Climb check 2:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Climb check 3:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Climb check 4:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Climb check 5:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Climb check 6:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Perception: 1d20 + 9 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 9 + 4 = 18
Since leaving the bilges and quickly washing her hands, face, and bite on her leg, Rain climbs steadily back up the rigging to the Crow's Nest (the last 10 ft seem to be the hardest but she manages) and stands on the platform, letting the cool air brush across her flushed face. Her strength had waned with the heat and fight down below but she still managed to keep her footing and make the climb in good time. The eradication of the dire rats proved to be arduous and tempers had flared. She had managed to keep her cool for the most part but it was hard as the irritation was building the longer they remained in the cramped quarters of bilges. We are strangers still, for it was not too long ago we were at the Maid. There has been no time to learn each other's ways. Rain believed that Flynn's heart had been in a good place when he stood up to Seijiro -- he wanted to see none swindled and a fair share for all. She would have a word to Flynn at some point during the remainder of the day.
Scanning the horizon, Rain stares at the sky and the waterline, hoping to spy something out of the ordinary but knowing that it will probably be dolphins and alike once more.
Rain looks about the rigging, hoping to spot Ratline or even Barefoot Samms. If she does she will give them a subtle nod or wave before getting back to the business at hand. There had been enough excitement today with the rats and she did not want to give Plugg any other reason or excuse to hurt them. She especially worried about Variel -- he had been hurt the worse and needed time to heal, if Valeros or Sko did not perform any magical healing on him. Least Flynn would be able to aid him and she was grateful for a surgeon aboard the ship. It seems we get ourselves in trouble aboard this vessel and require healing more often than not.
Daytime action: Work Diligently
Rain will stay up in the Crow's Nest, scouring the ocean around her for signs of trouble or danger. Least up here I can breathe, she muses privately. The fight with the rats and the previous night's secret dash to the lockers to retrieve her gear had left her with little to say at present. During her water break, she will find a reason to check on Variel without drawing the attention of Plugg, Scourge or one of the other cronies. During the course of the evening she will draw her companions into conversation, away from prying eyes and long ears.
Ratline introduced Rain to Barefoot Samms the night before. They did not get the chance to speak properly or for long before Rain had to go down below to the lockers, so Rain will attempt to draw the female rigger into conversation.
Diplomacy (to influence Barefoot Samms): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
"Hello, Barefoot. I'm sorry we did not speak much last night after Ratline introduced us." Rain pauses, collecting her thoughts and pondering the manner in which she should undertake this small talk. "I was wondering how you became an able climber and good at working the rigging. Would you care to share your story with me?" Rain smiles gently hoping to encourage the female rigger into sharing her experiences.
I'm going to bed shortly, but if anyone wants to speak with Rain, then they can and I will answer/play it out in my morning. Night.
Valeros moves back to the main deck with the others and nods quietly as he's assigned to running again. His wooden leg stumps loudly across the deck as he races to move the messages to various folks.
At one point, he tries to move himself into a position to talk with Cog again. Look, I know you don't seem to like me and frankly I could give a damn about that. But it's clear on this ship that it's who you know that matters. You willing to put this s#%! behind us?
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Con: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Day Time Action, Influence attempt on Crimson Cog.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Ahoy, GM! Right - so as no one wants to heal Variel - I will do what I can, if I am able to use the skill to give him some HP. I guess I will use it as my "Daily Action" - because if Variel fails his day check, the lashes he gets will likely put him into unconscious - perhaps worse. But as it has to be done in the first hour after injury - would I have time to do that as my Daily Action?
Variel rolls out of the hammock and prepares to head back up on the deck to perform the tasks that the evil spawn above had decreed. Taking a moment to clear his head and steel himself for what is to come, Variel uses this time to cast prestidigitation to clean him and his companions from the filth of the bilge. If anyone gives him curious looks at his abilities, Variel will just smile Earlier I didn't know everyone's motives or position on the ship. Now it sems that we are all in the same position after all. As far my abilities are concerned,I would like it to be kept secret for now. Just know that I will be watching, when able, to help out with my abilities should someone need them. Just not in public right now.
Horatio save yourself the effort of tending to me long term and just check to make sure that water did not cause an infection in these opened wounds. I will just be diligent to finish the work without any errs to allow Plugg and Scourge tomhave reason to lash me today...and hopefully, Sandara or Valeros can finish healing me tomorrow.
Variel climbs the stairs and with head bowed starts scrubbing the decks. He works methodically all day to avoid the ire of Plugg and Scourge. Idle chit-chat is lost on him as he is more concerned about getting through the day.
Work diligently 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 4 + 2 = 11
As we head up to go to work, sorry for the ret-con/backtracking
Dhaavan passes by variel as he staggers out to get to work, whispering "If you see Sandara, ask her if she'd be able to lend you some healing. She's done it before fer us and it'd do no good if you passed out while we were working. Those are some pretty bad bites you got."
Variel rolls out of the hammock and prepares
Horatio save yourself the effort of tending to me long term and just check to make sure that water did not cause an infection in these opened wounds. I will just be diligent to finish the work without any errs to allow Plugg and Scourge tomhave reason to lash me today...and hopefully, Sandara or Valeros can finish healing me tomorrow.
Right - so Variel the big question is: if you are in fact diseased - you roll a Fortitude save. Healing checks can be done (they take 10 minutes) to help you. I think, given the fact that we were in the bilges no more then 5 round plus 2 minutes for arguing, we could be back on deck all total in less then 15 minutes without arousing suspicion. This means I should be able to aid you if you need it for a Fortitude roll to resist disease.
However - I don't know if that is even needed, sense you don't make the Fortitude Roll - the GM does, and I don't what is going on regarding that. So - here's what I am going to do:
"Variel - let me look at you - I want to make sure those filth did not infect you with any disease - you were chewed on the most, after all. Don't worry - it will only take a few minutes..."
I take a quick moment to look Variel over and hopefully give him an aid for his Fortitude Roll - this exhausts one use of my kit.
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
After cleaning out any pus and pulling out a loose tooth lodged in his bicep - I cleanse the wound quickly with a draught of high grain alcohol; then bandage it up.
"Hope it helps, lad," I say briskly clapping him on his good arm.
If the Fortitude Save is consistent with Dire Rats - that should succeed at giving Variel a +4 to any Fortitude Saves to resist their diseases from the bites.
Next - I head upstairs and complete my tasks - which I already rolled for above via Profession Sailor and the Con Check: 20 and 18 respectively.
Next I will then take my action for the day - I will try to meet and influence one of the people on the list - in this case I intend to work with the first unnamed female officer: human (the one right under Patch Patchsalt) - then I guess just start going down the list later. My intention is to do the usual with her - talk up stories and that sort of thing about action and adventures; combat and history. That sort of thing.
As I don't know anything about her - getting any follow-up from her would be great. If for some reason I can't talk to her; just slide the roll down to the next person on the list we can talk to that isn't already friendly - or hostile.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
EDIT: Damn! A natural 20 - while I can't get past a 25 normally, would the natural 20 make a difference to help with a Diplomacy roll here? I mean, skill rolls don't normally convert - but I mean - come on! That's gold, baby!
Quick note: If I am still suffering the negative effects of the Rum (i.e. -1 to Wisdom) wouldn't I still be under the positive effects (i.e. +2 to Charisma) - because if so - my Diplomacy Check should actually be converted to a cool 26 - with whoever it is I am talking to. And though that may not be formally enough - here's hoping a Natural 20 will win the day in a tight spot!
doesn't adding +2 to cha bump your bonus by 1, making a 24 into a 25, not a 26? Not that it should matter... either way it's an awesome roll.
doesn't adding +2 to cha bump your bonus by 1, making a 24 into a 25, not a 26? Not that it should matter... either way it's an awesome roll.
Actually, what I thought I read was "The rum grants a +2 to all Charisma Based Skill Checks" - not a "+2 to Charisma" which is different. While it may be correct that I read it wrong, or even that I read it correctly but it may have been a typo by the GM - I am not entirely certain.
In the evening...
Seeing Dhaavan move closer, and hearing his quiet words, she tilts her head to the side slightly and replies with equal discretion,
"I am a hothead and I do not runaway from my own nature. There are situations I am most passionate about, and, if I allowed myself the liberty, could act unruly and thoughtlessly. It could still happen. My grandfather noticed my mercurial temperament when I was a child and took it upon himself to guide me in temperance and patience. I am much older than you, Dhaavan, and I have learned that passion can equal selfishness and my grandfather taught me not to jeopardise the lives of allies because I allow my temper to control me." Rain lingers on those thoughts silently for a moment before speaking again. "This morning I did what had to be done and trust me I was as irritable as the next person. Yet, when a job must be done else consequences prevail, then I will do my duty, whether I like it or not. I do not believe Flynn was in the wrong for speaking up against Jiro. But to fight each other when there are other adversaries waiting to cut us down? This is foolish. We are stronger together against the common enemy. We need to find a way to trust one another." Her voice drops to barely audible levels lest Plugg or one of the other snitches is close by to overhear.
Taking a moment to clear his head and steel himself for what is to come, Variel uses this time to cast prestidigitation to clean him and his companions from the filth of the bilge. If anyone gives him curious looks at his abilities, Variel will just smile Earlier I didn't know everyone's motives or position on the ship. Now it sems that we are all in the same position after all. As far my abilities are concerned,I would like it to be kept secret for now. Just know that I will be watching, when able, to help out with my abilities should someone need them. Just not in public right now.
Even in his poor condition, Variel uses magic to clean away the filth of the bilges on himself and his allies. Rain is most grateful to be fresh again and she gently smiles at the Elven male. In Elven/"I will not speak of your abilities, Variel. These scurvy dogs need not be made aware of it for they would use and discard you without a moment's thought. Thank you for removing the muck and filth -- the smell and grime were uncomfortable and affecting my mood. If you need anything, let me know somehow. I will be up in the lookout, again."/Elven. And with a graceful bow to Variel she goes topside to the ropes and begins climbing.
Rum Rations:Any time a rum ration is drunk you will need to make a DC 5 fortitude save to avoid a minor addiction. It's effects are as a drug +1d4 alchemical bonus to charisma and fatigued for 1d8 hours. Damage is 1d3 constitution. See drug rules on the d20pfsrd for further clarification.
Only lasts for 1d8 hrs, and isnt' to checks, but to CHA.
"And hey, if ya feel like yer gettin pushed too far, lemme know or somebody else, so ya don't have ta keep it in check on yer own. Like ya said, we got enough enemies without fighting eachother. Well, that's enough without needin to fight yerself too. So we should be able ta get ourselves t'gether well enough in time."
Well, Dhaavan's out and about along the decks so he's easy enough to find For PC's if anybody got anything to say. I'll just don't want to try to RP at anybody that's too busy. But Dhaavan does want to get to know his fellow press-gangstas better, what they think about the crew and fellows, trollin for gossip and such
While the clarification question on the rule was great - is there an "ETA" (or in this case an ETR - Estimated Time for a Response) on the results of what actually happened? If it takes time, no worries - I'm just curious to know when that answer will be up: be it tonight, sometime this weekend, or sometime next week, as I'd like to know what's going on regarding that. Also, while no spoilers necessary, is there anything else going on today "in game" formally or can we just fast-forward to social RP with the people who are up for it and want to do it?
Dhaavan - Since you did mention, I intend to follow up on your request to social RP. However, I have not felt good in RL - so I am forced to crash out early tonight - but I will be getting back to you via the RP as soon as possible.
She looks at the place where Dhaavan pats her and she smiles. The light of the smile doesn't quite reach her turquoise eyes but she takes his gesture graciously enough. Rarely does she allow others to touch her without her permission.
"Thank you for your offer, but I have found my own ways to deal with my temper. I have had years of practice. Though if you're offering to be my sparring partner, I might consider it." There is a steely glint to her eyes and she holds his gaze a moment longer than necessary before giving him a wink and issuing a low laugh. She liked teasing this human because they weren't exactly friends.
Looking about the space, and noticing both her companions and the Wormwood's crew, she becomes serious and turns her attention back to Dhaavan.
"You seem affable enough with people. How do you think our group can come together and begin working as trusted allies?" Rain waits for him to answer, an eyebrow quirked, giving her a more wicked look, especially with her full sea-green gaze fixed on him.
Dhaav, when I click on the picture you've provided on your profile, nothing comes up. Physical description of your guy, please?
I dunno why its not working but you you paste this address, it goes to the page just fine.
Try this link, that's what he looks like, although on the boat he may nto have the cloak or vest as it's hot, dirty work, and he likes his cloths, takes care of them.[edit: i fixed it on my page! coding error]
Anyway Dhaavan is a scrawney young man with dark hair and scraggly facial hair that looks like he may have never once shaved. He stands a little over five-and-a-half feet tall, all sinew, skin, and bone, but his youthful face is a perfect mask of charm and affability when he's not wearing that s@@!-eating grin you see on his profile. He tends to wear bright and vibrant colors when he can get his hands on them, in the Varisian style, and leaves his short black hair casually unkempt, but not enough to appear disheveled. that work ;)
With a shrug, he frown and tells Rain, "Mostly I'm good at making small-talk, saying what people want to hear," changing tact as that sounds downright manipulative, adds "Not talking about what I wanna jaw on, but bein a good listener, bein friendly. Caring about people, but for whatever reason, I can't seem to figure you all out."
Rain bursts into soft peals of laughter. "I like to choose my sparring partners, Dhaavan", recollecting the unwanted attention she has had to deal with during the course of her adulthood.
When Dhaavan mentions he cannot figure the group out, she nods and answers,
"Have you tried asking questions to find out what you do not know? You can try it out on me and we'll see how much you may learn during the course of our conversation." There is a subtle challenge in the tone of her voice, as if she is daring the human to try to get to know her better.
His eyes are yellow. not like a shiney gold, but a more sulferous yellow, browned around the iris. Interesting color, odd but the depth to them leaves them can leave one a little distracted to be disconcerted by the color. He keeps them narrow, either relaxed or smiling, not squinting, tho, as if her's trying to hide them but be inconspicuous aobut it. So it they aen't really easy to see unless yer lookin.
He'll volunteer "I mentioned that I seem to get myself dragged out to sea enough that i figured Besmara had want of me, weather cause she took a liking, or likes to mess with my life is yet to show."
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The work today is fairly grueling – I am not certain as to my success with assisting young Variel with my healing ability – nor am I positive that my work at encouraging a friendship with Unamed Female Officer – Right Under Patch Patchsalt – but I believe it went well; and pray for success on that account.
Yet as the day wears on and there seems to be no specific hindrance to conversation, I shall approach Rain and, perhaps the lad Dhaavan, as he seems open to the chance at words – and talk with them both as soon as I am able. I have a sense that the rest of my companions are very busy or preoccupied – but I am less interested in peripheral tasks as opposed to trying to encourage a better camaraderie with the few people I am beginning to trust.
Approaching the blue-haired elf and the young sorcerer – when I am able – I shall ask the elf how her how her wounds are, and how she is faring. I am somewhat more careless about such things as my conversation and tone – but, at the same time – not overly concerned by it. I am speaking nothing of mutiny or something which would cause possible trouble.
Even so – the feeling of the rum is still in my mind and flesh, and the heat and stench of battle have stirred something within me that – hitherto – has not been fully awakened.
I sense now that before this time that within me has been a reservation in all my thoughts and deeds; my very life tempered by a necessity to placate the spirit of my dead mother – so that I should not dishonor her memory with a lust for action and a need for battle in of itself.
Temperance in body; temperance in mind – all of it thus removed aptly with the replacement of one spirit for another. And so it was that the new spirit that filled my mouth has purged with some dark art the quality which made me humble my rage and check with some difficulty my need for action.
My mind free of such burdens as the struggle against the baser necessities of my flesh; I am therefore free of such bonds to let sing forth the poetry of my fury, which is now better able to inspire the poetry of my words.
It was this in mind that I greet both Rain and Dhaavan. Yet for now my conversation is chiefly with Rain – as her actions seemed to have affected my mode of thought, or speech – yet, perhaps – that effect came rather from forces beyond her doing; or any action of my shipmates, and rather the gods…
”Greetings Rain,” I begin, and suddenly I feel more inspired by that which comes from without to reach my heart, or rather – it is as if my heart is finally roused; and it can thus speak fully with its true voice.
”Glad I am to see that the wounds of the vermin in the combat so recently did stir in you naught but a desire to purge from our meager vessel such scum with steel and purpose. I saw your blade strike true, even as you endured such wounds from the filth we fought with had offered you. But what are they, these wounds, eh? Indeed, praise them - for I say they are naught but a true mark of one who has survived such trials and therefore stands victorious.”
”Aye, by all the gods – aye! To wear such colors as the carmine of our enemies is only matched best with the wounds of our own flesh; for in those scarlet trophies which cling to our own body is a mark that cannot be disproved to testify to all who see us the honor we earned in combat.”
I glance at the ship, feeling the heat, and the still pounding rush of battle. Had it stirred within me a poet that I should speak thusly? Or rather, was the poet, like the killer, hidden deep within my breast and not awakened but by the darkness of these mendacities which have worn on me with greater difficulty with each passing day?
”Yea – I speak with a new tongue to you perhaps, or rather, one that could not – perchance – speak before this day. I have felt the longing for much more than I did act on, yet ever and anon I would still such trembling urges, lest they rise to the surface of my being and thus overwhelm me with darkness."
I pause to look at the members of the pressed gang with me – and my eye; ever filled best with contempt for those men with whom action avoids – turns then to examine the men of this vessel and observes no word or deed from them – but rather; only silence.
”Aye, lady – a pox on such as this, I say to you truly. My heart is now burning hot, as irons stoked best in the lowest layers of the deepest hells. And I yearn for the sweet opportunity to pour forth those calamities on they who have raked in the soil of my spirit to unearth them.”
”For as they have now stirred such darkness within me, I pray to all gods - let it then rise to the occasion of the needs they have given, and so swallow them whole with black contempt for their methods and policies.”
I rub the weariness from my mind with fingers pressed between my eyes and resting then on the bridge of my nose.
”And for you, lady – is it true then that you would seek to find a path to tread, and so walk with purpose to a point in which these stirrings in your own breast may find a place to empty with no reserve?”
"Nay - you need not respond, I see it well within your eye. Like myself - there is a fire within your bosom which slowly smolders, yet eagerly awaits the chance to explode and consume with its hot rage any who would trample on the needs of your heart; and those needs are best spoke as freedom, eh?"
"And what chance shall freedom favor most if not the chance to live life with none to fence in the path that you would walk upon? Aye - freedom loves best the chance to walk unfettered, and rages hottest against any who stand ever ready to prevent your need to advance in which path you may choose."
I nod at my guesses, sensing that she - like I - does not feel eager for this tedium, and seeks rather the chance for greater things.
I glance then to the boy-magi and consider him a moment before giving voice to my thoughts.
”And for you, good sir – is your heart equally moved as is mine and yon lady? Blood may not be spilled from your veins this day, aye – I know it truly – even so; it runs not colder for staying within your flesh.”
I lean close to the boy, looking hard at his golden eyes, as if to see within his heart.
”Tell me I am mad for perceiving in you naught but a stripling who would bend his knee to those who place their dominion over you, and I shall thank you better for it. For what are we then, you and I – if at least alike in the same desire to bestir the needs of something greater within us and – therefore – sunder shackles which would hold flesh and spirit with base contempt? I say not the earthy shackles which hold our flesh but for a moment, yea – even a season, if the gods demand it. Nay – rather I say best to you that our spirit is bonded rather with stations thrust upon us which keep us from rising to what our hearts yearn for. That – that – is the freedom I seek, to become more, to become greater – to pursue unfettered the callings of my heart's ambitions, and to stand free from any that which would dare impose its will on upon even the least of my heart's yearnings.”
I nod at Dhaavan – well content that his heart is aligned to mine own in these matters, even though his words may be absent.
”To you both I have naught to offer but mine own body; until flesh and bone be rent asunder - and my blood, like hot rivers, should pour forth from my wounds. Yet I say this to you both – know that I will stand well with any truly, if they – in truth – are willing to stand well with me. And you need fear no dishonor by my action, if you would allow me to stand as friend to you, even as you would stand as friend to me.”
Then, I wait to hear their purpose best with what response they choose to say –
Ever eager then for some word, or thought, or deed at all,
- to enliven best my day.
As Flynn waxes poetic, paying much more attention to the Elf, Dhaavan whispers to Jack
"I appreciate yer sentiments, sir, and you can count on my standing with yea. Where exactly I'll be standing may not be clear at first but rest assured it'll be on yer side, long as I trust ye'll be on mine." Dhaavan says, giving Flynn a knowing look.
”Ha, friend! If you fear I am mad, then I suggest you cast your own gaze inward - else how then could you be allied to me, were you yourself not filled equally with this self same palsy as an unbalanced mind?”
”Even so – I take your jest well - yet may my riposte strike with swift alacrity to your very core with this sentiment: Sir, if this is indeed a “madness” I posses, then I pray to all gods that it does not release me from its sickness. For in truth, I do say to you – I would rather be struck by such an insanity which spurns me to action then be rather comforted by the gentle caress of inactivity that is the balm of such more lucid men.”
I lean forward and clap the shoulder of Dhaavan, pulling him somewhat closer to me, my eyes staring into his and they burn now with a fey light in a color that may unsettle more then the simple vagaries which do dust his own vision with a mere golden hue.
”Speak the truth to one who may bleed with you yet, even if we two alone would stand back to back surrounded by foes – nay; prithee, do not try to deceive, even if the presence of so many brutish men around you may seek to bind your very tongue with fear. Say rather, if you would – that your courage hides itself like a dagger ready to be thrust swiftly into the heart of your enemy and I shall be comforted better.”
Then I lean back a bit, considering his words to me, and shake my head with both confusion and doubt at his mention of such meager ambitions.
”And what is this that you would suggest to me? That you would be at peace with naught but a mere crust of bread for your supper and a warm place for which your head may rest upon?”
”Bah! Such trivium is not for men as we two, eh? For though you would say little on your true purpose, I prevail upon you to seek to remove from your policies such a penchant for self-preservation! Sir – we are men who walk the decks of such vessels as this ship as gods would walk the Celestial Planes! We cannot allow our cares for the observations of these base folk who look askew upon us to defray our need to follow the path which we choose.”
”Nay,” I say leaning in close, my voice drawing to a softer tone ”if you fear them, they shall come the faster for you – but if you speak the nature of your heart; the passion that I sense inside you - a passion, perhaps, that is not yet stirred fully – when you allow that passion to consume you then the fire that illuminates your very spirit shall pour forth from you like a thousand swords to sunder their barbarism. And if it does not? And if – rather – they decide to take issue with your words and set of speech - why, then, should you care? Your death is fixed – as is all, I warrant – by forces beyond our ken. When when Death does come for you – it would be best to greet Her with dignity and speak to Death with pride, saying – ”Lo – even on meeting Death at the hands of villainy, I was not bested; for my honor was not purged, nor my courage abated – even for an instant!” – say that friend and you shall never know defeat from whatever may be visited upon you.”
Pulling back fully, I glance then to Rain – watching her stare at us with (what I presume to be) a quirked eye at my tone and words.
”And as for you, lady – I say this truly; you too have courage within that smolders in your eyes like lightening on a stormy sea; therefore I say unto you - do not let the need for survival among these filth divert your course a single step from the life you have charted for yourself. For your journey is like a ship upon the waves; and I feel it would be better to stay fixed upon your destination and so be dashed against rocks, then for you to tack your course for safety's sake and sail instead aimlessly and without passion into the slow embrace of tranquil oblivion.”
I gaze now between Rain and the magi who had just spoke
- and wonder then, where these thoughts I voiced, had thus awoke…
Wow – thank goodness I can speak as a “Free Action”.
That he rose to her unvoiced challenge made her appreciate the human a little better.
"What sort do I choose? A loyal, rugged, ocean born and bred male. One who knows his own mind and will not be swayed by the opinion of others. Courageous in heart and spirit and wise in the way of living. I have a long list, Dhaavan. Yet loyalty, steadfastness, courage and wisdom are high on my list. If he happens to be fine of face and form then I would not turn him away either", and she playfully winks after making the last statement.
In a very discreet manner she answers his next question,
"I am from the Shackles, as I made mention to you back at the Maid. My family are sea travellers and I was sailing before I could walk, so the ocean is in my blood. We caught fish and transported cargo and my grandfather took care to teach me what he knew of the ocean and of shipping vessels, especially navigating the treacherous coastlines of the islands that make up this region. I was born on the dock of Besmara's Throne, on an auspicious day some would say, and so the Pirate Queen has plans for me, too, my human ally. That is why I am here."
Hearing her speech to Dhaavan while I stand by, I offer then the thoughts of my heart as voiced by determination to to act; even if that action were only to speak.
”One "Ocean Born" does stir in you the froth of your foam; and awakens your heart like a maelstrom, then, eh?”
”And what of a man who sees the Ocean as a Privateer does observe a challenge; to claim that Damp Mistress, to pursue Her deep and wet resolve – and thus be as one with Her, making Her his own, or by Her strength be dashed to pieces for his need?"
"I ask then, what matter if it is salt water that is writhing in his veins or dark fire instead? Even so – as the stars may shine - a wise man may chart a bold and heroic course, whether he should journey on land - or sea.”
”For myself, I care little where a man has walked; but rather, if he would be as kindred to me – where he shall journey hence. I sense it be the same in you, even if you claim the Sea to be your loadstone.”
”As for where I have walked, I only know that before this day I was as a man committed to certain ideals and principles. Aye, and those ideals seemed honorable to some, noble to others and to all was my demeanor moderate and reserved – yet I say that as recently as this morning such determinations regarding my Fate are now thus undone by circumstance.”
I glance around me – my eyes taking in the size and berth of the ship. My ears filled with the emptiness of the monotony of so little conversation as that but what we three do offer each other to allay such madness as the boredom that is thrust upon us.
”Now I shall call myself a different sort of man, perhaps – one that is not so moved by patience and the tolerance for the ineptitude of others. Yea – let them go softly about their business, with no concern other then the necessities of their daily tedium. For myself – I too have heard the calling of the waves; late – perhaps – but no less resolute for my tardiness.”
”And now that I hear those callings; the Sea – and the freedom my heart thus demands – they yet encourage within me a passion for something greater – a necessity for something more than this damnable silence. Therefore, I shall say it to you well; as even I spoke it to the lad beside – I will not stand by as do the others; I shall have action – I shall take passion by its throat and make it mine own! But no more shall I tarry – my lips sealed for the sake of patience – nor silent for the tolerance of weakness.”
I grin at Rain; and my mind tacks suddenly to those same passions – the lust of battle, the kindled heat as the blood throbbed heavy in my head and ears – and throughout all was the intensity of the desperate need to kill those who would stand as my enemies.
How now, then, was that exhilaration and bloodlust on me so?
The gods themselves had spurned my heart – and only they would know…
When Flynn approaches her and Dhaavan,
"Passion becomes you, Flynn, and bewilders me for it is different from my first impression of you. Perhaps the rum has lowered your reservations or has revealed your true heart and spirit. I am not complaining for the change." She watches him with probing sea-green eyes, the blues and eyes vivid in her large, expressive eyes. Last evening he professed the "advantages" of her face and form and tonight he speaks most admiringly once more. He was certainly eloquent in his manner of speech, even under the sway of the potent rum concoction.
She turns from Common to Elven, realising that Dhaavan does not speak it but not being too disturbed by the fact or apologetic either.
"What else do you admire about me, Flynn? Last night it was my eyes and bosom, and tonight ... what are you trying to say so fervently?"
"My wound is fine at present. I was fortunate only one of those beasts managed to bite my leg. Perhaps you can take a look at it before we retire? A salve administered on the wound would certainly be appreciated." Rain loosens the scarf which holds her hair back from her face and gives her hair a shake with her hand, letting the long dark blue strands lift and flutter in gentle curls at their base. She tucks the scarf into her pocket and enjoys the simple freedom of loose hair.
She draws her mouth closer to Flynn's ear, acting nonchalantly in the process lest it draw the crew's attention,
"The bite has certainly not curtailed my spirit. It has reinforced it all the more as have the beatings and lashings. I have never before been treated with such vile disrespect and I vow there will be no next time. I will not be subjugated by the manner of men aboard this vessel." Rain does not speak Plugg's name but she thinks it privately, like a sickness waiting to be purged. "I would be gull flying freely across the oceans than a starling kept in a cage, singing for others' pleasure, Flynn," hoping the larger human understood her meaning.
At Flynn's pledge of friendship and alliance, Rain turns and smiles more warmly than ever before, "I accept your friendship and issue mine to you. We stand together, Flynn. Whatever the gods have in store for us, let us rise to the challenge, with fire in our bellies, and steadfastness in our promise and duty to one another. The tyrant whims of others shall not keep us from our destiny."
"I am familiar with ocean-bred men and feel a natural affinity with them. So, my preference lies to one who feels the call of the tides, depths and waves as I do. I will not be claimed like chattel, Flynn. I will not be bought and sold and I will choose a mate, a partner, and none shall overpower my will in the matter. If I lie with a man, I do so with open acceptance and not because I am forced into submission. Although your description is lustful and powerful, I would come together as one and not have one overpower the other." She bites down on her lip as if wondering how she can speak so freely on such an intimate matter with people she is only mildly acquainted with. Yet she feels she can all the same -- has the right to voice her will and choice. She is a free Elven female and only she will choose who will be her life mate.
"A dark fire? Aye, it has a place but I care not to be burned to ash if the darkness is stronger than all. Such darkness makes me quake for I would not lose myself to its seduction and power." Rain wonders at Flynn's wording -- a dark fire. "Are you a man in possession of such a dark fire, Flynn?"
Upon his words of the ocean's call, she looks at him with lightning admiration, "May your passions and actions be guided by the wisdom of the stars, Flynn. Then your enemies will fall by the sword of their weaknesses."
When Flynn approaches her and Dhaavan,
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **...
I wave my hand with a somewhat frustrated gesture.
”Mistake me not – your body is well formed, and would stir any man's blood to lust; were he to look long upon it. Yet such considerations of the flesh are not worthy of much, I think. For the flesh and its pleasures are like a piece of fruit – in season for a moment, to be tasted and enjoyed – then it shall vanish.”
”Nay – rather, if you will – I am more aptly moved by other things throughout all my life, no matter where my words or speech may seem to sway at this point – and they firstly are driven by the flame of the heart. For as a body ages that flame may still burn bright and hot – and from its fire my spirit – and even flesh – is warmed with greater ease.”
”Lowly in your eyes I was when the taste of strong drink reduced my mind to such banter as the considerations of your flesh; but mark that I am drunk now on naught but something far different then the considerations of a poorly brewed concoction to dull my senses.”
I move to her, looking down into her dark eyes, the salt tang of the Sea clinging to her like a veil which calls me hither to her, like the dampness of the waves which beckons the gulls to their embrace.
”Nay,” I say somewhat softer, my yet words more ragged with some dark energy ”I am not filled with a drunken stupor brought on by drink. Yet ever before have I lived to walk a path of charitable ways – of generosity and clemency – and never to depart from such a path; for to do so would be shameful and could not be borne.”
”But as of late – today, one may say – something inside my breast has been rent usunder – something was torn apart and in its wake is the essence of all the storms that railed under my flesh, eager to pour forth their own fury on any that would stand before me yet were forced to be ever silent.”
”Now you see before you the man that I might have been – which had contested well with the man I was – and though one day they may rally against each other and another stand victorious – for today the part of me that has triumphed is the part that does not fear the darkness of his heart, and – having released it to the surface – knows himself better. Aye, lady – and with that knowledge – the knowledge of self – comes a knowledge of what I want; what I yearn for – aye, indeed; what I desire above all.”
I stand very close to her, my visage without emotion, yet my eyes filled with the light of a thousand bonfires that burn beneath their surface – and that is at once horrible and beautiful for its intensity alone.
”Know you not what I desire then? For I tell you truly – it is not the sight of fair flesh; for that at least can be ruined wholly by steel or aging at least. And, moreover - a fair face may hide a foul heart – but nay; I desire best above all a fire that burns hot enough to equal mine own; a fire and flame that is hot and burns so that it would consume all that would stand before it; and embrace all who would become part of it.”
”I tell you, lady – your flesh is comely indeed; but more moved am I by the fire in your heart and the embrace of its heat then any other part of you.”
True passion thus voiced when darkness woke within my breast
- the gods must laugh at my passion’s source – and laugh at me, for this, their jest
** spoiler omitted **
”Bought as chattel? Who said that you would be? Only a fool would look upon you and think that –and to suggest it would be folly. Your heart would not accept such constraints to be thrust upon you, nor would your heart or body tolerate a man who should try.”
”How could it – for even if your flesh may be bested, it would be taken without the fire which is the better part of you. That part of you could not be conquered – aye, it could be sundered, and your flesh undone. But I should say that to seek to possess you without that fire is to possess the lesser half of you; for your heart's passion is what awakens a man's desire best."
"Simply have care with that fire of yours Sir. A dark flame can consume one without ever it's victim realizing it."
** spoiler omitted **
”Aye – so one may yet be consumed with a flame that burns so hot within one’s breast. I cannot deny it – nor shall I attempt to. Rather, I shall say to you this: I no longer care overmuch for such as that.”
I glance around me, at the others on deck who continue to go about their business.
”These folk may do many things to me – aye; I may be killed for my thoughts, though I may not. But if I continue to restrain thoughts; if I bind my tongue and cease my heart’s voice, then I am dead already.”
”Besides, sir,” I say with a cold glance around me and a shake of my head ”I think such fears are best laid to rest. A desire to kill is nothing without the resolve to see it through. And to see a thing like that through would require action or energy. For myself – I doubt much that action would come from any around me soon…”
Hell yeah peeps - 31 posts in about 24 hours! Gods damn, but it's feeling like old times again. See you all soon; need to sack out, but looking forward to your response!
His close proximity and the focus and intensity of his eyes hold Rain transfixed. Her breath is hard and she gazes up into his eyes and allows him to cross through her turquoise seas and into her very soul.
Her body trembles at his low voice and shining, burning eyes. Her reaction surprises her -- a mixture of excitement and fear, of drawing close to the dark flame and feeling its potent, urgent desire teasing her staunch will.
"I have not met a human like you, a man such as you." Her voice sounds breathless and sensual. Rain does not step back from him but holds her ground, holds her own before this tempest of a man.
She recollects his words, "I desire best above all a fire that burns hot enough to equal mine own; a fire and flame that is hot and burns so that it would consume all that would stand before it; and embrace all who would become part of it."
"My flame is as blue as the Ocean, its depth unmatched by anything on the earth. You do not scare me, Horatio Flynn. You intrigue me on multiple levels and I will stand and look into your dark flame without losing my blue flame to its purpose."
Dhaavan's warning to Flynn filters through her focused brain. It was strange to hear Dhaavan so serious when he seemed to enjoy playing the strutting peacock. How much of it is an act to gain advantage?, Rain muses inwardly as her heightened emotions seek valiantly to find more stable ground. Dhaavan's words held a modicum of wisdom and in this present climate, any attention drawn to them due to heightened voices and roused looks could put the entire party in jeopardy. Still, her blood quickened at the thought of Flynn's fire -- hoping the others held such intensity and purpose.
In soft Common, she answers both males, "No more talking of losing one's life due to spirited words and fervor. We must be wise and when the time is right allow the fire to stand tall and engulf its quarry."
Grandfather would not like to hear me speak thusly but if he saw how they bashed and lashed my body -- he would understand -- and he would accede to the loosening of the reins upon my tempestuous nature.
Turning abruptly to Dhaavan (feeling the sudden separation from Flynn) and noticing the smaller man's yellow-gold eyes for the first time, she softly asks without preamble, "Your ability to convince people of your sincerity can be most useful. How many of the crew have you already charmed, Dhaavan?"
He leans in close to Rain, "Here's the secret. If you want someone to think you're sincere, the easiest way to get em to believe it..." he says pausing for dramatic effect, tapping his temple knowingly, "is to be sincere." He gives her a nod, guessing that she would have pegged him for a more devious and dishonest sort. Yup, that's how I do it. I get what i want and manipulate by being honest! "The tricky part is what you say to someone, and when it comes down to it, making what you say true. Even if you don't give a damn about someone, or flat out dislike 'em, if ya need em, ya can tell em ye'll have their back." so many people lie about their alliances manipulating and cheating to get what they want, and they get caught, and burn for it. "Then it's jest a matter of them never needin ya, or if they do ya keep yer word. Ya see, when ya know ya keep yer word, it's honestly easy enough to seem trustworthy."
Seijiro sits off by himself and quietly plays his harmonica, doing a passable job of entertaining himself, not trying to play for others. Most of the songs are very soft, but melancholy, in minor keys. He looks over at the other conscriptees from time to time, but he doesn't join them unbidden.
perform: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18 this is NOT my night action, just rolling to see how well he does
If the others wanted to talk to me, they would have done so by now... which mean they probably all think like Flynn that I was trying to steal from them. If I'd wanted to rob them, they'd never have seen the pouch in the first place. Do they think I'm an idiot, or I'm that selfish? I was trying to suggest we help those who hadn't been so lucky getting their gear back yet.
He sighs and puts the harmonica away, tucking it into his haramaki. He looks about at the others on the ship, each in their little cliques and goes for a walk about the deck for a while, contemplating his plight...
Stuck on board this accursed ship, and now the only ones that I might call friends hate me too. I'm really alone here... I might be better off keeping to myself then. Couldn't be any worse than it has been. No that's not true... Being friendless on such a ship would be the worst. But they don't seem to want me around. Those three seem to have formed a strong bond among themselves and the other two don't seem to want to be friends either. I don't know what to do here. Daikitsu, help me understand these strangers and what path I should follow...
He looks over at the others again and sighs... his expression as melancholy as his music was earlier.
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
During the course of the conversation with Dhaavan and Flynn, Rain notices Seijiro sitting near them and the flicker of some darker emotion cross his face. The music he had been playing tonight had been soft and melancholy but beautiful nonetheless. The morning's argument between Flynn and Jiro comes quickly to mind and she would see them reconciled if they were all to form a strong group aboard this vessel. Gozreh, let us hope that Seijiro is of like mind and would see us in peaceful unity. Rain was not well acquainted with their easterner comrade. Perhaps it's time that I am, she thinks to herself.
She looks over at the young male and when he lifts his eyes upward, she will gesture for him to join them. If he is hesitant, she will politely call out his name.
"Jiro, come join us if you have taken a break from your playing."
Seijiro bites his lip for a moment and a flicker of a smile crosses his lips and he nods hesitantly and bows slightly as he approaches Rain. He speaks softly as he settles himself into a squat on his haunches.
"Hullo... Rain-san." He says her name as if he's unfamiliar with her and not sure how to address her. Truly I don't really know any of these people I've been lumped in with by the bosun and mate. Though I know for sure, I'd rather be lumped in with them than with the likes of Scourge, Plugg and their toadies.
"You were all speaking... I didn't want to intrude. Are you sure it's alright that I join you?" He looks pointedly at Flynn for a brief second, then lowers his eyes shyly and then raises them to look at Rain again. His large eyes are a deep red-amber color, almost but not quite matching his red hair.
This conversation is away from the main Wormwood crew ...
Rain ponders the deep red-amber of Jiro's eyes, finding them a most unusual shade. But then again, Dhaavan's yellow-gold eyes were unique as well. I wonder what stories each of us hold, secret, and deep in our hearts.
"Hello, Jiro." Rain nods her head and smiles softly. Their brief conversation in the Maid seemed a lifetime ago, and this young man appeared shy and reserved around her and the others.
"If it is your custom to call me Rain-san, then I shall abide by it. But if you would rather simply call me Rain, I would not be offended. Your music was beautiful although a little melancholy."
Growing thoughtful for a moment or two and noticing Flynn's momentary silence in particular, Rain proceeds calmly (her heart rate now returned to normal since the intimate Elven conversation with Flynn), "I would see us clear the air after this morning's argument. I do not want those of us conscripted to this vessel to be antagonistic toward one another. We cannot afford to be divided. So... and she takes a breath before finishing her question, I will ask this plainly so we can hear the answer and be done with the issue. Jiro, were you hiding the gold from the rest of us or were you really keeping it safe to purchase back the gear and weapons for the others? I am not accusing you or wishing to offend. I simply would have the truth stated clearly." We need to heal the rifts. If we leave too many open, then we will be undone aboard the Wormwood.
He looks serious and lifts his eyes to meet Rain's as he answers, though it seems almost painful for him to do so for a moment. He looks at her directly as he answers. "If I'd meant to hide the gold, I doubt any of you would have seen it. I made no attempt to hide it, nor would I have, since it was fruit of ALL our efforts. I didn't mean for it to become a major source of contention either. I simply thought it would be wisest if we ALL decided how best to use or divide it, but Flynn seemed to think his way was the only way, so I acceded rather than start a fight. I think we'd all had enough of fighting. I really thought if we are going to be working as a group to survive the vagaries of life aboard a ship where we are personas non grata, we should all be concerned that we all be reacquainted with our respective gear. Forgive me if that was wrong, but no one but Flynn spoke up in support of either position... I simply didn't want to fight." He shrugs and takes a deep breath, as if unused to speaking so much at once.
"I will be sure in the future to simply take my share, no more no less when I find something that belongs to us all, and not suggest something so idiotic as to use it to benefit the group as a whole. I guess it was a stupid idea, neh?"
He pulls out a copper coin and plays with it, rolling it on the backs of his fingers and making it appear and disappear, then pulls it as if from out of Rain's ear... As a case in point to his comment about not being seen if he'd meant to hide the gold.
sleight of hand: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
He shrugs and slips the coin back into it's pouch.
"As I said, if I'd meant to hide anything, you'd never have seen it. I don't steal from friends."
ok, that roll could have been better, and I'm sure SOMEone will see through his sleight of hand, but even so, it's passably well done regardless lol
Rain studies Seijiro and listens to his explanation without interruption. There seemed to be no guile behind his words. She quickly scans Flynn's face to see how he is reacting to the explanation.
"I thank you for answering my question. I do not believe it was a stupid idea, and also, one should not simply take their share immediately. We require a system for such allocation and division and for it to be undertaken at an appropriate, designated time. There will be an account of such transaction and obvious to all. We can then keep track of what comes in and goes out -- a ledger of account." To Rain this seemed a fairer, more honest, transparent system.
Perception re Seijiro's coin trick: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
Rain manages to just catch his sleight of hand with the coin but it was still a good trick and one she had witnessed back home. "I'm sure for those less observant, your quick hand would make easy work of hiding something. I believe you have delicate skill in what you do." Considering his sincerity and how she will interact with him in the future, she decides to take him on his word until he proves her wrong. "I will put faith in your word, Jiro." Rain extends her hand to Seijiro, to shake and put this morning's misunderstanding behind them.
Quietly she enquires, "Who among our lot is still without gear?"
He bows slightly at her words, and looks at her hand.... he reaches his out very hesitantly, but seems uncomfortable at the gesture. Once their hands make contact, he shakes very briefly and withdraws his hand quickly... and bows again. "You honor me with your words, Rain-San.. Rain... thank you. As for who doesn't have gear, I believe it was either Variel or Valeros said they had no weapons at the start of the fight with the rats. I myself am still missing my rapier, but I have no worries about recovering it and I have my daggers, so I have no need of assistance myself. I was more worried about those who had nothing."
He shrugs again and looks over at Variel, who is sitting quietly, not speaking much and at Valeros who is keeping to himself some, much as Seijiro himself had been doing, to see if he can tell which one is unequipped by simply looking at them. And what of Sko, who is also silent? He looks him over as well.
"I just am worried for those who have had less skill or less time to try to reclaim what was theirs. Grok has seemed to be more loose with some than with others."
He sighs softly. She seems nice enough, I like her, though I never will I think get used to this Inner Sea custom of touching hands. I am more worried though about this Flynn character. I think the breech between us may be more difficult to span. He obviously thinks for some reason that I was trying to steal something of his. And those who cannot trust are usually the least trustworthy themselves, for only those with larceny in their hearts, expect nothing else of others. So he is deserving of little quarter where trust is concerned. I will have to be cautious around him.
To Rain he says softly, speaking with reluctance in his tone as if giving voice to something he'd rather not say, "What about him?" He nods his head in Flynn's direction. "He is the one who jumped to believe I would steal from him. If we are ever to become the cohesive group we are being persecuted as, such feelings can only serve to divide us. You seem to be fast friends with him. Perhaps you can speak with him on my behalf?" The last question was hesitant and with a small half-smile, half-grimace, as if requesting such might be asking too much. Still, despite his obvious shyness, he does not break eye contact with her as he speaks.
As Dhaavan currently has a +3 to perception and even with a nat 20 can't beat Jiro's 24 slight of hand check
"Wait a second, wait a second. That was just a trick? No magic at all? That's so amazing!" clearly the sorcerer is very impressed by Magic, not the real deal which he can do, but slight of hand and smoke & mirror illusion. His jaundice-yellowed eyes actually light up a bit as the coin re-appears. "Can you do another?"
Dhaavan'll have more to say about Gear after a GM response to his questioning Grok earlier up-thread.
"Fighting about stuff is something I'll never quite understand, but then again I've never really been much for material possessions. Just gimme a warm cloak when it's cold and some tasty fish; I'm contented. But a couple gold pieces was never something I much cared about. I'd rather have a body with a blade in front of me, than a few more coins in my pocket." Dhaavan says, handing off the couple coins he picked up this morning. "Then again, what do i care what a drink costs when I can get someone else to pay for it?" Dhaavan mentions, thinking back to the hapless fool he charmed and charged for his revelry in the tavern, suddenly realizing how very glad he was that his sponsor was not also press-ganged to the Wormwood.
Seijiro does another trick... starting with rolling the coin on his knuckles as he did before, tossing it up in the air, catching it, tossing it from hand to hand, and then having it disappear completely, only to have it reappear a moment later, pulling it out of his mouth.
"No, no magic... just a little trick my grandfather taught me proving the hand is quicker than the eye." He smiles at Dhaavan. "We haven't really formally been introduced. I don't even know your name, really... but I'm Seijiro. As for fighting over things and money, I agree. While it may from time to time be worth fighting FOR, fighting OVER seems pointless when the fight is with those who should be your mates. Especially a paltry sum."
He grins when when Dhaaan talks about getting others to pay for his drinks. "Ah a charmer are you? The ladies buy you drinks, then? That's a talent I never could seem to nurture." He shrugs.... hard for a young man to admit he's not got any skills with the opposite sex.
"Well, on occasion I do that, but learned the hard way that getting drinks from ladies can be dangerous to one's health. What's real fun is getting one of the blokes at a tavern to shell out coin. Yea remember me "mate" what i came to the Maid with? Just met him on the way in, and he ended up payin' for a few rounds for everybody, a most generous man he was. Seems he managed to avoid the press, lucky for him, think I may have seen him walk off with that yellow-headed elf gel that Variel was charmin'. not sure tho, I was piss-ass drunk and drugged, by that time. "
1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31
Dhaavan's thrush watches Sejiro intently as he does his coin tricks, and just before spitting the coin out, Jack begins hopping up and down on Dhaavans head chirping excitedly quietly telling the secrets of the tricks in infernal. Dhaavan's still impressed by the slight of hand, and the birs seems to be too, watching Jiro's hands like a hawk, hoping to spring in and take the coin while it is supposed to be Vanished.
During the day, Dhaavan will try to approach Valeros
Dhaavan will offer, "I could have a word with him? He seems like he almost enjoys being surly most of the time, but if yea catch 'im at the right time, I'll bet he could be almost friendly." Dhaavan could "warm him up, try to change Cog's attitude for Valeros to close the deal. Wing-man Dhaavan, for the assist?"
** spoiler omitted **
”Blue flame, eh? That augers well for you, methinks. For it is writ the flame that burns hottest burns with a blue fire, and – moreover – the depths of the deepest ocean are the darker blue for their mystery and power.”
”What, then, shall this mean if I see such blue fire in your eyes? Do I therefore see a fire both hot as the hottest flame and deep as the boundless Sea?”
”Aye – I think it is true; for on such matters, the eyes are said to be as windows to the soul. Even so – I see many things now revealed in your eyes, and further – they beckon me hence to see even more.”
My voice – careless of observation, is not muted but loud for any that would stand near to hear it. Even so, I do not shout, nor seek to declaim to all within sundry. If they would have an ear for my words; then I would not begrudge that necessity.
And if my speech draws violence as their resort;
- I fear it not, as I yet have steel and iron as my retort.
** spoiler omitted **
”On your power to charm - would you then bend them to your will; or, if their resolve stands to firm – rather; break them all to pieces?"
"Nay, you need not answer - for you have said before that you seek no dominion over men. Therefore, you have no need for such powers as to charm one by the cunning of your speech alone. And if you did - your method seems to be that of seeking power in the form of sincere speech, and no other strategm, eh?” I say with a wry tone in my voice as I watch the lad.
”But to find this wellspring from which your sincerity may flow you must first possess a measure of the self; you must speak each word therefore with the very passion which would bestir you better. What – think you that is with greater ease to be sincere if you would instead dance with your speech between a villain’s ears? Nay – say rather that if you would speak at all – let it be forthright and determined. Even so – such words cannot be said without a knowledge of what you would do, and where you should stand.”
”When you know that – then better would your words be said.”
My eyes dim like the obsidian depths of a shark’s own gaze as I hear Jiro’s words and his suggestions about what I believe and how I act. I speak to him in a hushed voice, either for caution or anger – it is not clear. But certainly it is not easy for any to overhear, but those who are close by.
”Nay sir! Do not malign my intent – nor should you seek to put my words of false purpose or it will not be well for you,” I add with a growl, my fingers bunching into fists.
”If you had asked my thoughts I would have shown you readily my purpose – which was clear that none among us should keep more than their due. And as for your own suggestions? What of them!”
”You did not speak thusly to me before – you did not say to me, nor any other – ”Look well at the gear we have taken; scant it is – but even so, I would see it given first to one and so benefit one, as it may benefit us all. Come now – with this in mind, who will offer their reward to employ great strength for one our own, so that they may be better equipped when the time is ripe?” – nay, you did not say it so.”
”Rather, you held the purse, and spoke of intentions that were not as noble as that which you dictate now. Had you asked – had you asked – and most especially whence we had received first our due - then I would have sundered the wealth earned readily, and supported your cause aptly.”
”And as for myself? Aye – I did not waste time in cloying speech or idle flattery. And what of it? My blood was hot – my head overwrought yet from the foul brew they force on us to dull our wits, and perhaps that may divorced from my speech some courtesy. Yet can I be blamed? For you held that which we all earned, and did not seek to share it; but instead held it as ransom until your terms would be named and so agreed upon.”
”I have been captive in this vessel, yet I shall not accept such theft from me again so readily from any; though it may mean my very death.”
I turn my dark gaze at the pirate crew – who continue to do what it is that suits them best, then look back to Jiro.
”If you would prefer to be an enemy to me, continue to speak thusly. I warn you now, though – something in my life was twisted, and iron bars which bound my fury have snapped asunder on this very day. Therefore that rage sits perched on my heart’s own edge like a predatory beast; eager to leap forth and do great harm to he would tempt it.”
”Do not tempt me, then, sir – pray; do not tempt that rage. Put aside such speech as your sly suggestions on what you hint at what I think is best, and rather - speak plainly with me as one man to another. Would you prefer my friendship – then declaim it now, and you may yet have it. But if you would seek my animosity – I shall readily extend that thrust to you instead, if you decide to choose this course that you hint upon.”
I move close to Jiro, the rage which is in me and has spurned my speech and heart and body trembles through me like hot fire. I seek to dominate it – yet with little resolve to that end – for that which has now been loosed upon me from the gods themselves has thus clutched tightly at my heart and shall not easily retreat from my spirit.
”Would you be then as ally to me? Say plain your purpose: friend – or foe – and stand true to that word. If you do so, I pledge I shall honor that pact with body and blood, in equal measure – as good as your word is true.”
”Would you have me as ally, or enemy – the choice is yours. Whatever you decide, know that I will honor it, but I leave that choice in your hands now.”
I look upon the eastern lad and wonder then upon his choice
- would it be foe, or ally true – my ear thus bent to hear his voice…