Part 1 – Barin’s Nightmares
Dugo: In order to find out what happened, I think we should follow that specter towards the Black Isle.
Barin: I agree; I want to put those bastards in their place.
The Dark Prowler
En route to the Black Isle
Barin: <This journey has brought me nothing but misfortune. This crew seems pretty trustworthy, though. In all my time running shipments, I’ve never had such a closely knit group. It’s almost like all of this has forced us to mesh together and work as a team. I still can’t believe the Element is gone…my dad built that ship… it was a good ship.>
Apul: What are you moping about Barin? Still angered about your boat?
Barin: Damn right I am. My dad built that ship. He hauled the stone from the quarries on the Gray Isle all the way to Belatcern — that stone was used to build the pub, our homes, even your manor, Apul. That boat had some history, and all my childhood memories revolve around that ship. Those filthy pirates… what a waste.
Naelroe: Anyone who likes bunnies can’t be ALL bad!
Najen: Get over the damn bunnies! There are ZERO bunnies onboard this ship. It’s full of rusty swords, dirty maps, and surprisingly little booty.
Naelroe: I like tea!
Dugo mans the rudder while the rest retire below deck for some much needed rest. They have planned that around one o’clock, Barin will wake and relive Dugo so he can get some sleep as well. In the meantime, Apul collapses on the first available cot and Naelroe trips over him into a bed of her own. Barin and Najen move to the far corner of the room so they can talk without disturbing the sleeping pair.
Barin: Are you really here to help us?
Najen: I intend to find out what’s going on. I can’t say I set out on this journey with the intention of helping you, but your best interests are my best interests now.
Barin: Excuse me if that doesn’t give me the warm fuzzy feeling I was searching for.
Najen: I may be an assassin, but I do live by a code of honor. You have helped me thus far, and so I can guarantee your safety… from my blade, at least.
Barin: And the others?
Najen: Apul is safe. Naelroe… would you really care? Dugo… I have yet to decide what my feelings on him are.
Barin: I need everyone to work together if we are going to get to the bottom of this mystery alive.
Najen: We shall do our best.
Barin: Thank you, Najen.
Barin did not sleep soundly. His dreams are haunted by visions of his crew dying one by one, in horrible, gruesome ways. He cannot help but think that he is somehow responsible for all this. Najen is awakened by his tossing and turning, and his disturbing moans. She takes pity on him and lays down next to him, draping a comforting arm around him. The knife under her pillow is enough to dissuade anybody from having any… “indecent”… thoughts.
To be continued…