WARNING: Other players should not read this until Chapter 1 is complete.
The Day Sisters were still visible in the sky when the Hephaestus pulled out of the Sea Cliff harbor. Tanivel waved to few people lingering on the docks, some of his friends and classmates among them. Some of them waved back. His parents had said their goodbyes yesterday and returned to their normal schedules this morning. The young boy was excited for this new adventure and chance to learn more about mining and masonry. He figured his father would be fine and had even heard him talk about taking on an apprentice. He worried for his mother, who had been very distraught the night before. He thought that should write them once he was settled and let them know he was safe. He hoped to one day return to Sea Cliff a man of knowledge and skill.
“Hey boy, get below deck until we’re out of port,” Caddoc said from behind him. Tanivel had not noticed the large man and was startled. The Bosun was carrying a large rope. “Once the ship is under way, you can look around more.”
Tanivel nodded and gave a quick, “Yes, sir,” before heading off the deck. Padrig had helped Tanivel store his belongings the day before, including protecting the new book by wrapping it in one cloth, then an oiled cloth, but he figured he would ensure they were secure.
The cook’s assistant was by their bunks when he got there. “Hey, I need to go help arrange some things in the kitchen if you want come along.”
“Sure, just let me make sure my things are secure.” Tanivel’s belongings were strapped into a little cubby beside his bunk. Besides his new gifts, he had a few sets of clothes, and what adventuring gear was fit to travel with.
Padrig reached over and unceremoniously pulled on the bonds to show they were secure. “Don’t worry, I helped you stow them and I know what I’m doing on this ship.” Tanivel raised an eyebrow at that, but let it slide, as the other teen clearly had taken care of things. “And if I don’t, I’ll tell you… or make something up if it isn’t important.” The older boy winked at him before heading towards the galley.
Tanivel followed along and managed to get some questions in about the ship and Padrig before they reached the galley. The Hephaestus had just come from Big Bay Hold. Padrig was from there and had been on the ship almost a Turn. The cook’s assistant wanted to be a navigator or captain one day but know it would be a hard climb up that rigging.
They spend the next two hours helping Raston, the cook, make sure everything was properly stowed for the voyage. The cook was a friendly sort, but capable of barking orders with the best of them. Which he did every time Padrig and Tanivel got caught up talking instead of working. Tanivel had not seen a full ship’s kitchen like the one on the Hephaestus before. He had been on the fishing ship his father worked one, but it’s kitchen was little more than a storeroom. Tanivel learned some about Big Bay Hold and Keroon from the two men, and they learned of some of his adventures in Sea Cliff, as well as the story of his scar.
Tanivel was glad to find they expressed no more than mild interest in his scar. It was certainly noticeable, but to them it was just a mark left behind by something that happened to him. In Sea Cliff it had been a constant reminder of his mother’s overprotective nature.
After they finished their work, the cook, his assistant, and the future mason sat in the kitchen to chat. It wasn’t long before one of the sailors came down to let them know they were underway and out of the harbor. Tanivel was excited to get to look around the ship more, and Padrig went with him. There were strict orders on when he was to return though.
Caddoc found them on the deck, and Tanivel was given a tour of the ship. The Bosun would check on the sailors and give any new orders as needed as they went. They even got to go into the Captain’s quarters briefly, but Captain Trevion was busy, so there was only a quick exchange of pleasantries between him and the Bosun.
The first day of the voyage was quiet travel over the seas. Tanivel showed that he was eager to learn about both the ship and the places it had visited. His experience with a fishing boat didn’t teach him everything he needed to know, but it made it easier to not be a burden on the larger ship. His wasn’t a stout seaman by any means, but his sea legs were good enough while the waves were relatively calm. In addition to helping in the kitchen, he was allowed to help clean the ship, and stow gear when it wasn’t needed. He took his payment in the form of stories from the sailors. Most of them were happy to oblige. A few saw the eager, but inexperienced youth as a nuisance, and Tanivel quickly learned to stay away from them. Caddoc did keep a close eye on Tanivel, but the boy’s ability to help more than made up for his ability to distract the crewman on most occasions. Tanivel should have made himself take some time to read bits of the book Master Gronaden gave him that day, but there were many things to learn about the Hephaestus and many people to talk to.
Tanivel had told stories of his climbing ability to many of the crew the first morning of the voyage. In the afternoon, when the Bosun asked him about it, the boy asked for a challenge. He wanted put his skills to the test, his father never let him climb on the fishing boats.
Caddoc thought about it a moment, and said, “Sorry Tanivel, it’s too risky. I’ll teach you ‘bout the sails and rigging though.”
Caddoc launched into a detailed explanation of how the ship works, but only while standing on the deck of the ship. Tanivel got bored with this soon and the Bosun sent him back to the kitchen when he stopped paying attention.
That evening another sort of test presented itself. Tanivel had noticed the flatfish in the kitchen when they were organizing the food, but he was hoping it wouldn’t be served. He disliked flatfish, even when it was fresh and prepared well. Dried was even worse, so at least it wasn’t that. The young boy did not want to look picky in front of Padrig and the sailors, so he wanted to keep from reacting to it. He was pretty sure he had been told it was rude to refuse food on a ship. Besides, what else would he eat.
Tanivel had been helping Raston and Padrig in the kitchen while most of the sailors ate. There was a stew along with the flatfish. Padrig had already brought the best of the fair to the Captain’s Quarters. There was a small group of sailors enjoying a ration of stout before they went back to work when Raston served up food to Padrig and Tanivel.
Tanivel will attempt to stomach the food he is served. [Attribute check: Will 8, rolled 8.]
Tanivel sat down to eat and started with the stew. It was still warm and tasted delicious. He saved some of it for later. He kept up a conversation with Padrig between bites of flatfish. He managed to keep the sharp, bitter taste in his mouth from affecting his face as he talked with Padrig about sports, and the upcoming Sea Cliff Autumn Festival. Obviously, Tanivel would have been the best wrestler there but unfortunately with him gone and Colbar not participating, it may be won by Radek. In return Padrig talked about the sports he played Big Bay Hold, and how he almost won the big foot race at their Autumn Festival two Turns ago. Once the flatfish was gone, he used the last of stew to wash away the taste.
Tanivel and Padrig helped clean up the kitchen before they went to bed. The next morning, Tanivel woke up when Padrig left to go the kitchen to help with breakfast but he fell back asleep. When the sun coming in the window woke him, he went on deck to find out the Hephaestus had stopped at Ista Hold. He was excited to see a different hold. The Captain, Raston, and a few others had already gone ashore. Caddoc would only say the Captain had things to deliver, he had to stay here, and they wouldn’t be leaving until the tide went out. He was disappointed about staying on the ship, so decided to keep his. He found Padrig in the kitchen and helped him clean up from breakfast and prepare for lunch. That did not take the whole morning and they found themselves cleaning the deck at the Bosun’s orders as well.
After lunch was done, Padrig declared he was taking a nap. Caddoc was all business with the Captain gone and the sailors there were also napping or wanted nothing to do with him. The hopefully future mason retrieved his book from the hold and returned to the deck. He unwrapped it carefully and sat down to read. He faced Ista Hold at first, trying to examine its architecture from a distance in between bits of reading. At least, what little he could tell of the hold from outside it. Once he was done being frustrated by not being to explore the hold, he moved to face the ocean. He got more reading done when the waves were the only thing to distract him.
When Padrig showed up on deck looking for help with dinner, Tanivel packed up his book. The rest of the crew returned while they were still pulling out food and Raston took charge of the kitchen. The ship set sail without any ceremony as far as they could tell from the kitchen. Just before dinner was served the two boys were allowed a quick break. When they got on deck, they heard a sailor call out happily. They ran to the side in time to see a pod of shipfish trying to keep pace with the ship. The two boys smiled and laughed at the site of the playful creatures.
Before they went to bed that night, dark clouds were spotted heading towards them. Captain Trevion and Caddoc were striding about the ship giving orders to the crew preparing for passage through a storm. Tanivel and Padrig were put to work securing the kitchen first, then they were allowed to recheck their own gear. After that, the two teenagers were sent where they were needed.
Tanivel was asleep when the ship entered the storm. His dreams were interrupted by a thunderclap. There was a soft light from a glow lamp in the hallway. He checked the bottom bunk and Padrig was still asleep. He figured the cook’s assistant was more used to this. Over the din of the rain, he could hear orders being shouted on the deck. Since he was awake, he decided to see if he could help.
Tanivel made his down the hall. The ship was moving more than he was used to, and rain water was coming in from the outside, making the boards slick. He had to be careful with his footing. From the doorway, he could see the sailors had lowered the sails. One of the sailors spotted him coming on deck and called out to stay below.
Tanivel weathers the storm and tries to make himself afterwards. [Attribute checks: DX 11, rolled 13; IQ 9, rolled 12.]
As he was going down the stairs, the ship hit a larger wave. The increased motion of the boat and the slick boards proved to be too much for Tanivel and he slipped. He landed hard on his shoulder but was lucky enough to clear the stairs. He would probably have a bruise tomorrow.
“A bit worse than you expected, eh, boy?”
Tanivel looked up to find Raston offering his hand. He accepted it even it wounded his pride. “Just took me by surprise is all.”
“Don’t worry about it,” the cook said with just a tad of concern in his voice. Once Tanivel was standing Raston heading back down the hall. “Come wait this out in the kitchen. I’m sure Padrig will be along shortly.”
Sleep seemed impossible in the storm, so he joined Raston in the kitchen as suggested. Padrig showed up soon enough. The three talked as the storm raged, occasionally taking a moment to return a dislodged item to its rightful place. Raston even let the teenagers have some watered-down stout.
Early the next day the storm broke, and the Hephaestus sailed through calmer waters. Tanivel returned to helping the crew. Caddoc tried to give Tanivel a little more freedom with stowing gear at first, but the cavern crawler hadn’t learned where enough things on the ship were to be useful without constant supervision. Tanivel managed to make himself useful following sailors around carrying smaller things while the men carried the larger ropes or heavier gear. He managed to keep working until the sailors were able to return to their usual tasks. For his efforts, he got several stories about Big Bay Hold, which several sailors were from and happy to point towards. He tried to get stories about Keroon as well, but mostly they hadn’t even been there and steered the conversation back to their own exploits.
After a few days on the seas, the Hephaestus approached Beacon Cover at midday. From there he would travel to Keroon. Although Tanivel would miss Padrig, Raston, Caddoc, Captain Trevion, and the friendly sailors, he was very excited to meet Master Borgen and start his work as an apprentice.