If sailor tales to sailor tunes,
Storm and adventure, heat and cold,
If schooners, islands, and maroons,
And buccaneers, and buried gold,
And all the old romance, retold
Exactly in the ancient way,
Can please, as me they pleased of old,
The wiser youngsters of today:
— So be it, and fall on! If not,
If studious youth no longer crave,
His ancient appetites forgot,
Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave,
Or Cooper of the wood and wave:
So be it, also! And may I
And all my pirates share the grave
Where these and their creations lie!
~ To the hesitating purchaser, by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Sooner or later every one of my RP characters inspires me to start writing again. Lacking the technical savvy and patience for tumbler, I generally resort to placing my creations up in a forum. This thread is specifically intended to hold stories about Klynzahr and her large rowdy family of Sea Wolves. All stories will be set in the present, unless specifically noted in their post and may refer to RP with other characters on occasion.
I always welcome OOC feedback on my writing, particularly in regards to clarity of dialog and action. So please don’t be shy about giving me a quick response, suggestions, critiques or just letting me know if you enjoyed a particular story. So without further ado… here are the tales of a landlocked sailor.
Of Sailors and Domans
Without the ragged bursts of coughing emitting at regular intervals from the interior of his wagon, Elbert Finchley might have assumed that his lone passenger had slipped from the carriage back in the Thanalan dust storms and been lost to the world. For all the conversation that she had provided, answering each of his attempts in hoarse monosyllables, the young merchant may as well have made the long drive to Mor Dhona in solitude. The four guards had split off, ranging the crystalline landscape in pairs, while the other paid passengers had all chosen to ride with his partner Nonorusha in the first carriage. Even with personal assurance that her condition was not catching, from an old sour faced churgieon who had assisted the passenger into his carriage, the caravan’s more credible passengers had chosen to keep well away. After two days and a night with the unceasing cough following him, Elbert could easily see the wisdom in their decision.
He had finally succeeded in blocking the ugly sound by conjuring a mental image of the Doman cuisine that he intended to indulge in that evening. Tender slices of Dodo on a bed of rice and greens hung tantalizingly before his eyes, when the cough shocked him back to the present by speaking up on it’s own accord. Shaking the culinary daydreams from his head, Elbert called back “Pardon Mam, I didn’t quite catch that.”
His passenger repeated herself in a thin rasping voice “Ken ye see th’Toll yet?”
Lifting his eyes above the level of leading carriage for the first time in a quarter bell, Elbert focused on the stone ramparts rising above Mor Dhona’s crystal peaks. “Yes.” He replied “You can make them out a malm off these days.” Determined to keep this spark of conversation alive, he craned his neck back to ask “Come to the Toll often then?” She replied with a curt grunt of “Aye” that sent his hope of conversation plummeting, but to his great surprise she waited just long enough to gather her breath before continuing.
“Not often as some ‘venturers, but a fair bit. Me brother lives here.”
“You may find it quite changed from your last visit.” He pointed out uncertain how long this sudden talkativeness would last. “Much quieter since those scions were routed.”
“The ‘venturers have all gone North.” She replied thoughtfully, “Strange breed they be, canna resist th’alure o’ a new horizon. Offer ‘em a bit o’ work, with danger an’ fame ter be had an’ they’ll be drawn in like flies ter a light.”
“You seem rather opinionated for one of their number.”
“So you don’t plan on going North, when your health improves?”
The response took long enough to convince Elbert that her capacity for conversation had already been drained. However his passenger surprised him for the third time in as many minutes.
“I’ve seen a great many lands. I got no pressin’ need ter add Ishgard ter me list.”
She was silenced by another fit of hacking, which sent shivers down Elbert’s spine. “Churgieons be damned” he swore silently to himself “Next time one offers me a me passanger that ‘isn’t catching’ I’ll send them right off, gil in hand and Nonorusha can choke on his protests” The prospect of standing up to his elder partner filled Elbert with confidence and pride. After two years he reasoned that he had earned the right to a fairer say in their business. The next time that overbearing Lalafell agreed to carry a passenger, who sounded like they were dying of pneumonia, halfway across Eorzea he would need to place them in his own carriage. Elbert was just deciding on the choice words he would use to confront Nonorusha, when the chocobos began to drop their pace without his bidding. Looking up he found the first carriage halted at looming gates of Reverent’s Toll, while his partner exchanged a brief conversation with the guards. Allowing Nonorusha to handle the arrangements unaided, he returned his attention to the passenger behind him.
“We’ll be through these gates in a moment now, Mam. You mentioned that your brother was waiting, did you not?”
The response came more quickly than he had expected “Aye, Ginshaw Iyrnahctsyn, but he’ll no be waitin’. Doesn’t know I’m on me way.”
“Now there’s a decent name for a Sea Wolf. Ginshaaaw.” Elbert rolled the smooth vowels over his tongue thoughtfully. “I’ll fetch him for you when we’re through. Save you the strain of walking there yourself.”
“Don’t trouble yourself.” Came the slightly curt response. “He can’t lift me.”
“Must be scrawny Sea Wolf if he can’t manage to lift you.” Elbert made no attempt to hide his surprise.
“He’s a carpenter.” She replied, as though it ought to settle the matter.
While they spoke the caravan had already been situated inside the keep, with Elbert’s well trained chocobos practically parking themselves. The other adventurers were unloading themselves from Nonorusha’s carriage, splitting off towards the tavern or the adventurer’s guild. While the tireless Nonorusha discussed the unloading of their wears, Elbert slid himself down from the seat, taking the time to stretch and rub at his numb calves. Making his way leisurely around the rear of the wagon, he fully expected to find his passenger stretched out motionless on his bales of phurble wool, exactly as he had found her each time the caravan had paused to rest. So it gave him a jolt to walk around the side and find himself staring up at the huge Roegadyn, already on her feet and wheezing heavily.
“Are ye certain. Ye shouldn’t sit down while I fetch this Ginshaw?” He asked quickly, considering what the repercussions may be if she were to pass out and injure herself. However she waved him off dismissively before starting off across the courtyard. Elbert waited indecisively for nearly a minute, while his partner came over to unharness his birds. Eventually his sense of responsibility gave way to curiosity and a reluctant measure of concern for the adventurer he had ridden with from Ul’dah.
“Nonorusha Jojorusha!” He called over his shoulder, as he abandoned the unfortunate lalafell to the task of unloading. “I will just see to it that Iyrnahctwyn arrives safe. Would be trouble for us if she came to harm at this point.”
“Well make haste, then.” Came the snappish reply “While you’re at it inform Rowena we’ve arrived, order a bushel of gysahl greens brought down here, and book our inn rooms!”
The Roegadyn made no comment when Elbert came puffing up beside her, continuing towards the upper apartments at the same sluggish pace. However she offered him an amiable nod as they passed inside. After crossing the interior hallway, she lead the way up three flights of stairs, stopping at least twice on each to catch her breath or wait out a fresh coughing fit. When the pair finally gained the landing, she propped herself against the stone wall and gave Elbert a curious look. “Ye ken go now.” She assured the merchant “It’s no far.”
“Oh, well, it’s really no trouble.” Elbert replied casually. Having held his patience for the entirety of their long and silent carriage ride, he was determined to see his curiosity satisfied in some measure. After resting for a few minutes, the Roegadyn gave a resigned shrug and continued at the same laboured pace. Down the hallway to an open veranda, around the building and up yet another flight of steps she lead him, clearly confident of her way. On the narrow railing of the uppermost level someone had placed a single gleaming red apple, balancing it precisely opposite to a small oak framed door. Elbert’s self appointed charge slowed to a halt on this stoop, smiling up at the doorway as she caught her breath again.
The door was rather unremarkable aside from several Doman designs carved around the outer frame. Unlike the dusty stoop, the door was spotlessly clearn, gleaming with a fresh coat of carefully applied varnish. Over the lintel hung a handmade wooden sign, which Elbert slowly read aloud. “Carpentrey and Fine Carvings” He stated with a hint of pride “This is the place then?”
“Aye, ye ken go along now.” Was the only response.
With his patience beginning to fray, Elbert turned to face his charge, who was resting against the low railing.“And what of your brother?” He urged, “Ye told me there had been no word sent of your trip.”
“He’ll be along.”
Impatiently Elbert stepped up to the door and knocked. When there was no answer, he tried the latch. From behind him came the crunch of a juicy apple. The Roegadyn was staring at him over the mouthful of fruit. Despite the ashy hue of her face and the ugly wheeze in her lungs, she wore an amused smirk. The fruit was crunched and swallowed promptly.
“Ye should go now.”
“And this brother of yours?”
“I told ye already,” She repeated, with a knowing grin. “He’ll be along.”
Protests were already sitting on the tip of Elbert’s tongue, when a motion on the roof behind him caught his eye. Before he could catch a decent look, the small lithe figure had dropped gracefully to the landing, sending Elbert reeling back in surprise. Images flashed before his eyes of the coinpurse torn from his belt, his throat slit to cut short his cries and his lifeless body tossed to the courtyard below, where Nonorusha would chance upon it and sob. It took several moments for the terrified merchant to comprehend that the strange Hyur was not actually threatening him. He was laughing.
With his heart thundering inside his chest, Elbert bit back the scream that had threatened to break free. In the awkward pause that followed, the badly shaken merchant forced himself meet the stranger’s eye and give him an overly stiff nod of greeting.
Peering back up at Elbert was a lightweight Doman man, with sharp foxy features and extremely pale grey eyes. His hair was concealed by a dusty black scarf and his bare feet clung to the uneven cobbles under them. Comfortably clad in a dark sleeveless tunic and leggings, he returned Elbert’s nod in casual bemusement. The colourfully dressed Ul’dahn was quick to note that the Doman’s right arm hung awkwardly, twisted and marred by the scars of several old stab wounds, although the shorter man had attempted to angle it away from him.
“Another leap like that one.” He cautioned, breaking the silence with a mischievous smirk. “And you would have tumbled to the courtyard below.” His gaze swiveled across the landing to the pale Roegadyn, who was doubled up in another coughing fit and had set the apple down.
The small Doman’s jovial expression grew grim at the sight and he addressed Elbert in a low tone that left little room for argument. “You should go.I am certain that your partner could use some assistance.”
“But I’m waiting for…”
“…..Her brother? Ginshaw Iyrnahctsyn?” The Doman cut Elbert off sharply “Don’t be concerned about him. I will wait with Klynzahr until her brother happens along.”
The Doman’s gaze bore an uneasy resemblance to the expression that Nonorusha wore, when his mind would not be swayed and the Roegadyn was already nodding in her agreement. Fairly outnumbered, Elbert glanced down at the stone courtyard dizzyingly far below and judged it best not to try his luck further. Nodding a hurried farewell to the strange pair he resigned himself to end the long and tedious day with a short and sharp admonishment from Rowena. As he descended the stairs, Elbert wondered for the upteenth time that trip how Nonorusha managed unfailingly to saddle him with the most unpleasant tasks.
The two figures at the top of the stairs remained motionless until the merchant’s steps had receded from the lower hallway. Then the tiny Hyur thrust his arms around the exhausted Roegadyn’s waist.“Klinny!” He declared, sliding into broad Lominsian slang “Ye look like right shite!”
“I love ye too Ginshaw.” Klynzahr wheezed back.