Thursday, April 5, 2007

Sigrid's Journal 10 - Piracy and False Witness


Thirdmonth 15

I'm not in the greatest of moods today. Soern accidentally dropped the trapdoor on my head, and I've had the nastiest headache because of it. And it has been raining again. I don't particularly like rain. It's all... wet. We're in the ocean, why by the bitter suns do we need more water?


Thirdmonth 16

Today was a better day than yesterday, however, it is still raining. Captain Blank predicts the rain will stop tonight. I hope he's right. I made another wager with Mark about Blank's prediction. Even if he's been cheating me during our wagers before, there's no way he can cheat about the weather. I do hope it stops raining tonight so I can finally beat Mark at one of these wagers.


Thirdmonth 17

It's still raining. Mark is a little richer, and I am a little poorer. By Malleus' Beard, I will beat him one of these days. An otherwise uneventful day.


Thirdmonth 18

How is there still rain in the sky? So much has fallen, I would think it would have run out already. I heard Blank arguing with Soern today about his spell that creates food and water. Blank is concerned that our rum supply is “dangerously low” and wanted Soern to create more. Soern, however, claimed he couldn't create rum. Blank was upset about this, exclaiming something about “Rum being more important than any cursed food and water.” He also called him a “little worthless biter,” but I think that was the soberness talking more than anything else.


Thirdmonth 19

It isn't raining anymore, but it's suddenly really cold. I think the Captain's bad mood over our diminishing rum supply has caused him to bewitch the world or something.


Thirdmonth 20

Blank says the winds are Niashra's Gift this week, and that we should arrive back at Ao-Manasa within a day or two. I think he's just trying really hard to get back to port before we run out of alcohol. It's probably wishful thinking. It took us weeks to get to the Temple of the Hor Quan. It hasn't even been one week since we turned around to come back. Mark and I made another bet about Captain Blank's prediction. There is no possible way we will arrive within two days, so I felt comfortable betting against the Captain's guess. I will win this time for sure.


Thirdmonth 21

We ran into a merchant ship today and the Captain decided to attack them. I didn't think it was really the best course of action, but I trust Blank's judgment enough not to speak up. We pulled up along side them and I tried to board their ship. Unfortunately, my “piratey skills” are lacking and I landed in the ocean. Again. The next thing I knew, there was this loud wooshing sound. I pulled myself aboard the merchant ship and found that the whole crew (except the Captain) had apparently fallen over dead. I turned around and looked at Soern, who had a smug look on his face. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate magic users? We tied the Captain up and knocked him out. We looted the ship, getting a pretty good haul. Blank then made the decision that we had to kill him so he wouldn't turn us in to the Diamond Throne. I was a little hesitant. He was an innocent man, but if I helped him, he'd only tell the others what we'd done. I cut his throat. It was only the second time I'd murdered someone. It didn't feel good. I've never really liked killing people. Sometimes it's necessary, and I'm not entirely opposed to killing, but I don't really like it. Murdering someone feels much worse than justly killing them. I got this awful feeling in my stomach and didn't talk to the crew for the rest of the day. I should go to sleep now, but I can't. I just feel bad.


Thirdmonth 22

I didn't have much time to dwell on the merchant Captain's death today. We arrived in Ao-Manasa in the afternoon, causing me to lose more of my wealth to Mark. I hate him sometimes. Anyway, we headed to the Twisted Fish to hear of the month's events. Apparently there had been some problems with a rat plague and there had been a traveling carnival in town. The two events were most likely unrelated. The Steward's son was set to marry the daughter of a noble in the Queen's court on the 19th of Fourthmonth, though I didn't particularly care. Blank thought it might be profitable to kidnap the bride-to-be. I told him it would be a bad idea. The entire Ao-Manasa guard would be sent after her by the Steward, and for a noble of her standing, the Queen herself may send some of the military. Kidnapping a Diamond Throne noble is punishable by death for ALL involved, which is why my Order does (as a rule) not support it. Finally I got some information on the only thing I really cared about: Gannen's trial had been set for the 1st of Fourthmonth.

I went up to the castle to see Ea-Shamar. The others chose to accompany me. I informed her once again of her error in arresting Gannen, but she assured me she had a witness. When I asked about the witness, I was surprised to hear that it was Ratham, the Mevarin butler. He had told the guard he had seen Gannen murder Mischa. I knew this to be impossible, but of course I didn't say why. She also told me that Gannen had specifically been asking to see me, so she gave her permission to go see him in the dungeon. There was also an akward moment where it seemed Blank was flirting with Ea-Shamar, but he later assured me he wasn't.

Gannen seemed in low spirits. He was rather apathetic about the fact that he may be put to death for a crime he didn't commit. In general, he seemed very... jaded. He told us that he had a key that might help us with the Aur Xica. He told us it was in a box and said we could go retrieve it from his house near the Black Angle. I asked him how he knew about this stuff with the Hor Quan and the Aur Xica. He told us that family legend connected him to it, but that he didn't really buy into legends. Could he be the lost heir Morek had told me about? I decided I needed to talk to Morek. We went to Gannen's home and retrieved the box. Soern and Blank searched his house for other items of interest but didn't find anything.

Rellik was pretty adamant about going to report back to his superiors. I didn't really want to go, as I was concerned that poor winds may make me miss Gannen's trial. They decided they would leave me in the city and head off to Rellik's island without me in the morning.


Thirdmonth 23

I got woken up early this morning by Blank. He wanted me to unload our pirated (and legitimately found) stuff so I could sell it while everyone else was away. I went out onto the docks and rented a cart from a vendor and began loading it up. It was pretty full when we'd finished loading it, but not so much so that it would be unmanageable for me. I headed up to the market while the others set sail. I spent the morning selling everything, haggling for the best prices I could get. I got better prices than Blank had expected. I suspect that may be because I look pretty legitimate, so merchants assumed the goods were not stolen. Well, you know what they say about assumptions...

I still felt like I needed Morek's guidance on what to do about the Aur Xica and Gannen, so I needed to meet with my Ao-Manasa Order contact Scholar Ulray. He lives up in Oldtowne, past the castle, where the roads are all hilly and winding. It was a nice walk. When he opened his door and found me on his doorstep, he pleasantly greeted me as “Miss Halstead” (we don't usually use titles in public) and invited me in. After we got inside, he asked me “So, Dame Sigrid, what do you need today?” When I told him I wanted him to teleport me to the Chapterhouse, he was a little annoyed. He informed me that that was what boats are for, and that teleports are only for matters of emergency. I convinced him that I needed to see Lord Morek urgently and that I was on a tight schedule, and he finally agreed to cast the spell for the standard Order fee.

I don't like teleporting. It feels strange. It's disorienting. It doesn't hurt, but it's an uncomfortable sensation. I don't know how else to explain it. Some people like teleporting. I will never be one of those people. I will never get used to a lot of magical stuff. I grew up with magic and I'm aware it's a hugely important part of the world, but it doesn't mesh well with me. My former employer (a blacksmith named Loghan) was a mageblade. He tried to teach me to be a mageblade as well, but it didn't turn out too well. I could do the “blade” part just fine, it was just the “mage” part that I had serious issues with. I never learned enough magic to even be able to call myself a novice mageblade. I was pretty talented with the sword though, and to this day, I still wield one, even though most warriors within my Order wield axes. I suppose one could argue that my Champion abilities are magical, but they've never felt like it to me. To me they feel like an extension of my own inner strength of conviction. When that falters, my abilities falter. When I lost faith in Justice, I lost the ability to enforce it.

Anyway, I arrived at the Chapterhouse a little dazed, but otherwise unscathed, and went to talk to Lord Morek. He was a little busy, but he still allowed me to speak with him as soon as I got there. I told him about our trip to the Temple of the Hor Quan. I also told him about my suspicions that Gannen was the heir to the Hor Quan Empire. I also informed him of Gannen's incarceration. He told me the information he had sent for from the Eye of the Axe. He reiterated much of what the Aur Xica had already told me about the heir, the isle of the jeweled trees, and the heart of the sea. He said he would allow me to look over the actual documents in the morning. We discussed what to do about Gannen. We decided that leaving his fate in the hands of the Diamond Throne magistrates was probably not the best idea. We also decided that a full-out jailbreak wouldn't be a possibility either (especially after the incident with Knight-Brother Calaudus last Eleventhmonth). We finally decided that we should use the corruption in the Ao-Manasa guard against them. If I have one of my shipmates bribe some corrupt guards to get Gannen out of jail, I'll be able to get him away from the Diamond Throne, and as a bonus, I can report the corrupt guards to Ea-Shamar. I can kill two birds with one stone. Morek says he will get me the names of some corrupt guards tomorrow, along with the documents from the Eye of the Axe. He told me to go find an empty bed in the barracks and get some rest. I'm away so much I don't even have an assigned bed anymore, yet I feel more connected to the Order than I have in a long time. Perhaps focusing so much on Justice drove me away, but focusing on Loyalty is bringing me back. I wonder how the Order will be involved in all of this Hor Quan stuff...

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