Shadow of the Firstborn

Where Igan learns about ships

Clenching my eyes shut, stinking of young dragonborn vomit (which burns, by the way) I wait for Gytha's concoction to take its promised effect and quell my heaving insides The concoction tasted absolutely vile, but preferable to the unending nausea currently assailing me. Turns out that vials of fire aren't the only things that Gytha can pull out of her bag, for which I am grateful.


Boats, ships why? First time on one, not in a hurry to get on one again. The only reason I'm here is that it was take a ship or go by land. One method would take months, the other would take weeks. That's nothing to an elf but for a young lovelorn dragonborn? With their tragically short but bright lives that is an eternity, one that our acquaintance and now charge, Lyra, is not willing to entertain.


In fairness the first part of the journey was pleasant. By chance, our journey took us to Den's home town. I happened to be close by (you can't really get far from anyone on a ship, why do people like these things,) while Den was chatting with Lyra. Another dragonborn, Bazerra, met Lyra at a trade fair and as sure as you'll find bees near honey, they fell in love. Doesn't hurt that an alliance forged by marriage will strengthen both families, which is why we have all the secrecy. Pulling in to the harbour was uneventful, if one is speaking of danger, but oh my! Chocolate. Lyra is dragged unwillingly past the dockside vendors having been promised her fill on arriving at Den's family home. Being nearly an adult, I surreptitiously indulge in a sampling before catching up with the bad. The dockside offering, while delicious, was a pour cousin to the steaming hot chocolate served by  Den's mother, Lilly.


It would seem that the secrecy wasn't quite as secret as it could have been. The journey to the docks, while uneventful, was tense. Whilst careful not to alarm, Den drew attention to the unusually large number of armed halflings on the way to the dock and the atmosphere did seem more tense. Awaiting us at the dock was our next ship, the Princess's Tempest, a sleek copper bottomed vessel more suited to rough seas. I suppose that was the inspiration for 'Tempest,' in the name.


Boarding the ship, I settle Ed in his lodgings for the trip. Unknown to me, Jayce tipped the crew quite handsomely to take good care of Ed. I swear people like that donkey more than they do me. Casting off, the crew nervously set about their business as we sail off in to gathering storm clouds. Gytha, who's well travelled and experienced with sea travel, remarks that the storms do not look natural. With the seas growing increasingly more rough and the swell's rising most of us repair to our quarters. Having scoffed all the chocolate croissants that were a parting gift from Lilly, Lyra's complaining about her sore belly – a complaint I have some sympathy for but don't give voice to having done the same myself.

Which brings me to where I am now, drenched in vomit, smouldering slightly from Lyra's vomit, feeling somewhat abashed I'd vomited all over Gytha when the three of us collectively lost our inner ear and simultaneously dived for the only bucket, a race that Gytha won, Lyra came last with me in the middle.


As Gytha's concoction takes effect Den, who is ever practical and preparing for the worst, sets about sercuring our belongings. Allysa and Jace head out to the deck, Jayce securing a lifeline to himself and the ship. Standing near the prow, the ship's sorceress is standing in rapt concentration, a ball of spell energy cupped in her hands which she holds before her as if holding a globe.  Lightening lashes down towards the deck which is thwarted by the unseen barrier which the sorceress maintains. Whilst Jace secures a lifeline around her, Allysa starts a chant of encouragement, aiming the effect at the sorceress.


The sorceress visibly loses her composure at the unexpected magical energy directed at her, fortunately it's during a brief lull with no lightening directed at the ship and she quickly recovers her focus. The storm picks up on an unusually ferocious intensity for the Southern Seas, more expected of the Tempest seas which few dare to sail in, so it can be forgiven that a blast of lightening blasts through the best efforts of the sorceress knocking Allyssa and Jace prone as the roof of the cabin gets blown off, drenching the occupants. It's so bitterly cold I fail to appreciate that at least it's washed away the last remnants of vomit.


Regaining his feet, Jace does something with that strange deck of cards he always has at his side. A disk appears over the hole of the roof, partially sealing it and stopping the worst of the water from flowing in. Allyssa uses some trick to be able to talk to the Captain from across the ship, nodding in understanding she grabs Jace pointing to a line that the Captain wants secured. Just as they reach a line a wave crashes over the side forcing Allyssa to save Jace from being swept off his feet. In short order the pair secure the line to the side as lightening rains down around them, the sorceress through necessity neglecting the less important parts of the ship in order to save the ship itself as chunks of the side and railings get blown off.


That pretty much set the tone for the next several hours. In conditions like these there's no such thing as passengers. All of us out of necessity ventured out to deck, secured lifelines and lent aid where we were directed – helping secure lines, recover fellows who had been washed overboard yet were secured by lifelines. Several times we saw the sorceress buckle under the onslaught yet somehow gather herself as the captain made it known that in a change of plans we were to head to land to wait out the storm. With the rain still pouring down, we head in to a cove which provides shelter from the worst of the storm, where miraculously there's a dock.  Making fast at the dock the ship's first mate, a halfling named Bosun, urges off the ship. The urging was hardly necessary for me, leading Ed down the gangplank I look up the dock to where there are some buildings. Waiting for the group to gather, we set of to secure shelter while the crew sets about repairing the damage done to the ship. With little else on my mind other than bone chilling cold and exhaustion, I spare little thought to what may lie for us the next day.



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