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PRP: Taming Estroch pt.1

Marquessa Iseulet lets it be known that there's some things in Estroch that need to be explored and investigated. She takes no responsibility for loss of life or limb. Interested parties can show up at this meeting (or write before hand) to find out what secrets Estroch has to offer.


Aug. 11, 2020, 4:30 p.m.

Hosted By


GM'd By



Raja Pasquale Neilda Furio(RIP) Aswin Sirius Lexir Evaristo Drake Amalthea



Outside Arx - Mourning Isles near Estroch - Estroch

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

The ad was a simple one - the Marquessa Iseulet of Elune sought out explorers and other adventurous types to help discover the Isle of Estroch. If you were interested, all you had to do was simply show up ready to leave on the 26th of October at the ship known as the Manticora parked just north of Arx. The cog itself was of sturdy construction, as most Isle ships are and stained a deep ebony black with red and gold trim. On the prow is a fearsome figurehead of a female manticore with glittering onyx eyes. Surely, she would see to it that the ship stayed safe during its voyage.

Those claiming to desire to answer the call of the ad were accepted without question and ferried out to the cog, then seen to a large cabin on the ship that's been outfitted with narrow bunks and some storage space for their personal items and left to settle in as the crew scurried about on deck, getting ready for the departure.

Disembarking from Arx, it's a sunny but crisp autumn day and the sun is high in the sky. The weather and the sea are in a good mood and the crew of the ship carrying them has high spirits. Only when the sun goes down over the horizon and food is being served does Iseulet call everyone to join her on the deck for dinner. There's a round table with many chairs set about it and she's already there seeing to it that everything is just right!

As they arrive - one by one or in a group - Iseulet greets them. "Oh my, many new faces. Many. Hello and good evening everyone." She gives them a collective curtsey. "For those of you that don't know me, my name is Iseulet Seryn, Marquessa of Elune. Won't you come have a seat, get comfortable - help yourself to some food - and lets hear some introductions?"

Lexir favors Iseulet a nod in passing and a pleased smile. "Good to place a name to a face - I could've sworn you'd sent me a letter once, though I don't quite remember the contents," he replies, before naming his own to the woman. "I am Lexir, and I'm looking forwards to what you propose." He makes his way over to one of the tables with that said, and plops himself down into a seat.

Evaristo is familiar around a cog and spends some time examining the ship, and chatting with the crew, but he makes sure not to be in the way. He does look like he'd love to help, but he's nursing some wounds still, nothing that will kill him clearly - but there's a bandage still on his neck. Now joining for dinner, he bows to everyone and takes a seat, smiling wide and charming. "Captain Evaristo Arterius," he introduces himself. "I am a sailor," he adds, to make it more obvious what he is captain OF. There's a nod of recognition at Lexir, and a speculative look, before he focuses on the others, waiting to hear their introductions with curiosity.

Drake disembarks, steps out onto the deck, and has a good inhale. He walks up to Iseulet directly, greeting her warmly with a kiss to the side of the cheek. "Ah, Marquessa, it's so good to see you. You know me, of course, but it's been too long!" He turns around. "And for those of you that don't know me, I'm Drake. Wyvernheart now, Wyrmguard formally. Grateful to get out of the city a bit and get some air." He also grabs himself a seat. "Specialize in weapons fighting mostly, for those who do not know. I fumble through the rest."

Having looked about the cabin with an air of practical interest, Pasquale spends little time claiming a bunk and stowing a few possibly important things into the chest. That done, and summoned by the hostess, he's one of the first to move to the deck and take up Iseulet's offer to join the table, nodding in polite greeting as each of the group joins the table. "Pleasure to meet you Marquessa." His eyes go to Iseulet when people start offering names. "and I'm Pasquale. Malespero."

Neilda is in a sharply good mood - the sort that can be found when one finds their very favorite dessert is the one that happens to be the special, but before one can order it, it's brought out on the house. Fortune favors those who do the things they really like. Rather than giving Iseulet a curtsy, which doubtless she could, she offers a bow. "Marquessa Iseulet," she says, "I'm Lady Neilda Saik. So glad to be here." Not far off from Pasquale on the approach, who she'd been whisper-whisper-whispering with before getting about preparing to depart, mischief alight in eyes. "I can't /wait/." She gives an upnod to Drake and Lexir, apparently familiar, and a smile to Evaristo, though blank of recognition.

Once such Valardin Prince recognized as Sirius did very little on his trip atop the Manticora. Not for a lack of trying, for the flesh was unwilling, but more unwilling yet was his stomach for he spent the whole of the beginning day nauseated and puking over board. Even here, arriving to the congregation as a whole, he's wobbly of foot and uncoordinate of footing. With eyes a'squinted into blindness and hands grasping out at the air to augur his distance to the chair nearest to him, he grips its backing, pulls it from beneath the table and slumps diseased on its rest, shoulders slouched. The whole of his being disparate and filtered by wooziness. "Greetings, everyone," Sirius there says, but his august attempt's bland, and uninspired.

Lingering in the introductions of others, Amalthea had waited some time for every individual to either say their names or greetings while she simply stood in the middle panning around the innards of the cabin. One shaky hand going up to push back her hair as the other reaches out for a chair, she slumps in it with complete lack of effeminate charm and trails her gaze over to the Marquessa. Her voice was low in tone, a slight stutter as she clears her throat to announce herself, "Greetings, I am Amalthea." Then averts that same gaze to flit about every person before falling to the floor.

Iseulet gives Drake a squeeze and a bright smile. "I'm so glad you've made it. It's been far too long!" She nods and Prince Lexir, Captain Evaristo - a surprise! How lovely. Lord Pasquale - a name I've heard more than once before. So nice to have you. And Lady Neilda Saik, such a pleasure. I too share your sentiments! Prince Sirius. Miss Amalthea - welcome, welcome." Her smile is bright and warm and genuine as she takes a seat, reaching for the tea to begin pouring for everyone that desires. By the scent it's some kind of crisp autumn blend of cranberries and apples and cinnamon.

"Well thank you all for coming, the trip was put together at something of a last minute but has been coming for a long, long time." She nods at Drake, "I'm sure he can attest to that. Anyhoo! Before we land on Elune, I wanted to talk to you all about some of the problems popping up around Estroch. Well, I say problems, but really maybe the word 'oddities' would be better suited. I don't want you to go in unprepared. Not that I have much information to work with, myself."

Iseulet gives Drake a squeeze and a bright smile. "I'm so glad you've made it. It's been far too long!" She nods and greets them all one by one. "Prince Lexir, I did write to you once... Captain Evaristo - a surprise! How lovely. Lord Pasquale - a name I've heard more than once before. So nice to have you. And Lady Neilda Saik, such a pleasure. I too share your sentiments! Prince Sirius. Miss Amalthea - welcome, welcome." Her smile is bright and warm and genuine as she takes a seat, reaching for the tea to begin pouring for everyone that desires. By the scent it's some kind of crisp autumn blend of cranberries and apples and cinnamon.

"Well thank you all for coming, the trip was put together at something of a last minute but has been coming for a long, long time." She nods at Drake, "I'm sure he can attest to that. Anyhoo! Before we land on Elune, I wanted to talk to you all about some of the problems popping up around Estroch. Well, I say problems, but really maybe the word 'oddities' would be better suited. I don't want you to go in unprepared. Not that I have much information to work with, myself."

Lexir has gathered around himself some food and drink, and he adds to that a small, slim, black-bound book that he pulls from a pocket and flips open, taking up the charcoal pencil concealed with in. With diligence, he turns his ear towards Iseulet

"A pleasure to meet you all - it will be fun and adventure!" Evaristo exclaims, raising his glass in a little toast, before he digs in on the food while listening to Iseulet. The mention of oddities has his eyes gleaming with interest and excitement. "Such as?" he asks simply.

Drake nods, and ... as there's food, or at least tea, he immediately goes for it. Amalthea he didn't get much time to get to know, and her shy way of sitting catches his eye for a second, but then he focuses attention on Iseulet. "I love oddities."

There is no excitement in Sirius, no such thrill. He laments life while his body ebbs and flows back and forth with a complete loss of spatial awareness while on his chair, feeling perhaps that he's elsewhere. Suffering. Hurting. Dancing to ballroom music. The offer of tea's discarded, just not verbally. He waves a hand that's dismissive of Iseulet's offer, one that ends up plastered after against his face. Its many fingers hook the various crags and crescents of bruised skin on his mostly smooth face, pulling them down. Exacerbating and lamenting his woes. Such a drag, this guy. "I bet it's just more angry shavs, Evaristo." Sirius wagers, hitching up a shoulder.

"Maybe they're happy Shavs. That'd be odd," Evaristo quips at Sirius, grinning wide.

Neilda slips aside to fix a plate with haphazard intention - more guided by what appeals most as she passes than any sort of meal harmony, with gaps filled in on a second circle-through before she sits. "Warm water, isn't it? I hope it is." She settles, digs in. She casts a skeptical eye at Siris, more approval for Drake. She is a bummer-free zone, okay?

Sirius snorts, dragging his head aloft into the chair's back-rest with sardonic amusement, eyes closed still yet facing the cabin's humid celing. "Oooh, that'd be just the damnest thing, Nightingale."

Pasquale smiles at Iseulet's words "I hope it wasn't all bad." The tea is reached for and the scent favored briefly as he takes a moment to contemplate each of the other guests. "Perhaps both Evaristo?" the smile he offers to Evaristo is amused but that just grows at Neilda's comment. "Are you planning on going diving already Neilda?"

The considerable talk of oddities didn't seem to catch her interest, however, her eyes settle on the middle of the table now instead with fickle attention passed through conversation. Amalthea simply listens.

"Very warm water. A paradise, even in autumn." She grins, and begins momentarily, "Well," Iseulet helps herself to a meat pie with fork and knife, beginning to cut it up into bite sized morsels as she explains, "The first and maybe most disturbing report is on the river of blood that's funneling into Seirenia Bay from the North. Also in that general area there was a report of one of the hunters in my employ stumbling upon a giant tree. Which, normally wouldn't raise my eyebrows except he also complained of the giant... everything else." She lifts the forked hand and waves it just a tad. "I asked him what he meant and then provided to me a boar's skull the size of a small wagon." A beat as she lets that digest just for a moment, "And then... The Dreaming Shoals. There's an abandoned ship called the Mourning Star adrift in the sandbars there. That one may prove more difficult to get to considering its location."

Lexir pauses mid-stroke, arching a brow upwards in incredulous skepticism for a couple of seconds as he stares Iseulet's way. Then he gets back to writing, transcribing what she says in a neat, practiced hand. "How did he kill it?"

Late to the party comes one leather-clad Culler. Raja glances at the various faces present, giving nods to those who make eye contact. She finds herself a seat amidst some volunteers that she doesn't know. She reaches for her drink and silently listens as she indulges on the beverage.

All such happenings Sirius discards, until the ship's name - the Mourning Star- is mentioned. He augurs his ears, rises, straightens out on the chair and looks on at Iseulet with newfound strength of interest. The tall and dark Prince pulls at the hems of his dusty, old coat to adjust it before his torso, plucking buttons shit to gain decorum in this particular moment that begets it. "The Dreaming Shoals," Sirius quotes, adding to its every necessary vowel a prolongation of tone that rides on whimsical wind. "Now that's something." Raja's volunteer is also Sirius, who welcomes her with a calm smirk and his hand which sweeps that chair beside him aside for her to sit.

Drake sits back, looking comfortable, really, and casually gesturing with a hand. "See, I like this. Gets right to the heart of it. Rivers of blood, giant pigs. Probably good eating on a giant pig," he thinks aloud.

Evaristo tears a chunk of bread off his loaf and then opens his mouth to correct Sirius, then closes it and tilts his head and thinks on it for a second, then just smiles slyly and says nothing. He focuses on Iseulet again, making a few sounds of awe and surprise. "... that's big," he breathes. He too looks more sharply interested when the ship is mentioned, perhaps cause of his occupation as a sailor.

Pasquale nods when Lexir asks how the boar was killed. "And when you say blood river what do you mean?"

"Between the shipwreck and the flooded ruins, there's -gotta- be an opportunity," says Neilda to Pasquale. A shrug of a shoulder, then adds: "And the river of blood, if we want to develop our reputations." She grins at that, dimpling; she looks like she'd twirl a mustache if she had one. She turns toward Iseulet at talk of that giant boar's head; there is definitely some sizing-up of her fellows after, as if wondering which of them might be up to the task of killing such a beast. Or... even defending against one, sheesh.

Drake seems to think at least he could to it. He's got such a cocky seating posture, slouched back. "Where do we check first?" he asks around.

To Neilda's appraising, Sirius doesn't seem like much. Now, certainly, there's some width to his many edges and worthy length to the broadness of his shoulders, but this one's not of stern stock, and takes in the world with a more scholarly air than the brusque mannerism of a warrior. Still, he possesses a sword, in spite of his nonchalance towards its existence; it very well could be an over-sized pen inside that sword-belt's scabbard. "Abandoned shipwrecks usually have some worth to them," he tells Drake, a horizontal answer to the question.

Iseulet brightens, seeing Raja arrive. "Welcome. Help yourself to some food. Also, congratulations on the mancub again." Her eyes have a certain twinkle to their azure depths as she awaits Raja to get comfortable. "Good question, Prince Lexir. He had to run it off of a cliff if my memory serves me correctly. Arrows barely penetrated the hide, if at all. But he was illequipped, he said, having only a bow of yew. He had been out there to hunt much smaller game." She then turns her attention to Pasquale curiously and lifts her shoulders helplessly. "I haven't seen it for myself. But they say the water is as red as blood. I don't know if they call it blood to be literal or.. I don't know. Maybe it's some kind of rich iron deposit? I hear that could also be the case." She presses her lips together, brows knitting with concern. "It's a big boar indeed. By the sound of it could feed a whole village for a week or two. But what I want to know is why - that's all. Any information, really! But I am ill suited to outdoor expeditions. And to be honest I am a little shaky on poking around things like this. Give me Courtly intrigue any day!"

She pauses briefly to place a bite of the pie into her pie-hole where it belongs, chewing and swallowing before adding onto that: "Oh, and... Elune has recently had something of an incursion as of late. We have mostly rebuilt but there is the chance on the trip we may run into Abandoned." She looks between Sirius and Evaristo. "I don't expect they will be friendly. Sorry to disappoint." Attempting to hold back a smile, she then addresses Drake's question. "I was hoping that as a group you would decide. My Captain will take you anywhere you want to go but she refuses to sail the Dreaming Shoals. Too dangerous. We will be needing someone else to navigate those waters."

Neilda gives Evaristo a very hopeful look.

Amalthea reaches out herself to gingerly luck bread as well, nodding her head to Sirius' sentiment and stumbling with her own reply, "Abandoned shipwrecks are- erm- also good pieces of history, or- erm- a st- story," Then proceeds to stuff her cheeks with the loaf in hand.

"Your reputation you mean?" Pasquale asks Neilda after a chuckle. "I intend to be the one watching safely from shore." when Drake questions where to start he goes to say the ship only to be beaten by Sirius. So he nods in agreement with Sirius instead and adds "And the wreck is the most vulnerable to changing conditions. If all are otherwise equal that is what I suggest." Isuelet's added information results in his attention going back to hers. He nods when she explains the river, seemingly finding that just as expected, but gets a more contemplative look when she talks of the abandoned. "Will we have complete freedom in how to deal with them?"

"Hm. So it's treasure we're all interested in, rather than... pork." Drake laughs a little at it. "Honestly, I'm game for anything, but I'm not much of a navigator as you all already know." He can climb a rigging real well at least. But on the boat he otherwise has tried to stay out of the way.

Evaristo returns Neilda's look with a grin, and suggests quite charmingly and persuasively; "I suggest we try the ship." It seems he's not alone in wanting that, so he beams at everyone. "THere might be GHOSTS on it," he says excitedly. As if that's something fun. "I can take us there, if nobody else steps up as captain."

Raja gives a fond smile to Iseulet as she gives a warm greeting. In response to her words, Raja lifts her glass towards her. She quietly eats from the meal, chewing thoughtfully as folk talk of what they want to do. Raja is indecisive on which area she would like to explore first. They all have interesting possibilities that intrigue that adventurous soul.

Neilda, mouth full of food, nods cheerfully at Pasquale's appraisal of her intentions. She nods and nods and nods, swallows her food, swipes at her face with a napkin - and offers to Evaristo, "I'll help. Rather be navigating than captaining." Aaaand more food in the face.

"Good thing-" Sirius very surreptitiously adds after Evaristo's shared possibilities; "-Ghosts aren't real." He holds a finger up upon saying this- it a focusing iris to the skeptic message he's here sharing amongst them all. Looking down towards Amalthea, to she and her plucking of bread-pieces, he answers: "Nevermind the story, or its history, or all of that gobbledygook. I want to know who the captain was, his crew. What colors they showed. For whom they fought. Logistics, obviously." Ah, this one's a soldier. Mystery solved.

"Yes, there's totally no ghosts. Definitely not," Evaristo says and nods sagely and slowly. "Might be some skeletons."

Pasquale looks between Drake and then Evaristo "I too can captain a ship. Perhaps, if we're lucky, we'll be able to salvage this Mourning Star." he looks to Iseulet again. "And do you know what she was carrying?" There is a slight shift in his expression when Sirius makes his ghost declaration, his gaze shifting in contemplation back onto the prince, but he soon looks back to Drake again. "I am interested in those giant pigs as well. I just fear a storm could blow in and destroy any chance we have of seeing this vessel at all." a look back to Iseulet. "And the marquessa did mention it is in a particularly difficult location."

Drake looks interested in that, raising a brow at Evaristo. "Can't say I've ever fought a skeleton. Flat side of the sword for that, right?" He makes a little gesture like he's swinging a weapon. But then rather than asking questions, he starts to eat bread.

Sirius's eyes flit between Pasquale and Evaristo, lastly Drake. All three of them, yes, back and forth; back and forth. "C'mon now," Sirius says, growing quizzical of expression. He even straightens in his chair, to seem taller and more perched on this here topic he's championing. "You can't be serious, you lot don't truly think some meatless, nerveless arrangement of bones could be actuated on some unexplainable will alone, do you?"

"Oh, wouldn't worry, they're probably not undead skeletons. Those are the warriors of Death, and I don't think she put them on a ship," Evaristo explains merrily. He's basically a Death poster-boy with that outfit, so if anyone was wondering about his particular favorite god, they need not wonder any longer.

Sirius checked composure at difficulty 99, rolling 90 lower.

Evaristo looks back at Sirius and hesitates. " Sure. Whatever you say." He smiles.

Iseulet emits a soft sigh at Sirius and his denial of ghosts and shakes her head, exasperatedly. "Pasquale, if it's an abandoned sellsword - a part of the recent incursion - then they are a criminal and to be arrested and brought to Elune for me to deal with. Or killed, which ever is easiest. Otherwise, you can deal with them however you like but I don't expect any recruitment to bend the knee to Elune or other diplomatic attempts. That can always be arranged at a later date, if necessary." Then a smile to Evaristo and Pasquale and a certain nod, "I was hoping there would be a Captain among us. I would be happy to turn the Manticora over to either one of you should you wish to brave the Shoals."

Lexir's voice cuts above the three quibblers as he sets down his pencil, tucking it between the pages of his little journal/book/diary. "Is there anything else we should know, Marquessa?"

Amalthea shrugs as he speaks of his on gobbledygook, finding no similar view between them she dives into the food now once more. She seems more concerned about eating than talking, leaning back as she found some choice picks and finally starts taking in everyone around her. When a skeleton is mentioned she cringes slightly and whispers to herself, "Skeleton? What?"

Having just recently happened upon Iseulet's side to inform her ear on a matter most subtle, Sirius turns, slipping n' sliding easily back to his chair, but not without informing Amalthea on an audible mutter that: "These people are all strange, you'll get used to it," before finding his seat again. With an outstretched right hand, supinated in its angle, he motions for Evaristo. "If we're to vote who's Captain, I choose this one."

Raja rolls her eyes at the people around her. More drink is needed. So, she gets more, pouring the red wine into her cup. "If it walks, it can be stabbed." Raja says to anyone who might be listening. She shrugs one shoulder, "But I think we are gettin' sidetracked."

Neilda looks around the table, watching people with various good humor and skepticism. A sidelong glance at Pasquale, and she shrugs. "We'll find out when we get there what's real," she murmurs, as if it is all equal to her. She gives a chin and a bright smile toward Raja, as if to heartily agree. Stabbing, an language universal. Also, the sidetracking.

Evaristo just winks at Amalthea and munches on his food. "Well, with three expert sailors, how hard can it be?" he muses, not looking worried. "Thanks for that vote of confidence, but I suggest we cooperate and work together - if it is indeed such treacherous waters. As for the ship, I suppose we must be ready for anything."

Drake points at Raja, loosely, in a gesture of agreement. "I like your attitude about it. I'm with you."

Sirius says, "But it's a ship, ships can only have one Captain."

Evaristo says in Eurusi, "Says who?"

Evaristo says, "Says who?"

Sirius perks a thumb at himself.

Raja rolls her eyes again.

Amalthea ignores the wink entirely and keeps on chomping away, waiting for a conclusion.

"I'm tempted to co-captain a ship just to spite him," Neilda says sidelong to Evaristo, and gobbles more bread.

"Err... right. Well, long as we get there," Evaristo says with some amusement. "We can call ourselves Temporary Bosses of Floaty Thingy for all I care."

Amalthea shakes her head at that disapprovingly.

Sirius adjusts the collar of his coat, growing increasingly concerned with this-here line of dialogue. "That'd make you the first mate," he informs Neilda, his tone lofty and its approach forming an incontrovertible undercurrent as though daring anyone to disagree. "Can I rescind my vote of Captainship from Goodman Evaristo?"

"I think." Pasquale says with a hint of a smile. "We can safely say there won't be any walking skeletons." He just nods when Sirius says Evaristo should be captain. "We should choose when we see what we are facing. That way we can be sure to choose the one most suited to the task. It's really not worth fighting over." An amused smile is cast at Neilda. "But he is right. You can't really have two captains."

Iseulet looks between all of them, chewing silently. Staring. Trying to hold back a smile at the playfulness. "Anyway! Yes, first point of business is to decide were we are headed first... Safe to say the Shoals? Oh!" She sits up and pulls up the hem of her dress, revealing a garter round her thigh from which she plucks a piece of paper and begins to unfold it and pass it round. Surprise! It's a vaguely detailed map of Estroch.

Neilda puts down her bread, puts her chin in her hand, and smiles delightedly at Sirius. "I'm not sure I understand," she says, mischief yet alight. Buuuuut there's a map, and she grins after glancing at it. "Maybe you can explain sailing to me later," she says, and then leans way in to start looking over the map.

Evaristo stands up to to look at the map for a better angle, quite impressed. "What an amazing map," he says, shooting Iseulet a warm smile. "Hmm, there's the Dreaming Shoals. You say there's sandbanks? Looks to me the smartest route in is between the two islands of Altaira and Soleila, then skirt the edges as near land as possible - assuming these sandbanks are where they are on the map. Sandbanks DO tend to move," he says, scratching his neck thoughtfully. "It is what... a few miles across there, between the outer banks and the islands? More?"

Drake is clearly looking at the garter and the thigh, from which the map is procured, his eyes moving over there, staying put, and then, when the map is rolled out, he barely registers it, at first. Only when Evaristo starts talking tactics does he finally pay attention to that again. If slightly. "I don't know, not really my wheelhouse," he says to Evaristo. He heard the death guys like puns.

Raja takes her note and opens it up. She studies the drawing, putting an image to the words the Marquessa was saying. "Well. I think everyone is set to see what could be found at the ship. Maybe it's an octopus." She smirks at herself. Must be an inside joke.

Neilda reaches and /just/ restrains herself from smearing the map with whatever sauce that was. "What about this, past Melis Outpost?" she asks, and pops the finger in her mouth to un-sauce it. She turns eyes on Raja, at her comment, then at Pasquale, excitement for whatever reason redoubled.

It is hard to notice, certainly, for there's an undeniable grimness and dilapidation about Sirius, but he's teasing. Joking. And it is a fact betrayed here by a soft chuckle loosened from the previously feigned levity upon hearing Iseulet's impel. Once the map's shown, the Oathlander doesn't bother much focus on it, this is a familiar sight to him. "I have a book for it," he answers Neilda, but his tone's wooden- a feigned disregard to the possible hurt in her dismissal of his naval understandings. "I shall share it, my lady, for its relevancy and -- I do believe it is only two nautical miles from here and past the gulf towards Altaira, Goodman Evaristo. We'd arrive before the afternoon breaks, but we'd have to approach the Shoals on a rowboat from there on. A cog wouldn't make it through that crevice."

Pasquale leans to study the map for a moment before finally claiming a piece of the meal for himself. "It all rather depends on the prevailing conditions." He picks up a piece of the pie but stops to choke off a small laugh at the look Neilda gives him. "I didn't bring it with me. If that is what you're thinking Neilda."

There's a slow nod of agreement at Neilda there, as Evaristo traces a finger on the map. He squints at Sirius. "...what? Well, I say we sail as close as we can. I got some tricks up my sleeve on how to stop a ship abruptly. But we're going to need another anchor, and some very, very sharp-eyed people." He points to the map again, on the Ruins of Salomene. "What about these? We'd sail right past themm if we went south past Soleila Island."

Pasquale checked intellect + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

Raja checked perception + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.

"'What', what? I thought I was very clear. Admiral Domonico had to loop around and past the ruins of Salomene, yet hugging the Eastern shoreline of Soleila very tightly, to run his fleet through the Shoals. He did it, somehow," but Sirius doesn't seem too happy about it, demonstrating scant regard for the name he's just used here. "But as I said, two nautical miles, or three thousand, seven hundred and seventy-four meters of distance roughly, respectively, from the Elune coastline to Altaira's eastern berth, Evaristo."

Sirius checked intellect + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Evaristo checked intellect + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.

Lexir checked perception + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.

Neilda checked intellect + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

As they peer down the map she pushes back her chair only to fit it back underneath the table after standing. Chewing on what last of the food she indulges while they speak distance, she wanders around the cabin they were nestled in to find a window. Amalthea lifts a palm extending every digit to collect her hair behind her shoulders, occasionally looking over to them as they spoke while also lurking by the wall watching the murky waves collide.

"... that was exactly what I suggested we do. Skirt the edges," Evaristo says, staring at Sirius now with an impatient look. "I KNOW how far that is - but you're talking like we can't sail there, and have to row. I say we don't know until we're there. As for the distance between Elune and Altaira - I don't /care/, I wanted to know the distance between the outer banks and Soleila Island," he grunts. "Fuck it, I say we sail along the western side of the outer banks, past the ruins."

Raja studies the map for a long moment. "Well. It seems there are several challenges according to the directions we go. I think it would be up to what we feel confident doing? We could play it safe.. but it will add time." She points to the northern route.

Sirius holds both of his palms up in the air, not in exasperation, but in an abating approach to the perceived impatience rising from the bard. "You can't, or shouldn't try, to sail through the narrow passage. That's my meaning. It is incredibly dangerous," Sirius explains relentingly, narrowing his gaze with a more centered, taut look after. "I don't think skirting the edges of Salomene's ruins is wise, not as one ship alone. Dominico had a whole fleet with him, we're... well, we're us. And the Manticora's fast, we're just one ship, why not just do the safe thing and come down from the North?"

A snort. "Why would you bring an octopus /with/," Neilda asks Pasquale, as if that's... ridiculous. (She totally hoped he had.) She then looks between the map, Sirius and his opinions, and Evaristo and his swagger. "Are you any good?" she asks Evaristo - because decisions made on the quality of swagger are quality decisions, maybe.

Pasquale just gives Neilda a knowing smile, lifting an eyebrow just a touch at her question. "I wouldn't." Pausing to watch the interplay between Sirius and Evaristo he finally turns his attention back to Iseulet. "Are we are in a hurry?"

"I'm good," Evaristo replies with a confident grin. "It'll be fine! We'll save time, and besides, if we skirt the edge of Soleila island, or along the outer banks, we're close to land if we get stuck. Which we won't."

Iseulet shakes her head, "No hurry here at all. Take all the time you need. I would just like to be dropped off in Elune as I have to check to make sure repairs are on time and progressing smoothly. I've recently lost my Castellan and I'm trying to manage what I can before I find a new one. I place full trust in you all here." She presses her lips together and raises her brows, "If things go South, however... I am placing Prince Sirius in charge of the expedition." She looks over to him flatly, trying to hide the amusement in her eyes. "It's settled then! To the Mourning Star first!" She claps her hands and stands suddenly, chipperly heading to the forecastle to give the orders to the crew there.

Neilda checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 4 lower.

Sirius checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 11 lower.

Neilda should mind the Marquessa, but when she puts Sirius in charge, she groans like she's twelve and just got told to listen to her big brother while parents stepped out for the evening. "Okay, Captain Nofun," she says. "From the north, I'm guessing?"

Evaristo says in Thieves cant, "Well bloody... that'll be interesting."

Raja glances back to Iseulet and smiles. But, she says nothing, turning her attention as the others discuss which way they should go. Raja already said her piece.

Evaristo says something under his breath in a very strange dialect, but glances at Iseulet with some amusement, and nods.

Some unseen, gravitational force seizes and clamps Sirius' neck with a force beyond reckoning, and he stiffens petulantly with a heinous look shown Iseulet's way. A quick one, though- there and gone. "I've already voted for Evaristo to Captain the boat," the supposed expeditionary leader comments, apprehensive now more than ever. "And so if he wishes to go around the ruins, then we'll go around the ruins," he adds, answering Neilda respectively, but his way of addressing's to the table as a whole, and Amalthea standing in the background. "What will it be, then?"

Sirius checked command + leadership at difficulty 40, rolling 26 higher.

"Relax Sirius." Pasquale says. "You're only in charge if everything goes horribly wrong and we need a scapegoat."

Raja busts out laughing!

Sirius checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 11 lower.

Neilda glances at Pasquale, then beyond the way the Marquessa disappeared, much more approving suddenly.

"Well then. Let's get to know this tub down to the last nail, so we know what we have?" Evaristo suggests to the other two sailing-experts. "Inspect sails, ropes, planks, depths, quirks... Everything of importance. We'll discuss it together later."

Sirius tries very hard to ignore the Malespero's Lord truths, staying rigidly put by staring forward, directly into the empty space behind Lexir's eyes whom he just happens to be looking at. He fails at the attempt, his mouth quirking into a worried pout.

Amalthea remains by the window, also having said anything she'd have wanted to. She doesn't even look back to them now, emitting a faint hum mostly drowned out by a matter of noise - speaking, the waves, groaning of the ship's wooden boards - and minds her own business. Until Evaristo asks what they have she puts a hand on the planks shoving herself from the side to stand closer to the table, "What- What about if anyone's hurt? Do we- Do we have medicines?" The one-hand of hers that quivers tuck itself into a pocket.

Neilda gamely pops up from her seat, shoves one more piece of bread in her mouth, and wanders off to do shipboard checkups and stuff, which is much more like adventuring than talking. The talking meter is full? Yes, full.

And so the trip goes. It continues. And drones on. (Probably much to our fearless leader, Sirius' dismay). It's all air and ocean and the occasional choppy sea. The occasional smooth as glass sea. But no real storms - it's smooth sailing, all and all.

When they pull into the Bay of Izarra to dock in order to drop Iseulet off they get their first peek at Elune. It's lush, a fresh clean city being quite new. Many trees line the streets allowing for stark white buildings with lovely purple roofs. Above it on a plateau is the keep in similar colors with Seryn's banner flowing in the gentle breeze. Even though it's Autumn, it's still retained its greenery. The sky is crystal blue and not a trace of bad weather in sight. It's about noon, should anyone wish to take a quick shoreleave to grab any necessities in the market before they all strike out again.

Sirius checked composure at difficulty 40, rolling 25 lower.

Drake doesn't have much to contribute to tactical planning, leaving that to sailors, but because this is an adventure, he's in good spirits. With a small gap to get supplies, he makes sure to get a few things before they get back on board: some sturdy rope, a few oranges (they're important on a sea voyage for some reason, he's been told), a bit of rum (to take home, if he can manage it). When the call for medics went around, he didn't speak up there - apparently he's mainly just muscle on a trip like this.

Raja assisted with the crew in the duties of sailing the vessel. Raja is not one to just sit idle. And she isn't really for sharing her life story with all these unfamiliar faces. So, she just makes herself useful. Once they get to the city, Raja looks up, lets out a low whistle and stares in a state of wonder. "Wow. I wonder if it is as nice to live here as it looks." She moves down the plank to take a peak at the city and any markets that may be near the docks. She moves through the stalls, buying a few bits of native fruit and food as well as other bits of necessities.

Neilda -does- pop ashore briefly, and avails herself of the chance to get a bit of stingray leather (oooooh), a single precious tin of caviar (for later). But that's it! Swear. Not necessities; niceties. Then she's back shipboard, making ready to go.

Evaristo just throws his hands up at Amalthea's question - he has no idea if there's someone knowing medicinal skills.

In comparison, he prefers to laze about on deck, either leaning back somewhere in a seated position, or hanging off the railing to watch the sea. Upon reaching Elune, he looks impressed. "I might retire to here when I get old," he says, grinning.

Invariably, the Oathlander Prince suffers terribly on this boat. Ghosts may not be real, but Sirius traverses the surface of their ship's deck like one sickly phantom, often slouching, sloping overboard towards water while wailing. Heaving. Gagging at times. His face's pale, cadaverously so and bereft in its entirety of blood from sugar levels dropping. "A terrible creation of a sick mind, ships are," he comments to himself some time in the trip, seated on some barrel, arms recalled to his chest as to embrace himself. He looks cold, frigidly so, even if they're reaching tame temperatures. Anytime he's offered water, he refuses it. Food, he pukes it.

Once they arrive to the coast, he's quick to be amongst the first party to step off of the boat, but he doesn't go inland, no. Sirius finds some grubby coil of rope on their quay and sits on it, disregarding the various rats and cats that run off of its confines after his invasive arrival. He just sits there. Dying.

Lexir goes along with Drake, arranging some other things to be brought aboard - (more) rope, extra barrels of tar and pitch, ship axes, boarding pikes, extra nails, lumber. Whatever can fit in the hold, on the Marquessa's credit.

Pasquale spends an equal amount of time familiarising himself with the vessel, talking to the sailors and sharing light conversation with the others, especially Neilda. Like Drake he seems to be taking pleasure in the voyage itself. He also had nothing much to add about medics. Some time is taken to offer Sirius advice to help with that sea sickness, if he wants it, but nothing is pushed, and during this first stop at the city he seems content to remain with the ship.

If Amalthea looks around, if she judged books by covers she would probably hazard a safe guess that past the chef-slash-barber-slash-physician on the boat there was no one with medical experience. Something tells her that maybe he wasn't the best, being so spread out in skills as he is.

"Well, if this ship has no herbs or medicines, I-I'll go out for some," She announces to the men who'd stayed, lifting up a hand dismissively curling in every finger with a waving motion, "After all ther- there's no point in me here if there is none..." Amalthea sighs seeing that in the case anything -did- go south she'd be strong handing it alone. To the city she'd turn, making her way out from the docks... Presumably to return with medical supplies.

Evaristo has one more request for the ship - an extra anchor, and chain, to be attached opposite of the anchor already there. The reason? Well, if the ship has to stop abruptly, two anchors might just do it... At least he seems hopeful it might. He also asks to do some hasty reinforcements to make sure the anchors just stay where they are and don't, uh, rip off by the force, if that would happen.

"Don't trust the anchor that the ship already has, captain?" Lexir casually asks of Evaristo as he watches the installation, meandering on over to stand by the man's side, hands clasped behind his back.

Sirius finally rises off of the coil of ropes, peacified by the strict breathing regiment Pasquale introduced him to as to keep the rising bile from spilling out. Color has returned to his face, such as it is, and while the cold's there lingering; the alienating sensation of having traveled so long on a rocking surface, it doesn't keep him from arriving to Elune's keep after a short, brisk walk amongst the streets all too familiar already for the Prince. The portcullis' risen, and he addresses every which man along the way by name in friendly gesticulation.

Sirius prepares an escort for his person - three knights of Valardin that make a small portion of his much bigger, original entourage, and a marksman native to Elune. Some food, some rope. Plenty of fat with which to light torches. Eventually, he returns to the Manticore with his mini-maniple, ushering them onto the boat. He himself stays on dry land, if only to delay the inevitable.

The group stops for a short shore leave and is off again after they see the Marquessa off and gather extra supplies (yes, on the Marquessa's credit) -anchors, rope, herbs and other various needs- and begin their journey onwards. The ship is now under the command of Captain Evaristo and the previous Captain has resigned himself to peeling potatos in the mess.

Hugging the coastline of Estroch they soon pass an outpost jutting up from the forest. A handfull of people stationed atop it can be seen pointing and watching them as they pass south of Soleila and curving slightly northwards. On either side of them they can see trees and hilly islands until the sea opens up before them, widening to reveal...

"Oh, I trust it - but two anchors will cause a quicker stop. In theory," Evaristo says with a lopsided smile. Suggesting it's not something he's tried himself. "Might save us from running aground."

And, then he's taking on the role of captain and shows he's not even half-bad at leading people, even if he's got a more casual attitude to it than perhaps other captains. But, he clearly enjoys it, standing at the wheel quite often himself, but often standing to the side, watching and taking in information to process, and talkint it over with the... co-captains. Or First Mates. Whatever they like to call themselves.

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