|Favorite Civic:||Caste System|
|Favorite Wonder:||The Great Lighthouse|
"Release me at once or taste steel, cur!"
Falamar gazed at Rhoanna in mock anguish. "Milady is displeased by the accommodations? You are welcome to leave at any time, of course, and I'm injured by the insinuation that you are anything but a guest."
"I have business too urgent to put up with your pranks." The lady paced about the Captain's quarters, armor clanking with every step. "Return me to my vessel, or I am as good as your prisoner," she said, glaring at the waves. "Or did you expect me to walk?"
"You know, I've seen that done, and it isn't all that impressive." The Lanun picked up one of two goblets on the heavy wooden table and took a delicate sip. "The magic helps, sure. But the real trick is to not look down."
"Do not--" Rhoanna paused and clenched a fist tightly as the ship swayed on the waves. "Dragons take you and your seas! Don't change the subject! I need to be aboard my own vessel on my own course."
"Ah, well, it seems that one just can't buy good help these days. No sooner had we brought you—and that delightful Air conjurer—aboard, than they headed for the horizon. Without telling me where they were going! Although, I do suspect I'll see them again, the captain is my brother-in-law."
"Is there no honor on the seas?" the Hippus Queen moaned, as she slumped into the chair across from Falamar.
"Do try the wine, my dear; our fall 157 vintage takes the edge off the sea pangs. As for honor, I'd wager mine against any sell-sword from the steppes... present company excluded of course. We have our own rules on the waves, 'tis true," Falamar rose and walked around the cabin, picking up a large bottle which contained a replica of the Maiden's Delight, his flagship. "But I think you'll find them to contain a certain measure of honor. A captain's word is law on his ship, but a crewman is free to leave at any port. We may have a wife in every port, but our mistress, the sea, is eternal. A man makes his fate with his own two hands, but we all wind up in the drink eventually. A Lady's virtue remains sacrosanct—unless she can be persuaded to set it aside like a suit of armor, soon to be made worthless by the sea air."
Rhoanna pulled out a dagger from a sheath hidden in the plates of her armor. "Fascinating. Pray tell, what are the rules of the sea with regard to eunuchs?"
"Galley slaves, usually, and it's good to see the sea hasn't robbed you of all your spirit. Speaking of robbery, you did want to return to land, did you not?"
She glared at him for a minute, then sighed, and said "Name your price, Sea-King. I need to reach my company at the Grigori border. Our contract has been... renegotiated, and if I don't inform my sergeants, the honor of the Hippus will indeed be worth little more than that of sea thieves."
"There are a few trade contracts which could only draw us closer... as nations, of course. Awaiting just your signature here, dear lady." Rhoanna looked them over, muttering about extortion but made her mark.
Falamar watched as Rhoanna and her companion bounded down the harbor, away from the Maiden's Delight and towards her duty. "Where to now, captain?"
"Not just yet, Sharwin." He kept watching, eventually a frown playing on his normally implacable visage. She was almost out of his sight. He began to reach for his spyglass.
Rhoanna slowed at the edge of town. Slowed then stopped, and almost against her will, certainly against her better judgment, turned around. She gazed at the Lanun ship for several minutes, the wind pulling her hair towards the sea. Then she returned to her quest.
Falamar smiled. "They always look back. Always. Sharwin, head for Balseraph waters. They have a vintage that should be ripening now."