Sketch has stirred from his ruin.
He remembers the Zee.
He remembers Frostfound.
He remembers the East.
The once-great dandy has seen many a thing in his time, and now its time to see them again.
Professor Sketch clads himself in what few clothes he hasn’t sold and heads down to Wolfstack Docks.
Sketch has stirred from his ruin.
The Scorched Sailor has been to the Avid Horizon. He has been to the Mountain. His mind was twisted by the forces that drove him to these far reaches, and the memories lie dormant. There is enough left of them, however, for him to know that his is a past that should not have been, that should be changed utterly.
He has a boat. The Reckoning Postponed will take him anywhere he needs to go. Besides, he’s never been to Irem. The Scorched Sailor bundles himself up in shirts, rags, scarves, culminating in a great overcoat, so that no skin is visible, and sets off through the London smog to Wolfstack.
edited by Barselaar on 9/4/2016
The Clay Man is white with salt crystals. Underwater currents have ripped holes in his body, erased his features, torn off most of an arm. It took him many weeks to walk back to London. It is not safe for him to remain. He walks beneath the pier and waits for nightfall, ready to climb aboard Drake’s ship.
He knows his last captain is still out there. He still needs the map. And he is accustomed to long voyages.
"Excuse me," Sketch speaks up, "I feel I should let you know - I do plan to stay for the majority of the journey. However, on the way back if we could make a small detour to Frostfound, I would be greatly appreciative. You won’t have to wait for me - that’s my drop-off point."
He pulls out a small checkbook from the recesses of his unusually dark clothing. He’s not often seen in public without some form of dashing attire - even in his recent state he’s managed to keep up his public appearance - but tonight appears to be an exception.
"If money is an issue, I can pay you for the detour," he says.
"Was never about the money," The Scorched Sailor says to Drake. "It’s about the places themselves. I should warn you, the Reck is a bit of mess. You can use other ships, if you want, but I’m not going anywhere without her." He peers out of his clothes and taps out a rhythm on his thigh.
He turns his gaze to Professor Sketch. "I don’t care about your cheques," he says, waving a hand at Drake to suggest he take it up with the expedition leader, "but if you’re wanting me to take my ship close to that place, I might need to know why." He sighs. "That’s a long way off yet, though."
He continues to tap out a rhythm, seven beats in quick succession then a pause, as the assembled party wait to see if anyone else will arrive.
edited by Barselaar on 7/14/2016
Sketch stares at The Scorched Sailor for a moment.
"Well, it’s supposed to be beautiful, isn’t it?" he improvises, unblinking, "And I’ve got a correspondent there I’ve talked to via letter for several years now. I figure it’s about time to meet them."
The Scorched Sailor, still looking at Sketch with a frown, takes a moment to register Drake’s question, and then bursts out in a coarse, asthmatic laugh. Clapping Drake on the shoulder, he leans into his ear. “Give up. There is nothing there worth knowing. There is nothing there worth seeing.” Drake can feel his hand trembling on his shoulder, and the Sailor pulls up his sleeve sharply to show off his warped and burned skin. “Die on this journey instead, if you must.” He tugs at his scarf for a moment, then stops, changing his mind.
“If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to make sure these clowns load up properly. A lot of these idiots are convinced the Reck is haunted.” He strides off down the dock.
Suinicide arrives, flyer clenched in her hand. She has remembered the taste of secrets, stolen and shared, a desire that can override even obsession. Or perhaps they are only different flavors of the same addiction.
Weeping wounds peek out from beneath her clothes, obvious to any close inspection. Reminders that she asks for nothing that she would not ask of herself. Reminders that she does not need redemption.
The wax-hardened boots clap down on the planks of the deck.
A smirk tugs at Sketch’s lips as he looks about the ship. There are few things that make him smile a genuine smile anymore, but nostalgia brings happiness to the hardest of hearts. Some of the most important events of his life happened on a ship, or at least thanks to one.
He inhales deeply and exhales slowly.
The dandy rubs his clean-shaven chin and chuckles. Maybe he’ll even have time to grow a beard again. Now that would bring back memories.
Sketch walks across the planks, heading belowdeck to find a bed.
edited by Professor Sketch on 7/15/2016
The Scorched Sailor wanders the hallways of his ship, making a note of the rooms his travelling companions have taken. He wonders about them; Drake Dynamo, with an unsettling obsession in his eyes, sending out flyers promising adventure. What did he hope to gain from this voyage? Professor Sketch, who, before they had even set off, already appeared to have an alternate destination in mind, flashing cheques around. How committed to this enterprise was he? Suincide is even more of a mystery, rushing aboard with a flyer just before preparations finished, blood seeping through her clothes from obvious wounds. She would need investigating. And something else - a feeling? - no.
The Scorched Sailor puts the unsettling feeling out of mind, shaking his head. He couldn’t fall prey to the rumours of the dockhands, he knew there were no other presences on his ship. He finishes his musings, determined to keep a close eye on his travelling companions until he was sure each one could be trusted. He would not let any of them interfere with his need to dig up his lost memories, to regain control of his mind. He walks along the water-damaged hallways and up a rusted ladder to the main deck, remembering how it used to look in its party-hosting days.
He waits here for the others to surface. Their path, for now, was set and easy - or as easy as they get at zee. There was no harm in taking a break, in getting to know his shipmates.
(OOC: The Reckoning Postponed is a hulking, broken mess of a ship, but once upon a time it was a Pleasure Yacht - see linked story in my sig. It won’t be comfortable, but it will have all of the amenities expected of such a vessel, albeit warped, damaged or broken.)
Sketch woke early.
His hands rest on the rusted railing of the ship, eyes resting on the water below. The zee seems calm now, lapping gently against the beaten hull of the yacht.
That was he’d called it, anyway. The original name was Vagabond, though considering how old the tramp steamer had been, that name had probably only lasted two generations at most. Who knew what its original name had been?
The rake slips off one of the black gloves, pulling a stale piece of bread from his pocket and feeding it to the Polythreme fabric.
It didn’t matter, though. The ship hadn’t been his own, and neither had the map, but he’d been the last owner of either. He’d taken them both the farthest, and been the only holder of either to survive the journey.
But of course he was going to survive the journey.
There was a time when he could survive anything, and just to prove it, he did.
Sketch slipped the glove back on, and began to feed the left one.
One night on a ship, and already he was deep in memories. This was a new ship. A new captain. There was no point in sitting around reminiscing on the olden days.
He glances over at the dark figure of Dynamo, thinking on his fellow shipmates. He didn’t care for them. He hardly cared for anyone anymore - even Edward was just a toy. But he knew how people could change out at zee. People went mad. People got hungry. People grew scared. He had to make sure he wasn’t the one they jumped when supplies ran low.
Sketch slips the glove back on, dons a smile he saw on a fortune teller gypsy he once bedded, and strolls across the deck to Drake.
Sketch leans against the railing, crossing his arms as he talks.
"Your posters mentioned several different destinations," he says, "But I was wondering - what exactly is the point of this journey? You said we’re headed to Adam’s Way. I’ve been there before. I passed through. When I left, my ship had a hull like the wing of a bee. This ship? I doubt it’d even survive it."
He waits at the dock, looking for the vessal from London. Looking after the affairs of the port was fun for a while, and the Khanigans sure knew how to party, but when he heard from some Forigen office spies of this endeavor of Drake’s, he fully intended to apply himself to it. To travel through timee itself… truly a pinnacle of hedonism. “And maybe we can set off to the Isle of Cats and pick up that other substance we wish to try” he thinks, though he attempts to push the thought back. And so he waits for the ship to dock.
Travelling into the past.
Perhaps Sketch’s nostalgia was not unwarranted.
He raises his eyebrows and says, "That’s quite a plan. Time travel. My, oh my. Forgive my rudeness, but might I ask if you’ve any experience in captaining a ship? This seems quite the adventure for someone who’s not experienced."
"Quite, quite," he says.
At the sound of the zailor, the dandy looks up. His eyes fix on the gaping maws of the sapphire-mines to the right of the docks, red dust glittering down through the gaslight as a lucky miner strikes the edge of one of the precious stones.
"Delightful place, this," he says offhandedly to Dynamo, eyes still looking over the bohemian landscape, "I was only here a short time on my last journey, but conversation in the Blue Bazaar is wonderful. Congratulations on a safe journey this far, Captain Dynamo."
He gives the scholar a sparkling smile, shakes his hand, and strolls off to the other side of the deck.
The Scorched Sailor, back at the wheel, guides The Reckoning Postponed into Port Carnelian, wondering what Drake and the Professor were discussing on deck. He’d hung back, wanting a chance to speak to his third passenger, but she hadn’t showed her face. Luckily, the journey to Port Carnelian had been swift and easy - a rare thing at zee. The Sailor ponders the Port as he drops anchor and disembarks to sign the documents held out by an Expectant Harbourmaster. He’d been here once before, briefly, on a supply stop, but apart from that he knew almost nothing of the place.
A few minutes later, the Expectant Harbourmaster scurries away, casting wary backwards glances at the ruinous old ship. Now that the bureaucracy is settled, the crew can get to business.
He walks onto the ship to speak with Drake "Good Sir, Welcome to Port Carnelian! I am the poor soul they sent after you left with your… Aquisition." You note a bit of anger in his voice at the last word, but no real malice. You get the feeling he’s not the maliceful type. "I’m telling you it was rather a riot! The Tigers were calling it a breach of rights, the khanigans were mad at the tiger for blaming them, the Office wanted to do their thing… You threw me right into a nest of vipers sir! And I must say thank you for it! It was a lot of fun. Now, I have heard of your endeavor from a source in London. is it true you seek to make time itself your plaything? I can imagine no greater adventure! I have my… reasons, for wishing to go into the past, which I will make clear later. But for now I wish to know if you will accept me on your journey?
Either way, know this: I hear you intend to go to Adam’s Way. Well I have some rum news. Ships have been vanishing along that way, never to retuern. I sent a ship to investigate, but of course that went missing too, and if you keep sending ships it just becomes a morbid game of dominoes now doesnt it?"
edited by Kylestien on 7/15/2016
(Ooc: sorry, I warned drake of this before. But I can only really respond in the morning, at night, or on sundays.)
Suinicide darts from the room she had been hiding in, and stumbles down the walkway, leaving scattered empty bottles in her wake.
A few of the obvious wounds have been bandaged, or otherwise hidden, leaving one bleeding reminder on her arm. She disappears into the crowd.
At a Port Carnelian jetty, a lone Tomb-Colonist sits, his Polythreme bandages writhing under the heat and moistness of the Elder Continent. He stares calmly at the sinking cutter that was supposed to bring him back to London.
"Naturally," he firmly says to a distraught captain, "this means you won’t be recieving payment."
Then, he quietly turns around and heads towards the nearest tea-house.
edited by Infinity Simulacrum on 7/15/2016
If the mirthless Colonist were to still have an eyebrow, he certainly would’ve lifted it. As gracefully as he can muster, he approaches the gentleman.
“If I’m not mistaken, you’re headed to the archipelago,” he tactlessly says to the man, unwilling to invest time in a conversation, due to the sweltering heat. “I have rostygold, plenty of it. Secure a place on your ship for me, and some of it might end up in your hands.”
“I don’t have much baggage. Barely any, in all honesty. Tell me when your ship zails, and I’ll be there.”