Solo The Storm Before the Storm

Koroshtoph sails towards Sunberth

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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The Storm Before the Storm

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on September 9th, 2018, 9:25 pm

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1st of Fall, 518 A.V.


Fingers tapped on the wooden railing of the ship to the agitated drizzling of raindrops. Syna had abandoned the sky to Leth’s shimmering lights hours ago, though the thick clouds left only the moon to shine upon the sea. Koroshtoph rubbed his middle finger against his thumb and narrowed his eyes at the horizon. Nothing. Any time now, Sunberth was supposed to emerge from the darkness over yonder. The same had been true an hour ago. He let out a short grunt and carried on accompanying the pulse of the rain with his hand.

“Eager to get to paradise, eh Korosh?” the raspy voice of Gruder came from behind, blending between the creaking of the wood, and the gentle crashing of the sea against the hull, “`Course, you’ll need to find someone to kick yer head in first.”
Koroshtoph could almost sense the wry grin on the man’s face.
“Heard its an abundant service though; ‘Round every corner and just fer the price of yer worldly possessions.” Gruder burst into laughter.

Koroshtoph let his fingers rest on the wood and leaned forward to look down at where the keel split the ocean. “I appreciate the concern.” Though his tone was sardonic, he had grown to enjoy the man’s company more than he liked to admit. He pushed away from the railing and turned towards Gruder; the sailor’s face bore the exact expected expression. “Weren’t we supposed to be there by now?”
“Enjoy the ocean while you can, friend. We’ll be there in a few days’ time”–he glanced up–“depending on the weather.”

“Yesterday it was just a day. I’m beginning to think you’re talking out of your ass.”

“Well, it did put you in a better mood didn’t it? ‘Sides, I wasn’t anticipatin’ a storm.” For a moment, Gruder’s face turned a shade more somber, then he looked back at Koroshtoph with a grin. “Ever been on a ship when Zultrav’s having his way with it?”

He had been. More than a season of his life he had spent on a ship, and all of it together in one long voyage which, at this point, could not reach its conclusion soon enough. “Yeah, we’ve had some stormy days on our way to Zeltiva.” Koroshtoph thought he saw a flash of disappointment on Gruder’s face. “That bastard’s made me lose my lunch on more than one occasion”–he shrugged–“but I’ll live if that’s the worst of it.”

Lightning split the sky to the east and thunder joined Gruder’s roaring laugher. “Looks like he’s stepped up to your challenge.”
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The Storm Before the Storm

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on September 11th, 2018, 11:08 pm

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The sound of brisk steps disappeared into the rising volume of a terrifying quartet of thunder, ocean, wind and rain as Koroshtoph headed to the door which led into the hull of the ship. It was now well past midnight. The drizzle of the rain had suddenly turned into a torrential downpour, with the sounds of the storm in the distance coming in shorter and shorter intervals. The gentle, wafting breeze had amplified in power and now gusts of wind made scarcely a pause as they crashed waves against the ship and strained the masts that seemed to struggle against its force.

A group of sailors ran past Koroshtoph as the captain shouted orders from his post. What he could glimpse of their weather-worn faces through the thick shower of the storm betrayed no emotion but that cold focus and determination which he had grown to admire. He thought of his father. That man would have thrived among them. Instead--

A particularly large wave heeled the ship sharply to one side and Koroshtoph stumbled across the deck. He barely caught himself against the railing–ocean water splashing onto his face and overboard–when the ship tilted back in the other direction, throwing him onto his back. The ocean still in his eyes, he rolled out of the way of two more sailors running in his direction and sat up to lean against the railing. Rubbing his eyes, he could see that the two men had already made their way to the central mast and were now scaling it to... do whatever it is sailors do during storms. They nimbly maneuvered up the shrouds, swinging from one hand to the other, fighting against the wind that would throw them to Laviku at the slightest misstep. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. As did the ship sway back and forth. And back and forth. And back and forth.

Koroshtoph sensed a familiar dizziness. What lunch he had had was now fighting its way out. It was in moments like these that images of his life in Syliras flashed before his eyes. And damn them, every time they were images of bliss. As if his mind, in these moments of calamity, enjoyed torturing him with what had been and could never be again.

Still propped up by the railing, failing to find a moment of stillness long enough to get back on his feet, he retched violently as a surge of water crashed overboard and knocked him forward. His hands and arms scraped against the worn wood of the deck. He had time enough to wince before another bout of nausea came over him, and he felt himself hurl out the contents of his stomach. Then, through the rain and the thunder and the dry heaving, he heard a familiar voice.[/color]
Last edited by Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on September 15th, 2018, 1:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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The Storm Before the Storm

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on September 13th, 2018, 10:49 pm

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"He's petched you up good, hasn' he?"

Gruder stroll towards him as casually as the circumstances permitted, his voice a mix of gruff sympathy and amusement. "Here, let me help you there, pal," he said and extended his hand down. Koroshtoph retched one more time before he looked up at the sailor and grabbed hold of the offered hand.

"Thank... thank you," Koroshtoph breathed as he stood up, trying to sound less shaken than he was. "This... this shyke came out of goddamn nowhere." It hadn't, really, but it was something to say to explain his uselessness in dealing with it.

Gruder let out a mocking snort, "Haven't you had enough of the damnin' and darin' of gods for one night?" He gave him a strong pat on the back and took his arm over his shoulder. "Let's get you inside," he said, as another wave of ocean crashed overboard and spilled at their feet.

Koroshtoph silently let himself be ushered towards the hull entrance, but he felt a fire begin to burn inside him. It was that same fire that had made him board this ship back in Zeltiva. It was an anger and a nagging restlessness that he had no power at that moment to assuage. He clenched his jaw in frustration.

Once inside the dimly lit corridor of the ante-room, Gruder quickly slammed the door shut and let Koroshtoph lean against the wall. The sounds from outside were muted, but the swaying of the ship was all the more nauseating now that the cause of the swaying was out of view. Koroshtoph did everything not to vomit. The fact that Gruder had had to all but carry him inside to safety was humiliating enough.

“You gonna be alright there? Need a bucket?” the sailor’s tone retained its ever-jesting character. “The others won’t appreciate it if you get puke all over the quarters. And don’t think I’ll take the blame for it either,” he said, looking around.

Koroshtoph wanted to open his mouth to speak, but another convulsion forced him to keep silent and cover his mouth with a hand.

“Take this.” Gruder handed him a wooden bucket. The smell was suspect, but Koroshtoph was in no condition to mind. “Come on, you think I haven’t seen plenty a Zeltivan gentleman barf? Don’t hold it in on my account, boy!” a hint of condescension entered the sailor’s voice.

Koroshtoph could see that to restrain himself would gain him no esteem in Gruder’s eyes. He let out a horrendous retching noise as he filled the bucket with a foul yellow liquid. Gruder stood by in silence a few moments before speaking up again.

“You know,” the sailor began, his tone uncharacteristically tentative, “Zeltiva’s a nice place to hang your hat. If I was in your boots, I’d swallow the loss and come back with us when we finish our business in Sunberth. Sure, you might puke in a bucket a couple more times, but it sure beats ending up in a slum or a ditch.”

Koroshtoph looked up from the bucket, the bile sour in his mouth. Though he had only known the man for a little over two weeks, the fact that Gruder seemed to doubt his ability stung him in a way he did not expect. Perhaps it was because of his jovial nature that he had known in Norn, his erstwhile patron knight, or perhaps it was that Gruder reminded him of what his father strove vainly his whole life to become. Perhaps a mix of both.

“Don’t worry about me,” he said, trying to feign indifference, “I’ll do fine. I couldn’t stand to spend one more day in Zeltiva,” another wave of nausea wash over him. “Much less two more weeks on this damn ship,” he nodded weakly at the bucket and attempted a grin.

Gruder offered no smile or jest in return. “You can do what you want with your life, kid,” more than just condescension, the word had an edge of scorn to it. “No skin off my back; I’m just tellin’ you that this little adventure of yours ain’t gonna end well.”

Before he could stop himself, Koroshtoph looked Gruder directly in the eyes, and he could feel djed swelling in his. It was more than he had conjured up in years.
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The Storm Before the Storm

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on September 24th, 2018, 1:02 am

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I’ll do fine, Sunberth is where I should be!

Most of the accumulated djed dispersed uselessly into the musky air. It was a childish thing to have done. Such a suggestion was as unlikely to work as it was pointless. Aimed not at a subtle manipulation of thoughts, a spice to alter, in some small way, the flavor of an inclination already present in the mind of the target. Instead, it was the equivalent of pouring salt onto a desert with the goal of turning it into a main course.

The realization that the suggestion was aimed as much—if not more—at himself than the old sailor pressed at the barrier of Koroshtoph’s unconscious. He was still looking Gruder in the eyes, and they seemed mostly unchanged from moments before. Perhaps this was good; the hypnotist had regretted the stunt the moment he performed it.

“Maybe you should spend some time in Sunberth,” Gruder spoke up, his tone harsh. “Then maybe you’ll ‘ppreciate what you had. Maybe you’ll learn to ‘ppriciate that not every son has a father that will leave him the tidy sum that you have sitting in your cabin. Maybe that’s better than squandering it at some tavern in Zeltiva. But it's not something that I would wish on any spoiled brat.”

The word’s were Gruder’s. A hypnotist’s trick at this level would not have been enough to conjure up this outburst from thin air. They were words probably held back during the best part of the voyage. Or ever since, upon the sailor’s prompting, he and Koroshtoph spoke of the young man’s course. The almost paternal frustration had up til now been couched in jests and ribbing. Now, the reckless suggestion had brought out the sentiment in its honest form.

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