To Karavoss Pt 2

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

"And needless to say, that is the current thought, and the reason that we must make haste. Intelligence has yet to be fully gathered, Mother. I recommend that you identify your assailant before we proceed to the summit."

The Mother sat across from Captain Windswept, silent during the entire two hour talk of the terrorists in the Republic. In that time it took to understand, a great many things had transpired in response to the attack upon the warehouse.

The Mother sat patiently until no one was speaking. “You will need to question anyone other than me, captain,” she said as she tapped a finger on her temple with a pointing to the blindfold she was wearing. “I can not identify anyone by anything other than a voice. I can not see my attackers. That is the reason I require tight, well established protectors like Belmea.”

“My apologies, Your Reverence,” the Captain said. “Then, I should show these to the others.” He summoned the outside guard to bid Her guards henceforth to appear. It took no more than a moment of silence before the familiar stomp of Belmae came to the door. Master Kerron came through, pipe stowed and a serious look about him. He thought of the interviewer and how the soldiers did not let her pass. Joseph was behind him, glancing back at the calm yet somehow stern look of the elven guard that came to a stop opposite of the door, stepping fluidly into positions as the doors swung close.

He turned to Belmae, Jeke, and Joseph with a pair of lifelike sketches, one showing a large, horned creature and the other a perfect likeness to the main attacker they had fought off. He took a short look at the three of them, eyes lingering on Jeke before he spoke of what had happened.

The three peered at the sketches. Two of them immediately recognize one of the drawings. “That’s him!” Jeke said, pointing a finger at the picture of Ponce.

The Captain smiled. “Well then, I brought good news! This fellow was apprehended at the warehouse in question, along with the bull-man. It appears he was staging an attack on the summit in addition to the one on your ship. Evidence at the scene suggests he was possibly trying to pin the blame for his planned attack on the High Church of Sarnia. It seems he was a little too clever for his own good and this teleportation spell of his allowed him to escape you only to fall into the hands of our local militia who immediately clapped the man in irons along with his accomplices.” The man gave a look at Jeke and Joseph. “The Republic of Karavoss would appreciate you staying in Osilon until you can testify at his hearing when he’s arraigned in court.”

The Mother interjected, “Be that as it may, we should not lower our guard or loosen our grip on safety. We as of yet do not know if they were working with others. Whom may attempt to complete their comrades mission.”

“Yes, Your Reverence,” Belmae responded.

"How did he attempt to attack the summit?" Jeke asked, staring at first the Ponce sketch, then to what he thought was a werebull. "How exactly did they attempt it?"

Captain Windswept shook his head. "You can find out more when we make landfall, Master Kerron. I don't know much beyond what I've told you."

Joseph nudged Jeke with his elbow, whispering, "What about Sabriel?" He didn't try to alert the men before them, "He seemed to be a different party, was it a ruse to get our attention off of Ponce?"

“He didn’t attempt to attack the summit.” Belmae said, “It appears they planned to kidnap The Mother and make it look as though the High Church spilled her blood. Trying to start a war between two factions already at each other's throats.” she explained. “Western Aeran is a tinderbox and one spark could set it off. It’s not about the summit, the summit is just an excuse to enact a war crime. If you didn’t smoke that hobbit weed maybe it would be more clear to you. When better to attack then when everyone you want to set up is all in the same place? Or otherwise indisposed?”

“Anyone else mentioned a Sabriel that you know?” Jeke asked the captain.

“Again, when we make landfall, Master Kerron. There are others that would know more.” the captain responded again. The Weapons Master nodded, Joseph sighing a bit. Jeke patted him on the shoulder as he stood back.

“Land ahoy!” someone shouted with a big smile.

“That is our que,” Jeke said to Joseph, quietly. He turned and opened the door, stepping out as the paladin turned towards them. “Kerron! We have security preparations to make, where are you going?”

“Outside, Paladin Belmae,” was his response. “Her Divineness is in good hands. She does have you, after all?” He said, tilting his head and giving a confused smile as he looked back at her. “Not to mention, our shift is over. It has been for the past hour or so. Come on, let’s eat,” he finished aside to Joseph. He could feel the glare the paladin had on him as he stepped back out into the night air.

Off to port, the great landmass of Aeran stretched from west to east. He could see the Havenite bluffs barely upon the horizon, even as he saw the twinkling lights of the Karavossian port town of Osilon. Even from this distance, the gloom of the large trees that made up the great forests seemed to loom over the town. Jeke directed his young charge’s gaze towards the lights and gloom. “The city of Osilon, Master Lithwicke. Here, you will find equality, fairness, and perhaps the second greatest place to find elven ale,” he said with a gesture.

“Elven ale? The elves brew ale?” Joseph asked.

“Aye, faelnirv is what they call it,” Jeke answered. “We must have a pint before we go anywhere, once we get to land that is.”

“What happened over there?” spoke Saige, coming up behind them.

Joseph shrugged, "I have no idea. Chaos, talking about finally hitting land." Jeke nodded at this, smiling at Saige. The young lady pursed her lips, showing slight annoyance at the response. She tapped at her piece of paper. “You were down there for about fifteen minutes… and that is the best you-”

The Weapons Master stepped forward, unnecessarily close. His sudden step forward into her personal space made her stop mid-sentence. He looked at her with a serious eye, his face no longer the jovial and carefree visage he previously had. She stepped back, surprised. Jeke’s hand shot out and gripped her shoulder firmly. “For one that doesn’t sport any church insignia, you seem rather inquisitive. How’d you get aboard this ship, miss?” Jeke asked, a firm voice making Joseph glance over at them a second time.

“What are you doing?” she said through a pained yelp. “Let go of me!” Saige demanded, trying to shove away the much stronger man’s hand.

Joseph grabbed Jeke’s hand and tugged it off Saige, "We are not inquisitors, or guards Jeke. As for you miss, things happened that are best left silent. I'm tired, we don't need anymore conflict." He dropped Jeke’s hand. The Weapons Master furrowed his brow at the woman. It had occurred to him how Saige could be an obvious plant on board. Then the thought became stupid, as Jeke shook his head. "Perhaps today just needs to end," he said. "Apologies, miss. We have had enough magical entities, paranoia will only go so far."

It was not a good apology, he knew. It was the one he currently could give, glancing at the crew before following Joseph. "What was that?" he asked Kerron.

"A bad feeling," Jeke replied, ducking under the beams of wood as they descended below deck. "This ship was searched top to bottom and yet no sign of forced entry, no magical residue, nothing to suggest that those two snuck on board. I was thinking they may have had help. Not sure myself."

Joseph nodded, "I have a feeling they are of no threat to the Mother, however I worry for that girl. Many who seek knowledge aren't prepared for knowledge that looks back."

“Or those that guard it.” Jeke sighed as he said that, finding a table tucked away in the hold. He grabbed a stool, scraping it noisily across the floor before sitting. “Many more have been killed for less.”

"Such are the threads of destiny, such are the winds of evil; people live and die, may it be natural or by the hands of another." Joseph stared out for a moment, "Fresh land is so close, I can feel it in my belly." His statement was punctuated by a loud gurgle of his stomach. "Or that is my stomach telling me to eat."

Jeke chuckled and reached for his own bag. Dragging it out from under the hammock, he grabbed the rations that still were wrapped up in the seasoned cloth that kept it safe and moist. Extending one to Joseph, he chuckled again. This time it was something in memory as he plucked the twine that kept it all together.

“What?” Lithwicke asked, opening his ration.

“Just something you said reminded me of Master Tolkyn,” the Weapons Master said whimsically.

"Something you’d like to share or keep under snow?" Joseph chuckled at how he was using his northerner phrases again.

“I recall him and I having a long, heated discussion of whetstones, of all things. And that the proper stone can be felt along the blade, and such, when he stated, ‘It is all in the touch, in the feel of blade, Jeke, my boy. It makes the blade sing so loudly that you could feel it in your beard!’ Then, his belly did exactly that.” Jeke gave a laugh at the memory. “Oh, how I miss the old dwarf!”

Joseph slightly shook his head, "I have a story for later, but now I sleep. It's been a long day, wake me when we…" The Weapons Master only heard the loud snore from the bear of a man before he finished his words. He shook his head and settled in, feeling the hull thrum slightly underfoot. The sensation of movement let him know that the ship was underway again. The heavy stomps above deck told him Belmae had returned, which in turn told him that The Mother had also returned. It would be a little over a few hours before they got there, it would be another day before the summit. Jeke settled into his seat, feeling tired as well.

And so we go... was his thought.

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