Shiver Me Timbers

Mute

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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Emerit
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Shiver Me Timbers

Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:53 am

18th Ymiden, 718th Arc

Aye, what a place. Weird in its own grandeur as the capital. Plastered together from ships that sank in the bay and Emerit had no doubt that her ancestor's ship might be used as someone else’s living room. Aye, it was a long time ago. Too long and fuck all it mattered now.

“Oye, gal. Bring me another black jack will ya!” Emerit hollered across the Inn, raising her empty mug. She arrived in Almund that afternoon, moored the sloop and as soon as she was on solid ground she made her way to this place. Feckin family relations...who needed them.

But it still hurt. They used to be so close and now...feckin freedom. She loved it still and did not for a trill regret that her brother fucked another woman, got her pregnant and lost his right to explore. His own bloody mistake. But both be damned that it really did come between them. That bitterness in his eyes, them words he stabbed in her heart like the whaling harpoons...

A new mug of alcohol landed on the table in front of her with a thud. “That a gal.” Emerit said with a wide smile on her face, bright amber eyes transfixed on the liquid. There was nothing else but her and the smell of the ale. She started feeling the alcohol rise to her head with the last mug. But who was there to stop her to indulge more? Mother and father both gone and so was the rest of the family apparently. Fecking Tunga couldn’t even keep his little noodle in his pants arcs ago, how could he keep the family safe, eh?

Emerit wasn’t usually this sort of Biqaj. The drunken sailor who slurred her words and committed obscenities. She could speak properly, carry herself with sense of pride and usually did. She had a natural charm about here even without ale to help. But occasionally, the situation called for some down right nasty drinking and killer of hangovers the next trial. This was one of those.
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Shiver Me Timbers

Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:55 am

"Silence Reigns . . ."
Every once in a while I felt the ocean calling to me like a siren's song. Mesmerizing. Deadly. Almund was a city founded on the principles of the sea--owned by no one and known by few--and though much of the old life had faded away with the departure of the Pirate Lords, their memory remained in the mind of the people. None more than those who still worked the docks and plied the waters along the coast. They could be a rough, emotional folk. I could not deny, however, the importance of making an appearance in the area every so often. The docks were often the best source of
fresh information, waiting to be delivered by stevedores and sailors looking for an audience. So I allowed myself to be drawn time and time again, ignoring my usual caution, in search of stories.

The dockside inn was a squat single-story building, a haven for the more temporal sort. Not many locals passed on a night at O'Rourkes or The Sapphire for this bar, so it relied on the patronage of the traders and sailors that made port. That meant, like the tide, business ebbed and flowed. Today was the former. Save for a serving wench sweeping the floor and the bartender wiping down glasses with a gray-stained cloth, there was only one other person in the inn. A woman, red hair falling down her back with a few braids visible here and there. Her eyes were fixed on the drink by her hand. I wondered if the ones the bartender was working over was also her handiwork. Her tangle bled a dull gray-blue. Sadness. A common emotion for the lonely drinker.

I let the door shut behind me, relived to be free of the Ymiden heat for a while. Weaving through the scattered tables and chairs, I made my way to the bar, taking the stool to the right of the red-haired woman. The bartender had turned her back on me, probably to set the glass aside in her hand, so I made my move then. I leaned over the bar, stretching my right hand out to tug the sleeve of the woman. At the same time, I used my left hand to balance myself, "accidentially" reaching too far and placing my palm over the top of the the woman's hand. I hoped she would excuse my invasion of her privacy, and that she didn't notice my use of Empathy of her. I had wanted to knot her sadness, but I was unable to pinpoint the cause of it, so I settled for sewing a bit of the same relief I was feeling into her tangle. She had a roof over her head and a belly full of ale; it seemed a reasonable enough emotion for her to feel.

Plus it would hopefully make her more forthcoming with whatever stories and tales she might have.

I pulled my hand back, miming an apology, and gestured to the woman's glass when the bartender turned back around. I held up one finger, ordering whatever the red-haired woman was having. Then I waited.

And hoped she wasn't one of the rough ones.
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Emerit
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Shiver Me Timbers

Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:24 am

Emerit did not notice a new patron entering the inn. The depths of the ale called to her much like the sea did at this time. How many did she have already? Pah! Who cared! Five, ten, twenty...just a number. Hiccuping quietly, the drunken sailor was about to take a risky sip because the world was swaying, her arm was not listening to her command and a befuddled expression settled on her brow as she tried to aim. She wasn’t back on the sloop...or was she?

“Oi, me hand!” Emerit blurted out at the sudden physical contact, unable in the slow brain of hers to process the happenings fast enough. She stared at the pale limb over hers with incredulity. It looked like a dead corpse to her, or…

“Have you grown, Ri? Ma girl, the feck happened to your hand?” She was a mess as she bent forward studying Mute's fingers. The burning ambers then travelled upwards expecting to see something else. Her swaying body said thousand times louder than the slurred, nonsensical words about the state she was in and what a companion she could be for this night.

“Ack, blimey. You no Ri!” Emerit proclaimed where her eyes rose to Mute’s face, hand jolted from underneath the grasp, making the Biqaj bend backward dangerously, spilling the ale over her hand. “Oi, me drink...shite...now I’s wet.” She stared at it astonished. She was too far gone to realise that this man has used magic on her for the past moments to calm her thoughts. The memories of her brother, their meeting and quarrels subsided. Her near hopelessness and annoyance about the whole situation disappeared and she was left...stupidified.

“You’s a clumsy fella you, whitey. Look whatchu dun. Me drink is spilled.” Holding her dry hand towards the mess, Emerit was pointing at it with exaggeration. You know, palm up fingers spread like children do. But her voice lacked any accusation. It was filled with disbelief. She missed the mimed apology, not realizing she was talking to a man who would not reply to her in voice.

“Really, what a feckin disaster, I tells you. First me brother gets pissy with me for rightfully getting me freedom, then he gets that feckin bloom, like bad and don want no help. Then sombudy says that our whales are rotten! Would you believe that?!” Disregarding the spilled ale, Emerit swung around too fast to dart her drunken gaze at Mute. The speed threw her off balance slightly and she ended up doing a nice, wide semi-circle with her body before she recovered rather elegantly, resuming a sudden decor of higher importance. The fingertips landing lightly on her chest, head facing in a sharp upward angle.

“But me? Me I solveds it. I saveds Havardr. So you!” A finger shot to point at Mute but it moved back and forth, much like the rest of her. “You’s in a presence of a hero, I tells ya!”
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Shiver Me Timbers

Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:49 am

"Silence Reigns . . ."
No the girl seemed too far gone to notice my invasion of her psyche. She didn't seem to notice anything beyond what was in front of her face at this point, and even then she was probably seeing in multiples. I could only imagine the amount of heads were sprouting from my head as she turned to look at me, caught off guard by my hand on hers. She called me by another name--hope that wasn't a habit she had in other areas, for the sake of other poor men in her life--but quickly realized I was not the Ri in her life. The woman teetered backwards on the edge of her chair, and perhaps on consciousness, before righting herself. She reminded me of a toddler testing out their legs for the first time. Both had a hint of a drunken grace to it.

The woman's words spilled out of her like the ale that was dripping from the bar to the floor at my feet. She held her wet hand in my direction, pointing out the mess that everyone in the room was already aware of, but I did not sense any hostility in the woman's Tangle. I'm not sure if my interference had had the intended effect, though the woman seemed more amenable to conversation than a few bits prior. More talkative for sure. The violet shade of disbelief clouded her psyche at the moment. I wasn't sure if that was held with the split beer or for something else.

The verbal waterworks continued a few trills later and the picture became clearer. The early portions of her monologue were largely inconsequential. At first, her talk of freedom made me think of the recent ban on slavery on the island, but this girl didn't come off as a former slave so I dismissed it. I didn't really know what the bloom was either, so I was uncertain as to what ailment the woman's brother suffered from. Her talk of rotting whales was a little more familiar to me. I had heard the rumors around the docks spoken by fisherman and sailors about the struggles Havardr were suffering from. Interesting, but not worth a trip to the coast.

Her talk of solving and heroes interested me the most. I couldn't tell if was drunken bravado or genuine truth behind those claims, but I figured it best to learn more. The bartender had dropped a full glass of the ale at my right elbow while the woman had been rambling. I reached over and slid the drink past me within reach of the woman, offering her a new one since I had spilled her last one. I stared past her shaking finger and made eye contact, coaxing a thread of comfort into her Tangle. I figured positive emotions would keep her talking, and the longer she talked the more I might learn.
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Emerit
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Shiver Me Timbers

Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:34 pm

For a moment there was silence as she looked at him in drunken contemplation. She could hardly feel him messing with her emotions. If anything, his deadpan face was messing with her grandeour. Where was the awe-struck face? Were was the disbelief that he was to be so damn lucky to spend a few moments by her side?

From her affected pose of importance, Emerit twisted back to face him properly. Hand falling from her chest only to point at him again.

"You's a weird one, I tells ya." And then as if she knew that the mug of ale was hers, she reached for it to drink. In fact, as far as she was concerned, every mug of ale placed arm's length away from her was hers to claim. That might have been why the next patrons sat a seat over away from her.

"But anyways, you's probably don't gets it. Do ya. No. You's too quiet so let me tell you t'story." Where before she might have been caught off guard by the sudden physical contact which plunged her into hardly controlled swaying and a burst of blabbering, this time she seemed to be more in charge of her actions. Or well...as much in control as three sheets to the wind.

"So I comes back from the wide world. From me adventure of seven arcs, living in places you probably only dreamds off. And I gets here to find out if my fam is still ok after the nasty attacks few arcs back. Not only is my moms and dads and grandpops gone, Immortals know what ends met them, but me brother has turned into a son of a biscuit eater. Somehow he contracts t'Ink Bloom. You know, the skin going dark like somebudy literally spillds ink underneath yer skin. And now he's a stubborn knocknerhead who rathers die and leave his wife and two kids without food." Shaking her head, she took a hearty swig of the ale.

"And then the whales! So tis one is the story. So listen, aye? Peeter has decided it be a good idea to spread a rumour that our whales've been swimming arund the sea rotten. Like the salty water would feckin let them anyway. So I tolds it no! You's saying bullshit I tells ya and I gathered a few fellas together to go and proves him wrong." Raising a finger to the ceiling, it was a gesture to call attention to her bravery. Peeter was a simple citizen of Havardr, but others might not know so well. So a little drama wouldn't hurt.

"So we takes our feeble boats and sail to the sea and right off the bat I sees that the fishers have grown soft and they not sail as far as they useds to. So I take me boat and sail it further. Pushing the poor crank to its limits, the sea threatening to swellow me whole. But then there it comes! A big beast of a whale leaping out t'watr." Her hand drew a surprisingly smooth an arch in the air, depicting the gracious leap of her prey. "I don't bother to finds it pretty so I grabs me h'poon and throws it with all me might and it hits. By the time others arrive and we fight with the beast as it's throwing our boats about. I think we even losts a man by the time the whale bled enough for us to drag it back ashore. And when we dids. Guess what! It was not rotten poor bastard! T'was healthy, fat whale!" The young sailor smacked her own abdomen which beneath the slightly loose short was quite flat. Soon after, Emerit repositioned her fingers on her chest and assumed a posture similar to the one from before but less extreme. "So I's a hero and everybody praised me bravery. Even Linca, t'man came to me for counsel." The ale and her nature twisted the story, but there was pride in her words which was genuine even as she was in this inebriated state. However, a fraction of trills later, her glowing expression of deserved and expected admiration changed yet again.

"Tho, I still don'ts know why Peeter drew a dagger to me throat for this..."
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Shiver Me Timbers

Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:50 am

"Silence Reigns . . ."
As expected, the woman snatched up the new glass without question. She was like a babe in that regard; anything in her sight and within her reach belonged in her mouth. And oh how she babbled . . . She began to tell her story a second time with greater detail, so I propped my head up with one elbow on the bar top--I made sure to keep my arm out of range of any beer splashes from the woman--prepared to listen once more.

The introduction was largely unchanged, as far as I could tell. A child away from her home for nearly a decade, freed by the world beyond, only to find the life she had known before changed. Orphaned, alone, save for a brother and his nuclear family. She gave a little more detail of her sibling's illness, but I had no knowledge of this "ink bloom" to draw upon. It certainly didn't sound like something I wanted to have.

The tale of the whales took on a more concrete narrative as well, complete with hand gestures. This woman turned into a one-person theater when she was intoxicated! The plot itself was straightforward: a man spreads a rumor that she challenges to be false and then acts to prove it wrong with her actions. I was curious why this Peeter would spread such a lie. The whales, from what I could read in this woman's stories, were of economic importance to the fishing village, so perhaps there was some negotiating or trade worth behind his falsehood. Or perhaps, as his name would suggest, Peeter was just a bit of a dick.

There was a twist at the end of the story with Peeter pulling a dagger on the woman, but I didn't pay it much mind. She was here and he wasn't so that was enough of a conclusion in my book. A cute, slurred tale that offered little in way of worth. Save for one minor detail: this woman owned a boat. At least, that was what I could infer from her fishing tale. Already my brain was processing the possibilities. Acquiring a contact on the island that could ferry him around the island whenever he needed would make this night worth it. This sailor wasn't that dreadful to be around either, not as long as she was drunk. Yes, this night was not wasted at all.

I just needed to verify my suspicions. If she did own a boat, she wasn't likely to rent a room in any inn. With the amount of alcohol already in her body, it wasn't a stretch to think that her body was ready for some rest; I simply helped coaxed her mind to think the same. Drawing from my own Tangle a thread of exhaustion--the twin suns really drained me these days--I wrapped the same emotion around Emerit's psyche as well. She hadn't once expressed recognition of my tampering so I wasn't worried this interference would be any different. With any luck, she would be ready to return to her ship and I, being the gentlemen that I was, could escort her back to it.

And if it turned out she didn't have a boat . . . well, I'd just leave her passed out for the next wharf rat to stumble upon.
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Shiver Me Timbers

Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:44 pm

It just made no sense, did it? Why would feckin Peeter do that? And the way he growled the threat into her ear? If she was abled to, she'd punch his teeth in bastard!... Looking back at it now. Huffing and sighing, Emerit shook her head. The silence of her companion did not unsettle her, nor the lack of applause seemed to cause her to worry or feel not appreciated. In fact, the drink has finally lulled her mind to slow down, her eyelids to start dropping.

"Aye...feckin Peeter. Old bastards I tells ya. Don't....deal...wit'im." Emerit cautioned her companion with a punctuating hiccup. She was turning on her stool to stand up, using the bar top to support her wobbly weight. Somehow, the world was swaying even more now and if she weren't a sailor, she'd probably would have face planted the floor by now.

"Anyhways, you silent weirdo you." The drunken woman continued, looking at the pale skinned man with a smile that was a bit cheeky but warm...and great deal inebriated for she was now struggling to keep herself up without the foundation of the stool under her butt. "You's have yourself a good nite. I's need to go. Ri's prob'ly lon'ly." Fencing with her finger in the air, it was important for all to know that she was being a responsible woman...who could not step straight. As she did try, the floor felt to have been jerked from underneath her and Emerit commenced a pivoting downfall. Quite a sight of rag doll arms swinging through the air with limp elegance.

Thankfully, she was still close enough to have landed on Mute with her back. "Ai, shite. Wat 'appened? Who's knocked me feet up?" The woman asked confused looking around, any attempt on confrontation softened by the alcohol coloured hues that swam like moons in the sea.

"Eh, 'oo cares. I needs to get to me sloop. No time fer figh'tin.'" She graciously denied the challenge of an invisible foe and tried to get herself back upright to walk to the docks.
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Shiver Me Timbers

Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:58 pm

"Silence Reigns . . ."
Ah, the punctuation of a hiccup. It had a way of foiling even the most serious of warnings. An auditory reminder that the wisdom may have been found at the bottom of a bottle and not through life experience. Yet, I heeded the woman's words. At least as much as one could in a scenario where they did not need to be implemented. The woman, as far as I could tell, was genuine. Loud, sure, and full of an inner fire that matched her mane, but her passion was saturated with an honesty that was rarely found in a town like Almund. I accepted that I may have misjudged her, undervalued the conversations had to-trial. For a little bit, I think I was able to silence the cynical whispers in my head. And that, I realized, was priceless.

My thread of exhaustion took root in the woman's tangle, manifesting in drooped eye-lids and a heavier slur in the Emerit's voice. Bidding me a goodnight with a grin on her face, she turned towards the door, took one step . . . and stumbled into my lap. It was like she had bounced off an invisible wall. She fell back first into my arms, which I threw up to catch her when I saw the first signs of her unsteadiness. I caught her with both palms against her shoulder blades, holding her steady for a moment before pushing her upright again. Even that was a strain; despite my size, I wasn't the strongest. But the crisis had been adverted and the woman's flailing hadn't even knocked over the glasses on the bar top. A drunken grace indeed.

While I was helping Emerit find her feet, she was muttering about an assailant looking for a fight. In that moment I was thankful that alcohol was not a vice I suffered from; it did strange things to the mind. Thankfully, the woman wasn't looking for a fight with the unseen foe and was ready to return to her ship. I pulled the nels out of my pocket to pay for my tab and then found my feet beside the woman. Stooping low, I draped one arm of the woman over my shoulder and half-dragged, half-guided her to the door. The bartender didn't accost us on the way out, so either my companion had already squared her own bill away or her little show this last bell was payment enough.

I stopped us when we were out the door and into the open air. The docks were one street over and I didn't have a clue which of the boats, if any, belonged to the woman. I'd let her give the directions and I would get us there. The suns were setting on the horizon, so I did not fear an attack between here and Emerit's ship.

Really, the only thing I watched out for was stray vomit on my boots.
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Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:51 am

O! What a soft cushioning, aye? After the momentary blip in balance, she now mastered leaning back and not falling! Her mind was going in thousand directions and her thoughts were all over the place, because Emerit could feel the hands that caught her but in a matter of trills her mind decided on a different scenario. Maybe she just grew extra pair of limbs out of her shoulder blades that propped her up against the floor? The image of such a creature made her giggle but she did consider it seriously beforehand.

And payment? Pah! They can shove it. The ale was stale anyways so who'd care! Heh...stale ale. Another series of giggles followed as she was being directed somewhere, somehow. Suddenly, somebody stretched her arm to ceiling heights that pulled on her muscles. Emerit's tired face pulled an expression of discomfort overly exaggerated by the alcohol.

"What's you doin'? Me side's gonna burst." She told Mute but before anything could be done, her subconscious took over and she drunkenly shuffled around a little, until she placed the majority of her weight against the man next to her and dragging her feet underneath her. There. That would totally help her wobble out of the establishment.

Once outside, it felt like a hurricane smacked her face. It felt...almost too fresh out here. Sickeningly fresh. But Emerit did not barf. Perhaps one of her special abilities was to never vomit when intoxicated. Or at least, she never found a stinking pool anywhere in her vicinity after waking up from drinking like this. Grunting she pointed towards the docks.

Whether it took them breaks or bits to get to the docks, Emerit did not count. Not that she could in that state anyway, but the smell of the area seemed to have woken her up slightly. Droopy tried to intelligently scan the area, attempting to orient themselves. At last, she pointed ahead with a wobbly finger that encompassed at least one full row of vessels.

"Dat one, I shows you! T'sloop wit red sails!" Emerit exclaimed, making a decisive step ahead only to trod air and lose her balance. Gosh, the ground was aching for a face hug.
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Shiver Me Timbers

Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:23 am

"Silence Reigns . . ."
It seems the woman could hold the contents of her stomach down better than her balance. It made their awkward, conjoined shuffle to the moored ships somewhat more bearable. She even stopped talking for a bit, which shocked me. Her strange accent and her outlandish ramblings had been the jewel of the night thus far; in silence, she was no different than any other drunk who lumbered out of the taverns doors like this. Well, just as long as she didn't collapse before I got her to her boat, I could suffer her silence. She at least seemed a bit more aware of her surroundings. I could trust her directions more.

It took a few bits to reach the cluster of ships due to our slow gait, but the trek was thankfully uneventful. The woman scanned the line for a few trills before pointing in their general direction. Thankfully, she followed that vague gesture up with a defining detail: red sails. I could work with that. I watched her take a step forward before noticing the tell-tale signs of a stumble in her body language. Reaching out with both arms, I grabbed her by her triceps and shifted my body weight back to keep her from face-planting. My feet slid against the wood beneath me until I planted them better. Thankfully neither of us fell.

Just a little further, I thought to myself as I guided the woman to her sloop.

We made it onto the deck of the ship without too much difficulty. The woman had properly secured the gangplank when she was still sober so the crossing was smooth despite her inebriation. It was a small ship, probably designed to be sailed by a single person. Good when you didn't want to hire a crew. Bad when you were prone to drink yourself into a stupor. Still, there was potential in this sloop, and in the woman who captained her.

A short descent into the hold below revealed a quaint living quarter. I was hit by the smell of fur and, after my eyes adjusted to the dim light I spotted the source of it. A small creature watched me from the shadows. unwilling to reveal itself. I didn't feel threatened by it, but I kept my eyes on it as I guided the woman over the hammock hanging in the corner. She seemed to know what was happening, practically falling into it when was got close enough; she didn't even bother to slip her boots off. I backed away from her. It was only when I climbed the first few steps of the ladder that the creature moved over to its owner. A small monkey leaped onto the hammock, curling up beside the woman's thigh. Its little black eyes stared back at me.

I lingered for a few moments before chuckling to himself. After everything that had happened, I realized that I never learned the woman's name. In a way, it felt fitting. Turning away for her, I climbed the rungs and disappeared into the night.
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