Stavanger Bay Where is your rider
May 18, 2018, 04:47 PM
Rosalyn
Ironsea
First Mate
It was hard to find him after, and honestly, she wasn't hugely eager to upset the balance of sorts they had met in the last weeks.  But as his right hand, it was her task to back up his plays, and she could only do so if she understood why he called them like he did.  This one? It made no sense at present.

So she set about to catch @Smokestep one on one, and it was no easy feat.  She didn't want to bring up whatever this might end up in front of the crew; she had no idea how receptive their Captain was to questions anymore. A month ago she would have been sure in her place, but events had happened and now she got to stress a bit about it.  

She had to grin at that.  She was an impulsive creature, that was for sure, but she wasn't volatile less extremely pressed.  Like as not her fur was on edge for nothing.

Currently her steps led her along the borders of the territory, figuring perhaps he'd be found keeping his claim.  Made as much sense as anywhere else, and she'd already checked the shoreline.
May 23, 2018, 12:08 AM
Smokestep
Ironsea
Captain
It was not in his best interest to be as predictable as he was. At least, it wasn’t in his best interest if he was searching for a moment of privacy. The crew had been a lively bunch, and he had only ever been eager to keep them well-fed and happy within the borders of the bay. They’d offered their lives to the crew, after all; he was only obliged to make them feel as though it had been a worthy trade. In this act, the long-legged ghost had run himself relatively ragged with the upkeep. He sought to hunt those who had deserted as well as tried to remain in the pack in case he should be needed for anything. It was unfortunate that there was really only one of him to accomplish the tasks he’d so ambitiously set out to do.
 
Walking at a slow pace along the borders, the pallid corsair caught sight of a familiar russet shape approaching his direction. Anticipating that she would wish to speak with him, the young Captain slowed his pace further and fell into a standstill. His mismatched gaze searched her sharp yellow eyes as she approached; he could see the buds of a conversation brewing within her. “Wot are ye up to, lass?” he barked to her in question.

calling to join them the wretched and joyful
shaking the wings of their terrible youths
freshly disowned in some frozen devotion
May 23, 2018, 08:42 AM
Rosalyn
Ironsea
First Mate
He was indeed there... and while a small part of her was loathe to bother him, a bigger part knew they needed to do this semi-regularly.  She couldn't very well first-mate if she didn't, could she?

"Aye," she said, though she smiled slightly... it wasn't an overly serious matter this time, thankfully enough.  Though if they got to the second subject, perhaps.  "I wanted to ask about huntin down those that abandon... seems an awful waste of time, leaving to find them, when we got plenty of loyal crew here?"  It was her opinion, and she had little real stakes in it.  But it was an odd move in her mind, and if he had strong reasoning, she needed to hear it before she could make such a thing a priority for herself as well.  She wasn't sure dividing his attentions like this was for the best, for him or for the rest of them.
May 23, 2018, 11:18 PM
Smokestep
Ironsea
Captain
And there she was, quick with her tongue and share of opinion. Smokestep felt a twinge in his chest at the sound of her concerns, but only because she had not spoken her mind when he had requested it from their meeting. The young boy furrowed his brow and cast his lips downward in a spiraling frown of thoughtfulness.
 
It was difficult for Smokestep to gather himself and to compose a response that would allow her to understand where his reasoning came from. For one, it had always been pirate law to execute those who would abandon their crew and their home. He had learned this from the Fenriver wolves and their ruthless leader. Once, he had shared Roz’s concerns and had known that it lacked some rationale. That had been before he’d learned what it meant to be a deserter – to discard the hospitality of a good Captain and crew – before he had abandoned those Fenriver wolves and sought to create his own pack of wily pirates.
 
“Did I ever tell ye ‘bout the Fenriver crew?” he asked her with a sidelong glance toward the bridge of her muzzle. “They wos the first I’d ever met who practiced the pirate ways. Roughest, toughest, meanest curs ye’d ever meet. Their Captain, he was a right good man an’ the scariest sea dog ye’d ever meet.” There was a solemnness to his voice, and though he tried his best, Smokestep could not hide the envy that he felt toward the leader of that crew. “I wos like ye. Why waste the energy only to prove a point, aye? There ain’t no good in takin’ time to search fer those who ain’t got time fer us,” he trailed, knowing that she had perfectly good reason to question the motives behind hunting deserters.
 
The tall man turned to her with a sharp glint in his eye and a coldness that was not becoming of him. “I’m the result o’ wot happens when ye don’t catch the deserters.”

calling to join them the wretched and joyful
shaking the wings of their terrible youths
freshly disowned in some frozen devotion
May 23, 2018, 11:34 PM
Rosalyn
Ironsea
First Mate
Hmm.  She... still didn't quite understand.  "Yer the result?"  she asked, not particularly liking his tone or the heaviness that he said it with.  He was the result to that crew, or his very existence was?  "I've not heard tell of that crew."  Her eyes cast down for a moment, but when she brought them back up, they met his an instant before diverting.  "But I know what it is to be stuck in a crew you don't want.  Nothing good comes of leadin by fear, least not on that alone."  Only mutiny.  She was the result of that, though she didn't say as much, and she'd brought her own reckoning on them.  It appeared the lessons he'd learned had been vastly different than his own, and she wondered if things would be different if she'd joined willingly.

She hoped he would clarify, but if he didn't, she'd understand.  She wasn't sure how far he trusted her at the moment, and a lot of Smoke she was finding to be an enigma.  The more she learned, the less she felt she knew.
May 24, 2018, 12:01 AM
Smokestep
Ironsea
Captain
“Their Captain wos called The Banshee, an’ they said he could roll in wit the fog an’ take any life he wanted. I wos young an’ I looked up to ‘im… thought he was the fiercest there was, y’know? I wanted to believe that he had this… power,” he sighed and shook his head. It was foolish to think that he was admitting it to his First Mate and that he hadn’t given himself the time to consider how foolish it might have seemed. All he knew was that he had taken advantage of the wrong person, and he had yet to be punished for it.
 
Drawing his tongue across his lips with a shrug, the pale young Captain cast a forlorn look to the woman he had come to admire so well. “I called his bluff. Got too big fer me britches an’ I took off after usin’ up his hospitality. I said I’d make meself a better crew an’ I’d be a better Captain than he ever wos,” Smokestep explained to her with a frown. “But I ain’t. An’ I never will be. But, I’ll tell ye this, Roz… I won’t have someone like me come through an’ take advantage o’ the things we got to offer here.”
 
There was something in his tone that seemed to carry a lot of weight for one so young. He could feel it in his shoulders – the mistakes he’d made – and how those actions would lead to a punishment in one way or another. It had burned a hole in the pit of his stomach that seemed as though it would eat through every last inch of him. There was an underlying fear in everything that he had done to create the Ironsea crew. He knew that there would come a day when the Banshee returned to claim what was rightfully his. Smokestep did not want anyone to feel the way that he did; he would just as soon send them to Davy Jones and know that they had nothing to fear. Smokestep did not tell her how he was hunted, or how he had fled in the night to escape the harsh clasp of the Fenriver jowls against his flesh. Roz did not need to know that his days were numbered.
 
Breathing a heavy sigh, the yearling gritted his teeth together, fighting the words that were scorched against him. “I don’t ask a lot o’ the crew, an’ I do me best to make sure they’re happy here. I don’t lure ‘em in wit false pretenses, aye? Ye live an’ ye die by the crew; that’s always been the first rule,” he growled softly. There had not been a single joiner who had not been warned of their abandonment policy. Smokestep had done what was right in giving them a chance to back out before they had pledged themselves. If they should see him as unfit, there were means to overthrow him. It was no easy feat, though, to run a crew and ensure their happiness. It certainly was not as easy as he had imagined it to be when he’d abandoned the Fenriver wolves.
 
“Once a pirate…”
 
It had been a prized saying when he had first joined, but as he had skirted the hands of death and the punishment of desertion, the truism had warped into nothing more than an omen.

calling to join them the wretched and joyful
shaking the wings of their terrible youths
freshly disowned in some frozen devotion
May 24, 2018, 12:36 AM
Rosalyn
Ironsea
First Mate
She didn't laugh, just listened, as he detailed his admiration of the man he had once called Captain.  She couldn't laugh... after all, hadn't she been the same?  She'd had an idol of her own, a mentor who had seemed so infallible and perfect that there had been no one she'd rather become.  Trouble was, wolves like that were rarely all they were made out to be.  There was danger in placing too lofty a title on another; you could easily lose yourself in the process.

But here she was thinking on how she had seen the folly in it too late, while he seemed ashamed to have found his own way.  She agreed... so long as he lived in the shadow of his ghost, he never would be as good a captain.  He'd thwart himself at every turn.  "Givin up on that goal does this entire crew a disservice, y'know." she said finally, carefully.  "Maybe ye never will be better... but if ye don't try, well.  What right do y' have even claiming it?"  Her tone was more thoughtful than anything else; her intention was not to say he shouldn't.  After all, she wouldn't have signed on if she thought it.

Nothing he said gelled with her. This was his crew, and to fill it with those who might overthrow seemed an insane way to run it.  But if it was how he truly, really believed it needed to be... then fine.  He was right; he had made the pledge of every joiner she'd seen, every joiner but one - she herself.  Because if he had made it of her, she'd have questioned it on the spot, and she wasn't so sure she'd have taken the jump.  But now she was expected of it, and it sat oddly on her; history had given her reason to hate such expectation, but she wasn't unhappy here, so she'd keep it in spite of her gut.  

"The threat won't be what keeps me here," she added finally, her ear flicking and the corner of her mouth turning up.  "Only a crew worth bein in can do that.  But I don't think we'll have a problem."  It was likely she wouldn't understand, and that was ok.  If he wanted to hunt them down, fine.  She'd help as she could, seein as really it didn't matter so long as the crew was happy in the process.
June 12, 2018, 11:45 PM
Smokestep
Ironsea
Captain
Smokestep shrugged and cast a frown at his First Mate that seemed to carry a weight with it. Perhaps she was right in saying he was doing a disservice to the crew. Perhaps she’d have been a better Captain than he would ever hope to dream. And perhaps still there was a chance he could improve himself beyond the idolization of The Banshee and rule his claim as a good Captain should. Smokestep would likely never know these things. He’d set himself in a mindset that was far too difficult to shed. There was a rut that had worked it’s way down through the earth and into the depths, and it had swallowed him whole. There was no sun where the young pirate dwelled. He could not see the light that she posed to him. Saddening but true, Smokestep had lived a life far too close to this mark of ‘never good enough,’ and it was there he would likely remain. 

Roz made mention that his threats would not be what kept her in the ranks of his crew. The pale ghost regarded her with a building frustration, but he was reminded that there had been others who had come and abandoned their beautiful home, and there would likely be many more. Still, he aimed to show that his word was his bond. Smokestep did not know what his future held. He did not know the turmoil that would send him scouting across earth and see, but he knew that his law would be his bond. If he were to falter on that, there would be nothing left of him. “Aye... I understand. I can’t say ye would be forgiven for such an act. We’re all held to the same bond, you and I the same. But I’d hope ye’ll stick ‘round fer wots to come.” 

He lacked the strength to fight the point with her any longer. His gaze fell from her and sought the waters with a need to connect to it. After a moment, the young Captain rose and left their talking place with a heavy burdening soul.

calling to join them the wretched and joyful
shaking the wings of their terrible youths
freshly disowned in some frozen devotion
June 13, 2018, 12:29 AM
Rosalyn
Ironsea
First Mate
Her words had meant to inspire, but they seemed to have the opposite effect.  He seemed to take them to heart, and what's more, to interpret her words as a sign she was thinking of jumping ship.  Idiot, she thought with sudden annoyance.  Hadn't she shown over and over that this wasn't the case? Was any loyalty enough for him?  It wasn't fear of him that would keep her tethered... it was him. He seemed to have a hard time grasping that some might simply choose to follow rather than needing to respond to threats for loyalty.

A thousand words rose up to be told, but he'd already turned his back to her.  She should have said them... it would be her only chance.  But unaware of what fate had in store, she let them die on her tongue, and instead turned with an irritable flip of her tail.  When he was ready to trust, she would be there.  But until then, she'd continue to support his pack, believing in his captainship even if he refused to.