Figment Daily Themes: Boat

The high seas, drunken wizards, and no small amount of comedy.

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Dialogue
“You know we’re not all born with the ability to throw fireballs, right?”

[[Resuming within the same universe as the previous _FIGMENT DAILY THEMES: INN_!]]

INT. A CREAKY HOLD

Dirty, filthy, well-used, bare-timber. Stacks of barrels are strapped in with carefully tied ropes. A few leak, dribbling some red fluid. Folds of sail-cloth heap in against another ship’s rib, a few spots showing obvious rips. Everything you’d expect to see in a medieval-era ship’s hold.

ELENTHAR sits up from amidst a sail-pile. He looks much paler than the last time we saw him, a bit more gaunt. Maybe just a bit sickly. His eyes are red and he wobbles just sitting up.

ELENTHAR
Gods-damned wine. Never my strong suit, drinking with the monkeys. Sick —

He doubles over, noisily sick.

Above, the sound of a ship starting to catch the wind comes down.

CAPTAIN
(OS, muffled)
You men! Get that lanyard! Get the damned thing, don’t chase it! Free the sails!

A chorus of men passing the order “Free the sails” presage the entirety of the hold LURCHING to the side.

Elenthar goes ass over hat to the side with a little wet squish.

ELENTHAR
(weakly)
Gods-damn it.

EXT. DECK OF THE “WANDERER” — SUNRISE

A busy two-masted cargo ship is a sight to behold. At least a dozen men scurry back and forth between rigging and securing things. A couple of cannon even sit lashed in place to either side of the foredeck, balls and powder stacked and stored neatly alongside. In contrast, rope and boxes seem a chaotic mess scattered here and there.

The crew leaps through and across the detritus as if born to it. Scurrying up the ropes into the rigging, adjusting sails, maintaining the wooden box that keeps them all from drowning.

Above it all, the sound of men shouting to one another in at least two different languages and the omnipresent thassalassalos of the sea.

CAPTAIN FORNIER keeps a close eye on proceedings from a place near the ship’s wheel, barking out sure orders.

FORNIER
Watch that line! Watch it! Don’t let that thing get loose again, Al’mizal, or I’ll have you stripped naked and strapped to the bow to point the way to port!

There’s a general burst of laughter.

Elenthar staggers his way up and out of cargo. Several of the crew glance at him with a look of disgust. A few make tiny hand-gestures of warding, two fingers extended with a thumb. The captain stands on an elevated deck above Elenthar.

ELENTHAR
Ca — \*cough\* — Captain!

Fornier continues giving orders to the crew.

ELENTHAR
Captain! Can I assume I’m on a ship of some gods-damned distinction or is this just the most gods-damned well-designed brothel that I’ve ever seen?

Fornier glances down a moment, then gives a full throated laugh, stepping forward to lean on the railing.

FORNIER
I see our most precious cargo has finally roused from his three-day drunk! Al’mizal, you could take a real lesson from this one. Here’s a man who knows how to drink and find your favourite brothel, both!

Elenthar pushes unsteady hands through his dishevelled white hair and reflexively starts straightening his robes before realizing he’s just got splattered puke on his palms and wipes them on a nearby box.

A couple of the crew look violently displeased by this, but a glance at the Captain holds their tongues. Instead, they make subtle warding gestures and get back to work.

ELENTHAR
I’m afraid your gods-damned brothel is full of rats and the wine is somewhat less high-table than I’m used to.

The wizard stumbles rather than steps forward as the relatively calm seas slap the boat with a wave.

FORNIER
Ha! From the looks of you, you’ve seen better times at a low-barony’s children’s tables producing coins for little girls to lure than back to your rooms.

Again, crude, joyous laughter from the crew.

FORNIER
Good thing you had friends with gold or we’d have dumped you with the other sewage once out of harbor.

Elenthar lowers his brows.

ELENTHAR
Friends? I don’t remember any gods-damned friends. What was —

TIELSON, a short, stout man with a square beard, square head, square breeches, and little else, walks over to Elenthar with the rolling gait of long-time seamen and claps him on the arm.

TIELSON
Not the first time someone’s gone into port and come back dragged by helpful hands with a bag ‘o gold on this ship, friend. Better’n being dropped into the bay part by part, am I right?

Elenthar squints down at Tielson.

ELENTHAR
And who might you be, you scant man? Who do you think ought to be letting gods-damned touch me?

Tielson appears unconcerned, tightening his fingers in the sleeve of Elenthar’s dirty robe and dragging him stolidly to a low pile or crates.

TIELSON
I think I’m First Mate on this crew, and I think I’m th’one the good captain lets handle the problems that aren’t so good and interesting that he needs to see to ’em. Today, that’s you.

TIELSON
(shouting to the captain)
I’m thinking I’ve got this, sir. You go back to captainin’ and keeping Al’mizal pure and clean for her momma and not the dirty whore we see every time we hit port.

AL’MIZZAL, a girl no more than a rangy, gangly, long-limbed sixteen, swarthy and dressed head to toe in various tied scarves, leaps overhead between rigging and foredeck.

AL’MIZAL
Like there’s no man or woman borne on the Wanderer who don’t like a bit of cock in their mouths, ass, or cunt when we see land, Tielson! I’ve seen your cunt full more than once! And you don’t even charge!

The crew laughs, even Tielson, who does so harder than the others.

ELENTHAR
(quietly)
Gods-damn, I’ve fallen asleep at a comedy about the Wizerain Pirates and I’m dreaming. At least the dialogue is good.

Tielson gives Elenthar a friendly shove to seat on the crates. With a couple of deft shoves, he pulls some boxes around to serve as makeshift arm-rests.

TIELSON
And there’s your throne, m’honour, seein’ as you’re a powerful wizard and all. Some don’t like the spellers; think they’re bad luck. I figure if you’re bad luck, it’s just to yourself given the shit on your clothes.

ELENTHAR
(sputtering)
But I am a wizard! The high council wizard to King Barlen of Palagan, fifth of his name, crowned —

TIELSON
No, please. I can’t take any more, y’might make me giggle in me trou.

Elenthar starts to stand, pushing himself up from the false arm-rests like a king from a throne, glances down at his dingy, soiled grey robes, and just sinks back.

ELENTHAR
(mumbling)
I’m not at my gods-damned best right now.

Tielson gives him a gentle pat on the arm.

TIELSON
Y’know we’re not all born with the ability to throw fireballs, right? It’s alright, mighty wizard. You have a name that mortal men can know or are you a secret speller?

ELENTHAR
I am Elenthar Twice-Blessed, of Dravenheart, Divine Glen, Majenhole, and Palagan’s Twelve! Magus and gods-damned Second Circle Damnar!

Tielson looks singularly unimpressed. He tugs at his beard while Elenthar sits straight-backed and imperious.

TIELSON
I think we’ll just call you Geedy.

Al’mizal swings by, upside down, between spans of rigging.

AL’MIZAL
Geedy! Geedy! Geedy! Geedy! We’ve got a Geedy! We’ve got a Geedy!

Elenthar/GEEDY looks more than a little stricken.

GEEDY
It is a gods-damned pirate comedy. Gods-damn it.

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