Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sigrid's Journal 11 - Jailbreak!


Thirdmonth 24

This morning, I remembered why I dislike barrack life. The Knight-Masters get their own quarters. All us plain, ordinary knights have to all sleep together. I'm not a very heavy sleeper, so I got woken up a couple times in the night by clumsy idiots stomping around and dropping stuff. Then there's the snoring. At least the Knight barracks are better than the Squire barracks. Talk about stupid clumsy idiots...

Getting woken up before dawn by a screaming Knight-Master is not among my favourite activities either. Maybe one day, I'll get to be a Knight-Mistress. Or maybe I'll even get to be in charge of a chapterhouse. Lady Sigrid... it does have a nice ring to it. Usually Lordship and Ladyship is reserved for those with a more... prominent lineage than I have, but there have been many cases of lowborns becoming nobles within the Order. I'm certainly stronger than most of those incompetent fools Lord Morek has to deal with. I suppose such a contempt for my peers isn't a very good quality for a leader to have. Maybe Lord Morek is right: I have the potential for greatness, but I squander it with my own negativity. I'll try to work on that.

Lord Morek found me at breakfast and brought me to his office. He gave me a scribed copy of all the documentation he had received from the Eye of the Axe. Of note was a riddle, which went as follows:

Free the fire,
From icy fist,
Meet seed with flame of earth,
With storm and stare,
With will of heir,
Of right blood and right worth.

It seems to be a set of instructions. I'll keep them in mind.

Lord Morek also gave me the names of a couple guards whom I may be able to... influence to get Gannen out of jail. One is Tar-Namor, who guards the jail. Morek warned me that he has Nightwalker connections. I don't really want to cross paths with the Nightwalkers. The other guard he told me about is Oa-Tesanil. She doesn't seem to be connected to the Nightwalkers, or any other organized crime ring. She just takes bribes from random thugs mostly.

After our business was finished, my Lord informed me that since I was here, I would be assisting Knight-Master Dontann with squire blade training. This displeased me. I don't like the squires. I think they are a flock of uncouth morons. I never liked Master Dontann much either. He always seemed a bit self-righteous and holier-than-thou. Despite my differences with Knight-Master Dontann, training started off very well. Master Dontann and I demonstrated some sword techniques. I hadn't done any mock-combat in awhile, and it was a nice change from being mauled by velociraptors or eels. Everything was going great until I misinterpreted a feint by Dontann and stepped into a rather powerful swing. His training blade, while dull, was still quite hard and heavy, and as it hit my shoulder, I felt my collarbone snap with an audible crack. My left arm went numb and I was suddenly barely able to hold my shield, let alone properly use it. Master Dontann stopped and asked if I was okay,and when I insisted I was, we continued. Every blow I took to my shield for the rest of the session was agonizing, and I was relieved when Master Dontann decided it was time for the squires to practice while we supervised.

I walked around the field, correcting the Squires' technique and form, changing their stance, and giving them advice. All the while my shoulder is throbbing like mad. By the time training was over for the afternoon, I couldn't move my left arm at all. The Squires wandered off to their other lessons while Dontann and I headed back up to the chapterhouse. We had a relatively pleasant conversation about Lord Harsted's latest escapades and the backlash from the Diamond Throne that our order was receiving because of him. I didn't mention my collarbone to him at all, and tried to keep my arm moving naturally as we walked. Once we parted ways at the chapterhouse, I began clutching my arm protectively to my chest to try to keep my shoulder from moving. It hurt very badly by this time, so I went to see an Order healer. When asked what had happened, I just told her I didn't want to talk about it. She healed me up and I could finally use my arm again properly. I was still a little sore and stiff, but that was nothing a day or two wouldn't fix. I guess the whole ordeal showcases how proud and stubborn I am.

After supper, Ulray became quite insistent that we return to Ao-Manasa, “as we had been here too long already.” We teleported back to Ulray's house. The combination of healing magic and a teleport has taken it's toll on me, and I have scarce energy to do much else than write. Seeing how shaky and exhausted I was when we got back, Ulray gave me quarter for the night. I think I shall sleep now.


Thirdmonth 25

Woke up feeling much improved this morning. I left Ulray's relatively early and enjoyed a nice, downhill walk to the market where I spent the morning browsing various wares. During the afternoon, I paid a visit to a bathhouse for a long overdue wash. Afterwards, I headed off to the Black Angle and socialized for a while with Tillienne. I asked her about Tar-Namor and Oa-Tesanil. She didn't know much about Tar-Namor, but she had heard of Oa-Tesanil, as she had accepted arena bribes in the past. As it was getting late, I headed up to the Twisted Fish. I rented a room, but didn't go up to bed immediately. I stayed down in the tavern for awhile, socializing, drinking, and even dancing a bit. It was nearly dawn when I finally went upstairs to relax and sleep.


Thirdmonth 26

I was most unpleasantly woken up midmorning by the crew. They had gotten into port this morning and had come to the Twisted Fish to find me. The innkeeper told them I had rented a room, so they decided to let themselves in and wake me up. Some people have no manners. I got out of bed and rather groggily joined them downstairs for breakfast. I wasn't terribly hungry, but Captain Blank insisted I “at least have some rum.”

I told them about my plan. Soern seemed indifferent about the whole thing, Rellik didn't really want to get involved, but Blank thought it would be an excellent use of “his charm.” As a group, we decided that we should bribe Tar-Namor. I suppose it could be interesting if we piss off the Nightwalkers. We asked around in the Twisted Fish about the guards, and heard that most of them hang out in a tavern called the Wicker Goat. Captain Blank went off to the Wicker Goat to find Tar-Namor, while the rest of us wandered down to the Black Angle.

Blank returned a couple hours later. He informed us that he had been successful. Tar-Namor was to meet Blank at a back entrance to the castle at midnight. Blank also seemed quite pleased with himself. When asked why, he smugly told us he had told Tar-Namor that his name was Illiam. How very, very clever. Blank then went to talk to Cer-Athane. When he came back to the table, he wore a rather over-the-top looking cape. It suited him, as Captain Blank's entire look and personality is quite over-the-top. He seemed to be a bit more personable as well. I suppose the cape is magic.

We dedided that the early evening would be a good time to pay a visit to the Mevarin butler, Ratham. On the way, I decided to make a quick stop at the market to purchase some cheese as a gift for Ratham. I paid for my cheese, and twenty seconds later, I heard a familiar voice. And you know what it said? I'll tell you what it said. It said, “Captain Blank! Captain Blank! Captain Blank!”

I turned around and saw a very excited James running towards us. Blank turned and tried to disappear behind a market stall, but it was too late. James had already seen him. His fate was sealed. James approached us, smelling worse than normal. He rambled on for awhile about how he had been captured by Illiam, but then for some reason, he had been released (I have no idea why... no idea at all...). Then there was something about some people following him trying to kill him. He also told us how he had lost said attackers in the sewers. That would explain the smell. Captain Blank cast a hygiene spell on him, and for some masochistic reason, invited him to join the crew. James commented that he had some friends that would love to serve such a prestigious Captain as Blank. I seem to recall Blank's reply was something along the lines of ,“Well, I wouldn't want to deny them the honor of working for me.” That's not his exact wording. I believe he sounded more pirate-like. And more arrogant. It is difficult to transcribe Captain Blank's extreme arrogance onto paper. James ran off, either to find his friends or go to the ship. The rest of us continued on our way to the Mevarin house.

We walked up to the Mevarin house and knocked on the door. A few moments later, Ratham opened the door. He glared at us and announced that we were “lousy pirates.” I tried to offer him the cheese as a peace offering, but he would have none of it and tried to close the door in our faces. I decided to invite myself in and pushed the door open and strolled inside. The others followed. Ratham said something about “lousy pirates having no manners,” but I didn't particularly care.

After we were inside and the door was closed, I asked Ratham why he had told Ea-Shamar that he had seen Gannen kill Mischa. I offered him the cheese again, but he refused to take it, as it was "poisoned with lousy pirate poison." Soern and Blank slipped away while I was talking to him, presumably to try and pillage and steal whatever we hadn't taken last time. Rellik still stood in the foyer with me. As soon as I realized that being nice was going to get me nowhere, I started being a little harsher with Ratham. Rellik seemed to take this as a hint and got a dagger out and began sharpening it. I didn't stop him from being threatening. If he had actually tried to kill the old man, I may have stopped him. Then again, I might not have either. I don't really know.

I reminded Ratham that our agreement was that he was to tell the guards he had seen nothing. The only thing he would say is that Gannen was a "lousy pirate." He wouldn't say anything else. I even stooped so low as to threaten his beloved rats. He told me I was a cruel, heartless pirate, to threaten to take away "the last thing in this world that a man cares about." I sighed and let it go. I wasn't a mean person. Rellik seemed a bit disappointed, as did Blank (who had found no rum), and Soern (who had found no magical trinkets). I encouraged the rest of the group that we should leave, before someone in this house ended up dead. (Again. Again.) We told Ratham that "we had never been here," and left.

We spent the evening in the Black Angle, enjoying ourselves while not getting entirely smashed. At about an hour or so to midnight, we inconspicuously slipped outside and headed towards the castle. Captain Blank lead us to a back entrance near the dungeon and directed us to hide. Blank stood in a shadow near the door, while the rest of us sought refuge kneeling in a nearby bush. Well, actually, I was the only one kneeling. Soern's small enough he didn't have to duck at all, and Rellik was in this squatting position, as if he was ready to jump up and pounce someone at a moment's notice. He really creeps me out. We had to wait for a while. My calves and feet were getting to be all numb and tingly. Note to self: Do not kneel for long periods of time in full plate mail. Also, Soern kept whispering to me and complaining that he couldn't see anything. I finally asked him if he would like me to describe the scene to him, or if it would just be easier to find him a box to stand on. He was not amused, though he did finally shut up, which had been my intention all along.

Finally, the back door opened, and out walked a giant, followed closely by Gannen. The giant (who I assume was Tar-Namor) spoke very briefly to Captain Blank and then disappeared back through the door, leaving Gannen. As soon as he was gone, the rest of us emerged from behind the bush, with me on wobbly legs. Gannen stared at me and simply said “You...” His tone was not entirely appreciative, but he was probably under a lot of stress.

Captain Blank lead us all to an entrance to the city sewers, making me regret my bath I had paid for two days ago. We spent a while wandering around under the streets. I think we were lost and going in circles, but Blank insisted he knew the way. We should have brought James. Eventually, we emerged at the docks and snuck back onto our ship. Mark, along with James and some very young looking new crewmen, had prepared the ship to set sail while we were gone, and we set sail immediately. Captain Blank cast hygiene on everyone as well, much to my happiness.

After we were safely at sea, Gannen beset me. He seemed a little aggravated. He questioned what my thought process had been, though his language was a little harsher than that. He also reminded me that I was going to be between midnight and death with the guards, if they ever found out I had done this. To that, I reminded him that he would have been between midnight and death himself if I had not done this. Captain Blank then decided to correct our argument, making sure that we both remembered that it had not been I, Sigrid, that had done anything, it had been him, Blank, Pirate Captain Extraor... ah, who cares what he calls himself anyway. Anyway, Gannen then declared that we were all witch-brained. This statement seemed to displease Blank, who announced that he, himself, was the only one on this boat who was witch-brained. I whole-heartedly agreed with him, under both meanings of the term. The three of us kept up with our “heated discussion” for a little while longer, before Soern came above deck and yelled at us for making too much noise.

Gannen and I retreated below deck to sleep, and Captain Blank went to his quarters. I've spent a while writing tonight and think that it may be time to actually sleep now.


1 comment:

Oddysey said...

This is awesome.