Flashback Face in the Wind, Stealing in the Storm

Laddie, rest. I'm so very sorry, but I still have work to do. I'll mourn you later, I promise.

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An inland sea created by Ivak's cataclismic fury during the Valterrian, the Suvan Sea is a major trade route and the foremost hub for piracy in Mizahar. [lore]

Face in the Wind, Stealing in the Storm

Postby Stefan on April 12th, 2014, 6:22 am

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When Stefan returned, there was a big cheer from part of the crew, who couldn’t believe how was to kill that bugger. They gave him a bottle of rum, food and a pat in the back, and in exchange he played some songs for them on his mandolin, also glad that he was alive.

Nonetheless, the celebration was quickly quenched when the next day came, the first day of Spring of 512 AV. Even when the day started, there was only silence; silence and fear for the sounds outside. It was like the tropical storm they all learnt to fear, but this was different... it had something unnatural, something that every men and woman knew was wrong. They could sense the Djed on the outside, and not only that, but the sounds of cracking wood, menacing with killing them all, without any possibility of survival.

The brigantine could hold a crew of 120 persons, even though the current crew of the ship were less, everybody was tucked under the deck, completely silent, nervous, knowing that they could die at any moment. It goes without saying that the morale was dangerously low.

Stefan, meanwhile, was sitting on a hammock, and though he had a calm expression, he was as nervous, if not more, than the rest of the crew. So this was the Djed storm... it was as horrible as they’ve been told; he could feel it, even though he couldn’t actually see it. His heart was sinking... the silence; the uncertainty was driving him insane. And all he could think was about Laddie... he was like a brother to him. They would joke to each other in a time like this, play a board game, do something... but now, he was gone. There was nothing left. Was that the reason why he did that insane heists? Why he leaped into that small hole on the deck of the ships? Now he didn’t mind death... it was exciting to be on the line, anyway.

But now... he was alone again. Even though he was surrounded by friends, nobody could be like a brother to him. Even though he was not thinking, he began to sing, from the top of his lungs, and the bottom of his heart, and the sailors soon followed.

Laddie, its time to sail away
The sun is low, but the clouds rage on
The water is angry, and the fire is red
But we've many a mile to sail ahead

Lad, many a mile to sail ahead!

Laddie, rest ‘till the storm is over
Laddie, sleep till we're safe again
Soon we’ll reach quieter waters
Lakivu save us from slaughter

Rest, oh Laddie, sleep, oh lad!

We did what we did, oh we had fun
We danced and we sang in the sun
But Lad, now it's time to sail away
If we see a tomorrow, we'll play again

Lad, see a tomorrow, we'll play again

Laddie, rest, ‘till the storm is over
Laddie, sleep, ‘till we are safe again
Soon we’ll reach some sweeter clouds
Lakivu, may we make you proud

Rest, oh Laddie, sleep, oh lad!

Aye, twelfth bell was peaceful too,
No breeze laid on our good mast,
But passion did rise on these small waves
With wind that'll take us to our graves.

Lad, sleep not upon the waves

Laddie, rest till the storm is over,
Laddoe, sleep till we're safe again,
May thunder's voice quiet down
Oh Lakivu, please, don't let us drown!

Rest, oh Laddie, sleep, oh lad!
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Face in the Wind, Stealing in the Storm

Postby Stefan on April 13th, 2014, 8:02 am

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2th Day of Spring, 512 AV.


All the day, and all the day, all the crew sang songs to heighten their spirits. It calmed them, though it wasn’t the intention of Stefan to do so. All he wanted to do was sing his grief out, but even with all the songs, he couldn’t forget it, he couldn’t forget about his brother Laddie, the hard, godless bugger with no name. His heart was wounded, and his sad songs gave it away.

The day passed slowly, but when the sounds of the storms faded away, so did the voices of the men and women of the Laviku’s Pride. They survived, but there was no cheering. It took them a while to make up their minds and leave the ship. But when they did leave to see the outside world again, but they couldn’t believe their own eyes when they saw it. The Anchorage Flotilla was torn apart almost entirely, with the ships floating away on the tides of the Suvan Sea.

Every one of the sailors, including the doctor Damian, was out on the deck, contemplating what was transpiring. They were allowed five minutes of that, before the thunderous voice of Iman ordered everybody to get the petch out of there. They were in danger by simply standing there, and the quartermaster ordered full sail to get away from that place as soon as possible.

The crew, Stefan included, untied the knots and the ropes the get the sails down, and get every last scrap of wind on them. They hurried up, so they took roughly more than one hour to get the sails at full speed.

Another chance of survival, Stefan thought. They survived that unnatural storm that left the Anchorage Flotilla scattered around; something that shake the sea like the fury of a god. But they all survived, and they wouldn’t see Laviku’s Laundry Room any time soon.

“Shantyman” the voice of Iman and the touch on his shoulder took the bard away from his thoughts.

“Iman” the young man replied with a smile on his face “I’m glad to smell the stench of rum in your breath, for once.”

The Inarta chuckled a little, but sonly his face turned serious again “Lad, the captain wants to see you”

Stefan remained silent for a couple of seconds “She is...”

“Alive, yes, and getting better. And that’s why she wanted to see you. So don’t keep her waiting, lad, and get through it, and quick.”

The shantyman nodded and quickly went towards the captain’s quarters, right bellow the helm. That was a place where were no one has entered before, only the captain herself, and on the last few days, the quartermaster and the doctor. Stefan didn’t know what to expect, but breathing deeply, he opened the door and got inside the cabin.

Inside, was more or less like a museum: elegant, fascinating, full of ornamental objects, and slightly illuminated by a few candles. Racks full of weapons, shelves full of clothing and some other things, which Stefan supposed were trophies and mementos. On one of the sides of the room, there was a big table with a map of Mizahar, along with several sailing instruments, some of which Stefan couldn’t name.

And on the end of the far end of the captain’s quarters, near an opaque window, there was a makeshift bed, with a woman clad in light clothing, lying on it. The captain Marysol... and she looked completely helpless. It was like somebody replaced the ferocious and sadistic captain and replaced her for somebody that barely looked like her.

“Stefan, don’t keep me waiting and more your arse here...” she said in Common to the man.

As you wish, captain...” he replied in Fratava, stepping closer to her. When his eyes adjusted themselves to the dark, Stefan managed to give her a better look. The skin of her face and chest showed some fading splotches, and she looked physically exhausted. Her hair was loose, and her face was not covered in her usual rings. She didn’t have her usual and demonic looks that were incredibly intimidating, but now she looked fair, and weak. That’s when Stefan understood why she didn’t want anybody to see her.

For petch’s sake, stop doing that. That accent you got it’s bloody annoying.

That’s why I do. I know how much it irritates you, captain...” he said with a chuckle, and he was answered by another one.

Shantyman... Stefan...” she began to speak, this time in Fratava, and with a gentle tone, completely unheard of her “Do you know about scurvy?

Scurvy, captain? It’s... a illness, isn’t it?” he said, curious.

Aye. Since I got the news about the storm... I panicked. I feared for my life, for the life of my men and women, for the ship... so I was focused on simply getting out. You’re lucky we always manage to get fresh rations, and the doctor always gave you all medicine to survive. But I... didn’t take anything. I didn’t ate anything... didn’t drank anything... nothing. That worsened, until... well, you can see me now” she sighed, defeated. Evidently for the young man, it was hard for her to be open to someone “I got these... splotches on my skin. I couldn’t hold my meals. And I think I lost a tooth... for a moment, I thought I was going to die, but then, somebody told me about the lemons. I thought, why the petch no? But I didn’t expect you to go to that fool’s errand... but now I’m here, able to survive for another day, just like the rest of us... thanks to you.

Stefan bite his lower lip, listening to what the captain had to say, but when he was about to say something himself, the captain stopped him with a movement of her hand.

I know you well enough, Stefan, since I rescued you from Alvadas two years ago. And now, you’re not a hero. You stole medicine from someone else, you killed men, you sailed with us... but you helped me. You’re a scourge for everyone, and you should feel proud of it, but for me, for us... you’re a hero. You’re our hero... my hero.

The young pirate was speechless, and even though his face was calm, his head was a whirlwind of disorganised thoughts and emotions. Seeing that he wasn’t going to talk, Marysol continued.

I could hear your songs from here... I always liked how you sang, you know.” She made a pause “...I know what you had with Laddie. And I also know what’s happening to you... that’s why I made a decision. When we reach the next port, to Kenash, you’ll stay there, and then you will be on your own.” This time, though, Stefan replied, and quite quickly.

No. I will not do it...

You must, lad. Don’t try to get yourself out of this. You need this. The grief will break you, and not only you will not be use for us like that, but I can’t stand seeing you like that, Stefan... that’s my final choice. Did I ever disappoint you before?

Stefan didn’t had the chance to reply, when a series of screams and loud noises came from outside.

The captain and the shantyman looked at each other, and taking out his dagger, the latter came out of the quarters, running, just to see the mayhem that lied outside.
Last edited by Stefan on April 14th, 2014, 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Face in the Wind, Stealing in the Storm

Postby Stefan on April 13th, 2014, 9:20 am

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The Zeltivan galleon had found them. They didn’t know how, but they knew it was them who did it... and not only that, but they had two Saiques behind, probably some sort of escort, and all of them were screaming murder.

When Stefan exited the captain’s quarters, all he could see and hear was dead, as the Galleon fired ballista bolts at them, and so did the sailors that shoot arrows, killing the crew of the Laviku’s Pride, who tried to defend themselves with their own bows and ballistae. The harpoon-like bolts pierced sail, wood and flesh, painting the deck with the red of Stefan’s crew. It was madness... it was a battle.

The attack was a complete surprise, and even though the brigantine was fast, it couldn’t escape the Galleon, and the fact that the bolts were destroying the sails didn’t help. The crew was shooting wildly and without control, with the four men using the ballistae barely making it on time to fire back. Not, it was not a battle; it was a massacre.

Stefan had to hit behind the main mast, with his dagger tucked into his chest. He couldn’t fight, at least not right now... he picked a bow once or twice, but was awful at it, and even if he managed to throw a dagger at the Galleon and hit someone, he was only armed with it. He was starting to panic.

“No, that is not right, this isn’t happening...” he said to himself, popping his head to the side of the mast, and a flying bolt nearly ripped his head off. That was close... so close. The adrenaline was starting to pump through his body... now this was exciting! Not only that, exciting and bloody dangerous! But it wouldn’t make a good story if they didn’t survive. Stefan started to look frantically at something he could use to fight back... the sails were down, the crew was fighting for their lives, and even Iman fired arrows skilfully with his bow. But the helm was completely alone... that’s it!

Stefan took a deep breath, prayed at every god he knew and loved, and quickly ran towards the helm as the bolts and arrows drew close to him, with the most insane and suicidal idea he had in the last few days.

Stefan tucked the dagger on his belt, and grabbed the wheel. Taking deep breaths, he tried to move it to starboard, where the Galleon was attacking them. He was not strong, but he needed to try nonetheless, or else they all were doomed.

“Shantyman, what the petch are you doing!?” Iman said as he fired the arrows from the railing, panic on his face.

“Saving our arses! Now help me, you idiot!” he yelled at the quartermaster. The red-haired man looked at him reluctantly, but held the wheel with him using his strong arms, managing to move it easily “To starboard Iman, to starboard!”

“Starboard!? That’s where the Galleon is!”

“Exactly! We’re going to ram the bastard!”

Iman looked at Stefan as if he was looking at a madman, and he might as well was. But before it was too late before he could act; the ship was on its way towards the Galleon, and Stefan screamed with the loud voice he usually used for singing “Brace yourselves for impact!”

If they were ready for it or no, it didn’t matter. The ship rammed the Galleon, shaking it forcefully, and damaging the hull greatly. The Laviku’s Pride was not unharmed, but at this point, it had an opportunity. Now it came the next part of the plan: Stefan yelled again “Release the hooks! We’re boarding the bastards!”

Some of the crew members obeyed, but most of them, instead, looked at him baffled. He was just the one who sang on the ship, and now he was giving them orders? Oh, but the voice of the quartermaster, thundering and loud, gave away a forcefully “You heard the shantyman! Drag them to their doom!”

Even the sanest of the crew had to obey the orders, and so they threw the hooks at the Galleon, and started to board it, jumping at the foreign deck with the ropes, climbing, and ready to fight with their cutlasses. The tides of the battle had changed.

“Alright lad, save me one!” with a mad grin on his face, Stefan took a rope and swing himself towards the deck of the Galleon, dagger in hand, ready to fight. But at the distance, there were the Saiques... if they managed to get there; the battle could take an unfortunate change.

Stefan climbed towards the helm of the enormous Galleon, and took a moment to contemplate the battle before him. Not this was going to be an amazing story, but it wasn’t far from done. “Quickly! Take the ballistae and bombards! Fire at the bastards with their own weapons!”

As quickly as it was, the flash of a cutlass nearly cut Stefan’s head off, but he managed to jump back just in time. The captain of the Galleon was in front of him, ready for the kill. He was probably unhappy about the knee on the groin, too.

There was no exchange of words, just the blades started to talk, and their talk was quite violent. Stefan dodged, stabbed and slashed with his dagger, fighting dirty, but the captain was a savage himself. His slashes were unpredictable and deadly, and the best the young pirate could do was dodging. But in the end, his luck ran out.

He hit with his back the railing of the ship. There was nowhere to escape now, only fighting. The captain of the Galleon and the shantyman of the Brigantine both locked eyes, both of them sparkling with the thrill of the battle “See ya in Laviku’s Laundry Room, ya bastard!” Stefan said, as he threw his dagger at the chest of the sailor.

It didn’t hit him there, but on his right arm, making him drop the cutlass and scream in agony. Stefan leaped quickly, taking his dagger from the man’s arm to finish the job, but he didn’t paid attention to the man’s left hand. With a deadly punch on the temple, Stefan was stunned. He was not strong, and he was lucky than that didn’t kill him outright... but it made him stumble backwards and fall by the railing towards the sea, which in turn could kill him instead.
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Face in the Wind, Stealing in the Storm

Postby Stefan on April 13th, 2014, 9:42 am

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Coldness. All it was... was cold. That was the only thing Stefan could feel, except for the pressure of the water on top of him, and a horrible pain on his left temple. What did happen? He wasn’t sure. But he knew what was next... now he will die.

He floated below the surface, as the air escaped his lugs, with the dagger still held firmly on his hand, as if it was going to be kept that way on his dead, cold fingers. That was it? It was the end? It seemed so... he was going to die. Finally.

He didn’t mind death. Stefan knew that on the last years, he lived more than some men live in ten lives... by petch’s sake, on the last few days he lived more than that. But still, he couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed. He hoped to die having sex, or something more epic, though he couldn’t complain. What was more epic that dying at a naval battle, after all?

Still... he preferred it. As his body went numb, sonly his mind would do too, as his lungs emptied themselves of air, and fill with water, welcoming Dira's sweet embrace on Laviku's realm. That was something quite amusing he remembered that Damian told him: drowning in saltwater took longer that drowning in freshwater, because the salt drew blood into your lungs, so you essentially died drowning into your own blood.

Drowning... Laddie drowned. A rogue wave took him... and he couldn’t help it. Did he think it too? Did he was ready to die? No, he wasn’t... and Stefan Teagan wasn’t, either.

This was bullshyke.

Suddenly, Stefan opened his eyes, and looked at the sun on the surface, spitting what was remaining of the air of his lungs. He started to move his cold limbs to swim towards the surface, with the dagger still on his right hand.

In what it seemed for him was forever, he reached the surface, breathing greedily the precious air that gave him life again. His eyes stung from the salt, but he could see well... there were two ships far away. Only two... the other ones, the Saiques, were sunk. But now, the Galleon and the Brigantine were getting farther... the waves were pushing Stefan away.

He started to breathe and scream for help, splashing helplessly on the salt water. The waves drove him away, to only Laviku knows where.
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