Umbra 10, 228: Sittin on the Docks

Sittin' on the Docks
Summary: Incoming! A fleet has been seen heading towards Darfield…
OOC Date: 14/10/2013
Related: None
Aldren Blian Caedmon Logen Nimue Venan 
The Docks
At the edge of the water, a fair sized port has been built up over years. There are berths for ships, from larger schooners to small fishing vessels. There is a large pier that stretches out into the water, built for even larger ships there may be or for when the port is extraordinarily busy. The pier is large enough for four or five to walk abreast, a feat of ingenuity that might have borrowed from Weston experience. Around the dock, the ground is rocky with only a few hardy weeds daring to poke their heads up. The smell of salt from the ocean permeates the air here.
10th day of Umbra, 228

Whatever the weather has been, it's calm now, a gentle breeze blowing. The sky is clear blue, and the waters showing relatively gentle waves. The tides are coming in, filling the harbour with water and making it more and more difficult to hunt crabs in the little pockets of crab heaven that exist all over the beach. In other words, a perfectly reasonable, if chilly, afternoon.

<FS3> Logen rolls Perception: Great Success.
<FS3> Venan rolls Perception: Failure.
<FS3> Nimue rolls Perception: Good Success.
<FS3> Blian rolls Perception: Good Success.
<FS3> Caedmon rolls Perception: Good Success.

Sitting somewhere on the peer near Venan is Blian, winner of the recent competition the king held and career drunk. He has some brown breeches and a red shirt on and (like a moron) is sitting above the water with the priceless instrument the Callum awarded him. there is a empty flagon next to him and his voice and a jovial tone shows he was the one to consume it. He just strums along a little tune softly singing as he does.

"When the winds do blow and the coldness grows…"
He stops now and looks off into the distance, "What in Inouv…" He says.

Venan is in his own little world fighting with the crab. The knights have been called in and he tucks a bit of driftwood between his fingers and gallops his hand across the sack to tilt with the crab-dragon. The beast's scaly hide is unfazed and it's razor like claws continue to rend the fabric of the world asunder. Again the hand of the king charges on his mighty steed, Fingerlings, so named for the dappling near his hoves. Once more the wyrm's thick skin is too much and the lance breaks. The great crab-colored wyrm is distracted however and as he turns his attention to the knight he looses the fabric of this world. Seeing his chance the valient knight siezes another lance from his trusty squire Lefty and charges again.

A word from the castle, and Logen leaves his training at the practice fields to head to the docks. He doesn't quite know why he was sent, but he's arrived none the less. He's in his full battle platemail as per his training exercises and he's heavily armed with his claymore on his back, a large headed battle hammer slung from his belt, and two hand axes leathered to his thighs. He's not alone either, one of the Rioga that had been training with him was ordered along with the prince.
Arriving at the docks Logen first spots the commoners hanging around then turns his gaze out to sea. His eyes train on something in the distance and a slight frown starts to grown on his face. He pulls the knight close and whispers, the Rioga looks out to the ocean and then whispers back.
Logen mutters, "… in… Moniwid colors… like."

Venan has a hell of an imagination, he can actually hear mail and the voices of the Rioga, pleased with himself the Right Hand of the King charges relentlessly. With each charge the crabby drake is pushed back, further, further until at last…victory! The wyrm slithers down into the pit with it's brethren, to writhe in darkness.

The rising tides appear to have prompted the return of a small party to the higher ground of the port. Waving off the offered hand of the guardsman who accompanies she and an elder handmaid, the Lady Nimue grasps a fistful of her long skirts and holds them an inch or so aloft, freeing the path for her booted feet as she lightly negotiates the rockier patches of ground. At her heel, and similarly coping well with the terrain, is an enormous hunting mastiff, his long coat stirred briskly by the seabreeze and muzzle raised slightly to enjoy whatever unusual scents accompany it. Only when she reaches the higher, less perilous standing does the dark-haired young noblewoman pause, smiling a little in spite of herself as her gaze casts back to regard her rather unsteady-looking female chaperone.
With her hands now freed, she raises one to shield her green eyes as they wander out over the sea. And squints a little. Something seems to have caught her attention, for the time being, and she remains perfectly, almost unnaturally, still to observe as she waits for the servant to catch up. Her guard, being clad in rather heavier attire, simply seems content to catch his breath, adjusting his swordbelt with a sigh.

The ships out at sea are slowly coming along, the sails gradually getting bigger as they near. It's not a swift thing, the sailing vessels being easily seen far, far away from the shores of Mobrin. And yet, they are coming along, though they stop just outside the harbour. There are five ships in total, three in front, and two behind, though the two behind are quite a ways behind. It is unclear what flags they have, even as the first three come closer.

Caedmon emerges from the small building that serves as offices to the dock master. He is frowning darkly. When a watchman calls to him from a high perch, the chancellor looks in the direction that the sentry indicates with an arm jutting outward. He squints. Then he climbs the ladder to the roof of the building to gain a better view of the approaching vessels. He signals to another man on the roof, and that man tugs at the heavy rope to ring a large bell. Taking a leather cone from a hook near the watchman's tower, he lifts it to his lips and calls across the harbor, "Ahoy! Show your colors!"

Blian playing has slowed and before you know it stopped. He rises from his seat where his legs dangled from the peer and with one hand covers his eyes so he may look out further. His Lute now hangs at his side clutched tightly in his three-fingered hand.

Plainly not one familiar with seafaring, Nimue regards the approaching sails with open curiosity rather than any apparent semblance of foreboding, fascinated by a sight she had likely never come across in her homeland. Barely disturbed by the huffing, fussing arrival of her chaperone, the young lady ignores the gentle straying of dark hair across her features and continues to watch with interest, murmuring a few hushed questions in aside to her guard. The broad-shouldered man does offer an answer, though his own attention is focused rather more grimly upon the approaching vessels.. and his expression hardens a touch at the bellowing command issued across the waters.
For his part, the intimidating mastiff seems content to settle on his haunches with a weighty exhale, ponderous dark eyes wandering to the breathless chaperone who comes to stand beside his petite mistress. The older woman, for one, looks to be wary of the sudden commotion about the docks, a light hand placed to Nimue's forearm perhaps a subtle hint that they should take their leave. It goes unheeded, for the moment.

Dragon vanquished, dinner secured Venan looks up as someone starts shouting, "Oi? What's all this then?" He looks around at those assembled and slides just a bit further towards the edge of the dock then dropping down to the rocks to be well away and clear of the hustle and bustle of loading and unloading or whatever it is that has them moving.

The prince and his knight move to take a position just off the wooden planks of the dockworks. Their heavy armor and weapons making them wary of the warped wooden boards of salt and sun errosions. Logen's hand feathers his hammer's handle and strap, the knight's sword hand on his hilt and shield born proud before him. Those colors are not easily discernable and seems to make the two warriors wary. They don't converse as they watch for signs of movement, and listen for any answer to Caedmon's call.

As the ships near, but don't enter the harbour, their Moniwid colours show clearly on the first three ships. Though as they arrive, it becomes obvious that they are also running a white parley flag up their flagpoles. The two behind are still just a little too far to see their colours, though eagle-eyes Logen may note they don't look at all like Moniwid.

Venan slips away from the docks, this doesn't smell like a profitable transaction brewing.

At further urging from her male companion, Nimue reluctantly tears her gaze away from the tall ships and scales higher, toward the pier and the 'safety' of the roads beyond. But it's readily apparent she's in no hurry, in comparison to her brisk pace in rising from the sands of the beach.. and the presence of fully armored knights up ahead doesn't exactly inspire her to speed in that direction. Laying one palm softly atop her hound's massive head, the slender young woman continually flits her eyes between her path and the masts out there beyond the harbour, seeming to take in much with the swift mannerism. On the plus side, her handmaid is keeping up much more easily as the ground levels out some, doing her best to usher her charge along in front of her.

The bard notices the parley flag and notably relaxes - a bit - He slings his lute across his back and uses both hands now to shield the light from his eyes and stare off further. The wine has seemingly not gotten to his head, or vision for that matter, yet. To no one in particular he says, "And who in…" He squints a little more trying to make out the colors. Hearing the bell he turns and looks up at the Voice. Now he listens and looks. Slowly moving from the peer.

<JUDGE> Cri okays - by now you can all see the first three ships are flying Moniwid flags, with a white parley flag below it. The last 2 ships - not visible.

Caedmon squints at the three ships. He looksk down from the roof to Logen and his knights. "They want to talk, perhaps to bring news or even to negotiate. I cannot be sure which. Have archers ready. I will tell them to send one small boat with a representative. Then, we will see." He raises the leather cone again and shouts, "Send one skiff, and bring no weapons. If we see arms of any kind, we will sink the boat."

The three boats do not reply to Caedmon, nor do they send a skiff. In fact, they rather seem to be setting up as an honor guard, if anything. As the other two boats near, their colours come up, high and proud. Really. They do. Truly. Only, those other boats? They are flying Mobrin colours.

"Yes Voice, right away." Logen responds, he turns to the knight and nods to him. The man turns and gradually picks up the pace to haul ass as best as he can in his platemail. It'll be only a little while before archers are on their way, but for now the prince will have to stand as defense if anything untoward happens. His eyes fall on the Mobrinian colors of the rear ships and they narrow. He makes as close as he can to Caedmon and calls up to him, "I don't trust this cousin, they fly our colors… but the first three do not ahoy when called to. Too little information…"

The bard seems confused as they drop anchor. He sees now t he Mobrinites behind and frowns. "What are they doing back there" He continues to try and distance himself as best he can.

As she and her companions near the pier, something about that commanding voice seems to nag at Nimue, goading her to shading her eyes once more and look up in the direction of the roof.. but the slowing of her pace in order to do so leaves her handmaid disgruntled and she's swiftly prompted into picking up her pace once more. Albeit gently. With a vaguely impatient sigh and warning glance back in the servant's direction, the young lady dusts the worst of the sand from her skirts, batting at them with both palms as she at last comes to the very edge of the docks, equal distance between the questionable waters and sanctuary of the more civilised backdrop of Stormvale. Carefully choosing a path that does not bring her particularly close to the - now obvious - Prince, she stubbornly plants her feet and folds her arms, awarding her guard a mutinous look when he likewise draws to a halt. Well, it does seem to be peaceful enough.. thus far. Doesn't it?
The mastiff, at last seeming to become aware of what has all these humans so transfixed, flattens his ears a little as he studies the waiting ships, issuing a low growl that rumbles from deep in his barrel chest. He's gently hushed by the young lady, one of her hands lowering absently to rub at his thick coat. "A moment longer.." comes the soft-spoken assurance, though whether for him or her two-legged chaperones is impossible to say.

From down the road comes the Count of Greenshire. He has around eight men with him that had been practising their skill at the yard. He has a quizzacal look on his face and moves through folks to see what is going on. Spying Caedmon on high he looks to the man. He does not say anything but a prying and curious look is on his face. He notices the princes man moving with great haste and looks to the prince as well now. He doesn't bother to bog anyone down with words he just stares out at the sea. "Odd…"

"I agree, highness. The king received a message before he left. It came by bird, and was not clear. It spoke of ships needing repair, and included the word 'Moniwid' but that is not enough to make its meaning plain," Caedmon notes. "As long as they are beyond reach of our archers, we can do little, but they can do little." He returns his gaze to the ships. He raises his hand to shield his eyes. "No sign of them letting down a boat yet." He looks around and then calls, "Send one of our boats, a small one, with as few crew as possible. Go near enough to hail. Repeat what I shouted. Then we will see. But stand ready."

As the two rearmost ships come in, they move right up, also with white parley flags. And they call out, with a ready and loud, "Ahoy the docks." The Moniwid vessels do nothing to stop them, and in fact, seem to be paying more attention out towards the sea than towards the Stormvale harbour. The sailors are visible aboard the ship, but almost as though they are guarding the Mobrinite vessels. Those who are perceptive will note the Lacey Anne and the Rolling Apple, two ships that are known to be in the Mobrin Navy. "Ahoy the docks," comes a definitely Mobrin accent. "This is Captain Elias Markson, of the Lacey Anne. Permission to bring a boat ashore?" Likely he didn't hear Caedmon's initial hails.

"Captain Elias?" Logen pauses, and looks to Caedmon for a moment before looking back out to the ships. "The Lacey Anna and the Rolling Apple…" he takes a look around and hms softly then calls up to Caedmon, "We have men on the way and the Count arrived with eight of his own, should be enough just incase. We need the information, as well." then he loosens the over strap to his hammer, for that just incase he'd spoken of.
A shout can be heard in the city, and the hustling chant of men at arms as they march-jog together as a unit. They sound still to be in the city, but nearing. Logen moves toward the count, "My advice is to place your men next to buildings, keep them from sight as best as possible. Flaunting strength could be bad here."

A practised military eye has seen enough, and Nimue's guardsman has dallied long enough, in his opinion. Leaning forward, he mutters to his young charge, earning him a pleading glance of vivid green hues. It doesn't work, though. Shaking his head firmly, he steps aside and sweeps his arm in a gesture for the young lady to make her way. A mild frown darkens the noblewoman's features but she can see there's little use in further argument, silent or otherwise. Carefully grasping her skirts once more, she begins the journey back toward the streets, followed close by her servant and canine friend. Well, that's likely enough excitement for one day.. young ladies are such delicate creatures, after all.

The Count is still peering into the distance when the Prince speaks to him. It snaps him from a daze and he says, "Aye." A few motions are given to the men along with some words and they split into two groups of four. One nears the bottom of the building Caedmon is atop and just stand around leisurely. The other group moves about fifty yards off towards the peer also acting casual. Aldren remains where he was and looking confused and edgy.

Caedmon looks around the dock from his position on the roof, watching while ha group readies a small boat to leave. He spots Aldren and hails, "Count, we have company." He gestures toward the ships with Moniwid colors and a flag of truce, along with the two from Mobrin. "We'lll hear what they have to say, but be on gua—" he does not finish the word. Instead, he peers toward Nimue. "Lady, keep your guards close and be ready to move," he warns. He lifts the leather cone again, and calls. "Send your boat, quickly, and unarmed!"

Hah. The subtle triumph is apparent in the Lady Nimue's slowing, and gradual halt, in the wake of the Voice's call. It would be improper to leave it entirely unacknowledged.. and besides, this particular noblewoman seems burdened by a heavy overabundance of curiosity in the goings-on. Well out of sight now to those aboard the ships, sheltered beyond a natural outcropping of rock on the slope, Nimue pivots on a heel to face the harbour once more, inclining her head in respectful assent toward Caedmon. Those big eyes wander, inevitably, out toward the ships yet again as they are hailed - not that she can see as much now. One hand silently stays the massive dog by her side, lest he give her away to any unseemly gaze from afar, and to her other flank moves her surly guardsman, one hand resting on his sword-hilt. Why oh why does she always have to make his job so difficult? The question is almost visibly etched on his features.

Captain Markson's expression can't be seen, but after a few moments, there's a boat lowering on the near side of the Lacey Anne. The other ships remain as is, not offering any threat whatsoever. The boat has the Captain, a second, and just enough crew to row it to shore. Though this will take a few moments. Still, eventually the boat reaches the docks, a rope is thrown up, and Captain Markson and his first mate come ashore. As they near, even before they land, it becomes obvious that they have been wounded. The captain is still wearing a bandage on his left arm, and the first mate has a patch over one eye that looks new. The two men still climb the ladder to the docks, the captain pausing to make sure that the first mate makes the climb okay before he heads over towards Caedmon, stopping some steps away. "Did you not get the letter we sent? I know that the Chief sent out at least half a dozen pigeons," is the first thing he asks.

Seeing the Captain, Logen steps foward to meet him. Staying just off the planks after the first groaned menasingly under his armored weight. "Captain Markson, welcome home. There was little on the message according to the Voice." he says simply, offering his welcome with a nod of his helmetted head.
In a few moments six archers and four soldiers come jog-marching into view. They are quick to Logen's back and one steps forward, "As commanded your highness, orders?" The prince turns slightly, "Yes, present guard. Welcome home." then he whispers softly to the man who simply nods and the men become two rows of five as welcome guard to the sailors.

Captain Markson salutes, as he is greeted. "Your Highness," he says, recognizing Logen. A glance over to Caedmon, and a bow to both men is followed. "We had sent messages that the Moniwid Navy turned on the Laniveers during the fight, and rescued us. They were winning, had no need to do so. And they brought back all the survivors and ships worth saving to Moniwid, for repairs and medical attention. There are other ships, but they're still undergoing repairs, Your Highness."

Aldren having remained near enough to over hear listens intently. He motions to the men near the peers and they nod. After a moment the disperse back to the way they came and dissapear. He gives the same signals to the men by the building and they follow suit all having been obviously relieved for the day after they came to see what the bell was about. He moves to the side now so as not to disrupt the guards forming up.

Caedmon says, "The message, such as it was, arrived," Caedmon answers, slipping a hand into his doublet and retrieving a parchment that obviously was waterlogged in transit. He hands it to the captain. "As you can see, there was not enough to give his majesty a clear picture, but I was hopeful." He studies the captain, and then the mate, carefully. "Does this mean that the fleet from Moniwid has pledged to us?" he queries. "Does the grand duke know?" is his next question."

"The message, such as it was, arrived," Caedmon answers, slipping a hand into his doublet and retrieving a parchment that obviously was waterlogged in transit. He hands it to the captain. "As you can see, there was not enough to give his majesty a clear picture, but I was hopeful." He studies the captain, and then the mate, carefully. "Does this mean that the fleet from Moniwid has pledged to us?" he queries. "Does the grand duke know?" is his next question.

Logen returns the salute to the Captain, and then nods to his words. "That is, interesting… How many are with you? Do the Moniwid send emissary? What of the Laniveeran navy, did any survive? What of our own? What of my brother? What of Tyrel?" The last two questions paint concern on the composed prince's face, and his voice carries a note of worry and fear flickers in his eyes for a split second before he collects himself again. "Mobrin is proud of you and your men Captain, welcome home." There's a short bow from the prince, and with it comes a bow to the Captain and his men from the soldiers and archers. Once all are righted the prince steps back and looks to Caedmon as he speaks with the man.

"Yes, and yes," says Captain Markson. "His fleet turned on Laniveer at his orders. He came to see us in the infirmary himself." There's a bit of a pause, and then he adds, "I think - though you'll want to speak with him, I expect - but I believe he was trying to learn more of the Laniveers by pretending to be their allies." There's a bit of a shrug, and then, "I wonder what happened to the other five birds. I suppose they met a worse fate than the one that made it."

Then the Captain looks to Logen, as he speaks. "Your Highness, I know nothing of Prince Tyrel, he wasn't with us." That's simple and to the point, as Prince Tyrel had gone to Aberdeen, with his younger brother. Not that Captain Markson knows that. "There's just the two ships here now, three-quarters crewed, and another five on the way. The rest were lost." Heavy losses indeed, but it was far from the entirety of the Mobrin fleet out there, so not as bad as it could be. "The ships that attacked us from Laniveer were all destroyed. But that was not the entire Laniveeran navy, sir. They've other ships. And thank you, your Highness, that is much appreciated."

Still watchful, keeping a quiet vigil from beyond that rocky outcropping, Nimue wraps her arms about herself and shivers a little in protest against the chill sea air. But she's listening intently to the words carried upon that same breeze, her expression unreadable beneath the silken strands of dark hair whipping across her features. Only a little longer passes before her handmaid ventures to step forward, rubbing briskly at the young lady's bare upper arms and murmuring in a hushed tone.
Whatever is uttered, the Forrester appears to, at last, agree to being guided from the harbour. The little party departs without fanfare, not wishing to cause any disturbance to those of grander stature down below. And no doubt Caedmon will be sought out in due course.

"On your word, Captain, All of the ships with you are welcome to dock here peacefully for all needed repairs, resupply, and care of the wounded," Caedmon announces. "We are not without resources. The Lord high admiral took his ship on an expedition to find the Laniveer ships, but I'm sure that he would welcome all of you who are ready to sail."

Venan moves slowly from his position on the rocks. His boots are a bit worse for the surf but the count of edibles captured and oddities collected has increased. He spares a few moments to observe the outcome of the hub-bub and settles down to drain his boots and ready his booty for the trip through town.

The guard having formed up the Count is still on the sides and when Caedmon speaks of his cousin he approaches. An abbreviated bow is given to the captain and he says, "Coun Aldren Haravean." The man is looked up and down for a moment before he asks, "Did you encounter the Lady Aoife and my cousin?" He doubts the man knows he has a high admiral but leaves that out for now as the voice has glossed over it.

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