From the Journal of Rell, written using Eastern Phonemes and Fairyspeak words.
Dated this 26th day of Grekar in the 340th year of the dominion:
I have never been aboard a ship in my life. A boat, yes. A ferry, of course. A ship, never. I find knowledge in my head that I neither learned, nor particularly wanted, but from some of our new friends, I take this to be the norm while we work for the gods. I can only hope that they will take this “boon” from me when this is all over.
I have a couple of things to say about New Crests before I consign that city forever to my history. I found this city much smaller than I expected. I was less than half the size of Llorn, and was much seedier in both its inhabitants and locales.
A prime example of this is the harbormaster Myrth. A coarse man, without a civil bone in his body, he actually thought I might be willing to bed him. Unfortunately, I almost let my over confidence get the better of me. I made a bet with him about the nature of this ship, the Matilda, and prayed to Apis that I had remembered the ship correctly.
A ship made entirely of yellow wood. And it floats. I could only assume that the gods themselves had crafted such a boat, and hold it aloft in their hands as there is nothing else I know of that would have kept that boat afloat.
So, I did remember correctly, and now Myrth, a man without any fine sensibilities, owes labor time to the poor of the city of New Crest. I will keep him in my nightly prayers until I have confirmation that he has completed those hours.
This rocking is bothering me. The floor is not supposed to move. It is supposed to remain below, and the ceiling above. We aren’t supposed to have to deal with the walls occasionally becoming floor and ceiling.
Please Apis, let this torture pass.
Dated this 27th day of Grekar in the 340th year of the dominion:
This morning I caught the most spectacular sunrise from the deck. I had finally given up trying to sleep as the ship was tossed to and fro and finally went above to the chilly predawn light. My breath came out in puffs and I took some time to both pray to my god, and use one of the new abilities I had been granted.
The chill left me completely and I was able to welcome the rising sun. It almost brought tears to my eyes. I tried to tell one of my companions about it, only to see the blank way in which they saw the changing light. It appears that I am the only person in this crew of misfits who has any appreciation for the finer things that nature brings us.
It was a beautiful sight, full of colors. The light refracted both off the water and the clouds. The sun seemed trapped between heaven and earth for a moment before it gathered strength to break from it’s own nightly bed and ascent into the heavens for yet another day.
I waited most impatiently for the end of the day to see if the morning’s splendor would be repeated. It was, only more so. The sight truly left me in tears.
There might be something to this ocean voyage thing after all.
Dated this 28th day of Grekar in the 340th year of the dominion:
The past seems to want to rise out of the grave to which I have consigned it.
The rest of this band, blessed of the gods, will likely think me coward after my actions of today, but that is nothing that bothers me. More specifically, I can live with their ill opinion. I have done so before, and likely I will do so again when the rest of this group is long dead.
The Dragon Tooth Pirates appeared over the horizon in a small flotilla of five ships. As soon as we became aware that they were the same pirates with which I have dealt in the past, I went below, hoping to prevent adding to the troubles that the rest of the group would have to endure at their hands. Truly, I assumed that we would be captured, and was consigning myself to the tender mercies of this pirate band.
The dark of my room assuaged not my guilt at leaving this band to their fate, and the sound of ballista shot striking above only made everything seem that much more pressing.
I went up on deck only to see that two ships had either been sunk outright, or they had fled beyond the horizon, one ship was running with the wind as if no hand guided her, and only two of the original five seemed at all able to give fight.
I readied myself next to the Wolfen, Greldarr, a priest of Osiris no less, and prepared to attack those upon the ship only yards off our starboard side. He leaped across in a feat of agility I have no words for, and laid into the captain of said vessel.
I lent him my aid, throwing my axes into the man, and just like that the battle was over. I doubt more than a minute went past from the first shot I heard until I threw my axes and they were surrendering.
They recognized me, unfortunately.
This is only to be expected. They let me into their home, trusted me as a companion, and I betrayed that trust.
As this is the fifth volume of my journal, someone finding this entry will not have read anything that occurred near the end of the first volume, so I will recount, in short, that other tale here.
I had just graduated from the school, and was given my first job by the Eastern Territories Teamsters Guild. They informed me that a sigil ring had been stolen from one of the previous Masters of the guild, and that it was my job to return it.
I would know this ring by the unique design, as well as the metal of which it was crafted. Like all the Masters, this ring was cast in both platinum and gold, and the metals wound around each other forming a twisted appearance. The sigil itself was set in crushed rubies backed in alabaster.
I was given the proper provenance documents for the ring, and a statement sworn before a judge that the ring was stolen while the Master had been sailing between Haven and an undisclosed port in the Timiro Kingdom.
From the start, and as naive as I was, none of this seemed right. The theft had taken place fifteen years ago. In all this time we, by which I mean the other Collectors and myself, had never been able to return the ring.
I tried to visit the judge, only to find that he had died of dysentery almost a year before. The Master was no where to be found either.
There was only one thing left for me to do.
I traveled into the southern territories, as it is famous as a place of outlaws and thieves, and began to search around. My life was threatened many times, and other things demanded more often. I quickly decided that my appearance was more curse than blessing in this land, and began to go around in disguise. I found that a disease ridden beggar was the best character to play, and so I created my first character in that moment.
Samuel Rickter continued from that point from city to city. He spent nights in jail, and was beaten more than once. Sex was not on the menu, however, so I was at least safe from that.
Slowly I was able to track down the band rumored to have a ring that matched the description I gave, and soon I found myself outside the cove that the pirates of the Dragon’s Tooth called home.
They stripped me bare, washed me in the sea, and discovered the person I truly was.
I professed a desire to join them, and from that day, for almost a year, I was a pirate. They didn’t trust me yet enough to take me out on raids with them, and I would not have participated even if they had taken me.
I repaired nets, poorly, and played the flute, almost as poorly. I regaled them with stories, both remembered and invented. I even played a bit on the stage, as the girl most often of course. It simply was not believable to have a bearded hulking brute play Jasmine or Angelique.
It seems that these pirates loved the romantic works almost exclusively. Stories of virginity and purity protected from beasts like them. Or maybe they just like the portrayal of pirates in the plays. It seems that all of the bawdier stories have pirates in them.
Regardless, I finally found myself alone with the chief of this band, for what he assumed would be a night only to be exceeded by his fantasies about me over the past year.
I got the story of the acquisition of the ring before I left him tied, naked, to the bed.
I took the ring, but not one thing more. I left that place naked except for my pride.
It seems that I wounded the pride of the chief of that band even more than I assumed at the time.
Returning to the present, we have decided, after a dressing down by our gods, to take these pirates for justice in a nearby port town.
Dated this 30th day of Grekar in the 340th year of the dominion:
Tomorrow we leave Ironshod, and I only hope it is soon enough for the health of this team.
We brought in the pirates, and as a duly appointed Collector I felt duty bound to present them to the Magistrate myself. I paid a dock hand some gold to guide us to the house of justice in the city.
At some point I need to mail that letter to let the leadership in Llorn know what has happened to me, and that I am taking a bit of a sabbatical from active service in order to serve a higher calling.
We stayed for their trial, and they were given time in prison with possibility of hard labor. Better than they likely would have gotten here under other circumstances, worse than they could have gotten further south, or in a town more friendly to their kinds.
All in all I found it to be a fine balance between Justice and Mercy.
More of my gold went to hire us a common room where we could discuss the book that Apis requested that I collect for these individuals.
Presenting the book brought up old hostilities, and it seems that in the future dealing with the wolfen and the dwarf separately would be a good idea.
I find Greldarr to be much more honorable than stories would have me believe, and this is a relief to me. I knew that no people could be judged by the actions of a few, but the pervasiveness of these stories seemed to suggest that I might be wrong in this belief.
If stories like these could be this wrong, is it possible that others might have been exaggerated as well?
It is something I will have to consider the next time I meditate about the events of a day.
On the morrow we sail again. I only hope that the rest of our journey to Timiro will be less eventfull than it has been up to this point.
Dated this 5th day of Majestic in the 340th year of the dominion:
Another day at sea, and finally the room seems to be pitching less that it has been in the past. Maybe I am finally acquiring those mythical “sea legs” that chip keeps going on about.
Strange man, Chip, but not un-handsome.
He has a certain chiseled charm about him that…
There is a shout from above that I should investigate. I could swear that someone said “pirates” but that can’t be possible, can it?
Posted by Rell