• Solo • Sea Terrors

Sabine interviews the sole survivor of the mer attack.

4th of Ymiden 716

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Sabine
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Sea Terrors

Sea Terrors


Timestamp: 4th of Ymiden, 716
Location: Rynmere Gazette

“What’s this?” Sabine looked up from her work as Abby slapped a piece of paper on her desk. “A bounty?”

Abby nodded. “Yep. A merchant claims his boat was attacked by two mer off the coast of Endor last season. Apparently they killed everyone else on the boat, seven or eight men in total.”

“…shit.”

“Yeah. The Iron Hand put up a bounty for the arrest of the mer. I thought we could do an interview with the merchant who survived. It might help catch the mer and, if nothing else, it’ll catch the public's interest.”

Sabine raised an eyebrow. “When you say ‘we’…”

“I mean you.” Abby patted her lightly on the shoulder. “He’s already here. He’s a bit, ah, nervous, so I said I’d give the two of you my office. Some privacy might help him feel more comfortable talking to you.”

“Thanks, Abby.” Sabine tucked the bounty into a spare journal and grabbed a quill and pot of ink from her desk. “Wish me luck.”

“Good luck.”

Seven or eight men – all dead from a pair of mer. Sabine’s forehead creased as she crossed the room towards Abby’s office. She didn’t know much about mer other than their underwater nature and the fables that she’d been told as a small child. Some of the stories painted them as beautiful, poetic creatures, but others described them as monsters who lured men to their deaths and killed indiscriminately.

Now she knew why.

The merchant sat with his back to her as she approached Abby’s office. He seemed normal enough – no nervous fiddling or shaking, like she would have expected from her boss’ description. Maybe Abby had read too much into the man’s disposition.

Sabine shrugged and stepped into the office, closing the door firmly behind her. “Hi! I’m Sabine.”

The man leapt out of his chair and sent it clattering to the ground as he whirled around to face her.

“Uh…”

He reddened. “S-sorry.”

Sabine blinked. “Oh, ah, it’s okay. Here, let me help you with that.” She dumped her journal and ink on Abby’s desk and reached down to grab the man’s chair, nearly knocking her head into his as he did the same. “I got it, I got it.” She waved him away and lifted the chair upright. “Here you are.”

“Th-thanks.”

“It’s no trouble.” She crossed to the other side of the desk and settled into Abby’s chair. “I’m sorry I startled you.”

“It’s f-fine. Not your fault. I’ve been a bit j-jumpy recently.”

Her voice softened. “I can imagine. Abby told me a bit about what you went through. That must have been horrible.”

He nodded.

“Well, if you don’t mind, I’m going to ask you a few questions about the attack.” She opened the journal to a blank page and flattened the spine against the desk to keep it from closing. “Are you comfortable talking about it?”

The merchant hesitated. “N-not really, but if it helps catch those mer…”

“It will,” Sabine promised. She gestured to the empty chair. “You can sit, if you like. I promise I’ll start with the easy questions. Why don’t you tell me your name?”
Last edited by Sabine on Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 566
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Sabine
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“It’s M-Mercer. Mercer Haak, with two A’s, no C.”

She jotted the name down in her journal, along with a brief description of his appearance and the word ‘nervous’ in tiny print. “And where are you from, Mr. Haak?”

“Just Mercer is f-fine.”

“Mercer, then”

“I’m from F-Fort Endor.”

“Endor, eh? I’ve never been,” Sabine said. “Is it nice?”

“It is.” Mercer visibly relaxed as he thought back to his home. “Some folks don’t much care for it, but I think it’s the best of the seven cities. N-no offense.”

She smiled. “None taken. What do you do for a living, Mercer?” She had already written ‘merchant’ in her notes, but Abby would have killed her if she didn’t confirm the basic facts.

“I’m a merchant.”

There we go. “And you sell your wares in Endor only, or across Rynmere?”

“Across R-Rynmere. I usually send out sh-shipments of common goods that sell quickly and cheaply in every Fort. That’s what I was doing when…” He trailed off and curled his hands into fists.

“When the mer attacked?” Sabine coaxed.

“Yes.”

“Can you tell me about the attack?”

He stared down at the desk.

“Or the attackers? Do you remember what they looked like?”

Silence.

Sabine tapped her quill against the page as she considered her next move. What did a journalist do when their interviewee didn’t want to talk? What would make her talk if she were in his position?

Her eyes lit up.

Alcohol.

She pulled open the top drawer of Abby’s desk and began to rummage through its contents. There had to be a bottle of liquor in there somewhere. The woman’s job was far too stressful for her not to day drink every now and then. Got it. Her fingers curled triumphantly around a flask-sized bottle of whiskey. There were no glasses, but they would have to make do.

Sabine said a silent apology to her boss and placed the bottle on the desk before nudging it towards Mercer. “Here. This might help calm your nerves.”

He nodded gratefully and twisted open the cap. Within ticks, the bottle was half-empty and Sabine’s eyes had widened to twice their usual size. She hadn’t expected him to take to it quite so quickly.

Still, it seemed to work. Mercer clasped his hands and leaned forward on his chair. “You wanna know about the m-mer?”

She picked up her quill. “Yes please.”

“They were demons. The two of them were twice the size of sh-sharks with nothing but evil in their eyes. One had t-tentacles coming out of its head like… like an octopus, and fins coming out of its back like a shark or a hell-dolphin.” His voice rose and he began to gesticulate wildly. “They came out of n-nowhere. Perfectly timed and ready to kill. We had nine men on the catamaran and they-” He broke off.

Sabine looked up from her notes and nodded as encouragingly as she could in spite of the horror that filled her features. “They…?”

“They murdered everyone. Everyone but me.”
word count: 535
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Sabine reviewed her notes as Mercer took another sip of whiskey. She had attempted a small sketch of the mer he’d described – a shark-like creature with tentacles coming out of its head and a fin on its back – but after a second look, she decided that a misshapen oval with squiggly lines at one end and a triangle popping up from the side would be more confusing for the Gazette’s readers than helpful.

A thought came to her. “Mercer, I have to ask: why do you think the two mer left you alive?”

He finished off the small bottle. “The demon mer… they were t-telepathic. Did you know that? They could speak into my m-mind. It’s unnatural - a c-complete invasion.”

“I didn’t know.”

“They told us they would spare us if we th-threw our weapons into the sea. So I did.” He stared down at his lap as guilt and fear and relief flashed across his face in equal measure. “The other men, the other two sailors who were still left alive… they didn’t.”

Sabine placed her free hand on his. “I’m sorry.”

“Me too.”

The pair sat in silence for a moment as they contemplated what Mercer had said. Had he made the right decision, not fighting with the others? What would she have done? Would she have thrown down her weapon for the possibility of life, like the merchant? Or would she have continued fighting until her last breath, like his companions?

She predicted the latter, but perhaps she would never truly know until she was faced with a life or death situation herself.

Sabine broke the silence after a quick look at her notes. “There’s just one thing I don’t understand,” she said. “How did you get back to shore? Weren’t you in the middle of the sea?”

Mercer’s face darkened. “One of the demons swam me to sh-shore. Dragged me through the water, tossed me on land to die, and stole my coin purse – as if I hadn’t already l-lost enough.”

“…shit.”

“Yep.”

Sabine added Mercer’s last words to her notes before looking up to meet the man’s eyes. “Mercer, thank you for sharing your story with me. Is there anything else you’d like to add that might help catch your attackers?”

“The m-murderers, you mean?”

“Yes, the murderers.”

“They are pure evil, demons that come up from the darkest d-depths of the sea without m-mercy or c-conscience. They’re k-killers and I want to see them dead.”

“Then I’m glad to see their bounty is two hundred gold nel per mer.” Sabine stood to shake Mercer’s hand and guided him out of Abby’s office. His calm façade returned as he left the room, hiding all signs of the jumpiness and nervous stutter he’d displayed during the interview. Still, she suspected that he was unlikely to recover any time soon – not if he was still showing signs of the trauma a season later.

Sabine gathered her notes, along with the bounty, quill, and ink, and returned to her desk. Poor man. There was nothing she could do to help him other than write her article.

And so write it, she did.

Mer Attack in Endor Leaves Eight Dead, One Alive

By Sabine Qe’azour
4th of Ymiden, 716


Two Tylon mer attacked a merchant ship leaving Endor on the 7th of Ashan. Of the nine sailors on board, eight were murdered in cold blood while trying to defend their ship.

The lone survivor, Mercer Haak of Fort Endor, is a merchant who sells common goods across Rynmere. Haak describes the mer as “demons,” and says they were “twice the size of sharks” and “pure evil”. He says the mer dragged him through the water and left him to die on the shore after stealing his coin purse

One of the mer is described as having “tentacles coming out of its head like an octopus” and a fin coming from its back “like a shark or a hell-dolphin”.

The Iron Hand has posted a bounty of 200 gold nel for the capture of each mer involved in the attack. Anyone with information or a solid lead is asked to contact his or her local city guard.
Word Count: 1742
word count: 734
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Sea Terrors

Thread Review

Name: Sabine

Knowledge:
Abby: Keeps liquor in her desk
Drawing: Recognizing when your drawing is bad
Interrogation: Ask if you don’t understand something
Interrogation: Confirm the basic facts
Mer: Sometimes lure men to their deaths
Mer: Telepathic
Mercer Haak: Written with two A’s and no C
Mercer Haak: A merchant from Fort Endor
Mercer Haak: Thinks Fort Endor is the best of the seven cities
Mercer Haak: Only survivor of an attack by two Mer
Mercer Haak: Still alive because he threw his weapons into the sea
Mercer Haak: A mer swam him to the shore
Mercer Haak: Wants to see his attackers dead
Mercer’s Attackers: What they look like
Mercer’s Attackers: The Iron Hand offers a bounty of 200 gn each for their arrest
Psychology: People might feel more comfortable talking to you when you give them privacy
Psychology: Alcohol can help calm your nerves
Psychology: It can take a long time to recover from a trauma

Fame: +1 for a good deed (giving Mercer liquor)
-1 for taking Abby’s liquor

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/5 (solo)
Structure: 5/5

Magic: These XP cannot be used for magic.

Comment: This was a wonderful thread. I’m a big fan of your writing style, Sabine. It was very entertaining and easy to read. There were no issues with the structure of your thread that I could see.

What I personally found strange was that you wrote that Sabine described Mercer’s appearance in her journal, but we (the readers) never find out what he actually looks like. That’s not a big issue though and doesn‘t really take away from the story.

Please let me know if I missed anything and don’t hesitate to PM me if you have questions.
word count: 300

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