A Stormy Passage

A Stormy Passage
Summary: On a ship crossing the Lake of Haven, Deidra has a discussion about bravery with its captain, Syd Stormpryde. But then they make a strange observation.
Date: 31/05/2013
Related: Logs regarding the investigation of the missing princesses, especially A Lesson In Stealth
Syd Deidra 

The Stilltha's Dagger
The swift ship of Syd Stormpryde, more in the scene set.
May 30th 1329

The Stilltha's Dagger. One of the fastest ships in the Eikeren's ports - or the fastest one, if you ask its captain. The sea opens raging at the vessel, larger than most sloops, graced by a pair of gray masts and a questionable crew. Cargo boxes can be seen everywhere, messy, most of them probably empty for the sound they make, but carefully sealed to avoid anyone to answer such inquiry.

Outside, letting the breeze of a closer storm to reclaim his red leather jacket, waving furiously to the inclement weather, Syd Stormpride, also known by his crew as 'Cap'n Syd Storm', laughs madly with no apparent reason.

Many sailors rush to take everything to cover, but none of them pay attention to the man. There are even passengers among them, for the Dagger takes any job that gives money. Any job.

Yes, passengers. A pair of warriors is among them, clad in slightly worn armours of plate and chain. But no tabards or other means of presenting a coat of arms, even those hooded cloaks have a rather unobtrusive colour somewhere between brown and grey. Armed they are, of course, their swords secured in scabbards of leather hanging by their sides. One of the two, a woman apparently raises her rather doubtful gaze to the sky and eyes those heavy grey storm clouds for a moment, her hood slipping from her head as she does so, before she remarks to her companion in a hushed voice: "One would wish the Four Guardians would be kind enough to look after us…. at least until this ship reaches the harbour…" The harbour she speaks of is that of Haven of course, and Deidra lowers the gaze of her steely green eyes for a moment, looking slightly worried. In crossing the other water on their way, the Rothim River north of Laketown, they had been more fortunate, as they were able to cross it via a bridge. The woman reaches out for the railing, holding on to it, as a sudden wave threatens to throw her off balance.

Syd just smirks. He does it all the time. He doesn't smile, nor does he ever frown. A series of slightly different smirks are all his facial expressions and his men at some point or another, always end understanding them. Some of them have been years aboard the Dagger, while some are new hirings. Being a pirate, after all, never grants a lengthily life, but most of the passengers may think the same as the port authorities - they are just a merchant vessel. In a way, they are.

"Careful ye!" he shouts after the smirk. The recipient is a warrior with a sword in a scabbard, who seems to have some trouble with her balance. Narrowing his eyes at the weapon, though it is fairly common in those who adventure to the last of known safe places before the blasted lands of Ellowe, he just remarks lightly, "Careful with the steel, woman." perhaps he doesn't know if she is, indeed, a woman. Probably it is said in a derogatory way, but the Captain doesn't care for manners or any kind of social skill. "Fear not for the storm. The Dagger will reach the coast faster than any other ship." his voice is rough, but for some reason, his words are not as bad-spoken as it could be thought for the rest of his appearance. "And the Dagger has never yielded to a storm—HEY STORM!" he shouts to the sky, "I'LL GIV' YE NO QUARTER, YE SCABROUS, RUM-THIEVIN' SCUM!"

Looking again at the couple of warriors, Syd offers very gently, "Fear not."

Deidra turns as she feels herself being addressed by noone less than the captain of the ship himself. Her dark brown hair, tied to a ponytail at the back of her head is blown about by the wind, now that her hood has slipped. She studies the man for a moment, her gaze flitting to her male companion for a short moment. But then she raises her voice for a reply - a voice of a confidence that might be surprising after her remark from before. "Careful with the steel?" Deidra echoes, raising a brow while the corners of her mouth twitch upward. "I know how to use it, captain, and swear I won't cut my self by accident." A dry chuckle follows, as one of her slender gloved hands taps lightly on the pommel of her sword. A weapon that is not the heavy and broad kind, but of an unusual slender shape. As if it had been crafted exclusively for her. When Syd mentions the storm however, some of the confidence seems to leave those green eyes, and the woman replies: "No offence, captain. I am sure you know your profession well. But… I do hope this storm will take a little longer before it breaks loose. No need to challenge it with your taunts, captain. Although… I assume you think that is brave. Whereas I think it's folly. Never challenge the forces of nature. You could as well challenge the Four Guardians." And her dark gaze suggests she indeed thinks this to be a very bad idea.

The movement of the ship makes a bottle roll to the Captain's feet. A bottle of the cheapest of rums, as it couldn't be otherwise. Leaning to retrieve it, Syd looks at any possible content in the bottom. Finding himself lacking of any luck, it is quickly thrown against one of the nearby masts. It clashes loudly, leaving little glasses everywhere, but Stormpride shows no sign of noticing - not even being his own action. A strange man, strange enough to do what he pleases without question from his crew. They all look very silent to be sailors, one could say.

"Aye, aye, but if those there don't care for a storm, why would the Storm Rider care?" he dismisses the woman's comments shaking his hand. "Look at him. So pleasant with his pets."

And, indeed, they are not alone.

The Blasted Fen's coast can be spotted from afar to the east, where only death and devastation are there to be seen. And beside the vessel, a small boat, not a ship but just a boat, travels north. Certainly to Haven, as there is no other port in that direction. It is moving from the shore, not a large travel so far, as it seems. And inside, a lone red-haired man stares at the Stilltha's Dagger. Nothing more of a crew is visible, but a couple of cages are being transported in it.

"Look at ye! All fearful for the Guardians and that man has more guts than ye!" the Captain grunts to the woman.

Deidra slowly shakes her head, a clear sign that she does not share the captain's enthusiasm for the bad weather. Or maybe it is in response to his rather bold remark about the other sailor. "More guts than me?" she inquires coldly, shifing her stance for more balance. "I doubt that." And after exchanging a short glance with her companion she steps closer to the captain, eyeing him with a fierce glare. "Give that man a sword and we'll see how much guts *he* has." she says with a sarcastic tone to her voice, while her dark hair is once again blown about her face by a sudden gust of wind. Steely green eyes follow that little boat and the lone sailor aboard before she leans forward as a bigger wave threatens to wash over its deck. "You call that man brave? I call him a fool. Another wave like that, and his boat will capsize. What good was his so called bravery when he ends up, drowned on the ground of the Haven Lake?“

"More guts than ye! Ye hears me. Not only coward and all shaky but distracted?" Syd says almost laughing. "I will give him a sword, aye. If he comes up here. If I toss one his direction I would kill the /brave/ one. But no one comes here without paying, woman. No one." it is a clear rule inside the Dagger. The only ones who don't pay are the crew, every other passenger is pure business. "He looks experienced, he won't sink. Look, two cages. The ones who transport goods in this waters are always experienced. Even more if he comes from the Fen Lands…" for first time, some hesitation fills his voice. Even some seriousness.

Syd's answer makes Deidra frown. For one moment it seems she is about to give a hot-headed reply, but then she shrugs and stays silent instead. Almost. "Catch one of you sailors on land, and I'm sure you'll be as helpless as a fish." she retorts in a low voice. Maybe too low for Syd to catch. "And I already paid you the fare, captain."

Her gaze is still fixed on the man in the smaller boat, but Deidra's eyes narrow as she studies the cargo. "Two cages? What does he transport in those?" With the wind growing into a steady breeze, it is hard to make out any details, but she does try none the less. "Animals?… What animals could he bring from the Fens, I wonder," Deidra muses thoughtfully, but then her eyes widen as she remembers a remark she has heard from her Taniford Prince just a few days ago. "Wolves? They say… wolves can't swim." The realization hits her with a suddenness that makes her almost lose her balance again. And when her hands grab onto the railing her knuckles are almost white from her tight grasp.

Wolves, indeed. A closer inspect will reveal it. Their sound is clear for those careful enough. One of the cages holds a big sized wolf, while from the other the spark of the fiery eyes of a Fenwolf are always looking. Syd, who now has gotten some interest in it, feels how his blood goes cold. Another unusual thing coming from him. But it doesn't last long.

"The man may have been received good gold for it, don't ye think?" he remarks as it was something regular around. "Good animals be those… but I didn't know they can be tamed…" the shadow of past memories clouds his sight. "MAN! BRAVE MAN! COME HERE!"

No answer is heard. The red-haired one just stares at them from the distance.

"No one ignores Syd." the Captain mutters, rushing to take himself the ship's direction, to hastily turn in a dangerous way to the east - but before he shifts it, he turns again to the woman. "What were I thinking?" he laughs uncomfortably loudly. "He has not payed to come here. Ye payed, it is good. He has not. We continue to Haven, it is not that far."

Fenwolves. Deidra shudders as a slight chill creeps up on her. He had mentioned them too, her prince. "I have never seen one before.", she remarks to the Stormpryde, and although she doesn't say it directly it seems to be clear which wolf she is referring to. Her hand resting on the pommel of the sword, her gaze wanders from the cages to the mysterious sailor on the boat. "Do you know, captain, if all people of the Fens have red hair?" she inquires almost casually in Syd's direction, while her brows furrow slightly into a frown. "Such strange coincidence." she mutters more to herself.

When Syd suddenly changes the ship's course, Deidra flinches slightly while holding onto that railing. Although the sparkle in her green eyes seem to indicate she will be up to the challenge. That spark dies down soon enough when the captain remembers his sense, and changes the course back to the one they had before. "Aye,… to Haven we'll go." Deidra nods solemnly, her gaze shifting to her companion standing somewhere at the other side of the deck. "Still some things that need to be done…" But her green eyes return soon enough to that small boat and cannot help but linger there for a while.

Syd ponders the question for a while. "Red hair?… I don't think there be too many in the Fens, but in Haven… there are some. Not that I know for sure…" he might not be waiting for coins to refresh his memory. He honestly does not have much memory, his mind is not what people would call 'average', after all. Hits, rum, and worse have left him in his current estate.

"If ye need to return to the normal world, woman, I can do it again. Our little talk made the time run faster. Look, there…" his gaze stops at a port that starts to be seen. The storm didn't happen, thankfully, and the Dagger is fast enough to have made a good distance from the strange boat and arrive promptly to the port. And, finally, a rough voice finishes. "Welcome to Haven."

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