Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Me Log:Asea after the death of Murgosis

Thrice I've slain me beloved.

I can no sleep. No amount of grog or rum will set me adrift. Me mates have abused and coddled me, plying me with drink and laughter. I could stand no more of it and have shut meself off in the hold with me bottle.

------

Murgosis stands astride me bunk, e'en now. Laughing and slobbering as me needle sends him off to death and his hot blood washes me again. He will be back soon. I can no make him leave me even as I wish he were here. I try to think of his soft and kind eyes but all I see is the gleam of the mad thing he has become. He returns.

------

Dawn is seeping through the ship. I can smell it. Its heat cooks the deck and the stink of corruption rises up like steam off foul stew. I must rise as well.

Today we are to meet with Zakki and return his bauble. Dead or no, I mean to kill him if he will no return me Murgosis whole and clean.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dreaming in the Redlands

You walk about the Red Castle in the dead of night. All the servants and guardsmen have been turned to statues. You wander about and find that all the nobles and crew of the Maelstrom are statues as well.
This doesnt seem to bother you much.
You wander out of the castle into the city streets. You round a corner past a stone watchman on a stone horse and see a young and pretty Chin girl in the middle of the street. She is not made of stone and she seems to reflect more moonlight than a body would normally warrant. She beckons you to follow and leads you out of the city and outside the castle walls. You come to a small clearing where 13 fist-sized stones make a circle around a larger stone. She beckons again and you both walk around the stones counter-clockwise 13 times.
After the 13th pass, the clearing is somehow much larger. The large center stone is now a statue of Murgosis. He holds a silver leaf in each hand.
The Chin girl appears from behind Murgosis and beckons you forward once more. This time you refuse, transfixed by the visage of the bull-man. His eyes are closed and he looks like he's meditating.
The girl takes you by the wrist. Her grip is icy-cold but her eyes are kind and sad. She gently leads you past the statue.
When you tear your eyes away from Murgosis, you are greeted by another representation of your love. This time he kneels in supplication, offering the silver leaves to an older Egyptian male you think to be his father.
The girl points behind the statues and there is a live person there where none was before. A half-elf wizard consults maps and charts behind the father statue, and makes an adjustment to the stone robes with a hammer and chisel. He seems to notice you and the Chin woman and mouthes a greeting, but the dream is silent and you hear nothing.
Suddenly a bearded dark-haired human appears behind the wizard with a large knife upraised to strike. You cry out a warning but no sound escapes your lips. The man stabs the wizard once, twice, three times. Then, laughing horrible silent laughter all the while, he crushes both statues with his bare hands. You are unable to move or speak as he sifts through the shattered stonework and unearths the two silver leaves. He devours them both. You fall forward, forward, forward into his horrible dark eyes--
And then you wake up.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Me Log: Retrieving Zakis' Bauble

Pierre, the dead swab as speaks for Zakki has appeared upon the Maelstrom. He bespake us to follow on the heading he gives to us. The Cap'n gives the nod to this, though I can see tis like to drive bodkin through his hand to do it. Within hours the Maelstrom comes upon a vortex the likes o' which no sailor would wish to see and we sail straight into it.

The Maelstrom in a maelstrom.

Stilgar holds us true. The whirlpool whips us round about like a child playin' crack the whip. I wonder what will happen when this whip cracks. The ship is near standin on its beam and I can see the water spout a whirlin' like Poseidon's own top beneath us. Tis bright noon and I can bespy the bottom of the spout some three fathoms below. The Cap'n ordered all the green hands below decks afore we came into the maelstrom. There'll be a fearsome vileness in the hold, and no mistake, but at least we need not watch as any of Winston's wee orphans plummet to their deaths. Murgosis, Dagon and I strain agin' the lines and the Maelstrom is fair screamin' beneath us. Her boards buck and groan as we spin faster and wilder. She's a fair ship and well made still I wonder if she will hold.

Round and round we spin in ever smaller circles till I spy the tip o' the mizzen fair touch the watery wall on the far side of the spout. The spray comin' off of that wall is like a knife and it rips the main sheet like wet foolscap and now tis all I can do to cling to Murgosis as he holds fast to the capstan. The Maelstrom is roarin' now like some foul serpent ripped from the depths. The scent of Murgosis is mingled with salt spray and my own fear. I look high above us at the bright blue sky and suddenly it winks out and the water closes o'er us.

With a twist that I feel from me teeth through me toes, the world whips around us and a with a 'pop', for all the world like god's own ale cork, we come to rest a bobbin' on a dark sea. Above me the sky is dark as midnight and the stars glint down all cold and uncarin'. I look up at Stilgar at the wheel. Coo, thinks I, he is a firm one and true, his knuckles is white as ivory on the wheel but he did no loose his grip. We've come through the vortex and out the other side. I cling to Murgosis for a moment longer lovin' the hot sweet smell of him. I feel his great hand reach around me and caress my the small of my back. No matter where so e'er I go, no matter what sorcery this world or the next comes agin' me, the one thing I know is Murgosis will always be here. I've found me strength and safe harbor and I hold the warm life of him.

"Little one you can release me now." says me great bull headed sovereign. But I don't just yet and I know I never will.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jenna's History




Excerpted from;
Pyrates: Their Villainous Ways and Keen Dress Sense
by
the Honorable Horatio Hans-Splatter QVC, KoT, MVP
of Millvesport the White Lands


Being the Tale of Jenna Swinesdottir Wanton, Duelist and Pyrate




Jenna Swinesdottir drawn from life by Noggin the Limer of Haimishport, who wishes it noted that the girl demanded to wear the patch though she needed it not

Wherein the author will describe how the tale of the notorious pyrate came to be known to him.
Whilst traveling among the stews of our fair capital it is impossible not to hear, from our stout sailing folk, of the singular pyrate Jenna Swinesdottir. She is spoken of in every dark wine-shop and e’en sung of in the fouler dens. She is reputed a deadly blade with hook and slim rapier and her manner much feared for tis said that e’en her own mates know not which way the wind might blow her mind. She is like as naught to skewer a lad as gaze on him and has been known to insight brawls upon a mere whim. Her beauty and youth are much remarked on as are her maniacal moods for she is a wench like the weather, changeable. When not a screaming mad thing, all who speak of her, name her generous with gifts, appealing of manner and e’en a bit na├»ve. The old salts say she is like unto their granddaughters and the young ones say she can be honey sweet without a care in the world, until she sees fit to become such a raging harridan that no tempest of the sea is like unto her for violence.

Wherein, the author endeavors to detail Jenna Swinesdottir’s body and visage.
Being born to swineherds she has their heavy build and stout arms but has been blessed with comely features, more the steeplechase thoroughbred than farmer’s plow horse. She stands a hands-span shy of an unstrung yew bow with red gold hair and eyes the azure of a sea-captain’s coat. Her right hand has been severed at the wrist and in its place is a hook all of the finest silver, with which she is reputed most deft and adept. Her left hand, like as not, is filled with a slim rapier, as handsome as the hook, with which she has gained a repute e’en among hardened orcs and soldiers. She stands fore-square with the devil may care attitude of a rake and yet she is said to be simple as a child in her understanding of the workings of the world outside of booty and bloodshed. She dresses in the finest silks, velvets and calf leather boots topped with the plumed hat of a cavalier tailored by our own White Land’s drapers and milliners, who speak of her rather as generous, than a vagabond thief.

Wherein, the author speaks of the birth, upbringing and history of the notorious pyrate.
Though, tis not the least the manner of the rest of the sea-born villains, Jenna is most forthcoming with her history. Troth, it can be found wherever the willing ear is placed among the seafaring folk. She was born to Hoggle and Omma Swiner, the fifteenth of seventeen children and the only daughter. Hoggle was, and by some accounts is, a swineherd and a prosperous one at that. He is of that breed of sturdy animal husbanders who can coax profit from out of his stock whilst still being a good-fellow-man to those who know him. It seems though he was an indulgent father, toward his only female child, if a tad distant. Jenna’s mother Omma died when Jenna was still in swaddling of an unfortunate and unlikely carthorse, water-well and Maypole accident, more’s the pity. Jenna was raised most by her boisterous brothers and the sailors whom her father took in as lodgers. E’en in earliest childhood she was an unnatural girl preferring the roustabout rumble tumble pell-mell of her brothers play to her own dolls and hoops. By the age of twelve she could climb like a forest pard and was reputed deadly with anything having a point. Though she seems to have been a dutiful child, in her way, a life of herding swine ne’er suited her and her father oft’ let her stay amongst his sailor lodgers and listen to their tales, whilst her many brothers ran the farm. These same salts filled her young head, with shanties and foamy quests, till her mind was fair addled and her speech was as colorful as a hand of fifty years. She began to believe that the life of a seaman, and a pyrate at that, was one of heroic adventure and naught but daring do. She determined that she would live that life and no other.

Upon her fifteenth summer, it being the custom among the islanders that fifteen was the end of childhood and the beginning of adult duties, she set out for the local sea port hard by, bent on becoming a sea-hand. Coming to the first sloop she spied she clambered up the gangway and demanded to be taken on board as an able hand and pyrate no less. The resulting hilarity drove her into an ale house where she chanced on three drunken sailors and their e’en more inebriated companion, a sawbones, or sea-born cleric. Convinced, as she was, that it was her visage, and not her manner, that had reduced the captain and crew of the sloop to tears of mirth, she set about to look more pyratical. She belabored the soused seadogs to have her left hand off and replace it with a hook. So they did after much drink and cajoling but naught could o’ercome them to have her leg off for a wooden peg and her eye out as well, fortunately for the daft lass. At this point the God’s smiled on her, or mayhap had their own jest, for it chanced that that devil of the sea, the scourge of maiden shipping and gunned hunters alike, Shannahan of the Cutlass was in port. He heard of the balmy bint and had her dragged onto his vessel. Jenna Swinesdottir has sailed loyally with him to this very day.

There have been tales, e’en within the month, of this damsel of the deep sailing among ghosts on foul a phantom vessel. She is reputed by a paladin of note to have battled at the side of half-orc and ‘Gyptian minotaur monks within a dank fetid chapel turned to evil. Tales tell of sea drakes and krakens o’er stepping the gunwales of the Cutlass, though, so perhaps Jenna Swinesdottir is drowned and devoured by such beasts. Indeed it is said that she is possessed by spirits, fair haunted by undead pyrate queens and may have died while swashbuckling on Mad Wizard Isle, a place of fearsome and uncanny repute. Among the gnomes it is said that she and her companions have turned pyrate hunters and, with their own vessel, currently rid the seas of other ocean brigands. What e’re the tale, good folk keep ‘ye wary for thy young lads and boy childer, keep them close. If Jenna is still about, and your boys comely, they may yet come to grief or have their manhood’s stolen by this wave-foam harpy, Jenna Swinesdottir, Mad Maiden of the Malestrom.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Me Log: Rolling waves and dreams of dragons

Aye, dear log, tis time and more I should ha' put quill to yea. I have been looking out to sea. The water be so deep a green that I am minded of the fields about me Da's farm. From the time I first remember, each summer, they stood and waved as far as I could look about me. Green breaking waves rolling back and forth with the wind. I mind me that I wished, e'en when I were bare nine years old, to sail a boat o'er those emerald breakers of grain, sail far, far away. 'Course I ne'er imagined that the grand boat would smell the same as me Da's pig farm. Still, it were my escape, I needed it then no less then I do now and no mistake.

When I were a young maid, can't ha' been much more then five or six summers, me Ma up and died whilst a dancin' a Maypole. She were no old spinster woman but after birthin' so many wee lads and two lasses as well she were not so strong as once she were. When me Da and brothers come and told me that we were to bury her, I mind that I was a feared for her. I didna ken she were dead and gone see. I thought she were only sleepin' and I thought it a foul trick to plant her so. I fussed on so much that me Da could no countenance it a more. He gave me unto his brother, Uncle Tambur, so as he could have time for his grievin'.

Uncle Tambur had bright golden eyes like honey. They glimmered so bright that I thought the fire from his pipe had gotten in behind them. When I think on dragons I think on me Uncle's eyes, shining, cool, powerful. I mind that he were always willin' to play with me too and I must ha' liked him fair well, certainly more than I liked me Da that day. I went with him that day right readily.

As the years turned I ran to him more and more. When e'er a storm blew up twixt me brothers and me or more often twixt me and me Da, I'ld run down the road to me Uncle's house and like as not drag me lil' sister as well. Then Uncle would hear me tale of whoa and set down to play with us, cuddle us and hold us close. He'd wrap his great hot arms around us and stroke and press the hurt from me, a touchin' on me and sayin' gentle words. He were kind, soft, not calloused like me Da and me brothers. Nay, he were cool and smooth and strong like a protective dragon and me sister and me were his hoard.

I no thought anythin' on it, his playin', until I had me ninth natal day.

Me Da' had begun taken in lodgers when me Ma passed. Sailors they were mostly from the port hard by. Rough men, seafarin' men, but older men, not for them the wild stews of the wharf. They wanted to spend their leave quieter at a good table a eatin' and a drinkin' well, tellin' tales and singin' shanties. They it were who first told me of the sea and its bold brave defenders. They told tales of ships, plunder, sea-drakes, watery maids and the fearsome pirates who ruled the waves. I hearkened to those tales and loved them.

But on this day, my ninth natal day, I 'spected me Da' to spend the day with me. Da were always with me on my natal days. Most days, Da' had little time for me. He tried, I know, to spend what time he might but there were too few hours twixt six bells and even song, too much work to do. Me natal day, though, he spent with me and me alone since me Ma passed. On me ninth natal day the levy broke after the hard rain we'ld been havin'. Da' and all me brothers were hard put dealin' with the hogs and savin' our home from the flood. He couldna' come that day. He left me with an old cove name of Slanteye Pots. Slanteye were a good man for a story and could sing a fair shanty but he'd seen to many sunsets to be of use savin' the farm. He tried to keep me close with his clever stories but I wanted me Da that day and naught else. I took off runnin' toward me Uncle Tambur's in the midst of the gail.

It were no far distance and even in the storm I found it right enough. I might have thought it odd that he were inside when all the others were a fightin' so hard again' the weather but I did no. Me uncle the dragon showed me in and kissed away me tears as he always did. He called me his treasure and dragged me into his lair. He set to strokin' on me, pushin' in me as he were want to do, when the door banged open and I looked up. There were Slanteye Pots a standin' in the doorway and his mouth dropped open when he saw us. He musta' followed me out into the tempest. Followed me all the way to me Uncle's, the poor old man.

Of a sudden, Slanteye let out a terrible roar, shouted at me Uncle to heave to and loose me. He shouted that I were a child. He were shoutin' still when the dragon, the cool, soft dragon, reached behind the headboard of his bed and shot fire clean through his weathered old body a droppin' him to the floor. The dragon then laid down on me, his treasure, as he'd been doin' when Slanteye'd kicked in the door. I pushed at him then and tried to heave him off, for I was a feared for poor Slanteye a layin' on the ground. I'd ne'er shoved the dragon afore that day. I'd always done as the dragon wished. Now I felt his wrath. He smashed me in the gut with his great heavy hand and all the wind fled me. The dragon pushed me down again as I gasped for air. He arranged me beneath him like a doll. Once more he laid himself down and o'er his shoulder I saw a wonder. Slanteye Pots, his face full a rage, stabbed down into the dragon's back with a marlin spike. He did it again and again. The dragon roared and flailed but the old seadog did not stop a cuttin' till the dragon roared no more.

Slanteye pulled me free of me uncle. He rubbed the blood from me with an ancient cloth. When he were done he stood me up beside the bed and said, "Princess, pirate-princess". He patted me shoulder then sat heavily on the floor and I watch the light leave his old brown eyes.

Here I stand aboard the Malestrom a thinkin' on wheat like water and ancient pirate heroes. I think on me child dreams of sailin' far and far upon the wavin' green as far away as far can be and e'en farther still. I think on that, that and slayin' dragons.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Me Log: Becalmed after the Blow

Well, like as not there's an end to it. Me head feels as if 'twere an oyster on an otter's belly. Pound, pound, pound and crack, ye Gods! Still and all there's an end to it.

Murgosis were no end of apologetic after rattling me teeth with boat. Though tis I that should ha' done the apologizing and I did try, 'course he'ld ha' none of it.
He's a fine one and I am lucky to ha' him. He heard me blubberin' narrative o' the events of the inn two nights agone. I still ain't sure if I was a leakin' from self pity or because he'ld raised the God's own mountain on me brow. He ne'er said ought until I had done. Then he allowed as how he'ld knowed it all along. It were a touchin' moment and I was the happier sleepin' in our berth that night with him. Though the God's defend me when I say I hurt allover and the more so when the great bullocks rolled over on me and commenced to sawin' wood so fierce and loud that he nay heard me yelpin' underneath. Gar' that were one hot night troth.

Of the mornin' I resolved to make Murgosis one o' the dishes from his country for his break fast. I arose afore six bells and hobbled off to the mess. I had resolved to make kebabs with rotten milk and marjoram. Here now, tis what he likes. He's a poweerful hankerin' for rotten milk. He likes it all clotted up and then he pours honey all on it and eats it just so like twere jams or mother's milk. So as I were a sayin' I set to make his break fast. There were no one about as I assembled all that I would need. High on one shelf were marjoram in a tub. Cooky had left a pot of milk to molderin' so's that were done. All I needed were the meat. I looked long and hard at that mess but there weren't a single portion of meat that were not salt pork or sausage to hand. I sighed and looked about. There were naught for it. I made my way down to the hold.

Now a ship such as our'n has a large quantity of hooved victuals baaing and a clucking below decks. I hear tell on some boats the whodos'll flash freeze 'em with some'at of a hocus ot another. On our boat though they were live as live can be. I found me a fat old she goat and started a draggin' her up the ladder. Now. I'ld grown up on a farm and were no stranger to slaughterin' afore mealtimes but I had ne'er attempted on a ship. I had just reached the top of the companionway when our barque gave a mighty lurch and spilled the nanny and I out the hatch and onto the deck. Well the next thing you know she starts to catterwallin' fixed to wake might Poseidon or worst. I gave chase but the sea were rough and I tumbled about a fair piece, o' course so did she.

Finally, I cornered her twixt a gun carriage and a rolled cable. I spun her round about, pinned her horns with me hook and slit her neck quick and clean. Twere then that I looked up and saw the whole o' the ship's company a starin' at me round eyed. I should mention at this point that I were starkers. It were meant to be a special sort o' break fast for me Murgosis ye' ken. So there I set all covered in blood with a nannie goat a kickin out her last and there were all the lads and lasses a gogglin' at me. I think I begin to see why all me mates think I'm mad.

PS. Mrugosis were a might fashed at me fer the goat and all.
PS. He did like the Kabobs well enough, though he allowed as they were not usually served to break fast

Friday, September 7, 2007