13th day of the 10th moon in the year 4512 of the Noruz reckoning, morning
Bortheus finds Salvar & Co. at the dry dock with their belongings. Horth still has his footman’s mace. Beadle and Horth are silent, but Salvar is keeping up a friendly chatter with the loitering marines waiting for departure. The first mate, Callan, and the rest of the sailors are busy with various preparations. There are some workers loading provisions on to the Sea Falcon. Lord Drafus is on shore with Evor discussing routine logistics with the guild representative.
Upon Bortheus’s arrival, Lord Drafus says, “Evor, be sure to have all weapons inventoried. I don’t want any confusion over what’s checked in and what is not. Have them stowed in my quarters.” Evor turns to Bortheus and delegates. Beadle says something to Horth in Choghan. Horth grins grotesquely and tosses his mace at Bortheus who catches it handily. The rest of the party arrives a few moments later. Bortheus instructs them to surrender their weapons to him
Beadle and Salvar say they have no weapons. Bortheus suspects there may be a number of smaller weapons hidden away. Kalahn requests permission to hold onto a knife he intends to use to carve some wood to pass the time. Unsure what to say, Bortheus hesitates. Lt. Kronn leans over and whispers, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. My boys can handle these guys.” Bortheus remembers that the 30 marines under Lt. Kronn’s command are the best in Bandar. Lt. Kronn points to Sasurai’s package and asks, “What’s that?”
Sasurai hands over his Sword. “Please handle this with care, it’s a family heirloom, and all I have.” After boarding he heads to what is to be his quarters, places his stuff on a bunk, and begins to walk around the ship.
Relana relinquishes all her weapons except she hides one of her small dirks somewhere on her body that won’t be that easy to find on a search. (She doesn’t trust all these rough men at sea!) She keeps her mini-book. Her instruments will stay with her as well.
Sorkin has hidden his thieves’ tools inside his waterskin and shoved his miniature spellbook up his left nostril (!) in an attempt to hide it while boarding (small book, BIG nose). He has folded up a dagger into his winter blanket, stuffed it into the bottom of his backpack, then piled everything else on top of it, loosely.
When approached to give up his weapons, he obliges with two daggers and his short sword which are on overt display. When asked to search his bag, he says, “Oh, dere’s nudding in dere! Ere, lemme show you.” He then proceeds to dump the contents of the bag out onto the deck. “Shee, I dold you!” He then sifts through the contents, showing off this knickknack and that, telling the backstory of where he got each thing. Nobody bothers to ask to open the blanket. When asked why his voice sounds funny, he points to his yellow pallor and says, “Gedding over an ed cold.”
Bortheus tries to mingle with the passengers and make pleasant conversation. He would like to get to know them in order to better assess any security threats. He enters in his log the list of weapons, as well as an initial list of people to watch more closely, to see if they pose threats:
Salvar/Beadle/Horth: these guys have always seemed to be hiding something. What is going on with them? Lord Drafus did invite them aboard.
Sorkin: has always seemed likable but a little bit off. On the other hand, all gnomes are a little off. On the other hand, he’s a gnome. Maybe he’ll relax and open up.
Kalahn: this guy worships fire, but he seems like a Boy Scout. Probably not a threat.
Relana: cute, but soooooo cold. Why does she hate me?
Corvis: a very phlegmatic elf, doesn’t say much. Source of the fire vision at Enril’s. Hopefully he will help make sense of this when we arrive in Bandar.
Sasurai: another Boy Scout. Gave up that whatever-it-was without a question. Seems like an OK guy.
Bortheus feels that Lord Drafus’s cabin needs to be watched. There are too many unanswered questions, Sorkin and his funny “business” being troubling but probably the least of them. Maybe the marines or sailors can handle this; Bortheus is willing to volunteer to coordinate with Lt. Kronn and/or first mate and even do some watches himself. “Might as well make myself useful,” he thinks. He is also wondering whether there’s always going to be a deck officer, or how security works on board ship. He brings up this line of thinking and questions with Evor. Bortheus also makes it his business to be intimately familiar with the ship’s floor plan.
Bortheus sings a little ditty to himself as he goes about his chores:
The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the hill, below the kirk,
Below the light-house top.
After everyone gets on board the ship, the priest of Nentu returns and repeats his performance. This time, however, the ship is untied and floats out to sea without incident. Lord Drafus also presides over the Bandaran lauch ceremony (see Sea Falcon). Pretty soon, Bortheus, Corvis, and Sasurai get nauseated from the to and fro rocking of the ship. They are seasick. The rest of the party is ok. Salvar is chatty and friendly with everybody. Beadle keeps to himself. Horth might be friendly, but speaks only Choghan. Mostly he grins grotesquely at everyone, especially Relana.
Kalahn allows Sorkin to examine the box as much as Sorkin can with the condition that he return it each night. For his own purposes, Kalahn will spend part of the trip praying for new spells. Kalahn is also interesting in learning Kavus. He approaches Sasurai at some point once under way and asks if he would not mind spending some time to teach him. Otherwise, Kalahn gets to know his immediate traveling companions spending some time to get to know Relana, remembering Jongo’s request to look out for other half-elves.
Kalahn also keeps an eye out for any possible followers of Rashka and engages them in conversation. If he finds other followers, Kalahn will try to get information about the Sea Falcon and its assets as well as information about Bandar. If no followers of Rashka are found, Kalahn mingles with the marines during dining hours to get his information.
As he mingles, Kalahn finds the sailors and marines to be friendly. The main faiths are Nentu and Kaikias, though there is a significant minority sympathetic to Temple of Khoob. Some have heard of Rashka, but nobody formally worships her. Nobody seems to have a “problem” with Rashka. Those who haven’t heard of Rashka think she makes a lot of sense since fire is a big deal.
Lastly, Kalahn works on a carving the mahogany block into a three dimensional flame with an ember (like a piece of coal) in the center.
Sorkin scouts the ship. Very few things are locked. None of the cabins are locked. They also don’t have deadbolts or means for barring the doors from the inside. The door to Lord Drafus’s cabin is in a high traffic area and there definitely seems to be two marines on guard duty at all times. The two cargo areas are not locked. The brig has a lock. The stairways to the bilge and the lower bunk deck are not locked per se, but they are covered with a removable wood panel (trap door style). Since those areas are not in use, those stairways were blocked off shortly after launch. Sorkin got a good look because some of the marines were ordered to look in the bilge to make sure there weren’t any leaks (there weren’t any), so there was access to those lower areas for a while. While the stairway leading to the lower bunk deck and the bilge is not strictly speaking locked, there are usually people standing on the boards blocking them off.
The 20 sailors appear to be busy with myriad tasks nearly all the time. They get breaks and there are lulls in activity, but they always seem to have something else to do. The 30 marines drill in shifts every day, 2 are always loitering around Lord Drafus’s cabin, but otherwise they seem to just relax. Most of the marines are friendly. There don’t seem to be any “patrols” of the ship, but the marines do appear to be alert and there are always some on the upper bunk deck, the main deck, and the smaller outside decks.
After scouting out the ship and its occupants, Sorkin spends time investigating Kalahn’s box. He is stumped, and is forced to set it aside. He also, from time to time, tries to detect noises coming from the adjacent cabin especially when he knows Salvar or his goons are in the cabin. To improve his chances of hearing something interesting, he selects an inconspicuous part of the partitioning wall and carves a very small hole. After each carving session, he blocks it up with some of that fleece he uses for spell components. He only does this when he knows no one is in the adjacent cabin.
Bortheus spends some time with both Lieutenant Kronn and First Mate Callan. He explains his concerns. Lt. Kronn reveals Lord Drafus instructed him to be vigilant, so he agrees with Bortheus’s suggestion to post a watch on Lord Drafus’s cabin (that’s where the passengers’ weapons are stored after all). He also instructs his marines to cover the entire ship while they are not on guard duty or drilling (they drill in shifts). First Mate Callan is swamped with work. All his spare time is spent with Lord Drafus who seems keen to learn as much as possible about running the ship.
Callan is obviously a seasoned officer, and the sailors are a seasoned crew, but the ship is brand new. The 20 sailors form a full contingent to keep the ship running. Besides the cabins, the ship has 40, 3-level bunks below the main deck (20 on the upper bunk deck, and another 20 on the lower bunk deck, (see the Sea Falcon floorplan). Thus, it can hold as many as 120 crew besides those in the cabins.
The Sea Falcon has only 30 marines on board. The 50 sailors and marines fit comfortably on the upper bunk deck, so the lower deck and bilge are blocked off. The ship is not fully staffed (has room for 70 more), and does not have any siege weapons (catapults, ballistae, etc.). It’s supposed to take those weapons, and more marines, from an older naval ship that will be decommissioned and sold to merchants after the Sea Falcon arrives in New Mazra.
Sasurai explores the ship while it is still fully accessible. After that, he is drawn to the drilling marines. Watching them practice, he can tell they are all seasoned veterans and, with few exceptions, have fought with each other many times. They function as a well-coordinated and disciplined unit.