The king and his men Stole the queen from her bed And bound her in her bones The seas be ours And by the powers Where we will, we'll roam
With the seas becoming too dangerous to compass, they took to the skies, moving between floating islands, taking what they could without remorse or thought. A war rages below, something about kingdoms and monarch, it makes little difference to the wayward pirates that litter the skies above.
Powering their ships on a precious dust, mined and farmed by those on the land, controlled by the higher ups to keep everyone in line... until a second source becomes available. It is known only by one, an unfortunate soul taken in by a pirate's life. A talented young man in combat, secreting away something deeper.
Yo, ho, all together Hoist the colours high Heave ho, thieves and beggars Never shall we die
The higher-ups won't stand for it, and so they give chase. A young captain tries to keep her crew in balance as well as adjusting to life as a Captain before her time and all the while, they must keep the gifted one amongst them safe as they traverse the skies and all of its perils.
Cast list: Crew Royal Raven Varris - crew-lead / black / tall (+) Evis - cook / female (+) ? - doc / mousy / glasses / stitch (=) Derren - first mate / burly / seasoned fighter (+) -- died Jacks - mechanic Surma - mechanic (+) Ferdinand, Ferd - fighter Thay - gunner (+) Stuart - night's captain (-) Vernan - lead gunner (-) Wade - crew (-)
Crew Crow's Feather Lydia - former lover - died & (doesn't remember) she moved on Blake - second mate (navigator) Xian - first mate Terry - living crew Pettifer - the ghost that has gone bad / guards the totem Cooper - undead crew Lyla - nightly second mate Vinitas - crew-lead Radran - undead crew (currently at Raven)
The thunderous crashes of warfare were deafening as shouts echoed up. This was meant to be a straight forward endeavour but it had turned messy and deadly. The two airships were close, almost side by side as men clambered over bannisters to try and stave off the attackers. Black sails hung in decoration from above and the goal was simply, they needed to power their ship and this lovely brig had plenty. Casualties lay scattered and strewn around, fires sparked and belched out thick black smoke. There were gunshots firing, ricocheting bullets that had to be dodged, it was carnage.
Newly fledged Captain Rowan watched from her vantage point, trying to work out a plan. They outnumbered this ship, they were more brutal and she wasn't worried. She slid down the rope and landed easily on the opposing ship. The numbers were thinning out and all of this was for one precious thing; Glo-dust. it powered ships, it kept them airborne and it was more sought after than gold in these times. They harvested it from the floating islands, the land lovers made to farm and work until they dropped but it was precious. This ship probably had enough to tide them over to the next island where they could rest and blow off some steam if they needed to. Rowan looked around the burning ship.
Her mechanics would get the dust and all they had to do was keep the forces back long enough. A cannon shot nearby and tore timber and wood, splintering it and sending some bodies jolting back. The smoke was beginning to choke and Rowan adjusted her captain's hat, it was simple, nothing fancy, a dark navy. "Captain!" A voice sounded and Rowan looked over, seeing the men heaving kegs and barrels of the dust back to their own ship. "Bring any survivors on board." They would probably have information, no doubt, "Then send the ship to the ground." She muttered as she hopped back over to her own ship and watched the men begin to escort, roughly, those who remained. There wasn't many, a mere handful and she tilted her head, thinking carefully as she made her way up some steps so she could look down on them.
"What're we gonna do with 'em?" A greying man asked from her side and Rowan thought for a while, really mulled it over. She was young, younger than most pirate Captains and she knew she couldn't afford to be soft. Soft would get you killed. These survivors must have been strong to survive their onslaught and she let a smirk grace her lips, "Figure out which of them are the strongest." She said, not taking her eyes off of them, "When we get to the next island, we can sell them off to one of the mines." Her answer was cold and detached.
Final shots rang out and Rowan glanced over to watch the ship start to sink downwards towards the deep depths of the oceans below, leaving a trail of smoke in its wake and she leaned on the illustrious bannister, looking down on the deck at the vagabonds. "You have three choices." She called, "Swear an oath to the black flags, if you have the mettle for it, work in the mines until you drop dead or try and fight us and see yourself thrown overboard." Rowan made her way slowly down the steps to stand before the small group.
A tremor woke him. Emghi's hazel eyes snapped open and he immediately regretted the act, closing them again with a hiss. What meagre light filtered in through the small port-hole windows was enough to spike his headache tenfold. Chains rattled as he shifted to a more comfortable position. Emghi raised his eyebrows at the newly acquired bracelets and swallowed down the taste of death that was nestled on his tongue. His probing fingertips came back with a slick, body-temperature fluid; blood. That explained the headache. Another tremor shook the vessel. The tell-tale signs were all there and his senses sharpened. Gun-powder laced the air, the scent of hot metal. They were fuelling the engines to try and make a manoeuvre. "Hey!" Emghi croaked and coughed. He grabbed the bars of what was obviously a brig and pulled himself to an unsteady stand. His predicament wasn't aided in the least by the ship's sudden and forceful rocking as what he suspected were harpoons launched themselves into the bough. No one cared about the prisoners in fights like these -a blessing and a curse. Emghi shifted and checked his new jewellery for any lock he might pick and then checked his persona. He didn't have much to work with. His weapons had been taken, same as many of his supplies. There wasn't even water in the brig. He pulled the metal bars with all his might, but had to give up. Emghi rested his heavy head against the cool bars and scanned the dank room. His jailer was up fighting what sounded like a losing battle and he hadn't conveniently left a key of sorts. Worried, Emghi tried to rake his brain, but along with the headache was a gaping black hole tormenting his thoughts. Last he recalled was being at Longsun Island. After that, nothing. Emghi rooted through his pockets and came up empty. They'd left his chain, but he wouldn't have enough time to craft anything to undo the two locks barring his way. It dawned on Emghi that he was set to die in this brig the way those on top fought so poorly.
A young pirate scuffed into the brig then, guns raised. A grin slithered across Emghi's face, "hey, no need to shoot me now, you hear? I'm their prisoner," he said, raising his hands to show he wasn't any threat. "I'm on your side," Emghi bartered. Another joined the first. Emghi relaxed a little, rested his hands on the bars of his brig and waited patiently. He wasn't going to die today, no sir. They weren't going to shoot him either it seemed -no reason to. He was already chained up. That didn't mean he was given any luxury treatment though. Once the cage was opened, Emghi was dragged by the chains binding his hands. Emghi saw opportunity to claw at a gun but refrained, seeing as the light up top hit him like an airship in full flight, never mind that there were too many to take down. No, he would take his chances and carefully pick his battles. He glowered at the pounding headache, willing it gone without success. Hands pushed him on board the pirate ship and Emghi had to consciously rebalance to keep his footing. "Well, that was poor performance, wasn't it?" he hissed at his previous captors standing next to him. A young Captain spat words at them; a deal. Emghi raised his chained hand, "oh, that's easy. I'll take the first. Hawkings is the name," he said with a languid grin. It wasn't hard to swear fealty to a flag he was already loyal to, after all, though he had no idea of his crew at the moment. If any had survived, they would search the heavens to come find him. Or fly off with the Crow's Feathers, his smuggler's ship.
The first one to pipe up caught her interest, he didn't seem nervous or wary and Rowan questioned whether he was just stupid. It looked like he had a head injury and maybe that explained a lot. The others around him didn't look so confident and Rowan raised an eyebrow before looking to the man beside her, a seasoned fighter and her first-mate. The man just shrugged and Rowan looked back to Hawkings. There was a small feeling of regret for offering up piracy to him but he looked rough, perhaps he knew more about this lifestyle than he let on. "Hawkings." She repeated, catchy name. Her eyes were cool and undisturbed as she watched him, like a cat watching a mouse twitch on the floor.
Two of the others opted to go to the mines and were taken below the deck. Rowan looked Emghi up and down. He looked strong, he had a good build to him and he didn't look like he would faint at the first sign of hard work. "What can you do?" She asked, bluntly. She needed men who would work, not ones that would shy away from a few rough nights. This wasn't a life of luxury, they worked hard and it was dangerous most of the time. She walked a slow and small circle around him, he gave off confidence which was a risky thing but she supposed she would have to wait it out and see what he was really like. Around her, some of the crew were already setting to making the repairs in the splintered wood and patching up gaps. The low hum of the engines was white noise to her by now, background lulls. What did this Hawkings want exactly?
They had lost men in the fight and needed new bodies to replace them. "Can you fight?" She asked as she made her way around him to face him, folding her arms across her chest as gold earrings caught the light and glinted slightly. She could start him off as a deckhand, he could scrub the decks and make sure everything was clean, or maybe she could shove him in the Galley and keep him out of trouble. The crew were probably going to be wary of him for a while until he proved he could be trusted by them. Rowan trusted her crew completely, with her life. She had to, they were family to her and she was family to them. Rowan figured at least he was still chained and she was sure on of her mechanics could fix that little problem in a few seconds once she was sure he wasn't going to launch an attack. Then again, he had no weapons and was outnumbered, she was sure she could take him fairly easily one to one.
Emghi raised an eyebrow, watching the exchange between the lady and the other guy -who exactly was the Captain here then? Despite it being her orders, Emghi didn't feel she was an experienced Captain in any way. She gave off mixed signals, though Emghi figured another would easily miss the small signals he was picking up on. "Don't forget it, doll," Emghi said, when she tasted his surname. He met her gaze evenly, hands relaxed, down, to keep the chains from rattling too much as he moved and shifted. The noise upset his head and right now, he just wanted some drink and comfortable bed, perhaps a decent bath. "Now, this is the best part," Emghi said when he was invited to state what he could do. "I'm a gunner. One of the best and one who, had he not been otherwise preoccupied, would've easily shot this bird out of the sky," he said with an air of confidence. "For a price."
Fight? "I can fight," Emghi reassured, sizing up the men watching their exchange. Other than the burly fellow who seemed to be this Captain's first mate, Emghi was certain he could take down any and all who tried. Of course, any smart man would go for his already present injuries, of which thankfully only the head-injury stood out. Emghi hadn't had the time to thoroughly investigate what had happened to his persona during the period that had gone conveniently absent from his memory, but Emghi doubted it was anything good. "Of course, it'd be easier without the chains," he said casually. He could make them work to his advantage, but they might just as easily be turned on him by a clever fighter. Emghi narrowed his eyes to ward off the glinting light sparkling from her earrings. Oh, the compulsions that rose inside of him were tricky to push down at the sight of her, the smell of her. His hazel eyes were dark when they moved back up to meet the Captain's gaze.
"So what do you have to offer in turn?" Emghi stated. His eyes scanned the other crew. Some chuckles could be heard. Emghi relaxed his stance a little. His bracelets jangled merrily alongside the chains around his wrist, as if he had forgotten them while he talked. He moved some hair out of his face, grimacing as he found where it had clumped together with blood. Emghi looked at his hand in mild disgust and shook the blood off, refocusing when that plan failed somewhat. What was a little more or less blood by now anyway? "...regular meals?" he looked at one of the crew, who smirked and gave a shrug of admission. "Enough fights to break the tedium? Compensation? Benefits? Entertainment?" That earned him a laugh or two.
"...look, it should be obvious I'm not part of the crew you just brought down. If you could just ferry me to Longsun Island, I'll make sure you'll be handsomely rewarded for your services," Emghi said suavely, trying to barter. He had no idea whether there was still anything to be found at Longsun, but since it was the last he could remember before this whole embarrassing ordeal, he might as well start his inquiries there. Which brought rise to another question. Just how far off from Longsun were they? With the sun out, and no other prominent marks on the horizon, it was hard to tell exactly where they were.
Rowan looked slightly taken aback when he called her 'doll' and she exchanged a look with one of the crewmates before watching as this man went off on a rather flamboyant and cocky line of bartering. He wanted a lot, seemed to think a lot of himself too. The crew found him funny, or ridiculous, or both. He was confident in his abilities but Rowan wasn't so sure of him, men who could very easily die could talk a big game to keep themselves alive a little longer. Rowan didn't find him funny, she found him arrogant and just who exactly did he think he was?
"Alright then, Hawkings. Prove yourself to us, make yourself useful and then we'll try and whittle out your charming demands list." She drawled and looked to one of the crewmates and she gave a nod as he stepped forward to unlock his cuffs. They dropped to the floor heavily and the man stepped back. "Longsun?" Rowan gave him a look, "You're a long way from home, boy." She remarked and placed a hand on her hip, "We are not in need of your rewards, you'll be put to work." She looked to the man beside her, he was an attractive man and a seasoned fighter. "Varris will find you some suitable work, you can sleep in the crew quarters, you can eat." Rowan said, flatly. If he was even half as good as he said he was, then they might have a good worker on their hands.
"Welcome to the Royal Raven. Keep up, or get left behind, Hawkings." Rowan said before giving one last look over and stepping off. She ducked into her quarters, starting to fix up all of her things. They would drink tonight, celebrate a victory and job well done. She pulled out some maps and unrolled them on the desk, leaning on the table to look over the coordinates. "Captain." A voice from outside and Rowan looked up as her cook entered, a woman who looked homely and bright, "Evis, what can I do for you?" She asked and Evis had her hands full cooking for a bunch of men but she was a tough cookie. "I heard we got an extra mouth to feed." Evis remarked, "We gotta stop, we lost some supplies and I don't wanna deal with these men when they're hungry." Evis remarked and Rowan nodded, "I'll schedule a stop in the next few days, Evis." Rowan assured her with a smile and Evis hummed a little before bumbling out.
Rowan sank into the chair and sighed out, rubbing her temples. They couldn't stop anywhere nearby, a couple of days should get them to a decent enough place to dock safely. Rowan plotted a course for an hour or so before getting to her feet and deciding to check in on their newest arrival, going up to the helm and looking down at the deck, listening to the hum of conversation going on.
A charming demand-list, was it? Much to his chagrin, they were nowhere near Longsun and from the sound of it, the Captain had no intention of moving that direction, which was a predicament Emghi would have to solve sooner rather than later. "Your loss," Emghi said with a mild shrug. If they didn't want to ferry, he'd have to be patient. First port they landed at, Emghi figured he could make himself scarce and find a small air-craft to head in the direction he did want to go. At the very least he would be able to move freely. More freely still as the cuffs came off, "much obliged," he thanked the pirate and rubbed his wrists. Scuff-marks, he noted. He'd been in that brig for longer than he thought. Varris was a tall man with black skin and a wide, toothy smile. Emghi smiled back and shook the man's hand, "Call me Ghi," he introduced himself. "Varris," the man spoke slowly. Food and a place to rest, not a bad deal. Keep up or get left behind, was it? Rather than make a wisecrack this time, Emghi kept his mouth shut. He was sure the Captain meant to leave him behind in a place that had a great deal of air between the ship and the surface.
"Come," Varris said, once the Captain had left them to their own devices. The Royal Raven had a spacious area for the crew's quarters, but it was a shame it all had to be shared. Bunks were set below, slotted in the ground, and above that were hammocks, dangling haphazardly. The walls and corners were taken by the more seasoned men and women, which came to no surprise to Emghi. He'd thought to have shaken off the shackles, but here they were once more. Varris pointed him to a spot. "You sleep here and when there is someone else, you will sleep elsewhere," he said, not entirely unkindly. Emghi smiled, a smile that faded as quick as it had come. He listened to the times they would serve food, and began to suspect that Varris had been wordlessly instructed to give him the most menial of tasks. "Varris, mate," Emghi started. "There must be something better to do, for a man with my talents," he expanded leisurely. Varris laughed heartily. "Trust is earned, not given." Emghi clenched his teeth and sighed out. This was not going to be easy. That said, a deck-hand was usually allowed to move freely. He'd have the opportunity to get to know people a bit better.
When he took too long to reply to Varris' question, the man nudged him along. They were lead into a small room, with shelves littered with books and a mousy man, with glasses. Obviously not a fighter. "Hit his head, doc," Varris instructed. "Well, tell him to take a number," the doctor said curtly, tying off what seemed to be the last of some stitches in another man's shoulder. There weren't many more beds. The doctor tossed a bloodied cloth in a bin and washed his hands, then looked up at Varris, slightly annoyed. Those blue eyes then travelled to Emghi, scanning him over as the doctor dried his hands. Emghi looked from Varris to the doctor, "I'm fine, really," he said, slightly uncomfortable at the doctor's scrutiny. "Sit," Varris said and pushed him down by the shoulder and then turned his head to show the doctor where it was bleeding. "Hmm, I see," the smaller man hummed, pouring over the injury. Emghi breathed through the pain lancing down his neck and through his chest. It didn't escape the doctor's notice either. After cleaning most of the muck clotting in his hair and stitching him up, the doctor eyed him up. "I'm fine," Emghi said sharply. Varris and the doctor shared a look, but he was allowed to get up. Nothing they could do for bruises anyway. Now that he wasn't strung on adrenaline, he felt a little woozy. Not in the last place because he had no idea when last he had a meal or water. "You'll be cleaning the decks," Varris decided. Soon he was master of a mop and bucket, but not much else. Emghi couldn't wait for the day to be over, to wrestle the bodies of pirates celebrating their victory down to the quarters to sleep and think of what his next steps should be. A mutiny wasn't out of reach either, he considered. The Captain seemed a little unsteady on her feet.
Everything seemed to be running smoothly. The ship was still flying and they hadn't lost so many. Her crew were competent and she trusted they would see everything smoothly. Varris could keep a close eye on the new man, Hawkings. She scanned the deck and saw him with a mop and bucket. He seemed less cocky now and she smirked some before turning her gaze to the horizon, it would be clear sailing for a while, thankfully. The sun would set soon enough and she fumbled to find a golden telescope. She peered through, nothing new on the horizon.
Rowan turned to see one of the mechanics hauling up empty kegs and she smirked, "Call it day, Jacks. Get some food, tell everyone else." She remarked before heading down the steps and casting Hawkings a rather smug look, a great gunner was it? She chuckled a little before attaching her telescope back in place and she headed down to the Galley. If there was one thing every person could agree with on the ship, it was that Evis was one Hell of a good cook. She managed to make incredible meals from so little and she kept the men pleased and satisfied and away from thoughts of mutiny when times were hard. Evis was still bustling around and Rowan often liked eating with the crew. It was a chance to be social and keep an eye on any gossip or news.
Varris took a seat beside her chuckled, "He's got some ego on him." Varris remarked and Rowan leaned back in the chair, "I noticed, keep an eye on him. He's trouble." She remarked and Varris shook his head, "I doubt it. He's just a boy, taking orders off of a young woman can't be easy." Varris pointed out and Rowan just gave him a look of bemusement. She didn't think that was the problem. Drinks were passed out from foaming kegs and Rowan declined, a Captain getting drunk with her crew would only lead to problems and she had to remain sharp as a tack. She couldn't afford to screw any of this up.
She did, however, stay and listen to the stories about the day pass. Each man bragging about his own triumphs, speaking of locked in combats and explosions. Some sang some shanties about the clouds and women they left behind to travel. Her expression never changed from one of tense thoughtfulness, as if she was here in body but in mind she was elsewhere entirely, planning their next move, planning their best defences.
Celebrations cut the day off early, much to his delight. Emghi was leaned against his mop, admiring the sunset and trying to orient himself when Jacks called it a day for them all and belayed the message. The scent of food wasn't exactly enticing, but his stomach did complain loud enough to drown out his headache for a good few seconds, so when Evis handed him his portion, Emghi smiled widely, "thanks so much, love," he said with a wink and sauntered off to join the men in the Galley as they ate. Ale was brought out and Emghi patiently ate, watching the men's pecking order unfold. Varris was high up, he realized, Evis was of course a class of her own. No one dared touch a cook for fear of food-poisoning or worse. The mousy doctor that had helped him before got food and quickly got back out. Rowan, their Captain, he learned, was off to the side and didn't drink, unlike him. After the day he'd had, Emghi figured it was only suited he indulged living another day with a good stiff drink. Tales were shared of the fight, and Emghi carefully put each pirate in their correct place in his head. Fighters, gunners, maintenance crew, cowards and those who tended to the vessel as others fought. He saw the helmsman, but knew there would be a night crew stalking around somewhere and there were plenty of mechanics. It was an older vessel, the Royal Raven was. No wonder they needed this much dust so regularly. It was his fortune, Emghi reminded himself.
"So where do you hail from, Hawkings," a pirate started. Emghi smirked, "Devin's port, and before you say it, I'm not a water dweller, as you can clearly see," he corrected the general bias people had of a port. "So how does a fish get into the sky?" the other sneered, not entirely unkindly, but challenging nonetheless. Emghi took a long swig from his frothy ale and smirked. "Same as any other land-dweller, mate, dream big, dream large and move fast," he said with a keen look in his eye. At that the other man sized him up, but then broke out in a toothy grin. "You're alright," he said, "Surma, mechanic with that lot," Surma said and thumbed over his back to the other table. "Ghi," Emghi said. "A gunner, eh?" Surma said. "On what ship?" "Crow's Feather," he said shortly, "though I have no idea where she is now." "Isn't that- isn't that that freighter that crossed the border?" "Hmm, that she is," Emghi said thoughtfully. "You're pulling my leg. What engine she run?" Surma questioned. Some others perked up. If there were tall tales to tell, they were keen to hear it. "Well, a freighter's engine wouldn't cut it, so we modified the vessel to be outfitted with a Sigma totem, had two spell-casters weave a constant glamour to hide it," Emghi told Surma, who was suitably impressed with the details Emghi supplied. "I knew it!" he bellowed. More ale was supplied at passing the test and soon Emghi was goaded into telling more stories of the Crow's ordeals. He knew it was the first drink and meal in a while because of how the ale was headier than usual. It was easy to get swept up in the enthusiasm with which each tale was told as the crew unwound.
Emghi was well into his ales when he wandered up to Rowan. "A Captain that can't celebrate her victories... is going to end up estranged from her crew," he said, slowly, so as to capture most of the words without a slur. He raised his finger, as if to say more, but then thought better of it and smirked at Rowan. It'd been a long day. If he went to the crew's quarters now, chances were there'd be a decent place to sleep still. Someone caught him by the arm. "Leave well alone, eh?" Jacks advised him. "He's drunk, don't mind him, C'tain," Jacks apologized. Emghi looked at the mechanic and shook his head, "right, I'll just get some air," he said and wandered out.
"Where's the next stop?" Varris asked quietly, taking a drink from the alcohol and knowing better than to offer her any, she would only decline like every time before. Ro watched him for a while, glad at least the crew were at ease. "We can stop at the sky port in Rana." She explained, Rana was a small place, barely a city or town but it was full of like minded people, thieves and sell swords and everything in between. It was a lawless town but the crew was well known there. Her eyes flickered up when Hawkings appeared and she raised an eyebrow at him.
She nodded to Jacks, not even placating Hawkings with an answer as she watched the newbie go and get some air. She sighed a little and winked to Varris as she pushed herself up and headed out onto the deck. She wouldn't fight a drunk man, that was an unfair fight and she leaned on one of the bannisters and watched him. "I've heard talks you fired guns for the Crow's Feather." She had overheard the conversations in the Galley, she knew of the Crow's Feather and the legends surrounding it. If he had really been a gunner on that ship, then he had to be one Hell of a shot. She wasn't estranged from her crew, she just knew to keep sharp. Drinking dulled the senses and she already lacked experience and years to be a captain, she didn't want to give anyone an excuse.
Ro eyed him over, "Make sure you're sharp tomorrow, the men can get a little rowdy, I'm sure they'll want a friendly knockabout, then we can see just how well you do." She commented to him. She was keen to see if he was being honest or if he was just talking a lot to make himself appear tough. She adjusted her coat, taking pride in her appearance evidently. He seemed in fine health, he didn't look like he would bring disease onto the ship either or sickness. He was healthy and fit, so he could be used but she really wouldn't to see that cocky attitude knocked down a few pegs. He didn't own this place, and he had to earn the favour of the crew, the same as everyone else.
Although the crew did seem to like him, he seemed to coax some laughter and he was going to be popular if he stuck around but with popularity came influence and she was wary of that when it came to newcomers. Mutiny and treason were not uncommon amongst pirates and she didn't want to have her throat slit in her sleep.
Emghi rested heavily on the banister and took a deep, steadying breath. Without any glaring sunlight and enough alcohol in his system, the headache was finally taking a backseat to his thoughts. He looked at the stars, trying to get a read on their position, and lo and behold, unfamiliar stars. Emghi realized just how far out of his usual hunting grounds he was then and there. He had to be missing days, maybe weeks of time. Jacks said he'd been drunk, but the clear night's air felt awfully sobering. How had he gotten himself in this mess? Emghi stared down at his hands, at the scuff marks from the chains, and pondered what other things he might learn from the injuries left behind on his body. Maybe he could ask the doc to tell him whether he recognized had happened. They were important clues and they'd fade soon.
It was telling for how inebriated he actually was that Rowan was able to sneak up on him the way she did. Emghi took in a sharp breath and then looked at her. "Yeah, have you doll?" Emghi started when Rowan told him she'd heard of the Crow's Feather. The Crow's Feather had a reputation, he knew. He abused it often enough. "A rowdy crew I'm sure you'll be able to tame in time," Emghi said languidly. The pirate stood a little straighter, hand still on the banister, eyeing up Rowan. She seemed well put together and was attractive, in a way quite unsuited for a Captain. "I don't have to prove anything to anyone," he told Rowan. He'd earned his stripes several times over. None of this was new. He wasn't some green leaf picked up from a trader's vessel. He smiled, a smile smooth and easy with alcohol's influence, "so tell me, how does a young bird like yourself kick it all the way to Captain at such a young age," Emghi asked softly, leaning back against the banister this time. Both his neck and back complained, now that his headache was slowly receding. Bruises, he dared to bet. Perhaps a beating? It didn't feel unfamiliar in any way, just tender. If they did want a fight, Emghi knew he was already at a disadvantage. Planning to beat an injured man, eh? No honour amongst thieves and all that. "Any big plans?" Emghi asked. They'd sunk the vessel he'd been on. Emghi hadn't recognized it. His head hadn't been in the game. Maybe the other two crewmembers that had chosen to go to the mines would be a little more forthcoming. Emghi decided he would 'scrub the deck' some place else tomorrow and see what information they would spit out after some coaxing. "Well, you know," Emghi stated, "next time you're in a pinch and need something shot with great accuracy, just call on me," he said. He only needed one opportunity to show them what he could do and Royal Raven's crew would be both cheering and cowering at the same time.
Rowan watched him, he seemed less inebriated in the cold air and she shot him a look when he called her doll for a second time. He was quite unlike anyone she had ever met. The men here could be confident, they could be cocky but never quite around her. She needed to earn respect and trust from her crew, it had taken a long time. "They're tame enough when they need to be." She remarked to him. They were pirates, not regimented sky sailors. These men were free spirits who didn't want to have a chain keep them knelt in place. They knew the risks of what they were doing, they knew it could land them dead or imprisoned.
She took of her captain's hat, letting her red hair fall free for a moment. She adjusted the black bandana underneath so it kept her hair back as she got some grime off the edges of her hat and glanced to him. He looked like he was hurt but was doing a fantastic job of keeping it concealed, so she didn't press it. For a moment she thought his cocky attitude had faltered but of course it sparked back up and she just watched him, wondering when he was going to fall into line with the rest of the crew. "You'll have to prove your mettle to the crew, that's how respect works. You can tell me and the others just how strong you are, we don't know until we see it." She pointed out with a smirk.
"I was first mate when I was eighteen, served under Captain Ferg until a few weeks ago. We got into a close scrape." She muttered, shrugging a little. This was their life. She knew her duties, she knew what she had taken on when she became first-mate. She was ferocious and had proven herself in battle after battle as being a keen leader. She just hadn't expected it so soon. "I'm sure there will be plenty of chances for you to prove your stories." She said to him and she still doubted him, she still doubted his stories because he wasn't that much older than her, at least he didn't look it.
"Get some sleep, Hawkings." She remarked to him and figured it was best to let him rest. She replaced her hat before heading back towards her private quarters and closing the door. A lantern went on which bathed the room in a golden glow and she got set to sleep for a while.
Following in footsteps too large for her, was she? Emghi knew it was fortunate. Captain Ferg might not have given him the light of day at all. Underneath that tough exterior was someone kinder than a regular old pirate. Was Rowan's crew protective of her for that reason? He doubted it. Any given opportunity would see Rowan thrown overboard in favour of someone stronger, redefining the pecking-order. So either Rowan had something up her sleeve to keep her men in line, or she had done something to earn her bread and butter aboard the Raven. "Can't wait," Emghi said. Plenty of chances to prove himself, huh? No pressure. Emghi tipped his head back and closed his eyes for a long few seconds, listening to Rowan walk off.
Sleep was right, but not quite yet. He'd seen the mousy doctor walk off earlier, which meant that the man was still in his private quarters. Varris had shown him the way and Emghi found himself knocking on the doctor's door. A short scuffle and the man opened the door, adjusting his glasses before casting him a bleary look. "I don't have anything, go away," he said, eager to close the door back up. Emghi held the door easily. The other man's strength was laughable. "I don't need anything. I..." Emghi glanced into the room, but it seemed the doctor was alone. He forced his way into room and the doctor stepped back to let him. "I have no memory of the last few weeks," Emghi spoke up. The man gave him a look, but then eased up and leaned against his desk, "it's not unheard of with head injuries like the one you came in with," he said. "Sometimes the memories come back, sometimes they don't. There's no telling. So, if that's-" Emghi loosened the belt keeping together his coat and shirt, revealing a host of bruises around his ribs. "Look, I can't help you. I sometimes stitch up people's injuries, but I'm no doctor," he said. "I need to know what happened," Emghi spoke plainly. It was then something caught the eye of the mousy man. He approached and Emghi was almost startled into stepping back. Cold, clammy hands pushed away the fabric of his coat to reveal his neck and shoulders. "A mark," the smaller man muttered. Emghi tried to look, but it was in an awkward spot and his headache didn't appreciate the weird angle. "Hmm, I think I've seen this before," he muttered and took one of the books off the shelves. Emghi could only watch and wait. He sat down on the bed, tired. "Hmm, it should be. No, not this one." Books were exchanged. "Ah, this, a curse -a seal of sorts," he explained. "A seal?" Emghi took the book and scanned it, but it was in an unfamiliar language. "What does that mean?" "Your abilities as a magic user are sealed," the doctor said. "I'd need to study it more." Emghi pondered. His magic abilities? What magic abilities? The other man now seemed lost in his books, drawing a quick sketch of the mark on his back and then pulling out several other books. He seemed surprised to find Emghi still there. "You're still here?" he asked. Emghi looked away, frustrated and huffed out to get dressed again. "We'll talk later," Emghi said and left the other man to it. He knew enough for now anyway. Tomorrow he'd find what ship he had been held on and then he could plan his reckoning. For now however, his worries were more along the lines of where to sleep. Fortunately many of the pirates were still celebrating in the galley, which left ample places to choose from. Varris' suggestion was considered and refuted. It was a poor option, too exposed. He'd fight someone for a better place to sleep any night. He doubted many would care that night anyway, and stretched out in one of the hammocks closer to the wall. Despite his best intentions of sleeping lightly, Emghi was out like a light.
Rowan was used to the festivities, to the men being up late and indulging in alcohol and pleasures. She nestled down in the more comfortable bed in the corner if her quarters. In another life she might have been a proper lady, she could certainly pass herself off as one if she needed to, made raiding and such a lot easier. Her mind didn't shut off, even rught up until she skept and the moment she woke in the morning, her kjdn was filled with thoughts of their next move and how they were going to get supplies and what bartering they were going to do for the next load of fuel. They had some treasure and loot, not a lot and Evis needed supplies for the kitchens.
It was early when Rowan stepped back out on deck and surveyed the horizon. Her lookout was up top, keeping a keen view in case anything happened and she looked to see the good doctor moving around. He looked perturbed. "Drink too much?" She asked and the doctor stared at her, snapping the book shut and shaking his head, "No, Captain. Following some research." He excused himself and jostled back inside, balancing the book and the offerings of breakfast. Rowan skipped breakfast, as usual as she instead checked the state of the ship and make sure they were still on course. There were decks to be scrubbed and her Varris was putting some of the pirates through their paces by training them. He possessed the wonderful powers of summoning ghostly visage that the men could target.
The Pirate Captain moved for a better vantage point to see what was going on. She looked over the moving bodies and then figured she could use some practice. It was difficult to get practice in, melee worked fine but most of the men used their pistols and the turrets built into the ship. Some just enjoyed brawling and beating their chests to determine the pecking order and who was tougher than who. It was amusing to say the least, it usually ended in a few bruises and bust lips but a friendly clap on the back. It scarcely ended poorly and only twice had Rowan seen grudges born from such a thing, and those times it had been safer to let the men work it out themselves.
"Ah, good morning Captain." Varris greeted and Rowan nodded to him, "I figured they'd best sweat out some if that ale from last night." Varris explained and Rowan nodded to him again, "No.problems last night?" She asked and Varris chuckled, "Jacks broke up a couple of fights, Wooly couldn't handle his booze." He relayed and Rowan chuckled slightly at that. Nothing new then. Two crewmates were having an arm wrestle, bulky men with daring eyes threatening the other, a couple were parrying and testing out their melee weapons and a few shot targets on the bannister, out over into the sky.
"Up, yah scurvy hound," one of the pirates grunted. Emghi started awake, confused for a second about who was what and more importantly, where, but soon he found himself in a hammock with a rather gnarly pirate staring down at him. His headache felt only marginally better, no help to the hangover he was nursing. Injuries that he'd been able to ignore yesterday had made his muscles stiff and sore. Emghi groaned in malcontent and when he didn't move quickly enough got aid by two meaty hands tossing him out of the hammock and onto the floor. Wrong choice then. It took him a precious second to compose himself and get up, fully awake now. "Good morning to you too," Emghi muttered at the man, who returned his verbal gal with a glare of his own. Some of the other men cowered, some rallied. A fight? Most however, were too hungover to truly care for what was going down. Another brawl in the crew's quarters would be nothing new. Emghi shifted his stance, readied his system for what was inevitably to come. But it seemed this man too was hungover. All he got was a grunt. "Varris," he said, then made a dismissive gesture to the upper deck. Emghi relaxed a little and sighed out. Of course. He had to 'scrub the deck'.
Emghi used what water was clean to wash up a little, trying to get the itching blood from his hair and neck, then realized his coat and garments too were blotted. Ruined, he reasoned. And currently, he had not a single currency to his name. At least he'd gotten a decent meal, drink and some sleep. Unlike yesterday, his mind seemed clearer and more calculating, already trying to register the patterns in which the crew moved so he could easily weave in between unnoticed. He would have to come up with a cunning plan if he wanted to take advantage of all the Raven offered.
On the upside, yesterday's hostility was waning after yesterday's celebration. Most were in a good or at least a forgiving mood. He observed the men's combat practise from a safe distance, pretending to clean a particularly bloody patch of the deck with slow, methodical swipes. Despite trying to keep a low profile, he did receive some sideways glances, like Rowan had warned him would happen. Lo and behold, one of the men stood. "Tall tales yesterday, Hawkings," he started. More eyes on them. Emghi leaned on his mop and smiled at the man, "is that right," he drawled slowly, taking in the man's stance, the way he held himself and searched for weaknesses. "If you were on the Crow's Feather, how did you get caught, huh?" Emghi grit his teeth. They were questions he'd like answers too as well. "Guess I'm human after all," Emghi said languidly. "Seemed awful confident yesterday. Not so much now," the pirate hounded him. "Is it a fight you want?" Emghi cast a short glance at Varris and Rowen, but figured they wouldn't stop a sparring match. Or a straight up brawl for that matter. The pirate's grin was malicious when he offered up the space on deck, cleared out for training. Emghi carefully leaned his mop against the wall and shrugged out of his overcoat. If they wanted a show, they could get a show. Both of the men readied themselves and after a brief understanding, in which a nod was exchanged, Emghi started to circle his opponent. He observed the way the man's weighed carried, where his faults were. Likewise, the other man did the same in turn. And when one of them thought they had enough to go on, they moved. Emghi was expecting the charge and used the pirate's momentum against him, pulled and elbowed him in the neck. Stunned, and a little confused as to what had happened, the pirate picked himself up from the deck. Emghi's eyes were trained on his opponent again. Another nod. 'Try again', he conveyed. Emghi looked up at Rowen and winked at her. 'Watch me', it said. The man's charge was possibly even more forceful and uncoordinated this time around. Emghi knew he wouldn't win in a straight-up test of strength, but he was quicker and used the man's strength against him. Again he was able to evade the fists coming at him, pulled and pushed, forcing the man to the deck. Emghi twisted the pirate's arm behind his back in a hold he knew was uncomfortable. He was not a brawler, but a gunner. That didn't mean he was defenceless. He shaped his hand into a gun, "bang, you're dead," he whispered at the pirate in his hold, whose struggles were only increasing his discomfort.
"Yeah, let's try that again," another pirate snarled, grabbing him from behind. Emghi had to let go, stepped back into his new assailant's ankles, twisted and tossed the pirate across his shoulder, flat on his back, where he stayed. It seemed to open the gates for more. Emghi was breathing hard, his ribs not mended in a way by which he could fight comfortably. His keen eyes scanned the newcomers. He would take down as many as he could before giving up. So far he'd fought without injuring, but he couldn't keep that up. His fist connected to an unfortunate soul stepping in too closely. His boot kicked at the vulnerable knee of another. Soon he was unable to dodge and or block all blows coming his way too. Still, Emghi fought with tenacity. The blow to his head was clever abuse of his older injuries and unfortunate. The world tilted on its axis the second he'd taken the hit and Emghi staggered, his vision flickering to black and back. "Enough," Varris called. Five versus one. Emghi still stood, but he man's colour was whiter than a piece of parchment. Varris picked up his coat and shoved it into his chest, "back to cleaning, deck-hand," he snarled. "Back to training," he told the others.
Rowan didn't intervene. Instead the fighting caught her interest because the men wanted to see just how much of his stories were true and how much was fiction. Emghi could talk the talk, but could he walk the walk? Varris stood beside her and she watched things unfold. He had a good set of skills on him, this wasn't his first fight and Rowan rolled her eyes when he winked and she tutted quietly. Varris had to hide a laugh at that, the man had gumption at the very least. Emghi could fight, he could prove himself but he didn't know when to give up. She wasn't sure how this would work for him because he was being a damned fool. These men were hard fighters and eventually, she looked to Varris and gave a nod for him to break it up.
She was impressed, Emghi could hold his own and she figured maybe his stories weren't all nonsense. He was smart, at least least he as throwing fists but he didn't seem to register when he was outnumbered. That could be deadly and she had a feeling his cockiness would land him in trouble. He had taken a beating, but he had also given one back. "Damned fool." Rowan muttered and Varris raised an eyebrow, " He'll have the mens respect though, not many men can take a beating like that." He pointed out and Rowan knew he was right. It wasn't about who won, it was about whether Emghi could fight and whether he was a coward or not. "What do you want to do with him, Captain?" Varris asked and Rowan had to think on that as she watched him. What could she do with him? Part of her wanted to keep him as a deck-hand where he couldn't cause any trouble but he was a damn good fighter and if he had really travelled with the Crows Feather, then he was a great shot and she needed that.
"I'll sort it." She assured before approaching Emghi and looked him over. He needed a doctor, a proper one. "Not bad. You could use some pointers." She remarked to him, determined not to show him any favour because he was still an outsider. "You can bathe tonight, with any luck we'll reach the Island of Rana tomorrow, you can get some proper help." Of course there was a price. If she had to pay for him to get patched up, he'd need to work off his debt. "You can have your meals and your drinks, entertainment is mostly what happened today and last night. Anything we find is usually divided out, sell what you want, keep what you want. In return, when you're healed up, show me what you can do with a gun." She remarked to him, looking him up and down slowly. "Speak to Evis, she'll fix you a bath and some fresh clothes, oh and Hawking's?" She paused before leaving him, "Watch your back, if the men think you're stronger, they'll keep challenging." She added and smirked at him a little. He surely couldn't be cocky now.
Emghi spat some blood on the deck and then half-heartedly swiped at it with his mop, paused and felt his lip. Blood came back and he licked at it with a sigh. His head injury needed a little more time than he'd been given to heal up. Fighting wasn't helping. Adrenaline still kept him tense enough to be sharp and he forcibly relaxed his stance when Rowan approached. "C'ptain," he greeted half-heartedly. Needed pointers, did he now? "Such as... don't fight with poorly done stitches in your cranium?" he proposed languidly, resting both hands on the stick of his mop. Oh, a bath? Where were they taking him, if he was to be cleaned up? Not that Emghi was going to be stupid enough to ask and talk his way out of a bath. He'd been longing for one. Proper help? Somehow Emghi figured Rowan didn't mean he'd find his crew-mates, get in contact with his usual sort and find his way back to Longsun. Medical aid then. "They're just bruises," Emghi said with a half-hearted wave. Unlike last night, some perks were laid out. "I thought my deal was better," Emghi muttered softly. He'd only wanted to be ferried to Longsun, after all. It wouldn't be a bad deal to have some coin to his name as he picked his way there however. And he was allowed to handle guns again? "And turrets, I'm all-round, doll," he boasted, grimacing as some blood dribbled from his split lip. He already missed his anti-craft rifle and he also doubted these lot did anything to spike their bullets, if yesterday's fiasco was any indication, but they were effective enough at what they did. Evis, was it? He was about to take his mop and find said cook, when Rowan stopped him and gave him some advice. It had to be the first time the Captain smiled or showed any sort of positive emotion. "Now there's a sight for sore eyes," Emghi said with a smirk of his own, a challenge in his eyes. 'Let them try.'
Evis was found in the galley. "I've got my own cleaners, scram," she said, though when she finally looked up from tending her oven, Evis' eyes grew a little softer. "Oh, it's you," Evis moaned, as if she'd found rats in her stash of food. Emghi shrugged. Captain's orders were Captain's orders and frankly, he could use a change of clothes. Considering these a loss, he'd been using them to stop the bleeder on his lip with only mild success. He'd no doubt have a nice shiner too. These pirates gave no quarter. Emghi suspected melee was where they shined. "This way," Evis said, after giving her hands some instructions. They moved deeper into the bowels of the ship, to a small, damp room. It was close to the engine, where it was easier to trap the excess heat produced by the totem to heat water and food. Evis flipped some levers and hot water filled a metal basin. She let go and then rummaged around, eyeing him up, judging his size, Emghi considered. "Don't be shy, it cools down quickly," she said off-handedly. Well aware, Emghi started to carefully peel off his clothes. "There's soap somewhere too," Evis mumbled, still trying to find something suitable. Emghi hoped he hadn't gotten on Evis' bad side, because it would decide what he was going to have to make due with until he earned some of his keep. The flow of water stopped. Emghi felt the water's temperature and had to hold the basin's edge not to fall in face-first, his head heavier than it should feel. After a moment's patience, he stepped in and let the hot water envelop his battered flesh. Baths were a luxury. Water was hard to come by in the skies. He started to scrub at the blood stains caked on his skin and realized he was being watched. Emghi caught Evis' stare. "What happened to you?" she asked. "There was a promise of clothes?" Emghi ventured, derailing the topic. He didn't even know, so how could he explain? "Right," Evis caught herself and put down a stack. "These should fit," she said and stalked off. "Don't drown in there," Evis cast as a final parting greet. Emghi relaxed a little, but then took the opportunity to thoroughly clean up and shave. Opportunities like these didn't stop by often.
Evis knocked on door to the Captain's quarters only out of courtesy before entering. "Captain," she greeted. "Hawkings has got his bath and clothes," Evis reported. She thought carefully on her next words and swept back her cropped dark hair. "He has an active seal burnt into his back, Captain." It'd covered at least half his upper body and seemed more complex still than the instructions on their ship's totem. Whoever had him, had definitely done something. It was trouble. Evis didn't like trouble on board.
Emghi's ego was shocking, but Rowan was starting to understand. She watched him go off and shook her head, his attitude was going to land him in trouble one day. Rowan meandered back to her quarters, finding Longsun on a map. It was miles away and she wondered how long Emghi had been travelling as a prisoner. It must have been a while but it depended on where he had been plucked up from. And if he had been captured then what of the rest of the Crew from the Crows Feather? The people in Rana might have some answers, they could know something or have heard some news from other travelling pirates.
The Pirate Captain sat at her desk, Rana would hopefully be their best chance at information. She looked up when Evis bundled in, talking about Emghi and a seal. Why would he have a Seal on him? She got to her feet and watched Evis lead the way. "Captain's here, look lively." Evis said as she swooped back in on Emghi, before he could get dressed and it seemed they were disturbing a shave. Rowan glanced at his body. She noted two things, there was indeed a seal which was slightly concerning and his body was in bad shape. Medical assistance was indeed something he would need in Rana to take the edge off those bruises and whatever was going on beneath the surface.
Rowan looked him over, "That looks like a powerful seal." She gestured for Evis to move on because Evis had a penchant for gossip and she would rather this was kept quiet until she knew what was going on. "What exactly happened to you, Hawking's?" She had seen seals before, even on people now and then but nothing like this. Perhaps his magic was dangerous and someone had kept it locked away for safety... There were a vast number of possibilities and Rowan watched him. His story was getting more intriguing and worrisome the more they came to know about Emghi Hawking's and it was beginning to make her wonder if having him around was even a good idea.
The place smelled of soap and Emghi had managed to rinse off most of the dry blood. She knew the injuries from today from watching the fight, the older ones looked consistent with a beating of a similar fashion and she frowned a little. "Do you know who sealed your magic, or why?" She asked him. Maybe they would have to go to Longsun to get some answers on this, Longsun wasn't a bad place if you knew how to act and what to do. Attitude was everything in most places.
Captain? Emghi looked up, still sat in the tub of hot water, then dipped in the blade and soaped it back up to make the next shave. Shame he didn't have a mirror, but Emghi reasoned he wouldn't want to see the state he was in right then anyway. Despite being held captive for what felt like weeks at the least, he was in no way self-conscious about his physique. "To what do I owe the pleasure? Rescinding my bath?" Emghi started, once Evis left. He remained focussed on his shave and if Rowan accidentally saw something she had no desire seeing, then it wasn't his fault. The seal. Ah. Evis had seen it, of course. The good doctor was too chicken to bring something that curious up with the Captain. Actually, Emghi thoroughly believed the doctor would piss his pants when directly spoken to by any of the higher staff on board the Raven. The seal was a half-circle stretching down the left side of his back, all the way to his lower back. It was an angry bright-red, as if someone had actually burnt a brand into his skin. Remarkably, the right side of his back was still clear skin, aside from a scar here and there, picked up before all this mess started. Unlike his other injuries, Emghi wasn't bothered by the seal's presence.
"Why the sudden curiosity, doll?" Emghi started, finishing his shave with a splash of water. He put down the blade on the side of the basin and rested back, still intent on thoroughly enjoying his hot bath. That, and this way Rowan wouldn't be able to examine the seal more thoroughly, though Emghi wasn't sure whether to enlist her aid on that one yet or not. Whatever the seal did, it was likely nothing good. That said, any aid would come with a slew of debt he had no means to pay off at the moment. Emghi closed his eyes and rested his head back, arms on the side of the basin, hand near the blade. If anyone tried to disturb him, he wouldn't be fighting unarmed again, that much was certain. They were valid questions, each and every one of them. Questions that had crossed Emghi's thoughts after speaking with the doctor and questions he had no answers to. "I don't need magic to be a good gunner, Captain," Emghi said, tone business-like. He was relaxing in the water however and shifted his gaze to watch Rowan from his languid position. "...besides, your stitch is already looking into it." Emghi thought about it for a second. He still hadn't talked to the captives meant to be sent to the mines. "The brig you got me out of... what vessel was it?" Emghi asked.
Emghi was unabashed and bold as ever but Rowan's mind was on something else as she watched him shave. Seals on people were usually to keep things locked away or secreted from authorities and she wanted to know what he had gotten himself into. Oh, the doctor had known? Fascinating. Rowan didn't move from her spot, the seal was a bright red and easily seen but she wasn't about to creep up on a naked man having a bath to inspect his skin. If the fancy took her, she would creep up on men in the bath with different intentions and she folded her arms.
"I want to know what the seal is keeping locked up, your work as a gunner is irrelevant to this. I've seen men go crazy with their own magic, we've put a few down, if your seal is hiding something then I'd like clarity." She remarked. Not that she would put him down, but at least they could be prepared. As it stood, he was no threat and nothing was on fire right there and then. Her eyes trailed his form for the briefest moment. "The brig was transporting prisoners. Looked like a walk in the park from a distance, turns out you must have been rather high profile to be on that." She said, languidly. It had been a miscalculation to go after that ship but they had been too late when they realised.
Emghi either didn't want to talk, or he just didn't know and given the state of his head when he arrived, Rowan found she couldn't actually guess which it was. "We'll speak on it in Rana." She said to him, before turning on her heel and leaving him to finish his bath in relative peace. Thankfully, she didn't find Evis lurking behind the door and she headed up onto the deck. The good doctor definitely should have spoken about this to her when this was discovered. Rowan strode to the quarters of the stitch and knocked on the door, before entering anyway. "Perhaps you'd like to tell me why it was never brought to my attention we have a man with a magical seal on my ship?" She asked and the doctor looked about ready to cry. Rowan rolled her eyes, "I need him to talk." She continued, the fear evident in the doctor's eyes, "If he knows anything then I want to know it, I suppose I can trust you with at least that?" She challenged and the Doctor nodded, shakily. Rowan slammed the door on her way out and glanced to see Varris watching.
"Captain." He greeted, wary of her mood. Rowan explained what was going on and Varris was as calm as ever. "Slip something in the man's drink, I'm sure our doctor can manage that." Varris remarked and Rowan waved a hand, she had already set that in motion. "Once he has a drink tonight, bring him to my quarters. Tell no one of this, I want this to stay between you, me and that sorry excuse for a doctor we have." Already too many people knew and if this went south she didn't want her judgement as a captain brought into question. Varris only nodded and went off, barking at a few men training to watch their step.
Did Rowan truly believe the seal was his own doing? He wouldn't have made it to the age he was at, if his magic got to his head. More frighteningly, Emghi couldn't for the life of him think up what magic that might be then. Though he remembered Longsun, he felt there were more gaps, perhaps because of the seal. Had all memory of his using his magic been sealed alongside his gift? Prisoners. A high profile brig, carrying prisoners like himself. He still didn't know when or how he'd been caught either. Rowan didn't seem too set on knowing immediately. She told him they'd speak of it once they arrived in Rana and left. If he posed any threat to the crew or the Raven, Emghi was well aware that Rana was going to be his last stop. Emghi closed his eyes again and soaked until the water went tepid and his skin crawled at the cold of it. He got out, dried and dressed, slowly examining each bruise, each mark and print left behind on his flesh. It would've been easier if Evis hadn't reported the seal to Rowan. The stitch was too mousy to talk without being pressured and he wouldn't have had to deal with the suspicion. Despite her appearances, Emghi learned that Captain Rowan was just that because of her brains, not her brawn.
Once top-side, Varris was quick to put him back on chores. Eventually he was even made to pour bullets, more because the crew was curious to see if he possessed all the skills a gunner should posses, he suspected. "You got a mean left hook," one of them started. Emghi recognized the man from the fight earlier and grinned up at him, "you nearly decked me though," he admitted. It made the other huff up with pride to hear that and they shook hands on it. No reason to hold grudges over a friendly fight, after all. "We should fight again some day, when you're all fit," the pirate said. "Ferdinand, Ferd," he introduced himself. "Hawkings, or Ghi," Emghi exchanged the courtesy and focussed on his pouring for a moment, until he had to wait again. "So, what happened to Captain Ferg?" he asked. Ferdinand cringed momentarily and then sighed, a hint of sorrow on his exhale. "It was misfortune, truly. Maybe not a tale for now," he said and smiled apologetically. Emghi nodded and didn't press the matter. They talked about lighter things then, until Evis called out for them to eat. The galley was crowded as ever, but less intimidating now that he could recognize some of the faces. Emghi moved gingerly through the crowd to claim his own portion and sat down in a quiet spot to enjoy his food and drink. If there was anything off about the ale, he couldn't tell, and so when Varris approached him Emghi didn't suspect a thing.
Rowan had called down Derren, her first mate and a man of great strength and brains. He was older than her, by several years and his guidance had been priceless. Between him and Varris, they supported her and guided her in areas she was slightly less sure footed on. She sat in her Quarters and explained to Derren what had been going on, he was sporting a nasty injury to his shoulder since the fight two days previous but he would recover well enough. "Ya trust him?" Derren asked and Rowan sighed softly as she thought about it. Emghi was smart and brawny, his charisma could charm a snake. "No. Varris is going to bring him up here, he mentioned Longsun." Rowan said to Derren who shrugged, "Not a place I've been. Let's see what he has to say." Derren responded.
Varris had been suave enough to tip some ground powder into Emghi's drink, being careful not to be seen but it was so busy and with any luck it wouldn't affect the taste of the ale. "Hawkings, Captain wants to see you, let's go." Varris said as he helped the man up by his shoulder and directed him along to Rowan's quarters. Inside, was the doctor, Derren and Rowan. Rowan gestured to a chair as she leaned on her desk and eyed Hawkings over. This was underhanded but she ran a close and tight ship, she didn't like secrets.
Rowan didn't want to intimidate him, this had to be friendly, sort of. She eyed the man over, "What's in Longsun, Hawkings?" She asked him, "We might just make passage there, but it would be nice to know what's waiting for ya?" It wasn't uncommon for these men to have women they visited, she knew for a fact Derren had one on every Island almost, so he didn't get 'bored'. Easing him into conversation would work a little better than going straight for the throat but she wanted to know about that Seal and about what had happened.
Derren watched along with Varris and the Doc was just there to make sure the drugs didn't mess up the guy entirely. He was injured and that head injury wasn't something to scoff at, the concoction of ground herbs and leaves might prove a little tricky in messing around with his head. Rowan had forgone her hat, it sat on her desk and her red hair flowed freely. Emghi had cleaned up, he was still battered looking and that was just from what she could see of him. "Tell me how you ended up a prisoner, a big tough man like you?" She raised an eyebrow.
Varris' meaty hand was steadying in a way Emghi didn't think to need, but did. His equilibrium was a little off, somehow and he felt tipsy enough to have drunk at least fives times what he had. Was his head-injury getting the better of him? "Nice quarters," Emghi started, an unintentional slip of the tongue. "Why is he here," he found himself saying at the sight of the stitch. Rowan would've gone to ask, after finding out through Evis, that much was obvious. Emghi mumbled something to himself and took the seat Varris offered, just to be off his feet. "I don't think we've met," Emghi told Derren, then reconsidered, "oh, no, never mind I remember. Big bloke on deck when we were brought in," Emghi rambled. "Tough, I didn't think I could take you down, all the others, no problem," he said, gesturing with his hands, as if he was throwing the others away. The stitch covered his mouth to hide a smile and gave Rowan a nod. They'd got the dose about right. The man would talk, whether it be the truth or not.
"It's a city, isn't it?" Emghi started about Longsun. "Nice sunsets, nice. Longsun's nice, don't you think? Drink, women, games," he said, not quite sure where he was going off with that tangent. He paused and narrowed his eyes at Rowan, then pointed a sloppy finger at her. "You drugged me?" Derren's stance changed, the stitch turned white. Emghi's face was one of disappointment, and then he snorted. "I don't know, Ro, I don't know a thing," he said, trying to keep his eyes trained at the Captain, but his focus was elsewhere and he seemed easily distracted.
"You're pretty, you know that? Pretty little doll like you got all these men wrapped around your clever little finger. Wouldn't surprise me if you killed Captain Ferg, schemed it... scheme," Emghi trailed, furrowing his brow as if confused. Why was he saying these things? He put a hand to his mouth and brushed his hair back, then decided it would be best to just leave. "Yeah, I think I should go now," Emghi started, putting both hands on the rests to push up. Varris pushed him back into his seat with remarkable ease. "It's okay," Varris consoled, "we're not angry," he soothed and gave the man a gentle pat on the shoulder. "You're not? You're lying," Emghi said. "I remember Longsun..." His voice turned to a soft mumble, "I don't remember magic." How could he not remember what magic he had? Or using it? Or finding out he was one of the rare few without any gifts? "It's possible he really doesn't remember," the stitch said. "He was bleeding when he came in," the mousy man gestured at Hawkings' head, whose cleaned hair now covered the stitches. Emghi, on his part, was steadily zoning out. The drunk feeling had intensified. He'd likely answer any given question at this point. "So, you served the Crow's Feather, did you?" Varris asked, shrugging at Rowan. They might as well know, right? "Hah, I didn't serve it, I was Captain!" Emghi said. "I came up with all their shitty plans. Ruled the skies, smuggled it all, from Stead to Forey until... until..." Nothing. Emghi blinked, uncomfortable now, shifting his left shoulder against the chair. He couldn't remember. "Why don't I remember?" he countered.
Emghi suspected she had killed Ferg, that was noted in the back of her mind but she gave him very little reaction besides a rather doubtful stare and she shot Varris a look when he threatened to laugh at the man. Emghi was making a fool of himself and yet somehow he was still arrogant. He was talking though and Rowan watched with interest. A man's thoughts were freed under the guise of the drugs and he was clever enough to know he'd been drugged. He didn't seem to actually remember much and Rowan had to admit, that was problematic. The head injury really had done a number on him.
"You were the Captain?" Rowan was in disbelief at that point. She had never come across any Crew from the Crow's Feather and she was always grateful because their stories stretched the skies and they were a crew to be feared. Now, they stood without a captain and Rowan figured if they ever did run into trouble with them then Emghi was a good bargaining chip. She narrowed her eyes at him, he didn't remember. "That explains why you were on such a high priority ship of prisoners." She muttered. A crew without a captain, depending how exactly all of that had happened, his crew could be scattered to the wind entirely. She had to admit it was slightly amusing to see him so ready to give up information.
"Alright, Hawkings. Let's say you were Captain... No one takes on the Crow's Feathers. Even the authorities know better than to poke that nest and pirates willingly avoid you lot. The nastiest of the nasty and the most brutal out there." She murmured. She had been a Pirate long enough to know to avoid them, they told stories that were like ghost stories to children. "He's young to be a Captain." Derren piped up, leaning forwards in his chair and watching the man, "But the latest rumours describe a man like him." Derren realised when he actually thought about it. Emghi fitted the description, perhaps a little worse for wear overall though.
Two Captains, what could possibly go wrong? Rowan knew Captain's didn't fall in line under new management commonly and she glanced to Varris who was still trying not to laugh. "He's either mad, or he's telling the truth and we are in the presence of the Captain of the Crow's Feather." Varris remarked, that made Emghi one Hell of an asset, or one Hell of a danger. Rowan took a seat, crossed her legs and her mind was going a mile a minute. "We'll take you to Longsun, maybe that will prompt your broken head to remember something." She decided. Keeping the Crow's Feather captain hostage was no small thing and keeping him at least somewhat comfortable would work in their favour if he did ever get back to his beloved ship.
"The one and only," Emghi grinned at Rowan, "impressed, doll? You should be, brought down armadas," he boasted with a dangerous glint in his eyes. A glint which quickly faded as the drug's hold eased the fraying ends of his mind apart once more. No one would take on the Crow's Feather's crew, Rowan wasn't wrong about that. "I must've been on my own when I was caught," Emghi mumbled, shifting uncomfortably again, a burning ache rushing through his shoulder. As they had proven today, he could be brought down. After all, he was only human. A stupid human, apparently, who put too much faith in the ale given to him. "You're a b-bastard, you know that," he pointed listlessly at Varris, elbow resting heavily on the chair, realizing it was by his hand that he was now spilling his words so carelessly. His limbs felt utterly drained of tension, a hazy sort of sleep tugging at his thoughts. Emghi put a hand to his forehead, shielding his eyes, trying to sort himself out and utterly failing. He was slumped in the chair by now, listless and a little giddy. Whatever stitch had stashed in that little cabin of his was pretty good. "You lied too," Emghi told the doctor, "you did have the good stuff." He usually lined up jobs on his own, so that wasn't uncommon. Sometimes Xian helped, his first-mate. Had he been trapped too? "She'll fly if he's still on board," Emghi mumbled to himself. He covered his mouth with one hand as if that would stop the seemingly everlasting flow of words tumbling from his mouth. Whatever he'd said, Rowan finally seemed to agree to ferry him to Longsun. "Should've just taken my deal. I'm paying you squat now that you've put the offer of being crew on the plate," Emghi found himself saying, waving a listless hand, the hand which was supposed to help keep the words in. "... if they caught me there it's no good," Emghi stated, trying and failing to sit up a little. Not that he didn't trust the Royal Raven's crew, though he didn't, but why would they willingly walk into a trap like that? At the same time he was desperate to remember. Finding his crew was key. If the Crow's Feather still sailed, that was. There were so many questions. Xian would've come looking for him, if he'd been gone for too long. Did that mean they'd also targetted and potentially brought down the Crow's Feather? "I can track her," Emghi said and cringed at himself. Why was he still talking? "I can find the Crow," he explained, as if he wanted to really let them know. "I can unlock the spell and it'll show, just need a map," Emghi stated with a foreign lilt to his voice, trying and failing to stand in order to reach some of Rowan's charts. Varris caught him by the chest and pushed him back in his seat. He sent his best glare up at Varris, but it was undone by a yawn. The drug was putting him to sleep, slowly but surely.
Rowan had to suppress a groan when he asked if she was impressed. She was impressed, of course she was, any pirate in their right man was bound to be impressed by being in the presence of an infamous Captain to an infamous ship. They had brought down Armadas and she knew fine well the Royal Raven was child's play to them. She watched him try to catch himself and fail and she let him ramble. Every piece of information he spewed out, the more information she could stash away. He had been alone? Strange.
Rowan watched as he tried to stand and rambled about the ship still flying. He probably had a first mate, so the Crow's Feather was likely still a very real threat. She had to wonder if they would come looking for their dearly departed Captain. "I'll let you see the maps tomorrow." She wagered, if he even remembered any of this happening that was. She should have taken up his original offer, she would have been better off for it, but she had the better end of the deal. She had a captain, a good gunner and he was valuable. She could see his worth, at least. He was a valuable man to keep around and she looked to Varris. "He should probably sleep this off." Rowan remarked and wandered around the front of her desk to watch Emghi, "You have a good night, Hawkings." She said to him quietly, half a smile on her face. Varris chuckled a little, "Alright, mate, let's get you up." He said as he helped Hawkings to his feet. Derren seemed slightly perturbed by it all
"Is it a good idea to keep him around?" Derren asked quietly, "Especially in the crews quarter, he's a captain after all." Derren was every the political thinking man. He knew how to get gossip, he knew how to talk to people and work a room and Rowana shrugged, "He's a captain on his ship, not this one, Derren. He works the same as the crew, at least until we know more about what's going on with him." She couldn't give him preferential treatment without knowing what was going on and the Royal Raven was her ship, not his. She was captain here and she wasn't sure if he would accept not being in charge, then again he seemed to be a lot better at getting the crew to cheer up and ease up around him. He had the charisma and charm, something Rowan lacked and Derren was worried she might face a mutiny if she wasn't careful.
"It'd be better if I stayed to warm your bed," Emghi slurred, barely awake or aware at that point. Varris hoisted him up and slung one of his arms across his shoulders. Emghi found it difficult to keep his footing, feeling as if all his muscles had somehow melted into a useless liquid paste. Without too much fanfare, Varris all but carried him to the crew's quarters and dropped him on the first free bunk. Emghi mumbled something in the linnen, but soon surrendered to the pull of drugs. Varris waited a couple of minutes for Hawkings to drop off, to ensure the man wouldn't spout nonsense to ears that shouldn't hear such vital information just yet. Once Varris was certain Emghi slept, he left the man to his own devises.
As for Emghi, he woke with a worse hangover than he had the other day, when there had been celebrations. Another interesting night replayed in his mind's eye, filled with chopped up memories of talk with Captain Rowan and some others. Emghi wasn't sure exactly what he'd said, but he did recall little stitch had drugged him somehow. Or was it Varris. A two-for-one? Emghi put a hand to his sore head and refused to move from his bunk while no one paid him mind. Unlike yesterday, it seemed he wasn't called on yet.
Excited voices caught his attention at long last and Emghi peeled himself up from the bunk. Were they landing? Rana hadn't been that far, after all. He ambled out on the top deck and shielded his eyes from the sudden influx of light. Wind whipped at his hair, fiercer now that they were nearing land. The scent of dirt reached his nostrils. When his eyes finally got used to the light, Emghi saw Rana was closer than he thought. Or he'd slept longer. More ships crowded the medium-sized island. Commands were called out by Varris as the crew waited for a landing, excitedly fidgeting for some down-time on land. The Raven's engines whined as their operator fought the currents surrounding the island to ensure them a safe landing. Emghi heard the vessel's hull creak and shake, probably from damage taken fighting the brig he'd been held down in.
Emghi held onto the banister as they gently eased into the shielded bay. Long metal arms on the dock sunk as their ship's weight was set onto them. Soon the hydraulics hissed and groaned, to finally settle and lock in a secure position. From the dock, the 'secure' calls were made and a bridge was rolled out. Emghi scanned the dock for familiar faces, but doubted to find any in Rana. It was too far out from the more interesting games. Perhaps he could play Rowan's hand, goading her into taking a little more risk. Travelling to Longsun island would give him ample time to wheedle in some new ideas on the Royal Raven. He caught sight of Derren greeting the dock's masters, playing the part of 'innocent trader', no doubt. Emghi sought out Rowan, but his head hurt too much to truly put in effort. Someone would come find him, no doubt. He wasn't leaving the vessel without a pass anyway and currently he had nothing but the clothes on his back and a reputation too far removed from this region to be truly impactful.
A roll of the eyes and a shake of the head was all Emghi got at his quip about sharing her bed. For several reasons, but the most prominent right then was the man was in no fit state to even walk. Rowan glanced to Derren and the two spoke for a while, musing over this and that but they eventually came to the conclusion that keeping who Emghi was under wraps for now was the safest course of action. Whilst she trusted her men, she knew some of them would love to have the title as the man who killed the great Captain of the Crow's Feather. It was bragging rights, after all.
Fitting in on an island was always tricky. Rowan had opted for more suitable attire, a little more respectable and flattering than her usual clothing. She knew that pirates frequented this area but showing it off wasn't wise just in case they ran into some authorities. She let Derren charm his way into port, the man was good that way, he could talk for hours and give a toothy grin that hailed trust and honesty. Rowan eyed the crew, "Best behaviour." She warned and caught a glimpse of Emghi, raising an eyebrow. He looked awful and she wandered down the steps. "You'll be seeing a doctor." She said to him, flatly. He would need to have his injuries looked at properly and perhaps a more adept medic would be able to tell more about his seal, with any luck.
The majority of men were left on the ship, leaving it unguarded was unwise. They weren't pirates without a ship and Rowan waited for Derren to come back, looking rather pleased with himself. "We can dock a night, so long as there's no trouble. Managed to get us a discount too." He said and smirked a little before looking to Emghi, "Nice to see ya up and at 'em." He remarked before straightening his jacket, a nice royal blue number. Rowan ran a hand through her red hair before starting off and heading down onto the Island. She was never keen on these stays on land. She was born for the skies and being beneath as opposed to amongst it was always strange to her.
"Varris will deal with our trading, he always gets a decent price." Rowan murmured to Emghi, half-conversationally, "Did you find out about a doctor?" She asked Derren who gave a nod, "Said the local stitch was running himself a nice little getup by the pub." He explained and Rowan nodded and figured they should start there. Rana was a bustling little town, full of local merchants and farmers. There were only small mines on this island, Varris would see to it the other prisoners were handed off here too, for a price.
The doctors little building was much better than the one on the ship, it was clean and bright, spotless. Even the older man looked like he knew much more than the ship doctor and Rowan knocked on the open door. "Yes, yes, what can I do for you? I'm a busy man." Hardly a polite greeting but Rowan just smirked, "Ah well, I didn't expect to see you around these parts. Got some injuries?" The man asked upon glancing up and he chuckled slightly. Rowan gestured to Derren with his arm and then to all of Emghi. "Might be a tough job."
Best behaviour, was it now? Emghi raised an eyebrow at Rowan when she stated he would be seeing a doctor. To be honest, Emghi wasn't sure what the man was going to do that their stitch hadn't already, but it was always nice to ease into a city's bubbling centre, rather than idle on board. Derren's snark was met with a crooked grin, undone slightly by the shiner on his temple, courtesy of his fight yesterday. "And a good day to you, sir," he told Derren. Emghi felt how he looked, presumably, though it wasn't for lack of his trying. If they hadn't seen fit to drug him, Emghi figured he'd be feeling a lot better. He couldn't fault Rowan either. Emghi would've likely done the same. Rowan didn't seem half as at ease as she had on the Raven. Emghi noted the discrepancy and stowed the nugget of information away for later, provided his memory didn't see fit to also lose that titbit. Emghi 'behaved', taking in Rana's people and followed at a leisurely pace, not keen on exerting his healing body.
Indeed, just near the pub was a small doctor's post. It was clean and bright, which was already several steps up from the Royal Raven's facilities. Derren's arm was pointed out, which came as something of a surprise to Emghi, and then of course, a general wave was cast at his persona. "Ladies first," Emghi told Derren, stepping aside to let the larger male take first turn. Emghi remained near the door, ears to the floor, so to speak, as the pub received their guests. His attention waned a little, courtesy of the hangover and head-injury. Before long Derren's arm was cleaned, re-stitched and bandaged.
He was invited to sit on a table and Emghi looked at the doctor before heaving a sigh and doing as he suggested. Medical care was hard enough to find these days, so he might as well take advantage. Emghi stripped his top half so the doctor could inspect his injuries properly and soon he was cleaning out gravel from the scuff-marks around his wrists and cleaning several smaller cuts on his chest and arms. "Curious," the doctor's voice muttered, when finally he came around to investigate the back. The seal was hard to miss, obviously. "A seal made to forget," the medical practitioner mumbled, tracing some of the lines. "I would ask how you came by it, but chances have it you wouldn't be able to remember," the elderly man stated with certain glee. "Am I right?" Emghi aggravated his headache by trying to recall how much he'd already told Rowan and Derren, but then simplified his life by merely shrugging. "Doesn't bother me, doc," Emghi said, urging the physician to continue his examination. A numbing cream was applied to the worst of the bruises littering his chest, the same numbing cream that took the edge of his headache once the doctor redid the stitches to his head. Emghi closed his eyes and tried to relax into the treatment, senses duller than he would've liked. When the older man announced he was 'all done', Emghi felt a little light-headed. He remained seated while he slowly dressed, waiting for the cream's numbing effects to fade. "There is little I can do about the seal. Its complexity is truly astonishing," the practitioner marvelled. "Perhaps Carmella might know more. It has to have been cast by at least five, maybe six spell-casters of medium... high level," the doctor continued. "Give your man a few days of rest and he should be fit as a fiddle, Captain."
Rowan watched as the doctor set about his work. As it turned out, he was in a pretty worse for wear but it was the seal that made her curious above all else. She leaned on the doorframe and watched proceedings. A seal to forget? She sucked in some air through her teeth. That explained a lot, he really hadn't remembered anything and it wasn't the head injury that had caused that affliction. Part of her felt slightly bad for being underhanded the night previous but it was better safe than sorry. Carmella, she committed the name to memory because if they could figure out that then maybe they made have some sort of lead as to what had taken down the infamous Captain Emghi.
A few days rest, she could manage that. He was off the hook for swabbing the decks it seemed but she was sure she could find him something easier to do so he wasn't an idle set of hands. She nodded to the doctor and rifled around in a pocket, placing a couple of gems on his desk, "Thanks, doc, as always, it's a pleasure." She winked before stepping out. Verren had at least been treated for his arm which meant he could be put to work too. That was something at least and she stepped out, eyes searching the small town and she looked to Emghi, "I suppose we should find Carmella." She murmured, she'd know more with any luck. She nodded towards the pub, best place to find rumours and gossip, as well find out the local authority and what was going on.
Rowan pushed into the establishment, opting to stride in like she owned the place as Derren went and got a seat. She eyed the patrons before following and sitting at the table, Derren smirked a little, "I'll be back." He remarked and Derren seemed to just vanish into the crowd to harvest information through flirtation and charm alone. Rowan watched him for a moment before a couple of ales were put down before them. Rowan glanced to Emghi, "We should get that seal looked at, Derren will figure out where to find Carmella." She remarked quietly. She seemed less at ease than she was in the sky, tenser and more wary of everything going on around her. Pubs and taverns and land in general was where most trouble started. Fights in these places could be deadly and she rubbed her temples.
Doctors always made things worse before they got better. Emghi pulled a face as he got off the bed and moved his muscles, trying to feel out what movements would be comfortable and which were definitely a no-go area. Vital information, for if he did need to pick a fight with the local rabble. Apparently he passed the bill, because Rowan suggested they find Carmella after giving him a look. Emghi raised an eyebrow and clenched his teeth. He hadn't asked Rowan to do all this, so Emghi didn't feel he owed her either. Rowan lead the way. Emghi shared a look with Derren, who just raised his shoulders. If the first mate wasn't worried about Rowan's apprehension, neither would he. Emghi sauntered after Rowan, staring down any who followed their entrance, getting a feel for the place. He enjoyed the familiar scent of day-old ale, sex and debauchery, thinly laced with laquer, smoke and wax. They found a table and Emghi was glad to sit down, give himself a few moments to shake off the doctor's trail of disinfectant and the numbing agent. Loathe would he be to admit, he was relying on Derren and Rowan to watch his back while he recovered. That didn't mean Emghi was taking things easy. He toyed with a few gems, cleverly picked from a clueless merchant on the way out of the pub.
Ale was set out in front of them and Emghi managed to catch the waitress' wrist, then sent her a large smile. He pulled gently so that she would lean in closer, let his lips graze her ears until she shivered and then carefully took out one of her pins. Well-trained fingers undid the curls in the loose hair, elegantly draping the escaped tress across her neck, "don't you look ten times more lovely?" he complimented, then let her go. Beet-red, the waitress muttered something, stopped trying to search for words, composed herself and walked off. Emghi pocketed the pin and smiled at Rowan. "And I bet Carmella is magic-user? Don't pay too much, Captain, it's not worth it," Emghi said, leaning back against the wall, arm slung across the back of his seat. The other rested on the table, minding his ale. She might've managed to drug him once, but that ignorance wouldn't befall him a second time. Emghi was like a fish tossed into the open sea, at ease in a way that came with years of dabbling in places like these.
"Uncomfortable?" Emghi ventured, taking a long drink from his ale. He hadn't managed to secure breakfast yet, but with the gems he'd stolen, that could be arranged. Emghi hailed another waitress over and asked for her to bring around something fresh, rewarded her in advance with part of what it would cost and sent her on her merry way. "Longsun is far," he drawled thoughtfully. "Why would you want to go there?" Emghi tried to read Rowan and also get a handle on what he did and didn't accurately remember from last night's little interrogation. Emghi was certain he'd called the poor Captain a murderer, pretty and very much welcome to his bunk in the same breath. Was it curiosity? Interesting things often lead to bounty, that much Emghi was well aware of, but from what Rana's doctor mentioned, they might be in over their heads. Whoever could afford a score of casters to seal something as mundane as his magic for possibly the single league of a journey, was powerful indeed.
Rowan watched Emghi and his little performance with the waitress. She figured once she might have been like that waitress, embarrassed and flustered, blushing and scurrying off but she wasn't. She had been charmed by many a man, but she was a Captain now, a captain of many men who no doubt wanted to bed her, but she was task focused. She watched Emghi, women liked confidence and he was oozing confidence and he was attractive which aided him greatly. She raised an eyebrow and stayed quiet. She knew better than to put a man off of his latest conquest.
"I'm not made for land." She remarked, shrugging slightly as she caught a glimpse of Derren in the crowd, charming some pretty blond lady. "People owe me favours, it won't cost that much. Besides, if you can sweet talk Carmella the way you sweet talked that poor waitress, we might even get it for free." She commented with a smirk towards him. She didn't think he was the sort of man that women said no to, usually. "Longsun is the last place you remember, you keep mentioning it." She added for good measure. If they couldn't undo that funny little Seal on him, then they could at least backtrack. Rowan was curious as to why someone would put such a powerful seal on someone like Emghi, what did he know, or what had he done? It was anyone's guess given his status out there. Besides, if he was so highly sought after then Rowan could make a profit from him.
Rowan glanced up when the waitress brought a meal, one specifically for Emghi and she hid a smile as she looked back to see Derren still chatting. He'd get their answers soon enough, you couldn't rush a man at work. The waitress was utterly charmed with Emghi and Rowan knew it wasn't uncommon for her men to go and lay their head in an unfamiliar bed for a night of passion and it worked for her too, the men stayed happy that way. Emghi would be no different and this poor waitress had no idea who she might bed tonight. Rowan crossed her legs and took a small drink from the ale, it wasn't the best stuff but it would do. The redhead kept an eye on events, Derren eventually ambled back over. "Hard to get anything from the ladies when this scamp is busy putting them into heat." Derren remarked and shot Emghi an almost proud look. "Where's Carmella?" Rowan asked and Derren chuckled a little, "She has a shop, top of the hill. She goes out apparently around this time collecting flowers or some shit. Get some food, then we can go and bother the poor woman." Derren said and Rowan just gave him a nod.
Not made for land, was it? Emghi thought there might be more to that story, but decided not to press, for now. He gave Rowan a sickly sweet smile when she made a comment about his charm, "wish I'd do it to you, doll?" He did keep mentioning it. Emghi ran a hand down his face and took another long drink from his ale. There had to be something to it then, hadn't there, if he remembered so ferociously? Did Rowan mean to sell him out in Longsun? It was a very valid possibility, but that didn't stop Emghi from accompanying the Raven just yet. As he'd said, Longsun was far. He was sure another opportunity might beckon long before they reached the island.
They sat in amicable silence until his meal was brought. Emghi thanked the waitress with a peck to her cheek and a whisper of a promise. Recovering was first and foremost; he needed to be back on his feet properly to face what was to come. It wouldn't be anything good, that much was certain. Still. He was alive. He had a plethora of options and an anger to exact them all. She'd brought fruit, a few thick slices of bread and milk. More than he could've hoped for and certainly fresher than the fare they were dished out on the Royal Raven -or any airship for that matter. Emghi picked off several small pieces, washing them down with more ale than he should consider healthy at this point, but he was thirsty and painfree for another while at least. It was down-time. Emghi fondly remembered down-time when he was still just a gunner for the Crow. Perhaps a trip down memory lane was exactly what the good Doctor ordered.
Derren joined them at long last with the information he'd set out to inquire after. Emghi smirked, "just the one waitress, surely?" he said with an air of arrogance. Maybe he'd been moderate to consider just the one warm body tonight. With some luck, he'd be in merry company all night, though Emghi wasn't sure he wanted to. All things considering, he was tired and even though Varris had been kind enough to let him sleep off the truth-serum, that did not leave him very well rested. Flower-picking Carmella was it? A witch, Emghi figured.
He kept picking off food from his plate, finishing before the others because of his head-start, and arranged himself another ale to round up his meal for the day. Top of the hill did not sound like a leisurely walk, especially if they'd have to find Carmella somewhere in a field of flowers. Regardless, Emghi stood when they were all ready to leave and walked at a gentle pace, following the winding roads up-hill.
Rowan narrowed her eyes at Emghi, "Try it and I'll make sure you can't lie with a woman again, Hawkings." She remarked but there was a slight banter to her tone. She nodded to Derren as they ordered some food and she ate a little. She shook her head at the two men as they bantered over women and she pondered if it would become a contest. She knew some of the men kept tallies of how many women they had at each stopping point. It was a little amusing to watch from the outside and Rowan drained her ale before getting to her feet. Probably best to be polite to the local witch. She headed out and Derren was still eating some bread as he followed.
It was a quaint, rather out of place looking little cottage that overlooked the skies on one side and the town on the other and it was much quieter the closer they got. She eyed the area. The air was clean here and she had to admit it wasn't often an island had trees and flowers blooming around. It didn't make her anymore comfortable but it was colourful at least and no one could sneak up and cause problems. A short, brunette woman stuck her head out, "Ah, the doc said you'd appear. Come on in." She gestured and let them inside. The cottage was cluttered with vials and jars, things bubbling away in strange places and a few unfamiliar animals darting from here to there and Rowan was careful not to touch anything, concerned she was break something and upset the bumbling woman before her.
"Doc said something about a Seal," Her eyes glimmered with fascination, "Reckon it's powerful stuff, too. Haven't seen one in a while." Carmella chuckled. Roan raised an eyebrow, the woman seemed almost child-like but she kept her mouth shut on the subject. "We can pay you handsomely, although the doc does owe me a couple of favours." Rowan mused and Carmella smirked, "Oh please, Captain. My prices are not in valuables, food, water and some things I can tinker with will be just fine." Carmella said and Rowan pondered if she was being serious for a moment because everyone wanted cold or precious gems or even, if a really expensive job, some of that precious ground dust to power flight but she wasn't about to part with any of that.
"Right then, let's take a look at ya!" Carmella announced and gestured to Emghi, "What sort of trouble did you get into, hmm?" She mused and Rowan watched Derren sink into a chair, eyeing the area and prodding at a ball of fluff curiously, but it growled and he retracted his finger. Rowan folded her arms and watched with interest, the outcome of this had piqued her curiosity some and although it didn't show all that well on her face, she was keen to put this to rest so she could decide what to do with the vagrant Captain from the Crow's Feather.
A quaint little cottage to match a quaint little woman. Emghi stepped inside and had to push some drying herbs aside to prevent brushing into them. Much like Derren, he had to duck and weave in order to avoid touching anything untoward, but unlike Derren, Emghi didn't have the luxury of sitting back and just enjoying the spectacle. At least they didn't have to explain much to Carmella, who'd already received the latest gossip from the Doctor's tongue directly. A dangerous fascination rested in those beady eyes and Emghi could immediately tell the shimmer of intelligence put Carmella on a different level that the waitress, for example. Emghi exchanged a glance with Rowan, but the price didn't seem to be negotiable, neither was his cooperation. "None I can recall," Emghi stated, already working down the buttons of his shirt, undoing what was needed to strip his back bare. "If I got a shimmer for every time-" he mumbled and put his clothes on a chair. Carmella supplied him a stool when it became apparent how elaborate the seal was. Emghi sat down and patiently looked around. Flighty fingers traced some of the larger lines on his back. Emghi thought he could feel some of the burn he'd felt the other day, when their stitch had looked at it and pressed for information he didn't remember. He looked over his shoulder, but only saw a mop of hair. "Curious," Carmella mumbled. "Waste of time, told you..." Emghi told Rowan. It occurred to him too late what Carmella's gift was; clairvoyance. He should've known, because the Doctor didn't seem like the sort to walk hills. When Carmella's magic flowed across the seal Emghi felt it burn with a white, hot flash, reacting to Carmella's cantrips immediately. A startled gasp was remnant of a dying scream on breath Emghi felt was robbed from his lungs forcibly. It was as if he was stuck in place, back rigid and tense, the burn pulsing into his bones and sinew. He couldn't move to escape it. Flashes clouded his vision, flashes of something else. A memory? Voices. A shady deal. Men, surrounding him in a dark room. His eyes started to roll back in his head. Carmella managed to snap free from the pull and tear between her and the seal. She stumbled back, holding her wrist. The seal slowly simmered back down to its original angry red, unperturbed. Emghi came to, slowly relaxing from his rigid position, gasping for breath. He hung his head for a moment, willing the white and grey splotches in his vision to recede. "Very curious indeed," Carmella emphasised, eyes wide and sparkling. "Oh no you don't," Emghi warned Carmella. He cast a sideways glance at Rowan, a warning glare that he would no longer play nice if this witch tried to torment him a second time. Emghi tried to look at the seal, but his vision was blotchy at best still, the burning ache receding only slowly. "What did you do?" he spat.
Rowan stood up straighter and unfolded her arms when events proceeded. Carmella was strong, she could tell that much and it was rather curious what happened next. The woman seemed to tap into the seal, much to Emghi's discomfort and pain as he let the pain fizzle through to the surface and Rowan figured he was strong enough to deal with it. Rowan watched as Emghi tensed up, went stiff as a board and she sucked in a breath. It wasn't a pleasant thing to see, that was for sure, regardless how much Emghi could grate at her and she watched Carmella retreat and Emghi come back to reality.
Derren was bewildered, a little on edge because in his mind they had taken in Emghi and to see him practically seizure to death wasn't on his agenda. "It's protected by magic, I could try tapping back into it but its very advanced magic. Whoever stuck this on you, really didn't want it being messed about with." Carmella remarked and scratched the back of her head, "Maybe I could break it but it wouldn't be pleasant for him." She jerked a thumb at Emghi and Rowan bit down on her bottom lip. "Alternatives?" She asked the woman and Carmella hummed a little as she thought on the spot. "Well, I could give you some herbs and such, over time it would weaken the Seal's magic but that could take a while, maybe years with this level of magic." She commented and Rowan knew they likely didn't have that much time. "But, sometimes these have natural releases. A phrase, a particular jog of the memory, a place." Carmella murmured and eyed over the Seal. This was powerful magic, "The magic will wane as he does, but otherwise, it's a case of finding the key."
Rowan sighed out and looked to Hawkings. "What's the key?" She dared to ask and Carmella shrugged, "Could be anything. It's a mystery for a reason, someone wanted something about you to remain secret." She patted Emghi's shoulder reassuringly. Rowan groaned slightly and dragged a hand down her face, threatening to smudge the black eyeliner that lined her eyes in the process. "So, we just wait for him to suddenly remember everything?" Rowan remarked. Carmella gave a breathy giggle, "He's a big strong man, Captain, plenty of potential until this little problem undoes itself, I'm sure you can find a good use for him onboard, no?" Carmella said playfully and Rowan sighed softly. She would have to put up with Emghi some time longer before unveiling what mysteries he kept. Great, just what she needed and Derren gave a short laugh at that. It was rather amusing really, he figured he'd keep an eye on the boy for a while until he found his footing and Rowan was less likely to box the man's ears.
"Define 'not pleasant'," Emghi chewed out, hand to his shoulder, fearful of actually touching where the seal was. He took a few long, deep breaths to try and shake the sensation of floating an inch beside his body. Rowan asked for alternatives, but there were few. Either they found the key, they tried to undo the seal over time or simply dying would do the trick. Emghi shifted a little, sat up a little straighter. Stiff and pained, he moved a numb and uncooperative left arm into his undergarments. Even the soft fabric felt like a heavy weight on the seal now, though Emghi knew his skin was fine, where it wasn't marred by old bruises at least. A place or a memory. Emghi glared at Carmella when she patted his shoulder. He had half a mind to let her have a go at it a second time, but he wasn't sure. The pain had been intense. It still was quite present. Emghi didn't bother button up his shirt. His left hand was numb and tingling. Emghi opened and closed his fist, trying to get some feeling back into the appendage. The entirety of his left-side felt the same foreign numbness, as if something had been cut from his flesh when Carmella touched the seal. No. It wasn't a good idea for Carmella to try again. Emghi feared he would lose more than just a few memories if they did. Some sort of backlash or fail-safe would kick in, no doubt about that. Clumsily, Emghi brought his shirt together using the buttons and he slung his coat on, though was yet to stand. "Plenty of potential," Emghi repeated in a more lewd tone. Derren had a sense of humour at least, even if Rowan did not share it. Emghi shook his head, trying to clear it. Today had been tiring. He almost found himself craving a bunk in the Raven's quarter's above the rooms at the local establishments; whichever offered a more peaceful night's rest. It felt as if the magic seal on his back had sapped him trying to keep his magic and memories safely tucked away.
He looked up at Rowan. "Guess Longsun it is, eh?" Emghi said and stood, overbalanced and felt Carmella's hand at the small of his back, steadying him out. He didn't quite know what to make of the look she gave him. Worry, amusement and curiosity all wrapped up in one. He bet the seal prevented her from using her powers on him, which had to be a novel experience for Carmella. There were perks to having it, Emghi decided then. Emghi stifled a yawn and pushed his hair back, giving Carmella a weary smile, "thanks for trying," he said. Once he was certain his balance was going to keep up with his desire to move, Emghi took one last look at the quaint cottage and stepped out, back into the fresh air. From all the way up here, it was easy to see how small Rana really was. A small port, for a small-time pirate, on a small battleship. So how had Rowan taken down a heavily guarded brig, exactly? Luck? Had they been attacked before? Had the brig fought the Crow and won beforehand? So many questions and not enough answers.
Rowan shook her head as Derren snorted at Emghi's boyish banter and looked to Carmella, thanking her and promising Varris would see to her payment but the woman only shrugged, excusing that she hadn't actually done anything. Emghi was right, it was Longsun then, to see if anyone had knowledge about what had happened to his ship and what had happened to him. She rubbed her head and assured Varris would bring her some food or something of the like as payment for her time. Rowan didn't like being indebted to anyone, and she especially didn't want to cheat Carmella, she would likely come in handy and she didn't want to tick the woman off.
Rowan sighed and stepped out. She looked to Derren, "Tell the crew we're staying for a night but sailing at first light. If they're not on the ship by dawn, they get left behind." She remarked and Derren nodded, same as usual then. Rowan figured a quiet night on the ship wouldn't be such a bad thing realistically. She glanced to Emghi, "Evidently, you're off hard duties for a week. Varris will keep an eye on you, if you're staying in town for the night then be back by first light." She murmured. She had a lot to think about and she wondered if Emghi would have any idea what the key could be. She was sure they could add gentle pressure to his memory to see if anything sparked but she also knew it was probably agony for him.
Rowan started back off and down the hill towards the ship, climbing on board and glancing to the men who were all getting set for a wild night in the town and Rowan knew they would be back come the morning, some of them worse for wear and some of them fending off needy women who hated to see them go and she looked to Evis, "Not going on land tonight?" Rowan asked and Evis shrugged, "I hear the men here are a bit rough." She remarked but her eyes flashed past Rowan to Varris who was trying to organise some of the crew to stay on the ship and Rowan smirked to herself, made sense, she figured. She was in no position to get involved unless it affected the running of the ship and she gave Evis a nod before sauntering into her Quarters, keeping the door open so she could hear out onto the deck as she eyed over the maps. Longsun was a long way off but she supposed they could make it there, hopefully within the month if they were lucky and didn't run into trouble, but she doubted they would get that fortunate.
No tough duties for an entire week? And here he suspected Rowan might be fickle and allot him exactly two days to recover, given the Doctor had said 'a few'. Be back before first light. Or what? Be left behind in Rana? Somehow Emghi knew Rowan wouldn't let him fester in a back-water town like Rana. No, she'd come and drag him back aboard, with all the fanfare and embarrassment which came with such an act. "Aye C'tain," Emghi said with a mock-salute. He watched Rowan walk back down the hill, back towards the Royal Raven. Unlike Rowan, Emghi had every intention of making his time on Rana last. First he met back up with the waitress. She was sweet on him and when her work finished that early evening, she took him back to her room for food and unfortunately, sleep. Emghi had been exhausted, though it hardly seemed to bother Brianah that they'd gotten the order of things the wrong way around. Some time into the night, Emghi woke, made slow and lazy love to the warm and willing lady that had until recently been asleep beside him and he repeated the gesture before offering they go out, back downstairs. He didn't have much time before the Raven left, which meant he only had a few hours to secure a decent weapon, some crystals to barter with and maybe a few other items that would come in handy. After all, Emghi couldn't rely on Rowan for everything, now could he? Brianah knew exactly what he was looking for. No sooner had he uttered the words, or he was sat playing a daring game in which more and more crystals were gambled away and into his hands. For her tip, Brianah was handsomely rewarded and Emghi wasn't unkind; he'd settle for a decent handgun and a few other assorted items, like a change of clothes and ammunition. A few metals to make some interesting bullets and tools. By the time the evening ended, Emghi made friends with the losers, shared his profits and made enough friends to return to Rana safely, if the occasion called for it. If he maybe had a little too much ale to find the Raven unassisted, no one seemed to really care and he wasn't he only one pushing on dawn returning to the Royal Raven either. Unlike some of these unlucky sailors however, Emghi knew he wouldn't be doing anything strenuous the following few days, other than sobering up and resting -hopefully. And ruminating on what Carmella's words meant for his future. Did it mean the seal would be gone if he died? Was it tied to him in such a fashion that it would fade with him? Emghi had heard of men brought back from the dead. He kissed Brianah and what seemed to be her lady-friend, before slipping his arms from their steadying hold and swaying towards the Raven's bridge on his own. "Blake, ready the engines," he shouted. One of the Raven's late crew caught his swaying hand and shushed him with a drunken giggle. "We're leaving, aren't we?" Emghi slurred at the good man. "You'll wake everyone," another said. "So? Everybody up, let's go!" Emghi said with a hiccup. A hand was clamped over his mouth, a hand Emghi fought half-heartedly. It turned into something of a wrestling-match that had them both tumbling down in a fit of drunken laughter. "Shh," one of them said, leaning against the Raven's walls, finger to his lips. "Drunken fools, c'mon," he waved. Emghi clambered to an unsteady stand and swayed, furrowing his brow. "This ain't the Crow..." he mumbled. "We're on the wrong ve-vesh...ship," Emghi slurred.
It was a pleasant night, the crew and their drunken issues were Rana's problem for now and she had a mostly pleasant sleep. It was disturbed by some yelling and she frowned, rubbing her eyes and pulling herself from bed, managing to fix her hat in place as she poked her head out. Who the Hell was Blake? She stuck her head out to see Emghi, who looked very worse for wear and giddy and she rolled her eyes. The man was stupid, at best. She shook her head and watched from where she had situated herself as the men acted like children and she cleared her throat, one of the men straightening up at an angle. "C-tain." He slurred and Rowan raised an eyebrow, "Thomas, you ought to know better." Rowan remarked and looked to Emghi. Him brandishing around that he was from the Crow's Feather was going to land him in trouble.
"Hawkings, move it." She remarked, a hand on her hip as she gestured to her quarters. He needed to sober up before he blabbed it around who he was and put a huge target on his back. She gave him a nudge and made sure he was seated in her quarters, "I'm not sure if you were dropped at birth, but blabbing around who you are will land you in hot water, and then even I won't be able to keep the crew tame." She muttered and rubbed her face, still trying to wake up properly. Varris was supposed to be keeping an eye on him and she shook her head at him, what sort of Captain had he been anyway? Going out and getting hammered and throwing orders around, irresponsible came to mind. She could stop him going to shore, she supposed, but then he would only drink on the ship and chase down Evis and any other female on the ship for a good night.
"Sober up, and keep your mouth shut." She remarked and glanced to the closed door. She sat down behind her desk and tugged at some of the maps, eyeing them over and glancing up to him now and then, as if worried he would hurt himself trying to stand at this stage. She had once been like him, when she was a crewmate, jolly and enjoying her time off the ship with food, alcohol and men. Thankfully, she had never gotten involved with anyone on the ship, she had kept her profession and pleasure utterly apart because she knew how things like that could end and she thought on Evis and Varris for a moment. Varris was smart, he was second mate so with any good fortune he would never be in her position and they could live on the ship somewhat comfortably. She was distracted and she leaned back, exhaling, they would set off soon enough so going back to bed would be a useless endeavour.
Someone pulled him down again, almost. Both of them staggered as Thomas straightened all of the sudden. Emghi looked up to find Rowan watching them, little impressed with the state of them. If there was ever a time to feel young, it was now. Emghi laughed, figured they might be doused in some cold water by their more sober mates, but Rowan called him on the plate and dismissed the others. Emghi gave the other two a look, shrugged and then clambered up the steps with less grace than he would've liked to posses. A nudge sped up his pace only marginally and Emghi let himself fall into a chair. It wasn't exactly his cot or a hammock, but it'd do for now.
"Don't be mad, doll," Emghi slurred softly. A wide grin spread across his face, though his eyes turned a little distant when Rowan gave him a talking to. He snorted and waved away Rowan's worries with a limp hand, then looked about the Captain's quarters. It was sparsely decorated. Maps were strewn across the desk. A few faded memories from yesterday's drugged affair cropped up with an unpleasant swirl. "It's early," Emghi said softly. Though Rowan told him to shut up, Emghi conveniently forgot anything of the sort was said.
"I can be quiet." He started, a pensive look on his face as he observed Rowan. His expression turned a little more serious. "Had to- had to get some things," Emghi spoke around a hiccup. He pulled up his prize of the night; a hydrolic gun. It packed a punch and would certainly cross the distance between two vessels, all the while remaining small enough to be comfortably weilded with one hand. Emghi ran his hand down the smooth metal barrel, licking his lips. He could do with some water, actually, if he was meant to sober up. Or sleep. He'd slept a little earlier that evening, but it did not make a full night. At least the alcohol kept any aches and soreness at bay.
"If you're not using that..." Emghi pointed at the bed with the gun. It wasn't loaded. Nothing bad was going to happen until he crafted some decent bullets for it. The guy that'd lost it to him specifically mentioned not loading it for the night, though Emghi had been keen to see if its shot was true. He still would and if it wasn't, he could probably fix it himself. With a grunt, Emghi pushed to stand up, not bothering to be extended an invitation. It didn't seem like Rowan was going to sleep, and if she did, the bed looked big enough for two. He'd already had his pleasure for the night, so he wouldn't even be too tempted to let his hands stray either. Emghi holstered the weapon and stripped out of his coat, then kicked his boots off. He nearly fell on his ass, aimed his descend a bit more gracefully and landed himself on the bed, face up, eyes hazily peering at the ceiling. As expected, the Captain's bed was far more comfortable than the bunks below deck. As if only just realizing he was still meant to recover, Emghi felt the pull of drowsiness slow his thoughts to a near stop. "People're gonna talk," Emghi chuckled softly. "Might think you're sweet on me." Another snort escaped his lungs and then his breathing slowed to the familiar tune of encroaching slumber.
Rowan rubbed her temples as Emghi spoke. She was well aware it was early and she was remarkably unimpressed with him. She looked up when he brought out the gun and she pondered how he had come to afford that. No doubt he had either charmed it from someone or stolen it, either case didn't bother her and she opened her mouth to object when he gestured to the bed, a little shocked at the sheer nerve of this man. That was her bed! She narrowed her eyes when he fell into the bed, at least here he wasn't causing any sort of trouble and she exhaled heavily. "That's if I don't drown you by the time you awaken." She quipped when he teased about her being sweet on him and she got to her feet, exiting the deck. At least if the crew saw their Captain out and about, they wouldn't suspect some sordid affair.
"Set a course for Longsun." She called as she started up the steps to overlook. The crew were back and some were worse for wear, "Keep her steady, Friden, I'll need your eyes to keep a close look for any trouble." She called and a man scampered up to the crow's nest and Derren smirked some before approaching, "Heard there was some trouble with the boy?" Derren chuckled and she shook her head, "Child's play." She remarked with a shrug. Derren only gave a laugh, "Let him sleep it off." He opted and Rowan gave him a look, "He is. In my bed." She said flatly and Derren's eyes widened at that. Rowan gave him a look that spelled out 'not like that'.
It was almost noon by the time she sauntered back into her Quarters, pulling out maps and such. She would have thrown cold water over the man if it didn't mean soaking her own sheets. Instead, she was as loud as possible, clattering around and making sure adequate light was shining into the quarters. She eased into her chair and crossed her leg, the easiest path ran the risk of them being discovered by authorities and having to engage in combat, but the longer way ran the risk of more exotic threats. This had better be worth it, whatever secrets Emghi had locked away had better be worth the risk of peril. Then again, she could have dropped him off at the nearest port and been done with him but then if he did make it back to the Crow's Feather, she didn't want that ship hunting her down for the rest of her days.
A clatter woke him. Emghi's brow furrowed in his hazy slumber, rejecting wakefulness to the point where he might fall back asleep, if it weren't for some errand beams of sunlight stretching out across his face. To counter the influx of light, Emghi shifted to rest on his back and slung an arm across his eyes. His headache was pounding and so were various other parts of his body, courtesy of their little doctor's visit, Emghi suspected. What numbing agents had floated through his body had long since evaporated. Despite feeling chewed up, he wasn't half as uncomfortable as he'd expected to be. And the scent of the room he was in certainly did not the crews' quarters make. Emghi pulled his arm up enough to glare around surreptitiously. Oh, because it was the Captain's quarters. That made sense for all but one second. Emghi wasn't quite ready to get up to inquire how and why, but he searched the room to find -lo and behold; their little doll of a Captain. He took a deep breath and shifted a little to get more comfortable. The damage was already done. If he could be comfortable for a while longer, then all the better.
"I can hear you thinking all the way over here," Emghi started. Last night was a drunken blur, the weight of a weapon on his belt was definitely not a dream. Emghi pulled the gun up and inspected the barrel, clicked it apart and left some parts on his chest, taking the weapon apart bit by bit. It all panned out. The man had almost been proud to separate with the weapon, so Egmhi really hadn't expected any different. He likely hadn't fired a single shot with it.
"Do I recall rightly when I say you'd promised to travel to Longsun?" Emghi pitched, twisting a little to look at Rowan from his perch on the bed. He didn't do so for long. Slowly, Emghi reassembled the gun and rooted through his pockets for the few bullets he'd been given. Today, he'd have to try out how well it shot. He loaded several bullets and clicked the safety on before stowing the gun. Rowan had a tendency to promise him things seconds before his memory cut out, whether it be because of truth-serum, exhaustion or liquor. It sure didn't help his memory had been sealed for the better part, Emghi felt. Or at least several exciting parts at the very start of their meeting. "It's a long flight to Longsun. You'll need more dust," Emghi said as he pushed up to lean back into the rather plush pillows. He had several ideas to easily get by some, once he established the strength of the Royal Raven and its crew. No need to take needless risks and he rather enjoyed some of Raven's crew. "They were Estellian army, weren't they? The brig you took. It was far from home. They'll come for it eventually." For it and its missing cargo. Emghi pondered whether the seal could be tracked, but doubted it somehow.
Emghi was lounging around like a cat, like he owned the place and Rowan spared him a glance. She listened to him speak and eventually set down her pen, surveying him for a moment in all his comfort and arrogance. She leaned back in her chair, "Some of us like to keep busy." She pointed out his lazy nature and shook her head. "And yes, to Longsun, if it's the last thing you remember. And yes, which means we could be in trouble if they come hunting for you. Just as well my men and I like a fight." She commented with a dismissive tone but she had some of her own questions while he was just enjoying her luxuries and she figured whilst they had the moment of relative peace, she could pick his brain. She had a few things she was curious of when it came to the rather peculiar Captain.
"Is this how you commanded your ship?" She asked him, finding it horrifying on some level. "Getting drunk, lazing around all the time and being well...all of this?" She gestured to him as a person. It was confusing to her that he didn't take his role a little more seriously and acted more like a captain. Besides, he seemed to look down on her for being more dutiful and precise with her own ship. Perhaps he was simply lying, and he was never captain. Then again, he had lost his memory, perhaps there was still hope he could snap out of this and act like a proper captain. He must have done something right though, for the Crow's Feather to be so infamous and well known. Perhaps he had just been lucky so far, lady luck had a way of smiling in certain people and he seemed the sort.
Rowan poured herself some water and thought for a moment before pouring one for her wayward gunner and gestured for him to help himself. It was nothing fancy, she doubted he wanted wine or anything of the likes. Emghi had charm, she would admit that much, his cocky confidence was rather amusing at times but Rowan was a captain, she had little time to spend giving doe eyes to men. "What exactly did you get up to last night, Hawking's?" She asked him, gesturing to the gun curiously. Things like that didn't just fall in your lap but she had the sneaking suspicion that Emghi was the sort of man to land in mud and come up with a fish for dinner.
Oh? Comments on his style of commanding, did she? Just fair, Emghi supposed, since he did have questions regarding the way Rowan was leading her gang too. He snorted, "you don't know about the Crow, do you?" Emghi challenged. "The Crow only flies at night," he said, "and I'll have you know I run a tight ship. But this isn't my ship and I'm not running it, so I consider this somewhat of a holiday." Emghi gave Rowan a grin. All said, he hadn't sat still either. He now had money, some clothes to his name and a weapon, all in the span of one night. Given he was still injured to boot, Emghi thought his comeuppance in the world fairly impressive. "The Crow fights hard and enjoys her spoils at leisure -something I can recommend. Leisure, that is," Emghi emphasised. Rowan seemed fearful, almost, of relaxing. It wasn't that Rowan didn't trust her crew, no. Emghi dared to guess she felt responsible for them. Like a mother to her children. She ought to rely on her crew more. Hungry men would feed themselves, after all.
Water was offered and Emghi considered whether it was in his benefit to move and procure it, but eventually did shift to sit on the edge of the bed. His ribs in particular felt abused after all the prodding and exertion yesterday. Emghi held a hand to his ribs as he stood, stretched out some of his back and poured himself some water. "Too much, evidently," Emghi complained. "Brianah, the cute waitress at the pub, she took me in and showed me Rana's night-life. And night-life in Rana is lucrative because of its many naive merchants," Emghi pointed out. "The merchant whose burden I lightened probably never even fired a weapon in his life and he was glad to see it taken from his hands," the former Captain explained. He took a long drink and sat down in the chair opposite Rowan. Sleep was done, it seemed, though Emghi could tell he already missed lazing around in Rowan's bed.
"You don't want to be flying the cursory routes going to Longsun," Emghi said in a more serious tone. Whatever or whoever had put a seal on his back, they would come for what had been lost. The seal was made to last, Carmella made sure, and Emghi felt it was for contingencies such as these. "They probably want me alive, all things considered," he argued slowly, rubbing his temples. He gave Rowan a worn look. "I can't say the same for those accompanying me at the time we're found. Even if the Raven is confident in their skills..." Emghi stilled. If they did come at them, it could also be a boon. Free crystals and materials, if they managed to hold their own. Estellia held great authority however. Emghi stifled a yawn and finished his water. He probably ought to vacate Rowan's quarters by now, and Emghi reached for his boots.
Rowan watched Emghi, raising an eyebrow. A holiday? She rolled her eyes and she thought that if for once this man could just be normal, sincere even and show is strength honestly rather than through childish antics, he might be more likable. She sighed softly when he mentioned leisure and she supposed she never did get around to it these days, but shebwas a Captain. She was young and keeping order as a woman and as a youngster was difficult. She listened to him speak as he approached and she snorted slightly, "I didn't think you were the type to remember women's names." She remarked when he brought up his conquest last night.
He seemed to sober and she furrowed her brow slightly at his sombre tone. "The Royal Raven tends not to run from her fights. I am curious of your origins, Hawking's." She said to him with a half smile and eyed over the maps. They would need more dust, she knew that and with any luck they could stop at some of the nearby islands to try and lift some dust. Rowan chewed on her bottom lip as she watched him reach for his boots, "You're in here now, may as well stay and sleep off whatever is left over from the alcohol and exploits." Tongues would wag either way but she had thought it strange to see Emghi show a meek glimmer of care for her crew and Rowan gestured to the bed. She would only be looking over maps and plotting courses for now, she wouldn't disturb him, a soft reward for his honesty and care.
"Go on Hawking's." She remarked with encouragement, "I won't wake you again. Doctor did mention rest and the crew will already be talking so nothing lost." She said to him with a shrug. Besides, the chances of the Crew turning on her for the possibility of soliciting a man was unlikely. She would just have to grin and bear it, the damage was already done and Rowan picked up her pen, looking up to Emghi and studying him for a moment. They would fix him up, return him to his ship for a small price and be done with it. With any luck in the future, they would at least be on amicable terms with the Crow's Feather. She offered up a better smile to Eghmi, amused almost at the man before her.
"You would bare your back to someone you didn't know?" Emghi said, when Rowan suggested he was the sort to bed a lady before asking her name. "My memory might not be what it should as of late, but rest assured, there is nothing wrong with my mental acuity." His origins, was it? Emghi shook his head. Those were tales for a different time. Either way, didn't Rowan already know he was from a small port-village called Devon? Oh? Emghi paused reaching for his fallen boots. He was given stay? Emghi narrowed his eyes, but when Rowan repeated the phrase to him, his sobering brain caught on to the invitation. "You're a curious woman, Captain," Emghi said, holding Rowan's gaze for a moment longer than suitable, before giving her a nod and retiring to the bed once more. He propped up some pillows to aid his abused ribs and gingerly laid back down. Like this, his predicament wasn't even that insufferable. To be frank, any other Captain would have likely ignored the doctor's advice and simply put him to work on light tasks instead. Even though he had no proof but his word, Rowan did believe him when he said he was Captain to the Crow's Feather. A fortune then, the truth-serum. He caught Rowan studying him and she cast him a smile Emghi couldn't quite place. Emghi let his eyes close, allowing the warmth from the sun to lull him into dozing, resting his weary limbs as he ought to have done the day before. Was it Blake who always said he had no brakes? Always barrelling on without regard for well-being, patience and the benefits gained from waiting. If Emghi was concerned for anyone entering unannounced, his relaxed countenance showed no such emotion. When finally he did wake without a considerable headache to his name, Emghi noted it was almost dusk already. He put his hands behind his head and thought for a while on what his next steps ought to be. Finding the Crow ought to be one of those steps. And finding out what had happened to his crew. The Crow wouldn't fly without him, simple as that, so it now had to be stranded. Unless Xian had become clever enough to power the Crow with a different totem. He wouldn't have the means and without a vessel, no way of gathering what he might need. It likely meant his crew was scattered to the wind, as Rowan had suggested before. Once they learned of his return however, Emghi had no doubts about them banding back together. Thieves and scoundrels, the lot, but he did miss them. Unless Xian pulled the right favour. He might manage that, if they learned of his fate. A lot of people owed them favours. It had to have been weeks. Some of his injuries were old enough to suggested they'd near enough healed during his captivity. When Emghi sat up for the second time that day, he was wide awake and sharp. Enough to be motivated to rise and see about business. He stood, found his coat and put it on, casting a sideways glance at the maps strewn across the desk. As expected, Captain Rowan had plenty of local routes, but none of the distant onces. He would have to amend her charts so they could navigate the skies approaching on Longsun.
The Captain watched the man for a while and just shrugged at his comment. He was worth more to her healed and rested than hungover and aching to his injuries. She rubbed her eyes and eventually moved when he was sleeping, she would be taking her bed back that night so she could hopefully get some restful sleep. She ran a hand through her hair and donned her hat, striding out on deck. Everything was running mostly smoothly, save for the odd stumbling man thanks to the alcohol the night previous and Rowan caught a glimpse of her second-mate, Varris.
"I believe I tasked you with watching over our newcomer." She remarked to him as he approached and the man sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck, "I couldn't rightly hover over him whilst he bedded a woman, could I? No harm done, Captain." Varris remarked and Rowan shook her head, "Don't let it happen again." She warned and there was a flash of danger in her gaze, one that made Varris swallow and nod. It wasn't worth the argument with his Captain and she excused him. Evis was setting up for the evening meal and given her new stock, it was bound to be a good meal for a change, not that Evis was a poor cook but eveb she struggled on scraping together something when they were running low on supplies. Rowan picked up a bowl and thought for a moment before picking up another for their injured guest. She wandered back to the quarters and was a little surprised to see Emghi awake. It saved her the job of waking him. She placed the bowl down and let her blue eyes meet his gaze before gesturing to the food and she sat at her desk.
"Don't suppose you know any shortcuts that won't kill us?" She remarked and tapped a finger on the map lazily. She was starting to feel tired now, despite her tough exterior and attempt at hiding such a thing. She ate slowly, rain had started to come down on the deck outside and she could hear some of the men singing from the Galley and she relaxed some. A happy and fed crew was a content one and she figured some of the men were making up for lost time last night and shebwssnt wholly bothered unless it spilled into their work and jobs. "How are you getting on with the crew, Hawkings?" She asked him, wondering if he had made any notable enemies that she would have to quell to keep peace and blood from spilling in the ship.
Dinner served, was it? Emghi raised his eyebrows and smiled languidly. "To what do I owe this pleasure?" he drawled, shoving his feet into his boots. Rowan's blue eyes were a mystery to him, but that didn't impede Emghi's stride one second. He walked around the desk to pick up the bowl of food, stirring it with the spoon a little to discover what the fare was. When it became apparent none of it was going to leap out of the bowl unassisted, Emghi sat down and put his ankle on one knee to eat more comfortably. Shortcuts, huh? "Hmm, maybe I do," Emghi said. His memory wasn't that terrible. Emghi looked at Rowan and sighed out, "you'll need some of the main routes at the least," he spoke up, near enough promising the information. With the risk of getting caught along the way by something dangerous or an army, Emghi decided he would keep the good back-routes to himself. Just a few safe routes were all they needed to get to Longsun. Once they left Estellian skies, it ought to be smooth-sailing.
Emghi focussed on his food for a while, until Rowan piped up. He narrowed his eyes in suspicion and then smiled, "well enough." There was the one gnarly bloke who seemed to derive great pleasure out of dictating their sleeping arrangements, who Emghi figured was part of the night-shirt, but the others had so far been nothing but accommodating. A few liked to probably pick another fight once he was healed, but that was fine. By then, he could likely use the exercise.
"Don't worry your pretty head about it until someone ends up with holes," Emghi spoke up. He wasn't below putting his crew in place with a well-aimed shot, but fear wasn't how he wanted to manage his vessel. Having to watch your back forever made for quite a stressful life. It was why he could relax when he was on the Crow's Feather. Which was why he made it a point to relax on the Raven. Emghi finished his food and nudged the bowl onto the Captain's desk, then inched his chair a little closer and glanced over the charts. With the practised hands of a writer, Emghi took the quill from its pedestal and started to measure out distances and routes, currents and places. He didn't know it all by heart and frankly, Blake had enjoyed that sort of thing with far more pleasure than he did, but Emghi wasn't completely brainless when it came to charts. The Captain remembered enough to guide them safely through Estellian skies and beyond, though he wasn't entirely sure about the route leading up to it. He didn't need to be either. Rowan's charts had ample information about the direct vicinity. "Shouldn't you get some sleep?" he mumbled, carefully drawing new land-marks and lines to indicate currents. Emghi was used to working at night, when all was quiet. The night's sky was usually peaceful and clear, or tumultuous, like now. Rain lashed against the deck and windows. Eventually the men down below quieted down too. Only the stumbling of the night-crew could be heard, echoing through the ship. It dawned on Emghi that he didn't remember why the Raven only took to the skies at night. It was a strange awareness, to be robbed of something so pivotal. What advantage did the night have to a man whose magic was sealed?
Rowan picked at her food and watched Emghi, raising an eyebrow when he mentioned not to worry and she shook her head a little. Her eyes went back to the maps and she thought for a while. She didn't lead her crew on fear, thankfully in her short time as captain thus far she hadn't had to punish any of her crew harshly. Mostly, it had been stupidity born of alcohol or adrenaline and a a few days hard work usually sorted them out. She had known most of these men since she was young, a young runaway set to sail the skies and most of the men had seen her grow or grown with her, she was sure that was the reason they abided her so well.
Emghi inched closer to start marking the map and Rowan watched him for a moment before sighing at his remark about sleep. She glanced to the bed, he was right, loathe to admit and she drained her water before eyeing him over. She wasn't sure she trusted the other captain with her maps while she slept but she didn't have much of a choice because she was starting to flag and she needed Emghi's help with the maps and plotting a course and she ran a hand through her hair. She just got to her feet, slipping them out of her boots and shedding her coat to reveal the oversized shirt beneath. She didn't envy the noble women with their tight corsets as she climbed into the bed and she fixed the pillows Emghi had messed up and she pulled a blanket over herself. She wasn't about to turn her back on the man because she might find her throat cut in her sleep.
She watched him, curious about him. When he wasn't trying to be sarcastic and suave and cocky, he was tolerable, she supposed. It was still difficult to see him as a Captain but seeing him marking off things on a map, made the idea a little more tangible in all honesty. Embraced by the warmth of the bed and soft tug of the mattress, it was difficult to ignore sleep and her eyes became heavy as she tried to focus on Emghi, but the dim flickering lights of the room paired with the soft, nightlife of the ship lulled her into a sleep she found easy and she shifted slightly.
The night was quiet, allowing the cogs in his head to slowly mull over what had happened. Emghi methodically worked on the routes Rowan would need, but he started to become aware of more and more gaps in his memory because of it. How had they come by that one job, at Robsven island? Emghi drew the island and raked his brain. He knew the routes well enough to draw them, but not how he'd found the island in the first place. Had one of his crew alert him to it? What about Devon? It was all interlinked with his magic, had to be. Emghi shifted and moved his shoulder. The seal on his back simmered and ached as he tried to remember. He sighed out and rubbed his skin, then looked at Rowan, soundly asleep. She seemed peaceful, asleep like this. Emghi sat back and languidly stroked the feather of the quil he used. Would she wake if he tried to share the bed with her? Emghi pondered the possible outcomes and decided not to. He was somehow in Rowan's good graces. Enough to rest up in relative comfort. His hazel eyes regarded the maps once more. Emghi tried to recall what route he was flying before waking up on the brig. Why didn't he remember anything before that? He'd seen flashes of some kind of showdown in an alley due to Carmella's magic, but other than that- nothing. Perhaps if he challenged the seal more. Another magic user could likely trigger it, maybe to a greater extent than Carmella had. Though it might be painful, if he could just see his captors. Perhaps a clue on what his magic used to be? The Crow. His crew would know. Emghi rummaged through the maps but there were none of Longsun. And what if the Crow's Feather wasn't there?
He took an empty piece of parchment and started to draw the rough outlines of continents and floating islands he knew, an overview, crude and global. To make sure the spell would echo, Emghi drew coordinates, made sure the larger land-marks were in their places. Once that was finished, he laid it out and took the quill's tip and drew blood from his finger-tip. One fat drop fell onto the parchment and he whispered the words to unbind the spell, "show me where the Crow flies." His blood soaked into the parchment until it was so diluted, it seemed as if nothing had happened. And then, after a moment's wait, there was a faded mark, indeed, near Longsun. Emghi lifted the bit of parchment and stared at the map. It seemed all the answers were a world away.
Emghi sighed out, pinched the bridge of his nose and set back to work on the maps. It was tedious chore, drawing them out. He used some of the maps already in Rowan's possession as reference material and tried to fill in the missing pieces by heart, but it was slow going. Emghi liked being precise, measured out distances and added names, in fine, elaborate script. It was early morning that he finally looked up from his work, mostly because of the meagre light daring to infiltrate the Captain's quarters.
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