Neptune's Scorn | Jess & Time Turtle

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Jess Incognito, May 10, 2016.

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  1. The tavern was full to the brim. Fighting men, tradesmen, working men - all soon to be drunken men. The sun had not yet set, but it sat low on the horizon so that only a red gold sliver seeped in through the filthy windows on the front of the building. A man sat at the bar, mug in hand. He had been there for quite some time, but would not stay late. Of late, the man came every day to the last tavern in town he would ever want to be caught dead in. Of course, if he was found, dead was all he would soon be.

    His face was six days unshaven and his hair was greasy with the sweat of the past week. His face hung over his cup, looking in at its thick liquid, thoughts nowhere but on his troubles. At the other end of the bar men guffawed at some lewd joke, slapping their hands on the countertop and yelping with joy. Rings rippled in his cup.

    He wasn't a drinker. Or he didn't used to be. He prided himself on his generally neat and well-kept person, in looks and character alike. Yet here he was, drowning himself in his cups. He held on desperately to the fact that he always managed to make it home to his own bed, free of any whores or bruises. Not that he had the coin for whores anyway.

    Deep blue eyes had grown watery with stress; they cast the obligatory and occasional paranoid look around the room now. He sipped his beer slowly, attempting to ward off the inevitable. A skinny man hopped up to the stool next to his. The bar was otherwise almost empty and he didn't appreciate the closeness.

    "Mista Holly! Haven't ever seen you in here afore," the smaller man had a nasty laugh. His words were mocking, that much was clear. "I haven't seen yer place open, neither, but I guess that ain't so bad, what with Gaffney's round the corner now." August Holly sat quietly in his seat, never turning to look at the other as he baited him. "He's got a nice set-up, too."

    Maybe not everyone knew why, but everyone had noticed the strange closing of the long-time staples store on the biggest corner in the small city. It was clean, fairly priced and always well stocked. The Holly's purchased the business and building two generations ago.

    August grit his teeth. "Y'know, Brickham's been asking around about you." The other stared at him for awhile, thinking up more clever things with which to bait the grizzled man at the bar. "Glad at least ya climbed down off your horse to have a drink."

    His father had been a notorious drunk near the end of his days. August had always been ashamed, but at least Old Man Holly never bet his business and lost it.

    August finished his cup and dropped it hard on the counter so the bartend would hear. He took his newly filled cup to a darker corner of the establishment to escape the bully. It was shortly after that that he stopped poring into his own thoughts and started paying attention to the conversations around him.
  2. Hands behind his back and shoulders straight as he walked the length of his ship, checking on the few of his sailors that were left. They were not happy, but still doing their job. Fortunately they dreaded a lack of work more than they hated him at the moment. This trip was rough. They'd lost over half the crew. And it was all his fault. He knew that, but refused to acknowledge it in front of his crew. He was too proud for that. Instead, he chose to blame the sudden storm and rough waters for their losses.

    Finally arriving at his cabin, Captain Jorah Bellamy tossed his weathered hat off to the side and slumped into his chair roughly rubbing his hands over his unshaven face. Sighing, he sat back up, and pulled the key he kept hidden under his shirt off from around his neck and unlocked the cupboard that he'd secreted under his desk. The door swung open and a soft haze crept into the room. Slowly he reached for the jar a slow smile spreading across his face. The losses were worth it. The thought crept into his head unbidden, but he did nothing to push it back. This was worth the lives of a thousand more men. His fingers brushed the side of the glass, sending a warm and needy sensation through him. A shuddering breath escaped his lips as he leaned even further forward, putting him halfway beneath his desk. His fingers moved to wrap around the jar just as a whistle sounded and the ship came alive with shouts of "Land! Land!"

    Hurrying, Jorah pushed the cupboard shut and locked it once again, tucking the key into shirt and making a promise to himself that he wouldn't wait too much longer before inspecting the one thing that he valued above his crew and his ship. He grabbed his hat as he exited the cabin, and began began to issue orders readying the ship to dock.

    Unfortunately, his First Mate was one of the ones lost to the sea and he didn't trust any of the men that were left. Truth be told, he didn't trust anybody at the moment. The moment they found out why he took them to that damned island and what he was really after he'd have a mutiny on his hands.

    They docked without incident, and after paying the fees Jorah divided the rest of their haul between the remaining men. Giving two of them a bit extra and the task of recruiting more men.

    "Recruit anyone and everyone. We need the men."

    "Aye, Cap'n. What about cuts? The hirelings won't be getting our shares now."

    "Of course not." Jorah's voice was clipped and proper as it always was. Pirating was only the most recent addition to his resume, and only out of pure necessity. He had been a naval captain before he'd first heard the legend, and his current employment was only a means to an end. "They will get a fair cut of any haul we take, but they should not expect full payment until they have been proven."

    "Aye." With a scowl and a nod the two men scurried off toward the tavern. Jorah knew that they wouldn't actually earn their extra pay until it had been spent, but in the end that may work out for the best anyway. Turning on his heel, he made his way through the streets looking for an Inn in order to give himself a proper washing before setting sail once again.

    The tavern was full, but that didn't matter. First things first, after all. Tossing several coins to the bartender the dirty, bent men grinned a toothless grins and told him to keep the ale flowing. The bartender smiled back as he pocketed the coins and quickly went about filling their tankards. Pint after pint was downed in quick succession, and the two men drank. Drowning their sorrows, and honoring their fallen comrades in the only way they knew how. The more they drank, the louder they got. The louder they got the more attention they drew. As more and more eyes focused on them they began their jobs.

    Before the night was over, they had sang the praises of their captain. Telling tales of how well he handled himself when the sea decided to turn on them. Promising riches, and plunder aplenty and travel to far away lands. A few women hovered nearby, also drawn in by their elaborate spending and great tales. By the time they staggered out of the doors they had more than a full crew of men interested.

    "Down a' th' docks! Jus' look fer the Neptune's Scorn. She won't be hard t' spot!" They called out, each of them leaving with a wench on his arm.
  3. August listened in grim silence to the fantastical tales being spread about the room. He found himself sneering at their happiness. They were so glad just to have the fingers of some filthy whore hanging on their arms.

    He bit his tongue and cursed himself. The voice lurking beneath these judgements wished he could also be happy with such base pleasures. Certainly, he could afford no more.

    These men were looking to broaden their crew - crying out challenges to every new face that stepped through the door. "You there! Ya think y'cn survive the seas? She'd swalla ya up whole." "Bet y'don't even know a sloop from a frigate!" They said all manner of things to get the potentials worked up. The recruits would have plenty of time to prove their sailing knowledge on the morrow, when they signed their names to the service of Neptune's Scorn. Quite a name for what must be quite a vessel. August breathed deep through his nose to center his senses. Neptune's Scorn, Ocean's Fury, The Red Devil, Revenge - the names were always of the same grain.

    A heavyset man whose beard dangled in his cup slapped the table next to him and promptly fell out of his seat. The resulting commotion - a mixture of laughter and curses - snapped August from his thoughts. It was getting late and already some space had cleared in the tavern. Men staggered about freely and spilled their mead on warped floorboards. He stood, swaying some himself. His teeth ground together audibly and he made his way slowly to the door. The fresh night air pulled him back to the land of the living. He drank it in like a glass of sweet water and waited for some of the dizziness to dissipate. Curse those pirates and their stench.

    August smelled a lot like a pirate himself lately.

    "Elyse," he called out as loudly as he dared. The railing creaked beneath him. It wasn't much of a balcony, just a half foot of space between the railing and the doors which opened inward. He hadn't considered this when he started climbing. He tapped the glass with his fingertips, "Elyse?" Suddenly the doors opened wide and his weight fell forward. For a moment his face buried itself into the thin silk of the woman's nightdress. He grabbed her waist for balance, but she stepped backwards, letting his hands hit the floor.

    "August! What on earth do you think you're doing?" Her voice was sweet and high. He felt at home.

    "Elsie," he started, breathless, "Elsie, you look beautiful tonight." He was still drunk and he stank, but bathed in her sweet light he felt a prince. Her features twisted into shame as she remembered herself, sweeping backwards to grab a thick robe. She tied it around herself so tightly it ought to have made her burst.

    "Dearest, you have to go. Now." Recovered from her momentary shock, her mouth scowled and her thin brows curled in confusion. August saw only worry.

    "Yes, yes, that's why I'm here. We have to go." He took a step forward and drew her in. She shivered at his touch, but did not recoil.

    "What are you talking about?" she asked, voice barely above a whisper, head tilted in dismay.

    "We can't be together with Brickham on my back, but we can start new. Anywhere you want to go!"

    She didn't mirror his expression of eureka. "Go? I...we can't go. There's no place better than here." August loosened his arms around her. "Do you even have a plan?" He let her go completely and turned back to the open balcony door. Of course he didn't have a plan. He felt less a prince now and more a buffoon. But her soft fingers on his cheek pulled him back towards her, "You do need to go, but I can't go with you." His heart sank. The only thing he had left in this world was his love for this beautiful woman and she banished him.

    "Go and earn. When you're ready, you come and take back what's yours," she smiled on him and pushed a greasy lock from his forehead. He was less than convinced. "Brickham is a man of his word," she said to alleviate this, "He only-"

    "Brickham?" he blurted questioningly, as if it were the strangest thing she could have said, though this man was the sole reason, August believed, for his misfortune. Elyse realized her mistake and continued, "August, I will be waiting for you. I will be here." She said the words slowly and with authority, as if it were the only known thing. August stepped back and pulled both hands over his head and around the back of his neck. He glanced up at her with a long sigh.

    "You know that, don't you?" she asked after his silence, eyes suddenly wet, "That I would wait?" He couldn't stand to see how upset he made her and moved closer to her. He shook his head, brows knit together, "Of course you would, of course."

    "Good," she said, eyes dried up and determined, "You wouldn't want to lose me, would you?" He shook his head like a disciplined schoolboy and swallowed hard. "Then you know that you must do this for us." He couldn't say no to her; he never could. But then, no man could.

    He took her hand, not noticing the momentary twitch of disgust in her face, "I'll go and I promise I'll return for you."

    August snuck out of the window again some few minutes later, character and motivation restored. His feet found the way through the darkness. Down to the docks he went, almost dawn by the time he saw the ships. A guard slept standing in his boots in front of the Neptune's Scorn and it was all too easy to creep past. There was nothing to make the man stop to think what he was really doing. There were some still awake on the level below. August stuck to the shadows and climbed downward to the lower deck. Quieter whispers and soft snores snuck out of the darkness. He continued to the hull. He couldn't see a thing in that vast darkness. If not for the swaying of the ship in the water, he would swear he was in the cave leading down to Hell. Nevertheless, it was here he found his way over barrels and crates of supplies and found his rest on a huge rope coil.
  4. [​IMG]
    He woke before the sun as he did every day and stretched out across the soft down bed. It wasn’t often he got to enjoy the luxury of a nice bed, but when he could he truly tried to enjoy it. This time though…. This time he was not enjoying it. He had slept horridly; waking up every twenty to thirty minutes. His body was restless and his mind was focused on the jar.

    That beautiful glow it produced. Was it safe? That cupboard was secret… what if somebody found it. No, no. His men wouldn’t disrespect him like that. But the new guys…

    Jorah’s mind had been throwing those thoughts into his head all night. Over and over. He even dreamed of somebody finding the jar. They opened it. That time he’d woke in a cold sweat, pushing himself straight up in the bed gasping for air. It had taken him quite a while to convince himself that it was only a dream.

    He laid in the bed, and tossed from one side to the other. Trying desperately to get a bit more sleep, trying desperately to get that damned jar out of his head. It just wasn’t happening.

    With a groan he stood and stretched; his joints popping as he arched into the stretch, and pulled his arms high over his head. He was getting too old for this. With a shake of his head he scooped up his clothing from the chair he’d draped them over and began to dress. This will be my last trip, he told himself. And if all went well, it would be.

    Fully dressed, Jorah threw open the shutters and peered out of the inn towards the docks. He could see the Neptune. She was an impressive vessel, more so than any of the ships he’d been given to captain in the navy. Turning toward piracy had its perks. He never would have had the freedom to pursue his treasure if he hadn’t and that had been the deciding factor when he left the navy. He still held himself to be an honorable man, though. He rarely drank, seldom did he fib (withholding information was entirely different in Jorah’s opinion), and he was a good captain to his crew. There had been a few dark moments along the way that were better left unremembered, as with any good journey, but overall Jorah still held himself above pirates.

    Anyway, the Neptune held herself well amongst the ships surrounding her and from where he stood he could just barely make out his men running to and fro getting the hirelings to positions; getting ready to weigh anchor. With one last quick stretch he turned and grabbed his hat before heading out of his room and out of the inn. My last trip…

    The sun was only just peeking over the horizon when he arrived. Finding his senior officers whipping the new recruits into shape. He was met with a quick bow of the head, and a muttered “Cap’n” as he passed each of his men. He ran a tight ship. And he paid well, his men knew it too. If they wanted to keep getting that beautiful pay they’d follow his directives; most of them fell in line without so much as a twitch of defiance.

    “Mister Kent if you would please,” Jorah waved to an elderly gentleman with a scraggly white beard and pointed toward the captain’s cabin. He hadn’t stopped walking and he didn’t stop at the door and wait to be obeyed either. Instead, he opened the door flung his hat off to the side and took his seat directly behind the desk waiting for Kent to join him.

    It didn’t take long for Kent to obey. A few minutes passed before an impatient knock sounded against the cabin door.
    “Aye,” Jorah said, his gruff voice held an edge as he called out.

    The door creaked open and Mister Kent’s head appeared from behind it. He looked nervous, but Jorah was used to that. He didn’t usually call men into his office unless they were about to be let go, but with his first mate gone, and his mind focused on everything but running the ship he needed someone to step up and Kent could possibly be that someone.

    “You wann’ed to see me, Cap?”

    Jorah nodded and motioned for the extra seat, waiting for Kent to sit down before speaking. “Mister Kent, you’ve been with me for a while now, right?” Kent nodded. “And you’ve been sailing even longer than that?”

    “Aye, Cap. Prolly since afore you were born.” Jorah nodded.

    “You have done well by me thus far, and I think it’s well past time for you to move up in the ranks, sailor.”

    “Nononono,” Kent raised his hands in front of him and shook his head vigorously. “Not me, Cap. I’ve never been keen on movin’ up.”

    “Well,” Jorah hadn’t expected that reaction. Not at all. “Consider it temporary then. I need a man I can rely on to teach these men what they’re expected to do. Who would be better than you? Most of these men have been landlocked their entire lives. They need somebody to look to that knows the sea. Who has known the sea for so many years.”

    The look on Kent’s face was torn between pride and dread, but he nodded. “Aye, Cap. Temp’rary.” Jorah gave him a dismissive wave so he stood, and backed away. Giving Jorah a small nod as he opened the door again.

    “Thank you Mister Kent, I expect you to start now.” Kent nodded and disappeared through the door.

    Jorah took a deep breath and closed his eyes, listening to the shouts of his crew as they readied the boat. He wanted to be gone already. He needed to be gone already. The jar. The jar. The glow… She was so beautiful. And she would take him exactly where he needed to go.

    A soft sigh left his lips as the ship rocked him gently back and forth. He felt the anchor be wrenched from the sea, and the heard the shouts typical for them to be setting out. He’d allow his men to navigate them out of the bay and take a peek in the jar once before joining them on deck and pointing them in the right direction.

  5. August slept like a baby until the sway of the sea reached the alcohol in his stomach. He rolled over as liquid and bile exploded up his esophagus and soaked into the rope he lay on. He straightened up with a look of disgust on his face and it was then he realized the unfamiliar surroundings. The night before swam into his thoughts and he cursed his own stupidity. A pirate ship!? He must have been out of his damn mind.

    August took a breath before starting into the darkness of the hull. He felt around with his hands and slowly made his way around crates and equipment, eventually finding the ladder. Unlike the few hours before when he had entered, there was no sound, no laughter and no drunken shouts. He climbed up slowly through the belly of the ship, freezing at every odd snort from a slumbering crew member.

    There was no one on deck as far as he could see in the moonlight. It was near morning, however, and by first light he wanted to be as far away as possible even from the idea of piracy. August stood still in the shadows a moment, giving himself enough time to be sure no others were around. Straight ahead on the other side of the ship stood two, lovely, carved doors. They led to the captain's quarters, August knew. He pulled his gaze away, though found it strangely difficult. All of a sudden, he felt inexplicably different. He felt - he scooted one foot forward and took a step with the other. He stood in front of those beautiful doors, wrapping his palm around the black iron handle. Despite the cool of the night, it felt warm. No, he was imagining that much. He did not look again to see if someone were behind him and he was not worried about the captain he was likely to find on the other side. He felt a confidence he knew rarely in the recent years.

    The cabin was empty, he found. August moved softly around the room, fingering the bric a brac. He was not disappointed by this cabin. Like most pirate stories, the captain of Neptune's Scorn had amassed a great deal of beautiful things. His fingertips brushed over the tops of shelves, gliding over the soft wood. They stopped suddenly; even as his footsteps continued forward, they seemed rooted to the spot. He knelt and slowly opened the door. A faint glow poured over his features in the darkness and he quickly shut the cabinet again. The thing there had filled him with some sort of feeling he didn't recognize. He wanted to touch it, to draw his fingertips over the thing, which seemed ethereal in nature.

    August stood quickly and turned on his heels. He didn't like anything he didn't recognize and this feeling was all too overbearing. He was back on the deck and heading for the docks when a large man stood in front of him. He didn't feel the confidence anymore. He wanted only to return to land.

    "Jacobs! You're up early," he said with a tone of familiarity and good-will. August hadn't anticipated this greeting, but so long as he wasn't getting smacked and thrown overboard, he stood silent. "Ready to start your new life aboard the Scorn, eh?" The larger man threw out his arms, gesturing to the ship. August nodded. "Come on, then, let's get these other scoundrels up and at 'em." He put an arm around August and turned him, walking towards the ladder descending to the decks below.

    The sun was just climbing over the horizon when they re-emerged with a group of groggy and hungover new and old mates. The new mates formed a line, shoulder to shoulder and a man went down it, looking each volunteer in the face and putting a check by his name when he announced it and it correlated with the previous night's signatures. August stood nervously in the middle of the line, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. He couldn't get that glow of his mind.

    "Name?" August snapped his head up to the man in front of him, dazed. "This one was up at first light, ready to go," the tall man, whose name seemed to be Garon, added from over the other's shoulder. The man with the list of names turned back to August and raised a brow. He waited still for a name. "J-Jacobs," he sputtered. The checker threw an unconvinced glance back at the other, but ultimately sighed, "Good."

    August stood wide-eyed and frozen, not listening until he heard the commotion from the last man in line. "My name's Jacobs an' I signed last night."

    "There's only one Jacobs listed and he's 'counted for." August stood bone straight and stared ahead as the rest of the men leaned over to watch. The man protested, but the checker drew in a long breath through his nose and started in on him, "Ya pissed yerself last night and yer not on the list. We don't need any shits on this ship." The checker turned his back on the man, who was still protesting, but Garon stepped in and grabbed him by the shirt. He tossed the man onto the gangplank, but he struggled to stand and fell over into the bay.

    "Yeh, that'll sober you up, ya fool!"

    The checker, who had waited patiently for that ordeal's end, started in a bored voice about the general rules and the jobs on this ship. "Now, the Cap'n may still not take to some o'ya, but he'll have a look at ya another time. Jus' do what work yer assigned and you'll be jus fine. Welcome to the crew of Neptune's Scorn."

    August and the other men were quickly put to work, simple tasks that were dealt out by older mates. The ship peeled away from the dock and started out of the bay. He was pulling ropes as fast as he could, struggling to keep up and raise the sails. All the moments he wasn't thinking about the task at hand, he thought of the glow and forgot about getting off this ship.

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  6. Kneeling behind his desk, Jorah’s heart started pounding when he saw that his hidden cupboard had been unlocked. He was never so careless as that. Somebody had been in his cabin. Somebody had found her. His breath caught in his throat and his heart was pounding against his chest so hard that he was a little worried it might actually burst out of his chest.

    His hand trembled as it hovered just above the latch. What would he find? Did they take her? Did they know what she was? What she could do?

    His thoughts were running through his mind too fast for him to grab ahold of just one. His hand fell back to the floor and sat there, on his hands and knees, breathing ragged and coming too fast. He was beginning to get light headed. He had to get up. If he was seen like this, it would surely cause a mutiny. Nobody wanted to work under a captain that couldn’t keep his head.

    “Take control of yourself, man,” Jorah growled through gritted teeth. “You do not know anything for sure. She is probably still there and you are working yourself up for nothing.”

    Typically, he wasn’t one to talk to himself, but at this particular moment, he needed the pep talk. He needed the auditory reminder that he was being ridiculous, and he had nobody but himself to rely on for that. It took a few more affirmations, before he was able to lean back, his breathing and pulse back under control. His hand still shook a little as he pulled the door open.
    The soft glow caressed his face and he felt all of the tension melt out of his body. She was here. He must have been careless and forgotten to lock the door. Nonverbally reprimanding himself, Jorah gingerly removed the jar from its cubby and stood. He raised it slowly, his movements careful and deliberate; trying his damnedest not to shake its contents overmuch.

    “’Hoy in there,” he whispered, his voice full of wonder as his gaze focused on the glow and trying to peer through it.

    He waited. She had been particularly obstinate lately, but would normally respond after a few minutes. What he wasn’t expecting though was for her to fling herself at the side of the jar so hard that the glass almost flew out of his hands. With a growl he gave the container a quick, but violent shake.

    “Now you stop that shit. I told you, I’ll let you out when we’re done. You were caught fair and square, now you hold your end of the bargain and I shall let you loose soon enough.”

    The creature flew back at the side of the glass stopping just short of ramming into it again, and made some obscene gestures before disappearing once more into the haze of her own glow. The ship rocked noticeably under his feet, they were gradually picking up speed now. He’d been on the sea for so many years that it took a considerable speed, or one hell of a gale for him to notice the sway of the timber on the water.

    Jorah growled again, this time to himself and set the jar down on his desk. “Point the direction to what I asked. You have my sworn word that I shall let you free once I have what I desire.”
    There was no response from within the jar for several seconds, then slowly the lower half of an arm appeared from within the glow pointing. Quickly taking out his compass, he discerned the direction she pointed was South-Southeast, and with a quick expression of gratitude he returned her to the cupboard and locked the door. Double checking it this time.
    Just as his head came out from under the desk, there was a sharp knock on his door and Mr. Kent poked his head in.

    “Oi, Cap’n, we’ve made it out o’ the harbor, an’ are awaitin’ yoor direction.”

    “Thank you, Mr. Kent. I’ll be right out,” Jorah forced a smile to his face as he responded and made a mental note to remember and lock that door next time.

    Following the man back onto deck he walked at a slow pace, stopping sporadically to inspect on of his new crew members or talk to one of his returning ones. Nobody seemed too pleased with the green men. Several of them had taken to becoming ill, and that just wouldn’t do. He would give them until the following morning to sort out their sea-sickness before removing them from his ship. If their stomachs hadn’t settled by then they obviously weren’t meant to be sea-faring.

    Eventually he ended up at the helm, and called out the course. “South-Southeast, gentlemen!”

  7. The crew was blessed by a moment's respite once out of harbor, sails hoisted proudly into the sky. He strangely felt a bit of that pride himself. After all, his own hands had helped put the thing up there. August watched ripples run through the fabric while his fellows watched last night's dinner splash into the sea. Whether he was seasick or sick and the sight of sick, he didn't know, but the same nauseousness crawled up inside his throat all the same.

    He swallowed bile when he heard the deep voice of the ship's captain and did his best to wipe the grimace off his face. August gave the man a good long look. He wondered about the secret in the cupboard. Or at least, he assumed it was a secret, locked up like that, a poor living creature.

    "Oi!" a crewmate snapped at him, sending him to work. The Captain had given his orders and the crew would go to it without question. Being of the not-sick variety, August found himself shuffled into the dimness below deck. He was directed to a pile of dirty rags and set to wiping down the cannons.

    "Is he a good man?" August asked the skinny guy working on the pulley's next to him, "The Captain?" The other didn't look away from his work, but didn't look bothered by the question.

    "Cap'n? Oh yeah, fairest I ever sailed under and righter 'n any Navy off'cer. Our last pull, he coulda taken half of that for hisself and no one woulda argued, him bein' the cap'n and all, but he took jus' a quarter an' the rest of us got ours. Yes we did. Got ours." He nodded in a way that made it all the more conclusive.

    "Do you believe in fairies?" he blurted outright, unable to skirt this conversation as gently as a master manipulator may have done.

    The other one just laughed and finally hung his arm up on the pulley and looked at August, "Faeries, mermaids, krakens - you ain't never worked on a ship in your life if you believe all that hogwash. For maids an' babes, that is."

    August looked away, embarrassed for his obvious ineptitude. A greasy hand rested on his shoulder, giving a tight squeeze. In another life, the merchant would have been upset about the soiled clothing, but the clothing was already soiled and the trouble he was in for was worse than those worries. " 's alright, you pay attention an you'll be jus' fine. Jus' fine."

    They both returned to work, but the other must have thought this made them friends and chattered on until midday and the men were fed a few sticks of dried meat and lucky enough an apple - which was apparently a special delight since they'd just left port.

    His belly fluttered with anxiety. His earlier conversation meant the faerie was a secret. It meant the captain kept secrets but didn't want the crew to know that he was the type of captain to keep secrets which meant only that August had leverage. That one weapon which he knew he may not have spine enough to employ.

    His lips twisted with the swirling anxiety which upset his stomach again. The Captain stood on the upper deck, but August kept his eyes on him. His new friend, who August was realizing had some kind of a limp and the beginning of a humped back, snapped his fingers in his face.

    "You gonna be sick or what?"
  8. Grabbing the helm, Jorah called out for the crew to adjust the sails as he spun the wheel, focusing the Scorn toward the proper direction. The ship pitched and tilted as the rudders moved her large body through the salty water.

    His legs were used to the push and pull of the sea, and instinctively his body leaned so that he had no qualms keeping his balance; unlike one of the green-boys. Jorah actually had a hard time hiding his disdain, as the man flew across the deck, bouncing from one foot to the other, arms flailing in the air and still never managing to catch himself.

    With an unamused sigh, Jorah leaned over to the helmsman and whispered into his ear. “See to it that he is given the absolute best of tasks. I want his life hell. He will either learn quickly in order to move onto better tasks, or he will fail and leave on his own accord.”

    The man nodded and left his side to tend to the young man. Jorah was fair, but there was no room for men that didn’t belong. It was simple as that. He rubbed his temples in a bit, hoping to alleviate the headache he could feel forming behind his eyes. As always, the adjustment period after bringing in new hires was stressful. He had hoped more of them would have had some experience. As it were there were only a few of the greenies that he’d seen were worth keeping. He needed them, though. He needed the men.

    When the helmsman returned, Jorah gave up the wheel and took to walking the deck. It wasn’t what he wished to be doing but he needed to be seen. He needed his crew to know that he was with them through it all. He paused at a man struggling with the rigging and patiently showed him how to properly work with it before he continued on. A few of the veteran sailors stopped him to shoot the breeze as he made his rounds. These were the men he knew he could count on. And he was counting on them convincing the rest of the crew too. A few crude jokes later, and his rounds of the upper deck were complete, and he moved below where he repeated the process. Helping those struggling with their tasks, laughing and making jokes with those who relished being in his inner circle already. Little did they know, nobody was truly in that circle.

    A particularly nasty wave rocked the Scorn. A few of the lighter weapons moved precariously out of their designated slots. Jorah scowled and ran above deck once more.

    “Storm’s brewin’, Cap’n,” the helmsman called out.

    Jorah nodded in acknowledgement, and climbed the few steps to the helm two at a time. He snatched the spyglass from the man, but he didn’t need it. He had no idea where it came from but it was coming fast. The water had already become choppy, the waves cresting with thick white foam, water spraying above the side of the ship like brief downpours.


    Lightning struck just knots away from the port side of his ship. Men began panicking and Jorah began shouting to be heard above the din. Calling out orders to batten the hatches, and pull the sails in. It seemed the sea was not going to make this an easy journey.

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