Saercyn Willow ~ Two half elves walk into sick bay...
The three made their way down to the lower deck. They dodged the mainsail around the outside to reach the companyway without much trouble.
Derek waved from the quarterdeck, “Ye be in luck,” he said, leaning against the railing, “As such,Doc’s back, half glass er so.” Willow gave him the double thumbs up before descending behind Lyri.
Askurt left the two half elves at the bottom of the stairs, “I reckon yer elfy senses will getcha to the Doc no problem from here.” He turned towards the stairs again muttering something about Marlow, but Willow didn’t bother to listen. She knew what he was talking about, and it was a topic that no one spoke about, especially here. Baudoin, Marlow’s brother.
Marlow was found in the infirmary sorting through an assortment of new herbs and miscellaneous medical supplies. Fresh plants were already hanging from the rafters above, giving the room a sharp perfumed smell. It was apparent that he had just gotten back from his resupply into Freeport, as his bay was usually in neat order. A number of tins that were usually secured in trunks were scattered about his table, lids popped open to reveal various powders and dried items.
He looked up from his scrubbed wooden table and pushed his dreads away from his dark face. His voice was deep and mellow, and had a nearly mesmerizing quality to it, “Ah, I see ya been out wit the badness again.”
“Don’cha be sayin tha. Come yah, dear one, and I’ll be seein to ya nose.” The bard hopped up onto the small operating table as the doctor poured a honey colored liquor into a small mason jar. He handed it to her after sprinkling a few herbs into it.
“Drink,” he gently commanded. She knocked back the jar, and whiskey burned all the way down her throat to her stomach. An immediate heady feeling stole across her, numbing quite a bit of her pain. She gripped the edge of the table as to not fall forward with the sudden rush.
Marlow scrutinized her face, and put a massive hand behind her head. His breath smelled slightly of tobacco, and as he spoke his mouth showed a few yellow teeth missing from its depths, “Where be tha creation stepper Cap-tain of ours? I caenot imagine he’s gone and left hisself unmarked if ya be lookin like this, Will.”
His fingers gingerly touched the bridge of her nose as she replied, “Finishing busineth. Thingth were interrupted by some trumped ub –“ Marlow grabbed her nose suddenly and snapped it into place. Willow let out a yell of surprise and pain, and he gripped her shoulders as she pitched forward.
“Thar ya go,” he said to her, holding a clean rag up to her freshly bleeding nose, maintaining a grip on her with one massive paw, “Ya’ll be back to chanting afor ya see another sundown. Ya be more careful, Will. Trouble no set like rain.” Willow let out a noise that sounded like agreement.
“An who be this winjy lookin dawta wit the shiner?” he said, turning to face Lyri, “Come ‘ere an sit while Marlow takes a look at ya” The doctor swept a large hand towards his wooden table, indicating the low stool sitting beside it.
Lyri looked like she wanted to puff up at his words, but instead threw a look of confusion towards the bard, who was now clutching the fresh rag to her nose. Winjy lookin dawta? Her moment of hesitation was forgotten as Marlow took her head into his large hands. She involuntarily gasped as she took in the sheer size and exotic appearance of the man, from his bulging muscles and scars that crisscrossed his hands and bared arms, to his numerous dreaded locks that clinked softly with ceramic beads.
He looked closely at her black eye, and lightly touched the area around the immense bruise. Lyri winced slightly; Marlow turned his back on her and began pinching herbs into a mortar. His deep voice began to mutter unintelligibly as he added more ingredients, mixing them with a large pestle. He dumped the lot into a small jar containing some balm, and stirred it together.
Marlow gently dabbed the paste around Lyri’s eye, and then thrust the little jar into her hands,“Ya’ll be wanting to put tha i-shence on round ‘bout ya eye, seen? Two, three times a day.”
He touched the bottom of her chin and added, “Come an see me three days past. Ya too, Will. Don’ ya be too ‘fraid of Marlow. Maybe then ya’ll tell me your name, and bly a wine for dis mon?” Marlow threw the young girl a large smile that reached his eyes, and winked roguishly. His massive hands waved the two of them out of the infirmary.
Lyri looked at Will as they climbed the stairs once more, “He’s...”
“Huge,” Willow supplied. Lyri nodded.
“And he speaks...”
“Strangely,” Will responded. She still sounded stuffed up, but her speech was quite a bit clearer, “You get used to it. He called you skinny, but damned if I know what he was asking you to do in three days,” Lyri frowned at these words and Willow added, “I wouldn’t worry about it. Marlow’s a pretty nice guy. I’m gonna go lay down. Talk to either the Cook or Halfpenny for duty assignment. Personally, I’d talk to Cookie, especially with your background.”
Posted on 2012-04-13 at 02:28:06.
Edited on 2012-04-13 at 13:09:23 by Celeste
“But I want to help,” Lyri complained after Jericho had ordered her and the others back to Smuggler’s Moon, “Willow needs more lookin at than me, and…”
“Belay th’ belly-achin’, lass,” Jericho chuffed, staying any more of the former barmaid’s protests with the lifting of a hand, “Ye’ll be o’ more help back onna ship, aye? An’ I’m gonna need ye hale an’ hearty out tae sea…” He rested that hand on Lyri’s shoulder and grinned at her then… “Ye’ll be gettin’ yer fill o’ adventure soon enough, Lyri Evermoon. Don’ ye be worryin’ yerself ‘bout tha’.”
“Oh rubbish,” Lyri grumbled even as she accepted, however grudgingly, the captain’s orders. “Aye, I’ll go.”
“Aye,” Jericho smiled, winking at her, “thar be a good star ta steer by, lass. Get yerself acquainted wit’ th’ ship an’ yer mates e’re we weigh anchor, lovely; et’ll be makin’ th’ sail all th’ better fer ye. Ye’ll nae be wantin’ fer a lack o’ comp’ny, aye?”
With that, he let go of the red-haired half-elf and turned his gaze on the others… Maast, stern faced and determined looking as always… and Willow, lovely as ever, he noticed, even with the blackening eyes, swollen nose, and smears of blood that stained her face. “Of ye go, then,” he grinned, shoving an errant tumble of braids back over his shoulder before, shooing them off , “Me an’ Khash’ll nae be far behind an’ we’ll be bringin’ th’ job back wi’ us, aye? Trust me…”
((Assuming some general “Aye, Cap’n’s” and such as the crew makes to head for the ship))
Jericho began backing in the opposite direction as Maast, Willow, and Lyri turned to make for the ship. He watched them for a moment, smiling faintly as, for lack of his scarf, he tangled his locks into the loose semblance of a pony-tail… “Ahoy, Will,” he called, before the troop got much farther away… When the bardess glanced back his smile brightened… “I’m sorry ‘bout tha’, aye,” he said, touching his own nose and feigning a wince, “I’ll be sure ta make et up to ye, lovely.”
He winked, and then, spun on his heel, and swaggered almost nonchalantly back toward The Rusty Hook, grinning and singing (although, likely not as well as Willow might’ve) as he went…
~Take up the sheets me hearties,
Water the decks with brine,
Bend to the oars, you lousy whores,
None is bigger than mine.~
…the corsair captain was only another half-a-verse into the song when the Hook’s now loosely-hanging door was framed in his sight, and scarce a note past that when Khash and a Halfling came crashing out of the place and landed with a thud at Jericho’s feet.
“Done wit’ yer dancin’, then, are ye, li’l brother,” Jericho snickered, arching a brow as the half-orc grinned and began to haul himself up from the street, “Ne’er did unnerstand why, wha’ wit’ a pretty lass like Lyri battin’ eyes, ye a’ways seems ta end up sashayin’ about wit’ big ugly blokes, aye?”
“Ahoy Cap'n,” the half-orc chuckled, stifling a groan over his sore ribs, “ye fergot somtin.”
Jericho grinned brightly and clapped his brother on the shoulder as Khash produced both Captain Bobo’s ‘advance’ and the bottle of strawberry-flavored rum that Willow had bought. “I dinna fergit, Khash-mate,” he chuckled, taking the bottle and indulging in a nice long pull, “I knowed ye’d be fetchin’ ‘em, seein’ as ye were innat proxim’ty, aye?”
He winced as the alcohol poured over a cut on his lip and shivered a bit as it served to soothe the ache of a few other brawl-related injuries… “Here,” he said, offering the bottle back to Khash, “look’s ef ye c’n be usin’ a knock o’ this yerself, aye? An’ hang on tae tha’ purse’s well, mate… I reckon any picky-pockets hereabouts’d think more ‘bout th’ consequences o’ nickin’ you as me, saavy?”
Jericho glanced at Braydyn, then, and smirked; “Ye recruitin’ fer us whilst ye were dancin’, too, me brother?”
Before Khash could even swallow the scowling halfling had turned to face the brothers and shot back a response. The rum caught in the younger Hawkes' throat at the little man's words.
" 'im? Dancin? Ha! Ye both be daft!" bitterness spewed forth from Braydyn's lips, and Jericho could only raise an eyebrow as the halfling blocked any attempts to interrupt him " 'Deliver a message to me brother'" he sneered "an then ye both go 'bout makin me inta sum kinda bird! Then there’s the part with retrievin’ dis one, you'd make it worth me while ye said. Ye nae said anytin bout almost bein part ta murder!" Khash audibly choked on the rum, but Braydyn's temper was in full force; he wasn't about to pause.
"T'was bad enough ye busted my wares," at this both brothers shared a puzzled look. "but then ye go about draggin’ me inta yer bar fight, an use be like sum two-bit erran' boy!" The confusion of the Hawkes’ only served to frustrate the halfling further and he gripped his head in both hands "Aaaarrrrrgh!"
I was already doomed, Braydyn groused inwardly, why couldn't I just get the time to enjoy my last meal! Instead I'm beaten and sore and Redleaf will be sending out his men any time now. I haven't a hope in...
“Busted wares,” Jericho repeated quizzically, his grin spreading despite the Halfling’s obvious irritation and his own confusion, and his cinnamon eyes sparkling with mirth as they skipped away from Braydyn and fell on Khash once more, “Murder?
Wha’s this’n blusterin’ on about, then, Khash-mate? Ye’d think th’ lad’s ne’er seen ‘im a tavern-tussle er some…”
Braydyn suddenly looked up, as the first part of Jerchio's statement dawned on him.
"..er... wait... recruitin? fer what exactly?" the shaking in Braydyn's voice showed he was trying beat down his temper. He looked back over his shoulder at the Rusty Hook and shuddered. "Better yet, hows ‘bout ye tell me as we clear outta here."
As he reached over and took the bottle from Khash, again, Jericho chuckled and gave a shake of his head. “Fer wha’, th’ lubber asks,” the corsair captain smirked around the neck of the bottle as he spilled another swallow past his lips and, then, offered his brother a wink as his gaze swung back to the frazzled Halfling, “We be lookin’ tae fill some empty spots in th’ harem o’ Empress Mariota I up tae Hexworth, o’ course! Th’ wench’s gone an’ weared out th’ las’ halflin’ she were buggerin’ an’ commissioned us tae fetch her a fresh supply, aye?”
At this Khash snorted a laugh, before seeming to clutch his ribs momentarily, then shaking it off with a grin, again.
Jericho couldn’t help but laugh out loud when Braydyn flushed and blinked up at him in utter shock and, as he thrust the rum bottle back at Khash with one hand, he let the other fall to the halfling’s shoulder. “Take a good lookit us, wee man,” Jericho chortled as he began guiding them away from the Hook and through a series of twisting alleyways and sidestreets, “an’ be ponderin’ long an’ hard on where ye be, aye? Whaddye think we be recruitin’ fer? We be hopin’ tae put on a few hands ‘ere th’ Moon sets sail, agin, mate! An’ by th’ sound o’ yer blusterin’, I reckon ye wouldn’ be opposed tae settin’ Freeport in yer own wake fer a spell, would ye?
Braydyn looked back towards their current 'wake' and the sounds of the guards finally cracking down on the tussle. He wasn't sure what he was getting himself into, but it had to be better than what Redleaf had planned for him. Resigning himself to his fate, the former merchant sighed. "Aye then, if ye'll get me out, let's go."
Jericho offered a faint nod at that but, otherwise, just kept right on grinning as his eyes danced along the decaying thoroughfares of The Docks district. “Now, where in th’ bloody hells did tha’ monkey get tae?”
((OOC: There ye be, me hearties! The first bit, of course, rehash some earlier bits but I left 'em in so there'd be less need to go back and forthing, yeah? Soooo... collab out of the way, T_O working his silvery-screeny bit... and Eol prepping to fire up the meeting with Bobo and getting our crew all back on board again... Another post coming soon. ))
Posted on 2012-04-16 at 17:51:24.
Edited on 2012-04-16 at 18:13:27 by Eol Fefalas
Silver Screen - Eyes in the Alleys, Spies in the Streets
As the Brothers Hawkes vacated the scene of their drunken brawl, with their newest companion in tow, none noticed the pair of eyes watching them. Nor could they have, for as they proceeded away, and the streets before the ravaged tavern began to swell with drunken fools and guardsmen, the small form of the man who watched them slinked out of sight and back down around a corner to a grimy, nearly deserted alleyway. Braydyn Shortcloak, it seemed, had acquired some means of protection.
Yet despite these new found developments he smiled, not a happy smile, but one that was certainly noteworthy. Yes, this was smile few enjoyed seeing upon his face, but then it was usually linked to someone's suffering. Today it was filled with the satisfaction that the peon who had allowed things to progress this far had been unable to blink before he'd found him. Just ahead of him, within this largely abandoned alleyway stood two halflings garbbed in filthy clothes, portraying an image more of urchin, human children than agents of the Halfling Benevolent Association. Above them, suspended upside-down by a rope was a third halfling, though he was dressed much better, what with having payed Braydyn Shortcloak a visit in the Seacat's Folly just that morning.
"You two, proceed to alert the others. I want tabs kept on Shortcloak's whereabouts. Thanks to Tucker here," He vaguely gestured to the suspended fellow "the weasely merchant seems to think he can skip out on paying off his dues. In the company of outsiders no less."
When the pair still hadn't left his tone darkened. "Get Moving!"
The pair scrambled out of the alley.
Alone and helpless Tucker began to whimper.
"Please Arv, It's not my fault. I, I followed orders... honest!"
Arv Hookridge merely shook his head, a chuckle slipping through his grin as he produced brass knuckles from within his coat.
"Tucker, Tucker, Tucker. You don't get it, do you? Orm Redleaf is very displeased with how you handled things."
Without warning he struck the suspended halfling in the jaw.
"Rather than secure Shortcloak's wares as HBA property, you allowed him to travel across Freeport with them, losing a fair amount in the street, and the remainder to pirates who never meant to pay."
This time a backhand caught Tucker across the face, bloodying his nose. "Shortcloak will be taken care of, not to worry. But as it stands, you've cost us both the wares and the gold."
A quick flourish of his hand, and a dagger flew from Arv's sleeve to cut the rope, dropping Tucker to the cobblestones.
"Be thankful you're dealing with me and not Trask; if you want to redeem yourself in Redleaf's graces, I suggest you begin tracking down Shortcloak."
Stashing his brass knuckles back in his coat, Arv Hookridge stepped over the whimpering form of Tucker and proceeded down the alley, a sick smile still on his face. He loved his job.
Posted on 2012-04-17 at 04:23:44.
Edited on 2012-04-20 at 02:31:51 by Tuned_Out
“One, two, three, four...” The young lad counted under his breath as his stormy grey eyes, his right heavily blacked, tracked the three bigger boys walking past. He knew if they saw him they'd strip him of every coin he'd gotten hold of that morning. He had scrambled for those scant bits of currency and didn't intend on giving them up easily. To most they were pocket chance, they may never even notice he had taken them, but to him each one of them was a building block on a promise of escaping these hellish docks. He dreamed of the day he'd be able to move without worry of running into another and breathe without the stink of a thousand other people forcing itself into his lungs.
“Five,” the moment the word left his lips he darted across the narrow street, frantically trying to get back to his hiding spot before any of the other boys noticed him. He slowed slightly as he got halfway down the next alley, thinking himself safe. A grimy hand closed on the back of his threadbare jacket, yanking him backwards.
“Lookit 'ere. Jesse tryin ta dodge us.” His captor drawled, voice slurred slightly from broken jaw that had never healed properly, a mocking sneer on his ruddy face. “What'ya got worth hidin?” He shook the thinner boy soundly and grinned when he heard a soft clink of coinage brushing together. His two lackeys laughed derisively.
One of the boys went to grab his jacket to rifle through the pockets but Jesse quickly snapped his fist up, catching him squarely on the side of the jaw, staggering him for a moment. With a little grimace of pain he shook his hand and squirmed out of his jacket and the leader's hold, trying to dash away from the three larger males.
A deft toss of a bit of wood from the docks caught Jesse on the foot, tripping him and his cry of surprise was abruptly silenced as his breath was forced from his lungs on impact. “Lemme go! Got'ta be somewhere.” He managed to wheeze out, curling defensively into a ball as they proceeded to kick him, laying new bruises over ones not yet healed. He'd be more purple than white come morning. He felt one of them rip open his pocket, taking the few coppers he had managed to procure. Suddenly something in the boy snapped and he rolled away from them, springing to his feet with a grimace.
“Those 'er mine!” The lad growled and launched himself on the leader of the group, the one who had looted his pockets, and waled on his head and shoulders ineffectively. He was yanked off by one of his victim's companions and pushed against the wall. Some wiggling and getting his ribs viciously scrapped against the rough wall rewarded him with a brief moment of freedom. He felt a sunburst of pain blossom on his face as a fist connected first with his left eye, heralding a shiner to pair with his right, and then he turned his head just enough to manage escaping a broken nose. He was rewarded instead with a split lip.
Jesse was stunned momentarily by the blow but the moment he could coax his right eye open, the left wouldn't at the moment, he saw a couple of the coins on the ground apparently dropped when he had attacked the ringleader. He reached out and snatched them, taking off back out of the alleyway like death itself was on his heels.
The scant lad careened out of the alley, not noticing the three men walking into his path until he had slammed rather roughly into Khash, leaving a blood smear where his face bashed into him. He bounced backwards, landing on the ground with a pained groan. He looked up, one eye swollen completely shut and face a mess of blood and bruises and a look of complete horror crossed his face. He managed a look over his shoulder and noticed that his pursuers had skidded to a stop when he had collided with the huge man. He knew they would stick around and beat him to a pulp... if these men didn't simply kill him. He quickly made a decision, hoping it would be his salvation.
Praying that these men would help a scamp like himself out he took a ragged breath. “Cap'n! I be headin tae th' ship, I swar, was'en dallyin! Jus had'ta say goo'bye ta old friends,” he looked back up at them, first at the massive form of the half-orc, then to Jerico and finally at the shorter male, silently pleading one of them would take up his farce.
Posted on 2012-04-17 at 08:55:19.
Edited on 2012-04-17 at 09:07:38 by Kriea
Water lapped at Silme’s feet as she gazed out over the ocean dreamily. Out there just beyond horizon’s edge lay new lands and interesting people to meet. Daring heroes meant to sweep young lasses off their feet, and exciting dangers meant to challenge the mind and body. Out there just beyond horizon’s edge stories were made. Silme sighed thinking of how they were currently being made without her. One day though, one day they’ll be made with me. She thought as she rose to her feet. And someday they probably would include her, but for now Silme was stuck helping her mom pull in today’s catch.
“Look at this one!” Her mom exclaimed hefting a particularly large Wahoo. “It’ll surely fetch a high price during today’s market!.” Silme dutifully oohed and awed over the sizable fish as she helped her mother unload it into a crate. It and about 25 other fish. With the fish loaded Silme helped a few deckhands that her mother hired move the long wooden crates to the usual stall in the market her mother used. “Once you’re done helping me I think your father received a new shipment of books today, you might want to take a look.” At the news Silme’s face brightened. She loved sorting through new book shipments, you never knew when a new spell or spellbinding romance came in.
Silme skipped to her father’s shop, neatly dodging in and out of the crowd. She only came close to having an incident once, as a large lumbering half-orc came crashing through the streets with a human riding atop his shoulders. Despite almost being ran over Silme smiled as the pair passed by. Grown men and you’d never know it. She thought ruefully.
Her father’s shop was small and cluttered, but that seemed to suit the handful of regular patrons perfectly. Must be something in a wizarding handbook I missed. Silme sat before a small but tightly packed box. Her hands twitched with anticipation. Nothing like the smell of freshly opened books She sat there staring at the box, savoring the moment of being the first in Freeport to lay her eyes on these particular literary works. A new set of illusions? Or perhaps the last installment of lady Liriel’s epic love tale Hearts Upon a Rising Tide? She slid one hand under the lid and gingerly lifted it open peering eagerly inside. Another map of Freeport, A map of Kismir, AH ha It’s here
“It’s here it’s here!” Silme jumped up and down in excitement hugging the book tightly to her chest.
“Well now, wha have ye got there?” A booming voice queried.
“Hearts Upon a Rising Tide!” Silme practically squeeled. ‘It arrived Father.”
“Ah di’it now?” Silme’s dad teased. “Well then I s’pose ye gonna buy it are ye?”
“But dad!” Silme exclaimed “You know I don’t have any money! Please please just let me read it. I’ll return it after I’m done!” Silme’s lower lip started to protrude just beyond her upper lip.
“Wha do ye think I’m runnin here? A library?” Her dad’s face split into a smile and he started laughing as Silme’s head hung in defeat. “Ah don look it me like that. Why don ye just keep the book after ye read it as a present?”
Silme instantly brightened. “Thank ye daddy!” She exclaimed copying his accent as she kissed him on the cheek and skipped out. Now where should I read this? Silme considered her mood and options. She could return to the beach and read it in quiet or she could eat and drink and watch people inbetween paragraphs. The Rusty Hook it is. She decided turning for the docks. Silme enjoyed the company of the Rusty Hook and especially enjoyed the company of Lyri a fellow half-elf. The two had spent many a night talking of joining a ship and sailing off to find adventure.
Silme had to take the long way to the Rusty Hook so her dad didn’t know where she was headed. The Rusty Hook had of late gained a terrible reputation for hosting bar fights a little more than occasionally and Silme’s poor mother would have gone into hysterics if she knew Silme went there. Silme suspected her dad knew and didn’t say anything as long as she didn’t get caught so Silme respected the game and took extra precautions.
Unfortunately today the extra precautions cost her just enough time to make her miss the bar fight and therefore the bar. She arrived on the scene just as the city watch was moving in and another officer was directing traffic away from the bar. That fight happened early today Silme thought noting it was just after lunch time. Oh well I guess I could continue down to the docks and watch people there. Maybe I’ll overhear a tidbit about a captain that needs new crew. I couldn’t imagine a captain that would say nay to my particular talents.
“Take a good lookit us, wee man,” Silme overheard a voice chortle. “an’ be ponderin’ long an’ hard on where ye be, aye? Whaddye think we be recruitin’ fer? We be hopin’ tae put on a few hands ‘ere th’ Moon sets sail, agin, mate!” Well now that’s just weird Silme thought as she turned and followed the source of the voice “ An’ by th’ sound o’ yer blusterin’, I reckon ye wouldn’ be opposed tae settin’ Freeport in yer own wake fer a spell, would ye?“
A smaller person that looked much like a child looked back at the inn and sighed. "Aye then, if ye'll get me out, let's go.
Jericho offered a faint nod at that but, otherwise, just kept right on grinning as his eyes danced along the decaying thoroughfares of The Docks district. “Now, where in th’ bloody hells did tha’ monkey get tae?”
“Excuse me sir.” Silme interjected quickly. “Would you still have room for another on your ship? I promise I’ll be useful, and I come with an array of talents you may be interested in.”
Freeport – Docks District – Outside the Rusty Hook
“Excuse me, sir?”
Sir? Jericho’s brow spiked as his scan of Freeport’s snaking streets was interrupted by the excited little voice, Wha’?
“Would you still have room for another on your ship?”
His gaze momentarily abandoned its search for any sign of the massive and unmistakable Horse and swiveled about until it captured the source of the sound… a wee scrap of a lass with short blonde hair, green eyes that sparkled their excitement, and a book clutched to her chest… and Jericho grinned… Ah… ‘nother dreamer this’n… Jericho flicked Khash a mirthful grin and snickered; “Avast, mate! Ye be drawin’ ‘em in like gulls tae fishguts!”
“I promise I’ll be useful,” the snippet went on…
It was obvious, the more Jericho looked at her, now, that the girl had more than a taste of sea elf in her blood, so, despite appearances…
“…and I come with an array of talents you may be interested in.”
“Aye,” the privateer captain chuckled, “I dinnae doubt tha’s so, lovely. So long’s them talents run along th’ lines o’ scrubbin’ tar-stains from th’ decks er tendin’ canvas and not so much t’wards turnin’ green an’ tossin’ yer guts o’er the gun’les er sommat, I reckon I c’n always use ‘nother hand, aye?
Ye been tae sea ‘afore, lass?”
((Assuming an affirmative response…))
“Good’n well, then,” Jericho nodded, the beads in his hair clattering against his chest as a result of the action, “I’ve got a bit o’ business tae attend, lass, an’ scarce th’ time tae interview ye, meself, aye?” He swaggered backwards a step or two, then – a result of the waning adrenaline and rising rum – and gestured toward the harbor. “But ye go an’ find th’ Smuggler’s Moon, parlay wit’ a bloke called Halfpenny, tell ‘im Cap’n Hawkes sent ye, an’ he’ll see tae et tha’ we put ye tae use…”
He winked at the girl, then, and at the same time, thumped a hand against Khash’s chest and tipped his head in the opposite direction he recommended that she go. “Off we go, mates,” he said, obviously addressing the half-orc and halfling already in his company, “there’s swag adrift tha’ we c’n ill afford tae leave floatin’.
An’ ye, li’l poppet,” Jericho smiled at Silme, pulling the bottle of rum from his brother’s hand to indulge in another pull of the rum as he swaggered off, “If ye be keen on joinin’ us, I rec’mend ye get yerself aboard quick-like, aye? Th’ Moon’s no’ long fer Freeport, lovely…”
((OOC: Jenna, feel free to run with this in your next… You might want to have Silme bump into Askurt before she finds Halfpenny, seeing as how the powder blackened dwarf is our Master Gunner and all… and Chess would likely have fun with the interaction between these two given their… um… skills… Of course, if you’d rather talk to Halfpenny (or any of the rest of the crew, for that matter) first, make yourself comfy and go to town…))
It was only a short time and a few swallows of rum later, in the shadow of a ramshackle pub named The Doxy’s Lap that Khash caught sight of the hulking, ritually scarred black fellow called Horse and his cursed capuchin rider. “Jarek,” the half-orc said, thunking a hand into his brother’s chest and nodding towards the pair, “reckon thar they be…”
“Just so, Khash-mate,” Jericho grinned, his cinnamon gaze locking on to Captain Bobo and his brutish mount for a moment, flicking to the more than suggestive sign that hung outside the establishment, and, then, with no small amount of humor in the expression he offered his brother and Braydyn, chortled; “Wha’ sorta coin’s Bobo carryin’ about, I wonder, tha’ c’n have a monkey set tae go whorin’? Bigger mystery’n Davi, innit?”
Khash offered a snorting chuckle at that and the little halfling, Braydyn, just shook his head and rolled his eyes a bit… before he could say anything, though, or so much as ask what was so important about this monkey and who Davi might be, the captain was already weaving his way across the street in hopes of catching up with the curious pair, leaving he and the looming half-orc to mind themselves.
Gah, the halfling thought, his eyes flitting between Jericho, Khash, and the streets behind them, I hope this isn’t one o’ them outta the fryin’ pan an’ inta the fire situations… Something told him, though, that it likely was. He offered a gloomily acquiescent sigh at the thought and, as Jericho gathered in the attentions of the big black fellow and the frock-coat and tri-corned monkey, Braydyn glanced up at Khash; “We’ll be goin’ ta this boat o’ yers an’ shippin’ out of Freeport soon, I hope.”
The half-orc offered a tusky grin and an assured nod in reply. “Don’chu get yersef blowed up, mate,” he said, nodding to where it appeared Jarek was having a rather animated conversation with the monkey, “th’ Cap’n ain’ gonna be long tyin’ a knot in this’n… Reckon we’ll be makin’ fer open sea soon ‘nuff…”
In the shadow of the Doxy’s Lap
“Avast, Horse,” Jericho called out, shouldering his way through a knot of salty old swabs that had drifted between himself and his prize, “Heave to, mate!”
It was Bobo who looked back first. The capuchin’s face scrunched itself into an expression that seemed as irritated as Horse’s was impassive before he chittered something in the big man’s ear that finally drew him to a halt and turned him around. “What is it ye be wantin’, then, Hawkes,” Bobo asked around the ever-present nub of that little cigar, squinting his tiny eyes at Jericho as the Captain of The Smuggler’s Moon tottered to a stop before him.
“Tae finish our parlay, o’ course,” Jericho grinned in return, pushing a spill of khafe-colored braids from his eyes, “ye left th’ table jus’ as th’ negotiations was gettin’ interestin’, Cap’n…”
“Heh,” Bobo snorted in reply, “Ye draw a more’n a bit o’ unwanted attention, I think. Attention I can’ afford ta be havin’ turned me way, saavy? I reckon our parlay’s finished, Cap’n Hawkes…”
“I draw attention?!” Jericho laughed, obviously feigning his indignance as he arched a brow at the monkey-captain and his monster of a human mount; “Have ye seen yerself inna lookin’ glass o’ late, Cap’n?”
Bobo bristled at this but kept any words he might have spoken at bay by chomping down on that cigar and skittering from one of Horse’s mountainous shoulders to the other.
“An’ point o’ fact,” Jericho went on, his eyes and grin flashing, “th’ attention o’ which ye speak were none o’ our doin’, Bobo… jus’ some snookered swab lookin’ tae take out his girl-pox on me mate is all… Right place, wrong time, aye?
B’sides, I’ve a’ready got th’ retainer, haven’ I? Purse felt tae be about five hunnerd Lords er so, if me touch ain’t off…”
He made the mistake, then, of moving too quickly when he threw his arms wide (palms out and open, mind you) as if he were about to say; “C’mon, mate! Rough seas behind us an’ fair seas ahead!”
He didn’t get to say those words, though… Instead, where the “C’mon” should have been, there was a spastic flurry of motion that somehow resulted in Bobo having a pistol pointed directly at Jericho’s face… where the rest would have been there was a flicker of a moment in which Hawkes’ grin waivered, Horse’s muscled slithered menacingly beneath his ebony skin, and, holding the flintlock as a normal man (or elf, or orc, or what-have-you) would a rifle, Cap’n Bobo squeaked; “Aye. Right place, wrong time.”
Jericho felt more than saw Khash move to react and, so, in the same shifting of motion that changed a ‘we’re old friends’ gesture to one of ‘hands up’, he waved his brother down and forced his grin even wider; “Aye…
…Listen… Cap’n Bobo… I meant ye no offense wit’ me banter, aye? Jus’ tryin’ tae lighten th’ mood a bit… point out tha’, circ’mstances bein’ wha’ they bean’ all, yer nae like tae find a ship anythin’ like Th’ Moon when it comes tae yer needs… I c’n promise ye tha’… Seven hells, I know ye’ve heard tell o’ how swift she runs an’, bugger all, ye’ve a’ready seen us fight!”
The cigar rolled from one side of the monkey’s mouth to the other and the barrel of the pistol dipped a fraction as Bobo seemed to consider all of this. His dark little eyes flicked to regard Horse for an instant and the pistol lowered even more. “Where’d we leave things, then,” Captain Bobo asked, finally, the pistol lowered but not yet stowed.
Jericho lowered his hands and smiled; “Twenny an’ we leave onna mornin’ tide.”
It was Bobo’s turn to smile, then. The expression was full of sharp little teeth and the little black eyes glittered wickedly in Jericho’s way of seeing it but, all in all, it seemed to indicate that the deal was done… especially when the pistol disappeared and Bobo extended a tiny hand.
“Done, Cap’n Hawkes,” Bobo chittered, “I’ll be aboard ‘afore sunrise.”
((OOC: More to come, of course... still have to tie in with Jesse's post, get Jarek and the rest back to the ship, etc, and that's all in the works... just figured I'd tack this much on and come back later with the rest. ))
Early Evening - The Docks District, Freeport
“I dunno tha’ th’ crew’s gonna like dis, Jarek,” Khash rumbled as he, Jericho, and Braydyn navigated the labyrinthine streets of Freeport back toward the harbor, “Ye tol’ ‘em they’d be havin’ a coupla days ashore but ye tol’ tha’ monkey we’d be onna mornin’ tide...”
The big half-orc shrugged, then, and took a pull from the rum bottle he still carried. Being back at sea was no skin off of his back, of course. Like Jarek, Khash was born at sea and preferred the pitch and roll of a ship’s deck underfoot as opposed to the too firm feel of solid earth, but there were those aboard Smuggler’s Moon who felt completely the other way around; sailing only long enough to earn enough coin to spend in port, then begrudgingly returning to the sea only when whoring and gambling had eaten through their purses… and there weren’t many, salts or lubbers, that he figured would be too happy in calling their shore leave to a halt in order to ferry some bokor-cursed monkey to some supposedly uncharted island. He couldn’t help but wonder how his brother was going to manage to smooth this over with the crew, let alone how he might announce it to them. “Not tha’ the crew ain’t loyal, mind,” Khash added, then, offering the bottle over to Jarek, “but we’s only been in port fer th’ one day an’…”
“Aye, mate,” Jericho nodded, accepting the bottle and offering his brother a grin, “I’m saavy. There’s like tae be a good deal o’ barkin’ an’ belly-achin’, sure…” The grin disappeared long enough for the Captain to indulge in a healthy swallow of rum, himself, and wipe his mouth on the back of his sleeve. “…I reckon, too, tha’ a good lot o’ tha’ll be stoppered up when they hear tell they’ll be gettin’ shares on twenny-thousand Lords, though, aye?”
Braydyn blinked (and might have tripped over his own feet) and Khash, grinning his tusky grin, nodded at the Captain’s assessment. “Aye, Cap’n,” the half-orc chuffed, “I reckon thar do be tha’. Thinkin’ ‘bout me own share’s a’most ‘nuff fer me tae fergit thar be magicks inna soup!”
“Let’s be keepin’ tha’ bit ‘bout th’ magic stowed away, aye, mate,” Jericho chuckled, “Thar be enough bluster ‘bout Davi on me ship, now, we dinnae need tae stir th’ soup more’n’s nec’ssary, saavy? If ye c’n put it outta mind, me wee brother, then sure the rest o’ th’…”
The conversation was interrupted just at that moment as, following the sound of pounding feet, a streak of shadow violently separated from the mouth of an intersecting alleyway and collided with Khash’s midsection, and, as a result, left a bloody smear on the half-orc’s tunic as it bounced off and sprawled into the street before them. Any thoughts that the trios hands might have had about pulling weapons were quickly put aside when, instead of some drunken tough looking for a fight, they realized that the figure scrabbling in the street was just some urchin-boy… they checked their pockets and purses instead…
The beaten and bedraggled youth cast a concerned eye briefly towards the alley that had just ejected him into the Brothers Hawkes path and, after drawing in a ragged breath and blinking bruise encircled eyes up at them, said; “Cap'n! I be headin tae th' ship, I swar, was'en dallyin! Jus had'ta say goo'bye ta old friends.”
Jericho scowled when his gaze tracked away from the grubby lad who was now trying to get his feet under him and found the “old friends” the boy had just mentioned lingering in the shadows of the alleyway that had just spit Jesse out into their path. His eyes let go of the toughs in the alley just long enough to flick a meaningful glance in Khash’s direction and found a scowl mirroring his own etched on his little brother’s face. It was obvious that the half-orc, too, remembered similar encounters he and Jericho had had on these very streets when they were even younger than this one.
“Aye,” the Captain of Smuggler’s Moon rumbled, his cinnamon eyes darkening a bit as he recognized the situation for what it was and offered the boy a hand up, “Ye’ve said yer farewells, I hope, then, lad?”
A flash of gratitude passed over Jesse's face. He had more than half expected to be given a kick, not a hand up. He accepted and cast another wary eye at his pursuers, who were apparently too intimidated by the men to step forward to dispute the situation. He quickly nodded and grabbed the man's hand.
“Good’n well,” Jericho nodded as the boy’s hand clasped around his and Jericho hauled him to his feet, “We’re bound fer th’ Moon ourselves. Why don’cha jus’ sally ‘long wit’ us, then, aye?”
At the mention of the Moon Jesse paled a bit under his bruises. He glanced at Khash and then back at Jericho as the realization of what had just happened struck him. Then he wiped his bloodied face on his sleeve and set his face firmly. "Shor thin Cap'n." He wobbled a bit but with another glance at the alleyway he fell in line close behind the large man he now realized was indeed an actual captain of a seafaring vessel, one he had grown up seeing in port. Once he was sure his attackers couldn't hear him he mumbled. "I be out of yer hair right quick like, sor."
“Outta me hair,” Jericho smiled from behind the spill of braids and beads that had fallen across his face when he looked down at the boy, “an’ back intae th’ fine comp’ny o’ yer mates, back there?” He clasped a hand on the lad’s narrow shoulder and urged him on towards the docks; “I dinnae think so, lad. Khash an’ me’ve been where ye be now, aye, an’ it’d be in poor conscience tha’ we’d toss ye back tae th’ sharks, saavy?
How many years ye got in yer wake, boy? Fi’teen? Sixteen? Er do ye even know fer sure?”
The slight boy looked a bit confused for a moment as he puzzled out what Jericho was asking. "Me ma ne'er lemme forget, sor. I ruin'd 'er life nineteen summers ago."
“Aye?” Jericho seemed a bit surprised at the lad’s age; he didn’t look anywhere near nineteen… nor did the feel of the slight frame beneath Jericho’s hand seem to marry up with what he imagined even a half-starved urchin of a boy should seem… “To old fer ye tae be takin’ a billet a’ th’ Star o’ th’ Sea, then, I reckon… Wha’ be yer name, lad?”
"Jesse Cook, sor," he bit his lip, then promptly regretted it as it let a fresh burst of blood loose on his tongue. He grimaced and paled further as Jericho introduced himself.
“Well met, Jesse Cook,” the captain grinned, “Me name’s Jericho Hawkes. I Cap’n th’ Smuggler’s Moon. If ye be lookin’ tae do more fer yerself than tussle wit’ Freeport’s street-rats, I reckon I may be havin’ a place fer ye on board… tha’ bein’ depend’nt, o’ course, on yer ability tae make yerself useful, aye?”
Jesse's eyes widened and he stared dumbstruck at the captain for a few moments. "Me? O...On th' Smuggler's Moon, sor?" he looked at him uncertainly then looked down. "I dunno if I 'ave any use... but I can learn, sor."
“Aye, lad,” Jericho laughed as his rag-tag quartet continued on along the docks, “an’ as I said, I’ve nae any doubt we c’n find some use fer ye…” He grinned, then, and handed Jesse the bottle of rum he’d been carrying. “Have yerself a li’l snort o’ tha’, boy - it’ll soothe them aches, aye - an’ then pass it on over tae Khash.”
When the lad handed the bottle over to Khash, Jericho laughed again and, as they made the gangplank at the Moon’s berth, clapped a hand on Jesse’s shoulder and said; “See there, lad? Ye c’n pass a bottle… Ye be half way tae an’ ol’ salt, a’ready.
When we get aboard, ye go an’ find Marlowe, aye? He’ll tend tae yer hurts an’ get ye cleaned up a bit.”
As they gained the deck, Jericho nudged the boy in the direction of the companionway that would lead him below decks to the Doc and then let his eyes sweep the decks and rigging of his ship, taking in the activities (or lack thereof) of the crew who were already aboard. “Arseholes an’ elbows, me hearties,” he called out as he strode toward the quarterdeck, “We be expectin’ pass’ngers e’re dawn an’re shippin’ out on th’ mornin’ tide!”
((OOC: Okay, stopping there for now… plenty of room for posts before Cap’n Bobo shows up, folks…))
“Aye,” the privateer captain chuckled, “I dinnae doubt tha’s so, lovely. So long’s them talents run along th’ lines o’ scrubbin’ tar-stains from th’ decks er tendin’ canvas and not so much t’wards turnin’ green an’ tossin’ yer guts o’er the gun’les er sommat, I reckon I c’n always use ‘nother hand, aye? Ye been tae sea ‘afore, lass?"
"Yes I was assigned to a ship just last year." Silme responded eagerly, "I'm very good on the water and my aim is improving."
“Good’n well, then,” Jericho nodded, the beads in his hair clattering against his chest as a result of the action, “I’ve got a bit o’ business tae attend, lass, an’ scarce th’ time tae interview ye, meself, aye?” He swaggered backwards a step or two, then – a result of the waning adrenaline and rising rum – and gestured toward the harbor. “But ye go an’ find th’ Smuggler’s Moon, parlay wit’ a bloke called Halfpenny, tell ‘im Cap’n Hawkes sent ye, an’ he’ll see tae et tha’ we put ye tae use…”
"Halfpenny then" Silme said as she blushed a little when Hawkes winked at her. As the captain and his entourage moved down the road Silme smiled and started heading towards the docks whispering the name Smuggler's Moon and Halfpenny to herself. She was almost there when she suddenly stopped.
"My parents!" She exclaimed whirling around and nearly running over a young man behind her. "Oh I'm sorry." She stepped to the side letting the man pass and headed on her way back home to collect what few belongings she almost forgot and say goodbye to her parents.
It was beginning to get late, well past noon, and Silme's stomach reminded her that she missed lunch. Rather loudly in fact. Oh dear I am hungry. Silme thought picking her way through the crowd on her way back to her old home. I wonder if I should eat at home or if that'd be rude since I'm leaving tonight.
She arrived back to her father's shop, they lived right above it so that they could keep an eye on it, and in case there was a customer that required late hours. The shop was every bit as untidy as always. It was about dinner time when she arrived and she could smell the cooking fish her mother had surely caught that day. The aroma forced her stomach to once again remind her of her hunger.
"Finally you return home." Her mother called out having heard the stomach's announcement. Silme blushed realizing how loud such an announcement was. "Dinner is almost done so you should probably wash up." I wonder if she'll still be willing to feed me after I tell them.
"Mom, dad I have an announcement!" Silme called out. "I signed onto a ship!"
"Really?" Silme's dad asked coming out of the bathroom. "Which ship?" "The Smuggler's Moon" Silme answered smiling and thinking of all the adventures she would have.
"Isn't that a pirate's ship?" Her dad questioned with a disapproving look on his face. Is it? Silme thought trying to remember hearing any rumors about it. It might be
"No I don't think so." Silme replied washing her hands in preparation for dinner.
"Are you sure?" Her father raised an eyebrow. Man why couldn't I have learned to raise my eyebrows? Silme thought feeling jealous of the facial expression. She'd been trying to mimic that face for years. "I mean would an honest trader name their ship The Smuggler's Moon?"
"It's just a name dad." Silme replied but secretly wondered the same thing, "meant to sound cool. Anyways I signed on and we sail with the morning tide, I think."
"Good, then you have time for dinner." Silme's mom interjected bringing out a tray with two decent sized fish laid out on it, with slices of pineapple and apple laid out over the fish and a brownish sauce laddled over the whol set up. The aroma quickly had Silme sitting at the table ready to eat. After dinner Silme helped clear the table.
"Thank you for dinner mom." Silme said while washing the dishes. "It was probably the last good meal I'm likely to get for a long while."
"Hopefully not." Her mother replied with a hug. "There's a lot of illnesses borne on the sea that could be avoided with a decent diet. Any chance you get you should stock yourself up with fruits and fish can be found aplenty at sea but you can't let that be your only meat. In port you should try some of the other meat like chicken or pork, I know you can't keep a farm on board it would be eally hard and not very practical, but you've got to make sure you eat a decent meal occasionally."
After cleaning up Silme went to pack her things which she discovered were already packed for her. Probably by the man standing next to them.
"You be safe out there." Her father admonished. "Even on a reputable ship, which The Smuggler's Moon doesn't really count as, even though they don't have the worst reputation. There is a lot of dangers, from sea monsters to other ships to your own crew."
"I know dad and I will be careful." Silme said hugging her father.
"But perhaps the biggest danger for one such as you is yourself." Her father said handing her her luggage. "Don't overdo it out there. Know your limits and know the price of your actions. You're a gifted Cannon but you're no god and so are subject to the costs of this world."
"I know." Silme whispered. "I'll see you again." Silme collected her things and herself and walked out of the shop, perhaps for the last time. She set her gaze toward the dock and her new life.
Marlowe’s dark eyes watched the two half elves disappear around the corner of the door. The double set of footsteps creaked above him on the stairs that ran through and above the sickbay.
“Fresh blood,” he commented. A hand drew back the black curtain in the corner, and his brother grinned toothily at him.
“Fresh biscuit blood,” Baudoin replied, his grin getting wider. The table that sat behind him was also covered in open jars; his hands found a mortar and pestle and began to grind the contents within.
“Ya see true enough yet again, bradda,” Marlowe said, grinning nearly as wide, “Ya might be gittin lucky dis heist, seen?”
Baudoin’s milky eyes flashed at his brother, his grin dropping to a scowl that still showed all of his teeth, “Yah dam Lagga head bud,” he said, his deep voice sounding like a quiet growl. He stood up and closed the distance to Marlowe, “Rhaatid yah tinking? Yah know dem rules.”
Jesse tried to occupy himself and not listen to their conversation, but the melodic oddity of the accents entranced him and he was unable to keep from listening. He had heard it before, but never this strong and he much preferred it to some of the harsher more guttural accents from the Northern lands. Not that he really understood a word of it anyway. He caught a few familiar words but the rest flowed in one ear and out the other.
“I just sayin’. A bredda can hope for his – “
“A who dat now?” Baudoin interrupted, shifting his head around in the direction of the entrance. Nearly identical faces swiveled around to look at the young face now framed in the doorway. Marlowe’s dreads surrounded his face, which slightly frowning at the puffy mess that had appeared in his infirmary; Baudoin, tattooed, bald and blind, also seemingly stared at the lad.
“Come yah, child,” Marlowe boomed as he gestured with his hand, “Ya’ll be another one messin wit da badness.”
When they turned to address the scant lad he took a moment to stare, both in shock and fear they would be upset that he had heard what they were saying. It was the same face staring at him from two bodies. The strange happenings of this day were getting more and more numerous. He stood meekly in the door looking uncertainly at them for a moment. This Marlowe person was a doctor, right? Doctors didn't hurt people on purpose.
Jesse couldn't keep from looking at the blind brother. Not only was he covered in fascinating tattoo designs, but his eyes were glazed over white like the blind man that told fortunes for a living on the docks. He came a few steps forward, stopping in front of Marlowe, but the eye he was able to open stayed riveted on Baudoin. The boy realized he was being rude a moment later and looked down.
“Cap'n Hawkes tol' me ta come see ya,” he mumbled softly and looked back up, still fascinated by the two of them. “Ken ya tell fortunes?” The words were out of Jesse's mouth before he had a chance to censor himself and if he hadn't already been black and blue he would have blushed very deeply. “Sorry...” he whispered softly, not even sure how to explain that question without sounding really rude.
Marlowe shifted his head to look at his brother, while Baudoin kept his face trained on the lad still in the doorway. There was a pause that seemed like an eternity while no one moved or said anything. Baudoin’s face split into a wide smile, he threw back his head, and started laughing a deep, booming laugh that shook his entire body.
“Coo yah dis yah creations stepper, tho not full on!” He smacked his brother on the shoulder, who in response began to laugh, “Oh, ya be gittin your for-tion, when ya structure be fit and ya head can seen it!”
“It look like ya be takin quite da box,” Marlowe said, still chortling, “Come yah and sit down while Marlowe feels for broken bones.”
Jesse looked sheepishly at Baudoin as he spoke, confused, enthralled and terrified. “D...Do tha mean ya will tell mah fortune w'en I dun't 'ave no bruises?” Baudoin nodded in reply, the smile still spread widely across his face. His eyes seemed to follow Jesse as he walked over to one of the stools. He obediently sat down, sudden fear coming across his battered face. He wasn't really sure he wanted this guys poking around on him.
“I dun't 'ave no broken bones,” he said suddenly and hopped back off the box. “I jus bruised up real bad. Thas all. I'll 'eal inna bit.” He skittered a bit away from Marlowe, unable to keep his concern from his face.
“Steady now,” Marlowe said calmly, “If ya being saying thar be no broken bones, thar be no broken bones. I be fixing ya i-shence for ya eyes an bruises that ya be puttin on,” he put an emphasis on the last ‘ya’.
Baudoin continued to stare and grin at the lad in the infirmary while Marlowe turned his back and began to pull herbs and balm from his jars.
Jesse watched the two curiously, more than a little thankful that they didn't press for him to go through with the examination. He was a little surprised at the comment about having something to put on it. For as long as he could remember the boy had been told that if you wanted your bruises to heal you should do your best to stop getting hit. He huffed, not realizing he made the noise out loud. “Show wha tha air 'eaded loud mouths know...” he mumbled almost silently.
Marlowe turned around and shook two little jars at Jesse.
“Dis one,” he said, shaking the smaller of the two filled with a sort of green goo, “be for ya swelling. Put dis on round ‘bout ya eyes til the swellin be gone.” Marlowe daubed a little on his finger, reached over and rubbed it into Baudoin’s cheek.
“And dis one,” Marlowe continued, grinning as he shook the other jar filled with a white paste, “be for ya bruises. Put dis on round ‘bout any bruises til they be gone. Two, maybe three day.” He took a little bit of the paste and smeared it across Baudoin’s forehead.
“Yu tan deh, bredda!” Baudoin rubbed the paste into his skin, “Ya ina big choble!”
Marlowe handed the jars over to Jesse, “Ya be retuning these when ya be finished. Maybe when ya come to get Baudoin’s fortune, seen?”
Jesse smiled a little despite himself, it quickly turning to a grimace as his lip split open again from the movement. Sure these guys were scary, but he kind of figured if they were going to hurt him they probably would have already. There were no witnesses down here and he obviously was in no shape to ward off a stiff breeze, let alone someone intending on doing him harm. The jars felt strange in his hands and he pressed the cool glass bottom lightly against his more swollen eye. He nodded when he was told to bring them back when finished with them.
“I be back fer tha fortun, fer sure!” His mother had told him to avoid people like this. If it didn't hurt so bad to do so he would have grinned. His mother also told him to stay away from the ships and people like Captain Jericho Hawkes too.
He felt he should probably leave but had no idea where me might supposed to go. He looked uncertainly at the door then back at the brothers. Maybe he should try to find the Captain again? He headed towards the door, jar still held against his eye. Before he got there however the draw of maybe seeing Marlowe make more of his salves and seemingly magic potions caused him to think otherwise.
"I...Is there anything I can do to help down here?" he asked meekly, scooting into an out of the way corner. "Or... can I just... stay here for a bit if not?"
Marlowe grinned, “Yah child, put tha’ i-shence on round ‘bout ya eyes. Once ya be doing tha’, take this,” he handed him a spare mortar and pestle with a large dried root in it, “an’ grind dis til it be a fine powder.”
Jesse obediently smoothed the ointment around his eyes and tried to get it all off his fingers onto his skin before he found a place out of the way to sit and work on the task given to him. After a few awkward moments trying to get the motion down, mostly pushing the root around the mortar, he began to actually do some good.
“That be ginseng,” he said, allowing the word to roll slowly over his tongue, “it be good for lotsa things. If ya be tired, a little be doing ya head alotta good. Help ya mind think clearer. Also help ya feel stronger, an’ have more juice.”
“Ya mean one lil' rut ken do all tha?” The disbelief and wonder was obvious in his voice and he looked at the stubborn root with new found respect. Plants apparently had powers he had never considered. Experimentally he sniffed at the contents of the mortar and looked back up at Marlowe. “'ow'd ya learn all this?”.”
Baudoin laughed at Jesses remark. He was occupied with his own mortar and pestle, and was occasionally adding a few herbs to his own mix.
“Much like you,” Marlowe commented, not turning from the wooden table, “Too many dam questions in my lagga head. Don’t ya be eatin’ tha much, pinda. Too much’ll rob ya of sleep, an do ya a tattoo against ya chest. Ginseng,” he said, naming the herb once again slowly.
“Ginseng...” Jesse took special care to pronounce it exactly like Marlowe did. The rest of what the doctor said however was lost on him. “Pinda? Tattoo against ya chest?” He kept working at the root, pleased with his new knowledge.
“Tattoo bunks ya chest,” Baudoin said, setting down his tools. His thick hand came up and beat like a heartbeat against his chest, progressively getting faster. His filmy eyes scrunched seriously as his hands got impossibly fast, stopped suddenly, and then moved them quickly in Jesse’s direction as he said, “POOF!”
“Ginseng not be tha’ bad, bredda,” Marlowe chided, still not turning around. Baudoin shook his head, pulled a pained, gruesome face, and drew a finger across his neck. He winked.
Jesse gasped at Baudoin's display, looking down at the root yet again. Could such an innocent little part of a plant really have such a dangerous effect. He watched Baudoin for a few moments and then went back to his work. "Wha do pinda, mean?"
Baudoin’s expression (which always seemed a little over expressive) frowned again, “Pinda? Pinda be ya, child.”
He glanced back up, watching the blind man for several moments then staring at Marlowe's back. "Wha's in tha stuff fer mah eye?"
By the time the evening was through, Jesse had heard Marlowe go on at lengths about Castor oil, the main medium for a number of his concoctions including the one for the swelling, because “ya caenot git any better than castor oil for da swellin.” He adds a few other ingredients to the oil, like tea tree oil, “just in case ya badness be infected.”
The paste for bruising was made from tincture of arnica, chamomile, aloe, and some crushed lavender all mixed into a balm of beeswax and olive oil. Marlowe then went on to explain the properties of each item to Jesse, giving him samples of each as he went. All in all, by the time that Jesse left a few hours later, his mind was abuzz with plant properties and smooth accents, and his tongue was left with a bit of a funny taste.
He went gratefully to the hammock that Marlowe showed him and curled up. Before he could even start going over the things he had learned that night his eyes slipped shut and he was fast asleep, the jars clenched tight in his hands.
Willow left Lyri on the stairs with directions to find the galley. The crew on the main deck continued to move about at a blasé pace; many seemed to be missing, and were likely in town spending their coin on drinks and women (or men). There really was no rush, they were due in port for a few days at least, and nearly everyone had been itching for some shore leave.
Especially given the events that had happened over the last month or so.
Maybe I’ll go back to Meg’s and let off a little more steam. Either that, or just die in her tub for a couple of hours. She wasn’t too keen on taking shore leave, especially here in Freeport, but getting to see her friend was a small comfort. The waves and the endless expanses of sea always held an allure for Saercyn, and sailing aboard the Moon had never failed in fulfilling that promise. Leaving her, even for a few hours, always instilled a small sense of longing; although seeing that little salty Halfling was always worth it.
What I wouldn’t give to sail with her again, Will thought as she opened the door to her own little cabin. She shut it behind her, set down Rose, and leaned heavily against the wall. The Moon rocked comfortingly under her feet as the world outside was momentarily shut out. The room smelled of her soaps and the beeswax that had burnished the wood to a soft glow. The sudden lull in activity was soothing. Will kicked out of her boots and let out a long sigh. Loosing that much blood drained most of her energy, and she looked longingly at her bunk nestled into the wall.
Not until I get out of this bloody mess.
She began stripping unceremoniously out of her bloodied garments. The choli might be able to be dyed a different color; I doubt the blood will ever come out of Jericho’s scarf She unlocked her trunk to get a fresh change of clothes when she noticed the brown packages sitting on top.
“Damnation!” The bard, in all the excitement that had followed at the Hook, had completely forgotten about Davi’s packages. Willow hastily put on her scarlet top and cut-off pants. She separated out her own vanilla soap, eye pencils and horse hair before bundling up the rest and heading back out into the corridor.
The half-elf knocked softly on Jericho’s door. After listening for any sound of movement, she tried the handle, which was unlocked, and slowly poked her head around the door.
“Misses Passat? Special delivery!” A quick look around the room told her that Davian was apparently somewhere else aboard the ship. Will set the packages down on the bed, and turned to leave. She inhaled the lingering smell of spiced rum and sharp scent of tallow. Goosebumps erupted across her skin, and she shivered slightly. The door clicked shut behind her as she stepped back into the saloon. Her hand had barely hit the knob to her own quarters before she heard the captain’s booming voice shouting orders on the main deck.
By the time Willow popped her head out topside, the crew that had been mulling about at their ease was now grumbling, stowing away loose crates and preparing the mainsail to be hoisted off the deck. Jericho looked like he was heading straight for her, or at least, pacing back and forth in her general direction.
“Oi, Jarek!” she said, unable to keep the exasperation out of her voice, “What’s all the commotion? We having a surprise inspection?”
At the sound of Willow’s voice, Jericho’s gaze abandoned the grumbling yet still busy crew and swept across the decks to frame the bard. The sight of her blackened eyes and swollen face made him cringe a bit but, as he turned and strode across the deck toward her, he still managed a roguish smile.
“Nay, Will-luv,” he grinned, hoisting the now half-empty rum bottle she had given him earlier in the day, “th’ rum’s still flowin’, aye? Wha’d there be tae inspect?”
He took another swig from the bottle as he swaggered to within a yard of her; whether he took that drink because he really wanted it or, rather, because he needed it to mask the scowl that threatened his lips and soothe the knot that tied itself in his stomach when he got a good look at just how pale and battered the shanty singer had emerged from the row at the Rusty Hook, even Jericho couldn’t have said. Either way, when the bottle came away from his mouth and his eyes turned back to capture hers again, the mischievous smile still played on his lips and in his eyes (although, there might have been an uncommon warmth to it, this time).
“Tsk,” he clucked, drawing to a stop just in front of her and reaching out his free hand to lift her chin and make a slight show of assessing her battle-scars, “I dinnae reckon yer en any state tae be singin’ these layabouts tae squarin’ thin’s away any quicker, then?
“We be sailin’ onna mornin’ tide, aft’r all,” he said, almost casually, as he sat the rum bottle on the deck, “an’ our pass’ngers’ll be aboard e’re dawn’s broke,” Jericho’s hands, now both free, cupped her face more gently than seemed possible for the size of them, and his eyes examined her injuries with more honest concern than bravado.
“Bugger all but ain’t ye a sight, lovely,” he murmured, smiling softly, “Jus’ how big a swab was it punched ye in yer gob like tha’, Will?”
She looked up into his face and grinned wearily, “Big as a house. As an Inn, Jericho. Twice tae size o’ tae faire, even!” she slowly winked, “Actually, never saw that man. All I saw was a tankard and ever loving rum spilling out of it before it hit me full in the face.” Her eyes drank him in as he held her head in his massive hands.
Will blinked, gently grabbed his wrists and moved them away from her face. She gestured around the deck, “Are you trying to start a riot, captain? One day of shore leave? Better spread the word so the rest of the crew’ll let those not aboard know.
“I’ll get the crew under time for when we leave port tomorrow, Jericho, but I doubt I can pull any miracles this evening,” She sighed, grabbed the bottle of rum off the deck railing, took a long pull and made a slight face.
“Nay, lovely,” the captain answered, shaking his head faintly and trying to find something for his hands to do, “Don’ ye worry ‘bout t’night. Get yerself a soak an’ a sleep, aye? An’ dinnae concern yerself wit’ t’morrow, neither, saavy? I reckon this lot’ll get the Moon sailin’ faster’n a scalded cat when they hear tell shore leave’s been curtailed so’s they c’n have their shares o’ twenny thousan’ Lords fer an eight day sail,” At that last, Jericho’s voice rose louder than was necessary for Willow alone to have heard it, and, sure enough, the murmurs started and spread away from them like ripples in a pond and the crew did seem to work a bit harder all the sudden.
He winked at the bardess, then, and as he moved to escort her back to her cabin, chuckled in a much lower tone, “Thirty, fer truth, Saercyn Willow. I know I c’n get thirty outta this wee monkey. We could bloody well pleasure cruise fer months on tha’, aye?”
“Why Jericho Hawkes,” she replied with a smirk , “I don’t think you even know the meaning of ‘pleasure cruise’. I’ll sing for you on the morrow, and the crew. It wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t, and besides, you might have a few crew with buggered toes and fingers if I didn’t.”
Jericho simply smiled in response to that. To his way of thinking, every time he put to sea was the beginning of a pleasure cruise; to others, though, well, the bard was likely correct if they were going by what others thought.
Will opened the door to her cabin once again, motioned him inside, and shut the door behind him. She turned to him and raised her eyebrows.
“Thirty?” Will said quietly, “You can’t be serious, Jericho.”
The captain’s smile widened and he broke into a laugh, then, “No?”
He flicked Willow a wink, his cinnamon eyes flashing even in the dim light of her cabin, and, unable to resist the call of it (what with the rum churning through his blood and some small amount of that blood still seeping from wounds he’d taken during the tussle at the Hook), allowed himself to sink down onto her bunk and let go a sigh that came close to a yawn before continuing.
“Ye may no’ think so, Willow-luv,” he grinned, his eyelids seeming to grow heavier now that he’d sat himself down, “but I be serious’s a spark in a powder-keg, aye?”
Her eyebrows seemed to rise even higher, but she said nothing. When was the last time we saw a payout like that?
“Thar be more tae th’ tale Bobo spinned fer us, lass, than ‘e let on” Jericho continued, “an’ he reckons we dinnae know it… figgers we be havin’ ‘bout’s much smarts’s a barnacle, ‘e does.” There was a chuff of a chuckle that escaped him, then, and the semblance of a yawn that followed as he shoved his hands though his hair. Without really thinking about it, he laid back on the bardess’ bunk and stretched out his legs.
“Wha’ our wee li’l monkey mate dinnae know, Will,” he said, almost sleepily now, “is tha’, fer a barnacle, I be a wee bit smarter’n most, saavy?” That roguish smile still played on his lips but his eyes had been coaxed shut by the comfort of Willow’s cot. His hands worked their way free of his beaded and braided mop, too, as he moved to fold his arms across his chest. The motion evoked a faint wince and an even fainter groan that hinted at the fact that Jericho was starting to feel the days due.
“Aye,” he murmured, “tha’ monkey’s got more tae tell, lass, an’ when he does, I’ll set me hook… Aye... Thirty...”
“Jericho, if you’re as smart as a barnacle,” Will replied as she moved over to the bunk, “then I’m a monkey’s uncle.” She sat down on the edge of it and rested her chin on her hands. Her eyes glazed over a bit as she hummed a few bars of The Dark Lady.
“An’ it’s his tale that I be worried about,” she said vaguely, still humming. The bard’s eyes focused back in on Jericho, and she gently laid her hands on his chest.
His eyes had drifted shut at the sound of her voice and he’d found himself softly humming along to her tune but, at the touch of her hands on his chest, one of Jericho’s eyes opened and regarded the bard… His heart fluttered faintly and he smiled. “Aye, an’ it be tha’ part o’ th’ bastard’s tale tha’ worries ye wha’s got our extra ten,” he snickered behind another wince.
“Did you crack a rib at the Hook?” Her face scrunched in a frown, “You better see Marlowe about it. A broken captain won’t do us any good, especially if you’re gonna get that extra ten out of Bobo.”
“Aye,” he replied with a grin, his fingers brushing over hers where they rested on his chest, “I took a bit of a bludgeon, I reckon. ‘Twas us ‘ginst th’ most o’ th’ Hook, aft’r all.” His hands drifted (somewhat reluctantly) away from hers, then, and slipped, once more, behind his head. “Me an’ Khash took worse beatin’s when we was but lads, aye,” he winked playfully, “there be nae need fer me tae go troublin’ th’ Doc wit’ me scrapes.”
Willow shook her head slightly and said, “You might want to consider just sleeping here, Jericho. I doubt that our Lady’s planks’ll be good for that.” She moved her hand above a spot on his chest, but didn’t touch it, “I can find a hammock to sleep in for the next night or two.”
The captain snorted out a bit of a chuckle at that and, with a shake of his own head, sat himself up again. “Nae, Willow-luv, I’ll nae be runnin’ ye outta yer bunk,” he wrapped an arm around her shoulders as he situated himself beside her on the edge of the cot, “I c’n sling a hammock o’ me own er sommat. Be good tae sleep out inna air, aye? Like on th’ beach a’ Eortis.”
“Ah, Eortis,” Will sighed fondly, her eyes twinkling, “How I miss that little island. Bad food, bad booze, dodging daggers nightly that were aimed for your back or a so-called dartboard. Scantily clad women ready to do anything for a drink, or a place on a boat. Sand in places you never knew you had,” she ran her hand along the hull of the ship, “I’d say that Eortis provided us with all sorts of lasting memories, yes?”
"Aye," Jericho nodded, his own eyes sparkling to match hers as he recalled the tiny island where he and Khash had first met the bardess, "more'n one, I reckon. Got you... got th' Moon..."
“Well, don’t come belly-aching to me when you find you can’t roll out of that hammock in the morning; I offered,” She smiled at Jericho, and smacked his knee, “If you’re not staying here, Jericho, then I guess I’m going to ask you to take your leave. I feel about as useful as a dead fish in a bathhouse.”
"I'll stay if'n ye'll do th' same, Will," he laughed and winked, only half joking, as he hauled himself to his feet, "but I reckon tha's a treasure still a good sail off, innit?" He rested a hand on her shoulder and leaned down to plant a kiss on the top of her head before he turned and opened the door; "An' fer wha' et's worth... Ye've far more use'n any dead fish, Saercyn Willow. I reckon I'd be adrift wi'out ye, a' any rate, aye?
He flicked her another wink and an affectionate smile as he stepped out into the corridor. "Get ye some rest, lovely," he said before closing the door, "Dawn'll be breakin' soon enough."
Posted on 2012-05-10 at 15:09:43.
Edited on 2012-05-10 at 18:17:15 by Celeste
Silver Screen - Words Can Travel Faster Than a Hawke
Within an alley running alongside the Dented helm Arv Hookridge was further annoyed by the incompetence of his men. It seemed that Shortcloak was still nearby, parading about the docks district with the unusual company of a tall seaman and a half-orc. His men had returned to report their progress though the city, but with no information of consequence except that they were stopped in an alley in the shadow of The Doxies Lap.
It was their reason for their quick departure that bothered Arv the most. Letting out an irritated sigh, Hookridge suddenly lashed out, sending one halfling stumbling against the alley wall while staring directly at the other with blue eyes burning with rage.
" I don't care if the man scares you. I do not care if he is as large as the seaman or the half-orc. I do not even care if he has a rabid monkey that does his talking for him." That last part actually bothered Hookridge, but it paid to maintain composure. "What I do care about is that Shortcloak is literally standing, idly, in that alley...." A backhand knocked the young halfling to the ground "And none of you are watching!"
He spat in disgust, looking at the two servants of the HBA, as if they had the mettle to truly make something of themselves. "You consider yourselves a part of the Eyes and Ears of our organization? You're a disgrace. Not only are you wasting my time, but you don't even know their destination!"
"They m'not ser, but I do"
Hookridge wheeled about to see the young halfling girl come racing up the street. "Oh?"
"Oh yes'ser. Me an' Winslow were keepin tabs on 'em a ways afore des twits took o'er. A young missus innercepted 'em lookin ta join crew o' some such. Ov'r 'erd dar Cap'n tell 'er the ship's name too. The Smuggler's Moon, ser."
While her speech lacked refinement, Hookridge was relieved to have someone competent about, yet a thought nagged at him. "Why did you not report back immediately?"
"Well'en Winslow an' I 'sided ta follow da young missus, as we tout she'd ben 'eaded ta da ship. Only, she didn't 'ead twards da docks. Winslow be keeping an eye on 'er, and 'ere I am, ser, Becks, reportin' in."
Hookridge's sick smile returned in full form. "Excellent." He said as his grin widened. Shortcloak was in his grasp now. "Send word, I want agents on the docks scouring for the ship. I want knives, crossbows; anything. No one cuts and runs from the HBA."
Becks nodded and was turning to leave when Hookridge said a final remark. "Oh, and do keep eyes on the girl. She may prove useful, in one way or another."
After saying a bunch of 'yessers', Becks was on her way again, leaving Hookridge with his two 'associates', who, while having regained their footing had lost none of their fear. Only now their fear was from a much closer source. Wrapping an arm around each of their shoulders, Hookridge walked them to the street. "You see lads, that is the job. You follow. You watch. You listen." He could see the beads of terror rolling done their faces as fear prevented their speech. "So, if you are lucky, you will find your creepy gentleman, and do your job. Information is key." He then shoved them out of the alley.
Unbeknownst to Arv Hookridge, there was in fact a singular member of the Halfling Benevolent Association watching the crew of the Smuggler's Moon conduct their business. Despite the beating he had suffered for his 'failings', Tucker had managed drag himself to his feet. Now, hidden just a few yards from his target, a cold sweat had overtaken the young thief, his fear of being found out equal to his fear of returning empty handed.
It had not been hard finding them, although it was moreso a fluke than anything else. Indeed, Tucker would have missed them altogether in his ragged haste if not for the two bumbling half-wits who bailed on their duty due to the creepy, dark-skinned man who now stood with Shortcloak and his associates. The battered thief did have to admit though, the foreboding stature of the man, paired with the odd, foul-mouthed creature on his shoulder was unsettling. But that man didn't matter, nor any of the other non-halflings; this was an internal matter of the HBA, and Tucker did not want to pay the price.
As the dealings proceeded Tucker's mind struggled to stay alert. His body ached as remaining concealed and motionless took its toll, but he could not risk shifting too much, or breathing too loudly lest he be found out. Shortcloak in particular caused him the most panic, the indebted merchant was growing inpatient, and paranoid as the group stood in the alleyway, constantly surveying the alley for any who approached. Finally, Shortcloak's gaze had settled upon Tucker's hiding spot sending the thief's heart racing; luckily the group seemed to conclude their dealings and Shortcloak was eager enough to leave that he did not mention any suspicions he had of watchers.
Carefully Tucker tailed them from a distance, the towering height of Shortcloak's companions acting as a marker in the winding streets. Unfortunately for Tucker his tall 'flags' separated as they neared the docks, and, figuring Shortcloak would be attempting to get aboard a ship as soon as possible, gave up pursuit of the detouring Half-orc. He was wrong. Once upon the docks, Tucker watched as two men made their way toward a ship, The Smuggler's Moon .
Panic stirred in Tucker; Shortcloak had slipped his grasp, and his life was a good as forfeit if he did not take care of his mistake.
Kepit together Tuck, ye jus gotta kepit together.... maybe 'e'll get 'ere soon
Try as he might though, his self-reassurances were little comfort, as the weight of his desperation settled in. Tucker would just have to wait, hoping to see that Half-orc in the distance, and Shortcloak beside him.
Posted on 2012-05-13 at 12:26:53.
Edited on 2012-06-21 at 02:43:38 by Tuned_Out
Early Evening - The Sea Market, The Docks District, Freeport
As the Brothers Hawkes reached the waterfront portion of the docks district, it dawned upon Khash that he'd completely forgotten the one personal thing he had meant to do ashore. There was still the matter of replacing the bottle of rum he had selfishly downed the night before. No doubt by now Halfpenny would have taken stock of the supplies, and if the small quartermaster had linked the bottle's disappearance with Khash's own late rising that morning... there would be an earful at the very least. It would not be the first time the two of them clashed, but, especially where the ship would be setting out in the morning, it would be best to avoid conflicts with crewmates. It then also occurred to the first-mate that it might be a good idea to pick up extra, fer personal reasons, such as dealing with the ever-increasing magicks that were trying to take over the Moon's affairs. With this in mind Khash quickly pulled Jarek aside and, using Willow's present as an example, explained he was going to make a quick detour; the half-orc then grabbed Braydyn by the shirt collar, wheeled him about towards the direction of the Sea Market, and lead the anxious - and now somewhat disoriented- halfling away.
Once his initial confusion had subsided however, the merchant halfling was less than happy about the idea; the half-orc had dragged him further from safety. With the dimming lights of evening cast over Freeport Braydyn was extremely nervous about the trip. Not only was the Sea Market a dangerous place during the daytime, the thought of it at night once the Watch ceased their patrols was unnerving, especially considering the HBA was undoubtedly searching for him; they likely had people watching for him everywhere by now! Even considering Khash's size, there was no guarantee of security.
"I should be on the ship, not in the streets" Braydyn muttered unconsciously.
Khash let out a rumbling chuckle at Braydyn's words "If'n ye'd had ratterd go wid Jarek ye could uv mate. I jus thought what wid yer skills, ye'd be able ta help make dis trip quik!"
The words hit Braydyn like a slap across the face. I could have made a choice? What do you mean I could have made a choice! He had not thought of that. He had just been swept up in the sudden change in direction and not thought to voice protest until now. In fact it occurred to Braydyn that since he started dealing with the Hawkes brothers he hadn't had much say in anything. Flying across barrooms, strange encounters with wealthy primates in back alleyways, sudden detours; hopefully things would settle down a bit, maybe.
With a sigh of agitation, Braydyn looked up at the grinning half-orc. "Ye could'n 'ave mentioned that b'fore we left, aye? Ye giant arse." Khash snorted at the remark, but Braydyn continued. "Les' just take care o' yer soddin' task 'fore somthing else crazy happens."
Within the market itself there was still a fair amount of traffic despite the waning daylight. Last minute bargain-seekers and those trying to avoid the bustling crowds of the day convened at the tents and stalls of merchants, both seedy and otherwise, preparing to close for the day or packing up for another journey with their unsold wares. Meandering through the market, Khash made a quick trip towards the nearest provider of spirits, whilst Braydyn to extra care to stay with him and scan the crowd for anyone looking at them too closely. The halfling thought he caught the gaze of the half-elf at one point, but then he was far more concerned about his brethren than presumably some thief looking for a mark.
Casting a final glance around them, Braydyn turned and found Khash arguing over the price of two bottles of rum with a seedy looking slime of a merchant. It seemed that 'due to the hour' the merchant was charging extra, yet the bottles and many others like them were still upon his stall. The halfling could only roll his eyes with contempt. Fed up and impatient to get going, Braydyn snapped into action.
"Look" He piped up, causing the merchant to suddenly lean over the counter to look at him "Ye can keep arguing if ye like ser, but yer gonna be robbed." Braydon pointed just beyond the stall behind the man, to where a couple of urchins were, coincidentally, watching them. As the man turned to deal with the supposed thieves, Braydyn snatched the knife from Khash's belt, cut the purse a careless passerby, dropped it on the stall and pushed the bottles to Khash. "Move!" He breathed, tired of this situation. Khash simply grinned and accepted the gesture. The pair then began to cut back across the market, making haste for the ship. Out of he corner of his eye however, Braydyn could have sworn he saw the same half-elf as before, a small figure leaving his side.
Late Evening- The Docks District waterfront, Freeport
The trek back to the waterfront nearest The Moon had been uneventful, though Braydyn could swear he felt eyes upon him. Unaware there was any need to worry, his half-orc companion had begun to partake in one of the bottles of rum they had secured, a matter which only encouraged Braydyn to continue is vigilant analysis of every nook and cranny they passed. That last thing he wanted was to be caught unaware, but Khash was being distracting with his continued attempts "improv 'is muud" either with jokes or of; the settling in of the half-orc's slur was no comfort.
As their destination came into sight however, Braydyn began to try to relax. It would only take a short while to reach the boat, and the morning tide would free him from this dangerous cesspool he unfortunately called home. Khash's ramblings of adventure even began to gain an entertaining light, as they were scatterbrained, with constant remarks of "Wil tell et bettaa" and "Wai', no, dat wuudnt itt". Braydyn was doubtful there was a consistent fact in any of it -such as Jarek swinging from the rigging in a tavern to acquire spice for a travelling band of wenches- but the halfling's spirits had risen so much that he actually began laughing along. However the moments to come left the merchant cursing ever letting his guard down.
With The Smuggler's Moon just two ships away, Braydyn suddenly felt himself get grappled from his side, a hand covering his mouth and a knife placed to his back. Unaware of the situation, Khash kept walking forward recanting some story and chuckling.
"Sorry Shortcloak," an oddly familiar, although shaky voice whispered. "Its you er me, ans I dun wanna go out like dis."
Braydyn froze at those words. Someone in the HBA had nabbed him and was starting to pull him aside from prying eyes, though their small statures kept them out of the views of most. Fear and anger swelled in Braydyn's mind. Worse still he realized that the only knife he carried was lost among the wreckage of a tavern brawl, and he'd returned Khash's blade after they'd made off with the rum. Hopeless began to set in as he couldn't think of a way out.
A few strides away however, Khash took a long swill of rum and turned to where his companion should have been with a tusky grin, only to be dumbfounded by his sudden absence. Casting hasty, drunken glances about, the half-orc barely spotted what he thought could be his two copies of his companion behind him. At such a sight Khash's heart sank, not wanting to deal with the possibility of more magicks at this hour; there would be enough of it the days to come. Still, he thought he should check to see what had slowed down Braydyn and Braydyn.
At the sudden call from a drunken half-orc, it was Braydyn's attacker's turn to tense up, an opportunity the merchant was not willing to pass up. Suddenly slipping his elbow back, Braydyn managed to deflect the knife from plunging into his back, instead causing it to slash across it, however the motion let him break his foe's grasp and turn to face him. Surprised recognition flashed across Braydyn's face as he identified the same weasel that had broken into his room that morning, though he had little time to think about it.
Whoooossssssshhh. Whothhum. Whhooothuump.
The sudden whistling of a crossbow bolt flying just off the mark was echoed by the sudden shattering of glass and the rumbling curses Khash; his half-empty rum bottle had exploded in his hand, and glass shard had cut up his arm. But the bolt had not been alone. Neither halfling had time to react as a a bolt planted itself in the back of Tucker's leg causing him to cry out. As the would-be attacker dove to the side, yet another bolt sunk into Braydyn's gut. A moment of stumbling backwards ended in the ground rushing up to meet him, the shades of three figures on rooftops fading as the world turned into blackness.
As night fell over Freeport, the crew of The Smuggler's Moon witnessed a scene most would not have expected on the first night of shore leave. Deckhands finishing up their duties were suddenly leaping aside as their first-mate came barrelling up the gangplank, bellowing for Marlow and not concerning himself with any who were in his way. Those observant enough to catch a full glimpse, such as the Captain rigging up his hammock, witnessed the half-orc covered in blood and glass with a bottle tucked under one arm and the small form of what was either a child or a halfling in the other.
Night - Somewhere in Freeport
Tucker groaned in pain as he snapped the wooden shaft of the bolt in his leg, then began about tying cloth around the wound. He had not the means to extract the tip, and each step he took burnt with fiery pain, but he had to keep moving. The half-orc had ruined his capture of Shortcloak, and other members of the HBA had taken care of the matter; problem was neither he nor they could confirm that Shortcloak was finished, for the half-orc had scooped him up and run off. Without a confirmation, Tucker figured his life was still in jeopardy, especially where the others had shot him. With grim determination he pressed on; perhaps he could find a place to hide, but more importantly he needed to attend to his leg... and perhaps the means for a disguise.
Night - Hookridge's Dwelling, Freeport
Despite the darkness of night Arv Hookridge was still awake in his study, awaiting news of the orders he'd issued. It had not been the best of days for him, and he found himself wishing he had kept Tucker captive so he could take his stress out on something. Alas, he admitted to himself, that would have been selfish, unproductive, and, in all fairness unjust of him; even a screwup like the young thief deserved a chance to fix his mistakes. A sick grin crossed his face as he mused about the possibility of Tucker even standing a chance to capture Shortcloak, given the fleeing merchants company and the state he had left Tucker in. Still, he had been at this game long enough to know that desperation could be wonderfully motivating.
A sudden knock at his chamber door broke Hookridge from his thoughts, and taking a moment to settle himself he moved to let in his 'guest'. Clade in cloaks and armed with empty crossbows, three halflings entered the room. Each nodded acknowledgement to their host before tossing their crossbows into the fireplace as kindling; such devices were easily replaceable. Afterwards they explained the situation; Shortcloak had been sited and suffered what should be a fatal wound though they could not confirm his death; Tucker had, to Hookridge's bitter amusement, actually been on the scene as well, though none knew what happened to him. Sighing, Hookridge dismissed his men and retired for the night; things could never just be easy.
Saercyn Willow ~ Up anchor an’ spread tae sails, me barnacled, slack-bellied laggards!
The wind streaked through the rigging at pre-dawn. Dark honeyed eyes watched the ropes off the mizzen anxiously flutter in the breeze.
Someone is ready to get underway.
Saercyn Willow stood on top a steady crate at the forecastle. Rose was left in her cabin; these shanties needed to be loud and in time, not necessarily musical. Willow closed her still blackened eyes, and took in the sounds. Hawkers cried up and down the dock to early morning shoppers, offering fresh fish, seaweed, and shellfish. Water splashed against the hull of The Smuggler’s Moon. A poorly docked sloop knocked against its moorings. The crew pushed the last of the lose cargo into place. Wood creaked. Somewhere a bell rang. A high pitched chitter exclaimed, “What’ be th’ fargin hold-up?”
Willow slowly opened her eyes and looked to the captain up on the quarterdeck. He made a gesture in her direction. She stood stock still for a moment longer, feeling the wind play through her hair, watching the crew get into their proper positions to raise the halyard.
She inhaled and began to chant, her voice carrying across the main deck and out over the water,
~O, whiskey is the life of man, Whiskey, Johnny!~ The crew cried in response, heaving the lines.
~I drink whiskey when I can Whiskey for my Johnny!
Oh whiskey straight and whiskey strong, Whiskey, Johnny!
Give me whiskey and I'll sing this song. Whiskey for my Johnny!
Whiskey from an old tin can, Whiskey, Johnny!
I'll drink whiskey when I can. Whiskey for my Johnny!
I drink it hot, I drink it cold, Whiskey, Johnny!
I drink it new, I drink it old. Whiskey for my Johnny!
If whiskey comes too near my nose, Whiskey, Johnny!
I tip it up and down she goes. Whiskey for my Johnny!
Oh, some likes gin an' some likes beer. Whiskey, Johnny!
I wish I had a barrel here. Whiskey for my Johnny!
Whiskey killed my poor old dad. Whiskey, Johnny!
And whiskey drove my mother mad. Whiskey for my Johnny!
Whiskey up and whiskey down. Whiskey, Johnny!
And whiskey all around the town. Whiskey for my Johnny!
Oh whiskey here and whiskey there. Whiskey, Johnny!
Oh I'll have whiskey everywhere. Whiskey for my Johnny!
Whiskey makes me pawn my clothes. Whiskey, Johnny!
And whiskey gave me this red nose. Whiskey for my Johnny!
If whiskey was a river, an' I could swim. Whiskey, Johnny!
I'd say "here goes" an' dive right in. Whiskey for my Johnny!
I had a girl, her name was Lize, Whiskey, Johnny!
She puts whiskey in her pies. Whiskey for my Johnny!
My wife and I can not agree; Whiskey, Johnny!
She puts whiskey in her tea. Whiskey for my Johnny!
I thought I heard the old man say, Whiskey, Johnny!
I'll treat my crew in a decent way. Whiskey for my Johnny!
Here comes the cook with the whiskey can, Whiskey, Johnny!
A glass of grog for every man. Whiskey for my Johnny!
A glass of grog for every man, Whiskey, Johnny!
And a bottle full for the shantyman. Whiskey for my Johnny!~
Posted on 2012-07-16 at 02:20:26.
Edited on 2012-07-16 at 02:27:33 by Celeste