( This is a really long post! I type fast & kept coming back to add to it instead of edit it shorter. Sorry! haha )
( This is from Inwë’s point of view )
A storm had come. Heavy & powerful. We had lost control & sunk into blackness.
We wake in the evening sometime, on a beach. It is so strange to sleep into the night. We had slumbered on the beach, merely on the sand. (( approx. 5pm )) Our trunks, luggage, crates are stacked nicely near us, though we all know they had gone down with the ship. As had we? Bootprints leading into the water..
Looking out to the ocean before us, I notice the storm, seeming to rage; all buffeting wind & slashing rain, dark dark dark. But do we hear this howling? No. There seems to be some sort of barrier keeping it away from this island. Or contained. But on the horizon it is all we can see. Dark cloudy mass some distance out from shore. Behind us is the thick forest. Moving near it, all I hear is Nature; fluttering of insect wings, hushed movement, birds’ shouting, breeze through woods. The flora here & temperature seem place-able, & I recognize most of it.
I turn back to a large half-blooded orc of some sort. His Common language comes naturally & sharp, like lightning. I just understand him, as he thinks of a plan outloud. It makes sense. The man who had accompanied me on the boat, as part of the Ivy Crown (Nibel), is here as well. He stands close to me & it is comforting.
But I see no other faces I recognize.
Except Ffion. Standing with his head resting against my skirted leg, Ffion & I recognize each other on a level I think no one can run close to. Sometimes I find myself pondering what he is made of, what hides inside his mind, what is his age, what he really is. I’ve opened myself to Mystery & as well as I know him, I feel he will always know me better. I bend down to pick him up gently; sandy paws rest against my cream dress. His eyes smile.
The voice that has been in my ear as my thoughts had turned to Ffion breaks through my peace. Now I pay attention to the voice, that of the half-orc. It seems he & Elton – the first mate, second in command, who had been kind on our short time aboard the ship – had spotted a shipwreck. Most likely our ship wrecked. Just now they are talking of what to do, & I feel Ffion’s interest flick once, along with mine. I set him down & he walks alongside me as I move forward. Nibel follows.
“Lowtide will last a bit longer. A few hours.” I mention, having noticed their plan to go to the ship. I realize now what they’ve known this whole time: there are things on the ship that can still be salvaged. & Maybe Elton knows of something that can help us. We had been heading for a Temple, after all. The sailor, I imagine, would have some maps.
After a bit more banter & discussion, six of us leave for the ship.
The half orc. Elton. Nibel. Another man I don’t recognize. Ffion. Myself.
The ship, ruined & tossed about, is a bit away from shore, so we head out to it. Nibel remains on the beach, watching the treeline & horizon.
Upon entering the boat, the hall we take leads into two choices. Elton says that one way takes us to the Captains Office/Quarters. The other goes into equipment storage. The large orc blooded man & the smaller human go that way. I trust Elton knows something important is in the Captain’s Quarters, & I go with him, Ffion right beside me. As we move up a longer hall, Ffion alerts me to the fact that he hears something. A sound has alerted him, & now me. We move slowly & the sound comes from the room ahead. Gnawing, crunching, wood creaking & breaking. Chewing. “Be careful” I warn Elton, in a hushed tone.
We come to the doorway & see some sort of giant aquatic spider. It rears its head at us. Elton tells me it’s trying to get into the kitchens, which is right below the Captain’s Quarters.
My hand moves to Elton’s arm. “If we let it go into the kitchens, & don’t get in its way, do you think we’ll have enough time to grab whatever you need from this room?” I keep my body language passive, slow, nonthreatening. Elton responds by telling me it won’t work that way.
& obviously he is right. The spider is pacing, facing us now; away from the broken hole it had been making in the floor.
Elton lunges with his sword, jabbing & slicing painfully, as the thing lets out a sound like hissing & squealing at once. At the same time it lashes out at Elton, striking him, but Elton lands on the hole that was being made. I scream “Elton!!”. The creature dives for him, just as I run to Elton in hopes my healing touch can do something for his pain.
The force is too much for the wood, & the floor breaks. Ffion & I stop in our tracks, just in time to miss falling in. I hear Elton moan, & the spider shriek in vituperation, legs scritching & scuttling against the walls.
I smell old cheese.
I look over the side of the destroyed wood, thinking of something to do. Elton is laying on his back.. but a large spike of wood is impaled through his abdomen. These gifts, both my own & those granted to me through Ffion, seem not to be enough in such a situation.
But my gift for soothing pain & hurt. To repatch cells & renew life. I hear figures running below me, loud, brazen. The orc-blood & the man I still do not know are running into the kitchens. “Wait!” I whisper, after seeing them dash into the room, spearing the creature. They must
have heard our commotion.
I look to the walls & think of climbing down, but I say call to them “I’ll be right there!”, doubting they know anything of my gift. I turn & run down the hallway, to the stairs & as I would come out the other side, the three of them meet me. Orc-blood carrying Elton. Elton’s pain is obvious; slight cries & whines pierce any illusion. I gasp but act quickly. “His wound” I gesture for his torso to be positioned so I can reach it.
I lift my hand & Ffion watches my movement as if it was his life being played before him. The feeling of wyrd passing through me comes again, though over time I’ve grown almost accustomed.
I lay my palm on his stomach, thick blood gushing & drenching my fingers, & his eyes are closed. His face is drained of colour & he winces at every movement but my touch. Molecules & energy & creating a new chance. His wound seals, a bone crackles & snaps into place once more, muscles & skin hum & buzz. He is still red with blood. & only recovering from the shock.
No time for a healing song to numb it. There may be more of those beings. & now there is blood in the water.
The orcish man has apparent strength, as he hauls Elton to the top of the boat, all of us coming with. He had been also hefting a large bundle wrapped in canvas, aided by the other man in keeping it balanced. I sit above deck with Elton, checking on him. His lifebreath is barely a breeze. Faint. But he lives. I ask him – & he tells me – what I can get for him from the Captains quarters. The three of us go back into the kitchen, to see if there is anything that we missed.
It is then, as we walk back into the kitchen, we discover a dead man. He is laying, leaning against the wall, with a large bite on his neck. Fangs were in him. I hum & chant, gesticulating with arms & fingers, intoning a spell of poison-taste. My thoughts are confirmed by the magic- the man was poisoned, most certainly by whatever bit him.
I move up to the Captain’s room as the others grab rations from the kitchen. A journal, scroll case of maps, potions, keys. A locked drawer (the Orc-blood helps bust that one out), etc. We return to the top of the ship, & head ashore, Elton leaning on the strong ones. Ffion watches Elton with those otherworldly yet too-elven eyes & we are soon leaving the ship behind. Nibel rushes out a few feet to meet us near the shoreline. Night is coming.
As we return to ‘camp’, everyone else seems to distrust the Orc-blood. I notice accusations of ‘taking control’ & ‘making orders’. ‘Telling others what to do’. If he is domineering, it is no matter, as it seems his decisions make sense. He just earned everyone food.
But I don’t trust it. Old cheese smell..
Anyway, they have a slightly heated exchange. I don’t think they consider me affiliated with him at this point, & I speak with Elton. I give him the journal, the keys, the maps. The bag of potions. I wish him well & good night to the rest of the crew.
Moving back to our side of the bank, I see the orc-blood is making some sort of shelter. To me it looks like a leanto & it is close to the forest. Nibel is helping him. I don’t see the other man among us. Perhaps it is time to share names with each other.
I look over my shoulder & see Ffion coming towards me. He had lingered with Elton after I’d left, eyes watching Elton neutrally the entire time. It is not often we are more than within arm’s reach of each other, Ffion & I.
He sits & looks up at my face, & we are both pensive on the forest. Out across the water, the storm still rages, but we remain protected by whatever invisible wall exists out there. I peer into the trees, away from the silent monsoon. (( 8ish PM )) Thick darkness, but lush sounds. I take a step into the woods, heeding Ffion’s feelings if I fail to miss anything.
I know how the smells make him feel. & after walking for maybe 15 seconds, we pause. He sniffs the air & looks around. I do the same. He feels something reptilian. The odour in the south & west. We back out of the forest & I tell this to the orc man & Nibel.
Dusk approaches, & I welcome it gladly, as always. As they finish their shelter, I open a blanket & fall to sleep, Ffion resting against my arm.
I am in the dreamtime now. I am leaning over the side of the boat, sick. I see everyone from the boats in the water & then I lift myself up from the rail & look behind me. Everyone is sick. We are all ill with something, maybe seasickness. I notice that two people are healthy & not queasy. The Captain. & someone I know as Aina, who I always assumed was some sort of advisor to the Captain. She laughs lightly, & whispers something in his ear.
Now we all have spoons. Wooden spoons. The ship is sinking & we are trying to spoon the water out of it. The spoons are not good enough!
Now we realize that in the water, are snakes. Slithering & coming faster. We spoon water faster, but it is of no use. The whole ocean is in our boat, & all we have are spoons.
Daylight on my eyelids. I wake. Ffion is staring at me & I utter
“Hello” to him. Good morning haha. He stands up walks to the shelter, showing me what they’d built. But I was going that direction in the first place.
It is more shaded in here. But I do not have to wake them, as they’re rising now.
“We have to leave this place” I tell the orc-blood.
His general reaction is ‘why?’. Nibel merely watches us & the third man says nothing.
“Everything we are doing here, building here, is nothing. No matter what we do, whatever tools we create for ourselves here, they will not be enough to stop whatever is coming.”
The orc man argues mildly, wondering how I know this.
“I’ve seen, or been shown – as I have been in the past – something. & my feeling, my intuition, is that it is extremely dangerous to be here for much longer. We must go into the forest.”
The orc man tells me this shelter is built in a good place, & if something were to come, we would see it coming.
“It won’t be enough” I respond, recalling my dream. All we had were spoons. Against the ocean.
He is rising for the day, & Nibel has already left the tent.
“When was the last time you ate?” I ask them all. “Will you come with me into the forest?”
It is only Nibel, the orc man, Ffion, & me this time. I don’t ask the other man why he said no, but there was no need. This is merely to get food.
I follow Ffion’s nose, so to speak. & my own knowledge of roots, twigs, berries, flowers, seeds, nuts. Fruits. Vegetables. The trail of food. My skirt is almost full with all of it & I do not carry Ffion. We breakfast on berries we found on the way, moving deeper into the woods. Conversation is light but surprisingly jovial. We were about to exchange names with the orc-blood when we see something. & hear.
A large opening. Huge opening. No words for its size. & it is filled with water.
More ocean. Or a lake of some kind.
& before the dropoff, a cave. Ffion’s fearless mind senses more reptile in this area. We do not approach. When we get back to camp, I will try & make a map. One among us will, at least.
We come back & I check on Elton. He is still healing from the shock of it all. The bruises. I tend to his wounds, with my bag of salves, ointments, herbs, bandages, all the while asking about the potions. I apologize for the orc-blooded, knowing their words to each other were
The orc-blood also speaks to Elton as I finish easing his pain. We tell Elton about the cave, the water, & I add more about the Reptilian smell. Orc blood shares some food with him, but then so do I. The orc man decides it best to find a sign of any of the other shipwrecks. We plan on heading west down the shore.
The third man comes with this time, though Nibel stays at the leanto. I find more food along the way, but the further we get, the sparser food becomes. Plants in general. We turn back before it is too dark, planning to make it back to camp just as darkness falls.
We are almost there, & the waves suddenly seem different to us. eerie.
It looks as if, rather than waves crashing, they are people smashing onto shore. Faces in the waves. In the water.
I call out in the language of the water. Then the Earthtongue. Ffion is calm but we all notice & rush back to camp.
Elton is still awake & tells us he sees it too. We all agree there is something strange about this place. He goes on to explain what he read in the Captain’s journal. As it goes on, the Captain becomes more & more unhinged. & Elton thinks it has something to do with Aina.
Also, he tells us the Captain’s copy of the map has this island on it, where all other maps did not. The Captain knew about the island & kept it hidden from everyone else. (The Captain & Aina have both been missing for a day now, by the way).
The orc-blood tells Elton not to eat the food rations that came from the ship, as he thinks maybe the food had been poisoned (& that the cook was poisoned by this food, therefore making the bites a coverup).
Far-fetched? I don’t know what that means anymore.
To which Elton responds “You mean the rations we just ate?”
Everyone is ready to sleep & the sky remains made of storm, glowering at us. (( we ended the scene here ))
I am going to sing to the waves, in every tongue I’ve learned, playing on my harp. I don’t know if anything will happen but I’m going to try it. Right now.