Solo Dinner with danger

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Dinner with danger

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 21st, 2020, 5:00 am

69th of Spring, 520 A.V.


Marino watched the sunrise from the portside of the Seasilk. Having only just woken up, he rubbed his eyes and smiled at the burgeoning light. It looked beautiful as the tangle of reddish-orange light crept out from behind the island. Today was going to be a good day, he could feel it. There was a gentle, warm breeze to the air that kept him feeling cozy on the deck. He would need something to wake him up before he got to prepping the Seasilk for passengers.

Looking over the side, Marino eyed the dark water cautiously. He was not so foolish as that so instead he went to grab the waterskin he hung from the halyard cleat last night. While not cold, it was cool which was enough to stimulate him when he poured the salty water over his head and neck. After rinsing his mouth out with the water, he slapped his cheeks as a final measure before heading back into his cabin to slip into some clothes. He set down the waterskin on his bed and grabbed a pair of white isuas breeches and a shirt to match. Then grabbing the waterskin, he went out to the deck to do his rounds.

First thing he did was step over to the starboardside. Then looking at the water by the beach, he checked the tide. From his mark, he knew that it was low, and on its way out. This fit with what he had observed previous mornings, but it didn’t hurt to make sure. With that off his list, he went to partially inflate his secondary sail, bringing the head up without doing anything else yet. It fluttered a bit with the breeze before he drew it all the way up, and tied the line off. A light wind on a cloudy morning he mused. Maybe it would pick up before passengers arrived, but he wouldn’t hold his breath. More than the few days of good weather he’d already had was asking too much of Zulrav.

Pulling up the head for the mainsail, Marino watched it flutter too before securing it. Then, finished for now with the sails, he turned to go back below deck and ensure all of his gear was secure under his bunk. While he was working, he liked to keep his personal belongings out of sight so they didn’t get mixed up in any cargo he was asked to ferry. When that was done, he went back topside to wait for his first passenger.

Fortunately, he didn’t have to wait very long. With the sun now creeping well over the horizon a figure approached the docks from the Commons. As they drew closer, strange shapes jutted from their silhouette until finally Marino could make them out. One was a rather large sword that hung from the man’s hip, another was a bow strapped to his back, and finally the oddest shapes of all had been a coil of rope wrapped around a set of bamboo poles. The man himself was an interesting sight as well. Now on the dock, Marino could see he had an undeniably martial physique that shown through even the plain breeches and tunic he wore. When he got even closer, he could see that he had rough stubble that matched the color of his short, brown hair. His eyes were hazel.

Stopping a few steps from the Seasilk, the man gave him a curt nod. “You are Marino Oceangem I take it?” Thought from the way he said it, he got the feeling the man already knew who he was. Ignoring the feeling, Marino nodded and stepped off the deck to take the bundle from the man, providing awkwardly: “Yes, thats me” as he put the bundle by the wheel. The man, never looking away from him stepped aboard and extended a hand. “I’m Buraga Shamzen. I’d like to go up the coast if you’re ready.” “Sure, I will get some things in motion while we wait for the sun” Marino said as he went over to untethered them from the dock before pushing them off with the grapple pole. Meanwhile, Buraga got comfortable, and leaned against the portside railing.

Watching him out of the corner of his eye while he went to draw the anchor up, Marino said. “So what you got to do up the coast?” “I want to get a good look at the settlement’s perimeter. Your arrival offers a good opportunity for that.” Buraga said, not looking at him as he spoke. His eyes were instead on the sun peaking out from behind the island, steadily lightening up the blue sky. Overhead, wisps of clouds passed lazily. Pulling the anchor up over the railing, Marino set it down towards the center of the ship and wiped his hands on his breeches. “Well, navigating up the coast is easy enough. Just let me know if you want to make any stops along the way.” He said, and spotting a piece of sea weed clinging to his breeches, flicked it off. Buraga simply nodded, and Marino shrugged it off before going over to the mast to take up the outhaul.


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Last edited by Marino Oceangem on June 1st, 2020, 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dinner with danger

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 21st, 2020, 5:01 am

Pulling on the clew, he considered his new passenger. The man was certainly not like anyone he’d met on the island so far. He spoke with an accent that Marino did not recognized, and the way he moved was strange as well. He glanced over at the man. Buraga stood straight as an arrow with his arms crossed in front of him on the railing. Even now, standing still, he carried the poise of his walk with him. From this angle, Marino also got a good look at the bow on his back which was longer than anything he’d seen before. It was unstrung for now, with a leather sheath around its middle. Unfortunately though, from his angle messing with the lines, he could not get the same view of the longsword that hung off his left hip. He could tell though that it was a massive length of metal by how far the sheath extended out behind the man.

Buraga turned towards him then, and Marino’s eyes flickered to the foot of the sail, suddenly very focused on the outhaul. “Do you have any weapons aboard?” Buraga asked after watching him work for several uncomfortable chimes. Marino nodded gesturing towards the bow of the ship, and then to the cabin as he spoke. “Yes, I’ve got the harpoon and a spear in my quarters.” Buraga scratched his chin, looking over at the covered harpoon, and walked over to it. “How good are you with this thing?” He asked, pulling off the blue cloak that had been draped over it, before leaning in to examine the mechanisms.

I’m not. I mean, I only got it recently so I’ve yet to give it a proper try yet. I’ve been meaning to go out with my cousins to, but they’ve been busy at the Inn.” Marino said as he wrapped the outhaul around its clew, and checked the fabric around the foot. Buraga grunted at that, walking away from the harpoon and back to his spot on the railing. “Perhaps we could try it out sometime. You’ve obviously got a good eye for it if you’re carrying around that bow.” Marino said to feel the silence, though he regretted it when Buraga turned to him and gave a strange look. To his surprise, Buraga didn’t outright deny the offer, just muttering. “Perhaps” before looking back across the sea.

By now, the light had spread well beyond the horizon and Marino could see clearly across the water around them. With both sails mostly prepped, all he had to do was tension the foot so they caught the slight morning breeze. Then he was behind the wheel, steering them out and over the water. He headed towards the island for now till they got closer gap, then he cut back towards the mainland’s beach. As the tide was going out, the gap between the island and mainland was about ten feet narrower. While that wasn’t much of a difference, especially for his smaller ship, it meant he wanted to be careful crossing it so he didn’t beach himself on some hidden sandbar. He was actually kind of glad the tide was going out cause he could check to see if there was anything notable in the water that he should note for the future. That was of course something he should have done a long time ago, but in the excitement of coming here, he’d neglected his usual preparedness.

No more though, he thought as he eyed carefully the sea ahead of them as they started to pass by the island. He couldn’t see much from his position behind the wheel so he quickly went to the portside railing, leaning over it to get a good look. There, that was better. He could see clearly into the bluish green water except for where it got darker in the middle, and it didn’t look like there was anything new here that could snag him. Going back to the wheel, he steered for the darker patch of water just in case and looked off the port side at the beach where a lone house sat. “Who lives there?” He called across the deck, pointing at the building. “Mathias” Buraga called back. Marino nodded, staring at the house for a chime before he went back to picking his way up the coast.


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Last edited by Marino Oceangem on June 1st, 2020, 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dinner with danger

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 21st, 2020, 5:04 am

Free of the gap, and the sheltered harbor, they caught a modest breeze off the sea. Marino, leaving the wheel unattended for now, went quickly to the rigging. There he pulled free the outhaul and let the line run in his hand for a few breaths till the sail was fat at the bottom with the wind. Then after securing that line, he took hold of the cunningham and did the same for the luff which made the whole sail billow in the breeze. He then ran back to the wheel, correcting their course so they no longer sailed at an angle. Instead, now they were parallel to the shore with a cushion of sea between them. Looking out to the shoreline, he saw that the waves were small, and the tide almost all the way out. That would bode well for them if Buraga decided he want to go to shore.

Looking towards the man, Marino saw that he still seemed to be studying the shoreline, though for what, he did not know. All he could see where the Overwater Rancheros which he still hadn’t been in despite having passed them now a number of times. To the left of those somewhere in the thick of the green were the bungalows which he had missed but he would try to pick out on their way back. He was determined to learn Syka through and through, an this job was an excellent opportunity for that. However, sometimes it was hard to shore gaze while keeping them on course.

The next several chimes passed in relative silence with Marino tweaking the sails, and Buraga studying the shore. They made it all the way to approaching the point before Buraga started to become animated again. As Marino was focusing on steering clear of the reef that was very visible at low tide, Buraga leaned further over the rail and said something he didn’t catch. “What’d you say?” Marino called to him from behind the wheel. “I said the reef is lively today.” That piqued Marino’s interest but he didn’t leave from behind the wheel till he’d put a comfortable distance between them and the reef. He could see some fish flitting across the top of the reef from his vantage point. There was even a fin briefly, but the angle was bad so he couldn’t track it. When they were safely around the reef and going down the other side of the point he looked over at Buraga.

What’d you see?” He asked curiously, and Buraga gave him a grin. “Nothing special, just some tasty fish and a small shark.” Buraga paused for a full stop, then added. “Seeing that little nursing shark did remind me though of the time we found a much bigger one trapped in the shallows. Even stuck, it was a monster to bring down.” Marino raised an eyebrow in surprise but after taking a moment to think it over, nodded. He could understand that if the tide had been out like it was now. It was why you had to always check along the shore you were sailing against even if earlier in the day things were clear. The tide changes subtly during the day, but it does change. When it does it might wash up something new, or expose something you hadn’t seen there before.

Not far now, we are almost to the Swine Swells” Buraga said, interrupting his thoughts. Looking up at the man, he asked. “Is that what you call that pig infested beach I saw the other day?” Still grinning, Buraga nodded. “If you could bring us close to that beach, I’ll see about catching a few of those pigs for dinner. If you haven’t had them roasted yet, well, you’ll just have to see tonight.

How do you plan on catching them?” Marino asked as ahead he spied a clump of the creatures in the distance, frolicking in the surf. “With this longbow of course.” Buraga said, unstrapping it from his back. “Just get us to within fifty meters of them. Then, once I’ve downed a few, get your spear and pull us in close

My spear?” Marino asked confused. “Yes, for when we go down to get them. Predators frequent these shores so you’ll want something to defend yourself with.” Marino got a little red in the face at that, but steeled his jaw as he said. “I wouldn’t rely on my combat abilities down there.” Buraga looked at him quizzically, then chuckled. “Look, I’m not asking you to fight a tiger for the pig. If it wants it, we let it take it and grab the rest. Just make sure when we are down there that you hold the pointy end out and facing away from me, alright?” Marino gritted his teeth for a moment before forcing himself to relax and grin despite the trepidation he felt. “Fair point.” He replied. After all, he’d asked for this by want to stay.


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Last edited by Marino Oceangem on June 1st, 2020, 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dinner with danger

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 21st, 2020, 5:06 am

For their approach, Marino took it extra slow, drawing up the mainsail so only the secondary was taking wind. Because Buraga had expressed the desire to sail in right after taking some of the pigs, he decided that he would not anchor the ship, but instead bring them to a stop by turning directly into the wind. Then while Marino was getting the boat turned back to the correct course, Buraga could take his shots and then they could sail in further before anchoring off the coast. As they neared the swells, Marino felt the knot loosening in his gut. He was actually starting to look forward to this, and felt a spike of excitement seeing Buraga fit an arrow to his bow.

Marino saw his moment and took them into the wind. The ship lurched to a crawl. For his part, Marino kept them turning though it was very slow as the secondary sail limply fluttered against the mast. He wouldn’t adjust it till they were ready to go for the pigs, but he kept the wheel set on turning them around because he knew it would be some time before the caught the right wind again. Hopefully, he could manage it by the time Buraga finished. Buraga’s bow thrummed, and Marino looked up from the sail to watch him notch his next arrow. Taking careful aim while raising the bow higher, he released again. Across the water, he heard a squeal cut short but couldn’t see around the man. He did see the pigs scatter on the distant shore as Buraga quickly notched another arrow and released. Nothing this time, but the next struck true as the pig immediately started squealing only didn’t stop till Buraga sent another arrow.

Marino wished he had a better view of where these arrows were going, though he was suitably impressed watching Buraga use the large bow. “We’ve got three by my count. Ready to bring us in close?” Buraga asked turning to see him watching.

Almost” Marino said, drawing out the secondary sail a bit as he turned them to catch the wind again. While they waited a few chimes, Buraga unstrung his longbow and stowed it before getting the bundle he’d brought. Unpacked, Marino could see that he’d brought a few coils of rope as well as three bamboo poles. “Are we going to tie the pigs to those?” Marino asked.

Buraga nodded then looked over at him again. “How’s your knot tying?” Marino shrugged and gestured towards the cleat which Buraga turned to look at before shaking his head. “Nevermind, I’ll explain that part when we get to the pigs. Remember once we are down there to keep your eyes wide open and not just towards the jungle. We got all kinds of creatures down here that an open sea boy like you might not understand.” Marino nodded, but didn’t say anything because he felt like if he did, he would most likely say the wrong thing. Besides, Buraga had a point. He didn’t know how to use his harpoon or spear and that was his fault. Neither did he know the creatures or the plants that dwelt here. All things he should have been doing instead of drinking with his cousins.

The wind caught, and tugged the Seasilk forward. Instead of dwelling, Marino decided to push forwards and ran down to the cabin to retrieve his half spear. Once on deck, he went back behind the wheel and steered them close enough that they wouldn’t have to wade out far to get to the first pig, which was laying half submerged on the sandbar. Tossing the anchor over the side, Marino went to join Buraga at the edge of the deck. Buraga glanced at the spear and grinned, but didn’t say nothing for a few chimes as he looked out over the beach. All seemed calm across the swells as the majority of the pigs had fled down the beach away from the carcasses. They stood there now, huddled together to watch the ship carefully, though none of the approached. Satisfied, Buraga looked at him and hooked one leg over the railing. “Ready?” Marino nodded, and over the side they went.


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Last edited by Marino Oceangem on June 1st, 2020, 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dinner with danger

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 21st, 2020, 5:11 am

The water wasn’t particularly deep here, but it was deep enough that he would have to stand on his toes to keep his head above water. So they both just swam a short distance till they were waist deep and close to the first pig. Buraga handed him a coil of rope then, and grabbed the rear legs of the pig. With a quick motion that Marino could hardly follow, Buraga made two shallow cuts along the back of the tendons and then started wrapping the end of the rope through the legs.

Now, watch this part closely cause I’m going to want you to do the same for the next pig while I keep watch.” Buraga said, as he took the rope and looped around each hind leg twice, then passed the end of the rope through the loop and pulled them tight. He gave it several hard yanks. “Hope you can remember that. Let go ahead and bring this one aboard the ship. I’ll stay here with the sow while you take the other end of this rope and bring it aboard the ship, alright?” Nodding, Marino jumped back into the water with the rope in hand, swimming a short ways before clambering back aboard his ship. “Now, pull on it tight while I swim over, and then we’ll both haul it aboard.” Buraga called over to him once he was on deck, and Marino did as he was asked, pulling hard on the line which only kept the pigs legs pointing up and angled towards him. “Damn, this was going to be a heavy beast.” Marino whispered to himself, but couldn’t help feeling excited to be out here doing this. It was his first hunt, and although he wasn’t doing much, he felt a part of things.

Buraga came to the deck soon enough, and together hauling on the rope they dragged the pig from the sandbar, into the water. It only got harder from there as they had to bring the rope in quickly to keep the line taut. Then, when it was directly below them came the hardest part. Marino strained to haul the pig up the side, and while he could feel that Buraga was doing most of the effort, he could still feel an ache coming on in his lower back from the strain of pulling the pig up towards the deck. When the pigs feet were close to the edge, Buraga gave it one more strong yank with one hand while his other grabbed at the feet to start pulling it up the rest of the way. Dropping the rope, Marino helped pull the pig up and over the side before together they rolled it towards the center of the deck.

Breathing hard, leaning on his knees, Marino looked over at the sow and up at Buraga. “And we got to do that two more times?” “Yep” Buraga said, and started walking over to the railing. The next pig wasn’t much farther from the first. It had taken an arrow to the lower side and went down quick as a result. As they neared the body, Buraga handed him his knife, and some rope. “Just as I did.” He said before standing beside the body. Kneeling, Marino awkwardly grasped the knife as he’d seen Buraga do and started sawing at the back tendon. It wasn’t working which was something Buraga must have picked up on as he abruptly said. “Just a little pressure, down and across. Then the other one.” Grabbing the back thigh with his right, he pressed down with his left hand and felt the knife dig in a little as he dragged it across. “This enough?” He asked hesitantly. “Yeah, now the other side” Buraga said sounding distracted. When Marino looked up having done the other one, he saw the man glancing from the jungle to the sea, his hand on the pommel of his sword. Then remembering to focus, Marino set the knife down on the pigs body before grabbing it’s hind legs. It was an awkward maneuver with to also grab the rope but when he managed it he started looping it around the first leg around where he made the cut.

Two loops right? Then under?” “Yes” Buraga said sounding exasperated. Marino didn’t look up to see his face, but he could feel the tension. The gravity of their situation out here on the shore sank in thin and his heart started beating faster in his chest. Hands trembling he fumbled with the knot, and when he pulled on the rope, it came loose. “Petch” He cursed quietly. Perhaps hearing the anxiety in his voice, Buraga stooped down and took the rope from him. “Watch my back, I’ll do this.” He said gruffly and feeling more than a bit ashamed, Marino stood up, and grabbed his half spear. Panning around, he couldn’t see anything in the jungle or the water, but that didn’t quell the fear he suddenly felt. In chimes though, Buraga was done, and they did the same maneuver as before.


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Dinner with danger

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 21st, 2020, 5:12 am

It was going smoothly from there, and they were both on the deck pulling it up when something lurched out of the sea. Quicker than any creature he’d seen with legs, the fanged horror grappled with the pigs body as it lifted out of the surf. The beast had long, sharp claws and long protrusions sticking out of its otherworldly appearance. It was covered in mostly blue-black scales except for the fins on its back and arms, and its long flat tail which were as red as the ends of the appendages coming from its face. A low, rumbling snarl escaped from it as it suddenly dragged at the pig, and Buraga shouted. “Let go.” Though he didn’t release until Marino had. When they did, the creature quickly dragged the sow under the water, disappearing beneath the ship and out the other side.

Marino ran to the bow to follow the creature with his eyes until it became a mere shadow in the distance. Finally, when he’d regained his breath, he asked. “What was that.” “A Whiptail. Come now, we still got the other pig to get before something else shows up.” Marino looked at the man incredulously. “You can’t honestly be serious?

Everyone panics their first time. It’ll be better to go ahead and get out there if you ever want to get your nerves back. Besides, Whiptails hunt as individuals so what we really need to worry about is another predator coming along attracted to that last pig. So quickly, come on.” Marino hesitated, but after watching the man jump off the side of the deck, he quickly moved to catch up. His hands still shook, but he wasn’t going to be a cowards. While he would be thinking about this for days to come, he could hold off on those thoughts for now till they got the job done. The last pig Buraga took care of on his own while Marino watched mostly the ocean with the occasional glance towards the jungle. He couldn’t help thinking about how close that creature had been. How powerful it looked.

Done.” Buraga said standing up, and handing him the end of the rope. “It does no good obsessing over it, just remember this moment and don’t make the same mistakes twice, alright.” Buraga added, clapping him on the shoulder. Nodding, Marino immediately went with the rope to the ship where they proceeded to haul the third pig up successfully. With that done, Marino eagerly went to the set up of the sails, losing himself for a moment working with the rigging. Pulling the main sail out as he’d set up before, he worked the Seasilk through a slow turn before it started catching a moderate breeze that kicked up as they turned in the direction of the point.

It had been a few hours now and Marino could see that the tide was starting to come back in. The waves were no longer gentle splashes against the beach, but little blips across the water that broke as they got close to shore. As it was still early in the cycle, Marino again avoided the reef around the point, though he did pass through close enough to see some of the fish. That helped take his mind off of things as he considered trying out this spot sometime provided he could get the appropriate equipment. Thinking about that, he looked over at Buraga who had both of the pigs tied to bamboo poles now. “How did you get that shark on the reef?” Buraga looked up at him with a calm look on his face, and seemed to chew over the question for a chime before answering.

We took out a small boat, and some spears. You get any good with that one, maybe I’ll take you out sometime.” Marino nodded, and swallowed, his throat feeling suddenly very dry. He didn’t feel right about how he’d reacted out there, but neither did he know how to set it right just now. Instead, he just let the awkward silence hang between them as he mulled over how helpless he’d been on the shore. That was something he definitely never wanted to experience again. Not the hunting part, or venturing out onto that wild shore. That he secretly loved and found thrilling. Helpless was what he never want to feel again, and he’d only do that by learning more about what it took to live on the fringe of the jungle.

The rest of their journey was uneventful and passed in silence. Marino felt worn out and dissatisfied with his performance, though he was looking forward to trying some of the stuff Buraga had shown him later. When they docked, Marino helped Buraga grab one of the pigs and haul it to the Communal kitchen. As they where walking back to the Seasilk, Marino was preparing himself for the effort of hauling another one when Buraga stopped him. “You did fine out there. You sailed us there and back in one piece.” He said with a grin, before his expression sobered. “Just keep an eye out, alright? And if you ever want to learn how to use that harpoon or spear of yours, I’m not hard to find. I’m kind of curious to see how that weapon on your ship works.

Thank you” Marino said deferentially before turning towards the Seasilk. A pair of settlers were walking from it now with the other pig, and Buraga cleared his throat from behind him. “Stay for a little, and grab a bite while you wait your next passenger. In the meantime we can figure out what to do with those shakey hands of yours.” Buraga chided him, chuckling as he steered Marino back towards the commons. Exasperated, Marino groaned before shaking his head, and chuckling along with him. Suppose he had that one coming.


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