To Karavoss Pt 1

((The Inner Sea, Off The Coast of Karvoss))

Joseph looked out at sea, the elven ship from Karavoss attached gently with a boarding plank. He had made sure to cover his mark, in case anyone from the republic would have seen. He patiently waited for the word of The Mother, he looked towards the mainland, "Jeke, do you know why Karavoss has such elegantly made ships?" He asked the sword master.

Belmea stepped up. “Depends on the ship’s type.” she said. “The Runner Class and the Northern Shatterers are by far the most elegant. Though it does have a function. The Runners are shaped like that for speed, the Northern Shatterers are made to drive splits in ice.” she finished by saying. “But elves also like to make things fancy.” she gave a half shrug.

Joseph thought back for a moment, "I've seen many ships like that in my homeland, I have also seen the elegant work of the frost elves my village was a close neighbor of, we peacefully interacted with them. Especially during the times when winter got brutal, we were allowed to enter their homes of ice and snow and in return, we brought our goods. Those were peaceful times." The warrior smiled sadly at the thought, "I hope those who escaped the attack of the Iron Queen were welcomed safely into their homes, but it's also possible they sided with her."

He pushed the thought away, "Belmea, do you know what they are possibly talking about? This adventure keeps getting stranger, first a stowaway mage, then whatever that thing was, now a captain to the next ship the Mother will voyage with is speaking with her, in private."

"Escort, not voyage with," Jeke pointed out. He surveyed the elven ship and noted the warriors onboard were Karavossian regulars. "Though, I suspect that was Jaral Windswept."

"Uh, who?" Joseph asked.

"Battle commander of the Havenite Navy?" Belmae said.

"Same one. Was kicked out of their navy due to radical belief change," Jeke nodded.

"And you would know this... how? Considering the man is far older than all of you and would show it?"

"You do realize that my master was a dwarf that had a penchant for making plenty of drinking buddies during a war?" Jeke chuckled. "Besides, Jaral isn't that old-looking, he is only seventy-and-a-hundred."

"And was a human," Belmae said, crossing her arms.

"Nope, half-elf." Jeke leaned against the railing. "Master Tolkyn knew him when he was a midshipman in the Dalen Navy, if you believe that Dalen had one. More than a few stories about port and buxoms of bar wenches, a couple of battle stories."

"And this has bearing on…?" The paladin said, flicking her attention to the others and back.

"Nothing, was simply passing the time with talk," Jeke said with a smile.

"Be serious, Master Kerron," she said with a bit of annoyance at his nonchalant attitude. "That hobbit leaf has spoiled your brain."

"Oh, I am serious. If you need proof, then there are thirty-four Karavossian regulars on deck to our twenty-nine, there are at least five more below decks peeking from the portholes, and, out of all of them, five have their peacekeepers off," Jeke said, rubbing his scar a bit as he produced his pipe again.

Joseph listened quietly to the conversation, "Where do we go now that the Mother has been escorted? The ocean isn't my most favorite of places, not to mention that this ship was a battleground not too long ago. I would like to have my feet on dry land."

"I was thinking of getting some ears on this Iron Queen that I've been hearing about," Jeke said, glancing at the other ship. "But that will have to wait until we get to port. We're still in rather dire straits with battle damage."

The crew had begun what repairs they could do. New hull was being nailed plank by plank even as a sea shanty was softly sung by the crew. Jeke lit his pipe with a flick of his finger and exhaled slowly. At sea, magic was dangerous and their little skirmish with the assassins had proven just how devastating it could be.

Elven archers watched with graceful ease, even as their human equivalent watched in wariness. The crew was rightfully worried of another attack with such a high profile person of interest onboard, with a retinue of warriors and hired mercenary. The silent stare with glancing whispers of the elves further made some of the old sea dogs mutter warnings of violence to their brethren. Many of the sailors whispered an eventual attack of perhaps some great sorcerer, while others speculated that the elves were in league with the Iron Queen, since it was indeed elves that were causing genocide.

"What about my mark?" Joseph asked.

"Those answers will lie in either Aelmere or Zatar. Either way, we must first finish our job it seems," Jeke said with a sigh, more than sharing a want to get back to land. He had his own questions for the magical wave and the assassins. Very few places existed that could potentially answer just what had happened.

“Answers to what?” A small voice said from between the two men looking out to the shore. Saige had snuck on them in their conversation.

Joseph reached for his weapon at first, but relaxed. "Where did you come ma'am?" He questioned the newcomer, facing them. "A stockaway?" He gave Jeke a calm look, letting him know that the person was not a threat. "You did just appear from almost nowhere, asking questions, so apologies for my accusations."

“I was told to stay below deck and out of the crew's way.” she said. “I’m simply her to document the pilgrimage to the summit, and the events therein for posterity, and better understanding.” Saige explained. “I’m not a sailor, or a fighter so I would simply be in the way if I didn’t remain in my bunk.” she pointed to a rather large book on her hip that was held to a belt with two leather straps that crossed it center on the vertical and horizontal.

Jeke and Joseph shared a look for a moment, before both thinking if they should answer the woman before them. Joseph was the first to speak, "Well, did you not hear about the strange green wave of necromantic energy?"

“Oh,” she seemed to just remember something. “That is precisely why I came to the upper deck,” she explained, taking out a smaller book and charcoal pen. “I was hoping one of you could shed some light on what the event was, as well as the attack below deck.” She held the smaller book open ready to take notes.

Joseph looked at Jeke for answers, "How much am I allowed to share?" He asked the Weapons Master. Of course, he already knew the answer, which was not too much. "I'll explain the wave, you explain whatever that monster was."

He turned to face the woman again, "We don't know much about the green wave, besides it being a magical wave of necromantic means. Could it have been a ripple of some accursed spell, or somehow a natural thing of nature, we are unsure. However the wave has only affected magic itself, of the Arcane, as well as being a giant wave of green light. Jeke and I plan to investigate once our mission is complete."

Saige didn’t look up to them as she scribbled notes for later transcribing. “I would ask you to take notes but I don’t know that we will see eachother again. Or that you’d take comprehensive enough notes for my liking.” she paused. “That is not a slight on you, I am just very picky. It is why I am on the trek and not someone from a lower station to take them for me.”

"Makes sense," Jeke stated as he puffed lightly on his pipe. "As for the monster…"

"We believed that it was some sort of summoned entity that took host to one of our fallen. The sorcerer that infiltrated the ship almost assassinated his target, however the brave crew of the ship managed to fend him off. Paladin Belmae was the one to defeat this foul entity. We ourselves," gestured Jeke to Joseph, "attempted to give chase to the sorcerer. We lost him to a teleport spell of some sort."

Jeke spoke all of this with a calm voice, puffing occasionally on his pipe. He knew that he bent the truth, with the true entity that brought about the being known as Sabriel had been Joseph's cursed mark. Still, his calm and easy posture was accented by the trailing smoke against the sea breeze that left between puffs. He nodded and gestured as he gave some insights of the battle, describing mostly of Joseph's combat prowess during such a time of stress.

It helped to boast a little, too. Though, he kept his own accounts brief.

Saige furrowed her brow, “Could you do me the courtesy of not leaving out information.” she snapped back a bit. “I do not care about braggadocious recountings of the events. I record history, I am no bard, I only want facts for the archivists to study.”

Joseph glanced at Jeke, "The creature did scream about something called the Anathema, not sure what that is. However something did attack it before it could really attack the Mother, a bright white flame consumed it, forcing it to retreat. My theory is this thing, that called itself Sabriel, isn't from our world, but an alien from another."

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