Thursday, March 12, 2020

Whispered Words - 7th Sea Fanfic

Next Survey 

"...come..."

Kirsten looked over her shoulder but could see no one. It wasn't the first time she'd thought she'd heard whispers on the wind. But this was the first time she'd heard a discernible word. Her jaw clinched and sucked in a breath past her teeth waiting. But the whispering did not continue and slowly she relaxed.

Suddenly the pressure of the grey sky seemed so much heavier than it had before. She looked down instead, out over the forest.The trees stood rustling in the wind that was now dwindling. The nearby forest was thin and easy to walk or ride through, but the thick and ancient core of the forest was visible from the tower. The barren, rocky coast was harder to survey. Most of it was obscured by the cliffs rising out of the ocean.


A twisting sound of wind drifted past her, carrying no words this time, and then the scrabble of boots on stone brought her attention twisting around behind her to see two of the sailors coming up to the top of the tower. The first of them flinched back hands up as he saw Kirsten's stance and hand on her rapier. 

"Whoa, Miss, we're just here to take a turn at watch."

Kirsten nodded and released a held breath though her shoulders did not relax and her hand only slowly left her hilt. 

"The air up here is oppressive. Whatever the hexe did may not extend up here, be aware."

"Aye, we'll do that, miss."

As she stepped down the stairs the world once again felt muffled and held at bay. The whispering wind specifically fell away into the still air of an unintentional tomb. The bodies had been bundled up on to the second floor and pushed into a corner. The hexe's form was set a little to the side, but the skeletons had been swept into a pile and had fallen apart now. It would be hard to distinguish which bones belonged to each other. Kirsten tried not to look at it, but moved on down to the lower levels of the tower where the camps were being set.

One the second floor down, Seona and Marius leaned over a map as another sailor attended to the still unconscious captain in the corner. Three other sailors were lounging about, but most of the crew had settled on the first floor near the door.

"There aren't really any landmarks we can see. This tower isn't on any map I've heard of."

"We were hemmed in by rocks close to the shore. There's a only couple of places along the coastline that could be and we are certainly not anywhere close to Wirsche or it would be more obvious."

"Maybe, maybe, and what about it?"

"We make for the Montaigne border. Go south and west and make for Paix."

"Our original aim was for Posen."

"And when we were making for it over the waves, that was fine. But we aren't going to traipse across the whole of Eisen."

Kirsten stepped forward to the table where the map had been set. "Either direction will be several days of travel. How much food is there?"

"Less than we like. Some had a foul smell to...."

The conversation was interrupted as the captain shot upward from his position and cried out, eyes wide and bloodshot.

"It comes! It comes!"

"Captain!"

The sailor beside the man stumbled and then reached out to try pulling him down back to the cloth they had laid him out along.

The three at the map turned to look and Kirsten stepped forward as the Captain struggled up to his feet and stumbled forward.

"The heart beats! It was there! Flash and crash. Flash and crash."

The captain reached out and clutched at Kirsten looking wildly into her face as she pushed to both hold him at bay and keep him upright.

"It waits! Flash and crash."

Seona stepped forward with Marius to pull the captain off the young woman and the man's sudden burst of energy wore down until he was hanging limply in their arms and muttering to himself. 

"This is not natural." One of the sailors whispered.

"There's plenty of things that can unhinge a man's thoughts. And lump on the head is among those. But aye, the timing seems suspect."

Seona sat the captain down along with Marius.

"We need to get him to an actual doctor, quickly. There'll be a border watch to keep the Horrors out of Montaigne."

"There will be experts on Horrors and the curses they give in Wirsche."

"And if it's a natural illness like your friend suggests?"

Kirsten nodded reluctantly. "We'll make for the Montaigne border, but after that, I'm heading to Wirsche. Even if I have to do so alone."

"That's your business not ours. We'll leave at dawn tomorrow."

The duelist briefly considered the option of asking about the hexe's body above, but no. She wasn't going to press the issue right now. 

"Fine, in the meantime, I'll take a bow see what I can do about the food situation."

"You plan to hunt in that forest?"

"Do you see much other choice? I've hunted the forests of Avalon."

"Did those forests have Horrors?"

Seona laughed loudly. "No, but there's plenty of other dangers in the woods of the Glamour Isles. Just because it's pretty, doesn't mean it's safe."

Marius grimaced but nodded as the two women walked out the door.

Kirsten almost stumbled as she walked out of the tower and again felt the cold, wet pressure of the iron grey day. The soft sound of the winds drifted past her ears again.

"...heart..."

Seona stepped outside and looked to her cautiously. "Are you okay, lass?"

The young blonde woman shook her head and continued forward. "I'm fine, let's continue with this."

The trees loomed taller and more omnious as they neared the edge of the woods and the tower grew smaller in the distance behind them. For the moment, the trees were widely placed, but the overcast still lent a dark and gloomy hint to the forest. 

Daughter of Eisen - Table of Contents

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