Aretherra Volume One | Sailing to the Isle of Krystallo Terrim

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With a storm front coming on from astern the captain ordered all sails set and we were driven on a dead run before the wind and made all due haste toward our destination. But on first watch of the second day the wind came around and we were hard pressed as both wind and waves became contrary to our purpose.

As skies darkened and wind and rain came sweeping in the captain ordered all hands as we tacked to port and came up on the wind close hauled and we staid so until we came in sight of the isle of Krystallo Turrim two days hence. The old ship groaned and creaked with the strain as we made headway into opposing seas that now came crashing over the gunnel and all but those on watch were forbidden to come topside. As the ship pitched and heaved its way through the oncoming waves the passengers trapped below decks wretched up their last meal into the scuppers and the stench of vomit made life below almost unbearable. The storm slowly passed by to the north and by dog watch of the third day the winds baited, the seas calmed and with a tack to starboard we made direct course for the island with a glorious sunset off to our port quarter.

The Keys To Ascension
Key 1 – Space: Caelus
Key 2 – Time: Zeitas
Key 3 – Soul: Animas
Key 4 – Power: VIS

ARX – Latin: citadel, castle, fortress, stronghold, keep, donjon
Aero
Tryn
Sirann
captain, his first mate and his crew of the sailboat
Sirann’s personal royal soldiers, of which he’s the commanding officer: 3 bodyguards, 4 swordsmen, 2 archers, 2 ninjas, 1 squire & keeper of weapons.
Local guide and son, who they meet at his cabin in the woods, where they make camp the first night.
Calen & Xydney – Live in the island
Quenioq
Sahlux

Reasons for going on the journeys:
Sirann – at first, a sense of duty, told that it is his job as royalty, this shifts and he becomes support for Aero
Aero – at first, a duty and commitment to his friend Sirann, which shifts when they are told the truth, learn the truth that it is really Aero’s job
Tryn – at first, desire to be with her friends as she continues to learn who she is, self discovery. Which shifts and it becomes her duty to Aero, commitment to him when he’s the one.



Chapter: The Isle of Krystallo Turrim
“The Isle of the Crystal Tower”

For two weeks they were at sea, sailing from Sutekh-Navois to the Isle of Krystallo Turrim. The captain insisted on sailing through the night so they could take advantage of a storm front raging far off their stern. On this final day of their journey, racing to the fabled Isle of Turrim, their weathered captain maintained an impressive tack by reading the wind and water as only a master sailor could. He was determined to reach the island before sundown, so they could scout and make camp before dark. Throughout the day the captain’s leadership and the crew’s efforts paid off far beyond their expectations. The captain enjoyed every second of being the master and commander of the crew during the time at sea. The captain’s exuberance was undeniable most of the time, as was his smile which never seemed to fade. He knew that while they were at sea, he outranked Prince Sirann and everyone else onboard. His stained and missing teeth could not diminish the glow radiating from his smile. Not even his thick white beard dared hide the childlike happiness shining from beneath.

Neither Aero or Tryn had ever been at sea for days at a time before they day they set sail from the capital city, almost a fortnight ago. Because of this, they knew very little about the sailor’s speech, their mannerisms, or their way of life, save for the stories Aero’s read in his books. Tryn spent much of her time asking for words and phrases to be repeated and in many cases an explanation was required. In contrast, Sirann was accustomed to the sea, to sailing long distances and to the sailor’s life. King Sveinn sailed all over the world during his reign, bringing his Queen and his sons Sirann and Sveinnus on most of his journies. Meanwhile, Aero took everything in stride, quickly adapting to the sea and its motley crew. Although, Sirann would always laugh when he saw Aero shaking his head or nervously laughing at the daily show of the floating circus.

The captain had a rule for all those who stayed above deck. Aero, Sirann and Tryn had to help out with the rigging or they should keep out of the way. This was especially evident every time the captain said, “the cabin below has windows you know?” However it was a joy to be above deck and all three of them preferred to soak up the experience outside the claustrophobia of the wood paneled cabin. So their hours were spent avoiding the possible injuries incurred by getting in the way, or simply from being knocked over the side into the waves below.

Aero and Tryn quickly learned sailing terminology, along with the orders that came from behind the ship wheel. Empowered by their newfound jargon, Aero and Tryn were able to dodge crew members, stay out of the rigging and duck the booms during the tacks. Even during the poor conditions of midday, when the sun was at its apex and the wind was far from desirable; their sails remained stiff and full and they covered more miles in less time.

As they cut their way through the calm waters of the inlet toward the waiting shoreline, the island continued to grow in scale and definition. Aero couldn’t help grinning at the sight of the sand and trees waiting for him to arrive, he was finally there. The sun had already grown large on the horizon, as they headed north toward the southern edge of the island. The sun seemed to sink into the water in distant west, off . The inferno of deep orange hues bathed sky above and the water below in its brilliance. The entire world, even the sails looked like they were on fire. Even the island was basking in the glow of the setting sun, turning the beach and treeline beyond from green to glowing red. Aero stood against the mast watching a world on fire, he always loved sunsets and their exceptional, but temporary beauty. Aero was now more eager to arrive and impatient than ever to truly begin his quest. He loved to sail, but after two weeks he had his fill of such things, so he took this welcome as a sign of good things to come.

Unlike Tryn, sitting further back on the port rail, her senses immersed in the brilliance of the setting sun; Aero only saw the waiting shoreline.The larger stones and individual trees of the forest beyond the shore became more clear and defined the closer they came. Aero squinted, trying to make out as much as he could of the mysterious isle that awaited his footsteps. He had blocked out almost everything else and remained in a daze of concentration, looking, observing, anticipating their imminent arrival. Aero’s senses were offline, remaining in a muffled and tunneled place of his own making. The sails fluttered, rigging flapped, the pulleys clinked, the waves slapped against the side of the hull. A gull’s cry, the only other sound, no one dared speak, dared move as they cut through the blood red waters, drawing closer to their destination.

With a frantic and fevered pace, the two dinghies rowed from ship to shore. The entire crew tightly packed into the small wooden boats, shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee, miraculously they fit. Their bags, equipment and weapons lay across their laps and filled every available space. Great thanks was given to the calm waters of the bay, whereas a small swell of the open waters would have sunk either vessel, easily exceeding the waterlines with the smallest of oncoming waves. As they raced against the waning daylight and the coming of a ferocious storm gathering on the western horizon. Back on the ship, a skeleton crew remained to secure and keep the ship while the team was away. The crew raced against time, against the mounting winds and rain already the mainsales were being lowered and tied off, the anchor checked and all hatches and windows were being faceted. Two soldiers stayed onboard to stand guard and. A storm was gathering in the west, its foot soldiers of grey clouds had already taken the entire sky above, save for the most distant horizon, where the brilliant, but fleeting red of the setting sun would soon be only a memory.

The coming storm threatened A consuming fear spread through the party, as the island grew off their bows and the ship shrank off the stern. The sun had all but taken its bow by the time the first dinghy scrapped the rocky shoreline. As the second dinghy arrived, the hush that had overcome Aero long before had spread to every person. In the gathering darkness of twilight, they gathered their packs, supplies and weapons and carried the boats upon the shore. With only the stars and their lanterns lighting the way, they slowly traversed the stone covered ground making their way toward the forest beyond.

The away team, lead by their guide, with Aero, Tryn and Sirann traveled through the forest for most of the daylight hours before they came upon a strange and ominous place.

The light blooming from their lanterns was the only source of comfort and the only light they had to guide their way through the dense and dark green of the living jungle. The immensely dense canopy of trees far above their heads, blocked out any light coming from the dark skies. They knew something was different beyond a wall of branches and leaves that blocked their way. As they hacked and stomped their way through, light could be seen just beyond the fallen foliage. A clearing awaited them, illuminated by the ghostly pale glow from Lhunoz and the stars that shined above.

Continued….

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