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.

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