The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 13: The Brotherhood of the Open Sea
We are hove to just outside the bay. The captain asks Bavör to make a note:
the ship needs an alarm system. Bay nods and crawls off to bed. We rest.
Come nightfall, we set a watch (Mandorak). He can see that there are lights
in the town, and activity continues throughout the night.
Dawn arrives, with a pink sky. The captain notes that we need a dinghy. Cook braves the ship’s stores, and provides us with an adequate breakfast. (She does not seem to be familiar with our foodstuffs.) Thus fortified (and with our gasbag properly stowed), we enter the harbor. Sailors climb their ratlines, and shutters open on ships, so it’s clear that people are watching our progress. Mandorak steps out onto the deck, and can hear crowd noises.
Those of us inside the Tindomë hear a feminine scream deep inside the ship. Eric trots down the spiral staircase to find the source, and learn what is wrong. With an unfortunate sound and abrupt jerk, the ship grinds to a halt. Mandorak dashes down the stairs after Eric. Even before he has passed, Bay has cut the engines.
Mannie looks through the lower observation window. That’s sand, glowing sand, most of the way up the window – and the window is bulging in a funny way. It is warm. The captain requests reverse, and the hideous sound repeats and the window retreats from the sand. There are sharp rocks here as well. They are definitely not rounded in the way one would expect of rocks in a harbor.
Eric pulls out his crude Map of Here. It shows nothing of especial interest, or usefulness. Mannie sends out his Second Sight, and confirms that the pier we are headed for is in shallower water than we can currently handle. He does confirm that our lower port maintains its integrity, but the distortion remains.
More people have arrived on the dock. Some are gesticulating wildly, primarily pointing at us with expressions of interest or astonishment. Mannie returns to the top deck, and tosses the anchor over. He makes a coracle of ectoplastic air, reconfigures it as a canoe, and hands paddles to Finwë and Eric. They make their way to the dock. (Imagine the picture they make: a tall, fair-haired elf, a medium-tall, medium-brown-haired human, and a short, black-bearded dwarf.) They tie up to the pier, and make their way up onto the dock.
“Good day. We’re explorers here from Lanthil.” Mandorak addresses the closest people. They seem amused. The crowd parts, and a large, imposing man wearing a sword makes his way through the crowd. Two other, larger men, follow him.
“You’re at Port Rouge. Where did you think you’d might be?”
“We don’t know. We’re exploring.”
“You’re exploring all the settled islands around here?”
“This is the first one we’ve found. Where are the others?”
The large fellow points. “Mostly out that way. Where’d you come from?”
Mannie points. “It’s sort of hard to explain.”
“And you found no other islands?”
”No, this is the first.”
“What is that ship?”
“That’s the Tindomë.”
“That’s its name. What is it?”
“It’s the first of its kind. We’re quite proud of it.”
“When’d you lose your mast?”
”We don’t have masts.” There is more discussion about the nature of our ship.
“What d’ye want at Port Rouge?”
”What do you have to sell?”
”We’re more into buying.”
“What do you have?”
”Supplies. Food, and drink.”
“Fresh food? Where?”
The man points to a bustling portion of the town. “You’re not part of the Brotherhood of Port Rouge, are you?”
“Since we’ve never been here before, no. What sort of Brotherhood is it?”
“Uh, a Brotherhood of Free Brothers of the Open Sea. How many of you are there?”
“Oh, only the three of us will be coming ashore to begin with.”
“It’s a small crew for a ship your size.”
“Oh, our crew is larger, but they’re staying on board for now.”
“Ye’ll be needing to pay a docking fee.”
“How much would that be?”
Mannie fishes through his coins. “Will this do?” It would. “How should we refer to you?”
“Cap’n. Cap’n Gareth. Just one of the Brotherhood.” He gestures, and there is a path through the crowd.
On the ship, several people watch their companions’ progress through the telescoped upper observation window.
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.