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The Other Side, Isabela, 27 Bloomingtide -307 Ancient
Posted: May 10 2018, 04:13 PM
Life was good. The hold was full, the crew was content, there wasn’t a tear in the sky anymore.
Pity Willow couldn’t stop thinking of how to get back. Sure, there were lots of advantages to the Ancient Age – utterly dominating the seas being one of them – but... she had family now. A home to return to, despite all the time she spent away from it.
Besides, not only was pirating a little too easy now, there was the teeny tiny matter of a Blight to deal with. While they were pretty safe out at sea, they had to make port occasionally. The seas also grew rougher as the weather worsened during a Blight, the dark storm clouds over the land starting to encroach out onto the ocean. They may not have to fight darkspawn, but in a few years the sea would be as dangerous as the land. And if she had her history right, there was two hundred years of Blight to go.
The difficulty was two fold: the most obvious was finding a way home. The second was her crew.
They’d all stuck with her in the few months since they’d sailed through a giant rift in the Amaranthine Ocean. They were reasonably loyal, though Willow was starting to wonder if the sense of family and camaraderie she’d had with Brannigan’s crew was unattainable... or a figment of her nostalgia. In any case, her crew were divided, if peaceful for now. Half wanted home. Half wanted to stay – to use the most advanced ship on the seas to rein supreme.
It was getting harder and harder to dodge giving an honest opinion either way. Be honest and say she wanted to go home, and those who wanted to stay may mutiny to take possession of the ship. Lie to keep that faction quiet, and those who wanted home might abandon her or, again, mutiny.
Her ship had survived a lot, but she didn’t think it could outlast a civil war. She had to keep the balance, but it was getting hard in the face of her men’s enthusiasm and worry.
Sighing, Willow blinked back into awareness as they pulled into port. Gwaren still existed... or... already existed? What was the right word, if any? Never mind.
She left her quartermaster to his duty of unloading the cargo and bartering it. He was an experienced sailor, knew how to haggle. He’d get them a fair price. The crew rushed to help unload, eager to start their shore leave as far from the Blight as Willow could get them. Sure the weather was shit – that was, and always would be, a sign they were in Ferelden – but it was as safe as you could get, and as familiar as you could expect with over a millennia’s time gone by. Or back. Or...
She needed a drink.
The tavern was in a different place. None of the buildings she walked past existed in the Dragon Age anymore; repaired and replaced and built over. But ale still existed, and rum, and that was all she needed.
Money had been an issue when they first arrived. A short voyage into trading waters and a brief skirmish with an Imperial vessel had solved that problem.
Willow plonked her coin purse on the bar. ‘Your best rum, please. The whole bottle,’ she added, having to call over the noise of rowdy sailors and raucous music.
To his credit, the barkeep only hesitated for a second before retrieving the bottle. The glass was cloudy, uneven, unrefined. Something you might dredge up in a fishing next from the depths, minus the barnacles.
Only she was living here now, and if she mentioned the Maker out of frustration she got funny looks.
Weary, Willow retreated to the quietest corner she could find. She just wanted to drink, and sleep, and wake up back in a world with a glowing green rip in the sky.
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