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Author Topic: Chapter Three - Stranger Things Happen At Sea  (Read 31234 times)
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Ylva Rasmussan
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2009, 05:02:35 AM »

Ylva didn’t touch the luxurious spread of food, the glistening fruit didn’t appeal to her while her mind was in its current pensive mood. One elbow leaned against the table, propping up her head with her left hand. The other hand traced an imaginary spiral onto woodwork of the tabletop.

Distant, not listening to the captain’s words of welcome, the healer leaned over and examined the drink that lay before her. Suspicious of the pale clear liquid, Ylva sniffed at the alluring scent drifting from it.

”Well, so here I be,” Turning away from her detailed examination of the drink, Ylva found that Fu had sat next to her. ”Blessed appetite be thine! Please ye, who be this Jurn Ranchkoon the captain be speaking about?”  

Ylva deciphered enough of the scholar’s thick accent to answer his query,

“Jorn Ranskjun,” With great difficulty, Ylva pronounced the man’s name properly, “is the one paying us to go to some big unexplored jungle, to dead city, to get him some treasure. Sounds exciting hmm?” 

The healer slumped back in her chair, adding quietly, “Though this little adventure is not as simple as I thinked it would be-”
Ylva fell silent as Fjorwek asked the group a courteous question. The healer listened as the former prisoner sat next her, volunteered a cheery answer, and then asked his own question, the same question he’d asked Ylva.

”But please ye be telling me: when shall we be arriving at Queen’s Harbour?”


Fjorwek gave a more informed answer than her, but then the last bit of the Captain’s reply really surprised the woman.

"It's not everyday that one meets a real magician!"

Puzzled, her head tilted slowly, her wide eyes flicking from the seaman to the supposed conjurer. Hah, scholar indeed, did he lie? Or did I just ask the wrong questions? Ylva had never met a mage before, clerics yes, but that wasn’t like the heathen elemental wizardry that Santharians were said to practice.

The captain started a conversation with Fionn, and Ylva turned back to Mr Luft, with an expression of both amusement and annoyance at the previous misinformation.

“A sorcerer, and a scholar? Your life must have been very complicated…”
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Fu Luft
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2009, 12:38:24 AM »

“It all depends on the wind, Mr Luft,” the captain said.

“With good weather, we can be at Queen's Harbour soon enough.  I don't like to say exactly how long, for fear that by doing so I'd curse our voyage!  But I wonder, what exactly will you do once we've arrived there?  I'm sure that it's a long way from your family and home."

Fu touched his locket, suspended on a chain from his neck. It contained a lock of his daughter Bronya’s hair. He’d been a long way from her for a year now. Did she still remember him? Fu doubted it. The last time he had seen her, she hadn’t even been able to speak a single word yet.

He often daydreamed of the moment when he returned to her and her mother Sillis. In his dreams, he was a rich man. He would have a cart drawn by two horses, and he would drive to the shack in the seediest part of Ximax, where Sillis and Bronya lived. Sillis would stand in the door, with Bronya on her arm, and both mother and daugher would look at the smiling man in a fine hat, and not recognize Fu, whom they had known to be poor and notoriously unlucky in life. But he would wave to them, and say their names, and give them doch nuts and kao-kao, and finally their faces would light up with joy: “Fu,” Sillis would whisper. “Daddy,” Bronya would cry. They would hug and kiss and weep tears of joy. Then Fu would help them onto the cart, climb up himself, and click his tongue at the horses, who would begin to trot and take the small family out of Ximax, away from poverty and dereliction, into a golden sunset and a future of love and tranquility.

Well, fat chance. For the moment, Fu didn’t have a penny, and this wretched ship was taking him ever further away from where he wanted to be. He still hadn't found out where Queen’s Harbour was - and for the moment, he was too embarrassed to ask. But if his ears had not mistaken him, it must be far in the south, for Ylva Rassmussan had mentioned a jungle.

“Jorn Ranskjun,” she had said, “is the one paying us to go to some big unexplored jungle, to dead city, to get him some treasure. Sounds exciting hmm?”

Sounds terrifying, thought Fu. So these people be mercenaries, or explorers in the pay of some rich man? I be wishing I could be rich enough to be hiring people to be getting treasure for me – then I could be bringing the treasure to Sillis and Bronya, and all would be well. But then again, if I be rich enough to be paying people, I wouldn’t be needing a treasure in the first place.

Ylva interrupted Fu’s thoughts with a question. She had heard the captain call him a magician.

“A sorcerer, and a scholar?” she said. ”Your life must have been very complicated…”

There was a harsh tone in her voice. Was she angry at him? Maybe she didn’t trust wizards – many people didn’t. Sometimes, they even had a good reason.

”I say, Ylva Rassmussan! ‘Complicated’ be not even the beginning of a description. My life be a sorry mess. But yes, I be a mage. A former student of Ximax I be. I was amusing the captain with a little harmless demonstration earlier. And a piece of luck that was. It be the reason I be a free from my prisoner’s shackles now. Be ye interested in magic at all, Ylva Rassmussan?”

Fu rather suspected that this woman knew a thing or two about magic. Did she not have mysterious symbols on her terrifying axe-blade? Fu pointed at the weapon and said:

”What language be them letters, if I not be rude for the asking?”
« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 12:49:55 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

Rhia
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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2009, 07:12:40 AM »

...Heh. I wonder how long this adventure will be, anyway. Might make for a long ballad. Rhia stared into her glass full of water, then, lifting it up to her strawberry lips, took a long drink out of it. Well, at this point all I could do is come up with the chorus, and maybe the first verse. After all, we've had the banquet... That's about half a verse, or maybe even a whole one, depending on how much I want to say... Oh, yes, actually, that very well might take quite a few verses, if the rate is half a verse per adventurer. Mm. And I wonder how much I should devote to myself. She bit her lip and rolled her eyes. Just one stanza, if she was going to be fair. ...I should probably begin writing about the banquet. And actually, the admission of the snake-man, the hairy wolf-man, and the wolves onto the ship was more than worthy of a verse. They-

The sound of her name being spoken quickly ceased Rhia's stream of thoughts. Looking up from her apparent contemplation of her glass's contents, she found that it was the captain speaking. He seemed, she thought, just a tiny bit anxious. But then, she could just be imagining it. After all, a man who has no qualms about whipping a poor, helpless young man would certainly not be nervous about having lunch. She tossed her head angrily, half-pretending not to listen to Fjorwek's words; feigning ignoring just enough to make sure he knew she hadn't forgiven him yet, but not exactly too much, so that she wasn't being obviously impolite. "I'd also very much like to play for you after lunch. Maybe Rhia would be so kind as to join me? I keep a selection of instruments over there." Fjorwek pointed his tanned finger at a wood chest in a corner. "And I'd love to hear them played properly for a change!"

Well, then, since he had specifically addressed her while he was talking, etiquette demanded that Rhia make a civil answer to him. But there were two courses she could take. She could either bail out with a deliberately transparent excuse, or she could stiffly agree and play something that referenced the lashing the captain had inflicted on the prisoner. (She still didn't know his name.) Opting for the second, Rhia inclined her head toward Fjorwek and said starchily, "If 'twould please ye, sir."

Suddenly she was hungry. There was a beast prowling around in her stomach, and it demanded to be fed. Rhia took a fruit from a platter in the middle of the table and quickly sliced it up with her knife. She ravenously put piece after piece of juicy fruit flesh into her mouth, drinking all the liquid squeezed out from the fruit's meat. Why didn't anybody say something in response to Fjorwek?
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Ylva Rasmussan
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« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2009, 12:54:15 AM »

”I say, Ylva Rassmussan! ‘Complicated’ be not even the beginning of a description. My life be a sorry mess. But yes, I be a mage. A former student of Ximax I be. I was amusing the captain with a little harmless demonstration earlier. And a piece of luck that was. It be the reason I be a free from my prisoner’s shackles now. Be ye interested in magic at all, Ylva Rassmussan?”


The pale woman frowned, ignoring Fu’s repeated mispronunciation of her full name, a v-shaped crease appearing across her face. What is magic suppose to be anyway? Are miracles magic? Are rituals magic? The noble blacksmiths of her homelands were said to imprison magic within the weapons they crafted. The Smithy and its secret magics were regarded as no place for a woman. In the Santerran lands it was worse.

A faint shadow of a smile appeared on her gaunt face, “You’re lucky to have trained in…Ximax…In Lhindal a wizard could only work outside the temples if he didn’t mind losing several vital organs. Santerran priestesses don’t like competition.” Memories of lime trees drifted through her mind, threatening to break through; luckily Fu asked a new question.

”-What language be them letters, if I not be rude for the asking?”


The murmillion looked down at the blade-axe her father had given her. Intricate glyphs were etched down its side, they gleamed beautifully, but Ylva knew their real practical purpose, to keep poison on the blade. The beauty was just a by product.

“Oh those…my home language, murmillion, er, they are glyphs, erm, kind of… sacred symbols. Not magic, more…spiritual, my family was..is very religious, it is just a prayer to Mari, it’d be hard to translate since meanings constantly change…”


Ylva didn’t feel brave enough to tell Fu that the inscription was actually her family’s ‘heartwarming’ war motto about embracing the enemy and ripping their windpipes out their very throats. The healer decided that this sort of thing wasn’t best mentioned.

The woman prodded suspiciously at the foreign looking fruit spread about the table in front of her.

“So why did you leave Ximax, Luft?”
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 07:34:48 AM by Ylva Rasmussan » Logged
Mallorix Volinkov
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2009, 08:27:28 PM »

     Mallorix, happy that he was free at last, descended to the galleys to bring up lunch for the travelers. As he waited for the cook to emerge from his foul smelling kitchen, the young man took some time to ponder the reason why those people were there. Maybe they were mere travelers, but perhaps they were something more. Adventurers like those in the stories. Suddenly, being on this ship wasn't so bad after all. Until the kitchen door opened and the foul smell of burnt rotten eggs and hardtack descended upon him. Mallorix quickly took the steaming food from the cook and slowly walked up the stairs, careful not to spill any food and get himself in trouble..........again.
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"I despise merchants. All of them are fat, rich men who yell about things and take your money."
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Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2009, 09:48:16 PM »

   Captain Fjorwek cleaned his fingers and wiped his mouth with a napkin, and then sat back in his chair, quite satisfied.  The meal had been delicious, and as he looked around the table, he saw that his guests were enjoying it as much as he had.  Most were engaged in quiet conversation as they ate, getting to know each other better.  “Seems a shame to disturb them,” the captain thought to himself, “but a little music would surely be welcome!”

   After pushing his plate aside, Kari Fjorwek stood and moved over to the wooden chest he had pointed out to Rhia earlier.

   “I hope that there’s something suitable for you to play in here, Rhia,” he said as he undid a latch and lifted the lid.  “I’m pretty much limited to this.”

   The captain carefully reached into the chest and produced a finely crafted fiddle.  There were various other instruments inside, all of a similar high quality.  After taking a bow to go with the fiddle, the captain addressed Rhia again.

   “Please, have a look, and choose whatever inspires you most!”
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Rhia
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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2009, 06:58:15 AM »

Rhia was incensed and exasperated that the captain didn’t seem to notice her calculated stiffness. The captain’s manner, if anything, seemed to be only more polite and cheerful than before. Her grey eyes scrutinized him carefully. Or was he choosing to ignore her starchy woodenness to purposefully madden her? …Oh, blast him, singing goddesses, she couldn’t tell!

Dabbing neatly at her mouth with her own napkin, Rhia moved her chair back —Ach, but if there was a single real gentleman in the room I wouldn’t have to be moving it back myself— and moved, face impassive, over to the chest where Fjorwek stood with fiddle and bow in his strong sun-browned hands. She gave the instrument a skeptical look. Fjorwek? A fiddle? She wouldn’t have put the two together. She’d imagined him playing more of a… swarthystaff, perhaps. With a shrugging up-and-down of her dramatic eyebrows she turned her gaze to the contents of the chest, several instruments of high quality. Singing goddesses! How did Fjorwek get hold of instruments of this caliber? He surely can’t be that rich… Exhibiting another one of those quick and fickle changes of mindset that were so typical of Rhia, her thinking became practical. Why would he bring instruments of good quality onto a ship? The changing climates and humidities will only warp them and make them constantly out of tune… Only reason I brought my own instruments is because I need to write the ballad. And even then I’ll still have to tune them over and over again! Rhia’s brows furrowed crossly with another thought. Well, at least the warped wood won’t be that much of a loss to me; my lute and panpipes are only mediocre. Stroking the edge of a smallish lyre with one long ivory finer, a small sigh escaped from her lips, most of the stiffness faded away by the chest full of instruments. Will I ever see the day that I get a real, quality set of panpipes?

There were no panpipes to be seen inside the chest, but there was, mercifully, a lute. Gingerly Rhia picked it up, settled it into the playing position, and tentatively struck shimmering chord. It was much more receptive to the touch than her own. Still feeling out the instrument, she began to play the chords for the first song that came to mind, a whimsical, pleasant tune. The words came gently to her lips, and she sang them softly, almost under her breath.

“Raindrops, raindrops, fall from the sky
Drip from my chin, oh, drip from my nose
Please don’t let a single soul know
That my lad bid me goodbye.

“Raindrops, raindrops, plunge from the sky
Cover my tears, oh, cover my eyes
Please don’t let a single soul know
That my love has made me cry.”


Rhia let the dappled, mellifluous chords of the lute melt away as she finished the song. Her concentration faded away, she glimpsed Fjorwek, and immediately her visage became impassive again. She stared aloofly at the man, her bearing cold and stiff. “Any particular song you’d like to play, Captain?”
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Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2009, 06:11:28 AM »

   Captain Fjorwek let Rhia's gentle voice wash over him like a warm, southern sea.  Her dextrous fingers worked magic on the lute, filling the cabin with resplendent chords and shimmering notes.  It was a truly beautiful piece of music that she performed, and the captain couldn't help but smile in appreciation.

   Soon though, the warmth of her music had faded away, leaving only a face which was shrouded in a cold, indifferent aloofness.  Captain Fjorwek cleared his throat slightly, and averted his eyes from Rhia's stony gaze.  Addressing the rest of the group, he praised the young lady's talent.

   "That was a remarkable performance; I believe it's the first time my lute has been played so expertly."  He shifted his attention to the instrument that Rhia was still holding.  "It astonishes me to think that it's the same instrument that only last night was whining and screeching under my own untalented hands!  I think maybe I should stick to what I know."  The captain indicated his fiddle.

   "I have a reel for you.  It's also about leaving a loved one; though in this case, it's a place and not a person.  It's a very popular tune with us sailors, though I'm not sure any of you here know it."

   The captain placed the fiddle under his chin, and raised the bow to begin his performance.

   "It's called, 'Farewell Ciosa'; I hope you like it."

   Having said this, the captain began to play his reel.  It was faster than Rhia's song, and it seemed to be a little too merry for a song about departure.  The beat was strong, almost demanding that anybody listening to it tap their feet, nod their heads or clap their hands.  The captain was stamping his own foot on the floor as his fingers danced along.  A wide grin covered his face as he took the song into a more technical section, firing rapid runs of notes into the air.

   Once he had brought the reel to an end with a soaring sweep of his bow, Captain Fjorwek let out a whoop of pleasure.

   "Ah," he exclaimed, his face slightly flushed, "I love that song!  But it's so much better when it's accompanied!  Can anybody here play a drum?"
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Mallorix Volinkov
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« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2009, 09:14:35 AM »

After Mallorix served the food, he quietly moved away to a corner until he was asked for. He hoped that this voyage would turn out to be more interesting. Yes, more interesting indeed.
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"I despise merchants. All of them are fat, rich men who yell about things and take your money."
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Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2009, 12:52:12 AM »

   Captain Fjorwek never did find out if any of his fellow diners could play a drum, for almost as soon as he had asked the question, one of the ship’s crew entered the cabin, made his obedience, and said, “Sir, sail sighted!”

   “Which colours?” the captain asked in reply.

   “They’re flying a stormcloaks flag, sir.”  The seaman paused briefly, as though weighing up in his mind whether or not he should give any more information.  “But they’re luffing about as though there ain’t nobody at the helm, sir.”

   Captain Fjorwek put his fiddle down, and made his apologies to the group; it seemed as though this eventful journey was just about to take another unexpected turn.

   “You’ll excuse me,” he said with a smile, “but duty calls.  If any of you would like to join me on the poop deck, please, feel free.”  He tuned to Mallorix, and extended him an invitation, also.  “Come with me, boy; you might learn something!”

   Up on the poop deck, Lieutenant Ustaskjan was peering into the distance with a small scope.  When she heard the captain approach, she turned to face him, and saluted.

   “There she is, captain; not too far away, now.  I wouldn’t have bothered you with it, but there’s something amiss.  Looks like there’s nobody at the helm to me; she’s just drifting about.”

   Captain Fjorwek lifted his own scope, and homed in on the enigmatic boat.  She was a typical merchant vessel; not as big as the Arrow, but large enough to bring home a decent profit.  A stormcloak house flag was flying proudly atop her main mast, and at first glance, she seemed to be a picture of normality.  But there was something definitely wrong with the way she was moving.  There was no sense of control or direction.  Indeed, it was clear to the captain’s seasoned eyes that the lieutenant was right; there couldn’t be anybody at the helm.

   “How curious,” the captain said as he lowered his scope.  “I believe you’re right, lieutenant; there doesn’t appear to be anyone in control of her.”  He rubbed his chin briefly, deep in thought.

   “Helmsman, there!” he called.  “Take us over to her, if you please!”

   An affirmative, “aye, cap’n”, came back in response, and the Southern Arrow leaned over sharply as she altered her course.

   “Lieutenant,” the captain said quietly, “I think we should be prepared for the worst.  Pirates are known to work these waters, and I don’t like the look of this at all.  If it is a trap, then I want us to be ready; they won’t catch Kari Fjorwek with his trousers down!”

“Aye, aye, sir!”  Lieutenant Ustaskjan said with a salute and a grin.  “I’ll get the lads ready!  And maybe some of our new recruits could make themselves useful, too?”
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Mallorix Volinkov
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« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2009, 07:16:56 AM »

Mallorix was standing quietly in the corner when one of the ship's seasoned crew members burst into the cabin. The young man was startled, so he backed away just a little more. Then, the sailor said, "Sir, sail sighted!"

The man saluted, and awaited a response. Captain Fjorwek immediately asked, "Which Colors?"

“They’re flying a stormcloaks flag, sir.”  The man paused, as if pondering something. He made up his mind, and added, "But they’re luffing about as though there ain’t nobody at the helm, sir.”

Mallorix jumped back and ran into the wall. A ship with nobody commanding it? That ought to be bad. The Captain apologised to his guests as if this sort of thing happened regularly.

“You’ll excuse me,” he said with a smile, “but duty calls.  If any of you would like to join me on the poop deck, please, feel free.”

Mallorix was surprised at what happened next.

The captain turned to him and remarked, “Come with me, boy; you might learn something!”

Mallorix replied, "Of course, Sir! I'd be honoured!"

The young man was truly surprised that his captain had forgiven him so quickly for hiding Fu. Maybe this voyage might get interesting after all....

Mallorix climbed up the stepladder to the deck and went up to the Captain, who was standing next to his Lieutenant. He came just in time to hear a part of the conversation.

"....there doesn’t appear to be anyone in control of her. Helmsman, there! Take us over to her, if you please!"

The young man stared at the other ship, which indeed did look like it was going in a random direction. His thinking was interrupted when the captain spoke again.

“Lieutenant,” he said quietly, “I think we should be prepared for the worst.  Pirates are known to work these waters, and I don’t like the look of this at all.  If it is a trap, then I want us to be ready; they won’t catch Kari Fjorwek with his trousers down!”


“Aye, aye, sir!” The Lieutenant said with a salute.  “I’ll get the lads ready!  And maybe some of our new recruits could make themselves useful, too?”

"Well how can I help?" Mallorix immediately replied.
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"I despise merchants. All of them are fat, rich men who yell about things and take your money."
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Fu Luft
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« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2009, 02:34:51 AM »

The little wind wizard was exceedingly glad to be sitting at a table and to be having a civil conversation with someone who neither insulted him nor threatened him with imprisonment or drowning. This pleasure far outweighed any discomfort he still felt – such as the confusion resulting from the fact that he didn’t understand much of what Ylva was telling him. Lhindal? Santerran Priestesses? Murmillion? Missing organs and letters that change their meanings? This woman clearly came from further away than Fu’s knowledge reached. Fu would have liked, for politeness’ sake, to find a suitable question to ask. But there as a growing rumble in his stomach, which rather distracted his mind. In fact, just as Ylva was explained that her “glyphs” (her what?) represented a prayer to Mari (to whom?), his stomach growled so noisily that he feared to be attracting the attention of everyone at the table.

Yet the company were either too immersed in their respective conversations to hear, or too courteous to embarrass Fu by letting on that they had noticed anything. With a sigh of relief, the wizard extended his arm and was just about to grab one of the juicy-looking  fruits on the table, when a Ylva’s question made him flinch as if someone had poured a bucket of cold sea water over his head (and Fu didn’t find it difficult at all to remember what that   felt like).

”So why did you leave Ximax, Luft?

”I …, I be …. That be to say,” Fu stammered.

If he had ever had a smoothly evasive answer to this question, it had been driven out of him without trace by the harrowing experience of being on this ship. Where was he to start? Should he tell Ylva, a perfect stranger, about his friendless existence at the Ximaxian Academy? About the melancholy that followed the news of his father’s death, and how it had affected his study of magic? About his dalliance with a prostitute? When he did manage to speak coherently, he himself was surprised at the plainness and honesty of his own words:

”My little daughter be living in Ximax, with her mother. They be very poor. I was leaving Ximax because I was hoping to be earning money in Ciosa, so I could be feeding and clothing them, Ylva Rasmussan. That be seeming very unlikely now, though. If this ship …”

Someone started plucking the strings a lute. Fu stopped in mid-sentence, not wanting to cause offence by talking over the music. He made an apologetic face at Ylva, and turned his head to see who was playing. It was the kind and brave little lady from this morning. When she started to sing, Fu forgot everything else. For the duration of two stanzas, the music and the words carried him away to a different land.

Fu loved music. Like his magic, music travelled through the air in gentle, mysterious movements. And this lady knew how to play and to sing, oh yes. Fu could hear the raindrops in the cascading arpeggios of the lute, and the pain of a rejected lover’s soul in the lady’s voice. I be wondering whether it be Mallorix she be singing about, thought Fu.

After the lady had played the last notes, the captain himself took a fiddle and played a lively reel. It wasn't long, however, before he was called on deck. Apparently, a mast had been sighted.

Fu decided not to follow him, for now. Why would he be interested in yet another blasted ship bobbing about on the sea? It was high time to eat, as his stomach plaintively confirmed. He politely nodded at Ylva and reached for a fried tail of some water creature or other. He hoped he hadn’t put his new acquaintance off his company by revealing his poverty, and decided to steer the conversation into safer, shallower waters.

”That home of yours be far away, I be thinking, Ylva Rasmussan. Be the food round here to the liking of yours, then?”
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 02:01:03 AM by Fu Luft » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2009, 04:35:22 PM »

  Hylphán followed Malavon into the captain's cabin, where the rest of the group were in the middle of a meal at the food laden table.
  As he came in, he chose the nearest empty seat so as not to disturb the others - enthralled as they were by the young woman's song.  He listened intently as she sang a song that was almost as beautiful as the elven music he grew up with.
  Looking around the table at the variety of foodstuffs available, he thought to himself "Just like our patron to only provide the very best money could buy."  It always amazed him, the way the man was not afraid to flaunt his wealth every chance he got... "Or was it just the way he lived his life - if you've got it, use it."  Hylphán thought.  He had met few men who lived that way... willing to spend, with no thought to the cost.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 04:35:50 PM by Hylphán » Logged

Fair winds and following seas till our paths cross again.

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« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2009, 07:33:23 AM »

   “That’s more like it!”  Captain Fjorwek said in response to Mallorix’s eager offer to help.  “I’m sure a big, strong lad like you could be of use on the catapults.  But first of all, I think we should inform the others; come on!”

   The captain took one last look at the strange ship, and then quickly headed back into his cabin, where his guests were still dining.

   “I’m sorry to interrupt your meal, but we’ve spotted another ship.”

   The captain looked around the table to see if he had got everybody’s attention, noticing as he did so that Hylphan and Malavon had joined the group again.

   “It would appear as though there's nobody at the helm of the newly sighted ship, and that gives me some cause for concern.  Pirates are known to work these waters, and it may well be a trap.”

   Again the captain paused as he watched the expressions on each person’s face to read their reaction.

   “And because of this, I’d like you all to join me on the quarterdeck as soon as you are able.  We’ll approach the vessel with care, and with our catapults armed and ready to fire.  Once we’re close enough, and if we haven’t made any kind of contact, then we’ll send a boarding party over.  Those of you who would like some excitement can board with them!  Are there any questions?”
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Royce Brodlyn Kristoph
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« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2009, 03:55:09 AM »

The excitement on deck with the new passengers and the wolves had reminded Royce that being alone out on the sea did not mean safety.  When the captain and the other guests retired below for lunch, Royce decided to stay on deck.  Partially due to his stomach still being not fully recovered from last night's excesses, and partly because he had an ill feeling.  Instead, he took an interest in the sailors, and the jobs that they performed.  He was impressed by the diligent way they performed their duties.  It was a testament to the captain, and the discipline seen on the ship.  He was particularly impressed with the men who scampered up the ropes and worked the rigging and sails.  

Trying not to get in the way, he attempted to help the sailors in their work.  He pulled on ropes, and tied knots.  He found out in short order, that it was tougher than it appeared at first glance.  His hands were not soft; smithing and weapon training had seen to that, but handling this rough rope was something his hands were not used to, and he could feel it.  Still, he was not to be shamed in front of the men and continued on.  He would gain some measure of respect from them.

He even climbed up into the rigging, which proved a little more difficult for him and his stiff knee.  Still, he went up to the first yardarm.  The most difficult part was ensuring that his boots made contact with the ropes with the rolling of the ships.  One of the sailors had then given him advice; take off the boots.  As absurd as it sounded, it proved to be great advice.  With bare feet, he could feel the rope better and curl his feet and toes better around it.  It greatly improved his balance.

"Ship ahoy!" caught Royce's attention as he rested on the yard, and his gaze followed the pointing arm of the sailor who had yelled out from the crowsnest.  Royce stared at the ship, watching it as it sailed- no, that wasn't the word- drifted towards them.  It appeared to be deserted.  Strange, and ominous.

He climbed off the yard and started down the rigging until he reached the deck.  Finding his boots, he pulled them on quickly and made his way to the railing closest to the drifting ship.  Unconsciously, his hand rested on the pommel of his sword.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 04:54:22 AM by Royce Brodlyn Kristoph » Logged

Royce

Violence is not the answer.  But, it will buy you time to think of one.
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