Continued from here.
Shortly after, the 'Virtuous Maiden' reaches the pirate controlled port of Tortuga. Captain Macintyre informs the party that the ship will remain in port for several days unloading cargo and making arrangements for other shipments before heading South again to explore for the adventurer's mysterious archipelago that was insinuated in the Eldren temple. The group decides to generally split up to cover more ground and look for potential jobs, rumors, clues, and general mischief.
Strongbow, Alta, & Mug
Strongbow: Mug, there is a Church of Taut here, would you care to go and perform any devotions? It will be some time before we are likely to see one again.
Mug: "Mug taught to be open to all paths of faith. Mug not
know how to worship Taut. Mug apologize for being deficient"
Strongbow: "No need to apologize. Would you like to
visit another church of your faith or explore other options?"
Mug: "Mug shall do as Master wishes. If Master wish to show Mug new path, Mug shall follow."
Strongbow begins explaining the message of Dragonwright to Mug. When the name 'Kym-Nark-Mar' is mentioned, a flash of a giant eye appears in Strongbow's vision. A presence behind it expresses interest. Unnerving to say the least but when one is dealing w/ powers beyond their control, what isn't. Asking Alta if there are any Temples in the city, she replies that there are not, the few present are dedicated to Dark gods or the gods of the sea but that there are several nice restaurants she could show him if he were willing to treat her to dinner. Strongbow, being a well experience adventurer, recognizes a truly noble quest when he hears of it. The offer is accepted and they head off the ship together, Mug remaining on board for the time being to think about his choices of faith.
Alta: "I had an ulterior motive to asking you to dinner. As we've been talking, I thought you looked uncannily familiar and then it came to me. What though is a noble from the Land of the South Winds doing playing adventurer?"
Strongbow: "Simple. I'm the second son. I'm a good soldier but my brother was born to rule. He has a natural gift for it but he has little affinity with the people. It was mutually decided that I leave home for a time to let him solidify his seat without any possible rivalries or complications."
Alta: "Any good sailor knows that a competent leader is better than a likable one. So long as he has good people to help smooth things over...." (her eyes slide to Strongbow, mixed questioning and insinuating)
Strongbow: "Oh I fully support him. We both just needed to get our feet wet and strengthen our positions first. The experiences and skills I am acquiring will help me in my command of the family's military."
Alta: "Then your House is in good standing I imagine. How is your line?"
Strongbow: "We're one of the last Elven houses in the world. It's sometimes hard to find new blood" (sly wink and a smile)
Alta: "Oh is my lord flirting with a humble fishing girl?' (she draws in close) "What would the others think?"
Strongbow: "I don't think there's anything 'humble' about you and yes I am. I doubt though that a group that accepts a broken boy and a goblin love slave will be concerned."
Alta: Well then mi'lord, perhaps we can see about keeping the elven blood strong in the South Winds, should your wit prove strong enough to go beyond mere words. "
Strongbow pulls her close. "Is it my 'wit' you're wanting now?"
Alta looks into his eyes. "Your wit yes, also more than a night's consideration. Assuming you're as skilled with your 'arrow' as you are with your bow."
Strongbow: Then we'll take things slow and see where they lead." He then kisses her deeply.
Alta melts into his kiss. When they break, they continue on to the restaurant hand in hand. The rest of the afternoon is spent over good food and fine drink. She spends little time talking about herself but asks for his stories, carefully avoiding his time at court but sits in rapt attention as he tells about his exploits across the Palladium world and beyond.
On their return to the ship, they smile at eachother before she leaves to attend to her duties. Captain Macintyre casually asks if Strongbow has taken an interest in his 2nd mate. Strongbow looks over to Alta who is now directing the loaders "It certainly seems that way".
Macintyre, looking impressed, replies "She has rebuked every other suitor in the past. Those that pushed to hard would up with not just their pride wounded. I wish you luck M'lad". With that he walks away and returns to ship business. Mug, standing unobtrusively by as soon as his master returned asks if there is anything he is needed for.
"Yes, go into town and pick up any supplies you need for fletching. Pick yourself out a rabbit or whatever you would like as a nice treat. Also get a fruit basket and deliver it to the Elf Second Mate on your return".
Mug smiles and departs to perform his task, happy that he can be useful to such a good master. His decision is made.
As all aboard perform their tasks, Alta, as is her habit, begins singing. Normally she sings traditional sailor chanties and ribald ditties to keep moral up but tonight it is different. Tonight's songs are about love found. All listening, even the coarsest sailor, is captivated by her voice. Strongbow, both consciously and subconsciously, whistles along. Not a few of the older salts smile knowingly. Alta also notices and smiles at Strongbow when she catches his eye. Not all fish are caught with nets.
Later the rest of the party returns. They have been informed of a bounty put out by the local Thieve's Guild on a rogue slaver ship just out of port. Why? Who cares. The bounty is enough to fully outfit an extended expedition and keep Macintyre in service.
The Virtuous Maiden heads out for a fight.
To be continued.