As soon as we got off tha Gryphon from Iron Forge Miss Lylly insisted I put on a blind fold so she could take me ta her suprise. Now mind ya, I didnt fuss, cause the blindfold was her scarf, an it smelled a her, which is a right nice scent. So after tha blindfold was in place, she led me by tha hand ta tha "Suprise".
She takes tha blind fold off me eyes, an when I can see again, I see that we are on tha docks a Menthil in front a that old beat up ship that dont never move. "TADA!" she says, then asks me "What do you think?" I looks around but dont see a thing, so I asked her "Think about what Lass?" She points at tha ship an says "The ship, I bought it today."
Now I looks at her closely, ta see if there is blood spoutin from her head, since she obviously took a blow there recently. "This ship" I says "I was talkin ta tha Harbor Mistress just tha other day, an she said she was gonna have it towed away an scuttled!" "I know" she says "Thats why I got such a good price for it." "With a little work and paint, we can make it sailable again, and until then all of us can use it as a meeting place and a place to stay. It will save us money if we dont have to sleep in the Inns."
A "little work an paint" was tha biggest understatement I had ever heard. There was no way short of a miracle that this bucket a rotted wood an rusted bolts was ever gonna be seaworthy again. I could no let tha Lass go on with her crazy idea that this ship was salvagable. I looked into her eyes prepared ta tell her tha truth as I saw it. Tha look a joy an happiness in her eyes an the smile on her face melted me heart, an tha harsh words I was about ta spout melted as well.
So I lied. "Its wonderful Lass, I cant think of a better use a our meager funds than ta put them into makin this lovely vessel sea worthy again." Her smile grew even brighter, an I knew I had done tha right thing. I looked back at the rat trap with tha eyes of a Dwarf who was determined ta make Lylly's dream come true. "Right, first thing we'll do is get Angus ta look her over from Bow ta Stern. He was in tha Merchant Marine, an will have a good Idea what it will take ta make her sea worthy again."
"I will get McDuff ta steal...er I mean gather tha buildin materials an tools we will need. He is right good at that sort a thing. An I will have McDonnald sweet talk tha harbor mistress inta lettin us keep her docked here till we can get her sailin again. No Lass can resist him when he turns on tha charm. Zinny can sew us up some new sails, an Gracci can make up some underwater breathin potions, since it will take quite some time an effort ta remove all them barnicles of a her keel.
I looked back up at the Lass. She was starin at the ship with a raptured look on her face, like she could see something other than a wreck. "We'll call her Fish Tales" she said "I know she will give us many stories to tell over our cups." I looked back at tha ship an sighed "Tha be true Lass...Tha be true."
Angus' report looked grim. There were so many holes in her it might a been more proper ta call her Swiss Cheese than a ship. Tha riggin was completely shot, an would require miles a hemp an some mighty talented weavers ta reconstruct. Tha sails were in tatters, an with the constant demand fer cloth by the war effort an tha different races, it would be very costly ta replace. Tha Keel was rotted, an removin tha barnacles would be a mistake as they seemed ta be tha only thing holdin tha ship together.
By Angus' estimation, it would take a good ship buildin crew a year ta fix all tha things wrong with tha Fish Tales, an we arent a good ship buildin crew. Even if every member a Gone Fish Inc worked it day an night there would not be enough hands ta get tha job done. Macc contemplated seein if the Rats that had over run tha ship knew anythin about ship repairs.
When he showed tha list a necessary repairs ta Lylly in tha hopes she might see tha futility a it all, she just smiled and asked where she should start. Macc thought about givin her a gun so she could shoot tha ship an put it out of their missery, but instead he handed her a list a leather items they would need an sent her off into tha wilds ta hunt, so she wouldnt hear him scream. When he gave tha rest a tha list ta McDuff, the shifty eyed Dwarf just smiled his "Im on it" boss smile an dissapeared into the milling crouds a port always attracts.
Tha only good news came from McDonnald. He had wined an dined tha Harbor Mistress, an after a bit a footsy under tha table had convinced her ta not have tha ship towed off an scuttled. He did mention that he would have ta be makin regular visits ta her office ta make sure she didnt change her mind. McDonnald had wanted ta go into great detail on how he had managed his miracle, but Macc was not in a mood ta listen ta his tales a romancin tha Dwarvish Lady.
Zinny showed up an when Macc told her she had ta repair tha tatterd sails she look at him like he was an imbicile. She stood there with her hands on her hips staring him defiantly in the eyes and was about to tell him what not in a way only a gnomish lass can, when he shrugged and said "Its fer Lylly". At that Zinny looked back at the sails and sighed. "Right" she said "Im going to need a ton of linen." When Macc informed her McDuff was on it, she frowned at him and said she would handle it herself.
As everyone scattered to begin the daunting, and what Macc was sure would become neverending, tasks ahead of them, all Macc could think was "I need a drink."
Tha crew had been workin hard ta restore tha Fish Tales, yet ta tha casual observer, there was little change ta be seen. Tha ship still leaked, was still full a holes so big a Dwarf could fall through them into tha sea, had no riggin, no functionin sails, was crawlin from top ta bottom with rats and stank a year old fish.
So what had we accomplished? Well, enough of tha rottin deck had been boarded over ta allow a careful person ta walk about tha ship with only a fair ta middlin chance a fallin through. Tha rats had been bribed with generous offerins a food ta stay in tha non-livin portions a tha hull. Tha stairwells had been strengthened enough ta not collapse completely if a fly landed on them. An tha aft had been painted with tha words "Fish Tales" so anyone comin up to her would know not ta call her "Floatin Death Trap".
Two other major things had been done. Tha sleepin an eatin quarters had been completely refinished an refurnished. This was mainly so Miss Lylly an tha other members a tha crew who were a tha female persuasion wouldnt have ta sleep an eat in total squalor. As mentioned, the rats had been convinced ta stay below decks, so the instances a bein waken in tha middle a tha night by screams a "Rats...oh my god their all over me... AHHHHHHHHHHHHH." an "Shut up Macc an go back ta sleep" had been reduced ta a minimum.
Tha final thing that convinced me that perhaps Miss Lylly wasnt completely off her rocker was when, durin a break from all tha back breakin work, I tossed a fishin line overboard, an immediately caught a Firefin. When me next cast brought in an Oily, I knew she was indead tha lucky fishin boat tha Lass had predicted she would be. I immediately set about ta find her a figurehead fer tha bow. Wonder if Miss Lylly will let me put up tha Naked Elf Statue I found in a antique shop in Theramore?
Lylly held her first business meetin on tha Fish Tales. We gathered on tha Afterdeck an enjoyed tha night breeze an tha settin sun. We discussed a few business policies that Lylly would like us ta all follow, an she reminded everyone that we are as much a family as we are a business.
Lyrani pulled me beard by callin me "Ancient" an "Decrepit" an what not, but I have come ta expect that sort a talk from her now. I think deep down she is sweet on me. She is a right fine lass an will make some lucky boy a good mate if an when she decides ta settle down. I just hope she dont measure any potential candidates against me, as they would a course all come up wantin.
Tha only negative part of our first business meetin was when Deavencre fell through a hole in tha deck. Tha poor lad almost drowned, an it was quite a while before he regained his composer enough ta return. I dont call it a Floatin Death Trap fer nothin ya know.
Macc and the "boys" have been such a blessing.
When I awoke from the attack, he was there, caring for me. He fed me, he tended my wounds, he helped me slowly return to the living. Despite my lack of memory, he stood by me and helped me piece together what little I know of my past. When I felt the need to know more, he left his confortable cabin in Dun Morogh to bring me to Stormwind, where I had apparently lived before. He has not left my side since my life changed so drastically.
When I told him that I wanted to start a fishing business, since I enjoyed fishing, and felt I needed something to do to keep myself from going stir crazy, he agreed to help. He helped me gather a group of wonderful friends to start the business and he supported my many wims. Despite the fact that he is convinced the ship I purchased is a death trap, he and the "boys" have helped slowly make it livable. For this and so much more, I will always love Macc.
His malady became obvious to me early on in my time with him. He spoke constantly to the "boys", though no one seemed to be there. He called them Angus, McDuff and McDonnald. At first I thought it was me, that they were really there, but I could not see them. Another effect of the wounds I had suffered. But over time I learned differently. It was while Macc was sleeping that I learned the most.
See Macc talks in his sleep. Every night its the same thing. Macc, talking to his "boys", leading them on a scouting mission. He is overconfident, and makes a horrible mistake, and they are all killed before his eyes in an ambush. As he is about to succomb to the attackers himself, he always wakes up and sits upright. He then looks around himself, and "sees" that the "boys" are fine, and still with him. Then he goes back to sleep. He always sleeps restfully the remainder of the night.
I have come to understand now that the "boys" are Macc's way of living with the fact that because of a mistake he made his three best friends are dead. To maintain his sanity, his mind creates the "boys" for him, so they are always with him. It is of course a delusion, but not one I am willing to interupt. I fear, that if Macc's mind ever lets him "see" that his friends are dead, it will destroy him, and he is too good and kind a person to suffer such a fate.
For my part, I play along, pretending that I "see" the boys as well. I know it is a lie, but for him I would lie over and over again, and suffer any reprocusions in the after life that doing so might incur. I have explained the situation to the other members of Gone Fish Inc, and I hope they understand why I feel the need to indulge Macc his delusions. I know that the chance exists that one day Macc will see the truth himself. I just pray that when that day comes I dont lose my best friend.
Well, I had the pleasure of meeting the new captain of that old fishing schooner, a lovely elf by the name of Lylly whos running a company called Gone Fish.
That proud old girl of a boat, who they've renamed to Fish Tales, has made more than her share of trips to the outer Banks, and not many of us down on the docks figured anyone would take a chance on her. She leaks, her hull is fouled, her rigging needs work, shes rat infested
Of course, the prior owner was a dead beat. He claimed to be a fisherman but spent most of his time drinking, instead of fishing. He couldnt pay a decent wage to a crew and certainly couldnt keep up with the maintenance costs of the boat. Most of us figured that when he abandoned the boat at the dock that shed sink there.
Now this Lylly and her associates came along and have applied a fair amount of spit and polish. She still needs work, but you can see new life in her. Ive spent many a day out on the seas fishing in almost every type of vessel known and Fish Tales is a yar boat. So I couldnt help but stop by yesterday, and see who this was that was trying to save on of Menenthil Harbors grand old fishing schooners.
With all my days at sea, and now running a fishermens supply business on the docks, I know fishermen pretty well, and I have to say Lylly aint your typical fisherman. First, she was polite and friendly. Most of the gang seems to think rude is the only way business is conducted. Second, she struck me as honest. No one needs to hear that fishermen dont know how to tell the truth; lying is in their blood. Third, she was a night elf and at least in these parts the fishing boats were crewed by dwarves and humans.
Much to my surprise, after talking for a spell with Lylly, I found myself being offered a job. Seems Gone Fish Inc. needed a local port agent. This should get some of my old drinking buddies talking. I might even make a trip or two offshore once Fish Tales is seaworthy again
Had a good conversation with Al today. Seems Miss Lylly knew what she was doin when she hired him ta be our land agent. A more knowledgable straight shootin sort ya will never find. He brings us knowledge a fishin boats an deep sea fishin, somethin lackin in tha rest a us. He also brings us a wealth a contacts in tha Menethil harbor fishin community.
We coulda done a lot worse than hirin such a useful feller. As always, Lylly's gut feelins about people prove out true. Thank goodness she is tha boss an not me.
My head is still spinning. The Cap'n took me to the elven lands, all by way of celebrating the New Year of the Moon.
It was a fine time, don't mistake me. Still, I'm used to barking orders at sea, hauling up nets, and talking someone up for what they'd pay for fish. Bowing and talking so formally is not my calling.
Or at least I thought it wasn't. The Cap'n tells me that I will represent the company in a number of dealings far beyond the docks I know so well. She indicated that I needed a nice new suit. Next thing you know, she'll be asking me to take a bath!
What have I gotten myself into?
Scrappin off barnacles has become a very discouragin task. Every time I sc#@!& a patch a hull clear a them, tha boat begins ta leak. Then I have ta run inside an patch up tha new hole before she takes on enough water ta sink ta tha bottom a tha harbor. I would leave tha barnacles if it was up ta me, but Algard says we will get no headway if we dont remove them.
Wish I could teach those darn rats in tha hold how ta patch tha leaks. Then I could take care of tha outside an they could take care of tha inside.
That crazy but lovable Miss Zinny is up ta her antics again. She got wind that Miss Lylly wanted those a us in Gone Fish Inc to support tha local festival celebratin tha return of tha fishin fleet ta Menethil, an decide she wanted ta "make it a blast." Now when she says them words I tend ta get worried.
Miss Zinny, bein a Gnome and an engineer has a tendency toward blowin things all ta hell. Sometimes its intentional, but other times, it aint. Now apparently she got some firework launchin schematics from them Lunar Festival folks, and is all fired up about tryin them out on monday. She claims ta have hundreds a fireworks ta use, an a desire ta use them.
I was gonna start puttin up some a tha new riggin that tha boys procured fer me, but I am thinkin perhaps I should wait till after tha fireworks display ta see if there is still a ship left standin ta repair.
*Zinny hums to herself as she examines the schematic she received from the Lunar Festival one last time and looks over her work.*
There, that should be it, the thingamajig is in the whatchamacallit. The dinglehopper is wired to the detonator. The switcherooo is has the safe thingy installed. With any luck this will creat one totally awsome fireworks display. Or it will blow most of Menethil Harbor off the map. Either way it should prove to be fun.
Algard headed down to the docks, his arms full of festive bunting and new cloth. It wasnt the sort of load he was used to juggling. But if the Capn wanted the Fish Tales prettied up, so be it. Sure would give those gnarly old fishermen coming in from the deep sea quite a sight. Algard snorted, as most had gotten used to the Fish Tales as a decrepit boat that only stayed afloat on a wing and a prayer.
Algard hoped hed get to meet Maccs friends today. Macc had told him all about the boys, but Al had never met them only Macc. Still, Al was relieved that Macc wasnt doing all that overhaul himself. It was too much work for one dwarf even if Macc was a sturdy old cuss.
Algard paused, catching sight of Zinny working on some contraption. She was nice enough, sweet even. Still Algard had a hard time quelling his survival instint which said to run far, far away whenever he saw a gnome playing with some mechanical device ...
I miss both you and Lylly greatly. Sadly business has kept me headed this way and that. I hope both of you are doing well and that your latest venture is doing well. I've heard some rumors that your company is moving forward and establishing a foothold in Menenthil. If I can assist in anyway, don't hesitate to contact me. We've recently worked out a deal with a seafood supplier and distributor in Booty Bay, and might be able to help you.
That aside, in my travels, I've taken the liberty of asking folks about a pastime we share: fishing. I'm compiling these various notes into a list of gear a fisherman might want to bring along. Should I just send you my completed notes as some sort of appendix? For all I know, you and Lylly may have already covered this.
I know time is precious, but some time we should head down to Booty Bay and try our hand at their fishing contest. Working together, I suspect we'd be a force to contend with. If we can drag Lylly along, those goblins won't know what hit them!
Ach lad fishin aint near as much fun without you standin next ta me an occasionally fallin in.
As ta yer inputs, I think we will include them as an appendix at tha end a tha book as an easy guide ta where ta go fer stuff.
On a tip from a friend, I went for a swim today in the waters near Theramore. I was looking for a praticularly knowledgable fisherman named Nat Pagle, and had been told he was to be found on an island southwest of Theramore. After swimming to several islands, I finally found him on one near the coast.
There he stood, a fishing pole in one hand and a alcoholic drink in the other. I introduced myself, and asked if his name might be Nat, and he informed me it was. I told him I had come to learn more about fishing, as it was rumored he had much to teach. He smiled at me, between sips of his drink and said "Maybe yes, Maybe no." He then returned to fishing without another word.
I thought perhaps, he was looking for me to show him what I already knew, so he would know what else to teach me, so I got out my fishing gear and began to fish beside him. Though he feigned disinterest in what I was doing, I knew he was watching me since he would often get a mischevious grin on his face when I failed to land a catch. Undaunted, I continued to fish by his side.
Once or twice, after landing a particularly hard fought Oily Blackmouth or Firefin Snapper, he would turn to me as if he was going to make a comment, but each time he would just shake his head and go back to his own fishing and drinking. Eventually, after hours of fishing, with over 100 fish to show for my efforts, I began to tire. I packed up my gear, and was preparing to leave when he finally spoke.
"Leaving already are you?" he said with the same grin I had seen each time I failed earlier, "I thought you came here to learn from me." "I did" I said very confused "but you havent taught me a thing." "Havent I" he said and then took another sip of his drink. "Perhaps you should stay a bit longer and think on what I might have taught you so far. In the morning we can talk about it." I had no idea what he ment, but decided to stay.
I started a fire, and prepared us a dinner of Rockscale Cod. Nat sat across from me, and thanked me for the fine meal, then broke out his sleeping mat, layed down and immediately went to sleep. I stared at him for a long time thinking about what he might have taught me. Patience, perseverence, resolve, all of those were things a successful fisher would need. On the other hand, maybe he had just taught me how to appreciate the wonderful things going on around me, like the sunset off the waters surrounding Theramore.
With the thought of the lovliest sunset I could remember seeing still running through my mind, I lay back on my sleeping mat and drifted off to sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a wonderful day, I could tell already.
when I awoke in the morning, Nat was already up and fishing. He looked over at me and smiled. "Well" he said "did I teach you anything yesterday, or not?" "You taught me to see the world around me and enjoy what it has to offer, no matter what task I might be involved in" I replied. He smiled at me once again "Perhaps you taught yourself that lesson. Either way, it is time for me to teach you a thing or two about fishing."
He reached into his belt pouch, and pulled out a parchment. He handed it to me and said "This is a list of four rare fish that can be caught at different places in the Realm. Go to each of these places, and catch one of these fish for me. Remember, catch just one, to take more would be wasteful. When you have returned with them, we shall discuss your next lesson."
I took the list, bowed to him, and prepared my gear to travel. As I waded into the water for my return swim to Theramore, Nat called out to me. "Lylly, dont forget to practice what you learned last night. The places you go to all have wonderous things to see, if one opens their eyes and takes the time to look." I nodded to him and began my swim. The anticipation of what lay ahead of me powered my strokes.
Algard glanced at his pocket watch. His new suit itched, despite the breeze coming off the water. Al was not comfortable in this fancy get up but the Capn had asked him to shine himself up a bit. He sighed. Hed been waiting hear on the dock for over an hour hoping to catch the Capn. Not today it seemed.
He put the watch away. No use worrying about it. Shed asked him to handle the issues onshore, and by the Maelstrom, he would. Still, Al wished he could talk to the Capn or Macc. Rumor around town was that a couple of the older and more ornery fishermen werent thrilled with the way Fish Tales was shaping up. Al figured that with all the work the company had done that some of the other fishermen were finally figuring out that this beautiful elven woman and her crew were going to be some serious competition.
The most immediate problem was that the local supplier of salt, which they would need to preserve their catch, had jacked up his prices for Algard and Gone Fish Inc. Al knew that this certainly was because the salt supplier was the brother-in-law of one of those annoyed fisherman. Al had a couple solutions in mind but didnt want to take any steps that his employers might disapprove of
With Nat's list in hand, I began my travels around the realm of Azeroth. I have been told I have been to all the places I was asked to fish in, but I dont remember any of them. While losing my memory makes many things difficult, one of the nice things is everyplace I go is new and interesting to me. I was filled with the thrill of adventure as I boarded the Griphon to Feralas.
Feralas is a place full of nature and beauty. Of course there are many things looking to eat you if you are not careful, and the Horde was not over pleased to see me, but otherwise it was pure beauty. I fished in the Verdantis River for several hours before I caught the Feralis Ahi Nat wanted, and enjoyed every minute of it.
It was a short ride from Feralas to Desolace, but it was like entering a whole different world. Where Feralas had been green and growing, Desolace seemed brown and dying. I wandered into a village of centaurs to ask directions to Sar'Theris Strand. While I didnt know them, they seemed to know me, and were glad to direct me. They also advised me to stay out of the other centaur villages I found. I fished on the Strand for just under an hour before I caught a Sar'Theris Striker.
Several flights, a long saber ride and a boat ride later I found myself in Booty Bay. The goblins showed me where the Savage Coast was on a map and I rode off in search of a Savage Coast Blue Sail Fin. I eventually found a stip of beach that wasnt over run with crocolisks and raptors, and in under thirty minutes I has caught my fish. I stayed and fished longer because it was such a tranquil and lovely place.
I then flew to the Blasted lands and rode to the coast of the Swamp of Sorrows. It was strange here, though there was lots and lots of water, I could find very few places that yielded fish. I found a nice spot on the beach away from the many murlocs that live there, and fished for two hours. Finally a Misty Reed Strand Mahi Mahi bit and I had the last of the fish on the list.
The trip back to Nat was mostly uneventful, if you dont count the water beast that tried to eat me as I swam to his island. I showed Nat the fish and asked him to provide me the training he had promised. Nat looked at me with a impish smile and said "But Lylly, you need no training from me. These catches prove you have learned all you need to know to become a master of fishing. All you need to do now is go and fish." With that he smiled once more and turned back to his own fishing.
I realized he was right, I had all the knowledge I now needed. It was up to me now to get the practice that would make me as capable as Nat. Maybe with luck, I might even become as wise as him one day.
Ach tha Captain does get about. With all tha reports she has been sendin me on new fishin spots I will never get unburied from that darn book.
Tha Captain has been learnin tha finer art a cookin from goblins, which she promised ta regale us with. I personally cant believe someone would consider a goblin a culinary expert, but I have heard a stranger things than that.
I'm glad to report that Monday night went well. Despite the fleet coming in from offshore and rumors of some trouble, I made it through the night without so much as a drunken brawl - though the added security assigned to the town might have had something to do with that (a lovely knight by the name Feleni or something like that).
On top of that, Zinny gave a show to end all shows - and the sails of the Fish Tales are still intact. A strong inshore breeze might have helped our cause. I must say I've never seen a more impressive display of fireworks!
And it was a pleasure meeting Gracci, who gave a couple tours of the boat. From the smiles I saw, all Macc's hard work paid off - and no one mentioned the bilge pumps I left running to make sure she stayed floating ...
I hope your travels are going well Cap'n, but thought you should hear a bit about how things are faring here.
Thank you Al, I have heard that the affair would not have gone off near as nicely if it werent for your efforts to keep things going on shore. Every day I grow happier and happier with my decision to bring you in as our land agent.
Oh that was nothing. Unfortunately I only had enough materials to make two launchers, and for some reason they tend to melt down after 30 minutes of heavy use. Still I did try to squeeze every firework I could out of that 30 minutes.
My most impressive fireworks display was in the Great Burned Hole of Stonetalon. Of course it wasnt called the Great Burned Hole at the time, it was called the Lovely Green Valley of Stonetalon. Sometimes things dont turn out the way you plan.
A handwritten note tacked to the bulletin board in Algard's small office
Remember to get insurance policy for Tales BEFORE Zinny's next show!
I looked in my bags at the huge number of fish I had caught and realized I must find something to do with them before they went bad. Many of the fish recipies I had seen on vendors were much to complicated for my simple level of cooking knowledge, so I knew I had to seek out help if I was to prepare for cooking this many fish.
Go to Dirge Quikcleave everyone said. There is no finer fishing instructor around. Imagine my suprise when I finally met him in Gadgetzan, he was a goblin. But not just any goblin, it was obvious from the culinary delights staining his apron that he knew his trade well, so I asked if he would teach me. "Sure" he said "But I am all out of the ingredients of the dish I would use to teach the subtle phases of fine cuisine preparation. You must get them for me."
I smiled and held out my hand for the list, and in no time at all I was out hunting once again. First he wanted giant eggs. Well where there are bones there are buzzards, and where there are buzzards there are giant eggs. It just so happens the sands of Tanaris are filled with both bones and buzzards, so after a bit of effort I had enough eggs.
The second item on the list was Zesty Clam Meat. Now while it is true that with a bit of effort and a lot of swimming, you can eventually find a decent amout of zesty clam meat, it is also true that Naga's love eating this delicacy, and if you hunt them you can usually get a good bit of clams in their provision pouches. Since I was all out of water breathing potions I chose to hunt Naga on the land, and true to their form, I collected enough clam meat in no time at all. I also found a few pearls.
The final ingredient was Alterac Cheese. One advantages of wandering aimlessly through Stormwind after I lost my memory was I got to meet a lot of new people. One of the nicest ones was a man who owned a cheese shop near the entrance to the city. He told me when we met that he could get me any type of cheese I ever needed, and true to his word, he had all the Alterac Swiss a girl could want.
With my ingredients in hand, I returned to Dirge. Soon, he had his pots boiling, and me shucking clams and scrambling eggs. Finally I grated the cheese and added it to the mixture. The whole time I was scribbling down every word he said about cooking, and before I knew I was even learning anything, he had taught me all I needed to know. We shared a meal of clamlette suprise, and he gave me my very own spatula.
Smiling at me, he told me to go out and make him proud. I am certainly going to try to.
Me goal is ta be as good of a fisher an cook as tha Captain is. It be a high goal ta attain, but I am tryin me best.
Well all that fishin finally paid off. I been sellin me catch on a regular basis an durn if I didnt save up enough ta buy me a nice ridin Ram ta get me around. Me achin toes will be feelin much better now. Plus I can get ta tha fishin holes even earlier. Proof positive that fishin is good fer ya.
Went ta that nice doctor in Tharamore. Helped him triage a bunch a wounded soldiers an as a thank ya he taught me a bit a first aid. Now, I can bandage up me own fingers after jabbin meself a hundred times with fishin hooks. Should cut down on tha trips ta tha medics.
Gone Fish Inc has entered into a workin agreement with tha Grey Tiger Tong. Specifically, we are fillin special orders fer specific hard ta find fish that tha Tong would like ta feature in a Exotic Seafood line they are startin. As such both Lylly an I, as tha most prolific fishers a tha business, have been out an about fishin in some a tha more difficult ta get to spots in hopes a impressin tha Tong with our prompt deliveries.
I know tha Captain aint that concerned about profits, this bein more a thing she loves ta do than anything else, but still it is nice ta see some real money out a our efforts. It might even help with tha repair a that Money Trap tha Captain calls a fishin boat.
Tai rubbed his forehead again, a look of perplexion on his face. He poked the dead lightning eel again, turning it over. He picked at the meat again, and scowled. Not enough there for a meal. He'd have to find out if this eel had any value ...
His friend, Lylly, had delivered the eels along with some fine fish - fish that were the basis for almost magical dishes. He was keen to carve out a piece of the seafood market but wasn't willing to step on Lylly or Macc's toes. He knew plenty of businessmen who valued ruthlessness in all their affairs but Tai lived by a different code.
So, instead of competing with Gone Fish and their supply of fresh fish, he had opted to explore the prepared seafood markets. He'd been delighted to find these included not only some valuable elixirs but also some extraordinary culinary delights. He knew seafood wasn't to everyone's liking but he did know that those who enjoyed it were willing to pay good coin for it.
He left the lightning eel on the table and washed up. He'd fill out a payment for Lylly and send it on. It was good to see her back on her feet and enjoying herself. She actually seemed happier than she had when she was a military officer. And Macc ... Tai smiled. Good man, that.
After my attack and loss of memory, I was recovering from the incident in the Cathedral of Light. The priests warned me that it might be a while before I got any memories back. Yesterday, I had what I believe to be my first memory. I was sitting quietly on the dock of Menethil, enjoying the sunset. I had closed my eyes, to let the colors play off the inside of my eyelids, when it came to me.
I was a little girl, standing on a beach, holding the hand of a beautiful elvish woman I know now was my mother. She looks down into my eyes and begins to sing a song.
As I did walk upon the fields I found a broken heart I took it home and cared for it And loved it from the start I held it close, I gave it life I watched it heal with time My heart was filled with happiness Till I saw it twas not mine It looked with longing to the sea Its restlessness did show And so I stilled my broken heart And lovingly let go He left and sailed off to the sea His glee he could not hide He wrote to tell me his exploits My heart was filled with pride I lived to hear from him each day And share with him his life His foes all fell before his sword From him they could not hide But then one day he met his match A foe he could not best She took his heart and then his soul Our love she lay to rest She gave him life, she gave him love Of me he thought no more His letters stopped, as did my heart My joy walked out the door Then one last letter I received It spoke of his new wife It thanked me for the care he'd seen and bid me a good life Still I knew then I must go on A gift he'd given me A gift of peace and happiness She's my world now you see The day she looked into my eyes and smiled that smile so sweet I knew I had a part of him My Lylly of the fields His eyes she has, his laugh as well so much of him I see Though he is gone, he's always there Within her soul so deep So now we walk the fields of green I hold her tiny hand And warn her of a broken heart And the wanderings of a man
As she finishes the song a single tear runs down her cheek and she turns her eyes back to the sea. The memory ends there.
I know not why this particular memory returned to me. Perhaps it is because I have wondered lately why the sea pulls my heart so. My mother may have been right, and there is much of my father in me. I shall ask Macc to increase the effort on the boat, I wish to sail the seas.
Been ta tha Blasted Lands lookin fer fishin. What a waste a time that is. Still, I did find somethin interestin, its called Gizzard Gum. A Elfie makes it from buzzard gizzards among other things. Its quite a satisfyin chew. An if ya stick it behind yer ear, ya can save it ta chew again later. Not that I would do that sort a thing mind ya.
Tai folded the letter carefully and sealed it with hot wax, pressing in the encircled form of the tiger. He smiled, glad to be proposing a deal to friends ...
The letter requested that Gone Fish Inc. supply Tai's new seafood company with the freshest and most exotic fish they could find. The list was long, and included some of Azeroth's rarest fish ..
Glossy mightfish (including the hard fighting large variety), summer bass, winter squid, sunscale salmon, nightfin snapper, and darkclaw lobster ... not to mention some of the oilier fish and eels, which, while not particularly tasty, were useful in all sorts of concoctions ...
The trick for Tai had been to rein in his natural tendencies, and instead put a fair and generous offer on the table. He smiled at himself; Lylly and Macc were good, good friends.
It hadn't even pained him (that much) to suggest that if Gone Fish could keep Tai's company in supply of these fish that Tai would make sure that they got half the sales AND a regular supply of the prepared dishes for their own uses. Tai would deal with the advertising, taking orders and shipping - on top of preparing the dishes and keeping them fresh.
Tai stroked his beard as he headed to the mailbox. He wondered how that would sound to his friends. He hoped they knew that they could say no. He shrugged, confident of his friends, and dropped the letter in the post box.
After Baydon walked out the door of one of the manor's many spare bedrooms, I turned to Siri and asked. "So, you wanna go to the Jester for something to eat?"
Sirithil looked at me sceptically, paused, and then asked "...are you asking me out?"
I immediately chuckled and rolled my eyes at that. Looking at her again, I replied with a smrik "Not the foremost thing on my mind, though I'm not opposed to it. More like, 'It's been a long day and I want to spend some time with a friend before I go home and crash.'"
"Oh, okay." she said, and nodded her assent.
...and a long day it was. I'd spent most of it assisting the Alliance Military against Horde attacks. I'd been killed and resurrected a couple of dozen times, today, the worst being that rogue who had.... Uuuggghhh.... Eeewww.... *whine*
Don't think about it; don't think about it; don't think about it; don't think about it.
...and to top it all off, I was riding through Stormwind afterwards when I overhear Alkan talking to Meris and Alkan saying something about saving someone before he starts running to the gryphon master. I follow him to Darkshire and find Baydon in pretty bad shape.
So, after a long ordeal of helping Alkan heal Baydon, welding a neck wound shut with fire magic (cause a stitching needle wouldn't go through), carrying him through a Stormwind portal and then to the Nightstone Manor, and then questioning Baydon about the whole thing (which apparently involves Meris having some honest, but personal reason for slicing Baydon open that Baydon doesn't want to hold Meris at blame for), I was ready for a break.
At the Laughing Jester, Sirithil talked me into having some wine instead of my usual moonberry juice. "Come on, James, live a little." So, I pick a bottle of Nightstone wine aged ten years, which turns out to cost 5.5 gold a bottle. Sure, I can afford it, I've been quietly amassing a small fortune of my own from my adventures, but this obviously wasn't something I was going to drink on any kind of regular basis, but it did prove to be very good wine.
Soon, we're joined by a gnomish friend of Siri's named Nectar. We introduce ourselves and the three of us start chit-chatting about things: Nectar's research, Siri's battleship (and I didn't realize until then how serious she was about having giant gnomish death rays mounted on a battleship; the thing had already seen service), Siri's planned expedition to Azshara, and a couple of other things I don't remember.
At some point, I told Siri I wanted to ask her about refurbishing a vessel that belonged to Lylly. Siri asked me what condition the vessel was in, so I pulled out the sheet of parchment I had taken notes on and started reading from it.
"Hull full of holes, only barnacles seem to be keeping the vessel afloat. Wood rotted in many places. Sails torn. Rigging is completely in tatters. Rudder broken."
Siri just gave me a stern look and said "James, I'm going to be straight with you." I looked up at her and listened. I knew this wasn't going to be good. "Repairs like that could easily run into the hundreds of gold. They might as well just buy a new ship."
"Yeah," Nectar added, "with things that bad, you need a new ship."
I nodded and replied "Their original plan had been to reinforce the hull from the inside, then remove the barnacles."
"That's not going to work. Unless you build an entire secondary hull on the inside, the rot is going to continue."
"Hmmm.... I'll speak to Lylly, again. I was under the impression that only interior wood was rotted, the hull merely had holes in it."
"Oh, well, that might be different. I can have my engineers take a look at it for a nominal fee."
I asked Sirithil "How much?"
"Three gold plus travel expenses."
"Would four gold cover it?"
"I'll give you change," she replied, and we exchanged coin right there.
"Thanks. I'll let Lylly know you're coming."
"Well, it won't be me, it'll be one of my shipbuilders."
I closed my eyes and shook my head slightly. Opening my eyes again, I said "Right. I'll let Lylly know the shipbuilder is coming. If he's questioned while there, he should say that e works for you and was sent at my behest."
"Of course," Siri replied. "He'll have business cards so that you know who he is."
After that, I bid Sirithil and Nectar a good night, put the now-empty bottle and my glass away, and headed off to home and bed.
Macc read tha letter from Tai, a smile gracing his lips. Taking a parchment and quill from tha desk Captain Nightstar maintained in tha aft quarters, he penned a quick response.
It would be an honor fer us ta take this commission from ya. Ya have always been a friend ta tha Captain an I, an we look forward ta workin closely with ya on yer latest business endevor. We shall begin fillin yer orders post haste.
*MaccDaggan whistles ta himself as he packs a large selection a fish in packages full a snow an addresses tha boxes ta tha Grey Tiger Tong*
I hope Tai finds all these fish useful.
Tai smiled as he lifted off the wooden lid with a small crowbar. There, amongst the white snow, were streaks of color, the fish scales glinting in the light of the lantern. Fine fish, these were. Tai had done his share of fishing and his practiced eye took in the contents. These were not only some of the finest and rarest fish to be found. They were also in perfect condition. Gone Fish didn't fool around when it came to fish ...
Putting the lid back on to keep the fish cold, one thing did bother Tai. That shopkeep in Booty Bay was continuing to be a problem, holding out and insisting on more money for the place. With the folks of Gone Fish shipping Tai fish, he needed close that deal, one way or another. It was time to make him an offer - an offer that couldn't be refused.
Lylly had been about fishin. Mostly in Winterspring an Moonglade. She found both a them spots very relaxin. As she catches stuff she ships it ta me fer packagin and shippin ta tha Grey Tiger Tong. I never thought fishin could be more than a hobbie er sport ta me, but it looks like tha lass has figured out how ta turn a profit at it. With tha help a tha Tong a course.
((Note that the following acquisition would be known publicly; the methods, however, would be at best only rumors to non-members. Also, I'll start a new thread for this but wanted to follow up in this thread on Tai's new business.))
Wigcik looked again at the piece of paper and ran his dark tongue over his rough lips. A bead of sweat trickled down the considerable length of the goblins nose. As far as goblins went, Wigcik was a relatively honest businessman. He was also a businessman with a penchant for high stakes dice games. Just his luck, he knew how to sell fish but he most definitely did not understand the game of craps. This misfortune was compounded by his decision to ask the Tong for house credit.
He looked across the table at the deadly serious face of Jiang. Involuntarily, his gaze flicked to the two large humans standing just behind Jiang, one at each shoulder both with large muscular arms crossed. Wigcik put his hand up to his mouth, trying to think. He stammered, I dont know how many times Ive told you. Im not selling. Jiangs eyes didnt move from Wigcik but a small frown formed on his lips. He spoke only a name, Tsao . At the mention of his name, Tsao nodded and unfolded his arms. He stepped forward and picked up the piece of paper; Wigcik couldnt help but flinch. The man named Tsao, though he had no apparent weapons, looked dangerous.
Tsao held up the paper, turning for only a moment to the other large man, giving him a nod and saying, Brother Robar, if you would The one named Robar lumbered over to the salting table. As Wigcik watched in horror, Robar took out a large mace and began smashing the gear into useless tinder. Mouth agape, Wigcik turned towards Tsao. Tsao looked back at him steadily, I strongly urge you to read Mr. Jiangs offer a bit more closely sir.. As he spoke, Tsaos left hand sprung forward and his fingers closed around the goblins jaw. Seemingly without effort, Tsao turned the goblins face in the direction of the contract Tsao held up in his right hand. Tsaos strong fingers dug into the goblins green skin, Specifically, note that Mr. Jiang is offering a partnership in your company. The last of the salting table crashed to the floor as Robar brought the mace down in a long swing.
The goblins eyes darted down the page, reading the terms, But The goblin stopped mid-outburst as Tsao gave him a firm shake that rattled the merchants teeth. Robar was moving towards Wigciks supply closet. Jiang, still sitting calmly in his chair across from Wigcik, Yes, youd still be a partner; despite your debts Wigcik, I am not a cruel man Jiang paused a moment, looking at his fingernails before looking back to Wigcik to add, Of course, I will be the majority owner of the company that is unless you have some objection and wont sign the contract. Jiang narrowed his eyes, watching the goblin.
Tsao lay the contract down in front of Wigcik, and took a pen out of his vest. Tsao put the pen down on the paper and moved behind Wigcik, putting a calloused, muscular hand on the goblins shoulder. Robar paused in front of the closet, looking back to Tsao for direction. Wigcik took a breath and swallowed hard. Tsaos fingers dug into his shoulder and he winced.
Jiang talked as if nothing were happening, You will draw a fair salary but I expect you to continue to man the store; in fact, I insist you stay on. Keep it neat and keep your mouth shut. I expect you to be hospitable to my associates providing them victuals and a safe place to sleep. Well also conduct business here. Tai paused, looking at Wigcik, Am I talking too quickly? You appear to be confused.
Tsao simply cleared his throat, and Wigcik took the hint, shaking his head quickly, No, no. All perfectly reasonable .. Tai smiled back at him, and continued, This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship Wigcik a new start for the Savage Coast Fishmonger and a fresh start for you, with all debts forgiven. With this, Jiang leaned forward and picked up the pen, holding it right in front of Wigcik.
The goblin hesitated a moment, and then nodded. He took the pen and signed his name. Jiang smiled as he stood. Tsao nodded at Robar and both men fell into place behind Jiang. Jiang nodded deeply at Wigcik, Play this right Wigcik and you could become a very wealthy goblin. Play this wrong, and, well, Id hate to see you lose everything. Jiang paused a moment, letting that sink in before turning on his heel and heading for the door. Tsao watched Wigcik for a moment and then he and Robar followed suit.
The following day ...
Tai smiled as he tacked up the pictures on the bulletin board. He knew Kennia would probably feign disgust at the idea of their using a fishmongers' shop as a cover, but honestly they both loved the Bay. And as far as he could tell, so did the other Tigers.
The Savage Coast Fishmonger was the perfect cover - a shop in a busy goblin town, packages coming and going all day, business done in cash, access to ships ... On top of that, this would mesh perfectly with the deal he'd struck with Gone Fish. Yes, this seemed a good move. It had taken longer than he'd hoped to lure Wigcik into the gambling dens but it had all paid off in the end ...
Tha fishin in Feralas was good. Especially along tha coast. Macc had pulled in a number a Mightfish an Stonescale Eel. He had pulled in a few Nightfins in the inland waters as well.
The Eels he packed and sent of to Dahar to use in her potions. The Nightfin and Mightfish he packed and shipped to Tai to meet the orders for his exotic food line.
The other fish, like Redgill and what not were cooked and stored for McDuff ta eat. Tha Great Hunter knows it is a job in itself keeping enough fish for that bottemless pit of a cat he called his pet. All in all it had been a fulfillin day a fishin. Who could ask fer anything more.
Some a tha best fishin times I have had have been with me friend Tai. Tha lad can keep a great conversation goin while landin fish after fish. His perspective on life an fishin is interestin an always thought provokin.
The other reason I love fishin with tha lad is his propensity ta bring humor ta tha moment. I remember well tha time he an I were fishin off tha pier in Loch Mordan an out a tha blue he jumped into tha water an started wrestlin with tha fish he caught. He climbed out drippin wet. Loch Weed hangin from his clothin an tha fish firmly grasped in his teeth. All I could do was stare at him then fall ta tha ground laughin.
Lately, his business an mine have kept us from fishin much, but I look forward ta our next session with great anticipation. Maybe if I'm lucky he'll put on another one a them fish wrestlin shows.
Tai hesitated as he wrote the note. He considered Macc a true friend, but no fisherman wanted to be told that his catch wasn't selling. Tai grimaced and plowed on ...
... So, at this point, I fear that I'm not confident that the fishmonger company will do much in the way of sales. I'll keep the business, as it's become a labor of love (a transformation I'm sure you understand, old friend) but I may move to less exclusive fish. For now at the very least, perhaps I should see if we can move the fish you and dear Lylly have already sent me. I'll be sure to provide you both with some prepared meals and some coin. I'd hoped to pay you as the fish sold, but I won't hold your coinpurse hostage to my lack of sales.
Now, business aside for a moment (Kennia and my colleagues would never believe I wrote such a line), I am eager to make time for us to get in a bit more fishing. Of course, I'd welcome the company of sweet Lylly and Dahar if either could come along, but it's time for these two grumpy old men to cast their lines together, I think. I'm out of town for the week but I will seek you out this coming weekend. I presume you're still fishing early in the day, while the waters are still calm?
Lad there is little I would enjoy more than spendin some time fishin with ya. Tha coast a Feralas comes ta mind as a grand spot as any stonescale I catch can be used by Dahar.
You bring yerself an a pair a swimmin trunks (so yer street cloths will take less of a beatin), an I will bring meself an a fishin pole. Then we can tell old crotchity guy lies about all tha big fish we have caught while fishin on our own.
Good news! I've got a fine cook (a lovely gnomess by the name of Carilly) who is going to be in charge of the kitchen. Turns out that the goblin I had there was not quite as talented as he claimed ... I can safely say that we both now regret his false claims.
I appreciate the offer of your agent, and may take you up on it. I've seen the shipments you've sent, and no finer fish could be found; it'd be a shame to not sell these! Keep on landing the big ones Macc!
By the way, I got a notice about an attack on the docks of Menenthil Harbor. Have you heard any news? I always worry when I haven't heard from Lylly in a bit - though I know I worry too much as we both know she can take care of herself. Still, it's worth looking into. I was told that some cargo we had on the docks was either damaged or stolen, so I'm headed there tonight to see what's what. Perhaps we can meet up? It'd be good to see your hairy mug.
Brinnos looked out over the docks and grinned a little. The workers were making headway repairing the damage sustained to the piers.
Luckily, the naga had been rather surgical in their strike. They seemed only interested in the cargo stores, and even then they only went after one crate. Collateral damage was kept to a minimum. He thanked whoever had kept the beasts in check.
Sighing heavily, Brinnos turned on his heel and began walking to the other pier. He wanted to make certain none of the moored ships had been affected...
Lylly was asleep on the Fish Tales, like every other night. Macc had been by earlier in the day to look in on her and make sure she was ok, as he often did. As he was leaving, he had a short loud conversation with "the boys" Angus, McDuff and MacDonnald. He directed them to keep good watch over the ship and their Captain, and told them they would suffer if they did not.
Lylly smiled sadly at Macc as she watched him walk away up the pier. It pained her to see him talking to comrades who were long dead. She knew they existed only in Macc's mind and heart, but she could not bring herself to tell him . As so many times before, she nodded at Macc when he informed her "the Boys" would protect her should anything untoward happen.
She went into the master cabin which Macc and "the boys" had fixed up as a office and sleeping quarters for her, and after going over a few of the costs associated with fixing up the Fish Tales, and balancing the ledger, she closed the books and prepared for sleep. It was often lonely on the Fish Tales when Macc and the others from Gone Fish Inc were out doing their fishing and scrounging chores. She had mentioned it to Macc once, but when he asked her how she could be bored with "the Boys" around, she smiled and admitted he was of course right.
With the quiet sounds of the water splashing against the side of the boat, and creaking of masts and rigging, it was no time at all before she was sound asleep. She did not know how long she had been asleep before she woke up. All she knew was she heard a voice say "Wake up Captain...we're boarded!" She jumped out of bed, and quickly donned her armor and weapons, as she heard the sound of combat from the open cabin windows in the aft of the boat.
As Lylly ran into the crew mess from the cabin, she was set upon by two large humanoid creatures with multiple arms and a snakes body where their legs should have been. Naga she thought, and immediately went into a deffensive stance. The Naga closed on her and began swinging long spiked pole arms at her, it was all she could do to fend off the blows. Then, to her suprise, one of the Naga cried out in pain and turned to attack something behind it.
The second Naga was distracted by the change of events, and Lylly used the pause in the action to go from the defense to the attack. In short order she had cut her opponent to shreds, leaving him dead on the mess floor. The second Naga, who she had never laid a hand on, lay dead on the floor as well, facing away from her, with multiple stab wounds in its front and back. There seemed to be no one else in the mess with her.
"Thank you" she called out, in hopes her savior woud show him or herself, but there was no reply. When she left the mess and went out on the deck, she found no one else on board. Lylly climbed to the Aft Deck, and could see the rest of the pier. As she watched, a small group of Naga left the pier and reentered the water. The pier itself held the prone bodies of several humans. Lylly shook her head, and went below deck to clean the dead Naga off her ship.
When she entered the mess, she found only blood stains with a path of blood leading to the side of the boat. As she looked over the side, she saw the bodies of the two Naga slowly sinking into the depths of the harbor. Yet once again, she could find no one else aboard the ship.
Almost immediately, Lylly felt exhausted. She returned to the cabin, securing the door, and lay down on the bed, her armor still on. As she lay there and once again drifted off to sleep, she thought she heard a whispered voice "Sleep well Captain, we got tha watch." With the voice still lingering in her ears, Lylly drifted off to sleep.
In the morning, when she left the cabin and entered the crew mess, Lylly was suprised to find even the blood stains gone on what appeared to be the newly sanded decking. Perhaps Lylly thought to herself, it had all been a bad dream. Still she thought, it had seemed so real. She put it from her mind and began the daily work of making the Fish Tales a sailable vessel again.
(( Because Lylly and I are having problems getting online at the same time to roleplay, I'm going to try doing this over the forums. ))
Almost before the gryphon had settled down on the ground, I had jumped off, but stumbled upon hitting the ground. Light, James, you're not going to help anybody if you hurt yourself getting off the freaking gryphon!
I got up, dusted myself off, and ran off towards the Fish Tales. On the pier by the Fish Tales, I spotted a guard, flashed my rank insignia, and said "Lieutenant Chronicle, First Anvilmar Cavalry. Have there been any sightings of naga since the initial attack?"
The guard saluted and said "No, Sir."
"Okay, my friend owns this boat, so I'm checking in on her. If I don't come out in 5 minutes, get backup."
She saluted again and said "Yes, Sir."
"Thanks" was all I said before boarding the ship. "Lylly! Maccdaggan! Is anyone aboard?" I called out. Without even waiting for a response, I ran to Lylly's room. She was awake and seemed to be tending to chores in her room. She looked up at me, but before she could say anything, I said "Lylly! Thank the Light you're safe! Okay, stay here, I need to check the ship."
I then quickly went about the ship, stem to stern, looking in any nook or cranny that seemed like it would be just big enough to hide a naga in. Having fought a few naga in random adventures in Azshara, I knew what they looked like and how big they were. Finding nothing, I went above decks, looked for the guard I talked to earlier, and called out to her "All clear aboard ship, thanks. You can carry on." She saluted in acknowledgment and I went back towards Lylly's room.
Taking a closer look at the rooms I passed through, it looked like the naga hadn't been aboard; there were no signs of struggle. For a moment, it occured to me to wonder why the naga hadn't attacked the Fish Tales, but I decided not to question it, further.
Finally reaching Lylly's room, I relaxed a bit and asked "Are you okay?"
*Lylly smiles Broadly at Cog*
Hello Cog. How wonderful to see you again. You seem a bit out of breath, please sit with me.
*she motions to a chair next to hers*
I guess you heard about the attack. And knowing you, I imagine you will want a full military report, even if I dont remember how to do those any more.
*Lylly smiles slyly at Cog*
Lets see. I was awaken by a warning that the Fish Tales had been boarded. I dressed and armed myself and exited the cabin, and was immediately attacked by two Naga in the Crew Mess. I killed one of the Naga, and the other was... well... killed by someone, but I dont know who.
I went above decks, and saw some Naga leaving the pier, and the bodies of several guards they had killed. When I came back down to the Crew Mess, the two Naga bodies were gone. I followed a blood trail to the edge of the boat and saw the dead Naga sinking into the harbor. I do not know who threw them overboard, as once again no one seemed to be there.
I locked myself in the cabin, and in the morning when I awoke and came out, there was no blood or any other signs of struggle in the Crew Mess. It looked as you saw it when you came in. Once again I have no idea who might have cleaned the decks.
The only other thing I have to report is that I thought, for a brief moment, when I first came into the Crew Mess, that I saw three Dwarves sitting at the first table. They looked up from their meals and smiled at me. I blinked, and they were gone.
My only conclusion, is that either I imagined the attack and the dwarves, in which case I am going mad. Or, Macc's dead friends, Angus, McDuff and MacDonnald helped me kill two Naga and then cleaned up the mess while I rested. In which case I am going mad.
*Lylly stops and looks into Cog's face, looking for his reaction to her tale*
(( With apologies to Lylly, I'm editing her above post to incorporate my part. ))
Lylly smiled broadly at me, said "Hello Cog. How wonderful to see you again. You seem a bit out of breath, please sit with me," and motioned to a chair next to her. When I settled myself down, I breathed a sigh of relief. "I guess you heard about the attack. And knowing you, I imagine you will want a full military report, even if I dont remember how to do those any more." She smiled slyly at me.
I chuckled softly at her and said "I'm just glad you're safe and sound. Let me worry about reports." I smirked back at her.
Smiling, she continued on. "Lets see. I was awakened by a warning that the Fish Tales had been boarded. I dressed and armed myself and exited the cabin, and was immediately attacked by two Naga in the Crew Mess." I glanced out at the room I had just come through for a moment with a puzzled expression on my face before facing Lylly again. I thought it was the Crew Mess, but now I wasn't sure; the place looked spotless. "I killed one of the Naga, and the other was... well... killed by someone, but I dont know who.
"I went above decks, and saw some Naga leaving the pier, and the bodies of several guards they had killed. When I came back down to the Crew Mess, the two Naga bodies were gone. I followed a blood trail to the edge of the boat and saw the dead Naga sinking into the harbor. I do not know who threw them overboard, as once again no one seemed to be there.
"I locked myself in the cabin, and in the morning when I awoke and came out, there was no blood or any other signs of struggle in the Crew Mess. It looked as you saw it when you came in. Once again I have no idea who might have cleaned the decks," she said.
"Huh, that is strange." I commented. "I'm sorry, please go on."
Lylly continued "The only other thing I have to report is that I thought, for a brief moment, when I first came into the Crew Mess, that I saw three Dwarves sitting at the first table. They looked up from their meals and smiled at me. I blinked, and they were gone.
"My only conclusion, is that either I imagined the attack and the dwarves, in which case I am going mad. Or, Macc's dead friends, Angus, McDuff and MacDonnald helped me kill two Naga and then cleaned up the mess while I rested. In which case I am going mad."
At that, she stopped and looked into my face, studying me for a reaction.
I just looked at her in fascinated disbelief as her words sank into my head. Then I let my gaze trail off as I tried to think. I then looked out at the Crew Mess and said "Well, the place looks spotless...." Finally, I looked back at her and asked "You said the naga were sinking into the water over the edge of the ship, correct?" She nodded in reply. "Give me a few minutes while I check something." I then laid most of my gear out on the floor, stripped off everything I was wearing except my shirt, pants, and unmentionables underneath, took my deepdive helmet from my pack, then walked out abovedecks.
I put on my helmet, secured it in place, then jumped into the water off the port side. Swimming around, it didn't take me long to find the bodies of two naga on the harbor floor, half-eaten and surrounded by sharks; for some reason, the tide hadn't washed them away very far nor had the sharks picked up the corpses. Putting up an ice barrier around myself, I starting conjuring frostbolts and arcane missiles at the sharks to drive them off.
Once the sharks were gone, I swam over to the bodies. I tried to look them over, but the grate over my viewplate didn't allow for close examination, and the fact that they had become a midnight snack sometime after dying didn't give me much to work with in figuring out how they died.
Sighing in my helmet, I climbed back onto shore and removed my helmet. I started channeling fire magic around myself to dry myself off as I walked over to the Fish Tales and climed aboard. Lylly was waiting for me above decks. "Well, there are two naga down there. Can't tell what they died of; a bunch of sharks decided it was lunchtime." I smiled wryly, then sighed. "Did you clean your weapons after the attack? If not, can I take a look at them?"
*Lylly thought for a second then replied*
I am sorry Cog, I always clean my weapons after combat. but I should still have the cloth I used, if that will help.
*Lylly returned to the aft cabin and rummaged in the waste bin. She pulled out a piece of linen cloth that appeared to be covered in an almost blackish blood, and handed it to Cog.*
(( I assume naga blood is black; I don't know for sure. Cogitatus should ICly know the color of naga blood, since he's killed enough of them to know. ))
I picked up my gloves from the floor, put them on, and took the linen from Lylly. "Hmmm.... This looks like naga blood." I hummed tunelessly again as I thought about it for a moment. "Dozens of people saw the naga attack on the docks. There are two dead naga off the port side. You have naga blood on this cloth. So, it's likely that you did fight naga.
"I can think of three possibilities. First, you really were assisted by ghosts. Second, you were assisted by someone you simply didn't see; most likely another member of Gone Fish, but it could have been anyone who saw the naga and took up arms. Third, you simply forgot some details like who helped you or cleaned up." At this last suggesiton I frowned. "Speaking of which, may I check your head, make sure you didn't suffer any concussions?" I then set down the cloth on the table and stepped a little closer to Lylly.
*Lylly smiled at Cog*
Of course...I dont remember any head blows or wounds, but then I have a history of not remembering things.
I suppose that could be why I dont remember anyone helping me, but the rest is so vivid. Up to now any time I have forgotten things it has been all of an event, not parts of it.
I have seen plenty enough spectres and ghosts in my adventures about. So I cant deny the possibility of ghosts. Its just that up till now I never thought Macc was seeing ghosts, just that he had conjured his friends up in his mind to ease his guilt over how they died. I suppose it is possible they are ghosts, in which case they could be responsible for saving me.
It would also explain how so much has been done on the boat. Macc always claims he and "the Boys" are working on the boat, and I have always marveled at how much one person can get done, but if Macc really has his three friends helping, albiet as ghosts.. then it would explain much.
The alternative to admit I am going completely crazy, and I am not willing to believe that yet.
Boss, I am in need of 25 squid and 50 nightfin as soon as possible, for Arzamas of the Eleventh Hour Corporation.
Do you think Gone Fish Inc. can obtain this for us? And what do they charge for their services?
@@ Carilly @@
*Inside the 24-hour Stormwind Bank - Arzamas is waiting patiently in line (heros are up at all hours) while sifting through his mail.*
Arzamas blinks several times at a strange letter from the Savage Coast Fishmonger. With all the recent stresses from The Eleventh Hour's press in Ahn Qiraj, he had forgotten ALL about them! Well, this couldn't have come at a better time. Though he never thought of 11th as a corporation, the title did make sense, and as point of contact for the "corporation", he may as well agree to the state of things. Eager to bring the matter up to the leaders of the guild, Arzamas ducks out of line and hustles to the guild headquarters.
"Luxury? Potensa! Cathela, Jibjob, where are you guys?" Arzamas heads to the storeroom to see if he can locate Adantigus. No luck there either. Looking at the storeroom, he envisions where they could put a coldroom to store the fish between their adventures. He looks at the letter, now crumpled slightly in his hand. Shruging, he pulls out his own coinpurse and pulls out the neccessary coinage to cover the costs of the fish.
Only after mailing it off and snuggling down into his bed does he think "Oh, did they need cash for delivery as well?" He turns over, sure that his respectably sized first order will generate a response to that question in good time.
Macc told me today he shipped 20 nightfin and a ton of might fish to Tai today and yesterday. I shall inform him of the need for squid...he will most likely send you the rest of your order tomorrow. That will translate to 25 squid and 30 more nightfin.
Our agreement with Tai is we provide fish. We have not discussed fees as friends do not discuss fees with friends. I am sure what ever Tai decides will be more than acceptable to Macc and I.
P.S. should we keep shipping the fish to Tai or should we begin shipping them directly to you Carilly??
Please send them to Tai for now.
Tai grinned at Carilly. For a gnome with no taste for some of the darker aspects of their business, she had a knack for bringing in money. Maybe the legit aspects of their business should get a bit more attention, he thought ...
"You might not believe it Carilly, but it's a 50-50 split with Gone Fish. So any payments you get, just make sure that either Cap'n Lylly or Maccdaggan gets half of it. Oh, and that question about customers paying ... just send it COD. That works."
Carilly looks at him, kneeling down in front of her. "Yes boss," she says as she writes some notes on a piece of paper and flamboyantly rips the top page off.
"Dear Gornn. Please send half of that 15 gold that I left you (note that 15/2=7*2+1=pi to the nth / e=mc2=10 to the minus 9th in base 8) to Lylly or Maccdaggan for their services in the matter.
I love you and miss you,
@@ Carilly @@"
*Lylly looked at the gold pieces MaccDaggan had set in front of her. Payment he said, for the fish delivered to Tai and the Tong. She pulled out a clean parchment and wrote a short note.*
Your friendship has been invaluable to me since we first met again. I can count my very dearest friends on one hand (not counting the Fish Incers, who are family), and you and Kennia are right at the top with Cog. There has never been a time when I needed something that you all didnt come to my rescue.
I entered this fishing venture with you because I knew you would always do me and mine well, and I was right. Your payment is most generous and appreciated. My family is your family, and you may always call on any of the Members of Gone Fish Inc to aid you and yours. Anything we have is at your disposal.
There are many rumors and stories that go around about the Tong. All I can say is if all businessmen and women were as loyal and trustworthy as you and your people there would be no need for insurance. I am honored to call you a friend and partner.
P.S. I spoke to Ze. He claims that once again people are missinterpeting his good intentions, and insists that he will do nothing to cause friction between us. I told him that was good, because I did not wish to gouge his eyes out. He smiled and said something about taking a chance with his left eye, but then reasured me he would stay on the straight and narrow. I hope this settles your mind
*Cross-posted from Savage Coast Fishmongers*
*Arzamas opened the crates with an impish grin. The leadership hadn't really sanctioned the activity, but they didn't seem to mind either. Like many of his endeavors, this fish idea was amusing, possibly useful, but ultimately harmless.*
"Alright, who wants some fish!" Arzamas called out to his guildmates. "Wildcaught and packed on ice - ready made even!"
*Realizing he would need to drum up some internal business or stand to lose both money and tasty fish, he offered them at a reduced price to his guild mates, sucking up some of the cost. When they were more interested (i.e. hooked ^_^)he could raise the price to 20s a fish. Besides, he knew these fish had been caught by some very decent folks. From what he read of his books, Maccdaggan was a great fishman, and his crew must be equally skillful. Thankfully, Carilly and Taijiang were also fair traders and shipped a good product. He would be sure to ask for more, as orders from his guildmates were already coming in*
Your kind words are appreciated. I consider you a part of my extended 'family', and I don't take those feelings lightly. You may have noticed how Kennia, Sunya and I run our company; somehow we all feel more than just co-workers. I feel the same way about you and Macc.
As for Zevolf, I corresponed with him as well, and I look forward to visiting him in Menenthil some time. Kennia goes on and on about how charming he is, and how he smiles at her and offers her generous discounts. While I appreciate your assurances, I'm less inclined to trust his. I do think it's best if we see each other face to face, just so there are no ... misunderstandings.
Zevolf sighed loudly as Lylly read the last part of the letter from Taijiang aloud.
"I swear Captain I have no idea why so many husbands take such violent exception to me. All I ever try to do is be kind and curtious to those around me. It is not my fault so many of are lovely married ladies.
Once again I fear some one has missunderstood me. I shall try and clear it up when we meet."
Zevolf reminded himself to wear his running clothing when he was next in Menethil, in case he had to beat a hasty retreat. He sighed once more, displaying the forlorn look of a lonely puppy. He glanced into the mirror to make sure he had the look right before he left the Captains Cabin.
Tai took out a small leather bound book and flipped to a page that opened easily, as if it had been opened to this page many times before.
He took out one of Oni's 'pens' and wet the point with his tongue, glancing at the list, written in some crab-handed code ...
In a precise hand, Tai added another entry. If anyone could read the code, they would read ...
Z ... e ... v ... o ... l ... f
Tai narrowed his eyes, memorizing the name, yet another in those he had his eyes on - yet another wolf chasing Kennia. He snapped the book shut and tucked it away.
I have spoken to Ze and reminded him that under no circumstances will I tollerate any activities on his part that would damage our friendship. He promised me that it was all a missunderstanding and that his interests in Kennia were purely of a friendly nature.
I hope this alieviates some of your concerns
*Macc wipes the sweat from his brow as he packages up another box of iron bars to send to Zevolf*
Here is another load a Iron Bars. I hope these are meetin yer needs. I have been mining non stop fer days now, but ya always seem ta need more. What in tha blazes could ya be doin with all this Iron. I thought ya were makin mithril items now.
Well I will keep minin fer ya till ya tell me ta stop. Then I might be able ta get back an do some fishin again.
The iron bars are for a good friend. She is working on improving her blacksmithing skills. I am trying to help her as much as I can. Please keep the bars coming. Soon I may be asking for Steel Bars as well. Thanks as always for all the help.
Oh and I met a nice young gnome who is a member of the Tong. We talked a bit, and she decided that I really serve no useful function, and am basically a Leech on the Butt of Society. As I think about it, I think she might be right. Is there any way to make that my guild title. You know how I feel about truth in advertising and all.
As ya asked lad yer new title in Gone Fish Inc is Leech. I am sure ya will have no trouble livin up ta it.
Dear Macc and Lylly,
I heard Carilly muttering about something the other day and I did a bit of investigating. Kennia explained that Carilly had expressed her opinion of one of your employees a bit ... bluntly.
I didn't even ask who it was. I simply wanted to write as soon as I heard and assure you that Carilly means no ill will - and certainly the Savage Coast Fishmonger Company is thriving in partnership with Gone Fish! By the way, Macc, those were wonderful lobster you sent the other day!
I hope you are well - perhaps we should sit down and have a sampling some night of all our seafood? Any excuse to share your company!
Hey!!! Wait a minute here!! I never called that man a Leach!!! Never! He forgets that he assigned that name to himself!
But look here. The guy does nothing for Gone Fishing Inc. by his very own admission! Lylly supports him out of the pure kindness of her heart. By his VERY OWN admission!!!
I never ever ever called him a leach on society.
Called him a bunch of other things...... but not that.
You are of course right Carilly. But it just seemed to describe what you were saying about me so perfectly.
I must say, I do like a lady that speaks her mind, and there in no doubt you do.
Thank you for the letter of concern. You need not worry. Zevolf is the employee you are referring to, and he did not take offense. As a matter of fact he saw it as a form of insight and immediately requested we change his job title to Leach.
Ze is often an ignigma to me. He is kind and loyal with a wonderful sense of humor, yet has a somewhat dark side to him. You of course have heard of his reputation as a lady's man of sorts, but the darker side is his claim to being the devil himself. I of course do not believe it, but then I didnt believe Macc's friends were real either, until they apparently saved my life recently.
As it is, Gone Fish Inc seems to be full of misfits. I have lost almost all my past memories. Macc talks to the ghosts of his long lost friends. Gracci has not spoken a word since an Ogre fell on her. Zinny is filled with remorse over being the one that killed the Ogre, causing it to fall on Gracci. And finally Ze is a hopeless romantic who thinks he is the Devil.
Perhaps it is the fact we are all misfits that brought us together in the first place. All I know, is they are the closest things I have to family.
While I do not consider you or Kennia misfits in any way, I do consider you both family. I appreciate your concern, but you have no need to worry about offending any of us in Gone Fish Inc. We are way to screwed up to take notice of any critisim.
(( Wait, I just thought of something, something we may have overlooked OOCly....
Doesn't Lylly have living blood-related family? Sisters? Brothers? Cousins? The Alliance Military would have informed them of Lylly's return; Cogitatus did file a report. Although, at this late juncture, we could say that the bureaucracy dropped the ball.
I don't think said family were ever explicitly roleplayed, but they were implied when Lylly and I were still in the . ))
((Lylly's immediate family is dead. Her parents died when she was young, and she was raised by her aunt, who was a colonel of cavalry in charge of an elvish cavalry regiment. Her Aunt was killed in a cavalry charge (along with her entire regiment), and was the inspiration for Lylly eventually entering the cavalry herself.
The relatives lylly mentioned during the investigation process were distand cousins.))
The fishing has been good. Macc has brought in a lot of fish, and his friend Dahar has sent him a lot as well. I myself have done a good bit of fishing, when all my other duties havent kept me swamped. Cog has been the good friend he always is, and has sent me a large collection of fish as well. All in all we have had a very decent month of it.
I hope Tai can use all the fish we are sending him. Having tasted a few of his culinary masterpieces, I know it is well worth the cost he is asking. I continue to be pleased with my decision to go into fishing. How wonderful that I can do something I love and make a living from it as well.
We have an order for
4 orders of nightfin
4 orders of squid
2 orders of salmon
Can you please send those to Tai? Our accountant will send you your payment.
((What should the correct procedure be for my placing orders? Send Lylly an in-game message? Or Tai?))
@@ Carilly @@
Dear Miss Carilly
As tha designated main fishin feller in tha business, it would be best if ya sent any orders ta me. I will then do me best ta reply with the requested fish in as short a time perios as possible. I will keep Captain Lylly informed so she can kick me in tha rear should I lag in fillin yer orders.
Got your message, and understood. Tai tells me he's already arranged this order with you, so I'll let the two of you continue with it.
Perhaps we should get some pre-orders for squid and Nightfin, since I predict some demand for those. would that be possible?
We can pay you as we receive them, instead of on the order basis. That way we'll have a quicker turnaround time for our customers. I have set up a special deep freezmo contraption my inventor friend made for me in my kitchen. It is guaranteed to keep the fish just-caught fresh (or at least unidentifiable as anything different). I am prepared to accept larger quantities from my suppliers.
Light etc. etc. and so on and so forth,
@@ Carilly @@
Dear Miss Carilly:
I shall consider this a standin order fer as many squid an nightfin as we can catch an send ya. Do no worry about payment, as Tai has an understandin with tha Captain, an she is in no rush ta get paid.
I will continue sendin what we catch on tha "send it ta Tai" list to Tai. If ya wish ta add er subract fish from tha list let me know. Also, on tha salmon ya talked of, which type a salmon was ya lookin fer.
Tai pried open the crate and smiled - the sight of fresh nightfins was a joy to behold. Aside from their natural beauty, a sort of black-blue glisten, these fish were about to embark upon their final voyage - at the capable hands of Carilly who was (as she often reminded Tai) a master chef - and become Azeroth's finest fish soup.
Tai glanced at the other crates. According to the tags Macc and Lylly had put on them, he had plenty of sunscale salmon, mightfish and even a fair supply of nightfins, but he was most definitely short on winter squid - not surprising since they seemed to become a bit scarce during the warmer months, Tai mused.
And Carilly seemed to be rounding up a few more orders. Tai would have to remind Gornn that Gone Fish was to get the full payment. These were friends, and the standard rules of how the Tong did business did not apply ...
Lylly shook her head.
Fish fish everywhere but not a squid in sight.
She closed her eyes and willed the darn squid to take the bait.
When she hauled in the line, it was just another Yellowtail.
Where did all the squid go??
Macc looked into the buckets full of every fish imaginable, except squid and shook his head.
I have been fishin like a mad man an can no catch a single one a them silly things. I think Tai is gonna be very dissappointed in me.
Tai smiled as Kennia talked on about her fishing trip with Macc. What made him smile most (though he didn't reveal this to her) was that apparently she'd been advising Macc of where to fish for squid. Tai discretely glanced to his well worn copy of The Fisherman's Almanac on the bookshelf by his desk - authored by no other than Lylly and the same Macc.
Kennia explained how she'd suggested several good spots to fish squid, including the docks of Steamwheedle. Tai bit his lip, remembering well the notes he'd sent to Macc about the large schools of squid to be found in Feralas. Macc taking Kennia's advice on fishing would be like Tai showing Kennia how to craft a sword ...
Tai grinned inwardly. Ol' Macc was a good soul, but shared a weakness of Tai's it seemed ...
"Senility is a terrible thing" thought Macc as he stared at a new map of Azeroth.
He had been all over the realm, fishing. He had written extensive notes about what to fish for and where to find fishing supplies. He had even published his notes into a book and distributed it about.
Then he came back to the Fish Tales one day to find "the boys" boiling up a batch of tar to seal up the seams in the newly replaced decking.
"Nice Fire" he had commented, at the large fire burning with a red hot intensity under the cauldron. Angus smiled and informed him that it had taken quite a few pages to get it going. "Pages" Macc asked "what pages?" Angus showed him the now empty leather bundle that Macc immediately recognized as the place he kept his fishing notes.
All Macc could do was stare in disbelief as the flames consumed his hours and hours of hard work. No, he would not fret. He would just sit down and write it up again. Or so he had thought. As Macc sat at his desk, his quill poised over an empty page that had been just as empty an hour ago, all he could think was "Senility is a terrible thing."
Tai smiled as he packed up several of the company's new MRE's for Macc and Lylly. Judging from Macc's waistline, he likely wouldn't be averse to getting away from the cold servings of mightfish that Tai had sent him. Now, with a twist of the top of the can, Macc and Lylly could enjoy Carilly's preparations as warm and fragrant as she had intended.
And so far, Tai had not had any complaints about mishaps ... which had been a relief considering that the designer had been a goblin and that each can had a very, very small (albeit still potentially explosive) amount of goblin rocket fuel ...
It has been too long my friend - I hope you, Lylly and the boys are well. You will probably be as surprised as I am that Kennia has actually seemed to grow a bit fond of fishing. She doesn't seem to care much for the actual fish, but seems to enjoy the pasttime - and her little whelpling Astros seems to be benefiting from the sea's bounty.
I write also because I'm lucky enough to have stumbled upon an appreciative reader of your fishing guide. A valuable customer, a dwarf by the name of Azramas, is eager to meet you - and don't be surprised if he asks you to sign a copy. If we could arrange a meeting, I'm sure he'd be thrilled - and it pays to treat your customers right.
And I fear we missed the end of the winter squid season. My uncle warned me about this seasonal migration. No one knows where they spend their summers. Time for me to put up the 'Not Available' sign for them, I suppose. Stupid of me to not ask you to stockpile them. Squid may not be to everyone's taste but those that do favor it, they are willing to pay for it. We'll have to make a push this coming winter.
Alright my friend. I hope the fish are biting for you.
Things have been a bit busy fer me. I unfortunately will no be about doin much fer any time in tha forseable future. Which means I will no be keepin my fishin dates with ya. I am sorry fer that.
I have been wonderin fer some time about tha boys an me. We get funny stares from folks all tha time, an more than once folks have asked me who I was talkin to an stared right through tha boys as if they didnt even exist. We discussed it, an have decided ta take a pilgramage back to tha spot where we were ambushed, since much a this sort a thing started soon after that.
We are hopin ta find some clues as ta what might be wrong with us...or with others. Tha boys are betin tha rest a tha world is off its rocker, an we are just fine, but I am not so sure of that. Either way we will be findin out. I shall let ya know what tha outcome is when we return. Till then take good care a yer self an that fine lass a yers. An remember ta toss a line in once in a while fer me.
Findin tha old base camp was easy enough. The ground cover still hadnt grown completely back, an tha remains of tha picket wall could still be seen in a few places. Taking me bearings from the spot where tha command tent once stood, I faced to tha north.
I could still remember that day, tha drums poundin from tha north like they had all day. Tha tension in tha camp had been high, an tha commander had called me in ta give me me scoutin orders. "Macc" he said, "I need you an yer squad ta scout ta tha north, and find out tha enemies disposition an strength." I nodded me understandin, an turned ta leave when he added "Macc, dont let yerself be drawn into any combat, this is a scoutin mission, find out what we need ta know and get you an yer squad back here alive with the information I need." I saluted an went ta find tha boys.
I called tha squad together, an as I always did when tha situation was dicy, I selected Angus, MacDonnald an McDuff ta accompany me. Tha four a us had been through hell many a times, they were not only tha best troopers a dwarf could ask fer, they were also me best friends. We slipped out a tha camp under first darkness, an move quietly north ta investigate tha enemy positions as ordered.
Now, like on that day, tha boys an I moved north into the woods. One by one we passed the landmarks we had passed that day. The bend in the stream. The pointed rock formation. The gully. As we drew nearer, tha boys grew quieter an quieter. Since hearin their constant chatterin an fussin was a way a life fer me, I noticed tha difference immediately. I glanced back at them, an to a man they looked at me with saddened eyes, but spoke not a word. We pressed on.
We came to the small rise we had ended up on that night. I could see into the valley like I had that evening, only this time it wasnt filled with fires an troops. Now it was empty, no sound of drums echoin all about. I stopped where we had stopped, where tha boys had recommended we turn back. I remembered tellin them we needed ta go just a bit further, an McDuff's warnin that we would be seen if we did. I remembered me stubborn pride, an how I had insisted on going forward.
We crested tha hill an walked down into the culvert where the ambush had occured. McDuff, of course had been right, we should have turned back, but in my pride I had gone on. The enemy had jumped from the woods in a mad rush, and I had fallen under their blows. I closed my eyes, and could once again see tha boys holding off the enemy while they dragged me back into the woods.
I walked a short bit forward, to where I remembered Angus charging into a pack of them, bellowing like a bear, and I found his remains. A crushed skull, broken bone fragments, the torn and rusted remains of his armor. I kneeled down and saw the dwarven military tags in the dirt, an read his name. When I looked back at the boys, there were only two left standing there. Angus was gone.
The tears began to well in my eyes as I moved into the woods, in the direction I remembered MacDonnald an McDuff dragging me. I found MacDonnalds remains first. The crumbling skeleton lay on its back, as it had fallen. The many arrow heads showing what had taken his life. His tag too lay near by, and once I had collected it, he was gone too.
Now it was just me an McDuff. He had not spoken a word, just looked at me like he did that day I woke up in tha military hospital, with compasion and concern. Of all of them, he an I had been tha closest, and as I walked the last few feet ta where I knew his body must lay, I dreaded finding it.
The remains were there, the severed head an shattered rib cage. The pieces of rusted armor that clearly identified this as McDuff's corpse. An tha tags. I picked them up and cried out loud, knowing without looking that like the others he was now gone, and I was truely alone.
I spent the rest of the day gathering the remains of my friends. I dug the three graves the proper depth fer a military burial. With great reverence an care I lay each set of remains in its own grave, placing their tags in with them, before I slowly filled the graves. I did not stop crying the whole time, as I finally understood that they had died because of my pride, yet had not abandoned me even in the end.
They had died to protect me from my own folly. They had remained with me even after death ta protect me from tha knowledge a what I had done. They were tha best friends a dwarf could have. I could do no less fer them. I made the camp fire beside the graves. I sat before the graves, the tears still flowing from my eyes. I pulled my sword and dagger an lay them in my lap, prepared to use them if necessary.
They had guarded me in life and death. Now I would guard them in their rest.