By Scott Kujawa
Date: 20th 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 overcast.
The mercenaries knew that they would make the southern shore tomorrow about midday. As usual, Addoc cooked after he sent his devotions to Gond and Caerlin and Auy prayed after they woke. Ragnar joined them in their prayers and he looked far from sad as he praised Milil, but he also sent some prayers to Umberlee and Deep Sashelas because they helped the barges safely cross the Moonsea. Once Addoc completed a fair mixture of left over venison, potatoes, and vegetables, the merc’s sat down and ate.
Ragnar spent the first part of the day hovering near the barge’s captain, which is also the caravan master. He occasionally asked a question or two about navigation and she answered as best as she could.
The Gondsman spent the day helping to inspect the wagons and ready them for the road and he replaced one of the axles since it was starting to crack and a wheel on the supply wagon because some of would shatter soon.
As Aris paced the deck with his backpack on his back, a gray cat popped its head from the backpack and let out a meow before it extended its leathery wings that are covered with feathers. "Kython, there’s no need to beg, we'll get you some food. Oh, everybody this is Kython my familiar and he's a tressym. Come on Kyth, get on my shoulder so we can get you some food.” The winged cat meowed again before Aris opened one of the barrels and fed Kyth some pieces of meat.
True to his word, the artist-wizard arrived with the scroll and he handed it to Aris while he waited for Aris’s scroll with the spell the artist-wizard asked for.
"Here it is. Make good use of it," Aris said as Thethtos took the scroll.
“My thanks, and this will help some a new mageling someday.”
A small surprised yell could be heard as Luie popped out of the knight’s backpack when she went to get a change of clothes. Auy turned to look at the knight because of the yell and to see what all the fuss was about. With another smile the knight pulled the hin out of her pack, changed her clothing, and then the two started to spar with each other and Auy sat and watched.
"Aye, it's a good thing we've only one more night on the water," the giant rumbled. "We'd have t'be shakin' our boots out just t'check for the lad next."
Caer could only nod as she couldn't speak through her laughter as she sat near Addoc with the open book on her lap, which she was using to give lessons from.
Suddenly a gray-winged cat landed on Caerlin's shoulder and she heard Aris shout, "Can I leave Kython with you two for a time? He needs a bit of fresh air and to stretch his wings". Aris smiled before he turned and entered his quarters.
"Aye, no doubt," the Gondsman rumbled after the mage had disappeared from sight. "What with ye keeping him stuffed in a pack fer days on end, y'clothhead. A moment, lass..."
Addoc gathered up some scraps left over from breakfast and a tin full of rainwater, then settled back down next to the scout. "Here y'be, lad. Off of Caerlin's neck and have yerself a bite. Ain't manor grub, but it serves me well enough."
Caerlin's laughter abruptly stopped as she took in the condition of the tressym that has landed on her shoulder. She reached up to give it a scratch behind its ears before she gently moved it to her lap. "You poor thing," she told him as she continued to stroke his head and she introduced herself as it started to purr. "Kython, my name is Caerlin, and this is Addoc," the scout told the tressym that looked at her with intelligence as Addoc returned with the food and water. "I would like to check you over to make sure that you have no lasting damage from being kept packaged up, if you don't mind?" After he butted her head and meowed at her, she began to check his wings for missing feathers or tendon damage and she saw a few of the feathers were split or missing but, as far as she can tell, there is no tendon damage. She looked at the Gondsman, "Addoc, would you check him over as well, or mayhap we should ask Auy?"
The giant shrugged. "I can, but as he's the boy's familiar, I've my doubts if he's let any harm come to him. But I've no doubt that the Dancer's priestess would want some excuse to see this fine fellow anyway..."
Caerlin shrugged. "I thought that it was just a pet." She continued to stroke its head and scratch its ears. "Kython, you have a few feathers that are missing and some that are split. You may want to see if you can get Aris to take care of them for you." She leaned over and whispered in Kython's ear and after it listened for a few moments it tapped her arm with its paw and fluttered its wings.
Caerlin smiled at Kython as she sat back upright and gave him another scratch near the base of his wings. "Well, you are supposed to be stretching your wings, so go ahead if you want. You can visit with me whenever you wish."
After giving Caerlin another tap of its paw, the tressym did stretch out its wings and lightly hover near her.
A large swarm of medium-sized water snakes slithered over the barges before the snakes quickly entered the water and weaved south. Some of the merc’s believed that it looked like the snakes were fleeing from something, but what that might be, no one knew.
Ragnar watched Auren as she cleaned up after the sparing and after she dressed he approached her and asked if she wanted some company. With another smile that made the corners of her mouth rise up, she took his arm and the two settled off where there was a place that is quiet and where they wouldn’t be in the way.
Addoc cooked the eveningfast and it was mostly soggy rolls and remains of what was left of the venison. After Caerlin helped Addoc clean up after eveningfast, she washed her clothes and herself from the same water barrel. She sat near the back of the barge and she watched the sky, Selune, and a few of Selune’s Tears while Caerlin contemplated what she has accomplished since leaving her father's home. Luie mediated after the meal before he practiced his forms to keep himself in shape.
When Luie came out of his meditation he saw Auy sitting across from him. "Is that hard to do?" she asked with a puzzled look on her face. He tilted his head just an inch.
“Nothing is hard if you are willing to put your mind to the task at hand. A good way to describe it...,” Luie squinted his face. “...think of the exercise as a catnap except you are more aware of everything and a lot more relaxed afterward. And the meditation does not take long to learn.” He rubbed his chin. “I picked up the proper technique in only one winter of training. If you wish to learn you already have an edge because you are a cleric. Would you like to learn?”
The priestess listened while she sat across from Luie. "I have an edge on this? Oh yes, I would like to learn, it sounds interesting and something that would be worthwhile to experience.”
“We can start once we make landfall at the end of the tomorrow’s day. Or right after your prayers to your goddess because you would be in the right frame of mind then. Which ever you prefer.”
"Whenever is fine. I’m almost always in the same frame of mind, give or take who I've been talking to on a given day," Auy replied with a smile even though her tone lacked the feeling of happiness. "You are the teacher so you let me know when and I'll be there, though the sooner the better if you don't mind because I hate to let interesting things go unattended.”
The hin arched an eyebrow before he gave her a quick nod. “Then we can start after landfall right before the sun sets. Until then,” he rested his elbows on his knees, “tell me about your goddess and her affinity for cats. Is it all cats or just a certain type of feline? Is she a giant cat herself? Is...” he cut himself off before he barraged her with a dozen more questions. “Well?”
Auy blinked for a moment with an empty look in her eyes before she looked around for a bit and then focused on the hin. "Sharess is all about all felines, so as you can see she has quite a presence on this ship." Auy gestured at the few cats that wandered the deck that are there to catch vermin and rodents. "If you are looking for a priestess, other than myself, a festhall is your best bet on finding one because Sharess’s clergy usually run them or work at them." Auy winked at the hin and gave him a playful smile. "We are strongest in the grand city of Calimport and the nation of Calimshan." Auy glanced around and then leaned in to whisper so just the hin could hear what she was about to say.
A bit later Luie and Auy climbed up onto the roof of the captain’s quarters and they gazed at the stars, Selune, and her Tears.
The content of Champions of the Silver Wyrm is the property and copyright of Scott Kujawa and is not to be published or redistributed without permission.
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