captain had met before relied on distracting their audience before they accomplished their trickery.  Perhaps, once the captain was no longer looking at the pipe, it would mysteriously jump out of his hand, and Mr Luft would claim a victory?

   But still, the pipe remained stationary.

   Then, just when the captain was going to tell the small man how disappointed he was, he felt a sudden gush of wind rush past his sleeve.  The words that he was about to utter got caught in his throat, for although the pipe didn't seem to be restless, his hat certainly did!  It was a most disconcerting sensation, as though his hat had taken on a life of its own, and was no longer content to merely sit atop his head.  Little by little, it became looser; and then, rather unexpectedly, it detatched itself completely!

   Quite shocked by this sudden abandonment, Captain Fjorwek tilted his head back and gazed in wonder; his hat had become airborne!  Flying high above the deck, it hovered over the ship, apparently contemplating what to do next.

   "Oh, my!" the captain exclaimed in admiration, "I've had that hat these past five years, and it's never done such a thing!  Why, look at how it follows the ship, like some kind of a predatory bird!"

   The first mate, whose eyes were also fixed to the uncanny spectacle, could only manage to grunt a brief, "Aye, sir."

   Olsen, however, was far from impressed; he watched in horror as the captain's hat took to the sky.

   "I told ye, sir!" he cried at last.  "That little fella ain't right!  We should toss 'im overboard afore he meks trouble fer us all!"

   Olsen's words brought the captain back from his brief state of wonder.  He glanced at the pipe, which still sat stubbornly in his outstretched hand, and then at Olsen himself.  The man's outburst had been highly inappropriate, and under normal circumstances, Captain Fjorwek would have reprimanded him instantly; but these were not normal circumstances.

   "I would remind you whose company you are in," he hissed sharply, fixing the terrified sailor with an icy stare.  "Do not presume to tell me how to run this ship!"

   Olsen bowed his head and let his gaze fall to the deck; his feet had all of a sudden become of the greatest interest.

   "Sorry, sir," he mumbled uncomfortably, "It won't 'appen agen, sir."

   The captain noticed that Olsen was shaking slightly, and he was sure that it had very little to do with the prospect of being put onto rat duty.

   "Very well, Olsen, be sure that it doesn't."  Captain Fjorwek was reluctant to punish the man.  If his fear had caused him to temporarily lose his senses, how would the rest of the crew react?  Sailors were indeed a superstitious bunch, and the knowledge that a real magician was onboard could cause all sorts of trouble.

   "You are to say nothing of this to the other men.  If they ask you what became of my hat, you are to tell them that a freak gust of wind took it; nothing more.  Do you understand?"

   Olsen nodded, and muttered a rather subdued, "Aye, sir."

   "If the men get word of this, I'll hold you responsible, and you know what that means!  Now, get back to your duties!"  Olsen made his obedience, and turned to leave.  But before he did, the captain added, "And thank you for reporting your discovery; it was the right thing to do.  I'll see you get an extra ration of grog tonight."

   Once Olsen had left, the captain turned his attention back to the sky, but there was no sign of his hat!

   "What in the name of Grothar did you do to my hat?" he asked Fu, his previous feeling of wonder rapidly changing to anger.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on June 12, 2009, 08:32:47 AM
Rhia watched uncertainly as the captain and the prisoner stared at each other. Her first reaction had been incredulity, but it the prisoner -Luft, was it?- seemed certain in his abilites, and the old sailor, Olsen, as well, although the captain and first mate appeared to be disinclined to believe it. However, there were no miniscule signs that Luft was lying- he kept eye contact with Fjorwek, didn't blink, spoke with an air of confidence that is only found in the truth. She observed the two men so intently that she didn't notice anything until the captain's tricornered hat decided to shoot up into the air. Rhia stepped backward with alarm. Was that Luft doing that? The flight of the hat -Hah, wouldn't that make a humorous ballad!- resulted in a shaking outburst from Olsen.

The sailor's crusty old eyes, big as saucers, clung to the sight of the hat. "That little fella ain't right! We should toss 'im overboard afore he meks trouble fer us all!"

Fjorwek turned and dealt chidingly with Olsen, bribing the man's silence with promises of an extra ration of grog. Rhia watched vaguely, thinking about what powers were contained in such a small vessel. She was jerked out of her contemplative revery by something stiff and light landing on her shoulder and then falling on the ship's deck. Rhia gaped at the object. It was the captain's hat. After a few moments she slowly bent down and picked it up. She was in raptures. To have such power!... I did not know such things were possible in the world... Cautiously she held it out for the captain to take back. Or at least, hadn't seen them before...

But Fjorwek was not looking at her. His golden eyebrows were knit angrily as he glared at Luft. "What in the name of Grothar did you do to my hat?" It was funny. Rhia had never known that his face was slightly aquiline until she saw him in an angry state, with his hawk-like, piercing glower. Well, good thing the only thing the prisoner had to do was point out -meekly- to the captain that Rhia was holding his hat in her hand. ...He rather looks even more handsome when he's raging. Something about those blue eyes flashing so fiercely, his hawk nose flaring angrily, made her want to cling to him, or... or... Turtle crap, don't go to pieces! Don't go to pieces! The worst thing that could happen was for Fjorwek to turn around and see her gazing adoringly at him...

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on June 15, 2009, 03:50:12 AM
While he had been concentrating on the wind ounia and their purposeful dance, Fu had not been able to follow the conversation among the sailors very well. He had picked up just enough to understand that Olsen – the sailor whose pipe had started the whole kerfuffle – would not hesitate to feed Fu to the fishes, if he had a chance. Just because Fu had taken the liberty of a few puffs from his pipe, the sailor now seemed to believe that Fu could turn him into a white ship-rat, like the one the mysterious little ship domovidge had been riding on last night. These sailorfolk were so superstitious!

The captain, on the other hand, evidently possessed the gift to believe his eyes and to not get frightened about what he saw. Only his tricorn was a little bit more precious to him than his generally dignified demeanour would suggest. ”What in the name of Grothar did you do to my hat?”, he cried, a thunderstorm in his voice and a tornado in his eyes. Fu couldn’t help wishing that he himself was in a position to complain even half as fiercily: after all, he’d lost his own hat for quite a bit longer than the captain his!

Fu lifted one of his shackled hands and pointed at the lady who had picked up the hat from the deck. She was stood slightly behind the captain. Fu smiled sheepishly.

”There, master captain! If Fu be permitted to be saying something, master captain: Please ye be believing me that I was having means of my own to board this ship of yours without the aid of a plank or a boat. And that I was being able to be hiding from poor innocent Mallorix here. Captain, I be begging ye to be releasing him. He was being blown into this here tight spot by Grothar’s unfathomable design and this old foolishness of mine that was telling me to be hiding below in your cargo hold.”

Fu squinted his eyes to avoid the glare of the injera as he looked up at the captain. A dozen questions were gathering on his tongue, jostling each other for first place should he continue to speak. But the wizard decided that it was wiser not to expect answers any time soon. He hoped that at least he could make amends for getting Mallorix bound in chains.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on June 16, 2009, 06:52:45 PM
   Turning slightly, Captain Fjorwek saw that his hat was in the care of Rhia.  With an almost inaudible, "oh", he let the anger fall from his face.

   "Thank you, Rhia," he said with a smile as he took the proffered tricorn from her.  As he did so, his gaze met hers, and he couldn't help but notice that there was a strange look in her misty eyes, something that he hadn't seen for a long time.  Something like...

...but it only lasted a blink or two, and then the hat had been returned.

   The captain held his hat warily, looking at it as a man would an unpredictable beast.  Then, satisfied that it wasn't about to jump out of his hands or bite him, he placed it back onto his head as he listened to Fu's pleas.

   "I must say that I'm impressed, Mr Luft; you certainly have a unique ability.  But to move a ship, or to become invisible are, quite frankly, in a rather different league!"

   The captain suspected that Fu was trying to trick him into believing that he had powers far greater than he actually possessed.  But he couldn't deny that there might be some truth in the man's claims.  He also couldn't deny that he was feeling a little uneasy.  The real power of this unexpected stow away was still a mystery, and that was unsettling.  Would it be best to release him, and try to discover more about him through friendship?  Or would it be better to keep him here in irons, unfed and too weak to prove a real threat?

   On reflection, the latter idea was probably the most sensible; a weakened man would always be easier to control.  But, for some reason, the captain felt more inclined to the former.  Perhaps he was getting softer as he got older?  Maybe he'd never been that hard to begin with?  Or, as was more likely, Rhia's gentle gaze had melted something deep inside of him.

   "Still," the captain continued, "I cannot completely rule out the possibility that there is truth in what you say."  He paused and looked thoughtful for a moment.  "And so, taking this into account, I believe you should be released forthwith!"

   Almost immediately, one of the marines approached Fu, and undid the chains around his hands and feet.  The first mate's face remained emotionless, but inside she was bitterly disappointed.  She only hoped that Mallorix would at least be left to languish in his misery a little longer.

   "And the same goes for you, too, seaman."  The captain indicated that the marine should also release Mallorix; the first mate's scowl came back.

   "'ere!  This cove's bin tryin' to escape, sir!  'e's bin tryin' ter pick the lock!"

   The first mate's scowl was replaced with a smirk as she watched for the captain's reaction; this would surely earn Mallorix a taste of the lash!

   Without saying a word, Captain Fjorwek went over to inspect the lock.  The marine was right; there was no doubt that the shackled sailor had interfered with it, successfully loosening it a little, probably by using a concealed knife.

   The captain turned his back on Mallorix and walked a few paces away from him; his face visibly darkening as the storm that had been brewing in him earlier came back.  After taking a deep, steadying breath, he turned back to face the rebellious sailor.

   "It seems your insolence knows no bounds, boy!" he snapped.  "And to think, I was going to show you mercy!  This is the third time you've crossed me this very morning!  Maybe you think that you're better than me, eh?  Maybe my orders are not to be obeyed?  Is that it?"  The captain wasn't shouting, but his voice was sharp and full of danger.  "Three times!  There will not be a fourth!"

   The first mate could feel a wave of excitement start to rise through her body; she was savouring every blink of this!  "Go, on!  Giv' 'im the lash!" she thought to herself with savage delight.

   "Hadgrun!"  the captain yelled.  One of the marines bolted to attention, and rushed over to the captain.

   "Yes, sir!" he said, saluting smartly.

   "Fetch the doctor, and the lash!"

   "Aye, aye, sir!"

   "The rest of you, unchain this man and fix him to the whipping post!"

   As a small group of marines went about the work of unchaining the doomed Mallorix, the captain watched on impassively.

   "Very impressive," Lieutenant Ustaskjan said to the dwarf in approval.  "Twenty is a respectable score by anyone's standards."  She paused momentarilly, before adding, "And I'm tempted to give you an extra ten for the shot that hit Bates!"  She couldn't help it, and started to laugh as she remembered the sight of the stray arrow penetrating the poor man's backside.  "You have to remember, though," she continued once she'd composed herself, "ship's are constantly moving; it's not like on dry land.  But practice makes perfect!"

   Then, after slapping Koka on the back, she shouted down the deck to Royce.

   "Over to you, Royce!  Twenty's the score to beat!  On my command!"

   She stepped out of the way, taking Koka with her, and then counted down, "Three, two, one; fire!"

   As Royce started his turn, the lieutenant turned to Koka and asked her a question; "Where did you learn to shoot?  Are you ex forces?"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on June 17, 2009, 02:35:35 AM
Mallorix had silently watched Fu and the Captain as Fu was doing his magic or tricks. The Captain seemed uncertain about what to do with the two prisoners, but he finally made up his mind.

   "I must say that I'm impressed, Mr Luft; you certainly have a unique ability.  But to move a ship, or to become invisible are, quite frankly, in a rather different league!"

   "Still," the captain continued, "I cannot completely rule out the possibility that there is truth in what you say."  He paused and looked thoughtful for a moment.  "And so, taking this into account, I believe you should be released forthwith!"

The sailors moved to free Fu, but did nothing about Mallorix until the Captain intervened.

 "And the same goes for you, too, seaman."

The First mate, who was clearly smirking at Mallorix's state, suddenly frowned. It seemed as if she enjoyed the young man's misery.

As a marine moved to unlock him from the chains, someone exclaimed:

 "'ere!  This cove's bin tryin' to escape, sir!  'e's bin tryin' ter pick the lock!"

Blast! The sailors had discovered Mallorix's handiwork. He thought that the small one sixteenth turn of the lock would go unnoticed, as it may have been just a mistake. He would not have been able to reach his biscuit otherwise. Mallorix was glad that he had concealed his knife in a small pocket on the inside of his shirt. There the fabric was thick, and nobody would see the knife.

At that moment, the Captain was not amused. He had inspected the lock, and he saw what they all thought to be lock-picking.

 "It seems your insolence knows no bounds, boy!" he snapped.  "And to think, I was going to show you mercy!  This is the third time you've crossed me this very morning!  Maybe you think that you're better than me, eh?  Maybe my orders are not to be obeyed?  Is that it?"

Mallorix exclaimed:

" Sir, I have no idea of what you are saying! I have not touched this lock. Please, I am innocent. I have not crossed you three times! At first, I did not hear your orders, as my ears were hurting from the First Mate's shouting. I did not hide the stowaway! I was caught when I saw him! Please, I have done nothing to deserve this!"

The First Mate, however, had other ideas.

"Go, on!  Giv' 'im the lash!"

The Captain agreed, despite Mallorix's pleas. He was soon tied onto the whipping post, where he was left for doomed. The lash quickly descended upon the man's now bare back.

Mallorix was tempted to cry out in pain, but he restrained himself. Maybe the Captain would have mercy if he showed no outward signs of pain.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on June 18, 2009, 01:56:57 PM
The captain let his anger melt away at Fu's words, turning to Rhia with a smile and a look that enveloped her, warmed her, softly touched her cheek with an invisible finger. Then it was gone, leaving her with a giddy sense in her stomach and heart. She stood, eyes closed, a small smile on her face. Her trance was shattered by the captain's voice, sharp with anger, stabbing and cutting the air. Rhia's grey eyes unshuttered wildly. Who... who now was he angry with?

The sight that met her eyes was that of Fjorwek standing irately in front of the taller prisoner. Every line of his body spoke of his ire.  "The rest of you, unchain this man and fix him to the whipping post!" He threw the words furiously at the man... boy... man-boy. His face was stony as he watched the sailors do his bidding, stony as he cooly watched the prisoner's reaction.

The first lash of the whip struck the prisoner's back. Grey eyes, framed by thick brown lashes, widened in horror. The pain! The pain the boy must be feeling! And yet no cry escaped from his lips, no grunt thudded dully through the air. Clear shimmery beads collected in Rhia's sea-hued eyes, longing to slip down her cheeks but restrained by the mind residing in the body. Already, a welt was rising on his back, a red raised streak cruelly slashing the smooth sun-tanned surface.

Rhia's gaze rose to the captain's face as he looked on the whipping. His expression was flinty and unyielding, so different from what it had been just moments before when his eyes were looking into her own. Her own visage hardened. What had the boy done? Taken pity on a hapless, lost man, and get punished for it. She watched the boy prisoner with soft eyes. He was taking it so bravely, although he seemed only about the same age as Rhia herself. Though blazing with pain, there was a steely resolve that shone through to the core in those eyes. Blue eyes, like the captain's, but these were different... Smiling eyes, sky-hued orbs filled with laughter. ...At least, a few minutes ago, they were. Now she could detect only a trace of that benevolent mirth. It was the whipping. Rhia could not stand to see that gaze surging with silent pain, devoid of laughter.

The second lash began its descent through the air. Acting on a spur-of-the-moment decision, one built up to in a few moments' thought, Rhia dashed forward, half stumbling over the captain, with her arm extended. Yes, this was the right decision. She could not bear to watch the prisoner's suffering-filled eyes another minute. What's more, her little deed was dramatic, sure to get a reaction. And yet all that was coursing through her mind was the expectation of the whip, the stinging line that would strike her slender limb. The dread filled her mind, spreading to every nook and cranny, overwhelming every other thought. Her eyes, widened by terror, screwed shut at the last second. The black whip curled around her creamy white forearm, making several circuits around the slim appendage. A biting pain rushed throughout her being, and she could not help the high-pitched cry that burst its way through her strawberry tinted lips. Pain! She had not known the meaning of the word before this instant, had not comprehended that which now surged and pitched within her.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on June 18, 2009, 05:57:31 PM
   Doctor Jorek had just finished treating Bates's arrow wound when a marine entered the sick bay, carrying a whip.  With a sigh, the doctor straightened up and nodded to the marine.

   "So, it's another whipping, is it?  Very well, let me get my things."

   Then, after collecting a few items and placing them into a black, leather bag, Doctor Jorek invited Fionn and Ylva to accompany him back onto the main deck.

   "Jameson here should be able to manage whilst we're gone," he said to reassure them that the variously afflicted men would be looked after in their absence.  "But I hope this doesn't last long.  If there's one thing I can't stand, it's to see a man inflict injury upon another."  He smiled slightly as he said this, but his eyes showed no sign of humour.  "Still, I suppose that's why I'm not a captain," he added as he followed the marine out of the sick bay.

   The sun was beating down mercilessly now, causing Doctor Jorek's bald pate to shine like the full moon.  A small group of idlers had gathered near the whipping post, where an unfortunate sailor had been secured.  The doctor noticed that this man's back was free of scarring; he was obviously new aboard ship.  "The first cut's always the deepest," the doctor thought to himself as he took his place next to the captain, whose stony face showed no sign of emotion.  "I wonder what he did to deserve this?"

   "Five strokes, if you please, Master Hadgrun!"  the captain barked as the marine who had fetched the whip approached Mallorix.

   In truth, it was a very light punishment.  Kari Fjorwek had never been a "flogging captain", and he didn't intend on becoming one now.  He knew very well, as did his crew, that there were plenty of captains who would have meted out a much harsher penalty, much earlier.  Still, five licks would suffice in this particular instance; Mallorix was new on board a ship, and had much to learn.  Like the doctor, Captain Fjorwek noticed the distinct lack of scarring on Mallorix's back, which made him think of his own, less fortunate skin.  Kari had served under many captains before coming one himself, and he'd felt the sting of the lash, too.  When had been the first time?  Could he even remember?  Of course he could!  It wasn't something that could be forgotten so easily!

   The sharp slap of leather striking skin brought the captain back from his memories.  Mallorix hadn't cried out, but his eyes were bulging with the pain.  "The next one will be worse," the captain thought to himself as he watched Hadgrun prepare for the next stroke.  An angry, red welt was already beginning to form where the whip had made its cruel caress, and the captain knew that Hadgrun would use it as a target; he prided himself on accuracy.

   But this time, Hadgrun was completely off target; he didn't even hit the right man!  In a foolish, but brave act, Rhia dashed forwards and placed her arm in the way of the second stroke.  She almost pushed the captain over in her desperate attempt, and for a moment he was shocked into inertia, his mouth falling open slightly as he watched the horrific scene unfold.  It was bad enough to see a man's flesh disfigured by a whip, but to see a young lady's smooth, creamy skin become its victim was much worse!

   A short, piercing cry shot its way to Grothar in protest, bringing the captain back to his senses.

   "Doctor," he cried as the distraught Hadgrun stepped aside, the whip hanging impotently at his side.  "Tend to the lady Rhia!"

   "What was I thinking?"  Captain Fjorwek scolded himself in his mind.  "Why didn't I order her to leave?  How could a woman bare to see such things?  Damn!  She'll hate me forever, now!"  Still, the damage had already been done, and there was nothing that could alter it.

   Doctor Jorek jumped to attention, and took Rhia's arm in his hands.  An ugly, painful looking welt was rising, almost exactly the same as the one on Mallorix's back.  But the violent red looked so much worse on this delicate limb.  Fortunately, no blood had been drawn.

   "Fionn," he said, "could you pass me the amber bottle that's inside my bag, please?"  He nodded towards the black, leather bag that he had brought with him from the sick bay.  The bottle contained a soothing ointment, which could ease the pain and reduce the swelling.

   "I'm so terribly sorry!"  the captain said as he watched the doctor go about his work.  "I really shouldn't have let you see such a thing.  What you did was...brave...and compassionate...but..."

   The captain's attempts at consolation were cut short by a sudden cry from the crow's nest.

   "Deck, there!"

   Slightly relieved to have a distraction, for he was rapidly beginning to feel like some kind of an ogre, the captain snapped back into his official role.

   "Aye, what is it?" he shouted back to the lookout.

   "That boat we spied earlier, sir; we're almost on top o' 'er!  'n there's a right queer couple o' folk on board, 'er, sir!  I think ye should 'av a look!"

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on June 19, 2009, 03:35:20 AM
 Fionn couldn’t help but smile at Shiana’s enthusiasm, and wished she knew a proper answer for the man’s questions. Glancing at Ylva, it seemed that she was sensibly staying quiet and observant. Fionn was about to mumble something largely inaudible about a search for buried treasure, when the thick quiet of the sick bay was broken by the clatter of feet and the familiar shout of people in the presence of injury. Fionn watched wide-eyed as a man was carried in, his injury obvious. I doubt he sat on it by accident – she remembered the other “adventurers” were doing training and weapons-stuff. Some band of treasure hunters we’re shaping up to be. I hope the sailors are being well paid to cart us around and get shot at. It must be bad enough with pirates, but if we’re s’posed to be the remedy, what must they think of us.  

"Ylva!  Fionn! Could you spare me a moment?  I'm curious to know what you make of this."

Fionn couldn’t help herself. Maybe if it had looked serious, or if the man had been really distressed (his moaning had quietened, as he seemed to have realised that people were looking, and that he didn’t want them to), she would have been silent or said something clever. Instead, before she even realised she’d said it:

“He’s been shot, doctor. With an arrow, in his Hab, uhh, his bottom” she blushed as she quickly edited the blunter mullog word to something more polite in Tharian. Realising that she’d said it now, there was no point in pretending otherwise, she looked him straight in the eye and grinned guilelessly.

“So do we pull it out, or what?”

They did. The poor man made a noise like a stilted elk that’s gotten trapped in the clothelines, and followed on with an impressive volley of curses. A couple were new to Fionn, and she made a mental note to find out what exactly they meant later. After that, it was all over bar the mopping up, though Fionn suspected that the sailor would be choosing his seat with care for some time. She wondered if this kind of thing happened often.

"So, it's another whipping, is it?  Very well, let me get my things."

Fionn’s stomach turned as she heard the Doctor’s resigned response to the man who’d just entered the sick bay. The thing he carried in his hand suddenly seemed like a coiled spring, and he had only to loosen his grip slightly for it to lash viciously at anyone in reach, clawing at them with its terrible barbed tongue. As she followed him out she caught hold of the little man-shaped talisman.

When she saw who was tied to the post, she stopped, eyes wide and unbelieving. He was anything but smiling now.  The talisman was pressed deep into her hand, indenting itself in her pale skin.

Suddenly, the girl she remembered as Rhia was under the whip, the movement of both so sudden it took Fionn’s eye a few seconds to catch up. The whip didn’t care that it had bitten the wrong person, and curled eagerly round her raised forearm. For a split second all were frozen, like a tableau of a fearsome monster being fought off by a brave heroine.

It seemed to have struck the right chord with the captain. Rhia’s cry of pain roused an almost equally anguished cry from him. The whip was unlatched from her arm, and looked to be dragged away for now, Mallorix forgotten.

 "Fionn, could you pass me the amber bottle that's inside my bag, please?"

She dove for the bag and found the bottle – she recognised it as an effective – and slightly more expensive than she could usually aspire to – ointment for pain and inflammation. Loosening the top she passed it to him, not paying attention to the cries of the sailors, who seemed to have found yet another spectacle to attract their attention. She didn’t she decided then, like boats like this. Probably they were about to be attacked by fearsome sea monsters.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on June 19, 2009, 04:54:45 AM
Fu looked aghast at the brutal scence: once the whip crashed down on Mallorix’s back, before the petite mysterious lady threw herself into the whipmaster’s second strike. When he later thought back to these events, Fu asked himself what had been the most frightening: the strange and inappropriate jolliness of the whip’s crack; the stoic silence with which Mallorix took his blow; or the young lady’s sharp cry of shock and pain that rang out so loud and clear and defenceless that the sea wind seemed to stop blowing for a blink, listening in surprise.

And it was being Fu's fault, Fu would berate himself for a long time after. By revealing the extent of his skill, he had hoped to help Mallorix. He had felt elation when the captain had ordered both prisoners’ release. As soon as his shackles had been undone, he had stood up. He had rubbed his wrists – they had gone stiff and slightly chafed by the chains – and turned to Mallorix to congratulate him on regaining his freedom.

Then the world had turned black. Fu had felt his hands grow very cold, and the blood leave his head. Fearing to lose consciousness, he had staggered and held on to the first person that came within his reach. That person happened to be Olsen, the superstitious old sailor who didn’t like his smoking utensils meddled with. Olsen had suspected “stryke-sharky designs, mate!” – strange that Fu should have remembered it, but that’s how the sailor had put it – and had pushed Fu’s body away. Fu had stumbled and fallen, and although he only lost consciousness for a blink or two, had felt so drowsy that he had decided to lean against the railing for a while and wait until Mallorix would emerge.

Nobody had paid attention to him anymore – popular interest appeared focused on some other event. Fu had watched the backs of a group of sailors who had stood between him and Mallorix. It was only when he had seen a muscular sailor walking past with a whip in his hand, had Fu suspected that Mallorix wasn’t actually about to be released. With a sense of evil foreboding, the wizard had struggled to his feet, and had helplessly witnessed the events that would, for a long time afterwards, sting his conscience with needles of guilt whenever he remembered them.

Two young people, who had both been trying to help Fu, felt the cruelty of the lash – and the ultimate cause of it was he, Fu, himself. Ye be a source of trouble, foolish Fu, he thought. Ye better be staying home and not be going out and not hoping that ye be any good to anybody. Not that he had a home, of course. Not really. And the way that I be acting, my little Bronya may be better off if she never be seeing me again.

Well, at least the captain seemed sufficiently shocked by the lady’s intervention to stop the punishment. Why had she thrown herself into the whip, anyway? Maybe the two be secret lovers, Mallorix and her, speculated Fu. This be the explanation also why she was being so kind to us prisoners earlier. In any case, Fu decided he needed to apologize to both of them. But there was so much busy movement on deck that he didn’t know how he should get through. Before long, the quack and his impish sidekick arrived, probably to treat the victims of the whip. What a strange tradition this be – first ye be whipping the blood out of a man, then ye be all concerned for his health and be calling the healer to be treating him.

Dazed by the sun’s heat, his continuing headache, and the confusion the events had caused in his mind, Fu looked about. He hoped he would be allowed to go on land soon, to leave this wretched ship and never to set eyes on it again. But while he was here, he might just as well use the time to learn what he could about the strange folk on board. Oh, and where was it that he'd lost his pipe?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Koka Bentarm on June 19, 2009, 05:11:14 AM
Koka watched Royce's performance, one hand gripping her bow so that she would not lose it to some freak movement of the ship. The lieutenant asked her where she had learned how to shoot.

"Ex-forces? I am sorry, I don't know what you mean by this word. I learned how to shoot from my mother, as she did from her mother before her and so on, down a long line of mothers. You see, back home in the caves hunting is women's work. I had hoped to teach my own daughter the art, but, well..." Koka shrugged. "Up here I'm not too likely to meet another good man like the one I lost. Though we mustn't loose hope, must we." she added with a grin.

It was only after she said this that she realised she had given away her 'secret'. Ah well, it wasn't much of a secret to begin with. Before the lieutenant could answer, though, Koka was distracted by a group of sailors gathering. She could even see some of her own adventuring party joining in. Smiling politely at the woman next to her, the dwarfess wandered over. She wanted to know what Royce's score was, yes, but on the other hand... ah well, she admitted it, she was curious! She arrived at the group just in time to see a sailor - oh, wasn't that the boy from earlier? - tied to a pole, his bare back bent and colouring a deep red colour where something had hit him. And then she saw the girl, the one who seemed to be family of their employer, with the 'something' curled around her arm. What in ThrumBaroll's name had happened here?

Soon enough the girl was being taken care of by the doctor and his two assistants. Koka stuck unobtrusively close as she listened to the Captain's confused words. Brave but foolish, huh? Well, that certainly gave her enough information to piece some things together, and the tone of voice in which this was said gave her even more information. She smiled - behind her beard, where nobody could see it. This was one piece of information she was keeping to herself, for now anyway. After all, a woman's gotta have her secrets, no matter which race she came from!

Since she was standing so close to the captain anyway, she had no trouble hearing the shouted conversation to the top of the ship. A boat, eh? Interesting. Deciding that what's-her-name was well taken care of by the doctor, the foreign girl and the mullog, Koka scooted over to the railing, which she peered over in an attempt to see said queer characters.

This turned out not to be such a bright idea. As soon as she concentrated on anything outside of the ship, she saw the sheer vastness of the sky. It went on forever, seemingly, not broken by a single silhouette. Somewhere in the far distance, the sky and the sea merged and became one, and it ... just... didn't... stop.

Koka blindly felt for the railing, grabbing it with all her might. The sheer magnitude of unbroken blue overwhelmed her, pressed down on her, crushed her to pieces. It was dizzying, nauseating. Her breath came in short, ragged bursts, struggling to get air into her lungs that just wouldn't come. If she had thought that this feeling was bad on land, at least very often there were clouds there, and she could look at something close by to ignore that vastness above her, that... that emptiness. She knew that she was having a panic attack, and a little voice in the back of her mind told her to snap out of it, but she couldn't. Her legs buckled under her, and she fell down on one knee, still clutching the railing and gasping for air. Another, louder voice in her head screamed HELP but it did not come out of her mouth, nothing could come out, she was falling, falling up and up and up into that great wide space of blue without anything to catch her and she stared up and all she could see was the blue and why could she not breathe if there was so so so much air and how could she be kneeling when she was falling and tolling and falling and up Up UP!

Her hand had let go of the railing and she reached out, out for anything to get a hold of, and she found something, something small and soft and real, it was a hand, a small hand that was all that was real right now, she clutched the hand like a lifeline, though somehow, even in her panicked state, she managed not to use all her great dwarven strength, because if she did then the hand would break, and if the hand broke than she would have nothing but blue and air and blue and air and no air, no air, help me "Help me"

It was a whisper, no more than the merest thread of a sound, but it had to be enough, it was all she could manage in the blueness. It had to be enough. Please help me.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on June 19, 2009, 11:52:57 AM
The whip was gone from Rhia's arm, but it had left its mark, an ugly red line of swelling that ran around her tender forearm several times.  The contrast of the red-pink welt against the ivory creaminess of the untouched skin was almost ironic. Her face was turned downwards, hiding her slightly gasping breaths. The initial pain was gone now. All that remained was a raw throbbing in her arm near the wound. Her other hand gingerly touched the welt with a long index finger, and it seemed to her that she could physically feel the pulsating.

And then, suddenly, she could hear the captain. "Doctor, tend to the lady Rhia!" His face was a picture of horror as he shouted, staring at her in dismay. She could not tell what was going on in his mind. She didn't exactly care, though, at the moment. Her eyes passed backed to the prisoner. She was noticing things about him now- his brown hair, the slight build, pleasing face... Things that she hadn't before, when her attention had been on Luft, the one who had captured her initial sympathy. But now, now, after he was liberated, her worry for him was lessened. But the other prisoner... (She didn't even know his name!) He would surely be punished, even... even after her theatrical little act.

Gentle hands took her arm and held it firmly. A low, pleasant voice spoke close by Rhia.  "Fionn, could you pass me the amber bottle that's inside my bag, please?" Oh, it was Doctor Jorek. He was comforting to her, how similar he was to Uncle Jorn in some ways. Mainly the roundness and pleasant face, she supposed, but it helped nonetheless.

Jorek's thick, confident fingers spread an ointment onto her arm, working softly but quickly. Stinging senstaions abounded, but the balm was cool and felt good on her arm, a pleasant contrast to the sickly warm temperature of the skin near and of the welt. Meanwhile, the captain blustered nearby, watching the doctor, Fionn, and Rhia helplessly. "I'm so terribly sorry! ...I really shouldn't have let you see such a thing.  What you did was... brave... and compassionate... but..."

And how was she supposed to respond to that? She didn't even know what was going on in Fjorwek's brain. At the moment, she didn't feel like answering. Her silence did not get the chance to penetrate. A loud call pierced the air, distracting the captain from what was sure to be awkward. "Deck, there!" Rhia listlessly wactched the doctor and his assistant going about their work and tuned out whatever was going on with Fjorwek and the sailor in the crow's nest. Her mind whirred with thoughts of the taller prisoner. She had to find out his name- he was far too good-looking to miss a chance on! Besides, he might prove to be a good distraction from Captain Fjorwek. Oh aye, that was another place a possible romance with the tall prisoner would benefit- if the captain felt any fondness for Rhia, there was a chance he would become a bit jealous. Yes, Rhia was feeling better.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on June 19, 2009, 06:57:36 PM
Rhia seemed to recover quite quickly from the shock. Fionn looked to the young sailor, who seemed a little short on attention. She was about to go over to him, when she heard someone moving heavily close behind her. She almost yelped when something took hold of her hand, left trailing behind her as she stood indecisively, a little apart from the others.

The something was alive, hot and clammy with sweat, and tugged desperately at Fionn’s childlike fingers with a strength that was frightening. She turned, clasping her free hand reflexively at the charms round her neck, to see who, or what, had caught hold of her.

It was Koka, but not as Fionn had seen him before – the dwarf seemed entirely transformed. Crouching huddled on one knee, half slumped to the floor, she could clearly hear the gasping breaths trying to force their way into his lungs. Somehow he was able to speak, his barely audible words heavy with fear.

“Help me.”

An image presented itself to Fionn; a pale little boy from a town long since forgotten. His mother, a drawn, tired looking woman with sharp elbows, had brought him along, presented him to Fionn, and asked how much to cure him. That Fionn might not automatically know what was wrong had not occurred. Talking to him he seemed fine, until the subject of bed-time came up. When the conversation turned to the dark, he turned white as paper, and stopped breathing. It had been almost as terrifying for the mullog as it must have been for him, but a little quick thinking had helped somewhat.

Without trying to remove her hand from the dwarf’s panicked grip, Fionn began rummaging through pockets, bringing out small bottles and vials until she found what she was looking for – a tiny bottle, shorter than her own thumb, with a minute amount of cloudy liquid inside. Thank the ancestors you don’t need much. She looked Koka in the eye and smiled her reassurance. Though it would have been useful to know just exactly what the cause of all this was, it seemed unfair to expect him to speak in this state.

“You’re alright, just concentrate on breathing for me, please? Can I have my hand back? Thank you.”  She undid the bottle, put her thumb over the end and tipped it up. Yahrle juice was potent, but this much was hopefully only going to make him relax a little. Giving her friendliest smile, the mullog reached forward and smudged the sweet-scented juice under Koka’s nose, where the scent would be easy to breathe in – provided that he could breathe, that is.

“Try and breathe in through your nose, then out through your mouth, see? We take in healthy air and get rid of the bad. I must say, I didn’t ‘spect a tough one like you to get fearsome eru stuck in your chest. You’re bigger and stronger than them, you can get rid of them easy, see?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on June 20, 2009, 08:37:36 AM
The whip had left a horrible red welt that stung with pain on his back. He held his breath, bracing for the next blow, but instead he heard a lady's cry of pain. He struggled to turn around and see what was happening, but all he saw was a glimpse of the kind lady who offered to help the two prisoners. A moment later the Captain called for the doctor.

 "Doctor, tend to the lady Rhia!"

Mallorix was puzzled for a moment, but then he pieced together what had happened. The lady, whose name was Rhia, had either blocked the blow or had accidentally gotten in the way. She did not seem like someone who would stumble into the way of a whip, so he assumed it was the former. What a kind person she was!

As the doctor and some of the passengers attended to Rhia, the young man thought of what would happen to him. Perhaps the Captain would free him. Most likely the whipping would continue.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Royce Brodlyn Kristoph on June 20, 2009, 09:00:30 AM
Royce had been stringing his bow, getting ready to partake in the next exercise, and for the most part had been ignoring the goings on with the others.  It mattered little to him if there were stowaways on board.  And the punishment doled out was appropriate.  Personally, he wouldn't have seen it as too much if the stowaway had been tossed overboard, and the other man as well.

Once the bow was strung, he pulled the string back a few times, feeling the strong spring in the wood.  He ran a hand over it lightly.  He loved this bow.  It had been his fathers, and now it was his.  Though he only had a few memories of his father, one of them was of the two of them out in the woods, the older Kristoph teaching the younger how to fire a bow.  Royce had to have been no older than 6 or 7 years old at the time.  If he closed his eyes, he could still smell the woods and hear his father's voice.

"Pull back slowly Royce, and hold it there.  That's right.  Now breathe slowly... slower... every breathe you take moves your body and each movement makes you less likely to hit your target.  Now... look down the arrow and aim... that's right.. good.. Yes!  See, I told you that you could do it!"

Royce opened his eyes.  So long ago, he thought remorsefully.  How much of his life would have been different if his father hadn't have died?  He felt a pang of loneliness as he stabbed the points of arrows into the wooden planking of the ship, so that a row of arrows stood in front of him, making it easier and faster for him to grab the next arrow after each was fired.

He then stepped to the spot from which he would shoot from.  He knocked the arrow and aimed, and just before he let it fly, heard heard a commotion from behind him from the dwarf.  Dwarfess?  Dwarflet?  Dwarfette?  Regardless, he was a bit put off that she would pick now to cause a curfuffle.  She wouldn't be trying to cheat, would she?

Probably not, he told himself, but he wasn't going to let her disturb him regardless.  He made sure of his aim, held his breath, then fired.  After each arrow was loosed, his free hand hand grabbed at the next arrow with practised ease.  He might not win, for the dwarf had done well, but he wasn't going to be embarrassed either.  He knew what he was doing.

At the sound of the lieutenants bark, he stopped firing.  It was then that he noticed Koka was having a rough time of it, and that the strange looking healer girl was tending to her.  He might have felt bad, but he knew that if this were a real battle, and Koka had been wounded, or worse, killed, that a moment of distraction on his part could mean more dead.  No, in battle you couldn't have feelings of remorse.  And this was a build up to the next battle.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on June 20, 2009, 07:58:37 PM
   After hearing the lookout’s words, Captain Fjorwek walked over to the rail, and went to raise his telescope again; but there was no need.  The small boat was much closer now, and two, hulking shapes could be seen inside it.
   “Heave to!” he ordered, and soon the gigantic Southern Arrow had come to a rest, dwarfing the tiny vessel that it floated next to.  As the captain peered over the rail, he could hear the slap of waves against the Arrow’s hull, and the distant chatter of sailors.  But despite these familiar, comforting sounds, he felt decidedly uneasy again.
   “Doctor!  Lieutenant!” he called.  “Would you come and have a look at this?”

   Koka’s answer had surprised the lieutenant; who didn’t know what the forces were?  Armed service had been Chyreth Ustaskjan’s whole life!  Still, these small folk were strange; perhaps they didn’t have an army?
   Following this shock, the revelation that Koka was actually female had almost been expected; nothing about other races made much sense!
   Royce had started firing now, and as his arrows thudded home, Ms Koka showed her complete lack of discipline by wandering off.
   Once Royce had finished firing, the lieutenant beckoned for him to join her to count his score.  Fortunately, every one of his arrows had managed to hit the target, and after counting, it was clear that he had won.
   “Congratulations,” Lieutenant Ustaskjan said, “your score of twenty five beats Koka’s twenty.”
   She was going to elaborate further, about how bows should be utilised in sea battles, but the captain’s voice stopped her.
   “Excuse me,” she said, before going over to the rail to join him.

   “What do you make of it?” the Captain asked Doctor Jorek when he arrived.  “They certainly are a queer pair, aren’t they? I mean!  Just look at that brute, there!”  The captain pointed to one of the huge figures crouched in the ludicrously small life boat.  “I bet he tops two peds when he’s stood up!”
   “Aye, sir,” the doctor replied, “And he’d probably be happiest crushing your skull or strangling you to death!  He looks the sort, don’t you think?”  The doctor raised his own hands and imitated a lunatic choking the life out of a helpless victim.
   “Well, he certainly looks like a ruffian,” the captain replied.  “But what of the other fellow?”
   For a moment, the doctor was silent, and then he made a gurgling noise and his eyes widened.  Captain Fjorwek turned to look at him, and asked if he was alright.  In response, the doctor flapped his hands and pointed at the other sinister shape in the boat.
   “Why…it’s a…no…yes…it must be…just look at the tail!”
   “What is it, doctor; you’re making no sense!”
   Doctor Jorek paused briefly, in order to compose himself.
   “I’m sorry, sir,” he said at last.  “But I believe that’s a psyrpent!”
   “A sly serpent; whatever do you mean?”
   “A psyrpent,” the doctor repeated.  “It’s a kind of ancient beast, created by dark magic from a snake and a monkey!  Oh, I’ve heard plenty of stories about them over the years, but I never thought I’d be lucky enough to see one!  To be honest, I thought they were only a myth!”
   “Whatever it is, I don’t like the look of it, sir!”  Lieutenant Ustaskjan had arrived now, and felt compelled to offer her opinion on the matter.  “And that other one looks like some kind of a crazed strangler!”
   “My thoughts, exactly!”  Doctor Jorek exclaimed, slapping the lieutenant on the back.
   “Just the kind of villains we don’t want aboard our ship, sir,” the lieutenant continued.
   Captain Fjorwek nodded his head slightly.
   “That may be so, lieutenant, but there are rules to be followed.  We can’t leave them to the mercy of the sea; it’s our duty to bring them aboard.”
   The lieutenant nodded in agreement.
   “Aye, sir; I’ll send some of my men over to have a closer look at them.”
   “Very well, lieutenant.  If they aren’t dangerous, they are to be brought aboard.”
   The lieutenant saluted briskly, and then set about organising a small detachment of marines to row over to the little boat to investigate its bizarre occupants further.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on June 22, 2009, 04:08:43 PM

   Malavon didn’t reply to Hylphan’s words; instead, he just smiled coldly.  The training sword that the lieutenant had given him felt awkward compared to his usual weapon of choice, but that wouldn’t prevent him from winning this match!
   With great care, the Wizard's Bane approached Hylphan, his whole body taut and ready to spring into action.  It seemed as though Hylphan was playing a waiting game, his guard was up, but he hadn’t made an attack yet.  Deciding to take the initiative, Malavon suddenly lunged forwards, his blade slicing down in an arc towards his opponent’s neck.
   Within a blink, Hylphan’s sword had blocked the blow, but that was only to be expected.  As soon as Malavon felt the contact, he switched his attack to the other side, swinging his blade around to make a backhand attack.  But again, Hylphan’s blade countered the blow.  Not to be deterred, Malavon completed his opening attack by seamlessly flowing into an overhand cut, his blunted blade powering straight down towards Hylphan’s left shoulder.
   Once again, though, the cut was blocked.  Withdrawing from the attack as quickly as he had entered it, Malavon smiled again.  This time, there was a little more warmth in it.
   “Not bad for an old man!” he said, trying to taunt Hylphan forwards.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on June 25, 2009, 04:57:28 AM
People seemed to run in all directions. Fu couldn’t make sense of what was happening on this ship at all. The captain and several sailors gaped out at sea. The dwarf had fallen on his knees, and was being attended to by the imp. “Try and breathe in through your nose, then out through your mouth, see?”, the imp said. Sound advice! Breath was the secret of everything, as far as Fu was concerned. Take juggling, for example. A lot of people believe that the skill is in the hands. But real mastery, knew Fu, only came when your hands worked by themselves, and you only had to focus on your breath to keep your body in balance and your limbs in perfect rhythm. And also …

Fu stopped himself. Here he was, preparing a lecture on breathing. Big use that would be to the dwarf now. He didn't seem to be able to see anything, and probably wouldn't appreciate Fu's philosophy of juggling. The imp, on his part, seemed rather confident in his reactions. Was he a doctor as well, then? Like that quack who had poked Fu with a needle? Fu looked to where Jorek had attended to the brave lady earlier – but couldn't see him. The lady was still there, though, and seemed to gaze at Mallorix; Mallorix, in turn, seemed to gaze at the whipmaster; and the whipmaster seemed to gaze – nowhere at all, or maybe at the captain. He wasn’t going to continue the whipping, was he?

”I be having to be doing something,” Fu mumbled to himself. ”I can’t be letting this cruelty be going on, and me being the one who be deserving of the whipping, if anyone be deserving of whipping at all!”

So Fu the wind wizard walked the few steps over to the whipmaster, stood up on his tiptoes so that he could almost reach the tall man’s shoulder with his mouth. The effect be better, to be sure, if I could be whispering into that ear of his, but I be having to make do!

Fu said: ”Ye, don’t ye be whipping anymore, I be telling ye. This here Mallorix be my friend, and whoever be whipping Mallorix, I shall be, erm, I shall be very angry with! And whoever I be very angry with, I be telling ye, shall have his whip turned into a poisonous snake that be attacking him!”

The secret of a successful bluff is that your opponent is uncertain about just how much you can do. Hadgrun the whipmaster, however, knew exactly what that stowaway could do. And that was: nothing! Earlier, that fool claimed to have walked on water – yet he hadn’t put up any resistance when he had been shackled to the deck. What a pathetic jellyfish! Why was he running around free, anyway?

Hadgrun had not heard the story of the pipe and the captain’s hat, didn't believe in wizardry in general, and was thus quite immune to Fu’s attempts at intimidation. The whipmaster wasn’t in the best of moods. He had failed his target, and in the worst possible way – because of that stupid wench who had got in between his whip-arm and the prisoner’s exposed back! Such a beautifully strong, broad back it had been, a perfect canvas onto which Hadgrun had planned to draw a symphony in red – and yet he’d had to halt his lash after only a single blow. And what was more, he had hit one of the captain's precious passengers. It was not a good omen for this journey! In short, Hadgrun had no time for Fu. With a petulant grunt, he pushed the little wizard away.

Fu stumbled backwards, tried to steady himself, but didn’t succeed and was about to fall onto his bottom when he bumped into something soft. A person! Thanks to this, Fu was able to regain his balance. He turned around and said:

”I be sorry! Oh, I be making nothing but trouble ever since I set foot on this here wretched ship. Prithee be forgiving a fool!”

Fu took a breath. He felt a bit shaken from the experience of staggering on the swaying deck. Yet he calmed down somewhat as his attention was drawn to the face of the person whose body had halted his fall. Had he seen it before?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on June 25, 2009, 01:12:29 PM
Ylva listened and scribbled down the life of Lady Shiana. It was a flimsy lie at best, only Mr Roach’s damaged mind made it real to him. Perhaps accepting flimsy lies is better than facing the harsh truth, what happened to him to make him this?

"But what of you?  How did you come to be here?  Are you friends of the Captain?" Mr Roach inquired with the curiosity of a small child.

Ylva stayed silent, writing more notes, and let Fionn explain, as she hid her face behind her notebook to show no signs of her smiling at the term ‘quest’. Hah.The word conjured up ideas of brave heroes and warriors, not the motley bunch that Ranskjun had gathered together. Her younger self would have agreed with Mr Roach’s idea of a quest, but nowadays she’d forgotten that longing for adventure, reality had crushed it. In Ylva’s book, ‘quest’ was now just a fancier word for ‘trouble’.

   "Ylva! Fionn! Could you spare me a moment?  I'm curious to know what you make of this."  

Ylva sighed lightly; reluctant at having to pause her work. Her feet dragged themselves after Fionn’s, placing her behind Jorek. The woman peered over Jorek’s shoulder, luckily the guy was short enough for her to do this, quietly listening, as Fionn answered him as well as anyone could, it’s not exactly easy to speak professionally when the man has been shot in the behind…

A man carrying a whip stepped lightly down the stairs, spotting him, immediatly Ylva’s guts starting to churn, he’s not injured why is he here? Jorek seemed to immediately know what the man wanted as he invited both Ylva and Fionn to join him on deck. Ylva glanced over at Mr Roach,

“I’ll be right there...I just need-”

"Jameson here should be able to manage whilst we're gone,"  Doctor Jorek under estimated how stubborn this woman was.  
"But I hope this doesn't last long.  If there's one thing I can't stand, it's to see a man inflict injury upon another. Still, I suppose that's why I'm not a captain,"  Ylva gazed at him and slowly nodded, realizing what was going to happen upstairs. Obviously one of the prisoners had overstepped the mark. She had seen whippings before; she never wanted to watch that kind of entertainment again. Her feet slowly followed her companions up the stairs. Her eyes caught a glance of Mr Roach, his eyes like glassy saucers as he stared at them, watching them as they left him to his own confused thoughts.

Her steps faltered and came to a halt. Her mind changed. Her toes quietly tiptoed their way back down the steps. Her head bent, avoiding Jameson's gaze, no doubt he was probably frowning at her, confused as to why she stayed after the others had left.

“Lady Shiana….”
Ylva started, not really sure how best to find out what she wanted to know.
“I wondered…has anything…you remember….bad events happening? Storms? Fights or kidnappings? What happened before the Cap… the Santhran said that you had to stay down here?”

Ylva’s hopeful eyes scanned Mr Roach’s, looking for some sort of sign. Her eyes searched for a flicker of recognition, a sign of change, but deep down she knew none would appear. The queer character just looked a little startled.

“Kidnappings? Gods, no, nothing that thrilling has ever happened in my life! I wish it would, indeed I do! I thought seafaring would be exciting, but it turns out not to be the case. I have no idea why the Santhran has placed me down in this retched place!”
A sullen expression crossed the face of the man, his lips pouting slightly. “It smells so foul, the sea air must be so refreshing, good for one as nervous as I, but sadly I am not allowed to go upstairs. Though I suppose…” He paused for moment, apparently a new thought had come to him. He leaned in closer to Ylva, and whispered, “These sailors are not gentile folk like you or I, brigands and scoundrels the lot! I suppose I’m kept downstairs so that I am protected from them. Chastity is a virtue that cannot be undone, one must make sure not to damage one’s reputation by mingling with such company. Men’s intentions are not always honest my dear! Remember that!”

Ylva did well to hide her real thoughts. She smiled and nodded, her mind wished for a scrubbing brush, so that it could remove various embarrassing thoughts from her head.

Her ears caught a loud woman’s cry coming from up on the deck. The healer took the opportunity to get away, muttering “Erm, well, yes, indeed, erm, oh look, needed….upstairs….” , then practically sprinting up the stairs, away from anymore little girly chats between herself and the delusional old codger, deciding that perhaps it was best to give up for now.

The rapid moving figures, the heat and brightness of the sun, the fresh salty air, the noise and voices of the crew, all this hit her and accosted her senses as she reached the top deck, making her slightly dizzy from the intake of it all at once. Her brain buzzed, making order of the information.

Fionn tending to Koka, Royce nearby, prisoners unchained, one whipped, one free, Rhia on the floor with…whip lashes? So she was the one who cried out, but why?
Ylva frowned. She stormed across the deck, heading towards Rhia. By Mari, what is going on…

Thud. Something collided into her shoulder. Wuh?-   Ylva steadied herself and turned to face the collider. It was one of the prisoners that had been ‘clapped-in-irons’, the shorter one, not the taller blond one.

Ylva just stared as they garbled at her in some strange Tharian dialect or other. They seemed slightly nervous, as if offending anyone would cause them to be thrown off the boat. Perhaps they thought this was the case.


Ylva waited for him to stop. Frankly he’d spoken too fast for her to understand any of it. Her Tharian was getting better but it still wasn’t that good. He seemed a bit uneasy at the moment, probably due to being 'clapped-in-irons' all that time… From what she could deduce he was in his early to mid twenties. He showed no upper body strength, thus he wasn’t a labourer, so a scholar perhaps? Yet how does a scholar find their way onto a boat… She fished his name from her memory.

"Erm, Fu Luft is it?"
The collision had caught her off guard, giving her no time to concentrate on her social skills. Her head was full of questions, but only one seemed to pop out,

“What does Preefee mean?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on June 27, 2009, 06:16:13 AM
The woman was small, barely taller than Fu, and rather lean. Her long arms dangled down the sides of her body like the air-roots of a strange tree Fu had once seen. Despite her delicate frame, she didn’t seem perturbed by having been bumped into. Her hazel eyes scrutinized Fu. They shone brightly out of her pale, gaunt face.

Fu had noticed that intelligent, calmly inquiring gaze earlier. This was the woman who had been in the company of the doctor and the imp during Fu’s arrest on deck. There was the axe, which had convinced him that she couldn’t be a mage; it was still hanging from her belt. Its blade was decorated with symbols or letters of a language that Fu had never encountered.

The woman remembered Fu, too:

”Erm, Fu Luft is it?” she said. Her accent was unfamiliar to Fu.

”That I be. I be thankful for the asking, I …”, he began. The woman, however, had followed her own train of thought and said:

”What does Preefee mean?”

Fu was confused. What a peculiar question to ask a perfect stranger! Well, during his sojourn on this ship of fools and ruffians, Fu had got used to being asked peculiar questions. Like all the others before, he would answer this one as well as he could.

”Privy? Why, mistress, that be a polite sort of word for an outhouse. Know ye? A bog.”

Fu observed the woman’s face. No comprehension lit up her eyes.

"A thunderbox?", he tried. He wondered how much Tharian she understood.

Fu was embarrassed. It seemed that he didn’t even know how to speak high-class Tharian properly anymore – the tongue that he, the former student in the Tower of the Skies,  sometimes thought of as snooty Ximaxian. Since he had arrived on this ship, and had been deprived of his freedom, his hat, his pipe, and most of the modest serenity he was, on a good day, able to attain, he had mostly spoken in his peasant tongue. To talk as his parents had taught him was the only thing he had left that gave him a feeling as if he was at home. And even if that feeling lasted only a blink each time, it was still good to feel it, among the uncertainty and the dangers that, for the time being, he had hope of escaping from.

Fu risked a quick glance over his shoulder, back at the whipmaster. The tall man still stood motionless, and didn't pay any attention to the little stowaway he had just shoved across the deck. But at least he wasn't using that whip of his, either! Fu bit his lip, wondering what to do, but decided that he'd probably make things worse if he tried anything. He turned toward the woman again, and said:

”Tell me, I prithee,”

Fu said with slow emphasis and smiled at the woman, hoping to establish a friendly understanding. He still didn't notice his misunderstanding.

”What be the name? I be meaning, thy name - your name?”

As Fu talked, his eyes were drawn to the axe and its ornaments once again. In his time at Ximax, Fu had seen parchments written in many languages, including some that nobody spoke anymore. Not that he could read any of those ancient scripts; but at least he was able to recognize a few of them. He was certain that he had never encountered anything like the symbols on that axe-blade. Maybe this woman was a mage, after all, albeit not a Ximaxian one?

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Rhia on June 29, 2009, 04:11:38 AM
"Doctor! Lieutenant! Would you come and have a look at this?"

Jorek went to the rail by Fjorwek at the call, a hint of unease in the captain's voice. Rhia, perched on an upended barrel, looked down at her forearm. A few white tails swirled on the skin, a creamy color cruelly gashed with several lines of pitiless red. Thinking of nothing in particular, she absentmindedly rubbed in the rest of the balm. Her thoughts were wispy and full of eddies, one notion looping translucently through her mind, only to fade or be intertwined with another to circle faintly round in the gently churning pool of contemplations. Snatches of the three's conversation at the rail floated down to her, fittingly frail and flimsy to match her thoughts. "...Just look at the tail!" "...Sly serpent? mean?" "...Snake and a monkey... See one!" The lieutenant's barking voice cut through the smoother ones of the captain and the doctor's. "...Don't like the look of it... Strangler!" Inattentively, Rhia shot a vaguely mystified glance at the three, shaking her head. Strange.

Rhia stood, readjusting the skirt of her brown traveling dress -made of serge, it wasn't exactly top notch quality, but it served her purposes well enough- and wandered over to the ship rail opposite the three gathered across from her. The sun beat down on the ship, and it was getting hotter. Surreptitiously she whisked air into her face with one slender ivory hand, the delicate digits snapping rhythmically. The girl fervently wished for her sun hat, made of straw but still stylish, or perhaps her light bonnet. Oooh, she hoped that she wasn't sweating too much. Made you reek, in addition to making your face all salty wet. Baveras! it was hot. Rhia's grey-eyed gaze drifted down to the water, gently tossing and rolling. Mmm, it looked cool and inviting. Perhaps the captain would, sometime, allow the passengers to take a dip in the sea. Even a minute or two would feel wonderful. Or maybe if they came upon a beach or something...

She turned around and surveyed the scene on deck. The captain, lieutenant, and doctor in a conspiratorial huddle, Ylva talking to the Luft prisoner, Sir Despana and the older elf-like man fencing... And of course the tall young prisoner, still strapped to the whipping post. Rhia's errant thoughts turned to him in unison. He was alone, still bearing the single mark of the whip. Apparently Fjorwek had been too preoccupied after she took the second lash to order the continuation of the flogging. She anxiously crossed the deck to him, fretfully twisting her hands. "Sir, be thou well?" Her agitated nerves commanded her to not wait for his answer, but continue talking in a rush of heavily accented words, for her R'unorian brogue, usually light, was returning at full force in response to her state of jumpy tension. "I pray ye, sirrah, what be thy name? I 'ope ye be feelin' a'right after th' lashin'. 'T 'urt meself bad enough, but I c'nnot imagine what 't felt like t' ye, bearin' th' full brunt a th' whip. Oh, be ye a'right? C'n I de anything fehr ye?..." Her words trailed off as Rhia sheepishly realized how fast and thickly she was speaking. She brought her eyes down and slowly attempted to pry her hands apart, painfully alert under the smiling blue-eyed gaze of the prisoner.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Koka Bentarm on June 29, 2009, 04:47:07 AM
The next thing that became real again in her world was the voice. It told her to breathe. In and out. In and out. As the voice talked on, Koka came slowly to herself, kneeling on the deck rather than falling up. One hand was gripping the railing of the ship; she forced herself to unfurl her fingers. As she did so, she realised that it was her bad right arm, and that it had been outstretched rather more than it should have. Damn these panic attacks. With something of a snarl on her face, she brought her arm close to her side, then drew it in and out a few times, though never farther than she knew was good for it. With her left hand, she held the wrist of the right, guiding it to do what she wanted it to do. It was with some satisfaction that she noticed that the pain went away fairly quickly

Only then did she notice that someone was sitting next to her... The mullog girl, Fionn. So she must have been the hand, and the voice. Koka had no idea how long she had been lost in her panic attack, or how long she had needed to come back to herself. All she knew was that this tiny girl, even smaller and a lot thinner than the dwarfess herself, had come to her aid and had sat with her and talked her through it. She looked at the mullog, and a warmth that was not quite a smile, but was very close to it spread in her brown eyes and over her dwarven features. I... ah... Thank you.

Standing up, Koka was careful to look at anything but the sky. She'd had no idea how much more intense the sky was in the open sea. For a moment she could not think about it anyway, as a wave of dizziness overcame her. This was a normal dizziness however, one that was induced by getting up too quickly after sitting for some time, and she welcomed it whole-heartedly, even as she grabbed the railing to keep herself from tumbling back down. When it passed, Koka bent to retrieve her fallen bow and glanced at Fionn again.

I would like to ask you some questions, but... I need to go inside, if you don't mind. Would you join me? With these words, Koka turned to go inside the ship, where she would not be confronted with the sky everywhere she looked. She rubbed over her chest, her lungs still hurting from the lack of air, though they were slowly getting back to normal. She was grateful to Fionn for bringing her back so quickly, relative to some of the attacks she'd had other times (especially in her first few months outside the caves).

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Ylva Rasmussan on June 29, 2009, 11:27:51 AM
Ylva didn't get the clarifying answer that she'd been hoping for.

”Privy? Why, mistress, that be a polite sort of word for an outhouse. Know ye? A bog.”

The woman listened, pretending to understand what he was saying, Bog!? What is bog?...hmm…swamp! It’s a swamp! So preefee means swamp…

"A thunderbox?"   He suggested helpfully, trying to explain more. Ylva’s head nodded, her calm blank expression hopefully suggesting that she knew what he was going on about.

”Tell me, I prithee-” Wait a second…’I swamp’, is that a proper sentence? Is that slang for something….does he smell of swamp? Why he is telling me he smells….no I must be wrong, damn this barbarian language… Her face showed none of her inner confusion, though it was now slightly flushed from embarrassment at her lack of language skills.

The soft friendly smile that accompanied his bewildering talk helped to reassure her. ”What be the name? I be meaning, thy name - your name?”  

Ylva noticed as he glanced down at the blade-axe attached to her belt. Perhaps he was a scholar and knew of glyphs?

“My name is Ylva, Ylva Rasmussan….” 
Her bony hand shot out, offering to shake his own. “May I ask, are you a scholar? You don’t look like a warrior, I mean er,-”
Ylva realized her own bluntness, “I mean you look more bookish….” 

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: fionn on June 29, 2009, 06:38:46 PM
Koka seemed to be getting past her sudden terror, and Fionn settled back, sitting quietly on the deck to watch the dwarf’s recovery intently. He was moving his arm strangely – cramp? No, looks stiffer, a more practised movement… either way, that means he’s thinking about other things now. He’ll be fine.

“I... ah... Thank you.”

Fionn smiled, sharp teeth glittering briefly in the bright sunlight, and shrugged good-naturedly. As the dwarf got up, she noticed how he resolutely kept his gaze low. She looked up, searching for the source of this dangerous fear. There was nothing up there, just a big, empty blue sky. Not even a seagull, so it wasn’t a bird thing.  Watching the movements of the dwarf, she got to her own feet. Koka didn’t look old, and he didn’t move old neither, but now she could see where she’d gotten the impression from – there were aspects of him, this strong, robust-looking dwarf, which seemed uncertain and fragile and a long way from home. fionn wondered if she ever looked like that.

“I would like to ask you some questions, but... I need to go inside, if you don't mind. Would you join me?”

Fionn glanced hesitantly around the boat. The captain, doctor and lieutenant had wandered off to look at something in the water, presumably leaving Ylva to look after the two with lash-wounds. Rhia seemed to be trying to help not-very smiley-right-now, and nobody looked on the point of collapse. She nodded to herself and hurried after Koka.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Fu Luft on June 30, 2009, 04:52:48 AM
Fu took the hand of this Ylva Rassmussan and shook it, maybe a bit too eagerly. After all the rough handling he had suffered ever since his arrival in Ciosa last night, it was comforting to be facing a person with good manners at last – or rather, Fu corrected himself, to be facing a person with manners he  could understand. Also, to his relief, it turned out that this polite stranger did speak quite a bit of Tharian, after all!

“May I ask, are you a scholar? You don’t look like a warrior, I mean er – I mean you look more bookish….”

”By Grothar, I tell ye, Ylva Rassmussan. There be more books have wearied these eyes of mine than there be taenish in Manthria. And what a fat lot of good all that reading be to me on this here ship! If a warrior I was, I would have never ended up here and never got into this whole blackhog sty of a mess. Master Mallorix here…” – Fu pointed backwards over his shoulder at his former fellow prisoner – ”be whipped all bloody and I be too blame. And that brave young lady!”

A melancholic fold appeared above Fu’s eyebrows.

”I only be hoping we be getting to a harbour soon. Do ye know, Ylva Rassmussan, when this shall be? Tonight, mayhap?”

Fu’s eyes widened with hope and expectation while he looked at his new acquaintance. As an afterthought, he added:

”Where are ye bound, anyways, if I not be rude for the asking?”

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Hylphán on July 24, 2009, 04:51:58 PM
     During the quick attacks, Hylphán studied his opponents movements, looking for telltale signs and indicators that would precede the man's attacks.  Hylphán easily blocked the first few blows, knowing that Malavon was studying him as well.  He also knew that the attacks would become increasingly sophisticated and forceful as time went on.  He had been in many such practices with men younger than himself, and unless they were incredibly patient and secure in their abilities, they usually let anger get the best of them.  This young man appeared to have some patience, but Hylphán wondered how long it would last.  The next exchange of blows should give him the indicators he was looking for about the man's temperament.
     Hylphán responded to his taunt of "old man" with a slight smile and a light chuckle.  We shall see who the old man is here, Hylphán returned.  Let us find who can outlast the other.
     Hylphán raised his free hand in front of him, palm up, and beckoned Malavon towards him with a slight curling gesture of his fingers.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on August 21, 2009, 09:59:46 PM
   Malavon watched Hylphan’s response to his taunt, and saw the old man’s plan.  Obviously, he meant to wear him down by staying on the defensive, waiting for the younger man to exhaust himself, and then take advantage of it.  Somewhere in the distance, the ship’s bell began to ring  “Time to finish this,” Malavon thought to himself, deciding that a sudden and brutal attack should do the job.

   Launching forwards, the wizard’s bane began a blistering offensive; relentlessly slashing at Hylphan; changing the angles of attack constantly, and pushing forwards in a fury.  If this didn't completely overwhelm his opponent, then maybe nothing would!

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Hylphán on August 26, 2009, 04:36:50 PM
Malavon's response was as Hylphán had expected. 
     It took Hylphán's full attention to ward off the onslaught of blows that Malavon threw at him, but it afforded him a good chance to see a small hesitation as the man changed from attacks on the right side, to his overhead blows. 
     Hylphán watched closely, and the next time Malavon went through the change of attack angle, he deftly slid his blade down his opponents' and through the handguard.  With a quick twist, the man's sword flew from his grasp, and stuck with a loud thud in the nearby railing. 
     "I am indeed impressed Master Malavon" Hylphán said, bowing slightly in his opponent's direction.  "I have met your level of skill only three times in my lifetime.  You have excellent balance and control of the blade." 
     He stepped forward offering his hand in congratulations to Malavon.  Perhaps we could learn a little from each other, as you used several combinations I have never encountered before, and scarcely repelled." Hylphán watched the man's face to gauge his reaction to his offered hand.

Title: Re: Chapter Two - All Aboard!
Post by: Yurie Yileen on September 04, 2009, 06:37:54 AM
   Malavon reached out and shook the proffered hand; he didn't like the taste of defeat, but he had to admit that Hylphan had bested him.

   "We should have a rematch," he said, his voice devoid of emotion, "on dry land; I'm sure things will be very different."  A cold smile played across his lips.  "But I believe we've been left behind.  It seems as though eating is more important than training on board this ship.  Maybe we should join them?"

   Malavon bowed slightly to Hylphan, gave his practice sword to the marine who had been judging the contest, and then turned away sharply, heading towards the captain's quarters.

   The sound of music and revelry was coming from behind the closed door, which made Malavon sneer to himself.  "What kind of fools eat and make merry when they're on their way to the grave?" he thought to himself as he entered the chamber.  "I only hope they aren't foolish enough to ask me to sing!"