Sea Raven

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Romance, Supernatural, Fantasy, Thriller, Space Exploration, Slice of Life

A bright and glorious day ...! ....Was not what they were getting. When the Sea Raven was tied and settled at Port Calin, it couldn't have been a more miserable looking day. The sky was overcast, giving everything a dull grey tint. Even the sea looked murky and washed out. A chill hung in the air, forcing some of the hot blooded sailors to moan and groan about the cold.

Delilah Red was standing on the deck, inwardly feeling much of the same, yet always keeping her very business like expression. Wearing a long jacket and keeping her hands stuff in her pockets, she warily oversaw the last of the leaving crew. For the weekend they would dock here at Port Calin, which ultimately meant they would be leaving in a hurry. The Sea Raven seemed to never make port for long without someone on crew getting them all in trouble. This was likely the fault of Captain Burgess who himself, couldn't seem to keep his hands off a pretty thing when he saw it.

"Hurry up, now!" she shouted. "I have no desire to stand out here babysitting a bunch of stragglers!"

Crew quarters was essentially an open room filled with hammocks strung between the support struts- three hammocks vertically, a thin space beneath the lowest one for crew's personal effects. The Sea Raven, while unarguably a beautiful ship, was not large- she was built for speed.

Despite the crowding Maggie had commandeered one of the middle hammocks at the back corner of the room and untied the one below it, replacing it with a mid-sized trunk she was currently half buried in. She had been at sea most of her life and she'd not needed a new sextant since her first- but two years on the Raven and she'd been through nine, five lost overboard (she cringed inwardly, shoving aside a roll of contradicting maps of Africa's coastlines) two traded for emergency water rations, one in exchange for the crew not being dinner on a surprisingly aptly nicknamed 'cannibal island', and one just plain worn out. The bloody things weren't cheap.

She sat back to tie a roll of gold coins inside her belt and and pulled the lid of the trunk back up. Bound carefully inside the lid was a delicate lattice-work of curved sticks bound together at seemingly random junctions with dried reed fiber. It was a polynesian wave map- rare, incomprehensable to someone who didn't know it's purpose but invaluble to someone who did, and memorized. She could part with it. Wrapping it in oiled paper to protect it from the almost rain filling the air she only stopped to shuffle into her boots before heading out.

"Hurry up now!" She heard Delilah bellowing. "I've no desire to stand out here babysitting a bunch of stragglers!"

Maggie mumbled a quiet "Back 'fore tea." as she passed. She envied the woman's confidence, even other Captains- not just their own, who knew her value- but strangers, seemed to respect her in just a few words, and Maggie looked up to her even if they were the same age. She was the woman Maggie had dreamed of -planned on- being as a child. It felt a bit like asking her mum for permission. The thought made her smile. Captain was always running off leaving his first mate to watch the ship, some cultural quirks were inescapable. Not that Delilah was the anyone's wife to be left behind, there was no man capable of keeping her anywhere, any way. She tucked her parcel under her arm. "Something I can get ye from market?"
A slight breeze blew across the deck of the Sea Raven towards Port Calin, the air was slightly chilled but anything more than a flimsy shirt would block out the cold.

The wind blowing through his 'beard' The Huntmaster lifted the Tankard to his lips, the two fleshy tendrils that formed his moustache slithering around the container so as to avoid contaminating the brew.
the ice cold and bitter beverage ran across his tongue and down his throat as the Huntmaster drained the mug.
"A Fine brew to be sure" he muttered, looking out the galley porthole to see much of the crew piling off the ship and into town.

Aleksandr Verrader was one of the few crewman not discomforted by the chill in the air. He hadn't even bothered with a light jacket. After all, the big slav had grown up in the mountains; this was nothing. He came abovedecks from the stores just as Delilah was herding the last of the crew off the ship.

"I had thought it was my turn to stand watch, Delilah," he rumbled, his accent sharpening the hard consonants of his carefully perfect English to fine points and stretching the First mate's name. "After all, we are fully stocked for a change, yes? That last prize was unusually well supplied."

As he spoke, some of the nearer crewmen blanched and hurried their strides at the prospect of being stuck on the ship on Aeksandr's watch.
The slight exasperated look that Delilah was casting at the soft little woman's question swiftly changed to a wide smirk when Aleksandr came on deck and mentioned the last 'prize'.

"As a matter of fact, my sweet, the majority crew gets to enjoy shore leave thanks to that pretty. Including crew terrorizing Quartermasters. I don't intend to stay on board myself." Where Delilah's love lie with the sea, there were moments she was relieved to set foot on dry land simply for the peace and quiet. For once, the Sea Raven came with a complete crew and the entire lot of lunatics were starting to drive her mad.

Especially the one with the cat. That cat was a pain in the ass.

"Hmm, speaking of which." Delilah stomped on the deck. Somewhere directly below was that infernal woman's medical "laboratory". The Doctor needed to be out and about buying up new supplies. Delilah was counting on more than one man returning to the ship with a split lip or a broken nose.

"Before you leave, Margaret, I believe someone should go with you. This is not a town where a woman should roam alone." ...a woman like Margaret, anyway. Delilah had no issues with the Captain hiring so many female crewmembers, but soft fluffy ones that looked more like kidnap-fodder than pirates was just asking for trouble.
"an' Per'aps that should be me" The Huntmaster Growled, stepping from the galley and into the conversation with but the wood on wood clunk of his Skeletally shaped peg leg.
In addition to being the best cook and brewer on board the Sea Raven, The Huntmaster was also Notorious for his practically chaste actions when it came to women, especially his shipmates.

though, some of the crueler members of the crew took to saying that this was more because of his horrific looking face than any nobility on his part, though The smarter members of the crew knew that to be nothing more than men who had suffered the Wrath of the Squid bearded Brewer when caught trying to 'aquaint' themselves with an unwilling member of the crew, and those that lived to speak were the lucky ones, for several had been disemboweled and thrown overboard before the Captain could restrain the Huntmaster.

Down below, the "Good Doctor" was making a list of everything she had and another list of everything she needed. Paper and ink were always in short supply so she'd taken to collecting scraps of different colored fabrics and little items such as shells and stones. Each item had a different meaning, a sand dollar shell for feverfew, an abalone shell for splints, and so on and so forth. Taking stock was easy because she had at least twenty of each item.

Elizabeth crossed her arms, tapped her fingers on her forearms. "Damnit, we're nearly out of everything," she growled to the one-eyed cat perched on an empty shelf.

It's only reply was a flick of its furry tail as it dangled off the edge.

The woman walked over to the empty cot and stuffed a few things into her bag. Her herb book, an empty jar in which she put one item each from the piles, her knife in the sheath on the back of the bag. Then she had to put on a hooded cloak for the cold and actually put shoes on.

"If those idiots could do simple things without hurting themselves, my job would be a hella lot easier," she growled again as she raised the hood and stalked out, leaving the cat to nap in peace.

Elizabeth stepped onto the deck in time to hear the Huntmaster volunteering himself and adjusted her satchel. Port Calin. Now where was that herb shop and that blasted shop with the splints and padding where the shopkeeper was senile and his assistant blind as a bat ...

Maggie acquiesced with a nod. She wasn't unarmed, and while not as aggressive as some of the other women crew members she was hardly incapable of violence- Maggie had earned her share of the spoil right enough, but, in all honesty, she rather enjoyed the Huntmaster's company. He'd come to the defense of her honor- laughable though some might consider it- on more than one occasion. Something not even her brothers had been inclined to do. And while not all sailors were so inclined to treat her as merely an object for their amusement, the ones who afforded her some respect tended to chatter; they seemed to think the way to a woman's bed was through her ears.

The first solid step was always the worst, she thought, the unyielding ground jarring her as she stepped off the gangplank for the first time in almost a month. The Huntmaster walked a half a pace behind her but still at her side, in no way slowed by his peg leg, though Maggie herself was not in any particular hurry.

She had two days to find a sextant; it didn't matter if it was used, but she was hoping to find a brass one this time- brass stood up to the salt air so much better than tin, a trinket or two if something caught her eye, and a proper hot bath at an Inn if she had enough coin left. She wasn't fool enough to bring more money ashore than she was willing to be robbed of.

It was relaxing to have the Huntmaster's companionship (well, it was always relaxing- she knew what set off his temper and rarely disagreed, if she just as rarely voiced her opinions), she was used to being stared at, but she caught fewer gazes with the hungry look of thieves or... others... convinced they'd found an easy mark.

But back to the thought of a hot bath- a luxury she'd not had the opportunity to indulge in in almost a year now, that reminded her and she turned on her heel to walk backwards through the bustling streets as she addressed him. It wasn't so much that the crowd parted for her as she was used to weaving her way through tangles of people aboard a shifting deck; though it was a bit more of a challenge on solid earth.

"There's an Inn at the south end of market street: the keep mixes the best mulling spices I've ever tasted." She saw the twitch of a tentacle few would have been able to recognize as a sneer and she smiled. "In fact, I believe ye may be the only man alive who could improve them..."

Maggie could tell he saw she was teasing but took it as a challenge still. "If ye think ye can name what's in it I'll buy ye the round and whatever ye'll need to beat him at his own wine."

Tim sighed. He disliked shore-leave. The seagull that normally accompanied him, O'reilly, did not join him, preferring to sit on one of the masts of the Sea Raven instead, watching his human companion leave with his beady eyes.

The sailors fists clenched and relaxed again as he walked off the gangplank, following the couple of crew-members before him. He felt the air thicken around him as the smells of the port assaulted his nose.
None of it was worse then being below decks of course, but the feeling of solid ground beneath his feet and the sounds of the mass of people inhabiting the coastal town made him feel more enclosed then the wooden belly of a ship ever had.

Hearing mention of a certain inn at the south end of market street from the woman before him (Margaret, he thought, though most named her Maggie it seemed.) he decided that, since he had nothing in specific he wanted to visit, he might as well spend his days there.

Thrusting his hands in his pockets and lowering his head between the collar of his jacket, he walked past them towards his destination. After-all, he did not want them to think he was following them.
"S-sorry, ma'am, I'm coming!"

As usual, Kiana scrambled up the steps and across deck. She managed to dodge a nasty accident by noticing a large pile of ropes in time and smirked, then turned back only to trip over a small crate. She was sent flying into the deck face first, and the bag strapped over her shoulder flew forward and smack her in the back of the head.


She quickly picked herself up and packed away a couple of the things that had fallen out of her bag, waved nervously at Delilah, and made her way off the ship to find the closest dress shop. She hadn't attended a party in quite a while since the crew had been at sea, and it seemed like the perfect night to have a little fun.
Aleksandr grinned at Delilah, giving her a hearty slap on the back before turning to watch the byplay between Maggie and the Huntmaster. Then Tim of Winds went ashore, followed by the cabin girl. The slav grunted.

"I still do not understand why that man ever leaves the ship, if he hates it so much. And the cabin girl...Kiana, yes? Why have we not put her ashore? She is clumsy and foolish. She is going to get someone killed."

He turned at the sound of footsteps, reaching out just in time to catch one of the watch crew trying to sneak ashore. "Ah, Elizabeth!" He hadn't quite got the hang of pronouncing z's, and doubted he ever would. "I thought you would be ashore by now. Would you like some company?" He turned his attention to the wayward crewman, his tone shifting from jovial to annoyed. "And you. You are supposed to be guarding the stores, yes? Why are you not? If I see you ashore this portfall, you will find yourself scrubbing at barnacles during the next boarding. Do you understand me?"
Delilah took the slap on the back with silent (yet resigned) grace, but let out a heaving sigh when Kiana tripped over herself and landed face first on the deck. Yes, the crew was a mess. But, this was the crew and she would make sure everyone was whipped in to shape.

"I wonder that myself." Delilah murmured.

With Alek offering to accompany Elizabeth, and the rest of the crew taken care of, Delilah was free to leave the ship herself. Instinct led her to be close on the heels of Kiana. Alek may not have been too far off from the truth. The little circus performer had a mean streak in her, but she was also a trouble making minx. Delilah felt it best to keep an eye on her.

Meanwhile, another ship was making port. Lacking colors, and yet... the ship itself was so familiar to another pirate vessel...

"Ah, Elizabeth! I thought you would be ashore by now. Would you like some company?"

Elizabeth paused and looked up at Aleksandr. She probably should give him an insult or two and stalk off but ... She nodded and waited for him as he barked out a threat to one of the other crew.

It was strange stepping foot on dry land again. She had gotten used to the rocking of the ship and that wasn't just it either. There were the sounds, the smells, everything.

Elizabeth raised the hood slightly so she could see. At least a handful of roads led away from the ship. Thankfully, the herb shop and the supply shop she wanted were on the same road. She glanced around. The rest of the crew who were making good use of their shore leave had already gone their separate ways. She couldn't see anyone else but most of the people here were probably at the inns and brothels. Or sleeping their liquor off with the pigs.

The "Good Doctor" chose the road and adjusted her satchel. Then she checked to make sure the knife at the back was in reach. She had another but that was hidden on her thigh under her skirt. One could never be too careful and Papa had raised no fool.

She looked up again at
Aleksandr. "Going to the brothels and drinking holes, not to your liking?" she asked.
A contemptuous grin split the Huntmaster's face and his beard twitched at Maggie's taunt
"Wine? you think mere Wine can stand up to a pint of my Ale!" he retorted with a chuckle
"Your on lass, if i can identify the ingredients in the wine, then ye'll help me beat him" The Huntmaster grinned and increased his pace, though all around him people parted and moved away, seemingly desperate to keep their distance from the tentacle faced man, his large crimson coat concealing his weaponry
"And if i cannot discern what the ingredients are, then You shall have a barell of my Finest brew free on our next voyage" The Huntmaster grinend as he made the wager, content that no wine would be beyond his refined brewers senses, he would win this wager, of that he had no doubt.
Unaware that she was being followed, Kiana set off towards town silently with her bag strapped to her shoulder and her hands shoved into her pockets. Once in town, she immediately spotted the closest dress shop and decided this would be the place to gather her supplies.

She straightened her clothes and walked by the nearest fountain to wash the dirt from her face and fix her hair, then hid her bag under a large pile of firewood that the shopkeeper had set next to the building. Once hidden, she made her way up the steps and into the shop, closing the door quietly behind her. In between a large row of fine gowns, a tall and rather ugly-looking man stood inspecting the seams on one of his newest imports. He didn't see the small girl slip up behind him, the perfect chance to step up and..

"Wow.. those are some nice dresses. How much would you charge for that one right there?" Kiana spoke loudly enough to make the shopkeeper jump. When turning, his voice sounded shaky, but very friendly. However, upon seeing the small girl in front of him, the tone of friendliness quickly drained away.

"Why would a girl like you care? It looks like you barely have the money to buy the rags you're wearing now. … Heh. You stole them didn't you?"

Kiana's eye twitched with anger, but she managed to keep her calm. "Well, it just so happens that I'm out trying to find a nice birthday present for the governor's daughter." She quickly flashed a few gold coins in front of the man, then smirked. "But.. if you would prefer, I could always just go back and let the governor know that you would rather spoil the surprise than allow me to retrieve what I've been sent here for."

The shopkeeper immediately straightened up as his face turned pale. "Y-Yes ma'am! What can I get for you?"

Kiana smiled. "Well, there should have been an Asian-style dress that came in a few days ago, am I right, or has it not gotten here yet?"

"I have been sick lately and my son has been working here for me, so I cannot tell you for sure, but I would be glad to go check for you, madam."

"Thank you."

As the shopkeeper turned on his heel and walked into the back of the shop, Kiana followed him without a word. Once he was safely through the door, she slammed the door behind him and pulled the bookcase nearby down to the ground. There was no way he was getting back out.


Kiana quickly ran and looked over her new selection. "Hmmm.. what this time.." The shopkeeper had now discovered he was locked in, and was beginning to yell loudly. "AHA. This one!" She quickly grabbed a black and red dress, the matching shoes, and walked calmly out the door. She snatched up her bag on the way down the alley and from there hopped up on a tall crate, climbed up the side of the building, and within seconds was out of sight.
Maggie didn't find her sextant and she couldn't have been happier about it. She found broken pieces of different sextants for half the price even a used tin one. And only one of the parts was tin, the rest were bronze. She would have to find the screws to cobble them together of course, but it would work. She'd left the junk stand with a couple other pretty bits she had been careful not to show any interest in- they were hardly worth what the vendor had been asking for them... One in particular she had swiped leaning over to point at something else, palming it and catching it in the blunted fishhook tangled in her hair at the nape of her neck when she'd moved to tuck her hair behind her ear to get a better look at what she'd been handed. It was a ring casing, a man's ring by the size but missing the stone. What caught her attention was that it was made of copper, old and green, but some of the scratches on it looked deliberate, like someone had tried to carve a gold design out of the tarnish. If nothing else, it was pretty, even if it turned out to be worthless.

She had strolled through the market with the Huntmaster while he found what he was looking for- she wasn't sure if he was after anything in particular but she knew he was always plotting some feast. Maggie wasn't sure what he was planning to do with the pickled dragons eyes... And she didn't care. It looked disgusting but she doubted anyone would be able to recognize them by the time he was done with whatever he was cooking up.

Tugging on his sleeve she pointed towards the inn at the end of the lane. "I'm off, meet ye in an hour maybe?"

The Huntmaster frowned. He wouldn't be far behind her, Maggie knew, but after weeks crammed into a ship she wanted a few minutes to herself. She hadn't been feeling particularly grand lately, with every step she took from the water she was feeling a bit worse. She didn't raise her voice but left no room for argument in her question. The Huntmaster would meet her in an hour or he wouldn't; she had a date with a mulled wine and a tub of hot water.
The Marketplace wasn't corwded to the point where it limited movement, though there was well over a hundred people moving through the large cobbled courtyard, their voices mixing together and forming a low murmur, the cries of vendors calling out to advertise their wares occasionally rising over the hubub

The Huntmaster had picked up several ingredients for a special brew, though he had also picked up some new shot packages, they were specially forged to heat up to almost melting point when shot, so that whilst they wouldnt fly as far, when they hit flesh, they would burn the wound they inflicted.

"In an hour and not a second later, I said i'd look after ye and so I will, though I need a bit of alone time meself if i'm honest" The Huntmaster said, his voice a seemingly gentle growl.
Deliah was standing across the street from the dress shop, casual as can be. She was lighting up a pipe, taking a refreshing puff just when one little circus performer went prancing out of the shop with a handful of goodies.

Rolling her eyes, she crossed the street silently without making a scene to follow the girl. Thievery was a part of life, but this one had no idea what the meaning of subtle was. If anyone else had spotted her stealing so boldly out of a shop like that (and what befell of the shop owner who had probably seen her face?) they would have the town's guards on them in hours.

And Delilah so wanted to have at least one weekend ashore that didn't end with a chase and getting shot.

Kiana was just disappearing over the top of a building when Delilah rounded the corner in the back. She gave the girl a disapproving frown when she lept off the roof with her newest prize.

"Tell me, little girl. What makes you think there will not be posters with your face on them all over town by morning? You're dangerously reckless."
"Tell me, little girl. What makes you think there will not be posters with your face on them all over town by morning? You're dangerously reckless."

Kiana heard Delilah's voice just as she was landing, causing her to miss the crate she was aiming for and fall to the ground on her behind. What was it today about falling over? Wasn't she supposed to be a circus star? She got to her feet, being careful not to lock eyes with the woman, and dusted off her pants.

"I'm sorry, Miss, I.. had heard about a party tonight at the Governor's and thought it would be a nice chance to.. well.. make some extra money." Kiana smirked, "Would you like to join me? I'm sure it would be fun to have a partner." She nodded towards the building.

"And if it would make you feel better, I can always go back in and finish the job."
Deliah Red

Why did she feel as if she were about to give lessons to a twelve year old about the dangerous wide world?

Delilah snorted in response. "No. Kill the people you steal from and there won't be any new money the next time we sail in to port." That was point one. Never kill today what can make you money tomorrow.

As for the girl's big plans... Delilah didn't want to be seen anywhere with noble blood. That would lead to recognition..and problems.. and... Scowling to herself, she considered if she didn't escort the kitten, she was likely to go on by herself, get captured and then they would have to stage a rescue. No crew member got left behind.

"As you wish, kitten. But don't wear that. You never wear what you've stolen in the same town you stole it from. We'll fetch something more appropriate and I'll escort you to this party. However, it's imperative that we remain as unseen as possible."
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