Campaign of the Month: July 2011
Sins of the First Age
He knew it was a dream. After all, she had been the one that tried to teach him lucid dreaming. Her efforts in this matter never took root until after he had exalted, and only then on those times when she would appear in them. And only then did he know it to be a dream, he couldn’t control them…
“Waving goodbye to the town that had cradled me.
Two weeks now at sea, starting to get to me”
—Girl in the Sea by No More Kings
…Though he would try.
“Do you think your father will give us his blessing?” Gavin asked pulling the woman with short red hair closer to him, short except for one long bunch by which a round, blue bobble of glass hung to the left of her temples. The sun sparkled off the bit of silver in the middle of the ornament as the sea breeze rustled her hair slightly. She looked up at him with her sea blue eyes, “He already did, else he wouldn’t have let me go to you.”
Kira always said odd things like that. Even when they had met, when he was still but a child, she talked as if her father knew the two of them where suppose to be together. It had somehow comforted him once. Now however, even in a dream, it made his eyes water.
As the deck under his feet pitched in the waves of the inner sea, he held onto her tighter. Not only was she far more steady on a boat, but part of him thought that if he could just hold her close enough maybe he wouldn’t have to leave. Maybe she wouldn’t leave again.
“What is the land like where you come from?” he asked.
“I’ve told you many times before,” she said as she reached up behind her to run a hand though his hair. “Just an island, barely any bigger than the Nighthammer district. A small fishing village at the foot of a great hill, my father’s place atop of that.”
“Will you show me where you grew-up?”
She looked up again at him, this time her eyes sympathetic. “You know I can’t.”
• • •
The deck under his back rolled as the feeling of hay scratched at his skin. And something was pulling on his leg, jerking him awake. As his eyes cleared of both tears and sleep, they came into focus on a small monkey who was in the act of humping the shin of one of his pants legs.
“Da! Damn you, you fuzzy little bastard. Get off me,” Gavin yelled at the primate as he began to swing and shake his leg around trying to dislodge the monkey. It was then he discovered he didn’t have a full range of motion thanks to black manacles on his ankles and wrists. The monkey however was unperturbed by sudden noise and shaking and only began to move faster.
“No! I said get off not get off!” He shouted.
The monkey began to make an excited noise which was cut off by a loud thunk, at which he immediately let go and like a shot ran deeper into the hold.
“Yeah that’s right run! There is more where that came from,” yelled Gavin’s small doll like automaton, who chased the monkey just a few feet while throwing the stones gathered in her arms.
“So glad I have you to protect my virtue Galley,” Gavin said gratefully as he began to examine the cuffs around his wrists. He frowned with concern as he recognized the soulsteel bands.
“If that’s my purpose, I failed many an inn keeper’s daughter ago.”
Gavin shifted his disgruntled look from the bindings to his companion. “Ha ha, very funny. I thought I told you to follow the boy and keep an eye on him.”
“I did and I have,” the small figure said in a pout putting her hands on her hips. “The ship is only a few miles ahead guiding this one and a few dozen other cargo ships. Most of the others broke off from us when we got out to sea. And besides, he is asleep and unharmed and we can’t be that far apart for very long.”
“Out to sea?” Gavin asked. "How long was I out?
“Not more than a night and a bit of the day,” Galley answered. A worried look crossed her face as she walked between the bars of the small cage Gavin was sitting in. “Some charm or magic gives speed to the ships.”
“That figures given that she,.. wait a sec,” Gavin raised an eye brow to the automaton. “A few miles ahead? How did you get here?”
• • •
—Meanwhile up on dock
“Hey Parry, isn’t that the Captain Seam’s parrot?” a sailor asked.
“Looks it. Let’s find out,” another responded before speaking to the bird sitting on the railing. “Poly want a cracker?”
“KRAAK! “Left, you damn bird! Left or I’ll crack your neck! KRAAAK!”
• • •
“I’d rather not get into that..” she answered him shyly.
“Fine, whatever. Will you please get to work on these. I can’t reach the locks on them very well.” Gavin said, still trying to twist his hands around to get a better angle on the keyholes.
“As you wish,” the small figure said, dusting her hands. “You know this is kind of refreshing.”
“Normally when I come to wake you and find you missing both your boots and your shirt, there is usually someone else in the room I have to hide my presence from. All that sneaking around gets tiring. And you with your pants on, that must be a first!”
Gavin gave a disgruntled huff. “Please, I’m a prisoner,” he said sarcastically making finger quotes at ‘prisoner.’ “Besides, like I’d find a girl in here to spend the night with in—”
But he was cut off as a moan came from under the shifting hey pile next to him. A woman with dark, milk chocolate like skin and hair emerged from underneath dressed in only a threadbare cloth about her chest and another about her waist. With a tight-lipped wide-eyed look of surprise, Gavin looked to the woman who was still googly wakening up and then to Galley. Galley was stopped midway through the act of picking the shackle’s locks and giving him back a very angry look, her face going red with anger.
Finally she burst out, “You man-whore!”
“But I didn’t—”
“Now you can pick your own damn locks!”
“Hey, I said—”