Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sigrid's Journal 18: A Day on the Town


Fourthmonth 20

I woke up this morning and climbed down from my sleeping loft. Ulray and I had breakfast and then I bid him adieu and returned to the Ocean's Blade. Captain Blank was fishing off the docks. Next to him was an old boot, and a bucket of water containing some sort of ugly fish (which Blank told me was a bootfish). He tried to teach me how to fish too, but I accidentally dropped his rod in the water. The water in the harbour isn't terribly deep, so I dove down and retrieved it, but he still told me I'm not allowed to fish anymore, as this was the second fishing mishap I've had. By the time I got dried off, it was nearly noon, so I wandered off towards the castle and left Blank to his fishing.

As I approached the castle, I ran into Paerk (well, actually, he flew into me). He giddily told me that he had been given one of the hot air balloons from the faen air armada. Then he flew off to make arrangements to have it brought to the Fearful Lightning. Such an excitable one that one is.

Right on cue, Soern and Rellik (along with a few other prisoners) were released at noon. As soon as we were out of the castle, they asked me about their money. I told them that they were going to have to talk to their mastermind of a Commodore, so I brought them to him. We arrived back at the docks around the same time Paerk did. Soern put a magical shield up around Blank, and the three of them demanded their cut. Blank laughed and told them not to worry about it. I then chimed in that Blank had already spent the entire bounty with Cer-Athane. This displeased the rest of the crew greatly. An argument broke out, and eventually, under duress, Blank was brought back to Cer-Athane and was forced to cancel part of his order to pay the crew their share. I wouldn't touch that unclean money from a ten-foot pole, so my cut was divided amongst the others as well.

After all the unpleasantries were dispensed, Rellik went off into town on his own, telling us he had business. The rest of us went to the university to see Uthar and ask him about the seeds. He informed us that he did believe that the shiny gems we had found were seeds. He picked out three that were “excellent specimens” and we sold the rest to Cer-Athane and Taevin Brightfind.

Whilst selling some of the seeds to Taevin, Blank asked him if we could arrange a meeting with his contact (who seemed particularly interested in the Aur Xica). Taevin said he would contact his client and let us know.

We also asked around the Black Angle about Hellas (who was one of the crossed-off names on Illiam/Monala's list. No one would really talk to me about it, but Commodore Blank discovered that he was once a fierce pirate in this region, but recently he had been much less active. We were told we could probably find him at the Rusty Scupper, the local pirate hang-out. Rellik caught up to us at the Black Angle and told us he had a new mark: K'max's, who was likely at the Temple of the Hor Quan. Interesting...

The Rusty Scupper was as clean and pleasant as the name would indicate. Note to self: Ask Paerk for some magical disease curing potions. We stormed in and I demanded to see Hellas.

What man among you is called Hellas? I must INSIST on speaking to him at once!”

I was met by a couple chuckles. Additional note to self: Pirates (unlike a lot of people) are not impressed by runechildren or knights. Blank then pushed past me and told me my language was all wrong.

Show yourself, Hellas, you scurvy seadog! Unless you're too much of a land-lubbing coward to face Commodore Blank.”

A dark-haired man with a long beard came out of the crowd.

I be Captain Hellas to the likes of you. Yeh call yourself a Commodore. Commodore of what? A rowboat and a raft?”

Enough!” Blank turned to me, “Sigrid, your gauntlet, please?” I obliged, and he walked up to Hellas and hit him in the face with it (which had to have hurt). “I challenge you to a duel!” I can't imagine that pirate duels are really that much different than knightly duels. I doubt you're supposed to hit your opponent in the face with a platemail gauntlet.

Hellas seemed a little phased. “Choose your weapon.”

I choose... the banjo!” proclaimed Blank.

I accept.”

You do?” Blank seemed a little taken aback.

The duel commenced. Blank seemed to be doing okay for awhile, but then Hellas started playing immensely well. It looked as if Blank was going to lose, but then he shot a bolt of ice at Hellas' banjo.

You shot my banjo! I completely misjudged you! You are a pirate after all!”

After that we all sat down and had a lovely talk. It turns out Hellas once worked for Illiam, but he never wanted to and he hates the man. This satisfied our curiosity, so we left. On the way back to the ships, Paerk kept talking about how we should have arrested Hellas and brought him to Ea-Shamar. Blank seemed onboard with this plan, as there was probably a ransom for him. I turned and glared at them angrily, reminding them that we were already on a very short leash with Ea-Shamar, what with the “accidental release” of Blank and Soern and Paerk's involvement with that. They agreeed that we should probably just let him go and wait for things to calm down with Ea-Shamar before we go stirring up the hornets' nest again.

Finally, someone actually listened to me!


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