Blood Knows, Part 1
The next morning, Signe addresses the assembled crew. She admits that the raid on the Golden Falcon was in fact a crime, and that they are all implicated in it. She advises that she intends to continue on this course of action, and that if any of them are uncomfortable with this, they should come to speak with her privately. She says that if necessary the ship will make port at Soroya, where any who wish to leave will be paid and dismissed, provided they swear an oath to never reveal anything about what happened.
In the afternoon, Abul comes to speak with Signe in her quarters. They discuss the violence that has been committed already, and will likely continue to occur if they persist in this course of action. She convinces him that her cause is ultimately a just one, but he asks her to visit his surgery the next time a man’s life is on the line, so she can see that there are other costs involved. She agrees.
No one else comes to Signe’s cabin, but that evening, Patrick and Verenzio come to speak to Enzo. They tell him that the crew has deliberated, and they’re all in. When Enzo asks why they didn’t tell Signe directly, they make it clear that they’re following the chain of command. Enzo relays the message to Signe, and she is reassured that she read the hearts and minds of each of the crew correctly when she hired them. That evening, there is a celebration. The Mist of the Moor is not on offer, but everything else in the stores is made available.
Two days later, they pass by the town of Soroya and press on northward.
About a week later, they arrive at Klorhulg. It is a bit of culture shock for most of the crew, including Enzo, but Abul finds that this more closely matches the stories of Vesten he heard growing up, of rough frontier towns full of long low buildings made entirely of wood and populated by tall, bearded men in dressed in furs and carrying axes.
The Magpie is easily the largest ship in the harbor, but there are many smaller longships and fishing boats. Even in the early evening, the docks are awash in activity, and they can see ships pulling out into open water, with their rows of brightly painted shields lining the sides. They pull into port, drop anchor, and disembark. Christof organizes the duty roster to ensure that someone is guarding the ship, but Signe pays everyone else and leads them to the local tavern, the Rampant Wolf. Abul excuses himself to go find supplies, and Signe advises him not to go alone, so he brings Hector with him. Signe enters the tavern with her entourage, and secures rooms for herself, Enzo, Abul, Eric, and Hjalmar.
Abul and Hector explore the town and discover that most of the shops are closed after dark, so they make a list of places to revisit in the morning. At some point, they become aware that they are being followed. They turn down an alley, and when their mysterious shadow follows them in, Abul confronts them. It turns out to be one of the locals, who is more than a little drunk. He is armed with a cudgel, and makes some incoherent comments about foreigners, telling Abul to go back where he came from. Abul attempts to defuse the situation, but the man attacks. Abul disarms him easily, but not before Hector whacks him on the back of the head with a bit of driftwood. The combination of losing his weapon and taking a blow to the head takes the wind out of the man’s sails, and Abul is able to badger him into going home. After the man leaves, Abul asks Hector not to hit people on the head, as it could cause a concussion. Hector advises they return to the others. They spend the night on the ship rather than going to the tavern.
In the morning, Signe awakens to the smell of bacon. She heads to the ship with Eric, and when the shift changes, she pays the remainder of the crew. She meets up with Abul, who relates the events of the previous evening. Signe insists on finding the man and setting him straight. Abul is happy enough to let it go, but Signe says that it is a slight on the honor of the crew, and if she allows it, she will appear weak. She heads back into town with Abul in tow, and a short round of questioning reveals the man’s name, Henning Andersen. She makes a beeline for Henning’s house, and finds him out front nursing a hangover. She confronts him about the altercation, and he confesses. He only remembers bits and pieces from the encounter, but is sorry enough now. He seems mainly concerned with not alerting his wife to the fact that he was out drinking. Signe assures him that none of her crew are intent on spreading their strange religions around Vesten, foreigners thought they may be. Henning mentions in passing that other foreigners were in town recently attempting to do just that. After formally apologizing to Abul, he promises to behave himself in the future, and goes inside to get some sleep.
A Captain’s Captain, Part 1
Enzo organizes the gathering of supplies. There is no problem obtaining most of the items on the list, but gunpowder is in short supply. He begins asking some pointed questions, and his investigation leads him in the direction of a man named Simon Poulsen. Hjalmar finds this odd, since as far as he knew Simon was dead. They ask around a bit more, and eventually are led to an unadorned door in an alley. Inside they find Simon, who is very much alive. He asks Hjalmar and Enzo to keep his secret, though he doesn’t elaborate on the reason for the ruse. In return, he says them he can make some gunpowder available to them at a reasonable price, and promises to have it delivered to the ship by nightfall. Enzo and Hjalmar head back to the ship to find Signe and tell her the good news.
Around noon, Signe, Hjalmar, Christof, and Enzo head out of town to Ulfgar’s longhouse. The style of the house is the same as those in town, but it is much larger. The door is answered by Ulfgar’s maid Dorotea, who is happy to see Signe (they are about the same age, and used to play together as children). She invites everyone in and begins making lunch. There are three or four of Ulfgar’s friends hanging around the house, much diminished from his usual entourage of two to three dozen. Dorotea explains that Ulfgar has been on a hunting trip up in the hills for about four days, and he’s taken most of the men with him. However, Signe’s aunt Brigit is home, and she is happy to see Signe as well. Signe tells them that they have to come and see the ship before they leave.# NotPirates