His feet felt sluggish as he approached the unfamiliar stairs of the Inn. He wasn't lazy. He was tired. The damp that clung to clothes and the weight of the travelling sack that rested across his back alongside his crossbow didn't help. But he was used to it. Used to carrying his life in that bag, the weight of the weapon. Used to the damp clothes. Used to his short stays at various port inns in Marsember and Suzail. This was different. This wasn't Cormyr.
The journey felt longer than it should have had to. That was his fault, however. He hadn't considered how to pass the time. The folk aboard were social enough, but he had never been good at small talk. He tried offering the crew a hand with a repair to the rigging. They didn't need it. He looked forward to meals, if only to temporarily break the dull monotony of the voyage.
Hector let out a quietly huffed sigh as he looked to the length of stairs , putting his boot on the bottom step's edge. With a subtle effort, he placed it fully to the stair; the first step. He began the slow climb up them. As he rounded the corner, he had came across the door to the room he had rented. In Cormyr, it had always been just that. A door. A room. A bed. A place to sleep after a day at the docks. Even when he wasn't working...he was. Always on the docks. Passing the time. Waiting.
He fully understood this was an Inn, he a patron, but a weight settled onto his shoulders as he grabbed the handle of the door. This was -his- room. He -needed- to stay here. His work wouldn't take him from it this time.
He placed the key into the lock. It didn't budge. He looked at the number on the door. It was the right one. He would turn in the key for a new one come morning. He wouldn't bother with it now. It was just a lock.
The room was modest. It had a bed, something to use as a table, and a trunk for his belongings. Exactly what he paid for, he had no qualms. He opened the lid, carefully setting it back as he began to place the contents of his travelling bag within. He had leaned his crossbow in the corner of the room. As he made to to close the lid of the trunk, he paused with a shallow nod to himself.
Opening it once more he took his hands from it, finding his coat from him. He folded it slowly, placing it in the trunk with care. It was time to buy a new one anyhow. His hands went to the daggers on his person and their sheaths, also placing them in the trunk atop the cloak. He wasn't naive; he would keep one on him.
He was tired, but sleep would not find him. He sat on the edge of the bed, his forearms resting on his thighs and stared at door. A quiet metallic rasp sounded with a ringing to follow. Idly fiddling with a compass, he remained fixed on the door and his thoughts.
The compass ringed as he flipped it open again, before closing it.
He had heard a rumor of thieves working just north of here. A bounty for the retrieval of the goods. He didn't care for such things. Not anymore. He wanted a normal life. He was done. He would find something else to take his time. Like finding work.
He stood from the edge of the bed, having made a plan. He would see what work the city of Baldur's Gate had to offer. If nothing else, he could use a walk. Nothing exciting, nothing dangerous. Just a walk. He was done. He had to take the first step in this new normal, boring, mundane, life of his. He left the room, seeing to do just that.
...but not before grabbing the crossbow from the corner of the room.
- Posts: 6
- Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2021 12:10 am
- Posts: 6
- Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2021 12:10 am
Hector trudged through the Harbor District of Baldur's Gate, a bottle of Wyvern Whiskey in hand. It was corked, but only little sloshed near the bottom in his lazy hold to the bottle that threatened to fall from his fingertips to crash to the ground.
The harbor had carried in the smell of the tide with the minute salted sea breeze that had touched the air. It was still cleaner than what he had just dealt with earlier.
Hector passed by very few locals as he walked on, scarce for this hour of the night. He had received lingering looks, some with blatant questioning glances. He didn't pay them any mind as he watched the ground as he moved through. A hand rose to rub across his face, as he stemmed the exhaustion with a blink and sharp sniff. As his hand fell away, he looked to his palm. He hadn't fully removed the soot from the fires earlier that day. That... and smell of undeath he swore lingered on his clothes.*** He'd see to it, back at the Mermaid if sleep wouldn't coax him to his pillow first.
With a slow climb, he found himself up the stairs and into his room. He moved to his storage trunk, placing both hands on it in a lean as he stared at the floor. He hadn't known how long he stayed there before he slowly lifted the lid.
As he made to undress and find his daggers from him, he stopped short as he saw his old coat atop the pile of his belongings. The worn and beaten thing was falling apart at the seams, barely holding onto itself. He found himself staring at it as his mind drifted...
How long had he sat in the dark and damp? He'd lost count of the candlemarks. He would have thought his mates would have been louder during their supper, that he'd hear their raucous and roaring laughter from some jest through the walls. It was quiet however, enough that the faint dripping of small leak in the ship's brig was even enough to keep a count. He'd stopped paying attention after a time, though. He knew he'd be let out soon enough. He just didn't know how.
He heard the heavy steps approaching across the boards before he saw the warm glow the oil lamp gave off. The slow thudding pace had stopped in front of his cell. He didn't look up. He knew the expression that waited for him. He hated it. On all their faces... not just the Captain's. The Captain spoke from outside the bars, his words weighted, carrying a morose tone that somehow accomplished one of chiding as well.
"By this time tomorrow, we'll have made port in Marsember." He said quietly.
Hector closed his eye with a sigh, "...I'll be better."
"That's what you said the last time, lad...", the man retorted.
Hector looked up to meet the Captain's look head on. Seeing that damned look on his face gave him pause from giving rushed assurances and hasty promises. Again.
"...Just give me time, aye?" He said weakly.
The Captain studied him briefly, before responding "No."
Hector set his jaw before countering, "I was doing my job, Captain. Following ord-"
"Not my orders, Hector. You don't follow my orders anymore, just your obsess-"
Hector stood from his seated position within the cell and took a step closer.
"They're pirates." He let out loudly with a growl.
"You're a pirate, lad."
In an instant, Hector rushed the bars, slamming his dried, bloodied fists against them before her grabbed onto them, yelling with all he had. Blood that wasn't his own.
"I AM A FREESAILOR OF CORMYR!" He roared in the challenge and pride of the title, eye widened with adrenaline as he dared the man outside the bars to deny it.
The Captain stepped back from the bars. He wasn't an easy man to scare, but the fear he held in his eye was not for himself. He looked down to the floor in front of the cells, then off to the side.
"You were, once." He said quietly, which caused both men to fall silent for a time.
"When the time comes, you have two choices." His tone was firm, strengthened by what had to be done as he began again. "You can walk off this ship as a Freesailor until your boot hits that dock... or we can drag you off with a chain around your neck like the animal you've become."
All fight left Hector as he looked awe-stricken to the Captain in disbelief, subtly and slowly beginning to shake his head. The Captain gave his mate one last look before her turned, making his way from the brig as the lamp's light began to fade. Hector placed his face against the bars, trying as he may to not let the man out of his sight.
"Captain. Captain!" His voice grew into a louder plea for the man to turn around. "Jakob!"
The thud of boots receded as the last bit of light faded. Hector's hands slid down the length of the bars as he fell to his knees, left to the quiet drip of the brig's leak once again....
Hector slammed the trunk lid down as hard as he could. He picked the bottle of whiskey up by its neck and tossed it against the wall in a shatter. The crunch of glass sounded under a few steps to his bed before he turned and sat on it's edge. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his compass. He placed his forearms upon his thighs as he leaned forward, looking to the broken glass, but due to the memory it wasn't his focus. He flipped the cover of his compass in a small metallic rasp that was punctuated with a soft ring, before closing it again.
*** - ((Thanks once again to DM Ink for the event.))