Saturday, June 30, 2012

Prosperity: Death Aboard

11 Ruthern: It being the afternoon Watch, Captain Grayson, being of a mind to test my Mettle, did invite me to the forecastle where we crossed swords. He being a very dedicated swordsman, he bested me, albeit not so easily as he had Thought, nor with his own doublet untouched. He finished the bout with a very handsome Disarm which I hope to learn, although at the time, I more feared that my Weapon should fall in the sea.
The contest being done, Lord Ventir presented himself as a challenger, and I his opponent. I privately thought it ill to duel with such a man, judging him not like to take Defeat with good humor, but he insisted. He has a very pretty Blade but not the eye to go with it. I scored one touch and thence kept my thrusts short, feigning that I missed because of his Skill rather than mine. After a time he tired of this, and turned to Grayson, who was not amused but Ventir would challenge him regardless. They went through several Passes, each taking and giving Touches and each growing vexed. Grayson finished with a stroke not to the Body but rather to the Hilt. This seemed to do no harm, yet Lord Ventir seemed troubled, and retired from the match and so to his cabin, blaming the roll of the ship. Hazlett went with him and they spake vociferously although I, being in the foremast rigging, know not what was said.
In truth the waves are rougher today than yesterday, and the Landsmen suffer thereby, particularly Fra Veritan. It is nothing to trouble a sailor, although I judge there is Weather ahead.
Went to the Great Cabin for a task which the Captain had set me, transcribing certain Figures. The Cabin holds not one binnacle but two, the Second being closed. A strange quiet tapping came from inside it, which made me think of twigs, but I do not know what what manner of Creature was inside it; I thought it ill-advised to open the Case, it being the Captain's. Whilst engaged in transcribing the figures, the gallery Lights being open, I Heard Mr Hazlett, who being much distraught, spake with Grayson at the taffrail, that Lord Ventir might take the Ship. I do not understand why he thought so, as Lord Ventir is already part owner of the ship.
The Captain also provided a list of Ma'ri words and their translation, as a start to the ethno-linguistic investigation of the Ma'ri, a business in which Fra Veritan and I have joined. The list is scant, but is a beginning; and a few of the common sailors are eager to tell of certain words of the Ma're vocabulary, which may be of use to me although they make Fra Veritan blush.
Was ordered to report to Lady Inai, who examined the magic Item given to me by the Sanremi man.
After support, played the mandolin in the Wardroom until Lord Ventir called through his cabin door for quiet, after which, to the deck and an more appreciative Audience. And so to bed.

12 Ruthern
Lady Inai returned the magic Item, pronouncing it of no danger, being a charm for swift running. The forenoon Watch passed quietly albeit the sea rougher. Merchantmen sighted but not Silver Rose, a good sign.
Joined the officers at the quarterdeck for the noon Sight. As we worked our calculations, the weather being fine and the ship steady, a topman gave a loud Cry and fell from the mainsail yard. Mr Hazlett flung himself over the side after the man, and rescued him, climbing the line up the ship's side with great Speed and Certainty although burdened with the sailor under his arm.
I saw that the Sailors in the main top were much disturbed, and proceeding there, inquired amongst them, viz, for what reason had the man fallen? They all said that there had been a Ghost, or misty Figure, skeletal in visage and chartreuse or pear in color, and the Topman, being startled, had fallen. Returned to the deck and reported to the Captain.
As we discussed this and Lady Inai ministered to the sailor--Fra Veritan being below decks, and slow to respond to the summons--lo, the Apparition appeared again, this time on the deck at the weather rail. This being opposite the aft hatch from me, only a few steps away, and thinking it best to show the Men by example that Courage would serve them better than Fear, I immediately took Sword in hand and attacked the thing. My blade passed through with no resistance, as did I as well, feeling no Chill or other Ill Effects, and perceiving that my blows had no effect on the spirit neither. I then put my dagger, the which is Silver, to the thing, and it vanished, whether because of my stroke, or Inai's prayers, or of its own volition, I know not. The men were nervous afterwards, but Fra Veritan and I spoke with them, cheering them and strengthening their Courage. In the wardroom, I was hailed as Ghostbane.
Lady Inai examined me Privately and found no ill effects from my encounter with the Ghost, although this did provide the opportunity for jesting, as she is the only Woman aboard.
One of the wardroom Goblets is missing, and it is thought that Jamie Quay, the junior midshipmen, albeit no Reason was advanced as to why he might. Discussion in the wardroom, with the thought that the goblet might be used in spell casting; as Quay is no Wizard (all were amused by the thought), this made it seem likely that some Other might have taken the goblet, the mystery being, Who and Why? Grayson advanced the idea that Lord Ventir might have hidden it in Quay's belongings as a cruel Joke to shame the boy; that however being a side of Lord Ventir's Character that I myself have not seen. For reasons not explained, Hazlett and Grayson called for Lord Ventir, and him not responding to their Shouts, they determined to enter his Cabin. I opened the Door, tickling open the Lock by use of certain Tinker's skills which learned from my dear old Da. The two Men stepped forward, and exclaimed that Lord Ventir was dead.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Aboard Prosperity

First morning aboard Prosperity. Much merriment in the Wardroom at the expense of the newcomers, including myself--to wit, "Here be our new Dragon Slayers!" and so in the same vein. Reported to the Captain who assigned me as Supernumerary Landsman--not consonant with my years of Experience, but he is content with his Officers as they are. I shall assist the Boatswain and as lookout.
The ship's Company includes:
  • Captain Garrity: an experienced and thoughtful commander, educated in elfen History as well as naval and professional matters. I have spoken with him regarding certain matters and believe I have impressed him favorably with my Judgement.
  • Hazlett, first lieutenant: a driven man and without Humor, but competent. Methinks he is Fearful but of what, I know not.
  • Mellon, second lieutenant: an elf of few words.
  • Hazelwood: purser. "A thin Purser is an honest one."
  • Greyson: captain of Marines, pleasant of Manner, skilled with Pen as well as Sword. We engaged in Sword play for amusement, wherein he Bested me, but not without Effort. He has been to Port Fortune (as have many aboard, though not All) and I have hopes that he will be more forthcoming as to what Awaits us than were the Company agents ashore.
  • Moffrey: senior midshipman, a post I would have expected for a boy rather than a man of his years
  • Raelan: midshipman
  • Hythe: boatswain
  • Fra Veritan: a cleric, easily Quailed by talk of slaying and such. I do not know why he is aboard.
  • Lady Inai: Healer, I believe, or so it seems from words she spake to Laithoren. She has not spoken to anyone else that I know of; she seems curiously unaware of the pleasures of social Intercourse. She has a Familiar, the which is a silver otter. Perhaps she is a Druid or of such ilk, I do not know.
  • Lord Ventir: part owner of the ship and member of the Board of the West Seas company. He has a very fine Appearance. As I am not a longstanding member of the Crew, he asked me for an independent Opinion of the design and handling of the Ship, the which I honestly gave. He seem pleased with my forthrightness and I have hopes of Advancement, though in truth my service was no great or daring thing.
The food aboard is of full measure and good quality, and we are daily provided with Garrity's Gulp, a cup of the juice of some fruit from the Western isles, sweet and very pleasant to the Palate.
Two days out, we sighted Silver Rose, a Sanremi vessel out of Waterdeep, and she followed us when we changed course to the Southwest. Prosperity has the heels of her, though, and sailed her under the horizon.

Setting Sail

Kestrel Langstaff's personal journal, written aboard the Prosperity, sailing to the Western Seas.

The last day ashore was very busy.
On 8th Ruthern, in the small hours of the Morning, I was accosted in an alleyway by two Thugs, hired to do violence over the matter of a Woman, or rather, Two Women. I conversed with them on the Brevity of Life, and, having a sharper wit, put to them certain Points to which they had no Rebuttal. I left them in the alley and proceeded to the house of the ladies in question, to wit, Lady M____ and G____, and dallied there with them a while.
At noon, to the West Sea Trading Company's offices, where I was invited to join the complement of the Prosperity, sailing that very next morning. Spent much of the afternoon gathering Supplies for such a voyage.
A man came to my room at the inn, claiming to be from Sanremi House and having a Proposition. He offered certain monetary incentives for me to provide Sanremi with a navigational Journal and such strategical observations as would be of Worth to a Merchant House. I balked, whereupon he added more money and an unsavoury magic Item, and I felt it best to appear to acquiesce with vague promises, with the which he did seem satisfied. Leaving the inn, I said my goodbyes to my Friends, and particularly to lemans Ravahana and Alihana, offering such Consolation as I could before my Departure. After midnight turning to 9th Ruthern, I took my leave of them and made my way to the Docks, and thus aboard.
I share my berth with an Elf, by name Laithoren Mistrellen, who speaks but little and whose Accent is rustic. He says he is an archer and a Hunter, although he does not explain why he joined our Company. He seems never to have seen a Ship before.
It being the third hour of the morning, and high tide, Prosperity cast off and made sail. In retrospect a momentous Occasion; but my presence not required on deck, and the day before having been most Strenuous, I was in my berth and slept through it.