Drop the AnchorStarted by Kemosiri Lucain at Apr 08, 2019 8:27 pm
Einmanudur 14, 76
As aggravating as Selverya randomly bugging him sometimes could be, mostly, this time, it was just concerning. For one thing, she'd asked for help. Even that little bit probably took a lot for her to ask for; Selverya was a very proud creature (too proud, if you asked him), and it really took a lot for her to admit she couldn't do something by herself. Sad as it was, he understood all the same. Now, however, he was wondering just how much she'd downplayed it when she'd mentioned it briefly during their letter exchanging. Kemosiri, of course, expecting she had downplayed it, had gotten quite a bit of vinegar, some willowbark, bunches of varying medicinal plants, paid a visit to the Silver Cauldron, even (they never did much care for doing business with pirates, but money was goddamn money), for varying tonics he thought may help. Either it would all be enough, or it wouldn't, and he supposed he wouldn't know until he got there.
Behind his ship, the Iron Bullet, were two other ships, the Red Dawn and the Ocean Queen. If they needed more backup than this, that could be arranged, but Kemosiri didn't see much use in bothering the rest of the scattered fleet when they may not need it. Smartly, though, the ships came from the eastern sea, not from the north, as that seemed more likely to side-step the Ebondrake threat. Kemosiri wasn't afraid of the Ebondrake, but they didn't need two fleets down, all the same. It was, after all, difficult to be backup for another fleet, when you were also in need of backup.
As they rounded the coast, there was audible murmuring across the ship. Several of the White Shadow's fleet had been sunk right there off the coast, a few gushing huge amounts of dark aura. Those would inevitably have to be dealt with, or they'd open a rift. Kemosiri frowned, leaning forward on the deck in thought. There were bits and pieces of broken ship scattered across the water, tangled in seaweed and damaged by corruption. Those would also have to be dealt with, or they'd have bigger problems than some broken ships. Under the water, as the sea floor drew closer, he could catch sight of other mangled ships.
"Someone get a group down there," he said. "We've got some cremations to do, and memorial services that need to be held."
"Yes, sir," one of the others answered. As far as Kemosiri could tell, the port here had been partially burned out. It'd have to be rebuilt.
No wonder Selverya had asked for help.
In the meantime, Kemosiri focused on helping the crew drop the anchors and stop the Iron Bullet. It was a heavy beast of a ship, after all, and there were dozens of anchors. It looked like the White Shadow itself had taken heavy damage in the conflict, as well; he should have brought wood, as it turned out, but he could send one of the other ships back out for more supplies, if need be. The Red Dawn and the Ocean Queen started dropping their anchors, too, and within maybe a few minutes, they'd all glided to a quiet stop just off-shore. Kemosiri hopped right off the deck, diving into the water and immediately rocketing onto shore, leaving a spray of water behind him.
The shouts of amused protest that followed were to be expected. The Iron Bullet started dropping boats to head out and retrieve whomever they could, and Kemosiri headed for the aura signature that felt like Selverya. It seemed this would be home, for a while.
[Just so everyone knows. I almost called him Surya in this post like 80,000 times.]
Mostly, she did fretting. There was a lot of fretting going on, and there was a lot to fret about, fortunately for her instinctive-fret-drive. (Was that fortunate? Maybe that wasn't so fortunate.) But, Kemosiri was coming with reinforcements (and willowbark, thank the gods she'd remembered to ask for it), Jharnan was appropriately occupied playing around someone else's ship, not hers, and the Ebondrake didn't seem to have noticed Katsuya was here. That was all very fortunate, because nobody needed the Ebondrake to figure out Katsuya was here, and maybe not Jharnan, either. Call her overprotective, but, Selverya would rather they were both very annoyed at her than dead. Or worse. There was worse. The Ebondrake knew worse.
In any case, none of that really mattered right this second. The Blackram Narrows port had been partially burned out, the rest of it mostly corrupted, and they were busy trying to purify it all. You couldn't just suck up all the dark aura, of course, you had to do something with it, or it'd just fester, and the more of it in a single location there was, the stronger it was. That made sense. The ilim mages typical for her fleet were very important for that, if only because they knew how to purify it, not just get it out of stuff. This was a lot of corruption, though, and she was considering asking Galace for backup. On the other hand, though, Galace wouldn't be terribly pleased about sending some of their magi this way, outside of Galace, and gods forbid southward, even if it was to help a guardian.
It was, of course, sitting on the roof of a building that Kemosiri found her, rocketing across the space between the building she sat on and the shore as he did. ... he did know most people didn't know how to do that with their aura, right? Whatever. Old were was old. As he got closer, she waited until he'd slowed down, and huffed. "Runnin' around here like that, you're liable to get accidentally shot." Okay, maybe it wouldn't be quite so accidental, but unsurprisingly, he was dark, he wore dark clothes, and everyone was half-expecting the Ebondrake to come back with reinforcements, so running around that fast really wouldn't be in his best interests.
"You got here a bit quicker than I was expecting," she said. "You brought willowbark, right?" Her head was still killin' from the corruption-overload. (And no, she hadn't stopped to make sure she didn't get infected with any but Katsu hadn't said anything, so apparently she didn't.)
Not that getting accidentally shot was the worst thing that could ever happen. Being realistic about it, Kemosiri had lived through way worse, plenty of times before now, so it wasn't the end of the world. This wreck, on the other hand, could very well be. At least, their world, which wasn't quite the same thing as the world in general, but was close enough for Kemosiri's purposes. As it was, he simply arched an eyebrow, after coming to a stop not far away, sauntering over to her with this look on his face that said he wasn't at all concerned about that.
"I did, yes," he answered. "You'll also be glad to know we came from the south anchor, not the northern, and managed to fly right under the Ebondrake's noses." He tilted his head, a bit, cracking his neck. "And I brought extra firepower. Just in case they decide to try a round two." Kemosiri was not opposed to throwing bombs at the Ebondrake, if they pushed him. Not that he thought they would (they'd, quite a while back, learned to be afraid of his fleet, at least as afraid as corrupted psychotic gits got), and frankly, it was for the best. He was hoping, as it were, that they saw his ships, and decided to stay away from the Narrows for now, but he had quite a bit of gunpowder and flaming insanity if they didn't.
"The willowbark's on the Bullet, though, you'll have to wait a minute or two. Or you can come say hi to the boys and get a cuppa while you fill me in on the current status of things." Said boys would probably be glad to see her in one piece, given all this mess. "I sent a few down to the ocean floor to try and clean up down there. Not sure how successful we'll be. You got a water sorcerer on-hand?" He was just wondering. That'd be rather convenient.
Well, that was a marked bonus, but for some reason, Selverya didn't imagine Kemosiri would've done something that immeasurably stupid. It wasn't like Selverya hadn't mentioned which group they'd run into, and Siri would've known where they'd come from. The Ebondrake only had holds in Galace; that was, after all, where most of the apparent corruption was (not all of it, mind, Selverya thought she could sense a lot of it southward, too). What was interesting to her was, despite there being the impression of corruption down south, she'd never seen any, and neither had anyone else.
So where was it?
That was probably for someone smarter than her to figure out.
Selverya shook her head, slightly, more in amusement than anything, and started toward the shore. "You can mostly see the status of things," she said. "Unfortunately, no water-sorcerers on-hand. Been making the best of what we've got, which isn't much. At least morale's not down on top of it all, but the fleet seems more annoyed than down. Some are just glad they didn't die, and I can't say I blame them." Given how many they'd lost, yes, it was something to be glad for, when you were still among the living. Mostly. Usually. Probably.
"We lost a lot of friends," Selverya went on, "but I think they're just more determined than ever to defeat the Ebondrake at their own game. The next time those mother fuckers come south, they may get quite the rude surprise." At the moment, though, her fleet was still licking their wounds and trying not to be too depressed. Everyone had lost someone they cared about, but the Blackram weren't ones to mope about it.
No, they got mad, eventually. The Ebondrake wouldn't know what hit'em. You know, maybe away from Katsuya, though, albeit Selverya wasn't so sure she could ever get him and Jharnan to go.