Closed Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Spying other ships at sea begins to get interesting.

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Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Postby Kynier on November 2nd, 2018, 8:31 pm

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Kynier stepped away from the helm and went to the ship’s starboard side. The silhouette of the ship in the distance was still very difficult to see. While the misty haze of the rain worked to conceal their position, it also had the same benefit for any other vessel as well. It was impossible to say fast the mysterious ship could sail and maneuver in comparison to The Sunset Tide. Lurking in Shipwreck Cove may not have been as wise of a decision as he initially thought. Now, they needed to chase down the ship in order to determine if it was a Daggerhand vessel or not.

The Sunset Tide swayed with the waves as it set out towards their quarry. The winds increased in intensity the further from the cove they went. Kynier held onto the rigging with both hands to steady himself on the ship. If only his stomach were able to do the same. He breathed deeply through the nose and exhaled out the mouth to steady himself. The increasing winds made it difficult to concentrate on such meditation. For it propelled the once gentle rain to sting his exposed skin. Kynier tried shifting his body so the wind came at his back, but it was not constant with its direction.

To the mage it appeared as though a storm were generating. It likely was not that bad by a Svefra’s standard. Whatever appeal life on the ocean may have had was gone rather quickly from his perspective. How a person could stand living without stable footing was beyond him. Each time Kynier tried to take a step to return to Kailani’s side at the helm the ship pitched in a way he did not anticipate. Kynier’s face felt flushed and it felt as though a rock had developed in his gut. When he was finally back in arm’s reach of the helm, he was about to ask the Svefra a question… when it happened.

At his core he felt the beginning of a violent lurch. Kynier half dove for the starboard side of the ship as he bent over the railing to regurgitate. Bile coated his tongue and lips as the few contents that remained in his stomach were cast to sea. After a spit and a wipe at his mouth with his sleeve, Kynier took a deep breath and clung to the rigging again. As he looked at Kailani, a realization came to mind. “Kailani,” he called over the wind, “they won’t think that we’re pirates coming to rob them, do you think?” Kynier had no understanding of a Svefra raiding party. While the ship they were pursuing was likely larger than The Sunset Tide, they could be mistaken for one of several small yet maneuverable vessels on a raid.

Last thing that Kynier wanted to experience was being on a ship as it sank. He imagined it was possible for him to do more damage to the other ship than they could do to them. But that was last resort thinking. He seriously hoped that it was only paranoia and pessimism that was making him think like that.



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Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Postby Kailani on November 3rd, 2018, 4:56 am

Kailani listened to Kynier play with a touch of a smile. It was a somber melody, but still somehow sweet, and she appreciated the effort, if not the execution. She winced at the wrong note, but the gesture was lovely, anyhow. Everyone had to start somewhere, innate talent or no. The woman would never look down on anyone who sought to better their skills, whether it be with a weapon, an instrument, or anything in between.

Have you ever considered that Laviku brought you to Sunberth for a reason? She sighed softly at the question, not in annoyance, but with resignation. “Indeed, I have considered it, and I believe you’re right. Though why He would lead me away from the sea, I can’t imagine.” Kailani shook her head. “At first, I thought He might be rejecting me, but if that were the case, my mark would be gone. As you can see, that is definitely not the case.” Another sigh slumped her shoulders. “If He’s trying to teach me something…it’s a strange lesson, to say the least. And one I can’t seem to find the purpose of.”

The Svefra snorted at his next comment, only barely managing to keep herself from rolling her eyes. “Oh, He led me to someone, all right,” she muttered resentfully, thoughts flashing with anger back to Azcan sprawled in an ungraceful heap on the floor of the Drunken Fish. “And a fine petching sense of humor my divine Father has for that particular bit of trickery.” No further than that did she elaborate—it was another tale that tasted too bitter on her tongue.

Her heart warmed at Kynier’s offer, repeating softly, “The Midnight Gem. I’ll remember that.” Kailani was touched that he would extend such a kind invitation to a relative stranger, especially after she’d pushed him to the deck of her casinor not so very long ago. Perhaps not all the denizens of Sunberth were so bad…“I would love to come and share a meal with you. Thank you, it…it means more than you know.” Her smile was a little shy, but it was short-lived, that sudden unease tugging at her senses and effectively ending their conversation.

When Kynier joined her at the helm, she nodded in agreement. From this distance, they’d never be able to make out any details of the other boat. Especially with the fog. “Aye, let’s go.” Stepping back from the helm, she raised the sail once more, tugging the lines to make sure they were secure. Satisfied, she then took her place back at the wheel. A sudden gust caught hold of the canvas, and they were on their way through the mouth of the cove.

Salt winds whipped tangled braids back from the Svefra’s face as she focused on keeping The Sunset Tide as steady as possible. However, with the increasing surge in waves and winds alike, it was much easier said than done. “Hold on tight!” Kailani called out above the heaving tides as the boat pitched forward, body swaying with each ragged motion of the waves. She was well-used to such angry currents, but unfortunately, Kynier held no such advantage. She spared the man a sympathetic glance as he lost the contents of his stomach over the side before pulling her focus back to keeping the ship upright.

“Petching storm,” she muttered under her breath as lightning illuminated the sky, a rumble of thunder rolling across the waters soon after. “Would be just my luck, wouldn’t it…?” Lucky for both of them, it didn’t seem anything too severe, but it would make for an uncomfortable journey, if nothing else.

“Better learn your sea legs sooner rather than later, Kynier,” she told him, tone surprisingly cheerful in spite of the chaos around them. A little levity went a long way in such dangerous situations, she’d come to learn. “I know I offered to pitch you overboard earlier, but I’ve since come to like you a bit more. I’d rather not see you fall over the side.” A sudden thought struck her mind, glancing over at her companion. “Wait…you can swim, right?” Her expression was one of mild horror. If she had to dive in to save him…Kailani was strong, but she wasn’t sure she could bear the weight of a full grown man in addition to her own.

The Svefra thoughtfully considered his question as they pulled in steadily closer to the other vessel, finally nodding after a long moment. She briefly bristled at the word “pirates”—a base term far beneath her people—but she knew the man likely meant no harm, and let it drop. “It’s possible,” she said with a shrug, not seeming overly perturbed at the thought. “But unlikely. There aren’t many Svefra that spend a lot of time in Baroque Bay, especially not this close to Lodestar Isle. Most of us are pretty superstitious, and Shipwreck Cove has a reputation. I just happen to be one of the crazy ones who actually likes places like this.” She flashed him a grin. “Besides, I don’t intend to come in close enough for that thought to cross their minds. Have no fear, my new friend. Even if they do think we mean them ill, I guarantee you we’re faster.” A grim smile accompanied that last, the proud set of her chin portraying her confidence. Her ship was smaller and lighter, and she was Svefra besides. The ocean was her home. These others were nothing more than guests upon Laviku’s waters.

It wasn’t long before they were nearing their quarry, the high winds working in their favor. Pouring rain drenched her clothes and skin, the casinor’s deck getting more slippery by the moment, but Kailani held steady. She’d assured Kynier that she’d keep them safe, and she intended to keep that promise. “Take a good look,” she called over the howling wind as they neared the other ship. Now that they were in closer, she could tell it was indeed a larger vessel, about thrice the size of her casinor and carrying at least six people. “If we make more than one pass by them, then we will be asking for trouble. We don’t want them to think we’re anything resembling a threat.”

Daggerhand ship or something else? Kailani couldn’t tell. She had been to Sunberth before on the odd occasion, but not enough to know much about the various gang conflicts. Kynier would surely know better than she what to look for. She could only pray just passing by them was enough. Like the man at her side, she had no wish to experience a sinking ship…especially not her own.

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Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Postby Kynier on November 3rd, 2018, 3:40 pm

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He was silent for a while as he listened to her response about Laviku. Kynier was aware that his own faith in the divine was not as strong as he would like and was struggling to change that. It seemed ironic for him to even consider trying to give someone else words of encouragement about faith. To his eye, Kailani wasn’t truly away from the sea. She still had her ship, so she could still venture out into the open waters, right? Kailani had already told a tale about surviving a terrible storm on her own on this very vessel at sea. There had to have been more nautical information that he wasn’t aware but needed to understand why Kailani felt that Laviku may have pushed her away from the sea.

The snort was unexpected and caused Kynier to pull his head back a little in surprise. Trickery? His curiosity was peaked, though from how strong of a reaction the Svefra gave it was clearly a lengthy tale. One that she did not appear to be in the mood to tell. She had been led to someone, though it was clearly someone that Kailani had not wanted to come across. Unlike Akajia, Kynier could not even begin to guess at what Laviku’s ambitions were. Or what the sea lord desired for his children. For Kailani’s sake, he hoped her fortune took a few favorable turns. And soon.

Not long after, they were setting out into the storm. After having purged his insides Kynier was feeling a little better, or at least not as uneasy. He clung to the rigging with a white knuckled grip and did not have the intention to move. Not unless he was in Kailani’s way or she beckoned him to. Sea legs be damned! It was just his luck to come out on a day like this. Nothing good ever came from going near a boat it seemed. Kynier shouted back over the nasty weather, “Yes I can swim.” He did not think it necessary to reveal that he wasn’t a strong swimmer. In this type of weather, the best he could probably manage was to tread water.

Why were they superstitious? Had they not been actively pursing a vessel, Kynier would have asked what that reputation was. But he held his tongue. The level of intensity of the storm was something he could not judge accurately. Whether it was regular or extreme, he did not want to take the Svefra’s attention away from navigation with unnecessary conversation. Though he did discover the reason why he felt a connection with her. She admitted to finding interest in the mentally questionable decisions. As a mage that chose to come to Sunberth with full awareness of how they viewed those with control over magic, he could relate.

Kynier did appreciate the assurances of their speed. While they were drawing closer it was impossible for him to say if there were any naval weapons on the other ship. As they drew nearer, Kynier closed his eyes and focused heavily on his breathing. Without his eyes to orientate his position his stomach displayed further discomfort with a squeezing tension. With meditation, Kynier imagined himself not in a storm, but on the side of a mountain, where the wind was not so harsh but could sing just as loudly with less. The Sunset Tide pitched heavily, enough that Kynier had to open his eyes and take a steadying step. His meditation broke and he cursed under his breath.

It was futile, so Kynier just went for it. Calling on his Djed to rise from within. It coursed its way up to his eyes to enhance them with Auristics. When his Sight was open, the world seemed to be veiled in fog with the storm’s aura swirling around everywhere. Narrowing his eyes, the mage looked past the mystic fog that the Svefra couldn’t see for the thin aura of the other vessel. Once he saw it, it became his focus. Auristics on “mundane” objects in general was an unexciting experience. That was not how Kynier would describe using Auristics on a decently sized vessel though.

Every inch of his skin felt stiff as he felt the wooden surface of the other ship. The sensation of being cold and wet washed over his body as he felt an uncountable amount of tiny impacts from every direction. Kynier nearly closed his eyes as he dwelt on the feelings against his “skin”. On his sides he felt uneven bumps in unusual shapes. Letters. They were letters that he traced a mental finger over. B-L-A-D-E-W-A-T-E-R. The Bladewater? As he traced the letters mentally Kynier noted the sensation of things crawling over his skin as well as inside his boy.

Next, he focused on those sensations. They were… taps… it felt like. There was a consistent rhythm to each set. Thump-thump… thump-thump… with unusual pauses between each occurrence. Footsteps? There were ten sets of them. Ten crewmen? There was something else too. Something that sat at his core like a large boulder… or a cairn. Lots of little things stacked on each other. Cargo. Kynier closed his Sight and ended his pull on his Djed. With his normal vision he gave the ship one last look before they passed by it completely. It was of similar size to the ship the mysterious slab sat in. A Saique?

“The Bladewater,” he called to Kailani. “Ten hands on the deck and carrying some sort of cargo. It’s not a ship name I’m familiar with. I’ve seen all that I can.” Kynier glanced over at Kailani, “I recommend sailing around until we’re out of sight before returning to the Cove.” Kynier would have to do his research later to discover the names of the ships under the Daggerhand’s command. The only one that he knew of was the Able Blooded, and only by reputation. It was the ship of the one in charge of the Sea Tariff Fort. For now, he would just have to remember the names of the ships they saw. He could probably ask Old Wayd about them later. Then there was a noise, one that he could barely hear over the whistling winds. It sounded like a large splash not far off from the ship. Kynier looked around at ever side of the ship before turning back on the Svefra. “What was that?”



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Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Postby Kailani on November 4th, 2018, 11:58 pm

Kailani barely even heard the words Kynier spoke, her focus narrowed on a large shape moving through the water nearby. Something about a ship, crewmen, moving around the Isle…yes, yes, that was all well and good, but what in the name of Laviku was that? A large dorsal fin emerged from the water, impossibly large, far too large to belong to a shark or a whale. Then what did it belong to…?

Her companion finally took notice, a loud splash sounding nearby as she moved toward the port side of the ship. What was that? Unmindful of the pitching and heaving of the craft, she leaned over the side to dip her hand into the tumbling waves. Immediately, it was as if the world around her opened up on an entirely new level, straining as she “listened” to the life around her. Kailani’s fingers barely touched the saltwater for more than a tick or two before she stumbled backwards across the deck. “Laviku bless and keep us,” she whispered, her face drained of all color—the first sign she’d shown all day of genuine fear. Everything leading up to that point had been fun and games, but this…The Svefra ran back toward the helm as fast as she could manage across the casinor’s slick surface. “We have to get out of here! Now!

Katalimaru. How was it possible? What was it even doing this close to land? She’d only seen one once before, years back when her pod still sailed the seas of the Suvan. “Hold on tight to whatever you can, and don’t let go.” Kailani whipped the wheel around as she whispered under her breath, willing the currents to push them faster toward the Bay. But it seemed she was too slow. The creature had already taken note of their presence. She was prepared to outrun human adversaries, but this? Nothing could have prepared her for this.

She felt a slam against the hull of her ship, The Sunset Tide pitching heavily to the left before she managed to bring it back upright. “Shyke, shyke, shyke,” she muttered under her breath, sparing a glance for her much less seaworthy friend. Kailani was sure this wasn’t what he’d had in mind when they set out for the day. Then again, neither had she.

The Svefra did her best to keep her casinor moving, but the large creature was just as fast, if not faster. Its great size and snakelike shape gave it the advantage, perfect for moving smoothly through the tempestuous waters. While these creatures tended to predate on things like sharks and whales, it wasn’t entirely unheard of for them to eat a person, especially if they were sick or food was scarce. And for it to be this close to land…it had to be sick or food had to be scarce.

“Have you ever heard of a Katalimaru, Kynier?” she shouted over the rain, thunder, and pitching waves. It was a perfect storm, both in the literal and metaphorical sense of the term. “Because I’m almost positive that’s what’s chasing us right now…” Before she could continue, another slam against the casinor-this time on the right. The impact felt like it might crumple the ship to little more than dust, but mercifully, they remained afloat. She wasn’t sure how many more of those slams the vessel could take.

Glancing off toward the side, the only thing she could be thankful for was that it seemed to be a juvenile. Were it an adult, they’d be doomed without a doubt—at least with a young one, they stood a semblance of a chance. Their best hope still lay in outrunning it, but if it came down to a fight, she sure hoped Kynier had some tricks up his sleeve. She had her harpoon mounted to the side of the boat, but she wasn’t sure how much the weapon would really do against a creature of such size. I can only pray it’s enough…

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Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Postby Kynier on November 5th, 2018, 9:47 pm

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There was no sign for whatever it had been. Winds disturbed the surface of the water continuously to form waves in the storm, which prevented Kynier from being able to pinpoint where he had heard the splashing. He shifted closer to the ship’s edge by a few steps, keeping a firm hold of the rigging. Kailani went to bend over the side of the ship, not bothered at all by what Kynier considered turbulent movements of the storm. When she stood up again her expression was full of fright. With hurried movements she exclaimed their need to leave and took her place at the helm.

The ship veered suddenly when Kailani pulled hard on the helm. When Kynier was about to ask what was wrong there was a collision that made the whole ship pitch to portside. Caught off guard, Kynier’s wet fingers slipped from the rigging and he fell on his side. His body coasted across the wet surface of the deck until he met the side of the ship. “By the gods!” he exclaimed. Kynier stood and grasped the nearest rigging as though his life were going to depend on it. “Did we hit something?” But Kailani appeared too focused on keeping her ship from doing something catastrophic.

“I’ve never heard of a Katalimaru,” he admitted. Kynier cast his eyes back to the surrounding waters. Whatever this creature was it scared a seasoned Svefra. The ship was struck again, and this time pitched to starboard, but Kynier was prepared this time and kept his grip. Whatever it was, it was large and aggressive. The mage scowled and summoned his Djed again for Auristics. The mystic energies came and felt warmer under the surface of his skin and along his spine. Once his Sight was open again, Kynier cast his gaze downward. Thin auras ran along the floorboards of the deck, but Kynier willed his Sight to pierce through them to what lay underneath.

The Katalimaru attacked the left side again, and Kynier turned his gaze in that direction. There! An aura that was long in length and serpentine in shape became visible through the barriers his normal vision encountered. The mage locked his magic sense onto the creature and his gaze tracked its movements as it swam around and under them. Hunger and pain. The two feelings were immense and spilled over onto Kynier’s sense of taste. Bitterness was the flavor of the two feelings. The Katalimaru was hungry and in pain. But as Kynier continued to focus on it, the pain did not seem physical in nature. Emotional pain. It felt as though something were wrong that could not be fixed.

It was the hunger that was the more powerful emotion. Kynier felt as though he could devour another human and not satisfy such hunger. It was strong enough to make him feel desperate for something, anything, to eat. As painful as it was to hold his focus on the creature, Kynier did just that. Carefully, he stumbled over to stand at the side of the boat with one hand holding firmly to the rigging. The other he rested against the exterior of the ship. Kynier’s body swelled with how deep of a breath he took before an equally long exhale deflated him. “Kailani, stop the ship!” he shouted over the storm with a tone that indicated that it wasn’t a suggestion.

Kynier closed his eyes and bowed his head. The Auristic sense kept him informed of the creature’s general direction and distance. A hand pulled the hood of his cloak down to feel the rain patter against his skin and matt his hair. After a few breaths he felt calmer despite still having the reflections of the Katalimaru’s physical and emotional sensations within himself. The mage tapped onto the flow of Djed that powered his Auristics and diverted it to his hand, which he set again to the ship’s exterior. The Djed transmuted into Res in the form of a solid. Thick, translucent, and gel-like it oozed down into the rough waters. The mage’s will forced it to spread out just under the ship’s hull.

It was a process that was rushed. The aura of the sea creature was coming around again on Kynier’s side of the vessel. As the ship bobbed up and down with the waves, Kynier’s res formed a curtain below the water that ran the full length of the ship. A metallic taste came to his tongue when the curtain was completed. A few times he felt the creature pass through the res as it circled them. Then he waited for it to make another pass. “Come on now,” he whispered. When the Katalimaru’s aura came in the direction of his res again, he held his breath. It was coming in to attack again, but once it was close to his res Kynier applied his intent to its transformation.

Lightning!

The gel-like material converted to Air and was immediately ignited with Fire’s energy. It generated several sparks that exploded into blue-white bolts of lightning under the water’s surface just as the Katalimaru passed through it. A brilliant light danced under the water’s surface for a tick and Kynier cried out in agony as the creature’s pain became his own with the Auristics. Kynier fell backwards onto the deck as he felt phantom burns over his whole body. Immediately, he severed the Djed powering his Auristics as his body spasmed in pain.

For a chime or two, he lay on the deck of The Sunest Tide as he breathed heavily. Though his body protested, Kynier rolled on to his stomach and pushed himself up onto all fours. He felt sick again but had nothing to give. The muscles in his arms spasmed and rippled sporadically. But during that time, nothing happened to the ship. And with his Auristics deactivated, he could not sense where it was. “I think it’s gone now,” he said aloud as he pulled the hood back over his head. The ship rocked, and he fell on to his side again. Not caring for his dignity, Kynier scooted himself to be braced against the side of the ship.

With his back against it, he looked at the Svefra. His eyes were narrowed as he wondered if she had seen enough to know what just happened. Kailani was not a Sunberther, but that did not make her immune to sharing their opinions of mages. Kynier did not regret his actions. However, he could not leave the boat or allow it to dock until he could determine if Kailani could keep his secret. And depending on that, he would have to decide on what to do… about Kailani.



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Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Postby Kailani on November 6th, 2018, 5:31 am

Kailani lost track of time as they raced alongside the Katalimaru, her focus utterly absorbed on keeping them upright and out of its clutches. It was a feat much easier said than done, and one that required every ounce of her concentration. However, when Kynier shouted, it was not something she could just ignore. “Stop the ship?!” she repeated incredulously, the wind threatening to whip away her words. She stared at him as if he had just grown another head. “Are you out of your petching mind?!”

While his sanity was still questionable, closer examination confirmed he was serious. The tone of his voice brooked no argument. The Svefra released a string of expletives colorful enough to make the most seasoned of sailors blush as she hastened over to lower the sail. “I really hope you know what the petch you’re doing, Kynier,” she growled, the harshness of her tone born more of fear than actual anger.

No matter her skill, there was no way she could bring a ship in a storm to a complete halt, but Kailani would do her best—the lowering of the sail considerably slowing the vessel’s progress. If she tossed the anchor in such chaotic conditions, she’d run the risk of destroying the casinor completely, and her gnosis was nowhere near strong enough to halt storm-wrought currents. Lowering the sail and adjusting the tiller would have to serve. Glancing at the determined form of Kynier, she hoped it was enough.

Ship halted as much as she was able, the Svefra took her position at her mounted harpoon and loaded a bolt into the weapon. On tossing waves with a poor handle on the weapon as it was, she wasn’t sure how much she could truly do, but it was better than nothing. She would do her best to defend them, or she would die trying.

As it turned out, it seemed her effort wasn’t needed. Her attention was soon drawn in by Kynier’s efforts, watching in amazement as lightning seemed to ignite underwater. There hadn’t been very many magic users in her pod, and even those that could had never done anything like this. Kailani was utterly transfixed, watching in utter disbelief as the monstrous being writhed in pain. She looked at Kynier, this time in an entirely new light. Such a powerful mage in Sunberth? The Svefra was shocked he was even still alive, considering the city’s feelings on magic. It seemed there were more and more depths to this man. What other secrets did he hold?

“Kynier!” she cried as he fell to the deck, rushing to his side. Was he all right? She read the pain on his face, worry reflected in her own. Was this the result of his magic use? She couldn’t help but wonder if it was really worth it.

I think it’s gone. Kailani bit her lip as she walked back over to the side of the ship. If it was, perhaps his pain had been worth it, after all. Just as she’d done before, the Svefra leaned down to dip her hand into the water, opening her mind to the life around her. The Katalimaru was still there, but it was faint, and getting further away by the second. Whatever Kynier had done had worked. At least for the time being.

“It’s leaving,” she murmured as she pulled her shaking hand from the slowly calming sea before righting herself on the deck. Walking back over to where Kynier huddled against the side, she dropped down in front of him again. Kailani took note of the wariness on his face, wondering at its source. Was he expecting her to reject him? Sunberth was not kind to mages, she knew, but she was not of Sunberth. She did not understand magic very well, but she did not outright fear it. After all, he had just saved both of their lives. He had little to worry about from her.

A few moments of silence passed, the winds dying down around them as Kailani looked him over with an assessing gaze. “Are you all right?” she finally asked, concern apparent on her high-boned face. “That was quite the display there.” It was an understatement, and they both knew it, but she was hard-pressed to think of what else to say. It wasn’t every day one faced down monsters of the sea. To say she was rattled was putting it lightly. “I’ve…I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The question was clear in her voice, even if it remained unspoken. What had he just done? And how?

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Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Postby Kynier on November 6th, 2018, 7:36 pm

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Even as the winds lost their ferocity, the swaying of the ship continued to bring discomfort to the mage’s stomach. Kynier kept his breathing unnaturally long to bring his body back to a state of physical calm. The phantom pains given to him from focusing on the Katalimaru as the lightning harmed it were dissipating. But the taste of copper still lingered on his tongue and the muscles in his arms were still having spasming fits. Inwardly he smiled. It was not the first practical application of lightning he had done, but it was the first done with the intent to harm a living creature. While it didn’t sound like it had slain the sea serpent, it had driven it away. There was a satisfaction in using the para-element that the other uses he had of Reimancy failed to provide.

During the long silence, his hazel eyes kept a firm hold of Kailani’s sea blues. Kynier’s gaze was analytical as he watched the expressions on her face. There was no trace of hostility. There wasn’t even any… fear. The Svefra knelt down by him and broke the silence first by asking about his well-being. Kynier sighed and allowed his head to rest against the wood. It was a sigh of relief that was multi-layered. Kailani did not share the views of Sunberth and did not even fear him despite how he had driven away something that had terrified her. Kynier gave as soft chuckle at the remark of his “display” from a few chimes ago.

“I’m just glad that it worked,” he stated. “That was close to my normal limits, and I wasn’t at full strength to begin with.” Kynier tested moving an arm across his chest and back before squeezing his hand into a fist. The limbs would still function but the movements stiff and limited. “I can believe that,” he said to her last remark. “Had the creature been above the water’s surface, less power would have been required.” Kynier turned his head back towards the woman. His eyes traced the lines of her face before settling on her eyes again.

“Thank you, Kailani,” his words were quiet and soft. “For trusting me enough to have stopped in the midst of a storm while being pursued by a Katalimaru.” A smile pulled at his lips. “Makes me glad that I chose the boat belonging to the insane ship’s captain,” he jested. Had he been in her position he doubted that he would have done the same. Which made her all the more interesting in his opinion. The questions written on her face were apparent, but he wondered how deep her curiosity ran.

“I’ll be okay,” he assured her. “I just… had a learning experience with what I did. A mistake in a magical use that I will not repeat again if it can be helped.” Kynier set a hand on the woman’s shoulder and squeezed it with assurance. “I’ll be fine. And we should probably start sailing again before something else comes upon us.” Kynier took his hand away from her and lifted himself to his feet with a groan of effort. “We should sail around Lodestar Isle once and head back to the cove to avoid suspicion,” he suggested. It was a tactic he used frequently as a spy. Moving in a large circle before returning to a concealed location helped to convince bystanders that one had moved on.

Grasping at the rigging, Kynier slowly made his way to stand close to the helm. There was an immense amount of gratitude for the Svefra not behaving like the natives. For his own protection he would have needed to do something he didn’t wish upon her. Which would have left him out in the relatively open waters during a storm. Not an ideal place to be when one had no understanding of how to sail a ship.

Kynier looked out over the calming waters. The Bladewater had taken to the edge of the horizon towards the harbor. From what he had been able to sense, it was a cargo ship. Probably sailing to acquire or deliver supplies back to the island. Apart from getting the ship’s name there was nothing more to be done about it. So, Kynier was willing to let the ship continue without them following.

When his gaze fell upon Kailani again, he had his own curious expression on display. “There is something that I don’t understand, Kailani. After what you just witnessed, how is it that you show no fear towards me?” During his time as an apprentice he grew to understand the fear of what mages and wizards could do with their power. While he had been making leaps and bounds with his progress as a mage, Kynier still did not consider himself on par with his instructor. It all depended on the caster, but magic was capable of many horrors. How was it this woman was able to not show fear towards a stranger with such abilities as his disposal?



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Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Postby Kailani on November 7th, 2018, 1:09 am



Kailani laughed softly at his comment on her insanity, shaking her head. “You’re very lucky you chose The Sunset Tide, Kynier,” she replied, her smile wry. For more reasons than one, it would seem. “Not even I am sure why I listened to you, but I’m glad I did. Nothing I could have done would have stopped that creature. If we hadn’t stopped, I guarantee you we wouldn’t be around to be having this conversation right now.”

Her hand briefly covered his as it squeezed her shoulder, gently tightening her grip before she rose back to her feet. She watched him struggle to his own with a wince, ready to catch him if need be. He might assure her that he was all right, but Kailani wasn’t so convinced. Whatever he’d done had taken its toll; that was clearly apparent. “There are provisions in the cabin,” she told him, gesturing toward the door to her quarters. “I don’t know how much food will help, but especially since you lost your last meal, you’ll need to regain your strength.” There was a glimmer of amusement in her azure gaze as she referred to his bout of seasickness, but she made no further comment. He’d just saved their lives; it wouldn’t do for her to poke fun at his stomach.

Amazed that he was willing to continue their venture after such an event, Kailani raised an eyebrow at his suggestion that they keep looping around Lodestar Isle, but made no argument. It would seem she wasn’t the only insane one of the pair, though who was she to point fingers? However, even she could reach her limit for excitement, and she hoped the rest of the day continued in a much more peaceful fashion. Or at the very least…no more sea monsters.

The Svefra raised the sail again, searching it closely for any signs of damage as she pulled on the lines. She nodded her approval, glad that it still seemed to be in good working order before moving portside. Leaning over the side of the ship, she examined the hull for any cracks that might have formed in the Katalimaru’s assault before doing the same on the starboard side. The Sunset Tide had acquired a few more dents, but luckily for them, nothing that seemed to require immediate attention. She would, however, be sure to seek out a shipwright in the city to further assess any damage she may have. Though whether she could trust any shipwright in Sunberth was questionable…

Satisfied with her cursory examination of the ship’s condition, she adjusted the tiller to catch the wind before moving back to the helm and taking hold of the wheel. The next few chimes were spent course correcting back toward Lodestar Isle. Thunder rumbled in the distance, briefly piquing Kailani’s attention before she ascertained with a sigh of relief that it was moving away. Another storm on the heels of the other was about the last thing they needed.

Glancing toward Kynier, she thought back on their earlier conversation about the origins of her casinor’s name. Every major event in my life has been accompanied by a storm. Whether that is by coincidence, or by Laviku’s own design, I do not know… Did this storm mark yet another pivotal moment? A storm coupled with the appearance of a Katalimaru on the day she met this man…surely these things were not coincidence. The tides of fate were dragging her into the undertow. Was Kynier somehow tied up in it all, as well?

After what you just witnessed, how is it that you show no fear towards me? His question pulled her from her reverie, pausing thoughtfully to contemplate her answer. The truth was, she wasn’t entirely without fear, even if she didn’t show it. What she had just witnessed was astounding, completely outside of her previous worldview. She’d have to be foolish not to have any fear. However, her gratitude for Kynier’s interference far outweighed any fear she might have felt toward the man. Had she been on the opposing side, her feelings certainly would have been different.

“I told you before I was crazy,” Kailani finally answered, her laughter carried away on the breeze. Sobering slightly, she went on, “I won’t lie and tell you that what you just did wasn’t terrifying. But you saved our lives in doing it, so why would I fear you?” Put that way, it seemed fairly reasonable, at least to her. “I wasn’t born in Sunberth, you know that. While gods know that magic can be a horrifying weapon, I believe it really relies on the hands that use it. And you might strike me as rather secretive, Kynier, but I don’t think you’re evil.”

By this time, they were back in the waters surrounding Lodestar Isle, Kailani pulling The Sunset Tide around in a wide arc to avoid passing directly by the lighthouse again. The last thing they needed was to be noticed and sent off on an entirely different kind of chase. With another laugh, she continued, “Then again, I could be dead wrong, and this could all be an elaborate ruse where you dispose of my body at the end. Who knows? Wouldn’t be the first time I misjudged someone.”

She shrugged as she went to adjust the tiller again, putting some slack in the sail and slowing the speed of their progress. Turning to her companion, she regarded him for a long moment before she finally asked, “What did you just do, Kynier? Aren’t you afraid of using power like that in a place like Sunberth?”

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Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Postby Kynier on November 8th, 2018, 3:41 pm

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Desperation was the most likely reason. The Svefra did not hesitate in abandoning their purpose for being around the Isle once she discovered the Katalimaru was so close. While Kynier did not understand that the large sea serpents normally preyed on other large aquatic life, it appeared to him that it was an aggressive species. The casinor was unable to outrun the creature and Kailani had not looked convinced that the harpoon launcher would have been effective when she loaded it. Those appeared to have been the only two things she could have done in the situation. So, once he took direction, even with unknown intentions, it was likely that she was more willing to gamble on blind hope and known failure. Whether that was actually insane of her to have done that, could have been put up for debate.

“Thank you,” he said to the offering of her food supplies in the cabin. The taste of regurgitation was still on his lips despite the overgiving sign of a coppery taste on the tongue. Kynier’s stomach still felt tight, even with the waters beginning to calm down again. While the storm itself was moving on, the sky remained a mood dampening dark gray. Foretelling the weather on the sea would have been a hopeless endeavor for him. But he hoped there would be no more storms. Eating something may not assist with how he felt physically, but it would help in the recovery of his Djed pool. Kynier gave her a friendly smirk at her teasing reference to his seasickness.

As Kailani went about the ship to inspect its condition, Kynier closed his eyes to meditate. The exercise was to help his body reach a closer state of calm and to reunite its balance with his Djed. The mage took long, deep breaths of the salty sea air as he took his mind off his ailments. Numbing himself to the sensations of his muscle spasms as well as the effects of seasickness. The sounds of waves slapping the side of the hull took his focus and gave him inspiration. Kynier meditated on the image of sitting cross-legged in a river. The current rushed over and through him, cleansing him. He relaxed. The fingers wrapped around the rigging for balance were no longer white with an intense grip and had their color return.

When Kailani was done and ready to sail again, the mage felt better. The spasms continued yet they no longer seemed as extreme as before. Even his stomach had relaxed. He opened his eyes and asked his question. The Svefra seemed to take a moment to consider the question while giving him a strange look. Yes, she had found it terrifying, but realized the purpose behind it. What she said reminded him of his own words from an argument he had at the end of summer with an Akalak who saw magic as the most despicable thing in existence. It all depended on who was using it and why. A comforting smile crossed his expression to hear someone that wasn’t him, someone that did not have magic say that. The words themselves had more validity coming from a non-mage.

And he did not seem evil. Kynier’s brow furrowed together in thought on that. What had occurred was self-preservation. There was no other way to describe it. Even evil mages used powerful magic for self-preservation. While it was possible to be loose with the term’s definition, Kynier reflected on his use of magic. Not just today, but what he had done in the past as well. Once he was convinced that he was using it for selfless purposes. In reflection, he had brought harm to many. Most of them were in self-defense… weren’t they? The Plantation wasn’t. Kynier had set the place ablaze in order to safeguard his home from others. The fires had gone out of control and consumed the whole place. Kynier still avoided learning how many people must have died in the blaze.

Aurisitcs was frequently used as a mean to gain an advantage over someone. Shielding for protecting his home from the elements. And he was still a novice of Voiding. Was he evil? It didn’t feel like it, but her certainly could not say that he was good either. The Lighthouse caught his eye as they took a wide circle around it. Kynier watched it shift across the horizon as he continued to think about the moralities of magic. While he was undergoing a Reimancy project to expand his home, it did not truly feel like he was creating something. As a child, that’s what he wanted to use magic for. Protection and creation.

“The use of magic here,” he started after a long silence after Kailani’s questions, “is the same as using a weapon to kill in any other city in the world. It caries a death penalty despite the purpose of its use.” Kynier turned his gaze to Kailani. “Using magic, never scares me. Though there is such a thing as using too much, which does scare me. When I use it in Sunberth it must be subtle and creative. Otherwise, it must be a last resort.” Kynier looked back out at the lighthouse for a silent moment. “And… I have to accept the possibility of silencing those that know. Which gives me no pleasure.”

Hazel eyes looked at the Svafra meaningfully. He could have mentioned that, at the moment, he did not feel the need to silence her. Yet he suspected the words would sound hallow. Instead he chose to keep talking and answer her other question. The woman seemed to have a small interest in learning more. Perhaps not enough to wish to dabble, but if he was talking and answering her question, he could perhaps assure her that her life was not at risk from him. Despite how those around him always were more at risk than he was for the actions he took.

“As for what I did to the Katalimaru, there’s a discipline of magic called Reimancy. Those that know it learn how to manipulate, or even create, the elements.” Kynier thought about creating a little res for a demonstration but decided against it. Auristics and Shielding were the only two disciplines he had he felt safe using until he got some food and rest. “What I did was wait for the creature to get close to The Sunset Tide again and generated a sort of curtain of Lightning. The pain I experienced was caused by a different discipline. Auristics. Auristics allow someone to see the… qualities of another being’s soul. You can sense things about them. Auristics is interesting because the nuances of its use are different for every mage.”

“When I use it, I feel what the other is feeling, even if I don’t understand why. My teacher told me that for others they only get a sense that they must interpret, regarding another’s feelings. I was using Auristics to track the Katalimaru’s location and overlooked that I would sense what it felt like to be struck by my own lightning.” Kynier shook his head with a slightly amused smile. “A lesson I only need once, I can assure you.” It was then that his stomach rumbled, not from sickness but from hunger. They had already been out at sea for some time and the last time he ate had been before dawn.

Kynier slid his pack off one shoulder and reached inside to pull out an apple. There were also cashews and dried meat stowed away inside as well. But he intended to wait until they were more or less stationary back in Shipwreck Cove before eating that. Biting into the crisp apple made him feel better almost instantly as he tasted the juices of the fresh fruit. He reached in to his pack to pull out another and offered it to Kailani. What the living conditions where like on a boat, he did not know. Part of him suspected that the quality of food was less than desirable. It was not that long ago he lived off next to nothing and would have to ration himself to a single meal per day. Kailani looked young and healthy, but whether she had a quality of life that made fresh fruit available was something he could not determine.

“So, being a ferrywoman in Sunberth. That must provide some interesting tales. Hopefully less interesting than a mage spying on the Daggerhand.”



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Fare Sailing Part 2 (Kailani)

Postby Kailani on November 10th, 2018, 12:30 am

And… I have to accept the possibility of silencing those that know. Which gives me no pleasure.

Those words made Kailani’s blood run cold, the glance that accompanied them freezing her further. She was not deaf to the implication, and the thought that she could have been (or maybe still would be?) one of those silenced… She swallowed hard and stood up a little straighter, sea blue eyes flashing with an unnamable emotion. Kynier’s glance was met by a stoic glare—if he thought she’d be so easy to dispose of, he’d be sorely mistaken. Especially out here on the water. Then again, look what he just did to an eleven foot sea serpent… Perhaps if she hadn’t just witnessed such a spectacle of power, she might have had a more extreme reaction to what he said, but as it was, there were times she knew to exercise prudence. This seemed one of those times.

As he continued to speak and explain what he’d done, however, it seemed like he didn’t intend to take any such drastic action. At least for the moment. She felt her shoulders relax a fraction, the next breath she took a little less strained than the last. Kailani could only be thankful that she’d reacted to his revelation in the way she had. It was clear what would have happened to her if she hadn’t. A contemplative gaze raked over his form, the Svefra silently reassessing her companion. Secretive (for good reason) and dangerous. She made a note to stay on Kynier’s good side. Something told her she wouldn’t last very long, otherwise.

The seafarer listened with a sort of mild awe as the mage explained what he called “reimancy.” To imagine having such power—command over the elements themselves—it almost made her light-headed. She could well understand why so many feared magic as they did. Who wouldn’t be nervous around someone who could call fire down on their head? Kailani could use her Oceanus mark for gentle control of the currents around her, but to be able to create things like water and lightning was mind-boggling. If she hadn’t seen it herself, she might not have even believed it.

Kailani winced in sympathy as he explained how his use of Auristics had caused him to feel the Katalimaru’s pain as his own. No wonder he had lain twitching on her deck for chimes after. “And you’re sure you’re all right?” she asked again, glancing over him again as if looking for more damage. Her expression of concern eased to a smile at his statement that he only had to learn such a lesson once. And what a lesson to learn!

By the time he finished speaking, they were nearing Shipwreck Cove again, Kailani taking a moment to lower the sail and slow their progress into the ship graveyard. Just as they’d done before, she’d let The Sunset Tide linger toward the mouth of the cove to provide them ease of escape. As they reached their destination, the casinor finally slowed to a stop, the Svefra steering them into place. With a sigh of satisfaction, she moved down from the helm and joined her companion on the deck.

Taking his proffered apple, Kailani murmured a soft, “Thank you,” before biting into the crisp, plump fruit. Her eyes closed briefly, a blissful expression flitting across her face and a sigh of satisfaction escaping her throat. When was the last time she had bitten into a ripe apple? At least a season, surely. Life on the sea didn’t exactly provide for ready access to fresh fruit, and Sunberth in general wasn’t really known for its culinary delights. She couldn’t remember the last time she had tasted something so sweet.

The Svefra woman gave a short bark of laughter at the last thing Kynier said, rolling her eyes before biting into the apple again. “No tales that rival this one, that’s for sure,” she replied after swallowing her mouthful. A wry smile tugged at Kailani’s lips. “Not sure if I’ll ever have a fare more exciting than being chased by a Katalimaru. And to be honest with you, I truly hope I don’t!” Another laugh rolled across the cove. “My poor casinor can only handle so much abuse.” One slim shoulder lifted in a shrug. “And anyhow, this is only my fourth day on the job, so hardly enough time to gather too many tales. I’ll be sure to let you know if I have any more interesting trips than this!”

Nibbling her apple down to the core, her gaze turned thoughtful again as she looked over at Kynier. “One of my brothers was a shielder, but he couldn’t do much else,” she finally said, tossing the core over the side of the ship for any hungry fish below. “Perhaps that is why it doesn’t scare me as much as others. I don’t know.” She shrugged. “Or like I said before, maybe I really am just crazy. I’ve been told it enough times by now.”

A sudden light sparked into her eyes, tapping her chin. “And speaking of crazy…” She laughed, albeit a little nervously. “Feel free to refuse, but what you were saying before. About Auristics. You can feel what others are feeling?” She cocked her head to the side. “Can you do that to me? Call it morbid curiosity.” She doubted that was a request he received often, if at all, but Kailani was nothing if not outside the norm.

“Or skepticism,” she added with a snort. “Whichever you prefer.”

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