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Tiras shrugged, throwing his hands up as well as he responded to Wratt in a nonchalant manner, "My purse was as empty as my belly. You offered money and food. Had I my father's or my master's previous resources, I probably would have started an uprising..., but my master died a traitor and my father remains stubbornly loyal." The squire suddenly had no further stomach for conversation. He scowled, averting his eyes as he purposefully strode to the railing of the ship to stare wistfully at the horizon, remembering of better days. Days before the empire.
For her first time on a ship, Raye was taking the trip quite well. As the ship bobbed up and down on the waves she just sort of bobbed along with it, as if she had just become a fixture of the ship. As she stood there listening to what they were going to do she began to think about the proposed plan. Tilting her head to the side it seemed like just about everyone was on the same page about what was happening.

”Oh, so that's where this boat is going?” She said, having hopped on without actually knowing what was happening because Lennox was there. ”I guess I want to see the Dragon's Gate then. I've always wanted to see it.” The strange girl hadn't even introduced herself yet.
"Do you make a hobby out of boarding ships with no idea where they're going?" Renata murmured incredulously at Raye's apparent admission of joining the crew without even knowing where they were headed. "For me, the payment is too good to pass up," she continued, deciding not to comment on Tiras's outburst. "As long as I've a sword, I'll earn my keep." But then something occurred to her: this was a good time to scout out prospective future allies, friends, or any sort of connection she could possibly make. With the amount of days the voyage took, and the additional time the mercenary crew would spend on the island and on the way back to Badon, it was an ideal time to test the waters— Mustn't think of water, Renata chided herself as her stomach turned— to see which of her allies would be best to get to know. "No use in starting an uprising if it doesn't fill your pockets, after all." If not an inflammatory remark, it was at least verbal kindling.
Tiras' words about starting an uprising caught Lennox' attention. He just glared at the man, wondering if he even knew what he was talking about. If only he knew how many uprisings have been squashed in Etruria since the annexation. He'd be better biding his time or joining up with someone who is. Renata's comment about 'filling your pockets' just got under his skin. It made his skin crawl, thinking that people could be that callous. He popped up to his feet and stared daggers at Renata. "Say that to the people of Eturia. Say that to every mage affected by this perversion of St. Elimine's teachings. Hell, say that to the true faithful who witnessed the destruction of the Tower of the Saint," He yelled, getting rather heated for something that he honestly felt he had no stake in. He felt no connection to his homeland, wasn't a mage, and felt that St. Elimine can't possibly look on him favorably with the gruesome kills under his belt. But it had to be said.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He then sat back down. "Forgive me, I don't know what came over me. What I meant to say was," changing his gaze towards Raye, "I helped save her from a cult, two actually," Lennox said, implying the Lycian Church was one as well, "and she followed me all they way here, apparently. It's why promised to keep her out of trouble. Because I intended that originally, but she followed me anyway. Anyway, introduce yourself to the others." Lennox ordered, like he was Raye's father or something. Which is odd since looks wise they are about the same age, but realistically, she's his senior. He did note that Raye already knew what the Dragon Gate was. With how scatterbrained she can be, the fact she knows what it is just raised his blood pressure a bit.
Tiras felt his scalp crawl in impotent, incensed rage at the sea-sick girl's response, but tamped it down, trying his damnedest to keep his anger under his control. And then, suddenly, there was a voice yelling at her in response, saying exactly the message he wanted to say. But it wasn't his voice. Tiras turned around, noticing the man in purple with the large, strange sword was doing the talking. His passionate defense of the victims of war brought to mind Tiras's master. And then he hid that same passion behind a veil of aloofness. Pretending he didn't care because he did not have the power to do anything to help them. Much like Tiras himself.

Perhaps he could get along with the man.

He turned his gaze to the one the purple-clad man indicated.
"Heh, 'No uprising if it doesn't fill your pockets'. A woman after my own heart!" Wratt was starting to like this Renata. He gave an approving nod to the girl. Soon after, however, Lennox interjected with the whole "think of the mages" routine. Just as Wratt feared, this one was the young idealist who didn't know when to shut up and get paid. At least Tiras had the sense to do that. Despite being on a deserted island, the mission was still in danger of failure by one of their own.

"Lenny was it?" Wratt said to Lennox. "You got an awful lot of anti-Imperial sentiment for somebody getting paid with Imperial money. That's not something that's gonna bite us in the ass later, now is it?"

"Now, no one's askin' any of yall to go to church. We'll get there, do the job, get paid, and be on our way. No muss, no fuss."

The dense fog had crept even below deck. It seemed like they were getting close.

"We're almost there," Wratt said as he went above deck.
Raye continued to bob up and down with the ship as if she had gotten attached to it. ”A hobby? No, this is my first time on a ship.” She said, which made the fact she was able to handle being on a ship so well even more absurd. She really just seemed to be the kind of person who could go with the flow of just about anything.

Turning towards Lennox as he spoke about how they had met. Nodding she replied, ”Oh, I should introduce myself. I am Raye.” That was all she offered up about herself. Granted there wasn't much more to say that she should in this situation so for now her name sufficed. That was enough, right?
For exactly one second, Renata was pleased with the reaction she'd gotten out of Lennox, but as soon as the man mentioned the church she paled and shrunk in her seat. "Well said." The meek mutter barely escaped her lips. After Raye had introduced herself, it occurred to Renata to get her own introduction out of the way as well. "I am Renata, a mercenary of Thria." She'd already forgotten about the pseudonym she'd used in Badon.

Renata raised an eyebrow as her breath was suddenly visible in the air. She'd seen fog many times during her life, of course, but it tended to creep in slowly and stay outdoors. Just some morning mist, her mind hollowly reassured herself. Was it even morning? Or was the ship simply approaching the edge of the world, the fabled place where time loses all meaning? The latter seemed infinitely more likely.
"Lennox. Call it contempt by proxy. That was more like something my cousin would say. Probably followed up with some bad idea of his." Lennox replied to Wratt, trying to assuage his concerns. He looked down at the deck, thinking of his next words. ". . . .I don't particularly care who backs this or if I'm being paid for this. I just want to see new things and try to avoid needless bloodshed while doing it," Lennox paused a bit before finishing, "I've been failing the latter unfortunately." Lennox just stared off, flashes of burning men going through his mind. It was the most honest thing he had just said and it depressed him. The fact he felt Dyrnwyn made him a monster just made that goal seem almost unachievable.

He snapped out of it and turned his attention to Raye, who finally introduced herself to their traveling companions. He began to regret what he said when she started speaking, but thankfully she didn't blurt everything out. She barely even said her name, so obviously she didn't reveal her...quirk. That probably would have caused a bigger mess. "That was good enough Raye."
"Since we're all introducing ourselves, I'm Tiras, formerly the squire to the late Sir Adrian Verde of Ostia," the squire introduced himself, though solemnly, with a hint of reticence. He absently rubbed his fingers over the engraved pommel of his sword. He looked at Renata neutrally, before deciding he wouldn't be able to assess her abilities on the sea. Best to wait for the chance once they went scouting. If he were lucky, they could find a way to sabotage their little mission without the blame being tied to either of them. However, he tamped down his expectations, more likely than not, she either can't, or won't, want to, for any number of reasons. And I shouldn't, either. Not if I want to keep being fed, anyway.

He turned his gaze to Lennox and Raye. He felt something of a kindred with Lennox in particular, as well as a form of admiration. He got the feeling the man was a reluctant hero to those he came across. Not necessarily wanting to help, but willing to if an outside force began to antagonize those in front of him. The feelings he had shouted those words with did not sound fake. He sounded like he was trying to deny what he believed. But will that help him deal with those feelings, I wonder?

Tiras returned his gaze to the sea, only to notice the thick fog that blanketed the surface around them. "Elimine, that's thick fog," he muttered, moving for the stairs after Wratt.

The squire beheld a grey horizon, fog even covering the sky. The temperature had dropped, and a chill, moist breeze slapped him in the face as he looked over the railing to realize he couldn't even see the surface of the water from the deck.
The encroaching fog just worsened Lennox' mood. Everything about this kept reminding him of the events leading to his father's death. Once more requiring a distraction, his attention went to Tiras, who introduced himself as a former Ostian squire. Lennox tried to get a good look at his face to see if he looked familiar. The name of the knight he mentioned sounded familiar. His friend Arthur mentioned him back during their pit fighting days, before he enlisted. It was positive stuff...but wait. "Late?" Lennox questioned to himself.

Lennox thought back to the other thing he had said. 'Had I my father's or my master's previous resources, I probably would have started an uprising..., but my master died a traitor'. Sir Adrian Verde was branded a traitor? This must have happened post-reformation. It seemed easy to parse that if Tiras meant to start an uprising, that Sir Verde disagreed with Emperor's Coran's governing. He should go find Shad and his companions. He'd fit right in with their mission to restore the Lycian League.

But that was a thought for another time. Specifically, when they get back on the mainland. For now...the sea. "I hate to be that person, but how much longer?"
Just as Tiras made it up to the main deck, the whole ship shook. Tiras fell to his knees, steadying himself with his hands. He went to the railing, then called up to some of the crewmen.

"Hey, what was that?"

"Dunno, but I'm hoping it don't happen again!"

The ship shook again, and Tiras braced himself against the railing. He heard one of the crewmen shout, "We're taking on water! All hands below deck!"

Well, shit.

He looked for and then found a dinghy. He made sure to keep hold of it, and in the event that the ship sank, he would be ready to throw it over so that he and whoever else could at least make it to shore.
Clambering up the deck in search of any possible place where the fog might be broken by land, Renata braced herself as she felt another episode of seasick tumbling rapidly approaching, but it never came. Of course, she was only just getting her sea legs when the voyage was coming to an end.

It was then that Renata noticed the angles of her feet, the ship's floorboards, and the sea were all at odds with one another, just in time for her to catch herself on the rafters of the passageway leading down into the ship's belly. She proceeded to drop unceremoniously into a sloshing mess of green and white, gasping as the seawater swept her off her feet and splashed in her eyes. All at once, she understood what the hype about sea monsters was all about: the ocean itself was a monster, and it had apparently waited until now to decide that the Mermaid's Desire was its dinner. Or breakfast. Or—

"Make way!" A member of the ship's crew nearly tripped over Renata as he hauled a large bucket. "Get to high ground, girly! We've got this under control!" With each passing second, it was clear that the situation was anything but under control. "Hess!" Another crew member's voice called from deeper inside the ship. "We're outta buckets!" Hearing this, the ship-hand abandoned all propriety and jumped over Renata in a mad sprint. "Whattaya mean, 'we're outta buckets'?!?!"

Renata scrambled to her feet: it turned out the water was only ankle-deep for the moment. As long as she could keep a hold on something with each step, she'd be able to struggle her way out— but then she saw her rucksack, formerly stored in the cabins, being carried away by the water into the ship. That man ran through the water just fine. It can't be that difficult as long as I keep some momentum... Still unappreciative of exactly how suicidal it was to contend with the furious waters, Renata launched herself towards her belongings, grabbing hold of the bag as she fell back into the water. Horrified at how quickly the water level had risen since she last assessed it, she hung onto the rucksack for dear life as her legs flailed about in search of solid ground.
Amidst the swirling foam and shouting crew scrambling up from below, a crackling wave of purplish force ripped outwards from one of the stacks of sodden supplies in a circle. Apollonia lurched up after it, soaked from blue head to toe but holding a steaming black tome in a white-knuckled left hand.

"What'n th' fresh hell--" she began, before taking a spurt of salt water from a buckling timber square in the mouth. A furious, spluttering snarl left her, and the dark magic raged harder against the rising water. Surface. Deck. Away from the leaks. She forced her way toward the stairs up. At the last second, she caught a sound of burbling and splashing that didn't quite mesh with that of the hull sucking in ocean. She bobbed her head back down, and yelped as she caught sight of someone's thrashing hands and feet being swept astern.

"Oh no ye don', no' on my watch," she murmured, and flipped forward a page. her eyes and hands crackled with pitch-black fire, and a tongue of such lashed out like a fishing line from the tip of her quarterstaff. The dark mage jerked her chin up and heaved. The magic, now coiled around the girl's ankle, dragged her through the surging water toward the hatch. "Les' go, up ye get!"
Visceral dread settled in as Renata felt something coil around her leg. This was to be her the end of her pitiful life: drowning inside a sinking ship in the death-grip of a sea monster... but then she felt herself being tugged against the pull of the vortex until she ended up out of the water entirely. Dumbfounded, she gazed up at her saviour as it dawned upon her: her life had just been saved by heathen sorcery, the very same type of sorcery she'd spent much of her old life trying to eradicate.

"Thank ympbth—" Renata's stunned gratitude was cut short by a sizeable amount of seawater evacuating itself from her mouth. Jolted back to reality, she got to her hands and feet and began to crawl up the stairs, tumbling out onto the deck upon reaching the top. Clinging to the ship's railing, she spotted Tiras holding a dinghy and began to make her way towards him. Normally, she supposed, there would be no reason for him to want to save her, but the Dread Isle was no place to entertain norms. Renata looked back towards the hatch for signs of Apollonia and anyone else still inside the ship: they would need as many comrades intact as possible to survive whatever trials awaited them on shore.
Lennox heard the rattle of the ship and went above deck where Tiras was looking around. The cries of the crew just validated his concerns with boats. Lennox sighed, relented to their fate, and sat with a view of the sea. "Not how I expected to go, but not altogether unpleasant. Nice view at least." He felt a tug on his back as one of the crew members yanked Dyrnwyn off his back. Lennox grabbed his other sword and pointed at the sailor who grabbed it. He looked panicked, perhaps he thought he could get out of this alive and sell the sword on the mainland. But, that's not how this song and dance goes. Or does it?

The man grabbed the handle of the sword which engulfed itself in flames, burning the cloth wrapping Lennox had it in off. The fire stopped before the sailors hands. Lennox looked at him wide-eyed. Dyrnwyn found this man worthy to use it. "Shit." This wasn't good. The emperor wanted this sword for his collection, and if this man can hold the sword, he can personally sell this sword to the emperor.

That concern died as one of the other sailors stabbed the guy through the back, causing him to drop the sword, before tossing the body overboard. He grabbed the sword afterwards and the flames began encroaching on his arms, like so many others. Lennox approached the man, slipping his side sword between the mans arm and side and sliced upwards, taking the arm off. As the man screamed in pain, Lennox held him in place with one hand and proceeded to do the same to the other arm, before tossing that man overboard. He sheathed his sword and disposed of the two arms holding Dyrnwyn before they burned too much.

"That's a more merciful fate, believe me," Lennox said, over looking the struggling armless sailor, struggling to stay afloat. Lennox looked at the body floating next to him, the man Dyrnwyn found worthy. He was the first person he'd seen not tied to him by blood to be accepted by the sword. At least that's a possibility. Poor guy never even had a chance to swing the sword before it's curse found him.

Having shaken off the urge to just let the sea consume him and Dyrnwyn, Lennox directed his focus towards someone else. A certain dragon girl. "Raye! Where are you?! You better not have used the...the thing!" It's hard to allude to her dragonstone without giving away the big secret.
The deck was now tilted, chaos had broken out amongst the crew, and some had gone violently insane, at least if the glance near Lennox was accurate to anything. Tiras decided to don his helm. Once done, he grabbed the lifeboat and dragged it, with some effort, to the railing. He flipped the boat, so its keel was resting on the deck. The oars were tied down to the bottom on the inside, so that was one less thing to worry about. Suddenly the one called Renata was helping him. The two of them hoisted the small boat to the railing and dropped it into the water.

Luckily for them, the boat landed keel-side down. Now they just had to get down to it. In another lucky turn, one of the anchor ropes for the sails of the sinking ship was near them. Tiras grabbed it, got atop the railing, drew his sword, and sliced it as high as he dared. He nearly fell back to the deck, but managed not to lose his balance.

"Here," he gave the end of the rope to the soaking wet woman. "Hop down and get in the boat. I'll cover you."
While all this chaos was starting to break out on the boat with it tilting and sinking and people getting stabby, Raye just stood there. As before she was just sort of staying level with whatever way the boat was rocking like she was attached to it. It was not as if she was oblivious to what was happening, there was just nothing she felt like she could really do about it. Her skill set was basically “turning into a dragon” and “napping” and neither seemed that useful, at least to anyone else. And she was supposed to avoid doing the former unless she really needed to.

The boat kept tilting more and more as it took on more water until Raye in her lack of movement finally moved, as she started to slide down the deck. Lennox called out to her before she passed by him, waving. ”Hi. I'm fine.”

Then she hit the side of the boat and fell over the side into the water.
Renata barely had time to be shocked by the spectacle of Lennox's encounter with some would-be mutineers before arriving at Tiras's side to help with the lifeboat. Powered by adrenaline, she somehow managed to push her side of the boat over the ship's railing... and then there was barely time to confirm that the boat had landed right side up before Raye plummeted into the water nearby. With a quick nod to Tiras, Renata vaulted over the railing with the rope, tumbling off the ship unceremoniously as her muscles disagreed with the dramatic leap she'd attempted...

When had she last gone swimming?
She couldn't remember.

The idle realization hung in Renata's head as she felt her stomach lurch just in time for the ocean to reach up and smack her square in the face. Her boots and her pack dragged her down as if they had doubled in weight; the only thing keeping her up was her arm lurching up over the side of the dinghy, wrist burned from the rope wrapped around it. Her other arm grabbed onto Raye's, and with Renata's lack of the wisdom that one should be prepared to bear someone's weight if they are to save the person from drowning, the dinghy began to tip into the air almost as dramatically as the sinking ship was already.
Tiras sheathed his sword and jumped overboard. Luckily for him, he landed on the side of the boat that was raised from the water. The weight balanced out, and he leaned over and pulled first Renata, then the little girl Lennox had introduced. Faye? Something like that.

He looked around for other survivors. Ones that weren't violently insane, at any rate. Lennox or Wratt, perhaps?

Suddenly, with a boom, shockwave, and a shower of harmless splinters, the other side of the sinking ship exploded. Tiras got one of the oars, thrust it into Renata's hands, and took the other one. "We have to get to shore!" he shouted.
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