Rothmir knew his liege lord, Gryphic Knight Cain Amador did not like waiting, boats, or wasting time. And right now, they were standing on the dock of a passenger vessel set to sail from Noreria to Par-Shar. He could see his master tensing up beneath his armour.
I told him not to wear full armour to the docks.
When they booked passage, Cain had railed on about how he could not just charter a vessel to sail straight across the Ildritch Sea. Rothmir attempted to explain that staying along the coastlines and obeying the shipping routes was the safest way to travel.
“Thank you, sir knight,” a half-elf maiden said to him as she passed onto the boat. Many others offered the same show of thanks. Some offered a few coins, others offered food, one gentlemen offered his daughter. Cain took care to refuse all of their offers and waited for them all to board.
The truth of the matter was Rothmir booked a large suite in the middle of the boat – only one of 3 available (including the captain’s) – while most other passengers were travelling as steerage. Cain kept his temper in check only because he knew if he waited for every single person to board this vessel, he could still lock himself away in his stateroom and not have to get out until they landed in Par-Shar.
“How long will we be at sea?”
“No really at sea, my master,” Rothmir corrected. “The Ildritch Sea is called a Sea, but it’s not very big by Nemedian standards.”
“How long?” Cain sighed.
“About two weeks,” Rothmir answered. “About a fortnight. Depending on the wind.”
Cain stomped his foot in frustration.
“Aldaensan isn’t going anywhere, sire,” Rothmir assured him. “That beast has been hiding in the foothills of the Valor Range for hundreds of years. A few more days won’t matter at all. You will get your prize.”
Cain leaned in close to answer Rothmir. His voice was seething and he spoke through gritted teeth. “And that is what every other mercenary, rogue, wizard, and priest is thinking right now. And each one of those is doing everything they can to get to County Daran to defeat the lone remaining Scekahian Giant on the face of Gremyr and assume the throne of Daran. What are we doing? Going on a two week leisure cruise.”
“This is not a leisure cruise,” Rothmir corrected. “In that case is every book from Melcanth’s extensive bestiary. We will need to read that and study that. There may be hundreds – even thousands – of others who want to claim this prize. But only we will be victorious.”
“Bah!” Cain said, dismissing Rothmir. He’d been assigned by his mother after she assumed head of the household when his father was killed in battle five years ago (it could have been six or maybe seven – he didn’t see much of his father after he turned 9). Cain appreciated how Rothmir always looked out for him, but he had no sense of urgency. no sense of adventure. And he didn’t seem to grasp. If he was the Lord of Daran, he would finally have his own throne and be out from under the thumb of his mother. And if some scheming mercenary happened to sneak up on that giant and take it out with a single blow, that would mean the good people of Daran would have to exist under the bumbling graces of someone who had no idea what it was to be a Lord.
Then Cain looked over on the other side of the dock. A smaller boat with a crew of only 5. And it didn’t look like they were taking on any passengers.
“Hey!” Cain said, walking briskly through the people who were still boarding to approach this new boat. “Do you have room for passengers? Name your price for me and my squire.”
Rothmir bristled under the weight of being called a “squire” but went with it for now. His lord was in a mood.