I didn't sleep much last night. Every time I began to drift away, I would startle and look over to check that Gannen was still within my sight. About the seventh or eighth time this happened, I got up, walked over to him, and laid down next to him. I decided that he would be much less likely to disappear if I was literally right with him. Slightly less anxious, I slept a bit better (though not much).
In the morning when I woke up, Gannen hadn't gone anywhere. I woke him up, and he seemed less comatose than he had yesterday. When he woke up, he looked confused and stared at me, before saying, “You...”
“Yes?” I replied.
“Are you alright, Gannen?”
“Alright?” He appeared unsure, “I... yeah... no... I don't know.”
I took one of his hands in my own. “I need your Truename.”
He looked down at my hands. “Truename? Oh yeah... Ronnudulaes.” The name seemed to echo with a power that only a Truename possessed.
After informing Paerk of Gannen's Truename, he made short work of fulling restoring him. After he was recovered, he seemed a bit concerned that he had so easily divulged his Truename. I informed him that I would never misuse it. He still seemed a bit wary, however.
Blank asked him about Monala's “evil plan,” and he told us that we had to go to Xanadu as soon as possible. He wasn't entirely clear on what exactly Monala was going to do, but he told us that her plan involved zombies and other general evil. He also informed us that Mixastomere was involved as well, a fact that (surprisingly) didn't seem to cause Soern much grief.
We decided to return to Ao-Manasa to stock up and get ourselves properly equipped before venturing off to Xanadu. Even sailing back to port was more difficult than it should have been; the weather was getting worse by the moment. Once back in town, we went to the University and talked to Uthar again. He told us that Xanadu had, indeed, been the capital of the Hora Quan empire. After we told him that we believed the Heart of the Ocean may have been restarted and that that may be the cause of this recent foul weather, he seemed very concerned.
We also did some shopping. I got a new set of armour and purchased some things for Gannen, who seemed to be suffering from a distinct lack of equipment. We left the city before nightfall.
The weather was again horrible today, but Captain Blank says we made astounding progress. Captain Blank seems convinced our above-average speed is directly linked to his above-average sailing ability. I have a different, more sinister idea. I believe these cursed winds are ushering us off to Xanadu. It is as if Monala herself is beckoning to us, summoning us to her dark lair as a spider does with flies. Either she gets some sadistic pleasure out of continuously causing us strife, or perhaps our deaths will simply be the last obstacle in her malefic plan. Either way, we're in for a world of hurt.
Gannen's been distant today. I tried on numerous occasions to pull him aside to speak with me and he brushed me off each and every time. This concerns and saddens me.
We're another day closer to confronting Monala, and Gannen and I are another day further apart. I spent a good deal of my time today trying to talk to him, yet he still would barely even make eye contact with me.
Near the end of the day, Commodore Blank climbed up to the Crows' Nest while I was on duty.
“Why by Malleus' beard are you still up here?!” he exclaimed, “I've yelled at you like five times to get your ass back down on deck.”
I didn't answer him and instead looked out in the stormy sea, “Can I ask you something?”
“If you get down from here, sure.” I looked at him and he pointed towards the ladder. “Get climbing.” When we reached the bottom of the ladder, Commodore Blank lead me into his office. He pointed to a chair and tossed a drying-cloth to me. I sat down. “Now, what did you want?”
“Why does he hate me?”
“He? Who? Mark? He doesn't hate you, he's just not the most... personable. I'm sure he didn't mean to hit you in the head with that plank earlier. If you hadn't been daydreaming off in your own little worl...”
“I'm not talking about Mark,” I interrupted.
“Then who? Gannen?” Blank looked at me. I sighed and stared at the floor. “Aha... I see... Sigrid's a bit smitten, is she? This calls for a toast!” Blank reached into his desk drawer and pulled out a bottle of rum and a not-so-clean shotglass. He poured a shot and pushed the glass towards me.
“You think everything calls for a toast,” I muttered.
“Precisely. Go on now.”
“I don't want any rum.”
Blank looked a little taken aback. “Don't... want... rum? Ah,but you jest, of course you want it. Go on.” Blank held the rum bottle in one hand, waiting for me to take my glass. Sighing, I lifted the shot. Blank lifted the rum bottle up in a manner of toasting. I echoed with my glass. Blank downed three or four guzzles as I sipped about half the shot.
“I just wish I knew why he hates me...”
“I don't think he hates you. I think he hates that sword,” he motioned towards the Aur Xica with the bottle.
“How would you know that?”
“Commodore Blank is an amazingly wise man,” he smugly stated. Upon seeing that I was not impressed, he added, “Well, and Gannen told me earlier that he hates that sword.”
“So, he's been avoiding me to avoid the Aur Xica?”
“Maybe... Look, Sigrid, why don't you talk to him about it?”
Leaving the Aur Xica in Blank's care, I ventured down below deck to do just that, but found that Gannen was already fast asleep in his bedroll. I will have to wait until tomorrow to talk to him.
When I woke up this morning, Gannen was already up on deck. He greeted me with slightly more enthusiasm than he had previous days. Perhaps Blank was right about the sword. I still felt that I needed to talk to him about “us”, so I stole him away below deck. Ignoring the issue of the Aur Xica completely, I asked him flat-out what he thought of me. He averted the question, telling me that he really couldn't have this conversation now. He promised me, however, that after Xanadu, after we dealt with Monala, that we could talk about everything. I begrudgingly accepted this arrangement and we talked for a little while about other things. He expressed a little self-annoyance with how easily he divulged his Truename. I then shared my Truename with him. He was silent for a moment and then commented, “You really trust me, don't you, Sigrid?” I informed him that that was, indeed, the case and he turned away and sighed. A minute or so later, he excused himself to return to work.
I decided to take a break for the rest of the day. I'm scheduled for night watch tonight, so I think I'll rest up for that.