A Captain’s Captain, Part 5
The day after the crew returns from their encounter with Asger Jacobsen, Enzo receives a message from Peter Sommersen informing him that 20 men stand ready to set sail whenever he is. Enzo and Signe agree to split them across the two ships. The decision is made to head for Carleon. Abul advises against engaging in any serious business along the way, and Signe agrees. She wants the heat to die down a little before they get back to it.
Before they leave, Signe buys a horse from Leif Overgaard as a gift for Ulfgar. She asks Dorotea if she would be interested in joining them, and Dorotea is excited at the prospect of seeing the world but says they have to ask Ulfgar. Signe presents the horse to Ulfgar and asks permission to take Dorotea with her, and Ulfgar agrees.
Enzo considers it bad luck for anyone to set sail with an empty hold, so he negotiates with several warehouse foremen on the docks to fill up the Magpie with a variety of goods (coal, wine, and barley) that Signe can sell in Avalon.
Everyone piles onto the Magpie and they set sail for the Raiders’ cove. Enzo assists Signe in navigating the sharp rocks once inside the cave, and they pull into the port and drop anchor. The new crewmen are divided up between the Magpie and the Jackdaw, and half the cargo is transferred as well. After an hour or so, they set sail again, bound for Carleon.
The first couple of days are fairly calm, but Dorotea is not used to being on a ship, and is very seasick. On the third day, there is a sudden squall, and the crews of both ships have to scramble to keep everything under control. During this crisis, Enzo notes that Viktor and his men are beginning to integrate with the new crew from Sommersen, and in the face of certain death at sea, they are all sailors first.
A Royal Conspiracy, Part 1
The day after the storm abates, the encounter a lifeboat carrying an unconscious man wearing fine clothes in a Castillian style. They bring him aboard, and Abul quickly determines that he has likely been drifting for some time, as he is severely dehydrated. As he begins treating him, the crew comes across the remnants of the ship the man likely came from. It’s apparent that there was a magazine explosion or similar accident, but it’s been long enough that any fire and smoke are gone.
After a couple of hours, the man awakes in a panic. Abul and Signe calm him down and question him. He introduces himself as Vicente Montenar, and says that his ship, The Carnation, came under attack from a pirate ship called The Erebus. Abul recognizes Vicente (by name, not by face) as Count Montenar, an advisor to King Ferdinand of Castille. Vicente explains that he is on a diplomatic mission to Avalon. When pressed on the details of the mission, Vicente questions Signe and Abul regarding their religious leanings. Following a short debate on the relevance of such matters, Signe correctly surmises that Vicente is specifically looking for assurances that they are not favorable to the Inquisition. She advises that they refrain from speaking of it further until dinner that evening, when she can confer with her other officers. Outside, Signe warns Abul not to debate her in front of the crew or passengers while on ship, as it undermines her authority.
Enzo takes some time to talk with Viktor. He notes that he and his men are integrating with the rest of the crew. Viktor opens up a little about his past, and agrees that Enzo would do well know in which ports each of his men are wanted so they can avoid them, so he gives a quick rundown on who is wanted where and for what. Enzo says Viktor isn’t the only one with a checkered past. Viktor correctly guesses that Signe is up to more than just trading. Enzo says that they’re not pirates, but for now they need people to believe they are.
That evening, the two ships drop anchor, and there’s a joint dinner for the officers. Signe is surprised when Enzo brings Viktor along with Christof and Rasmus. She takes time before people are settled at the table to question Viktor, and he’s very forthcoming about his past, confirming that he’s wanted in Mondavi for bank robbery. She’s impressed with his candor, but seats him at the foot of the table as she was expecting to discuss sensitive matters with their new guest. Christof takes it upon himself to keep the Viktor occupied while adults are talking.
Signe questions Vicente about his mission and what happened to the ship. Vicente gives as accurate an account as he can of the events. His man Ernesto urged him to abandon ship and hide in a lifeboat to avoid being taken by the pirates, so he saw the altercation from a distance, and didn’t get a good look at any of the attackers. He was unable to tell if the pirate ship had departed after the Carnation exploded or not, but he suspects it was not likely an accident. Regarding his mission, Vicente says that he took over the position of personal advisor to King Ferdinand two years ago, when his father died. He says that the King has decided that he can no longer sit idly by while the Inquisition runs roughshod over his country and the Church. However, he is basically being held hostage. Thus he has sent Vicente to Avalon to appeal to Queen Elaine for aid, at the very least to assist in a rescue attempt. He is very good friends with Lord Alexander Coulthurst, one of Queen Elaine’s ministers, and will attempt to contact him once they reach Carleon.
The possibility that the attack was not random is raised. Vicente agrees that it’s possible, but as far as he knows, the only people who knew of his mission were the King, Ernesto, and himself. Not even the crew knew why they were sailing to Avalon. Enzo suggests that he take advantage of the fact that he will likely be presumed dead. Signe says it’s no trouble for them to take Vicente to Carleon, and the rest of the crew agree that assisting him further is an excellent opportunity to bloody the nose of the Inquisition.
In the early evening three days later, the Magpie and the Jackdaw are in sight of the port at Carleon.# NotPirates