Cobal slept through a lot of the remainder of the storm. The combination of exhaustion and pain meant his body really needed the rest. It turned out that the reason Mirgia never came back after he went out to get things for Cobal is because he threw up in the hallway. It was quite a funny story, apparently he threw up, went to clean it and then threw up again while cleaning it. He was currently sleeping off his motion sickness, hoping it would be better by the time he woke up again.
Cobal got up and felt his ribs. It still stung quite badly, but he could breathe and stand up normally so he made his way to the deck. The wind was still quite harsh, but the rain had let up a bit.
“Cobal, how are you doing?” Goof came walking up and put his hand on his shoulder.
“I’m alright now, thanks. It still stings quite badly, but I’ll be alright. How did you all make it through the storm?”
Goof sighed. “Not great. There was a bit of reef we hit and the ship is taking some water in. We’re dealing with it, but the captain is looking for a place to dock for a little while so we can repair the damage. If we keep sailing all the way to Rildar we might sink at some point, which is less than ideal.”
“Less than ideal might be a bit of an understatement.” There was a brief commotion further up on the deck and the ship started to tilt towards the shore. Cobal followed Goof up the stairs to the wheel to ask what was going on.
“Braydon spotted a cove a little ways ahead, we’re going to sail the ship in there and hopefully disembark for a bit so we can repair the hull.” The sailor behind the wheel said.
Cobal looked and saw that the shore seemed to break up a little bit. “That must be it,” he said to Goof, who nodded.
They made way for the cover and turned into the opening in the cliff walls. Suddenly sounds from above came. The warning came too late. “There’s a ship there, try and avoid it,” a voice yelled, but it didn’t reach the helmsman before it was already too late. With a crashing sound the Chandecobra scraped into the ship that was already there, damaging both vessels in the process.
Cobal saw Goof recoil. “That’s not good.” He looked at Cobal. “Get to your chambers for now, we have no idea what kind of people would park a ship here, but unless they’re refugees from the storm like us, I have a bad feeling about this.”
Cobal nodded and went back to their room, where he woke up the rest.
“What’s wrong,” Dylon asked. The guard was already awake and saw the look of worry on Cobal’s face.
“We’ve just stopped in a cove to repair the damage to the ship, only to hit another ship and cause more damage. Goof says we’d best be careful down here until they figure out who they’re dealing with.”
“That sounds ominous, I’d best get ready.”
“I hope it’s fine, there’s a good chance it’s just another ship looking for a place to be safe from the weather.”
“Let’s hope you’re right,” Cobal replied. He woke up Mirgia who was still looking quite pale and unwell. “Are we there yet?” he asked.
“Well, I have good news and bad news,” Cobal said. “The good news is that we’ve stopped moving, the bad news is that the ship is damaged and we might have crashed into another ship.”
“Great,” Mirgia replied, sitting upright. “I’d best get ready then.”
“I’m going to be honest with you Cobal,” Mirgia said, “I don’t think things are going particularly well up there.”
Cobal nodded. The sound of boots on the deck permeated through the ship and there were loud voices commanding things from the crew. It also didn’t take much longer before Goof appeared downstairs. “You folks should come up, we’re in a bit of a pickle and we’ve been asked to gather everyone.”
Cobal nodded. “So what’s happening?”
“Pirates,” Goof replied. He let out a deep sigh. “Just our luck to run into the ship of some pirate and not just find shelter.”
If there were pirates, maybe it was who they were looking for, Cobal thought to himself, but he didn’t want to get ahead of things. They made their way up the creaking chairs and onto the deck. Captain Ferla was standing defiantly between his crew and a group of strange sailors with swords drawn. “This looks tense,” Mirgia said sarcastically.
“Well, well, well, what do we have here?” A female voice said. Stepping forward, pushing past Ferla with her shoulder, stepped a tall woman, probably close to two meters tall. Dark red hair covered her back all the way down to her hips. A grin showed a missing tooth and her green eyes had a devious glimmer to it. Her skin looked weathered from being in the sun a lot, like most sailors did. She held a curved blade in one of her hands and a bottle of some sort of alcohol in her other. “I didn’t know you had some guests on your ship, who are these lovely people?”
“They’re guests that we’re bringing to Rildar for payment,” Ferla said. Cobal hadn’t heard him sound this timid before, this must be some seriously strong pirate. Could it be?
“What’s your name, kid?” The pirate woman said, leaning down real close to Cobal’s face.
“The name’s Cobal, a pleasure to meet you?” The introduction almost turned into a question with iit’s inflection as he was trying to figure out who this person was.
“Cobal, now that’s a peculiar name. Shade of blue, sounds interesting, does it not?”
Cobal smiled. “What can I say, I didn’t pick it.”
The lady laughed. “You know what I mean, little prince.”
She looked at Ferla. “And what incompetence drove you to ram into my ship?”
“The storm damaged our ship, we tried to get some cover here and didn’t know you were in there, by the time we spotted your ship, we had no time to dodge it anymore.”
The Captain looked him over. “I see, I see, and who is going to pay for all this damage?”
“I will,” Cobal replied.”
“You’ve got money on you?”
Cobal shook his head. “Not right now.”
“So you’re broke?”
“If you put it that way.”
“No, no, no.” The captain shook her head. “That’s not good enough.” She looked at Mana. “You?” A grin crept on her face. “I can see it in you, you’re not from this world, are you?”
Cobal let out a deep sigh. Having someone with a personality like that figure out who Mana was, spelled disaster.”
“Where are you from, little lady?”
“I’m from Saphestan, I’m an aide to the prince.”
The captain put her hand on Mana’s chin. “Nice try but I’m not dense. Where are you from?”
“I’m from another world.”
“That’s what I thought.” She released Mana’s chin and put her arm around her shoulder. “I would love to hear your stories.” She looked around at everyone else. “Bring the prince, the elf and this girl, tie up everyone else and leave them behind.”
Dylon pulled out his weapon. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, boy.” The captain said, staring him down.
“Let the prince go free,” Dylon said.
Cobal shook his head. “Stand down, we’re vastly outnumbered.”
“But your highness.”
“It’s okay Dylon.”
The captain smiled at Cobal. “So you’re the clever one?”
Cobal laughed. “Oh how wrong you are.”
They were then led off the ship and further into the cover, where the pirates had set up camp. Cobal could only assume that everyone else was being tied up on Ferla’s ship and when most of the pirates did not follow after the captain, he recognized that they were probably keeping watch. Things weren’t looking good.
After being left alone for the better part of an hour, someone finally showed up to talk to them. It wasn’t the captain herself, but instead it was an older woman. “Good morning, your highness, hero, other person. My name is Fareh and I am the second in command on the Tidesetter. I have been made aware of who you all are and I’ve been tasked with getting a few answers out of you. Of course, if you have any questions for me I will answer those I can.”
“For starters, what is the name of the captain of this ship?” Cobal asked. He was pretty sure he knew, but it had to be asked regardless.
“The Tidesetter belongs to Captain Tidescreecher.”
“I figured as much. What does Captain Tidescreecher plan to do with us and the rest of the crew of the Chandecobra?”
“I cannot answer that yet, but if there’s no profit in your demise then you’re probably going to be fine.” She smiled. “Eventually.”
Cobal nodded. “That’s unsurprising.” He looked at the other two to see if they had any questions and when it seemed that they didn’t he continued. “What do you wish to know of us then? Perhaps there’s no need to be hostile at all.”
“I appreciate your willingness to cooperate, that makes my job a lot easier.” She sat down on a chair that was a bit out of reach of where they were tied up. They weren’t in a prison or anything, but their ropes were tied to a nearby rock structure.
“For starters, I’d love to hear some insight into what brought a prince and a hero to this part of the world. These waters aren’t exactly safe and seeing you on a merchant’s ship as opposed to a royal vessel did take us by surprise. What brings you here, and why are you headed towards Rildar?”
Cobal expected this question to come and he’d already prepared himself to answer it mostly faithfully. Lying wouldn’t do much good in their current situation and if they wanted to get on Captain Tidescreechers good side, then this was their best chance. Maybe they could quickly turn this situation around. “We’ve been investigating strange magic for a little while. In our attempts to find out more, a friend of ours recommended we’d go and meet with Captain Tidescreecher. We were told she might have some ideas about what this magic is and who could be responsible for it. Without a real way to find this captain, we deduced that Rildar was our best bet for a starting point. Then a storm hit our ship and we made an emergency stop in the cove here. That about sums it up.”
Fareh nodded. “But why send a prince and a hero, sneaking into a foreign country? Why not just come through safer routes?”
“As you may or may not know, tensions between Blueyerd and Rilodar are quite high at the moment. We didn’t want to cross the border and walk straight into an overly eager guard post. Traveling in a small group on an unmarked ship seemed like our safest bet.”
Fareh thought about this for a moment before turning around and walking away.
“So much for our questions then,” Mirgia said, irritated. “I hope you know what you’re doing Cobal, this is not looking great. I’m working on this rope, but it’s pretty well tied.”
“I don’t think that’s a good plan to begin with. Even if we can escape our binds, not much will change. There’s a cove all around us.”
“Sure, but if I can choose between binds and no binds, the choice is pretty clear. I’ll just pretend they’re still bound.”
Cobal looked at Mana who was being very quiet. It was only a day after her panic attack and he was worried about her. She looked pale and generally unwell.
“Are you okay?” Cobal started, but then they heard the sound of footsteps as Fareh returned. “The captain wishes to talk to you.” She removed the ropes that bound their ankles but kept the ones around their wrists. While she was untying them, Cobal saw that four of the pirates were keeping a close eye on them, weapons drawn. “Follow me,” Fareh said.