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Edusrt van der Zaal

Master Gunner, grand practitioner of the art of gunnery, amateur gunsmith and lover of gunpowder

0 · 699 views · located in Continent of Drumin

a character in “A Letter of Marque”, as played by Irish Wolf


A tall man, standing nearly five feet and ten inches tall, Edusrt is lean and robust from nearly an entire life at sea. His skin, pale the day he was born, has been richly tanned, from head to waist. His lower legs and feet (which are almost always bare) are more lightly tanned, from days when he wore breeches instead of trousers. His head is shaved but if he allowed his hair to grow, it would be curly and light brown. Bright blue eyes command his face, peering over a slightly hooked nose. His jaw is square and often covered with course stubble. Old healed burns, shiny smooth spots on his skin, cover his hands and arms, from years working with explosives, along with a few good scars, that looks like chunks of his flesh have been removed and then half filled back in. There are also a few around his face, most noticeably one that looks like half of a starburst, on the corner of his right eye. He can often be found wearing just a pair of dark blue trousers, held up with a broad black leather belt. If the weather gets bad, he'll add a shirt.

Several tattoos are to be found on his body, a rooster on the top of his right foot and a pig on the top of his left foot. One each breast, there is an anchor inked in plain black, with a blue nautical star in the middle of his chest. Five swallows are tattooed on his back.


Edusrt has been called more then half crazed one more then one occasion. For one thing, his weapon a choice, the hand mortar he acquired from a naval quartermaster at a port side fortress, is extremely dangerous and unpopular with almost anyone issued it. For another, he enjoys his work, loving the thrill that at a single slip might send him to an explosive doom. Of course, then there is his habit of spicing his food and drink with at least a pinch gunpowder. Then there is his tinkering with firearms, which has lead to more then one "improved gun" to blow up in his hands. However, everyone he has sailed with, can attest he is very steady under fire and his gunnery skills are matched by few.


A pair of short barreled, sea service pistols
A hand mortar with custom made iron and glass made grenades.
A naval dirk but it is more used for cutting food or opening barrels, then as a weapon.
A small horn of gunpowder, at his hip at all times,
A sea chest, with a few spare pieces of a clothing, a clay pipe, tobacco, a few handfuls of coin, random tools of the gunsmith's trade.


Edusrt was born the son of an officer aboard a Demician United Trading Company ship. At the age of thirteen, he shipped aboard the Bredenhof, as the cabin boy, an arrangement made by his father. He would spend a decade aboard her, learning to read and write from the captain and mates but finding his true passion from the Bredenhof's crew and lesser officers, the arts and sciences of gunnery. While his time as cabin boy was up, he was signed as a gunner's mate for the armed merchantmen.

At the age of twenty-three, he signed aboard a sloop, which was sailing for Drumin, to run trade there between the islands and colonies of the various nations. It would be in the New World, that his skills and profession would bare fruit. His gunnery (both with a ship's guns and small arms), was often the only reason the ship he was sailing with,was able to escape pursuing pirates and corsairs. He would also find, in the nine years since he arrived, his signature weapon, a hand mortar that the seller almost paid him to take. He would keep close ties with the Demician United Trading Company, sometimes signing aboard their ships for a voyage, when they had a cargo of importance.

Recently, near the end if his thirty-second year, The Company, while he was signed aboard one of their ships, as delivered him into the service of the The Obsidian Star, to serve as her master gunner.

So begins...

Edusrt van der Zaal's Story

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Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal
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Edusrt van der Zaal shifted his bare feet on the cobblestones, the gray and tan pavings growing warm enough that the tough skin of his soles, began to burn, as the ship's company stood waiting on the shore. A thin sheen of sweat appeared on his inked and tan skin, as the rays beat down on them, from the crown of his shaved head to the top of his feet. A frown creased his lips, as his bright blue eyes stared towards gathering of nobility, his posture changing with each second, from the formal attention normally given to a powerful member of the Company, to close to a slouch as he could manage and not look like a sloppy greenhand. In the time they had been waiting, he could have burned through at least eight minutes of matchcord, maybe more.

Taking a deep breath, the tall Demician crossed scared arms over his chest and grunted sourly. He look rather like a common sailor, wearing only his trousers but the pair of pistols, tucked into the front of his belt, added to the fact that he was standing in front of the company, with the rest of the officers, marked him of some importance. Feel a little bored, he glanced around, making sure not to turn his head, so that the crew wouldn't notice him. It was a mottle collection of men and women assembled here, good Demicians like himself, Lisimens and others from the Old World, to dark skinned Ergolysens and even a few natives, although at least didn't looked pleased to be there.

As the Master Gunner's eyes turned back to the stage, his eyebrow arched slightly. Without fanfare, the second captain appeared to have arrived or at least that who he suspected the man was, seeing as he had stepped up before the Queen of Witfield and she was shaking his hand. Then his suspicions were confirmed, as the Queen herself announced the man to be the captain of the Obsidian Star, the ship he had been transferred to and named Gareth Fletcher. Memory itched in the back of his skull, some half remembered connection to the name but it faded, as his sharp eyes, caught the man walking off the stage. There was something about the woman, the female captain who had been running the show for the past few days, that caught this Captain Fletcher off guard.

His frowned returned, as his new leader faltered. With the crews pouring back aboard the ships and the officers of the Star approaching, Fletcher hesitated and fumbled with the offered hand of his fellow captain. First the man was late and then couldn't work up the nerve to shake a hand? What kind of man was this to lead them? What would the man do when they entered battle, wait until it was too late to give the order to fire and allow the enemy to rake them with shot and finally giving the word when the shivers were done flying? They'd be a ship full of dead or maimed men, if they ever reached port.

Edusrt had smoothed away the frown by the time he stepped up beside the sailing master and his native woman but he had to fight the urge to spit. Call his....well he thought she was his wife, it was disgraceful. Not that it was his business or place to interfere but he couldn't help but look down upon men who treated others like less then animals. He had seen men give more affection to a mongrel dog, who had stolen from their meal. But it was not his business. He was there to care for arms and ammunition and drill gun crews.

"Edusrt van der Zaal" said the Demician, "Master Gunner, assigned from The Demician United Trading Company ship Zeehaen."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher
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#, as written by ElRey
It was an awful lot of formality and parading about for the sake of a handful of nobles. Shaafir immediately that those who had been called upon to hunt down The Hangman weren’t interested in such ceremony. His long lanky frame was unable to stand still, shifting his weight nervously from foot to foot. Ergolyse heritage having left him nearly a head taller than the surrounding crew, his rich chocolate eyes were allowed to remain locked on the vessel which would be his home for the foreseeable future; all but ignoring the royalty.

The Obsidian Star was a fine ship, a testament to the importance of their given task. Elements of craftsmanship from every nation were evident to the properly trained eyes of the carpenter. The narrowed curve of the hull from Islong for speed, the heavy reinforced skirting of Lisim warships, the rigging was Demecian as the thick ropes were strengthened and tinted green from the sinewy resin of the Colawb trees native to Demecia, and the final touch were the cannons, massive imposing weapons protruding from the ship, a sign of the wealthy Wifield benefactors of the mission.

In the process of admiring The Star, Shaafir noticed the man whom had already boarded. It was impossible to read the man’s face from such a distance, but it was clear by his body language that he wasn’t wholly comfortable. It was pointless to speculate, but Shaafir was sure the man was to be their captain long before he made his way through the crowd and approached the stage.

Over the steady lap of the waves and cry of the gulls, the brief exchange which took place between the man and the queen was all but inaudible. Some sideways glances shared between nobility and an uncomfortable hush was all the insight granted, implying a bitter history among The Hangman and the captain.

Several members of the audience cheered and clapped as the man’s identity, and Shaafir’s suspicions, were confirmed. There was little time wasted after Gareth’s introduction, the queen ordering the mass of recruits to their respective ships. Shaafir was eager for the task to get underway, lest it was sand between his toes, he didn’t care much for solid ground; instead preferring the faithful roll of the deck beneath his feet.

The captain himself made a beeline to Oliva Mastrontoni, the woman who had until now been tasked with keeping them in order. The recognition on both parties faces was clear as the sun in the sky, though Oliva seemed slightly more in control of her emotions over their reunion.

Making mental note of the shared past of the two captains, Shaafir moved to introduce himself, only to be jostled out of the way by a gruff man who smelled of booze dragging a woman by her arm.

“De’lit mer fashu.” the carpenter hissed, cursing the ignorant fool in his native tongue.

In an attempt to reign in his ruffled feathers, he instead turned his focus to the woman. She seemed like she’d be willing to chew off her own arm if it meant she could gain a little breathing room from her would-be overlord. Memories of Heldreg flooded back, causing Shaafir to noticeably bristle as he cast a disdainful look in the pair’s direction. The man introduced himself as the sailing master, though based on the smell of his clothing it was unlikely he was able to navigate himself home from a bar on most nights let alone a ships course. So that left the woman, whom John didn’t bother to give a name, referring to her as an it rather than dignifying her with an identity. Classic dominance move, a tactic of cruel and feebly minded men. She was the talent, not him despite his bravado.

Silently Shaafir promised himself that he would be keeping a close eye on the duo. A handful of others approached from behind Shaafir, though he found himself unable to take his eyes from the woman. Besides Shaafir himself, she was the only other that was noticeably foreign in a position above rigger or marine. The suspicion that she was the real brains behind what was likely the most important job aboard a ship captivated him, and a healthy respect was earned from her silent tolerance of the unspoken abuse. A shared past.

In his observing the pair, another stepped forward, a hawkish gunner by the name of Edurst. Hair kept in a shallow buzz, bare footed, looking more reddened by the sun by the minute despite his deep tan. The master gunner had a bit of a wild look in his eye, an unspoken eagerness and enthusiasm he exuded that bordered on unsettling.

The rest of the ship’s company still approaching, including a redhead and woman who looked far too small to serve any real purpose; Shaafir faced his new commander.

“Xele. Shaaf-" he caught himself, native tongue refusing to go quietly "The Finch. Carpenter & surgeon.” He did not present his hand, and kept his words brief, ending his opening statement with a curt nod to the officers.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher
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Kaitsu Hoin was a woman who was proud, not in the way westerners thought of pride, but it was the pride of one's self that kept one strong in the face of adversities. So, she was proud. Proud in her work, her instruments, her heritage and even her height. She was rather short, and many people overlooked her because of that, but she was nothing if not efficient. So, she became strong despite such a diminutive stature and specialized in running a ship-shape ship. She was a boatswain, or bo'sun, and would accept nothing but perfection as long as she remained on the ship in such a position.

Throughout the ceremony she couldn't help but think impatiently to herself, ignoring the words of the woman speaking. She was nothing to her, no matter the status, because she was scum. Everyone was who did not have their pride, and now days she found very few people who did have such a thing. It was rare now, and that was a shame. She remembers stories told to her by her grandfather as she sat at his feet of warriors long past and their bushido, their code of honorable living, their pride through which they set standards of conduct which they must meet. And finally, when she believed that there were no more like her that held onto old ways, or at least lived them without knowing of them, she had seen one Captain Gareth Fletcher. A man that held himself with pride. And since that day, it had been her determination, dream was too whimsical of a word she thought, to work with him as the only person who held such pride.

And now, now that that ambition is finally met after so many years of excelling, toiling and bumps in the road as a sailor, she let herself smile a little. But only for a second or so before the woman finally stopped speaking and the new crew mates went about learning of each other. Kaitsu had been more than happy meet some of these people and found that the woman-with-pride that stood next to her husband man-without-pride was to her taste, the master gunner was equally so and the scarred man, the Finch, was most notably a man she could work with. He was a man with pride, one who knew that his work was good and delighted in it. Yes, she would be glad to have him, the woman and that captain on this ship.

"I am Hoi-" She began before remembering that they introduced themselves with given name first, then family name and correcting her small slip, "Kaitsu Hoin. I am the boatswain." A quick look at the sun and she calculated the time almost precisely, so used to doing it rather than keeping inconsistent watches and such.

"We are already running late. That ceremony," the absolute distaste, not quite hatred for that was inefficient and useless, for such an equally useless and inefficient thing could easily be heard, "not only started late (how inefficient it was) but ran long." She stopped and, like the carpenter/surgeon, she didn't offer her hand but instead preformed a flawless quarter-bow at the waist (only a slight tilt of the upper body) in the proper fashion of her people. Usually she would only bow her head to acknowledge people, but she felt that if there was a ceremony of nay kind (no matter how useless) she ought to at least give some polite formalities. Rudeness was very frowned upon in her upbringing, and though she had lived with rough sailors and their ilk for quite some years, she had not abandoned such thoughts and her bushido was just as thickly bound to her as any warrior of her people.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Jillian Farglow Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher Character Portrait: Olivia Mastrontoni
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#, as written by varxint
Olivia saw the softening in Gareth’s eyes and before she could say anything introductions began. She slowly released his hand as he met his crew. Olivia moved to stand at his side, giving Gareth a full view of the officers and his crew.

She watched him through side glances as they each introduced themselves. Olivia held in her reaction as the sailing master referred to his “wife” as an it. She remained very impassive but it was easy to see the man’s nature made a few of the crew wary.

Gareth reluctantly released her hand and turned to his duties. His eyes hardened again as the sailing master introduced himself.

“Master Lotering, welcome aboard.” He was very formal in this greeting, the welcome sounding rote and slightly forced. He glanced at John’s hand gripping the arm of the woman he referred to as an it. This did not sit well with Gareth. He looked at the woman carefully and saw the hate there, "Oh no, this does not sit well at all. Why is she here?"

Gareth turned his gaze back to John. He narrowed his eyes, “Report to the ship. You and I will have some... issues to discuss.”

After dismissing the mapmaker Gareth turned to the ink covered Demician, “Master Zaal, a pleasure to have you aboard. I look forward to discussing the armament of my ship with you. Please, go aboard. I plan to address all my officers personally once the ship is away from land and officially in my control.”

Gareth then addressed the tall Ergolyse craftsman. In a halting, accented Ergol, “Shaafir, xele.” He grinned slightly, “Practiced that for a bit. Not great I know. I’ll call you Finch here on out, don’t want to further mutilate your language. It is good to have you aboard. Commanding a ship is much easier when she, and her crew, are well cared for. Again, I’ll speak more with you on the ship. I am... uneasy about certain aspects of other crew members and I would like your opinion.”

From one extreme to another, Gareth thought his neck would get quite the workout if he often had to address his carpenter and boatswain back to back too often. Gareth returned the bow as a superior officer would to a respected subordinate, “Hoin, I will not waste more time. This ship is to be ready to sail within twenty minutes. I know you will have it ready. We will discuss further how I like my ship run once under way. Happy to have you aboard.”

As the flame haired woman introduced herself, Gareth thought, "Ah yes. Good to see I had enough time still."

“Welcome aboard Jill. The answer to your question is simple. I have been preparing my crew for some time. Where I could I influenced the choices. Based on reputation I requested people who I knew would be good at their job. Who would fit my style of command. I was not born to be a captain, but if I am to be one I will ensure I stack the deck in my favour as much as possible. So, when I recently heard about you and your history I asked for you to be transferred. It wasn’t that hard to get agreement. I was just concerned there would not be enough time. But, you’re here. I have certain expectations that come with your reassignment and said stacking of the deck. We will discuss them further on the ship. The short answer to your question is, you’re here because I asked for you to be here.”

After Gareth gave his orders to the crew and they headed to the ship he turned to face Olivia again. This time, more prepared, he was able to look her in the eye and smile, “Olivia.”

He took her hand, “It has been far too long and I wish we were able to reunite under friendlier conditions. However, seeing you again...” He paused and looked at her fondly, “It’s not coincidence our ships are paired.”

Olivia had watched as Gareth diplomatically greeted each of the crew and sent them to the boat. She listened as Gareth told Jill that he had her moved. “Interesting....

She was mildly taken aback as he turned to look at her again. This time is was she that reacted visibly as he took her hand. “Not a coincidence? Have you been pulling more strings then?” She smiled at him. Five years was a long time and yet, even with so much unspoken between them it was like old times.

Olivia shook her head, knowing what Gareth’s answer was going to be. “I am flattered that you would have us paired together. I know what getting the Hangman means to you.” A look of sadness passed over her features, something for him alone to see.

She squeezed his hand a little tighter. “I thought a great deal about you over these last years.” Olivia’s voice was quiet. “It is very good to see you again Gareth.”

“I don’t wait for things to happen fortuitously anymore Olivia. When I want something, I go after it now. I wanted to be back with you and I am. I wanted this crew, based on reputation, and I have them. However, it’s just reputation. You have seen them now. What do you think of them?”

Olivia was a little taken aback. Gareth was not the quiet, cautious man she had known but things had changed. “You wanted to be....” Olivia fell silent for a moment trying to compose herself. Her cheeks flushed slightly, uncharacteristically for her.

Clearing her throat slightly, she tucked a piece of her hair back under the bandanna that was holding it back. “Your crew. Yes I have been watching them. Not the marine, as you know obviously but the rest.” She nodded. “You chose well. Kaitsu is efficient. Your ship will be run well, no worries there. She works quickly and don’t let her size fool you. She is quite capable.”

“Your master gunner...” Olivia chuckled. “I would not let him ten leagues near gun powder except for what I have already seen him do more than makes up for the look in his eye. I have only watched him for a couple of days and while I think he is a little odd, he will do you well with his creativity.”

“Now, your carpenter. Gareth, the man was made for working on a boat. He knows the boat, he already has the Star’s ear. He knows her.” Olivia shook her head. She didn’t have the words to accurately depict the skill she had seen in the few days Finch had been on board.

“I have one warning for you Gareth. Your sailing master, the man is trouble.” Anger seethed just under her words. “The man is a drunk and there is no way he should be on your boat. He is not fit to sail a dingy let alone the Star.” Olivia stepped in close to Gareth. “Listen, it’s his wife. The native. She is the one that is making the maps, setting the courses. Be very careful Gareth, it is a fine line you will walk.” Olivia cast a glance to where the royal entourage was slowly leaving the dock. “It is John’s commission but her work. If you get rid of him, he will take her. If you keep him but bring attention to her, he will hurt her.” Olivia stepped back just slightly, enough to see Gareth’s face but still be close. “You need her if you are going to sail. She is good. But his temper is quick and violent. He will be drunk most of the time, mark me on this.”

Gareth listened intently as Olivia ran down the crew. He was momentarily distracted when she stepped in close and her scent brought back many pleasant memories. His attention was snapped back though as she mentioned John and his violent tendencies, “I understand Olivia. Thank you. It is good you warned me. I was wondering why the woman was coming aboard. I was about to kick her off my ship. Apparently I would have gotten rid of the wrong person. I will take care of this distraction before we meet any of our targets. This would not be good to have linger.”

He stepped back and looked her over once again. A soft smile played on his lips, “The mantle of captain looks good on you Olivia. I knew it would. I hope to be welcome aboard your ship some time when we weigh anchor. You will always be welcome aboard mine.”

Olivia smiled almost shyly as Gareth complimented her. “I...I am glad to see you on a boat again. I wish...” She looked to where the Jade Moon waited. “Yes, when we weigh anchor. I look forward to being able to catch up with you properly. Perhaps over some rum, in case it is chilly.” A playful smile now played there on her lips. She hoped that memory would mean as much to him as it did to her.

Memories brought a smile to Gareth’s face. Olivia leaned in again and pressed a gentle kiss on his cheek. Gareth closed his eyes and relived a past moment, enjoying her presence.

Olivia stood straight again, her face the mask of professionalism. “I wish you smooth seas Captain Fletcher.” She turned and walked up the dock to her own ship. Olivia walked up the gangplank, stopping halfway to look back at him. She paused for a just a moment before going aboard the Jade Moon. Her figure lost in the activity there.

Gareth watched her as she moved away. Staring without leering. Finally, he nodded his head curtly and turned. He strode onto the ship just as the final orders to set sail were being given.

Once the ship had sailed more than a half kilometer from shore Gareth summoned the crew to the main deck. He stood on the quarter deck, looking over everyone. Fully assuming the role of captain he addressed the crew with authority, “Welcome aboard the Obsidian Star. Make no mistake, this is a fighting ship so I will demand utmost attention to detail and dedication to one’s tasks. We are hunting a great menace for all exploring nations. The Queen has asked us to bring them to justice. This is my ship, so I will interpret justice as I see fit. My justice will be meted out from the mouth of a cannon. From the barrel of a pistol. From the tip of a sword. I will give no quarter to these scum. I expect the same from all of you. We are within sight of shore still. If there is a problem with my justice, then you are welcome to swim back. If you stay aboard this ship I will expect you to behave as though this goal of meting justice is your personal goal, as it is mine. You are all fine sailors and I will treat you as such. We will have no problems if you perform as you are capable. Now, let’s sink some pirate scum.” With a cheer from the general crew Gareth stepped down to the main deck. The crew dispersed to their assigned tasks and Gareth sought out John.

With a slightly condescending tone he address the mapmaker, “Master Lotering. You and I have something to settle. You are commissioned as my sailing master. The reputation of... your... maps has been made very clear to me.” Gareth shifted his eyes to the woman then back to John, “However, it is very unusual to bring someone else with you. Why is she here? Is she to be a part of the general crew? In that case she can be assigned a bunk below decks, like the rest. And I will ensure she has her list of tasks to complete. I expect you will address her by name and not as property. I will not have people treated as property aboard my ship.”

Gareth stared at John expectantly. Waiting to see what this man could possibly say to maintain the illusion.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher
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John nodded to Gareth as the captain told him they would have things to discuss and asked him to head onto the ship. He gripped Pavati’s arm harder and began to push his way past the others. His pull on her caused to her to bump into Edusrt and Shaafir. She managed to glance at them both before she cast her eyes downward again.

John pulled her up the gang plank. “You couldn’t just hold still, couldn’t just be still.” He was extremely angry with her. Pavati stumbled as they boarded the ship. The rocking under her feet as they stepped on deck made her stumble to her knees. John stopped as the woman collapsed. “Useless. Absolutely useless. I should let him throw you off the boat.” John reached down to grab her again.

Pavati looked up at him, hate burning in her eyes. “If you have him throw me off the ship I will run and you will be called out for the drunken fraud you are.” Her voice was strong as she spoke to him.

John paled slightly, “Get up!” He looked down over the railing to see the others coming aboard. “Get up!” He grabbed her arm twisting it as he pulled her onto her feet. Pavati winced, a hiss breaking through her teeth. Quickly he moved her into their small quarters.

John shoved her in and shut the door behind her. Pavati fell to the floor as he shoved her in. “You better keep your mouth shut. I need to figure this out.” She turned to scowl at him. John began to pace. Pavati huddled under the desk, attempting to remain out of his way. A bottle of rum, one of many that John had stashed, came out and he drank a swig every time he crossed the room.

By the time Gareth was back on board, John had a plan. It was weak but he hoped he could pull it off. He was also very drunk. John tripped slightly over his feet as he pulled Pavati to stand. He twisted her left arm painfully behind her back.

“Listen to me now, now...lisssten....” He slurred slightly, reeked of rum and Pavati held her breath. The twisting of her arm was growing steadily intense. “I will talk, you just stand there and try not to screw it up.” There was a pull on her arm, a twist up and Pavati heard a slight snap. Her face contorted with pain. John, oblivious to her discomfort, opened the door and forced her out and onto the deck.

Gareth gave his speech and John did his best to remain upright. It seemed to him that the sea in the port was choppy today. Beside him, Pavati kept her head down and held her left arm close across her body. She could move it but it hurt.

Around them, crew cheered the captain's speech, John barely remained standing and Pavati kept trying not to draw attention to herself. She did not belong here but she enjoyed the maps and calculations so much that part of her longed to be a part of this.

Gareth came down, found and addressed John directly. John tried very hard to stay stable. He did not notice the condescending tone or Gareth’s look at his wife. He was just trying to keep things straight in his head. He had a plan, or at least he was sure he did. John's mind was foggy and he wished the water wasn't so choppy today.

Pavati looked up as Gareth approached and she made note of everything. The way he talked to John, the look to her and the expectant way he waited for John to come up with some plausible reason for her to be on the ship. She held her arm and her breath, watching the man who would decide her fate.

John barely contained his anger at Gareth’s questions. He almost forgot this man was his captain. “It belongs to me. I brought it so I would not lose it or have it run away.You know how they can be." He sneered at the suggestion that she be removed from his quarters. "Not general crew. I hurt my hand, cramps sometimes. Old wound and all. From long ago days, you know how that is." John tried to give the Gareth a friendly smile. "She helps me with the maps when my hand aches.”

Pavati caught the slip. John referenced “her” and while she didn’t smile outwardly, inwardly she was gleefully laughing that Gareth could make John so uncomfortable.

John was now just barely comprehending what Gareth was saying about referring to her by name, not property. He had been too focused on his reasoning. He frowned heavily. “But it...she....” John fumbled over his words, the rum and anger making it hard for him to focus. He was enraged now, face turning very red. “She is needed to help with the maps. That is all. She is not general crew.” He was breathing heavy now and Pavati wondered if he might hit Gareth and secretly she hoped he would. Perhaps Gareth would punch John out, lord knew the man deserved it.

Pavati waited. Her arm began to ache terribly and she swallowed down the nausea it brought. Would Gareth accept such an explanation? Would he throw them off the boat? he obviously knew more than he was saying but then why the charade?

The boat rocked ever so gently but to Pavati, who had no sea legs, it felt as if she was being bounced side to side. She tried hard to remain on her feet and just narrowly succeeded. She made a small noise of pain as her arm jostled. Dark eyes looked immediately to John, praying the man hadn't heard. John was too focused on Gareth and trying not to blow up at the captain to notice such a minor thing.

"So she stays with me and helps when I need it. She will remain in the room and will stay out of the way." John rocked slighlty on his feet. "Acceptable Captain?"

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Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher
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Gareth noted the reluctant restraint in both of his officers, “John has obviously been making a name for himself before I got here. At least it appears I won’t have to gather an airtight case to get him off this ship.”

He nodded perfunctorily at them, “Thank you. By the book. Let’s do this right and ensure the crew stays with us.” With that, and the confidence that his orders would be executed with efficiency, Gareth turned and headed below deck. He could only imagine that the master gunner would be in the powder room, or close by. Either inspecting the guns and keeping them in firing condition, or tinkering with some new innovation.

The acrid scent of an open powder keg hit his nose as he stepped into the powder room. The room was neatly organized, with one open keg in the centre. Gareth interrupted Edusrt while he was working on the loading mechanism of a musket, “Hello Edusrt. Good to have you aboard. I expect to get heavy use out of our guns. Both on the ship, and our personal weapons. I have heard stories of your projects and experiments. I endorse any advantage we can gain through inventive new uses of weapons. I only ask to try and keep Finch’s work to a minimum.” He chuckled lightly, “And suffice to say, don’t blow up the ship, okay?”

Gareth looked over the musket with curiosity, “Interesting. Looking to lower reloading time? I can understand that. I had thought about some ideas for my pistols as well. Something to keep the powder and bullet all together so there is no mucking about. Anyway, we’ll have plenty of time to talk about ideas later.”

Gareth drew his pistols and held them by the barrel, handles toward Edusrt, “Speaking of my pistols. Some say I have a pretty good shot, but from what I hear you can tweak a weapon beyond the normal bounds. Please, I would like to take advantage of your skills. Could you work your magic on my personal weapons. These have been with me my whole career. The last few years I have not had a need to fire them. I expect that to change soon and would like a skilled eye to prepare them.” The pistols themselves looked to be very well maintained. The barrels and firing mechanism were clean. The handles had the warm glow of wood well used. An expert eye could see that they had not been fired in some time though.

Finally, to ensure the safety of the ship and crew from a raving drunk, Gareth addressed the obvious, “We’ve all seen what John is capable of. Let’s ensure he doesn’t manage to do anything stupid while in a drunken rage. Keep him out of the powder room. Lock the door. Call myself or Kaitsu if he is getting unruly. As a last resort, if he’s that drunk, convince him of his need to rest as gently as possible.” Gareth sighed, “I hope it doesn’t come to that. I will endeavour to address this problem before it escalates. I have Kaitsu and Finch looking for evidence of his misdeeds. It’s hard to throw someone off the ship just because they get drunk. However, if he proves that he is incompetent or a danger to the ship or crew, well, that’s another story. I expect that will be shown soon enough and I can have him off this ship without anyone questioning why.”

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Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher
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"Horloge het u ezel" muttered Edusrt in his native Demician, glaring at the man with the wife, as he pulled her hard away from the captain, forcing her to bump into him and the Ergolysen carpenter, before adding a second grumble as he caught the look she gave them, "Mei castreert zij u in uw slaap."

Clearing his throat and smoothing his face, the Master Gunner turned his attention back to his new captain. He was briefly acknowledge, which didn't bother him in the slightest and when dismissed, saluted. The man, no matter how hesitant he appeared to be, had been commissioned by a queen and the commission at least, deserved respect. It was also a proper salute for sailor, in either the merchant fleet or the navy. Finger tips almost touching temples and unlike army salutes, his palm was turned down, towards his shoulder, to hide any tar (or in his case, powder) on the hand.

Humming softly to himself, he stepped away from the knot of other officers, still waiting to greet the captain and moved aboard the ship. His bare feet moved quickly over the hot cobblestones, eager to get below decks, where the soles wouldn't burn with each step. Up the gangplank and over the deck he strolled, moving with a sailor's ease as the Obsidian Star gently rocked, while still moored. As the crew prepared to get underway, the inked Demician ducked below, making his way down to the ship's magazine, missing the captain's speech.

The storage room for the ship's supply of gunpowder, blow the waterline, was well organized by now. The barrels of mixed sulfur, charcoal and saltpeter, were arranged by size and grade, stacked and ready for the ship to sail. Canvas bags hung from pegs, filled with measured amount of the explosive and separated by which one of the different guns they would be used to fire. Most were for the ship's ten twelve-pounders but there were also bags for the two long nines and the four twenty-four pound carronades.

Stopping in his small cabin for his pipe, Edusrt slipped into the magazine and sat himself down at a small table by the door. Pipe clenched between his teeth (but unlit, he might be crazy but he wasn't stupid), he leaned over a sea pattern musket he had been tinkering with for some time. He had cut into the breech of the barrel, making a chamber that he could raise and lower using a screw attached to the trigger guard. All he needed to do now, to make a working weapon, was to get the breech to seal properly. His right eye twitched a little, as the scar by his eye hurt. The last time he had done this, the weapon nearly exploded, the breech spewing fire and burning powder from improper seals.

He was pondering the problem and sucking on the white clay pipe, the bowl of which had been shaped into a wine barrel with a little girl holding onto it, her tiny feet resting in the slightly curved stem, when a voice came to him, Glancing up, he found Captain Fletcher in the room with him, looking down at his project. He smiled widely, as the captain said they were going to get some heavy use from the guns and seemed to get what he was trying to do with the musket, without explanation. The man might be hesitant but at least he was smart. Without a word, he took the offered pistols and listened as his commanding officer went through a list of things he wanted to tell him.

"Aye Captain" said Edusrt, placing the pistols on the table and selecting two heavy keys from a trio sitting near the corner, "The door will be locked when I'm not about and maybe when I am. Heres a key for you and whomever you choose to give it to."

He held the keys up to be taken. The third, still on the table, was attached to a strong braid leather cord, which had a hook on it, so that it could be attached to a belt.

"I'll keep an eyes on John and a pistol loaded" he added, standing up as the keys were taken from his hands, "We have some good guns aboard. Give me a week, once we're from port and I'll have their crews to an acceptable level. Thats the easy part. it will take longer to get the gun-captains to be able to hit anything at range and to be able to judge how to aim with the swells. Might have to take a few days out of our cruise and spend it throwing out empty barrels and then trying to hit them with shot. Get me in range of a pirate vessel though and I'll leave it driftwood for you."

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Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Henry Smart Character Portrait: Jillian Farglow Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher
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#, as written by varxint
Gareth nodded to Edurst as he took the key, “Good. I think your plan of testing the crew and getting them up to snuff is a good one. We’ll talk to the cook and keep the barrels around for that. I expect we will soon get an opportunity for training, but not many before it becomes a live target. I have very capable marines though, so close range will be my goal. The carronades will get a lot of use and the local beaches could use more driftwood.”

Gareth turned to leave. He paused at the door, “I know you’re working on that musket. I feel exposed without my guns though. So, if you can, try and work on those as soon as possible.” He nodded at the master gunner and closed the door behind him.

The thought of marines lead him to seek out their quarters. He had some questions to ask of Jillian. Also, being a former marine, he had an affinity for that group. He wanted to address them personally.

He found the marines gathered, inspecting their equipment and setting out their bunks in the most efficient manner possible. Gareth paused at the door and observed. He nodded in approval and called, “Marines! Good to have you aboard. On some ships you might be used to being a passive passenger. Called upon only when threatened. Not on this ship. I know I have the finest set of marines sailing. I plan to put you to good use. Close range is where I like to be and I know the feeling of boarding an enemy ship with fire in your eyes. You will get your opportunity to show your mettle and take down all the pirate scum you could ever want. All I ask is you stay prepared to board at a moments notice.”

With that he entered the room, greeting each marine personally and giving a few encouraging words. He met a young marine named Henry. This man had been military before joining this crew. Gareth nodded, “It is good to have a few old soldiers aboard. I never served officially myself. Always freelance and hired to protect mostly explorer ships. It’s a pleasure to meet you Henry. I’m counting on your experience to guide some of the greener men and women. How you face each battle, each individual contact, will help others going through it for the first time.”

Finally he found Jillian. Gareth took her aside and spoke to her with certainty, “Jill, as you know I asked you aboard. I want to give you a chance to atone for your past misdeeds while on the pirate crew. I believe in second chances when deserved. Maybe more than others. I also see the value that having you aboard will bring. I will not treat you differently from the rest of the crew save for one thing. I will ask what you know of the pirates. I will ask what you remember of your ship and where they hid and where they met their sister ships. I want to know their typical hunting grounds and who they saw as targets. You are my advantage over them. Anything you share with me will give me an upper hand over them. I expect you to share without question. I expect you to want to take down this scum as much as I. This is how you can turn your distasteful past into an heroic end. Try and remember as much as you can and meet me in my quarters in an hour. I want to plan our course with my other officers and you could very well determine our first target.”

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Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal
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Edusrt grinned like a wolf, who had found a fawn trapped in deep snow, as the captain stated that the beaches could always use more driftwood. It was like he could already taste the acrid smoke, with it's faint hint of rotten eggs and hot metal. The only thing that could make the lean gunner, close to the level of joy he got from firing the ship's guns, was the promise he could fire them. A slight tremor ran down his spine, the last few cruises he had made with the Zeehaen, they hadn't run across any pirates or rowdy natives trying to attack Company holdings. He hadn't gotten to do more then mindlessly shift powder barrels and clean rust from the guns. He needed some action, like a drunkard needed a pint of rum.

"Of course Captain" said the Demician, he could understand perfectly the man's need to have his pistols back. He would have felt naked without his own pair and if they caught up with some scum before they were long in their patrol, it would be terrible to go into battle without one's personal weapons. The familiar feeling of the grip, the comforting weight of the weapon, the mere presence could mean the difference between a seasoned professional and a clumsily, fumbling recruit.

For a time, he simply studied the pair of pistols. Well maintained, they bore the mark of a respected if not overly well known Wifieldish gunsmith. The screws were tight, the flints new, barrels clean, touch holes clear and springs in good condition. All in all, a fine pair of pistols and so his thoughts turned on how he might improve them. It was clear that they did not in fact, have the room to use the loading screw he was trying to perfect (nor would he have used it on anyone else's weapon until it was finished).

This was a challenge the gunner needed to consider carefully. Had he gone out and bought some pistols, just to tinker with, he would have just dived in with whatever idea came to mind but they weren't his pistols. They belonged to his new captain, who had a very persona attachment to them, he could tell. So he couldn't afford to make mistakes on any improvements. His teeth clamped down on the pipe stem and he sucked on it a bit. A few ideas tickled his mind, including one to cut the barrels and attached a hinge for quicker loading but he ignored them.

"A smoke" mused Edusrt, knowing some of his best work was thought up in a haze of pipe smoke, "And a nip."

Smiling, the shaven headed Demician stood up, gabbed his key and pulled the door open. Closing it behind him, he thrust the key into the lock and nodded as the tumbler clicked. Attaching the key to his belt, he walked up the passage way and ducked into his small cabin. Opening his sea chest, he pulled out a leather pouch of fine, nutty tobacco and a thin silver flask, filled with a blackberry brandy from his homeland. Slipping the flask into his belt, he packed the bowl of his pipe and headed up towards the top deck.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher
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The room was thick with tension. Shaafir’s comment hung in the air. Pavati watched as Kaitsu moved away from John and lowered her blades. The small woman stated that they were leaving and heading to the captain.

John wiped sweat from his brow with the sleeve of his shirt once the tiny, threatening woman stepped away. He began to restate his position but his voice died away when it became clear that they were ignoring him.

Pavati realized suddenly that they were serious. The pair was in fact going to take John’s alcohol and her out of the room and to the captain. Part of her assumed it was a ploy to scare John into sobering up but now it sunk in that they were leaving the room, without John. Pavati tried desperately to control her breathing, panic creeping up her spine. She hadn’t been out of John’s sights since he had taken her from her family.

Her eyes caught the look on John’s face. There was anger in his eyes, the likes of which Pavati had never seen before. She was sure if he could get his hands on her that more than just her arm would suffer. He clearly hated the two people in the room but there was no way he could come at them. Pavati felt sure that when she returned to him he would kill her. Her eyes closed briefly. She raised her chin and opened her eyes again. So be it.

Kaitsu passed by her and nudged the door open. Pavati wobbled slightly on her feet and waited for Shaafir. She knew there was no way she could follow without falling. Once the dark skinned man was close enough to her again, Pavati lightly steadied herself on his arm. She gave him another apologetic look.

“I am not used to a rocking floor...” Her voice was a quiet whisper to Shaafir.

Her eyes were cast down as they exited the room. Pavati kept waiting for John to rush forward and pull her back into the room. By the time the trio reached the captain’s door Pavati was doing her best to control her panic again. "What will the captain expect of me?" She looked at Shaafir, her internal question clear on her features as Kaitsu knocked.

Pavati’s eyes snapped to the doorway as Kaitsu began to explain what they found. Uncertainty washed over her and she felt slightly ill. Her grip on Shaafir tightened briefly before she realized what she was doing and let go. She hated feeling like a trapped animal, hated it almost as much as she hated John.


John watched the dark man take Pavati out of the room and he was seething even more. Standing, he threw the first thing his hand landed on at the door. The small metal instrument, for measuring distances on a map, fell to the floor. His drunken state made the throw weak and wild.

He stumbled about the small cabin, grumbling angrily to himself. They had taken all his bottles. The small bitch had taken them all, likely dumping them over the side at this very moment. Or worse, she, the captain and the man were drinking it. Maybe they were mocking him or letting Pavati drink. “How dare they....”

John’s mind went through all sorts of scenarios of what was happening in Gareth’s cabin. He needed a drink. Badly. Tripping over the blanket he made his way to the chests. Somehow the blanket had ended up on the floor. Likely the wench with the blades pulled it off as she searched his room, trying to make him look like a slob. John tossed the chests open. Gone, every bottle was gone. A loud angry growl erupted from him.

His eyes went to the wall. John smiled. He was a sneaky bugger, at least in his own mind. He moved to the wall and pulled at the loose board. He had stashed one bottle here, just in case. He was glad the boatswain was a woman, only a woman would miss that sort of detail. “Stupid, stupid contest for this man.” He mocked the woman who only minutes before had almost made him wet himself.

Taking his last bottle, John sat on the bed. He popped the cork and began to drink. His mind wandered back to what the captain or the dark skinned man might be doing with Pavati. The mocking drunk became an angry one.

John swayed and looked at his bottle. Empty. He was confused. It couldn’t possibly be empty already. Hadn’t he just opened it?

“You...bring me another...” John looked around the room for Pavati. Then he remembered. No woman and no more booze. The bottle clunked to the floor and John wiped his mouth. They took them, took it all.

He sat on the bed, falling heavily on his side and drifted in and out of consciousness. In a small moment of clarity he remembered the officers were to meet in Gareth’s cabin. There was no way he could function without a drink; he knew he would need a small nip just to get him through all the talking. Something to take the edge off the headache it would give him. Hell, he was getting one just thinking about it. Sitting up, he rubbed his head and pondered his problem.

Someone on this wretched boat had to have a drink. John pushed himself unsteadily up and off of the bed. He made his way to the door and out onto the deck.
Most were going about their business, crew not worthy enough to talk to an officer like him. John spotted the bareheaded man....the least that is what he thought he was. How was he supposed to keep them all straight?

Rocking on his feet, John watched him. He had a pipe between his teeth and a flask in his hand. “Oh merciful god, there is hope for good men in this world.” John decided that Zaal being on deck with his flask was a message from heaven, just for John.

He approached the Demician. “Nice water tonight....should smooth sailing.” John offered Zaal a smile. “Didn’t get your name earlier friend. Too busy with my clumsy assistant. Good help and all that...” John was rambling and leaned on the rail to steady himself.

“Went and broke an arm...that bad. I sent it off to be fixed up. Only right you know? “ His tone made him sound as if he was a very caring and sympathetic man. It had been his idea that they take her and fix that arm after all.

John raised an eyebrow at Zaal, “Not a talkative man...I like to share a sip of that with a friend and fellow officer?” John hadn’t in reality let Zaal say anything yet as the words just kept streaming from him. He reached a hand out towards Zaal, clearly expecting the man to share his flask.

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Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal
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Edusrt was enjoying himself, leaning on the railing and staring out over the starboard, across the small waves of the ocean. A thin trail of smoke twisted up in the sky above his head, broken now and then, when he grasped the stem of his pipe and removed it from between his teeth, so that he could blow a smoke ring. A few sips from the flask had been taken, as the sailors moved around the deck, taking just enough notice of him, to leave him alone. He was not a watch officer, he had no command over them outside of training and battle but he could still get them on a punishment duty, if annoyed. It would be easy to get a junior officer to do his bidding. Still, he wasn't an overly hard man, outside of someone abusing his beloved guns or not listening to his orders, when he had the authority.

And just as the Demician was about to blow another smoke ring, the enjoyable weapon plotting session turned sour. Stumbling across the deck and right up next to him, was John, still smelling of drink. The man must bath in a mix of cheap rum, poor quality whiskey and anything some fool with a still could cook up in their kitchen or back alley. Much to his annoyance, the man didn't move off but rather stuck around next to him and started talking, babbling about how smooth the sailing ought be. Looking skyward, the gunner ignored the man, hoping John would just go away, before the stench turned him into prohibitionist. It was a good thing, or he would have openly scoffed at the sailing master's claim of sending his...wife, off to get treatment out of his great humanitarianism.

As it was, he almost missed the fact that the sauced bastard was trying to take his flask. Blue eyes widened and his hand twitched the flask away, just in time and so fast that he thanked God, that he had screwed the cap on tight after his last taste. Glaring at the fool, he slowly grasped the stem of his pipe (careful not to touch the hot clay bowl) and blew the mouthful of smoke right in John's face.

"Let op uw handen aap" sneered Edusrt, thrusting the pipe towards the sailing master, so the smoking bowl was under the man's nose, "Probeer om mijn dingenvarken en I' opnieuw te raken; ll ruk u over de kant! I wouldn' t zelfs spruit u, u waardeloze bastaard! Het zou een afval van poeder zijn!"

The master gunner leaned forwards, hook nose leading the way, as he got right in the annoying man's face, with a dark scowl. The drunk cowered back, looking first confused and then angry mixed with fear. The man muttered a number of things, mostly ignored but Zaal did picked out something about being late, to a meeting with the captain. A frown replaced the scowl, as the mutters brought up something the captain had said earlier, something about a meeting with all of the officers. Tapping out the bowl of his pipe, over the side of course and allowing John to get ahead of him, the Demician tucked his things into his belt and head off towards the captain's cabin, entering just behind the drunk.

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Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Catalina Austerlitz Character Portrait: Jemsen Austerlitz
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It was hard to deny that the Obsidian Star was a marvelous vessel, but that did not stop Catalina from trying. Distantly, she recognized her resentment towards the ship was greatly misplaced, as it was their home and means of survival for the time being, but it still felt wrong in her mind, however illogically. This wasn’t home, the Fair Wind was, and the Gilded Sun, and even the smaller Buxom Lady which had been her father’s first ship. She knew those ships and their crews inside and out, but if that was home, she was never going to be home again, not unless the unthinkable were to occur. Very little about the night their lives had gone to hell could be confirmed in the rumors and stories they’d heard, they simply kept changing depending on who told the tale. There were however, three heart clenching details than never changed. The first, their father was dead, run through at the dinner table seemed to be the most popular version. The second, Reynard had seized their mother, claiming to be infatuated apparently. That one set her teeth grinding, as the tales spanned from painting her mother as a captive victim of tragedy, to a murderous harpy in league with her father’s murderer. She’d nearly started a fight dock side with some sailors from Isong for spreading that very slur. The third was that Reynard had burned the town on that side of the island to the ground, taking her father’s ships with him. What had become of the crews, Catalina had no way of knowing.

She and Jem had been spending the day familiarizing themselves with the ship, as they were unlikely to be wanted yet by the captain, and very likely to be sent out on tasks throughout the ship by that evening. For the most part, they went unnoticed. Two skinny cabin boys fresh off the docks were generally not of great interest to seasoned sailors busy making a ship ready for sail. That was good though, they didn’t need to attract a lot of attention. Catalina was scrawny looking enough in her current getup, and the chest bindings and layer of grim that had accumulated helped, but her face was feminine enough that some might to wonder if they had a notion to stare too long. The siblings rounded a corner and headed across the deck toward starboard, and paused, smelling the pair leaning against the railings before seeing them. One smelled, she corrected, though she could smell his stench from a good few paces away.

“He smells like he’s spent the night in a barrel of sour wine.” Jem murmured to her, nose wrinkled. Catalina was inclined to agree. They’d smelled some foul stenches whilst living on the docks, but this man smelt as if he’d been alternating rolling in such filth, and bathing in bad spirits. The other man on the rail seemed equally disgusted, cursing the man quite harshly with his thick Demician accent for trying to steal his flask. Catalina stared with incomprehension. She catch maybe two words of that exchange, though she could tell by the tone he was angry enough.

Jem on the other hand, snorted out a laugh, catching the gist of the Demician man’s insults. Their father’s accent had been far more subtle, a merchant engaged in international trade needed to be understandable of course, but many of the crewmen aboard his ships had been Demician with accents they enjoyed playing up on occasion to confuse people for their own amusement, so Jem had grown more accustomed to it than his sister, who looked on with obvious difficulty to puzzle out what he had said.

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Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Catalina Austerlitz Character Portrait: Jillian Farglow Character Portrait: Jemsen Austerlitz
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#, as written by varxint
Jillian frowned as the captain walked away from her. She knew her history would be an issue when she volunteered for this position. She thought she would be able to slip in among the marines and it would be an easy way to escape the hangman’s noose. It seemed that this Gareth character would not let her fade away so easy though.

Now I have to try and show him I’ve changed my views. That I’m trying to redeem myself, somehow.” She huffed and turned to set up her bunk. She ignored the rest of the marines looking at her and whispering. Or tried to. Gareth really put her on the spot now. Calling her out in front of the rest of the marines ensured she would have to either do what he asked, or at least pretend to well enough to make it look like she was just out of date with her knowledge. She didn’t think she had an option to not respond at all, anymore. Too many of the crew would know that she was uncooperative. On this mission, if it looked like she were a pirate sympathizer, she didn’t think she would survive the first encounter. No doubt a ‘friendly’ mistake would ensure that if the enemy didn’t. So, she now found herself having to decide to betray her former companions, or her current ones. She roughly tossed her small pack of belongings onto her hammock and stormed out, onto the main deck.

She stood on the port side rail for a time, trying to gather her thoughts. When she realized it was approaching the time Gareth set for the meeting she turned and started toward the captain’s quarters. As she headed in that direction she saw the two young cabin boys watching the ship’s sailing master and the master gunner in discussion. It looked as though the sailing master was swaying more than the ship’s movements called for, but she shrugged. Who knows how much experience on a ship these people had. She barely remembered anyone’s name, having just been assigned here, let alone know of their experience. She did know that the captain would likely want the boys for the meeting though. All the officers in one place would likely call for the cabin boys to be available to fetch anything needed, without interrupting the meeting.

Jillian strode over and addressed the thinner boy, “You, boy. Are you not supposed to be in the captain’s quarters? I’m heading there myself for the big to do he wants us at. I suspect you two will be wanted there as well. Come along lads, we don’t want to keep our captain waiting.”

She continued toward the captain’s quarters as she heard the master gunner speak harshly to the sailing master. “Ah, already some internal strife. Typical. It seems there’s one in every crowd who needs to yell at people regardless.

Hearing one of the crew singing from the rigging made her feel right at home. Once more on a ship. It was a better feeling than being behind bars, waiting for the neck stretcher to visit. She smiled grimly as she reached the door to the captain's quarters. She fully expected the boys to be following behind as, without pause, she pushed her way into the captain’s quarters.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Catalina Austerlitz Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher Character Portrait: Jemsen Austerlitz
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Pavati tried hard not to back away as Shaafir led her into the captain's quarters. Gareth's confused look did not help. She worried for a moment that they had overstepped their orders by removing her from the cabin. If he sent her back now she would not survive their trip to the next port, that she was sure of. She felt a it, that something was going to change. Her death would certainly be that.

Pavati kept her eyes on Gareth, not looking around too much out of respect. She was not their equal, even if she could do John's job better than he ever could it was not her letter that brought them here. She was simply his assistant.

Pavati jumped as Gareth told her to sit. She stared at him, her head tilted slightly as if trying to gauge if he was in fact referring to her and if he was being sincere. Something about the man's face made her shoulders relax. A gentle hand steered her to a chair and she looked up at Shaafir as she sat.

Gareth looked from the chain that Kaitsu held to her. His gaze wandered to her wrists and the lower. Pavati knew she could not hide the bruise on her ankle. Faint older ones were slightly overshadowed by the new dark ring that sat there.

Holding her arm steady, Pavati inhaled deeply. Her voice was quiet but steady. “Pavati. Thank you for the seat.” Her gaze remained on Gareth. She had no reason to fear the three figures that stood in the room with her.

John all but stumbled into Gareth's cabin, barely a knock on the door. He stopped dead as he took in the scene in front of him. She was seated, as if holding court while the others stood there looking at her. He sneered, clenched his hands into fists and moved towards the table.

Resting his hands on it, John steadied himself. “What is going on here? I thought this was a meeting for the officcers. I thought you were fixing that arm?” His drunken speech exaggerated by his anger, he was looking between Pavati and Finch.

Pavati, sat a little straighter in the chair. This was not John's place to command her in. She would not stand and move to his side unless Gareth told her to. This bit of defiance brought a small smile to her lips.

Behind John, the bald Demician entered. Pavati glanced at the man. He seemed in a foul mood. John looked over his shoulder and moved slightly. Fear. Pavati could see it, there was fear in John's face. This too gave her a boost of happiness. It was nice to watch him squirm knowing that for the moment she was safe from his wrath.

Behind him entered the red-headed marine and two boys. A song drifted in on the sea air before the door closed. Pavati began to feel slightly claustrophobic. The room was not overly large and these people all had a reason to be there. She was just an injured woman brought before the captain.

John leered slightly at Jillian. The boys he paid little attention to. Cabin boys were a dime a dozen. Unless they were going to bring him a drink he couldn't care what they were doing or looked like.

Pavati waited in the chair. She expected to be told to leave or to at least go and have her arm looked after. She looked up slightly at Gareth.

John slumped into the nearest chair. His head was killing him already. Surrounded by incompetence, that was the issue. They hadn't even fixed her arm yet. “Shall we get down to business then it can fix her arm? I have maps to look at you know.”

Leaning on his hand, his elbow resting on the table it didn't take much for him to begin to drift off slightly.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Catalina Austerlitz Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Jillian Farglow Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher Character Portrait: Jemsen Austerlitz
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#, as written by varxint
Gareth smiled when Pavati finally said something and introduced herself. He turned from Finch slightly to address her, “Very nice to meet you Pavati. You are welcome aboard my ship.”

As Gareth started to turn back to Finch, John barged into the room. Gareth raised an eyebrow at the state of the man and his demands. He stepped to place himself between Pavati and the drunk. Before he could address the man’s comments others entered the cabin. Gareth was pleased to see the cabin boys as they had been quite busy with their chores and he had not had the opportunity to meet them yet.

Gareth opened his mouth to greet everyone when John slurred again and almost collapsed into a chair. Gareth stared incredulously at the man for a half second before assuming a formal stance. He leaned down, close to the now dozing man’s ear, and yelled, “Lotering! On your feet!”

Gareth stood straight again, watching the man scramble, trip over the chair and fall on his back. Gareth had a disgusted look on his face as the man struggled to disentangle himself from the chair, “I did not give you permission to sit. I am almost at a loss for how to handle your disrespect and dereliction of duty. Almost.”

Gareth’s anger was apparent in his face and voice, “You are relieved of duties permanently, Lotering. At this point you have endangered the crew by reporting to duty in your state. You have seriously injured another crewman without cause. You have show nothing but disrespect for your captain. And, as I am going to show, your so called talents have been a farce since you came aboard.”

With this Gareth laid a map on the table. “Show me. Show everyone here. Plot a course to get us out to sea and headed in the direction of Bailey’s Cove.” He ensured he continued to stand between John and Pavati. He watched with disdain as the drunk slowly got himself up off the floor. John leaned heavily on the table as he looked at the paper that was laid in front of him.

As John struggled to understand the map, Gareth turned his back and addressed Pavati, “Now, would you be able to chart such a course?” As he asked this he stepped aside slightly to allow Pavati to finally see the map.

Gareth grimly watched the rest of the crew as they were about to be provided with the final proof that would ever be required to justifiably relieve John of his duties.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Catalina Austerlitz Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Jillian Farglow Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher Character Portrait: Jemsen Austerlitz
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Kaitsu sneered as the drunkard, not even worthy of a name in her mind, came into the cabin. However such a face transformed into a smug leer once she caught sight of the Honorable Woman, unfortunately Kaitsu wasn't aware of her name, sitting with her head held high.

Quietly, ever so quietly, Kaitsu stalked around the edge of the room in such a sneaky manner that one wouldn't pay her any mind at all unless they so happened to have similar sharpened senses and the paranoia of a hunted rabbit. It was safe to say that she wasn't noticed enough to be considered in her loop around the surrounded group of officers in the Captain's Cabin.

Silently, silent as the night falls, she planted herself in front of the door, knowing exactly what her esteemed Captain was planning the second he started to dig into the worthless man before them. Secretly palming one of her most favorite weapons, her spear, she stood unmoving as an insurmountable barrier in the way of any escape attempt.

Her grin broadened as it turned malicious as she watched the scene in front of her with great disdain for the man being 'ripped a new one,' as she had so aptly heard a sailor call it in the docks of a sea-city once. She was enjoying it, immensely, and only for a second she wondered how many heart attacks she might cause if any of her clan ever saw her like this, entertaining such violently, bloodthirsty thoughts towards this man.

She hoped the Esteemed Captain Fletcher would let her keelhaul the man... no one would have to know, and besides, no one would tell either if they did see...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Jillian Farglow Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher
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Edusrt still glowered with annoyance, as he followed the stinking drunkard into the captain's quarters. He smoothed his face briefly, as he stepped inside and brought his right hand up in a sharp navel salute for Captain Fletcher. Not that it went noticed, as nearly all eyes seemed to follow the ape dressed in a man's clothing but for a moment, as the sneer returned to his mouth, the eyes of the man's wife fell on him. Bright blue eyes soften slightly, to hopefully let her know he wasn't angry with her. No doubt the woman had a fear of men, from her time as....wife?.....slave?.....prisoner? ...of that creature, who had made an attempt to thieve his brandy. He would have to offer her some kindness in the future, whenever their paths crossed, not only as to hope to be friendly with a tormented soul but almost to apologize for his gender's offenses towards her.

The glance of fear that John shot over at him, was something to enjoy, like a fine wine after a rich meal and suited the Demician like a tailored coat. However, the leer the drunk had on his face, as their officer of marines entered the cabin, provoked a silent snarl, a baring of teeth. The man was a dog, lusting towards another woman with his wife in the very (and small) room. Then, to top off all of the faults and ill discipline the man had, he slumped into a chair, while the rest of the officers remained standing and without leave of the captain. John then made a few demands and seemed to start to sleep! The man would have been stripped of rank and flogged around the convoy, if this had been a proper Company outfit.

And then, something wonderful happened. Their hesitating captain seemed to summon all the proper indignation of a Company Viceroy and began cracking orders at the drunk. The Master Gunner almost started laughing, as John fell out of the chair and struggled to his feet, only to stare dumbfounded at the map laid out upon it. This was almost as pleasant as an evening spent smoking under the stars, with good lads all about and a pretty girl on your knee. Almost but about as it was going to get on this ship before they got into a scrap.

Unlike the boatswain, who moved towards the door to watch with bloody minded glee, Edusrt stepped close to John (ignoring the smell of course) and leaned over his shoulder. The map meant nothing to him and while he could read the words, their meanings were gibberish. What he was going to to, was get a little more enjoyment out of this, with a few verbal stabs towards JOhn.

"Wat de kwestie is" he asked in a mocking voice, "Dit is uw beroep, isn' t het varken? Kunt u dit geen eenvoudige kaarten lezen? Of moet zijn u zo bal-minder dat uw vrouw het voor u doen? Moet zij u het ook omhoog worden helpen? Of neemt is zij die u in bed?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Catalina Austerlitz Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Jillian Farglow Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher Character Portrait: Jemsen Austerlitz
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Pavati didn't breathe. She sat in the chair and held her breath as the scene unfolded in front of her. It was almost in slow motion. The Captain called John to attention and the man was scrambling to get back on his feet. Desperately withholding her smile, she took an almost perverse pleasure in watching John get called out for his behaviour. The best part was she wasn't near him for him to take his anger out on.

John stood and leaning heavily on the table, stared at the map. Nothing about it made sense. He was sure the captain was trying to make him look a fool and used some map of a made up place with odd symbols and such. He looked up to find Gareth in his line of sight. John looked around the room, trying to keep the desperation from his eyes. He began to smile as if he had caught on to the joke but stopped as he realized no one was laughing.

Pavati frowned as Gareth blocked her view of John and the table. He was making John plot a course. Her mouth went dry. He wouldn't be able to do it and they would both be punished for his inability. Her eyes dropped to her lap. Pavati wondered how long she would survive with him once he was relieved of his duty.

Pavati jumped in the chair, Gareth's eyes were on her and she suddenly realized he was speaking to her. Her eyes looked around the cabin. So many people, so many eyes...Pavati trembled slightly. No one had ever asked her before.

Another voice, in a language she didn't understand made her look at the table. The Master Gunner was leaning over John and seemed to be mocking him. She didn't understand a word he said but the tone implied plenty.

John looked over his shoulder at Edurst. He couldn't for the life of him figure out what the man was saying. Something about him made John feel that he wasn't trying to be encouraging. It made his nostrils flare in anger, they were all making a joke of him. They were jealous, it was obvious to him. He had a great reputation back in the day. He was accomplished with a thriving business and a woman to tend to his every need. What did they have?

Pavati cast nervous look over at the table and then her eyes fell on the captain again. Standing she slowly and carefully moved to the table. Her eyes were on the map, not daring to look at anyone else. She stopped close enough to see the map but far enough that John couldn't quite reach her. His bloodshot eyes looked up at her.

John was challenging her. His eyes narrowed and he mumbled something to her. Pavati looked over at Gareth, tears making her eyes blurry. A final look to John and she looked down at the map. A shaking hand went out and began to trace a path.

Her voice was quiet, fear making it crack a little, “I would plot a course from here towards there. Winds, if they continue will give us the best advantage for speed. If we hit this part of open water we are in the best spot for utilizing the tide as well. Would give us the best route towards Bailey's Cove and avoid the rocks here that litter this area.” Her finger pointed to a spot on the map.

The map felt dry under her finger. She couldn't swallow, her mouth was so dry. Pavati looked up and across the table. Her eyes met the Master Gunner's but all she could concentrate on was the sound coming from John.

It was a growl, maybe more of a snarl as he pushed himself half across the table and reached menacingly towards Pavati. He reached her arm and barely getting a grip it was still enough to pull her towards him.

John raised his other hand to smack her. “You bitch!”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Catalina Austerlitz Character Portrait: Jillian Farglow Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher Character Portrait: Jemsen Austerlitz
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The atmosphere within the cabin had been pleasant enough when Jem and Catalina had entered the cabin, though that changed quickly once the two men they had observed on the deck entered. The drunkard seemed to have few friends among this crew that was for a certainty. The mounting tension in the room was almost uncomfortable for Catalina, who knew none of these people or their quarrels. Their malice did not seem misplaced however, as the drunkard proved to be unbelievably rude to their captain, and held more likeness to a pig in her mind than an officer. The woman in the chair also painted a rather sympathetic picture, and as the drunkard seemed to claim to be her husband, that did nothing to improve his standing in her mind. There was something about the man that put Catalina on edge, a quality of barely restrained violence about him the suggested he was of a mean and unforgiving temperament.

The captain’s anger was swift and rather productive it seemed, calling out the drunkard for a fraud, challenging him to plot a course. He floundered predictably, and the other officers it seemed did nothing to hide their contempt. The Demician in particular, got in the drunkard’s face to unleash a barrage of scathing remarks that were nearly unintelligible to her. Jem on the other hand snorted out a laugh he was hard pressed to contain, catching the gist of the insults. Catalina had a bad feeling Jem might take to the large man, as he was both a sailing Demician, and Jem was social by nature. She couldn’t be with him all the time to remind him not to get too close to people, though she supposed it was a more important rule for herself than Jem.

It became quickly apparent, that the woman in the chair was the true navigational talent here, not the drunkard. Catalina was trained in navigation herself, and was close enough to the woman at the table to look over and confirm her assessment in her own mind. A growling sound quickly diverted her attention from the map however, and she took an instinctual step between her brother and the sound, hand gripping the dagger at her hip.

“You bitch!” The drunkard’s intent toward the injured woman was obvious in that instant, and as usual, Catalina moved before thinking. Close enough already, it was an easy thing for her to duck, weave, and swing her fist, landing a quick, though carefully aimed, hit to the man’s sensitive belly and drawing her blade. She stood between the drunk and the woman, blade raised, eyes flashing, and cursing animatedly in Lisimian, her brother suppressing a groan a few feet away.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edusrt van der Zaal Character Portrait: Pavati Character Portrait: Catalina Austerlitz Character Portrait: Shaafir Malik "Finch" Character Portrait: Jillian Farglow Character Portrait: Kaitsu Hoin Character Portrait: Gareth Fletcher Character Portrait: Jemsen Austerlitz
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Kaitsu's eyes blazed with hatred, true, this was not the extent of it, but it was getting there, fast. The drunkard, though he could not read maps, had set sail full speed to the icy inferno that was Kaitsu's wrath. The man was below the barnacles on the ship's hull that were only parasites and vermin to be scraped off. The woman, on the other hand, was obviously fighting her fears, and while Kaitsu could not condone the fact that she had not fought back before, she did admire that she did so now. It was something to break your chains and go out without that familiar weight, for no matter how you detest it, it is something you know and the unknown is what scares men the most.

She could see that the cabin boy would react in time to the imbecilic drunk's rage, and so continued at her silent post, however she was slightly surprised to hear her curse in her native language, Lisimian. Her eyes harsher than before as she looked upon the disgraceful scene. The man would pay. Perhaps not today, or tomorrow, or even with the Captain's consent. But as soon as that thing was discharged from the ship or was in land where accidents easily befall... his life would end, as surely as the sun dies each night and rises anew in the morning.

"Chikuso. Yarou." She hissed, her presence making itself known as she insulted the drunk. It was quite rude and if she were somewhere people knew this language or in any type of court, she would probably be whipped. It made her feel better though, about not killing the man on sight. Unfortunately that option would muddy her great Captain's reputation for not being able to control his crew and dirty his office with filthy blood as well.