• PM To Join • Sherkel P. Filliman

The discovery of an old journal (Starting Quest)

Almund is a thriving township with a dark side. With houses made from the wooden bodies of decommissioned ships, there are many opportunities here, coupled with many dangers.

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Rynata
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Sherkel P. Filliman

Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:47 pm

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27th of Cylus, Arc 718
Rynata made for a strange sight as she stood rocking back and forth on her feet in the pitch darkness of The Gilded Siren's living quarters. With a serious look on her face, she shifted her weight experimentally around a particular area of the flooring and every so often, a board would creak loudly in protest as if someone had failed to fit it properly when the ship had been crafted. It was this very sound that had cut short her last few steps as she had skipped down below deck to fetch the lantern. Setting her foot down on the most likely culprit, she pressed down and was met with another piteous moan from the faulty plank. If her ship was already falling apart, it would be troublesome to fix, not to mention expensive. She could feel the corners of her mouth tense even as she imagined of all the wasted expenses. Still, before she beat herself up over her losses, it was better to check the damage instead of swaying about like an old tree. Might as well be sure there was no immediate danger of a breach.

Moving with practiced certainty through the dark cabin, Rynata's hand bumped against the lantern. These darkened trials of Cylus had proven it an indispensable tool for simply getting around. It remained trustworthy as after some fiddling, light burst into the room. Dropping down to closely examine the floor, Rynata gently placed the lantern where it would not throw her own shadow in her way.

The section of the floor in question did not at first appear to be very different from the others. They were all strong planks, still relatively new and devoid of scratches, as the proud owner would point out to anyone who asked. However, one board was indeed inadequately fitted. More acurately, it looked to be cut to about the right size, but the problem was that it had come a bit loose. Intending to see if it could be refitted, Rynata carefully dug her fingers into the edges of the board to pry it up. The thing came up easily enough, but what was really interesting was what she found beneath. Between this layer of floor and the true base of the ship, there was a small space. What was more, a dark rectangular object was resting in the previously undisturbed place below. Drawing her lantern closer so that light would shine down into the mystery storage area, Rynata drew out a dusty old journal. Eyes round and blinking at the strange stowaway on her ship no less, her gaze were immediately drawn to the name lettered on the front of the journal's leather binding.

First Mate Sherkel P. Filliman

Setting aside the find for a moment, Rynata took the time to peek back into the storage area. Nothing else. The rest of the space held nothing remarkable save for some fine motes of dust filtering across the ray of lantern light. With a mounting sense of childish excitement, she fitted the board back over the hidden storage, not bothering to hide the smile playing across her lips. Everyone could appreciate this sort of discovery, couldn't they? It was just the sort of thing that would crop up in Father's stories. Even the most practical person who claimed to have no interest in so called foolishness would have to admit that secret compartment was an excitingly useful thing to have. She was already counting on it for future use.

However, as she gazed at the place where she now knew there was an intentionally loose board, she couldn't help but notice how well hidden it was. In fact, if the board hadn't come loose, she the captain, would probably never have known about it. Shouldn't the old man back at the port, who had been responsible for her ship, have brought this sort of thing to her attention? Unless he himself didn't know about it. There were plenty of old or unfinished ships that must have been fixed up in the yard, so it was possible that this section simply had never been discovered. Well, regardless of how the compartment came to be, the journal was almost calling her to read it. If things went her way, the contents might even help her solve this little mystery aboard her ship.

Rynata swung back onto her heels and rose up with the momentum, wandering backwards until the back of her legs hit the chair. Folding into it, she set the lantern on the table and turned the journal about in her hands once more, but only the same name jumped out at her. There was nothing else to indicate its origin. Prepared to spend the rest of the late afternoon reading, she settled into her chair with the discovery.

If she could assume that this First Mate was the author, then they had intended this journal to be a record of their service on board various vessels. Flipping through the very first pages revealed that Sherkel had been under the employ of one of the pirate lords. He noted all their strange disappearances as he had been ashore at the time. When it became clear that work with the pirate lords was no longer available, he then signed on with the Scalvoris navy. Most of the journal was taken up by this leg of their service. Pages detailed duties as first mate and held excerpts from the logs of a few missions. After some time, the pages became the records of his experiences after he left the navy. Most prominent were the days of when he worked as a fisherman in Havardr. These last few pages were memos on catch locations and calculations for how much they had managed to earn in terms of market prices. However, on very last page in the book, the man noted of a job offer he had received to join a smuggle crew based out of Egilrun.

Turning back a few pages, Rynata attempted to glean more information, as the last few words left an uneasy feeling in her chest. Even so, there was nothing more to indicate how the man had fared afterwards. It was strange enough to find this on her ship and now that there was such an ending to the first mate’s journal, she couldn’t help but feel concerned. For a moment, it didn’t cross her mind that having been a pirate, or at least close enough to them in proximity, the man probably knew what he was doing. Still, criminal activities were best avoided. Anyone in her family had a word or two to say about brigands and pirates that harmed a healthy economy. As it was, she couldn’t imagine this particular smuggling operation to be a good thing.

Letting the journal fall shut, Rynata pushed back the chair and stretched. Of course, she could try and find the journal’s previous owner. She could try to track him down, but then what? What if he was perfectly happy in his new occupation? Then, she would have involved herself in something she shouldn’t. Could she perhaps try and interfere?

For a few moments, Rynata sat with her head bowed, strumming out a haphazard rhythm on the edge of the table. She would keep an eye and an ear out for this Sherkel. Especially if she ever ran errands to Egilrun. For now, it was still early evening and the taverns seemed like a good place that might be able to sate her curiosity.
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Rynata
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Sherkel P. Filliman

Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:24 pm

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A blast of warm air brushed Rynata's bangs from her forehead as she opened the door to Mad O'Rourkes Dun Cow Pie Shop. As always it had a warm atmosphere and was wafting the scent of fresh cooking. This time, the dinner special seemed to be some hearty stew with the customary bread and butter.

"Hey, Rynata!" A friendly voice rang over the hubbub and Rynata's head snapped over to where a young waitress was beaming over at her from across a few tables. "Shall I get you the usual?"

"No, not today. I'm on a bit of a mission, if you will," she replied, walking away from her favorite corner spot and towards the bar. Pulling up a stool, however, she caught sight of someone's order of drinks and wavered. "On second thought, maybe just the House Beer." After all, that exquisite beer with its hints of chocolate was fit for the immortals. It was a crime that it was not sold in every establishment.

"Coming right up!" Ripi chuckled knowingly and quickly disappeared into the kitchen.

Settling in her seat, Rynata placed the journal on the counter in front of her and let out a small sigh, taking in the room around her. This tavern had its odd moments but it was well kept and relatively free of spontaneous brawls. Unless, of course, O'Rourke decided he'd like to relive his glory days. Perhaps it was a cardinal sin for a born sailor to steer clear of fights, but there had to be better entertainment than a couple of drunks swinging at each other about something they'd forget in the morning. That was only mildly amusing at a rate of once per week. After that it was just a mess nobody wanted to clean up after. Besides, here in Almund, scuffles were plentiful all 'round. However, O'Rourke's had a charming staff and enough eccentricities that Rynata felt she fit right in.

Feeling a light pressure on her ankle, she looked down to see The Cat curling around her boot. She must have prowled along underneath the bar as Rynata had not seen her cross the room.

"Hello!" Cooing gently at the fluffy creature, she leaned back slightly and patted her lap. "How've you been, Princess? Come on up."

The Cat, however, looked up with wide mismatching eyes and let out a loud mewl before flouncing away.

"Aw, rejected. What a shame, princess." Looking up at the voice from across the bar, Rynata found herself facing an incredibly smug looking bartender.

"Oh. Hey, Raeburn," she said, slightly wilted from the feline's cold shoulder.

"Whoa now, no need to be so depressed. How about a drink? It'll be on m--"

Ripi swept in at that moment, firmly placing Rynata's order between her and Raeburn. Pinning the young man with an impressively accusatory squint, the waitress crossed her arms.

"Shouldn't you be working?"

"I am!"

Rynata drew her mug closer and turned away, lips trembling in a poorly contained smile. How Raeburn and his penchant for flirting left and right survived under Ripi's iron rule she would never know. Regaining her composure, she cleared her throat and waved the journal between the two staff members to break their deadlock.

"While both of you are here, I was wondering if you'd heard of a Sherkel P. Filliman." Tracing under the lettering on the journal for their benefit, she went on. "He worked as a sailor from the looks of things."

"What, a local?" Ripi raised a brow.

"Probably," Rynata nodded, taking a light sip from her drink. "He's been around for the late Pirate Lord era at least."

"Don't remember anyone by that name..." the waitress said slowly before turning to Raeburn who simply shrugged.

"We get a lot of people here, so I couldn't really tell you."

"Hey, Dunha!" Ripi called across the room, beckoning over the other waitress. "Do you know someone by Sherkel P. Filliman? Rynata's doing a little manhunt it seems."

Dunha, who arrived with an armful of empty mugs took a look at the name on the journal and shook her head sadly. "Sorry, love. I don't think I ever met anyone like that. If you need help we could put up posters," she offered kindly.

As she took a breath to reply, Rynata could feel a thought click in the back of her mind. While posters were undoubtedly a good way to track down information in many other situations, in this case she had a feeling, not so much. Sometimes discretion worked better and she deemed this to be one of those moments. No need to go trumpeting around about a possible black market like it was a noble's wedding day.

"Thanks, but I'll figure something out," Rynata said shaking her head no.

"What else do you know about the guy?" Ripi leaned in to examine the journal, remaining as the other two were called away to various duties. "Anything that might be unique to him?"

"Well, I know he joined the navy at one point, but he shouldn't be with them anymore."

"But that's it!" the other woman grinned. "They should have records up at that place. The Element Hall. They might be able to help you."

"The Element Hall?" Rynata questioned, repeating the unfamiliar name.

"Yeah, the military headquarters. It's up on the rise, you can't miss it."
-2 SN 5 CN
Last edited by Rynata on Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 941
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Rynata
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Sherkel P. Filliman

Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:12 pm

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Even later on in the evening, the Element Hall was still buzzing with activity. People crossed this way and that, trotting up and down the stairs with an air of purpose. All of them seemed to have an exact sense of where they were going and supposed to be. In the middle of all that, Rynata fluttered from one sign to the next trying to figure out up from down. Navy, right? Or the reception desk? Had that been around the corner? At this rate someone was going to yell at her for being a suspicious nuisance.

Catching a glint of blue out of the corner of her eye, she turned to a gleaming emblem of intertwined waves. If that wasn't "navyish" she'd eat her ship. Knocking on the door marked with the symbol, Rynata slowly turned the knob.

"Excuse me-"

"Complaints go to front desk!" The angry voice of a woman rang out harshly, causing Rynata to falter. Even so, she peeked around the edge of the door, fully prepared to duck back out.

"Well it's not a complain exactly. I'm sorry, is this the office for the navy branch?"

She was surprised to see a Naerrick glaring back at her with unnaturally vivid eyes. Her scowl was impressive, and Rynata vaguely wondered if she always managed to keep that expression or if this were a particularly bad time for the Elements. From the woman's previous exclamation, she'd bet on the latter.

"Yes. It is. What do you want?"

It was relieving to know that at least she appeared to be in the right place, even though the welcome was rather lacking. Though she stepped into the room properly, the Biqaj left one hand on the door as she explained her situation to the sour officer. Best if she kept this short and to the point.

"I'm looking for someone who used to work in the military. The navy. My friend suggested you might have the records?"

This seemed to peak the other woman's interest if only a little. "Sit," she said commandingly, pointing to a couch by a side table. As Rynata plopped down into one corner of the couch, the Naerrick returned with a visitor's form. "Sign here," she said, pushing the form toward her. Not bothering to wait and see if Rynata had completed the formality, she walked over to one of the many cabinets lining the walls and demanded, "What name are you looking for?"

"That would be Sherkel Filliman," Rynata responded, setting aside the signing sheet.

To her disappointment the officer turned and frowned. "Who? Never heard of them."

"Isn't that what records are for?"

Seething, the Naerrick jabbed at the files lining the shelves. "They're not in there."

Well that couldn't be right. "It should be fairly recent," Rynata said hurriedly, flipping through the pages of the journal. "Within the last two arcs at least. He would have been a first officer."

"Then there's this," the woman tugged out a document and held it out for her to see. In clear print at the head of the page was Phil Sherman, retired first officer.

"That..." Rynata started. "Huh." If you squinted, a poor attempt at disguising a name would hit you in the face. Still, the fact that they went through that trouble didn't bode well. "I might have been, uh, mistaken. Sorry for the trouble but I'll let you get back to work."

All this meant finding the journal's owner would not be as easy as she had once thought. Nor was it turning out to be such a good idea after all. If the man was using an alias, he clearly had reasons for wanting to remain secret.
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Sherkel P. Filliman

Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:05 pm

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Rynata

Your writing is wonderfully descriptive! I could clearly feel and see Rynata's surroundings as she began reading the journal. Well done! I just love this character, she's so chipper in the face of challenges and disappointments. I can't wait to see more on her journey as she searches for the journal's owner. Thank you for the wonderful read!

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Knowledge


Detection: Loose floorboards
Investigation: Missing persons
Investigation: Following someone's last known trail
Investigation: When discretion is advised
Intelligence: Taverns are hubs of information
Intelligence: Records as potential sources of information Location: Almund, The Element Hall
Factions: The Elements
Sherkel P. Filliman: First mate
Sherkel P. Filliman: Retired veteran
Sherkel P. Filliman: Potential smuggler
Ripi: Waitress at O'Rourke's
Dunha: Waitress at O'Rourke's
Raeburn: Bartender at O'Rourke's
The Cat (Princess): O'Rourke's cat

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"Without the dark, we'd never see the stars"
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