The Captain had given the Lady Celeste time to recuperate from her misadventure with Amber and the argument that followed, by allowing her to sleep as long as she needed. Now that he had set the course for the next adventure of the crew of the Lady Bass, it was ploughing through the waves at speed, with its sails billowing in full and the crew working hard to keep everything ship shape. Scrubbing the decks, working the ropes, ensuring that the sails were rigged properly, even a few lads had gone up the masts and were working on the larger sails, while the cabin boy had found himself a sanctuary in the crow’s nest.
Derek strutted along the top deck, wearing his usual pirating clobber, complete with hat, and stopped to take out his eye glass and survey the horizon for ships to plunder. On this day the seas were a bit choppy, so for those with a weak stomach, they might find the going a bit rough.
Down below, Celeste was having some terrible nightmares. Her screams were heard all the way up to the top deck, which not only frightened the sea gulls, but had the crew all stop and look at each other.
“Are all men accounted for?” The Captain asked of his first mate, wondering if one of his men had gone down to take liberties from Celeste. The first mate did a quick head count and shrugged. “All be up here bar the Cook, and he never is seen out of the galley, Cap’n.”
“Odd…then what the blazes is she screaming for?”
“Perhaps….you could go ask?”
“What am I…a butler? A lackey? Do I have to pull up me britches and race on after her everytime she opens her mouth?”
“No, Cap’n…but uhm, she is your guest. You know. *wiggles fingers*“Parlay?”
The Captain dragged his hand down his face, and stomped down to the lower decks, and rapped on her door.
“I say…everything alright in there?”
Course he didn’t want to barge in…She might be naked.
Celeste moved from about the cot and ran to the edge of the tub, although filled with grime and dirty salt water she pushed her hands into the water and splashed her face. The water dripped along her face and instantly cooled her off as she began to gather her thoughts of what had just happened. Rising from her kneeling position she brushed the water from her lips, eyes and chest; grabbed the blanket she’d kept on the cot and wrapped herself around image. Her eyes wandered over the morning sun as she looked out onto the sea. It was indeed a beautiful sight, although it wasn’t one of her particular favorites, it was magnificent in its own way.
Her prior scream was sure to reach the Captain, be he at his desk or up top on deck. She’d known it would reach him, he’d be annoyed; if but slightly. And of course he’d come check on her. None of these she’d expected to happen from her scream. At least not to the point of annoying him and forcing him to come check on her. Celeste felt helpless. Much like a child, grounded to stay indoors. Her golden brown hues gazed out into the ocean blue as she wrapped her arms around her, to stay warm, to think straight. Anything to keep herself from having to relive the nightmare she’d just had.
Lost in thought she found herself becoming accustomed to the sea as the waves brushed along each other and the side of the ship. Then, a knocking; no, a rapping at her door was heard.
It was the Captain. But of course, who else could it have be? she thought to herself.
“I say…everything alright in there?” Derek had asked. Celeste blinked and turned her head a good 50 degrees to the right, looking over her shoulder as she spoke softly to the somewhat concerned Captain.
”Yes…” She responded while just now noticing the tears streaming down her face. ”Come in…” She spoke again, not caring to wipe her face then.
The Captain nodded and entered through the Cabin. His gaze kept towards the floor in case she’d played a trick on him and ‘wanted’ him to catch her in the act of changing, or worse; her being naked. But to his surprise and shock, she wasn’t. At least not at this moment, for when he looked up, all he could see was a sight of beauty and wonder. Why he began to feel this way, he’d not known. But he proceeded through the room and moved towards her, careful to keep a small distance between then so as to not trigger anything that’d frighten, or upset her.
I heard a scream, and well… to be frank, It startled my men, and they insisted I check on you. In the moment as his words left his lips he found out, he’d told a half lie to himself. He fancied her, and by looking at her in her distressed state he wondered how he’d let himself get so close to her… to anyone.
”I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten anyone aboard. I gather I’m supposed to keep quiet, and stay silent; correct?” She sighed then as the tears silently flowed down her face. Her hand coming to brush a falling one that’d moved over her lip. ” But if you must know… it was just a nightmare.” She moved from looking out at sea, and then eyed him down. In the light of the morning sun, Derek was truly a sight to behold. His dashing smile made her skin tingle, his tossy hair made her heart warm, and his sudden concern not only shocked her but made her feel somewhat safer around him. He was, the epitome of an angel.
And just like that, to put a damper on things and make the mood more awkward than it was… she spoke one final time as she gazed into his dreamy eyes.
”My parents…” She felt her bottom lip quiver with fear as she gulped and continued to speak, the tear falling down her eye, over her cheek and towards her lips.“They died at sea…”
The Captain had been privy to many a tale, of how ships would set sail only never to return. It was one of the great risks that one undertakes when sailing out into the deep blue, and no matter how well prepared, or how strong a ship’s might; it can succumb to the sea, for its power is far greater than that of the wind alone. As a Pirate, one learns never to take the sea for granted, as many a fishing village does. It’s where the spoils and fortunes are won and lost, from a freak wave, to the swirling whirlpools that suck a ship to the very bottom. Giant squids, whales, and of course more fishy tales like Mermaids are common in folk lore, written and spoken about since the days when man first discovered how to sail.
The Captain sat upon one of the trunks, and watched the fair Celeste as she explained that her nightmare was the result of flashbacks. Her parents…died at sea. The Captain reached up and took off his hat, and placed it upon his chest, to show that his prayers were with the poor departed souls.
“And yet you cannot let go of your dreams and move on. The sea took your loved ones, and you have yet to come to terms with this.” The Captain said simply, before placing the hat back on his head with a light tug.
“Miss…death is part of life. It’s the next big adventure. I’d like to think that if you can remember your parents in the happier times, it makes the dark past fade into insignificance.”
He rose to standing, and then approached the girl, but instead of looking at her, he stared out the window.
“Your parents died together? If so, then that is how I want to go. With my lady love at my side, to travel with me to the other side….and be together for eternity.” Even though he had just lost his own parents, he still had a romantic notion of what relationships and death meant. He turned his head, staring down at the girl.
“My advice. When you are better rested, go to the top deck, right at the moment that the sun is about to slip from the horizon. At that precise moment, take off the necklace you wear, and throw it into the sea. My bet, that the spirits of your loved ones, shall receive this token…an offering, and help them move on, thus freeing you from your nightmares.”
The Captain had sat down upon one of the trunks in the room and watched her as she explained of her nightmare. The flashback of how her parents had died at sea. Her eyes wandered over him, trying to look for an expression of sorts and before long he reached up, removed his hat and placed it to his chest. A pirate thing, she presumed. He must have been showing that he cared for her enough to let his prayers be with her parent’s departed souls.
And as she watched on, his lips moved on their own accordance to his actions and the situation at hand.“And yet you cannot let go of your dreams and move on. The sea took your loved ones, and you have yet to come to terms with this.” The Captain had spoken simply before then moving to put his hat against his head as it was before.
She moved about the small cabin and tried to speak, but before doing so he continued to speak on.
“Miss…death is part of life. It’s the next big adventure. I’d like to think that if you can remember your parents in the happier times, it makes the dark past fade into insignificance.” Celeste pondered this over before then turning to look out the window, avoiding his gaze in total for not wanting to admit that truth; the one he’d spoken of. She feared if she had she’d just end up spilling a waterfall of tears before him once more. And she needn’t do that in front of the Captain; she’d already caused him enough stress as it was. For she, being the young woman she was; was a handful.
By this time the Captain rose to his full height, standing and then moving towards her. She needn’t look at him to know this, for she heard his footsteps draw near. And before he inched before her he turned his head to look out the window as she’d been doing before he entered.
“Your parents died together? Celeste gave a slight nod.
If so, then that is how I want to go. With my lady love at my side, to travel with me to the other side….and be together for eternity.” Her body stood still just then, no breaths taken, just a gaze. Her eyes to his, never wavering as she thought about what he’d said just then. And then everything resumed as it was. Her own lips quivering and then moving, parting ways and allowing air to pass as she then spoke to him; finally.
”Out of curiosity… what makes you want to—“ She stopped herself before continuing and then brushed the thought aside.
Derek turned his head to look at her and as a parting praise he spoke a final time.
“My advice. When you are better rested, go to the top deck, right at the moment that the sun is about to slip from the horizon. At that precise moment, take off the necklace you wear, and throw it into the sea. My bet, that the spirits of your loved ones, shall receive this token…an offering, and help them move on, thus freeing you from your nightmares.” His words, made sense, but were confusing to her all at once. A lot to take in from everything that’d happened. But she smiled to him and then moved her hand from about her arm to place on his shoulder if he’d let it. If so she’d brush his arm slightly and then ease him out of the cabin with her own final words.
”I will heed your advice, and think it over as I sleep once more… Honestly; thank you, I know I’ve caused you quite some stress and I need not cause you anymore, so please. . . just go. I know the sight of me must be a disgrace to everyone on your ship. It’s bad enough you’ve kept me aboard this long…” She sighed and took a deep breath before moving to the small cot, and laying down once more, her eyes finally trying to catch a night’s rest, one which she was sure she deserved and hope she’d get; this time around.
~Earlier on the hillside of the Pyre~
Nanny had had just about enough of the carry on between the Angel of Justice and the Knight, who seemed more intent on banging chests than actually doing good. They were so preoccupied with their fight, that they didn’t notice Nanny start to back away slowly, before finally turning, and making her way into the wood. She left behind the dead horse and the now empty cart of rotten food, and knew her passage to Haven should only now be a few short miles by foot. With the vial of Orion safely worn around her neck, and tucked within her bosom, she pulled back up the tattered hood, and followed the winding paths, that would lead her to Haven.
Haven Castle – The Throne room
In the Throne room of the Haven Castle, Clarice was still trying to come to terms with the enormity of her situation. A child Queen. Who would ever have thought such a thing? Derek was the true heir, or at least that is what Clarice believed. She knew how hard it had been for her father, for he was serious for many years, right up till his death trying to save her Mother; Metia.
Sighing, she plonked down on the floor and rested her chin on her upturned fists.
“I don’t think I am going to like being Queen.” Clarice said with a pout. Queens were grown ups, and Clarice didn’t want to grow up just yet. Rashna could see that the little one was not ready for the responsibilities, but she made it her duty to help the child cope with the changes. She crouched down on the floor beside her, and placed a slender finger under the girl’s chin.
“You know, Queens do fun things too.”
“Well….they go to grand parties, and….dress up.” Rashna came up with that one out of the air, thinking that Clarice did love dress up time when she was kept at the safe haven.
“Can I take my turtle to the parties?” Clarice inquired, now starting to brighten up at the prospect of wearing pretty dresses and masks. The young Queen glanced up at Ira, who was smiling down at the child. She reminded him so much of Henry when he was young. Only, his brother lost his turtle in a stream when he let it go for a swim.
“But of course, your Majesty.” Ira said, now feeling more confident about Clarice’s reign over the Vaas lands. Clarice jumped up from where she sat and then pulled out her turtle from her pocket.
“You hear that, Tog. We can go to parties.”
Outside the gates of Haven Castle.
Very few people take notice of a peddler woman, or one that looked to be dressed in rags. In fact the thought that she might have leprosy, had guards and commoners alike giving Nanny a wide birth. Not to mention, she had driven that cart of rotten food all the way from the Brax lands, so it was safe to say she smelt worse than the back end of a donkey.
Passing through the gates, Nanny felt her heart swell, as she saw the grand castle of Angels. Her journey was almost complete, and the vial within her bosom actually vibrated and glowed fiercely. She was finally bringing it home. Passing by rows of guards and traders as she went through the town square, the chatter of those that went about their lives, spoke of a child Queen. In fact, news of the rise of Princess Clarice of Casterly to that of Queen had caused quite a stir. Many had expected Prince Derek to return, but alas, it seemed he would rather have his adventures, than serve his people.
Nanny actually clapped her hands with excitement. A child ruler, one that had not been tainted by the horrors of war and death, like that of her parents. Now more than ever, Nanny wanted to return the vial to its rightful owner. She hurried along the cobble stoned streets, till reaching the gates of the palace. Here, she knocked on the outpost door, and a guard came out, looking at the old woman oddly.
“What you want old Woman?”
From within her tattered cloak, she removed a piece of paper, that had the royal seal of Casterly.
“I come from afar, to return to Ira Casterly, the last writings of the King, Henry of Casterly.”
The Guard looked stunned, as he saw the royal seal, and knew that it could not have been fabricated. The document had blood on it, as though taken from his body, which it had been. He opened the gate, and then escorted Nanny towards the throne room.
The Throne room
As Rashna and Ira spoke with Clarice about her turtle, and what wonderful parties they would attend, there was a light breeze picked up from the balcony, which then became a blazing blue light. Down fluttered a messenger, who was little more like a fairy than a fae. She was wearing a powder blue dress, and the bluest of blue eyes. She bowed and scraped, and then with a tinkling voice, she chimed.
“Greetings, salutations, Hello and hello. I am Pya, the messenger of the Queen Arianna of Laegess. I come with an invitation to the Monarch of the Angels. We are having a ball tonight, to celebrate the return of the future King, Prince Sirus of Laegess, and word has it that he is to be wed, to Tempest of Brax.” She stood there beaming, as she handed over the scroll invitation to Clarice, and then fluttered out the window, only to vanish in thin air.
Clarice became excited. A ball. An invitation. A PARTY!
“Can we go….please?”
Ira and Rashna stared at one another. Tempest was the grand daughter of Henry and Metia, as well as the King of Brax. How was it she was to be married to a Fae Prince? This was all very strange, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. There was a knock at the throne room door, and the guard escorted in Nanny, who looked about in awe at the gleaming white and gold room.
“M’lord, this lady said she has some document from the King Henry, asked to see you.”
Ira creased his brow, and crossed the floor, before Nanny bowed politely, and spotted the child Queen Clarice, who looked so much like Tempest at her age. Ira held his hand out for the document, and Nanny graciously handed it over.
“Tis not just the will and last words of the King…but there is something else. Taken from the hands of the Queen, who never used it.” She then extracted the vial of Orion from her bosom. It glowed fiercely and this was when she handed it to the child. “This was once in your hands, I believe that you were told, it could save a life, or take it. But it can do something even more powerful. Child, you will know when to use it. It will sing to you, and you shall see them once more.”
Clarice took the vial, remembering it from the day her mother was taken. She didn’t understand then, why the Brax hated her family so, but she knew Tempest loved them, and with the news of her wedding to the Prince of Fae, the child knew she had to go.
“Uncle, Aunt, may we take this lady with us to the Ball of the Laegess?’
Rashna and Ira thought for a moment, as Nanny looked confused. “Ball of Laegess? They are fae.”
“Yes.” Rashna said. “Tempest Brax is to marry their soon to be King.”
The nanny just stood there, then clutched her hand up to her heart.
“TEMPEST!” she cried, and then fainted onto the floor. Ira rushed to her side, and helped prop her up. The old Nanny was in shock. For all the time she searched, for the child of light and dark, that could bring peace to the realms, she was in the last place that Nanny ever thought to look. Her eyelids fluttered, and she stared up at Ira. “I was her Nanny, and I brought home the bodies of the King and Queen to the pyre, before coming here all the way from Brax. Please…please let me come to the ball. My one and only wish, is to see the child be happy.”
The decision was then made. The four would go to the Ball to represent Casterly and the Angels. What would Tempest say, to this most unusual family reunion?
(Thread change – Wintervine)
Estelle stopped dead in tracks, listening to Calypso’s words of confusion and apologies. She could not believe the girl simply couldn’t see the Knight for what he was. Spinning on her heel, she closed the gap between them and stood with her hands on hips. Pursing her lips as she fought with what to say without sounding rude, she had to inwardly count to ten, before letting rip.
”From the very moment he saw you, the man has gone out of his way….for you. From getting you out of that stinking gaol, to paying your way and buying you so that the guards would not take you back. I have never known any man to pay a fortune for a woman’s freedom before in my entire life. I think…NO, I know you owe him, but that rejection? Really? I would die if he even gave me any sort of look that he gives you.”
Ah, so Estelle had fancied the Knight from afar also. This was turning into a real triangle. Huffing loudly, Estelle then heard the cries of her patients, and she knew she had to go back to work. Using her index finger, she prodded Calypo’s chest.
”Do me…a huge favour. Sort yourself out. I don’t need idle hands when working on the sick. I want a level headed woman. Either you can help me with the sick, or you would rather go back to the Mountains…at this stage, I don’t care.”
Flipping her hair back, she went back on towards the med tent, while Sir Reginald watched on, fascinated.
The Ranger’s eyes widened and she took a step back, shocked by Estelle’s reaction and, in all honesty, in fear of the angel. She’d made a mess of things even more so than she thought. She nodded with a furrowed brow and nodded, acquiescing to Estelle’s order – or, rather, fulfilling her request for a favor. She backed away slightly, looking to the ground. Suddenly her jaw set in anger and she dropped the bag. She knew it would not break the mirror, and she honestly didn’t care. One day. She’d not been back one day, and already she’d lost every friendship she’d built here, to one thing or another. It was all her. Her fault, her doing. She spoke in Elvish, unaware of Sir Reginald’s presence, thinking switching to the ancient tongue would prevent any passerby from truly hearing her. “Worthless is he that turns away when the road darkness. You wretched woman, you are naught but trouble! A fool in your soul, and a demon in your heart! You’ve brought nothing but hurt upon this land and yet you linger for nothing but undeserved attention and now unwanted friendship. You truly are dirt beneath their feet. Damned from the beginning, and now to see you deserve it.” She breathed a heavy sigh, then didn’t breathe for a moment or two. If one looked on, they might have thought she would drop where she stood. She was frozen for what seemed like eternity, her eyes closed and fists clenched. Then she breathed again, shaky and just as heavy as the first. She carefully reached down and lifted the bag with ease. She might as well do something useful. Winona’s last request rang in her mind, but it was dull, overshadowed by the drums beating in her ears as her thoughts swirled around Sir Wayne. “Where do I put this damned thing?” She hadn’t meant to speak aloud, but it helped her thoughts retrace themselves to the task at hand.
The skies lit with many colors, ranging from violet, blue and green before then scattering into larger masses of orange and red. The sky had never looked so beautiful than it did this morning, this sunrise; this day. Davina’s eyes glowed with a luminescent white that matched the dim over-glow of the sun as it slowly began to brighten over the horizon. And then an exhale escaped her. She’d sulked too long before finally catching sight of her niece and then losing her again. “I have to find her today, if not today then by the morrow. There is so much she doesn’t know.” She’d said while moving herself from her bed chambers to the shower.
Thirty minutes later and she was done, by far the quickest shower she’d ever taken. Her hair dried and by the time she was down the stairs the breakfast had already been prepared by her best friend, Angelique.
“How long are you going to worry about her Davina?” Angelique had spoken out from the kitchen. Davina veered through the open hall and moved into the kitchen hurriedly and motioned for her plate while speaking. “As long as it takes, she is the only living blood I have left, everyone else is dead. I’ve got to keep an eye on her.” Angelique handed the plate to her and watched as Davina moved with precision to cut the pancakes, pour the syrup, add the butter and dip her pieces of bacon into the syrup; before then moving her fork about her plate and stabbing the pieces, then inserting them into her mouth.
“Davina, please. She is old enough to handle herself, and it’s been years since she left…She’s probably found herself some nice handsome young—“ Davina turned to stare directly into her best friends eyes and pointed the fork in her direction. “If you dare say Pirate, I’ll send you out, with your things without a seconds glance.” Angelique scoffed and moved from her place to clean up.
“Man…” She finally finished. Davina found herself at ease for a moment and pushed her plate towards the direction of the kitchen, her telekinises moving it towards the sink, then dropping it in Angelique’s hands. “I’m trying the Inn, once more.”
A swift movement and she was out of the kitchen and into the living room, standing face to face with the mirror and looking at her reflection, hair comb in hand.
Davina had moved along the streets of the Vaas Lands, turning through alleyways and dead ends before finally finding her way back to the lovely and ‘quaint’ Inn everyone loved and called… The Donkey’s Dick.
“By heaven, she better be here.” With a silent exhale she swore and leaned forward with her hands pressed firmly against the door, before pushing her way inside; knowing far well how the men and women in the Inn acted.
The voyage thus far had been fairly smooth sailing, with the exception of course of the damsel known as Celeste who was suffering from her child hood nightmares. The course plotted by the Captain had included a stop over on a remote island, which had been rumored to be inhabited by a native tribe that welcomed Pirate folk. Whether this was true or not, Captain Derek was always good for an adventure. Not only that, their fresh water supplies were dwindling, along with fresh foods. Within a few days, the island was sighted, and the ship made its way for the bay, where it was a good place to anchor the ship just shy of the reef.
There was much fevered activity on the main deck, as the crew to go to the island was being picked, while the rest would remain on board, till time for a swap or a hasty retreat if the natives became hostile. The first mate approached the Captain, who was staring at the island through his eyeglass.
“Captain…are you going to give that lady a walk on the beach?” He asked, curious to know if he would dare take the woman to shore. “Depends, Smith. She might not be up for a bit of a trek. She’s not exactly dressed for it.” The Captain said, lowering his eyeglass. He thought for a moment, then shrugged.
“Can’t hurt seeing is she wants off the ship.” The Captain decided, before handing his eyeglass to the first mate, and making his way down to her cabin. Strolling along the corridor, he had to wonder if she was still asleep.
The Captain came to her door, and knocked three times.
“Miss….we have reached an island paradise. Care to come join some of the crew?”