The man stepped off the Astral Ship. He was clad in leather armor, and carried a long halberd on his back. The Port Master stepped in front of him.
"Your name, sir?" He said, holding a quill and a piece of parchment.
"Ralvein." Said the warrior.
The Port Master raised an eyebrow, "and your surname?"
"I have non. Parents left me to die in a ditch. Never quite knew them, or my last name. Only remember being named Ralvein."
The Port Master wrote his name down on the parchment. "Welcome to Novograd, Mr. Ralvein. Would you like me to find you to a place to rest?"
"That would be nice, but first I must meet with someone at the Tavern. Would you direct me to where I might find it?"
"Yes, sir. It is a little ways east of here. Can't miss it."
Without another word, Ralvein was on his way to the Tavern. The Port Master turned to the Guard Captain, "keep an eye on this one. He may stir trouble."
The Guard Captain nodded and motioned for two guards to follow Ralvein.
The light was dim inside the Tavern. Ralvein looked around, and after a while, found the shipwright. He sat across the table, pulled out a parchment from his pocket, and slid it across the table, and watched the man take it, unfold it, and read. When he finished, he folded it and set it down.
"You know how dangerous this is, don't you?" said the shipwright.
"I am aware. So long as you provide the ship, crew, and pay me handsomely when I finish, I am willing to do it."
"Would 100,000 gold suffice?"
"I want 120,000. No less."
"Done. When may you leave?"
"Tomorrow. I want to resupply and get some rest."
"Very well. I will have the ship and crew ready by midday, tomorrow."
"I will be at the dock when that time comes." Ralvein said as he stood and left the Tavern.
Ralvein visited the market, bought some food, spices, and rum, and had his halberd repaired and sharpened, and went bought a place to rest.
The next day, Ralvein was spear-practicing until it came the time that he needed to be at the dock. He found the shipwright and was taken to a medium-sized Astral Ship.
"I found you a crew of 15."
"That should be enough. Can they be trusted?"
"Not on your life. A good portion of them are pirates."
"Just how I like it. Thanks".
Ralvein stepped onto the boarding device.
"Don't bang her up too much. She's a fine ship."
"I'll be careful." Ralvein said, then was warped onto the ship.
Ralvein stepped off the boarding device and looked around; 7 Men, 5 Elves, 3 Gibberlings were scurrying left and right, seeing to the condition of the sails, cannons, energy core, and the ship in general.
"Everyone get in a line this instant!" Ralvein shouted.
The people stopped and glarred at Ralvein.
"Lest you want to be thrown off my ship." Ralvein finished.
The people, at the sudden realization that this was their captain, jumped into line. Ralvein stood before them, and examined them.
"I'll make this as simple as I can for you dogs... I am your captain. My name is Ralvein. I couldn't possibly care less if you were a pirate, saint, Elf or Gibberling. But as long as you're on my ship, there will be no quarreling, brawling, stupidity or laziness. You will not eat, sleep, drink, or even think unless I say so. I don't care why you're here, but I will have discipline on my vessel. Is that clear?"
"Aye, captain!" Everyone said.
"If you are unsure if you can handle my rules, leave now."
No one moved.
"Aye, cap'n." A man said. He looked to be in his 50's. "The crew and I were wond'ring what it is we're sail'n for exactly?"
"What is your name, sir?" Ralvein said to the man who spoke.
"Well, Clyde, What we are sailing for is an orc hideout, where the shipwright's kidnapped daughter is being held."
"So... We're off to kidnap her and ransom her to the shipwright then?" Clyde asked.
"You are undoubtedly one of the many pirates on this ship. As much as that idea is tempting, I'm afraid that's not the plan. We're to go to the orc hideout, rescue the lass, sail back to Novograd and, in a manner of speaking, sell her back to the shipwright for 120k gold." Ralvein said.
"You could say I'm a pirate. I just sail with the wind and follow my orders, cap'n."
"Good, I like you. You're hereby First Mate."
"Thank you, sir!" Clyde said grinning. "So do you plan to divide this 120k between yourself and the crew?"
"... I didn't quite think about that... I guess when we're got the lass and brought her back here, we can ransom her for 250~300k. I take 50, you all divide the rest amongst yourselves. Savvy?"
"Sounds like a plan to me. What say the rest of you?"
"I say we raid the orc hideout, take their supplies, weapons, armor and gold, get the lass, ransom her for 300k gold, sell the gear and supplies from the raid that we don't use, or need, you get 10% of the gold, the rest of us divide the rest amongst ourselves." The one who spoke was the leading brother of the 3 Gibberling brothers.
"Sounds good to me. And the rest of you? "Ralvein said.
Everyone voiced their agreement.
"Very well then. To your stations! It's time we set sail!" Ralvein said.
Everyone scurried to their job. Ralvein went downstairs to the Helm. Clyde went to power up the energy core.
Within 5 minutes, the ship was sailing in open Astral Space.
Clyde went down to the Bridge and stood by Ralvein. "Do we have a heading, cap'n?"
"Why the blazed wouldn't we have a heading??" Ralvein said, looking at his map, then his compass. "We sail... South-East."
Clyde looked down, then up at Ralvein, and in a hushed tone, said; "Cap'n, I was wond'ring... Are we really sailing to some orc hideout to save some girl?"
"Of course we are! We're not off to find buried treasure or anything like that... Yet. I've got no treasure map, hence no heading for buried treasure. Although I assure you; when I find a treasure map, I wont be telling you."
"So how do we know you haven't got one now?"
Ralvein paused, grinned, and said; "You don't. You just sail with the wind. Aye, Mr. Clyde?"
"Aye, cap'n." Clyde said, grinning.
Please tell me what you think.
part 2 coming someday