Dinner and a Plan, Part 2


"So, in the way of resources, we have two ships, two crews, and ourselves."
"And one-more mage," Chaer interjected.
"What?" Sammel replied.
"And one-more mage," Chaer repeated. "Mage-friend Liam came a year before I left. He part of reason *why* I left--told me of world, made me curious." Chaer grinned. "Lives on island somewhat close to village."
"Has he done anything to help?" Melyda asked. Channi shook her head.
"Maybe-cannot," Chaer interjected quickly. "I not know *much* about magic, but I think he not know much combat-magic. And he only one. May help more when we come."
Sammel nodded. "Well, then, now that we know our resources, let me tell you what I think would be our best course. And please, if you've anything to add, or if you disagree completely, do speak up." He smiled charmingly, though he could not quite keep his nerves down. Melyda, of course, had helped him with his plan. And he was reasonably sure that Sarra and Chaer would approve. But the others...well, they were really still unknown factors, except for Alvezo- who was always a wild card. Still, all he could do was tell them--and see what happened.
"Melyda and I have talked things over--and we both feel that we can't just barge into this. Fallino is, after all, an entirely separate kingdom. So we decided that Melyda, Channi--and whoever wish to go with them--will leave our company at their port city of Fastina. However, as we don't know the situation--or what danger there might be--they'll be travelling incognito."
"We decided that posing as a trading delegation would be the best way to be both inconspicuous and in a position to learn about their current political situation," Melyda said as she took up the thread. "I spoke to my brother before coming here, and he has given his permission to act as his agent. Channi--" and here Melyda turned with an apologetic glance, "we really feel you should come with me. We'll need someone to act as a spokesperson for your people and the village." Channi looked dismayed, but nodded at the logic of that. "If you want to stay *really* inconspicuous, you could pose as my maid. No one notices servants."
"That would be fine-fine," Channi said quietly, but fervently. The thought of traveling somewhere unknown, among people who knew nothing of her and her people, and would probably consider them monsters--she was more than ready to be unnoticed.
"Whoever else want to go with Melyda can, I'm sure," Sammel said, "while the rest of us continue on to Vestra--or as near as we can get. Chaer, would that island of the mage you mentioned be a good place for us to hide until we're ready?"
"Oh, most yes-yes," Chaer replied with a gleam in his eye. When Sammel raised an inquiring eyebrow at him, he merely said, "You'll see-see."
"So then, that's what we were thinking. What say the rest of you to this?"
The dark-haired girl nodded her approval. The cartographer's apprentice, and recently-awakened selkie, still felt unsure of how she could help. Though she sincerely wished to.
"Excellent! The sooner we do this the happier we'll all be for it," Wren blurted out. He did not mean to say that as loud as he had, but too late now. In fact, Wren felt a little uneasy about all this "incognito" stuff, whatever that meant. Out of old habit he absent-mindedly fingered the hilt of his hidden dagger. "Um, yeah it sounds like a good plan..." Wren added sheepishly.
"An excellent plan, my friend!" said Alvezo approvingly. "I will go with you to Vestra, even if I must ride quietly on another captain's ship. Though I would much prefer to have my own," he added thoughtfully.
"Of course, on your own ship. Two will definitely be more useful than one-- even if ours doesn't measure up to yours," Sammel replied with a grin. He looked around at the others. "Which group would the rest of you prefer to be with?"
"I'll be happy to go with you, Sammel," Fontaine softly said.
Turning sharply toward Fontaine's reply, Wren wondered what could the girl possibly contribute to this journey. Then again, he himself was just happy to leave that old town and away from his old tutor and wizard. He sighed to himself silently.
Sammel nodded at Fontaine. "We'll be glad of your company. Wren," he turned toward the young man, "why don't you and Raidenaru go with Melyda?" He knew, of course, that Wren wasn't especially comfortable on a horse, but he had a feeling that he'd be even worse at sea. Besides, Melyda and Channi might find need for their talents.
Not knowing the time of day, the mage-priest smiled and nodded (just to be safe) in his confirmation to join along and at Sammel's question to join Melyda and Wren.
Sarra listened to the group chime in their readiness before turning to Sammel. "When shall we leave?"
"It'll take a few days to get our supplies organized." He checked a chart that was handy. "How about at dawn four days from now? The tide will be right then."
[Raidenaru B.]
An even bigger smile came across his face as he mentally prayed to his god, Raiden.
She sat quietly, and absently pushed her glasses back up her nose. If nothing else, she knew how to read maps and sea charts, and could be of a little help in that regards. Or maybe being a selkie might be useful, but she felt as awkward as a pup (as the Seulla Muintirr tended to call her) with her new abilities.
"Four days? What am I supposed to do for four days?" Wren sighed to himself. He looked around at the others. "Erm, I'm sorry. Just that this is a new place and all and we hardly know each other." He fiddled with his fingers. "Um, who should I pretend to be on this delegation, Melyda?" Of course, it totally escaped his mind that nobody in these parts would know who he is or care even who he would pretend to be. "I could be a senior jewel or wine merchant, perhaps. What do you think?"
"You could be my assistant," she said with a bit of a mischievous grin. "Nobody notices assistants, either. That'd make you a perfect ace in the hole-- just in case."
"As for what to do for four days," Sammel added, "we'll have plenty to occupy us. We have to get you four--" he gestured to Melyda, Channi, Wren, and Raidenaru-- "looking the part. Alvezo, let me know what needs you and your shipmates have. And Fontaine," he smiled winningly at the girl, "I'll need your help to turn Chaer's and Channi's descriptions of their home into maps.
"If we're all agreed, I think now would be a good time to get to sleep. There's plenty to do tomorrow."
"I'll be happy to," Fontaine said softly, pushing her glasses up her dainty nose.
"Sleep sounds like a good idea to me--it's been a long day," Melyda said with a rueful smile. "Channi, why don't you and I start some shopping tomorrow?" She stood up and began ushering the yawning Delphine girl toward the door. Their soft murmurs were quickly muffled as they walked down the hall.
Chaer grinned at Sammel. "Time for sleep-bed for me too. But at least no shopping tomorrow." Sammel chuckled as Chaer left, and turned to those remaining. "Good night, all. Breakfast will be available whenever you wish it."
Fontaine pushed back her chair and said, "Good night, all."
Sammel saw the rest to their rooms and made sure they were comfortable for the night--which included some good-night kisses with Sarra. Once he was in his own bed, a feeling of tired satisfaction stole across him. 'Soon,' he thought as he drifted off. 'Soon, those pirates will get a long-overdue visit from justice.'

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