Gently Down? the Stream

Job Thread 2

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks and small villages of note.

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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:28 pm
Race: Biqaj
Profession: Merchant
Renown: +210
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Wealth Tier: Tier 1
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Gently Down? the Stream

Sun May 27, 2018 7:49 am


Arc 718, 32nd of Ashan

Sailing alone was usually a quiet and peaceful affair. This trial was no different as Rynata traveled up river in order to return to Scalvoris Town from her short visit to Havardr. There was just the soft sound of the waves and familiar creaking of the ship. To top it all off, even the winds held steady, allowing the craft to push forward without much fuss from Rynata. This was all very well since she was the sort who didn't mind solitude. In fact, from time to time, that was what she preferred. Then again, no one liked to be lonely. It was one thing to be alone but completely another to feel it. With it being over a whole season since she had parted from her old clan, Rynata had to reluctantly admit that more and more, her state had come to resemble the latter. In recent times, the lack of company had become rather dull. Before, running into family on board had been almost a guarantee. She missed its something about the presence of familiar people puttering about close by.

Since being idle seemed to be only miring her deeper into her woes, Rynata walked across the deck to the tackle box and stack of several small crates. These were her purchases from the fishing village of Havardr and she hoped that people in the city would part with a good amount of nel for them. The locals she had worked with had assured her that fresh products from Havadr would fly off the shelves after a hard Cylus. She went around fussing over the piles and checking her wares.

The fish, she thought, could go to one of the taverns. So could the whale meat. If she ran out of luck negotiating at those establishments, she supposed she could always hunker down in the central market square. The weather wasn't bad for it and surely the common folk of Scalvoris would have some need for the food. On the other hand, she knew the perfect buyer for the whale bone. Rynata was pretty sure she had passed a blacksmithing and jewelry shop back in Scalvoris Town. If there were plenty of commissions for whale bone trinkets, engravings, and weapon parts the crafters would be happy to take them off her hands. She might even be able to consider buying something for herself while she was there. All in all, however, she had brought on board a bit too many fish. This had probably happened because she had received a crate or two of them as thanks for her work. She would have to part with them somehow before she went up the river and realized they were too much to sell.

Looking toward the bow, Rynata checked to see if the ship was still safely on its course. Any moment now, according to the map, there should be a lake coming up. However, when sailing rivers, one had to be on guard for sudden bends and jutting rocks that were left out in writing. With her guiding hand on the lines, the ship soon climbed into the wide basin of the lake. The view before her suddenly spanned out. It was a great difference from when the river bank and trees had been encroaching on both sides. Across the waters Rynata spotted other vessels similar to hers as well as smaller fishing boats that dotted the area. These were dark silhouettes against the flat surface of the lake, with the smaller shadows of people weaving in and out of focus. This lake being a crossroads between several cities, it made sense for there to be a fair amount of traffic.

Lots of people always meant that there was nel to be made. Still, that didn’t guarantee that everyone had the same need for the products she had on sale. Shading her eyes against the sun, Rynata scanned the lake for any likely takers. She frowned a little and pursed her lips, trying to think of a likely strategy. Fishing boats were unlikely to pay market price for what they could catch, and so she weeded out from her consideration the smaller crafts casting nets. If there were any vessels transporting cargo, then that would be the best. There was a high chance that they were looking to sell their stock once they landed at another city. If among them, there were any ships headed away from Scalvoris Town to Almund, then that would be even better. So long as they were willing to buy from her, they wouldn’t be competition and Almund would get its fish.

Darting over to the lines and reading the direction of the wind, Rynata coaxed the ship to veer away from its course and towards the entrance of the channel feeding out of the lake and on towards Almund. She truly did prefer open water over river channels. At least water that allowed her to pull off large maneuvers such as this. Now that she was really getting a feel for The Gilded Siren, it was more fun to be free of restrictions such as river banks.

Cutting across the diameter of the lake, she saw a larger ship trundling along slowly towards the Almund channel. It was a flat and streamlined thing with its deck kept close to the water line. One certainly couldn't perform turnabouts in that, but the long barge was perfect for ferrying cargo. Counting on that assumption, Rynata hurried to catch up to the other vessel. Eyes flickering from the Siren's clean sails stretched taught in the wind and the trajectory of her target, she sped along the rest of the distance, catching the barge a short distance away from the channel's mouth.

Folding in the sails she allowed the sloop to drift along slowly, relying on the momentum that the craft had built up during the short run. As the ship was pulled slower by the dark water lapping at its sides, Rynata turned just so that she would be sidelong with the barge, careful not to crash into them or send any troublesome waves. As she did so, curious workers came to line the sides of their ship, wondering what the sloop matching their speed wanted.

"Hello!" Rynata called out with a steady smile. "Are you headed to Almund by any chance?"

One man, a fellow Biqaj, judging from the colors shifting in his eyes, grinned disarmingly and replied. "Yeah! You need anything?"

"Well, I have some fish that I can part with cheaply. If you're ferrying goods to the Almund Bazzar, perhaps you'd like to consider? Fresh mackerel from Havardr. You know how easily they spoil." Rynata gave her hopeful sales pitch, scanning the man's changing eyes for approval.

Sadly, the other Biqaj frowned, deep in thought. It was a surprisingly serious expression for someone who seemed so carefree. His brows creased and something like apprehension flickered behind his eyes. "Dunno. That's not my call," he replied. Looking over at his fellow sailors, he said, "Do you think he'll go for it?"

"Either way, he'll throw a fit if he finds out we didn't tell him," another man sitting on one of the larger crates sighed out in a weary tone. Sliding off, he nodded to his friend. "I'll go see if Lord Highness wants the extra cargo."

Rynata tilted her head at the other Biqaj, asking a silent question. However, he merely made an apologetic grimace, and shrugged his shoulders. Soon after the volunteer sailor disappeared into the tiny cabin situated at the stern of the barge, he reappeared, trailing unhappily behind a taller man who's face was graced with a haughty look of annoyance. The change in the atmosphere on deck was palpable. The crew was silent but all eyes were watching. Submissive but judging.

The aloof man came up to the side of the ship with his arms crossed, staring down Rynata while exuding an air of superiority. Clearly, this man was the captain that the men dreaded so much. Perhaps he was even the owner of the ship. If these were not the case, then surely he was the King of Rynmere for all his posturing. He refused to speak, leaving it to Rynata to explain her reasons for disturbing him. Doing her best to keep up a casually friendly demeanor, Rynata repeated her proposal.

She added, “You could even take them off my hands for yourself and the crew. Havardr is renowned for its savory fresh fish. I recommend minimal seasoning, if you’re planning to make lunch.” She hoped this would lighten the air, and while a few sailors behind the captain visibly brightened at the mention of lunch, the man himself remained disdainful. How dare this woman mention that he ate food like a human being.

“Yes. Of course,” he said dismissively. Walking away from her, he motioned to the other Biqaj. “This time, don’t pay more than the market price. And use your head. Make sure the bottom isn't filled with seaweed,” he ordered.

Rynata’s smile froze in place at that insult. For people like her who depended on the good will of the next buyer, an accusation of cheating or scamming was serious indeed. She let out a short burst of incredulous laughter that sounded not unlike a scoff.

“I don’t think it’s my integrity you should be worried about, mister,” she said before she could help it. When the man raised an eyebrow at her, she continued innocently. “You’ll find I’m quite trustworthy.” Still, it was probably true that Rynata was the last thing the captain should be worried about at the moment. She wouldn’t be surprised if the whole crew mutinied before the end of the season. The uncomfortable silence that fell around their supposed leader, and the furtive glances they gave him were nothing like Rynata had ever seen before.

The barge did end up taking her offer, but it was the crew that was tasked with carrying out the interaction, as the captain quickly disappeared into his cabin once more. Rynata slipped them an extra crate, counting on the fact that the captain was not the sort for fieldwork. The sailors should notice the extra gift easily enough when they unloaded and took stock. The life of a laborer was hard enough without having a difficult leader, and while companionship on a boat might be nice, if it wasn’t worked out perfectly, there would be consequences. I ever she worked leading a crew, she would have to pay close attention to how they fared and were treated. Looking over her shoulder awkwardly at the parting barge, Rynata hurried away.
1777 words
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Tristan Venora
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Race: Human
Profession: Duke of Oakleigh
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Medal count: 26




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Gently Down? the Stream

Thu May 31, 2018 3:54 am


Seafaring: Pulling up along other crafts
Seafaring: Sailing up river
Business Management: Identifying the most effective customers
Leadership: Treat your charges well
Negotiation: Setting a general price for offer
Psychology: Being alone is different from being lonely

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Renown: N/A
Magic XP: N/A

Points: 10
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Comments: I enjoyed reading this solo, Rynata. Your writing is very descriptive and detailed. I had no trouble at all envisioning things!

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word count: 125
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