Tam Stake stood upon the deck of The Jenivere. Sailors were staring at him, as he had just climbed aboard, his knees quivering a little, unused to the unsteadiness under his feet. He'd never stood upon a ship before. It was a foreboding feeling, like the world was vanishing beneath his feet. He hoped he would soon grow used to it, as his eyes had to the light. Even still, the bright sun caused him to squint and caused spots to cloud his vision. But I am human, not a dwarf, the surface world is my true home. In his travel from the dwarven clan to Magnimar, his eyes had steadily adjusted each day to the light, growing increasingly more accustomed. He was built for such a world. So why are my knees shaking? He knew the answer. For his entire life, he'd heard woeful dwarven tales of the sea - of how even the sturdiest ship was like treading on thin ice. In the depths of the waves beneath lurked terrible monsters - sharks with teeth like daggers, squids the size of dragons that drug entire ships to a watery grave, and worse.
The sailors were a surly lot, many missing teeth or eyes or fingers. Their skin was weathered and tough, not like the pale smooth skin of Tam's face. Their wary leers caused Tam to stare back warily as he scanned the deck, and to place a protective hand over the strap of his backpack, heavy on his back from the cumbersome tome within. Tam knew little of the surface world, and these sailors looked like thieves to him, the untrustworthy sort, compared to the majority of the folk he'd seen in Magnimar. He had his sword, however, if need be. Anything to protect the tome. Before Azias had left Tam's chambers, Tam had drawn his sword, stuck it point down upon the cold stone floor and knelt before the old priest, and gave his solemn oath that the tome would reach Eleder, unless death take him first. He owed his life to the dwarves. Yet even still, his stomach had twisted inside. Despite the reassurance of Azias, who he trusted as a father, the bitterness - or perhaps just the passion of youth - still welled in the young man. He was being sent far from the Hell Knights.
"I am Tam Stake," he announced to the sailors, some with hands drifting toward hilts of knives and belaying pins at the appearance of the obvious landlubber, heavily armed with sword, bow, and hammer, with chain armor overlaid by a dusty charcoal apron. Tam's voice was husky and awkward, for he was not well practiced in speaking the common tongue, though he conjured a forcefulness to his tone. He was the determined type, and would not show weakness in front of this lot. If only my knees would stop trembling.
The salty breeze wrangled Tam's dark curly locks over his eyes, and he brushed them aside like a cobweb, dark eyes falling upon the crew, from one to the next, beckoning for someone to speak. Tam was squinting slightly from the daylight as he called out.
"I seek the captain or first mate of this vessel, for passage to Eleder."
Last edited by Bong Bellowsmoke; 04-04-2012 at 12:03 PM.
Harkiel had come, albeit through the ceiling. The dragon landed in the center of the Lord's Hall, its bulk cracking and shattering the tiled floor amidst the choking dust and smoke swirling through the shimmering hot air roiling with cloudy white dust of shattered marble. Heat exuding from tarnished charcoaled scales of deep red made the eyes of men water and sting. Harkiel's red hot-coaled eyes glowed from its crown-horned head that swerved this way and that, to fall upon...