Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mumblety-Peg and Long Lost Mages

     Sir Thomas found Upiyo in the crew's quarters after checking on his war horse Perforante. The large, black steed had been disturbed by the sling ride from the dock up and over, into the hatch, and down to his straw-lined berth below deep withing the belly of the ship. The huge stallion had even tried to bite at Sir Thomas, although it was mostly lips and little teeth and he had only grabbed Sir Thomas"s surcoat. The knight stroked at the rip in his right sleeve and smiled at the feistiness of the horse. 

     Better a grouch than a milque-toast in a war horse, he thought.

     Upiyo was seated back in the semi-darkness of the crew berths, flipping a dagger from his elbow toward a small circle on the floor. As the dagger flipped end over end, it struck the deck next to a small circle drawn on the floor with a piece of charcoal from one of the lamps. The crewman off-duty who surrounded him in the dim light cheered loudly and as the young boy quickly snatched up the dagger in disgust, the crew men grabbed coppers from the top of a barrel of ship's biscuits, obviously a game of chance and skill of some sort in process. Upiyo protested "Wait, wait" and placed the tip of the knife to his elbow again, begging for another chance.
     Standing in the shadows, leaning against one of the ship's ribs, Sir Thomas cleared his throat softly as Upiyo flipped the dagger once again. He started at the sound and his elbow jerked back, the blade flipping more than he wanted. The knife tumbled downward and its point dug into the tip of his soft shoe, narrowly missing one of his toes, and he yipped at the impact, tugging his leg against the knife. The crewmen, when they realized who was in their midst, stood upright immediately and their hands went stealhily behind them, the coins they carried or had recently won secreted away in their waistbands or down the back of their trousers, to hopefully be retrieved later. The First Mate, Gobbo, hoped that the three coppers and the one silver thalion did not slip from his waistband but ride against the pressure of his belt.

     "I would like a word with the young bladesmith, if I may?" He stepped to Upiyo and motioned with a sweeping hand to the other crewmen, jerking his head toward the ladder that lead to the upper deck. The crewmen disappeared in all directions, suddenly remebering or finding taskes that needed to be done. Upiyo continued to tug at his shoe, trying to get his shoe unstuck while not pulling the shoe off his foot. Sir Thomas reached down and pulled the dagger from the deck and chuckled as Upiyo stumbled backward at the release of pressure and fell into the berth behind him. The knight smiled as Upiyo sheepishly crawled from the berth, took the sharp dagger from the knight's hand and slid it back into his waistband. 

     Wrapping his arm around Upiyo's shoulder in a fatherly embrace, he leaned his head down and whispered to Upiyo, "Tell me a story. I'd like to hear about the Crystal Ball that was found before I joined the party ..."

     Knocking gently upon the Captain's door of the ship, Sir Thomas stepped back a step and waited quietly. When he heard the summons, he pulled the rope slipping the latch and entered, ducking under the lintel of the door, a beam of the upper deck which showed marks from less observant people in the past. Dayne was seated against the hull side, a book in his left hand as he waved his right hand in conjurations, practicing a spell apparently.

     Dayne leaned back against the hull of the ship. He could feel the waves in the harbor slapping against the side of the ship as it rode tied up against the dock. The cargo it was taking on should be loaded soon and the caravel would hopefully sail with the morning flood tide. Soon the next adventure would start and the memories of the monolith and the Lizardmen would be a distant memory.
     Dayne sighs.  "This is, at least, one trail to follow. Let us hope it is not a false trail. Sir Thomas, why do you say 'we may or may not be able to locate by normal means'?  Do have a scrap of additional information on inn?"

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