By Scott Kujawa
Date: 19th day of the 2nd tenday of Mirtul in the year 1375 - The Year of Risen Elfkin
Time: Morning to Evening
Location:The Moonsea on the way to Shadowdale.
Weather: Temperate and raining.
Addoc started that morning’s dawnfry before everyone was awake and after he offered his devotion to Gond but he was still distracted by his prayers and the whole meal became a burned mess. Once Caerlin and Auy were awake, they prayed to their deities.
The priestess of Sharess wandered the deck, talking with some of the crew and trying to lighten everyone’s mood since the past few days have been quite boring and repetitive. Every so often she bent down and scratched the feline that has started to follow her.
Aris walked toward Addoc, holding a book in his hand. "Morning Addoc, here's your book. I found it... rather interesting. I hope that I could borrow it again so I can finish it.”
Luie landed in front of the knight as she walked across the deck as the halfling grappled down from above and with amusement, Caerlin watched the antics that Luie was performing. Like before, the knight and monk started to spar a few moments later.
Ragnar chuckled quietly and he sat down to watch the two spar for a while before he picked up his cutlass and went to find Caerlin to ask if she wanted to practise her fencing.
Caer smiled at Ragnar. "Aye, that is a fine idea." She stood, adjusted her buckler, and drew her longsword. "Shall we?"
The two of them moved back and forth across the deck, scoring minor hits on each other as they practiced with their sharp blades instead of wooden lathes.
After a while, Caer called peace. "I think the next time we should find some of the practice arms instead of taking pieces out of each other." She smiled at Ragnar, and rubbed one of the small wounds that is on her arm.
”Well, actually I was mostly aiming for the laces of your shirt. But if you say so,” Ragnar told her with a mischievous grin.
"Aye, and with the way ye folk go through shirts, it's no wonder I'll not run out of bandages to use on ye," the Gondsman called out from where he hunkered beneath a wagon, waving them over. "Now, both of ye come over here and let me see t'yer scratches."
Caer smiled at Addoc. "I haven't ruined any of my shirts, Luie did that for me." She walked over to him, head hung down like she was in trouble and she tried to not chuckle. "Yes, Addoc."
The giant looked over at the two and using his knowledge he bandaged Caer and Ragnar and it looked, to him, that Caerlin got the worst of the injuries.
"My thanks, Addoc." Caer smiled and turned to Ragnar and stuck her tongue out at him. "You got lucky!"
"So I was," Ragnar answered her. "Let's hope that Luie doesn't get jealous about me being in such good stead with Lady Luck on this trip."
Caerlin chuckled to herself as she walked off.
After mid-afternoon Aris looked around the barges and he crossed the deck and stopped before Thethtos. "Well met again, would you like to exchange spells with me? If so I hope that my spell book contains a spell you might be in interested in. Furthermore, are you specialized in a particular school? Myself, I'm an abjurer.”
“Nah, I prefer to not limit myself by keeping to one school. Why don’t you tell me some of your spells and then we’ll see if we can come to an understanding,” the wizard answered as he gazed at the wet priestess and smiled while giving an ear and part of his attention to Aris.
"Thethtos, over here. Let’s forget about the pleasures of the flesh for now and wait a moment so I can get my spell book.” Aris left and returned as the wizard continued to keep part of his attention on Auy. “I have a spell that causes fear, a spell that shields me, a spell that causes missiles of magic to form, a spell that helps fight off poisons, a spell that helps me fight faster, and a spell that makes images. By the way, my prohibited schools are enchantment and necromancy.”
“Ah, I’ll scribe a scroll of burning hands in exchange for a scroll of the spell that helps with fighting.”
Auy turned and saw the friendly wizard eyeing her and she pranced around the deck a bit more. Auy continued to tease her wizard lover as she stood behind Aris and she figured that the wizard would at least look at Aris then even if the wizard wasn’t paying complete attention to what Aris was saying. Of course, Thethtos smiled at the priestess.
“Tell me all of the spells in your spellbook and feel free to pick more of my spells because it would be a shame to trade just one spell between us.”
“That’s all I want and it is an even exchange. However, I’m not going to tell you all of the spells I have in my spellbook because some of them are beyond your skill and some of them are mine and they are my secrets to keep.”
Auy continued to smile and flirt with the Thethtos as she stood behind Aris. Auy grinned and blew Thethtos kisses as she leaned against the railing and every so often she took a few interesting poses as she watched and relaxed while he smiled and listened to Aris.
Aris squinted his eyes. "I see that you're distracted for matters like this and at the same time you are being impolite. I came to you in good will to share my spells with a colleague of the Art, but all I get is an arrogant reply. I’ll take my leave and you have my thanks for your time." Aris packed his spellbook and left the wizard to his business.
“If that’s what you want young one. I offered a trade, you turned me down. Maybe you need to learn to relax a bit and Auy could help you with that,” Thethtos called before he shrugged. “If you want to trade the spell for a spell, you know where to find me.” The artist-wizard turned and looked at Auy. “Now, Kitten, you’ve teased me enough, let’s go play Rub the Tummy.”
Aris stopped and shrugged. "Look friend, I didn't ask you to reveal all your magical knowledge, just more spells of the same power. I'd prefer something more defensive, but anything you have will do. Now it’s obvious that you are interested in Kauper's Skittish Nerves and so let’s just forget about this and trade.”
“I’ll scribe the scroll for you later this day but right now I’m off to enjoy Auy for awhile and you’ll have your scroll by morrow.”
"Aye, and I’ll scribe Kauper's Skittish Nerves for you. Do you have some old books I could buy from you? Anything you don't need anymore? I'm dying of boredom on this ship."
“No, I’m sorry I don’t.” Thethtos smiled at Auy and held out his hand. “Kitten? Tummy time?”
Auy smiled before she slinked over to Thethtos. She took his hand and rubbed against him before she kissed him on the cheek as he laughed and touched her hair and back. "If you insist," she growled with a playful smile and he other hand touched his tummy as they walked off and found a quiet place.
Surprisingly, nothing untold happened this day except that the spring rains came back with a vengeance and they lashed the barges and everyone, and everything, on them.
”A hat. I knew I should have taken a hat from someone on that pirate ship,” Ragnar muttered in-between telling Auren a bit more about his family. The Knight laughed as she listened to Ragnar’s mutter and the tale about his family while her hair hung in wet strands around her face and armor.
Addoc took advantage of the downpour to clean both himself and his clothes. He used a discarded shirt from the Company's rapidly growing collection to fashion himself a mask. "Any of you folk handy with needle and thread?"
Caerlin laughed. "Sorry my friend, I sew just about as well as I cook... which is bad. If I may ask, why are you fashioning a mask?"
“I’d not mind finding that out either,” the bard chimed in. “And sadly, my sewing skills are limited to knowing how to sew patches on the knees of my trousers. And most of the time I make sure I have enough spares to give the torn ones away, anyway.”
The giant reached up and tapped his scarred cheek, the twisted flesh actually making a sound beneath his thick fingernail. "I've had many a winter t'get used t'this, but not everyone has. I've found, when goin' into a new place, that the murmurin's over why a big man has his face covered over buzz more lightly in my head than the gasps of some young maid or the screamin' of some young child." Caerlin nodded in understanding.
“I can...,” Luie paused briefly to rub the back of his head. “As I was saying I can try some sewing for you. My hands are very dexterous.” He wiggled his dark tanned fingers and the rain made his skin appear bronze.
"I'd appreciate it, lad. Don't need be anything fancy..." Addoc held up a hand that looked like it might cover the halfling's entire head. "...but my fingers just aren't made for such things. I tried makin' a metal mask once't, like y'hear about in stories and the like, but I never could keep it from rubbin' the back of m'head raw..."
Luie sounded a little mellow, “Not a story for some.” He instantly cheered back up, “All I need is some needle and thread, maybe a lot of thread. And of course I will raid our ‘clothing shop’ for some good material. No sense using a discarded piece of cloth. By the way Ragnar, nice shirt.” With that said and done the hin began to scamper off into the rain and Caerlin watched Luie scamper off with a concerned look on her face before she shrugged and looked up at the sky and grumbled under her breath in grunts and snorts. Once Luie had some needles, thread, and a thimble from the storage wagon he returned.
“This look like some fine material, if I use this it will breathe for him. Don’t want Addoc passing out from the lack of air or get blinded from sweating.” Luie placed a hand on his chin. “Maybe laces can be added by someone later, on the back part of the mask so he can give the thing a tighter fit.” The hin stared at everything trying to reach a zen like state. “Why would I say 'not a story for some folk?',” he said as he started to move his hands, gathering the needle and thread. He pricked his thumb, “Don’t think on it, clear the mind Luie. At least he didn’t ask for a yellow mask.” He allowed a slight grin at the memory and his hands began to work as he dwelled in the past. A bit later he held up his final work, "Hmmm, I’m not sure if this is right for him." He got up and tracked done the cleric by following his nose. "Eveningfast already?"
"Aye, lad," the giant chuckled. "Ye been concentratin' so hard on yer handiwork ye must have missed two or three snacks already." Addoc cooked the eveningfast. The Gondsman must have practiced again during the day because he made up for the burned dawnfry by making a well roasted hunch of venison and potato soup.
Luie placed his face less than an inch from the soup. “Soup or... nope it is soup.” He took a big whiff. “I’m going to enjoy this meal. By the way Addoc here you go,” Luie said as he handed the large man his mask that is patterned off a style used by the rangers of North near the city of Jalanther and the colors matched the favorite colors of the deity Mara’athenfi, which are browns, reds, and greens. “Wear it in good health. If you don't like it, I can try again.”
Addoc nodded. "Been so wet the potato's started t'sprout, so I decided a big pot of soup was the way t'go. If I had some good meltin' cheese, I'd have done it up right like me ol' mam used to." The Gondsman took the mask and held it out to look it over. "Oh, this is fine work, lad... fine work," the giant rumbled, pleased. He pulled the mask on, adjusting it so he could see. "How do I look?"
Caer caught the tail end of the conversation as she walked over for eveningfast. She moved so that she is standing in front of Addoc and she looked up at him. She put her hand to her chin and hmm's to herself for a bit, tipping her head to the side before she smiled. "You look very mysterious Addoc, like 'who is that really under that mask'. The colors are a nice touch as well." She turned to Luie, "Nicely done my friend. That’s much better than I could have even thought of doing."
Luie gave a quick smile. “Thank you Caerlin and Addoc. I never would have thought that a bunch of random colors would work.” He gave another pass at Addoc. “You look like a large man with a plan. Just try not to let it blow away in the wind. There is no drawstring for the mask. I need to return everything I borrowed before I eat and so see everyone in a bit.” He skipped off while he whistled in the dark.
After eveningfast, Caer helped Addoc clean up before she turned to him. "Addoc, if you have a moment, would check over my armor and sword? I think that with Ragnar's and mine playing this afternoon, they both may need some tending to."
“I’d echo that,” Ragnar said. “Perhaps if you know where I can find a spare sharpening stone I could do it myself. I guess even bards need to do a bit of work with their bodies sometimes. Hmm... that reminds me, does anyone know where Lady Auren is at the moment?” the bard finished as he looked around the main deck of the ship and saw that Auren wasn’t on the main deck and she probably went somewhere to get out of the rain.
"Aye, lass," the giant nodded. "Just lay them out over next to my gear and I'll see to them once I finish puttin' the dinner things away. I've no real extras, so same for you, lad. I'll look yours over once I finish with Caerlin's. And remind me once we reach Shadowdale, I'll make sure ye all have what you need to look after your gear twixt times I do."
Caer pulled her chain shirt over her head and drew her long sword. "My thanks, Addoc. I would appreciate you showing me how to do that." She smiled at the Gondsman before she took her weapons and armor over to where Addoc's gear is and set them there.
“Aye, that’d be a useful skill indeed,” the bard echoed the archer as he sat down next to them. Slowly, he felt the knight try to creep up behind him but he knew that she was behind him because of the small sounds of her armor as it moved or as she shifted. She sat next to Ragnar and watched the Gondsman while she smiled at the bard.
The giant spent the evening sitting on the edge of the barge and he looked over the weapons but as far as he could tell they didn’t need sharpened, however, as he watched the water roll by he repaired the holes, cuts, and scratches in their armor. Caer sat and watched Addoc and the scout asked questions now and then about the correct techniques. Once Addoc was finished with the items, Caerlin started to teach Addoc again. Luie mediated before he practiced his forms to keep himself in shape.
After a few moments of teaching, Caer looked up and smacked her forehead. "Addoc, I completely forgot, Ragnar can also speak Illuskan." She turned to him with a smile. "So you can also talk to him in Illuskan and that way you’ll get more practice than by just speaking with me." She shook her head. "I can't believe I forgot that Ragnar could speak and read that language."
"Hmm. I'll keep that in mind," the giant rumbled. "Learnin' from him, I should never runs out of honeyed words and ways of sayin' "Oops, how clumsy of me, let's get yer blouse off 'fore it stains."
Caerlin chuckled. "Aye, that could be."
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