Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Always Return

  1. #1
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,649, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,351
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,351

    AP
    112
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile

    Always Return



    I am the ocean, I am the sea
    Wherever you may flow
    Always return to me
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  2. #2
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,649, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,351
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,351

    AP
    112
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    Water always returned to the sea. In rain, in sleet, in rivers and streams it flowed. Through impenetrable bedrock and packed earth it bored, patient as time almighty. Past boulders and forests and cities it burbled. Always maintaining one mistress in mind… the great salt ocean that cradled each drop sweetly, before allowing it to ascend the heavens in purifying evaporation.

    At times, I felt as insignificant as a single raindrop. Despite the confident gleam in my eyes, despite the steely muscles in my body, despite the godlike powers that waited on my whims… I could be a lonely bead of moisture on the canvas of a sweat-tent in Fallien. I could be a minute mouthful drunk by a Dur’Taigen from a river in the Red Forest of Raiaera. I could be a molecule on the bottom of the ocean, kept from ascension by the pressing weight of water above. She made me more… the immortal and indomitable she, the lady of the sea… my goddess, Am’aleh.

    The last words she’d spoken haunted my memory as I lay in bed next to McKinley Parish. My mortal lover slept soundly, her auburn hair in disarray around a beautiful cream-colored face. Her innocence attracted me, her need of a strong man stayed me at her side. Her hunger for me electrified each pore of my skin, and her trust and devotion made me proud. Even so, she could not claim my whole heart… a part of me forever belonged to my goddess.

    Always return to me… Am’aleh’s voice, as soothing as drizzle in the treetops, echoed in my mind. Weeks had passed since last I felt her endless embrace. In that time my connection to the Eternal Tap dwindled, and my affinity for water and ice magic failed. I felt like a kinked hose. Power flowed into me with each breath, and lingered, finding no release.

    Sitting up slowly, I kissed McKinley on her forehead. The young woman’s lips parted slightly, and then she rolled over, still deeply asleep. I slid out of bed and padded silently across the room, naked and comfortable in my lover’s cottage. I drew on a pair of black sifan pants and a matching shirt, fastening the buttons with fingers that moved faster than eyes could follow. I stepped into my black metal boots… the Breaker Boots, given my namesake by the alchemist who created them. They whispered over the wooden floors as I approached the back door. McKinley’s dire wolf always slept by the front.

    The breeze plucked at my clothing and ruffled my short brown hair as I closed the door. Stars stared down from the sky in imitation of the moon’s silver light, a thousand fractured fragments from a thousand ethereal mirrors. I rubbed a callused hand through the stubble on my chin and over the Y-shaped scars on my cheeks. I could smell the ocean on the wind through the forest's earthy aromas. The scent of salt called to me like a lover’s curled finger.

    I walked through the meadow surrounding Kinley’s cottage, haste urging each step to carry me faster and further. I broke into a run as I reached the woodland path, loam crunching beneath the Breaker Boots, leaves and motes of dust swirling in my slipstream. I raced through Concordia like lightning lancing through the night sky, grounding with every step. Soon I could hear the crash and roar of the ocean… never silent, never restful, always waiting.

    Always return to me… Am’aleh’s words filled my mind, forming a desire as singular as any addict’s cravings. I kicked my boots off on the beach and dove into the surf, tasting my lady’s salty sweetness in my nose and mouth. Her arms surrounded me, her touch a gentle but steadying caress. Her love lifted me, buoying both body and spirit, until I surfaced some hundred yards offshore. The waves and currents had a soft feminine voice that spoke for my ears alone.

    You stayed away longer than expected.
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  3. #3
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,649, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,351
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,351

    AP
    112
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    Bliss entered my body through the crown of my skull and the base of my loins. Pure pleasure overwhelmed me as I lay back in the buoyant sea. Power flooded into me, my connection with the Tap repaired. I raised my hands and expelled a torrent of molten ice. It rose around me deliberately, forming into a small house, or maybe a boat; a floating fishing hut with a hole carved in the bottom. The sea buoyed me upward and I rolled onto the floor of the icecraft dwelling, examining my own handiwork. The floor stretched perhaps four yards by four, the hole occupying half of the space. The walls rose in intricate blue layers, the ceiling curving toward a single spire. I fashioned myself a simple chair of ice and sat comfortably.

    Am’aleh rose in my wake, a whorl of liquid ice and solid water, a reverse cascade of brilliant colors. She took on the shape of a woman, her skin soft shades of blue, her hair so light it shone almost silver, her face masklike perfection. Her mane floated in a breeze that was not there, and she sat in a crystalline throne as it took shape beneath her.

    Her radiance demanded no groveling… just a worship of a different kind. The hole in the floor between us closed and we stood, meeting in the middle of the floating hut.

    “Is this the castle you offer your goddess?” Her voice, like water whispering around the docks at dawn, echoed in my ears.

    “Why would you sap my powers?” I demanded.

    “I did no such thing,” came the flowing reply.

    “Then why did I lose my ability to manipulate water? Why did my connection with the Tap turn from a torrid flood to a stymied trickle?”

    “Perhaps this limitation has always been in place,” the words danced past her azure lips, “you never used to leave me alone for so long.”

    I frowned, the Y-shaped scars on my cheeks wrinkling. She was right. Before I met McKinley, I had never gone a week without swimming in the ocean. Certainly not since Am’aleh first gave me her blessings. The ritual had felt natural and healthy… I had no idea it might be necessary.

    “When will I have a chance at true power of my own?” I asked, “when will my magic stop being borrowed from your grace?”

    “When will the sea stop lapping at the shore? You already wield a great many powers of your own. Combined with the magic I lend you, you approach godhood. What more could you ask for?”

    “I will always want more. Until I stand on even footing with the Thaynes, I remain ravenous.”

    “Then feast,” she said, wrapping arms of still water around me, “and drink.” She tilted her effervescent face upward and leaned in. Her liquid lips kissed mine until I lost all track of time and space. She lifted away doubt and worry like burdens from my shoulders. I could be the breath of vapor ascending the heavens. I could be the typhoon that sweeps the lands clean for new growth to flourish. I could be the mighty waterfall, with my own pool of fish swimming far below.

    My clothing dissolved beneath her will and we made love on the icy floor, a goddess and a demigod locked in liquid embrace. We rose like the tide and fell like rain, joining like the currents and bursting like geysers. It lasted for days and weeks, or perhaps it lasted for minutes, or seconds. It mattered little. For a time we existed as one great being of pure passion and power.
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  4. #4
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,649, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,351
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,351

    AP
    112
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    It ended, and we lay together like youngsters following their first time, entwined on the icy floor. My breath misted in the chill air. Am’aleh had no need to breathe, but she exhaled all the same, giving life to my cloud of steam. It swirled into the shape of a ship with ghostly sails, carving an eldritch wake through the air above us.

    “I am glad you returned to me this night. There is a task I would set before you.” She spoke as a cloud meanders through the sky, slow and delicate yet insistent.

    “I am yours to command.” Waning waves of bliss still washed through my body.

    “A group of treasure hunters discovered an ancient artifact in the catacombs of Scara Brae. It is on a ship bound for Gisela. I would have you intercept this ship, and steal the artifact.”

    “What manner of artifact attracts the attention of the great Am’aleh?”

    The goddess hesitated, and then floated up in a halo of sparkling steam and sat in her intricate throne. I stood, finding myself suddenly clothed again, and sat in my simple chair facing her.

    “It is a relic as old as time itself. A collar and manacles, called the Thaynebinder.”

    Thaynebinder. That lone word hung in the air like an unholy curse. I did not need to ask after the abilities of such an artifact.

    “If this relic falls into the wrong hands on Corone, it could be devastating… for me, or for one of my brethren. It is too powerful an item to tarry in the hands of mortals. You must steal the Thaynebinder, and cast it into the sea.”

    “What is the name of the ship that bears this precious cargo?”

    “The Deadman’s Trove.”

    I drew a sharp breath. I had bought passage on the Trove in the past. The pirate ship kept finding ways into my life. The corsairs who crewed her boasted of their discretion, and their determination to finish every job they received. Whoever hired them to transport the relic had chosen wisely. Doubtlessly they would deliver the artifact on time… unless someone stopped them at sea.

    “Your whim commands me. I will do as you have asked, on one condition. When the Thaynebinder sleeps on the bottom of the ocean, we will speak of the ways in which one rises to godliness.”

    “We will speak of it.” Her form of still water shifted with the slightest nod. “Go now… I will send a friendly current to carry you on your way.”

    Her body bubbled and boiled and then burst into a thousand tiny droplets. The floating fortress of ice vanished along with it, and I dropped into the ocean with barely a splash. The current clutched me, sending me out to sea. I swam with it, kicking powerfully and pulling stroke after stroke toward my unseen destination.
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  5. #5
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,649, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,351
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,351

    AP
    112
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    Questions chased each other around my mind as I swam, answerless and always asking. Why did Am’aleh not summon a great swell to swallow the ship? If she feared the Thaynebinder so, why not destroy it herself, or sequester it to the deepest reaches of her domain? Why wait on my assistance? The questions flickered back and forth, sharpening one another until their points stabbed my mind. I stopped swimming and tread water as, by the grace of the moon’s silver light, the Deadman’s Trove hove into sight.

    The ship’s sails bloomed pregnantly with the breeze, propelling her swiftly through the waves. A mid-sized vessel, the corvette had two decks and housed perhaps threescore buccaneers. Her gun ports blinked in the shifting shadows, menacing twelve-pounders lurking within. A lazy lookout hung over the forward bulwark, half asleep despite the spray that spattered his face at odd intervals.

    I breathed deeply and dove beneath the surface, swimming under the ship’s keel with my eyes wide open. The salt water stung, but still I could see the long rudder reaching down like a carved tail. I expelled the air from my lungs and sank. As it passed above I twisted around and clamped both hands and both feet onto the long, flat piece of wood. I scaled the rudder like a four-legged spider, using ferocious strength and speed to combat the slipperiness.

    Moonshadow cloaked great swathes of the ship, for her sails stood at an angle that blocked the silver light. The moon always summoned thoughts of Suravani. I met the Fallieni goddess on a trip to the desert nation, and forged an alliance between her and Am’aleh. Combining their powers should have propelled me to their level, but deities they remained, and a demigod I.

    My feet whispered over the rail and I landed lightly behind some barrels, blending with the shadows. I crept on hands and bare feet, dripping as I progressed along the deck. Most of the pirates slept below, swaying in sailcloth hammocks. A skeleton crew remained awake, but I evaded their tired eyes with ease. I moved past the corsair minding the wheel, sneaked around the lookout on the quarterdeck, and padded up behind the swashbuckler guarding the forward cabin; the captain’s cabin.

    The crewman wore a long silken bandana in his hair. I pulled it down around his neck and cinched it tight, strangling his cries before they escaped his mouth. I held the choke until he fell deeply unconscious, and then hid his limp body quietly in the cabin’s shadow. No need to kill a member of a crew I might hire again in the future.

    The door to the captain’s cabin had a dull brass knob. I twisted it slowly, and then shouldered my way through with enough force to shatter any lock. The door flew open easily. The pirate captain looked up from the book he’d been reading by lantern light.

    “Well if it ain’t Joshua Cronen. I thought yeh might stop by, matey.”
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  6. #6
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,649, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,351
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,351

    AP
    112
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    “You expected me?” The same thing happened all across Fallien. “How?”

    “Well,” the pirate replied, marking his page and putting down the book, “I knows enough to put flint with steel and make fire, matey. Yore the only one I evarr hear talkin’ about Am’aleh. ‘Cept o’ course some of those crazies we see hangin’ ‘round the docks. Not to toddle on… where was I? Right… Am’aleh…”

    The freebooter leaned back in his chair and opened a desk drawer, pulling out a halfway full bottle of dark, smelly rum. He tugged the cork out with his teeth and spat it beside him, and then took a long pull of the strong liquor.

    “Sorry matey, had a tickle in me throat. So, when the bloke who hired us to transport this lot said Am’aleh the Patron of the Sea guided him to find these treasures, first face that comes to mind is yore's. ‘Course, they wouldn’t tell me ‘oo we’re deliverin’ the cargo to. I figured since it ‘ad to do with this sea goddess, yeh’d be on the other end. But it’s always like yeh to make a dramatic entrance, matey. I’m just glad yeh ain’t blowin’ holes in me boat this time!”

    “That was different,” I reminded him, “you stole my boots.”

    “An’ I’m sorry for that matey,” he said, holding up a placating hand, “rum?” He took another swig.

    I shook my head. “Am’aleh helped them find the… these treasures?”

    The pirate chuckled knowingly. “It’s okay matey, yeh can say it. Thaynebinder. I did me research.” He gestured at the old leather bound volume on his desk. “Twasn’t too difficult t’figure out, Breaker. The Thaynebinder is the only thing of value amongst these bloody so-called treasures.”

    I looked around the cramped cabin. A bed stood bolted against the back wall, a locked trunk tied in place at its foot. “Do you have it here?” I asked, eyeing the trunk.

    “Aye, matey. ‘Course I do. That’s the ‘ole value of the shipment! An’ I’m gettin’ paid five gold barrrs for this transit. Thick ones.”

    “I’m going to need the Thaynebinder.”

    “Y’can’t have it, matey.”

    “May I see it, then?”

    The pirate pretended to consider the request, squinting and blowing air through pursed lips.

    “Come on, Marigold. You know you want to show off the new toy.”

    “Don’t. Bloody. Callmethat.” The freebooter sputtered angrily.

    “Why not? It’s the name you chose.”

    “Aye, I chose it fer’ me mates to use. Not the likes of yeh, Cronen.”

    “If we’re not friends, why call me matey?”

    “Because, matey-- I mean, dravehead-- ‘tis ‘ow I talk. Now, d’yeh want t’see the relic or not?”

    Hiding a smile, I raised both palms and gestured for him to proceed. The swashbuckler stood and took two steps across the length of the cabin, producing a shiny steel key from an inner pocket of his tattered jacket. He unlocked the chest and, with a semblance of ceremony, lifted out the Thaynebinder.

    Between his scarred hands the pirate clutched a thick black collar, forged of overlapping metal scales, not unlike plate armor but smoother and better connected. Two short chains dangled from the collar, with wrist manacles hanging at their ends. A third chain connected the manacles. It was all forged from the same indestructible dark metal; adamantine.

    “Pretty, ain’t it?” Marigold said, giving the artifact a shake so the chains rattled, “Wanna’ see if it works?” He stroked the sides of the scaly hoop and the collar snapped open, as did both manacles. “‘Tis rather wondrous,” the pirate said in an awed voice, “all controlled by telepathy. Come on matey, give it a go.”

    “I don’t think…” I trailed off. How else could I be certain the Thaynebinder worked? What other means did I have of determining whether this was a true mission, or just another of Am’aleh’s tests? “Go ahead.” I said, holding out my hands.

    The freebooter fastened the manacles to my wrists and then closed the collar around my neck with a decisive click.
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  7. #7
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,649, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,351
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,351

    AP
    112
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    The adamantine shackles grew heavy as my strength waned. My connection to the Eternal Tap severed and my senses dulled. I collapsed to one knee, suddenly dizzy from the long swim I endured earlier.

    “Remove it,” I gasped.

    The freebooter chuckled. “Works then, don’t it? But wait matey, there’s more…” the pirate pulled a leather parcel from his trunk and unwrapped it carefully. An adamantine bracer glistened darkly in the lantern light. “Whoever wears this gains the powers of whoever wears that… let’s just see if it works as well…”

    I rose to my feet and lashed out a leg, despite the weight on my neck and wrists, despite the fatigue dug deep in my bones. I snap-kicked the armband out of his grasp and then spun and side-kicked the swashbuckler in the sternum. Even the Thaynebinder could not sap my great skill, and the blow bashed the buccaneer backwards. He tripped over his trunk and fell awkwardly inside of it, giving a yowl of pain.

    “Owwwch! Knew I shouldn’t ‘ave left me dagger collection loose in there. ‘Elp me mateys, ‘tis the Breaker! Raise the alarm!”

    The door featured a simple bar-lock, but it burst open before I could seal the wooden portal. A crewman stormed in waving a caplock pistol, followed closely by another who drew his sword, the sound of steel on scabbard ominous in the cramped quarters.

    I ducked and drove forward and reached with both manacled hands, swirling them about the pistol and disarming the first pirate with a flick of the joining chain. I stuffed my shoulder in his stomach and bulled him back into the corsair with the smallsword. He turned the deadly point away for fear of killing his crewmate, caught suddenly on his heels. The pair of them stumbled out of the cabin and I slammed the door and barred it shut.

    Marigold rose from the chest as I turned. He clutched a dagger and ruefully rubbed his stomach where I’d kicked him. “Try that again, matey,” he eyed the adamantine armlet on the floor between us, “I dare yeh.”

    Crewmen pounded on the door, threatening to break it down. I obliged the pirate captain. My right leg snapped out in perfect imitation of the first time, kicking the dagger from his grasp. I pivoted and delivered the same sidekick. He adjusted, shifting his torso so he took the blow on his hip. He staggered and grunted, but kept his feet.

    We circled slightly in the close confines, and then as the desk blocked his path the corsair dove for the bracer. I met him with a solid knee to the jaw that sat him back down in the corner of the room, his eyes lolling. I picked up the armband and pressed its edge into Marigold’s throat.

    “Release me,” I commanded, my muscles screaming from exertion, “or your end has come.”

    The pirate captain’s cheeks became blue, and he slapped at my wrists and then went for my eyes in desperation. I headbutted his hands away and increased the pressure on his windpipe.

    “Oookay matey,” the corsair croaked, “was only ‘avin’ a little fun.” I relented slightly and he stopped fighting me. His fingers lit on the edges of the collar, and all three adamantine hoops sprang open.
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  8. #8
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,649, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,351
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,351

    AP
    112
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    My powers returned in a surge of strength, awareness, and arcane potential. I gathered the Thaynebinder and its bracer in one hand and gripped the collar of the pirate’s jacket, lifting him easily against the wall.

    “Now tell your men to go back to their beds,” I hissed, and then released him.

    “Easy matey, no need fer’ showin’ off,” the pirate grumbled, rubbing his bruised throat. He stumbled over to the door and unbarred it. “It’s okay mateys, false alarm! Just two lads ’avin’ a bit of a friendly disagreement, is all.” It took a little more convincing, but the crew abated and their captain closed the door and leaned against it. “Phew, I thought they might be bound fer’ mutiny that time.”

    “Tell me what else you learned about the Thaynebinder,” I said, sitting in the desk chair and opening the book Marigold had been reading.

    The pirate hesitated, and then heaved a sigh. He picked up the dagger he’d dropped and sheathed it on his belt, and then sat on the bed. “Toss me the rum, matey,” he said, and I did. He caught the bottle easily. Droplets of dark liquor sloshed up the open neck, but he paid no mind to the spill, taking a deep drink and then settling back on his elbows.

    “According to the book, the Thaynebinder was forged in the same fires from which the Thaynes emerged, ages and ages ago. The Elder Thayne Khal’jaren made it in case any of his younger siblings ever stepped out of line. Or something of that nature,” the pirate waved a careless hand and took another tot of rum, “I’m no scholar, matey.” He smoothed his slender mustache and short beard, and then shook out his long brown dreadhawk. “As I mentioned before yeh kicked me guts through me spine, that bracer gives the wearer control of the captive’s powers. The idea was that if one of the Thaynes turned wicked, Khal’jaren could hide them away in a dungeon somewhere and use their powers t’keep their worshipers happy.”

    “And this relic remained hidden in the catacombs beneath Scara Brae until now?” I closed the book and stacked the paired artifacts on top of it.

    “I suppose so, matey. Like I said, I ain’t a scholar. I just like knowin’ the value of what I tote in me boat!”

    “Did you learn anything else from the folks who found the artifact? What manner of men were they?”

    They were the scholarly type,” the pirate explained, “but they did ‘ave an edge about ‘em. They didn’t seem too afeared t’be dealin’ with the likes of me and the crew.”

    “Hmm… scholarly criminals,” I mused. “I don’t suppose you got their names?”

    “Yeh know me matey,” the pirate shook his head, “a wink’s as good as a word.”

    “Did they say anything else?”

    “Just to mention that they found it by the grace of Am’aleh. Ain’t rightly shore what they meant by that, but I suspect you may know.”

    I nodded. “I may know. We shall shall see.” A particularly large wave broke over the ship’s bow, and we both leaned into the motion instinctively, keeping our balance. “Have you got some sort of bag in there?” I asked, nodding at the trunk.

    The pirate captain rolled over and stowed the open rum bottle in the stout chest, and then searched through it with both hands until he came up with an old haversack.

    “There yeh go matey,” he said, tossing it to me, “that used to ‘ave me maroon rations in it, but I nibbled me way through ‘em the last few nights.”

    “You keep supplies in case of a mutiny?”

    “Of course, matey. Well, I don’t now I suppose.” He frowned, and then fell to his hands and knees on the floor, searching for the cork. “Should keep the rum stowed,” he murmured.

    I stuffed the book and the Thaynebinder into the sack and stood up.

    “Don’t suppose yeh’d let me keep that, after all this?” The pirate asked weakly.

    I shook my head. “You can make excuses for your buyers. I’ll need two of your men to take me ashore in a boat, if you drop anchor a few miles north of Gisela.” I opened the door to let moonlight spill in. Memories of Suravani flitted and danced.

    “A boat?” The pirate stood from his search with the cork held triumphantly overhead. “Yeh usually just swim ashore.” He used the cork to scratch the shaved edge of his dreadhawk and then stopped the bottle he’d packed in his trunk.

    “I need to stay out of Am’aleh’s grasp for the moment,” I confided.

    “Of course yeh do, matey.”
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  9. #9
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,649, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,351
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,351

    AP
    112
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    The rowboat crunched up the beach with waves breaking around its stern. Without a word I stepped onto dry land, the haversack clutched in one hand, the bracer worn beneath my sleeve. I placed a bare foot on the boat’s prow and pushed the pirates off. They roared their thanks as they spun the craft about and rowed back toward the anchored corvette.

    I walked along the dry sand, staying out of the tide’s reach. The wind teased my hair to the tune of the ocean’s steady song. Though the sun still hid below the horizon its radiance touched the world. The inky night sky became a blend of deep purples and blues, and wispy gray clouds replaced weakly twinkling stars. I walked until I found my boots, still laying on the beach where I’d left them.

    Kicking sand off my feet, I stepped into the Breaker Boots and took a deep breath of salty air. I pulled the Thaynebinder out of the haversack and left the bag and book in the dirt as I waded into the ocean up to my waist. The water’s touch was cool but comforting, swirling and appreciative.

    Am’aleh appeared in an array of semi-frozen seafoam bubbles, settling into her usual glistening shape.

    “My champion,” she purred, placing her palms on my chest and leaning in for a kiss, “You brought me-”

    The adamantine collar snapped shut around her aqueous neck. My hands moved faster than eyes could follow as I fastened the shackles on her watery wrists.
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

  10. #10
    Maul-Slayer
    EXP: 172,649, Level: 18
    Level completed: 14%, EXP required for next level: 16,351
    Level completed: 14%,
    EXP required for next level: 16,351

    AP
    112
    GP
    16,175
    Breaker's Avatar

    Name
    Joshua Breaker Cronen
    Age
    Ageless (looks 28)
    Race
    Demigod (human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Light Brown
    Eye Color
    Hazel
    Build
    6 feet / 202 lbs.

    View Profile
    Am’aleh changed. Her shimmering silver hair became ordinary blonde, golden and alluring, but mortal. Her serous skin became opaque and cream colored. She became a normal woman with haunting blue eyes, who collapsed into the sea beneath the weight of the Thaynebinder.

    Power flooded into me like water into a steam engine. My connection with the Tap grew to such a proportion I had never imagined, a tidal wave of magic I could safely ride, and harness. Arcane potential flooded in through my ears, through my eyes, through my nose and mouth, increasing until I felt like a giant among mice, like a mighty redwood among blades of grass.

    I raised one hand, the hand with the bracer burning to my forearm, and the water surrounding me leaped back and up in every direction. Effortlessly, I kept the press of the ocean at bay, and looked down on the blonde woman Am’aleh had become.

    She sputtered and wretched on the wet sandy ground, vomiting up seawater as she huddled on her knees. Her golden hair trailed wetly over her creamy back, soft skin glistening with salty droplets. She pressed her manacled forearms over ordinary breasts and glowered up at me.

    “I am the ocean-” she said.

    “No,” I replied, “now, I am.”

    I spread my hands and rose upwards, lifted by invisible wings of air. I left Am’aleh in a prison with water walls and took a great step over the eastern horizon. My black boots landed on the western shores of Scara Brae. The thick-growing trees of Brokenthorn Forest covered the loamy landscape, as closely knit as bristles on a comb. The waves lapped timelessly at the shore, and I could feel each wax and wane, like a second pulse beating through my body.

    My hands came up in front of my face as my fingertips turned translucent. The change to liquid spread up my forearms, and I became pure water, and then steam. I flew on the will of the wind across the small continent, to the city of Scara Brae itself. This far east, the sun already rose, half of the great fiery orb peering over the horizon. Need drove me; desire gave me direction. I knew not what I sought, but through force of will, I found it.

    I slipped under the door of a great library, nought but a cloud of vapour. I flew past ranks of quiet people and over shelves laden heavy with books, following a spiralling staircase upwards to an office on the top floor. The door was barred but I crept through the keyhole, and without ears or eyes, I perceived.

    “The Thaynebinder will be arriving in Gisela as we speak,” said the voice of a man, his tone even and confident. He had the broad shoulders and posture of a fighter, but the ink stains of a scholar. “Khal’jaren will be proud.”

    “The Elder Sage? Proud?” The brunette woman scoffed, her sharp eyes and sharp face drawn up. The slashes of color in her tailored dress were as fierce as her tone. “I do not think he would stoop to such emotion.”

    “Well he will be… something.” the tall man brushed short blond hair out of his eyes and steepled his fingers. “Surely he will reward us. Surely now.”

    “He has not rewarded us for anything else we have done,” the woman reminded him, arms crossed over her breasts. “What do you think he means to do with the relic?”

    “Control one of the Lesser Thayne, I expect. Perhaps Trisgen has stepped beyond his capacity. As we know there is war and strife in Corone, with the arrival of these strange cat folk.”

    “Perhaps,” her reply hung in the air like a foul smell, but the sound had barely faded when she spoke again, “or perhaps the sage has finally tired of Am’aleh’s tryst with Joshua Cronen.”
    ... They fell to him as prey to bluefin
    for the Jya's warriors knew not how to swim...
    13-3-2

    I wrote a book! ~ Most Suave Character 2010

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •