RP:Island Adventures

From HollowWiki

Part of the Tales from the Row Arc

Synopsis: Intelligence points the runner and his crew to Selen Island as the location where the Razor has stashed their stolen contraband. After sailing from Rynvale and weathering a storm, the group lands on the island and fans out to search for the Razor’s trail, leading to a number of adventures.

Characters: Finn, Terra, Kirikae, Domastine, Alaine, Shale, Miya, Grot, Hanan.

Location: Cenril; Selen Island.

The ship gently rocking at anchor on clear blue water in the early afternoon sunshine, did not seem any worse the wear for having weathered the storm. Sails were neatly tied down and there was evidence of sailors swabbing the decks, the occasionally verse of a bawdy song floating on the wind. From the near distance of the beach, small rowboats of a landing crew could be seen making their way to shore, oars splashing in the shallow water. Those who had chosen to remain aboard were likely lounging on deck in furniture hauled on deck, drinking and gambling already having started up in some shaded corner of the aft deck. On shore, the runner was standing geared for a day’s hard hike. The cluster of men around him were some of his most trusted- especially as regarded getting to and from places on land that were too difficult for most. Squatting on the damp sand near waters edge, a stick in the man’s hand was etching a rough layout of the interior into the sands, his voice a low, confident murmur to the assortment of heads that nodded understanding and occasionally offered suggestion. In the moments it would take for the remainder of his crew to reach land, it would seem that the red headed male came to some satisfactory conclusion. He rose, finally, shifting pack from one shoulder to another as he turned to face the slowly assembling gathering. Whisky gaze flickered over the individuals present, making sure that all were accounted for before issuing his directions.“We’re all here..good. First order of business will be to find the bastard’s hidey hole. Two wagons full of weapons and armor sure as hell didn’t walk themselves too deep inland without leaving some kind of trail. Fan out, cover the entire shoreline and just inside..You’ll want to be lookin’ for signs of movement, broken branches, footprints, drag marks. Anythin’ that might point us to a location big enough to house the stash safely out of the weather,” he said quietly. “Don’t reckon he’d have gone too far inland..but just in case I’m gonna take some of the boys into the hills- here tell there’s a pyramid of some sort hidden away up there, good place put things you don’t want found. Day’s hard hike though..so I’ll not be back till mornin’” Eyes flickered the sparrow’s way at that, some silent communication passed between the pair. “Be careful.. island’s a bitch if you get sloppy. I want every man back on the ship come nightfall-get caught out here things could get ugly.” Knowing this lot..he’d all but ensured they all -not- make it back to ship with the onset of night. “Captains are in charge..” He nodded Hanan’s way, and then Kirikae’s. “Stay livin’ aye?..” he threw out finally with a grin. “Fall out..” And with a salute to the gathered party he’d turn away, though not before nodding Terra aside for a brief conversation that seemed intended on calming any concerns the sparrow might have regarding his pending absence. Behind him, the assorted group of misfits began the process of figuring out just who would be doing what, and going where. Selen was about to be over run.

Finn hoisted the weight of his pack from one shoulder to another as he moved away from the small group. They would be making tracks for the interior from the edge of the beach where it merged into the mangroves. It would be tough going and he was not so foolish as to not recognize the dangers-especially with the possibility of the Razor and his lot lurking behind every bush. Whisky gaze caught the green eyes of the vampire, gentling slightly as he nudged her with a dip of his chin away from the group and toward the hut that sat at the end of the beach. When she reached his side, fingers would lift to tuck flyaway blonde strands behind a tipped ear. “Gonna be ok?..” he murmured quietly. Odd, that he thought of her as alone and unprotected without his presence at her side.

Terra had a similar pack though hers would likely be considerably lighter. While there may have been a few weapons involved in her packing, she had prepared for the other side of the coin - if things become too messy, too bloody. She's sure that she could fix most of their inflictions with what she packed, providing there's no diseased natives running about. Miracles cures were not her thing. Then again, she's likely so focused on these things because they were a distraction to her thoughts. The empath is not unaware of what this seperation means. In a way, she would be alone. Her only real connection to these people had been him, he had been their starting point. Not to mention the last time this particular order of business had called him away, things hadn't went so smoothly on his return... A deep breath then, his fingers against the skin of her ear and she'd exhale slowly. Things would work out, she's nothing if not determined to see them all alive and well. "S'probably not me you should be worrying about out here... Maybe you, physically and mentally." As though she was sharing her own worries, fingers would find the cloth of his shirt and tighten. She's not one for hugs and this as close as she'd get, right then. "Keep safe, alright? Your well-being comes before profit and revenge. ...not that I'd care so much but.. the Row would probably be lost without you, all running about and drunk or what have you."

Finn, evidently, could care less just now about the elf’s reticence to display affection. And her fingers lay clasped on his lapels, the length of his arms would enfold her, drawing her in and trapping should she attempt at retreat before fingers rippled up her spine to slide into the hair at her nape. His lips came to rest on her temples. “Aye..I’ll be careful.” He brushed a kiss, feather light across her skin. “Stay close to Kae..he’s an arse, but he’ll look after the lot of you. Don’t wander off alone..” That last said with a touch more severity- drifting was one of the elf’s favorite pastimes it seemed. “And keep an eye on the Fox for me aye..somethin’s not sittin’ right with her.” Odd, a request for one who ran from bonds..to one who ran from the same. “I’ll be as fast as I can.”

Terra didn't withdraw in any form, instead settled just that much closer to him. They've had their moments when goodbye seemed like the only option but it never felt like ... this. Here lurked the actual threat that it could be just that, a final goodbye. Either could die, disappear, or become trapped ... all things she's more familiar with than she would have liked to be at this point in her life. Those eyes, as green as the very forests they were soon to roam, closed for a long moment and she could and would only nod her agreement to all of it. To staying near to Kae, to watching the Fox, to his reassurance that it would be nothing more than a quick run. One shoulder rolled and she'd start to pull backwards, leaving a smile to be shared in the absence of body. "I promise not to fall madly in love with an island native and forget about you during this one night seperation. Honest." She's trying to make light of the situation because it's the only thing she knows how to do, especially since it was starting to feel like a moment where she should confess that she had broke their rules, abandoned the game entirely, and found that a life without him would be just what he feared of her being this one night, alone and unprotected.

Finn laughed outright, a soft rich sound that rippled from his body into hers as he dropped another kiss on her crown, before he slipped a finger beneath her chin and tipped her head- the better to see that smile..the better to lower lips to her own for a kiss at once tender and teasing. The nip and graze across her lower lip the punishment for even daring the suggestion. “You promise aye..” he murmured. “Reckon I should return the favor..” Whisky gaze danced with mischief even as thumb swept across her cheekbone. She would be imprinted on his mind and heart until he came down from the treacherous hills. Fingers shifted, and from somewhere appeared the token, the golden pawn that anchored his thoughts and focus on occasion when needed. The item was pressed into her palm, a lazy wink offered. “This one..I’ll be wantin’ back..” he drawled, eyes falling to the ruby at her throat that he’d insisted she keep. “I’ve gotta go darlin’..” A final brush of fingers against her skin.

Terra licked a slow line over her sore lip, took it into her mouth for a hideaway as she watched the colors of his eyes. It was strange how no matter how often she searched them, there was always a new detail to behold. The way they seemed to shine with the idea of adventure, vibrate with play, darken with thought and beyond. She wondered if her eyes could ever be so expressive and yet distanced at the same time. The press of the cool token causes gaze to cast downwards, fingers instinctively curling around the piece and there's a certain halt to the steady rhythm of her heart, but it would stutter back to original pace after an extended moment. She's reluctant to release him but she does eventually and she'd force herself in a backward step to keep from further revealing weakness and just asking him to stay or to take her or just leave the entire idea of the voyage behind. "And you, I'll be wanting all of that back as well. I'm selfish, as you well know." Her fist is a little tighter around the object as though trying to seal an impression in the skin of her palm. And so she'd salute him, an actual salute that's probably better reserved for a captain of high importance but maybe that's what he was to her, anyhow.


Kirikae had watched the rough etching in sand with deceptively casual study, his hands once again hidden within the shadows of his leather duster. The fabric was still damp from the storm, and the objects he kept hidden within his pockets dewed with moisture. He made a near silent game of toying with the metal pieces housed there, sky-blue gaze flickering between the layout of the land and the dense greenery that lay beyond the beach. The land should have been his element, really, and though the half-elf felt his body tense with anticipation, it was a different feeling than that of having planks rock beneath his feet. '..Island's a bitch if you get sloppy.' Eyes snapped back to the top of auburn head, and despite himself, Kae felt the corner of his lip turn upward in a minute, half-grin. Gingerly his thumb ran beneath the fabric of his bandanna. Any number of knives and toys hid on his person, along with a wicked saber at his hip. That, and beloved bow, the only thing still completely dry on his person had been slung over his shoulder in preparation for the shore. Dropping his hand slightly to return the Runner's salute, the captain nodded as he walked off. For a moment, he watched silently as Finn and the Sparrow moved to talk away from the rest before turning a sharp stare to the rest of the group. It would be a while yet before everyone knew where they would be going, who with, which direction. Kae frowned only once before that crooked smile returned.

Terra came back over the dune by herself. Finn had already had himself prepared and what group he was travelling with and made no further ado's about lingering. Enough time had been wasted in his book and he'd waste no more, not even for group get-togethers and sing-a-longs... which, as Terr would find, wasn't happening. Everyone seemed pretty quiet and somber for the most part. Likely no one was entirely enthused with what lay before them. Following the advice provided she'd head towards Kirikae, the only one who seemed to be all there in that moment, and attempted to grunt as though this was a form of communication or greeting. It doesn't exactly come across as deep enough and so she'd clear her throat and just try again, the normal way, "We should be doing something." To him the empath looked for direction though little else. She's still not entirely sure she even likes him.

The attempted grunt brought forth that glimmer of amusement as the treeborn swung his head in the other blonde's direction. "Aye," he agreed. "Split int'er smaller groups, break off'n different directions n' look fer tracks. All tha'." There might have been a hint of mocking in his tone, though it could just have easily been thought of as his usual grumble. "Shouldn' be much trouble on the're shoreline." Send a few small groups in either direction to search for signs of the wagons, sounded simple enough. It was what dangers might have hidden inside the forests about that had the captain hesitant about sending just anyone further inland. Not that it seemed as though most of the lot gathered could not handle themselves.

Miya exited to the shoreline with her arms stretched over her head. She'd settled in for a nap in the late afternoon and decided after finally waking, she'd better see where they'd landed. It amazed her they were still alive- between the stormy sea and lack of rum betwixt the group of them, she'd thought surely last night was their end. Luckily for the whole crew, the caretaker was just a pessimist. Honey colored hues take their usual glance to all those around her while she slowly, albeit carefully departs the ship and takes her first step back onto dry land. "Thank the gods..." she'd whisper before heading closer to the captain and Red's new girl; of course, the elf didn't know whom she was; yet. None the less, she'd walk up and hear the tail end of Kae's comment about splitting up and walking the shoreline. "How many groups are we thinking?"

Shale had wandered away up the beach after Finn's farewell and is only now making the way back. When the petite elf ends up back in the small group, she says, "Nothing too exciting right along the shore line...didn't really expect there to be." she says with a shrug, "Just wanted a walk, really." she says with a playful wink. "So. What's the plan?" she asks the crowd.

Kirikae's ear pricked, and a sidelong glance was cast toward Miya. Chin cocked in the direction of then less clear drawing in the sand. As careful as the crew had tried to be about the damned thing, sand had still managed to scatter sand across the image.. He did not respond away. Instead, the captain was doing a quick count of heads. He did not trust large groups to go tromping through the woods together; it was too easy to lose people that way.. and easier to lose a trail with so many feet trampling about, as made obvious by the state of Red's sketch. "Prolly two bigger groups fannin' out either way on ther shore, groups a'bou' three goin' in deeper.. n' a few ter watch ther ship." Again his gaze flickered across the tops of heads of those gathered, taking a rough measure of exactly how many were present. "'Bou' three goin' inland, ah'd reckon." About five groups? Perhaps less given that he did not trust -everyone- to their own safety within the island's depths. Eyes drifted to Miya, lingering on the caretaker thoughtfully. "Take it ye'll be with one o' 'em on ther' beach, or watchin' ther boat?" Gaze flickered briefly to Shale upon her approach, before leaving the women altogether to turn back to the jungles beyond.

Miya 's shoulder rose and fell, "Suppose I'll be wherever I'm ordered, yea?" She took the time he'd looked away to do her own surveying of his person- her almond eyes jerking away when she'd noted him casting a glance back in her direction. "I hardly think my comfort is what is most important on this crusade. I'll go wherever whoever is breaking us up tells me to." She'd come to the conclusion fighting what she didn't want was useless this far from home. She couldn't simply get mad and storm off-- where would she go? And besides, they were her ride home, and one way or another, she needed to talk to Red and find out just exactly had happened since she'd left. Defeat evident within her golden gaze, she'd turn from looking at some random fellow, to Shale. A familiar face- not that a few of the men hadn't been known to her, but the clumsy elfess was indeed a sight for sore eyes.

Shale glances down at the plan she had watched Finn originally draw and then lets her gaze follow the blonde man away. She turns and spots Miya and waves, moving towards the woman, feeling no immediate rush to go off and searching the jungles herself. "Hey you." she says, approaching Miya, "I didn't know you were on board...must have been hiding the whole ride." she says, grinning, "How are you?"

Kirikae snorted derisively. " Ah dun bloody care abou' yer comfort." There was the mocking twinge to his growl, unmistakable as the humor that glittered momentarily across his gaze. They were burning daylight as it was, and nothing had been accomplished. Leaving the women to their chatter, the Halfling blonde took lengthy strides to where Hanan stood. "Ye comin' inter ther forests, or stayin' near the beach, cap'n?"

Hanan shrugged, simply, peering back at her ship. "I'll be along in not too long. Don't wait up. We're still lookin' at repairs after that storm." Several hatches had come loose, rigging torn... "He said captains were in charge. What do you think of your group, here?"

Kirikae knew the group, at least by face and alias, if nothing more. He did not bother looking toward them as he answered the captain. Rather, he spared a momentary glance toward the battered vessel that had brought them here. "Think most o' them'd be able ter tough ou' the island. Ah'll take a group or two inland, start from there. Ther rest 'o 'em may as well search the beach." Broad shoulders rolled back in a creaking shrug, and idly the blonde captain made to turn back to the rest. Shale was assessed again in narrowed study. "Barmaid's stayin' on ther beach." He paused. As assured he was in his assumption Miya wouldn't survive the forest, he had no idea about the red-haired elf. Right. He was going to have to actually get to know the rest of Finn's lot one day. "Stay with 'er."

Hanan ::"Good idea," she said, following Kirikae's gaze to Miya. "Those of them who aren't fighters... even if I end up followin' you in, my first mate Harry's going to be on board. If they stay in hollerin' distance, they'll be alright. Hey, Shale!" She looked over the halfling's shoulder. "Forest or the shore, doesn't matter... just stay where you feel useful. Either of you want a rowboat..." She jerked her thumb back toward her ship. "You can take one. Might mean you bein' able to travel a bit farther through the mangroves. We don't know where they came in.. might've been the other side of the island."

Miya dipped her head, "Stay I shall then. Might be better in the galley then the jungle here anyway." She'd help search the shores too, keen eyes of her might be of some use in the dark. She'd look to Shale after Hanan finishes speaking, her voice soft, "Don't leave me here alone... I'll go on the boat with you, just..." She paused to look around her at all the unknown faces, "Just let me stay with the one person I know." She sounded as if she were begging, though that wasn't her tone. She was just happy to see a familiar face within the sea of strangers.

Shale nods, touching Miya's shoulder lightly, "That's fine, come on, let's look at the forest edges." she says, pointing to where the jungle ended along the beach shore. It's possible Grot's crew moved on the beach and into the jungle further down, to make the trail harder to find.

Kirikae began the process of picking apart those who would go into the forests and those who he thought better suited to stay on the beach. Soon enough he had his group ready to go into the forest, the rest, left to search the beach. "Back here 'fore nightfall, savvy?" Final orders barked before he turned in the direction of the forests. Slipping his bow from his back, the male tipped a lazy nod the other captain's direction. With that, he and the others were heading off inland, where they might later divide to search for any sign of Grot's crew passing through.

Hanan ::Did he just say savvy? Hanan shook her head. Gods, this business brought in the crazies. She turned back toward her little rowboat--you can't drag a whole clipper right onto the beach, they were taking the rowboats back and forth--and stepped halfway in. "Anyone need something from the ship? This is your last chance for awhile." Something seemed... off. She peered to the forest line, eyes narrowing. She could practically feel eyes in there, watching. The Razor would be an idiot if he didn't have guards about. She'd have to keep an eye on Miya and Shale, or tell her first mate to do so... damn it!

Terra didn't much care in which group that Kirikae would have placed her in because given the options, he's her best bet. Hanan was saluted before she followed after the other captain, wisely silent. She's not going to draw any more attention to herself than necessary. She's actually pretty good at stomping through the underbush... perhaps it's not her first time on this island?

Miya was grateful. It showed upon her pale face as she looked towards the area indicated by the other elfess, her eyes narrowing to slits as she focused in the dimming light. It was obvious they hadn't come through right here; whomever they were after- else there would be no point in splitting into groups, right? Booted feet carry the caretaker forward and towards the edge of the jungle line, the elf stepping a few feet into the brush and kneeling slightly to push some of the undergrowth away in attempts to find anything of use.

Kirikae :: As the day wore on, and the search groups sent inland began to spread out in search of.. anything, any sign of the wagonloads of weapons and armor that had been brought through the island, Kae began to remember why he favored the ocean to the land anytime. He knew how to track, for what good it was doing him in the humid greenery, but the entire adventure was putting him in a fowler than usual mood. At the very least, he kept quiet about it, and while wearing his usual scowl, it was difficult to tell that his temper was running even shorter than usual. Long since realizing that it was only his mixed blood keeping him gracefully afoot on unfamiliar terrain, the captain had finally replaced the bow back upon his chest. It was not until a good deal of tromping through jungle and swamp alike that Kae paused, and glanced over his shoulder to the others. "Wait 'ere. An' keep yer damn guard up." The clipped command was spoken with the usual growl, and without waiting for a word from them, the blonde was slipping off, following what he thought was a mark of a footprint. It might've been. Who knew? The bow was in hand again as he made his way, leaving the group behind whilst he quickly and quietly exited the underbrush of the jungle.

Terra had a fair amount of small scrapes and cuts on the exposed skin of her arms, adusting the pack on her back once more as they all came to a stand. Kirikae's typical growl is to be expected and the empath is surprisingly alright with staying until she realized that no one else followed. Here's the thing - bad attitude or not, the captain couldn't have been all that bad. She would swear that he held a branch above her head for her at some point though likely it was because he had paused to decide a direction rather than any gentleman-like quality. Nonetheless, she'd find herself disobeying a direct order from the very person she had been told to listen to during their stay in this hell-infested jungle. Wading boots, soaked in mud and slime from the nearby swamps would announce her presence, leaving behind another set of bootprints to be followed should the remainder of their search party desire their presence once more. Roots and shrubbery had been common no matter what area of the island, from the start up until this point... Wasn't that strange? Where were all the trees? Their thick barks that kept them grounded? Something wasn't right... Surely Grot and his men would not head to an area that was this exposed. Another step forward to follow in the wake of Kirikae's own large ones and she found that the sthort trail of weeds had already started to diminish, and slowly but surely their weight was starting to give way to the lack of solid ground beneath them. Terra made the mistake of assuming it was more of the muddy waters encountered in the previous journey but she can't pull her foot free entirely and won't risk falling over into the sloppy mess in order to free herself. That glance she shot Kirikae's way? Yeah, it's a little menacing but only because she fully expected him to find some sort of escape from this mess since she clearly seemed to be holding him responsible without saying a single word. Lack of communication had been learned and he was the best to teach it.

Kirikae , if he had noticed the steadily vanishing roots and shrubbery underfoot, had not slowed his steady march. Until he had felt dampness wash around his boots, the captain had been rather happy to find himself outside of the jungle. He had not made it much farther into the quicksand than Terra, though he did turn a cutting stare upon her when keen ears pricked at the woman following after and into the same mess. Unsteady as he was, the inability to turn properly at his waist without moving his feet, the captain could only send her a harsher look over his shoulder. And you didn't wait? His expression said it, faintly hidden beneath his scowl. Right. There'd be time for that discussion once they were not steadily sinking. In shin high boots, the captain was not yet stuck, though he imagined the moment he wriggled free of his footwear he'd likely be sinking and barefoot. Better to try and make it back before the lass sunk to deep. "Shouldn't sink too deep," said the blonde who had walked them both straight into a natural trap. Ah, details. Steadily, slowly, he began wriggling his foot, boot and all. It wouldn't be long before it did not matter how high his damn boots went; he didn't think he could wriggle out now. "Move yer feet at all?"

Terra figured herself to be one of those well-read sorts. In whichever section of whatever story she had read, it suggested that while trapped in quicksand -- which was really too sloppy and messy to be considered sand, more like mud -- relaxing was the best way to escape. Clearly that author had never been trapped in a pool of the swirling sediment as it encircled them with a force that felt like a suction cup. Discussion? The only likely conversation they would be having is that between fists because this elf is pretty damned certain she could take that one. On a note that is significantly brighter, her left foot is still wedged upon one of the few plants that scattered the lids of these pools, marked as stepping stones that were seen too late. So she's sinking a little sideways which while uncomfortable isn't as bad as it could have been. Everytime she tried to jerk that right leg free she'd find it pull in tighter, the fine-grained clay mixture constricting around her shin by this point. A few fingers dig into the firmer ground near her other boot and she'd slowly try and pull herself out which would have been easy for .. say, a body builder, but she is not that. "Gimme one of your blades. A long one." She'd give him a dry look if he even bothered to question that. "I'm not going to saw my leg off."

Kirikae found that air outside the jungle was not quite worth the bath in the pool the two were currently sinking into. He kept his eyes on Terra, brow furrowed slightly with.. it might have been concern..? Right, well, she seemed understandably irritated at the very least, and despite the situation at hand, the strange look upon the captain's face turned to one of almost wicked amusement. The sheath of his saber had already slipped into the sand. Kae wrinkled his nose, hand dropping to the hilt. She didn't have to give him dry reassurance. The blade was pulled free, arm extending backward so that she could take it. The male was busy trying to figure his own way out, keeping up that slight twisting of his limbs that only seemed to make the mud pull him down faster. Either his father had taught him that or another captain he had served under. Wherever he had gained that bit of advice, the Halfling was certainly following it. Steadily he wriggled, creating painfully small pockets of space about his legs. Film of water atop the sand flowed into those pockets with a dry sucking noise, but to the captain's satisfaction, he could feel the sand loosening ever so slightly, and giving him room to wriggle back a hair farther. Of course, all the while, he was still sinking at that steady, far too fast pace. His own progress was slow, but steady enough that the man noticed and kept at it, more than one glance tossed back to the elf who held his blade.

Terra is almost as good in these moments as she is in any other that felt too personal so she'd merely wink at the captain and she doesn't even mean it in a flirtatious gesture. Oddly, it was supposed to be reassuring though she hasn't a clue what the hell she's reassuring him of. Probably that they won't be forever entombed in a swirling pit of pebble and streaks of clay. Blades, though perhaps it was a secret, were sort of her weakness. There's nothing wrong with a good blade and it's far more effective than most of that magic nonsense everyone seemed so focus on these days. In this case it was stuck deep into the soil near her leg that was still free of the swirling mass and she'd use it as grounded leverage, sinking it deeper into the earth as she worked that leg from the prison it had created as a result of its own weight. Both of her hands gripped the hilt tightly to keep her steady and she'd slowly pull it through the bog back towards the solid ground until she could feel the edge of the pool on the inside of her knee, edged it upwards in that agonizingly slow pace that eventually secured semi-freedom from the mess of it all. "The weeds-" she had started to say, begun to express their function when the singing caught her attention and she speared another look on Kirikae though this one was inspired by a terribly high level of alarm. How the hell was she supposed to get him out of there? She hopped to the next "step" of the path, heard the bristle break beneath a soggy foot and dug her heels into the soil, braced herself as low as possible while arms were extended towards him. "It's like a wall. Climb the wall." It doesn't make too much sense but he may have been close enough towards the outer lip to feel the 'wall' in question and catch the general idea behind what she had whispered harshly in an effort to be quick about... well, as quick as one could be when trying to escape the clutches of a hungry, consuming pit.

Kirikae snorted for the wink, despite himself. He'd read nothing deeper in it, nor let the gravity of the situation touch him too terribly. The blonde was rather enjoying his battle with nature, death be damned. It was only for the girl that he showed some concern, and he watched her thoughtfully as she used his blade to pry herself free. Semi free. The look she had turned on him then was enough to incite a half growled, "Dun cut yerself, dove. " Humor laced his tone as he continued shifting slowly backward. No one had ever bloody warned him that quicksand was so damn difficult to maneuver in. He'd assumed it had been tricky, but never caught in it himself, he'd underestimated the stuff. It might have been easier if he weren't walking backward, hip deep in the viscous fluid. Eventually leather heel touched the aforementioned 'wall', and the man let another crooked grin catch at his lips. Hand went backward to catch hers, the other moving to give him anchor against the lip of the pit he had found himself in. Quicker than he had been moving though, the captain was struggling up and out of the quicksand, brow beaded with sweat from the effort. All the struggling would pay off though, the captain would soon find arse planted on more solid ground.

If the empath could grit and bear him during conversation, she could do the same in silence and so she did. Jaw clenched from the effort of remaining quiet and she'd use both hands to his one to tug him inwards as though pulling him from the sea and onto the sandy shores. Maybe the metaphor would help to ease his attitude though there was no time to share it. She had not been oblivious to the sudden halt in singing and humming. Had they been spotted? There was no time to be sure that the captain had his wits about him before she'd turn ever so slightly to find the hilt of his blade, fingers wound tight 'round it once more as its plucked free and offered back towards him with an almost charming, though muddy grin that's flashed briefly before she'd nod towards the rest of the "stepping" stones. They couldn't go back in the direction they had came... that's where the source of the noise had come from. They would have to double back, find another way around to avoid tipping Grot off. If they were spotted he'd surely gather up both crew and merchandise and head on his way. These two, no matter how tough the elves may have considered themselves after that dashing recovery, were no match for a yet unknown crew of Grot's own. "The weeds..." she'd repeat, letting him take the lead once more. Apparently she didn't hate him as a result of their 'bath' and still let him go forth. There's not too many other natural disasters he could lead them into, right... ?

Kirikae was just fine, aside from an embarrassing and life threatening venture into a pool of quicksand. Any hope of having a moment of being thoroughly dry after the previous night's storm was long buried under dripping muck that clung to his form so eagerly. His hand lifted as though to wipe the sweat away before the Halfling was caught in pause, ear twitching. His expression took on a grim cast, lips narrowing into a thin and bloodless line as he cocked his jaw back over his shoulder. He might have caught the absence of a faintly heard song, then. Right, the rest of the group was in that direction as well. Again, a low grumble ran up from the pocket of his throat. They could take care of themselves, he reminded himself, looking back toward a muddied Terra. He returned the nod, expression returning to his usual cheery scowl as fingers found the saber. It was resheathed, his gaze flickering a final time in the direction from whence they'd come. 'Weeds.' He nodded, make careful yet agile steps across the natural pathway. Given the grace he moved with, one might have been surprised to think that the same Halfling had been trapped in sand about just moments before. His step was sure to be more careful after that incident, hopefully. Though he occasionally glanced back to be sure Terra was well with following, the two elves were not long in crossing crater filled landscape.


Terra felt the sheen of sweat on the line above her brow and wiped it away with the back of her wrist, which was then wiped along the side of her pants. Their next few steps were on oddly shaped plataeu of rock and she'd hop a few of them before she just stopped altogether, reached for the edge of one of his sleeves to encourage him to do the same. "We're just climbing. He couldn't have got all those crates that high, yea?" She stated in a way that made it seem like his opinon was sought on the matter, one hand cupped over the edge of the bandana that had been tied to her head sometime back to keep flyaway curls from becoming a nuisance. It was a little surprising how alike they were physically... That thought is enough to cause her to take a sudden step back, sliding slightly on the rock until booted foot found stability just on edge, centimeters away from falling into the caliming springs that flowed through the area. A sigh was pushed through, shifted her shoulders and she looked up and up at him. "Let's wait her a bit. We're high enough up to see if anyone comes from that direction." Unfortunately, no matter how much she squinted, she couldn't find their original party and tried not to let that worry show.

Kirikae ran the back of his hand across his eyes and brow when they stopped, catching up that thick misting of sweat and replacing it with a long streak of mud. Hell, he didn't care. He turned slowly to appraise their current setting. Finally, gaze returned down the ledge, retracing their path in silence. "Nah." He agreed. Eyes continued until they found that treacherous landscape of craters and trenches, sparking with humor for her words despite himself. "'Ell, if anyone comes they're like to be stuck." Long enough for him to decide whether to get his bow and shoot, or hope one of their own lot could find a way to free themselves. Could he even hit from this distance? Fingers trailed idly up the drawstring that spanned across his chest, ears pricking slightly. "Orders were ter be back at the boats by nightfall," he motioned idly to the steadily burning afternoon light. "Tough lot; if they needed babyin' ter make it in the woods, they'd be on the beach with ther barmaid."

Terra would be surprised if there was much of her, if any, that hadn't already been sprinkled or absolutely covered in mud or grime. Now wasn't the time to be concerned with apperances and it would almost make one wonder how much of it was merely an act outside of the jungle. After all, she had been born amongst the trees but that ... felt like many lives ago. "Maybe they put themselves to use and caught that bastard while he was singing." She'd idly remark, a slight hiss to the words though it's likely because she's twisting around to try and locate the canteen of water that had hung from her pack at some point during that trip. Bloody hell, did the pits eat that too? A brisk pat was given to her pockets and after digging around she'd pull out a small and golden pawn piece that had her breathing a short sigh of relief before dropping it back in. It hadn't been lost. "You're right. Let's head out..." She did life her head slightly and reveal that smirk, gestured in their change of direction. "Ladies first."

Kirikae was ready, more than anything, to be back along the beach. The discomfort was setting in again as the adrenaline of a.. was it so dramatic as near-death? It bloody felt that way. He shrugged thoughtlessly to her remark, watching her silently as she began twisting to locate her canteen. Of course he had no idea what she was doing, and so he merely waited in silence until she spoke again. Snorting in mild amusement, the captain 'rounded her. He'd tip his head back, offering a wicked grin, "Las' ah recall, Dove, ye were ther one cleanin' ther floor around me." Further anything was bit back in favor of quiet as they continued along the path. After all, last Kae recalled he also walked both of them into quicksand.


Miya hadn't had time to change before she was shuffled into the ship. Else, unlike most of the others, she'd have dressed more appropriate. Of course, in there too she hadn't been sure where they were headed- she was truly lost in all sense of the word. To the eavesdropping sailor, she'd loft a brow, "You ever tried to tell boss no?" Hanan's comment was left alone- the caretaker unsure exactly why she had been brought- though she figured it had something to do with punishment. She'd been just as happy running the club while they all came out and played on the big boat. "What exactly... are we lookin for?" Maybe she'd finally get some answers away from the larger crowd.

"He isn't my boss." No, nobody was her boss. She was the damn captain, dammit! Her nostrils flared again as they made their way across the swamp path--she wasn't going to muck about in the swamp proper without a good lead, Red wasn't paying her enough for that. This place smelled like swamp. Swamp and Terra. Damn, had she seen that elf so often now that she could scent her out? She didn't smell -that- bad, no worse than most elves. "Fellow by the name of Razor raided one of Red's caravans," she told Miya. "He brought the cargo back to this island. We're looking for it--signs of where it might've been dragged--hello." A group of men, hmm? They looked like one of Kirikae's groups. She waved an arm, made her way toward them--feet prefectly dry in her lovely sturdy boots. "Hey! Any leads?"

Hanan got a negative answer. The group (or, rather, the thuggish member of her crew that Kirikae had taken along, she quite liked the man but he smelled vaguely of olives, why she had no idea, she never saw him eat an olive, it kinda weirded her out) let her know that Kirikae and Terra had broken off, left them here. Broken off? More importantly, broken off with Terra? She doubted Kirikae would choose the swamp for a tryst. That would be... soggy. Hanan frowned. Terra in a swamp. She really, really did not like that idea. Nostrils flared again; anything familiar? A trail she could follow? She got Terra's general direction... but couldn't sight her; sharp brown eyes immediately started scouting for footprints.

Grot was off on a walk!~ Remember that half-bottle of rum mentioned during the storm last night? Yeh? It was 'bout gone. A sip left, maybe. The spit at the god damn bottom. Now, don't get me wrong - Grot knew how to do it right. He'd really done it right. Went on a walk - oh pretty stars, all that shyte, next thing you know he's got a nice lil buzz. Damn bottle. Damn rum! Tasty. Oh. Stars? Pretty! Fecking hell. No one around but his own, damn well good night fer a walk. Noisy one. All, step on this branch, that twig, kick that stone. Grot Kingsley was in a good mood. More unshaven than usual, less clothed than usual, and quite unarmed. Cept, you know, a few hidden blades here and there. Singing with a terribly rowdy voice, Razor bent to retrieve a hefty, wet branch - a new walking stick and began to recite from memory: "Yeh gots yer stick yeh gots yer balls, get dem girls beneath tah' falls. Yeh walk along, yeh bare it proud 'cept fer when she can get loud!" Next verse was the same. Maybe that was all there was to this little slum jangle.

Hanan had walked a good ways out of sight of the rest of Kirikae's group, sniffing out Terra when she heard... singing? Branches snapping, all that--but she didn't need that for the singing, and she recognized the voice. Damn him. Kingsley. She turned and dashed into a clump of reeds, by a pool of quicksand--no, of course she didn't tumble into the quicksand, did she look stupid?--crouched, and kept her head down. Damn him. What the hell was he doing in the swamp? She wasn't disguised! Quick--she took off the hat, shoved it in her pack, took out a brown bandana, wrapped it around her face, tied it under her ponytail. It'd have to do. She leaned a bit forward, hand planted on the solidish ground, eyes peering through the foliage, waiting... this ought to be in his path, right? It had to be. Was he singing about his penis? He was singing about his damn penis. Rutting penises.

Grot liked swamps. Smelly, dangerous. Grot Kingsley was a god damn swamp. Laughter erupted at songs conclusion, a stumble - the sound of foot scraping against moist ground, all that and then for the most part he was just humming. Course, he didn't have a vampire's sense of smell, sight, or hearing. But he did have the human sense of needing to take a mean piss. Kept walking, bit deeper, paused next to a pool of quicksand. Knew the swamps well enough. Hanan might hear leather strings unfurling on his pants, and...well....it just so happened, he was taking a piss on the very same reeds she was hiding behind. If she could see his face through them, she'd see Grot's left eye twitch closed a bit, hip sway the opposite direction just a tad, and /hear/ the sudden duck quack noise of an ass rip. Sounded like a sick duck. Smelled much worse.

Hanan's eyes widened. Was he going to--SHYTE. SHYTE NO. She tumbled backwards before anything could hit her--thank the gods she kept that humble shred of purity--but doing so robbed her of any modicrum of stealth. Grot would find himself facing a short woman half crouched with her shirtsleeves rolled up, wide, angry eyes, and a bandanna obscuring her features. Shyte! Shyte! Smoothly her hand fell to her rapier, she drawing it in a quick, fluid motion as she rose out of the crouch and fixed him with--was that his prick? Oh gods, she was staring at his prick. It was bigger than the mute guy's. WHY WAS SHE THINKING ABOUT THIS. Back to his eyes. They narrowed. She pointed the blade at his damn throat. Wordlessly. She didn't dare open her mouth. Not yet.

Grot went from being happily buzzed, to splattering piss all over his pants - shyte! - during the fall backwards. The hell was a bitch bandit doing out here?! Dumb question, coming from a man-bandit. Fecking hell, pants were muddy - his bare arse was muddy after the fall. Quick as a thick-muscled man like him could though, he recovered. A bit sloppily, took a couple of seconds, but he came up on his knees, one hand keeping his god damn pants over his bits - the other holding that branch like it was a god damn weapon. Voice roared, surprise over anger - hadn't really taken the time to notice it was a she yet. "Tah hell fecking shyte bastard of a goats mother god damn donkey punching queer ass!" Speaking of ass, it was still hanging out of those pants, currently suspended by a mere hand, which had him crouched forward slightly - "Yeh fecking god damn shyte brained fool!" Branch versus rapier, fecking hell how he hated having holes poked in him.

Hanan couldn't help it, she smirked under her bandana. Smirked like a fiend. She had him, oh, she had him. A step forward, into the reeds--she tried not to think of what was there, her thick boots were knee high, it didn't touch her--until her trusty rapier's point was only an inch from his throat. She cleared her own. "Come quietly, or I cut you a breathing hole." This was a hoarse, husky whisper--she trying to lower her voice as much as possible. Gods damn her, if he recognized her... Another inch forward. She could be intimidating, damn him. "Drop the branch."

Grot dropped that god damn branch like it were on fire. "Eh. No need fer'blades yeh lil bastard." Slow movements - intentionaly slow - had pants coming over muddy ass, strings being tied. God damn that was going to be itchy in an hour. On the inside of Grot Kingsley, the shirtless, sweaty, well-muscled brute, was a tiny whimper. Unseen on exterior, which was stoic and - a bit pissed. "Errrr - where are, like fecking goin' then?" Scratched the side of head, played dumb. God damn it. Fecking getting held up. This was backwards.

Hanan 's smirk turned into a real grin. Thank gods she was wearing that bandanna. "Back along the trail. Get in front of me." She circled back a bit around him until he was between her and the path, rapier still poised, then prodding him toward that safe path through the swamp. She knew Kirikae had left his group up that way, knew that once she had backup she could easily get rope around his wrists without dropping her weapon... Drag him back to the ship... actually make good on Red's promise not to kill the bastard off. Maybe she got to play lady luck today. The blade tapped him lightly--cutlessly, she was good at this--on the shoulder. "Move."

Grot walked in utter silence. Muddy foot sloshing, that was about it for noise out of him. Kept thinking over the god damn dagger in his boot. Tiny thing. Bah. Kept looking for the right rock to tumble over, anything - nothing much presented itself. He knew the swamps well enough. Hell, this had been his little hidey hole fer years. God damn bandits invading his....bandits haven. He didn't see the humor in the irony, "Eh. Yeh know, yer gon' die right?" voice was dark. Darker than Hanan had ever heard it, remotely. It wasn't angry, harsh, nay - just dark, like the final gush of sanquine out of an arterial kill. "Yeh dun seem'tah unnerstand who yer feckin' with yeh?" Kept walking, the bastard knew how to get inside someone's head. "Yeh think we din' see yer ship wot? Yer boys is already dead. Was running patrol fer dah head boss, see iffin dey got more dem on island already." So dark, couldn't even throw in a montage of curse words. He stopped moving then, faux stretch, hands raising to knit along the back of his skull - a man taking his ease for a moment, "Yeh. Gonna string yeh up by tah'ankles. Yeh know how hard it is tah'skin a man alive wit'out killin'm? Gots tah'take lots'o'care my good man. Lots of care." Started moving again, avoiding the obvious sink holes - pools of sand, all that.

"Ever been keelhauled?" Dark didn't bother her. She was of the dark now, wasn't she? Quite at home there. Had eyes that could see through it. He was worried. She liked that. That stretching got him a prod from her blade, right between the shoulderblades. A nick. No worse than he'd get if he tried shaving the thing, but the threat was there. "Simple, really. Tie you to a rope, dump you over the side, drag you along the keel, all along the length of my ship. See, there's barnacles down there. They're sharp. You might just come up half drowned. Or you might come up missing an arm, or half your face." She'd seen that. Not a lie. Easier to be all dark and gloomy when you weren't lying. "Move." Just a bit farther and they'd see Kirikae's men...

Grot was able to bullshyte his way through anything. He was Grot Kingsley. The Razor - damn it, he'd kill eighty-seven men! Fecking hell. She out-darked his darkness, as he would put it. But she wasn't a bandit. She was a god damn pirate. Pirate! Bah! Er. Wait. Girl? "Yerabitch? WOT?" Voice was raising, he felt the prick on his back then. It itched. "Yeh mean to tell me - " He kept walking, don't get that part wrong. Hated having god damn people sticking god damn holes in his fecking guts more'n anything, "Dat I got held up by a god damn bitch wit' mah pants down? Fecking....fecking hell. Tah fecking hell'r yeh doing out here lass! Der be sinking sand all over!" Too uneducated to know the proper term, obviously, "Yeh gots tah be smarter den dat, coulda gotten yerself killed and shyte! Should be at home." Sawr a rock, Chaching. "Wit a nice husband - " Came up on the rock and - tumbled. Into some unhappy, sickly looking reeds. Ass was the only thing seen at the moment - he'd thrown himself into the reeds, cut up his arms a bit, but came up with a tiny dagger nestled ever-so-sneakily into the palm of his hand. More something to be thrown, triangular blade with a small bit to hold on to. A half-assed balanced thing took off the body of a raider a few years back, never hadda use it. Wouldn't use it on her. Fecking women. But he could act like it - but for now, he acted like he'd stumbled (Gods damn it if she noticed'm take the thing) and continued walking toward a god damn beach, where he knew, he'd find a god damn ship that his men hadn't fecking burnt because the mother feckers caught him off guard.

Hanan didn't respond to all that, except the affirmative, still in that husky, lowered voice. "Yeah. I'm a damn girl. What does that make you?" Godsdamn Grot Kingsley, was he actually acting worried about her? Her? Home with a husband? Never. Never, ever--"Keep your damn feet, bandit." Yeah, she'd call him that. No reason to let him know she knew him, right? He... had to be up to something, falling like that. Damn her if she could see, though. Dark brows lowered over brown eyes. She'd really rather not cut him. Well, alright, she wouldn't mind cutting him a little. She still had this damn limp, slight now, but still pronounced enough to notice. She owed him for that. And the ground was getting firmer--this wasn't the swamp anymore, merely the trail leading into the swamp. And there were Kirikae's men, still sitting there, on their hands, the idiots. "Oi." She never said oi. That's kind of like a disguise, right? Olivey---the one who smelled like Olives--looked up. "Get his damn hands. We're taking him back to the boat." He'd step forward, metal cuffs already in his hand, opening them. Hanan grinned. Easy as pie.

Grot kinda had this innate ability to get out of sticky situations. He was the equivalent of hot chocolate, to Kae's marshmellow men. He would melt them with their blood. Soon as he sawr them, he knew, he had to somehow kill'm and not...hurt her. Fecking women. Complicating shyte like this, always happened - but it was a principle burned into his bones. Litterally. There was more to Grot Kingsley than brute strength and scars. Olivey approached - say, at about three feet's distance he moved. Quicker than hell. What had once been heavy, loud movement became soft - silent, stealthy for no reason other than second nature. It looked like it was meant to be a punch, see, 'cept for the god damn blade sticking out between index and middle finger. Right for the throat. Yet it wasn't an assured thing, and the male had enough wits to know he needed to move away from the girl-pirate. So, Grot Kingsley could dance. A deadly dance. A god damn fecking dance, of slicing at Olive's throat followed by a fecking spin, elbow raising to nail the jaw - inertia allowing - in case that particular bit failed. More distance between him and Hanan, and he was moving on to the other two with naught but a three inch blade and a determined fist. And a foot. The movement was quick enough that he hoped, hoped like a god damn bastard, the other two were still sitting. Which made the second easy - a quick swipe across the eyes. Hopefully. He was a fecking razor leaf, floating on the fecking wind - the third posed the final challenge.

Olivey fell... Olivey had never been swift, in mind or body, and was to put it mildly was quite lucky to get away with a mere slash across the throat. Mere, because he'd managed to start backing up in time to get merely a deep slash and not a life-ending cut. Hanan had only ever seen Olivey speed up at this moment--when he was running the hell away. And so was the third, right after him, scrambling up off his damn ass and running like hell for the beach. Damn them! She was sprinting forward while the second fell on his back, clutching his left eye and screaming while blood streamed past his fingers. "RUTTIN' BASTARD!" There went her disguised voice; he'd recognize that the captain's yell, all right. He wouldn't have much time, though, she jumping up, her boot connecting with the small of his back, a hard kick meant to send him sprawling. If that didn't work, her rapier's pommel aimed square at the back of his skull might succeed in knocking him out. The bastard. The sneaky rutter! What gave him the right to start dancing?

Grot was performing. God damn it all, if sometimes, yeh just don't get caught up in tah'performance. Cept when you hear the voice of a god damn Captain, which came before the kick - and with adrenaline pumping, second nature had him grabbing her god damn ankle. The man could fecking move when he needed to, on occasion. Which meant, pommel smacked him across the god damn face - THAT sent him sprawling, her along with him, blade fell somewhere in the plummet to the muddy ground below. Fecking hell if he'd let'r jes' take'm like that though, feck that - bastard was moving likely before she was, from back - forced himself on his ass then inertia carried him to his knees with a loud 'unnnmph!' that suggested he was a bit pissed off, went for her feet, whether she was up or still down, grabbed at both of'm. Muddier than hell now. Gorram it.

Hanan hated mud, she -hated- it, and now he'd not only grabbed her ankle and tugged her down with him--muddying her knees--but now he was going for her legs and knocking her onto her front, her damn front. Luckily she managed to catch herself on her hands--now her sword was muddy, damn him--jacknife her legs around, hopefully getting a heel in his face while she spun--great, now her butt was muddy--and pointed her sword at him again--now the blade was alongside his neck. She had a blade, he didn't. that had to count for something. A girl learned to fight from the bottom. "I meant what I said about the new breathin' hole," she growled.

Grot got all this god damn mud all over, sliced up two men, jes' to be in the same god damn predicament he'd just gotten out of. Fecking hell. Cold steel against throat, he spoke a bit slowly. "Yeh look so god damn lovely all tah'feckin'time." That was angry. "Even with tah'feckin'mud on yeh, tah'can't look it another direction yeh?" Narrowed eyes, god damn it, she wouldn't slice him. Would she? He didn't exactly let go of her legs though, and there was a foot-print on his cheek starting to dry, "How's bout yeh put down dat blade right there, damn need no'n that."

"No." Was he trying to rutting flirt with her, like this? After slicing up two of her men? Well... one of hers, one of Red's. No matter. Olivey might be a coward, but he was a bleeding coward. "No. You let go of my legs." She wasn't slicing him though; her eyes were angry, that bandana over her face slightly ajar. Damn him. "Let go of me. I've got the upper hand, 'case you didn't notice."

Grot shook his head as much as he could, blade against neck allowing. Chuckled a bit even, a man at his ease - real or fake? Mayhap a bit too confident she'd not slice him. "Yeh don't seem tah'understand doll. I kin flip you about long 'fore that blade slices meh open. Kin move back - see, I move back allsa fecking sudden yer precious lil steel bit ain't against meh neck, but I still gots yer legs. Flip yeh around, and be on meh way. So. Put dat god damn thing down, er I'm gonna hafta hurt yeh." Stern look to follow. He wouldn't kill a woman. Hurt if he had to. Hated hurting them. Fecking hell, if she wasn't forcing this on him.

Hanan growled; her eyes were on fire. "No." This was a pride thing, now. A rutting pride thing. "You aren't ruttin' faster than me." The pressure on that blade increased, slightly--not near enough to cut, but still. "You yank on my legs, I kick. I kick hard. One slip from you and this blade slices your neck open. Just one little mistake, and you're bleedin' out instead of braggin'. I'm askin' you to let go of my legs, and I won't cut you." Her voice was dark, again. Nobody put her on her back, and threatened her. Nobody.

Grot wasn't too certain of his idea. It made sense, but she was smaller. Faster. He was stronger. Bah. Fecking hell, thought the bitch would be a bit more....uncertain. Fine then. "Feckin' fine." Let go of her legs, fall back on his ass, looked comfortable in the god damn mud. "Wot are yeh doing here Hanan? Eh? Lurkin' about, feckin, disguised like a god damn bitch. Tah feck, yeh ain't here to help with tah'pull, so why?"

Hanan sat up, panting lightly. That was a damn load off. She inhaled, exhaled, pulled down her bandana. No point in lying, he was sharp enough to guess fast. "Why the hell do you think?" An incredulous look, that. "Seriously, why? What did you just do to us?" When did Red's group become an 'us?' She decided not to dwell on it. "Why would a girl you shot in the leg be snoopin' around your island?"

Grot scratched the side of his head, not playing dumb this time. Us. Er. Him. Merchant and the blonde bitch. Fecking hell. Oh shyte! Oh shyte. Er. Wait no...yeh. No. Shyte. "Er. Yeh.....are...here tah'wish meh tah'happy birthday? Gots a party back at base, cake and all! How tah'hell Grim gotta cake all tah'way here is beyond meh, looks freshr'than shyte though. Frostin' and dis shyte he call umm...sprinkles and..yeh. Looks good." He laughed, a hollow laugh, and rubbed a muddy hand on his forhead, smearing a bit more - "Eh. So. Guess I'm yer prisoner then." Never thought he'd hear so much disappointment in his voice. Arrogant bastard, dumb fool.

"Yeah. You are. Happy Birthday." A small grin, that; she was rising to her feet--hand still on her blade. She wasn't stupid. "And I promise you, if you come quietly, I'll see you live." She straightend--gods, her leg hurt. It hadn't seen that much action in ages, had it? The bandana was pulled up, wiped a bit at her face. "I've got a spare officer's quarters. You'll be locked in there... but away from the crew. Hell, I'll get you drunk. You can celebrate my victory." A predatory grin, there, but a grin nevertheless. "Come on."

Grot chuckled a bit after her promises, hell, this might not be so god damn bad. "Yeh yeh." Started walking toward the beach, muddier than hell. Poor little bastards in Cenril. Kept thinkin' over there faces. Sick feckers.

Hanan breathed her relief. This was leagues easier than she'd thought it would be, wasn't it? Toward the ship, toward the rowboat that would take them to the ship; toward Olivey, who was having his throat fussed over by a mate with some medical ability, giving Grot the evil eye. "In the boat."

Grot gave Olivey an equally evil eye. The kind of eye that suggested before this was over, he was going to be dead. Kept the look too, the whole walk, didn't look away til he had no choice - at boats front. Climbed in, heavy bastard, looking defeated. Felt defeated. "Yeh know I hate tah'ocean right? Tah hell, yeh bastards coulden' get sumpin' on tah beach'r what?" Sun was still out, fecking hell, nice day for a walk right?

Hanan shook her head. "If you hate the ocean, don't hide out on an island." With a practiced sort of grace she dug her boots into the sand and pushed the rowboat into the shallows, jumping in after it without so much as getting her feet wet. She sat on the bench, grabbed the oars, started rowing. "And no, we don't have something on the beach. You would've found that, wouldn't you?"

Grot lounged, god damn it if he didn't lounge. Either elbow against the sides of the vessel, leaning back, looking a bit pissed still. But she'd promised his life. And liqour. And comfortable cabins. Least on the boat, he could achieve a little subterfuge. If only he could get word to the boys to move early. Fecking hell, hadn't even found a captain yet. Coulda...done something. Hidden it better. Tunnels only does so much. Maybe if he screamed - nay, they were too far inland. "Yeh but...erm.." Out-witted. Not hard to do, but still, stung a bit. His ass was /REALLY/ starting to itch too, dried mud now. Feck.

Hanan shook her head yet again. "Did you even have a watch?" A serious question... she half wasn't even looking for intel. He'd be questioned, alright. She was sure Red would be on his ass as soon as he got back from that surveying mission. She wondered if Red had stumbled into anything, if he was alright... She threw her back into the rowing, a good way to chase worry off. "Didn't see a soul until I saw you. I wasn't the only one lookin', mind."

Grot made it obvious, the refusal to answer. Instead, he turned tactics against her - "Yeh know it ain't jes' tah old ones. Got a few kids. Rash. Makes tah'skin all hard like stone, jagged. Painful. Hole body jes'turns to stone, flakes away. Innocents dying. An' only in tah'slums. Not a god damn soul outside. Tah bastards are poisoning mah people." Think they'd have worse to worry about Corsairs overtaking half the god damn city. Instead, the Merchant bastards who retain a semblance of official control of Cenril were doing far worse. "Yeh. Little Pearson's got it now too. Cute lad, yeh?" God he was so good at bull shyting, couldn't even tell he was fillin'r up. "About seven. Smarty. Kin tell yeh 'bout all tah stars in dah sky, and all." Started listing the names in his head though, not so obvious on his stoic face. The names of those he'd grown up with, their kin. Least a dozen were sick. "Then thars this kid, Leon. Thirteen. Quickest purse-cutter I evar seen. Can't get outta bed now, coughing. He's likely dead by now." See her question him with that guilt, damn he was good.

Hanan fixed the Razor with a hard look. He was pulling that card, was he? "I heard you talkin' about that with... what'd you call him? Benji? At the Whaler." That's it. She stopped rowing, put the oars up; they were halfway between the shore and the ship, which was a good distance to begin with, what with all these mangrove shallows. Folks on her ship likely couldn't even make out who she was, yet, without a spyglass. "You know what my pay for this job is?" She crossed her arms over her chest. "My pay is, Red sends a man over to Gualon. Finds your flower lady. Sees if it isn't bullshyte, all these stories you're tellin' me about a slum plague. If it isn't, he'll be bringing them back." She huffed, lightly. "That'd make us even, if you aren't a ruttin' liar. You got me in the leg instead of the heart, I get you your ruttin' flowers. But the flowers don't come if you don't behave."

Grot Kingsley turned into a god damn teen out of no where, at least in expression - "Really? You mean you're gonna get dem? Dats fecking great!" Had no idea what the hell he was going to do with them anyways, "You're the best Hanan!" God damn, went from being a thirty-something year old brute to a fourteen year old just like that. Joy settled after the half-lunge to give her a hug, boat rocked, he damn near went over, and he sat back down. Fecking see, this was why he don't kill women. Benji. Shyte. Benji. Shyyyyyyte. "Eh. Oh. Yeh. Benji. Bastard got his throat slit few days ago. Fecker got himself inna pickle, got jarred yeh know? Was only fifteen, dat lil bugger. Looked younger. Eyes were already old though yeh know? Not much left tah'see with him." He chuckled, a man who'd seen more death than neccesary, "Got'm a job as a apprentice fer'a blacksmith too. Din even get tah' tell'm."

Hanan didn't hug him back, not out of a conscious decision so much as shock. "Ruttin' hell..." That was awkward. But she didn't exactly push the bastard away, either. Maybe now he'd actually cooperate--damn, was she grinning again? A real grin this time? Damn her. She snickered... up until the Benji story. Gods damn. "Hey." Hands went back to the oars, she was pulling again. "You employ a lot of kids, eh? Bad business, that..." Pull. Pull. "Shouldn't do that. They're easier to kill."

Grot shook his head, then cast a look over his shoulder. That god damn ship was getting close. "Eh?" Was a quick response, eyes settling on his chest while she rowed. "Oh wot? Nawr, bastards needa'be looked over. I keep'm looked over, sorta." Give them work, then find them work. Better work than their parents, "Not that I really care too much." such a good liar when he wanted to be, "Dem lads got strong hearts, gon' grow up tah'be strong men. Dat makes'm useful, all that."

Hanan snickered; joyless this time. "Yeah. Strong hearts. But stupid heads. Dyin' before they get to be men in the first place, you understand?" Yeah, they were close, close enough that she stopped, looked over her shoulder--no, a few strokes more. "See, that's the thing. You keep usin' kids as bandits, people stop seein' kids as innocents, you follow me?" She threw herself back into the rowing. "So when innocents--you called 'em that--in the slums start gettin' sick, the folks outside the slums think of thieves not kids." There--she looked up, called out, stood; started connecting the hooks connected to her clipper's keel to either end of the boat. They'd be hoisted up with them. "You're muddlin' up the meanings."

Grot snickered. It held a bit of humor, more than Hanan's prior. "Yeh din' grow up in Cenril did yeh? Yeh figurin' Rynvale be bad? Ain't got tah semblance of an idear, Hanan. Tah wars, dat Avian killin'off tah only remote form of authority we had. Taint nothing but a god damn mad house there now. Few Merchants keep a few god damn pockets, Beloy side, ain't much else. Fecking hell, dese kids, dey doing tah'same shyte I gots dem doing long 'fore I come along. Dey die, its on dem." It was the best he could do. That's what he wanted to say. But his god damn masculine pride wouldn't allow it. Hell, he continued while looking up at the ship. "Dey is innocents. Ain't no one outta tah'slums gon'kill'a'lad'less dey try it ferst. It's dat simple. How's bout yeh keep yer nose where it don't fecking belong yeh?" The harshest thing he'd ever said to her, not what he said, how he said it. God damn it if she wasn't pushing a button right now.

"I'm not sayin' it's your fault--hold on." They were being winched up, now; Hanan sank back onto the bench while the boat was lifted into the air. "I'm sayin' it's awful. And no, I didn't grow up in Cenril. My place was worse--easy on the left!" She was yelling up again. "You're liftin' us cockeyed! Keep it steady!" Back to Grot. "And you've got no say over where my nose goes. I'm the ruttin' flower-bringer."

Grot sneered. He could jump out maybe. Nawr. Flower-bringer. Bah. Damn it all. She had him, snared him, god damn walked right into it. "Eh. Shut yer mouth wench." Much less harsh, hell, he was smiling. "Yeh look like hell woman. Muddier than a fecking..." Kingsley, again, not the sharpest blade on deck, "Really muddy-ass person."

Hanan planted her hand on the rail, stood--they were all the way up, now. "At least I've got a shirt on." Eyes turned to the very hairy Harry, her first mate, the portly guy towering over her. "This is the Razor. I captured him. I'm a ruttin' hero." She smirked. "Keep an eye on him." She hopped over, onto the deck, looked back. "Come on, Razor. Time to lock you up."

Grot didn't drag his feet per se. Made it over the rail, awkwardly, bumped shoulder into Harry - intentionally. Din' much care for pirates. Sea dogs. "Yeh yeh. Whars'tah nice cozy cabin yeh promised meh? Do I getta view?" A man at ease. Not worried at all. They would get the flowers, all that mattered really. Muddier than shyte, itchier than shyte, but relieved. "s***e woman, if yeh don't gotta nice ass." THAT came out of nowhere, whilst he approached her backside and came to walk along, even tried to smack it. Proper gentleman, he was.

Hanan didn't have a good come back for that, really. Rather she turned on one foot, reared her arm back, and slapped Grot clear across the face, an audible smack with an open hand. "On my ship, you call me Captain." It really was a good thing she'd slapped him, because there was Harry right behind, eyes burning bloody murder, hand balled into a fist, as if he'd pound the Razor to a pulp. The captain was Captain, but she was also short and female. Tended to do odd things to the first mate. Hanan, on the other hand, seemed a mixture of angry enough to strike and amused enough not to kill. "Down below. In front of me, this time." She lifted a hatch in the middle of the deck, gestured. "Go."

Grot didn't look to smug 'bout the smack. Hell, his eyes narrowed, that stung like a bitch - but he smiled. "Liketa'play rough eh 'Captain'??" Oh how light his mood was. Was quite a bit more dreary, at first, but now - it was lighter than a god damn drunk feather. Since feathers get drunk, by that logic. To the first stare, he muttered a "Yeh jes'wan'lookit my arse, dun need tah'lie /Captain/" But...down he went, regardless.

Hanan went down the ladder after him; it led to a common area, a couple tables, some chairs, a door to the galley. On their left a door would lead to general berthing--hammocks--while to their right were four officer's quarters. It's toward her she nudged him. "I saw enough in the swamp, thanks. Wasn't too impressed." She grabbed a bottle off the table on the way down. Rum. It'd do. "Last on the left." She'd let him open the door; it was unlocked. Not for long. The interior was little more than a closet--a bed took up the whole far side, a tiny desk, and that was it. It wasn't a large boat, hense the rooms were small. She handed him the liquor. "Rutter."

Grot did as he was told, went where he was told, a god damn perfect little prisoner he was. Too stupid to doubt her words for truth, which they hopefully were. Upon entrance there was a note of hesitation at the threshold, scoping out the place, "Eh. Needa bath woman. How do you sea dogs bathe? I'm covered in fecking mud." Took the liquor with one hand, the other? Scratched his ass, head was tilting a bit - one eye squinting...man, that hit the spot. Been wanting to do that fer quite a bit now. Turned at bed's edge, took a seat at the tiny desk. Yeh. He could already tell this was going to be fecking boring. Least he had rum. "Oh - " He chirped, a bit late, which took /all/ the sting out of it - "It grows on yeh woman. Lit'rally."

"Yeah... don't think I wanna catch that. Clap can get bad enough." She smirked, couldn't help it, as her hand went for the keys in her satchel. "Gotta keep you locked up until Red gets to talk to you. Then it's either a bucket and a sponge or a guarded jump in the sea, your choice." She always tried to keep clean at sea... she understood completely. "Until then... drink, sleep. Red'll probably work you over. I'll see it isn't fatal."

Grot shrugged, absently toying with cork on bottle. "Yeh. He won't have'tah work me none, ain't got no reason not to co-operate yeh know? Gots tah'medicine wot-have you promised, and yeh don't break promises right?" Eyes met hers, sharp eyes. Expressive things, they were. Red was his name though. Unfamiliar. Must be one hell of a shady Merchant. No smuggler in his right mind would buy a plot that nice in Rynvale, less he was retiring. Like hell if that fool was old enough to retire. "Yeh promise meh Hanan? No matter wot that Red-fool does, dat dem peoples gon' get dat medicine right?"

Hanan was half out the door when Grot met her eyes, she looked right back, her own browns smiling. She'd been afraid this would get ugly. Well, it was ugly for Olivey. And the guy who'd lost an eye. But no killing interesting Cenrili thugs. She'd almost not taken the job... The grim mood she'd been in, since ending it with Yasmine... it was starting to dissipate. "Yeah. I promise. You cooperate, we get our goods back, you get the flowers. If Red doesn't follow through on his end, then I've not been paid. So I'd be kickin' his ass then goin' myself. Alright?" She hesitated a bit at the door. "I'll be in later, about gettin' the stink off your ass." With that she shut the door, turned the lock in the key. Time to go up to her quarters, up the hatch in that hallway outside, flop down on her bed, and think.

Grot did the only god damn thing he could: Started to get fecking drunk. Hoped like hell Red would get back before the boys started looking about. Otherwise this could get easily ugly. Only reason his did this pull was cause of the god damn plague. And cause Red is a god damn Merchant, greedy prick of a man. Nice house, tah'blonde bitch has an ass you could eat off of for fecks sake. "Take'r easy Hanan." He called out the door. He had some thinking of his own to do. Plans to make. Next move. Always something more, with this one. No pull would ever be big enough. "Tah gotta lass on mah knee." He began to sing quietly, "Tah lass under arm, tah lass on HER knees no cause fer alarm!" The song went on, soon bottle uncorked.