Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
|Introduction: An Ocean Voyage|
It was the first day of our voyage when I found out that traveling the oceans wasn’t exactly safe. The sailors always carried wicked curved swords in their waist sashes. I thought it was because of me, but as we began moving they immediately started ignoring me. No matter what they were doing, some of their attention was always on the sea around us.
I learned the reason shortly after we reached deep water. I was by the side rail watching the sea when a large fish broke the surface. I didn’t think anything of it since it didn’t come all the way out of the water but the sailors nearby drifted away from me quickly. The fish was about fifteen feet long with a wide head and lots of teeth. It was only a few minutes later that it leaped. It came out of the water headed straight at me.
I have been training all my life. Traps and suddenly attacks were something I lived with. I spun and crouched as the long dagger from my right thigh slipped into my hand. My left hand smashed up to grab the fish behind its head in the gill slots. I spun again, my dagger striking straight through the side of its head before it even landed on the deck.
I jerked the dagger out and spun it in my hand so that the blade was down. The fish was flopping around as I brought the dagger down behind the head and into its spine. I yanked the blade free and released the gills before stepping back to watch the fish go through its death throes. A crowd of crewmen started gathering around the fish and the big first mate pushed his way into the center.
He looked from the fish to me and grinned, “Well, you have talent.”
He slapped one of the crew on the shoulder, “Cut it up and get it down to the cook.”
He glanced at me and turned back to the sailor, “give the stones to the captain with Mister Lan’s complements.”
He turned and pushed his way back through the crowd while I stared after him and then looked out at the sea as it rushed past. I spent the rest of the day wandering around the ship, staying next to the rail while watching the sea. I saw a few more of the large fish the crew called criskin, but none attacked. The large meal of fish steaks was something I never dreamed of. In the desert, things that attacked you were poisonous to eat.
It was two days later that the crew started a game. They opened part of the side rail and one man was dropped into the sea. The rest would wait and then pull him out. Another man would wait at the side of the ship, ready to dive away to safety. I was on the other side of the ship watching. Even though the sailors were playing a baiting game it was me that the leviathan came for.
There was a sudden break in the water behind me as it came almost all the way out of the sea. I rolled and spun as this huge forty foot sea monster crashed down on the deck. I had pulled a short sword that was hilt down on my back and took two large running steps before leaping. I came down just behind the head, my sword led the way as it easily slipped through the tough skin. I yanked it back and forth even as I was thrown off the creature.
I rolled when I landed and spun to face the creature. It was thrashing around in its death throes as the crew closed on it. The big first mate lunged, stabbing a javelin into the side. The javelin wasn’t necessary the leviathan thrashed around some more and finally stopped moving.
I walked forward and leaped up on top of it and pulled my sword out before dropping back to the deck. The whole crew was watching as I carefully cleaned the blade. When I finished, I looked at the first mate, “How many of these were you planning to play with?”
The crew laughed and the first mate grinned, “We’ll look for another one in a few days.”
I shook my head and looked at the monster lying on the deck, “At least I hope its eatable.”
Everyone laughed as I headed to the prow to clean my sword. While I sat, I watched the crew cutting up the huge beast and could only think that the sea was very like the desert in some ways but unlike it in others. It was only two days later that a serous attack was made on the ship. It was pre dawn and I was on deck practicing when I saw the other ship slipping out of the semi dark heading right for us.
It was lower and looked much faster as it closed. I looked at the first officer on the wheel to see him reaching for the alarm bell. I slipped into the shadows by a mast and waited with both short swords drawn.
As the other ship tossed grapples over the side and men began climbing over, the crew of my ship rushed out onto the deck. I moved forward striking and blocking before they even knew I was there. I didn’t even bother staying on the ship as I vaulted over the rail onto the enemy ship. I struck those around me and started towards their captain and the helmsman.
I think the shocking danger I presented sank in as I cut a huge man’s throat and used him as a shield. I let him fall and stabbed a thin pocked face man before I stabbed a thick bearded man and left my sword stuck in his chest. My hand dropped, flicked and then snapped out. The silver throwing spike slammed into the captain’s throat as he yelled for his men. I shifted and cut down another man as he leaped from the ships deck above.
I yanked my sword out of the man’s chest as my other sword swept across the throat of a man that had slipped on the bloody deck. By now the pirates were back on their ship as I cut through two more to reach the helmsman. I sliced down across the wheel and turned to catch a blade aimed for my back. The helmsman screamed behind me as I thrust into the other man’s gut.
I shifted to hold both swords in one hand and threw a spike across the deck and into a man that was trying to cut the rope holding the ships together. I threw three more before the pirates all seemed to give up as the crew of my ship began to throw sea javelins down into them. The helmsman was on his knees behind me holding the spurting stump of arm. As men began jumping down onto the deck the captain waved down at me.
I nodded and moved around retrieving my throwing spikes before climbing back onto my ship. I nodded to the captain and first officer before moving to the prow. I sat and cleaned my weapons before finally going to my cabin to find a basin to wash my body in. When I was clean, I dressed in clean clothing and went back on deck. I stood with the captain by the wheel as the first mate stripped the other ship of anything of value.
When they were done and had taking every weapon from the other ship they cut it loose. I watched as it drifted behind us and the few crew aboard it managed to raise a sail. It turned away and slowly sped back the way we had come. The captain grinned at me as his helmsman took the wheel, “You are lucky assassin. At this rate you will make all of us rich.”
I bowed slightly and moved down onto the main deck. It was a week before we sighted land. During the week I had killed two more of the criskin, the last one had been almost twenty feet long. The crew seemed to be betting everyday on whether I would be attacked, on how big the fish would be and on if I survived. Land turned out to be a large island where the captain would get fresh water, sell the valuables from the other ship and get any news about our planned path to Amgree.
I stayed aboard ship and let the captain and crew handle everything. I still had two Siren stones which were blood red. I spent the day carefully cutting and polishing the stones. When the crew came aboard later that night they were drunk. The captain seemed sober as he walked quietly aboard and moved to the stern of the ship.
He glanced at me in the shadows, “The rest of the way is perilous assassin. They say there have been leviathan bigger than ships and several ships have been destroyed. Even the criskin have more courage.”
I waited and he turned to look at me, “Either you will bring us great luck or great misery.”
I smiled as I walked out of the shadows to stand beside him, “Isn’t that the life you enjoy?”
He looked at me for a minute and then laughed and clasped my shoulder, “Yes.”
He left and went below as I sat and meditated. We left early and I stood in the prow, I had borrowed a sea javelin and held it easily. Within moments of entering deep water I saw a ripple far out and moved to the side of the ship. I glanced amidship at the first mate as he bellowed orders, “We have a leviathan headed towards us.”
The first mate looked at me and then started barking orders. I moved to the rail as they removed it and waited. I stood alone as the crew moved back and got ready. When the huge beast broke the surface heading towards me I rolled away and spun when I came to my feet. The sea javelin flashed out towards the huge creature’s head and then I was taking running steps towards it.
As I leaped up the side I drew a sword and stabbed it into the creature’s side. I used the sword to pull myself up higher as the leviathan flopped backwards and began falling back into the ocean. I was on top by then and drew my other sword and stabbed down into the spine as we crashed into the water. I rode the back of the thrashing creature as it died.
When it stopped moving and began to roll I pulled my sword free and sheathed it before I splashed into the water. I looked up expecting the see the ship still heading away and was rewarded with the site of it still there. Several crewmen threw sea javelins with ropes attached into the leviathan and then began pulling it closer to the side of the ship.
A rope was dropped over the side and I climbed up to see the crew slapping each other on the back. The crew only cut the best pieces from the creature before retrieving its gems and cutting it loose. I had stripped on the deck and then gone below to change. When I came back on deck I sat in the prow and began the long task of drying, cleaning and oiling all my weapons.
I was gratified when the big first mate brought my other sword from the leviathan’s side. That night they had a big party on deck, (not that they used any light since a light would attract criskin). That was the first night I noticed the lights under the water. The captain was looking out from the stern and smiled when I joined him. He gestured to the lights in the ocean behind us.
The next day a criskin attacked unexpectedly. The crewman it went after was lucky because he had seen it leap and dropped flat to the deck. My javelin hit it several seconds before the other three. The captain issued a warning to the crew and put up watchers in the rigging. That was where I was a week later. We had two sometimes three criskin attacks everyday and the crew were beginning to get worried.
I was on the large center mast taking a turn at watch when I saw the huge shadow moving under the ocean. I called out and pulled one of the many javelins they kept in the watch nest. The shadow became more defined into a leviathan just under the surface. It was huge, easily as large as the ship. I took aim and threw the javelin, before it struck the water I was throwing a second and reaching for a third.
The leviathan broke the surface suddenly and thrashed around. The crew rushed to the side as I threw a forth javelin and then a final fifth. My javelins were spaced around the back of its head in a tight group and most were buried halfway into the creature. The two that weren’t had struck the spine. The crew stared and then began cheering. This leviathan was easily twice the size of the others we had killed.
After that I was the one in the watch nest everyday. We only had three more weeks before we reached Amgree. In the first two I killed three more of the huge leviathans and seven criskins. We were four days out from Amgree when I spotted the two fleet schooners as they closed with us. The captain called for weapons and everyone was grim as they began gathering on the deck.
When I dropped to the deck the captain was waiting, “They are Amgree pirates.”
I nodded to the one that was closing on the port, “I’ll take that one.”
He looked at me and then spun to the first officer and began barking orders. I picked up a waiting javelin from the mast rack and as the boarding hook flew over the rail I ran. From one step I went to the rail and then I was leaping through the air. I could see the surprised faces as I flew towards them and threw the javelin. I didn’t have to watch its flight to know I had hit their helmsman.
I crashed into three crewmen and my hands and feet began a deadly dance. The pirates had forgotten all about trying to board the ship as a devil was suddenly among them. When my swords entered the dance, the screams began. I grabbed a sailor and yanked him in front of a javelin before cutting another’s throat. In the few minutes I had been aboard, the pirate’s ship had gone from a packed deck to a bloody slaughter house.
I finally looked around for someone else and realized they were dead or dying. I turned to the boarding rope and used it to climb back aboard. Pirates and crew were mixed in a fight to the death across the deck and I joined the dance. I made my way across the deck killing any pirate in reach as I went, including a big man that had been yelling directions. On the other side of the ship I went over onto the other ship and attacked the few men I found.
When I climbed back aboard my ship only a couple of pirates remained. They were fighting desperately and I ended their fight with throwing spikes. As quiet returned to the ship the crew gathered itself and then cheered. We had lost a few and several more had been injured. Cleaning up was as easy as dumping bodies over the side. The captain put the schooners on lines, one behind the other and we towed them behind our ship.
Strangely enough we didn’t see any more leviathans and only one criskin. We sailed into port on the morning of the fifth day and the crew cheered as we finally docked. I had placed my packs on the deck to get an early start. I was more then ready to leave the ship but the captain and crew had other plans. On the deck they brought out two chests and a cask of rum. The first chest was full of milk white stones and large rainbow colored stones that seemed to sparkle.
The first officer read off a number for the white criskin stones and the first mate counted them out into another smaller chest. When the first mate was done, the first officer read off the number for the rainbow colored leviathan stones. The first mate added the stones to the small chest and nodded to the captain. The captain read off the amount of gold earn by each crew member and then nodded to the first officer.
The first officer opened the second chest and I saw that it was full of coins. The first mate counted out a share and then looked at the captain again after adding it to the small chest. The captain grinned and looked around, “Since our passenger (the crew bellowed and broke out in laughter) is leaving before we have sold the two ships we took, I think a second crew earnings is in order.”
The whole crew cheered and the captain nodded to the first mate who put a second bunch of coins into the small chest. The chest was completely full as the captain ordered the rum opened. Wooden mugs were passed around as they were filled. Finally the captain raised his mug, “To Master Quillan, may his swords always strike true and his keen eyes never fail.”
The crew cheered and drank, I sipped the rum and set the cup aside. I bowed to the crew and captain, “May you always see the leviathan before he sees you and may your arms always strike true.”
They cheered as I picked up my packs. The first mate picked up the small chest and put it in my arms after I had shouldered one of the packs. I walked down the narrow plank to the dock and for the first time in months set foot on dry land.
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