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Blue Seas

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Before Lachesis even opens her eyes, the first thing she registers is the steady back-and-forth movement of a ship.  This isn't surprising, of course.  She was supposed to be en route to Grannvale to seek aid for Nordion and her brother.  But something must have happened, once she opens her eyes she does not recognize the plain wooden walls of the HezulBrand, her brother's personal ship.  Nothing seems familiar.  Lachesis sits up and rubs her arms through her thin night shift and shivers.

"It's morning already?" Lachesis asks the empty air, and the only response is the call of the birds and splashing of the gentle waves.  She tries to roll out of bed, but discovers it's a hammock and slams to the floor, hands bracing and impacting the wooden floor.  She releases a distinctly un-ladylike curse and clambers to her feet to move to the window.  Her bare feet slap lightly against the flooring as she looks out the porthole to find, not to her surprise, no distinguishing features.  She freezes when she hears a knock at the door and a soft-spoken voice announces, 

"Excuse me?  Miss?  I'm coming up.  I pray you're decent."  The door opens to reveal a young man with blue hair, and for a second Lachesis thinks it's Sigurd, but as her eyes rove his figure, she realizes her folly.  He looks like a decent young man, and there's a sword hanging at his hip.  His first mistake.  She apologizes internally to the presumably kind man and rushes him.

Captain Quan had told Finn to check in on the supposedly erstwhile princess of Nordion, Lachesis, but Finn was dreading it the whole time.  He was still tired from fighting off the Lopt ship last night that had nearly scuttled the HezulBrand, but as the Captain's squire he didn't have much of a choice.  While Lady Ethlyn had said their guest was a kind friend from childhood, Finn prided himself on his caution and wariness.  He would admit that the princess was pretty, but the rest remained to be seen.

So when Finn announces his presence and enters the guest room, he is not expecting for a moment to pass and then for his nose to be broken.

Lachesis grimaces as she hears the boy's nose cartilage snap and break, but pushes on as she grabs his sword from its sheath and points it at the boy's neck.  His movement down is halted as he feels cold steel press against his neck.

"I don't know who you are but you will take me to your captain.  Hezul look over me I will not be afraid to strike you down if you try anything funny."  She pitches her voice down, cold as the metal in her hands that barely begin to heat from the tension.

"Of course, your highness," the boy replies, albeit it nasally.  "I'm sure Captain Quan would love to see you."

"Quan?  This is his ship?"

Finn is relieved when the princess lowers her sword, but it only dips slightly before it shoots back up.  His right hand shoots into the air while his left moves to his nose in some semblance of healing.

"Aye, your highness.  This is the Alfione, Prince Quan of Leonster's personal ship.  M-my name is Finn.  We rescued you after your ship was sunk by a Lopt cruiser.  I'm sorry, but we couldn't find any other survivors of the HezulBrand.  I'm sorry."

The sword presses deeper and Finn tries not to swallow, brushing his Adam's Apple against the blade point.

"How do I know you're not lying, Finn?" She hisses, and Finn is reminded of a lion.

"I have no reason to.  To lie is against the knight's and captain's code."

"Hmm." Lachesis hums and Finn stares at the floor.

"Alright." Lachesis nods and seems to make up her mind.

"Take me to Quan," Lachesis gestures with the sword toward the door.  "If you're telling the truth I'll heal you myself once I get my equipment back.  If you're lying..."

"I understand," Finn grimaces, and sweeps an arm toward the door.

Lachesis keeps the sword pointed at Finn's back as they troop down the narrow hallway and up the stairs to the gangplank.  From there they round the forecastle, and there is Quan, her brother's old friend at the helm, Ethlyn nearby gazing adoringly.

"Quan?  Ethlyn?" Lachesis tosses the sword down to the floor as Finn bends down to pick it up.

"Lachesis!  You're alright!" Ethlyn rushes over to hug Lachesis, and the two collide, spinning.  "Oh, we were so worried..."

"I'm fine, Ethlyn.  Quan, what are you doing here?"

"Me?" Quan smirks and gestures to a man with a faint mustache with only one arm, "Dorias, take the helm.  Lachesis, would you like to discuss this privately?  We have much to talk about."

The man, presumably Dorias, snaps a sharp Aye, captain! and strides to the wheel and shouts orders to the crew.  Affirmative calls ring out as the wind pushes the Alfione further and further along.

Finn follows his liege, his liege's wife, and the princess into the captain's cabin and shuts the door.  Quan briefly and quickly explains their situation:

"Last night we found your brother's ship attacked by some Lopt battle cruisers.  We sunk them, but they managed to get your ship before we could stop them.  Sadly, you're the only one left.  But I have to ask...why are you here?"

Finn stops paying attention when Ethlyn rushes over with her Live staff and holds it close to his nose.  He smells the acrid sense of healing magic, which is nice to do again.  

"I'm sorry, my lady, but the princess said she was going to heal my nose.  Pardon my asking, but how do you know her?"

"Her?" Ethlyn rocks back on her heels, "well, she's the younger sister of the missing Lord Eldigan.  And since my brother, Quan, and Eldie were friends, Lachesis and I became friends I guess by convenience.  We're both little sister healers with swords, I guess!"

"...And so, to help my brother, I rushed to Grannvale to seek aid.  Chagall must be dethroned and my brother set free.  I'm willing to do whatever it takes to see it set right!  So please.  Let me help.  Quan, please!"

Lachesis calms herself down and holds her left arm with her right, looking aside.

"Alright." Quan nods.


"You heard me.  You'll be a part of the Alfione's crew.  But I'm warning you: if you can't handle the work, I'll dump you off at the nearest port."

"You wouldn't dare!" Lachesis stands up and knocks the chair back, bringing Finn and Ethlyn's attention.

"No," there's a gleam of a joke in Quan's eyes, and only too late does Lachesis note it.  "But I thought it'd be funny.  But let's see...Finn!"

"Aye, sir."  Finn bows from the corner of Lachesis' eyes and she notes Ethlyn's eye roll.

"Look after the princess, all right?  Show her the ropes, introduce her to the crew.  Within the next few days I expect her to be a fully-fledged member of the Alfione.  Understood?"

"Yessir.  By your will.  Princess?  If you'll follow me?" Finn extends a hand towards the cabin door, a small smile on his face.

Lachesis sighs.  "Of course.  I'll be in your debt, Finn.  And also...I'm sorry about your nose."

The princess smiles back softly, sweetly, and Finn tries hard to keep his blush down.  

This won't end well.