Chapter 8 - But, I Don't Think She Can Swim Like That...

Staring in disbelief at the former Lady Lotus, who lay before him after a failed assassination attempt, Adameus remarked, "Woah…what should we do about this?"

"I don't know. We should probably tell Viselys right away," Ornrik replied. "How did she even…I mean, when did she…I'll go get Viselys."

Soon a crowd was gathered on the main deck. Everyone wanted to see what caused such commotion.

After being briefed on the situation, Viselys tried to take control of matters.

"Adameus, why don't you scour the ship and see if you can't find the real Lirith…if there even is one. I'll see if I can figure out-"

"WHAT'S GOING ON HERE? I hope nothing has set us off course," interrupted a familiar, irritating voice. Avner Meravanchi was making his presence known.

"It seems we've had a stowaway on board, wreaking havoc whenever she got the chance," Captain Amella informed Avner.

"Well, she's unconscious and no threat now…throw her overboard and let Myrival decide her fate," Avner decreed. "My guess is the fish will find her to be quite delicious."

"We can't just throw her overboard, Avner. It doesn't work that way," Viselys insisted. "Besides, we should probably try to figure out anything we can from her. She might have some valuable information."

"Always with your silly laws," remarked Avner. "You know, out on these waters those laws don't really hold…well…water. You might consider a little more…flexibility. It could do you some good."

"Why don't you go tend to your precious horse and we'll deal with this," advised Viselys. Looking out over the nervous crowd on deck, "In fact, it might be best for most of you to go tend to your rooms for a bit while we handle this…issue."

Saris help set people in motion below deck, leading them to their rooms.

"Aiden," Viselys called, "do you suppose you could lend a hand for a second?"

"Anything you need, boss," Aiden replied.

"We need to set up another cell, it would seem, and it needs to be secure. VERY secure. Do you think you could rig something?" asked Viselys.

"I'll do my best," answered Aiden before scurrying below deck to gather supplies.

"Well, what do you think?" inquired Viselys to Saris, Ornrik, Adameus, and Amella.

"I think that Avner's right," Amella maintained. "She's a risk to keep on board. We throw her over the rail and never have to deal with her again."

"Sounds good to me," Saris cheerily agreed with the captain.

"We can't do that, captain," Ornrik insisted. "We should interrogate her and find out what we can before delivering her to face justice."

"Well, let's start by carrying her down below and getting her locked up," Viselys insisted. "I'll feel a little better about this once we've got her secured. She shouldn't wake for a few hours, anyway. Adameus, can you grab her feet?"

Carrying her down the stairs, the ship was eerily quiet as the passengers were undoubtedly eavesdropping to hear what would be done with the assassin. A door quickly closed as they walked by where Gidrick had been peering out to see what was happening.

Aiden had already rigged a rather sturdy looking lock mechanism for the stall formerly occupied by Thunderstrike. Urol had led the horse elsewhere, getting it situated on the other end of the hull.

Throwing her into the cell and locking the door, Adameus turned to Viselys, "Now what?"

"I don't know," replied Viselys. "I guess we wait for her to wake up. Maybe we can catch up with Lavinia and get her input. In the meantime, maybe you can keep an eye on the prisoner?"

A nervous voice called out from the room next door, "Hey, guys…what's going on? I heard the commotion. Who's causing this trouble and why are you locking them up next to me? I've been good…can I come out now?" It was Conrad Horst, formerly known as Father Feres.

"Mind your own business, we're quite busy with more important matters," Saris answered.

Hours went by. After briefly meeting with Lavinia on board the Blue Nixie, Viselys returned to the Sea Wyvern comforted by the fact that there were not similar problems happening on board Lavinia's vessel. She did not offer much help in dealing with Rowyn, however, trusting Viselys to do what is right.

Back in the hold of the Sea Wyvern…the arguing and disagreements continued when a voice called out from Rowyn's new cell. "So…how are we going to do this?"

Looking at each other with a bit of confusion and puzzlement, Viselys nodded to Ornrik, signaling him to do what he could with his magic. "I guess it's time," Viselys tried to be assertive.

"Rowyn, I'm going to cast a spell on you. It might be in your best interest to let it take effect. Don't fight it. Perhaps we'll be more inclined to be lenient with you if you do as you're told," Ornrik requested and began his incantation.

"You do what you have to do, little dwarf, I'll worry about me," Rowyn responded with hubris as she shrugged off the effects of Ornrik's magic.

Viselys began the interrogation.

"Let's start simple. Why are you here?" Viselys knew the answer, but wanted to hear it from her, and her answer could provide evidence to the effect of Ornrik's magic.

"Ha. I think you know that answer to that," Rowyn retorted.

"Alright. Where's Lirith?" Viselys asked. "Was there ever a Lirith?"

"Lirith…she wasn't fit for this journey. I took her place back at the Fort," Rowyn scoffed. "She may be alive still…who knows. She seemed fit to just let bleed."

"Who else have you been impersonating on this boat?"

Smiling, Rowyn replies, "Plenty of people. Plenty. Lirith, those servants of Avner," she gives a knowing glance towards Saris, "the captain."

Saris shifted uncomfortably where he stood. "The captain?" he asked.

"Oh yes," Rowyn replied with a wink.

"ENOUGH!" Viselys shouted and commanded the situation. "What about your mother?"

"What about my mother?" Rowyn asked.

"Did she have anything to do with this? What's her goal in Sasserine? Who does she work with?" Viselys's questions were coming faster and faster.

"Mom's got a family to look after. She was hoping to wrestle control of the harbor away from those Islarans. They don't deserve it. After losing the guild because of you guys, she was starting to lose it. Then when the council came down on the family, she told me to come take care of this. I didn't hesitate."

Viselys's thoughts turned to Diamondback, "Is there anyone else that you associate with on board?"

"Not of whom I am aware. I can't say that mother didn't contact anyone else on her own, though," Rowyn asserted.

Putting his hand Viselys' his shoulder, as if reading his thoughts, Ornrik said, "I'll go talk to her."

Viselys simply noded to Ornrik before turning back to Rowyn. "Are you sure there's no one on board with whom your mother associates?"

"I told you…not of whom I am aware. It's not like I've seen the Fire Trolls anywhere, and believe me, you'll know if they come. Those guys are animals."

"Fire Trolls?" asked Viselys.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, Ornrik approached Diamondback.

"My dear, do you mind if we have a little chat?" Ornrik asked of Diamondback.

"Sure," she agreed. "How can I help?"

"Well, I would just like to ask you a few questions." Before doing so, Ornrik began to cast a spell that would help determine the validity of her responses.

Ornrik began, "Now, I hope you don't mind me asking a bit about your past, but we want to learn as much as we can about the Kellanis, and you've said that the matron, Heldrath, hired you."

Diamondback looked ashamedly down at her feet. "Yes, she hired me and some thugs to come after you, and I'm sorry."

"That's OK. You've been good about making up for your wrongs. I need to know, though, if you know anything more about the Kellanis. Have you ever had dealing with Rowyn before?"

"Nope. Never seen her before, although I'd heard her name a few times from some of the guys with whom I've pulled some jobs."

Ornrik began to wonder upon his magic…wondering how to tell if it had taken effect or not. A smile grew beneath his beard, "So tell me, Tara…I've been noticing, and perhaps this isn't my place, but do you have feelings for Viselys?"

Turning a bright red, Diamondback replied with a bit of a gasp, "No! I mean, he's nice…but what would he even see in a girl like me. What's this got to do with the Kellanis?"

Chuckling to himself a bit, Ornik answered, "Oh, nothing. Just thought I saw something. My mistake." Clearly, she had shaken the effects of the magic, and clearly, she had a crush on Viselys. "Everyone's got their secrets," he thought to himself.

* * * * *

Back in Rowyn's cell, Viselys seemed to be getting frustrated with Rowyn's glib attitude. He'd drawn his sword and was holding it to her neck. "You'd think that with your life on the line, you might not be so cavalier with your answers, Rowyn."

"Look at you…you're starting to enjoy this, aren't you?" Rowyn's question incited Viselys a bit too much.

"I've had enough for now," Viselys retorted and clunked her over the head with the hilt of his sword. She fell back to the floor, again, unconscious.

A little shocked and looking across at each other, Saris, Ornrik, and Adameus questioned, "Now what?" The four debated for quite a while.

"See how good I'm being," a sheepish voice cried out from the cell next door. Conrad Horst was nervous about the way prisoners were being treated.

"Yes, yes, you're great, you're fine. Just keep quiet over there," Saris scolded.

"Look, I'm exhausted. I need to get some rest. Adameus, maybe you could clean her cell while she's out." Viselys was clearly insinuating something, but it was lost on Adameus.

"Don't we have deckhands for that sort of thing?" questioned Adameus.

"No, Adameus, I want you to clean her cell," Viselys repeated.

Puzzled, then disturbed, Adameus replied, "No, man, not even with YOUR broom."

"Never mind," Viselys said disgusted, "I'm going to get some rest."

Shrugging his shoulders, Saris suggests, "Maybe we should go get some fresh air and talk this through with the captain."

"Yeah, the REAL captain," Adameus says jokingly. "Sorry, Saris. Couldn't help it."

After a good amount of time discussing with the captain, she began walking with a purposeful stride across the deck and said, "So, Viselys is asleep? Let's just take care of this right now."

Flinging open the door to the cell, Rowyn is stirred awake. "Oh, so he sends in a woman to handle things? I knew he didn't have the stones to fin-," Rowyn's words were cut short by Amella's blade.

"Grab her legs," Amella commands Saris without even flinching. "I think it's time we let our friend here go for a swim, don't you?"

The two hauled Rowyn up to the deck, brought her up to the rail, and were about to toss her overboard. Halting just before they do so, Amella asks, "Any last words?"

Ornrik and Adameus looked at each other, perhaps ready to say something, when Amella said, "Ah, she doesn't deserve 'em. This is what happens when you come wreak havoc aboard my ship."

With a big splash, Rowyn Kellani fell into the sea and promptly began to sink out of sight.

"Well, I guess that's that," Saris announced, as if there were a crowd. "Anyone else feel like a drink?"

"I think we could all use one," Amella smiled.

After a few hours, Viselys was awoken by the sounds of merriment on the main deck.

"What's going on here?" he asked.

Amella broke the news, "Well, m' boy, we took care of that little stowaway problem. She went for a swim. More like a sink, actually, than a swim."

"—-," Viselys looked shocked, even if forcibly so.

Appearing almost out of nowhere, Avner was suddenly standing next to them and his boisterous voice could be heard, "See, just like I said to do from the get-go. Why don't you people ever listen to me? Can't you see that everything would go more smoothly if you'd just do as I say?"

The celebration carried on all day until eventually things returned to normal.

Several more days of sailing passed.

At the next planned stop to gather water, the Blue Nixie and the Sea Wyvern pulled in to shore. Excited, everyone began to hop off the boats to feel some solid ground during the short break.

Looking oddly just a bit into the jungle, Saris nudged Adameus. "Hey, what's that?"

"I don't know…looks like some sort of tube hanging from a tree branch. Weird!" Adameus hopped forward to check it out. Inspecting the tube, Adameus opened it up to find a message inside:

Kaskus, thank you for your warning. It turns out that church of Acerion is not what it seemed. We are taking care of it immediately. Also, it seems that a passenger from the Sea Wyvern was left behind. She's not too happy, but will recover.

-Juliana

Continue to Chapter 9...

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