RP:Treasure Hunting Compass

From HollowWiki

Part of the Two If By Sea Arc

The Seref Shipwreck

Characters: Ansel, Sargaso Summary: Ansel tells Sargaso about The Compass and how to join.

A net hangs from the broken bowsprit of the shipwrecked ferry. It’s curved in the shape of an egg, and the netting doubles over on itself to protect its precious cargo: whale skin boots, a sea glass-encrusted shield, and a harpoon. An enchantment hums over the net. Those magic savvy would guess that the enchantment is protective, most likely to defend the belongings from pirates. Half of the ferry remains submerged to this day. The deck, mast, banisters, and other features of the ship curtain off a small body of water, like a shipwreck tidal pool. Its water is foamy and clogged with seaweed and debris. The water ripples. The debris bobs sluggishly. Something swims below deck.

Ansel sits on the shoreline, the man staring at the ship that was wrecked and covered in water and seaweed. How would he approach the ship? This ship was old, the build of the boat was probably rotted, but curiosity struck the man that was leaning back in the sand. What was inside? Had someone already searched this ship? Most likely, then again, how thoroughly did they? Then again, he would not be able to search with the protective net over the cargo, perhaps he would be able to get passed. The man stood up, sand scattering about as he rustled around. The man was in a blue jacket, sort of like a robe, there were wraps around his wrists and ankles – an odd style, but he was not in Frostmaw. The wolf would then tip toe around the edges of the wrecked ship, analyzing every detail.

The water’s ripples grow in intensity and scope until at last the water domes, crests, and finally breaks over a diver’s dark hair. Sargaso gasps for breath and looks around the boat to get his bearings. It feels strange to be lost on a ship, but this ship is strangely thrown against the beach. He swims with one arm towards the exposed half of the deck and pulls himself onto the ship, and finally the sand. Under his armpit he cradles a water-logged map and clutches a mariner’s astrolabe in that same arm’s hand. He seems to be completely unaware of Ansel. The man is flamboyantly dressed by Cenrili standards. He dons a bright blue sirwal on his legs and a (possibly fake, you know how it is these days) sea dragon tunic on his torso. The sea dragon tunic shines resplendently in the setting sun. Those familiar with the small priesthood which venerates Selene would place him as somewhere in those ranks, though it’s unclear which position he holds, if any. His black hair is worn short and straight, and his beard would be full if he could grow a full beard. He is of that race whose full beards are thin, and always black against pale golden complexions, though Sargaso’s golden skin is tan thanks to his life as a man of the sea. He whistles a sailor’s tune as he returns to her net, and only then spots Ansel, jerking slightly in surprise. “Ho! Hello, stranger.” He visibly relaxes, his demeanor open and placid, like the ocean on the best of days.

Ansel was very patient, the man was staring at the same spot for a couple of minutes before hearing a gurgling sound. Water was bubbling up and he shifted his head to the direction of the dome of water. A sea creature? Hazel eyes were wide. Dark hair, a wet beard. “A merman…” He had read about them in a library once while on his travels around Cenril, he just did not think he would actually see one in person, but he waited long enough. This was more of a treasure. The wolf would then brush through the sand before getting a clearer angle. He was wrong – no merman. A small sigh escaped his chapped lips. His skin was paler than the paladins, but that was only because he lived in the cooler mountains near Frostmaw, but he seemed to be getting darker lately, especially when travelling to Cenril. A hand ran through ashy brown hair before his eyes caught onto the objects that were in this diver’s hand. Eyes became brighter, more intrigued. “Ahoy,” he replied, analyzing the wet man that was surprised. “Doing a bit of fishing… of the sorts?” He rose a brow, a hand reaching up to scratch the scruff that was on his own face – he had been travelling for a while now. No time to shave anymore.

Sargaso smiles affably. “Of sorts.” He walks towards his net and disarms the enchantment. Despite his initial surprise, the man is not wary of Ansel. He moves with the confidence of a man who knows his God watches over him. Anxiety is pointless in the face of faith, and fear is reserved for the Gods themselves. “I’m looking to collect artefacts related to the sea or nautical affairs. And you? Also fishing?” Or scavenging, he assumes, but it’s impolite to voice unkind assumptions. He eyes Ansel’s strange, uh, jumpsuit? “That looks like it will be heavy when wet.”

Ansel was almost taken aback by the man’s kindly manner. Then again, he had come across some of those lately, and he did not all mind. After all, Ansel was nice, when he wanted to be. The worst he had done lately was rogue, but only for the children. Sob stories. The young man blinked at the response of the scavenger before him. He was silent for a long moment as he gazed at the man with a flat expression. He was thinking. “Artifacts, aye?” A small smirk would spread on dry lips before letting the expression fade. “You can say we are just on the same – boat,” he was punny, but truthful. The young man was a playful character. He then gazed down at his robe. “Right, well, I’m not much of a swimmer – I don’t remember the last time I’ve been, but I suppose you’re right. Probably should approach the water in something different,” he then held up a frost bitten finger – callused. Nothing but patience with the wolf. He then slipped his hand inside the robe, pulling out a silky purple bag. “So you like treasure, huh?” The man would then open the small pouch and pull out a small compass. “So do I, and well, a couple o’ my – acquaintances,” he would then fiddle with the compass between blistered fingertips.

Sargaso watches Ansel just as patiently — two patient peas in a pod. “That looks bad,” he mumbles without conviction when Ansel holds up his frostbitten finger. “Well, I wouldn’t-” He’s stops short of parsing his motives for being here. He wouldn’t consider himself a treasure hunter per se, even if he does all the same things treasure hunters do. The difference with Sargaso is intent, not method. But the young man is on an information divulging streak, and it’s best not to interrupt - not when you’re hunting treasure. “Acquaintances?” He lifts his head and peers down his nose at the compass. “What have you there?”

Ansel was use to the cold – he was working on frost magic lately, and that was why his fingers looked bad, but after a while, he did not mind so much. He then squinted. “Well, I don’t want to call them friends because, well, I haven’t any outings with them,” he shrugged, looking down at the compass. “More like an odd bunch – perhaps you can call us a family?” He rolled his eyes, he brushed that off; he would figure that out later. “Anyway, it’s a compass, for collecting treasure. Y’see, I work for a woman, and she really likes artifacts, just like me – just like you,” his eyes were down, he was making assumptions; he was going on a thinking rant. More people, the better, he always thought. “We think it’s fascinating to just find these treasures,” he would then cast his hazel gaze toward the man. “You just seem like an adventurous type, I suppose, but I may be wrong,” he shrugged and then dropped the compass to his side before stuffing the item back in the bag and into his robe, patting his chest gently for security.

Sargaso leans forward as Ansel serves up a way-too-brief description of the compass. His gray eyes remain fixated on the tool that doesn’t bother with North or South or even a lode stone. Probaby. Ansel didn’t really explain it very well, which is probably intentional. The holy man (sort of) waves a hand in tight, little movements as if to hurry Ansel through this analysis of his social net and its appropriate titles. Odd bunch, family, acquaintances: whatever. “Sure, but now that compass, there.” He thrusts a finger in the direction of the bag then wiggles it as if to say ‘show us the goods, again.’ “You’re saying that there compass focuses on treasure. What treasure? One in particular, or can you… what I’m saying is, let’s say I wanted- You know what, if you don’t mind and if you have the time, could you walk me through it?”

Ansel was not much of a talker, he was always vague, maybe that was why he felt as if the odd bunch was acquaintances. As the man pointed at the compass that was now being tucked away, he smirked. He had got the man’s attention. “Well, a compass does not work without a map, now, does it?” He gestured to the man’s artifacts. “We all have one, the group, I mean.” The young man looked from side to side. “The woman known as Crisien is the one who recruited me. Our group goes and adventures out to places around the land to find ancient objects – intriguing, honestly. I got the compass from her,” he sighed gently. “Though, we are a small bunch. We need more hands, more minds; more courageous people.” The ashy haired man looked the soaking wet man up and down. “What I’m saying is that Crisien would be content with your help, and I’m sure you would receive benefits as well, if you want them.”

Sargaso wrinkles his nose at Ansel’s initial pearl of wisdom. A compass (a normal one, anyway) absolutely works without a map. But it’s impolite to make this correction, though he is itching to make it. He scratches the fingers of one hands against its palm — a tic to deal with this repression of know-it-all impulses. Ansel’s offer of a treasure-seeking group does much to distract him from this uncontested falsehood, and he’s hooked. “Does she have more of these compasses?” The group sounds fine, sure, but what he really needs is a compass. Others can join him or not. Camaraderie comes second to the mission.

Ansel is not the best treasure hunter of the bunch. Neither is the narrator, for the narrator is not thinking, is tired, and is forgetful. Anyway, he continues to answer questions. “I assume she does, more hands, the better – like I said. Seek her out, tell her I sent you, she’ll be interested, I’m sure,” he nodded firmly.

Sargaso has a narrator who really appreciates when characters misspeak and other characters have to be polite, because that happens in real life. “Does she have a ship?” Sargaso has a kayak, a really cool one, but that’s a story for another time. He blinks as he realizes he doesn’t even know who he’s talking to. “Who are you?”

Ansel shrugs. “Who knows, I haven’t seen the lass in a while, I’ve been… doing other sorts of things on my own,” vague, but true. He then shook his head. He then chuckled. “Right,” he extended a hand out towards the man in a friendly manner. “Call me Ansel, I’m not from around these parts, really. You can find me near Xalious, Frostmaw even, she’ll know.”

Sargaso shakes Ansel’s hand. “Sargaso. Thank you for the information, Ansel. I am from around here.” He pauses, considers where to go from here. How to ask for contact information without seeming like some weak-spined punk. “If this Crisien lass brings me into the crew, and I got a hunch and a map and some artifact in mind, you’d like to know about it? I don’t mind sharing that - like to thank you for this information, I mean.” Suuuure. His words are cool, but his mannerism is eager. He wants a treasure-hunting buddy, but a man can’t just ask a man he hardly knows to commit to that sort of thing. Not without buying him a drink first.

Ansel gave the man a nod before him. He then began to speak, “Well I better—“ he cut off, letting the man interrupt him. The wolf man shifted his eyes to the side, he was deep in thought as the man spoke. This man wanted to share with him? Funny. The lean man ran his callused hand through short shaggy hair for a moment. There was a strange birthmark strand of hair in the front of his head. A scar that ran across his left cheekbone – a claw mark of the sorts. He would let out a pondering breath. He had time, right? It was going to take a bit to get back to the boys anyway, and they were well stable. “Alright, lad, I’ll take you up on your offer. What’ve ya got?”

The sun is setting fast, and Cenril’s port area gets especially dangerous after dark. The paladin isn’t scared, but he isn’t looking for trouble either. “I’ve been collecting information about legendary shipwrecks as part of my service to the Goddess Selene. I’m charting missions to salvage some lost treasure, to be preserved in her temple.” A holy man’s version of a treasure horde. “But listen, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me talk to Crisien first, and if the sea calls to you at all, I’ll let you know when I head out on my first mission.” He takes his net off the ferry’s bowsprit and begins to works his damp feet into the tight, whale skin boots.

Ansel had been pulled in like a fish on a hook. He was not the religious type, but then again, he was always up for an adventure. As the man slowly let the young man down, Ansel shrugged, he was patient enough, he would write down his questions, so he would not forget. He then watched the man put on his boots. It was getting dark. That meant the other life of the wolf would begin, but that was another story. He was in Cenril for a reason. “Right. If you seek her, remember ‘Ansel’. If you wish to find me, well, higher mountains in Xalious, or Cenril from time to time. I’m out and about – easy to find. Send word,” he glanced down. “S’pose I better take off, I’m interested in your mission, I hope you keep in touch,” he would then begin to back away. “Nice to meet you, Sargaso.”