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The Lost Treasure of Arimathea

The Lost Treasure of Arimathea

A treasure of untold riches. A clue to its whereabouts. A dangerous journey. Countless men have lost their lives in search of the treasure, but will the crew of the Stardust be the first to hold its riches?

1837 readers have visited this universe since xXxCryptic-AngelxXx created it.
Topics: , action, adventure, mythology, original, pirate, and travel (Add Tags »)
Requires Approval: Yes

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Introduction

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"Hold tight t' yer hope fer all be lost,
t' find th' booty yields a high cost.

T' open th' door one needs a key,
fer this quest ye will needs three.

A key o' red found in a grave,
t' find th' thin' ye must be Brave.

A key o' gold in th' land o' th' queen,
be prepared t' run if ye hear her sing.

A key o' black where time's reversed,
ye must be smart or ye'll be cursed.

these three keys must join as one,
beneath th' light o' hidden sun.

Once th' loot be in yer grasp,
do wha' ye must, but do it fast. "






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There hasn’t been a man to sail the seven seas that didn’t know the tail of Captain Corso the Grim. A pirate unlike any others, he was a fearsome man. Just the sound of his name would make most men shiver in their boots. His reputation proceeded him. Merciless and bloodthirsty, it was said that he was able to end an armada, tearing it from the earth root and stem with a single ship. The Reaper.

Every bard in the taverns that sprinkled the Caribbean sang his songs and spoke the legends. Although each tale was different, they were equally impressive and intimidating. One legend claimed that his ship was a gift from none other than death itself. A menacing vessel for Grim to fairy souls to death’s gates and satiate its hunger. While others claimed that Corso was death, risen up from the bowls of the earth to ravage the earth and drench his hands in the blood of the innocent. Whether they be truth or fable, no one knows, for whoever sets eyes on Corso the Grim never lives to tell the tale.

Through his many years of pillaging, ravaging and decimating whatever crossed his path, Corso amassed a treasure said to rival that of Cortez himself. And seemed as though all at once, the captain, his treasure, and the Reaper disappeared off the face of the earth. Rumors spread of the location of his sacred treasure, but no maps were made. The crew that worked Corso’s ship disappeared along with it.

Whispers. Whispers and hearsay was all anyone ever heard. The most prominent of these tales being that the island the treasure is buried on--known as Arimathea or "The Garden of Eden"-- can only be found by charting the stars. Enemy to man but a friend to creatures, it is said the location of the treasure is guarded by many animals. They protect the valuable hoard along with the three keys needed to gain access to the endless trove.

Centuries have passed since the disappearance of Corso and his treasure. No more clues have been uncovered aside from the riddle that surfaced shortly after his vanishing. Many men have tried to find Corso’s treasure over the years, but none have succeeded. An immeasurable prize out in the open waiting for the daring soul to solve the puzzle and discover the truth.[Scar.-]



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When the infamous crew of The Stardust-- known for being not only the youngest but the trickiest bunch of pirates to sail the seas-- obtained a lead on Corso's treasure, the entire crew wanted to make sail for the hidden shores of Arimathea. It the treasure of treasures, the mystery of mysteries, and the ultimate quest for none had succeeded before. However, the captain of The Stardust, a young man by the name of Captain James Porter, decided it was too risky for his men and refused to sail. After a night of partying at Port Winchester, his Quartermaster seized the ship after raising a mutiny among the crew. She had convinced them the treasure would be worth the risk. To be the first crew to ever find the treasure... Plus they'd be rich til the end of their days.

But not all that glitters is what it's cracked up to be. As the crew sets sail on what is perhaps the most dangerous mission of their lives, all sorts of dangers rear their ugly and beautiful heads. Crackens, mermaids, ghost crews, and more... join the crew and set sail for Arimethea.





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C a p t a i nX J a m e s X P o r t e r
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A ship captain is the leader of an entire vessel,
They must be proficient in every aspect of
running a ship.


Hex:#B00000
Played by: xXxCryptic-AngelxXx
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H e l m s m a n
X o fX S p a d e s

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The helmsman holds the helm and
steers the ship. Often works with
the navigator and captain.



Hex:
Played by: unicorns.are.real
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Q u a r t e r m a s t e r
M e g h a nX C u n n i n g h a m

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The Quartermaster, the second in command.
Their main purpose was to distribute things.
They were also meant to balance power.


Hex: #e6b800
Played by: xXxCryptic-AngelxXx
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B o a t s w a i n
W i l l i a mXM o r g a n X I I I

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Boatswain was in charge of a ship's
anchors, cordage, colors, deck
crew and the ship's boats.


Hex: #64844c
Played by: SadHatter
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S u r g e o n
P y o n X S u n - a h

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The Surgen is the only healthcare
professional aboard the ship and has
the duty of caring for the health
of the crew.


Hex: #fa8072
Played by: icat
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N a v i g a t o r
V a l e n t i n a XD eXl aX T o r r e

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The navigator is an expert at
reading and correcting charts
and using navigational tools.


Hex:
Played by: ☿Urania☿
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M a s t e rX G u n n e r
J a c k X B e n n e t

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Master Gunner gives orders to
other gunners on how to set
their guns during an attack.


Hex: #B02E04
Played by: MissTeaspoon
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M a s t e rXR i g g e r
T e s s aX L o c k e

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Master Rigger are in charge of
fixing the ships rigging.


Hex: #54002a
Played by:SatatyaUno
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C o o k
C a l l i eXA v i s

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Cooks ensure the entire crew is well fed
and given a healthy diet. When they are not
cooking they occasionally will take part in small
jobs around the ship.


Hex: #dd5308
Played by: AbsoluteWhisperx
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M a t e
R o s i aXH i e n r i k

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The Mate is the Jack of all traits on a ship.
The mate is often found all over the ship doing odd
tasks here and there to ensure the ship is in working
condition.


Hex: #d2b48c
Played by:Maci-Care
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P o w d e rX M o n k e y
T i m o t h y X R u n d e l l
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Part of the gun crew.
Usually given to the newest member on board.


Hex: #4c988c
Played by: Klockwork0reo
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S t o w a w a y
E v a n g e l i n eXC a s p e r

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They wanted nothing more than to
become a pirate and sail the seas.
Now they can.


Hex: #F54747
Played by:thenotsoinnocent
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1. No Godmodding or Metagaming. Just because you know something out of character, doesn't mean you know something in character unless you've worked out with their player that your character knows. Savvy?

2. Keep the OOC separate of IC and vice versa. If you have problems with other players, come to me about it or take it up with them via PM and don't let it interfere with the story. We're writers. We're better than that.

3. If you would like to reserve a character, put the first password in the OOC which is your introduction and your character's face claim. You may add a photo if you so choose. Your FC doesn't have to be a pirate, but at least have enough pirate...ness to make it work. Let me know if there is a specific image you'd like to use for the front page. Otherwise, I'll go and find one.

4. You have a week to post. I will message you at that point and you have a week to get back to me. If I don't hear from you in those two weeks, I will remove your character and look for a replacement. I really want to keep this thing alive and to do that, I need active and interested players. If you can't post for whatever reason, if you're waiting for someone, or whatever the situation is, let me know so I don't kick you. Do we have an accord? Aiming for posts about once a week.

5. Drama and Romance are accepted and encouraged. The characters will spend a good amount of time on the seas and will need the... distractions. Your characters can have secrets they don't want others to know about as well.

6. This RP may contain some adult themes like sex, alcohol, drugs, violence, etc. so if these things bother you, you will find the plank to the port side. [[Or we can work it out. No need for hasty plank-walking.]]

7. The next password for your reservation will be your favorite piratey character. It can be a book character, movie character, tv show, etc. For example, mine is either Jack Sparrow or Alosa from Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. She's badass. I also like Elizabeth Swan, but she's sometimes a bit too annoying for me.

8. The oldest character I am allowing is 26 and they will be the oldest on crew. I realize I hadn't specified the age but I was thinking late teens to mid-twenties. This crew is known as the youngest on the seas so they need to be on the young side... please.

9. Have fun! Please PM me if you have any questions.





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[center][size=120]Nickname || [for this it would say Pirate Alias]
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[[ ^ the 500 x 450s can be any height as long as they're 500 long. They can even be gifs as needed. They're the character pictures while the others are accents]]

[center][color=#000000][b] L I K E S || [/b][/color] ✓ multiple likes! all of the likes!

[color=#000000][b]D I S L I K E S || [/b][/color] ✗ dislikes! so much dislikes!

[color=#000000][b]Q U I R K S || [/b][/color]
-- three or four quirks

[color=#000000][b]F E A R S || [/b][/color]
-- two or three fears

[color=#000000][b]S T R E N G T H S || [/b][/color]
-- [color=#000000][b]three to four character strengths[/b][/color]:

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Photo can be whatever size. Explain the character traits and expand on their personality.

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Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham "I'm more than I appear. Best not underestimate me, Mate."
Character Portrait: Tessa Locke "You must have a death wish, ay? I hope you get the black spot."
Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik "Come on, what's the worse that could happen? Just do it."
Character Portrait: William Morgan III "Shiver me timbers, it's Bosun Bill!"
Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah
Pyon Sun-Ah played by iCat
"Nevertheless, she persisted."
Character Portrait: Timothy Rundell "Because when given the option between explosives and academy, I chose the explosives."
Character Portrait: James Porter "We are tied to the ocean. When we return to the sea, to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came."
Character Portrait: Callie Avis "I will not become your slave. Never again."
Character Portrait: Evangeline Casper The Stowaway
Character Portrait: Philip Walker "I think I'm in love."
Character Portrait: Julian Bailey "Freedom is a feeling that I can't quite get over yet."

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Jack Bennett Character Portrait: Tessa Locke Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: William Morgan III Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: Timothy Rundell Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: James Porter Character Portrait: Callie Avis Character Portrait: Evangeline Casper Character Portrait: Philip Walker
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M e g X| | XJ a m e s

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H e l l f i r e | | M i d a s

C a p t a i n | | P r i s o n e r

#e6b800 | | #B00000






XXXXCaptain Meghan Cunningham stood amongst the noble people of Astorium in the largest sitting room of Lord Chamberlin's estate, a glass of wine gripped in her hand. While she couldn't deny she looked gorgeous in her attire, she also felt ridiculous. It was hard to move her arms and even harder to breathe at times. Rosia had to lace her up tightly to get Meg the fashionable thin waist, and it was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Her First was somewhere in the house, being her eyes and ears. Meanwhile she was stuck here, eyes on the man who owned the very thing they were here for-- the updated map of Merrinia. They needed this map in order to find the keys to the lost treasure of Captain Corso. And they need it to find Arimathea, the garden of Eden. None of these places are expressly marked on the map. Especially Arimathea. But it would get them close enough.

It had to.

Meg shifted her hips beneath her skirts so the dagger she borrowed from Vale, her navigator, wouldn't jab her in the thigh. She made a mental note to purchase one for herself the next time they were at port. While she preferred her twin pistols or her cutlass, they aren’t subtle enough to conceal on her person. Not well anyway. Meg needed this to go off without a hitch. She didn’t need the Land King’s navy sailing after them once they left. And she would like to return here at some point in the future. Besides… she was only here to borrow the map.

For now, she was buying time. As she sipped at the wine in her glass—an expensive brand that still tasted like dirt to her—her thoughts strayed to the rest of her crew.

James, the former Captain of the ship was in her brig. She buried down the feelings of guilt deep down as she thought of the mutiny. He refused the journey, the search for Corso’s treasure, and the majority of the crew’s wishes. She couldn’t let it continue. Not if she wanted to find that treasure. Not if she wanted to make her parents’ deaths mean something. Rudy, their youngest by far, was keeping watch on the ship along with Tessa—her master Rigger and eyes and ears on the ship, Vale, Jack—the gunner, Bill—her third, Philip—her helmsman, and Sunni—the surgeon.

Somewhere just outside the estate was Vera—their cook and tonight’s distraction—who was awaiting the signal for her entrance. Meg had to admit, when Vera walked out in her getup… her heart beat a little faster. The woman’s past made her the perfect person to serve as the distraction for the night. Meg did feel a little guilty about this as well. Vera was a person after all and having her play this part was… not the best, but they had no other choice.

Her finger tips brushed the chain of the necklace she stole from the Lord and Lady’s bedchamber. Not only will it aid in their distraction, but it will serve as the signal. It was such a simple thing, a necklace of diamonds and pearls hardly bigger than her pinky fingernail, but it was definitely an expensive piece. Although, this specific necklace was chosen because it seemed to be the least worn. It was buried under a pile of jewelry. All Meg had to do was loop her pinky around the end and gently pull it away.

All she needed now was the go from Rosia and their plan would be underway. Even if it was the last thing she'd ever do, she was going to get that map and find the treasure.




XXXX Mutinied Captain James Porter sighed loudly as he laid on the wooden floor of his prison cell. Straw crinkled beneath him as he shifted, staying far away from the corner where a chamber pot was chained to the wall. With the waves on the high seas, he couldn’t be entirely certain it was clean over there. Then again, this whole cell was more than likely no better than that chamber pot, but James decided to ignore this thought and stick to keeping from the corner.

He still couldn’t entirely believe he was in this particular position. His crew turned on him… over greed. He sighed again at the thought. It wasn’t entirely greed. He had denied them adventure, he denied them mystery… and greed. James knew he was unorthodox as a pirate captain and that most on his crew didn’t mind. It seemed that his refusal to go on Meg’s wild goose chase was the last straw with them. And here he was, in the brig when not even a day prior he was asleep in his quarters, dreaming of the wind on his face and sailing towards the horizon.

When he woke to the nightmare that was the mutiny, he was shocked, angry, hurt, and most importantly… relieved that no one had been killed. If his family didn't think him a fine captain, then fine. Let Meg squander her winning for a while… They’ll be begging for him back. His stomach growled loudly and by the light leaking through the side of the ship, he knew it would be about dinner time. Vera was more than likely cooking something up in the kitchen for the crew. He wondered if he’d even be allowed to eat. Meg wasn’t heartless, but he couldn’t be certain of her treatment considering where he’s found himself. Maybe she was keeping him alive for his luck.

Or perhaps… his luck had run out.

Although, now that he thought about it… the ship was unusually quiet. He expected a party. Drinking, food, merriment on their victory of taking down Captain Midas. However, there was a noticeable silence. He knew they had docked somewhere, but that was the extent of his knowledge. Maybe he could get Bill to drink with him. Or Phillip. Maybe Rudy? He wished someone would bring him a drink. He needed one after today. And food preferably.

Whenever he closed his eyes, he saw the mutiny.

He was asleep in his quarters, dozing as was previously mentioned, when there was a commotion on deck. He didn’t think it was an invading party since no one had sounded for battle stations. There was shouting and the metallic clanging of swords. However, the commotion was missing the cries of pain that came with a boarding. He crew was never one to give up easily. Well… not noticeably anyway. So he pulled on his breeches and a simple shirt along with his boots and his cutlass before heading out the door. Right as he emerged, Meg was there, her wild red hair blowing around her face in the breeze, shining in the morning son like a fire. Hellfire.

”I’ve come to relieve you Captain,” she said, fierceness in her tone, but an apology in her eyes. ”Come willingly or face the consequences of your actions.” Behind her were the few who opposed the mutiny, on their knees with pistols pointed at the backs of their heads or cutlasses at their throats. No one looked willing to be in this position, but Meg—the treasure—was worth the sacrifice. He was no fool. He knew the treasure’s worth to each member of the crew.

Especially Meg. Her parents died in search of the treasure and to her it would be for nothing if she doesn’t find the treasure. For nothing, if she couldn’t claim it for her family name. For nothing, if she made nothing of herself…

So here they were. James standing in obvious surprise, Meg with a cutlass to his throat, and his crew divided. So, he surrendered. It was better to do so than to be the cause of any harm to his crew. He didn’t believe any of them capable of hurting the others, but they were desperate to cause a mutiny… how far were they really willing to go?

With his mind caught up to the present, he closed his eyes and let out a few soft notes before continuing through the song:

Safe and sound at home again,
Let the waters roar, Jack,
Safe and sound at home again,
Let the waters roar, Jack,

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main,
Now we’re safe ashore, Jack,
Don’t forget you’re old shipmate,
Faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-dye-doe!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: Callie Avis
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xRosia “Jack" Hienrik


Everybody in the world knows

Everybody in the world knows
Everybody in the world knows
Everybody in the world knows


I'm a little twisted, twisted

I'm a little twisted, twisted
I'm a little twisted, twisted
I'm a little twisted, twisted
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Rosia was giggly and excited for this whole plan, the only thing she didn’t like was that she was told to just focus on the map, and they had to wear these restricting dresses. While they were pretty and Rosia liked pretty very much, she didn’t like how tight it had to be, and her dress also had sleeves, something she just didn’t like at all. She also had to wear gloves to cover up her injured pinky. Noble and high-class women weren’t scared. Rosia remembered growing up and seeing that the rich always had to “perfect” and didn’t care about anything else besides their looks and their money.

Rosia entered the party behind Meg and in front of Vera, Rosia prancing off to do her part, get information about where the map was Meghan getting the signal necklace, and Vera getting in position. Rosia would much rather just go through each room and tear it down looking for the map but was told numerous times they had to be silent and not suspicious. She talked up a couple of nobles but nothing much more about politics and other business opportunities around the city, as well as overhearing the nuisance pirates were being.

As Rosia walked around and began to listen to the different conversations of the party, she also thought back to the mutiny earlier in the day. Captain James had refused the crews request to go after the treasure, and Meg came up with the mutiny plan. Rosia quickly whispered and questioned to figure out who was with who, subtly asking questions without giving away the plans. When the mutiny finally began, Rosia felt a rush as cutlasses clashed on deck and was a little disappointed when it was finally over, helping her crew mates up and starting their journey for the treasure. Rosia was brought back into he present and her mission when talk about selling items for coin caught her ear

Eventually Rosia joined the circle of a pretentious nobles talking about the items that were going to be auctioned off and being sold for a high coin. “How we know these items are real. I haven’t seen them, especially this so called updated map of a lost treasure.” Rosia spoke up after smaller talk and making sure she sounded proper. Luckily these men loved to brag about themselves and easily gave up information. “Well young lady, I personally have seen ALL of these items, even the treasure map that Lord Chamberlin has shown me up in his study earlier this night.” The conversation then spun off about what these items looked like and if gemstones in some cup was real, Rosia quickly snuck out of the circle and went on to find Meg. She was smiling with happy with herself.

After finding Meg she walked over to her after fidgeting with her dress, standing next to Meg and sipping some wine. “T’is is terrible. How do they drink this? Oh, there’s a study upstairs.” Rosia said under her breathe, with a smile on her face, happy and proud of herself. As she looked through the crowd making sure no one was catching on to them or watching them too closely, she talked “Ey, you look great tonight madam, let me know when were ready.” Rosia ready to get to the next part of the plan.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tessa Locke Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: Evangeline Casper
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Tessa
#54002a
Master Rigger
Valentina
#ca8765
Navigator
Evangeline
#f54747
Stowaway

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Instead of staying on the ship and doing nothing, Tessa and Vale decided to go get a drink together. They went to a tavern not too far from the docks. Luckily for them, tonight was one of the tavern’s slower nights. The tables that were full only had one or two people. More than just a few of the tables were empty, leaving a nice private table in the back corner for them to sit at. You could hear murmurs of conversations. The tavern was dim and only lit by candles. Each table had a lantern with a candle inside. A couple more lanterns were near the stairs and bar.

Evangeline giggled as the bar wench served her. The night was slow and the woman had decided to keep her company. The wench was telling her an entertaining story. Evangeline was glad to hear the story. She needed the distraction. She had just buried her sister and her children early that morning. She sipped her drink and smiled as she listened. She had worried the bar wench wasn’t doing her job, but she pushed the thought away. She wouldn’t think of how she had heard the door open and people settle into their seats.

Tessa and Vale had just settled into a table and were waiting to be served. Valentina sighed into her seat, the events from earlier today still fresh in her mind, as well as the guilt, but now they had a new plan. A plan that Meg, Rosia, and Vera already had covered. Leaving the rest to guard the ship. Technically, they were supposed to still be on the ship as well but who could pass up such a moment? They deserved a little breather. Vale shook the thoughts out of her head, softly before standing up, "I'll be right back," she spoke, looking at Tess before excusing herself to relieve her bladder.

After a few minutes of no one coming to take their orders, Tessa’s annoyance began to build. Evangeline let out another giggle as the wench finished her story. The story was about how a wife with her five children stormed into the tavern to drag her husband out. This caught Tessa’s ear and she saw the bar wench talking with the same woman she was talking to when her and Vale entered. This raised Tessa’s annoyance even further to the point where she took her fist and pounded on the table loudly. "Oi! Can I get some service over here?" she yelled towards the bar wench.

The two woman jumped at the yelling. Evangeline glanced back and stared at the source. Evangeline noted how the woman had lovely blue eyes. She giggled and looked back at the bar wench. The bar wench had spilled beer from the almost empty tankards she had been holding. Evangeline’s giggling stopped. "I'll calm her down while you go clean up," Evangeline said. The bar wench nodded and ran off to clean up. Evangeline stood slowly and grabbed her drink. She headed over to the woman and slid into the seat next to her. She turned her head to look at the woman. Evangeline couldn’t help herself as she stared at the woman’s lovely eyes.

"Did you know you should say please when requesting something?" Evangeline asked, her voice soft and playful. She took a sip of beer before she placed the tankard on the table. She giggled, and tried to suppress it. It was hard to do as she wasn’t exactly sober. Tessa blinked a few times as she was unsure of how to reply to that.

"Excuse me? I don't remember askin' you a thing, Girlie," Tessa said in a harsh voice. She then decided to reach over and take the other girl’s drink. She narrowed her eyes at the girl, took the drink, and then swallowed the rest of the contents in one big swig. After she had it swallowed, she slammed the tankard on the table and looked right into the girl’s eyes. "Fuck off my table."

"If you say please, I will," Evangeline replied, but then she glanced at her empty tankard. "And after you buy me a drink," she added.

"Fuck your please," Tessa spat. "And I ain't buyin' you nothin', Girlie. Now fuck off my table," she fumed.

Vale adjusted her belt as she rounded the corner. She felt ten times better with an empty bladder. To her surprise, when she looked over at her table there was someone occupying her seat. Vale began making her way over. It was when she got close did Valentina recognize who that face, sitting in her seat belonged to. It was a beautiful face after all and a very dearly missed one too. It's funny since Vale planned on coming back to look for her once the crew was made rich after this voyage. Her steps slowed until she stood in front of the table. Suddenly she didn't know what to say other than a questioning. "E-Eva?"

Her breath caught when she saw Valentina’s lovely face. Valentina, her dearest friend, was right in front of her. Her broken heart filled with happiness. A bigger smile now graced Eva’s lips. "Hi Valentina," she said in a cheerful, but shocked tone. She couldn’t think of what else to say. Evangeline slowly stood, walked over to Valentina, and tightly wrapped her arms around her. She squeezed hard. Eva pulled back a few seconds later and looked at Valentina smiling.

"How are you? What are you doing here?" she asked.

Tessa watched the girl, whose name was Eva apparently, hug Vale. If she wasn’t confused before, she sure was confused now and her face showed it. With a furrowed brow and narrowed eyes, she wasn’t sure what to make of the situation. "Can someone fill me in on what is happin' right now?" She asked, suspicion in her voice. Eva looked back at the woman with the blue eyes. She now smirked instead of smiling.

"I'll fill you in if you say please and get me that drink you owe me," she said.
"Alright, that's enough outta you, I think," Tessa said, her anger raised to a boil. In one fell swoop, she stood and tore Eva off Vale then threw the smaller girl over her shoulder to carry her out. "Where's the trash?" She added, ready to carry Eva out.

Valentina found herself hugging Eva just as hard. Even teared up a little, secretly hoping Tessa didn't see that, but thankfully Evangeline hugged her at that moment. Just before she could answer Tessa went on the defensive. God, she could just kiss her sometimes. Instead, she was stuck watching the scene unfold in front of her. "Wait," but Tessa didn't hear and if so, didn't listen. "Wait!" She almost shouted.

Tess pulled Eva over her shoulder, and Vale quickly jumped in front of her. "Tessa, please put her down."

Tessa blinked a few times, confusion still written on her face as she looked at Vale. "Why?" she asked.

Vale stepped a bit closer this time, biting her lip. "She's family." she said, looking into blue eyes.

"So please put me down," Eva added. She stayed still as she didn’t mind being carried. It didn’t look like Tessa would end up throwing her anyways. She had Vale to thank for that.

The realization hit Tessa and she felt a bit embarrassed. Though, she was still awfully annoyed at this Eva person. "Fine," she said with a sigh and dropped the smaller girl. "Will someone explain this to me now?" she added.

"So Valentina, you decided to come to the bar with blue eyes instead of coming to see me?" Eva asked as Vale helped her get back onto her feet. She smoothed her dress out before looking at Vale. She was trying to give a serious expression, but she just ended up smiling. She glanced at Tessa as she waited for an answer.

Valentina sighed in relief, at least Tessa didn’t toss her, she thought. "What? No! That's not how it is at all!" Vale quickly went on the defensive, feeling a bit shot at. "I was coming back to find you, after this big voyage," Evangeline froze for a second when Valentina mentioned a big voyage. Her heart squeezed with pain and sped up at the thought of being left alone. She had the girls at the brothel, but they weren’t family. She took a long shaky breath and crossed her arms.

"Y-your leaving a-a-again?" she asked, her voice thickening with tears. Evangeline blinked quickly to keep the tears from escaping. Her eyes went to the floor after. Evangeline didn’t think she could look at Valentina without breaking down.
Valentina couldn't help but to quietly reach out, softly gripping the end of Tessa's sleeve who she stood next to. It was instinct when she heard Evangeline's voice about to break. It hurt. "I-I...It's just one more job..." Seeing her now, Vale tried to find the words but she felt the knot in her throat instead. She honestly didn’t know if she’d survive this trip and see Eva again but Vale didn't want to let her go now, not for a second time. Evangeline felt her heart squeeze again and the fear started to creep up on her. The thought of being on her own terrified her. She let out a sharp laugh that sounded more like a sob. Her body now shook ever so lightly.

"Don't leave," she said, her voice sounding harsh as she had to force the words out. Evangeline took another breath before she quickly glanced up at Vale. "Please," she whispered, pleading.

Valentina’s heart finally finished breaking right then and there. She went from gripping Tessa’s sleeve to holding onto the tips of her fingers, tears brimming and threatening to spill over. She felt herself giving in, she wanted to give in. Vale slowly went to nod her head when Tessa spoke up. "Well, she can't stay here. I ne-I mean, we need her," she blurted out. Evangeline took a sharp breath and turned away slightly.

"Okay," she whispered. She stared at the floor as she tried not to break down there and then. She took a deep breath before she began to walk towards the exit. She felt the hot tears begin to run down her flushed cheeks. "Wh-What if she comes along!?" she accidentally shouted. She thought about it hard between the silence that filled her ears at one point. I mean, how could it not cross her mind? It was that or she stays but… goes back to everyday thievery. She didn’t want that life for them.

"What?" Tessa asked, her voice full of confusion once again. Evangeline had stopped walking and turned around. She took a deep breath and wiped the tears away. She glanced at Tessa before her gaze went to Valentina. She gave a smile, but it was small and sad one.

"I-I can come?" she asked, her voice having a spark of hope. It was only a few seconds later and her smile grew. "I would just need to stop home first before I go," she said, meeting Valentina’s gaze. She smiled still and held out a hand for Vale to grab.

"I just live a street or so down, let's go" she added.

"Oi! Hold up there a minute, Girlie," Tessa said as she took a step forward then turned to Vale. "Ya can't be serious. They won't let her on the ship."

Vale glanced over at Eva after contemplating the risks. She then met Tessa’s eye’s once more, "What if they didn't know?" she sheepishly shrugged, trying to shake off the sad feelings.
"I can stowaway, let's go before the night is up," Eva said happily. She smiled at the two women. All the sadness was gone from her expression and voice. She grabbed Vale’s hand and looked at the other woman.

"Let's go," she said before she led them out of the tavern and to her home.

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Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah
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xxxxxPYON SUN-AH
dialogue colour; #fa8072
plague || the surgeon


Sunni rarely got a quiet moment to herself. It seemed like there was always something to be done, some ailment to be examined, some injury to check, somebody to chase down so she could make sure their wound wasn't infected. Honestly, she was glad that the mutiny had gone so smoothly. She hadn't taken an active part, and had never formally declared her alliance, but everyone knew what side she stood on. Meg had a point. This treasure would change everyone's lives, including Sunni's. Sometimes she dreamed of all she would and could do with riches beyond belief. Every time she imagined it, the call to go home surged in her soul again. Money wouldn't be an issue. She could treat who she wanted, rich or poor. And her parents would never want for anything.

But she couldn't go home. Not yet. So instead she took advantage of her free time to curl up in her quarters with a book from home. She hadn't brought many books with her, and all but one were medical references gifted to her by friends and family. Her mother had given her a tale of a hero determined to do good, no matter what the cost. She'd read it dozens of times, whenever she needed a boost or a reminder of home. But her tools and workspace were clean, almost everyone was away, and she knew she'd be unbothered. So she read it again.

She would have been lying if she said that she wasn't at least a little worried about this mission the others were on. It was risky. She had no doubt in the abilities of the crew- and certainly not in Meg- but sometimes things beyond control came up, or somebody underestimated things and it got messy. Sunni knew Meg probably had it under control, knew that they'd be fine, but still that little niggle of worry remained at the back of her brain. She didn't want anything to happen to Meg. Well, to any of them, but especially not to Meg. She was the one who had brought her on to this ship, she was the one who had seen her for the doctor, not the tiny Korean girl. She was important to Sunni in so many ways, and Sunni always worried that she wouldn't come back, or worse, that she would and that Sunni wouldn't be able to save her. She said it was because she feared what the crew would become if she wasn't there to guide them. She also knew there was something else there.

She put down her book for a moment to listen to her surroundings. Somewhere, a man was singing. It was peaceful, that kind of peace that made Sunni fear it was to end all too quickly. But she went back to her book, deciding to enjoy it while she could.

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Character Portrait: William Morgan III Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: James Porter
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The manifest is set, release the mooring lines
From the top, from the nest, looks the perfect night

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So I’ve gone out to sea
But this time it’s gonna be a burial for me!

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Bosun Bill was on the mast, watching over the Stardust. The previous events flew by, and Bill was not a fan of the mutiny. Never. A crew was his number one priority, even if they would treat him like rotten fish. The night was quiet, so quiet that Bill could hear the waves and the bubbles they made each time they bumped up against something. The Stardust was rocking from left to right and the laughter and booming activity of the mainland were heard at the dock. Listening to milieu wasn't Bill's favorite activity, so he slid down the mast and went to get his Hurdy-Gurdy.
The whole deck was hushed. The gunner crew and Leigh were the only ones active on the ship, emptying tankards of beverages on the forecastle deck, the only light provided from the silver moon. The pirates needed a break from the weight of the crew's division caused by the mutiny, so they decided to have a drinking party on the deck. Bill was about to interrupt their quiet gathering, and at the sight of an Officer, the pirates tensed up, slipping their tankards behind their backs quickly, hoping that Bill hadn't noticed.
"Ease up, lads. I need me some scallywags for me shanty." Bill then instinctively throws his concertina towards Rum, who barely caught it. Rum was one of the few on the ship that could aid Bill when he was playing his instruments.
"Aye." Ale replied while the rest of the pirates relievedly prepared their throats for some shanty singing.
Bill spun the crank on his Hurdy-Gurdy which was slung around his neck and pushed the keys with his left hand. The sounds were slightly scratchy, though they droned out a harmonic melody aided by Rum's long, airy tones of the squeezebox he held and rhythmically pressed before the 7 pirates sang in half-drunk harmony, a musical composition Bill had made and called Becalmed.

"Becalmed, becalmed, hold fast my friends,
We're far from journeys end.
Through trying winds and ocean 'pades,
We'll find our way again.
Though tales tell of danger,
We rule the waves."


The quiet sonances of the breeze and the sea accompanied and guided the song, which was euphony the ocean provided.

"Becalmed, becalmed, hold fast my friends,
The crest of the waves comes.

Sailing into the tempest,
Sailing through the shallows,
The wind has called our names.

The roar has silenced for us,
The birds fly free above,
And heavens have called us,
But we will not follow.
Until our tale is gold."


The echoes of the pleasant end of the sea shanty filled the night as Bill joyfully proclaimed his trademark phrase when drinking;
"Drink up ye jolly lads, fo' the sun may never rise til we set sail fo' home again!"
Though other matters had to be done. Bill left his instrument on the ship and walked around the ship, putting his Hurdy-Gurdy in his quarters and descending down into the Brig. The deck quieted again.
"Cap'n. Or should I saw James Porter the filthy traitor?" Bill gave a hearty chuckle as he reached the rusted bars.
"I'll get you a drink, sir." The boatswain sarcastically termed James as 'sir', though he saw that his friend needed some grog. This was one of the first times Bill had seen his former Captain so dejected, though he couldn't help but crack a joke.
"Oh and just so y'know, Ye won't be in the brig for long. I never betray me cap'n." Bill went back upstairs to get his former captain a drink.
The deck was still quiet.

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Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: Callie Avis
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M e g X| | XR o s i a

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H e l l f i r e | | J a c k

C a p t a i n | | M a t e

#e6b800 | | #7C674A






XXXXMeg did a most unladylike thing when Rosia commented on the wine: she snorted. Loudly. Thankfully, no one in the room seemed to give a gold coin for whatever the two ladies were discussing. They were all wrapped up in their own conversations. Meg placed a hand over her mouth and leaned over to Rosia as if to whisper a bit of gossip to a friend and said, "Aye. Right nasty thing. It's like drinking a sandy beach." She paused, giving the room a once over. "Let me dispose of this trinket and we be on our way." She walked over to the nearby open window, the cool night breeze wafting into the room, bringing about the smell of roses from the Lady's garden. Meg closed her eyes a moment, allowing herself to take in the scent as both a part of the act and as a part of the plan. In one quick movement, she had the necklace from her sleeve and tumbling down to the floor below where Vera would hopefully find it. Then she turned to Rosia, a mischievous glimmer in her eyes. "Lead on."

Rosia giggled upon herself hearing her captain snort. It was a cute little thing that the almighty Hellfire would do occasionally. Usually, Rosia would have to try to get her to snort, but this time it was just natural and perfect. “Heh, I’ll be ‘ere.” Rosia said as she debated in her head to finish the wine that she hated the taste of, but was still thirsty. In the end, she gulped down the rest of the glass and setting it down. Rosia watched as Meg went to the near window and disposed of the necklace, Rosia didn’t even notice her getting rid of it and she was watching it. “Nice move.” Rosia commented when Meg returned.

Rosia looked around the room before walking out the door and down the hall. With Meg behind her, she peaked around the corner before continuing down the long hallway. She finally reached a room that was off to the side. Rosia assumed it was the study since it was locked and there weren’t any other rooms around. “Keepin’ an eye out will yae?” Rosia asked in a whisper to Meg as she fiddled with her dress, pulling out her lock pick kit out from the front of her corset. “Don’t judge, had keep it hidden.” Rosia said before bending over and started to pick the lock. Rosia cursed to herself a couple times before finally getting it unlocked. “The Cap’n may enter.” Rosia said as she stepped back.

Meg left her glass behind as she followed Rosia out of the room and towards the study. Meg silently chastised herself for not being more prepared, but the Lord rarely let anyone in and she couldn't very well replace a servant for the short period of time they would've needed. Servants hold important positions, ones Meg could appreciate more than the nobleman, and if you replace or add to the household, all of that will shift resulting in commotion later on. While it was an appealing idea to cause chaos in the home, Meg wouldn't want to cause trouble for the servants who were already as close to slaves as could be. She was lost in thought and nearly collided with Rosia once her spy found the door.

Her first mate pulled a pick from the front of her corset and whispered in defense. Meg simply smirked. "If ya think that's all I need to judge, ya be wrong. I have a knife strapped to me leg and another garter for the map. With this damned hoop-skirt might even make for a show." She replied quietly as Rosia worked on the door's lock. There was a soft click and the door swung open on silent hinges. "That a lass." She walked in and quietly shut the door behind her leaving Rosia to keep an eye out.

The study was exactly as Meg expected. It was a male's collection of inconsequential things that he parades around to compensate for his small manhood. Meg, being a pirate, was a bit hypocritical with her thoughts, but she began her quiet search. She prayed this wouldn't take nearly as long as she feared. The more time spent searching meant a higher chance of capture... and an arrest for Vera.

Rosia nodded Meg walked in and closed the door behind her as she walked in. Rosia’s next task was to just stay outside the study and keep watch, easy task but she knew it was important, so she couldn’t goof off. Rosia didn’t expect anyone to come investigating upstairs, but Meg still wanted her to keep watch to be safe. As Rosia was waiting by the door, she heard footsteps approaching from the staircase. Rosia leaned against the door and gave three light knocks, signaling to Meg there was company coming. Rosia was getting ready bolt away when she heard talk. “There’s a situation in the courtyard! Something about the noble and some mistress.” Then the footsteps went away from them and silence followed. Rosia gave the all clear two knocks afterward and continued to be on guard.

Meg had checked the desk first, figuring it was the best place to check. However, she had none of James's luck and so found nothing. She checked the pile of rolled up paper on the bookshelf. She found a map of the stars she had to prevent herself from taking for Vale. They had a star map, but it was old and fading. She only had room under her skirts for one map and this one was more important. Her heart sank. It wasn't on the shelf either. She nearly jumped out of the pointy shoes she had shoved her feet into when three quick knocks came. She noticed the window was nearby and looked out. There was a small lip just outside and she decided that was probably a better than getting caught.

She was half out the window when the two slow knocks sounded through the study. She sighed in relief and shut the window. Back to her search. She had already checked the two most obvious places. She really, really hoped that they had heard wrong and he had stashed it somewhere else. Then she saw the corner of a piece of paper behind the large hanging mirror on the wall. She gently tugged on it and it slid away easily. At first, she stared in confusion at the blank sheet of parchment. Then she flipped it and behold the map! She quickly rolled it up, fumbled a bit with her skirts until she had it snug in the garter.

She knocked on the door once, loudly, before she hoped the door and stepped out. She heard the commotion in the other room. Probably caused by their very own Vera. Time to act fast. "Best be off," she said quickly and quietly before moving down the hall. She wasn't running, but it was definitely obvious they were in a rush. They had to get down the stairs and out the door where they'd wait for Vera just on the other side of the rose hedges. She was impressed they hadn't been found. "We nearly done." She said once they were out the front door.

Rosia looked back hearing a knock come from inside the room, and then watching Meg come out, smiling at her. “Sure thang, tired of t’s place already.” Rosia said as she followed behind Meg through the hall and out the door, the whole time Rosia having a hard time in the dress she was wearing. “Ey, slowin’ down.” Rosia said as she finally caught up with her outside the front door. When Vera finally arrived, Rosia perked up and smiled a little. “Good an’ glad you made it. Time to get back to sea?”

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Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: Callie Avis
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H E X || #dd5308

One in. Hold. One out. Hold. One in. Control your breathing. Control your heart so your head can make all the decisions. As those words of wisdom echoed through her mind, Vera attempted to keep her hammering heart under control. Her mentor’s voice was like music to her ears. It was always the perfect tone. Kind and low. Just recalling it put Vera at ease. Well, then came the sadness. And then grief. Her heart went from out of control to aching. Oh how she missed Kit. Vera couldn’t help but let her mind wander. What would Kit think if she saw her little Vera now? Standing in the middle of her the night in this gaudy dress, right outside of some local lord’s estate. It was almost funny. The cool night breeze tickled at her vast amount of exposed flesh, causing her to wrap her arms around her torso. She was greatly regretting refusing the jacket Meg had pushed her to bring. Jackets aren’t sexy. Jackets aren’t distracting. And that’s what she needed to go for.

Several minutes passed. Vera was glad nobody noticed her little hiding place tucked into the shadows of the decorative building. All she needed was the signal from Meg and Rosia. As if on cue, a necklace dropped out of nowhere a few feet away.

The necklace was simple. Not too fancy, just some pearls and diamonds. But the cream color of the jewelry matched that of the dress, so the two fit naturally. Without a second thought, Vera slipped it over her frail neck. Her hands lingered on it for a moment. Her fingers traced over the metalwork; she’d never had the pleasure to own something as lovely as this. Never had the money for it, nor the drive. Already, her mind jumped to food. Oh, how many spices I could buy with this… And a fat ham, too… She had to snap herself out of the trance she put herself in. Now it was time for business. It was time for Vera to do her job. It was time to be a distraction.

Vera emerged from the shadows and approached the main entrance. At the door stood a single guard. Not much of a match for her, really. Just one young man who hated his job of dealing with drunk nobles and vagrants that attempted to crash the party. Vera is no normal vagrant. One foot placed perfectly before the other, so she was strutting to the entrance. She could already feel his eyes on her, her body, her hips as they swayed with each step. One hand reached up toward her head, her fingers running through her bouncy locks. She certainly looked the noble part, if not a bit more, ahem, distracting.

“Good evening, madam.” The young man was no older than 18; she could hear the innocence in his voice. “C… can I help you with anything?”

That stutter, hmm… It put a smile on Vera’s lips. This wasn’t even going to be a challenge. “Good evening, sir.” A respectful title to fluff his ego. “A friend invited me to this little gala, but she’s an awful friend really. She had me come into a town I’m unfamiliar with and then abandon me to stumble around like a fawn.” A giggle ended her sentence. Her body language was very particular. Both hands folded together in front of her, arms taut to push her shoulders together for obvious reasons. “She’s quite rude, I think, don’t you?” She then bit into her plump bottom lip, making sure to maintain eye contact.

By now, the young man didn’t even stop himself from staring. His eyes danced along every curve. Exactly what Vera wanted. “Aye, she sounds like a right awful friend, hah.” His confidence was building.

“Say, you look like a local yourself, not bad on the eyes, either…” She hummed, leaning forward ever so slightly. “After this, why don’t you… show me around? I’d love to get a closer look at the town. What do you say?”

He perked up. Vera could see the light in his eyes turn a bit darker, ladened with something else. Something Vera was quite familiar with. “I think that’s a right good idea, I do.” He chuckled. “I’ll be here, waiting for you, madam.”

“Thank you, kind sir. I promise I won’t be long. These parties are rather boring.” With a small wave, Vera entered the building. Just the foyer was immensely lavish, so she was prepared for the fanciness of the ballroom. What she wasn’t prepared for was the number of people. Quite a few more than she thought. But this was fine, possibly better. More people, more commotion. As if out of habit, she toyed with the stolen necklace. Her observant glare swept the room, searching for man of her dreams: Lord Chamberlin. It wasn’t difficult to find him. Her was the most garish man in the room. On his arm was a woman at least 10 years older than Vera. Perfect. Everything was going exactly as it should be.

Her mind raced. Vera already had a small plan formed in her mind. She found one of the servants and got herself a glass of wine. Her nerves refused to allow her to sip. Instead, she tamed her breathing. Chamberlin was talking with some people he was clearly friendly with. She waited, not too long, for a gap to open in that circle of friend. Vera took a deep breath. Now or never.

A loud gasp, loud enough to be heard by the people around her. Then, the dropping of her glass. It shattered as it hit the hardwood floor. That caught more people’s attention “You bastard!” Two words, loud and sharp, pierced the remaining of the chatter. A hush fell over the room as heads turned to see the commotion. Vera’s fists balled in feigned rage. She stomped, over the broken glass, toward the Lord, who looked utterly stunning. “You lied to me!” It didn’t take long for her to close the distance between them. Vera had to the privilege of being an attractive, young, unintimidating woman. God forbid she was a tall, scary man. She’d have been thrown out in an instant.

“I’m… I’m sorry, who are you?” A valid thing to ask, really. Chamberline was quite confused.

“Who am I? Hah! Don’t play dumb you slimy cock!” A finger jabbed into his chest. He jumped ever so slightly, but no guards attacked her. “You told me tonight would be the night. The night you threw out last week’s rubbish and took me as your rightful wife!” Vera was of course referencing his current wife, who’s face displayed her shock.

“What? What are you talkin-”

Vera couldn’t let him speak much. If he had the chance to speak, people might believe him. “I spread my legs for you, treat you like a king, and this is how you treat me in return?!” She was beyond screaming at this point. Poor Chamberlin, he was white as a sheet. His mouth opened and shut, but no words came out.

“Adam, who is this woman?” By now, Chamberlin’s wife was now more concerned, for she had gotten over her shock.

“Who am I!?” Vera let out a loud, sarcastic laugh. She then disregarded the wife’s comment and returned her attention to the Lord before he could answer. “You know who I am.” The words came out almost as a growl. “You promised to take care of me, take care of…” She allowed her voice to break and trail off. Crocodile tears welled in her eyes. Boy, she was quite good at this acting thing. “If you don’t help me, how am I supposed to take care of the baby?” At this point, you could hear if a pin dropped in the room. “I will not raise our son alone without a father, the father you promised to be!” The sadness turned back into rage.

“Adam!” Chamberlin’s wife’s voice turned to worried anger. “Who is this woman? What is she talking about?”

It seemed as if the Lord found his voice. “I-I have no idea who this whore is.”

Oh, that was a mistake. The fake rage turned real. Vera hadn’t been called that in a long while. It was a punch to her gut, and Vera’s response to pain was turned into wrath. “Whore? Whore?! Her hand grasped at her neck until her fingers wrapped around the necklace. With one sharp tug, the latch in the back snapped. “Would he give this to a whore?!” She waved the broken jewelry it in their faces.

The first person to react was the wife who promptly took the necklace from Vera. After a quick inspection, her face twisted in disgust. Not just for Vera, but for her husband. “Adam, the necklace your grandmother gave me?! You… you son of a bitch!” Her attention was taken off of Vera entirely as she balled her hands into fists and began to hit the Lord.

By now, the crowd had grown restless. A few moved forward to try to stop the woman from behind her husband to death. As they pushed past Vera, she couldn’t help but stick a foot out. A man tripped, falling into another. The second turned, enraged already. The two began fighting immediately. And from there, a chain reaction rippled throughout the crowd. Men were throwing fists, brawling on the floor, while the women were huddled in a corner out of pure fear.

Vera took a few steps back to admire her work. A gleeful grin spread across her face. Her plan had worked perfectly. This should buy her fellow crewmates a decent amount of time to conduct their business. Vera glanced to the side and noticed she was standing by the servant with the wine. This time, she picked up a glass and pressed it to her lips. The reddish liquid slid down her throat and she let out a pleased hum. “Mmm. A lovely dry red. Wish I had a thick steak to go with this, hmm?” Her clearly happy tone didn’t seem to carry over to the boy. “Mind if I take this?” She pointed to the full bottle of wine tucked under his arm. He seemed to be too shocked to verbally respond, so he just shook his head. “Oh! Thank you very much, young man.” Vera slipped it out of his hands, but she made sure to plant a kiss on his cheek first. “Have a good night!” With that, she exited the ballroom.

Her happy face didn’t change as she once again approached the entrance. She then remembered that she had to face the youthful guard again. Her eyes still felt red, so she tightened her chest and forced more tears to flow. With one arm holding the bottle of wine behind her back, she stumbled through the entrance, right into the guard. “Help, please! Something’s happening inside! Somebody attacked the Lord! You have to go help!” Her labored breathing and shaky sobs only added to the ruse. His eyes went wide; it was difficult to hear all the commotion from out here.

“Stay here, I’ll be back for ya!” His words clearly carried some fear. For his job or for the Lord, Vera would never know.

“Yes sir, I will wait right here for you!” Before she could even finish her sentence, he ran inside.

Vera smiled once more. She practically bounced down the front steps, her flowing skirt following in her motions. She only stopped her delighted skipping once she reached where the trio agreed to meet up once more. Boy did she have a story for the girls back at the ship. She quickly spotted her fellow infiltrators by some bushes. “Hello ladies!” She called in her chipper, sing-song tone. “I think it’s about time we head for home, hmm?”

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Character Portrait: William Morgan III Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: Philip Walker
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T H EX N A M E L E S S XH E L M S M A N
HEXCODE: #1d906f

Philip was feeling a little buzzed, maybe from the pints of ale he’d left the Stardust to find, or maybe from the brunette boy who’d smiled his way. He’d had amber eyes with a mischievous shine and they’d captivated Philip. Slipping back onto the ship, he stopped to taken in the smell of the sea and the rock of the boat. It was the feelings that reminded him that the sea was his home.

Philip easily found Bill getting musical with the crew, and he had no interest is yelling sea shanties across half the sea. So instead he snagged a tankard of ale for himself and disappeared further into the ship looking for someone else. Honestly, anyone else but Bill singing sea shanties, his pounded from the just the thought. He briefly thought about finding James, but he had no wish for Meg to return and find him down there with their ex captain.

Stumbling across a light under Sunni’s door, Philip barreled in, throwing the door open wide and knocking a few things around as he did. “Sunni, my lovely lass!” Okay, so he was a little more than buzzed. He was absolutely foxed, and probably smelling like a brewery. He put a hand over her book and eased it down, as if his entry hadn’t already garnered her attention. “I’m in love.”

“Oh, what ye got here?” Philip asked, as if just noticing where he was. He took a few shaky steps over to her work space and started picking up tools and vials for inspection, plonking them down wherever, ignoring her obvious organisation. “Meg wasn’t wrong bringin’ ye aboard. Ye really be know’n ye stuff.” Of course, as someone who was rarely part of any fighting, Philip hadn’t exactly had much reason to visit Sunni down here. The two of them got along well enough though, both of them knowing not to discuss the mutiny as they stood silently on opposing sides.

He sniffed, ending his inspection and swinging back around to face the doctor. Knocking over a few more things as he did. “Don’t worry lass, it’s not ye I be in love with.” He eyed up the Sunni, he’d once considered himself in love with her determined, capable, way of being. It had only been for a short while before he realized his mistake.

“What kind of bedlam do ye reckon’ those lassies have gotten themselves into by now?” He said looking in the direction he believed shore was. Philip’s friendship with James might have been influencing his opinion, but he didn’t exactly feel like he was in capable hands with Meg.


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Character Portrait: William Morgan III Character Portrait: Timothy Rundell Character Portrait: Philip Walker
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Jack of Hearts next, right?

Wait, what about the Queen of Diamonds here?


Rudy shook his head. “One day I’ll get this. . .”

Furrowing his brow, he finally set the Queen of Diamonds atop the Jack of Clubs. The boat creaked again as the waves gently lapped against the hull. Rudy looked up, squinting against the light of the lantern. His eyes adjusted and he looked out across the deck. His corner wasn’t in the way, back near the helm of the vessel, perfectly poised so anyone entering would be forced to to pass through his view. Not to mention the other deckhands and their gambling going on just on the other side of the ship. With all the eyes up front, distracted though they may be, Rudy hoped it’d be enough. He just had to be sure to keep a strong vigil here. Reaching down, Rudy took a small chunk of the loaf of bread he’d smuggled from the pantry. He held it up to the night sky, letting the moonlight filter through the rough bread edges and crumbs. To be entirely honest with himself, he wasn’t even sure why he’d stolen it in the first place. Though, whenever he was playing a game like this, especially a job like this, he’d always needed a snack to keep awake. Something to burn so his mind wouldn’t shut down. He looked back at the cards before him, each one grubby, bent and warped from his pockets. Even a lot of the faces and colors were faded from the salt-sea air. But still, they were his, pilfered from his aunt’s pockets ages ago. He drew the next card,

An Ace.

Rudy cursed silently. Patience was something he didn’t like playing, hell he’d only picked it up to have something to do while the crew was away. He was piss-poor at the game, didn’t have the foresight required to get any further than a single completed stack, anything else became a complete mess of cards and colors. He squinted at the cards, biting his thumb. He put the Ace atop the Ten of Spades, that set was dead now. Rudy shrugged, drawing another card.

A two of— A heavy thud snapped Rudy’s eye’s to attention. ”Oi, whomever ‘at is better watch it!” Muffled, amid the gentle zephyrs and gurgles, was the soft humming of Bill.

Rudy smiled in relief. Had anyone else seen him, they may have questioned his bowl of almost certainly stolen food. To be sure it was worth the trouble, he took a few more bites of the loaf. There’s no way this much starch would be good for him, nor would the absolute quantity of food. Still he ripped into the bread. Each bite getting harder and harder to swallow. Finally he stopped. His stomach sufficiently full and his game now almost completely given up, he opted to instead lay back for a moment. There was no way any intruder could sneak onto the ship without making noise that wouldn’t alert him or someone else. Besides, he just wanted to lay back for a minute, and stare up at the stars. Here, on the boat, he felt like he could go anywhere. Hell even those distant points of light didn’t seem so far away when under a set of sails. His eyes closed for a second, then fluttered open.

The haze of a full stomach on a lazy night began to creep in. Slowly the cries of inebriated merriment fell from the air, and it was only Rudy, the stars, and the teasing of the wind and waves. He raised a hand, as if to shake a hand with the starlight and his eyes closed for the last time.

By the time Phil drunkenly stumbled past, Rudy was sailing into the void amidst the waves of stars, cannons firing comets into the craters of the moon. Truly, Rudy thought, The Stardust has earned her name.

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Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: Philip Walker
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xxxxxPYON SUN-AH
dialogue colour; #fa8072
plague || the surgeon


Sunni's peace was quickly disrupted by somebody bursting into the room. She looked up over her book to find Philip, perhaps one of the few who could get away with such behaviour. She raised her eyebrows at his declaration and the putting down of her book. He stank of beer and was clearly drunk. She rolled her eyes and just prayed he wouldn't throw up everywhere. She really didn't want or need it. At all.

Even if Philip could get away with disturbing her, he sure as hell wasn't going to get away with touching things. Sunni had a sudden, horrific image of him dropping and breaking something. Or worse. Throwing up over everything. Quick as she could, she dashed over to where he was and started putting things back in their place, moving them a little further away from him. Even his compliment went unappreciated. She wasn't sure she could reply in a manner that wasn't sarcastic and sharp-tongued. She liked Philip, she did. The fact they'd been on opposite sides of the mutiny had never come into it. But he was messing. everything. up. If somebody stumbled in, bleeding from a stab wound, she couldn't work in these conditions.

Eventually he stopped touching things and turn around, knocking a few bottles in the process. Sunni quickly caught them and put them back, forcing herself to take a deep breath. She folded her arms and smirked, despite herself, as he reassured her that he wasn't in love with her. Then he started asking questions about the others, and she raised an eyebrow.

"I'm sure they're fine, Philip. But just in case, maybe... stop... touching things? And go sit down? Can't have a mess in here, just in case someone is injured." She took his arm and guided him away from her workspace. She went back and continued tidying, giving everything a quick wipe down. Keeping things clean on the ship wasn't always easy, but she did her best.

"So tell me about this person you're in love with." Philip's declarations of love tended to be involving total strangers who he thought were pretty. It seemed that nothing ever really came of them.

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Character Portrait: Tessa Locke Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: James Porter Character Portrait: Evangeline Casper
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Tessa
#54002a
Master Rigger
Valentina
#ca8765
Navigator
Evangeline
#f54747
Stowaway

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It was only a few minutes later when they reached the brothel. It was a plain stone building. She took a deep breath. Evangeline never minded walking into the brothel, but she realized Vale would be surprised. The first time Vale had brought her to a brothel...she fainted. She stopped in front of the door and turned around slowly. She smiled sheepishly at them, mostly Vale. She parted her lips to speak, but closed them again, causing Vale to raise her brow in curiosity.

“Kitten!” yelled Juliana as she swung the door open.

“Hello Juliana, how are you?” she asked. She knew she wouldn’t get an answer. Juliana had her eyes on the women, mice, behind her.

“Who are these lovely ladies?” Juliana practically purred. Evangeline felt her cheeks start to burn. Tessa watched the interaction and upon making eye contact with this Juliana person, she gave the busty girl a small wave. Eva watched as Juliana walked passed her, put a hand on the woman’s back, and led her inside. A soft sigh escaped Eva’s lips as she followed. She looked back at Vale who was on her tail, but had her arms crossed. Eva saw Vale’s cheeks were red, but she spoke nothing. Or more like the words wouldn't form.

“You may want to save your friend from Juliana. She doesn’t waste time in getting…friendly,” Evangeline said, her face on fire now. She couldn’t believe she had to say that to Valentina. Vale opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. All she could do was shake her head a little.

“She’s her own woman.” said Vale, not even giving them a second glance. Eva watched Julian lead the woman into the main room. Eva decided if Vale wasn’t worried about her friend, she wouldn’t worry either. She headed off towards her room. Vale followed right behind, skipping a few steps as she went. Eva’s room was at the very top and at the end of a hall. Evangeline’s room was pretty simple. There was just a bed and large chest in front of the window.

“How is being a pirate?” Eva asked as she walked over to the chest. She pulled a key from between her breast and unlocked it. She knelt down as she looked for Valentina’s gift. She had made it a while ago after being under the blacksmith's wing for a while.

“Exhausting… but it’s good coin and keeps me on my toes,” Vale half laughed, gazing out of the window. Eva pulled out a small dagger from the chest and stood. She turned around to hand it to Valentina. Vale noticed the movement and turned just as Eva held it out, eyes going a little wide. Eva smiled and took a step closer to Valentina.

“Take it Valentina,” she said softly. She wondered if Valentina liked the gift. Vale let her eyes wander over the blade. It was stunning, designs she’s never seen before. Vale took it and examined it in her own hands. Pretty light and it had a nice feel in her hand. “Thank you… it’s gorgeous.” she said, looking up at Eva and giving her a big smile.”Where did you get it?” she asked, giving it a twirl between her fingers, the giddiness getting to her. Evangeline let out a small laugh and just smiled.

“I made it, I got work with a blacksmith again when I came back,” she said. Evangeline turned around to dig through the chest, but Vale cut her off by wrapping her arms around her waist. She gently squeezed blinking back the tears. “Hey,” she whispered. Evangelien tensed and took a shaky breath.

“Hi...I s-should start packing...” she whispered back, her voice giving a little. Eva continued to take slow deep breaths to keep her emotions bottled up. She didn’t want to let them get to her and make her cry.

“Where do I start..?” Vale sighed. She pushed her forehead against Eva’s back. “I-I’ve missed you,” she started. Valentina had a painful lump stuck in her throat that was making it hard to speak. “I’m not letting you go for a second time, y’know that… right?” she began again, her voice slightly cracking towards the end. Eva felt her eyes water and had to blinked quickly to keep tears at bay. The only reason she didn’t turn around was because Vale’s forehead was against her back.

“I’ve missed you too,” she said quickly so her voice wouldn’t shake. “B-but we need to hurry to somehow sneak me on your ship...” she said. She had calmed her emotions earlier and talking about how they felt would only make her cry. Eva felt like she couldn’t cry again. If she cried again, she probably wouldn’t stop.

“H-how about you go check on your friend?” she asked. She still took deep breaths. Eva felt her body slowly shake as she tried to hold herself together. Vale gave one more light squeeze, composing herself. She took in a deep breath, but let out a shaky sigh. Her question was left unanswered and though it stung, Vale pulled away and nodded.

“R-right” she stammered, sheathing her new blade. Before she left the room, Vale stopped at the door frame. She glanced back, but kept her eyes on the floor. “...I’m sorry.” she whispered, continuing her way out. Evangeline quickly turned around at the apology. She was confused. She went to Vale and wrapped her arms around her. She squeezed tightly and rested her head on Vale’s shoulder.

“I love you Valentina De la Torre. You have no reason to say sorry...I know you won’t let me go again...I plan on holding onto you until you or I die,” she paused to take a deep and shaky breath, “I-I just don’t want to cry again after yesterday.” Eva closed her eyes to push away the images of the lifeless bodies. Vale first tensed, but then relaxed back into Eva’s embrace. She listened, wiping a stray tear or two from her face and nodding. Almost on the verge of looking like a sniveling child. Vale opened her mouth to speak. She wanted to know what happened and how she could help, if she could. What made her best mate so hurt? Did she have to crack some skulls?

There was a loud knock on the door just as the moment was getting tender. It made Vale jump slightly. Without waiting for a reply, the door opened. Tessa poked her head through with a bored look written all over her face and Vale relaxed again.

“Are ya two done yet? I'm gettin’ tired of waitin’ around and at this rate the ship’ll leave without us,” she said. “Even if technically you shouldn't be on the ship,” she added in a mutter, eyes dead with annoyance as she looked at the girl that lead them there. Evangeline just smiled when Vale’s friend walked in. Seeing the stranger’s eyes made her feel better. Vale on the other hand had turned her head, making sure she wiped any stray tears left behind. Slowly Eva let go of Vale. Though, she did give her a peck on her cheek to comfort her and herself before doing so. She turned to smile at the other woman.

“I am glad you were able to escape Juliana. I’ll be done in a minute or so,” she said, a big smile on her face. Valentina gave out a little laugh, walking over to Tessa and bumping her shoulder. “She’s finished with you that fast?” she teased. “That’s no fun.” she added, with a wink. Tessa huffed a laugh as Eva quickly turned and took a pillowcase off a pillow.

“It wasn't like that,” Tessa said quietly and tried to suppress a small smile. “After you two left, she touched me hat,” Tessa paused and her faced turned into an annoyed expression. “So I tied ‘er up and gagged ‘er and had myself a drink while I waited. It was a pretty good drink too,” she sounded a bit proud about the tying up part while the part about the drink was more of an afterthought. “Are ya okay though?” she added under her breath leaning closer to Vale.

Valentina felt her cheeks heat up and she nodded quickly. “Yea, I’m fine… thank you.” she whispered back, giving her soft smile. Vale perked back up and gently grabbed Tessa’s chin grinning. “Now this I have to see,” she almost laughed, reaching up but looking at Tessa for a moment. “Permission?” Tessa couldn't hide the small amused smile that came to her face at that.

“Permission always, m’lady,” she said almost teasingly. Vale took the hat and smiled at Eva, placing it upon her own head.

Eva smiled back at Valentina before she walked over to the chest. She filled the pillowcase with two dresses, a pouch filled with coins and jewelry, eyeliner, and a small chest filled with sewing supplies. She turned around to look at the two woman.

“All ready,” she said cheerfully. She held the pillowcase over her shoulder. Eva glanced around the room one final time. This chapter of her life was closed. It was time to start a new and more cheerful one.

It wasn’t long before they neared the docks, Vale providing background music by whistling all the way there. She was feeling giddy and it showed, even though they were each carrying a sack of apples and mangos. It was a gift from the Madam of the brothel. The idea to sneak Eva on was to simply cause a distraction and have her sneak below deck.

“This idea is stupid,” Tessa said with the sack of fruit in her arms. She looked around as they walked and noticed an empty barrel. She let out a low chuckle. “Hey, why don’t we just stick ‘er in a barrel?” She said sarcastically. Vale let out a little laugh, but almost dropped her sacks of fruit. Eva’s eyes went to Tessa, glad she finally committed her name to memory.

“If the barrel has a few holes in it, then I am fine with that idea,” Eva said. A second later she slowly walked over to the barrel while Vale watched. The lid was on the side of it. Slowly she inspected the barrel. There were a few holes in it, so she wouldn’t mind getting in. Evangeline placed her pillowcase in the barrel. “Wait, you’re serious?” Vale blurted out.

“This is also a stupid idea,” Tessa commented as she watched Eva put her stuff in the barrel. Eva looked at Tessa and gave her a small smile.

“But it is your idea,” she replied. Eva thought she heard a small sound, but ignored it. Tessa rolled her eyes at this.

“I wasn’t serious!” Tessa groaned in response. Vale grinned and Eva’s smile widen as she let out a small laugh.

“She’s cute,” Eva commented as she glanced at Vale. “Ain't she?” Vale chuckled, nudging Tessa’s shoulder with her own. Eva heard movement near the lid and took a step back to get a better view of what was hiding between the lid and barrel. Her eyes filled with surprise and delight. Evangeline snatched Tessa’s hat and squatted, Vale tried to peek over her shoulder. Her hand disappeared between the lid and barrel. When her hand came back, it had a bird in it. It made a faint sound. The poor thing looked weak. Slowly Eva stood, turned the hat upside down, and placed the bird inside. She had her hands underneath the hat to provide support for the birdie.

“First off,” Tessa started. She was trying not get too loud as to not scare the bird. “I am not fucking cute,” she glared daggers at Eva. “Secondly, don’t ever touch my hat again or I will murder ya… Next time,” she paused. “Ya get a pass tonight because of that there birdie. But never fucking again. No one can touch me hat,” she glanced at Vale then muttered under her breath, “Except Vale.” This earned a soft smile from the other woman who glanced back for a moment. Eva had been distracted by the bird as Tessa spoke. She hadn’t even listened to Tessa’s words. She gently stroked the bird’s head while she looked it over. Just as Tessa stopped speaking, she walked over to her. She smiled at the woman. Eva looked at the birdie and then at Tessa.

“Isn’t it cute? Do you think it can stowaway too?” she asked. She smiled at Tessa happily. “Let me see!” said Vale, making a little o with her lips when she saw the little thing. It’s one of the cutest things she’s ever seen. “Can it?” Vale smiled up at Tessa. Eva’s eyes returned to the bird as she saw it begin to fall asleep. She loved animals. Tessa stared at Eva for a few minutes before blinking.

“You are a child. We’re smuggling a fuckin’ child aboard,” Tessa said, more to herself than the other two ladies. She almost sounded shocked. A moment later she put a hand to her face. “What did I get meself into?”

“Don’t call the birdie a child Tessa. Be nice. I think it may be sick or something,” Eva said, worry lacing her voice. Eva held the hat out for Tessa to take. “Want to hold it? I don’t think it will do well in the barrel with me.” Tessa let out a long sigh and took the hat with the bird. It took them awhile, but they finally made it to the ship.

Valentina held the hat with the birdie inside but she kept peeking inside just to make sure it was alright. The two headed below deck with a barrel and hands emptied of sacks. Tessa rolled the barrel down the stairs before setting it up right. Being in a moving barrel was not a pleasant experience for Eva, especially with the six sacks of fruit in there with her. She had to bite her lip to keep herself from making a sound. Her grip on her lip loosen when the barrel was finally still.

“Oh, ahoy, James,” Tessa said with a wave to James then boosted herself on top of the barrel. Vale was too entertained watching the bird in Tessa’s hat than where she was going. She helped as best as she could, but there were moments where she almost kissed the ground a few times. When she heard Tessa’s voice that’s when Vale looked up. “James! Look,” she walked up to the bars and squatted down. Vale tilted the hat a bit so he could see the little bird.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Tessa Locke Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: William Morgan III Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: James Porter Character Portrait: Evangeline Casper Character Portrait: Philip Walker
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M e g X| | XJ a m e s

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H e l l f i r e | | M i d a s

C a p t a i n | | P r i s o n e r

#e6b800 | | #B00000






XXXXAs soon as the sole of Meg's boot touched the wood of The Stardust a calming sensation moved through her body, causing her muscles to relax. The Stardust might not be Meg's ship, but she was home. Ever since she laid eyes on the navy blue masts and dark wood, she loved her. She was her ship whether James liked it or not. She stuck out her hand and ran it over the wood of the side just as Rosia crowed from behind her, "Cap'n on deck!" She smiled softly, rolling her eyes just at a tad at the formality. Nice to have a first mate, She thought. She closed her eyes a moment and when she opened them again, the nostalgic Meg was gone and was replaced by Captain Meghan Cunningham.

"Look alive ye scallywags!" She yelled to her crew. "We've returned with the updated map and will set sail within the hour! Just in case we've got Land King men on our tails!" She looked at the near-empty deck, and her eyes narrowed. Where was her crew? "First Mate!" She turned to Rosia, "Find me crew and tell them all hands on deck. I want Philip on the helm and Tessa in the rigging. Have Vera make a nice dinner for everyone including that rat down in our brig." She started towards her room and paused. She turned back towards Rosia. "Oh, and tell Sunni I'll come by in a bit. I know she gets a tad lonely when we're out on land." And she secretly wanted to see what her surgeon thought of the dress. Not that she'd ever admit it to anyone.

Instead of going to her quarters to change, she made her way towards the ship's brig to visit their prisoner.

XXXXJames's wishes for a drink and company were quickly answered. Just as his song died on his lips, he heard boots coming down the wooden steps to the brig. The man had addressed him as captain and then a filthy traitor which made his hand curl into a fist but with a deep breath, he relaxed again. It wasn't Bill's fault he was in the situation. It was his own. "Aye. A drink would be grand, Mate." He paid little mind to Bill's comment on him being free shortly. If the pirate was daft enough to free him without the order of his captain, it could very well be his head. At least, that's how traditional pirating was done. James... he'd yell about it, but in the end, he probably would do nothing. Bill was family. This crew was family. They just... needed a reminder. They'll let him out. They had to...

As Bill's boots retreated back up the stairs he yelled. "Bring me rum you bilge rat! Not grog!" More quietly he said, "The stuff tastes like... well like you're kissing a lemon. A dirty, rum soaked lemon." There was a clanging as someone brought supplies on board. James swiveled his head to get a better look and spotted Vale, the ship's navigator, and Tessa, the ship's master rigger. Then again they were pirates. There should be no shame in it. Tessa's mouth was even worse than his own. Why the two were stowing supplies he wasn't sure considering both of their duties lie on the ship's deck. Meg would want them up there. That is... unless she was already failing at being a pirate captain. He gave a small arrogant smirk which was wiped away in surprise when Vale came bounding up to him with Tessa's hat in her hand. Inside the hat was a small bird.

He rose to his knees and moved towards the bars. He stuck his hand through and reached to touch the top of the bird's head lightly. It was soft and so very small. "It looks sick..." he said softly. He raised his eyes to Vale's and said, "Does Meg know you've brought aboard a bird?" He looked back down at the winged creature and whispered, "Even still. Best you bring it to Sunni. See if she can patch the thing up." He knew their ship's surgeon was more of a people person, it was possible she'd know what was wrong with the bird.

He heard the clicking of heels coming down the stairs and he looked over in confusion. As far as he knew, no one on board wore the types of heals that would make such a racket. Except maybe Vera, but it was uncommon. When he saw the redhead of Hellfire striding towards him, decked out in finery... he laughed. "Why Meghan Cunningham! You look like a wolf in sheep's clothing!" He guffawed. "My word what an outfit!"

Meg stood on the other side of the bars of James cell, watching him laugh with an unamused expression on her face. She had come down here to give the news about the map and to inform the former captain that... if he wanted he could be captain again he just... had to take a chance for once. His luck would see them through, she knew it, but now...

"Tessa." She said sternly, command hardening her tone. "Valentina." She didn't look at them, but when she felt their attention turn to her, she continued. "To the deck." With a seething glare at James, she added, Now. Before Vale passed she stopped her and said, "Wait here," She pulled the map from her garter and handed it to her navigator.

When they were gone, she stepped towards the bars... and in one quick movement, she had James by his shirt and pulled him towards her. His face nearly met the metal and he cussed quietly. "You will not make fun of me in front of my crew again, is that understood?" She said, her words laced with anger. "Is that understood?" James just nodded, shocked at Meg's sudden mood change.

"Good." She released him. "I came to tell you that we had the map and that your position was free to be taken back, but I think I'll keep it instead." She smirked at him, her eyes burning like the hair on her head.

James glared back at her. "You won't make it a week without me. You're a quartermaster, Meghan. Not a captain. This is my ship. My crew. And I'll be damned to Davy Jones's locker if I just hand it over to the likes of you."

A sadness spread through her core, dousing the burning fires of her anger. "You were my friend you know. I didn't want this to happen... you left me no choice you were--"

"In the way? Yes. I suppose I was."

"This treasure is my birthright, James. My parents--"

"Died looking for it. Yes, so I've heard. But are you really willing to sacrifice their lives for your... suicide attempt?"

"I gave everyone a choice. No one is doing this blindly, James." She turned from his cell. "I'll have Vera bring you a meal." And with that she flounced back up the stairs. Tears prickled in her eyes. She was so frustrated with him. She blinked them away, took a deep breath, and went below decks once more to find her favorite surgeon.

"Sunni!" She called right before entering the room. "There is good news and bad news! The good new is we got the map. The bad news is I had to wear this--" She looked up as she entered and saw her helmsman and her surgeon sitting close. Philip was drunk which was just fantastic. She crossed her arms, her frustration easily racing back to her. "Am I interrupting something?"

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Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Tessa Locke Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: William Morgan III Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: Timothy Rundell Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: Callie Avis Character Portrait: Philip Walker Character Portrait: Julian Bailey
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xRosia “Jack" Hienrik


Everybody in the world knows

Everybody in the world knows
Everybody in the world knows
Everybody in the world knows


I'm a little twisted, twisted

I'm a little twisted, twisted
I'm a little twisted, twisted
I'm a little twisted, twisted
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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe Mate//#7C674A
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Rosia stayed towards the back of the three women as they walked back towards the ship, finally arriving after a short walk. Watching Meg and Vera step on board, a small but quick idea popped into her head, one she acted on very quickly. “Cap’n on deck!” Rosia shouted, giggling a little to herself before pushing past Vera little to get a view of the deck. Well, she didn’t mean to really push past her, but the dress she was wearing didn’t exactly make it easy get by them. When Rosia looked around the ship she was surprised, by not what she saw, but what she didn’t see. She was honestly expecting the others to already be on deck waiting for them to leave, but there was barely a soul on the deck, though she did notice little Rudy laying about.

"First Mate!" Rosia heard Meg call for her, making her jump a little. “Aye!” Rosia quickly responded, and listening to what Meg was saying to her. Rosia quickly nodded. “Will do Cap’n Hellfire.” Rosia said as she went to start heading below deck. She stopped and nodded again after hearing a follow up to let Sunni know she was going to stop by. Rosia tore her tight shoes off leaving her barefoot, and headed towards the stairs, going past Bill and taking his grog out of his hand. “T’anks for the drink Py. Hellfire wants all ye on deck.” Rosia said with a smirk darting below deck, guessing Pyrite wouldn’t follow her after hearing what she said.

First Rosia ended up running into Julian and the rest of the gunner crew first, jumping onto Julian’s back, though it was more difficult than she expected with her dress, taking a sip of the drink she stole from Bill. “Ey Big Dragon, Cap’n wants you an’ gunners on deck. Whole crew an’ such. See you upon top.” Rosia handed off the grog Julian and continued throughout the ship to find the others, but next thing she knew saw Tessa and Vale coming up from the brig. “Ey? Riggknot, Tempest. Why were ye’ not on deck when we arrived? ‘Nyways, Cap’n wants to part soon. I not need to say ‘ere she wants you?” Rosia asked, she knew both of her crewmates knew their job, and she took off again, not even noticing the small birdie.

Rosia thought about getting food, but quickly remembered she was supposed to tell Sunni about Meg visiting her, plus she still hadn’t found Nameless. Sunni’s room was only around the corner so it wouldn’t be a long walk. Rosia opened the door and stepped in, surprised to see Nameless here with Sunni. “Hellfire will be ‘ere soon. An’ she wants Nameless at the helm.” Quickly after she had finished talking Meg walked in, talking about her dress. Luckily she snuck out behind her when sh was confused to see Nameless with Sunni.

After running around the ship in the uncomfortable dress, Rosia stumbled into Vera’s kitchen and snuck a small potato, equally exhausted and hungry from everything. Rosia assumed that she was probably changing since she wasn’t here in the kitchen. As Rosia went to sat down she made a little ruckus and knocked over a chair. “I am goin’ to cut tis dress up!” She shouted to herself as she put her snack down and started messing with her dress, almost looking like a feral animal.

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Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Tessa Locke Character Portrait: William Morgan III Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: Timothy Rundell Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: Philip Walker Character Portrait: Julian Bailey
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The manifest is set, release the mooring lines
From the top, from the nest, looks the perfect night

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So I’ve gone out to sea
But this time it’s gonna be a burial for me!

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Bill had just gotten out of the stores, hearing Meg's orders. He was just about to command the gunner crew and Leigh before he was interrupted by Rosia, who took his grog that he was about to serve James.
“T’anks for the drink Py. Hellfire wants all ye on deck.”
Bill annoyingly called after her as she darted below deck. He didn't want to follow her, the ship was about to start sailing. She ran down the stairs barefoot, leaving Bill again wondering how a person as small and thin like her was so fast. She always seemed so tireless, yet Bill had the instinct to protect her since the minute he met her. She was like a little sister to him.
"Don't drink too much o' that, Rosie!"
Bill looked around, seeing the crew on deck getting ready, though calling the rest was still necessary. He naturally had a loud voice from singing and the occasional bellowing of orders, eventually taking a deep breath and shouting.
"Weigh anchor and hoist the Mizzen! Get the Stardust ready lads!"
That was enough to get the gunners and some of the crew going. Meredith, better known as Sharktooth, hurried onto the deck. She was carrying her spear and hastily approached Bill.
"Are we gon' start sailin', sir?" She seemed tense as she asked Bill.
"Aye. Call meh' Bill, though." Bill watched the Gunner Crew jump down from the forecastle deck, getting ready to raise the anchor. Raising the anchor was tedious, which was why Bill often didn't participate in the activity.
He quickly rushed down into the ship, passing several crew members. He was quick on his feet as he hurried to get another drink for James, noticing that Jules was carrying the tankard Bill planned to hand to James. The grog sloshed around in the tankard instead of the rum James had wished for.
"Get on deck. Crew needs th' arm o' th' dragon."Bill gave a grin to his friend before he eventually passed the crew's quarters and climbed down into the Stores. Like most other bottom level rooms, the Stores smelled like saltwater. Bill's soles were wet as he looked around in the cold and dark storage room. Barrels filled to the brim with cannonballs and some rations were kept here, though the part further back in the Stores contained some barrels of alcohol, where most of the crew would get their beverages from. Bill grabbed a tankard from a small table and tapped grog. The cup was half-filled with grog, and it had the typical smell and color of fresh grog.
But James had asked for rum...
Bill found the barrel for rum and filled the rest of the tankard with it. The beverage adopted the typical smell and color of rum. Bill held the tankard over his mouth and dripped some beads of the half-grog-half-rum beverage. Perfect.
It had the flavor of the 'dirty, rum-soaked lemon' but was perfectly disguised as a fresh, tapped tankard of amber rum. Bill quickly barged through, walking to the brig at the other side of the ship after walking along the hold. Sometimes, Bill would be isolated, resting in this bottom level of the ship. He had haunting memories from his past he hadn't shared with anyone. No one, not even him, knew anything about the strange burnt markings on his body and the same engravings in his cutlass.
He finally saw James and gave him the tankard.
"Enjoy, lad." Bill darted back up to the deck, not looking James in the eye in fear of him figuring out, though he realized that even if James did, he wouldn't be able to do anything about it.
Within the matter of a minute, he was back on the deck. He panted, trying to breathe steadily as he watched the Stardust release itself from the mainland.

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Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Tessa Locke Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: William Morgan III Character Portrait: Timothy Rundell Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: Philip Walker Character Portrait: Julian Bailey
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J U L I A NX| | XD R A G O N

| Master Gunner |
| #B02E04 |
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Julian tipped his head back and put the long cigar to his lips, looking up at the evening sky and listening to the sounds of port. These last two months had flown by, but each day seemed to drag on far longer than necessary, and to day was, for the first time in awhile, blissfully short. Jules was certainly not one for reconnaissance or stealthy work, he was much too conspicuous for that, so he took pleasure in his evening off by reclining on deck, watching the motley crew of hardened pirates and miscreats get sufficiently pissed after a week of surprises and mutiny.

It hadn’t really taken Julian by surprise when Hellfire made her intentions clear, and as much as he respected Midas, he frankly had to agree with her. The thought of treasure, no matter how dangerous the journey, was worth it for the dent it would put in his goal. Yes, Julian knew, as he took a long drag of the cigar, this was the start of a journey he wouldn’t regret. With one last puff he stood and made his way over to the group of drinkers, standing just outside their circle to listen to Bill sing a shanty and give his usual rousing cheers to the crew. Jules raised his cigar in response and gave a thoughtful smile as he watched the other man make his way down out of sight, no doubt going to speak with the captain.

Loyalty was a funny thing indeed. He looked out portside and wondered how the lassies were doing with their land-legs, they were probably getting up to some sort of trouble for the sake of this crew, and he chuckled to himself, leaning back on the hull and continuing to watch the festivities. He spotted Rudy across the deck, playing cards, and looking up at the sky, and watched as Nameless too made his way across the deck, staggering a little in his buzzed stupor. Julian stood once more and made his way towards his quarters, running into two of the returned lassies on his way. He grinned at both of them and their barrel and continued down, entering his quarters to find his cigar box and replace the no longer smouldering cigar into its place. He sighed. It was too quiet.

Making his way out of his quarters again, Jules heard the telltale murmurs of a few of his gunner crew, and he found them drinking in the mess hall with the door wide open, inviting any and all to come and join them.

“Aye ya brutes,” Julian leaned in the side of the door, grinning cheekily at his good friends. “Wha’s going on in here?”The group cheered a bit at his appearance, and Mead waved him to a seat next to him. He entered the room and sat down at the pulled out chair, joining in their lulls of friendly banter and conversation.

After a while, footsteps sounded on the deck above them, and Julian figured that the daring rest of the lassies yas returned. He stood preemptively to make his way up to the upper deck when little Jack came running down the steps just outside the door. She vaulted herself onto his back and he turned away from her to let her get a grip around his neck.

“Ey Big Dragon, Cap’n wants you an’ gunners on deck. Whole crew an’ such. See you upon top.” she said, thrusting a mug of grog into his hands. He stepped back and she jumped of as Julian watched her continue to dash down the hallway, making noise as she went. He shook his head and turned back toward the gunners, motioning them out the door.

“C’mon you lot, we’re need on deck.” they scrambled up after him. He turned to go up the steps as Bill rushed down past him, grinning.

"Get on deck. Crew needs th' arm o' th' dragon." Bill jested, rushing past. Jules rolled his eyes and smiled after him.

“Aye AYE, I’m goin’, I’m goin’, good lord!” he clambered up the stairs and set the mug of grog on a barrel on deck, then made his way toward the red hair of the current captain. The rest of his gunner crew scrambled down from the forecastle and he went over to stand with them as others joined them on deck.

They were off to the seas again, leaving this port behind for the next. Everything was ready and restocked, and Julian felt his heart swell in his chest. This is what he lived for, the open seas, ports fading off into the distance. He watched others join him on deck and waved Bill over to put an strong arm around the man as they waited for their Hellfire to tell them the news of their journey and results of their little conquest on land. He wondered where all of this was going, but he trusted the people in this crew. They would figure it out.

“Alright there, Bill?”

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Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: Timothy Rundell Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: Philip Walker
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T H EX N A M E L E S S XH E L M S M A N
HEXCODE: #1d906f

Philip nodded, choosing to believe Sunni’s words about the girls as he followed her instructions and found himself a seat. Sitting down, Philip found the world stopped spinning, but it definitely had a gentle rock to it. Maybe, just maybe, that last tankard had been a mistake.

“So tell me about this person you're in love with." Sunni asked, returning to his side.

Philip sighed and looked to the roof above them. He could recall the boy’s brown eyes, so dark they seemed as if they held the secrets of the universe. And the way he laughed when his friend told a joke, Philip could listen to that sound for the rest of the days. Philip looked back at Sunni and sighed again, a long bedraggled one. “It does’na matter. Our love be a doomed one.” Philip hadn’t even caught the boy’s name before he left into the night, it felt impossible to hold out hope for a reunion.

“Hellfire will be ‘ere soon. An’ she wants Nameless at the helm.”

Philip didn’t need to turn around to know it was Rosia at his back, yapping out orders for Meg. He recognised her voice and feeling no sense of responsibility to be where their new captain wanted him to be, he waved her off without moving, “Aye aye." Then Philip looked back at Sunni with a soft, drunken smile and leaned in as if telling a secret. Resting his hand gently on her shoulder. “He had the most beautiful eyes though.”

Then Meg herself burst in, stopping her tracks when she noticed Philip’s presence. "Am I interrupting something?"
Philip dropped his hand and looked at Meg. “Aye, ye are.” He said before stumbling to his feet. “But ‘aint that be ye right as our new captain.” Then on his way out he turned to Sunni with a sloppy wink. “Let’s continue this later, my lovely lass.”

On Philip’s way from Sunni’s quarters to the deck he stumbled across a half-full mug of grog left atop a barrel. Shrugging, Philip took a large mouthful, “Must be me lucky day.” That was when he spotted Rudy asleep, tucked away in a corner.

Philip laughed to himself, as a powder monkey himself back in the day he’d done a lot worse than fall asleep on watch. “Oi,” He said kicking the boy’s leg to wake him up, his lack of balance causing a little bit of the grog to topple over the rim of the mug and fall into Rudy’s direction below him. Philip liked the boy, he had a sense of adventure Philip recognized in his younger self. Plus, it was nice have someone around who followed your orders and wanted to hear what you had to teach.

“I be needing ye help. So come along boy.” Then headed to the deck, happy to see the wheel unmanned. The last thing he needed tonight was Vale taking over. He walked past the small group raising the anchor, noticing Bill’s usual absence from the task, and ran his hands along the familiar wheel. Well, semi-familiar considering they’d replaced it about six months ago.

Without Vale, he had no idea where they were heading but even in his state he could get them away from the docks, then he could have Rudy or Rosie or someone take over so he could take a well-earned nap.



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Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Timothy Rundell Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: James Porter Character Portrait: Evangeline Casper Character Portrait: Philip Walker
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"Heave a pawl, O heave away,
Weigh hey, roll and go,
The anchor's on board and the cable's all stored
To be rollicking randy dandy-O,"



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A.K.A. Riggknot
#54002a
Master Rigger

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Sat upon the barrel, Tessa watched as Vale went up to James to show him the bird. Though she couldn't help the small smile on her face from seeing Vale be so excited. She shook her head slightly at the former captains comment. If only ya knew what was in this barrel, the birdie would be the least of our worries, mate, She thought. She was so focused on the exchange, she hadn't noticed Meg come in dressed to her ears in that beautiful dress. At hearing the command in Meg's voice as she ordered them to go up, Tessa did as she was told. For the most part.

She carefully slipped off the barrel, but before leaving spoke under her breath as softly as she could. Don't make a fucking peep, the last thing Tessa wants is for this stupid plan to fail. Then up top she went, furrowing her eyes when Vale was stopped. She wanted her hat back but knew Vale would return it… eventually… after she has fun wearing it around.

Once upon deck, Tessa took a look around. It seemed everyone was where they needed to be. For the most part, at least. She made her way over to the ropes that were needed to be adjusted to set sail. Everyone seemed busy at work. But not busy enough to make a comment apparently.

“Ay, where's your hat?” said Rum, though Tessa didn't care who said it either. Though, she supposed they had a point. It wasn't often she went around without her hat. But it was in good hands she knew.

Fuck off, she spat as she continued walking until she made it to where she had to be. She waited until the anchor had been raised and the helmsman was at the helm. Though she wasn't surprised to see him stir the kid, probably trying to get him to help. She rolled her eyes at this then went to take care of the rigging.

Some ropes loosened here, others tightened there. Just as the sail dropped ever so slightly to just catch the gentle breeze, Tessa couldn't help the song that came to her. Lightly under her breath while she went about pulling and tying ropes she sang, Now we are ready to head for the horn, weigh hey, roll and go. Our boots and our clothes, boys, are all in the pawn to be rollickin’ randy dandy-o, she reckoned the song was quite fitting. She sang even as she pulled and tied ropes and watched as the land became further away. Soon they'd be at sea. Soon we'll be at home, she thought.

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Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: Philip Walker
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xxxxxPYON SUN-AH
dialogue colour; #fa8072
plague || the surgeon


She just acknowledged Rosia with a nod as she said the captain was expected shortly. Her attention, however, turned immediately to Meg as she entered the room in a dress that just took her breath away. She was stunning. As Sunni scrambled to regain her power of speech, Meg asked about her and the helmsman, and he did absolutely nothing to help with his leaving comment. In fact, it was her irritation that helped her regain her composure.

"Naneun geureul jugilgeoya," she muttered to herself. I'm going to kill him. She turned back to look at Meg. "Our dearest Helmsman decided to tell me about his newest affection. A boy on the street, from what I could tell. I sat him down so he wouldn't vomit everywhere." She paused for a moment. "And also so he'd stop touching my stuff," she admitted.

Her attention drifted back to Meg in the dress. If she had been a little bolder, if she was a little more honest about her affections, she knew exactly what she would dare to say. But instead, she leaned back a little in her seat. "How horrible it must have been for you," she said with false shock. "I bet the men of the party were positively swooning into your arms," She added with a smirk. Even if they were, Sunni didn't even know if she would have noticed. She probably would have used it to their advantage.

"So there was no trouble then? So excitement or drama?" She asked, picking up her book and sliding her bookmark into it. "Please tell me you have some stories, it's so boring here when you're on land," she added.

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Character Portrait: James Porter Character Portrait: Evangeline Casper
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J a m e s X| | XE v a

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M i d a s | | T. B. A

P r i s o n e r | | S t o w a w a y

#B00000 | | #F54747






XXXXJames sighed as Meg left in a huff. His heart was still racing from her outburst and his near collision into the bars. As his former friend retreated up onto the deck of his ship, he decided to take up his vigil on the floor once again.

Evangeline was silent and grew tense when she heard unfamiliar voices. She bit her bottom lip to hold back a giggle when James said Meghan looked like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Eva remembered Tessa’s “kind” departing words. Soon she felt uncomfortable as James and Meghan spoke. Eva was never one to listen into the conversations of others. She felt like she was intruding in a private moment. Since she couldn’t do anything about not listening, she decided not to feel bad about it. By the end of the conversation, she was filled with worry. What the hell was Valentina a part of? Would Vale and Tessa be sacrificed for this big voyage? Would Meghan’s “suicide attempt” kill them all? She became lost in thought for a while. Worries and doubts filled her mind. She was pulled out of her thoughts when she heard someone come down again.

“Enjoy, lad,” she heard a male voice say before she heard the man quickly depart.

James didn’t say much in reply as Bill passed off the cup of rum to James. Especially since the boatswain took off down the way and back up the stairs. He raised an eyebrow at his friend and took a swig of rum… and nearly choked. Bill hadn’t given him a tankard of rum. No. He had given him a tankard of rummed down grog. “Shite, Bill! You bilge rat! You’ll be shark bait when I get out of here!” He yelled, then, more quietly said, If I ever get out of here.”

Soft and feminine giggles escaped from the barrel for a few seconds. Evangeline couldn’t help herself. The randomness of James’s words made her giggle. The curses thrown in didn’t help either. She wondered what this Bill had done to poor James. She felt bad for James. It seemed he had his ship stolen, was trapped, and now Bill had done something not so nice to him. Evangeline kept her hands pressed against her mouth as the last of the giggles escaped. Suddenly, her cheeks became hot. She realized James likely heard her. A nervous and hopeless laugh, more like a whimper, then escaped her lips. It sunk in that she blew her cover. She stayed still and silent because she had no idea what to do. Would James call the rest of the crew down?

A soft sound came from the nearby cargo that Vale and Tessa had brought aboard. At first, James wondered if it was a mouse sniffing around their newly acquired goods. Then, he realized it wasn’t a mouse but the giggling of a girl. It wasn’t a giggle he recognized. Although, now that he thought about it, he had many women aboard his vessel. While other captains had a problem with their presence believing they were bad luck, he actually enjoyed their company. Rosia had energy. Tessa’s shanties tended to lull him to sleep when they sailed late at night. Vale was a skilled navigator. Meg was a hellion in combat. Vera was an excellent cook. Sunni was the best surgeon he had ever seen. This sound was not one he had heard from any of the girls on his ship but he had been with enough women to know the sound of a giggle when he heard one.

”’Ey! Giggling barrel.” He positioned himself so he was facing the barrel without much effort. ”Come out of there, now. Trust me it’s better if you come out now than if they make you come out.”

It took her a second or two thanks to the sacks and her pillowcase, but she slowly stood while lifting the lid off. Her cheeks felt as if they were on fire. She kept her eyes on her skirt. Evangeline didn’t, couldn’t, make eye contact yet. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She was nervous. Though, she had some hope since James hadn’t yelled for the crew. Her eyes went to the lid as she placed it on an adjacent barrel. She still didn’t make eye contact.

She had to take slow deep breaths to relax her body. The deep breathing helped her not giggle and or laugh as well. She had no idea why, but she laughed and or giggled when nervous. She smoothed her dress out. Slowly, her eyes rose to find James. Eva made eye contact for a second before glancing at her skirt again. Her cheeks felt even hotter now. She hoped she wouldn’t get Tessa and Valentina in trouble. Evangeline decided she would introduce herself.

“Hello,” she paused to make eye contact, “My name is Evangeline…but I go by Eva as well.”

James stared, perhaps a bit too long, at the stunning woman who appeared from the barrel, his cheeks heating a bit when he realized a right lady had heard his swearing. That being said, he hadn’t actually expected there to be someone inside the barrel. In fact, he honestly thought he had hallucinated it thanks to the grog given to him by Bill. Although, grog was nowhere near strong enough to give him hallucinations, but that's besides the point.

When he finally found his words he said, ”Ahoy. I’m um… Capt-er… that is… I’m James Porter. Former captain of The Stardust.” He cleared his throat. ”What brings your aboard this fine vessel this day?” He cleared his throat again and continued, ”Well besides obviously being brought on board by Vale and Tessa.”

Eva calmed as he spoke. He didn’t say anything unpleasant. He even seemed nervous, which she found cute. As her nervousness left her, she gave him a big and friendly smile. The smile reached her eyes. Her lips parted to speak, but they closed again. Evangeline enjoyed the relief that filled her. She was beyond happy he didn’t call for the crew. Eva didn’t exactly feel safe standing in the open, but it’d be rude to have a conversation while hiding in a barrel. Carefully she sat on the edge of the barrel and scooted back onto the adjacent barrel.

She slowly removed her legs from inside the barrel to not expose any flesh. Evangeline used her hands to keep the skirt close to her legs. Once her legs were free, she placed her feet on the floor. She stood and walked over to James. Eva kept a foot or so away from the bars. She gave him another smile.

“Nice to meet you James. I haven’t been able to see the ship yet, but I bet it is lovely,” she said. She tucked a loose lock of hair behind her left ear. Today she had worn her hair out. Eva made a note to braid it later. “I am here…I am here because of Valentina. She is my dearest friend and my only family now,” she said, glancing down at her feet. Her heart ache a little at the thought. When she looked back at James, her eyes held a bit of sadness.

“Why are you in a cell?” she asked, ready to change the subject.

James, still holding the tankard, took a swig of rum, forgetting it was grog, and nearly spit it out onto the floor of his cell. He muttered about Bill once more before placing the tankard on the floor and pushing it to the corner of his cell with his booted toe. He cleared his throat and ran his fingers through his hair. ”I was ah… mutinied against.” He pulled out the thong holding his hair back, shook his locks free, and--after combing his hair with his fingers--tying it back up.

His mind registered the rest of her statements and he smiled sadly, his hand meeting the wooden side of the ship. ”Aye. That she is. Always has been.” His eyes softened and brightened with pride. Then he remembered she was no longer his and lowered his hand. ”She’s in other hands now.”

”I didn’t know Vale had a land friend. As long as I had known her, she had been seafaring. That isn’t to say she doesn’t care or didn’t talk about you. I think she was trying to protect you. Being a pirate isn’t exactly the safest of professions.” His gaze moved towards the stairs. ”Speaking of, It’d be best if Meg didn’t find you. Although, The Stardust is a small ship. I’m sure it won’t take her long.” He frowned, trying to think of a way for the girl to stay out of sight. He knew that now Meg had the map and the ship was stocked… it was likely they weren’t to return to land anytime soon. That reminded him…

”Please tell me Vale told you where we were going…”

“Well, I can’t stay hidden forever. It will be okay though, I have Valentina...and maybe Tessa,” she paused as she thought she heard a sound, “…and I have no idea where we are going, bu-” she stopped short as she heard footsteps. Her eyes widened with surprise. Eva had forgotten where she was for a moment. Quickly and without thinking, she ducked behind a barrel. She glanced at James. Eva flashed him a small smile to reassure him that everything will be okay.

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Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: James Porter Character Portrait: Callie Avis
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C a l l i e X| | XR o s i a

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V e r a || J a c k

C o o k || M a t e

#DD5308 | | #D2B48C


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The walk home was lighthearted. It was as if Vera had a skip in her step. The wine bottle swung in her arms; she cradled it as if it was her child. When the ship came into view, she hummed. The Stardust is the only safe place in the world for Vera. There, she is surrounded by friends and allies. On land, who knows where spies may lurk. Sure, they were eons away from Pierce and his crew, but money runs deep. A few months back, she heard the name “Venus” while visiting a bar. They could have been talking about anyone, but it scared Vera back onto the ship. She didn’t touch land for months after.

Her captain hopped on first, then Vera, then Rosia, who promptly announced their arrival. That made Vera’s grin grow wider. These were her people. Meg took charge immediately, ordering her crew to get prepared for sailing. But she was waiting for those words; those words and her name. And they came in the form of a swift order to prepare a meal for the crew. Finally, Vera would be able to enter her element. Her true home. Her kitchen was waiting.

However, the kitchen would need to wait a bit longer. For now, this dress would absolutely need to go. With a swift, “Aye, captain,” Vera headed towards her quarters. Well, their quarters. She pushed into the crew’s quarters and shuffled over to her hammock. A hammock that was often left unattended, whether Vera found solace in someone else’s bed or napping on the deck. She rifled through the small chest that contained her belongings and pulled out a quite different dress. This one was much more simple, no frills or lace, but it was a crimson red. If she dirtied with blood, it would be less noticable. It fell just above her knees with a ragged edge. Clearly it had been cut to shorten it. The sleeves, well, lack there of, had suffered the same fate. As the corset knot was undone, Vera sighed loudly in relief. She certainly didn’t miss wearing those.

Once the dress was on, Vera was off. She raced to the kitchen, humming wildly to herself. She was sure nothing could improve her mood, but as she swung the kitchen door open, she jumped. In her kitchen was a ragged animal, clawing at her dress with desperation. Vera did her best to stifle her laugh, but an unruly snort and chuckle escaped. “Excuse you, ma’am. Need some help?” She joked, approaching Rosia. Then she noticed the stray potato. “Oh my, having a little snack, are we?” Although she was chastising the shorter woman, she couldn’t hide her playful tone. “I need these to make dinner, you little rascal!” Vera snatched it up and walked to the other side of the kitchen, closer to the pantry. They had stocked just a few hours before, so she had plenty of fresh meat to work with. A lovely cow flank sat in her icebox, ready to be butchered. She pulled out a large pot and filled it with a mixture of ale, water, salt, pepper, garlic, and some bay leaves. As that worked on boiling, Vera pulled out her meat and started cutting it into cubes. “You know, you don’t look bad in that dress,” Vera teased her. Although she wasn’t looking up from her knife, a grin spread across her lips.

Rosia at this point was close to just getting a cutlass and cutting the dress off of herself. She was startled when she heard a voice talking to her, looking up and seeing Vera, smiling back at her. “I don’t neednt help.” She said back to Vera. Rosia gave up on messing with her dress, and settling down at the table she was sitting at. In reality she probably could’ve used help getting the dress off, or at least loosened, with how she has shorter arms. But she didn’t exactly want to ask for help with such a simple task of taking off a dress.

As Rosia reached for the potato she took out of the pantry to snack on, Vera snatched it up. “Ey!” Rosia shouted at her, giving a pouty lip when she talked about how she needs it to cook. “If ye let me eat it now, less food to cook.” Rosia said as she watched her take it back to the pantry. Rosia got up from the table and dragged a barrel closer to where Vera was working and sat upon then, struggling to get comfortable with the dress still on. Whenever the ship was steady flow and calm, and Rosia wasn’t asked to worked anywhere else, she liked to come down and watch Vera cook and prep food. As she saw the cook bring out all her ingredients and seasoning, she noticed and remember Vera had started painting the jars and bottles with labels to try to get Rosia to read. Rosia was just staring at the labels trying to decipher the symbols when Vera brought up her dress.

”It be pretty, isn’t comfor’able. Hand me that knife and I’ll be fixin’ it. Yours was much be’er. Ya legs lookin’ nice.” Rosia said as she repositioned how she was sitting on the stool. Rosia wasn’t one to flirt, but she was one to speak her mind and what she thought without giving it a second. “So that sand stuff ye put in the pot, that says ‘say-lety’?” Rosia asked, attempting to pronounce the letters on the salt container.

Vera huffed at Rosia’s comment about making less food. The entire time she spoke, she never looked up from her meat. “I enjoy cooking, dear. Why in the world would I want to cook less? I would have to cook less if you stole all of my ingredients...” As she finished cutting, she placed the knife down on the counter a ways away from Rosia so she couldn’t snatch it up. Vera scooped all of the meat up and dumped it into the pot. With a stir, she covered it and let it sit.

Then came the compliment. Vera laughed curtly. Although the comment was said in a rather terse tone, it was a compliment none-the-less. She decided to ignore the heat in her cheeks and continued working. “You don’t want to cut it up! You’ll ruin how pretty it is. Let me finish up here and I’ll help you out.” Vera glanced over at Rosia if only for a moment. Her mind wandered off track for just a moment before she jerked herself back into awareness. Next came the onions. She began peeling them and tossing the skins aside. Then Rosia fixated on the salt, attempting to read it out loud. “Not quite! But you did get rather close, Rosebud.” Vera’s voice was always kind, but when she began teaching, you could tell it oozed with patience and warmth. That nickname was thrown in there just to tease. You know, in a gentle way. “Look at each letter and pronounce them by themselves. Ssss-aaa…” Vera trailed off, hoping that Rosia would finish for her. She was now slicing the onions into smaller pieces

“But with knife I could cut like ye do with the meats and stuff.” Rosia commented back to Vera about not cutting up her dress. “Aye, fine. Help me af’er food is done.” She finished after reaching for the knife before Vera moved it out of her short reach Rosia sighed when she was told she was a wrong about how she pronounced the labeled word. As Vera started the word, Rosia figured out what she was trying to do. “Lll-tttt… Wait! That say salt?! As in the wa’er?” Rosia exclaimed and questioned loudly, pointing towards the wall that held water on the other side. “No. I refuse. Ye said before the second thingy made a ‘Ay’ sound. Like Ace on the cards!” Rosia continued laying her forehead down on the counter in play-like defeat. “Tis dumb. How much long’r till food done.” Rosia asked, rolling her head sideways so now her cheek was against the counter. Rosia hated feeling like she couldn’t do something, hence why she didn’t really try to read or let anyone attempt to teach her, but with Vera she knew she wouldn’t be judge.

Before Vera even spoke, she had dumped the onions into the pot and stirred the mixture. It was starting to smell lovely. A few more herbs and spices found their way into the pot. “Yes, salt. They take out the ocean water and let it dry up in the sun. Then they scrape the stuff up and it makes food taste better!” Vera heaved the bag of potatoes out of the pantry. It seemed to be half her size but she hoisted it up anyways, almost miraculously. Then, she began to cut them up. Generally she would soften them first but everyone, including Rosia, seemed eager for the food to be finished.

“I know, that was a different sounding ‘A’ though. All the letters sound different depending on what letters are around them. When you say ‘salt’, that’s why it sounds like ‘salt’.” Vera scoffed when Rosia called it dumb, but the smile never left her face. “It’s not dumb! Just complicated. It takes a while to learn, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually. Try reading this one.” She paused in her slicing to hand Rosia the small jar that said ‘pepper’ on the front. Then her hands went back to cutting. She was half way done.

Rosia lifted her head up as Vera told her it wasn’t dumb and then took the small jar Vera was handing to her. Rosia looked at it for a couple seconds as her mind turned and she tried to figure it out. “So the ‘Ar’ thingy changes the sound of the ‘eh’ right? So t’is would say ‘Peh-par’?” Rosia asked curiously. She knew Vera would sniff most things as she put them into her dishes, so Rosia decided to smell the small jar she handed it. Immediately Rosia sneezed to the side, almost dropping the jar. After she put the jar down she sneezed a couple more times. “Blach. What you given me ‘ere, messin’ up me nose” Rosia said as she scrunched and then rubbed her nose.

Vera listened intently as Rosia went through pronouncing the words out loud. Her smile widened when she said it correctly. “Yes! That’s pepper.” In one quick motion, she rounded up the now diced tomatoes and began picking them up and putting them into the pot. When she looked back, Rosia stuck her nose a bit too far into the jar which resulted in a sneezing fit. “It’s a spice! You aren’t supposed to inhale it.” Vera took the jar back so she could toss a few more peppercorns into the mixture. She churned everything in the large pot, making sure it was all mixed nicely, before covering it and letting it sit. “Alright, give that a few more minutes and we’ll be good. Wanna read some more?” Although Vera was genuine, there was a light teasing in her tone. “I have plenty more jars.”

Rosia started to regain her composure as Vera told her pepper was a spice. “Well, I see you always sniffin’ the jars.” Rosia was happy that she pronounced the word correctly before she started her sneezing fit. She felt a small sense of accomplishment and was smiling to herself and towards Vera for helping her. Rosia shrugged her shoulders before talking again. “Don’t know. Alot for today, still confused with salt not being like ace.” Rosia rubbed her nose a couple more times as the pepper still was irritating her a bit. Burgundian partlets“Next time, tell me not to sniff. Please.”[/color]

“Well, I sniff the jars at a distance, I don’t jam my nose into it.” Vera taunted her, her devilish grin never once fading. Once Rosia expressed her confusion and irritation, she nodded in understanding. “That’s alright, don’t worry. We can learn some more another day.” Vera checked her pot again; it was boiling nicely. She gave it another good stir before covering it once more. “Don’t go sniffing my jars then if you don’t want a nose full of pepper.” Vera smiled. She liked the way her dish looked, but she wanted more. It needed more punch. Humming to herself, she disappeared into the pantry again, coming out with some colorful peppers in her hands. She cut them up, stripped their seeds, and tossed them into the mixture. That should add some extra warmth. “Alright, now that just needs to settle for a bit. Want me to help you out of that dress now?” The content of the words seemed so vulgar, but Vera’s intentions were nothing but innocent. Well, mostly.

Rosia continued to watch Vera move elegantly through her kitchen, checking her pot and getting more ingredients to add to tonight’s meal. Rosia wasn’t entirely sure what it was but it did smell amazing and Rosia knows Vera always makes amazing food so Rosia isn’t one to complain about whatever Vera puts in front of her. “But your food always smellin’ good, so why don’t the jars smell good like the food?” She commented before standing up and pushing the barrel she was using as a chair back where she got it from. As walked back towards Vera, she heard her ask if she still wants help with her dress. “Well, I mean ye won’t let me go cuttin’ it off, so yes.” Rosia answered, as she smiled towards Vera.

Vera loved talking to Rosia. It gave her the chance to teach someone, and teaching was always so satisfying and rewarding. “Well, there’s a reason I only put a little bit of the stuff in my food. Its very intense.” Vera walked over to her cleaning bucket and wet a cloth. She cleaned her hands, making sure to scrub the smell of onions and raw meat off of them. “Now, to get that dress off…” Vera approached Rosia again. As they stood so close together, their height difference was quite clear. Vera thought it was adorable. “Hold still.” She walked around the younger woman so she stood behind her. “Dresses may seem fancy but they’re rather simple. Just gotta get this tight, upper piece off…” Vera grabbed at the strings tying her corset together. With nimble and calculated movements, she untied it. Immediately it started loosening, but Vera was fast enough to catch the sides of the dress before the entire garment fell. “They slide right off! See, not that bad, hmm?”

As Vera approached her, Rosia smiled. “Finally.” She said, reaching her arms back and showing she could only reach a few strings and couldn’t really do much. As she fidgeted around, Vera quickly told her to hold still, Rosia sighed and just let her arms down as Vera walked around behind her and started talking about the dress. Rosia didn’t wear these style of dresses often, not exactly her style, so she knew very little about them. For a second she felt one string come undone,but then very quickly they were all loosened. Rosia jumped as it came loose, but more from Vera quickly grabbing and holding her sides. Rosia stated to blush lightly, not entirely sure why though. Rosia just stood there for a second before cutting the silence. Oh, yeah. Feelin’ much better now. Rosia said to Vera still standing behind her.

“Good, I’m glad you’re more comfortable. However…” Vera paused to gently squeeze Rosia’s sides for emphasis, “As lovely as it might be, I can’t spend the whole night standing here and holding you.” She giggled. For some reason, her instinct was to just lean forward and hug Rosia like this, place her head on her shoulder. It seemed like it would fit perfectly. But that last thing Vera wanted was to lose her grip and embarrass the poor girl, no matter how much Vera wouldn’t have minded. She paused in speaking, taking the time to chew the inside of her bottom lip. “Meg-.. The captain must be looking for you, no? We’re about to set sail! What are you doing wasting your time down here with me?” Vera continued to tease her, but this one seemed a bit more half-hearted. She didn’t want Rosia to go quite yet, but both of them had a job to do. It took her a lot to stop the disappointed sigh from leaving her lungs.

Rosia giggled and jumped a little again when Vera gave her a light squeeze. Rosia just nodded when Vera commented about not being to just hold her, though she was comfortable right now, Vera was right about what she said. Rosia might be needed up top soon if they start to set sail, Bill might need her up on the sails, or Phillip might need someone to steer the helm while he goes off to do more things. “Aye, do have to do that” Rosia put her hands over Vera’s that was holding her dress up for a second, and then took control of her dress and spun around to face her. “T’anks again, for t’e dress, and salt and pepper words.” She gave Vera a light smile before she darted off towards her quarters to get changed and ready to set sail. “Peh-par… S-aw l-t” She said to herself but also out loud as she left the kitchen.

Vera’s smile was subconscious as Rosia praised her. Although she would do it in a heartbeat without being asked, it felt nice to be appreciated. “No problem, dear. I’ll be here if you need me. Always,” She hummed, giving Rosia a wave as she left. Hearing the younger woman repeat her words caused Vera’s heart to swell with pride.

A few minutes passed. Vera busied herself with other tasks. When they stocked up on meat, they essentially purchased the entire cow, intestines and all. So Vera went out of her way to grind it all up and make her own sausage. For now, she just needed to mix the chunks with some spices and let it sit for the night. But that kept her occupied for a decent amount of time. After cleaning her hands once more, she approached the pot. Upon opening it, her body suddenly remembered how hungry it was. It smelled so delicious; she hadn’t eaten all day because she was too nervous. But now she was ready to gorge herself. But she wasn’t the only hungry person on deck. As the cook, it was her job to feed everyone. While mixing it again, she wondered if this would be enough for everyone. She ran down everyone’s names in her head, thought about portion sizes, but then one name stuck with her. James wouldn’t be able join the others in the mess hall. Vera was thought about it but only for a moment. James wasn’t a bad a man. He was always kind to her and treated her with respect. With a sigh, she pulled out one of her large wooden bowl and filled it with the stew. After adding a spoon to the mixture and pouring an extra tankard of ale, Vera left the kitchen.

Once on deck, Vera saw all of her friends and crewmates working hard to begin setting sail. A part of her felt weak and useless, causing a pit to grow in her stomach. She couldn’t hoist the sails or steer the ship or even shoot a gun. Vera frowned. Her disappointed facial expression remained as she walked down the stairs once more to enter the brig. “Good evening James!” Although he was their prisoner, that didn’t mean she wouldn’t treat him unkindly. “I’ve got dinner here for you.” She hummed as she approached the bars.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Tessa Locke Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: Timothy Rundell Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: Philip Walker Character Portrait: Julian Bailey
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XXXX Meg continued to stand with her arms crossed against her chest, a frown planted firmly on her face. Of course, her mind was telling her she was being ridiculous. It's not like she had a claim on Sunni. She was allowed to have any kind of romance she wanted. Meg didn't have a say... that didn't mean that seeing someone be so familiar to Sunni in front of her didn't smart a little. And it didn't mean she wasn't going to be mad about it. Especially since their helmsman just waved her off like she was nothing. Like her orders didn't matter. Heat raced up her limbs, her attention no longer on her beautiful surgeon, but instead on her helmsman. Boy, was he in for a rough-talking to later. A sour taste coated the back of her throat as she thought a punishment might be in order. She wasn't one for punishments of the... violent nature, but being a captain meant she had to have better control over her crew. She might have to take a finger...

Once the bilge rat was gone, she turned her attention back to Sunni who was muttering something in her native tongue. The irritated look on her face and the fact that Meg spent enough time around her to know that what she was muttering wasn't friendly... was starting to bring a smile to her lips. When Sunni was angry, she tended to remind Meg of a wet kitten. Meg reminded herself that she was angry with her friend and not to smile... but the self-scolding didn't stick and she found herself smiling again. Especially because Sunni explained Philips presence in tones of unamusement. "Of course he believes himself in love with the boy." She said, followed by the thought, As long as it's not you.

A heat crawled up Meg's cheeks as those dark eyes took in every detail of her, the way a physician sizes up a wound or condition. There was something more in that gaze. Something that sparked a warmth in her core and a quick mental image of Meg's hands on Sunni's waist, her lips at her neck, and Sunni's precise fingers unlacing the backing of Meg's dress...She shook her head sharply. None of that.

The look on her surgeon's face changed. It became more guarded as she sarcastically commented on the attention of the landmen while she was away on mission. Actually, very few men paid her little mind. Any attention given was quickly averted at her terrible etiquette. She wasn't about to tell Sunni about that so instead, she grinned and said, "A few of the women, too. And it was something terrible to be swarmed by so many people. But what can I say? They have excellent taste." She flipped her red hair over her shoulder.

When Sunni requested stories of their mission, Meg's grin brightened just a little. I wish you had been there, too, She thought, Nothing is ever as fun without you with me. Then she started to share the story. "Oh, you should've seen the commotion Vera created." Meg technically didn't see it either, but the aftermath was something spectacular. She could only imagine what the girl had done while they were in that study. "And we retrieved the map. Our lovely Vale is examining it as we speak." At least... she better be. They needed to be on the open ocean as soon as possible if they wanted to avoid any ambushing by the land king's men.

In fact... "Come, my dearest," she said sarcastically, though she meant every word, "Time to oversee the operations on deck and you probably could use some fresh air." She held out a hand to the woman. Whether she took it or not, Meg headed up the steps to the deck, holding her skirts in her hands to prevent tripping. She was definitely going to need to change shortly. She would need Rosia to help her out of this getup. She couldn't ask Sunni... not with the thoughts still swirling about her head. It had been some time since Meg had been... passionate with anyone. Actually, now that Meg thought about it, she didn't have much taste for sharing another person's bed since she had met Sunni. It was beginning to mess with her head.

The biggest problem Meg was having was figuring out what exactly her feelings for Sunni were. Was it because she had saved Meg's life? Was it because she was so beautiful she had a nasty habit of taking Meg's breath away? That she didn't seem interested in Meg? She did always like a challenge. But Meg enjoyed Sunni's company. She enjoyed her brain. Her laughter. The way her eyes took in everything she saw as if to memorize it. Her mind immediately went to the look on Sunni's face as she observed Meg in the dress and a tingling sensation started at her fingertips. She had the sensation often enough around the woman--around those she fancied--enough to know it meant: She desperately wanted to touch her.

This, of course, had Meg stepping away from her as they reached the deck. She cared about Sunni to mess up whatever friendship they had with her... interests. She was definitely going to need to cool off.

She smiled at her crew, moving about the ship. Tessa was up in the rigging, singing a shanty and moving so quickly and expertly, you would think she was born and raised in the rigging. Rudy was now moving about the deck helping Jules. Bill was staring off at the land, making sure they had a clean getaway. Philip was at the helm--which of course reminded Meg that he would need a good scolding later. Rosia must have still been below deck because she was missing from her post. Meg wasn't going to reprimand her first mate though. Rosia had played a part in getting the map today and she deserved whatever break she was getting. "Everything is looking ship-shape, me hearties!" She yelled to her crew as she watched them pull away from land and out into the open water. "Now leaving Hartford Island! We sail for port!"

Which reminded her..."I need to speak with Vale," She said, turning to Sunni, "You're welcome to come along if you wish." Then she strode to the helm to seek the advice of her navigator. "We need to chart a course. Do you suggest going up and around or down and under." She traced her fingers along the map, marveling in the clarity of their new chart. "We'll need to stick close enough to land to supply, but far enough away we won't be stopped."

She could practically see the treasure now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: James Porter Character Portrait: Callie Avis Character Portrait: Evangeline Casper
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XXXXJames heard another set of footsteps coming towards the brig. These were softer and, judging, by the smell, it was someone he was expecting. He knew he was right when he heard Vera greeting him. His eyes flashed to Eva, but found she was gone. She was probably hiding behind the barrel. Good, he thought, Stay that way. It’s not that Vera would show any animosity against the lass. More in the opposite. She’d probably see the lass as something similar to a lost puppy.

As she came closer, the smell of food filled his nostrils, his stomach letting out a loud growl in response. ”Well… It’s a better evening now that you’re here.” He said to her with a smile and noticed the disappointed look on her face. ”Why the face? Is it because of the Mutiny?” His fingers twitched in anticipation of a meal considering he hadn’t eaten since the night before. It took all his control to keep from reaching through the bars for the bowl of stew in his cook’s hands.

Of course, as Vera approached, James tossed her a kind, flattering phrase; one that wiped the foul look off her face. “Are you sweet on me, James? It’s starting to sound like you are,” She teased him as she approached the bars, her usual smile sitting comfortably across her lips once more. Once he brought up the mutiny, it took some effort to keep from grimacing. It was brutal; they had to take the ship from a man who had never truly done them any wrong. And what was she supposed to say to him now? Vera had sided with Meg. She needed this money. She helped take the ship from him. “No, no, nothing about that. Was just hoping the food tastes good,” so Vera did what she did best: acting. She couldn’t let James know how she really felt. “But I suppose I won’t know that until you taste it, hmm? Here, eat up,” As she finished speaking, Vera passed him the food and drink through the bars, hoping that would be enough to stop him from asking questions she didn’t have answers for.

James snorted at Vera. ”You? Make something that isn’t absolutely delicious as if the angels of heaven prepared it and served it to us mortals as a sign of divine mercy?” He coughed into his fist. ”As if.” He smiled at her and winked once. When she passed him the food and drink, he took them with a quick ”Thank you.” before he downed the entirety of the drink. He needed to get the taste of lemon out of his mouth. He tried to be patient enough to blow on the stew before shoving the spoon into his mouth, but he failed significantly. In fact, he burned his tongue and the roof of his mouth on the stew and let out another string of colorful--and partially made up--swear words.

Evangeline was in an uncomfortable position behind the barrel. She was squatting and the wooden end of her axes were digging into her soft flesh. Eva didn’t dare to move as she listened to the friendly conversation. Relief filled her when James finally said thank you to the woman. She assumed the woman would leave soon. Eva couldn’t stay in her current position for much longer. Just as she hoped she wouldn’t get a splinter, James let out a string of swear words. Evangeline was surprised again by James.


Soft laughter escaped her lips and she fell back onto her bottom. “James and his swearing,” she whispered under her breath. Instead of staying still this time around, she stood. She used the barrel in front of her to steady herself. Her eyes glanced over James before they found the woman. Evangeline gave her a sweet, but small and shy smile. She broke eye contact for a second to fix the skirt of her dress. When she looked up, she was still smiling.


“I’m Evangeline, or Eva if you prefer,” she paused to move around the barrel. She stood between James and the woman. Eva stood a bit to the side, so she wouldn’t block anyone’s view. Eva held her hand out to the other woman. “Who do I have the pleasure of meeting?” she asked.


Vera couldn’t help but giggle at James’ embellishing compliment, “Oh stop that, James.” She couldn’t help but linger as the man started eating. She really did want to know how her food tasted. As he began scarfing it down, she frowned and furrowed her brow. Before she could open her mouth to scold him for not waiting for it to cool, Vera heard something moving behind her.

At first, she assumed it was just Rosia or Rudy scampering about and causing trouble. Her motherly reprimanding would have continued if she hadn’t turned and faced an entirely new person. Immediately, Vera went on edge. Her knees bent, lowering her stance somewhat. The dagger hidden in the back of her boot was now in arms reach. However, this strange woman didn’t appear aggressive or hostile in any way, so Vera allowed herself to relax, but just so. She was ready to defend herself at a moment’s notice. “Hello, Evangeline…” Her uneasiness was evident in her tone. She eyed the young woman up and down. “My name is Vera. If you don’t mind me asking: what are you doing here?’ She shifted her position, taking a slow step towards the exit of the room. Vera wanted to be able to flee if need be.

Eva watched as she lowered somewhat and tensed up. She was unsure of what the woman was going to do. When the woman spoke, she relaxed. Evangeline knew the woman was uneasy, but she couldn’t fix that issue. She wrapped her arms around her waist as she listened to Vera speak. Eva gave her a nervous smile now. She was only nervous as she wasn’t sure if the woman was going to start screaming or running or both. Evangeline had noticed she took a step towards the exit. She parted her lips to speak, but closed them again. Eva realized she shouldn’t tell her exactly everything. Though, she didn’t want to lie either. Slowly, to not frighten the woman off, she used her right hand to run her fingers through her hair. She smiled at Vera as she processed her thoughts.

“It is a pleasure to meet you Vera. The food you made smells lovely…” she paused to glanced at James, but her gaze returned to Vera, “I am here because of a friend…I knew they couldn’t stay with me…so we decided I’d stowaway.” Eva tried being as honest as possible, but at the same time she didn’t want to give away too much information. She didn’t want to say Vale’s name yet. Eva knew she could not mention Tessa. Though, she hoped Tessa wouldn’t rat herself out. She knew she couldn’t keep Vale out of the mess. Eva imagined Valentina would come to her defense when she was exposed.

James was about to eat another spoonful when Eva popped up from behind the barrel. He hadn’t realized she had been making noise before now, but when he looked to Vera to gauge her response… she was on edge. She probably thought the girl was a threat. James snorted and went back to his stew. Let the two females work it out. What could he do stuck behind these bars anyway. When he heard that Eva thought the food smelled delicious, his first response was to say, ”Oh you have no idea. I don’t think anyone else could make a meal fit for kings out of what we pirates manage to scrounge together.”

Then, after spooning another bite into his mouth, he realized that she was probably hungry. He looked longingly down to his bowl before holding it out to Vera. ”Here. Hand this to her. She probably needs it more.” He sat down, bowl still being held out. ”What do you think Meg will do when she finds out the lass is here?” It wasn’t polite to speak of such things in front of the subject of conversation, but he was hungry and it made him a tad unfiltered. ”I doubt she’ll do anything too terrible right? I mean I was mutinied against, and I’m still here in one piece.”

“Eat James, I’ll be fine,” she interrupted. She gave him a smile to reassure him and thank him for the offer. Evangeline hadn’t been hungry since the incident happened. She pushed her thoughts away, but couldn’t help the shaky breath she took next. Eva looked at Vera, her smile now slightly faded. Her heart stung a little at unwanted memories. “What is Meg like?” she asked softly, wanting a distraction. She vaguely remembered how Meg had spoken to James earlier that night.

Vera just stood by as the two of them exchanged words. Truly, she didn’t know what to make of this situation. This woman didn’t seem to harbor and ill will, but she still could have asked for a job on ship instead of just stowing away. “No, James. Eat your food. I have plenty for everyone.” This was something she would speak sternly about. She returned her wary gaze to this Eva, who was asking her about her captain. A part of her was screaming to run and get Meg, but she couldn’t help but feel for this poor girl. If James hadn’t accepted her in the past, she likely would have stowed away too. “First, she’s Captain to you,” Vera corrected her in the same motherly scold that she had sent James’ way. “Second of all, Meg isn’t cruel, but she also has rules. I’m sure she would have let you join from pure compassion alone. But I’m not entirely sure if she’ll take kindly to someone stowing away on her ship.” As time went on, Vera’s posture relaxed more and more. However, she was still ready to defend herself at a moment’s notice. “Why don’t you meet her for yourself? Might as well get it over and done with with.” Vera took more steps toward the exit, but this time, she ushered Eva along with her.

James sighed after Vera’s scolding and retracted the bowl of stew. Secretly grateful, he continued eating spoonful after spoonful of the now cooled food until little was left. In fact, the last spoonful he had stuck into his mouth… was the one he choked on when Vera suggested she meet Meg now. He whipped his head to her. ”You can’t be serious.” Then again… she had a point. If they all waited until they were in the middle of the ocean to reveal the lass… it might make Meg even more angry with them. So… ”No. Nevermind. She’s right. With Meg, things must happen now. Not later.” He sighed, feeling for the poor lass. ”Might as well follow Vera. Her presence might prove helpful.”

As the two began their leave up to the deck, James was sure to add. ”Just remember this when dealing with Meg: the lass is a hellfire.” He made sure to give his empty bowl and tankard to Vera before they left as well. ”I wish ye luck lass.” He said to Eva, his accent emerging.

Eva smiled as she listened to Vera. She took note to refer to Meg as Captain. Evangeline was relaxed and stayed relaxed as James put in his opinion. She decided to listen to them. It seemed like it would be better to meet Meghan sooner than later. Before she let Vera usher her out, she grabbed the chest and pouch from the pillowcase in the barrel. The only thing left in the barrel was the fruit and her pillowcase. Though, the pillowcase did have two dresses and makeup inside. She opened the small chest and stuffed the pouch in there. Eva closed the small chest, but it wouldn’t close completely. She tucked it under her left armpit before she followed Vera. She flashed James a smile to thank him for his advice and the luck.

“Vera, there are sacks of apples and mangos in the barrel I came in…” she said as she followed. She assumed Vera would want to know as she seemed to be the ship’s cook. Eva cleared her mind as she got ready to meet the Captain of the pirate ship.

Vera was ready to argue with James, but he seemed to realize his mistake. “Don’t worry, James. Meg can’t say no to me,” Vera was exaggerating, of course, but she just wanted to have the two of them relax. A few steps up the stairs, Eva told her about the fruit. Without hesitation, she jogged back down the stairs and went straight for the fruits. She hadn’t had mangos in a long while, and she was already planning on a what to cook. A pie perhaps? Hmmm, yes, mango rum pie. Her mouth was already watering. She had to shake her head to return to reality. No, she had to face this. Show Meg the stowaway now, make pie later.

Once the sack was slung over her shoulder, she started back up the stairs. Vera was already trying to come up with a plan, but she knew that there wouldn’t be much she could do. She would never dare challenge Meg’s final word. In that past, she’d bartered with the woman for better funds, but once Meg made up her mind and said no, Vera knew not to press her authority. Perhaps this was why they got along so well? Who knows. For now, she just needed to introduce Eva to her captain. As soon as she stepped on deck, Vera swiveled to find that head of fiery hair. It wasn’t difficult to spot Meg, standing beside Vale. With a silent nod to Eva, she stepped over to Meg.

“Captain.” First, the proper greeting. She bowed her head down for a moment, almost out of instinct, before continuing. “Pardon me. I don’t mean to interrupt, but we have… a guest on board who wishes to speak to you.” Vera then stepped to the side, gesturing to Eva to step forward. She bit her lip nervously, her doe eyes trained on her captain to see her response.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meghan Cunningham Character Portrait: Tessa Locke Character Portrait: Rosia Hienrik Character Portrait: Pyon Sun-Ah Character Portrait: Timothy Rundell Character Portrait: Valentina De la Torre Character Portrait: James Porter Character Portrait: Callie Avis Character Portrait: Evangeline Casper Character Portrait: Philip Walker
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Navigator
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Being stopped by the captain made Vale almost break out in an internal sweat. She watched Tessa take a few more steps before turning slowly but when Meg handed her the map, she breathed out a soft sigh of relief and nodded. She even did a double take heading up because Vale had to admit, the captain did look stunning in that dress. In her mind she also hoped Eva would be safe for now. Vale knew she was going to be found out sooner or later but she preferred a little later. At least long enough for her to work on the map and hopefully not be caught off guard. With it now in her possession, Vale was expected to get to work fast but the small bird she carried was taking more of her attention. Right before heading above deck, Valentina did stop at medic but she saw that Sunni was preoccupied at the moment with...Philip.

Vale didn't make herself known but she did roll her eyes at the helmsman. You have such bad timing, she thought before glancing back down at the bird. The colorful little thing had it's eyes open now but was still weak. It couldn't move much other than blink at her and Vale felt sad for the poor thing. She softly rubbed the back of it's head as she climbed above deck.

The navigator was just in time, everyone was at work getting the ship out of port. Tess was at the rigging and the anchor had just been lifted... they were finally going back out to sea. Heading towards the helm, Valentina climbed up onto the small wooden platform she had installed herself. It was sort of her own little spot and also where she built in her sundial/compass. She had been working on the contraption for years after learning a few things while traveling with her uncle. Some adjustments and teaks were needed which is why Valentina took the task of building it into the ship herself. Everything needed to be just right for it to work properly.

Vale placed the hat with the bird down on the wooden platform. She took a moment to pull off her jacket and folded it into a comfy square to lay the bird on before placing Tessa's hat on her head. Then it hit her. "water!" she blurted out under her breath, reaching for the pouch of fresh water she had laced to her belt. She shook her head as poured a little into the cap, placing it next to the bird. "Sorry lil pajarito, it has been a big day for the both of us, huh?" The colorful bird responded by sapping up the water. She sat next to it, pouring out a little more then criss-crossing her leg. Finally, Vale pulled the map out and unraveled it out in front of her. Her eyes scanned every inch of it, she was getting deep in thought when Philip and Rudy came to the helm. "Aye, Rudy." smiled Vale from where she sat, tipping Tessa's hat in his direction but gave another eye-roll towards the helmsman. "Philip." she simply said, returning her attention back to the map. Vale began tracing her finger over the parchment, figuring out which way to go best.

Her attention was taken again by the Captain herself striding right up to her. Vale looked up, greeting the captain with a nod and a grin. "Tis a beauty," she referenced the map. "We need to chart a course. Do you suggest going up and around or down and under." Valentina looked back at the map contemplating it when Rosia joined in. “Sorry Cap’n. I was b’low deck with Vera, she was takin’ me dress off.” Rosia said non-chalantly.

Rosia scanned the map they had laid out, mostly just seeing shapes as Meg traced her finger across it. Rosia pronounced the words to herself in her head, thinking back to her reading lessons with Vera. “Whenev’r we go up, it gets colder…” Rosia mumbled out loud, but mostly just to herself.

Vale acknowledged Rosia's comment giving a subtle nod to it. She traced the first path, "We can go up and over but," Vale paused for a moment looking up at Meg. "there is the possibility of running into ice and fewer ports... I don't think going north is worth it. The best is to go under." she explained, tracing out the second path going south. "We'll need to stick close enough to land to supply, but far enough away we won't be stopped." said Meg and Vale instantly agreed. "Yes, if we go under we have a few more places to port in between if anything." Vale pointed out Guicona, Snitinlos, Quinlterra, Isccumo, Serbe, Mobe and Beweyma.

When she went to look back up her eyes instantly locked with the two lasses coming up behind the captain. It was Vera and... Eva. “Captain.” Vera began. Valentina visibly gulped, she wasn't per say afraid of Meg, Vale just didn't want to go through the drama that might ensue. “Pardon me. I don’t mean to interrupt, but we have… a guest on board who wishes to speak to you.”

The Lost Treasure of Arimathea: Out Of Character (OOC)

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