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Monday, 15 October 2007

The Marquis sets sail from Brionne


The forces of the Sentinel were mustered and the commanders installed. Cobina du Bois Guilbert would stay behind and attend the Sentinel and the Gavenie district. Unfortunately, the Matrquis had come down with a serious malaise and stayed behind as well. .

After six days, the forces arrived in Brionne and what took his breath away were not the towers and tall buildings, but the myriad of ships filling the harbor. He skirted the southern lip of the city and finally found his fleet, not in the harbor but along the southern rim of the Bay. Four wide docks ran out from the shore ran out from the shore. Upon seeing his Pegasus, the men cheered. He landed and turned his steed over to a steward for a safe return to the Sentinel.

"We can leave in three days, m'lord", said a captain of the sea, " All ships are made ready, manned and ready to sail.." The Marquis asked if any word on a destination for this Armada and the captain said no. "Let us set our sails to Maharek and if the Commanders of this enterprise don't like it they will notify me at once."

The Captain bowed and left.

"Aren't you a tad over eager?", this was from his Battle Standard Bearer. The Marquis watched as his Pegasus was stripped down then turn to Richelieu and said. "No, the longer we wait in port the more time our adversaries both on land and sea can plan. Let them consider us after we have landed at Maharek."

They walked along the shore, looking at the big ships with the blue sails and the image of a fish upon each mainsail. Joined by his daughter AndreaLyn and Sir Percifal and the Lady Gandolfyn he told a tale.

"The ships of the du Bois Guilbert yards are ugly things and have been compared to a large toad, squatting on the mud." He put an arm around his daughter, " However when under sail these old fat toads become swift racing dogs of the sea, with a third more cargo in their holds than others of their class. It was Menelaus du Bois Guilbert who designed the deep drafted, wide hulled ship. In the Northern seas they were tested and none sank! The family reaped the harvests of the sea with those ships." They walked to their respective docks and boarded their respective ships

Five days later the fleet was near past the Estalian southern horn and bound for the open sea. The ships were quite seaworthy, swift and maneuverable. Many of the men were not. It did not help that the Marquis d'Ascoyne was unaffected by the ocean sickness. He did, however, share his knowledge of the sea and kept his men above decks, near the rails, and provided them with some exotic powders provided by the Damsels.

Now the Damsels fared moderately better than the men and soothed upset stomachs and headaches and that feeling that all is not right in the world. Likewise the Sisters of the Golden Virgin helped.

Lady Gandolfyn lay abed, deep in the clutches of Mal de Mar and she had become a Tigress of complaint. The Marquis was his cheerful self and soon the lines were drawn and the tocsin sounded and the battle begun. He entered her cabin smiling and very happy. He had two portions of eggs and bacon and sausage and Lady Gandolfyn screamed "Get that greasy filth away from me!!" The she clutched at her belly and rolled to one side. The Marquis sat down at the small table and said this was a wonderful breakfast. The Tigress responded, "Get thee hence I am in misery!! The Ship rolls and so does my stomach-"

"You should eat something my sweet" he said near cooing to her, "I thought this would be just the thing, especially the sausages. Lady Gandolfyn purged her stomach of whatever little bits of yesterday's meal remained. She rolled back over while a Damsel removed the basin, cleaned it and brought it back.

Her hair was disheveled and her eyes bloodshot and hollowed a bit, her face and chest quite filthy and her breath would turn a Troll away. "I hate you." She said slowly and deliberately. The Marquis parried the thrust of anger with "Do you mind if I have your portion?"

Now Lady Gandolfyn was a true prophetess, but nothing would provide her relief. The Marquis pulled out a small leather bag, filled with dried fruits, roasted nuts and some powdered spices. He offered the mélange to the Prophetess. She glared at him and sniffed the bag. She ate a small handful of the mixture.

Within seconds her composure had returned. She thanked the Marquis without apologizing and asked to be left alone. He acquiesced to her wishes, leaving the bag.

An hour later she approached him on deck and bowed, "The student teaches the instructor", she said, "I am stronger."

"Nonsense, it was nothing but a hunter's mix of foods for survival, but once you get above deck stare at the horizon, breathe the air deeply and know that we are nearing the end of our journey." He pointed "We are coming about to enter the Sea of Araby, here the wind does mischief" and he stepped away from the rail.

The Prophetess turned to the bow to see an enormous wave rolling towards her. When it hit she took most of the water across her face and upper torso and did not fall down for her reflexes, although slowed down by the sea sickness, were still faster than a humans.

As she walked regally back to her cabin no one laughed or offered to help her for by the steam rising from her wet body, they knew she was in no mood for jesting.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 21 October 2007 )
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